Fit Summer Bodies with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen

June 21, 2018 at 12:18
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Do you struggle to stick to healthy, nutritious ways of eating because you’re busy, have no time to prepare or just don’t quite know what you should be eating for your goals? Worry no more, our next course is in conjunction with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen, who deliver all your meals direct to your door for up to 10 days. Whether it’s getting in shape, hormonal support, or you simply want to infuse your body with the wholesome, nutritious food, support don’t miss our exclusive Fit Summer Bodies

Our current course is midway through and already, some of our clients have recorded up to five centrimetre losses off their waist circumference, 1% fat loss and an increase in muscle mass. This is all to do with our exercise prescription, which we gear, each and every course, to the individuals that we see and what their goals are. We create as personalised an experience as possible, while making it much more fun than personal training because you do it in a group.

Now, imagine all of those benefits and combining it with an exclusive retreat-like feel that you’d get with a meal delivery service. Plant based nutrition expert, Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen creates the most delicious, healthy meals and works around the world for exclusive health retreats, as well as creating incredible meal delivery products for personal clients.

We spend money on clothes, facials, magazines, chocolate and holidays to make ourselves feel good yet often baulk about spending money on looking after the most important thing we have – our health and bodies.

To really eat well, you need to engage with food and having a meal delivery service can be a great way of setting your foundations, weaning yourself off bad habits and learning new ways of creating healthy, wholesome meals. And by the end of it, you WILL feel fantastic.

Spaces on our Fit Summer Bodies, are restricted to just 14 in each time slot, 6.15am to 7am or 7am – 7.45am and runs from 23 July – August 16. Or you can do a Fit Body Blitz, July 23-August 2nd or August 6th-16th. The five or 10 day plan with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen must start on 23 July.

We have a 10% early bird discount on the four week course ONLY, which expires 1st July. Input the code FSB at checkout.

For details of the Fit Summer Bodies with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen, which costs £25 per day, click here.



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Fitbitch at the New Forest Triathlon

May 8, 2018 at 4:21
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Our courses help start many women on the path to fitness and the fantastic feeling of achievement that you get when you take on an event that challenges your mind and body, such as the Race New Forest Olympic Triathlon…

It’s going to be freezing.’ That’s what you heard most of us worrying about as the New Forest Triathlon date got ever nearer. With a freak snow storm and photos of ice covered water in the New Forest area just four weeks before the race date, it scared the five of us who had entered into getting into the sea in April to try and get used to the cold. Alas, it was so freezing none of us lasted longer than 12 minutes or 400 metres before scarpering out.

Thankfully, on the weekend of the triathlon the weather was fantastic and we arrived down on a Friday so that we had the chance of a quick Saturday morning swim in Ellingham Water Park where the swim was taking part in a bid to get used to the cold. It was absolutely gorgeous. Still, with a 7am water start the following morning with the temperature hovering at 8 degrees, we all looked a bit pale and green around the gills as we listened to the race briefing and then entered the water.

The 1.1km swim was over for all of us in under 30 minutes and then it was a quick strip out of the wet suits and time to pull on trainers to run the 1km to transition. This is not usual for a triathlon as the water is usually located near the bike transition but with the weather heating up, it was the chance to get blood to the feet before hopping on the bike.

In triathlon, the advice is ALWAYS keep things simple at transition, don’t have lots of kit to put on – or worry about putting on. I ignored all of that and faffed about with wondering whether to put a jacket on, putting it on, then taking it off and adding arm sleeves and even putting on winter overshoes over my cycle shoes (I was the ONLY one wearing overshoes). But then I have history with footwear and triathlon. I once ran 10km after the bike leg with a full gel packet in my shoe. I thought it was a blister.

From there, it was on to one of the most beautiful bike legs of a triathlon I’ve ever done, up and over into the beautiful smooth roads of the New Forest, yellow gorse as far as the eye could see. It must be the only triathlon in which you ever have to stop for cows and horses who calmly wander into the road, totally unconcerned that you’re trying hard to keep to a certain FTP.

It is on the bike stage where you can make some big gains and it’s here where one of our members, Cath Bevan (almost zero bike training – gah!) steamed past on the bike like a pro athlete, leaving me panting and pounding the pedals behind her, feeling like a slow moving tractor.

One of the great things about a triathlon though is that there are usually lots of people taking part who are doing different distances so you have no idea where you stand in the ‘listings’ of the event. You only have yourself to challenge rather than worrying about whether you’re last.

From the bike, it was back to transition at the beautiful race based at a beautiful Georgian boarding school, off with all the kit, and into running trainers for a beautiful off-road out and back route. Thankfully, with temperatures reaching the mid 20s, it was largely shady. The great thing about racing a triathlon as a big group is that it’s on the run where we you get to see EVERYONE, and we all managed to encourage each other as we passed at different parts of the run before cheering each other over the line.

If you’re considering doing a triathlon this year (and don’t forget the Brighton and Hove Triathlon), Race New Forest are a fantastic company, offering a well organised event in a beautiful part  of the UK with great race t-shirts.

If you’re interested in joining our Fitbitch performance training group, join our FREE Facebook group here.  Our list of Dream Challenge events will include a triathlon, adventure race, open water swim and obstacle race.



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Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats

April 4, 2018 at 5:02
Posted by Rachael Woolston

It’s a famous rite of passage for any cyclist and adventure queen, riding from Lands End to John O’Groats. Here, Ingrid Kane details her incredible experience of riding  969 miles over nine days as part of Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2017 and proves that no matter how busy you are, it is possible to train if you train smart…

How it works

A couple of years ago I thought I would like a new challenge and cycling the length of the UK had always been on my bucket list. However, I struggled to work out how I would fit the event and training in with a busy job. Deloitte Ride Across Britain (RAB)  seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

The challenge: cycling 969 miles over 9 days

Logistics: luggage limited to 15kg, transferred from camp to camp by organisers

Accommodation: tents (no you don’t have to put them up and down, a kind team do that for you!). In 2017 there was a hotel option – none of that for me!

What you need to know: it’s a tough challenge, but you can do it with some preparation. Be prepared for all weathers – 2017 was the wettest (and muddiest) RAB to date.

What you need: a road bike – doesn’t need to be anything too fancy although you may well get bike envy once you start the ride!

The training

I entered RAB about a year before the start, catching the early bird entry fee and persuaded one of my crazy friends to join me. The organisers provide a detailed training programme, but I knew that with my work and busy life, I was not going to be able to fit in lots of cycling before the event or in the winter months, and so I decided to adapt my training and fit in multiple activities.

Coaches, Rachael, Amy at the Fitbitch camps in Lewes gave me the perfect kick start, and I also did weekly Pilates classes and started running, first within the bootcamp sessions and then with Girls Run the World. I even started back to hockey sessions to build my fitness! Cycling wise, I used  several sportives to help me build up the distances and once Spring arrived, I began cycling 10 hilly miles two and from work twice a week, which was invaluable. .

I work one in three weekends and so fitting long training rides in at the weekend was tricky but I did what I could, completing the fantastic Elfstedentocht cycle tour event in the Netherlands, the Dunwich Dynamo (cycling from London to Suffolk overnight) and the Ride 100 in London. By the time the start approached I had lost weight, felt much fitter and was looking forward to the event …but I was still VERY worried about my ability to cycle nine consecutive days of over 100 miles. Mental attitude is key, but I felt I had an advantage in being used to working longs hours on limited sleep!

The Start

Crossing the start line on a windy day in Lands End was amazing; suddenly all my anxieties disappeared as I started cycling with  approximately 700 people from all walks of life but it was a tough day – who knew Cornwall and Devon were so hilly?! We climbed over 6000 feet on that first day and boy did I sleep well. By the time I’d completed day two, I felt strong and confident that I’d complete the event, barring any accidents.  Mentally, I knew I would have to dig deep at times – most notably leaving Bath in  in torrential rain with water coming up out of drains and flowing uphill!

 

The Finish

Crossing the finish line was incredibly emotional, and I felt an unbelievable sense of achievement, but it was also rather sad. After nine days spent experiencing such highs and lows with people I met along the way,  so many people had to rush off to catch trains and planes. I’d definitely recommend arranging a hotel near the finish like I did so you get the opportunity to explore Orkney and let it all sink in. I ended up catching up with a friend I’d cycled with in Israel over 25 years previously. It was an amazing experience and I’d do it again like a shot!

The Highs

Experiencing the incredible country we live in on two wheels.

Making it 969 miles without walking any of the route.

The summit of Shap.

Completing the 126 miles from Hamilton to Fort William through spectacular Glen Coe

Meeting some inspiring people

Lulu’s food in camp

Camping, even in the mud!

Surviving with no mechanical issues and no punctures – still can’t quite believe that!

The Lows

Damp clothes, even after a night in the ‘drying’ room.

A couple of 4.30am starts.

The queue for the coffee van at pit stops!

What everyone always wants to know.

The Nitty Gritty

Food: the event is fully catered and the food was better than I could have imagined, with al dietary requirements are catered for. Lulu and her staff manage to provide food for around 900 (including all the logistics team) everyday from breakfast (porridge and fruit to a full English) to a choice of four main courses for supper. The bonus of an event like this is that you can eat as much as you like! During the day there are at least two pit stops – again plenty of food. Pork pies and Muller rice seemed particular favourites!

Facilities: a hot shower is available everyday courtesy of posh wash showers, along with toilets

Medical support: available at camp and en route each day, and every third night, you are allocate a physio session

Broom wagon: there is a cut off of about 12 hours each day. A bus picks up anyone who is struggling, with medical issues or drastic mechanical issues that the mechanics are unable to fix on the road.

 

If you would like to read more about Ingrid’s experience, you can read her blog here. She raised £3000 for the Stroke Association and Karuna

In July 2018, another Fitbitch is undertaking LEJOG, this time unaided and unsupported. If you’d like to join her on some of it, or simply come and do some of the training rides, join our free Fitbitch ride community here.

 

 

 



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The National Running Show, 20-21 January 2018

January 12, 2018 at 1:01
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Want to hear from some of the most inspirational female runners in the UK today? Do you want to find out all the latest kit info? Then you need to get yourself to the first National Running Show at the Birmingham’s NEC

If you want to hear first hand from some of the UK’s most inspirational runners, then the first national running show expo is the place to be. It will be featuring a whole host of runners, including  Jo Pavey, Dame Kelly Holmes and the amazing ultra running mum, Susie Chan, who has completed the Marathon des Sables three times, and tackled running through a jungle for 5 days self-sufficient.

Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to have your gait analysed, which really helps you to see where you have biomechanical issues that strength and conditioning, flexibility and a different training shoe could improve. Plus, chat nutrition with the brilliant Anita Bean and visit the Nutrition Advice Zone, who will be offering valuable advice on what you should be eating and drinking as a runner.

And if that’s not enough, there will be plenty of running products and clothing to browse and purchase, with the likes of everyone from Vibram to Hoka One One and Saucony at the expo.

Tickets cost just £10. For more information and booking visit the event website.



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Give the Gift of Transformation

December 22, 2017 at 9:43
Posted by Rachael Woolston

If you’re stuck for a Xmas gift and can’t bear the thought of traipsing round the shops looking for something, why not give buy someone the gift that will inspire, challenge, motivate and transform their health, fitness and sense of well being?

WE have Christmas gift vouchers that can be emailed to the recipient in the following denominations:

Five week course, £135 (this is the special early bird price not available unless purchased as a Xmas voucher)

Four week course, £126

One to One Personal Training, £50 for 45 minutes

 

To read about the courses available, check our timetable.  To view our testimonials to see the effects that taking part can have click here.

 



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How much exercise should you do to see a positive change?

September 12, 2017 at 2:32
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Many of us were raised on the idea that just a bit of walking a few times a week is good for us. Of course, it’s better than nothing but to see changes in your health, body shape and fitness it’s not just how often you should be exercising but the intensity that may surprise you…

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Strength Training

What does strength training even mean? It could be body weight, you could use a kettle bell, dumbbells, anything that is heavy enough to create a challenge to your muscles so that they are forced to adapt and change. If you’re NOT lifting weight and only running or doing yoga, then you’re missing out a major part of your fitness training that helps to balance your hormones (did you know that lifting weights increases your levels of testosterone which can be beneficial if you are going through a particular hormonal stage of life), and lowers your risk of type two diabetes, stroke and heart failure.

And for all those women who worry that it will make them look bulky, it is very, very hard as a woman to bulk up. What strength training does do is generate muscle mass, which is more active than fat tissues, meaning that you will boost your metabolism and help you to burn calories even when sitting down. Health guidelines recommend lifting at least two times per week, ensuring that each muscle group is rested for two days afterwards. That doesn’t mean you can’t do back to back strength sessions, but it means working different parts of the body.

So, if you’re not lifting, rethink your fitness routine.

 

Cardio

Want to lose weight and you are out there running and checking the scales every other day? Cardiovascular exercise (when combined with healthy eating) CAN help you lose weight BUT the crucial factor is that it needs to be of moderate intensity – about 85% of maximum heart rate.

For a very few people, walking briskly will represent 85% of max heart rate but for the majority of us, this or running at a conversational pace will not. So, if you want your running to help you lower your health risks – and your weight, think about increasing the intensity.  Guidelines now suggest that the bare minimum of exercising should be 30 minutes per day, five times a week. On the flip-side, any exercise at this intensity over 7 hours per week will only lead to fatigue and potentially injury.

 

Social fitness

Studies also show that loneliness, or social isolation can increase your health risks by up to 32 percent. So, not only is exercising with others easier because you’re motivated and inspired by other, just being with others could help boost your health risk prevention.

 

 

Our next four week course, Autumn Burn (3 x per week plus homework) starts October 2nd 2017 while our Preston Park Total Body, two times per week starts Wednesday 13th September and then again October 4th (but is also open to drop-ins). Early bird deals on a FULL 12 session early morning boot camp ends for Autumn Burn on Friday 22nd September. Enter the code AB10 at the checkout.

 

 



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What happens to your running body when you take time out?

September 7, 2017 at 12:39
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Girls Run the World, founder Rachael Woolston in Women’s Running this month with her piece about how quickly you lose your running fitness when you take time out…(psst, don’t worry, you get it back quick!)

 

 



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HiiT returns for the summer

April 24, 2017 at 12:53
Posted by Rachael Woolston

If you can’t commit to one of our full courses but still want to get fit, flexible and strong, try our 30 minute high intensity interval sessions

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Fitting everything in that you know you should for a healthy, well balanced life is, well, just a bit hectic. The irony is, the older you get, the more important it is to stay active.

As women, we begin to lose muscle mass by up to half a pound a year from our early thirties. And by our forties, if we are not doing meaningful, focused strength work (and this means more than walking) we run the risk of our bodies ageing far more quickly than they should.

With less muscle mass, we don’t burn as many calories, result – weight gain. But it’s not just the aesthetic issues that we need to worry about.

Less muscle means it affects our hormone balance and can also lead to the onset of sacropenia, the wasting away of  muscle mass that affects balance, function and strength in older age.

That’s where HiiT is brilliant for busy, working women, mothers and fathers (yes, HiiT Squad is also open to men). You get a 30 minute, super-effective strength session and it’s easy to fit it in.

It’s also super-effective for cyclists and runners enabling you to build up your strength without it impacting on the time you spend doing the thing you love the most – running and cycling.

Anyway, it’s back on a trial basis at Hove seafront at 8pm-8.30pm on Wednesday evenings and at The Level at 6.30am or 7am on Fridays starting from Weds May 10th.

It’s £10 per session, £45 or 5 or £80 for 10.

 

 



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Join us starting 18th April for the big transform – Spring Shape Up

April 13, 2017 at 11:58
Posted by Rachael Woolston

At the beginning of this month, we celebrated our 8th birthday, welcoming back 42 women, of which 90% have been with us since we started which means we must be doing something right!

 

It was amazing to see what these women have achieved, many who started with Fitbitch simply wanting to lose some weight after having a baby or to feel fitter. Now, many of them are running 5km or marathons, taking part in triathlons and obstacle races, all things that they never even thought that they wanted to do back on day one, feeling terribly unfit and apprehensive about signing up and what they’d got themselves involved in.

I launched Fitbitch as a way of offering busy women a one-stop course that provides everything you need to get fit, in shape and to have fun. No having to book a yoga session at one place, a running session at another; simply pay your course fee, turn up and every session is covered, meaning that you learn more about your body and what is possible in four weeks, than you ever could with a year of trying to make it to the gym.

Simplicity is key; if the only thing you have to worry about is getting out of bed and to the seafront or the park, then success is guaranteed. There are no ifs and buts and what if it doesn’t work. It works. Two or three times per week, for a month creates guaranteed results. In fact, last month we did a five session, one week course and women lost up to four pounds. For some, it’s about weight-loss, others, getting fit or getting outside. Whatever your goal, you get there. Our courses are a financial commitment but then we aren’t like other gyms or bootcamps. We offer a lot; support, camaraderie, expert coaches, eating plans, goal setting and help with creating a healthy habit that stays with you even if you only ever do one course with us. Plus, there are only 12 women per course so you know you will get personalised support and coaching.

So, why not join us this Tuesday April 18th for the start of our next four week course at Hove Seafront or Queen’s Park? (No sessions on bank holidays). Or Lewes (Monday, Weds, Friday) starting 8th May for three weeks.

Founder of Fitbitch, Rachael will be back to take Hove seafront while Tara will be taking Queen’s Park and Amy will be taking on Lewes early morning course.

Get fit, feel fabulous and get your mojo handed to you in bucketfuls!

 

BOOK HERE



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Event Review: Tough Mudder South, 2016

October 11, 2016 at 6:19
Posted by Rachael Woolston

When Sarah Crosier joined us to learn to run back in the summer of 2015, little did she realise that within a year she would have found the confidence to enter an extreme obstacle event. Or a 24 hour relay race, or a marathon. Here she explains what motivated her and how to build  your own confidence to take on a challenge …

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When Tough Mudder was suggested as a possible Fitbitch team event, I was reluctant; the thought of running 5 miles through woods, jumping into deep water and crawling through mud was scary enough but most terrifying, was the idea of heights as I have an irrational fear of falling.

But, I teach my 9-year-old daughter to be challenge herself; to be brave, resilient, and to have the confidence and self-esteem to try new things and break out of her comfort zone. As a parent, sometimes you need to put into practice what you say.

 

Get prepared

To get prepared mentally and physically, I joined a a two-week Fitbitch obstacle training course which took place 4 times a week 6.15 to 7am. This was my first experience of Fitbitch bootcamps as I’ve only previously done their running courses and I can’t tell you how much fun it was.

Activities included running up skatepark ramps, climbing up rope nets and sliding down a fireman’s pole in the playground, plus, beach sprints and running into the sea whilst carrying tyres or my teammates! It was like being a kid again and every day I chipped away at my fears, with the support from the rest of the Fitbitch team.

It was such a fun way of getting fit and strong, playing wheelbarrows which I’ve not done for 35 years and building our team bonding all against the most amazing beautiful sunrises.

By the end of the training camp, our team all had different levels of fitness and skills – some were proficient runners, some were athletic and strong and others were just really fantastic team players who boosted all our egos and morale all the way round the race.tough-mud

Talk about your fears

Those that attended the obstacle bootcamp were already pretty open about their fears, and after practicing climbing ropes and getting fully submerged under water with the support from the rest of the team, I think we were as prepared as we were ever going to be.

We also had an events page within the Fitbitch Facebook group (free to join) to plan what to wear (Capri pants, trainers, FB tshirts and plaits), arrange travel plans and most importantly discuss what we were worried about. I personally felt quite comforted that I wasn’t the only one getting nervous 24 hours before the event!

 

Do your best

We didn’t all know each other when we got to the start line but we soon did on race day! There was a lot of bottom pushing to get each other over the obstacles and while we all ran at slightly different speeds, everyone waited at the obstacles to help each other out. No one in a purple t-shirt was left behind – and we even picked up a straggler who lost her friends, on our way.

The most challenging obstacle for me was the Berlin wall which was 3-metres-high. The moment I saw it, I said I couldn’t and wouldn’t climb over it. Another member of the group did the same and then at the last minute changed her mind. So of course, I had to try. With the help of 2 women pushing my feet up, I was able to get high enough to straddle the wall and slowly release myself down the other side.

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Have fun

The funniest moment was the final obstacle, Everest, a 15 foot ramp coated in mud and grease which sloped back out at the top like a snowboard halfpipe. My legs were  tired and I was cold having been in and out of water but after four tries, I finally managed to sprint to the top and grab the hands of my teammates, only to realise I couldn’t get my leg up. With the help of four team mates who dragged me up while we laughed hysterically, I was finally pulled to safety.

And don’t look down

So did my daughter and I fail our challenges? Well, I missed one Berlin wall out (there were two) and my nine-year-old was short of a few votes so didn’t get into school council this year. But we’ve learned so much from our experiences, feel a great sense of achievement and am ready to take on more challenges.

I’m even tempted (and maybe this was a mistake to put this in writing) to do a full Tough Mudder…. but only if I have my great Fitbitch team mates by my side. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it half as much without them.

Review in Brief: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good

Friendly event where everyone helps each other out. Time is irrelevant. Face your fears in a safe environment.

8am first wave was ideal. Clean toilets. No queues at obstacles. Not too slippery and muddy.

The bad

Warm cider at 10.20 in the morning? I think my head hurt more than my bruises.

The ugly

Not enough Tough mudder event crew en route. A guy had fallen by a ditch in the woods. It took 10 minutes to get the crew to him.

Season Tickets for Tough Mudder 2017 events are now available online.

If you are interested in training with us for any of our Dream Challenges this year or in 2017 email us or join our Facebook group here.

 



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Injury-proof your running body

September 14, 2016 at 3:21
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Is your running always halted in its tracks by injury or constant niggles? Help remove the obstacles with a course that helps you to build your stability and strength whatever level of runner you are..

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Over the last eight years, we have coached hundreds of women to become runners, get faster and run further so there’s not  much we don’t know about when it comes to women’s running – and motivation to run and keep going.

The biggest reason we see many women fall by the wayside when it comes to running is trying to do too much too soon. And without the correct foundations, this often ends in injury setting you back months.

Our Run Rehab course is aimed specifically at strengthening all the muscles which are essential for running to help you prevent injury and become stronger, fitter and more efficient. Over our six week course (starting Friday 16th September) we will help you build stability and balance both through core and gluteal work in a small group environment.

This course is ideal for ALL levels of runner and will help you rehab and get back to running if you are injured OR help to prevent you getting injured in the first place.

If you have only JUST started running for the fun of it, our Run Fit class may also be suitable. For those new to Fitbitch, you can try your first class of RunFit free by entering the code RFP at checkout.

RunFit, a running and conditioning class for beginners. 7pm Thursdays, Preston Park (Five weeks free with Learn to Run 5km, £7 drop in/included in outdoor season pass)

RunRehab for all levels of runners with targeted exercises to help prevent injury. 8-8.45am Hove Seafront until October and then New Fit Studio, The Level, Brighton. £60 for a six week course.

 

BOOK HERE

 

 



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The Diary of a Running Mum: Get Your Brave On

September 5, 2016 at 6:29
Posted by Rachael Woolston

If you struggle with the fear of taking on fitness challenges or gambles in life in general, our running mum diarist, Tanya Taylor, 43, has some words of advice..

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Eighteen years ago, back when I was a carefree 25 year old, living in a cool rented flat in the centre of town, with a handsome boyfriend and a part time job, my sister died. She died quite suddenly, and in tragic circumstances, leaving behind two young children. My sister, Sacha, had only just turned 30, and her death changed me as a person overnight.

Shortly after she died, I can remember looking in the bathroom mirror and not recognising the face that looked back at me. The weeks of crying and not eating had obviously affected my physical features, but it was more than that, I was different, something deep within me had altered.

The year that followed was full of change. I somehow managed to finish my degree, we moved to a flat by the sea, I married my handsome boyfriend (he proof-reads these…) and we had a baby. I no longer wanted to put things off, I was so deeply affected by the sense that life was so fleeting.

Our wedding had been planned and executed in 5 weeks – me in a £60 sundress and my husband in the first suit he had ever had to buy. I cried on the morning and evening of our wedding, my sister, Sacha’s absence was so overwhelming. Our baby was born several months later at home, the rain heavy outside -“You’re so brave to have a home birth with a first baby”, the midwife had exclaimed- but I knew, nothing would hurt or be as terrifying as losing a sister.

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Many years have passed, but that sense of mortality is still very much part of me. I believe in saying ‘Yes’, more than saying ‘No’ – I want to live a full life, to have adventures and experiences that my sister was  robbed of at such a young age. I owe it to her.

So it comes as no surprise, that when there are races or trips planned, I am usually one of the first to put my name down. Am I brave? No, I am naturally cautious and quite fearful, so it takes a lot for me to ‘get my brave on’, and so I still have to use little techniques to help me get my brave on.

My tips to help you feel more warrior than wimp

  1. Get a squad. At Fitbitch, we are so lucky to have so many inspiring women in our running community. Every woman empowers the next. Having someone to enter a race with or try a new running distance or route alongside can really makes a difference to your bravery levels. I wouldn’t have entered or completed Coast to Coast (106 miles across Scotland by MTB, Kayak and foot) if my race buddy J hadn’t been by my side the whole way.IMG_8923
  2. Create your own Talismans. I started using jewellery as a Talisman when I ran my first half marathon, like having a lucky charm. I use a handmade gold bracelet that was given to me on my 40th Birthday by a close group of friends, a gold necklace and my wedding ring. I also carry things my children have made me when I travel. It sounds corny, but it really helps to make me feel protected and strong.
  3. Train. It sounds obvious, but with a big race, if you are physically prepared, you feel more confident. Use a running club so you can train for races together or use a training plan downloaded from the many on offer on the Internet. (Fitbitch running courses start this week and our London club launches at the end of September. Join our London Facebook page for more details).
  4. Positive affirmations. Nike and Lululemon have positive mantras hidden into the seams of some of their sports items. I also love this banner by Secret Holiday – http://shop.secretholidayco.com/product/be-brave-affirmation-banner – which will definitely keep you feeling inspired. When I ran London Marathon this year, I copied out a text message from my friend J and had it in my back pocket the whole way. Her text told me I was strong, I was ready and to believe in myself. Just knowing those words were with me helped me so much mentally.
  5. Don’t overthink. Whenever I feel hesitant, whether it’s holding the cursor over a race entry confirmation or hovering at the top of a steep single track path on my mountain bike, I just take a deep breath and say to myself ‘Just fu*king do it’. It is amazing how effective this is – try it!
  6. Look for positives. Two years ago, I took on the challenge of swimming from Brighton Marina to Brighton Pier. I got separated from my group quite early, swimming out much deeper than the others. The currents were not in our favour that day, and the swim took twice as long as we had anticipated. My legs were cramping, and I was starting to imagine there were sharks swimming underneath (I know!!!!). I then looked up, and saw the sun setting just behind the Pier, it was shining right at me. I saw this as a sign that I was going to be okay, and not be eaten by a Great White off Brighton Beach.
  7. Cherish the Challenge. Some of the best experiences are when you are pushed outside your comfort zone. Swimming into a mountain lake with ice around the edges, is still one of the biggest natural highs I have ever experienced. I only thought about the possibilities of hyperthermia afterwards
  8. Less is more, sometimes. I try not to read too many details about the more challenging races I take on before the event. If I had known the last 14 miles of the Coast to Coast race involved running up and down two midge infested mountains (YES ,TWO MIDGE INFESTED MOUNTAINS,) there is a good chance I would have talked myself out of entering. Without wanting to appear sexist, a lot of the amateur race reviews (and worse still, the Go-Pro YouTube videos) are put on the Internet by men. They are pumped up with over-zealous, macho hype and I’m sure that helps a certain type of person (those that wear Ironman Finisher T’s to run local 5k races maybe?) but the reality is, with the correct training, most things are possible. Trust me, when you’re in the race and you’re in the zone, what might have looked terrifying and impossible online, is totally achievable.IMG_8921-2
  9. Products sometimes help. I use Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath & Shower oils (available from Liberty’s ) to rub on my pulses. The blends have names like ‘inner strength’ and ‘support breath’, and are completely addictive. They are tiny bottles and great for travel. I also have 5 Elements Acupuncture before any big races where I am treated for my anxiety levels.
  10. Fake it. If you are still feeling very nervous, fake it. Add a bit of swagger to your walk, smile at your fellow competitors and give them a friendly wink. Focus on calming breaths and your posture – shoulders back, stand tall. I can guarantee, there will be someone else there feeling more scared than you who won’t have read my blog!

I know if my brilliant sister was still here, she’d be the one screaming my name as I run over the finish lines. Her courage in her final weeks was mammoth compared to any courage I’ve ever had to muster up, and I will always be very proud of her, and so thankful to have had her in my life.

Tanya is one of our amazing Running Angel ambassadors who help to keep you company and motivated on our weekly Tuesday members runs. Membership costs just £25 including a race vest Tues evening runs except school holidays. Plus 10% off our season passes.

Year to Date Running Stats

Miles – 933

Elevation Gain 50,581 ft

Tanya’s Top Tracks for getting your brave on

‘Stronger’ – Kanye West

‘Tusk’ – Fleetwood Mac

‘Shake it Off’ – Taylor Swift

‘Fire’ – Kasabian

‘Born to Run’ – Bruce Springsteen



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Lewes Pop Up Fitness

August 19, 2016 at 1:08
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Whether you are a Lewes resident or live further afield and have time off this summer, why not try our one week healthy eating and fitness course w/c 22nd  August?

 

We love the beach and parks of Brighton and Hove but we get really excited about exploration and using incredible spaces that are as much part of our fitness courses as the exercises and eating plans themselves.

From skate parks to children’s playgrounds, seascapes to the Downs, the spaces we use are chosen specifically to boost your well being and health because they are simply so life affirming.

Last month we launched in Worthing, making the most of one of the most beautiful seafronts along the South Coast (and we have lots of other unique spaces planned for our course starting  Sept 12th so before September 1st using the code EarlyBird for 10% discount!). Next week we are doing a pop-up fitness week in Lewes. It will be right near Pells Pools (NOT in the pools itself) which has one more week of early morning swimming left (7am-9am) before it closes. So, if you have time off work you could even do our pop up fitness course (including strength for metabolic health, fun play-filled fitness sessions and even some yoga) and finish with a swim….

Don’t worry though if you are not local to Lewes, we are holding our usual one week blitzes in Hove and Queen’s Park too. But hurry to book because we ONLY take small groups for a bespoke, personalised service.

Ooh…and did we mention that the temperature rises again all next week…? Come and enjoy your retreat courses right on your doorstep.

Book Hove, Queen’s Park, Lewes or Worthing by visiting our BOOKING PAGE, then selecting location and then course.



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