Choose between two different camp times: 6.30am-7.15am OR 7.15am – 8am
Join us for this fantastic two week all over body blast that will get you fit, in shape and feeling fantastic. Set right on Worthing Beach, you’ll enjoy spectacular scenery and fitness sessions that will your endorphins sky high
Taking on a fitness challenge, whatever this is for YOU personally is guaranteed to make you feel nervous, anxious and just a little bit sick. BUT it is the willingness to take on challenges, in all aspects of life, that helps change you. We’ve created an entire list of events that you can train with us and take part in this year at Fitbitch – find them HERE. But I don’t think it’s fair to challenge the Fitbitch community and not follow this maxim myself…
If someone had told me, even two months ago, that I’d be swimming up a river at 5.30am in the morning, I would have said they were mad. I was useless at swimming as a kid, spending weeks trying to get that stupid Bronze swimming badge at school, unable to pick up the rubber brick off the swimming pool floor. Remember that? Maybe you don’t if you’re not a child of the 1970s but you get the picture.
But at the beginning of the year, I started taking a Pool to Pier swimming course in Brighton, first doing lessons once a week in the pool and then going into the sea. My very first session, I swam 1.8km. Before that, I’d only ever thought myself capable of swimming 400m in any one go. Amazing what you can do if someone just tells you to do it.
Then in June I took on my first open water sprint triathlon in a reservoir, which meant swimming 750m. It was a revelation. Up until that point I’d only done 3 triathlons before (one per year!) in a swimming pool. Having to wait for hours to get into the water, then worrying about getting in the way of people wanting to swim faster always made it an anxious experience. Swimming in a reservoir however on a gorgeous sunny morning in June? What a difference.
Which is how I found myself signing up to an Olympic distance triathlon (1500m swim, 40km bike ride, 10km run) just three weeks later, put on by Raw Energy Pursuits. Did I think I was capable of it? Frankly, no. I just signed up and figured that it would all work out. Worse comes to worse, I’d breast stroke my way to the finish of the swim. But then it’s quite easy to feel laid-back when pressing Pay on a computer screen. It was NOT how I felt as I stood on the riverbank at 5.15am in the morning, looking at a chocolate coloured river, strewn with seaweed and the bobbing yellow hats of the faster swimmers all ready for the off.
Far left of the picture, looking terrified with Fitbitch Cath front
But then the beauty of a triathlon compared to a running race, is that it all starts very quickly so you don’t have time to get too terrified. In this situation it was faster than most race starts for the Arun river is fast flowing and we had to do an out and back, which meant doing it before the river picked up speed. Into the water, which wasn’t too cold and then we were off, no big race guns or countdown. Big thumbs up for the race organisers who managed to pull this off seamlessly.
There was flailing arms, seaweed and a sky just tinged pink with the rising sun as I set off down the river. Growing up watching Jaws as a child, I’d always been terrified of things touching me in the water. I’m not sure what has changed but I felt really relaxed even as I swam through pockets of seaweed, had my feet touched by swimmers behind me and the bubbles of kicking feet in front of me. It was amazing. And I’m sure my relaxed state of mind was partly due to the number of kayakers who were on the river, looking out for all the swimmers.
Out of the water under 35 minutes, I was running to transition not quite able to believe I’d just swam in a river and more to the point, why had I not bloody done it before! The thing about challenges is sometimes, we can let them grow so big in our minds that we drop out and don’t step up to it. And yet nine times out of ten, it ends up being something that can be just that little bit life changing. That sounds like a big claim, I know, but achieve something that you think is totally beyond you and it leaves you thinking, ‘Well, what else can I achieve?’
As usual, I seemed to spend three times as long in transition as everyone else, trying to have a chat with the others shrugging off their wetsuits who were trying to be serious then it was off for a beautiful ride through lovely roads around West Sussex just outside of Arundel Castle. I’m pretty inept at taking on gels when I run, getting it all over my hands. It appears the same is true of doing it on a bike except that when you’re sitting down, it means you also get it all over your legs, and your hands. And of course, my handlebars.
Off the bike, I grabbed my running shoes and took off for a two lap, absolutely beautiful trail run through the countryside around Arundel Castle. My feet were frozen from being on the bike so it was a bit like running on wooden blocks. But by the second lap my feet started warming up and my right foot in particular felt strange. I pushed on, the sun shining as I ran up the trail and out onto the open green, running past a little chapel of the castle before running straight through town past the castle to the finish.
It was only on finishing the race that I was finally able to take my shoe off and discover that the carefully placed gel, put in my shoe so that I could grab it off the bike had actually slipped right into my shoe (I had wondered where it had gone!) and I’d run the entire 10km with a great big gel sachet by my big toe. Ouch!
ouch! Gel induced blood blister
The Arundel Triathlon is put on by Raw Energy Pursuits. Well organised, on time and a great race pack which included a t-shirt (a tech t-shirt may have been preferable but small gripe) and snack bar. No medal but they do organise a free breakfast bap from the riverside cafe. I’ve done events with this company before and they get the big thumbs up from me, particularly for the huge number of marshalls they have on the river, out on the bike course and on the run.
Fancy joining us for training for the Brighton & Hove triathlon in September? They offer distances as small as 25o metres as well as the opportunity to join a relay team if you only want to do one of the disciplines. We currently have around 20 women interested in taking part including lots looking for teams. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warm your running legs up with a 1.5 mile section on the road before taking the old railway path heading towards the Dyke. It’s a gradual uphill before returning via Devil’s Dyke bridleway and a descent through the Copse back to Hove Park.
September 13, 2015 at 9:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston
Join the Fitbitch running crew at Firle for this beautiful 10km off road event round the village of Firle, up on to the Downs and back to the finish line…just moments away from The Ram Inn, should you fancy a celebratory roast and bubbly!
Want to join our FREE Dream Challenge triathlon training? Don’t worry, we’ll be a little more professional than this although actually we do quite like the idea of doing this on the side of the pool before our triathlon. It will certainly give everyone a giggle…
Throughout 2015, here at Fitbitch and Hiit Squad UK, we will be getting training groups together to enter events, ranging from triathlons to cycle sportives, trail races to mountain ascents and coast to coast challenges.
We will be helping to raise money for Martlett’s Hospice along the way, with the profits from the sale of special Dream Team t-shirts, although if you have your own charity fundraising aim, that’s fine too.
First up, is the Ardingly Triathlon on Sunday May 31st, where you can train for a super sprint, sprint or the Olympic distance.
Our team training is free, and will consist of four Saturday’s leading up to the event beginning on May 2nd. You can join us for all of the Saturday’s or drop in when you can.
The training is community-led, with some of the team that took part last year, helping to guide and lead some of the training along with Fitbitch coach, Rachael.
If you would like to train with us, simply register your interest HERE and you will receive our information pack in the next week.
If you would like to read our review of the event from last year, click here.
Fancy trying an eating plan that will help wean you off coffee, pack a powerful nutritional punch and help you to lose weight without you going hungry? It may sound too good to be true but founder of Fitbitch, Rachael Woolston has been trialling a raw food plan with remarkable results…
Raw food. Sounds like something that only celebrities in Hollywood would do right?
I decided to test it as an idea for an eating plan to accompany our upcoming Hollywood Bodies Camp (all the exercises are based on workouts given by trainers to the Hollywood elite, many of whom I’ve interviewed for magazines including Marie Claire). It has been a reveleation.
The first meal I tried, a Thai style chilli was incredible, an explosion of flavour and taste that made me seriously wonder why I’d ever cooked anything before.
In brief, the theory behind raw food is that by cooking food, you destroy valuable nutrients and vitamins which are broken down by the heat process. Having now tried it, I can honestly say that cooking really does appear to destroy half the taste and flavour of food too.
The real beauty of this plan for those who struggle with their weight because they can’t cook, is that you need ZERO cooking ability (although for foodies out there, you’ll be amazed at the depth of flavour and enjoy the experimentation). The majority of the meals take about five minutes to make, with the help of a food processor.
The exception are foods that require sprouting, such as chick peas, beans and grains like quinoa. And other meals that require ‘dehydration’ like nut burgers and ‘nut pastry bases. Those who live a raw food life tend to use special dehydrator equipment but these are expensive so I’ve gone the air dried route. Not perfect but workable.
I’ve interviewed hundreds of women about their eating habits during 15 years of journalism and continue to assess clients diet diaries now. One of the overwhelming commonalaties between many people’s ‘before’ diets are the fact that they contain foods packed with salt and sugar. People often use sauces, ketchups, mustards, mayonnaise, sugar and honey because they have lost the ability to ‘taste’ natural foods. The common complaint is that other foods just taste bland.
A raw food eating plan will help re-educate the palate so that you WANT to eat healthily.
Of course, what you all want to know is what has it actually done for me.
I LOVE coffee. My first two days, I craved coffee all the time. Now as I write this on my second week, I can walk past Small Batch without wanting to go in. Trying out mad juice combinations has become my addiction!
And I’ve lost 5lbs without without once feeling hungry. Except when I forgot to bring my lunch to the office (fortuantely, if you live in Brighton, Foodiliac can rescue you).
This eating plan is called the Hollywood Raw Five, because I knew I didn’t want to do it over the weekend too. Even then, I still have NOT kept to this strictly five days out of seven. Some days, I’ve been out for dinner and even had a glass of wine (which curiously, I couldn’t finish) and at the weekend I had cake too.
But even if you do a few days raw out of seven instead of the five, it will help you to think about what you’re are eating, and challenge poor dietary habits.
Weightloss should never be sought without exercise, which is why we are encouraging people to sign up for our Hollywood Bodies Camp, by offering this eating plan free IF you book the camp by April 1st.
Lose weight without exercise and you could be losing all important muscle mass, which helps you to look toned and burns more calories even at rest.
Do you have to be organised on this diet? Yes, you DO need to go food shopping but eating healthily always requires planning.
Groceries wise, the most expensive items are nuts and coconut oil. But calculate how much you’d be saving on your coffee, meat and booze bill and you’ll still be quids in and what price can you put on your health?
Over the next week we’ll be posting our review of the best juicers to buy. The eating plan willl be available to buy from our site for £10.50 on April 1st but will be free to those booking Hollywood Bodies.
There are many blogs and raw food cook books that you may want to explore instead. What I’ve done with this plan is taken the hard work out of having to look for recipes, bringing together many from different sources, including some original ones and chosen the simplest, quickest ones to do, and which will support your body while you exercising.
Right, I’m off now to eat my raw food curry lunch.
Running gets you fit and feeling great. But the best thing? It makes you feel free.
Getting out there on the seafront, running through the city or in the country is like having a little holiday away from the normal realities of the daily grind. Whether that’s family, kids or career.
Yet many women worry that they just can’t run. We’ve heard so many women say: ‘But I’m just not a runner. I can’t go for longer than two minutes.’
Here at Fitbitch Runing Club, we have now trained hundreds of women to run. Most of them said, ‘I’m not a runner.’ Now, many of them join us every Sunday for runs across the downs, uphill and down from 3miles to 13 miles.
Whatever you want to get out of running, even if it’s just something that you can fit into your lifestyle that will get you fit and feeling good, our unique four week courses of just four sessions per week along with a training plan WILL get you to 5km comfortably.
Alternatively, if you can already run 5k but would now like expert coaching and guidance to get you to 10km, we have a five week course for improvers.
Our beginners course starts THIS Wednesday 19th at 7.30pm on Hove Seafront, our 10k course starts Thursday 20th at 7.30pm on Hove seafront.
For the last few months, we’ve been running our 30min, halve-your-workout-double your result HIIT camps.
Standing for high intensity interval training, this is based on the scientific principles of the Japanese scientiest, Professor Tabata.
In brief, his study showed that you can get better results from working flat out for short periods of time than longer workouts.
These workouts are perfect if you’re very busy but want to keep fit and in shape (you can do your workout, have breakfast, a shower and STILL get to work on time). And don’t shy away if you’re a beginner as they can be regressed to help you work to YOUR maximum, for a beginner that could be body weight squats, for an advanced exerciser, weighted squat jumps.
HIIT camps are also great for men and women training for performance. Cyclists and runners would particularly benefit as our sessions develop both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, not to mention strength gains. This area is often neglected by runners and cyclists but creates the power that can transform performance.
We are now launching a class pass for these sessions, £80 for 10 sessions to be used in 10 weeks. Or, continue to pay £10 drop in. If you are new to us and would like a trial session please email email@example.com.
Classes are every Weds and Friday at Hove Lawns at 6.30am and last for 30minutes and are open to men and women. Book online via our Prices & Booking page.
Currently taught by founder of Fitbitch, HIIT Men & Women and Fitmuthas camps, Rachael Woolston