Question and Answer

I like a good Question and Answer, so have decided to put my own together. Here is a little more about me and when makes me tick.

Born and raised: Born in Leeds, Yorkshire. Raised in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.

Current location: South West London.

What changed: I become the fat, unfit friend and got fed up of it. I found BMF, loved it and kept going.

Why blogging: I want to share the things I pick up and help others if I can. I struggle with accountability. If I talk the talk, it helps me walk the walk.

London Marathon 2012

Running history: London Marathon in 2008 and 2010. A few halfs and many 10kms. Continue reading “Question and Answer”

Long Run – Half Marathon Training

Cannon Hill Common Lake

I went for my first long run on Sunday. I have not been on a long run for a while as I have not seriously trained for an event or had a training plan for some time.

The long run was supposed to be my fourth run of the week, but it was actually my first. It was 32 degrees on Tuesday so I gave BMF Running club a miss, which I think was sensible. Thursday I was out with a friend for dinner, so missed my tempo/hill/sprints session. Saturday’s 8am BMF session was very tough and by 9am the temperatures were already soaring, so I did not do parkrun afterwards. I did cycle to work 5 days in a row, but cycling does now make you a good runner! Unless you are Chris Froome! Continue reading “Long Run – Half Marathon Training”

I’ll do it tomorrow – Procrastination

Fortune Cookie 1 Do you ever hear the phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” or do you even say it to yourself. It is very, very likely that you have or you do! Yep, procrastination!

Why do we do that? Why do we put things off? Generally it is because we don’t really want to do it.

You need to sort that pile of clothes out on the bedroom floor. The pile has been there for weeks, it has been bugging you, you intended to sort it out but there are a million other things to do that are just a little more interesting and must be done first. Continue reading “I’ll do it tomorrow – Procrastination”

Half Marathon Training Plan

London Marathon 2012

Inspired by Lazy Girl Running I have decide to put a Training Plan together for an Autumn Half Marathon.

I have a place for the Great North Run, (which has been on my list of things to do for a long time), but am going to have to pull out or hopefully defer to next year as I have a wedding of a good friend to attend the same weekend, that unfortunately doesn’t happen to be in Newcastle.

I still want to do a half marathon this Autumn so have selected the award winning Ealing Half Marathon at the end of September.

I have not had an “official” training plan since I ran the London marathon many years ago. I have just been muddling through with the odd run here and there and staying in fair good shape.

I ran the Adidas Half Marathon in March and achieved a PB by a whopping 12 or so minutes. As I mentioned in my post about the race, the PB and excitement to be racing masked the fact that I did not have the longer distance base fitness and I was really cheating myself that I was ready because I had run a few quick 10kms.

The new plan pretty much breaks down to – Continue reading “Half Marathon Training Plan”

The 22 Day Challenge – Stretching

Stretch head up

For a number of years I used to get a sore back when I stood up for too long. This usually used to come on when I was out “shopping” and did not want to be. Maybe this was psychosomatic, but that is when I used to notice it most and when it used to hurt the most. I also got it when I ran and when I did squats at BMF.

I committed to take some action over my back pain. I went to see an Osteopath. I explain my symptoms and my physical activity (running and cycling) and he proclaimed that there was no problem with my back. It was my hamstrings! Hamstrings (the big muscle running down the back of your leg) are attached to the muscles in your back, and my tight hamstrings were pulling on the muscles creating the discomfort. Although I stretched pre and post exercise, my homework was to stretch every day and come back next week and report back. For my second session, I explained that my achilles were now tight. He said, you have stretched your hamstrings and now the tightness had moved to your Achilles. I now had to stretch these and I also had to stretch my quadriceps, as it was the opposing muscle to my hamstrings.

I committed to stretch every day to try and help my back. Continue reading “The 22 Day Challenge – Stretching”

The Best Sport Films – A Personal List

Do you like sport films? It’s all very well, being proactive, achieving your goals, getting out there and smashing things but everybody needs a break from time to time to sit down and relax. If you have had a hard training week, sometimes the best thing for your recovery is to put your feet up and stick a film on!

I have been a movie fan since I was young. I can remember going to the cinema to see E.T and Back to the Future. It was not all future classics though; I also went to see Caravan of Courage!

My love of sport and film combined, so through the years many of my favourite films are sport films.

I would like to share with you some of my favourites that I recommend for you see –

Friday Night Lights (2004)Friday Night Lights

This is the story of the 1988 Permian Panthers, a Texas High School American Football team. The film is an adaptation of the book by Buzz Bussinger (a harder and more political read than the film). The film follows 4 different characters, all with their own problems through the team’s season and their dream of a Texas State Championship. The movie shows the harsh realities and pressures of being a football star in a small Texas town where football is life and death and the whole town turns out to see the “Friday Night Lights”. The film shows how dreams can be shattered and how football can be a dream ticket to get out of town. The characters are all well drawn and the football scenes are well shot and fairly brutal. The soundtrack by the Texas band Explosion in the Sky is amazing and worth listening to even if you have not seen the film. The film also got spun out in the highly regarded TV series, which is also worth a watch. Continue reading “The Best Sport Films – A Personal List”

Facing your Fears – Heights

Eiffel tower at night.

I went to Paris a couple of weeks ago. What is the first thing that enters your mind when you think of Paris? The Eiffel Tower, right? If you go to Paris, you have to go up the Eiffel Tower!

I have been to Paris a number of times and I have even been up the Eiffel Tower a couple of times, but I have never made it to the top. I have made it to the second level twice. I have always a little ashamed of this. I went with a group of friend back in 1999, and while they went all the way to the top, I stayed on my own and played it “safe”.

So, am I scared of heights? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no!

I always jokingly say “I am not scared of heights. I am scared of falling”. This is just a smart way of saying I am not really scared of heights and making myself feel a little better. Continue reading “Facing your Fears – Heights”

The benefits of drinking more water

Glass of water

In my post “Why am I not better” I spoke about the number of small things that you can do to improve your health and performance. You could call this the Compound effect (a number of little changes that can add up to a greater, positive impact in the future) or what British Cycling call marginal gains.  (I am not quite at the marginal gains level yet, but you get the point).I stated that I was going to undertake a 22 day challenge to drink more water and see if there is any benefits.

Why 22 days? There is popular belief that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This come from a book Psycho Cybernetics written by a German cosmetic surgeon Maxwell Maltz in 1960 where he observed that the adjustment period for his patients was a minimum of 21 days. Over time this has become more popular and has become the stock answer for how long it takes to form a habit.

So for now I am going to go with 21 days and add 1 day as way of an upgrade!

Why did I make drinking more water my first self-improvement?

First of all, I am highly aware that I do not drink enough water. The colour of your urine is the best indicator of hydration. Let just say, mine is not where it should be. Continue reading “The benefits of drinking more water”

Polish Coleslaw Recipe

Polish Coleslaw

In my Inspiration to action post one the four things you can do to start having a healthier life was to “Eat more green things”

One of the ideas to help you do this was to make your own coleslaw. Yes, I know it is not green, but its vegetables and they are good for you!

As with many things I now love. I used to hate coleslaw. That was until I tried Polish Coleslaw! Introduced to me by my girlfriend!

Below is a recipe –

Ingredients – Serves 2

The ingredients for Polish Coleslaw
The ingredients for Polish Coleslaw
  • 2x Carrots
  • Red Cabbage (as much as required)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 Leek (can use spring onions)
  • Mayonnaise (Polish variety preferred)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
Polish Mayo!
Polish Mayo!

You will need to change/estimate the quantities depending on how many you are serving. Just add an extra carrot or a bit more cabbage.

Method

  1. Grate the carrots into a bowl
  2. Grate/thinly slice the red cabbage (fancy peelers and shredders are useful for this but a cheese grater is fine) as required into the same bowl.
  3. Very thinly slice the leek. Add to the carrots and cabbage.
  4. Add one tablespoon of mayonnaise to the carrots, cabbage and leeks and stir in. (You will need no more than this. At times a tablespoon may be too much. Add a little at the start, you can always add more). This may take a couple of minutes. Keep stirring until all the vegetables are lightly and evenly coated.
  5. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir.
  6. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Stir.
Graters
A good grater makes the job easier!

That is it!

It goes with pretty much anything. I tend to have it with fish and potatoes.

Give it a try. It is a great way to eat raw vegetables so that none of the nutrients are lost.

Smacznego!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Inspiration to action – Make a change

IMG_1566It is very easy to be inspired. Taking action is the hard bit. There are lots of blogs, podcasts, Instagram posts and You Tube videos of people doing great things and making changes to their lives.

Every morning I am inspired to do lots of things with my day. One example is my meditation practice. Lots of content I read and listen to says that daily meditation has many positive benefits. I have tried to create a meditation practice for going on a year or so, but haven’t been able to be consistent. I will do 3 days in a row, then I will have to be early at work or something similar and I miss a day, then I miss another day and before I know it a week has gone by without meditating.

One thing that I was inspired to do and took action on was losing weight and getting fit. I used to be pretty lazy exercise wise. The food I ate was carb and meat heavy and there was plenty of socialising at the local watering holes. In this instant I did take some action and I have seen the benefits. Since then lots of friends and family have asked me how I did it and what I changed. Though it was a concise decision, I did not really do one thing. It was combination of things. Continue reading “Inspiration to action – Make a change”