AUTUMN KIT LUST LIST

The mornings are getting chillier and the nights are getting earlier, it can only mean one thing… Autumn is coming!

In preparation for the colder weather I’ve put together my Autumn kit list with all of my favourite layering options.

This is also a lust list so I don’t have everything on this list (obviously)

 

1) Sweaty Betty Power Leggings £75.00

I love the print on these and from what I’ve heard they are brilliant for pretty much everything, including wearing to brunch! Definite lust item

sweaty betty leggings

2) Tenn Outdoor sports bra £19.99

One of my friends, Becca posted a photo the other day in this kit and I had to include it in the list, I like the bright colour. Also, it’s affordable and I kind of love how it would clash with the Sweaty Betty leggings in a good way

tenn outdoor bra

3) Hunkemöller HKMX Blogger Caro_E_ The All Star L2 Sport Bra £30

This isn’t my usual style of sports bra but when I wore it I definitely felt like I had more shape! My normal sports bras tend to flatten everything whereas this one is padded with cups. It felt secure although the sizes seem to run a bit big. I ordered my normal bra size and it felt a bit too roomy around the band and through the cups. It looks great though so order a size down and you’ll be the envy of the gym

Hunkemoller bra

4) Endurance Conspiracy Tequila t-shirt £22

It’s not always all about lycra in my life and these t-shirts from Endurance Conspiracy are the perfect bridge from sportswear to leisurewear. I have 3 of them in different designs, all in a men’s size small. They’re great for chilling out in after a long cycle, pairing with jeans for a dressed-down look or dressing up with a skirt and some red lipstick

5) New Look Blue Ombre Print Sports Vest £6.00 (in sale right now!)

While I’m normally about plainer colours for leggings (apart from the Sweaty Betty ones above), I definitely like to go bright on top and this ombre top is perfect (and cheap!).

new look vest

6) Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece £89.95

I’ve been lusting after a Nike tech fleece since they brought them out and this colour way is excellent. It’s simple, clean and totally my colours. It’s also a good one for those in-between days where it’s too warm for a jacket and too cold for just a t-shirt. Definite lust item

Nike tech fleece

6) GapFit ColdControl aerofast puffer hoodie £64.95

I bought this last year in a different colour way and it’s been my absolute saviour. It’s so light to wear but seems to keep you as warm as you need it to. Even in these transitory weeks when the weather can’t make up its mind, you don’t overheat when wearing it. It’s also light enough to tie round your waist or stuff into a bag if you do hit a patch of sunshine

gapfit puffer hoodie

What’s on your Autumn kit lust list?

HOW I’LL BE FUELLING MY CYCLE FROM LONDON TO PARIS

One of the trickiest parts to get my head round while training to cycle from London to Paris has been the nutrition. I’m not naturally an endurance athlete so I’ve never had to experiment really with fuelling whilst moving. Even during the triathlons I’ve done I got away with a couple of badly-timed gels and powered through on sheer willpower. You can’t quite do that for 7 hours on a bike when there’s an awful lot of hills to climb.

The first few training rides I under-fuelled, leaving my legs completely empty and leaving me feeling really rotten by the end of the ride. Following that I made a real effort to fuel properly during training, starting after one hour and making sure I eat something every hour after that. I would estimate that during training I’ve been getting in 20-30g of carbohydrate per hour in the form of energy gels, carbohydrate powder in my water bottles and ‘real’ food like granola bars and Soreen banana bread loaf.

Having spoken to a specialist from Science In sport at a recent cycling event, I’m now thinking that 20-30g per hour isn’t quite enough. Apparently we should be taking in around 60g of carbohydrates per hour to stay fully fuelled. That’s the equivalent of three gels! My stomach does not agree with a high volume of processed sugar like gels or energy blocks so I’ll be trying to keep these to a minimum.

Here is my ideal plan for nutrition each day:

Breakfast (two hours before we get on the bikes) – high GI foods including cereal, fruit, juice and bagels. I’ll also be getting in some sort of French pastry each day because it would be rude not to.

Every hour on the bike – one Science In Sport energy gel/Clif Blok or one bar of real food + one serving of Tailwind soluble carbohydrate powder with electrolytes in 500-800ml of water. I’ll also have the emergency fizzy cola bottles to hand for a mental and physical boost before hills.

Post-ride – dinner with a focus on carbs and protein keeping fats and fibre to a minimum for obvious reasons, no one needs to be caught short on the side of a French road. Keep drinking soluble electrolytes and carbohydrates throughout the evening to carb load and rehydrate before the next day.

 

I’ll also be carb-loading for 2 days before we leave to try and fill my muscles with readily-available energy. This will come in the form of high-GI foods again like rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal and bread.

For hydration I’ll be aiming for at least 3 litres of water each day, half of which will have Tailwind soluble electrolytes and carbohydrates in, the other half will be have Nuun electrolytes tablets* in. I get very thirsty when I’m cycling and on one particularly hot training ride I got through 5 litres of water. In hindsight it was potentially a bit too much as for the next few days I felt awful.

 

Have you got any tips for long-distance nutrition?

 

*I was provided with the Nuun electrolyte tablets for free

CLIMBING WITH EVERYONE ACTIVE

Does anyone else get the desire to scamper up and over things like walls, rocks and urban climbing frames? Excellent, it’s not just me. Everyone Active recently got in touch with me to see if I wanted to try out their climbing wall at the Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone, London and of course I jumped at the chance.

I did a bit of bouldering at university but I’ve never really climbed properly so I was excited to learn a bit more about the technical side of it and challenge myself. The leisure centre itself is huge with a swimming pool, massive sports hall and lots of other studios but the climbing wall itself stretches up about 4 or 5 storeys with enough space for 10 or more people to be climbing at once. The hand and foot-holds can be changed so if you go regularly you’d see the routes change.

After a quick introduction to safety, the harness and how to tie a knot for belaying I was presented with the beginners wall and a challenge to only use the red blocks. Up I clambered, feeling that sense of achievement as I hit the top and abseiled back down. Next up was a slightly more tricky route where a couple of times I had to match my feet or hands (put them onto the same hold) which doesn’t feel as stable but enables you to then move up.

On this route I started to feel my arms getting tired but a well-timed reminder to use my legs to push myself up rather than using my arms to pull myself up helped to keep me going to the top. The third route went all the way to the top of the wall and was much more technical including a few lateral moves and some more feet and hands matching. This is the one that gave me a massive buzz as I started struggling towards the top and only realised how high I’d climbed when I reached the very top and looked down. Top tip: don’t look down.

The final challenge was to try out bridging where you climb up a corner rather than a straight wall. In a bridge you’ll regularly find positions for your legs where you’re so stable that you can actually take your hands off the wall and give your arms a break. That’s the idea anyway. I made it halfway up this route before my leg started cramping and I was done for the lesson.

Overall the lesson was a lot of fun, the instructor was incredibly helpful with pointing out which holds to look at for each hand and foot when I got stuck and the facility was quiet, clean and well-maintained. My grip strength was pretty smoked after the session which made applying the brakes on my cycle home a little bit interesting…

If you want to try something new to challenge your body in a new way I’d definitely recommend climbing. It engages your brain to the point that you forget you’re working out and it’s a great upper-body workout. There’s a sense of achievement too every time you reach the top of a route so that post-workout endorphin boost is even bigger.

 

Details

Seymour Leisure Centre (Seymour Place, London, W1H 5TJ)

Price list here

Equipment is available to hire

WHY I HIRED A PERSONAL TRAINER

I know, the question you want to ask is ‘why would a personal trainer need a personal trainer?’. Well you lucky people, I’m about to tell you!

Since I qualified as a personal trainer just over 2 years ago I’ve had quite a few different focuses for my training including working towards my first 10k, triathlon training, boxing and bodybuilding. When I have something to focus on and someone to be accountable to, my sense of purpose is increased and my brain feels happier.

My focus at the moment is getting my cardiovascular fitness back to the point where I can start a 4 month triathlon training programme. The problem is that I’m not a fan of cardio. Also, having never thought about it before, my lack of mobility and flexibility is making itself known through a series of niggles in my knees, ankles and back.

I decided it was time to get serious about my body, health and training and for me that means that I need to be accountable to someone. That someone is Stu at Fieldworks Gym in Hackney. I went to one of his strength and conditioning classes and was really impressed by his straightforward coaching, no-nonsense approach and his focus on kettle bells, mobility and core strength.

We’ve had a couple of sessions so far and I’m loving how we’re waking up muscles that haven’t worked in a long time (if ever – I’m looking at you posterior chain). I can’t wait to see where I am in another few weeks!

Back to the post, here are my top reasons for getting a personal trainer:

1) Motivation

There’s nothing like someone not taking any excuses to keep you sweating and pushing yourself as far as you can. When I work out by myself I find it easier to push myself when I’m lifting weights and not so easy to push myself when it comes to cardio or mobility. As soon as it’s someone else calling the shots I’m all over it and beyond it (whatever it is)

 

2) Accountability

I can make all of the excuses in the world to myself about why I couldn’t go for that run (trainers were tied wrong), why I couldn’t go swimming (my legs were stubbly) or why I couldn’t possibly do a circuits workout (Tuesday is a bad day for circuit training) but when there’s someone checking in with you each week about whether you’ve actually done what’s on your plan then it’s not so easy to wriggle out of it.

 

3) Knowledge

Knowledge sharing is one of my favourite things about working in the fitness industry because everyone has different opinions on pretty much everything. For me the key was finding a personal trainer with similar ideas to me but that would challenge me on a few things (like my squat position)

 

4) Perfection

As in, I’m not it. No one will ever know everything and as a trainer I still have a lot to learn. That includes learning about my own body and what I need to do to keep it healthy and strong for everyday life.

 

5) Objectivity

Have you ever tried to evaluate your own technique and movement? It’s tough, especially when you’re the one doing the movements and you can’t watch yourself easily. Having someone who is watching your every move and giving you clear pointers on technique is invaluable.

 

Have you hired a personal trainer? What were your reasons for hiring them?

THE THING ABOUT BODY CONFIDENCE

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while you’ll know that one of the things that I blog about and sometimes struggle with is body confidence. Having suffered from a lack of it nearly all my life why then now can I wake up (nearly) every day and feel positive things towards my body?

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Well, it’s taken a while and it’s one hell of a journey. Here are my top tips towards loving your body:

1) Realise that it just doesn’t happen over night

No, I’m not just talking about gaining muscle or fat loss, I’m talking about loving yourself. Like anything else you have to form a habit and that can take a while. Be patient, do your homework and don’t give up

2) It starts in the mornings

Try and wake up every morning and think something positive about your body rather than negative. I know it’s so cheesy but honestly if you can wake up and instantly think ‘today is going to be a good day in my brilliant body’ then that positivity will see you through the day

3) It’s not about only being happy when you reach your goal

True body confidence means that you love your body whatever size or shape it is. I’ll admit, I like the effects of weight lifting on my body but if I can’t do it for a while then it doesn’t mean that I hate my body. Love it when you’re lean, love it when you jiggle, love it when you’re anything in between

4) It’s about function, not aesthetics

Love your body for what it enables you to do, not for what it looks like. Learn a new weightlifting move, run a race, swim across that river, walk all day with your friends, live a healthy life, you can’t do any of that without your body so say thank you to it every day for enabling you to find happiness

5) Stop comparing yourself to others

Your body is your body and their body is their body, they’re never going to be the same. Once you stop looking at other people as ‘body goals’ and only at your own goals you will lose some of that resentment that sometimes comes with a lack of confidence in your own body and how ‘unfair’ it is that they ate that burger and they still have abs

6) Talk about other people’s bodies in a positive way

If you’re constantly bitching about other people and their bodies how can you hope to be positive towards your own? Bodies should be talked about in positive terms and remember, it’s their body, not yours. You don’t know their story, you don’t know what their goals are and quite frankly it’s irrelevant to you and your own confidence

7) Surround yourself with confidence

Not everyone feels body confident every single day but if you can surround yourself with positivity then you stand a better chance of not being negative towards your body. Speak to those in your life that are creating negative feelings and find a way to deal with them so they don’t affect you mentally

8) If you need the bigger size then buy the bigger size

Don’t have those ‘goal jeans’, they’ll just bum you out. Buy clothes that fit you and make you feel fantastic, whatever size you are. There’s nothing wrong with needing a bigger size because guess what? Our bodies change shape as we get older so the chances of you fitting into the same tiny dress that you wore as a 16 year old are pretty slim

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HEALTHY CHICKEN NUGGETS RECIPE

When we were kids Saturday nights for us consisted of all the fun stuff that we didn’t normally have for dinner, like cereal or scrambled eggs on toast or ‘oven food’ ie stuff cooked from frozen like oven chips, fish fingers or chicken nuggets with spaghetti hoops.

Now that I’m grown up (allegedly) comfort food has taken a slightly different turn with things like warming Thai soups, aubergines smothered in miso and sesame and spicy chilli con carne. The one thing that I miss though is chicken nuggets and chips. Very (very) occasionally I will give in to the lure of those golden arches and eat the horribly processed, deep-fried fast food nuggets but we’ve been thinking recently about healthy food for kids (nope, I’m not pregnant, just forward planning) and so this recipe was formed.

They’re high in protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free so suitable for coeliacs, those with dairy allergies and anyone following a paleo or low FODMAP diet. I don’t actually follow any of these diets but the recipe turned out this way and the more people that can eat delicious food the better!

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Serves: 2 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 x chicken breasts

1 egg

200g ground almonds

100g sesame seeds

good pinch each of salt & pepper

1 tsp oil of your choice (I like olive oil)

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Method:

Chop the chicken breasts into nugget-sized chunks

Combine the ground almonds, sesame seeds, salt and pepper in a shallow dish

Cover chicken with beaten egg, allow to soak for 5 minutes

Remove individual pieces of chicken from the egg mixture and turn in the ground almond mixture, coating all sides

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Lay nuggets in a single layer on a greased baking tray and drizzle the remaining oil over the top

Bake at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top

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Serve with homemade white or sweet potato chips, salad and a big spoonful of creamy homemade guacamole for the full experience or just salad for a lighter meal.

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The best thing is that you can set up an assembly line and cook loads of these nuggets then freeze them into portions to be defrosted and reheated whenever you want some comfort. Long live oven food!

WHY I’M RUNNING THE GAUNTLET AGAIN

You might remember how I took on the Gauntlet Games earlier this year with 4 of my friends (as the Gauntlet Girls) and had one of the best races of my life.
gauntlet games 1

The excitement and joy of running 10k across country with some great friends, laughing so much we could hardly breathe and taking on the gladiators at each obstacle was so much fun that we’re going to do it all over again! It’s such an accessible event with a 5k option too meaning that anyone can get involved, it’s the perfect way to get into obstacle racing.

We’ll be taking on the 10k distance again this year at one of the events as well as being gladiators at the London event.

The Gauntlet Girls are teaming up with the Gauntlet Games to bring you some great training tips, special offers and exciting updates so watch this space!

To start with you can get your hands on one of 200 golden tickets which will give you a 20% discount off the entry price. Solve the anagram in the image below and enter the answer into the promo code box (all capitals) when entering your race online. If the code doesn’t work then have another go at solving the anagram or all 200 of the golden tickets have been redeemed. There will still be plenty of spaces available and you can still enter at the normal price.

Golden Ticket

LADIES WHAT CRUNCH AND BRUNCH

The other day I ventured outside of my usual territory and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be! I was invited down to try out Core Collective, a new gym in Kensginton that promises no commitment with no membership fees, no sign-up charge and no contract, you just book in and workout.

When I first got there I walked past the gym because on the street it looks like a welcoming and relaxing café, not a gym but when I saw a group of nervous looking women I knew I was in the right place. Continue Reading…

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

London is hot today. And not just in that ‘aw look at the little Londoners thinking it’s hot’ way, it’s actually really hot. I’m sweating just sitting still.

I’m planning on a couple of hour’s of cycling tonight and a yoga class balanced on surfboards so I’ve got some ways below that you can enjoy the heat and still workout. I’ll be using these later!

1) Hydrate hydrate hydrate

I know it’s obvious but you need to be drinking 2 litres of water minimum everyday, even more on days like these and even more if you’re going to be working out on days like these. A 60 minute workout can dehydrate you by 500ml-1litre so make sure you’re putting this back in your body

2) Pay attention to your electrolytes

Electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magensium, calcium) are lost when you sweat so if you sweat heavily through prolonged exercise you might start to experience fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headaches (my most common symptom) and tummy issues. The best thing to do is to add a rehydration tablet to 750ml of water after your workout and sip on it as you recover.   Continue Reading…

NIKE COURT WITH SERENA WILLIAMS

Yep, you read that right. SERENA WILLIAMS. Fangirling over here so hard…

I was very lucky to have been given a place at an amazing session at the new pop-up Nike Court in London Bridge. I’ve applied for loads of the Nike events in the past and this is the first time I’ve been given a place. Totally worth all of the other disappointment at not getting places…  Continue Reading…

THAT TIME I WENT VIRAL

So it’s taken me a couple of weeks to fully digest what happened when this blog post went viral and to write this post in response.

The post went viral across the world being featured on news sites, entertainment magazines and even being posted by celebrities (thanks Zooey Deschanel!) which blew up my social media channels and phone as people got in touch for interviews.

Ultimately it’s a brilliant piece of exposure for me and my new business (www.thefitologyway.com) but it’s been a massive learning curve and a stark reminder of the importance of self-belief and confidence.

As well as some amazingly positive and supportive messages I also received some negative, unpleasant and downright abusive messages.

Yeah, ouch.

Luckily (and I have the fitness world and my friends and family to thank for this) I’ve come to a point in my journey where I love my body and that love is unshakeable enough to deal with people telling me that I’m fat, stupid, ugly and vacuous (that last one is my personal favourite, I mean, really?).

I still stand by my message that fitness and health comes in all shapes and sizes and you don’t need to look like a ripped god or goddess to be fit and healthy (but it doesn’t matter if you are).  Continue Reading…

Debunking Fitness Myths

As a Personal Trainer and a fitness blogger I can see a lot of pressure in the industry to look and act a certain way which can be rather stressful and damaging for some people.

The world of perfect abs, long legs and sweat-free faces on Instagram portrays an image of fitness that is fun, easy and full of happiness. It can be all of these things but it can also be tiring, tough, demoralising and grump-inducing when you’re getting up and it’s still dark outside. Plus, no one actually looks perfect if they’re working out properly! Continue Reading…

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Life is a battle. We’re constantly fighting against other people growing up, at school, in social situations and in family life. It’s always about getting more attention, being better and just generally winning.

Well I’m here to say STOP. It’s time to start looking at yourself, not at other people. We’re all different and however much we strive and work to look, act or be like someone else it’s not going to happen. Continue Reading…

Debunking Fitness Myths

As a Personal Trainer and a fitness blogger I can see a lot of pressure in the industry to look and act a certain way which can be rather stressful and damaging for some people. 

The world of perfect abs, long legs and sweat-free faces on Instagram portrays an image of fitness that is fun, easy and full of happiness. It can be all of these things but it can also be tiring, tough, demoralising and grump-inducing when you’re getting up and it’s still dark outside. Plus, no one actually looks perfect if they’re working out properly! 

Here are some of the top misconceptions of the fitness industry:

1) Selfies show the truth 

Even I have been guilty of only posting the most flattering selfies but don’t trust what you see. There are various things you can do to create the perfect selfie:

All I did in the 3 minutes between the two photos was to turn off the overhead light, put on underwear that fit better, twist my body slightly to the side to show off my best angle, flex and, of course, add a filter. So don’t pay much attention to those ‘before and after’ shots!

2) To be healthy and fit you have to have a six-pack

Having a six-pack just means that your body fat percentage is low enough to be able to see your abs. Also, the shape of your abs is totally dependent on your genetics, some people can get a six-pack, some can’t. For the majority of people the lifestyle you have to live to achieve and maintain them would stop them living a normal life free from counting every single calorie. Also, ladies, having such a low body fat percentage might stop your periods. Surely that can’t be good for you…

I prefer a bit of definition and that’s about it for me!

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3) Personal Trainers & fitness bloggers live like saints

Anyone who knows me will know that this just isn’t true. I love to eat anything and everything. Pizza is probably my favourite food and although I don’t really have a sweet tooth I can eat sweet n’ salt popcorn or ice cream for days. I may not drink that much but that’s because I don’t like the taste of most alcohol! However give me a margarita (or 3) and I’m a happy girl… It’s all about living a balanced lifestyle. Indulge when you want to but get to know your body and understand what it wants and when. 

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4) Exercise is easy

Exercise is not easy. And if it is easy then you’re not pushing yourself. And if you’re not pushing yourself then you won’t make any progress and reach your goals. Even if your goal is just to clear your head you need to put in a bit of effort to achieve that. The real side of fitness is early mornings, freezing hands and ears in winter, ridiculous sports bra tans in summer, stinging sweat in your eyes, not bothering to wash your hair because you’re only going to get sweaty again tomorrow, permanent hand callouses, blistered feet and stiff muscles. But all of this adds up to feeling alive, proud and on top of the world.

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5) You have to able to run really fast

Nope. Have you seen me run? It’s not pretty, it’s not fast but I get the job done. If you run you are a runner, if you lift you are a lifter, if you spin you are a spinner, it doesn’t matter how fast, how heavy or how much you do it. Just get out there and give it a go, you’ll amaze yourself.

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Challenge Yourself

Life is a battle. We’re constantly fighting against other people growing up, at school, in social situations and in family life. It’s always about getting more attention, being better and just generally winning. 

Well I’m here to say STOP. It’s time to start looking at yourself, not at other people. We’re all different and however much we strive and work to look, act or be like someone else it’s not going to happen. 

I had a totally epiphany as I was slogging my way round the triathlon course a couple of weeks ago with a bloody great grin on my face. Every person on that course (apart from one man who was 3 times my age) overtook me and with each one that flew past my smile got bigger and bigger. 

I was racing for me, against my previous personal best and no one else. I was the last woman to finish that triathlon and to be honest that only made me prouder that I’d gone in there for myself, conquered some demons and given it everything. 

Here are some of the methods that I’ve used to challenge myself and not compare myself to others:

– Take comparison photos of yourself if your goal is a physical change. Use ‘instababes’ as motivation rather than goals

– Note down PBs if your goal is a strength or speed change

– Fall in love with yourself. I know it sounds cheesy but rather than beating yourself up about your weaknesses try and identify your strengths. Then champion your strengths and be proud

– Surround yourself with positive people who will celebrate your victories, however small

– Listen to your body and don’t push yourself past what you can do at that point. Rest when you need to, reduce weights or resistance and eat that piece of cake if your body needs it…

How do you make sure that you’re challenging yourself rather than comparing yourself?

Race Report: The Gauntlet Games

A 10k race? With gladiators? And obstacles? Hell yes, was my response. Get me there now.

Which is how a group of 5 over-excited intrepid Gauntlet Girls came to be in Trent Park, North London early on a Saturday morning.

This isn’t going to be a regular race report because quite frankly it wasn’t a regular race. For a start there was no timing at all which meant that everyone could take it at their own sweet pace. Oh and there were also lots of things and people to slow you down on course.

We’d opted for the 10k version which meant that we did 3km of obstacles before turning off for a 5km trail run and joining back up with the course for a last 2km of obstacles, although it felt shorter than a full 10k. I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking but here is a summary of my feelings about the race:

– long queues to pick up race numbers & race t-shirts suck

– half-naked men are great until they’re pelting balls at your legs

– laughing until my stomach hurts is great

– trail running is way more interesting than road running

– water mixed with poster paint is really slimy and then really sticky

– water is cold. Like, really cold

– wet trainers are gross to run for an hour in

– a wet lycra-clad bottom results in a very satisfying noise when slapped

– races with friends are infinitely more fun

– I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN

Warming up:

Getting friendly with the gladiators:

Never trust an Aussie and a PT armed with sticks:

Water is cold part I:

Water is cold part II:

Foam gets in your ears:

Apparently my go-to obstacle race face is this:

Charlie’s Angels eat your hearts out:

Never forget to stretch:

In summary, we heart The Gauntlet Games.

Race Report: Eton Dorney Sprint Triathalon

So yesterday I conquered my 2nd sprint triathlon and it couldn’t have been more different to the first one that I did back in 2012. I’d signed up for that one to lose some weight and get moving again, which I did until I went into denial 6 weeks before the event and stopped training. Needless to say that I struggled through the race and genuinely thought that I was going to die in the middle of the swim. Continue Reading…

Race Report: Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon

So yesterday I conquered my 2nd sprint triathlon and it couldn’t have been more different to the first one that I did back in 2012. I’d signed up for that one to lose some weight and get moving again, which I did until I went into denial 6 weeks before the event and stopped training. Needless to say that I struggled through the race and genuinely thought that I was going to die in the middle of the swim.

This time I raced around with a massive grin on my face because I loved it. I loved everything about it. But more on that at the end. 

Let’s start with a tutorial on how (not) to put on a wetsuit:

Step 1 – after you’ve lubed up with Bodyglide, start with the feet

Step 2 – once the crotch of the wetsuit is vaguely near your own crotch start shimmying the top of it upwards and over your lubed up wrists

Step 3 – Don’t use your nails to pull the wetsuit up because you’ll make holes in it. And those holes will leak water during the swim and it will be cold. Anyway, get it over your shoulders by wriggling like hell

Step 4 – well done, you’ve got it on. Now stop sweating from all of the effort and go and do a triathlon

Onto the race report. 

After racking my bike and laying out my bike and run kit I waddled down to the lake with a couple of other nervous triathletes and I promptly slipped straight onto my arse on the ramp and had to choke back a tear from the pain. Great start. 

The swim was slow and cold but delightful! I tried out a bit of front crawl before I realised that it was not going to work and I settled into a comfortable breaststroke while I watched the rest of my wave stretch out in front of me. 

Accompanied by the amazing kayak marshals I plodded my way round the swim course enjoying the beautifully clear and fresh waters. 

When I eventually made it out of the water everything was shaking from the adrenaline. I fumbled out of my wetsuit and shoved my socks and trainers onto wet feet. At this stage I was struggling to keep my legs going in a straight line but I knew that once I was on my bike I could settle down.

The course at Eton Dorney is very flat so I put my head down for 4 laps of the 5km course. There was a headwind cycling up the right-hand side which I really felt in my legs but then as soon as I came round the top of the lake the wind dropped off and I flew down the other side. 

3 laps in and I chewed on half a coconut and macadamia Bounce energy ball washed down with water to keep me going. At this point there were lots of people flying past me and with every one I smiled a little bit more because this was my race and no one else’s. 

I turned off into transition knowing that the worst was over and I just had a little run to do and then I could sit down. My legs felt tired as I ran out of transition so I took the opportunity to walk through the water station before setting off up the side of the lake for 2 laps of a very straight, very boring run route. 

At this point I was really feeling the tiredness and my legs had switched to autopilot, which was especially tough because there was no support (apart from my superstar number 1 cheerleader amazing Mum). Everyone was cheering for their own runners and no one else which was so at odds with my experience of Run Dem Crew. Having cheered at a few races now and run one race being cheered by the crew I fully appreciate the power of Cheer Dem and it was sorely missed here. 

I slogged through the run and tried to gear up for my customary sprint finish. Unfortunately my legs only responded for a split second before I had to resort to my arms to carry me over the line. 

As I crossed the line I stopped instantly and tried to catch my breath. I simply didn’t have anything left which made me very proud. I’d left everything on the course and couldn’t have given it anything else. In fact, Mum you nearly got me by telling me how proud you were of me. Remember when I had my head down on the barrier? Yep, choking back a triumphant tear. 

As I said in my last post my main aim of the race was to enjoy it and I did. I loved it. I loved feeling strong and fit, I loved being part of something amazing and I loved seeing how far I’d come since the last one. 

I also managed to come in comfortably under 2 hours for a massive 21 minute personal best. I knocked 1 minute off my swim (yes, this needs some serious work), 6 minutes off my bike and a massive 10 minutes off my run as well as a huge 4 minutes off my transition times. 

With 9 weeks to go before I take on the Olympic distance triathlon at the London Triathlon I can now see my weaknesses and I’ll be signing up for some swimming lessons next week. Can’t wait to ramp up the training! 

I live to Eat

I had an interesting discussion while running last night with Run Dem Crew about how someone’s friend had asked her incredulously why she was eating a Kitkat when she was a RUNNER. A runner of all things! Like it would be ok if she was a javelin thrower… Continue Reading…