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The joys of summer training

15 Jan

Wow it has been hot the last week or so in Brisbane, thankfully today is a bit cooler, but still sticky! I’ve found myself missing the cool weather in the UK and longing for my husband to treat me to that spa and swimming pool I’ve aways dreamed of!

Training has been tough in the last week or so just trying to push myself to train in the heat. I’ve been getting up really early in order to keep as cool as possible in training, and unfortunately going to the gym doesn’t help as my gym doesn’t have AC!!

sunI’ve learned a few things in my training time when it comes to the heat which I thought I would share:

Slip slop slap

If you must run outside and in the sun at least cover up or put on sun tan lotion. I know a lot of people that won’t wear sun tan lotion because they don’t like the feeling of it on their skin, but frankly I would rather feel greasy than get skin cancer and Australia is renowned for it!

Drink plenty of water 

My friend always says I don’t drink enough water and at this time of year it’s really important to ensure you take on water before during and after training. The amount varies from expert to expert but I always go along the lines of the pee test – nice and clear means all nicely hydrated before a run, but brown and the darker the pee is not good! I remember once race I did when I pee’d afterwards it was brown like watery tea! Not good! Try and carry water around with you or choose a running route that you know has drink fountains on the way round. A camelbak can help if you are like me and not very good at running with a bottle in your hand or around your waist.

Training times 

When the heat is on like it has been the last week or so I try and train early or later on in the evening to avoid the heat and the sun. For those of you blessed with a gym with air con or home with air con I would be taking advantage right now. I’ve been doing my P90x a fair bit at home with the air con on as it is cooler than doing weights at the gym right now!

Isotonic drink 

I passed out with heat stroke a fair few years ago now and just before my friends had gotten me to drink salt water and also juice to replace the sodium and sugar that I’d lost in a mammouth 30k run I had done in the boiling heat on a very hot day in London (very unusual) but now i tend to drink isotonic drinks to help replace any sugar/salt lost in training during and after training – this for me is important especially on hot days.

Find some trees 

I tend to vary running routes when hot and find routes that are shaded and less out in the open to help me keep relatively cool.

Well here are a few things i do – how do you keep cool in the sun when training?

Happy running!


Walking, running and the frustration of slowing down

7 Jan

Hope you had a great Christmas and new year. It’s taken me a while to post as I have been pretty busy and a few things going on but I’m back now!

My training has actually been going well with riding, running, walking – although I have been pretty frustrated as due to a medical issue my doctor asked me to keep my heart rate down a bit so the other day I went out for a run and tried to stick to the heart rate she wanted and it was so frustrating as almost no sooner had I started to run I needed to walk again and I was running around the lake near to home and was having a mental battle in my head with my head saying I could do it and my heart saying ‘but you have sprinted around this lake so many times before, what will people think when they see you running and then walking’ – but I stuck to it and actually felt ok. Interval training as we all know is a great way to keep fit – but try telling that to a seasoned runner that just wants to run and not walk – as you can see I haven’t quite resolved that issue with myself yet!

My mother in law used to do a lot of walking and she got extremely fit doing just that as well as observing a balanced diet of course. I can’t resign myself to just walking though not just yet! I need to RUN!

I was thinking about new year resolutions and have decided not to have any as everytime I seem to set them I never achieve them so I decided this year will be a year of achieving but without goals :-) I’m just going to go as hard as I can and see how I do. Have you made any resolutions?

Bye for now!


How’s your training going? Mine resembles a rollercoaster!

15 Dec

So Christmas is almost upon us! I can’t believe it and don’t know where the year has gone!

I don’t know about you but this year has felt like a particularly hard year in training, work and life in general. The number of people that have said the same to me is really high.

My training has been like a roller coaster and I have been sick a bit, demotivated a bit, pumped to train a lot, injured and healed and then it all starts again. I figure its just been a normal year !

I’ve been finding training tough the last few weeks and its no coincidence that there have been a few things going on health wise and life wise – but normally where I would pound the pavement or treadmill this time has seen me pull back a bit. I think sometimes we need that and to have a breather!

I’ve started making my running plans for 2013 and hope to start racing again and really ramping it up now I’ve had a bit of downtime – so once the silly season is over its back to it!

How has your training been this week? Hope you’ve had a great week!

Cooroora Mountain in Pomona – it’s not for the faint hearted!

3 Dec

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty full on actually – in a great training way. On Saturday I did two rides on the Sunshine Coast – one was 60k and pretty full on hill wise and the second one was more sedentary and a recovery ride of 15k. The next day I got up and climbed up Mount Cooroora in Pomona.I thought I might be able to jog up bits of it to get a short run in but noooo way. It was the toughest climb I have done in a while.

Mount Cooroora, Pomona

Mount Coorora, Pomona.
Copyright The Girl That Runs 2012

Home to the annual King of the Mountain race and also where my husband grew up I  have always looked at the mountain in Pomona and thought – yeah I would like to climb that in training and maybe one day do the King of the Mountain.

So after our two bike rides on Saturday we got up at 4.45am and climbed the mountain… All I can say is I take my hat off to the guys that run the King of the Mountain race as it was an extremely confronting and tough climb. Being afraid of heights didn’t help but I was determined to face my fears head on.

It felt like a simple trot in the hills at the start and I thought – yeah this is alright, but my friend Paul said -

“Zoe we haven’t got to the mountain yet this is just the warm up”.

I soon realised what he meant. The guys – Paul and my husband told me when they were growing up in Pomona that there were no steps or rails, people simple scrambled up and down the mountain. Now there are rails in some places but not all and when I say rails I am referring to very simple chains that at one point were keeping me from dropping down and breaking a few delicate bones!

View from Mount Cooroora

The View from Mount Cooroora, Pomona
Copyright The Girl That Runs 2012

At one point I didn’t want to go any further as we ran out of chains to hold onto but they both pushed me and I am glad I did as the view at the top was spectacular.

Coming down was tough but nothing like the climb up. I felt a lot more confident and happier than going up and was very happy when I finished!

I figure sometimes I have to push myself right out of my comfort zone in training as it makes me realise how much more I have in me. We often get held back by our fears and thinking we can’t do something – but I want to encourage you that I managed to get up that mountain despite having a fear of heights and lived to tell the tale :-)

Bye for now :-)

I am a light weight!

24 Nov

How has your training been this week?

This week has actually been lighter on cardio and supposedly heavy on weights. I went to the gym with my wonderful (and patient) friend who last week helped me come up with an arm weights program and then this week it was time for legs…. I haven’t done any leg weights since  was silly and hurt my back on the leg press many months ago and I realised how weak I was!

Light weightThere was my friend pumping pretty heavy weights and there I was on very light weights in comparison and it hurt and I let her know about it and moaned away all through our session – I am surprised she didn’t put ear plugs in! She just looked over at me and smiled in that way I know she was thinking ‘come on lightweight – suck it up!’ so I pushed on.

I figure as I get older weights should be an important part of my training and also it will help me get stronger in my running and riding so I will grin and bear it but it’s not part of my training that I enjoy to be honest.

Do you do weights? 

Do you enjoy it? 

Has it helped in your running?

I’d love to hear your experiences – or am I the only light weight out there that whinges in weights sessions ?? :-)

Have a great weekend – that’s me done for today :-)

High heels, dancing and blisters!

8 Nov

How has your training week been?

I got back from a long weekend in Sydney earlier this week. I’d like to say I managed to run everyday – in fact I was looking forward to trotting out and about around the Botanical Gardens like I did last time, but this time I went away with my friend and we did lots of exercise but no running.

We decided to go away and have a girls weekend – no plans, no itinerary – just a bit of retail therapy, relaxing and dancing. We had an awesome time and were out dancing way past my bedtime every night.

wearing high heels in Sydney was a challenge

I love high heels but I can’t wear them for very long or very often! Hence it was a challenge in Sydney!

Exercise wise we danced and walked and danced some more as well as stood up for hours in high heels. If anyone ever tells you that you’re past it! prove them wrong! I kept saying to my friend ‘we’ve still got it honey!’ although my feet are paying for it now when back in London wearing heels was a staple in my life.

I don’t normally wear heels (and I know they aren’t too good for you long term) much so I was challenged to try and look cool in my cute heels as well as dance the night away, and then woke up each morning feeling like I had just run a half marathon as my calfs hurt, feet hurt and I had a few blisters! – The things we do to look good!

We walked a lot as well which was great exercise. I remember my mother in law dropped huge amounts of weight back in 2008/9 just from walking everyday, and much to my surprise when I got back to Brisbane earlier this week I had dropped over half a kilogram – which is unheard of for me when on holiday!

So whilst I didn’t get to run whilst I was away I still got plenty of exercise in. We met some great people who really inspired me and I am fully pumped now and raring to go running wise and my business wise. In fact I got back from my trip and the next day jumped on the treadmill and ran the fastest I have run in a long time in my sprint session – so bring it on!

Happy running!

It’s been a week of running, cycling and falling off my bike twice – funny video alert!

1 Nov

It’s been a week or running and riding this week but the thing that stands out for me the most was my first riding experience wearing cleats – so attention runners – this is more of a riding post than a running post!

When I first started riding I figured I would be 0k with normal pedals and my bike came with racing pedals so one of my friends lent me his normal bike pedals to use. I found after a while that my feet would wobble all over the place and decided it was time to invest in some Shimano riding shoes and cleats.

They arrived and I felt quite excited and couldn’t wait to go out on them so I arranged to go to my friends and get him to fit them and then I was to go on a ride with him and his wife.

I put the shoes on and they felt good, clipped in and I thought yeah I can do this and literally I didn’t get out of his driveway for more than 5 seconds and I was on the floor – it was harder than it looked. The worst thing was my friend caught it all on his helmet camera! I had to go riding with a gadget person didn’t I!! I got back up and on the bike and then 20 mins later did the same thing!

It’s weird having your feet clipped in and I seem to clip out one side and forget I have to lean to that side too and that’s why I fell off ….twice! I’ll get there.

I ummed and ahhed whether to show this video but I thought, what the heck!  I watch it and laugh and figured it might cheer up someone’s day!  Watch it here . I didn’t show you the link to the other one as it’s more of the same and I figured one humiliation is enough lol!  
I haven’t been out on them since as it’s been a busy week but I am hopeful that next time I do I will be better.

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