Category: Uncategorized

Trail Running and a Yoga Date

 

Last week was one of the most stressful weeks I’ve ever experienced. I had some major deadlines to meet on top of everything else, which meant too many all-nighters, one of which happened to be on Valentine’s Day! So instead of going out, I stayed up until almost 6am doing work, but it was all made better with some pink champagne to celebrate V-Day ;)

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Coffee was my absolute LIFESAVER last week. I might as well have had a coffee IV with the amounts I was getting through! When I stayed up at night to work, I had a kettle and a jar of instant coffee next to my laptop so I was on a caffeine buzz all night long! :P

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Since Friday though, life has been back to normal! I had a quiet night in on Friday night and caught up on my sleep, and then celebrated the end of a stressful week with friends on Saturday and Sunday night, which was so fun!

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There have been lots of fun training sessions in the past week in the freezing cold! Does anyone else get headaches after running in sub-zero temperatures? It feels like my brain has frozen and is slowly (and painfully!) thawing. Still, running in the cold > running in heat any day!!

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Every Monday we have a team conditioning session after a run, which always kicks my butt! We start off with hurdle drills (leg swings over hurdles, jumping from standing start over hurdles, etc.), which are great for mobility and increasing muscular power and explosiveness. I suck at hurdle drills (reason #1000 why I am not a hurdler!!) but I am improving each week :) I find this the hardest- you never realise how high they are until you have to try this:

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After hurdles, we do planks, then go into the circuit, which is different each week. We do our circuit workouts progressively, so we increase the intensity and time for each exercise over four weeks, then cut back for a week before increasing again. This week was a cutback week, so the circuit was shorter than usual:

 

Hurdle drills and planks, then 3×40 seconds of the following, with 1 minute between each circuit:

- lunge jumps
- push ups
- T-leg raises
- mountain climbers/sprint thrusts
- alternate leg V Sits
- burpees

 

The last couple of days there has been SUNSHINE here for what must be the first time all year! It has made for some beautiful trail runs:) This is one of my favourite spots, and I often sit here at the end of my run and just watch the river.

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As with every trail run, I was pretty muddy by the time I had finished! I lost track of the time when running and realised as soon as I finished my run that I was seriously late for an appointment at the hairdressers, so I had to go straight to the salon, muddy legs and all! Thankfully I’m good friends with my hairdresser so she just laughed as I turned up all windswept and traipsed mud all through her salon! :P

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Last night I went on a yoga date with my bestie! Gabby and I went to a BodyBalance class (a mix of yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi), and it was not only her first time doing yoga/pilates, but it was also her first EVER group exercise class! She loved it so we’re going to make it a weekly date :)

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loving that sweaty post-exercise glow ;)

I hadn’t been to a BodyBalance class in a while, and I had forgotten how much I loved them! I had conveniently forgotten how beyond awful I am at balancing….! I also didn’t appreciate the abs track after Monday’s conditioning session. Breathing hurts today.

 

After the class Gabby came back to mine and we chilled on the couch, ate Chinese food, and watched The Vow. Saddest movie ever.

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And this evening we watched Dear John, which is another sobfest. I can’t take all these emotional movies!! Channing Tatum makes it all better though ;)

 

What was the last movie you saw? Before these two movies, it was Les Miserables, which was AMAZING. But also a tearjerker. I need to watch a comedy ASAP…

 

Do you take yoga/pilates/BodyBalance classes? What is your favourite group exercise class? I used to go weekly to BodyBalance or yoga, but I fell out of the habit a few months ago. I’m looking forward to getting back into it! :) I also want to get back to spinning, because I loved that!! I only stopped because the instructor I liked was on leave, but now he’s back, so I can’t wait to get my butt kicked again!!

 

Do you have a favourite running route? What is it like? My favourite is on a trail that I have to drive to get to, but I have some nice ones nearby too that I enjoy running on. I also have a favourite hilly 7 mile route on the roads that I love!

 

Have a great day friends! <3

My One True Love

 

I feel ashamed that I have never talked about Mystic Brew on the blog yet. Going there again for lunch yesterday just reminded me of that sad fact.

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all decorated for Valentine’s Day!

 

It is my local coffee shop and it is my favourite place in the WORLD. Their coffee is amazing, their food is all freshly made to order (the falafel wrap is to die for!) and the people who run the place are the nicest people ever:) My friends and I are obsessed and we practically live there.

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their soy cappuccinos are DIVINE

 

I seriously needed that coffee after having a packed Friday evening! I did 6 miles on the treadmill whilst rereading an old running magazine and blasting out my Les Miserables album (one of the many benefits of having the gym all to myself! :P) I can’t stand running at the same pace on a treadmill for an entire run, so I made the run a relatively easy progression run, upping the speed every o.25 miles until I reached a 7 min/mile pace.

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I followed the run with a half hour strength circuit from the Nike Training Club app that nearly killed me. I find burpees tough normally but adding a plank row to that…!

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I am so achey today, but I LOVE that feeling because it reminds me that I’ve worked hard!!

 

After that I headed off to a quartet job, and that hour flew by! I seriously have the best part-time job in the world! It’s well-paid, fun, I get to play at amazing venues, and almost always at weddings and other functions we are told to help ourselves to the food, which I take full advantage of ;)

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I then headed to a friend’s house for an evening of girliness and wine. There’s nothing better after a busy and stressful week! :)

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I spent the following evening with my bestie, snuggled up in dressing gowns watching quality Saturday night tv shows and eating Chinese. I am so in love with her new kitten that I genuinely contemplated stuffing her into my bag and making a run for it.

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On a random side-note, I just watched this amazing documentary on the story behind the Kenyan domination in distance running, called Man on a Mission. The video follows Eamonn Coghlan, an Irish distance runner, as he travels to Iten and follows the story of Brother Colm and David Rudisha, amongst others. It is the best running film I’ve seen, and can’t recommend it enough! You can watch the hour-long programme online here for free.

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What was the highlight of your weekend? My long run this morning in the sleet…that was a real test of fortitude, but I really enjoyed it!

 

What is your favourite coffee shop or hang-out spot? It used to be Starbucks or Costa until Mystic Brew came along! Now I’ve seen the light!

 

Do you have, or did you used to have a part-time job? I used to babysit a lot, and I did waitressing one summer, but doing paid music gigs is way more fun ;)

 

Have a great week friends! <3

 

P.S. Thanks for all your advice on my video problem in my last post! I will sort it ASAP :)

Currently….

 

I am the world’s biggest tech fail. Last week I recorded a vlog to post but had some major issues uploading it:

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So I waited the 900+ minutes for it to upload, only for it to to then be stuck in the “processing” stage since then. And it’s been five days. So if by some miracle YouTube manages to finish processing my vlog by Christmas, then I’ll finally post the video I’ve been promising for a year now! :P Hopefully I’ll figure out a better way to do it ASAP!

 

In the meantime, I borrowed this “currently” survey from the lovely Julianna’s blog…

 

Current book(s): I just finished Tender is the Night by Scott Fitzgerald, which I got on my Kindle for 77p! I am a HUGE Gatsby fan, but this book just blew me away.

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Current music: The Les Miserables album, non-stop. I actually have four different recordings of it (loser alert…;), but this version is my fave:

 

Current guilty pleasure: Friday night cocktails with friends

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Current nail colour: Essie’s Mojito Madness, see the next photo ;)

 

Current drink: Naked Green Machine juice. At first I was really put off by the colour (murky green…) but it tastes AMAZING and I love having it especially after runs:)

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Current food: I quite fancy a cupcake right now.

 

Current favourite show: Grey’s Anatomy! Not that I haven’t professed my love for the show enough times on the blog already…

 

Current wish list: Saucony have just brought out a new natural running shoe: the Virrata. I am currently on my fourth pair of the Saucony Kinvaras, and these seem similar, but lighter and even more “natural”.

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Current indulgence: Buying expensive running magazines that I can read on the elliptical when I cross-train so I don’t die of boredom. This habit is burning a serious hole in my purse.

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Incidentally, I went on about how much I loved the Parliament Hill cross country course in my last post, and this magazine agrees with me!! :)

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amen.

 

Current blessing: Having amazing people to work and train with that help make me better. My training group are a crazily speedy bunch, which constantly challenges me and pushes me to become faster. Ran a fab hill session today with this lot, and we made up the best hill sprint relay team in the world!

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It’s the same story with my music too- I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by so many fantastic musicians! I’ve been playing in orchestras since I was six years old, and without others around me to inspire me to make myself better, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

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after a concert last week!

 

Current slang: I don’t know if it’s slang, but I do say “blimey” a lot. When I was in the US last year people laughed whenever I said it, saying that I was “so British”! :P

 

Current outfit: It’s been three hours since I got back from training, and I’m still in my running clothes with muddy legs. Standard.

 

Current excitement: Being invited to be a member of Sweaty Betty’s “Fit Crowd”! I love Sweaty Betty and everything the company stands for. I’ll post more about this soon :)

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Current mood: Sleeeeeepy! I am always more tired after having a running workout in the evening!

 

Current link: I know I’ve already talked about Saucony running shoes in this post but I just saw a sneek-peak at the newest Kinvaras!! To say I’m excited is an understatement. I have my eye on those purple ones, because let’s be honest, it’s all about the colour ;)

http://running.competitor.com/2013/02/video/shoe-talk-saucony-kinvara-4_65497

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P.S. I’m not sponsored or affiliated with Saucony, I just really love their shoes!!

 

And CURRENTLY I’m off to shower and wash my hair. Who am I kidding I’m about 0.001 seconds away from falling asleep. Hygiene is overrated.

 

What is on your wish list right now? I would kill for my own treadmill. Or a cupcake.

 

Tell me one of your current blessings!

 

Have a great week friends! <3

Winter Running

 

It has snowed a LOT here over the past week! London usually gets snow a couple of times a year, but this week has been worse than usual! I love snow, but it has definitely made for some interesting runs…

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I’m trying to remember the last run I went on when I didn’t fall over or slip a dozen times…but honestly I love running in the snow! Sure it makes my runs at least a minute per mile slower, but it’s fun and at least its not ice! As soon as it turns icy though I hit the treadmill!

 

Winter running is undoubtedly tough, both physically and mentally, but I believe completely that training through the elements makes you a stronger runner.

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“When winter plays you a tune to stay in bed or by a warm fire, embrace the cold, wet and dark. You’ll become a stronger and better runner because of it.” ~ Scott Jurek

 

And having friends who will battle through the snow with you on a run helps too :)

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Unfortunately the snow has meant that both my race last week and the South of England XC Championships on Saturday have been cancelled! I’m really sad about the cancellation of Saturday’s race, because it would have been at my favourite course in Parliament Hill! It’s a tough course but it has amazing views and is so pretty:

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The snow didn’t manage to hold off an 8 hour rehearsal followed by a 3 hour performance yesterday though. I love my music, but after 11 straight hours of playing my shoulders and back are killing me! Massage needed badly. Thankfully my deskie is awesome and we laugh our way through the pain ;)

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I am so fortunate to be able to tour with my orchestra every year, and I’ve been so blessed to have been able to perform in so many amazing places around the world. This year our music tour is to this beautiful place:

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Lake Garda in Italy! I CAN’T WAIT!

Words cannot describe how excited I am for July to come. This will be my seventh music tour, but I’ll be performing a concerto with the orchestra for the first time, so that’s exciting (and scary…!) As much as I love the snow, I still say BRING ON SUMMER already!!

 

Running in the snow, or running on the treadmill? Running in the snow all the way! I always get so hot and bored running on the treadmill.

 

Have you got any trips/holidays/vacations planned for this year? Italy on tour and hopefully New York too with a friend, and possibly Maui with the family.

 

Have a great weekend friends! <3

Fourteen Years

 

Just in case you didn’t know because I haven’t mentioned it enough times on the blog already, Les Miserables is my all time favourite musical. I was lucky enough to play in the orchestra in a production of it a few months back, and it was one of the highlights of my year:) It feels like I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out FOREVER but it finally came out yesterday in the UK! I saw it today and was blown away! I am definitely going to watch it again soon it is THAT GOOD. And I’m not usually a big movie person because I hate sitting still for 3 hours, but I didn’t find that a problem with this film!

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I only cried about a thousand times in the movie;) It was AMAZING and if Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway don’t get their Oscars for their outstanding performances, then I will not be happy!! Who knew Jackman could sing?!

 

Yesterday was my best friend Gabby’s 18th birthday! We have been best friends since we were four and practically grew up in each other’s houses. We became best friends in our first day of reception (I liked her hair and decided we would be besties…as you do…!) and we used to live on the same street, so practically every night was a sleepover at the other’s house. It’s amazing how much we’ve been through together: family deaths, alcoholic parents, depression, hospital stays…the list is endless! But we’ve stuck together and pulled each other through all of it. Fourteen years in Picstitch:

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LOVE YOU GABS <3

We started our night by heading to our favourite restaurant- Ping Pong on London’s Southbank- where we ate out on the heated terrace. It’s a dim sum restaurant, and the food is delicious! We ordered the mixed vegetables and rice, the spinach and mushroom dumplings, and the vegetable spring rolls (not pictured).

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We stayed in a lovely 4* hotel near London Bridge for the night (we found a great deal online!). The bed was so comfy that I never wanted to leave it and the shower was probably bigger than my bedroom.

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We had such a fun time…HAPPY BIRTHDAY Gabs!!

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Today’s run was beyond cold. For some stupid reason I looked up the weather as I do before every run, and then decided to go with a crop top and shorts despite the forecast. I blame the lack of sleep for that genius decision. My limbs were completely numb by the time I got home!

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And it looks like tomorrow morning’s long run will be in the snow, so I’ll try to be sensible this time and not end up getting frostbite or anything;) Saying that, last year it was snowing before and during a major cross country race I did, and we still raced in our vests and shorts. The worst part was that the race was delayed by 10 minutes, so we were all standing on the start line shivering! I guess it made us run faster though ;)

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What is the most extreme weather you’ve ever run/raced in? A hailstorm interrupted one of our training sessions on the track last year, and it got so bad that we all had to run inside to take cover!

 

Have you seen Les Miserables? What movies are coming our that you are looking forward to seeing? I can’t WAIT to Gatsby comes out…it’s one of my all-time favourite books!

 

Have a great weekend friends! <3

Holiday Break in Photos!

 

Hey friends! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and holiday season! I took a much needed break over the holidays to be with family and friends and just RELAX, which was great! I’m sure most of you are sick to death of all the holiday recaps, so I’ll just show a few photos from the last week or so to catch you up…

 

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 my annual Christmas morning run:) it’s one of my personal favourite Christmas traditions, and the perfect start to my Christmas morning, even if it did rain the whole time ;)

 

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my contribution to the Christmas Day desserts: vegan salted caramel torte! It was a hit!

 

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I think my brother was trying to take a photo of my aunt and uncle but clearly I had to go and ruin it. They flew back to New York a few days ago and I miss them already!

 

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an evening spent in the recording studio

 

 

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lots of lovely muddy runs! my poor Kinvaras before and after my run; they’ve been in the washing machine three times this week! good thing I love the mud…I’m definitely a cross country runner at heart:)

 

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lots and lots of games played with the family. this where I got my competitive spirit from. I am the worst at Pictionary (I can’t draw to save my life!), but I am reigning champion at Articulate and Killer Scrabble. What a cool kid I am.

 

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London’s New Years fireworks were beyond amazing this year!! I love this city so much, and I’ll be sad to leave it this year!

 

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Happy New Years hangover! Except I added in a Step 2.5 which involved a team training session. That was interesting, but thankfully Coach made it slightly easier than usual to let us those of us who are older off the hook a bit ;)

 

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watching lots and LOTS of Grey’s Anatomy on my new laptop. I am beyond addicted. It’s ridiculous how many episodes I have watched recently.

 

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on of my goals for 2013. only I’m not just aiming to crush just ONE personal best…I will crush ALL of them this year.

 

What was the highlight of your 2012? The Olympics, without a doubt. The atmosphere here in London was just incredible, and I got to see the athletics and both the marathon events. I’ll never forget it. Turning 18 also has been so fun, and I’ve had the best time being able to go out! Balancing that with my running has taken a little adjustment, but I’ve switched my weekly rest days to either Saturdays or Sundays which means I can go out on Friday/Saturday nights and not worry about it :)

 

Did you make any goals or resolutions for 2013? What are you most looking forward to this year? I am looking forward to working out where I’m going for university (I may be heading across the Atlantic…) and definitely to my music tour in Italy this summer! I’ve been to Venice briefly before on a previous tour but never to anywhere else in Italy, so I’m really looking forward to it! And I’m excited for what will hopefully be a great year of running!

Feeling Christmassy

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE friends!! I am feeling so Christmassy right now! I did some panic shopping yesterday since I hadn’t bought a single present or card for my family at that point…! Procrastination is a talent of mine;) By some miracle I managed to get it all done, so now all that’s left to do is the wrapping and preparing tomorrow’s lunch! Here’s a sneak preview of the dessert I’m planning on making and veganising…

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obviously my version will look that perfect too…     (photo source)

 

This past week has been insanely busy, but in the best way! I’ve been out every night since last Monday, so now I am completely SHATTERED and relying on caffeine to keep me awake! After a stressful last couple of months, being able to completely relax and go out with friends is so great!

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at Ping Pong in London. a stranger said in passing that we looked like sisters! not quite sure how they came to that conclusion…! :P

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London Southbank

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evening at a Mexican bar/restaurant…love the free sombrero ;)

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lots of cocktail times:)

 

Every Christmas some friends and I go to a carol service and then come back to mine to eat Christmassy food and watch Love Actually. It’s one of my favourite traditions, and Love Actually will never get old, no matter how many times I see it!

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I’ve been to a record five carol services this week too! I’ve played in or been a singer in four of them, and yesterday’s was the first one I’d been an audience participant for, which was nice. Nothing makes me feel more Christmassy than carols:

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My Christmas Eve morning started off bright and early with a team training session. It was the most fun session EVER, done relay-style with crackers instead of batons and whilst wearing santa hats:)

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We sang Christmas songs on our warm-up (admittedly by “we” I mean I did…on my own…), exchanged cards and gave out our Secret Santa presents. Our coach also got us all presents bless him, and I can’t wait to open it tomorrow!

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When I got home I stretched and foam rolled whilst watching Love Actually…again! I know that movie word for word.

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I’m off to the gym now to get in a bit of cross-training, and then home to get started on making the vegetarian/vegan offerings for tomorrow!

 

What are your Christmas Day plans? Morning run, church and Christmas lunch with all the family!

 

What are you having for your Christmas meal? I’m making two main courses and a dessert to contribute to the meal, all of which are vegan of course! I’ve never made them before so I’m hoping they aren’t a complete disaster! :P

 

Are you getting in a run/exercise tomorrow, or resting? I can’t imagine starting my Christmas morning without doing the thing I love most! I’ll be getting in a few easy miles before presents and church:)

 

Have a GREAT Christmas everyone!! <3

Running Talk: Base Building and Conditioning

 

I promised I’d write a post about my winter running/base building plans and the conditioning I do. I also said I’d post this a few days ago…oops ;)

 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term base building, I’ll briefly go into what it’s all about. The base building phase allows athletes to build a strong aerobic base through high(er) mileage,  which later on in the training cycle allows for more specific work to be done and for the athlete to be able to better absorb that training. Most athletes have two base building periods in a year- one in the summer and one in the winter. This is usually 6-12 weeks of building up the mileage which prepares the body to prepare for the next phase of harder, faster running. Usually 90% of the base mileage is easy aerobic running, with the other 10% quality sessions (hills, tempo runs, fartlek, etc.) to rev up the aerobic system and stimulate the fast-twitch muscle fibres.  A weekly long run is also a crucial part of base building as it increases endurance and strengthens the muscles, bones, and connective tissues. I personally also incorporate hill sprints and strides every other day into my base building plan too, as this also strengthens the body and stimulates your fast-twitch fibres.

 

These are Runner’s World’s basic principles of base training:

 

* First, volume is key. How much varies tremendously, so be your own guide. If you’ve never run more than 60 or 70 miles a week, shooting for 100 is probably irresponsible, even if that volume worked for Bob Kennedy back in 1996. It’s much more important to gradually adapt your body to a new mileage maximum.

* Second, don’t neglect hard running, unless you’re at altitude or have another stimulus that wears your body down. For some, that stimulus could even be heat. Ideally, however, a good base includes a moderate amount of hard running. It can take the form of threshold work, or hill and fartlek work, or a mix. Either way, because these workouts are not the focus of the segment, they shouldn’t be all-out efforts. Also remember that this isn’t the best time of year to race, but if you do, don’t expect much — a proper base phase should leave you pretty tired.

* Shoot for a weekly long run, and try for a solid pace on most of your other runs. Kennedy liked progression runs, and Culpepper found that with the absence of structured workouts, easy mileage didn’t get the job done. “You either have to run a lot, or you have to run somewhat briskly. You can’t just run as easily as you want every single day,” Culpepper says.

* Lastly, incorporate strides after a couple of easy runs each week. Older athletes will especially benefit from these quick, short bursts of speed. “I’m a masters runner now,” Spangler says, “and they say that as a masters runner, you tend to keep your aerobic fitness pretty well, but you lose your speed and your power as you get older.” Even in his no-workout phase, Culpepper did strides, and sometimes very short hills for an extra pop.

 

I started off my base training at around 30 miles per week (I’m building slowly back up after a break due to illness) and will build to around/just below 60 miles. This means the odd double run and some lovely early starts ;)

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I normally get up at 8am, so 6.30am is pretty painful for me!

 

I am also now doing strength and conditioning work twice a week. On Mondays I do a conditioning session  with my team straight after an easy run, and later in the week I do a circuits session in the evening after a morning run. Our team conditioning involves hurdle drills for mobility, some plyometrics, and a circuit session.

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conditioning with the team…I’m in the yellow shoes:)

 

I personally love circuit training, and I think it is arguably the best form of strength+conditioning training for runners. Here are a few reasons why circuit training is so great:

  • Improves mobility, strength, speed and stamina
  • Easily structured to provide a whole body conditioning session
  • A wide range of exercises to select from
  • Can be adjusted to suit age, fitness, specific needs of athlete, etc.
  • Variation in exercises prevents boredom
  • Keeps heart rate high throughout, so increases fitness
  • Exercises are running-specific, so directly benefit your running

 

My coach sent me a number of circuit workouts that I can do in my own time. Depending on the circuit I’m doing and how much time I have, I typically do each exercise for 30-45 seconds, moving straight on to next exercise, and then repeat the circuit once or twice after a couple of minutes rest. Below is my favourite of the circuits my coach sent me. I typically do each exercise in this circuit for 30 seconds, going through each exercise in the group before moving on to the next group, and then take a two minute break before repeating the whole circuit. Doing this circuit twice in this style takes 40 minutes.

 

Circuit session 1

click on the image to enlarge

 

Plus, have I mentioned how much FUN circuit training is?! :P

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clearly having the time of my life with that medicine ball…

 

Whilst we’re on the subject of running, the lovely people at Brooks sent me some PureProject shoes! These are the PureConnects, and in a lovely bright colour (fluorescent green) to go with my other running shoes which are neon pink and fluorescent orange. Go bright or go home I say.

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It’s now 2.30am here so I’d better hit the sack since I have to be up bright early for my long run tomorrow! Dragging my butt out of bed for that tomorrow morning after only a few hours sleep is going to be fun haha!

 

Have you ever incorporated a period of base training into your training? Most people don’t, but it’s something that would benefit almost every runner when building up to a race!

 

What is your favourite form of strength training? I used to love BodyPump, but it clashed with my training sessions and also my coach didn’t advocate it, but I’ve really grown to love circuit training!

 

What running shoes do you run in? I do most of my runs in the Saucony Kinvaras (I’m on my third pair now!) but I love rotating in other shoes to some of my runs, so the Brooks will be a nice addition :)

 

Have a great weekend everyone!! <3

Cold Runs and Weekend Photos!

 

Hey friends!! How is it now only NINE days til Christmas?! I’ve barely started my Christmas shopping! Amazon, I’m heading your way…

 

Over the last week I have been working my butt off for exams and for essay deadlines, but thank heavens I am now DONE and can relax now! To all of us students who have had a stressful couple of weeks, I salute you!! There have been way too many late nights spent writing essays, fuelled by my beloved bourbon biscuits:

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One thing that NEVER fails to get me through stressful times is my running! Winter running is in full flow, and I am LOVING it. It is the beginning of my base training, and I’m building back up from a period of illness, so I’m focusing on easy miles and strength and conditioning work.

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This is one of my all-time favourite running quotes, from one of my favourite athletes and it sums up part of the reason why I love running so much:

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It has been a cold couple of weeks, and cold running is so much more fun than running in the heat! I tend to run outside in all weathers except when the roads are icy, and then I hit the treadmill. Two years ago I twisted my ankle running on the ice, so since then I am pretty paranoid about it! And call me crazy, but I LOVE running in the snow:)

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A few of you asked if I could talk more about my winter running plans/base building and what I do for strength and conditioning, so I’ll be doing a post on that tomorrow :)

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This weekend has been absolutely FAB. In photos:

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shopping in Oxford Street and sharing a Christmas meal with the bestie

 

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busking in a shopping centre for five LONG hours, and raising over £1000!

 

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celebrating Wine Friday with Catherine

 

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runs at sunrise:)

 

What was the highlight of your weekend? I had the most perfect run on Saturday morning watching the sun rise in the woods…it made me so happy!!

 

What do you prefer, running in the heat or running in the cold? Cold all the way! I remember how hot I got running in Hawaii and in the south of France, and I much prefer running in the cold!

 

Have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? I’ve got most of my presents for friends, but I haven’t even started on family yet! Every year I leave it last minute and regret it! :P

 

Have a great week everyone!! <3

Weekend Recap!

 

Hey guys! Thank you so much for the lovely comments and emails in response to my last email! I LOVE YOU ALL. Here’s a little recap of the last few days:

 

Winter Running

Recently I’ve had lots of frosty morning runs…

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…and lots of freezing, dark evening runs, layered up with my favourite armwarmers, gloves, and a super-cool fluorescent vest :) I’m not a fan of running in tights though, so I suffer it out in shorts practically all year round! My legs are always numb for ages after I get back!

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Thursday night

On Thursday night my friends and I drove out to Bluewater, one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe, for some Christmas shopping. They put Christmas lights all over the trees in the car park and it looked so Christmassy!

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After a few hours of shopping, we sat down to eat at Leon, a healthy fast food chain, and one of my favourite eating places. I got my beloved baked fries alongside hummus and flatbread.

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Friday night

Earlier this year, I won a Jack Petchey Achievement Award for my running, and on Friday it was the ceremony. I had to go straight to the ceremony from training, so I had to change in the car and didn’t have time to shower beforehand! Classy as ever ;)

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Afterwards I headed out to the pub to celebrate with a friend. We chatted and laughed for hours then headed home at closing time.

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Saturday night

On Saturday we headed to our friend Becky’s birthday party. There was a DJ and lots of dancing, and a photo booth which we took full advantage of!

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Also London looked BEAUTIFUL yesterday evening!! I love this city <3

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Sunday

After hours of dancing in heels last night, this morning’s long run was so painful!! My legs and feet were really sore, so the 10 miles felt long and slow! I ran on the trails for half of it, and slipped and fell in the mud a couple of times, as always! :P

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Nothing that a few hours of chilling in compression socks and watching Grey’s Anatomy couldn’t fix though ;)

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We also put up the Christmas tree and all the lights today whilst blasting out the Christmas music! Now I REALLY feel Christmassy!! :)

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What was the highlight of your weekend?

 

Did anyone else put up their Christmas tree and decorations this weekend? Our family tradition is to put them up the first week of December.

 

Do you have a staple item of winter running clothing? I love my armwarmers, because I have a thing against long-sleeved running shirts, and I always wear a peaked cap to keep the rain/snow off my face :)

 

Hope you all had a great weekend! <3

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