Hayley’s Workout Recap // Week 1

postpic1(Yep, they’re cat hairs completely covering my shins… happens every morning around breakfast time! Oscar tries his best to get tangled up in my legs saying ‘hello’ or (more likely) ‘it’s breakfast time, damnit! Feed me woman!’)

Hi guys, sorry this is a day late but we are still without internet and I didn’t have the time to get online yesterday…

I meticulously documented my workouts last week and then I went and closed the page down without saving it… what a wally!! Apparently I have terrible short term memory cause I’m struggling to remember everything that I did but will cobble it together as best I can!

Monday – Nina and I hit the leisure centre to complete as close to a ‘brick’ workout as possible. Obviously jumping straight out of the pool and onto a bike was impossible but we tried to reduce time in between the two! We did;

  • 45 minutes in the pool. It was a bit of a bust for me as far as a ‘workout’ goes but it was useful to work on breathing technique and body positioning in the water.
  • We then completed a hilly 30 minutes on the bike & finished up with;
  • A quick strength workout that went something (I’m sure I’m forgetting something, Nina?) like this;
  1. 3 x 5 unassisted overhand pull-ups (It has taken me freakin’ ages to get to this point but I’m determined to be banging out 3 sets of 10 soon!!)
  2. 3 x 10 Deadlifts
  3. 3 x 10 Chest press
  4. 3 x 10 Hack squats (the last set KILLED me!)

Tuesday – I’m pretty sure that in the morning we did Max Pylo from month 2 of Insanity and then we hit the lido to tan and swim… perfect day! 🙂

Wednesday – I’m also pretttty sure that today was another Insanity special… Max Interval Training from month 2.

Thursday – Today I did a litte sprint workout on the treadmill, it went like this;

  • 5 mins – Walking
  • 5 mins – Tempo run

and then…

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  • In between the 2 sets I did 2 minutes at a recovery pace (6.5)
  • I then finished the run with 5 minutes cool down.

(I know I could have gone a fair bit faster but didn’t fancy face planting on the treadmill!)

Then onto the 2nd part of the workout!

  • The bike – 30 minutes interval training (I forget the exact structure but I kept it varied and HARD!)

FridayI can’t for the life of me remember what else I did today (I think I swam?!) but I know I wanted to try the sprint thang again but a little faster this time so I hit the gym and did;

  • 5 mins – Walking
  • 5 mins – Tempo run

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  • Once again in between the 2 sets I did 2 mins at a recovery pace (6.5)
  • And then 5 mins cool down to finish.

(Again, I know I can go faster so will increase a little more next time!)

Saturday – I wanted to push myself a little harder on the bike today so I did a pretty evil (it felt pretty evil to me, anyways!) 55 minute workout that went like this;

  1. 20 mins @ level 11
  2. 15 mins @ level 13
  3. 10 mins @ level 15
  4. 5 mins@ 18 (In these 5 minutes I incorporated 3 x 30 seconds out of the saddle climbing @ level 25)
  5. 5 mins @ level 10 cool down

I then jumped straight on the treadmill and did a little 10 minute run, just to see how my legs could cope with the switch;

  1. 5 mins @ 6 / 6.5 (incline 1%)
  2. 5 mins @ 6.5 / 7 (incline 1%)

Let it be noted here that although I HATE running on the treadmill, my ankles seem to go all stiff and my shins hurt and my pace feels all uneven, this little run wasn’t too bad so maybe I just need to get used to it again! Will keep you posted!

I finished this workout off with a quick little circuit, I did this x 3;

  1. 25 secs – Burpees (chest right down to the floor!)
  2. 25 secs – pushups 
  3. 25 secs – plank

SundayREST DAY! I was also a leetle hungover after going out for cocktails with this girl…

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… so the rest day was much needed! 😉

All in all I’m happy with the week but I need to make more time for swimming as that’s my main priority right now! I actually found a pretty perfect 12 week training plan in a Triathlon magazine so I’m gonna try it for a bit and see how it fits! I know that I need the structure of a training plan and it’s better if it’s one formulated by a professional as I’m MUCH more likely to stick to it! Will let you know how it goes!

As for the rest of the week, and the reason I was out drinking cocktails…

I am now officially a Dietetics student!! Meep!!! I’m so excited to get stuck in I can’t even tell you! Feeling very lucky and grateful right about now, that’s for sure!

What are you grateful for this week??

Lots of love, Hayley

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Who are you?

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I found this little quote on Caitlin’s Instagram and I just had to steal it and share with you guys. Thanks, Caitlin!

It’s so easy to let negativity creep in and before you know it, it’s running the damn show! Making you feel less than worthy of living the awesome life that you deserve. So, set the intention each morning that you are going to be the very best version of you possible and then don’t let anything convince you otherwise!

Personally speaking I have been having a bit of a crapfest of a week and I’m having to work extra hard to stay upbeat and positive but one thing that has really been helping is, I’m sure you can all guess.. training and training hard! I had an awesome little sweat fest of a workout this morning (seriously, who needs Bikram in this weather?!) and it picked me right back up! It involved sprint training on the treadmill, interval training on the bike and a little arms based circuit to finish (me) off. I will share it with my little weekly training recap on Monday!

Lots of love, Hayley xx

Fitness is Free!

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Ok, so I used to be a gym snob. I thought that if you weren’t handed a fluffy towel with a polite smile whilst entering a slick, immaculate interior…then my workout just wasn’t worth the effort. I’ve had my fair share of eye-wateringly expensive gym memberships with contracts that commit way beyond your hip joints will ever allow. I’ve been a member where wheatgrass smoothies were on tap, Adonis-like figures offered to mop your brow and fitness classes resembled a model agency casting.

Now however, I’m a student and I’m broke. I rely on ‘home workouts’ (more of that later) alongside my usual running and a super-cheap membership to easyGym. Yes, it’s a ‘Stelios special’, with orange walls and a distinctly budget feel to it. But it has everything you need: cardio equipment, weights, studio classes and even personal training advice should you need it. I train with the other Iron Maidens here and to be fair, we get the job DONE.
If you’re sticking to a serious budget and wanting to increase your fitness, my first thought is always; RUN. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s buildable, it’s THERE. Nothing is stopping you and it’s the most natural form of exercise I can think of! Get a decent pair of trainers, some lightweight clothes and you’re sorted. Start slowly, be realistic and enjoy! Running tends to show results quicker than any other form of exercise In terms of stamina and endurance, just remember to start off slowly (walk-run-walk) and increase your mileage gradually (no more than 10% per week).
If running isn’t your thing, or you want to supplement it, then working out at home is another free option. There are millions of YouTube videos dedicated to fitness, but to be honest, most of them are very poor. I highly recommend one channel: Fitness Blender. They focus on HIIT (hi intensity interval training) and also have dozens of well informed, euipment-free, body weight training videos to build strength and endurance. The videos are simple, clear, free of annoying music/dodgy skin shots and they frequently upload.
Be creative! Building fitness or making changes to your body involves regularly mixing things up and trying new techniques. Take inspiration from some CrossFit style workouts (see YouTube) and use objects or items around you or whilst you are out running to challenge new muscle groups and keep your body guessing. Next time you spot those monkey bars in your local park, have a go! Keep things interesting and use your imagination (within reason…no advanced parkour just yet).
So, how do you stay fit for free? What tips do you have to keep things fun and interesting for those stuck in a rut??
Sarah xxx

Soooooo…

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It’s been a while, I know, sorry guys! Me and Nina have been having nightmares with our internet and have been offline for going on three weeks now! It goes from driving me mad to being actually quite liberating but I do know that I have missed contributing to this little space of ours, especially with it being so new and all!

We’re currently in the midst of a little scorcher of a heatwave here in London and I’m loving every second of it! Well, apart from those seconds when I am working, then, not so much! Anyhoo, I am currently NOT working and have parked my newly sunburnt tanned self in a lovely airconditioned starbucks and am enjoying an iced latte and more importantly… FREE WIFI!!! Whoop! So, I just wanted to update you guys on how our training has been going. It’s been a crazy few weeks for all of us what with one thing and another… (interviews, new jobs, crazy long hours and trips out of the country all featuring heavily in the mish-mash that has been our schedules!) and if I’m completely honest, the plan has totally gone out of the window (shock!) and we have had to approach training with a more ‘fit it in where we can’ attitude. We kind of knew that these first few weeks would be a bit trial and error but I know that we will find our rhythm soon and then we will be unstoppable, right? Right??! 😉

Because of this we’re thinking that maybe a weekly recap from each of us would give you guys a better idea of what we are actually doing, it will also serve as a handy little training diary for us which I think will be really valuable in showing us our weak spots and therefore how to improve. A friend of mine who is also training for his first triathlon recommended this book and I have pretty much been carrying it everywhere and poring through it every time I have a spare second. It’s quite heavy going but I’m definitely picking up bits and bobs here and there and can really see the value in having a book like this to learn from and then refer back to.

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Anyway, starbucks seems to be filled with screaming, devil children and groups of people talking loudly over one another so that is definitely my cue to get the hell outta here!!

Will hopefully be back soon!

Lots of love, Hayley

The Road to Recovery

Signpost along the road to recovery.

I never wanted my first ever post on here to be a negative one, but let me just get this out there: being injured sucks!! There. Over with. Now let’s move onto the positives….

Whether you have a knee ‘niggle’ or a dodgy shoulder or you full-on break a bone (hands up for multiple fractures!) you will undoubtedly have been given the advice to rest and recover. And when you’re a fit, healthy individual with a motivation to train; this can sound like the most depressing prospect ever. You will be bored, you will crave the endorphins, you will fret about losing fitness, but you will also be giving your body the best chance possible to come back stronger than ever before.

I am not a fitness professional and so cannot possibly give specific post-recovery training advice. But I can point out a few positives to your recovery period to help keep you feeling sane (this comes from personal experience, believe me).

  1. You will train again. And you will return gradually and with due care, which actually in turn helps build stamina/endurance rather than just hammering the treadmill for hours on end as soon as you’re given the green light to do so.
  2. You will discover cross-training. If you’re a runner, you might have to start using the bike or swimming for a while. Multi-disciplinary training will transform your abilities, aid fat loss (yes, weight gain can happen in recovery it ain’t the end of the world) and give you new found motivation.
  3. That feeling when you can finally run, lift, bike etc again for the first time in what-feels-like-forever, will be special. My first long-distance run after being sofa-bound for many, many months was almost emotional I was so happy!
  4. Allow yourself a limited time to feel sad or unlucky to be injured. Then put those couple of days behind you and move on. Plan and research what you can and can’t do over your recovery period. Once I was out of plaster, I discovered ‘pool-running’ (google it), you feel like an idiot but it got my heart racing and that was enough to put a smile back on my face.
  5. Treat yourself for every week you have the patience to allow your recovery to happen. I saved a bit of cash and bought a few new snazzy work-out tops ready for when I could get back into the gym.

Even if you aren’t injured (and never intend to be obvs) taking time to recover is essential. Your body has a threshold and trying to push that threshold until breaking point simply shows a lack of respect for everything it currently allows you to do. I’m all for ‘no pain, no gain’ but if you’re ignoring serious pain signals or worries, take a step back and think about the long-term. You want your knees to keep you up and running for many more years yet, right?!

I’ll be back soon with some low-impact alternatives which I often use whilst training with Iron Maidens, so keep an eye out for those too. Until then, thanks for reading everyone!

Sarah xxx

My 1st swim sesh & the sad realisation that I’m more frightened Hippo and less Dara Torres.

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Sooo… swimming. People make it look so easy, don’t they?! I’m lookin’ at you Nina!!! Swooshing gracefully up and down the lanes. Well, I’m here to call bullshit on it all (Name that movie?! Ha!)! It’s HARD! Last week I got in the pool for my first unofficial swimming lesson. Nina just wanted to see where I was at before we started on training properly.

As soon as I stepped my toe into the water I felt a quiet sense of dread rising up, by the time I was fully submerged it had turned into fully fledged panic. Things got even worse when it was time to attempt the whole front crawl, head under water, breathing out every three strokes thang. I breathed in when under water, swallowed what felt like whole lung-fulls of chlorinated water. I then forgot (or just froze, I’m not sure!) to breathe in when my head was out of water. I was a mess. Little kids were laughing. (Ok so I might be being a tad melodramatic here, just a  tad though…)

When I finally got into some kind of rhythm I would approach the (seriously) deep end of the pool, see that hideous drop, go into panic mode and have to stop for a second before I swam over it. This was totally irrational. I mean, I can swim, I’m strong… worst case scenario I could have done the ‘head above water front crawl’ or breast stroke, or even the doggy paddle! Ha!

Anyway it was frustrating! I felt so far out of my comfort zone it was untrue and it had me seriously worrying about the whole triathlon thing.

But (and thankfully there is a HUGE but) I went again the next day on my own and just plugged away at it. I practised my breathing at one end of the pool. To do this I just held the side of the pool and kicked my legs back, keeping my back arched slightly to help keep me in the right position. Your feet should be splashing at water level (not completely underwater) and your whole face should be submerged. Then I just practiced breathing in over one shoulder, putting my face back underwater, breathing out for the count of 3 and then breathing in over the opposite shoulder. I did this for a while, just to get used to it. It really helped to calm me down. Then I tried some lengths… I was still hideous BUT much better than the day before.

After a couple of these sessions but in a smaller pool. I decided to pull on my big girl pants and revisit the dreaded only slightly bigger huge pool. I used a pool buoy to really focus on building my arms and I did 20 x 33m with a 45 sec break in between each length. I know that probably doesn’t seem impressive at all to any confident swimmers out there but for me this was a huge improvement! By huge improvement I mean I felt like fist pumping when I finally finished! Haha!

I also managed to keep my cool when people swam past me going in the opposite direction, plus the pool was a MESS with people just fannying around! Last week they would have splashed me or got in my way and I would have broken my breathing pattern and stopped.

So all in all I’m made up! I just desperately hope know that in 8 weeks (or so) I will be ready, whatever I have to do to get around that lake I will do it!

If you read the first part of this post and felt like I was writing it specifically about you then please just keep at it! You will get there! It’s all about the baby steps, just chip away at it and before you know it you will have made huge leaps and bounds!

If I could offer any tips to fellow beginners, they would be;

  • Wear goggles (decreases panic from water in eyes / not knowing where you’re going etc)
  • Wear a nose clip (decreases panic / the feeling that even though you’re not breathing in water through your mouth you might just breathe in through your schnozz by accident!)
  • Use a pool buoy (they are sent from the heavens!)
  • Aim to visit the pool at a quiet time, also look for ‘adults only’ on the timetable. The less that can put you off your stride (or stroke) the better!
  • Finally… stick with it!!

Good luck!!

Anyone out there got any tips for beginner swimmers? I would love to hear them!

I have heard from a couple of people about waterproof MP3 players?! Not sure if that would help or hinder me… I’m a bit of a liability as it is! Ha! Maybe some meditation music to keep me calm would go down a treat?!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Lots of love, Hayley