Saturday, 29 June 2013

Running Events so far

A huge part of my motivation to keep running is booking into running events, particularly when I first started running and struggled to find the motivation to get out the door. I've done two events to date, Energizer night run and the We own the night Nike and Elle Magazine 10km. Here's a little about those two runs and some top tips for race day.

Energizer Night Run

This was my first ever running event. I was terrified. I booked it after a few pitiful runs as something to work towards, and to distract me from the life altering exams I was about to do. I chose this as my first race as it looked fun and a lot less intimidating that most of the other races I looked at. I stuck to the training plan on their website and despite still being painfully slow, made it to race day.
(I'm the midget in the middle) 

The run itself was a night,with the start and after party in a huge venue with a lots of entertainment, food and most importantly a bar for afterwards (although before may have been a good idea considering how nervous I was!!) Luckily I'd bullied the boy and BFF to do the run with me. The entire run was done with head torches on and luminous orange tee shirts.

Approaching the start I was petrified, but my trusty playlist of my fave running songs pushed me through the start line, and I didn't stop running until the end. Completing the 10km and running the whole thing was such a huge achievement for me and I was buzzing at the end, with a time of 1:06.

First ever medal - Yeay!!!

We own the night

Having completed my first 10km, I promptly came home and signed up for another 10km and a half marathon. We own the night was a women's only 10km in my local Victoria Park, where I do a lot of my training. Again it sounded fun and not so intimidating. However, I hadn't managed to bully anyone to do it with me, so this time I turned up alone, pertified and feeling a little unfit after 2 weeks of training with a bad case of the flu. Again we had a luminous orange top, but this time made from the nike tri fit which was great!

The start was a little disorganised and busy but we soon got into the flow of things. The boy and a few friends came to cheer me on, a god send at 6km when I felt like I might die. I did beat my time by 2 mins, which was great considering the flu, and the atmosphere was fantastic, but I didn't really enjoy doing the run on my own. But still 1:04. The toughest bit was all my training had been in freezing January - March and I hadn't done any running in the heat. It was an extremely warm and humid day, and I just wasn't prepared for it!

Did anyone else do these runs? What did you think?


London Fields Fitness

After years of trying to find ways to exercise that didnt leave me soul destroyed and depressed, last year I discovered the delightful London Fields Fitness Studio in East London. It was on the boy's bday last year, with the big 3-0 approaching we made a list of things we wanted to achieve before the 3-0 milestone and  I suggested we aimed to be the fittest we'd ever been by thirty.

We'd both had gym memberships in the past, but will little accountability neither of us got very far with getting fit. I had a personal trainer once before and found it a fantastic way of getting fit, especially having someone who knows what they're talking about and has a go at you if you don't work hard enough.

We discovered London Fields Fitness through simple googling, and started training with Roger back in November. A great thing about the studio is you pay for your PT and get lots of the classes in the week for free.

The PT sessions were and continue to be tough, with Roger gently raising the bar week in week out. But actually, the whole process has been really enjoyable! And I always look forward to our sessions, even if they end up being 8 am on a sunday morning. We both quickly saw results, not just physically, but in our actual fitness. And it was so nice doing exercise outside in our local parks. Fantastic. Roger listens to clients and really tailors training plans to their goals, despite the boy and I wanting very different things from our sessions, Roger found ways to make the sessions work for us both.

The classes are great as well. With all the trainers being friendly and fun, and the clients equally friendly!

Here's the low down on a few of my favourite classes that I've tried

1. Run Hackney

So obviously this is a running class, it took me a long time to get the guts to tried it. Ade is a great trainer, adapting the sessions depending on everyone's running experience. And she was extremely encouraging of each client there, with tailored advice on each person's running style. Amazing. She also run's other running workshops and is park of Good Gym, a running group that does community projects around east london and  she is definately a good egg.

2. Fit to the Core

This class started at the beginning of the year, run by the lovely but tough Jo. She focuses of general fitness, regular fitness testing, intervals and lots and lots of core. You'll feel like you're gonna die at points. But it works! Its one of my favourite classes at the studio.

3. Circuits with Roger

The loveliest circuits class at London fields. Tough but with a lovely bunch of regulars and Roger's very cheesy music collection. The class can be adapted to suit your fitness, with Roger pushing you to do harder exercises if he thinks your not working hard enough!

4. London Fields Army boot Camp

I'm not gonna lie, this was always the scariest class for me. And it took a good 5/6 months before I actually tried it. To make matters worse, the first time I went I was the only girl there. PANIC. But its a really fun class. Different ever week with lots of cardio and tough exercises whilst being shouted at by the lovely Dean (he's much friendlier than you think he'll be). And actually being the only girl was great. All the boys were cheering me along!

5. Warriors

90 mins of fitness and boxing? your having a laugh. For those dedicated enough to give up their friday evening! A really tough class but with lots of encouragement, no matter how slow you run or how few press ups you can do! Great if you want to see results fast!

Happy Training


Post Run treat

Now I know these are probably the opposite off all advice you'll ever read about post work out nutrition, but after my longest run to date yesterday of 8 miles, I came home to this litter gift from my lovely man. Yum.  Always good to treat yourself after a good run.


Kit you need to start running

Most of what I've learn about running kit, I've learnt the hard way. When I started getting strict with exercise, I soon realised a pair of old leggings, a few tee shirts from charity events and some clearance trainers weren't really going to suffice!

Buying exercise gear can be hugely overwhelming with so many brands, reviews, tips, not to mention very opinionated friends! Here's a little list of what I think you need to get started, with some brands I've found fantastic and (mostly) affordable

1. Trainers

As mentioned, I started this process with very old, very cheap trainers which quite frankly did my knees more harm than the good all the running was doing. Countless people told me to go "get my gait assessed" at a running shop. I eventually gave in, took myself off to Asics, puffed on the treadmill, to emerge with my first proper pair of trainers. As boy did they make a different. Firstly running was easier. Secondly my knees and hips stopped hurting. And thirdly (and probably most importantly) I almost looked the part. Tons of stores do gait assessment now. If your not worried about a particular brand, I'd really recommend Runner's Need. They've got a huge selection and are really friendly and helpful.

2. Leggings

When I started running, I had one pair of "sports" trousers, a very old pair of rebok joggers, circa 2003. Nice. I was initially quite reluctant to convert to leggings, as thought they were make for skinny tall women who look like they do every form of exercise under the sun, not 5 ft nothing slightly cuddly women with a complex about her thighs. However, I knew I needed some new kit and a friend recommended H&Ms sport  section, which proved to be affordable and functional as well as rather stylish. Its amazing how much better you run with leggings rather than baggy joggers. You have to try it to believe it. I love these babies!

H&M 3/4 Running Leggings £19.99

3. Tops

As much as I prefer not to get my arms out, running vests really are the best way to keep cool whilst running, as well as a light weight jacket. I've found in general anything made of cotton is bad. It sticks, gets very sweaty and uncomfortable and rubs (I've got the scars to prove it!) Resorting to my bargainous finds at H&M Sport, these tops are great and a snip at £7.99!
H & M sports Top £7.99

4. Bra

This is a lady specific item. Sports Bras. They are worth their weight in gold. Not to mention protect our assets whilst pounding the pavement. Don't scrimp here. Especially if your rather well endowed in the chest department. Personally I use Shock Absorber Bras and get them fitted at Bravissimo. My fave is this Run Bra, which comes in fab colours!
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra 

5. Accessories

Accessories are really up to you. I run with a water bottle in one hand and Iphone in the other, but I know lots of people who free run with nothing, and others with a backpack full of treats, energy bars, cash, coconut water, you name it. I found it took a few months of running and 2 events to realise what suited me. I've found the Sweat Shop great for accessories and reasonably priced as well.

Happy Running


Dear Readers,

Welcome to my new blog "trainers and treats". I've been wanting to start a fashion and lifestyle blog for a while, but realised most of my blog ideas sprung from my new found love of running, as well a food.

At the start of the year, I could barely run around my local park without resembling a character from Lord of the rings. I  hated running. It was uncomfortable, unnatural and I just could not do it. I wasn't even willing to try. I even told my new personal trainer Roger from London Fields Fitness, i'll do anything to get fit, but just don't make me run.

January came with the launch of Elle Running Club, a challenge to run 5 km in a month and finally something clicked. I remember heading of for my first proper run, a merger 2 km, and was so chuffed when I made it home, alive and buzzing. With the help of the guys at London Fields Fitness, Elle running club and some fab inspirational books, I've now completed 2 10km runs with another booked and a half marathon in the pipeline in September.

I hope this blog inspires new and old runners a like with tips, kit and delicious food to fuel your runs