Morning of the Marathon preparation & Timings

I absolutely loved my marathon experience that I decided it might be helpful to share our morning marathon routine. This routine worked well for us, but remember everyone is different so do what works for you on the morning of a marathon.

The Manchester Marathon started at 9:00AM, so we decided to work backwards when prepping our morning and timings. We were staying in Stockport which was about a 20 minute taxi ride away from the Old Trafford Cricket Club. Training runs work very differently to the schedule below, I usually roll out of bed, put on my running clothes, boil the kettle, pour myself a cup of coffee, drink said cup of coffee whilst scrolling Instagram, brush my teeth and GO.

5:45AM- Wakeup call for some this might be incredibly early but I am an early riser and my alarm usually goes off at 5:30AM on a week day so this time didn’t really affect me too much. If you aren’t an early riser or you don’t do well in the mornings then I would suggest doing this routine a couple of times before your marathon.

6:00AM- Breakfast & coffee, I wanted to makes sure I gave my body enough time to digest my breakfast before the race started, during my training I usually run fasted but I knew this wasn’t going to be possible for a 26.2 mile run. I needed to fuel but at the same time I didn’t want to risk getting a stitch as it was something my body wasn’t used to. I made sure I trailed and tested this before race day so I knew my body would adjust. For breakfast I opted for a big bowl of jumbo oats with blueberries and peanut butter which is my favourite breakfast so I was very happy.

I usually have a large cup of coffee prior to running on a usual training run and I never usually have to stop for the toilet.  I knew the excitement and nerves would get to me which we all know usually results in needing the toilet more frequently so I opted for strong but small coffees- espresso style. To be honest with you I am not sure how affective this was as I still needed the toilet twice before the race.

6:30AM- Shower time, I always like to have a shower on the morning of a race day as it makes me feel refreshed and ready to start the day. For my training runs I usually roll out of bed, throw on my running clothes and brush my teeth but that isn’t the case for race day. Then it was time to pin my running number to my vest eeek!

7:15AM: Taxi arrived, we decided to book the taxi for 7:15AM as we thought this would give us plenty of time to get to the start line especially, we knew there wouldn’t be any traffic that early on a Sunday morning. When we got into the taxi the driver asked us what time the race was starting and when our reply was 9:00AM he said ‘I’ll see what I can do about getting you there for then but there are lots of road closures’. As you can imagine my heart rate went through the ROOF, this is not the kind of stress I need on race day.

7:30AM- Taxi dropped us off, the taxi managed to drop us off about half a mile away from the race start line which we were happy about, we could do with some fresh air anyway to help with our nerves and excitement. This is definitely a lesson learnt through next time we will definitely check with the taxi company about road closures next time.

8:00AM- we arrived at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and went straight to the bag drop, the Manchester Marathon organisers suggested dropping your bags off prior to 8:00AM but they were not as strict as most places. At most races we have been to the bag drop off and bag collection points are at two separate locations, however at the Manchester Marathon the bag drop area did not move so there were not really any time restrictions.

8:15-8:30AM- We made our way to the pens which was about a 15 minute walk away from the bag drop by this point we had already walked about 7000 steps and we hadn’t even started the run. We made our way straight to the loos for one last comfort break before the marathon started.

9:10AM- we crossed the start line and the race was underway!

 

Christmas Day Breakfast 

We actually cannot believe that Christmas has come around so quickly, how are we already thinking about what we are going to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning, its mad. We did however think it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you a little recipe that will help start your Christmas morning, nothing fancy just keeping v simple, v quick and most importantly vv tasty.

Christmas breakfast has always been quite a big deal in our households, we always start our Christmas with a super yummy breakfast and a glass or two of champagne. Christmas Day always revolves around food and every meal has got that extra bit of magic added to it usually in the form of champagne in our houses. We have therefore decided to jazz up our breakfast up this year to make it that little bit more special and went for waffles topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon YASSS! If you wanted to you could even shape the waffles into snowflakes or Christmas trees!

recipe below makes 5 waffle so double or tripple the recipe if you have more mouths to feed.

Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
½ tsp Caster Sugar
½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Mustard Powder
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp ground pepper
210ml Milk
65g Unsalted butter
2 Medium eggs

Method
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Mix until all ingredients are combined
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, butter and eggs.
Make a well in the dry mix, and pour the wet mix into it gradually, whisking until fully combined
Leave the batter on the side for 5 minutes
Switch the Waffle Maker on and lightly oil, close the lid and allow the waffle machine to heat up
Once the waffle maker is hot enough pour the mixture into the centre of each waffle
Close the lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes, without opening the lid
Open the lid of the machine carefully and remove the waffle
Repeat with the remaining batter and keep the rest of them warm in the oven on a wire rack to ensure they do not become soggy

Gingerbread Man Recipe

It is really Christmas if you haven’t tucked into some delicious homemade gingerbread men? We think not! Ever since we were little it has been a tradition to make them and every year they taste just as good.

We use the same recipe year in year out as it has never let us down, they are rich and spicy and just so dam tasty. Everyone we know has tried them and they always ask for the recipe, so we thought we would publish it on our blog.

We are going away for the weekend to Bath with some of our school friends so these will definitely be coming along for the ride (if they make it that far).

Recipe
275g Flour (plain or you can use spelt flour)
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Cinnamon
2tsp Ginger
100g Coconut Sugar
75g Unsalted Butter
1 large egg
50g Maple Syrup
50ml Milk

Method

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and Ginger into a large mixing bowl
    Add the Coconut Sugar and stir until combined
  3. Chop the butter into small segments and add to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to rub the ingredients together, continue to do so until the ingredients look like bread crumbs
  4. In a measuring just whisk an egg and add the maple syrup and milk
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and poor the egg mixture in
    Stir until all the ingredients come together and form a dough
  6. Wrap the ingredients in cling film and leave in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes
    While the dough is in the oven preheat the oven to 160oc
  7. Flour a kitchen worktop and roll out the Dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. cut out gingerbread men (we did trees as well this time) with a cutter
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to fully cool before eating and decorating if you wish to do so

How to Train to Run Your First 5K

‘How can you run so far? I wish I could run as far as you two but I just can’t’

We hear this so often and everytime our answer is ‘we never used to be able to run either but everyone can run, so if we can do it you can as well’. The first race we ever did was a 5K colour run, Rach was on placement year and trained really hard for it. Annie on the other hand was still at University and thought the typical 5km isn’t that far I don’t need to train but boy was I wrong. It was that run though that made Annie want to train properly and actually get into running (after the embarrassment of having to walk some of the way).

5km is honestly the hardest milestone to get to and we tell everyone this time and time again. Start short and just extend your run bit by bit each time and before you know it you will be able to run 5km, it will take time depending on how frequently you run so don’t get disheartened when you first start running and have to walk after 5 minutes.

We have set out some top tips below that we would have found helpful when we first started running

Listen to music- make sure you have a good playlist when you running, something that is going to inspire you to keep going. When you first start running you might want to create a playlist that has a variety of different styles of songs so you can see what you do like or what you don’t like when running. We like to have a mixture between old classics (got to love a bit of spice girls), chart music & a couple of dance songs thrown in the mix.

Download a good podcast-we have recently started to get into podcasts when we run. We find it passes time really quickly as you are concentrating more about what the person is saying on the podcast rather than thinking ‘how much further have I got to go’ after each stride. We have been listening to lots of blogging podcasts and our favourites at the moment is ‘What She Said’ by Lucy She…. And ‘Made Online’ by… this way it means we actually gain knowledge about blogging whilst we are doing something that is good for us- win win.

Invest in some good running trainers-you won’t know how important these are until you actually have them.

Download a running app- make sure you download a running app to your phone so you know how far you have run and what pace you are running at. Not that the pace is important but you will find the more you run the faster you become so it can be interesting to look back at. We are using the Fitbit app as we both have Fitbits but prior to that we always used the Nike running app which we found really good and the distance was always accurate.

Map your route- we always like to have an idea of where we are running so we have something to aim for when we are running. We sometimes use the app map my run as you are able to choose the route you want to go and also know the distance before you leave the house. We would love it if you could give an app your address, let it know the distance you want to run and then allow the app to choose the route for you. If this app already exists then please do let us know because it would be so cool and your run would be different every time which also brings us on nicely to the next point.

Mix up your runs-When we first started out running and wanting to hit 5KM we used to run/part walk the same route every time as we wanted to see how much further we could run this time compared to our previous run. Running the same route over and over again can become borings so if you are feeling unmotivated to go out on a run try a new route because a change of scenery may be exactly what you need.

Running 5km is such a brilliant goal to have for any new runners, find a race you want to run and enter it that way you will have something to work towards (or run towards lol).

Good luck you can do it!

Mocha Protein Shake

protein 3

That protein kindly sent us some of their protein so we decided to make a delicious post work out shake because we love them. We used the ‘Chirpy Chirpy Choca Mocha with organic coffee’ protein.

That Protein is a plant based protein powder and for once the protein actually tastes great. They are dairy free, no added sugars, non GMO, no sweeteners and free from anything artificial.

We decided to add a couple of other ingredients to make our shake thick and creamy- the best way to have a shake. We have tried it with just water though when we have been in a rush leaving the gym and it still tastes great!

protein 1

Recipe
1 scoop of that protein mocha flavour
1 banana
8 frozen cherries(3 for decoration)
Handful of ice
Almond milk
Tea spoon cacao nibs (leave some for decoration)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz it up until combined! Top tip always put your protein in last so it doesn’t get stuck to the sides (its a nightmare if it does and you will find yourself shaking the blender trying to get it to combine).

A super easy recipe to follow!

6 Tips for feeling confident in the gym

gym.jpg

It took us a while to feel confident in the gym, we didn’t really know what we were doing at first, who really does? Try and be consistent with your gym schedule, going to the gym once every two weeks probably isn’t going to help your confidence in the gym so try and go more frequently.

It’s so easy to feel self conscious in the gym even the fittest leanest people feel self conscious, you are your bodies own worst critique and whilst you are stood there looking in the mirror critiquing your body the person next to you is probably doing the exact same about their body and hasn’t even noticed you stood next to them.

Below are 6 top tips to help you wave goodbye to all the worry and fear you may have had about the gym, you got dis!

1). Wear something you feel comfortable in- Remember its not a fashion show and the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable at the gym, so why not take yourself on a little active wear shopping spree, buying new gym gear can be a great motivation and can help make you feel sassy whilst at the gym. Some of our favourite shops to buy new and affordable active wear is Primark, H&M, Newlook and Missguided.

2). Ask for help or an induction- there is no problem in asking for help instead of struggling and not knowing what to do with a machine. Most men at the gym love being asked how to work a machine so don’t be afraid to ask. If you are new to the gym why not arrange an induction class or even a one off personal training session, this should help get you on track with what you want to do at the gym.

3). Work out with a friend- it can be less intimidating and you are likely to be less scared of embarrassed to try new machines and equipment in the gym if you are both trying it together. Why not have a joint personal training session as well so you can split the cost between you if you are both new to the gym and want to learn.

4). Make a plan- decide what you want to do before you go to the gym, we like to write notes on our phones so we have a rough plan on what we want to do when at the gym. You may have to be flexible with your plan though depending on what machines are available so have a couple of ideas in mind so you have something to fall back on.

5). Go off peak or at a quieter time- if you can, we know its not always possible with work commitments etc. but if you can try and go a slightly quieter times. Friday evenings in the gym are the dream!

6). Watch YouTube videos- we love watching workout videos on YouTube, they are a great way to learn new tips and techniques that you can put into practice when you are next at the gym. There are so many amazing fitness YouTubers out there! You can read all about our favourites here.

Other Posts you may enjoy reading:
Why you should take progress pictures 
How to simply change your routine to live a healthier life 
Mix up your workout 
Whats in our gym bag 
Are you lacking fitness motivation?

Barry’s Bootcamp London Review

This is the room where everything becomes possible. Where you push through the “I can’t’s” and “If Only’s.” Where you run faster, lift more, lean out, quiet down. This is what transformation looks like. Where you become the best version of yourself. – Barry’s Bootcamp

Barrys

We had wanted to try Barry’s Bootcamp for a really long time and we finally got round to purchasing a class.  We booked ourselves into the 11:00am full body class one Saturday and we were super excited to to try the workout that has been the talk of London town for a while.

We had read on the website that we needed to turn up to the class 15 minutes before the class so being super keen beans we somehow managed to turn up 40 minutes before hand (we blame google maps it always says it takes longer than it does!). When we arrived we were checked in and each given towel- luxury.

After checking out the post workout shake menu we headed straight to the changing rooms and we were already impressed. When people say it is the small things in life that make you happy they are certainly right, the changing rooms were equipped with GHD straighteners, hair dryers, hair spray, deodorant, tampons- you name it they had it.

As it was our first time the instructor took us into the room beforehand, the lights were dimmed and there were bright red lights lighting up the room. The instructor Briefed us on how to use the treadmills before inviting the rest of the class to join.

When booking into a class on Barry’s you have to decide whether or not you want to start on the treadmill or on the floor, we opted for the treadmill. The class was a mixture between interval and strength training. We sprinted until our legs nearly fell off and lifted weights heavier than we would usually opt for, we pushed our bodies and it felt blooming fantastic.

When people say Barrys Bootcamp is hard they certainly were not lying! It was the sweatiest we have ever been and probably the hardest workout we have ever been to but we loved it and we cannot wait to go back again!

After the class we jumped in the shower, which by the way were amazing the shampoo smelt incredible. Once we were dressed and refreshed and the last ones out of the changing rooms we headed to the refuel bar to order a shake. We stupidly didn’t order them before our class so we had to wait about 20 minutes as they were busy making lots of shakes ready for the next class so top tip pre-order your shake guys. The shakes were reasonably priced costing us £5.00 each and trust us when we say they were a decent size as well.

Barry’s costs £20 per class but you can also purchase packages and the more classes you buy at once the cheaper each class becomes. We definitely think it is worth the money but it isn’t something we would choose to go to every week as it would become incredibly expensive, we will be returning though!

We Vlogged the day we went to Barry’s so if you want to see more you can catch up on our vlog here.

How to spend a healthy day in London

We love spending a healthy day in London. A typical day for us would be the below, we love trying new classes and new food especially brunch food!

Attend a class/ visit a new gym- There are so many great fitness classes in London, it would be impossible for us to name them all but some of Londoners favourites include; Barry’s boot camp, F45, unit London, Kobox and bests bootcamp. You can also look on the app ‘class pass’ where you will discover hundreds more classes. If classes aren’t really your thing you could always look on the ‘payasugym’ app where you can search by location for a gym.

Go for brunch- Brunch is massive in London, everyone seems to be having brunch these days which is great if you love breakfast food as it means you can eat it for both breakfast and lunch. Some of our favourite brunch spots in London include; daisy greens which is behind Marble Arch, Mauriels kitchen in South Kensington, The good life eatery, Daylesfood farm in Marylebone high street, Grind (lots of locations), Chiltern Firehouse and so many more!

Rent a boris bike- Renting Boris bikes or Santander bikes is so much fun and a great way to explore London. It is an absolute bargain as well, it only costs £2 for 24 hours meaning you could cycle your way around London. We especially love cycling through the London parks as cycling on the busy London roads can be slightly terrifying to say they least!

Walk- don’t use the tube- We have a rule that when we are visiting London we walk everywhere! We hate getting the tube it’s so busy and also can get really expensive if you are using it all the time. Most places in London are a lot closer to each other than you probable think. Next time before you hop on the tube open your google maps and look at how far away you are, you’ll be surprised at how little time you save getting the tube. Walking also means you get to explore parts of London that you perhaps wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We always like to take the scenic route in the hunt to find the hidden gems of London.

5 favourite fitness YouTubers

We love watching YouTube, in fact we watch it more than we watch TV these days. We especially love watching YouTube if we have any cardio to do at the gym or if we are snuggled up in bed! There are so many talented YouTubers out there who have managed to create an empire of a following due to the dedication and hard work they put into it.

We have recently started our own YouTube channel. We will be posting regular Vlogs, what I eat in a day and workout videos so we hope you enjoy watching them 🙂

Zanna Van Dijk- We love watching Zanna’s videos she mostly films Vlogs which are our favourite things to watch on YouTube. Zanna is so knowledgable and we really do trust her opinion, she doesn’t bullshit and always gives her honest opinion. Zanna uploads regularly and her videos are always great inspiration for us whether that is learning a new workout technique, finding out about a nut butter or finding new places to travel the world.

Lexi De Young- We love watching lexi’s videos, even if it does make us jealous that she lives in America and the sun always seems to be shining in San Diego. We especially love watching her what I eat in a day videos. When we next visit America we will defining up be taking a trip to Trader Joes because it sounds amazing!

Niomi Smart- Niomi was one of the first YouTubers we ever started watching on YouTube. She shares lifestyle videos on her YouTube channel and we are loving the fact Niomi is doing more vlogs. We love learning how to eat more plant based as it is something we are interested in (not that we are plant based). We have met Niomi in person and she was just as lovely offline.

Jade Joselyn- We loved watching Jade’s videos ‘jade to stage’ before she competed last year. It was interesting to learn about prep and how hard people work before competing. Since jade competed we have continued to watch her channel and it’s nice to see other bloggers who juggle a full time job as well as running all their social media channels.

Tally Rye- Tally is a London based YouTuber who seems so lovely and genuine. We love following her day in a life videos especially when she vlogs a ‘typical fitness blogger day’. We also loved watching Tallys Vidmas over Christmas because who wouldn’t want a daily dose of fitness inspo?

Let us know who you favourite fitness YouTubers are as we love finding new YouTubers! Oh and we must mention we also love The Body Coach YouTube channel but we mainly go on his for actual workout videos that we can train too.

5 Fitness travel essentials

fit 8.png

We like to keep up our fitness regime when on holiday, this doesn’t mean we will do it every day but we do like to keep active. We don’t by any means think it is essential that you keep up your fitness regime when on holiday and it’s important to know that taking a week off isn’t going to set you back.

If you do decide that you want to keep fit whilst on holiday then you can see below our 5 top travel essentials for keeping up with your training whilst on holiday.

fit 9.png

Sweat Towel- If you are travelling abroad then this is going to be a must unless you want sweat dripping down your face. If it is really hot then dampen the towel before you start your workout as it will be lovely and refreshing half way through.

Water bottle- It’s incredibly important you continue to rehydrate your body when training abroad in a hot country. We would suggest having a bottle of water close by when working out as you will need it.

Skipping rope- skipping is a great form of exercise. We like to incorporate skipping into some of our HIIT work outs as it really gets the heart rate going. Skipping ropes are light and compact to pack into your bag when travelling abroad. Even if you just completed 5 or 10 minutes of skipping a day you will definitely burn off a few extra calories.

Your phone & Headphones- Download some apps before you go on holiday that you can use offline as you might not have access to WIFI when training outside. You would suggest downloading a 30 second timer for when you are completing your HIIT training instead of using the stop watch on your phone. Headphones are essential especially if you want to do a quick 5km run when on holiday.

Download a good playlist- Make sure you download a motivating upbeat playlist when on holiday so you can play when working out as it will make the hot conditions more bearable. We like to create our playlist on Spotify.

fit 7.png