30.9.14

Survival of the Fittest

Britain’s biggest adventure running series, Survival of the Fittest, is moving to a new home in London this November, when Wembley Park will be transformed into a colossal 10km urban assault course for the first time ever on 22nd November 2014.


The event and Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest Series, are organised by Rat Race Adventure Sports, has moved from Battersea to a new iconic home at Wembley Park,where the course will loop around Wembley Stadium before taking participants through a gauntlet of obstacles packed in on top of one another, with plenty of dunkings, dirt, and the odd diversion through the river.

Only the fittest will survive as the Men’s Health urban assault course series returns to London



This year’s London event is the culmination of a series of 10K high-octane obstacle races, with other events taking place in Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Not only is the event at a brand new location, it has a brand new course too which includes parkland, industrial lanscapes, enormous scaffold builds and a monster water slide. This of course, in addition to some Survival obstacle classics, such as a colossal hay bale wall, an army assault course area, the ‘Parkour’ zone and the infamous Men’s Health ‘Wall of Fame’ – a sheer eight foot high construction, which competitors must scale before they are able to officially call themselves a Survivor.



As darkness descends, competitors will also have the opportunity to complete a shorter 5k Survival by night. This will be an action-packed 5k and will feature 90% of the obstacle content of the 10km, allowing participants to test themselves against the physical attrition of double the punishment in half the distance.
The fun doesn’t end there; it wouldn’t be a Rat Race event without the signature beer tent, the size of a football pitch, where competitors and their supporters can celebrate conquering the course.

Entry to the 2014 event is open until capacity is reached and costs £65 per person or £60 per person when entered as a team of five, and £55 per person for a team of ten.

Wish me luck, or join me?! Yikes!


Elle :) 

To enter online visit www.ratrace.com

29.9.14

Living the simpElle life: Nneka

The end of September is now here! Let's continue the month with some inspiration from someone I've met on my journey over the past couple of years. 

This fortnightly mini series - Living the simpElle life - is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us...


Meet: Nneka Osedumme



I met Nneka when I started teaching Nike Training Club (NTC) sessions in East London. When I first met Nneka, she was pretty new to all this training stuff! Soon, she had started running and I could hardly keep up with her! Nneka will also be running with Nkeiruka and I as 1 of 3 in a relay team for the Garmin Kingston Run Challenge on Sunday 12th October! Click {here} to sign up for the event yourself! 

...here's Nneka's story...
- {THEN} - 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What were your plans / goals?

Nneka: I started training to maintain my weight, keep fit and tone up as I wanted to become a stronger and healthier individual.

- {HOW} - 

Elle: What's your favourite way to workout?

Nneka:
  • Training
  • Running
  • Yoga

Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule? 

Nneka: My typical weekly exercise routine consists of a training class on Monday and Saturday. I also go to yoga on a Tuesday and on Thursday I go to Stratford Run club; all ran through the Nike community at my local store in Stratford; a brilliant team of guys and dolls who have motivated and encouraged my progression since day 1.

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Nneka: My inspiration has come in many forms from the Nike trainers, who have consistently pushed me from day 1 (February 2012) to all the lovely ladies who I have met in various classes.



Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited? 

Nneka: I would have to say that my biggest achievement to date was when I completed my first half marathon (Hackney Half) on Sunday 22nd June this year. It was quite an emotional experience as the furthest I had run prior to my training for this race was the 10K mark. When I initially heard about the race I thought ‘I can’t do that’, however through the encouragement of some of my peers at my local run club I summoned up the courage to sign up for it.

Training for the race was quite difficult at first as I had to wean myself off of the Nike Training Club classes I was so used to attending and commit myself to solely running for 6 weeks – 3 times a week. The running became easier as I learnt to keep at a steady and slow pace and most importantly focus on my breathing technique; which were wise words from my friend (Ogechi) which to this day I will always follow when doing any long distance run. 

I vividly remember the morning of the Hackney Half as I woke up feeling extremely nervous but at the same time excited as I had trained for many weeks and could not wait to run through the streets of Hackney. The crowds of people and volunteers waving the runners on were amazing and there was a great atmosphere throughout the race route all the way to the end.



Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training? 

Nneka: To be honest I have never had the best diet! I tend to yoyo between weeks of eating clean and eating crap; mostly dependent on my state of mind and the mood I’m in!

However I have learnt about how to eat before and after training...carbs like sweet potato pre training and protein like boiled eggs/chicken/lean meat post training. 

 - {NOW} - 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Nneka: I track my daily progress by using the Nike + running app, the NTC app and my Nike Fuel band.



Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Nneka: Yes my goals have changed since I started as initially I would never have thought I could do a 10K run yet alone a half marathon. I started off wanting to get fit and did only NTC classes but as I grew in confidence and having spoken to other women through NTC classes who also run, I decided to change my training and take up running too.

My goals have changed because I now include weekly yoga (which helps stretch muscles after training) and running classes (which helps as a great de-stresser  - for me anyway!) into my fitness routine.

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Nneka: I keep myself motivated by pushing myself to go to classes every week.

Since my first 10K (We Own The Night 2013) I have signed up for various races to improve my pace as well as running challenges (set up by friends on the Nike Running app), which have helped me stay motivated as part of my training. 



Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

Nneka: I’m not too sure what advice I would give the before me...maybe to believe in/have more confidence in myself as anything is possible.  Who would have thought that the ‘before’ me 2 years ago would be running a half marathon in 2014.

To any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...my advice would be to Just Do It!!! I have met many inspiring women (of all shapes and sizes) throughout my journey including new mummies who have joined NTC and run club. Anything is possible and never say never; if I can train and take up running then anyone can.

...so what d'ya think?! 

If you'd like to leave Nneka a comment below please do!

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 

27.9.14

Home and Away...

I've been on my holidays this past week...

You can take the girl away from the workout schedule but you can't take the workout schedule away from the girl?!

Yoga on the beach...


Cycling in Formentera...


It's back to business now!

Lot's of exciting news to share with you next week! 

Elle :) 

22.9.14

Sport'n Style: London Duathlon Kit List

I'm still beaming with pride after the London Duathlon on Sunday14th September! It was such an awesome event and when I shared #MyMoments I got to say Thank You to everyone who supported me along the way.

What I didn't have time to do was say Thank You to my amazing kit that got me through the 2 hours 47 minutes so comfortably!

First up...

Specialized lululemon Team Bib Shorts and Vest


The perfect outfit for the day in every way! I was unsure if I was going to be warm enough so had also packed a long sleeve top incase I needed it but the weather was perfect!

The bib shorts were a comfortably snug fit and didn't move an inch due to the leg grippers and arm holes. I was a little concerned that the padded chamois would get in the way when I was running but I didn't even notice it! It did help to make my ride extra comfy though!



The vest is a full zip with three back pockets which came in useful for placing my snack and gel wrappers after eating them during the run / cycle.

This outfit also got me plenty of compliments from other duathletes which made me smile!

Run: Stuff Your Bra (lululemon)


This was my all time best piece of kit on the day. Everything they say about the Fabric & Features on the website is true:

  • Luxtreme™ fabric is cool to the touch and fits like a second skin
  • sweat-wicking and breathable fabric has four-way stretch
  • three front pockets give you easy access to your run supplies
  • open cross-back design lets you move freely and increases airflow
It came in useful to store my shot books as well as my mobile phone and meant I had to carry or wear no extra race belts / bags. Ingenious.


Helmet by Hardnutz 


I decided my Bern helmet didn't look serious enough. I wanted a helmet that was lighter and more breathable. This one, from VeloVixen was perfect for me...and pink, my favourite colour!


iPhone 5s

No mobile phones were allowed in transition so thats why the bra was again so useful! It kept my phone safe and hidden whilst I was in the transition zone. This did mean though that I had no use for my running armband. So instead I used this beautiful case I got from 3 mobile to keep my iPhone 5s safe and sound stashed away in my bra. I could then use my Nike+ Running app to keep me informed of my pace, distance and time and ensure I received extra motivation in the form of cheers from those who liked and commented on my Facebook status while I was out running!



Adidas Boost and LockLaces

My running shoes of choose since I picked up these runners earlier in the year. I didn't need the LockLaces this time round as I didn't need to change my shoes but I have them there ready for next time!


Bib Belt 


Huge Thanks to Georgina of Fitcetra for sending me her spare bib belt! This meant that I didn't have to spend time fiddling around trying to attach my race number to my outfit (which would infect stop me from removing my top to use the bathroom!). It also meant I could flip my number around swiftly while I cycled. In the future, if / when I do longer events, it can also stash gels and snacks! 

What's on your kit list for running / cycling events?! 

Elle :) 

19.9.14

Elle About Town, September 2014

The last month has been busy for sure with Hen Do's abroad, work, training and finding a balance between Whole30 and everyday life! Not much else has been going on but I do have a couple of little updates to share with you...

Special: VeloVixen Next Top Model Photoshoot   



I just spent the most fulfilled, jam-packed day in Oxford shooting for VeloVixen! I was lucky enough to win their Next Top Model Competition earlier this month and spent the last couple of weeks looking forward to this day.

Even after a 5am alarm, I had such fun shooting road bike scenes, lifestyle scenes and other shots with Gemma and Charlie. I even got to take a peek in VeloVixen HQ - which may be a bad thing for my credit card as seeing everything in real life made me love it all more!

I spotted this bag a short while ago and fell in love with it all over again...


Classes: Crossfit Level 2

Now the London Duathlon is over, I've decided to up my Crossfit game just a little! I plan on attending two classes per week to my schedule and maybe even up to three per week when my body says it could possibly handle that!


Did someone say an 8 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of burpee box jump overs?! Yup! ...I actually lost count at 11, but I figured I came in around 39 so at least it gives me something to beat next time!

We also practiced Overhead Squats in this session as well as handstands. I am still planning on trying out the adult gymnastics class to help me over the fear and get me into an unsupported handstand!

Watch this space :)

Coming Up....

Run or Dye London, 27th September 2014... 
Just one week left to go until my first ever Run or Dye. 5km of colour and fun with friends! Followed by a Dye Festival, I couldn't think of a better way to get my weekend started!


Fancy joining us?! Use code - SIMPELLE - to receive a discount on any UK event in 2014!

See you there?!

Gym Box, Old Street
Gymbox will be opening their doors to the new club in Old Street at the beginning of October. I'll be joining them for a special workout to celebrate soon!

Garmin Run Kingston Challenge
A few weeks and I will be taking part in a relay again! This time, Nkeiruka, Nneka and myself will be tackling 8 miles each on the morning of  Sunday 12th October! Keep an eye out for our race report!

What's coming up for you in the next month?! 


Elle :) x

18.9.14

The London Duathlon 2014 #MyMoments

I'm not really sure where to begin for the write up of #MyMoments for the London Duathlon which took place last Sunday 14th September 2014. Above everything else, I'm over the moon to have made it to the start line...

After my bike was stolen a around 10 days before the event there were a multitude of ups and downs leading up to the day! When around 5 days before the event I realised I'd been struck down by a bug (not unlike the flu) I was pretty certain this wasn't gonna happen for me!

But it all came together the day before the event. I'd given up hope on the Friday after renting a bike didn't go to plan and I felt like the illness had also won. Then during an email conversation, I had an offer I couldn't refuse of a bike loan from Freya for the event. All of a sudden, I'd gone from down and out, to excited to take on my first ever multisport event!

I had already thrown all my gear together a few days before so I was somewhat prepared. I shared this picture with everyone... no beautifully folded, spaced out and laid out outfit. Just the real deal.



Pre Race Set Up


I met Freya and Madge (her amazing Road Bike) at 8am sharp by Roehampton Gate of Richmond Park. I promptly then made my way over to the Race Village and got myself ready to enter transition to set up. It was a little nerve wracking with all the rules to remember and stickers / labels / numbers to attach! But I got checked in and organised myself.

I laid all my bits out on a bright pink towel ready for when I was back from my run and left the transition zone where I promptly bumped into Alpha and David, my supporters for the day! Seeing them put a smile on my face knowing that I'd get to look out for them each time I came around the course!


Alpha and David kept me company until it was time to step into the starting line up...

9am.

Stage 1 Run: 10km


About 30 minutes before the start of my first run, I knocked back some water and 2 or 3 cubes of caffeinated Clif Shot Bloks - energy to help me run my best. I think this contributed to the fact that although I had used the bathroom in the 30 minutes before the 10km start, I decided I needed to use it again while on the start line. It took about 20 minutes for me to cross the start line by which time all I could think about was using the bathroom.

500 metres out of the start and there was a water station. Although very much not needed at this point I decided this had to be a good sign for what was to come in regards to the amount of water stations available. Finally, just before the 3km, there were bathrooms. I nipped off the course and came back feeling ready to take on the next 7km.

Having run in Richmond Park once before, I was aware that it would be a hilly course. Looking back now, I can't say I really noticed the any hills on the 10km run. I spent my time taking in the view, looking out for the Deer and keeping my breathing under control. My iPhone was stuffed in my bra (you can read more about this in my kit list post which is coming soon!) so I could still hear the cheers from everyone who liked my Nike+ status on Facebook. It also meant I could receive feedback on my time, pace and distance.


A little later on the course I came across some of the marshals with megaphones. These guys were funny - made me smile and gave me that extra little bit of confidence. I didn't start to flag until around the 7 or 8km mark which I was proud of! I hadn't run this far for a couple of weeks and had been unwell for the past 5 days! Just at the right time, in the final km were some small children handing out haribo sweets, smiles and cheers of encouragement.


Those children and the fact that I knew I would see Alpha and David on the final straight powered me though to the end of my first run and into transition.

Stage 2 Cycle: 22km


Onto the second stage. As far as I am concerned, this was active recovery from running. Yes, it's still tough, but it's a different tough. It was also the first time ever I was riding Madge. In the first wobbly 500metres I got to see Alpha and David again before I was off!


Having found stability with Madge, I kept focused on the signage warning of a steep climb coming up. I climbed...and thought that was tough, before I realised that wasn't even the climb! This was what I've heard since been referred to as Cardiac Hill. People were walking their bikes up this hill it was so steep! I made a decision to sit it out - I was not gonna let this hill defeat me! ...I struggled, but I did it! I could barely breathe by the time I reached the top but the marshals at the top were so encouraging and motivating that it kept me going and I recovered while on the flat course.

And as we know, what goes up must come down. Following Cardiac Hill were a couple of pretty swift declines! Once I allowed myself to relax and go with it (and also acquainting myself with Madge's brakes) I enjoyed the downhill glide!

Before I knew I, I recognised where I was and knew I was nearing the ned of lap 1. One more lap to go! I slowed down briefly as I cycled past Alpha and David before calculating that I would finish the second lap in around 30 minutes...after conquering Cardiac Hill one more time...the downhills, a couple of tight right turns and what was quite a tough wind in the direction we were cycling!

Second lap completed and it was back into transition to rack Madge and run the final stage of my event!

Stage 3 Run: 5km


Here goes! Running into transition was interesting...jelly legs were all I had. But within the time it took me to rack Madge and have a quick snack, my legs started to feel a little more normal!

Again, I started this run needing the bathroom! I'm pretty sure though, that this helps me to run a little faster! Once I found a bathroom on the course, I was ready to bring this home. What kept me going on the 5k lap was different though. I had seen Becs of The Style Dynamo running whilst I was cycling which put a smile on my face; I hadn't expected to see anyone I know on the course so that was a welcome surprise! I also got a number of compliments on my outfit from marshals and other competitors (again, you can read more about this in my kit list post which is coming soon!). The guys on the megaphone were there again too where the 5km course joined the 10km course for the final 3km.


By this point, I'd come so far I knew I could finish this. I'd enjoyed every moment of the event so far and wanted to enjoy the end too! I'm pretty sure I must've been running with a big grin on my face...and by the time I got to the final straight I saw Alpha, David and Freya all there cheering! I turned off the course to go over the finish line as the commentator welcomed me over (by name...which was a lovely personal touch for us competitors!).


I had my medal placed around my neck, got given a t-shirt, water and banana (no lucozade for me! I hadn't trained with them and didn't wanna risk it!). Just outside the finish line, I bumped into a lady who had been on the same Introduction to Duathlon course with me in August and we chatted about the event until Alpha, David and Freya made their way over.



I honestly had THE best morning of my life taking part in the London Duathlon and cannot fault the organisers at all! So many thank you's to share...


Limelight Sports for the place in the event; All the Marshals for being so encouraging and doing an amazing job; Freya for lending me Madge; Alpha and David for cheering me on the entire time; The unknown supporters at the sidelines who cheered, waved and / or helped keep me going with encouraging words; Everyone that believed in me; Everyone else that offered me the loan of their bike; Everyone who messaged me their support before, during and after the event; My Mum - the first person I called to let know that I had survived!

I'm now more determined than ever to replace my bike and have already decided that I would like to take part in a cycling event in 2015! 

Here's to many more AWESOME events!

Elle :) x

16.9.14

Breast Cancer Care Women Only Run, 18th October 2014

One year later, and Human Race are back with their October Women's Only run. This time, it's Breast Cancer Care though. 


The Breast Cancer Care Women Only Run will take place in the iconic and beautiful Richmond Park on Saturday 18 October 2014. This event is a firm favorite in the diary with runners of all abilities, with 5, 10 and 15km distances available. This is a rare opportunity to run on closed roads in a friendly and supportive all-female environment, at a bargain price. With entry from just £15 this is the good chance to feel good and do good!


Following on from being the official charity of the event in previous years, Breast Cancer Care is now also title sponsor of the Women Only Run. Runners will have the opportunity to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and help the life changing work carried out by their team. They work with many of the 50,000 UK residents a year diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
Spanning 2,500 acres, Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London. Winding through gorgeous woodland, past a wide variety of wildlife and delightful gardens to be greeted by a stunning panoramic view of central London, this is arguably the most picturesque 5, 10 or 15km course in London. The Breast Cancer Care Women Only Run is the only traffic-free road running event in this unique and unforgettable location.


Unlike your average weekend run you won’t have to dodge cars and bikes, just concentrate on crossing that finish line and picking up your exclusive finishers’ medal. Those who are interested in participating in this great event only have until 9.00 pm on Monday 13 October to enter.
Women Only Series ambassador and Spice Girl Melanie C said “It is important women feel comfortable to try something new, challenge themselves and achieve goals. I think for women it is a wonderful thing to support each other and enjoy it. Exercise builds self-confidence and a healthier lifestyle.”
Buggies will also be welcome at the Breast Cancer Care Women Only Run. This has been a popular option in previous years, and buggy runners will be released in separate waves allowing you to select from any of the distances (5,10,15 km). Those who wish to jog with their little bundles of joy should select the ‘run with your buggy’ option on the Breast Cancer Care Women Only Run booking page.
For more information about this fantastic event, and to book before the deadline of Monday 13 October, visit the Human Race Events website: www.humanrace.co.uk/womenonly


This year, the event falls on my 30th birthday so I won't be there! But I will be remembering what fun I had the year before and will be looking forward to taking part in 2015! 
Let me know if you sign up and how the event goes for you! 

Elle :) x

15.9.14

Living the simpElle life: Nkeiruka

We're midway through September and already so much is happening! Let's continue the month with some inspiration from someone I've met on my journey over the past couple of years. 

This fortnightly mini series - Living the simpElle life - is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Nkeiruka Ughaonu 



I met Nkeiruka when I started teaching Nike Training Club (NTC) session in East London. As well as training, she has always displayed a passion and natural ability in my eyes, for running! How many of us could do a long run an then come to class?! Nkeiruka travelled to Geneva with us earlier this year too where she smashed a half marathon! Nkeiruka will also be running as 1 of 3 in a relay team with me for the Garmin Kingston Run Challenge on Sunday 12th October! Click {here} to sign up for the event yourself! 

...here's Nkeiruka's story...
- {THEN} - 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What were your plans / goals?

Nkeiruka: I started running consistently in December 2012 when my sister signed me up for a half marathon in Vienna in April of the following year. Before that, I ran off and on, was a gym devotee for a couple years and attended Nike Training Club religiously. I didn't really have any concrete plans − just complete my first half, get strong and mix my training up. After my half I was adamant that I wouldn't run again, but having been selected to take part in an eight-week training programme for We Own The Night I was forced to dust off my running shoes and train for a 10k. The race was definitely a turning point as I achieved a personal best and from then on I was entering at least one race each month - I ended 2013 with 8 medals! Although at times I might complain about how much I dislike running there's nothing like crossing that finish line or gliding along the pavement that gets my endorphins pumping. 



- {HOW} - 

Elle: What's your favourite way to workout?

Nkeiruka: Running on my own with music or with friends at run club. I also enjoy NTC because it offers a range of exercises with varying intensity.



Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule? 

Nkeiruka: Right now I try to fit in at least three runs a week (which includes run club on Thursday), NTC on Saturday mornings and sometimes power-walking or dancing.

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Nkeiruka: My sister, the many ladies I've met through running and NTC; and fit, strong women that redefine gender stereotypes about femininity.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited? 

Nkeiruka: It wasn't a physical change rather it was a mental thing. The two events that stand out for me are running my first half marathon and 10k, which was WOTN. I felt like after that I could tackle anything. It was certainly an emotional experience crossing the finishing line to plenty of cheers and seeing the culmination of weeks worth of training.



Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training? 

Nkeiruka: Not really. I'm a vegetarian so I tend to eat well. I try to cut down on sugary and fatty foods, eat more fruit and vegetables, and hydrate.

 - {NOW} - 

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Nkeiruka: I'm not really strict about tracking my progress. It's more about feeling good inside and whether I can fit into my clothing. I have a Nike+ FuelBand, which tracks my everyday movements and converts it into fuel (energy) as well as calories and steps. I use the Nike+ Running app to log my activity, so I can compare my pace and mileage each month. In addition to keeping record of PB's.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Nkeiruka: Now that my focus is primarily running, my goals have shifted slightly to entering races, achieving new PB's, taking on new challenges and running regularly each week. I can't really say this always happens, but I try my best. 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Nkeiruka: This is a difficult one for me because I have months where I'm very motivated and others where I don't feel like exercising. What usually helps is if I have a race I'm training for, or doing a running challenge with friends as it pushes me to go out and run when I lack the enthusiasm.



Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

Nkeiruka: My advice to anyone considering starting a fitness programme is to find an activity that you love; that way you're more likely to stick it out. Also, surrounding yourself with like-minded people and training towards a goal helps keep you motivated, pushes you to do more and stay on track.

...so what d'ya think?! 

If you'd like to leave Nkeiruka a comment below please do!

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 


13.9.14

Starting a Home Exercise Regime in Time for Winter

Unfortunately, after a truly remarkable summer, we are finally seeing an end to the heat and the nights are starting to draw in. This means that now is the time where we have to consider tweaking or remodelling our exercise regime to accommodate the cold and the dark. For many of us, this means that we go from pounding the pavements in the fresh air to training at home in the spare room. This, however, doesn’t have to be a downside, and there are many ways that you can turn exercising at home to your advantage, coming up with an imaginative and challenging regime. An indoor bike can provide you with such a regime, here’s how: 

A Variety of Functions

An upright bike provides you with all of the benefits of an outdoors cardio programme from the comfort of your own home. No matter whether you’re interested in doing interval work or lengthy treks, a bike has an option that can test your abilities and fitness levels. 
Due to different resistance levels within the bike, it can provide you with a selection of different terrains, so you can recreate the route of your outdoor journey indoors, keeping your fitness levels high. 

Maximise By Varying Programmes 

In order to keep your fitness levels as high as possible, variety in the type of workout you try is key, and it is likely that it’ll be as challenging, if not more challenging than your outdoor routine was. 
Breakdown what your goals are and base your routine around these. Just cycling for hours on end will help you improve, but it will not maximise what you can get out of the workout (even if you can do it while watching Eastenders!) 
This workout routine should give you a good idea of what will provide maximum benefits. 

Photo credit: lululemon athletica facebook page

Add Other Dimensions

As well as all of this, because you’re at home, you can add other dimensions to your workout, helping you mix cardio with weights. Having both cardio and weights in the same environment (without the leering eyes of the gym), means that you can mix the two elements together, creating the ultimate full body workout, testing your body to the max. 

What’s more, because you’re doing all this at home, you’re away from the damp, the cold and the rain, ensuring that you can exercise safely and securely, all while ensuring maximum body benefits. Plus, if we get a nice weekend, you can always nip back outside for a bit; it’s the best of both worlds. 

11.9.14

Clapham Common 10km 31st August #MyMoments

A couple Sundays ago and I was out running another 10km in preparation for the London Duathlon - this time at Clapham Common. After running 10km the previous Sunday in Brixton, I had quite an extensive to do list for this event.

Practice running without music - CHECK 
Order a new cycle helmet - CHECK 
Order in energy supplies - CHECK 


Running this week certainly felt a little easier than the previous week which was surprising considering I also had no music. I still did have my iPhone though to keep me updated on my distance and pace.


I realised early in that, as usual, I was having pace issues. I then came across a guy who was running a comfortable and consistent pace so I literally just tailed him for about the last 5km. I was expecting him to turn around and question why I was his shadow but he never did and when I finished at the 10km mark he continued into the 15km distance.


I set up the locklaces in my trainers - read here

And Then This Happened...

...which was quite a spanner in the works! As I type, I still have not confirmed what bike I will be riding on the day. Do I do a 4 day hire so I can trial it before? Or hire on the day and only cycle at the event? I was so grateful for all the kind offers from friends to borrow their bikes but time was not on my side.

I'm not going into the London Duathlon as prepared as I hoped or as excited as I planned but nonetheless, I will be there!

Stay tuned for #MyMoments next week from duathlon race day - Sunday 14th September. It's almost here...

Elle :) 

9.9.14

Guest Post: 6 Yoga Poses For Tight Shoulders

Since I started Crossfit, I've learnt a fair bit about my body. There were a few things I had already become aware of though - such as my tight shoulders. This has been a slight issue when doing overhead lifts; nothing I can't manage but an area I would like to work on...

So I had a chat with Adrianna and asked her to share with us the best yoga poses for tight shoulders...

It has been said that the shoulders represent our ability to carry our experiences in life joyously, and we only make life a burden by our attitude. 

As a yoga teacher, a large number of my clients have office jobs and consequently, rounded shoulders. The rounding of shoulders represents stress and symbolizes the carrying of burdens of life, with a helpless and/or hopeless attitude. 

Sometimes clients are aware of the extra tension being held in this area, whilst the majority of people need to shift the focus into opening and surrendering stress carried in the shoulders.

This major joint can also represent changes in direction life and the ease of such movements.

So whether you are a yogi, runner or cross-fitter, I believe we can all benefit from these few simple shoulder opening poses, both physically and metaphysically. 

Eagle Arms 

– can be added to various standing asana such as Warrior 1 (W1), Warrior 3, Crescent Lunge


Find a comfortable seat.

Wrap right arm over left arm and aim to bring the hands to pray position; taking an available grip to you. Begin to draw the elbows in line with the shoulders. Pause and breathe.

Then, keeping the elbows where they are, begin to move the hands away from the face.
Soften the shoulder, and eye gaze and breathe into the opening between the shoulder blades.

Stay here for 5 – 10 long, deep breaths. Unwind and repeat on other side.

Cow Face Arms 

– traditionally taught with leg variation in cow face pose. Can be added to seated forward folds


Find a comfortable seat.

Taking the left hand to earth behind you, inhale and reach your right arm to the sky. Bend the right (top) elbow and reach behind the head as far down the back as you can.

Simultaneously bend the left elbow (bottom arm) and take your left hand up the back and towards the right.


**Options – to use a strap and shorten the distance, slowly allowing the shoulders to open. (See image 2)

Breath into the opening beneath the right shoulder and tricep; and across the front and side of the left shoulder.

Stay here for 5 – 10 long, deep breaths. Unwind and repeat on other side.

Dolphin



Begin in a high plank position (top of a pushup). Slowly lower on your forearms, aligning the shoulders over the elbows. (See image above)

Clasping the hands to create a strong foundation, begin to walk the feet in lifting the hips high (like in downward facing dog)


Eye gaze is towards the hands, then slowly drawing the chin into chest to lengthen the back of the neck. Eye gaze finishing between the legs.

Soften shoulders, and broaden collar bones and breathe into the shoulders and back of the heart.

Stay here for 5 - 10 deep breaths.

Forward Fold with Clasp 

– can be added to wide legged forward fold.


Stand feet hips distance apart, clasp hands behind the lower back back, and take a big inhale to open chest. 


* Option to use a strap instead of clasping the hands (as above)

On exhale, soften knees, draw the belly in and fold forward. Allow the head to fall toward the ground gently releasing the neck. Make space for the neck by gently moving the shoulders away from the ears.

If you feel comfortable, bend one knee and then the other, getting more into your shoulders. Maybe gently shake the head “no” and then nod the head “yes.”

Stay here for 5 – 10 deep breaths. 

To come out, slowly press into the feet, release the hands to the earth and roll up to stand.

Thread the Needle


Photo Credit: Thanks to Julie of juliestewartfitness.wordpress.com 

Begin on all fours, wrist beneath the shoulders, knees beneath the hips, and keep your back toes tucked under for more stability. 

Reach right arm towards the sky and then thread underneath body, allowing right shoulder and temple to release to the ground. Allow left hand to stay where it is, or crawl it a bit to the left over to your head; alternatively for opening across the front of the left shoulder reach the left hand for the inside edge of your right thigh. 

Stay here for 5 deep breaths. 

Repeat on other side.

Reverse Prayer



Sitting comfortably, float arms down to either side of body and, bending elbows, reach arms behind back. Press palms together in a prayer position on spine and reach hands as high up spine as feels good. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
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