Run London – Racing the 2016 British 10k

In preparation for the British 10k this year, I wrote a post about setting executable goals. Personally, I was worried that I would approach the race with an expectation to finish faster than last year, and for it to take just as much effort as I recalled it did last year (recalling effort is rarely accurate… a tough race always seems easier in hindsight).

But it turns out this was the least of my worries as there is one crucial thing this year that I didn’t do last year and which I totally underestimated… Crew the Race Across America. I was knackered for about two weeks after RAAM and only started feeling myself again by the weekend of the British 10k. So having an expectation to feel the same during the race as I did last year and finish in the same time or faster was no longer a concern. I do love racing though, so I approached the British 10k last weekend with an open mind and figured it’d be a good test to see how fit I am given the circumstances.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with my result! Only 30 seconds slower than last year I finished with a time of 45:41. I was pleasantly surprised that is, until I saw my potential…

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Crewing the Race Across America

2 weeks, 2 flights, 5 time zones, 3000 miles on the road and countless Red Bull’s crushed… where do I even start? Crewing the Race Across America was an experience unlike anything else.

I thought I set my expectations fairly well going into the race, but there are something’s in life you can’t prepare for without first hand experience… and RAAM is one of those things.

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Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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THE SUMMARY

I had a disappointing swim performance but because of it, I was really motivated to push myself on the bike and run. Overall, I am so pleased with the result — I finished third of all the women which is a major milestone for me, my first podium in triathlon!

Total Time: 01:21:07
Gender Position: 3 / 42
Category Position: 2 / 15
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More detail on my race below and on what’s coming up next!

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The Transition from Year 1 of Triathlon into Year 2

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Last year the 2015 Crystal Palace Tri was my first triathlon EVER and I remember being absolutely terrified for about a month leading up to the start.

One year later, I face the race again. This year however, I had a busier than usual social calendar leading up to the race last weekend and as a result I ended up approaching the 2016 Crystal Palace Triathlon all very nonchalantly. It was kind of nice knowing I could just turn up and enjoy a fun race.

It really goes to show how comfortable I’ve gotten in the triathlon scene and how quickly you can adapt. I never thought I’d be able to race triathlon ‘for fun’ but I guess a lot has happened over the past year…

Last year was a year of firsts… My first wet suit, my first open water swim, my first Sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon and my first Half Ironman. No wonder I was so motivated and focused — it was the fear factor. I enjoyed racing last weekend, but if I want to keep seeing improvement this year than I’ll need to re-focus. With fear clearly out of the equation, I need to find a new source of motivation to keep me on track.

So I’ve taken a step back and come up with some new goals and benchmarks for my 2016 focus in triathlon….

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Preparing for the British 10k + Adopt this racing mindset

Vitality British 10K London run

I am officially a race ambassador for the Vitality British 10k this year! Having run in this race before, I’m more than happy to sponsor the event.

With 15,000 runners, the course is a bit crowded at first but the atmosphere and the iconic landmarks that we pass along the way make up for the slow start.

Actually, regardless of the slow start, last year I managed to finish the Vitality British 10k with a personal best! I was completely over the moon about breaking into the ’45 minute club’ with a finish time of 45:30. My personal best prior to that was 46:26, which I had been trying to beat for some time (over two years).

I’ve now realised that I haven’t raced 10km since… which is a little scary. Knowing that I will be on the same course – doing the same distance – at the same time of year… There is no reason I shouldn’t be at least the same speed as last year right? Wrong!

Whether your personal best is on a 5k course, 10k course or longer distances, there are so many factors to consider during a race and you should never start a race with an expectation to perform the same, feel the same or realise the same results that you had in the past.

Here’s how I intend to approach the Vitality British 10k in July this year. A good mindset to have for any race…

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Bircher Muesli for breakfast!

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Morning everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I’m waking up to a delicious bowl of Bircher Muesli to soothe the Monday Blues.

It’s not hard to fall in love with this overnight oats recipe – so easy to prepare and totally delicious.

I was introduced to Bircher Muesli in Mallorca on the RAAMIN4Charity training camp last month. Thanks to Suzanne, I now have a new favourite breakfast!

With the weather warming up too it is the perfect time to really appreciate this refreshing and filling breakfast.

Here’s how…

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My Attempt to Debunk Calorie Counting

IMG_0003So, over the past month or so I’ve been counting my calories. I wanted to try it out because I have met a few people recently who LIVE by their calorie count and use it as a measurement to consider themselves having had a healthy day or not.

I set out to debunk this way of thinking as I don’t consider ‘hitting your calorie count’ an aspect of healthy living. I still believe this to be true but to my surprise, I discovered how apps like MyFitnessPal and MyPlate provide a really great insight to your eating habits and activity levels.

For me, it was a really good reminder of how active I have to be in order to eat what I want to eat! Which sounds little ridiculous maybe… but I’m serious. It poses the question: How lazy do you want to be?

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How to Execute an Active Holiday

I’ve always felt that exploring new surroundings is best done from ground-level.

If you’re a runner, put on your runners and run; If you’re a walker, walk; and if you’re a cyclist, grab your bike and ride.

As you may have seen on Instagram/ Facebook, Dan and I are currently in Mallorca!

Port (1)While Dan and Phil train for the Race Across America. Suzanne and I have been exploring the island.

I don’t want this post to spat out facts about the benefits of exercise, the mindfulness gained from travelling or the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.

We all know these are good things.

I hope this post helps to promote active traveling and that you walk away feeling excited to execute an active holiday.

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Kingston Half Marathon Race Report

Let the racing begin! I felt very unprepared for the Kingston Half Marathon last weekend… Signing up for an early season race seemed like a good idea in January but like many, not everything goes to plan January/ February; they’re just tough months!

I have been focusing on keeping active and staying positive, but I haven’t placed focus on training towards any specific goals/races yet.

That being said, I’m glad my January-self thought it’d be a good idea to do an early season race. Had I trained properly, the race itself could have been more enjoyable perhaps (referencing my finish pic below…tough times). Nonetheless, I got a good sense of my fitness and achieved a PB while I was at it!

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RACE SUMMARY

Total time:  1:39:43
Place:  281/1144 runners

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