30.1.15

What Would a Personal Trainer Honestly Do?

how I party ;) 
I was on Facebook as per usual when I came across an article in Women's Health Magazine (UK) ...What Would a Personal Trainer Do? This spiked my interest, after all most people think that their Personal Trainer is THE most disciplined person. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. What they are though, is human.

I read the article and felt like the answers given were great answers. Too great. Just perfect. Are all Personal Trainers this good?! Am I?!

So along with myself, I enlisted some of my Personal Trainer / Yoga Teacher friends to see if they'd share with me what they do. Honestly.

1/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN HUNGOVER
My go to remedy for a hangover is marmite on toast, with a glass of orange juice. There is method to my madness - martmite contains vitamin B, and OJ of course is laden with vitamin C, both of which are lost over the course of a night on the town. And let's just face it, crunchy toast when you're hungover is really comforting. - Georgina, Fitcetera

I can honestly say that this happens so rarely for me; maybe once a year?! But, when it does, I opt for a large glass of water before bed and survive the following day by rehydrating with nuun tablets in my water. A big greasy breakfast usually helps me along the way too ;) - Elle, keep it simpElle 

I find white rice, soups, vegetables and chilli help so I get chinese or thai food. If I cant decide, I get both - Rishin, Yoga Teacher 

When I've had a
few too many drinks, I know the most important thing will be my body's dehydration. which can result in decreased strength and endurance. So I will ensure my intake of H20 is high the next day and also ensure I have something like Coconut Water that contains Electrolytes - minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood, your muscle function, and other important processes. This will make sure you are back to yourself quicker! - Gemma, Crossfit Coach

2/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN ILL
Fortunately I havent been properly ill in over 20 years. If I do feel under the weather I call my mum. (for medical advice as shes a doctor) - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

Erm, I also call my mum! She was a Nurse in her hey day and is also very caring! She always knows what to do or at least makes me feel better! Elle, keep it simpElle 

3/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN EATING AT A RESTAURANT
where's your food?! 
I make a huge effort to make all my meals at home so if I eat out, I want it to be a treat. I'm not one for multiple courses and rarely have dessert so it's all out in my main! If I've done a workout that day, I don't mind splurging on my dinner! - Elle, keep it simpElle 

I tend to be quite greedy. I tend to go for whatever I believe is least likely to result in food envy on my part. I like menus in Prague. They list the weight of each menu item which makes ordering easy. - Rishin, Yoga Teacher 

When faced with a lot of choice I am a nightmare for pondering the menu for ages. But when I go out to eat I like to eat something I don't often cook for myself. This usually means something with prawns (my partner doesn't like them!). But if there's a good burger on the menu I'm unlikely to resist. Better to choose what you want and go home satisfied than choose something "because it's healthy" and feel like you're missing out. - Georgina, Fitcetera

I also opt for something I wouldn't make at home due to it being too much effort! I do love fries - any kinda fries! I tend to have a main and that's it. No starters and very rarely a dessert. - Elle, keep it simpElle 

4/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN BUYING TRAINERS
I'm the first to admit I like to have all the right kit. Road running trainers, off road shoes, obstacle race shoes, CrossFit shoes - you name it, I've got it. But what I really look for when buying trainers is a stand-out look. If you're serious about a sport, then getting the right shoe for the job is a no-brainer, but if they're ugly as hell you're just not going to wear them! Make sure they fit well, and if you're prone to injuries perhaps get your gait checked. But otherwise go for what you like and will want to wear. - Georgina, Fitcetera

I would also go to specialist shop and take advice from sales person to get the correct fit for my foot shape and foot strike. - Mollie M, PT Mollie

5/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN IT'S RAINING
A couple years ago I'd have said I take my workout indoors if it rains but things have changed for me. Now, no matter the weather I'm out there. I find running in a drizzle / light rain can actually be quite refreshing. I do avoid a cycle commute in the rain though; mainly because of the palaver of having to get showered / changed / redressed at the other end - Elle, keep it simpElle 

I live in London so I am just as likely to do the same stuff as when its not raining! - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

6/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN THERE’S ONLY 20 MINUTES FOR THE GYM
When I only have 20 mins in the gym - I'll do some high intensity mixed with movements I love and a few weak spots. EMOM (Every min on the min) workouts are great when you only have a short time. They keep you moving and as you tire, your rest time vs work ratio will reduce. Great for chanching the clock if you are someone who bores easily. - Gemma, Crossfit Coach

I don't really go to gyms anymore (other than to teach yoga) but if I had just 20 minutes to exercise, I'd swing a kettlebell around or do a short yoga routine. I tend to run or cycle rather than get the tube though so most days I end up fitting in at least 20 minutes of exercise. (unless I am hungover and stuffing my face with chinese and thai food) - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

7/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN HAVING A TAKEAWAY
I rarely get takeaway so if I do I don't worry about the calories or health concerns - Mollie M, PT Mollie

2 starters, 1 main (if I am hungry then 2 mains) - Rishin, Yoga Teacher 

If I fancy a takeaway, I usually opt for a quality supermarket version LOVE M&S chinese and indian range). That way I can see all the ingredients, calories and usually cook it in a more heart friendly way. It usually is also cheaper than a takeaway so is a win-win. Elle, keep it simpElle 

8/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN EATING BEFORE A WORKOUT
I'll have a smoothie or something that contains complex carbohydrate. Anything with oats works! I make and sell raw food bars and these generally tend to keep me energised through a workout/ride/run/yoga class. - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

Everyone is different. I try not to eat less than an hour or two before a workout as my digestion will interfere with the effort I can extend. - Mollie M, PT Moliie

This varies massively for me mostly based on how organised I have been. Last week, I was stuffing my face with banana as I walked to the pool for my swimming lesson! If I plan well though, I have a main meal 2-3 hours before a workout. - Elle, keep it simpElle 

9/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN THEY CAN'T SLEEP
I listen to podcasts from themeditationpodcast.com. I have no idea how any of the podcasts end because I am fast asleep within 5 minutes. (they even precede the podcasts with a warning advising people not to drive while listening to them) - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

I get up and do stuff! I figure if I'm gonna be awake I might as well do something productive. Reading or watching TV usually help and when I begin to feel like I can nod off I give it another go. Elle, keep it simpElle 

10/ #WWAPTHD… WHEN SOMETHING ACHES
Foam rolling!! - Rishin, Yoga Teacher

I pull out the jointace rub and hope for the best! Elle, keep it simpElle 

A huge Thank You to Georgina, Rishin, Mollie and Gemma for sharing their answers with me!

So...What Would You Honestly Do in any of these situations?! 


Elle :) 

29.1.15

Health MOT at Nuffield

image from Nike Women FB 

As part of my membership package at Nuffield Health, I had the option to book in for a Health MOT; who I am to turn this down?!

I met up with Rebecca, a Wellbeing Personal Trainer at Nuffield City to take me through the process. We began with some lifestyle questions...how much do I drink, how much sleep do I get, any conditions I am predisposed to...y'know, the usual.

The aim of the meeting is to determine your 'Health Score' - a number between 0 - 1000 to show you where you are now, so you can follow your progress from following any advice given and training.

The MOT also included calculating my VO2 max, BMI, Waist to Hip Ratio, Blood Glucose and Cholesterol. I was most interested in the Blood Glucose and Cholesterol as those are two measurements I haven't done in the past 10 years since leaving University.

For the VO2 max, I just had to wear a HR monitor, sit back and relax (far from the effort I had to exert for my VO2 max testing on the Watt Bike before xmas). The results actually came out pretty similar.

BMI: healthy weight
Waist to Hip Ratio: moderate risk
Blood Pressure: good level
VO2 max: good
Resting Heart Rate: normal
Cholesterol: good level
Blood Glucose: good level



My Nuffield Health Score: 708 


My score is dynamic, it will move with me and reflect my lifestyle choices in real-time.

"Making improvements in lifestyle will increase your HealthScore. E.g. If your blood pressure decreases over time due to a change in your eating habits and exercise regime, and you update this information on the system then this will positively affect your HealthScore."

Wellbeing Action Points: 

  • Increase water consumption 
...yup, I knew this was coming! Being out and about so much I worry about getting caught out so never drink enough. I think though, drinking more water would help me to feel less tired, more alert and more energetic. 

My entire MOT report was emailed to me as well as being stored online so when I go in again my results can be directly compared. The MOT is a great opportunity to get a better understanding of your health and wellbeing; you've got a professional there to ask any questions you need to to help you make positive changes in your life! You can find out more about the Health MOT at Nuffield {here}.


Do you know your health statistics?! 

Elle :) 

27.1.15

Friday Night with Clubbercise

image from clubbercise FB

"For the first time in a long time, I spent my Friday night clubbing. Well, Clubbercising to be more accurate. And it was awesome" Lesli, Fit & Happy

It was awesome. Even though I had very little energy left, I still tried to coordinate my limbs and enjoy the evening. This was helped by the fact that the tunes rocked...

"...everything from 90s club classics like Sandstorm, Love Generation and some Venga Boys, up to recent hits like Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta." 

...they reminded me of some of favourite times yet felt fresh as ever! Anyhow! Class began with the distribution of glow sticks - a crucial part of the class as the lights get dimmed down low! I picked a corner, next to Leslie, where I could see the instructors and off we went.

image from clubbercise FB

The workout itself reminded me very much of aerobics. The moves built up with the routines being pretty simple to follow (for those less tired and coordinated). The room was filled with women of all ages, shapes and sizes...who you could barely see anyway because a) the lights are low and b) you'll be focusing hard on watching the instructors to get all the moves!

"The best part (other than dancing your butt off -- literally)? The fact that when we took our first water break, 45 minutes had passed and it felt like 10. 

I loved this in so many ways. It was a fun workout, not too challenging, and could be a great night out with friends. Visit their web site to find a class close to you (they have them all over the place) or if you're London-based, you're in luck as they're doing weekly classes at Pineapple from 13th February."

Check out Leslie's full review {HERE} 

Have you checked out the rave craze classes yet?! According to those in the know, they are set to smash 2015! 

Elle :) 

26.1.15

London Winter Run: Get Ready to Race

Be prepared for the big day with Bethan Taylor’s top tips to get ready to race.
The date’s been in your diary for months, and all you can think about is the big race that’s now just a week away. You’re raring to go after all those early starts and long weekend runs, and you can’t wait to cross the start line and show the world what you’ve got.
Whether you’re running 5k or a full-on marathon, what you do in the days and hours leading up to the big day could make all the difference when it comes to smashing your goals. So get prepared with our our top five tips to help you get race-ready, have an awesome day and finish strong!
1. Pack your race bag well in advance
The last thing you want on race day is to realise you’ve forgotten an essential! ‘You’ll be nervous enough on race morning without having to worry about what you need and what not to forget,’ says Elle Linton, personal trainer, blogger and fitness expert for the Cancer Research London Winter Run. When you’re packing, Elle suggests ‘keeping in mind how you’ll feel post-race (hungry?!) and any extra layers or changes of clothes you might need.’ So make sure you pack that extra protein bar and a snug hoodie for the journey home.
Read the full post {HERE} on We Heart Living! 

23.1.15

Track Cycling at Lee Valley VeloPark

Photo Credit: my buddy Anneleen who talked me into this! 

I've never seen track cycling. I've never heard stories about track cycling. I've never ridden a fixed gear bike. I'd class myself as a slow cyclist. And I'm not known for taking risks.

So how do you ask yourselves, did I end up at the Olympic Park Velodrome on the Track Cycling Taster Session?! I'm wondering too. 

The good news is, I did it. The not so good news is I could have braved more had the session been longer. 

This is how it went down.

A 9am start, but kit set up is not included in this time so I arrived at the venue at 830am to collect my bike and helmet (included in the £30 cost). I also had to take along gloves and optional clip in shoes (or pay to hire). For some reason I decided against kitting myself out in my best cycling gear - I feared this may make me look like I had a clue what was about to happen.


Fixed gear bikes are controlled by the pedals. I know, I know. Sounds simple. When you pedal the bikes moves. When you stop / pause pedalling...the bike stops. You drop. So you don't stop pedalling unless you have something /someone to hold onto. You get clipped in for the session and technically, your feet don't touch the floor again till you finish the session.

By now, I've lost that teeny weeny bit of confidence I had. What also didn't help was seeing the gradient of the track wood. A sideways hill. How does that work?!

First things first, we learn about the different areas of the track, what all the lines mean etc and then crucially, how to set off, control the bike and stop. Okay, some confidence creeps back in. A few laps round the safety zone (the flat bit) and I feel like I could avoid the embarrassment of falling off this thing.

Next up, we get to try the first little slope. Not too bad. The next slope to me looks a little too much. I try, but my legs aren't pressing hard or fast enough. Again. I get up there, and come down on the bend. My quads are burning and I'm breathing heavily. Eventually I get there, by which point everyone else is miles ahead, even on the (what looks) vertical bit (we learnt overtaking by this point). I'm happy where I am though...down low...legs still moving, butt still on the saddle.

It's like I've blinked and the 60 minute session is over. I made it up a couple of (what I call) levels...nearly white knuckled, but I've defo done one thing this day to scare me. I din't hit above the blue line so this means I couldn't progress to stage two of Track Cycling accreditation but jheeeez, I would want more practice anyway!

Anneleen and I with our certificates :) 

So am I the next big name in Track Cyling?! Far from it! But it has inspired me to hit up that spin class to let my legs get used to moving fast as opposed to my humble commuting pace. Getting some speed in my legs will pay off for my Triathlon in the summer too and then maybe, just maybe, I'll go back and give Track a go again! For the time being though, I can say, I cycled at the Olympic Velodrome!

Do you ride a fixie?! Have you ever?! What's your one thing a day that scares you for today?!


Elle :) 

22.1.15

Elle About Town, January 2015

It's 2015 and activities are in full swing! With so much exciting stuff going on, this is my space to share with you! 

Social: Bounce, Holborn

Table tennis, food and drink. Sounds like the perfect evening for us! One of my work Christmas do's took place at Bounce - somewhere I've wanted to check out since it opened. I had a quick go at the TT but chose to focus more on the food - pizza and nibbles, oh and the low calorie beer. Would be a perfect spot to get social in groups of 4 - 6 to keep it intimate!

Events: Park Run, Peckham Rye


I made it back to Park Run on New Years Day! I incorporated the 5km event into my mileage for the day to make for a perfect start to 2015!

Events: Battersea 10km with RunThrough 

Another race incorporated into my training was the Battersea 10km. I had 9.7km planned for the day so it worked well! 4 laps of the course which was flat and sunny with a few of the Team Naturally Run crew at a beautifully slow pace was worth it for the medal. A mini replica of the Battersea Power Station (which is under demolition and currently only has 3 towers, not 4).


photo credit - Leah, of Naturally Leah

Lifestyle: Passion Planner 


My Passion Planner for 2015 arrived! HOORAY! Now it's time to get on with creating the life I want to live! I even celebrated and bought some new pretty highlighters from Muji! I'm working on redoing my goals - 3 month, 1 year etc etc as well as focusing week to week. I've scribbled my Half Marathon training plan into it already as that's one of the big goals I'm working on for 2015.

Classes: ELLE Fit with Sweaty Betty 

I spotted this class last year and booked immediately! A Pilates class in one of the Sweaty Betty stores (I attended Jubilee Gardens, Canary Wharf) and an epic goody bag for £15. I'm not a huge fan of mat Pilates but after attending this class I realised I may have misjudged it. It was definitely a workout, just not a jump around like a crazy cat kinda workout. It was tough. And I loved it.

Coming Up....

Clubbercise 
Finally, I get to get the glow sticks out, rave and call it a workout! YES! Friday 23rd January at Pineapple Dance Studios...a tenner {Book here} and join in on the fun?!

NTC Week Yoga 


I didn't secure a spot for any of the original exclusive classes but I did get an invite for a secret NTC Yoga class. Just what I need to be fair - more yoga in my life.

London Winter Run 
Final, FINAL chance to get a few quid off your entry and join us at the start line of this 10km on 1st February 2015! Entries close on Monday 26th January. 


Join our Facebook event page too to be kept up to date with all that is going on!

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

Elle :) x

20.1.15

Up at The O2


Brief: The best places to go in London.

Yup, that's a pretty broad brief right?! But when I was asked by the hotel group Millennium to contribute to a guide, I knew exactly where I wanted to go! Up at The O2 (UATO2).

UATO2 embodies both London and this blog. It's active, outdoors, fun and you get to see London in its entirety!

Pre Climb | The rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for my 1130am climb (thank you heavens!). It was cold though, so I was wrapped up well in warm layers. I arrived 15 mins before my climb time allowing me to take it all in. It's become normal for me these days to not really research what I'm letting myself in for!

The first part to the experience was to watch the safety video which explained pretty much everything, equipment, what to expect...

Next up, time to grab our onesies (aka climb suits), boots and harnesses. And to implement the number 1 tip from the video...use the bathroom before you start! The onesie was a welcome addition to my outfit, waterproof and hooded.


Once we stashed our personal belongings away in lockers (bar mobile phones / cameras - the one thing we could take) it was off to the starting point.

The Facts

The walkway is: 

  • constructed out of tensile fabric 
  • suspended 52 meters above ground level 
  • two meters above the surface of The O2 tent canvas 
  • three hundred and twenty meters long 
  • slightly bouncy to replicate the surface of the tent structure 
  • set at a maximum gradient of 28degrees during ascent and 30degrees during descent, along which climbers must travel unaided 


In Climb | Once we were all connected to the cable system it was time to go! The very first part of the climb was by no means easy - in fact, its the toughest, and feels like the steepest part of the entire experience!

Manoeuvring my climb latch - to allow me to move and not move at the appropriate times - whilst taking in the 360 views was breathtaking. Within what felt like no time at all, we reached the Observation Platform where we could detach ourselves, take photos and enjoy the views.


Before I knew it, it was time to start our descent which I think felt faster than the ascent - makes sense as its less physically demanding. The views are still there though so the experience continues...


Post Climb | The entire experience is planned with military precision. Our belongings met us at the other side where we swapped them for our climbing gear! There's also a shop filled with branded gear if you're looking for a keepsake to remember the experience.

In total, from video to getting my stuff back, took 90 minutes. One of the quickest but fun 90 minutes.

And the question it boils down to...Would I go again?! YES! 

What are your favourite places / activities in London?! Have you been to UATO2?! 

Elle :) 

p.s Thanks to Millenium Hotel Group and Joe Blogs for pre purchasing my ticket! I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own, of course :) 

19.1.15

Swimfit at Nuffield Health


Somewhere, somehow, on the webosphere, I came across the Swimfit class which launched in this New Year at Nuffield Health Clubs. I'm currently taking swimming lessons once per week but to progress faster I need to get in the pool another 1-3x per week and Swimfit seemed like a perfect option!
"Each class provides an alternative way to work out, improve fitness, reach targets and train for personal challenges in a social environment. Guided by ASA trained, fully qualified instructor, Swimfit offers a structured workout. 
It provides a mixture of different routines, strokes, speeds and lengths to encourage a more varied and challenging workout than traditional lane-swimming. With various accompanying training aids and challenges, there is something to suit all abilities and interests. 
Swimmers can work out and improve at their own pace with support at every level." nuffieldhealth.com 
So I arrive at the City branch at 7am for my 730am class, fuelled by an "almond milkshake" smoothie (recipe from Honestly Healthy). Feeling a little under the weather too, I had considered staying in bed, but I'm working on integrity this month. Staff at reception were great and got me fully clued up (directions to the changing rooms, how to use the lockers, where the pool was, which pool, who the instructor would be).

Keen as ever, I'm by the pool ten minutes early with the realisation that I actually have no idea what I'm in for. I did get to have a quick chat with Ryan, our Instructor, who explained to me how the session normally works. 730am on the dot and it was straight into the pool (considerably warmer than the pool I take my lessons in). At this point, I was the only person in attendance so Ryan asked to see both my breaststroke and front crawl - 2 lengths of each.

Before I knew it, he had me practising my front crawl kick (using a kick board), front crawl arms (using a pull buoy), breaststroke timing (pull, glide, kick) then onto breathing technique. During my recovery periods, I learned a little about Ryan too - a triathlete - which means he has an understanding of my journey. Ryan also gave me some advice for outside of the pool - to work on upper body strength in the gym, core strength and hip flexor flexibility (something I also got told by Alastair (Physio) from Pure Sports Med).

We finished off the 45 minute session with a little backstroke (legs only). I don't remember ever having learnt / done backstroke in my life! Considering that one month ago, I had never attempted front crawl I'm pretty proud of the progress I am making. I'm so looking forward to completing my triathlon swim - just the thought of that motivates me to keep pushing.


I'm so glad to know there are resources out there for adults learning to swim or looking to improve their technique.

Would you class yourself as a swimmer?!


Elle :) 


p.s a huge thanks to Nuffield Health for letting me gate crash their class! I was not paid for this review, nor even asked to share about this class! It's all for my own benefit ;) and to share with you! 

15.1.15

Guest Post: January Greens Smoothie

I'm not a big fan of January. Once Christmas is over, I feel like winter should be too. But it isn't. Because January happens. And January is the month of detoxing and smug resolutions, isn't it? So nobody's allowed to have any fun! It's also a time when there are lots of coughs and colds doing the rounds, and it's easy to feel a bit lacklustre.

Well, hey, don't worry, because here's a smoothie that'll make you feel brilliant. It's a lower-sugar option than most green drinks (many of which contain loooads of apple juice and not much else), stuffed full of vitamin-yielding greens. So that ticks the smug box. A bit of maté ('happy tea') or matcha will put a spring in your step, and an immune-system-boosting kick up the butt comes courtesy of fresh ginger and cayenne pepper.

Do your worst, January; we got this!





January Greens Smoothie


Ingredients:

2 large handfuls of kale and spinach
1 small stick of celery 
1/2 apple
1 ripe kiwi
Small handful of mint leaves
Chunk of lemon
1 inch ginger
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon maté tea / matcha green powder
1-2 tablespoons hemp protein powder (I used Pulsin') (optional)
200-300ml unsweetened almond milk/ coconut milk / water plus 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract / coconut water



Method: 

1. Roughly chop all of the fruit, veg and ginger.
2. Blend everything together, adding more milk or water if needed.
3. Drink up, and say goodbye to the January blues.



Kate :) 



As a singer, yoga teacher and lover of all things tasty, I'm constantly reviewing my connection with my body - and, by extension, the food I eat. I got into cooking in my early teens, when creating the perfect brownie was the biggest life problem I faced. Now, after digestive problems, sugar crashes and migraines have led me to a largely sugar-,grain-, and dairy-free existence, my love of cooking is driven by the search for food that is satisfying and nourishing. And just so you know, I consider eating almond butter from the jar (daily) both satisfying and nourishing..."

Follow Kate on Instagram: @misskatelister or check out her band at www.thefoobirds.co.uk 

13.1.15

TRI | CHECK | DO: Windsor Triathlon Support

I'm not sure I fully announced this, but it is fully happening! On Sunday 14th June 2015 I'll be taking part in the 25th anniversary Windsor Triathlon. I'll be completing the Sprint distance which is composed of a 750m swim, 30km cycle and a 5km cycle.

This will be a major achievement for me; being a triathlete virtually never entered my mind until the end of 2014. So this little series - TRI | CHECK | DO will be short and sweet posts about my progress, updates and what I'm learning on my journey to become a triathlete.

This particular post is about the support structure that I have on hand to help me get to the start line and then smash my goal.

Swimming | Strictly Swimming 


I organised lessons myself late last year as I felt I needed to start sooner rather than later. Learning to swim again was a goal I always had, but never articulated. So what better way to smash that goal?!

Life Coaching | Jeff at The Tonic 

Well I never thought I would need / have a life coach but I met up with Jeff in December last year and talked over the plan - where I was, where I need to be etc. He brought me down to earth actually. I realised that if I was going to succeed, I needed to do what I don't normally do, live in integrity (hence my post earlier this month). I also realised after chatting with him that I need to up my game on the swimming front. I need to drag my butt to the pool outside of my lessons and get the practice in.

Training | RG Active 

Marsha from RG Active will be putting together training programmes for us. I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with. I'm not an expert in the field of triathlon so I would have no idea where to start. I'll be sure to share info on my plan when I get it...

Fitness Testing | Sports Science Consultants 


Just before Christmas, I headed up to North London to meet Richard of SSC for some fitness testing in the form of a VO2 max test and some body composition analysis. The results were fascinating and I'm excited to receive my full report to share what I learnt with you!

Physiotherapy | Pure Sports Medicine 

Alastair will be working with me to assess any imbalances I have as well as help me treat any injuries I pick up on the way to the start line. I attended for my initial assessment last week and came out with some great tips and some homework. Areas for me to work on are my calves (so so tight!), my hip flexors (need stretching), my glutes (need to get activated) and my arms when I run need some work on positioning.

Nutrition | Rhian Stephenson 

I'm currently completing my 7 day food diary to share with Rhian before I meet her for my assessment. I'd love to learn more about how to fuel my body for strenuous activity as recently I've been running into trouble when I don't time my meals well around exercising. I'll share more soon...

Workouts | Psycle London 

Psycle London, based in Regents Street have provided me with 2 sessions per week in the lead up to race day. Although I do cycle commute, it's very stop start and I don't get up to any crazy speeds. Spin class will help me to get some speed in my legs and like for the duathlon I can do BRICK sessions by running home after class.

Warm Up | Garmin Eton Super Sprints 

On Sunday 17th May I'll be getting some practice in at a smaller, shorter event! At first I was like, omg I have to be ready for then, but realistically I should be at the point anyway! It will be great experience for swimming in open water....with other people and to get a full, BRICK session in. I'm hoping to also get some practice in with a wetsuit.

What's left?! 

I need to improve my swimming wardrobe a bit. Vain maybe, but I'd love a couple extra swimsuits to add to my collection! I currently have one I purchased about 10 years ago and one from Speedo I bought over Christmas as I needed a dry one to take to swimming.

I'm also looking for a pool that I can train in and ways to get more into water activities. I'm organising to try out the new SwimFit class which launched at Nuffield Health Gyms this year. More time in the water equals more progress.

Finally 

A huge Thank You to Human Race for setting everything up and looking after us all so well! I honestly don't think I could have done this, this year, without all the support I have to get me to the start line!

Are you a triathlete?! Any beginner tips / need to knows for me?! 

What's your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for 2015?! 

Elle :) 

12.1.15

Premium Paleo: debbie&andrews Sausages


It's the start of January, right before I start Whole30 round 3 and I have these sausages to review. At 97% pork, free from wheat, dairy and gluten they are actually Whole30 compliant but on this particular day I'm all about convenience. So I grab a pot, an uncooked baguette, an onion and dinner is done in 15 minutes. 


They were easy to cook (I followed the recipe and shallow fried in a little butter) and tasted pretty damned good. I was put off sausages during my last whole30...can't explain why / what, but the ones I had just didn't taste great. 

I cooked the whole packet of 6 (at my mums) and then took the others home with me ready for Whole30. Day 1 and 2, I knocked up a bowl of sausage, boiled egg, avocado and tomato. Even quicker and easier to make than the sausage baguette! 


I have another pack in the freezer to whip out when I visit my mum next. I plan on making some bangers and mash, a full english breakfast and then experimenting to create a whole30 compliant quiche (stay tuned for that one!). I've also just ordered an extra pack from Tesco (currently £2.50) to have on hand as they do freeze very well! 

Not much else to say really! They tasted delicious...they are very, very good quality with no added nasties and not a bad price! 

If you fancy trying the debbie&andrews Harrogate 97% Pork Sausages, they are readily available at Tesco and Asda! You can also sign up for mouth watering recipes, money off coupons and competitions at www.debbieandandrews.co.uk ...

Do you have any favourite sausage recipes to share with us?! Whole30 or not! 

Elle :) 

9.1.15

Know Your Matcha?!


I've been coveting matcha green tea for a while so when the opportunity came up to try some ceremonial grade matcha from Kiss Me Organics, who I am not to give it a go! I've seen people talking about the many benefits of matcha and taking month long challenges to boost their energy!

Why Matcha Green Tea?!

 - The nutrients in matcha are equivalent to 10 cups of steeped green tea

The time of day that I need a boost most is in the morning. So I looked up recipes to try and opted for the 'Almond Milk Matcha Green Tea Latte' - warming on the current chilly winter mornings!


Almond Milk Matcha Green Tea Latte


Ingredients | 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp matcha powder, agave syrup to taste

Method | stir in matcha powder to 1/4 cup of water and stir till smooth, whilst you warm your almond milk (3/4 cup). Add almond milk to matcha mixture and stir. Add agave syrup (or sweetener of choice) to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp).




So now it's time to get experimenting! I've been on Pinterest and seen all sorts...from face masks to smoothies...both of which I will be trying and sharing with you! I'm currently on Whole30 though so no baking for the time being!

But in the meantime, if you have a great recipe which features matcha, please share the link / recipe with me below in the comments! 


Elle :) 

8.1.15

How Not to Sell Your Soul as a Blogger


I recently had a conversation with a colleague who works on the "Brand" side of things. We were talking about how they choose which bloggers to work with and what they expect. One of her comments was "not to sell your soul". This really resonated with me so I thought I would share with you my thoughts and suggestions on this...

1. Be clear on your own "brand"

I've spent the last two years working out what my blog is all about. I wouldn't say I'm 100% sure now but I am certainly sure what my blog is not about. Doing my "blog makeover" a couple months ago really helped me to get in my mind's eye what the keep it simpElle brand is all about. That was brought to life by the graphic designer and produced what you see here, now.

2. Stay authentic to the brands that you love

There are certain brands I've loved for as long as I can remember and those are the brands I aspire to work with now. I'll also work with brands I don't know...so I can learn about them and find out if they "fit" for me. I never want to spread negativity and after all my opinion is just that, my opinion. So if I don't love a product / experience I won't share it. If I do, I will, then it's down to you to make your own informed choices!

3. Know when to say no

I've said no to "doga" (I believe this was yoga with your dog...I don't have a dog). I've also said to to any unpersonalised email that lands in my inbox.

4. If it doesn't feel right, don't post it

Sometimes you write a post and don't click publish. You're not sure why. It just doesn't feel right. Follow your instinct. If your post doesn't excite you, it won't excite others. Come back to it at a later date. I recently published a post that was in my drafts for over a year. By the time I read it back one year later, it was way more interesting. To see where I am now compared to where I was then was exciting.

5. Give feedback to the brands you work with

It's good practice to share both positive feedback and give constructive criticism. Stay in communication with the brand you are working with. I strive to inform them when I receive any product, when I plan for my post to go live and then send through a link when my post is live. If I chose not to write about a product then I feed this back to the brand.

6. Always be honest with your opinion

In the USA it seems that it is the law to share with readers when you've been compensated. I get that. It isn't the law yet over here in the UK (correct me if I am wrong?!) but I guess we might as well start doing it now so we don't get caught out when things change. It's also common courtesy to state when you use affiliate links. I just created a new tag 'affiliate' to show when I am using them. I currently am only using affiliate links for 4 brands that I love (incase you're wondering they are MyProtein, LessBounce, Simply Supplements and Activ Instinct). It will never become the case that every post uses them.

7. Build and maintain relationships 

When you get a chance, reach out to some of your contacts and share what's coming up on your blog. If you have ideas for how you can work together, share those too. I mean, what's the worse that could happen?! You get a "thanks, but no thanks" response?! You don't get a response?! No big deal!

This one also goes for other bloggers too! No one reads blogs like bloggers do! They'll be your allies! I created a group on Facebook called London Bloggers so that we could share opportunities, ideas and support each other! ...I love to share amazing things with other bloggers! Turning up to events and knowing a few faces is the best feeling in the world!

8. Credit your sources 

If you use a picture that is not your own, be sure to mention where you got it from! I used a picture from pinterest once, edited it a little but kept the artists name on it. I was then contacted by that artist who threatened me with legal action. Since then, I tend not to use images other than my own; keeps things simple.

Whether yo u blog or just read blogs...any more tips or feedback for us?! What do you look for in a blog? What are your thoughts on advertising? Affiliate links? 

Elle :) 

6.1.15

Sweat etc. December 2014

That's it. 2014 is done. Here is a short recap of my final month of training.  

This was the plan for December: 

December 2014

1. Weekly schedule: run to plan, swimming 1x, yoga 1x, other 1x

1. Weekly Schedule: run to plan, swimming 1x, yoga 1x, other 1x 

Week 1: run, run club, swim
Week 2: yoga run club, swim
Week 3: speed run, tempo run (run club), long run
Week 4: swim, tempo run
Week 5: long run, speed run, tempo run

During December, my half marathon training plan (10 weeks) for Brighton Half, kicked in.


It was also Christmas, New Years and some unpredicted illness in the form of a stomach ulcer. If it's any consolation though (to myself) the wrist injury I seemed to have acquired in November subsided and my knee has been behaving itself. You win some, you lose some.

Before I move on...

Simply Supplements Black Garlic Review 


Last month, I ran a giveaway on the blog to win 3 months supply of Black Garlic from Simply Supplements. I tried it out myself of course too so I could share with those who didn't win the contest (p.s I'm currently running a giveaway for Siberian Ginseng! Check it out and ENTER NOW!!)

I came down with a stomach ulcer last month, but that was nothing to do with immunity. That was an unfortunate incident with some anti-inflammatory medication. But one thing I have realised is that almost everyone around me (at work, on public transport, even my mum) has been suffering with coughs and colds through Christmas and the New Year. Even though I have been in close contact with all these people, I have been lucky enough (touch wood) not to have picked anything up myself! I'm not saying this is wholly down to the Black Garlic I have been taking but I am pretty sure it must've helped!

BalletBeFit DVD 


I love a good fitness DVD for the days when you can't / don't want to leave your house and also for inspiration. I was sent a copy of BalletBeFit to try out. It's a one hour ballet inspired workout featuring a warm up, main workout and cool down. My favourite section has to be the Centre Work - it hits up cardio and your upper body. Workout, Sculpt and Enhance...that's what we all want, right?!

Focus Forward to 2015...


TBC...

So much has happened in 2014! I started crossfit, started swimming lessons, ran my second half marathon, completed my first ever duathlon...just to name a few! I wanna let it all sink in for a while...


Start as I mean to go on, I ran my resolutions. 

I have a lot to focus on already for 2015. I have 3 half marathons and 2 triathlons before the end of June. I also have the London Winter Run coming up in around 3 weeks. I've been following my half marathon training plan (currently one run behind schedule, but I hope to make that up at some point) and am back at swimming lessons. Run club starts back up this week too so that will help to keep me accountable. I have so much planned to complete in 2015 which makes me excited; I'll be sure to share my way to focus on 2015 goals soon! 

Really simpElle, eh?!

What's on the cards for 2015 then?! What method are you using to set goals for the year ahead?! 


Elle :) x

5.1.15

The "REAL" Cost of Getting Fit!


So after the barrage of posts over the holidays looking back at 2014 it was inevitable that the posts about goals for 2015 would follow. For the last couple of years I chose goals on a month by month basis to work towards my annual, 5 year and 10 year goals (for health, career and personal).

Not much has changed for this year though, except what will be overarching my goals; just one word.

I didn't plan on this method - it just came to me one evening as I was walking home in the rain and thinking. I decided my word for 2015 would be CONFIDENCE. I would work to apply that to my health, career and personal life.

I then decided I would have a word for each month. That word for January is INTEGRITY.

Integrity is all about doing what you said you would do, when you said you would do it. And I know we all fall short of this from time to time.

How many times have you said to someone "oh we must catch up" or said "I'll train for my 10km" and then not?! Speaking for myself, I've stepped up to the start line of two half marathons having not trained even though I had enough time beforehand to do so. There was no integrity in what I said and did. This then impacted on my confidence - I knew I could get around the 21km but how well?! In Hackney Half Marathon last year I smashed the first 10km then when my lack of training came into play I beat myself up and lost all confidence. That's not what I want for 2015.

This brings me to the "real" cost of getting fit. How is it that we never seem to reach an ultimate goal? You decide you want to lose 5kg. You lose 2kg. You put on 3kg. Now you need to lose 6kg. But you had a New Years resolution to lose 5kg?! What went wrong?! Your INTEGRITY.

You start sh*t and never finish it. Training programmes - all sorts of challenges, INSANITY, 30 day press up challenge, even hire a Personal Trainer. You decide to eat clean - paleo, whole30, purchase a diet plan. And it never works out! Why?! 

For sure, life gets in the way. But if you REALLY want something, you have to follow through. To maintain integrity requires discipline; self control, rigour and maintaining order. Integrity also includes cleaning up the messes you've made by not doing what you said and breaking your promises (if even just to yourself). Comfort eating due to the guilt of missing a session?! Just take responsibility for what happened, don't make yourself feel worse and move on.

I'm about to start week 4 of my half marathon training (comprising of 3 sessions per week) and I am one session behind. Do I feel bad about this?! No. I was sick and needed the rest. If the opportunity arises for me to squeeze in that missed session somewhere then hell yeah, I will. But for now, it is what it is.

image: Nike Women

So what is the cost to you?! YOUR WORD.

Here are some ways I am working on INTEGRITY in health / fitness for January:

Health | Stick to half marathon training plan; do all distance / speed / pace calculations well in advance for preparation. Complete Whole30. Attend swimming lessons AND swim practice 1-2x per week.

Declare what it is you want achieve. Share it with friends, family, anyone who will listen. Keep a track of your goals (y'know SMART goals and all that) and then share your progress, inspire others and WIN!

Elle :)  

WIN: Want more energy for the New Year?!

What's one way to keep the momentum going in 2015?! When we start to wane a little in regards to our resolutions and our energy levels dip; what options are there?!

I know there will be mornings when I get up and don't feel I have the energy to do what I said I'd do. But if I'm to succeed (my first half marathon is in 7 weeks) I will need to put in the training even on those days I don't feel like it.

One option is a ginseng supplement. Ginseng is believed to help you sustain energy levels as well as strengthening the body against physical and mental stress. Some people have even found it to help them increase concentration and alertness


Simply Supplements have kindly sponsored a giveaway so you can try them yourselves! You can enter NOW via the rafflecopter plug-in below!

Entries close on 19th January 2015 and are open to all those in the United Kingdom.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

You can also get yourself 15% off Korean & Siberian Ginseng at Simply Supplements exclusive to 'keep it simpElle". Use code ENGY15 valid all the way through January 2015!


What are your favourite supplements for energy?! 

Elle :) 
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