The descent can’t be that bad right?

Going outside when it’s cold and with a possibility of rain is a good way to spend your Sunday right…?

Sort of.

With a longer ride planned I’d decided to pop into Alf’s to get a cycling jacket that didn’t act more as a windbreaker than anything else. So following a quick visit to Alf’s, off into the Welsh hills we went. (We being me and Ryan obviously!)

It’s funny how you get stuck in your ways and use certain routes to get places. And how someone else’s routes can be completely different to yours. The route Ryan was following happened to be right alongside a main road I would normally take. I definitely preferred climbing up the much quieter country lane!

A bit further into the ride Ryan turned round to say “the next descent is a bit technical so take it steady…”

When I’ve ridden downhill tracks…the descent can’t be that bad right?

I quickly found out technical descents on road bikes do exist… When you’re trying to brake with rim brakes and skinny tyres, slowing down isn’t so easy!


And just after composing myself after that crazy descent I was told to “get ready” for the steepest climb of the ride.

Climbs are a sort of love hate relationship with me at the minute. I can get up them, but they still put a bit of a strain on my legs! However, getting up out of the saddle provides me with quite a kick to get up those climbs that take a bit more effort than most.

That’s how the ride went really. Climbs to descents and back up some more climbs. Surrounded by the rolling Welsh hills dotted with sheep and horses.


So what kit did I decide to wear to help me battle through the harsh Winter weather!



  1. Mavic Women’s Ksyrium Elite Thermo Bib Tights
  2. Mavic Ksyrium Thermo Gloves
  3. Endura Women’s Xtract Jacket
  4. Castelli Sciccosa Women’s Jersey
  5. Endura Road Overshoes

Destination Bucket List

Sometime in everyday life you lose sight of where you’re going and what you want to do. You get lost in daily routines and following trends. So why not filter out those things for a while and re-focus on what you really want.

Do you want to travel to somewhere new?

Follow a certain career?

Do more charity work?

Around this time last year I took a chance in putting in an application to start on a career path I thought would always be just a dream.  A year on so much has changed for the better. Some days are still tough, but not every dream you work towards is going to be plain sailing. Filter out the outside world and what they’re doing and focus on you. You’ll be thankful you did it.

Familiar with the saying ‘work hard, play hard’? Make sure you do have goals outside of your career and experience as many new things and places as possible. Write them all down and tick them off as you do them, which is what I’ve done with places I want go.

1. Mont Ventoux

Apparently a climb every roadie has to do…apparently it is in some big cycling race. The name doesn’t spring to mind though….

2. Africa to see the elephants…

3. To see/ride horses on a ranch in America

 

4. Monaco

5. Paris for the photos and clothes…

#WorkoutWednesday 25th January

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It’s time for another #WorkoutWednesday, which gives you an insight into what I get up to in training each week!

Although I’ve already shared some swimming sessions I’ve been trying this month, I just couldn’t not share this one with you! Found in an old 220 Triathlon magazine it helped me push that little bit further than I have been doing in other sessions this month.

Wind back to last October when I decided I wanted to work on my swimming (after a failed attempt at outdoor swimming!), I would find myself panicking a bit when I was swimming. Every time I pushed off the side of the pool it would be a miracle if I got to the other side.

Yet, following a Speedo Fit swimming session with double Olympic Silver Medalist, Jazz Carlin, it was perfectly timed to nip any of my bad habits in the bud before they became to set in my brain! I was basically swimming all different kinds of wrong when I started, but we’ve all got to start somewhere right?

So what training session did I get up to this week in the pool?

Warm Up

10 x 25m lengths (I stuck to front crawl but the 220 Triathlon session said any stroke would do the job!)

Main Set

5 x 100m freestyle, 20s rest per interval (I’m guessing freestyle is front crawl right? Well that’s what I did anyway!)

Cool Down

4 x 50m choice of stroke (I continued with front crawl)

So what’s making me so excited about this week’s #WorkoutWednesday ? The fact that I’ve achieved this months goal of being able to swim 100m! One quarter of the way to being able to swim the swim distance in my Triathlon of 100m!

I genuinely can’t believe the luck I had in noticing the Speedo Fit advert when it popped up in my newsfeed. Jazz Carlin and the Speedo Fit crew were so lovely and helpful. It’s starting to make my big ambition for 2017 of completing a Triathlon more realistic, as swimming was always going to be the biggest wall to climb.

I just hope there’s more Speedo Fit sessions in the future because if there is…sign me up!

Sometimes you’ve just got to run…

 

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I used to hate running. A jog around my local park would be enough to make my lungs cry…and now I’m training for a triathlon.

How things change!

I can’t pin point exactly when that change happened, but things have changed. All I do know is that I started to do something a little different from just riding bikes all the time. As great as that can be, sometimes I like to mix things up.

If you’ve been on my Instagram this week you’ll have seen all of the running I have been doing this week. With one of those runs being a little out of my depth…

I woke up with the urge to do sprints. Don’t ask me why, but I did. A choice between 20/10 intervals and 3 minute intervals, I chose the latter.

Both were workout sessions on my Garmin, so off I went to start the 10 minute warm-up at a steady pace. Constantly looking down at my watch to see how long I had left I had to up my pace.

3.4 miles later…my watch was beeping at me to tell me my workout was complete, which came as a surprise to me as I thought there were more sets to come.

Most people would start to head home after this, but I decided to run a little bit further…

Bad…bad idea.

It turns out I ran a further 5.4 miles, so totalling up to nearly 9 miles I’d covered a lot more distance than I would normally. I just switched off and kept going!

Yes I moan, but sometimes you’ve just got to run.

Workout Wednesday 18th January 2017


I must admit it feels rather odd to have something to train for. I mean I trained for downhill and other mountain bike races, but it was always just what I felt like doing at the time. I was never pushing my limits or progressing. 

For my first Tri in April I have a main goal…to complete it! I could say I want a certain time but I’ve never done one, so why put extra pressure on myself?

With a workout session downloaded onto my Garmin, the workout I’m sharing with you tonight is my 6 x 400m sprints. 

10 minute warm-up

400m sprint

200m recovery 

Complete the sprint and recovery pair 6 times.

Cool-down/Stretches

I’m not going to lie…it was tough!

I got to that final sprint and my lungs were crying ‘what on earth are you doing to me?!?’

But I could completely switch off and just respond to the beeps of my Garmin informing me if I needed to sprint or recover. Although when it was beeping every 2 seconds to tell me my heart rate had risen or falling…that got a bit annoying.

I hope you’re all having a good week!

#WorkoutWednesday 11th Jan 2017

I seem to be getting on well with training at the minute. There’s no ‘I’ll give it a miss’ even when I’ve had a really long day and would much rather be in bed. 
As they say, the training isn’t the hardest bit, it’s the getting started that is.

As soon as I’m in the pool or all set up for a strength session at the gym, I’m focused and ready to go. 

One really positive thing from this week (yes it is only Wednesday!) is I managed to tackle a more structured swim. As opposed to the 2 lengths front crawl and 4 backstroke I’d got into the habit of doing.

A few years back I read the autobiography of the Brownlee Brothers. I think it’s around the time the thought of doing Triathlons popped into my head really. The desire has always been there, it’s just taken till now for me to take the plunge and have a go.

In the book are examples of training sesssions that can be useful for triathletes, but with me being a beginner I had to adapt it a little bit!

So here’s what I ended up doing:

A warm-up which was a mixture of using my float, front crawl and backstroke.

8x50m drills of front-crawl.

4x50m drills of back-stroke.

Attempt at swimming 75m

Cool down.

You’ll notice I said attempt at swimming 75m. For my Triathlon in April I need to swim 400m, so each month I’ve got a target distance to swim. And January’s is 100m, so I’m gradually building up to that.

To my surprise I did actually manage to swim the 75m, so I’m looking forward to my next swim session!

Mixing It Up In 2017

I’m always looking for new training sessions to try out. Sometimes you just need to try something a little different, but you can just get lost in the Internet and not really know where to start.

I thought I would put together a little blog post on the training sessions I want to try this year. Maybe it will give you a little bit of inspiration when you’re stuck for something to do when you’ve got some time to train.

1. Follow in Michael Hutchinson’s footsteps by doing 20s max effort followed by 10s recovery and repeat for 4 minutes.

Sprint sessions can be like hell on earth but good if you’re strapped for time to train. I’d obviously need to warm up before doing this one though! I might even squeeze this one in after a strength session at the gym maybe, just to keep things interesting!

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2. Sally Up, Sally Down Press-Up Challenge

I originally came across this challenge whilst trying to find a song off the mountain bike film, Life Cycles. The last time I tried this was a while back now, but I’m sure I could only ever get to 1 minute 30s before my arms gave up! So I’m dragging this one out of the woodwork to make sure I’m working on my upper body strength.

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3. Train with others

Strictly speaking this isn’t exactly a challenge, but I train alone quite a lot. When it comes to training with others I find I have much more work to do. So why not find a group of friends and a circuit session you can do together? I’m going to try and head to a track session at my local running track and see how that goes!

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So there are three things I’ll be trying in 2017, what about you? If you’re trying any new training sessions (or even any of the above!) I’d love to hear how you get on! Keep checking back to my blog as I’ll be reporting back to let all my lovely readers if I managed to survive the training sessions above.

Wednesday Workout 4th January 2017


As a way of making sure I stick to my New Year Resolutions this year, I’m trying to document what I’ve done as much as possible. So expect a few more regular blog posts!
One way of me documenting what I’m doing is through these Wednesday Workout posts. If you’re curious about what I do in training, these posts will act as a little insight into my training sessions.

For January they will mainly be gym session focussed, but I might change this through the year!

So what gym session was I doing this week?

Spending 1 minute per exercise and a 30s rest after each set, my session went a bit like this…

Set 1: Plank, Mountain Climbers, Bicycle Crunches

Set 2: Commando Rows, Squat Thrusters, Lateral Raises

Set 3: Single-Leg Deadlifts, Burpees with a Press-Up, Sumo Squats

For the Commando Rows, Squat Thrusters, Single-Leg Deadlifts and Sumo Squats I was using two 6kg dumbells. They added to the burn in my muscles quite a bit!
I hope getting back to normal after the festive period hasn’t been to painful this week! If you decide to give my training session a try, make sure you only work to your own ability. This one was a bit tougher than I expected!

Like I said in my recent training calendar post, baby steps in training are the best way to go!

A Training Plan I Can Stick To…

Training for me has always been a bit random. At the start of every year I’ll be like ‘right, let’s do this’, but I just end up falling back into old habits of doing what I feel like. Any form of structure goes out the window. 

I think the ‘structure’ might be the issue for me. I’m not a full-time professional athlete; I train and compete because I enjoy pushing myself. Therefore, life can sometimes get in the way of an idyllic training ‘structure’.

So I’ve decided to try something a bit different. People may already do similar, or it may seem completely random, but I’m going to give it a go. 

I’m going to plan as I go along. 

See what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s a few pointers I’m following:

1. Have a training calendar.

It seems obvious but it’s not something I’ve ever had. I’ve got a comical calendar too. You’ll need something enticing to look at when you’re a few weeks in…..mine happens to have photographs of dogs who have been up to no good.



2. Look at any big events you have and decide what progress you want to make by then. Make note of these goals on each month.

I’ve got a sprint triathlon coming up in April, which involves:

– 400m swim

– 23km cycle

-5km run

For January I’ve decided to work up to be able to swim 100 metres in the pool at a time. I also plan to cycle 100 miles (over the month that is!) and aim to run at a pace of 8 minutes and 30 seconds consistently. 

I’m not a strong swimmer so I’m building that up slowly. After seeing how little I’d cycled in 2016, I want to boost those numbers for 2017. For the runnning…during a handful of timed events I managed to get a 7 minutes 30 seconds pace, so it’s in there somewhere! I just need to make it more consistent.


3. Baby steps.

Following on from what I’ve just said, I’m taking baby steps to achieve my goals. This has always been a pitfall of mine. I’ve wanted to try and do everything at once. Trying to do that doesn’t help anyone.

4. As you go through the month, record what you’ve done. 

So if you’ve cycled so far at a certain pace, record it on that day of the month. I know things like Strava can help this, but I just like writing things down…


5. Keep that Garmin charged!

I am the worst for this. I use my Garmin watch everyday so it’s a common occurrence for me to let it go flat. I need to stop this for 2017. 

6. At the end of each month assess what you’ve done and what to do next month.

In the past I’ve planned out my whole year…flunked in month one and gone back to old habits. So this is a major change for me this year. It helps keep things manageable and keep those motivation levels high!


7. Keep the calendar somewhere you’re going to look at it a lot! 

Not somewhere you’re going to forget about it…


8. Have a mood board to give those motivation levels an extra boost when things get tough.

Sometimes you wonder what are you actually doing, but a missed training session is no competition for the feeling of achieving your goals.


9. Rest!

Rest days are my worst enemy. I just get restless, but your body needs to recover to get better. This said, it’s also important to listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard and make yourself ill. Any race isn’t more important than your health.

10. Keep it simple. 

The last point on my list is one I MUST stick to. ….

Buddy Run


When most were recovering from hangovers, I was somehow dragging myself out of bed to go and run in Llandegla Forest. All for the Wrexham & Chester Tri Club’s joint ‘Buddy Run’.
With a £2 donation to Nightingale House, your name was put into a hat and you were paired with a ‘running buddy’.

I had no idea how it was going to pan out. It was trying to snow…

But off we went up into the forest. It felt rather odd not running by myself really! I’ve just got use to running by myself I suppose.


I’ve been meaning to try the running trails at Llandegla for a while. Country lanes are normally where you’ll find me running, but I loved running in the forest! Plenty of muddy puddles…yes…but it just varied the run a bit more than normal. 

With yummy soup provided by One Planet Adventure to finish, it was a great way to kick off 2017. 


Thank you to everyone who was involved in organising the run and the company I had the pleasure of running with. I’m looking forward to getting back to Llandegla for more running and riding. I’ll hopefully find some great company to run with this year too!

These photos aren’t mine, so thank you to who took them! Hope you don’t mind me using them.