Honest Post #2

I am just going to get straight to it… This week I have had my first proper period since May 2017. There, I’ve said it.

I will be honest, I have been very nervous about writing & posting this. I have also felt embarrassed, and worried what people will say, but after speaking to someone who has also gone through this, I know that is important to share my story, in the hope that if someone else is going through the same thing, they know they are not alone and that they can talk to someone.

To give some background to this story, last May I decided to come off of the contraceptive pill, not because I had any intention of falling pregnant, but after being on the pill for most of my teenage & adult life I decided I wanted to give my body a break, and try to get into a normal and healthy cycle, as one day I was planning on starting a family of my own. I did read online that after being on the pill for a while it can take a little while for your body to adjust and that your monthly cycle may be a bit all over the place for a few months. So weeks passed, and I didn’t get a period, but I wasn’t worried. Soon, those weeks turned into months, but I just kept telling myself it was normal and that my body would start working properly soon. And if I am being completely honest, I didn’t miss them at all! No period pains, no bloating, no crazy hormones – it was a bit of relief.

But soon, those months turned into almost a year of no periods. But still, I was in denial that anything was wrong. I only spoke to a handful of people about it, and brushed off any concern as I didn’t want to admit anything was wrong with me.

If you have been following my blog & my Instagram, you will know that at the beginning of the year I upped my training significantly as I was training for the London Marathon. I was running more than ever, going to the gym 3/4 times a week, I lost a considerable amount of weight and was following a tailored nutrition plan. On the outside I looked healthy, and to be honest I felt it. I was the fittest I had ever been and was seeing so much improvement in my running I didn’t really care about anything else.

I chose to tell very few people about what was going on, but those that did know, were concerned, probably more concerned than I was, which is worrying in itself. I continued to brush off comments with a typical ‘I’m sure it will be fine’ response, which is very irresponsible but sometimes you need to realise these things on your own, and luckily, I now have.

A couple of months back, someone very close to me gave me some information about a condition known as the ‘Female Athlete Triad’ as they were concerned that this may be the reason why I wasn’t having periods. At first I completely brushed it off, this obviously wasn’t what I was suffering with. In my head I wasn’t an elite athlete, I wasn’t small enough, I ate a healthy diet, so I couldn’t possibly be affected by this. In all honesty, I was just majorly in denial that my issue was something that I could do something about.

Triad

Whilst I was training for the London Marathon, although I was training hard & eating right, one thing that I really struggled with was sleeping enough. Although I was tired, I was rarely getting more than 6 hours sleep a night. As an athlete our bodies need sleep to recover and to give our bodies a chance to rest & repair, and I wasn’t doing this. I was making myself get up early to go to the gym or do a session, going to work all day and then training again in the evening. I got so used to doing this, I just considered this normal, and what I needed to do if I wanted to improve and become a better runner. But in reality, I was probably just causing more harm to my body, and that extra hour in bed in the morning would probably been a lot more beneficial then forcing myself to get up and go to the gym.

After some persuasion, I eventually booked an appointment to go to the doctors, I was starting to realise that something wasn’t right, and that I needed to speak to a professional. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the help, nor advice that I was hoping for. I am no way putting down the NHS and the services they offer, but after my appointment I felt like I was just making a big deal out of nothing. I explained to the doctor that I hadn’t had a normal period for over a year, I told her how frequently I exercised and my concerns about the Female Athlete Triad, but unfortunately she wasn’t really aware of the condition and could offer no advice. I was weighed in the surgery, and as I am a healthy weight and my BMI is normal there wasn’t any concern. I had my bloods taken, and they came back as normal, so that was the end of that. I had no answers, no advice, and still no period.

In early July I picked up a hamstring injury. I was devastated. My training for Berlin was going so well, I was getting faster, I was getting stronger and was loving all of my sessions, and I had to just stop. Mentally its been very hard, but luckily I am now at the back end of it, it’s been 5 weeks now and I am still not back to training fully, and although its hard, I now see it may have been a blessing in disguise. During marathon training I was averaging around 40-50 miles a week, as well as 3 x gym sessions a week, working full time & teaching a bootcamp class 4 nights a week, I was always on the go and busy, but recently that has changed.  Since my hamstring injury, my training has reduced dramatically. I have still been exercising every day, but putting my body through a lot less stress as I haven’t been running high mileage or doing tough sessions. I also work in a school, so have the luxury of school holidays currently, and for the first time in a long time, I am averaging around 8 hours sleep a night, in fact it’s actually been a struggle to wake up some mornings. At first I felt extremely guilty, and almost lazy, but now I can see that my body obviously needed it.

To me, it is no coincidence that since my training load has dropped, and my sleep has increased it has allowed my body to function normally, and that is why, for the first time in 15 months I am having a proper period. It has made me realise that although I was exercising & eating healthily, my body was far from healthy. And now I am determined to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

As I was in denial that anything was wrong, I did not discuss this with either of my coaches. So to them, I was completely healthy! But I know I can’t go through another marathon training cycle and put my body through the same thing again. So something has to change. I will now be tracking my monthly cycle and will be keeping my coaches updated – it may be that my training load has to be reduced, my calorie intake will need to be increased or I have additional supplements added into my diet.

Am I scared about having to potentially eat more and that I may gain weight? Absolutely. I have talked openly about my body image issues and this is a whole other issue that I am going to need to work on as I go through this journey to get my body working normally again. But hopefully, with the support of my coaches, my amazing team mates and those closest to me I will get through it.

What I am going through is a real issue, and it shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. And I hope that now I have shared my story, if any of you are going through the same, you will realise that too.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if any of you want someone to talk to, please reach out.

Jordan xx

#TrekKeepsMeGoing

Well, it’s been a little while hasn’t it? With a combination of being busy, unorganised and sometimes just downright lazy, I haven’t kept this blog as up to date as I would have liked. But that is going to change now, as I am off work for the summer holidays! So over the next few weeks I am going to be posting a lot more, including product reviews, training & my current injured state (if you follow me on Instagram you will know that I am currently suffering with a hamstring tear, but more on that another time!) Anyway, first up.. I am going to talk about one of my favourite things – FOOD!

A few weeks back, the lovely guys at Trek got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in a challenge. To celebrate the launch of their amazing new ‘Cocoa Raisin Protein Flapjack’ (& they really are amazing, they have even overtaken the Cocoa Coconut bar to be my number one!) they asked if I would be willing to try them out & share my week. I have always loved Trek bars, so I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Like most of you I’m sure, I am pretty busy! Some days I can be out of the house at 6.30am and not get back home until 8pm, whether its because I am at the gym, work, teaching bootcamp or general life chores, I am pretty much on the go most of the time. And what happens when you are on the go? Sometimes convenience takes over and before you know it you’re grabbing a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar or making unhealthy choices for that quick fix (btw I am not saying I never do this, but c’mon who’s perfect!) so for me, having a Trek bar in my bag every day is the perfect way to get that quick fix you need for after a work out, a pre dinner snack or just to get you out of that afternoon slump!

trek-bar.jpg

Recently I have also found myself travelling down to London a lot more frequently too – a place where you are surrounded by AMAZING food and snack options, so for the sake of my bank balance (and my waist line) I always make sure I take a couple of bars with me to get me through the day, and through the boredom of a train journey (anyone else just eat for the sake of it on a train, or is that just me?!)

As well as the perfect ‘on the go’ snack, I also like getting a bit more creative with my bars and regularly have them as part of my epic snack/dessert/whenever I bloody fancy it bowl. Whenever I post this on my Instagram I always get lots of people asking what it is, and it really couldn’t be easier to make! I even spoke to my nutrition coach and made sure that the bars were fitted into my daily calorie/macro allowance – WINNER!

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  • 200g 0% Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 100g Strawberries
  • 30g Almonds
  • 1 x Trek Bar

I have this on an almost daily basis, and the best bit is that it feels like a really indulgent snack, and for me it helps to kick those chocolate cravings!

So what makes Trek bars different so great & different from other bars on the market? The new ‘Cocoa Raisin Bar’ boasts an impressive list;

• Wheat free
• Made with gluten-free oats
• Transfats free
• GM Free
• Packed with plant-based protein (9g per bar!)
• Vegan friendly

(I personally am neither Gluten Free or Vegan, but its great that the bars are suitable for almost anyone!)

TM trek bars

….and they taste even better when you are half way round a Tough Mudder course, caked head to toe in mud & water! When you are running long distances, or pushing your body to the max, your body needs fuel to keep going, and at these types of events I always prefer to fuel with real food rather than energy gels & sweets! As well as being high in protein, the bars also contain the perfect level of carbohydrates to pick you up when you hit that energy dip (ps just to remind you, CARBS ARE FINE AND NOT THE FOOD OF THE DEVIL!) 

Thank you again to Trek for sending me the new bars – the only problem I have now is that I am nearly running out! See you in the mud!

Jordan xxx

Trek Bars are available from most Supermarkets & you can also buy them directly from their website, just click here to head straight there! 

 

SolarBOOST Training Camp

SOLARBOOST - Tom Joy [ IMG_5073 ].jpgOn the 2nd June 2018 I was lucky enough to win a competition to attend the Adidas & Wiggle SolarBoost Training Camp down at the Olympic Stadium in London, to help celebrate the launch of the new SolarBoost trainer & to spend the day getting hints & tips about all things running – including nutrition, training techniques & hydration! It sounded like it was going to be a fantastic day, and not only that I was going to be spending it with some of my Instagram running chums – win win!

SOLARBOOST

It was an early start, and by 7.45am crowds of runners were waiting around outside the Olympic Park, ready for a full on day all about our favourite thing – running! I love these events, it’s the one time that I can talk about running until my little heart is content and not worry about boring anyone or getting on anyones nerves (I have learnt to control this somewhat around the ‘muggles’ in my life, ha!) Soon enough we were being welcomed into the stadium, and headed to the first event of the day – Breakfast!

SOLARBOOSTThis was a great opportunity to speak to other runners and it was really great to finally meet Ben (@benparkes) his better half Sarah (@sarahplace1) and the most colourful woman I have ever met Hannah (@hannbeam)!

After breakfast we headed to the stands for the first event of the day, a talk all about the brand new SolarBoost trainers & finding out more about the technology they used in the shoes and what the benefits are. (Just a side note – I do not usually run in Adidas trainers, and I have not been paid or sponsored to give a review on the shoes – so this is a completely honest account!) My first impressions of the shoes were that they felt quite heavy, weighing in at 270g (this is for a UK 5.5) they are just over 100g heavier than the shoes I normally run in, and whilst that might not sound like a lot, when it comes to trainers that is a big difference! So I was intrigued to see how they would feel when we got the chance to run in them later on in the day.

 

Warm Up/Drills/Stretching

 

Nutrition with Angelique Panagos 

SOLARBOOSTAfter our warm up session, it was back in our seats to hear all about a runners second favourite subject – FOOD! Now after the last few months, nutrition is something I have started to take a lot more seriously, and I made some big changes to my diet on the lead up to the London Marathon, but it is always interesting to learn and I was keen to hear more tips & tricks that could help me to improve as an athlete.

SOLARBOOST - Tom Joy [ IMG_5654 ].jpg

Our meals for the day were also specially selected by Angelique and we got to enjoy lots of delicious food – I may have put a little bit too much on my plate, but there was so much good food it was hard to resist!

 

Core Stability Training with Lynsey Sharp

Now how often do you get to take part in a Core session with a GB Athlete?! I don’t know about you, but this isn’t something I do very often!

I get asked quite a lot what I do to work out my core, and if I am completely honest it is the one area I tend to neglect, the only time I really do specific ‘ab’ work is during my weekly Circuit class – and thats only because the instructor tells me to do it!

SOLARBOOST

As a runner, core is extremely important, and not even talking aesthetically! Having a strong core can help to keep you to maintain a good posture whilst running, which can make you more efficient, and less chance of you wasting  precious energy – whether you are running 400m or a marathon!

Lynsey led two different core routines, and although short – my stomach was definitely feeling it by the end of the session! I have had requests to follow on my Upper & Lower body training posts with a Core routine… so, watch this space!

After the session Lynsey led a short Q&A session. I jumped at the chance to ask questions about her training & how she was feeling about the upcoming season! She was really down to earth & friendly.. another reminder that at the end of the day, even Elite athletes are just people that love running, like all of us!

Sweat Testing with Precision Hydration

As I have mentioned many times before, running, or at least running well is more than just about running. There are many different factors that can make all the difference on race day, and hydration is one of them.

Living in the United Kingdom we aren’t exactly blessed with the best weather all year round, but recently it just so happens that the hottest days of the year have fallen on some pretty important races (London Marathon, Vitality 10000) for me, so getting my hydration nailed is something I am keen to do so that I don’t struggle again (damn you paper cups!) 

The technology behind what Precision Hydration do is fascinating, and I was really interested to learn how sweaty, and how salty I was! Click here to watch a short video explaining how the sweat test works – this explains it a lot better than I would be able to!

After the tests, all of our results were downloaded and we were each given a personalised goodie bag full of Precision Hydration products that were best suited to our salt & sweat levels!

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I am definitely going to use all of the advice I was given during my training for the Berlin Marathon, and for the day itself! As I will be doing the majority of my training sessions over the warmer summer months, making sure I stay hydrated is going to be key so it’s going to be interesting to see how much difference this makes! I will talk about this in more detail in future blog posts and letting you all know how I get on.

 

 

Customised Sole Creations with Solutions4Feet

I hate people touching my feet, so having a random stranger have hold of my foot and putting it in a plastic bag wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but it was totally worth it!

On the day we were all lucky enough to receive a pair of heat moulded, custom made insoles. As I have always been a neutral runner, and never had any issues with footwear I have never really found the need to wear special insoles, but ones that are fitted perfectly to my feet can’t be a bad thing, can they?!

The process was simple, my foot was placed onto an insole, popped into a plastic bag, which was then heat moulded around my foot! Now whilst this wasn’t painful at all, it was definitely a strange sensation – and I felt like my foot was being shrink wrapped like a piece of meat!

The whole process took no time at all, and within 10 minutes I had a brand new pair of insoles that were 100% customised to my feet! The great thing about them is that they are suitable for any shoe, you just need to cut them down to size (you can use the original insole as a guide) 

I have been using them in my trainers since I got back, and although I never had any issues before, I have noticed it feels like I have more support in my inner arch as my insoles now go higher and offer that extra support.

If you have thought about getting customised insoles for your running shoes, I highly recommend Solutions4Feet!

 

Running Techniques with the Nielsen Sisters 

As the day was coming to an end, it was finally time for me to lace up and try out the new SolarBoost trainers as we were taking part in a running technique session led by two amazing GB athletes – Lina & Laviai Nielsen!

Once I had (finally!) found some trainers in my size, I was pleasantly surprised that although they felt quite heavy to hold, to run and walk in they felt very light & bouncy. Plus, they look pretty which is always a plus!

 

I was really looking forward to this session. I love track work and although I am a long distance runner, it is a staple in my marathon training, so I was excited to learn some tips & tricks from the pros! One thing that I have learnt recently is the importance of warming up properly before doing any speed or interval work – and this includes a mix of easy running, strides & dynamic stretching.. all of which we went through during our session.

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After we did a full warm up, the fun really started.. and we got to try out some sprinting, and we were encouraged to try and think of all the techniques we used during our warm up – staying light on your feet, keeping upright and trying not to heel strike. The girls also explained how important it is to try and ‘relax’ when you are running – which is a lot harder than it sounds when you are trying to sprint down the 100m finish straight!

Unfortunately we only had time to do a few reps, which was a real shame as once we got started I was raring to go and would have loved to have done a full session! I was also told by the girls that I had a good sprinting form, so I will definitely take that!! Maybe once I am finished with marathons I will give track a proper go 😉

 

Thank you once again to Adidas & Wiggle for letting me be a part of such a fantastic day!

 

Jordan xxx

 

#RoadToBerlin – Week 2

Monday 04/06/18

Gym – Upper body
easy 5

Easy 5 Miles

Boyyyyyyyyy my legs were definitely feeling the effects of racing on the track! I haven’t had DOMs like that for a long bloody time, my quads felt like lead! It did feel good to go for a few shake out miles though, and I managed to keep it at a nice steady pace, result!

Tuesday 05/06/18

Gym – Bootcamp

Easy 4

Okay, so day two and my legs were feeling even worse! My quads were actually sore to touch! How can racing a 3km be more painful than running a marathon?! Anyway, I headed out for a very easy 4 miles with a friend and it honestly felt like a real struggle, I was just hoping my legs were going to feel better for Wednesday!

Wednesday 06/06/18

Grand Prix Series 5k

Every summer the local running clubs take it in turns to host a bi-weekly 5k race across various locations. It’s a fantastic race series, and one that attracts not only runners from the local area but further afield too! I went to this race with a goal, I am trying to not put as much pressure on myself but I wont lie and say there were two things I wanted to achieve at the race – break 18 minutes, and be the 1st woman to cross the line… and I managed to do both!!5k series.jpg

That was probably the best 5k run I have ever done, I managed to keep a consistent pace throughout and felt really strong, it was definitely a massive confidence boost, especially so early on in my training!

Splits 

Mile 1 – 5.43

Mile 2 – 5.47

Mile 3 – 5.45

I then went to the pub and celebrated with a massive burger and a glass of wine, result!

Thursday 07/06/18

Gym – Lower Body

3 Mile Tempo (3 miles @ sub 20 pace)

A tempo run the day after getting my 5km PB?! This didn’t seem very fair! But guess what, during a marathon your legs get TIRED, so sometimes its good to push through that pain and train on tired legs, and most of the time you end up surprising yourself!

I had a mad day on Thursday, which included a 200 mile round trip to Heathrow airport straight after work, and I’ll be honest when I got home at 9pm I really wasn’t feeling it, but I’m so glad I made myself get out there!

Friday 08/06/18

REST DAY – I had a lie in (well, if 7am counts!) had a coffee in bed before work, had an afternoon nap before teaching Bootcamp and caught up with Love Island… PERFECT!

Saturday 09/06/18

Intervals – 3 x 2 miles (3 min recovery)2 mile efforts.jpg + WU/CD

Interval training is a key part of my training plan, in my opinion it is essential if you want to improve you running times & overall fitness and definitely should not be over looked. There are two key types of interval training which work different areas of fitness;

Aerobic Endurance Training –  These sessions tend to be longer, anything from 5 minutes, to a couple of miles. They are still meant to be hard, but rather than working at your max you should be working at around 60-80% of your max HR, enough to know that you are working hard, but not so hard that you feel like you might collapse at the end! These are key for marathon training, think Mo Farah!

Speed Training – These are typically shorter distances/times and require maximum effort to be beneficial, ideally you should be working at around 80-90% of your Max HR (or basically hard enough that you can’t talk!) So think sprints/track/short distance, channel your inner Usain Bolt!

My plan includes a mix of both of these. I have track and hill sessions ranging from 200m/30 seconds right up to this session.. 2 mile intervals!

A question I get asked quite a lot is how to get started with interval training, or how to push yourself during your efforts. If you do struggle to push yourself on your own, the best thing I can suggest is look into joining a local running club. It is a great way to introduce yourself into interval running, plus you have the added bonus of a coach and lots of other runners! Failing that, if I know I have a hard session planned, I make sure I have an awesome Spotify playlist ready to go! The right music can be a great way to get your legs going and help you push when it gets tough!

If you are brand new to interval training, then keep it simple. Here is an example of a session I did when I first started and I used to love it!

*In terms of pace, this will be different for everyone. But for a benchmark aim for your 5km PB pace for the efforts*

Warm Up – 10/15 minutes easy running 

1 minute effort – 3 min jog/walk recovery

2 minute effort – 3 min jog/walk recovery

3 minute effort – 3 min jog/walk recovery

4 minute effort – 3 minute jog/walk recovery

5 minute effort – 3 min jog/walk recovery 

Cool Down – 10/15 minutes easy running 

Sunday 10/06/18

14 Steady Miles

14 milerAnd the long Sunday runs are back! It was such a beautiful day on Sunday, and I headed out early doors with a friend and just enjoyed it! We covered road, trails, fields & chatted the whole way. For me these runs aren’t about pushing myself to breaking point, its just about getting the miles in & making it as enjoyable as possible! I’m actually looking forward to the longer ones (I know, I’m a weirdo!) BRING IT ON!

 

 

Summary

Weekly Miles – 45

Gym Sessions – 3

 

Jordan xx

Strength Training – Lower Body

If you follow my training on Instagram, then you will know that ‘LEG DAY’ is my favourite day in the gym! I love training legs and feeling myself get stronger, plus I always get a good sweat on!! Since adding weights into my weekly training plan I have noticed such a difference to my running, plus I haven’t suffered any injuries or niggles!

A question I get asked a lot is how to fit these sessions in around your running schedule. Personally I like to follow the approach of keeping the hard days hard, and the easy days easy (and after speaking to Lynsey Sharp at the Adidas training event last week she does the same!) So I tend to do my leg session on a Thursday morning, as Thursday evening is usually a speed or interval session, followed by a rest day on Friday. I have been training like this for a while now, so I do think my body is used to this way of working out, and I rarely suffer from DOMs (delayed onset muscless soreness) but if you are new to strength training, just be sensible and don’t go straight into double training days, build up gradually and let your body get used to this new way of working out!

Similar to my Upper Body blog post, if you are unsure of any of the exercises, then please either drop me a message, or head to YouTube!

 

LEG PRESS/SQUAT – SUPERSET*

10 x REPS of each – no rest in between

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

I don’t do a strict number of sets for this routine. I start at a lower weight (40kg) and add 10kg on each time, and basically go until failure. Sometimes I get to 100kg, sometimes not! Once I get to the higher weight I also tend to drop the number of reps to between 5-8. 

  • Adjust the seat so that your legs are at a right angle to begin with, and make sure you keep your feet flat on the base.
  • Keep your back against the chair and hold on to the handles
  • Fully extend the legs, but don’t lock your knees
  • Keep it nice and controlled, use the 1-2-3 counting method

 

  • Bring your feet to approx shoulder width and keep your feet pointing forward
  • It’s important to make sure you keep your heels on the floor, if you feel like you want to raise your heels, then don’t squat down as low to start with.
  • Keep your back straight & look forward

 

SINGLE LEG PRESS

3 SETS

10 x REPS (each side)

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Start with a lower weight – 20kg should be fine to start with
  • Place your foot on the base at angle (as above) and kneel on the chair (I find this the easiest way rather than sitting on the chair as you’re less tempted to put your other foot down!) 
  • Remember that slow and controlled method
  • WARNING  – you will really feel this in your bum!!!
  • Switch sides & repeat!
  • If possible, add minimum of 5kg on per set. But only do this once you are comfortable with the move.

 

DUMBELL SPLIT SQUAT/LUNGES – SUPERSET*

3 SETS

10 x REPS (each side) – no rest between exercises

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Place your back foot on a higher surface/step/box, make sure that you are on your toes and try to keep it as straight as possible.
  • Select a suitable weight, again it doesn’t need to be heavy!
  • Slowly, and controlled lower yourself into the lunge position, keeping your back straight and looking forward the whole time.
  • Repeat on the other side

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  • I tend to do these as ‘walking lunges’ but if you want to keep them stationary, thats fine too!
  • The aim to to get both of your legs into that right angle position, with your back knee almost touching the floor.
  • Again, keep your back nice & straight and look forward – a trick I get my Bootcampers to do is pretend you are trying to balance a glass of wine on the top of your head, you don’t want to spill it so don’t be tempted to lean over!! 

 

HIP BRIDGE WITH BARBELL 

3-5 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Personally, I find this the hardest exercise out of my whole routine. This works EVERYTHING. By the end of the sets your bum, legs & core will be screaming, and you will probably be sweating too!  

  • Place the bar over your hips, roughly where your hip bones are – if this is uncomfortable you can place a towel there for some extra padding! 
  • Make sure you have a good grip on the bar, and ensure your feet are planted flat on the floor.
  • Using the 1-2-3 method, slowly raise your hips & lower them back down
  • Try and keep your head & shoulders flat to the step/bench – to lower the intensity slightly you can do this on the floor.
  • Start with a lower weight until you feel comfortable with the exercise, but you will probably surprise yourself at how heavy you can go!

 

NINJA SQUAT- BOX JUMPS -BURPEE

3 SETS

10 x REPS

1-2 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Now I appreciate if you are new to the gym, or to this type of training this may look scary, but there are ways you can adapt it to make it slightly easier & build up to the full move.

If you are a beginner, then remove the ‘ninja squat’ and just start with building confidence jumping onto the box. You can also start with a lower box/step until you feel comfortable attempting to jump higher. 

This is a form of training called ‘Plyometric’ training, and is a great way to build power and strength (key for running!) so they have become a staple in my leg day routine. 

 

Similar to my other routine, I tend to do this in the morning before work, so it should take between 45-60 minutes to complete, and I always make sure I have time to stretch & do my resistance band exercises at the end of the session (I will do another post about these soon!) 

Enjoy!

Jordan xx

Strength Training – Upper Body

These posts have been a long time coming, so firstly thank you for being patient, and I hope it was worth the wait! A question I get asked fairly regularly on Instagram is what I do when I head to the gym for my weekly gym sessions. First up – Upper Body!

Something you may not know about me, is that I am a qualified Personal Trainer & Fitness instructor, so if you do have any questions please drop me a message and I will be happy to help! I have tried to explain the exercises as best I can, and I hope the photos help, but if you are not sure then head over to YouTube and check out some videos (this is what I used to do!)

UPPER BODY  –  1 x week

CHEST PRESS

4 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Don’t worry about going heavy to start with, if you are new to strength training I recommend a 10kg barbell. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells.

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat to the bench, and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements

INCLINE CHEST PRESS

4 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Set the bench to an incline position and switch to dumbbells. Again, don’t worry about going heavy. Start with a low weight, its always best to have to go heavier than struggle and drop weight!

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat to the bench, and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements

BENCH ROW 

4 SETS

10 x REPS (each side)

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

With strength training, getting the exercise correct is more important than the weight. So don’t be tempted to go straight to the heavier weights. Make sure you keep your back straight & try not to twist your hips and shoulders when lifting the weight.

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements. I tend to count 1-2-3 when lowering and lifting the weight.

BENT OVER ROW/UPRIGHT ROW – SUPERSET*

4 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

BENT OVER ROWS

  • Use an overhand grip on the bar
  • Try to keep your chest upright & back straight
  • Keep elbows tucked in

UPRIGHT ROW

  • Use an overhand grip on the bar. Bring your hands closer together so that your thumbs are almost touching
  • Stand up straight and look forward (rather than looking at the floor!)
  • Keep elbows nice and high!

FRONTAL RAISES/SIDE RAISES – SUPERSET*

4 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • These exercises are a lot tougher than they look! I tend to drop my weight to around 4kg for this routine.
  • Have a nice neutral stance – a slight bend in the knee & a nice straight back!
  • Keep the exercise controlled. Again I use the 1-2-3 method.

TRX ROWS/PUSH UPS – SUPERSET*

3 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Again, technique is key here! Try and keep a nice straight back throughout the entire exercise, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Use the 1-2-3 method to ensure the movement is controlled.
  • Do not go all the way back down the floor until you have completed the set.
  • Push ups are my nemesis! I am not being dramatic when I say it has taken me YEARS to be able to complete them, and they are still not perfect!
  • For beginners, complete on your knees, but still ensure that your back is straight. Imagine that you are trying to push your belly button to your back.
  • Don’t be disheartened if you find these tough, even if you can only complete one, the more you do it, the stronger you will get!

PULL UPS

AS MANY AS YOU CAN DO!

I have added these in, as this is something I have recently added to my routine. These are HARD and currently I can only manage 1 or 2 full pull ups before my arms give up on me!

But, without practice.. how do we improve?! So my challenge to you is to try at least one at the end of your session. Most gyms are also equipped with Pull Up Assistance machines, and if you are unsure how to use one, then a Gym Instructor should be able to help you.

I am still learning myself, so if anyone has any tips for these – then please let me know!

I tend to do my strength sessions in the morning before work, so I’m on a tight schedule! This routine will take around 45 minutes to complete, so there is no need to spend hours in the gym – and make sure you save some time for stretching too!

Enjoy!

Jordan xx

#RoadToBerlin – Week 1

Hi Guys!

I am going to be sharing my training with you all over the next 16 weeks on the lead up to the Berlin Marathon. Each week I will try to focus on a different session of my training, and hopefully you will find it useful if you are training for your own marathon, or just in general!

My 16 week plan has been provided by Team Project Run and after reading through it all last week, I am certainly going to be put through my paces! The plan is bespoke to me, my running and my goals. Something that a generic online plan is unable to offer. Whether you are a complete beginner, or an experienced runner looking to improve their times I can 100% recommend signing up to Team Project Run. Having a knowledgable coach, a very supportive team & a training plan created for me helped to take a lot of the stress away of training for a marathon & allowed me to focus 100% on my training sessions & my races. If you have any questions please drop me an email via my Contact Me page and I will be happy to answer!

Monday 28/05/18

 

Now unfortunately, not every Monday is going to be this exciting, but what better way to kick off my training block then with a 10k Race.finisher photo

I was using this race as a way to see what sort of shape I was in to kick off my training, and was over the moon that I managed to achieve a PB of 37.53. It definitely gave me a huge confidence boost and made me feel excited about what to come! Check out my race review if you want to read how I got on!

 

Tuesday 29/05/18

Gym – Bootcamp Class (AM)

Run – 4 miles @ 7.15-7.45 pace// Strides (4 x 50m)

Considering I raced on Monday, I was pleased with how good my legs felt! I headed to the gym in the morning for my weekly Bootcamp class. This is something I did every week during my London Marathon training and I believe it really helped to make a difference to my fitness & strength so I will continue to do the same for this training block. Listening to your body is key during marathon training, so if I feel tired or feel like I need to take a step back, then I will do so.strides

In the evening I headed out with my friend Mick for a chatty 4 miles & finished my run with some strides. Strides are a fantastic way to flush out your legs at the end of the run, and also to really make you concentrate on your form! Click here for a fantastic article that explains why strides are important & how they can benefit your running!

 

 

Wednesday 30/05/18

Gym – Strength Session – Upper Body

Run – 6 Miles @ 7.15-7.45 pace

Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post next week, I am dragging my friend to the gym with me to take photos & videos so that I can do a gym workout routine and share what I do.easy run

Something I really struggle with sometimes is slowing down on my easier runs, I just seem to slip into a naturally quicker pace, and although this may not always be a bad thing, I need to make sure that I am making these easy runs easier so that I am not always pushing myself in my training sessions. This was one of those sessions I did get carried away, but I felt comfortable (although very hot!) and kept it steady. I am sure as my training goes on and my sessions get tougher I will find these easier runs a lot easier!

Thursday 31/05/18

Gym – Strength Session – Lower Body

Run – 5 Miles @ 7.00 – 7.30

I make no secret of the fact that I LOVE the gym! I really enjoy lifting weights & I know it has made a huge difference to my running, so it will always be something I include in my weekly training. As I was off work this past week I was also able to spend a bit more time on my session and headed to the squat rack for the first time in FOREVER!

In the evening I headed to the track to meet with another runner from my club, my plan said a steady 5, but ended up doing 7 (whoops!) But again, I was running comfortably and chatted the whole way round so we weren’t exactly pushing it, plus it was nice to have some company on a run! I do a lot of my sessions on my own, so it’s good to switch it up now and then!

Friday 01/06/18

REST DAY – THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THE WEEK! 

Saturday 02/06/18

Adidas Training Camp

Again, not my usual Saturday! My training plan had a Park Run scheduled and I had the best intentions of heading out for a few miles once I got back from London. But after a 5.30am start and a very full on day in the blistering London sunshine I was exhausted, so I decided to skip my run. I felt guilty for about 2 seconds and then remembered that listening to your body is just as important as the training sessions itself so that guilt soon disappeared!lynsey sharp

Anyway, I will be doing a blog post all about my day at the Adidas Training Camp later this week, so I will save all the juicy details for then! But for now here is a photo of me and the incredible Lynsey Sharp – she was so lovely and down to earth and was really interesting to find out more about her training.

 

Sunday 03/06/18

3km Track Race

Wait, what? I’m training for a marathon, surely I should be doing my long run on a Sunday?! Have no fear.. the long runs are coming! But after speaking with my coach we have decided to tackle this marathon training block a little differently. I need to work on my speed endurance, so throughout the next 16 weeks I will be using shorter distance races as a more exciting way to get my speed training in.

3km

A track race is a completely different ball game to a marathon or long distance event. It’s tactical, and fast from the word go! I had no idea who my competition was today, and I didn’t enter the race with any intention of winning, I just wanted to see what my legs could do! I had lots of great advice from more experienced track runners, and my original plan was to just try and stick with the lead pack and hang on for as long as I could! This happened for approximately 3 seconds before they set off at sub 5 minute mile pace!! Rather than getting carried away & trying to keep up, I stuck to my guns and at a pace I thought I would be able to maintain for the next 7 laps.

I finished in 4th position with a time of 10.25 – not too shabby for my first ever race! After wards I headed out for a few easy miles cool down with a team mate, my legs felt so heavy so it definitely did them some good!

Summary

Weekly Miles – 30

Gym Sessions – 3

 

Jordan xx

 

 

Vitality 10000

So, its been a while since I have done one of these! But what better way to kick off my return then with a a race review! This bank holiday Monday I headed down to London to take on the Vitality London 10,000 – alongside approx 14,000 other runners, including some of the countries best elite athletes!flat lay

I was lucky enough to get a place via my running club and after missing out last year I was really excited to be taking part, I had only heard good things about the race & how much everyone enjoyed it, plus racing in London always feels special to me, so I couldn’t wait to get out there and see what I could do!

My training had been going really well since the London Marathon, I had rested well, was slowly introducing tougher sessions back into my schedule, and I may have also ran a couple of local 10k races! I was feeling positive about the race, and was secretly hoping it was going to be my 3rd consecutive PB of the month, this however all changed the day before. I want this blog post to be positive, but I am not going to shy away from talking about the bad stuff too.  This has happened a few times to me now (and coincidentally always on the lead up to a big race in London!) but I get what I can only describe as ‘brain fog’ and just feel complete exhaustion the day before an event. I am not sure what it is, is it anxiety? Is it my version of pre race nerves? I really don’t know, but I know that it is something I need to deal with and to make sure it doesn’t keep happening, as it’s getting to the point where it is actually making me feel ill and considering pulling out of the race. Anyway, I will talk about this more another time.. so, back to the race!

I am pleased to say that luckily I woke up the morning of the race feeling really refreshed & so much more positive about it all! It was a very early start as I wanted to make sure I got into London with plenty of time (there is nothing worse then rushing around the morning of the race!)  and so that I was ready to meet up with everyone for a pre-race coffee, so I was up at 5am, down the train station around 6am and on my way by 6.30am!

Mo Farah

Once we got off the train the temperature had definitely picked up, it was warm, very warm! I kept thinking ‘oh this isn’t so bad’ and then I realised it was still only 7.30am! It was gearing up to be another hot day, but I wasn’t even feeling stressed about it, all I kept thinking was at least it wasn’t a marathon (every cloud and all that!)  

Due to my predicted race time I found myself with a Championship/Elite bib (gulp!) so on race morning when all of my friends were heading to the main start area, I headed off in the opposite direction to the Championship start. This was my first experience being up their with the elites at a big race like this (and I have no doubt this contributed to my pre race nerves!) but I tried to stay calm and just act like I belonged there, although I did already feel like a fraud! My first ‘OMG’ moment was when I headed to the Elite marquee and who was sat outside the front… only Sir Mo Farah! I couldn’t believe it, and I definitely wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity of a photo! I then wished him luck for the race, mentioned the weather (because what else do us Brits do when we aren’t sure what to say?!) and went on my way!

I also finally got to meet another sensational runner called Hayley.

hayley & i

@mileswithhayley

Hayley and I have been following each other on Instagram since the beginning of the year, we were both training for the London Marathon & had our own goals. And it is safe to say she absolutely smashed it! Honestly, she is such a huge inspiration to me and I just hope that one day I will be able to keep up with her! By the way – she ran a PB of 34.05 and finished 8th Female out of the whole race, I wasn’t kidding when I said she was sensational!

Before I knew it, and before I got round to doing a proper warm up (whoops!) it was the final call to get into the start pens. Once again the nerves kicked in as I was literally lining up a mere few metres behind the elite women and was surrounded by some of the UKs best club & amateur runners! I kept telling myself that I couldn’t get carried away, I had my goal pace and I did not want to screw it up by going off like a mad woman at the start!

vitality 1

After what seemed like the longest 30 seconds of my life, the race officially started! I was pleased at how in control I felt, and just ignored the large amount of runners sprinting past me, I couldn’t let someone else’s race control mine, so I put the ‘blinkers’ on and started my race.

The first couple of miles went by nicely, it was feeling really hot now, but I was running steadily, although my pace was slightly quick I wasn’t worried as it just meant I had a few seconds in the bank for later (or that was the plan anyway!) I was getting really thirsty and knew the first water station was fast approaching, I couldn’t wait for a drink!! Unfortunately this did not go to plan, a lot of races have now moved to using paper cups at the water stations, and whilst I understand why and that it is better for the environment, I have not quite yet managed to master the skill of drinking from a cup and running quickly! I had a second to decide what I wanted to do, and perhaps foolishly, I carried on running rather than stopping to walk and take on some fluid. It is safe to say I soon regretted this decision! The sun was baking down, I was very

sean and I

Sean & I with our medals!

sweaty and my mouth was completely dry. It was also no coincidence that for miles 4 & 5 my pace dropped by around 20 seconds per mile, I just didn’t feel like I had the energy to push! Thankfully, the second water station was the usual plastic bottle, so I was able to take on some fluid as well as pouring some over myself & then just before the final mile a fellow runner from my club ran past me and encouraged me to ‘hang on to him’ – and luckily, this seemed to do the trick! I kept Sean in my sights for the remainder of the race and picked up my average pace again!

During my slower miles, I had completely given up on the idea of a PB. I had even given myself the pep talk abut how I had raced 3 times in the last month, I had already PB’d consecutively and that I was probably still in the final stages of recovery from the marathon. I had accepted that I wasn’t going to get my original goal, and started to come to terms with it before the race had even finished! We then soon reached the final part of the race, and it was back onto familiar ground again.. The Mall!

I started to pick up some speed again, I wanted a strong finish, and if I wasn’t going to get a PB I at least wanted to finish feeling like I had giving it 100%! I approached the ‘100m to go’ sign and spotted the clock… how had this happened?! I had just under 30 seconds before the clock got to 38 minutes! Well, that was all I needed… the gear shift happened and I went all out, there was no way I was letting this time go!

I crossed the line and checked my watch straight away, I couldn’t believe it, I had done it.. I was a sub 38 10k runner!! I bumped into Sean at the finish line & thanked him for spurring me on in the final mile, and we then headed to the finish area together to collect our medals!

finisher photo

 

My official time was 37.53 – I was so happy with my new PB, especially after giving up on it part way through the race, I am just pleased now I managed to hang on and give it that final push at the end!

I personally really enjoyed the whole event, from the start to finish. I know that I was fortunate enough to not have to experience the long toilet queues or overly crowded start areas, but I would like to think that even if I was in the mass start, it would not have ruined the day for me. My only negative would be the first water station, but I know that is something I need to get better with as more races go in that direction!

London Marathon Events know how to put on a good race, right from the moment you sign up to the end of the race the organisation & information available is second to none. I will always be a fan of their events, and even though their photos are extortionate (cough cough!) I will definitely be returning year after year.

How did you find the race? Will you be back in 2019?

Jordan xx

Race Stats

vitality race stat

vitality race stat 2

 

 

 

London Marathon 2018 #SpiritOfLondon

So, I suppose the best place to start is right at the beginning, and one of the highlights of my day was finally getting to meet the amazing @clairec.runs 😍 799598_274000159_Mediumwe had arranged to meet in the morning and head to the Green start together! I really loved this as the last two years I have always travelled and been by myself so it was fantastic to have someone there to share the usual pre race nerves/excitement/toilet trips with 🤣

But soon enough we had to separate and go to our allocated start pens, and that’s when the nerves really started to kick in for me. I started feeling a bit sick, I was already hot and started thinking what an earth the next 26.2 Miles was going to have in store for me.

Okay, so you don’t need me to tell you this. But it was pretty bloody warm on Sunday, In fact it was confirmed that day it was the HOTTEST London marathon on record 😳🔥 I had been dreading the heat all week, and although it wasn’t ideal, it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!799598_273928881_Medium

The hardest thing was the constant thirst. I just remember having a dry mouth & throat for pretty much the entire race, but I was more worried about taking on too much water than not enough! I think I pretty much got my hydration spot on though, I took a bottle from near enough every water station, I took a sip, then poured the remainder over my back/shoulders/legs/wrists and then finally on my head, it almost became a bit of a ritual at every stop! The hardest thing I found at the stations was keeping your rhythm, especially when people decide to stop dead in front of you with no warning 🙃

By 10km by pace had dropped slightly to low 7s, and my ‘dream goal’ of breaking 3 hours was slipping away by the seconds, but rather than give up, I just adjusted my goal and carried on as best I could. I didn’t even feel any twinge of disappointment (which is strange for me!) and I just kept going and tried to enjoy it.

799598_274674346_MediumBefore I knew it, it was fast approaching my favourite part of the race – TOWER BRIDGE 😍 not only does it mean that you’re technically half way through the race (I say technically as we all know a marathon is NOT just two half marathons!) the crowds are electric, and then shortly after if you’re lucky you will get a glimpse of some of the elites in action storming their way to the finish, which is something I have been lucky enough to see every year so far! (This was the only time I messed up a water station, I was too busy looking at the other side of the road and ran straight past it – doh 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣)

The heat was really getting to people now, myself included! But I was still feeling good, I was keeping myself cool with the water, I had taken two gels and I still felt like I had plenty of energy. As I approached mile 15 I suddenly got really nervous, this was where I hit the wall the year before after feeling great, and I was so worried it was going to happen again..but it didn’t! I ran past a water station which I remembered having a little cry at the year before and couldn’t help but smile knowing I felt so much better this year!
799598_274595052_Medium
Soon enough I reached the 16 mile mark, and I couldn’t believe I only had 10 miles left to go!

So it was now getting REALLY hot. The sun was beating down, there was very little wind and very little shade. It was really tough out there, and it was really getting to people.

I had slowed my pace down again, was it to do with the heat? I guess I can never say for certain, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with it, but I was still feeling good and stuck with my routine of sipping water and covering myself in it!

Before I knew it, I was approaching mile 20 (the point where it can all go wrong!) and I was really excited as I knew that @chris_x_runs was going to be there cheering, and sometimes seeing a friendly face is all you need to keep you going! So thank you for that high five & giving me that extra boost ❤️

799598_273948567_MediumOnce I crossed the mile marker I looked at my watch and realised if I slowed down just a tad more I would still not only get a huge PB, but would probably enjoy it a lot more too, so that’s exactly what I did!

I have honestly never felt so relaxed in a race that meant so much to me before, and although not all the photos show it, I feel like I pretty much had a smile on my face for those final 6 miles..

I was genuinely having the best time out on the course that day. I felt so relaxed and so in control, and was just enjoying soaking up the atmosphere and just running!

Then all of a sudden the weirdest thing happened around mile 22/23 – my head suddenly felt like it weighed 10x as much (and after speaking with others they felt it too!) and it was a real effort to keep my head upright! It was the strangest feeling, and in fact the next day my neck aches more than my legs! I’m not entirely sure why it happened, I’m guessing it was something to do with the heat?!799598_274784252_Medium

But anywaaaaay, I knew that for the final few miles I was going to see lots of friendly faces, including some of my @teamprojectrun team mates, the legendary #cheersquad and the absolute babe @shoulder_runner – I couldn’t wait!!

Around this point I took my headphones out and soaked up every cheer, every clap and every random person shouting my name (it really does make you feel like a celebrity!) I haven’t done many big races like this, but I don’t think ANYTHING will ever top the atmosphere at London!

For the final mile and a half, I think I pretty much had goosebumps the entire time (and that’s saying something considering how hot it was 🤣) but the crowds really were something else! And I just want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone that came out and supported on Sunday, it genuinely wouldn’t be the same without you!

When I approached The Mall I was still feeling really relaxed (honestly I don’t know what happened to me!) but after a quick glance at my watch I realised I was still well under 3.15 if I just kept it steady and saved myself for a final push at the end.. so that is what I did!

799598_274826311_MediumI resisted the urge to speed up too early and I waited until I reached that final bend and then I opened up and gave it my everything! Seeing that finish line is still one of the best feelings in the world and the cheers from the grandstands really do make it feel like you’re in an Olympic final!

I crossed the line, and all I could do was smile (even if my legs did turn to jelly, again 🤦🏻‍♀️😂) I couldn’t believe how good I felt, how much I enjoyed it, and that I got a 26 minute PB!

The 4 months of hard work & dedication had been put to the test, and it worked! I honestly felt on cloud 9 😍

I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face! Okay, so I hadn’t achieved my ‘dream goal’ (which was a sub 3 incase you were wondering!) but if I am being completely honest, I only ever thought about because people put it into my head. My original goal was sub 3.30, which then changed to 3.15 – so I was over the moon with my time!

I have been lucky enough to take part in the @londonmarathon for the last 3 years, and this one has by far been the best, and not just because of the time.799598_273977815_Medium

I ran smart, I relaxed and I actually enjoyed it! I think I am guilty sometimes of putting far too much pressure on myself when really I have no need too. I am not an elite, I am not a professional athlete. I am just someone who loves running!

I’m going to be bold and say that Sunday was geniunely one of the best days of my life, and I will remember it for a very very long time, and it’s made me so excited for what’s to come ❤️

It has made me feel sad (and a little guilty I’ll admit) reading how so many of you struggled and didn’t enjoy Sunday, but I can’t pretend that I felt the same way.

London.. I LOVE YOU! and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in 2019 ❤️🇬🇧🏃🏻‍♀️

finish

Race Stats

The Final Jigsaw Piece

Two blog posts in two days? OH YEAH! That’s what you get when you go away by yourself, lots of thinking and writing time!

This time I decided to talk about something that up until recently I didn’t really pay much attention to… Nutrition! I mean, I’ve always loved food and anyone who knows me, knows this is true. But I never really paid attention to exactly what I was eating, or how it was going to affect my performance.

If you read one of my first posts (Honesty Post) you will know that last year was a bit of an up & down one for me, I won’t go into details again, but one thing that affected me a lot was the weight I gained & my body shape. Basically.. I was unhappy, and eating a lot, and then eating more because I was unhappy about gaining weight (crazy huh) Anyway… enough about that.

In January I started my 16 week training block for the London Marathon. I was including 3 gym sessions a week, was getting faster and felt stronger then ever, as well as losing some weight in the process, which was great! But what I did find was as my mileage was starting to creep up, so was my appetite, and I was starting to slip back into old habits – snacking on the wrong things too often, grabbing a quick fix & completely over estimating my portion sizes. I started to worry that I was going to undo all my hard work, so I decided to get some help.

I had been following Andi (@andiscottshaw) on Instagram for a while, and was seriously impressed by his own & his clients transformations. As well as training like a beast, his passion is nutrition and he would regularly post food, menu choices and weight loss results.

At first I will admit I was a bit sceptical and thought that like most diet plans you see online it just wouldn’t be achievable for the average person – countless expensive ingredients, having to spend HOURS prepping in the kitchen, and having to track every single crumb on MyFitnessPal (I mean seriously, who actually has time to do that?!) so for a while I just looked on, feeling slightly jealous that I wasn’t getting results like that even though I was working hard.

As I was getting further into my training cycle, I was seeing results I never expected and achieving PBs I thought were months & months away, and it really started to make me question my goals for the London marathon, and that if I took it a bit more seriously, I could potentially achieve something pretty special on the day. I knew that my nutrition could be the thing holding me back, so I bit the bullet, and dropped Andi a message.

I explained that my goals were not to lose weight, but mainly to ensure that I was fuelling my body correctly for the amount I was doing, and to hopefully drop some body fat so that I was in the best shape possible for race day – Andi has experience working with loads of different clients – whether that’s weight loss, muscle gain or lean muscle gain so this wasn’t a problem at all!

I was excited to receive my plan, but also nervous and apprehensive – I had tried and failed many times to stick to a plan, and I worried I was just going to be wasting both our time, although this time did feel different, as I had a real goal I wanted to achieve, rather than just ‘losing weight as quickly as possible’

When I got my plan, the first thing I thought was ‘OH MY CARB’ – there must be a mistake! My daily calories were high (approx 2,300) my daily carb allowance was high, and I was having carbs with every meal – surely I was just going to be bloated all the time & gain weight?! Because carbs make you fat? Right? WRONG!

My menu was simple.

Breakfast – Oats, Almond Milk, Peanut Butter, Blueberries.

Lunch – 2 x Wholemeal Wraps, Tuna, Cucumber, Crisps

Dinner – Wholemeal Pasta, Chicken, Pesto, Olives, Sundried Tomato (and whatever veg I wanted!)

Snacks – 0% Greek Yogurt, Strawberries, Almonds, Banana, Trek Bar

(NB – I am not including quantities as this was personal to me and my current weight & training. It is not a one size fits all plan I am afraid, but trust me when I say that portions are not small!!)

I honestly could not believe how much food I was eating! I felt satisfied after every meal and was genuinely enjoying what I was eating every day, but I still didn’t understand how this was going to help me get leaner.. well, that was until a few days into the plan!

I had lost weight, I couldn’t believe it – so guess what, my calories went up! When Andi sent through my revised plan it did panic me slightly – 2,600 calories! Again, I thought it was a mistake (apparently a lot of his clients think this when they first get sent their plan, we do trust you really!!) but I put my trust in it, and continued to follow it to a T.

I did also get sent a ‘B’ choice menu, but I was enjoying the food so much & got my prep nailed I couldn’t be bothered to change – so don’t panic if the thought of eating the same food everyday bores you to tears, you can always be flexible!

I genuinely surprised myself with how well I stuck to the plan. I definitely took the 80/20 approach though and have enjoyed a handful of meals out, wine, chocolate and office biscuits (why, oh why is there always biscuits!!) because sometimes life is too short, and you do need to have a little bit of what you enjoy now and then!

It’s now 11 days until race day, and soon enough my carbs will be going up (again!) but rather then being scared about it, I know it’s going to be the best thing for my body!

Although this was initially a plan to see me to the marathon, I am going to continue afterwards. Yes, I will relax it a little bit, but now knowing what a difference getting your nutrition right can make to your body & how you feel, I actually don’t want to go back to second guessing what I’m putting in and just hoping for the best. And then when it comes to Berlin Marathon later in the year I will be giving it 100% yet again.

If nutrition is something you have always struggled with, or you have tried many different diets (like me!) but not seeing the results, I highly recommend speaking to Andi (@andiscottshaw), whether you are an athlete, or just want to get in shape for a summer holiday, he will be able to help you.

As I have said before, marathon training is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, there are many pieces needed for it to all slot together and work properly, and I finally feel that now I’ve got my nutrition on track, along with my strength training & running, I am giving myself the best possible chance when I line up on the 22nd April!

Here are my results from just over 5 weeks following my plan. I am unsure what my current BF% & weight are due to being away, but I will be checking in when I get back next week.

Left – 11/04/18

Right – 06/03/18

Jordan xxx