Sunday, 30 August 2015

Half Marathon Training Diary // Week 5

You can't win them all. 

That sentence pretty much sums up this week. It's totally unreasonable to expect that progress when training for anything will be linear. Sequential improvements week by week - that's what I wanted and that's what I expected when embarking on this challenge .(Silly I know) So when you think it's all hunky dory and then you run a really slow run, feeling fatigued and low in motivation, it knocks your confidence. 




Photos: Melody Armstrong http://oobattoobad.com/ 


This was Wednesday. By Saturday I had my bounce back and ran a PB in a 5km of 23 mins 17 seconds. Blood, sweat and tears I swear, but I did it. Peaks and troughs have defined this week, and i've come realise Wednesdays struggle 7 miler was most likely a mixture of over training and not having my "I can do this" attitude. Hence Saturday - with a positive attitude and more rested body, my performance was better. Not rocket science eh? When rationalising it and writing the words, looking back on the amount I've done this week it seems logical to see these were probably my hindrances. In the thick of it all however, it's frustrating. When you can't find that 6th gear and you desperately need it and want it.

Nonetheless, I got a few miles in and we're now less than a month til the big day. Will I learn from my mistakes?  Only time will tell...




B xx 




Monday
AM - HIITBOXX Circuit Class  

Tuesday
AM - HIITBOXX Circuit Class   //  PM - Upper Body Weights

Wednesday
AM - 7 Mile Run (1hr 4mins)  //    PM - HIITBOXX 

Thursday
AM - Crossfit Nottingham  //   PM - Sivananda Yoga @ Bahia

Friday 
REST 

Saturday
3 Mile (5km) Park Run - New PB of 23mins 17secs 

Sunday 
REST 
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Thursday, 27 August 2015

My Day As A Vegan

For ages now I've been really keen to convert to a much cleaner and leaner lifestyle through reducing my intake of meat and animal products. Since watching Hollie Wakeham's glowing transformation into Veganism I've been totally inspired and finally took the plunge on Thursday. From now on, Thursday's are Vegan days! Starting with just 1 day a week allows it to not be too impacting on convenience and our current lifestyle while still getting creative in the kitchen and exploring veganism a little deeper. 

You may be wondering why I'm doing this. Well, why not? From research and reading and following many people who have made this lifestyle change, I've not heard a single negative. Positive side effects however have been great skin, hair, loads of energy, no bloating etc etc. I am curious to see how reducing meat and dairy from my diet will make me feel. Clearly only doing 1 day a week, results aren't going to be conclusive but for now, that's the routine i'm going to go with. 

There are differing ways to live a plant based diet. Put simply there are 3 main categories to Vegan living. Follow either high fat, high carb, Raw til 4 - whereby no cooked food is eaten until dinner, or 80-10-10 (80% Carbs from fruit and veg, 10% fats from avacados, seeds and nuts and 10% protein, from pulses and legumes).

These ways of eating are pretty self explanatory, but one common similarity is portion sizes need to be BIG as obviously many fruits and vegetables are not that high calorie. Common habits for high carb vegans include eating whole melons or 6 bananas in 1 smoothie. I currently don't plan on eating to quite this extreme but it's fascinating to explore the ways of life others embrace. 

I am in no way a nutritionist or dietician, I just have an interest in this lifestyle and a love of food. I love reading food diary blogs and thought you guys might too?

So, here's how I enjoyed my first Vegan Thursday.... Let me know if you have an amazing recipes or tips.

Breakfast

The Coconut Collaborative Mango and Passionfruit Yogurt Alternative and a Cocoa Chaos Trek Bar.
This was post 3 mile run! 






Lunch

Homemade Spinach, Green Lentil, Black Bean and Avocado Salad 




Dinner 

Roasted Butternut Squash stuffed with Chickpeas, Red Onion and Peppers with a Side Salad



Snacks

Chopped Apple and Trail Mix
Honeydew Melon
85% Dairy Free Chocolate 




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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Going Green @ Nekter

When opportunities arise to try new cafes and restaurants in amazing new places I can't possibly resist. One of the best things about travel is food, culture and finding new favourites. Nekter turned out to be on of those places you just wish you had access to everyday! 

A vibrant neighbourhood juice bar bursting with super smoothies and nutritious snacks. Yes please!  Unlike most sugary, preservative filled drinks that claim to be good for you, but kind of aren't, Nekter provide robust green shakes that still taste delish but are full of genuine health foods - at an accessible price. 

I browsed the menu for an awkward amount of time trying to decide whether I was in a green mood or a berry mood. Hmmm. 

Greens won.  Tropical cooler to be exact which was a beautiful blend of spinach, kale, pineapple, coconut butter, coconut water and banana. 













With options to add protein (vegan protein also available) toppings and a Create Your Own Menu, I could have breakfasted there everyday for a month and not have been tired of the repetition. 

The only niggle I have with Nektar... There isn't one this side of the pond. 

If you're in the States, be sure to pay them a visit!





Lots Of Love,
B x 

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Monday, 24 August 2015

Half Marathon Training Diary // Week 4

This week in numbers wasn't a bad effort. I clocked up 16 miles, 2 Weight Sessions, 2 Circuit Sessions, 2 big blisters, 2 Espresso Martinis, 1 Bottle of Prosecco and a bag of Thorntons truffles.... 


You get the picture, I'm striving for progress not perfection and progress was definitely made. 







Monday
AM - 10 mile run   //  PM - Body Weight Circuit class 

Tuesday
REST (4 mile walk) 

Wednesday
AM - HiitBoxx Circuit  //    PM - Upper Body Weights

Thursday
3 Mile Intervals Sprint to Jog (1 min of each) 

Friday 
Leg Weights followed by Body Weight Circuits 

Saturday

3 Mile (5km) Park Run - New PB of 23mins 50secs (Whoop!)

Sunday 
REST 

On Monday my triumphant 10 miler left me on an endorphine high for about 3 days despite my poor feet leaving me in a lot of pain, I cracked on and completed some great sessions. It felt like my body was recovering quickly and although the weekends food/drink epic wasn't so angelic, I was fuelling myself well, getting 8 hours sleep a night and even stretching after workouts which in all honestly still isn't as habitual as it should be. 

The point is... I'm getting there! 

#RobinHoodHalf ers, how you doing?

Lots Of Love

B xx 


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Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Best Protein Pancakes You'll Ever Make

This James Duigan recipe makes an appearance about once a month in our house. The perfect Sunday morning guilt free indulgence or post workout breakfast. Usually double whammy post workout Saturday/Sunday morning which is uber satisfying. If you've never seen this recipe before, you're in for  treat. It's super quick, super easy, pretty nutritious and really yummy. 

Hope you love them as much as I do.... 







Serves 2–4

INGREDIENTS

100g Rolled oats (organic or gluten free if you're being super angelic!) 
200g Cottage cheese 
4 Eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 tablespoons natural yogurt

Put all ingredients into a blender and whizz up until you have a batter. 

TOPPINGS

Oh we all love toppings. Depending on the time of year, what's in my cupboards or simply what  fancy that morning these vary but my absolute faves are:

Berries - Strawbs, Rasps and Bluubs specifically. 
Almond Butter
Peanut Butter
Honey
Banana
Passion Fruit
Maple Syrup
Greek Yogurt
Cacao Nibs

Extra cinnamon? Always. 




What's your ultimate weekend breakfast? 

Lots Of Love,

B xx 
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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Why I Workout On Holiday

Hiking. Isn't that a much better word that walking? Hiking is scenic, energetic, fun. Walking is boring.  On a recent trip the West Coast I whole heartedly fell in love with "Hiking." Blessed with some amazing views, a great glute workout and tanning along the way it's now a firm favourite in the Holiday Workout category, which lets face it, sometimes looks a bit bleak. 

There are millions of excuses we all use to get out of any form of exercise on holiday. Sometimes your body is just ready for a total break and a few days of relaxation does no harm. But do you really need 2 weeks of barely even walking? Probably not. Working out on holiday also gets a bit of a bad rep and I'm not sure why because it makes you feel amazing! If an opportunity arises to do Yoga on the beach or power walk up the Santa Monica Mountains then I'll take it thank you. 







I'm definitely not saying you should spend hours in the gym. You should't feel like you "should" do anything on holiday. It's your well deserved time off, so enjoy it. But could you take it as an opportunity to try something different, feel new experiences, stay energised and learn to adapt to your surroundings. Your body will love the variation and you'll get the chance to grow your fitness repertoire and keep your metabolism ticking over.   

Just as I eat seasonally, I workout seasonally. What new cultures, foods and activities can you embrace while you're away to ensure you return home feeling the best version of yourself? Changing your expectations and focus to meet your holiday lifestyle is a sure way of maximising the enjoyment you'll get from your time away and allows capacity for you to absorb some amazing memories!

Happy Holidays.




Lots Of Love

B xx 

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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Half Marathon Training Diary // Week 3

You know when you have one of those weeks where theres far to much travelling, occasions to eat and drink, get togethers and family visits to manage sticking to a routine? Yes that was this past week for me.  And unexpectedly a bit of a reality check to be honest. Am I really getting so boring and obsessive that I turn down a BBQ and bottle of Vino just to squeeze in another run or worry I'll feel sluggish the next day?  Hmmm well yes I was. (Ok, I am).  But down time is much needed and making memories / exploring new things should be a priority in life not a hardship. So after mini panic was over and I essentially got a grip (3 s'mores don't make you fat) a wonderful week was had... 





 Being healthy and sustainable throughout training for a challenge is SO important. And healthy means girls night, bubbles and fish and chips sometimes. If your training and diet is too restrictive you won't maintain it and you certainly won't enjoy it. After my 3 days away and yummy indulgences, instead of being on a mega detox since I've been back, I've simply just reverted back into a more balanced way of eating and exercising ready to tackle a new week.  

Sooo here's the last 7 days in miles...


Hope you're enjoying the ride 

B xx 







Monday

6 mile run  and Yoga 

Tuesday

REST 

Wednesday

REST 

Thursday

REST

Friday

Leg Weights and Circuits 

Saturday

Active rest - 4 mile walk and stretching 

Sunday 

3 mile sprint/jog intervals and 30 mins of abs 




Photos: Melody Armstrong http://oobattoobad.com/ 
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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Half Marathon Training Diary // Week 2

Hello, hello!  2 days late... but who's counting?! 


Not a bad running week, squeezing in compound and circuit weights session sessions around work and lots of play! I've decided that steering clear of junk food and getting enough sleep definitely makes the long slog jogs a bit easier (I know, rocket science eh?) So the next 7 days I vow to prioritise a bit of body well being. You get out, what you put in. More miles in the legs next week!.... 












Monday
Circuit Class 

Tuesday
Circuit Class - with kettles, weights, row and abs

Wednesday
Leg Weights

Thursday
Shoulder and Arms Weights

Friday
REST

Saturday
Park Run (3 miles) 

Sunday 
Abs and HIIT 


Hows your training going?  What plan do you stick to for a Marathon/ Half?


Lots Of Love

B xx 
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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Body Weight Blast

There's not a day I've ever heard anyone say: I regret that workout. 







Even if you didn't feel like it before you started, after 30 mins of exercise you feel lighter, brighter, stronger and refreshed. My favourite type of training has always been high intensity, circuit style. The kind where you can give it your all, feel super sweaty and satisfied and it's only taken up 45 minutes of your day. Whether you train to get stronger in the gym, run a marathon or enjoy yoga body weight exercises can complement many programmes. Training the whole body in one session is not only efficient but explosive and dynamic - meaning bordem isn't on the agenda. 

I love snooping Instagram and Pinterest and attending new classes for some fresh ideas so here I've put together my fave routine this month for when time is short and endorphins are needed. (That'll be everyday then.) 




Photo Credit: Melody Armstrong 


- Take 1/2 mins rest between each set. 

3 x

10 Jump Squats
10 Press Ups
10 Kettlebell Swings
(repeat with no rest) 


3 x 

10 Jump Lunge
10 Leg Raises
1 Minute Plank 
(repeat with no rest) 


3 x 

10 Box Squat Jumps
20 Bunny Hops 
20 Russian Twists
(repeat with no rest) 

3 x 

10 Burpees
20 Curtsey Lunge (10 each side alternating) 
1 Minute Plank Up Downs (Up onto hands, down onto elbows) 


And there you have it! Worth every repetition of effort. Measuring the success of your session by how you feel afterwards, not how you look will guarantee progress every time. 


Lots of Love,

B xx  


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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Half Marathon Training Diary // Week 1

The 8 week countdown has begun! O M GGGG. 






Am I prepared?   No. 
Do I feel running fit?   Not really. 
Am I questioning why I've entered?   Absolutely.

Hmmm. I hope I'm not alone in feeling these emotions when facing a half marathon. I'm not a distance runner, never have been. But I'm faking it til I make it!

You may be wondering why I've opted to race this gruelling 13.1 miles in just a few weeks time, I have recently also wondered. But the truthful answer is I just bloody love a challenge. Especially physical ones that require so much effort you cry with happiness and exhaustion once they're over. I won't be breaking any records or winning any medals, but I will be satisfying the tenacious, addictive, go hard or go home need I seem to have within me. And getting super fit in the process. Win, win. 


Photo Credit: Melody Armstrong 


In my research mission I've found so many amazing blogs, interviews, training programmes and fellow nutters taking on the Robin Hood Half also. I'll be honest however, it all gets a little confusing with SO much differing advice out there. The main pointers I've taken so far are:  
1) Run 3-4 days a week.   
2) Gradually build up the distance of your longer runs. 
3) Include threashold/interval training. 

There should also be another point addressing how to get out the front door and face a 10 miler when you just fancy an hour of Yoga. Having a moan for 5 mins then just getting on with it is so far the remedy.  

To track my running the next 8 weeks therefore I'm calling this a diary. So welcome! Please leave me tips and motivation if you wish!


Lots Of Love

B xx 


Week 1

Monday 

Rest

Tuesday

AM: Hot Pod Yoga  PM: Circuit Training HIIT Class 

Wednesday

Chest/Shoulders Weights Session 

Thursday

AM: 6 miles jog (52 mins) PM: Hiitboxx Class 

Friday 

Rest

Saturday

Leg Weights Session

Sunday

3 miles jog ( not timed)  








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