3 Race Day Breakfasts That I Swear By

My next Half Marathon is fast approaching and as per usual I'm following my 6 Day Countdown Guide To Race Preparation to get me ready for Sunday morning!

I recently expanded on one of the days tasks - Hydration - in a post sharing my thoughts for running, training and post exercise so next I thought I would share some of my favourite and fail safe breakfasts for race day (...oh and not just race day... like, any day!)

Avocado On Toast

2 slices High Protein Bread 
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 lemon
black pepper
chilli flakes

Optional sides / toppings: chorizo, smoked salmon or streaky bacon

Simple As: toast the bread until golden and crispy on both sides; whilst you're doing that peel and de-stone your avocado. you can either smash it in a bowl by hand or sometimes I use a stick (hand held) mixer. Season your smashed avocado with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a dash of black pepper. Spread your smashed avocado over your toast and sprinkle on chilli flakes. Add bacon, chorizo or smoked salmon if you're having it!

Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs & Avocado

2 eggs
2tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 avocado
150g - 200g smoked salmon

...with a side of toast?!

(optional) 2 slices High Protein Bread 

Simple As: add coconut oil to frying pan and heat gently till melted. Add almond milk to eggs and whisk with fork then season with salt & pepper. Pour eggs into frying pan and stir continuously until cooked to desired dryness (haha! I like mine really dry!!). Add eggs to plate, along with smoked salmon and 1/2 avocado sliced or diced! Serve with High Protein Bread to help keep you fuller for longer!

Pimped Up Porridge

50g jumbo rolled oats
270ml almond milk
1 scoop chocolate whey protein (or vegan alternative)
a generous drizzle of  sugar free Chocolate Syrup
1 tbsp Almond Butter
Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

Optional toppings: any fruit you have in the fridge!

Simple As: Add oats to bowl, and add milk. Heat up as per instructions (usually 3 mins in the microwave for mine!). Once done, stir in protein powder until perfectly smooth again (add a little more milk if needed at this point). Dollop on your nut butter, sprinkle on your cacao nibs and then (if you can be bothered and / or need a pic for IG) arrange your beautifully sliced fruit on top!

...it's all literally, simple as! ...I use these recipes regularly throughout the week so then I can make them on auto pilot! It's also the best idea to test out your breakfast before race day. As with kit, don't try anything new on race morning.

Try and wake up with enough time to eat your breakfast and then allow it to digest a little. I'm lucky in that I can literally eat on the start line and feel fine!

There are so many other options out there too so if you have any firm favourites please share them with me in the comments below!

If you're running this weekend, GOOD LUCK & ENJOY!!

See you on the start line! 

Elle :) 

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How To Boss Your Recovery After A Tough Workout

Whether you've just started working out, or if you train 6 times per week we'll all be familiar with the post workout suffering. Sore muscles, feeling tired and an indescribable hunger (and that's just a few of the possible post workout symptoms)! If you are challenging your body then you're gonna feel it the next day... and maybe the day after that, and the day after that one... So how do we boss our recovery to enable us to get back to what we love doing, but feeling stronger?! 

Here are some ideas I have for you: 

Recover From Your HIIT Class 

You took your pre-workout (cos you have nailed the supplements thing, right?!) and smashed out that class. The great thing about high intensity interval training is that you can squeeze your workout into shorter amounts of time. I've been known to bang out a 12 minute session at home AND feel it the next day. 

1. Protein Shake / Smoothie 

Either pack yourself a protein shake (SmartShakes are great as they allow you to keep the powder unmixed until you need it) or order one from your studio fuel bar before class so it's ready for you when you finish.The optimum time to consume your shake post workout is the 30 minutes after you have finished, keeping your body in repair mode.

{ Read More: The Protein Guide

2. Stretch / Yoga 

Whenever I teach my classes and people when we start the (only) 3-4 minute stretch at the end, I always wonder if they realise that it's just as important as the warm up and the main component of their workout?! ...If you're training at home and are unsure what to do, there are plenty of resources online. I can highly recommend the Nike Training Club app - they always have a few 15 minute routines for stretching and yoga available in the app. Stretching helps to loosen up your muscles ...which you just spent your workout shortening; therefore helping to reset your body! 

{ Read More: 6 Yoga Poses For Runners

Recover From Your Half Marathon / Marathon 

If we could assign levels of suffering, this would be significantly more than a HIIT class. However, through experience I know that suffering can be reduced through training for the event your are taking part in. Even still, you'll need to look after your body post race....

1. Get Out Of Your Trainers, Get In Some OOFOS

The first thing I do when I cross the finish line and am reunited with my bag is to kick off my trainers and pop on some flip flops. Until North London Half Marathon in March, when I swapped out my flip flops for a pair of OOFOS Recovery Footwear (I have the OOriginal Women's in Melon, £40). The foam technology is designed to absorb impact and cradle your arches to allow you to move naturally. It also meant my feet were able to breathe and be unrestricted after over two hours of pounding the pavements. I also love to wear compression socks after a long run, so if you do too, then you'll want to check out the OOahh Slide which has no toe post (they were sadly out of stock when I ordered but since then I treated myself to a pair of Ivy Park Sliders!)

2. Book A Session At Floatworks

Photo Credi: Leena Ranchod

Recently reopened in Vauxhall, London, Floatworks is the epitome of relaxation and meditation rolled into one. If like me you can't hack a cold shower or ice bath, just swap out for a float in a tank filled with warm water and epsom salts (which are epic for muscles). Sessions are one hour long in your own private room. I paid them a visit last week and thoroughly enjoyed my session. It's one of the rare opportunities you get to be alone, in silence to just rest. 

Getting this far into the post, I realise how many more ideas I have to share with you... but I'll leave it here for now! And ask...

What remedies or products do you use to aid your recovery from a tough workout?! 

Elle :) 

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What The Elle: Barrys vs 1Rebel

Sometimes I find myself in a situation which makes me think "what the hell?!" lol so I aptly named this series as such (rather than start an entire blog with said name to rant! haha!). Just last week, when I popped along to 1Rebel for a lunchtime class I really questioned if I was getting value for money so I thought I would share my thoughts with you in a short post.

I'll start with a comparison of the lunchtime classes as that's what sparked my train of thought. To fill you in quickly, here's a little table:

Barry’s Bootcamp  1Rebel 
Location  (Central) East London 
5-8 mins from Liverpool Street
(Central) East London 
1 min from Liverpool Street
Class Length  50 minutes 30 minutes
Cost £20 £20
Extras FREE SHAKE, free towels, toiletries etc  FREE SHAKE, free towels, toiletries etc 

One reason I love the lunchtime classes is because they are shorter. I feel I can give a lot more when time is limited. However, the cost of the classes are the same as a full 60 minute class. So to make us feel a little better about this, the studios both throw in a free shake after class. The value of the shakes at both locations is £5 so essentially you're paying £15 per class with an non-optional shake at £5. 

Both studios make all of their shakes with an almond milk base! Hooray, for those of who are lactose / dairy intolerant or vegetarian / vegan, even. But then here comes the catch; the shakes are still made with whey protein. Hmmmmm. In order to actually have your shake devoid of milk protein, you're charged £0.70p for vegan protein at 1Rebel (...if I remember rightly there is no charge for this at Barry's??). Then I'm thankful really that there is no such thing as peanut milk cos then I'd be stuffed as I rarely eat peanuts (erm, they're not even nuts, that's why, and probably explains why they are so cheap). All the (decent) shake options at 1Rebel (from the choice of 3 given) contain peanut butter and when I asked, they confirmed that's because it's cheaper than almond butter. So there's another £0.70p to get the actual shake I want... and the only reason I'm getting the shake is because I've had no choice... 

When I looked at my own little table creation above, I'm left wondering why I went there other than the fact that I saved myself a 5-8 minute walk from Liverpool Street station - as 1Rebel is located literally on the station premises. 

For the full 60 minute classes, all that changes is the length of time, and no free shake. Fine. Cos if I really, really want one I'll pay for it and get exactly what I want right?! 

...have you been to a Barry's Bootcamp or 1Rebel class?! Which do you prefer and why?! 

Do you think they are good value for money?! 

Elle :) 

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The Basics: Supplements For Pre- And Post- Workout

Whether you’re planning a bike ride or going to a fitness class, you’ll want to get the most out of your exercise. What many people don’t realise is that their nutrition can dramatically impact their performance.

You’ve probably already heard about the benefits of supplements. However, if you take the wrong thing at the wrong time, you might as well not take it at all! In this article, we talk you through the best supplements for pre- and post-workout.

Pre - Workout 

The type of pre-workout supplement you take will depend on what you what to achieve from your exercise. If you want to push yourself and try to reach a new PB, creatine can help you do more. As a non-essential dietary compound, creatine is used by the body to power short bursts of intense exercise—whether that’s a sprint across the football pitch or helping you cycle to the top of a sharp incline. 

Although the liver does produce small quantities of the compound, taking a creatine supplement, like those created by MaxiNutrition could also help. Creatine is also the most thoroughly researched sports supplement in the world, so you can feel at ease when taking it in accordance with the provided guidelines.

For those who want to boost their weight loss, fat burners are also an option. They work by stimulating the body to increase energy levels and therefore improve fat loss. Before you take them, you should always read the label to find out if they are suitable for you. Stick to herbal options rather than chemical ones, as chemical fat burners can have serious side effects.

Post - Workout 

Post-workout nutrition is just as important as your pre-workout nutrition, as it can help to rebuild and repair your muscles. Despite this, it is often overlooked. You’ll need an adequate intake of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Following exercise, your muscles will be in a state of breakdown so you may benefit from a supplement to help get the nutrition you need quickly.

In terms of supplementation, protein shakes are a great option, as they’re packed with proteins that can help you maintain your muscle, increase lean muscle mass and develop larger muscles. While this may seem like a natural choice for those looking to body build, it can also have a positive impact on general fitness enthusiasts, as it helps to replenish the proteins lost through exercise.

BCAA’s are another popular supplement that are often taken during and after workouts. An acronym for branched chain amino acids, BCAA’s are essential amino acids that occur in the body to help trigger protein synergy, supply energy to the muscles and preserve lean mass. Taking them as a supplement is a good way to top up your BCAA levels.

Ultimately, supplements depend on what your goals are. Someone who is not looking to put on muscle should perhaps avoid creatine, while virtually anyone who exercises and doesn’t have great nutrition will benefit from protein shakes. Experiment, see what works for you and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

What supplements do you use?! ...and how do they aid your training?! 

...any supplements you are keen to know more about?! 

Elle :) 

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5 Things You Need To Know About IVY PARK at Topshop

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend the preview of the launch of Ivy Park at Topshop Oxford Circus last night. As the event got closer and closer, I got more excited! I went from 0 to 100 in about 5 minutes of entering the building!

It's currently coming up to midnight before the launch so I thought I would share my immediate thoughts with you before you shop and share a little about the pieces I picked out for myself.

Number 1 || Firstly, lemme tell you that there is a Season 2. So have no fear, there will be more!

...But this season is mainly monochrome with pops of my favourite electric blue and a blush pink. There are a lot of pieces in the range but this means there is basically something for everyone. Everyone.

image credit: elle.com

Here are the pieces I chose for myself: 

Deep Armhole Tank (white), £15

Logo Crew Neck Sweatshirt, £28

Colour Block Ankle Legging, £48

Hexagon Mesh Bomber (Black), £50

Logo Sliders, £20

Number 2 || as you can see, everything is pretty reasonably priced, or dare I say, affordable! The most expensive pieces are in the reflective range. I didn't get a chance to look at them properly on the night but if you're used to shopping in lululemon or Sweaty Betty the prices won't put you off!

Number 3 || the sizing is pretty true to size. I purchased a small in everything except the deep armhole tank which I got in an XS. So I'd say a small would fit a UK 10 perfectly. The tank was super roomy and I preferred the way it looked when I sized down as I plan to actually work out in it!

image credit: Ivy Park

Number 4 || another need to know is that the line is not all functional. It is also a fashion line. As I basically live in "athleisure", that really doesn't bother me.  It's nice to separate my sports wardrobe into "stuff I exercise in" and "stuff I don't exercise in" even if at the end of the day it's all sports wear ;)

Number 5 || and as if the prices aren't reasonable enough already, you can shop with your regular discount in Topshop i.e student discount for an extra 10% off your bill! Yup!!

If you do purchase any pieces from the range tag me on Instagram (@ellelinton) so I can see what you chose and how you rock it!

What do you think of the Ivy Park range so far?! 

Elle :) 

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