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This summer do one thing that will really improve your health. Kick the sugary drinks into touch for you and your family. In the main just drink water, add a squeeze of lemon or lime if you choose, not cordial, but just drink water. Other drinks you might choose are unsweetened tea, coffee, milk, herbal and fruit teas but avoid fizzy drinks, cordials, fruit juices and smoothies. Eat your fruit, drink water. You don’t need to guzzle water all day to be healthy but making it your main drink is a great move.
Studies have shown that children given a sugary drink before approaching a buffet ate significantly more than those who had not had a pre dinner drink. The sugar in your system also affects how your body uses the energy from what you eat. Sugar free drinks contain nasty chemicals and have been shown to encourage your body to store fat in the same way as their non-diet counterparts so just drink water.
Sports drinks too are a con, they don’t hydrate you better than water. So long has you stay hydrated with water then they are only actually needed at all if you are exercising hard for well over an hour. Be honest, do you do that? And let’s face it, they rot your teeth as well! So if your kids are swigging Lucozade to get through football training or after a ride on the flumes then it’s time to change to water!
And if you often exercise hard for over an hour then try ditching the carbs anyway, it’s a much healthier lifestyle and your performance may well improve anyway. See lchf4runners.blogspot.com for a great blog on low carb living for athletes.
Boring? Well a bit of drinking boredom is probably worth if it means you are more likely to have a lifetime free of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity and other metabolic diseases.
For more information on what to eat for a healthy life visit www.realfooddieting.co.uk
Well done to everyone who completed the Brighton Marathon again in April - fantastic achievement. And the teams who turned out for the Weakest Link race on the seafront did Hassocks proud, especially the two kids teams all of who run their hearts out and beat a good number of the adults.
Hove Park Run has been especially busy this year; if you are interested just get in touch, there is a car going down most Saturday mornings so there's often a chance to share a lift.
It was great to see so many friend and family on this year's Boxing Day run. 28 hardy souls took a break between bouts of turkey to jogs between Jack and Jill Mills and Ditchling Beacon an 8 a.m; the weather was not so spectacular as last year but it was great fun none the less.
Full-on training for the Camberly Caper this month. There are two girls teams and a boys team entered. The boys seem to think they'll be alright on the day but the girls are out training in the rain and mud every Wednesday morning; 4-5 hours of mud, sweat and tears - they won't know what's hit them!
The running groups are nearly at full capacity; routes and now expanding all over the countryside between Ditchling and Hurstpierpoint. It's great to see so many sweaty smiling faces at 10 o'clock in the morning!
So just because my husband can run the 3 Peaks Fell Race in under 4 hours does not mean he can lecture me on marathon training. He might be able to run fast but he doesn't know his Gluteus Maximus from his elbow and anyway he always leans too far forward doing kettlebell swings and will he listen? No he won't!
And congratulations to Mary, Clare, Marina, Anne Marie and Emma how run the Worthing 10K in a South Westerly gale - great fun on the way out but the way back was a nightmare - no PBs that day but a great experience.
There had been a lot of hard work so far this year from young and old. I was a very proud mum when our son Cam finished the Brighton Half Marathon Youth Mile race in 46th place only 70 seconds behind the winner, and his school chums Dom and Joe finished even better. As 8 year olds in a under 11 race this is a great achievement! All three boys watched their dads set a fine pace in the big race along with a sprightly Mr Jenner making up a 7-a-side team from Hassocks Robins. I was proud to see my Aspire mums finishing strongly too.
But all that now seems like the prelude to what promises to be a grand day out in the Brighton Marathon on April 10th. The training plans have been written, followed and fed to the hamster. All we need now is last year's weather! Book your spot on the promenade now to watch those Aspire girls break the 4 hour mark - no pressure of course!
Beginners Kettlebell classes are running strong again on Tuesday evening with several looking to move up to join the heavyweights.
Well the blog is getting less frequent, but only because everything else is getting so busy! In summary there have been some great achievements - most notably (from my point of view) a freezing morning in November when a some good friends and I shared the ice cold mudbath
that was "HELLRUNNER", it certainly was a blast although as per obstacle and mud races in general there was a lot of boring queuing while the newbies slipped about on the muddy hills, all the same it was a great experience from which we learned a big lesson - "don't leave the keys to the camper in the pocket of the photographer!" - we thawed out in the end though.
Big hands too for Claire in the Great North Run, the whole Aspire gang in the Brighton 10k and, I suppose, to him-indoors with a big PB in the Beachy Head Marathon it seems that even ultra runners can improve their times with a healthy dose of 12KG kettlebells twice a week!
The Aspire year came to its now traditional end with the Boxing Day run. The 8 o'clock start was as daunting as ever but we were treated to a fantastic morning as we ran from Clayton Mills to the Beacon and back. The sun rose 3 times as we climbed and descended along the ridge. Stunning, fantastic, beautiful!!!
And if you have never run through 5-foot snowdrifts within 2 miles of home, then it's time you did!
A very busy summer! Lots of running and kettlebells in fab weather until the schools broke up of course! It was great to have so many people carry on with classes through the holidays; I’m sure you all missed me and those intervals when I headed to the sunshine of western France for the last couple of weeks of August. We had beautiful weather and along with swimming, running, windsurfing, boogie boarding and playing with my new kite. I managed to devise a great new double kettlebell workout on the sand. I think the people in the neighboring tent may have wondered what I was up to but a sand dune is a great place to practice juggling kettlebells! (Juggling here being with only one kettlebell!) The workout is a killer, great full body blitz; let me know if you fancy it! Back to school now for all and classes have started again. Check out the schedule for details.
Finally a couple of events you might be interested in:
Brighton 10K A gang of us are already signed up so you can be sure of company!
Enter soon at http://www.brooksbrighton10k.co.uk/entry it fills up fairly early so just get on and enter right now. All of you are able to do this with a bit of training and it really helps to have something to get you out there. Let me know when you've entered and I'll help make sure you are ready.
And, for something completely different! Hellrunner - http://www.hellrunner.co.uk/helldownsouth.htm
April 21st 2010
Wow! What a day! On Sunday over seven and a half thousand people finished the first ever Brighton Marathon and I was one of them, what a feeling. It was by far the hardest challenge I have ever done, more so than I’d expected and I’m still a bit sore! Several other local people are also walking a little awkwardly this week having completed this amazing achievement; amongst these are several who have done parts of their training with Aspire turning out for gruelling interval sessions, kettlebell classes and circuits. A huge well done to Liz Hollingdale, Helen Graham, Marina Bullivant and Corin D’Enno and good luck to Clare Seth who is running on Sunday in the London Marathon. It was wonderful to see so many friendly faces along the route, thank you for your support; the crowd were a real boost.
This week has been full of congratulations and a real sense of people seeing our achievement coupled with a few who are beginning to wonder....... maybe next year could I........? To which I say “Yes!”. We are all ordinary mums with busy lives, not club athletes or fitness freaks. I have only ever got into running because it’s the easiest way for a busy mum to keep fit, I had done two half marathons before and this provided the next challenge. This time last year Corin and Helen weren’t running at all and Marina had only started in January 2009, prior to that she’d only run on a treadmill at the gym. So if you fancy the feeling that you’ve done the impossible and to would like to hang a medal round your neck that you are truly proud of, give me a call. You can get into running.
April 10th 2010
Run, eat, sleep, train, run 26 miles for Sport Relief!
Rather last minute I decided to convert my last long training run into a fund raiser, I felt that I should be doing something for this great charity event. First I spoke to the children at Windmills School, encouraging the kids to do something for Sport Relief - well done to all, whether you ran a mile, swam a kilometer or just hit your dad 20 times with a balloon, it all went to a great cause - then I put my money (and body) where my mouth is and ran the length of Hassocks, from Stonepound Crossroads to The Greyhound, 23 times making a total of 26 miles when added to the 5K I had already run at Hove Parkrun that morning. And I managed to collect over £300 along the way.
A big thanks to all thse who contributed and especially to those friends who accompanied me along the way.
Now I just have to add on that last 385 yards and I'll have run a marathon - Roll on April 18th!
Well done to those who ran at Parkrun with me on that morning, for several it was their first ever running event and you all did brilliantly. I'd really like to make Parkrun a regular feature for Hassocks runners so if you'd like to come along give me a call.
Run, eat, sleep, train, run, eat, sleep, train, run, eat ......
Still the same story really except with a little over a month to go before marathon day I'm finding my optimism. 18 miles conquered on Saturday and recovery from these long runs is much faster - especially after my ice bath!! Wow it was..... cold! I was still tired but not completely wiped and no real soreness. It's really uplifting to feel the training work and realise just how amazing the body is. Overload is one of the great principles of training each time you push your body a bit further than it's really comfortable with it prepares itself to expect this harder level. So however and for whatever you are training it's always the final hard bit that counts most if you want to make progress. Do bear in mind however that overload goes hand in hand with various other principles, you can't just go all out and make monster gains!
Run, eat, sleep, train, run, eat, sleep, train, run, eat ......
Nobody told me that training for a marathon would be as hard as this! Where are you supposed to find the time? Motivation is lacking at times too, especially when it's dark, raining, cold and slippery out there. That's why I'm trying to get some like-minded marathon adidcts together for mutual back-slapping and and 'experience sharing' sessions. I think The Greyhound might be a good venue!
If you fancy something rather more acheiveable that could just kick-stat a new more active you, then why not think about setting yourself the challenge of running the Downlands School Summer Fair 5-mile race. This is a great local event and with the help of the following training programme you could suprise yourself with a good time. I'm hoping to see as many of my regular runners there as possible, veterans and beginners alike.
Here is the programme...
Well they say that you should experience something completely new every year, and it was only 2 weeks into the year when my running pals and I decided to venture up the Tank Tracks to Keymer Post and take a look at the snow up there. My husband chickened out the day before when he came to drifts of 5 or 6 foot deep snow on the lane down to Jack and Jill windmills but we are made of harder stuff (metaphorically speaking anyway) and we ran, rolled, jumped and laughed our way down through untouched powder snow for the next 20 minutes - clearly the first to pass that way since the storm had ended. It was like being in another country, wonderful; and all just 2 miles from home!
My personal highlight of this month has to be completing the Royal Parks half marathon in London. I totally surprised myself both with my time (under 2 hours!!!) and with the fact that I really enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic, fast and flat course, really well organised and with a great atmosphere. I thoroughly recommend it – now my legs have stopped hurting! Register your interest for next years event at http://www.royalparkshalf.com/runners/register-interest-for-2010 then they’ll let you know when entries open. It filled up very fast last year so it’s worth registering.
It’s definitely autumn now, dark evenings and colder days. The Wednesday night runners are not put off tho’, and we’re still going strong in all weathers. We’ve all invested in high vis jackets so we can be clearly seen out and about. Not sure what the commuters think of us all thundering up and down the station stairs for just one more repeat!
A big thanks to Chris at the Hassocks pub for letting us use the function room for the couple of Tuesdays that have had filthy weather. There’s a few spaces now in the Active Mums group with people having returned to work so if you’ve got a little one you’d rather not leave in a crèche while you workout come along and get fit with us.
I’ve launched my latest project, Commit to FIT, which you can find out all about here. I’m hoping it’ll be somewhere between personal training and group exercise; you get the support and encouragement with a programme tailored to your needs without paying for my time 1-1 every session. I really think it will be Fun, Intensive Training with all the new gear I’ve got. The kettlebells are proving very popular with my 1-1 clients and I’ve also invested in a full set of dumbbells and some hedgehog pods! Find out what you can do with these at circuits on a Monday!
Kid's back at school and the new Autumn programme is off the ground. Now is a really good time to make some changes to your fitness routine, time and effort put in now will really benefit you as autumn becomes winter and before you know it we're into Christmas parties (and of course then there's no point doing anything until the New Years resolutions kick in!). If you can get into running now (or anything active) you'll be a runner by the festive season and maybe this is the year where the top of the Downs will be the place you want to be on a cold winters day rather than lying on the sofa with a hangover.
Some how the summer holidays are nearly over and despite having thoroughly enjoyed a family holiday in Cornwall, a camping weekend in Derbyshire and catching up with friends it feels as though we've barely got started on all the plans we had!
It's a hard time to keep up with working out with the kids off school and going away but a group of runners have managed to keep fit getting out on some great Wednesday evening runs. We've done lots of intervals to keep up the interest and even powered up some hills with everyone noticing the difference this work can make to your fitness levels. Those who have managed a couple of other runs a week have really reaped the benefits, well done it's not easy to find the time when the kids are around.
If you haven't managed to stick to your plan for an active summer, don't panic. Soon as school starts dust off your trainers and just get out for a short 20 minute walk or jog. You'll be able to build this up and get your fitness back in a few weeks.
Check out the programme for Autumn group sessions, or get your own group together and we can find a time and a solution for your needs. If you really want to get started towards a serious change consider a package of one to one sessions to get you on track.
Congratulations to Marina, Liz and Karen for completing the Worthing 10K in under an hour, with Marina finishing in under 53 minutes - an amazing result for somene who started with my first beginners group in January of this year.
Great holiday with the family in Corsica. The maountains come right down to the see and the view from 600 meters up on a bike ride was jus fantastic. Loads of volleyball and curuits with the giggly trainer, and no running!.
Well I don't know about you all but I am certainly loosing weight! I am determined to stay directly involved as much as I can and not just pootle along behind you all on a bike. That way we can chat about you and your issues and you can feel good that it's hard work for me too!
Where has all the mud gone? This summer thing is great but I'm starting to miss etting splattered every time I get on a bike.
Thursday 23rd April:
Spring really has sprung, it's fab out and about. Active Mums headed through Butcher's Wood this week proving that all the buggys can cope with tree routes and a bit of mud. It certainly exhausted the babies they were all asleep by the time we got back to the park!
The running groups have started again after a short break while we had a fantastic holiday in the lakes, lots of walking and even got the kids to the top of Helvellyn with no moaning, very exciting!
Sunday 4th April:
What a week! Some lovely weather to be out and about in, I’m more and more sure that getting outside is good for you! Getting active in your locality leads to a really positive feeling about where you live – especially when that happens to be somewhere as beautiful as the Sussex Downs. The woods are full of white flowers and the bluebells will be on there way soon.
I spent two days on a Childhood Obesity course last week and it was both informative and very scary! The current generation of kids are the first who are in general unlikely to outlive their parents largely down to the obesogenic lifestyle they lead. That along with the comparison of calories in various fast food meals left me pretty shocked. We so often just do not know what’s in our foods and make poor choices. Today at lunch I had cranberry juice thinking it was so much better than the ribena my kids were drinking. It was only when looking at the labels I realised what turned out to actually be cranberry juice drink had as many calories and as much sugar as the ribena! The answer is that in the main stick to water for drinking! Steer clear of diet drinks, they can give you the same insulin issues as real sugar without the calories with the added disadvantage that aspartame is just bad, bad, bad; just google it to learn the reasons you just don’t want it! If you want flavour go half-and-half with proper fruit juice, but still make sure you mainly drink water.
Wednesday March 11th:
Got lost up on the downs with my friend Clare and her dog, it was a gorgeous day and ended up doing an eight mile run with some fairly nasty hills including the Tank Tracks. Malcolm uses this path from Underhill Lane to Keymer Post for fell running training and I can see why. I'm feeling good now!
Tuesday March 10th:
Today's 5k challenge group have done it! 5 kilometres all in one go. They have done fantastically and with two weeks more training before the Hove Park run they have the confidence to know they can do it. I'm sure they're all looking forward to next week's interval training aimed at picking up the pace a little!
Today also saw the launch of Aspire Active Mums. Seven mums with babies in buggies power walked the streets and parks of Hasocks stopping to try a few exercises here and there. It went down really well and will be a regular fixture for the next five weeks as they all enjoyed their trial sessions and have booked a course of five sessions. This is an exclusive group so that I can work closely with them all for the duration of the course.
Monday 2nd March:
What a beautiful day! Had a great run with a client on Newtimber Hill, the views were fabulous and certainly beat the walls of a gym for me. We did a circuit and incorporated 12 sets of exercises while out and about before returning home for some work for the abs and back. Top workout for mind, body and soul!
The running groups continue to make progress in leaps and bounds, last week both groups completed a circular run of over 6 kilometres. Really well done to all of you, you are well on the way to a continuous half an hour run which can form the basis for training for any distance you choose as well as being a very effective way of keeping fit and managing your weight. We have four weeks to go before our 5K in Hove, after which there will be new groups starting for beginners and runners who can manage ½ an hour at a jog. Keep an eye out for posters with details or check back here in the next couple of weeks. Talk to me about particular day, time and locations that would work for you and I’ll try to make a group that fits. I need a minimum of six to start a new group so talk to your friends and take up running as a gang this spring.
Wednesday 25th February:
How the time flies - hectic half term done and the children back to school - I’ve finally got some time to update my news! February has been great; fab skiing with the family and the two running sessions really established and both managing to meet even in the school holiday. Both groups covered over 5k in the sessions last week which is a fantastic achievement. We are now working on making that continuous and increasing the pace for those who want to go faster. Circuit training in the park is happening every Monday at 10:30 am , meeting at the Adastra hall car park. I’ve got some new equipment and this morning’s session was really fun; well I had fun, those working out did a bit of moaning and groaning actually, but I think they enjoyed it. Come along and give it a go.
Friday 30th January:
A busy week: clients, circuits, park runs and I got parachuted back in to school to teach P.E for 2 days as well. Am I looking forward to a week's skiing? You bet.
Tuesday 26th January:
The running group made it up to Oldland Mill. They are making good progress and were rewarded with great views over the village towards the downs. The further we go the better the rewards!
Saturday & Sunday
Lots of running in the rain with clients this weekend but no sad faces. Well done, and spring will soon be here.
Tuesday 20th January:
Woke up to pouring rain and decided today’s running group would be all about learning to love the rain! I was worried that people might be frightened off by the weather, it’s never easy to get out and run on a cold wet January day. However by 9 o’clock the rain had stopped and most people still turned out - and the rain held off. Great session and I think everyone left feeling pleased and surprised that we’d totalled over 2 and ½ miles and run 1 of those miles without stopping or walking at all. Well done!
Having missed out on the wet weather I thought maybe this would be a good time for a few soggy-day tips.
1 Go anyway! You’ll be even more pleased with yourself afterwards.
2 Wear layers with a light weight rainproof on top, you will get warm, even if you’ve got a top-of-the-range jacket so be prepared to stop and remove a layer. You’ll either need to carry a small back pack, be happy to tie excess layers round your waist. Alternatively find a short circuit that brings you back past home when you’ve warmed up.
3 A peaked hat can stop the rain running down your face and dripping off the end of your nose!
4 Once you’re out and wet, make like a kid and splash right through some puddles. This feels amazingly good! Generally one for the way home.
5 Trainers cope very well with wet, let them dry naturally. It's best to shove a load of newspaper inside and remove a them few hours later. Put them near but not on a boiler or radiator, although mine generally seem to dry out okay under cover outside. Always put trainers to dry straight away or they’ll smell forever!
Hope you get to run in the rain and enjoy it soon!
Monday 19th January:
Started circuits in the park. Just a couple of folks brave enough to face the cold and mud but we had fun and a really good workout. Two circuits, nine exercises and nine different actvivities to keep your heart rate up throughout. As currently structured I can take up to twelve people at once so if it sounds like your sort of thing give me a call. I’m going to keep the numbers low so that I can make sure everyone’s got good technique and really works hard!
Friday 16th January:
Busy week! The time is flying by. The running groups have started with good sessions both on Tuesday and Today. Folks are really motivated by the goal of actually running in a serious 5K. Some are sceptical about whether they will be able to, but I am sure they'll start to believe me after a couple of weeks progress, especially if they do their homework!
Circuit training is all ready to go and a gang of people are keen to get started. Practiced with a friend yesterday and she got a good workout.
Cam led an expedition through the frosty fields to Jack & Jill today. He's getting good practice for the Lake District at Easter. Once his dad has taught him to read a map he will be gone!
Wednesday 7th January:
Circuits through the woods with two friends and a dog. It really works. All three got a good run around but I couldn’t persuade the dog to join in the exercises. It’s an hour workout, jogging to the woods, two sets of 7 or 8 exercises then back to the warm for abdominal work and a stretch. My mates say they enjoyed it and felt they worked hard.
Tuesday 6th January:
Malcolm (my husband) and I did a circuits session at the park. We both worked really hard. There’s loads of potential for a wide variety of exercises and I think it’s really one where kids can come too. Fancy giving it a try? Bigger kids can just play and with toddlers we can be contained in the play area and I’ll help keep them entertained.
Monday 5th January:
I am getting better at using my new mobile phone but obviously not good enough as I didn’t see the text telling me hockey training was off and turned up at the triangle. I got home at 7.45 pretty fed up and assumed I’d missed my opportunity to get active but my husband and daughter both just said "well do something short – some exercises", a bit of a circuit and that got me motivated. I shoved on a hat and gloves and went for a half hour jog, I realised the kids wouldn’t go to bed with me thundering around the house. It was great! I’ve never been into the cold and dark, but actually it’s fine and when I got back I was really pleased with myself. So, make sure your family are on-side and know what you want to achieve; it’s amazing how encouragement from an eight year old can get you out the door.
Sunday 4th January:
Ice skating followed by 2 hours of swimming (well flume riding, wave machines and diving) that’s all got to count as activity even if I was doing a fair bit of watching my kids being active and towards the end begging them to get out of the pool. Great family day out though. Guildford Spectreum is a bit of a trek but worth it for a special treat; and they take the Kellog’s free swim vouchers.
Saturday 3rd January:
Hockey match – we (Burgess Hill) made heavy weather of seeing off Penguins in a cup game, we won on penalties (and I scored!!!!)
Friday 2nd January:
A practice of my home-based circuit training which went pretty well but I did get very hot as we had the central heating on so I took bits of it outside, the kids especially liked the bits on the trampoline but got fed up with me chopping and changing every minute!
New Years Day 2009
A brisk sea walk to attempt to combat the quantities of food and wine consumed last night, don’t really think it’ll have come anywhere near - it was a very short walk and was followed by barbied bacon sandwiches! Never mind, the sea air was good.
My New Year’s Resolutions:
-To get Aspire Fitness Solutions up and running.
-To exercise nearly every day, whether that is running, cycling, circuits or relaxation and stretching, I’m more and more sure that, for health, finding windows for little bits of activity every day is the key.
-I’m going to do this by walking the long way home from school drop off, using my bike to get to the shops when I can and if all else fails walking round the block after dinner and doing some stretches while watching TV. If I’m ill or injured I’ll do a relaxation session.
New Year’s Eve:
Managed to squeeze in a jog through the woods followed by a swim with the family. The water was cold so I did a few lengths to warm up. Will 2009 be the year to learn to swim front crawl properly? I can manage only a couple of length before my breathing goes aray and I’m left gasping!! Any tips will be warmly received.
A day out at Drusilla’s zoo. While freezing watching the kids play I realised that what we all need to do is wear trainers a lot more. It doesn’t matter how you get those thirty minutes of exercise, ten minutes of chasing children round the “Monkey Fortress” in order to stop your toes freezing all counts, another ten of joining them in the soft play before you settle down with a coffee and the paper, that only leaves ten more minutes of activity that gets you puffed out and before you know it you’ve had your days dose of exercise, you’re warm rather than slowly turning blue and the kid’s will have loved you getting involved!
Short run round the village early evening. Despite freezing temperatures a good half hour circuit checking out everyone’s Christmas lights. Hassocks at night feels very safe although the street lighting’s not great everywhere.
Had great fun experimenting with circuit training in the woods. The kids came too and played in the stream, another beautiful winter’s day in Sussex!
OK, it's 5 days till Santa shoves his big belly down my chimney. It's enevitable; there will be wine, there will be mince pies, and possibly the odd roast potatoe. How do I ensure that it's just the goose that's getting fat?
A daily carb-burn. That's the answer. Whether it's the annual hike to the butchers for the chipolatas or a trip to Budgens for spare bovril (Cam loves bovril gravy!), don't get in the car, walk; or bettrer still, run. And while the bird's on the oven and dad is peeling the carrots, get your trainers on and do a couple of turns around the block.
They will cope without you for a bit, and the main thing is to keep your metabolism running. Veg out at the dinner table - not on the sofa!
Great run on the downs with friends. It was soooo beautiful up there! Why would you want to run on a treadmill when you could run between Clayton Mills and Ditchling Beacon? Sun shining, fantastic views; a big splogy in places but so what!
Mon 16th December 2008
Making plans for 'Perspire-in-the-park', a summer session of circuits in Adastra park. One for the lads maybe ....