7 day countdown


‘The Fear’ of competition time is looming. This time next week I’ll have taken the plunge into London Fields lido and the big bad world of Aquathlons. Starting my preparation week with a hazy hangover head is admittedly not the greatest, but even the Iron Maidens have to swap their trainers for tequila sometimes!

Take this post as my public declaration that this week I will be eating clean, sleeping for at least 10 hours a night and training carefully to give myself a fighting chance of keeping up with the pack.

My nerves are kicking in, which is going to mean a lot of singing ‘Humpty Dumpty’ at the start line. Hopefully, my tri suit, talcum powder and elastic laces will see me through….watch this space and I will fill you in on all the gory details next week, I am VERY lucky to be joined by Anna Meggitt, an old swimming partner who has now got plenty of experience of these events under her belt. She’ll show me how its done!

In other news….I AM OFFICIALLY A PERSONAL TRAINER! My website ‘Whipp you into shape’ will be coming to you shortly! Eeeeek.

Have a lovely week people!

Love N xx

Bit of Inspiration for you… 2012 Ironman World Championship // Kona

Get yourself a cuppa, or better yet, get your bike set up in front of your laptop and settle in to watch last years Ironman World Championship. It’s an emotional ride, kids! Expect a watery eye or two… or maybe that’s just me?! I just can’t get over how incredibly inspirational each and every one of you Ironman finishers are! And Kona? Well that’s just in a league all of it’s own!

Also don’t forget to get October 12th in your diaries! I know me and the other Maidens are planning a Kona themed sleepover, complete with garlands, grass skirts, multiple mai tai’s and live streaming of the Ironman World Championships! Well… the live streaming part is true at least and I’m sure I can get them both on board with the mai tai’s! 😉

What gets you inspired? Are you planning on watching the race?

Lots of love, Hayley

Running solo…

SUCKS!! Well, running anything over 5 miles on your tod, definitely sucks! The desire to just pack it in early and hop on the bus is overwhelming! Ha!


{Will only run for food!}

So yesterday when I set out on my planned 10 miler, sans friends and sans music (the damn cat chewed yet another pair of earphones!) I honestly wasn’t expecting much. The first couple of (flat) miles felt pretty good, I felt light on my feet etc etc but then when I realised I had inadvertently picked a fairly  hilly route, my heart sank! I powered on round as best I could and only stopped a couple of time to check google maps and to have a drink (Sam, how the frig you got around Helvellyn I’ll never know but MUCH respect to you!! P.s You should totally keep blogging AND triathlon-ing!! Ha!) but I know it would have been much easier had I had my running buddies with me. This is obviously something I need to address because if I ever want to get around a middle or (I’m scared to even utter the words…) full distance (gulp) Ironman then I’m gonna have to get used to running much longer distances than this, all on my lonesome.

Anyway I planned out the route in advance and it totalled 10.44 miles… I made a couple of changes en route just by getting lost completely on purpose, obviously, but I know that there wasn’t much difference in it! Anyway the bloody Nike app told me that I only ran 8 miles! Boo hiss! I was just happy it was over to be honest but then when I got home and plotted out my actual route on http://www.runningmap.com , the total came to 9.49 miles ! Yep, I’ll take that one thanks very much! I’ve decided to round it down and call it 9 but I cannot wait to get something more accurate to log my mileage etc.

I’m so tempted to just suck it up and buy the Garmin Forerunner 910XT


It’s so expensive but it sounds fantastic! It does everything I would need it to – for all aspects of triathlon, gets great reviews and I would rather spend the money now than buy a cheaper one and then end up upgrading a few months down the line… justification much?!

What do you guys use? Any tips for getting the best out of this particular device?

After my run I went through my usual routine of food, ice bath, hot shower etc, rested for a while and then, because I’m a real glutton for punishment (and because I’ve really been slacking on my beloved strength training recently), I went to the gym to do some weights. Felt a LOT harder than usual as my body was pretty tired but I’m glad I got it done! These two workouts proceeded to land me in sooooo much trouble with that bloody rumble roller… honestly the noises that were emanating from our living room must have been scary as hell to any passers by but as always, my muscles feel in much better shape than expected this morning. Rumble roller I salute you.

Ooh before I go…

Any tips for running alone? I focused on picking other runners and then trying to catch and overtake them, just to give my mind something else to focus on than ‘Oh god I want to stoppp!’ It kind of worked and it definitely made me work harder than I would have done otherwise!

Lots of love, Hayley

Playing catch up.


(My happy / sweaty / tired / excited / helmet marked head – post bike!)

Apologies for the radio silence the past couple of days! I’ve been working my beeeehind off shooting outside of London, 5am wake ups and then not getting in through the door till 7:30pm has left my days looking exactly something like this… Wake up, walk dogs, eat breakfast, shower, work, home, eat dinner, walk dogs, workout, shower, sleep and repeat. Absolutely zero time for anything else, let alone blogging! I’m quite proud that I kept my workouts up though, despite just wanting to face plant on the sofa and move only when it was time to get into bed! Haha!

Anywho, I’ll do a little run through of the days that I’ve missed…

Saturday, me and my fellow maidens were up and out of the house by 7am and headed over to Hyde Park to watch the elite women race the ITU World Champs! It’s the first race I’ve ever been to and I loved it! I was nervous for all of them so I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when it comes to me getting up there and doing my stuff, despite the fact that my future races will all be on a MUCH smaller scale! 😉 It got me all inspired anyway and kind of prompted me to start thinking about what distance I really want to focus on.. I’ll let you know when I’ve figured that out!


Sunday involved my first proper outing on the bike! I cycled to meet a friend, Rosa, and she took me on a mahoosive ride around London, 47.36 miles in total! I LOVED it!

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There’s something about riding a bike that’s so reminiscent of carefree childhood days. I was as giddy as a kipper on one particularly fast straight when my speedometer clocked in at 29.1 mph, we were flying and it was brilliant! 🙂 I got home showered and spent a while stretching and rolling with the rumble roller (best foam roller I’ve ever used! Well worth investing in!!).


Monday, I had work but when I got in I walked the dogs for 30 minutes and then did a quick 30 minutes recovery ride. Easier gear and higher cadence, just to get my blood flowing and hopefully help to flush out any build up of toxins from yesterdays longer effort. I finished up with some foam rolling.

Tuesday, after work I walked the dogs for 30 minutes then hopped on the bike and did 10 minutes warm up then 25 minutes main set alternating between 3 mins hard and 2 mins easy. As soon as this was finished I hopped off the bike and did a quick mile run outside. It was late, dark and raining but I just wanted to try and work on my speed off the bike. I might have mentioned before but I’m more than a little worried about my initial lack of speed, especially with this my first race coming up. I always do negative splits in a run  and always finish significantly  faster than I start but I definitely struggle to go strong straight out of the gate, something to work on for sure!

Wednesday I didn’t get in from work till gone 9 so I designated it as an active rest day!

Thursday I just felt generally knackered and so decided to listen to my body and I took a full rest day. It was blissful. I ended up cleaning out a load of stuff and reorganising the house AND I baked these Chocolate & Sea Salt Cookies so, there you go! A day well spent, if you ask me! 😉

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This leads us right up until today, Friday! This morning I set my alarm for a pretty luxurious (after the 5 am starts earlier in the week!) 6:30am, had a small bowl of porridge and then ran the 1.2 miles to the pool. I then started swimming but honestly I had a bloody awful workout. My stroke felt super messy and for some reason my motivation was next to none! I ended up cutting the session short after 30 minutes and running the 1.2 miles home again. I have learnt one thing though and that is that I simply cannot afford to slack off in the pool, consistency is key! I mean I knew that anyway but I really do need to be relentless. So i’m aiming to be in the pool, ideally, 5 times a week throughout the next few months, it’s realistic if I stay organised. This winter is definitely going to be a real test of my drive, determination and motivation, that’s fo’ sho! Anyway, in order to draw a line under this mornings less than successful workout and end the day on a good note I am planning on taking the bike out for a spin / set it up in the living room, either way this afternoon I’m gonna sweat HARD!

Tomorrow a 10 mile run with the girls, is on the cards so I will let you know how it goes!

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Lots f love, Hayley

P.S I just want to say a huge HAPPY 4th ANNIVERSARY to the lovely Corey and Glen! I know that they have jet setted off to celebrate and I just wanted to give them a shoutout! Hope you’re having a fabulous time! Can’t wait to skype and hear all about it! xoxo

CycleOps Mag+ Turbo Trainer

Good morning!! Ok, so due to some delivery f**k up yesterday the trainer arrived bright and early this morning. I (obviously) immediately abandoned everything else that I needed to do, in order to get it set up and have a go!

All with the help of my trusty assistant…

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Setting up the actual trainer is a breeze, super straight forward. It might take a little adjusting and re adjusting to get your bike sitting perfectly in the middle of the roller (mines a teeny tiny bit off but apparently that doesn’t matter!) but all in all nothing too complicated! 😉

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Cue me looking all pleased with myself…

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Until… I realised that there were ZERO instructions on how to fit the remote shifter… hmm… with a little help from youtube and some poking around, I thought I had it all figured out…


So after all of that, I’m fairly sure it’s fitted correctly BUT I’m not exactly sure what it does…. Erm I’m still gonna  count that as a win, if you don’t mind! Haha!

(Edited to add – After all of my confused vlogging I found the scrap of paper with instructions on how to fit the remote shifter! Ha! Still doesn’t seem to do anything though!?)

Anyway, I’m gonna test it out properly now with a longish ride and I’ll let you know how it goes etc etc.

Anyone out there use a trainer? If so what type? Pros and cons etc?

Lots of love, Hayley

P.S I was really short on time yesterday so I forced myself out of the door and into the rain at about 8:30pm to squeeze in a quick 5km FARTLEK style run. For those that don’t know FARTLEK is basically where you adjust your speed with no set pattern. So you can jog for a little, sprint for a little and all speeds in between, as and when, and for how long, you want. Obviously you need to push yourself, that goes without saying, but I quite like the intuitive nature of this type of run. I also love running in the rain (I know, I’m a freak of nature!) so that made the whole thing a bit more enjoyable! I tend to push myself harder on FARTLEK type runs, rather than counting down the seconds when doing sets. I also run faster in the dark, scared of the bogeyman perhaps?! Haha! So I felt like I really powered through this run.

I tried to focus on increasing my cadence and landing softly, almost like I was running on hot coals… apparently this helps to increase speed… I don’t know but I suppose I should be grateful that I was running in the dark with next to no witnesses! Ha!

Badass bikes, turbo trainers & aquathlons!

Well it’s got around to my favourite day of the week again! Although it’s not holding its usual magic for me today, perhaps because of the rain that’s relentlessly hammering away on my window, a big f**k  you to the plans I had to take my shiny new bike out for a spin! :/

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But, not one to be held back by the elements I have just purchased my very own CycleOps Mag+ turbo trainer (I can see this triathlon lark getting expensive! I could drop thousands every time I open my laptop! If I had thousands, that is!) and thanks to chain reaction cycles speedy shipping time I should be all set up and good to go by tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest!

Hopefully there will be a bit of a break in the weather this week so I can get out on the roads and get used to navigating traffic and pedestrians again! Wish me luck with that!

I’m not great with bikes but I do know that this one is a hybrid, leaning slightly more towards a road bike. It has been fully serviced and is ‘running sweet as a nut!’ according to my Dad! He has left me with some pretty spectacular tassles, a helmet, instructions on gears, some bike oil, spare inner tubes and lots of tools that I have no clue how to use… this is gonna be lots of fun!! Haha! Seriously though, how awesome is my Dad!? Really, though! So thankful!

In other (super exciting) news! Annina has entered an Aquathlon!! I won’t say too much right now because I’m sure she will want to post about it herself but I just wanted to say that I’m so proud of her for taking the plunge and getting something booked! I have a feeling she is gonna be something of a dark horse with these aquathlons so watch this space!!

Hope you’re all having a fabulous Monday!

Lots of love, Hayley

Edited to add – I completely forgot to mention my workout yesterday, I did a quick 3 mile interval run, it went like this;

  1. 0.20 miles walking
  2. 0.30 miles running (faster than I would usually)

Repeat x 6 to make up the 3 miles.


Hillingdon Sprint Duathlon

Hillingdon Sprint Duathlon

In celebration of finally having a bike I have entered my first ever duathlon, the ‘Hillingdon Sprint Duathlon’. My swimming is nowhere near ready for me to be entering triathlons just yet and despite being desperate wanting to just throw myself into it and let the chips fall where they may, I also have a niggling voice that is telling me to ‘just wait’ and ‘if you’re going to do something then do it properly, or at least do yourself justice!’. I will only have one first attempt at tri and I would like to look back on it fondly, ta very much!

Soooo this Duathlon, it’s only a sprint which means it’s a 2 mile run / 10 mile cycle / 1 mile run. The distances aren’t bad at all, if anything it is the short distances that bother me the most as it normally takes me a couple of miles to get into my stride and get my speed up, running wise. So these short runs probably aren’t going to feel all that pleasant but I’m just really excited to get a little idea of what ‘race day’ is like. I’m ready to soak up the atmosphere and just have a good time! As silly as this might sound, for me, there is always the obligatory panic of ‘what if I go the wrong way’ or ‘bike/run too many laps’ etc etc so I’m looking to get as much experience as I can to hopefully start next season feeling a little more confident!

So, yeah! Just wanted to share the news!!

It’s not until November but it was the first one I found for 2013 that still had open entry! If anyone knows of any others out there please do let me know, I would love to race as much as possible before Winter really kicks in!

Anyone out there contemplating taking the plunge and entering their first race?

My advice, ultimately, is a resounding GO FOR IT! Although I would add that if you are as nervous in any of the disciplines, as I am with swimming, then maybe take some time and get a little expert help before you sign up. It really is important to build a good foundation of technique and fitness! You build a house from the ground up, as they say! If you learn bad habits right from the start, or aren’t efficient in what you do then ultimately it will slow you down and sap that precious, much needed energy.

I am planning on an 8 week course of swimming lessons geared specifically towards triathlon and I can’t wait for them! After this my plan is to join a club so that there is always someone on hand to keep an eye on me, correcting anything that might not be quite right.

Lots of love, Hayley

Playing at being a pro.

I have nothing on work wise this weekend, so it has been fun to play at being a real athlete. Spending my time on long(er than usual)  workouts, fuelling properly…  (please excuse the blurry photobooth pic, my iPhone is as dead as a dodo!)

Photo on 2013-09-07 at 19.38

… taking the pooches on long walks and enjoying lots of actual, real, REST! I could definitely get used to this lifestyle!! Anyone fancy paying me to train?! …no?

Today I hit the gym and completed an hour of steady state cardio, again working on my aerobic base.

I did;

1) 30 minutes rowing

2) 30 minutes skipping (I took a couple of little breaks to stretch my legs but tried not to take longer than a few seconds.I did end up skipping longer than 30 minutes because at some point during the last 2 minutes my timer broke and I was being stubborn and refusing to break to check the time… I probably added a couple of minutes. Idiot. Ha!)

And then;

3) 40 minutes strength / weight training 

  • 3  x 10 hamstring curls
  • 5  x 10  squats (I made each set progressively heavier)
  • 3 x 10 overhand pull ups (assisted – tried unassisted and managed 5 but my form was pretty poor so I decided to take it back a notch.)
  • 3 x 10 tricep dips (assisted – same as above)
  • 3 x 10 lat pull downs
  • 3 x 10 overhead press
  • 4 x 10 leg press (Again I made each set progressively heavier)

4) 20 minutes stretching

In other news I’m super excited about tomorrow because my Dad’s making the trip down to London to see me and to drop off his old bike!! I can’t wait to see my Dad AND I will finally have some wheels!! Watch out London! Anyone know where I can pick up a decent helmet and a little road sense?! Ha! It’s been a while since I have navigated a City on a bike and I am terrified and excited in equal parts! It does take me one step closer to triathlons though which is bloody brilliant! 🙂

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend?!

Lots of love, Hayley

A return to the civilised world + Todays workout

We have internet!!! It’s only taken us months to sort it out but, it’s finally here!

I can only hope that this will mean a return to regular posting, I’ma do my best anyways! I actually have a couple of guest posts lined up so get excited for those! 😉


I have just finished reading Chrissie Wellington’s ‘A life without limits’ and it’s got me all fired up training wise (it’s brilliant, I highly recommend it!) plus I have  finally bitten the bullet and  purchased some new trainers. This might not sound that exciting but my old pair were TWO YEARS OLD!! Eeek!! It was definitely time! I didn’t feel like searching out a new pair so I just got another pair of the exact same Brooks but this time in purple…


Anyway, I was eager to put them (and myself) through their (my) paces so I headed to the gym and completed a mammoth 2 hour 30 minute workout, focused on building my aerobic base. I didn’t use a heart rate monitor (I’m still undecided about which particular watch I should splash my cash on and seeing as they’re all so damn expensive, I’m taking my time!) but I know that I stayed in zone 2 for the majority of the workout, I possibly hit zone 3 for parts of it but I can’t say for sure. I do know that if I base it next to how I feel during an Insanity workout then my heart barely bloody beating! Ha!

My workout;

(10 minutes warm up)

  1. 8 miles cycle
  2. 2 miles run
  3. 8 miles cycle
  4. 2 miles run
  5. 8 miles cycle
  6. 2 miles run

(10 minutes cool down)

All in all it took me 2 hours 30 to complete the whole thing including the warm up and cool down. I took no breaks, aside from an unplanned toilet break after the first set, seriously I have a bladder the size of a PEA! :/

As for how it felt, the only part that I really didn’t enjoy was the first 2 mile run session. All the little muscles around my shin cramped up and made keeping a relaxed and efficient gait almost impossible. I experimented with pacing a little and just stuck it out.  After this the running felt much easier, I guess the first couple of miles are always tough plus I had my new shoes to get used to.

With regards to hydration and nutrition I had a massive 2 litre bottle of water with an electrolyte sachet mixed in, the whole thing was downed! I actually think I lost more than 2 litres in sweat, it was disgusting! But, as I always love to say… if you look pretty at the end of a workout then you def didn’t do it right! Ha! (Such an excuse for me to make no effort with my appearance at the gym!! Haha!). I also ate a freakishly tiny banana about 1 hour 45 minutes in, I was planning on saving it until the end but I couldn’t wait!

I then spent a good 20 / 30 minutes stretching, staggered home, shoved a couple of boiled eggs in my face, plonked myself in an ice bath for a few mins and now I’m tucked up on the couch in my pyjamas! Nothing makes you feel like you deserve a night on the sofa watching Sandra Bullock strut her stuff in Miss Congeniality than 30+ miles covered on stationary machinery in the gym with not even an iPod for company (my iPhone broke just before I set off! :/).

I really want to start logging all of my training and whilst I still haven’t found the most organised way of doing it just yet (note my failed attempt at a weekly roundup!) I will experiment with using this blog for those purposes, bear with me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lots of love, Hayley