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Thursday 9 June 2016

10 Reasons NOT To Do Triathlon

GOOD: Remember when you were a kid and got told off for weeing in the pool? In triathlon it’s positively encouraged. BAD: However you then have to put your face in the water. 

GOOD: You get to eat all the sugary gels and pick n mix you can manage. BAD: However this is only DURING the race and by then all you want to do is throw them back up again. Preferably at the FRB who is already finishing the run by the time you start it. No one likes a smug. Especially one covered in regurgitated sugar.

CLLLLLL the sugar ...

GOOD: You will get an AMAZING sun tan with all those training hours outside in the summer. You will be a bronzed Goddess.BAD: However it is in the shape of your trisuit. You look a TIT at the swimming pool. 

GOOD: You will have a gorgeous bike which will be the envy of all your non-triathlete friends.BAD: You will spend hours cleaning the bloody thing, you will have to lie to your significant other about how much it cost and your kids will want to touch it. ALL THE TIME. And you’ll still want better wheels for it. WHICH COST ALMOST THE SAME AS THE BIKE.And the saddle is basically a cheese grater for arses.


GOOD: You get to wear a wetsuit which sucks all the fat in and makes you look all lithe and toned and almost like a proper swimmer.BAD: You have to get INTO the wetsuit which involves contortions, pulled muscles and getting really bloody hot. And you still aren’t sure whether to loop the zip pull up or not.You knew you should have listened more at that yoga class you went to once.

GOOD: When your running friends talk about their hard runs, you can be all smug and say “Ha ha! I’ve usually done a swim AND a bike ride by that point.”BAD: No one likes a smug. And then your friends mention that they heard you WALKED a bit in your last triathlon run. And cried.And your race photos prove it.

More ice cream please, I can still do my trisuit zip up.

GOOD: You get to have 3rd and 4th helpings at dinner because of your heavy training weeks. And no-one judges.BAD: They’re totally judging.And noticing that your previously well fitting trisuit is now skin tight and that you have to grease yourself to get into it. Maybe just 2nd helpings.

GOOD: You’ll get some amazing photos of you on the bike. Also because you were on the bike you were wearing sunglasses and you look totally hardcore. And NOT old.BAD: The good photos were only because you were going SO slowly up the hill the photographer was able to take about 15 shots and you could choose the one that didn’t make you look like you were crying or insane. 

A race photo from last year. I look GENUINELY insane.

GOOD: You’ll get to swim in beautiful lakes. Your gorgeous photos of sunset lakes will be the envy of instagram.BAD: The lakes are full of massive fish, triathlete pee and weed.The fish don’t get out to poo or die.You have to put your face in it.

GOOD: You are a triathlete. You know what T1 is, why people use clips on bikes (despite falling off at the Mr Kipling roundabout once) and why getting kicked in the face is normal. You aren’t just mediocre at ONE thing. You are mediocre at THREE things. Go you.BAD: You just want a nice sit down.  

GOOD: You’ve checked your training plan and you have a rest day scheduled for three weeks time. AWESOME: You’ll probably go for a swim, bike or a run on that day anyway. Just to keep your hand in.


Wednesday 8 June 2016

JimmyCASE Review: Why is a Runner Reviewing an iPhone Case?

I was a bit dubious about reviewing a phone case on my running blog until my husband reminded me that the reason I usually damage my phone is by dropping it out of my sweaty little hands trying to take a photo of a goose on a long run or by dropping it over a fence trying to take a better photo of a goat (again on a long run) or by throwing it into my running vest where it bounces around with my keys and change for any time up to 24 hours. 

Fair point.

I’m a bit precious over my phone. It keeps my twitter buddies safe, it takes my instagram photos and it’s where I usually answer my emails. It’s also my Google keeper when I need to find out crucial pieces of information such as ‘How many toenails is too few’ or ‘Does wee damage wetsuits’.

God forbid I actually use it to take a call.

Photo shamelessly stolen from The JimmyCASE website here
And as such I keep it in an armoured case. My phone – and the case by default – has to take a LOT of abuse. It also has to be grippy when my hands are sweaty, covered in mud and it can’t obscure the camera in case I get the opportunity mid-run of a llama selfie. (This has actually happened by the way)

So The JimmyCASE asked me to review their case. As usual, I didn’t get paid but I got a case to test and I chose the colours of the case. I decided to go retro with the colours and chose burgundy with a gold stripe as it reminded me of my old school tie. I resisted the urge to cover it in wrapping paper and write 90s graffiti on it such as ‘’Be My Wonderwall’ or ‘Disco 2000’ in sparkly ink.

I’ve had it 6 weeks. It’s replaced my usual ‘heavy duty’ phone case. I’ve got my bank card permanently tucked into it along with an emergency tenner and my McDonalds coffee voucher. I think the real test of a product is whether I’m still using it 6 weeks later. I am. 

Why do I like it?
  • Above all it’s just very handy. I don’t need to carry a wallet AND a phone – this case combines them both which has been brilliant for races. I even used it at the London marathon when I needed a wireless payment card for the tube but didn’t want to carry an Oyster card, a bank card and a phone all separately. 
  • Being made from mahogany and with the bright colour panel on the back, the case looks good and attracts lots of compliments. As a purchaser, I put functionality far above looks in terms of phone cases. Yes, it’s nice if it looks good but it has to protect the phone before everything else. This case appears to manage both. The wood also smells lovely. Even after being carried in a bag with a wetsuit, being run with multiple times and being held in sweaty hands!
  • The phone has been well protected in this case and I have dropped it by accident LOTS of times. As well as being padded by the wood and cards in the back, the case has thick corners and edges which gives the phone extra protection. There’s an occasional dent on the wood but you have to scrutinise it to see them and  there’s no damage to the phone. 
  • The case holds the phone securely and it’s a tight fit. I don’t have to worry about the phone dropping out of or moving around in the case. 
  • It’s not a bulky case, in terms of size it’s fairly slimline which is good if you’re carrying it in a pocket or a running belt.
  • The elastic hasn’t lost elasticity and still holds the cards as tight. It’s also held a pair of earrings securely when I forgot about them at swimming.
  • It retails at $39 with free worldwide shipping which is on the pricey side for a phone case but each case is handmade  with a real mahogany core.

What could be improved?
  • The elastic has bobbled slightly and the colours aren’t as bright after 6 weeks of use. However, it’s had a lot of abuse. I have got it wet several times and it’s been dropped and put down on grass, pebbles and dirt plenty of times while out on a run and while trying to capture the perfect photo. 
  • There’s a gap at the bottom of the elastic so it can stretch to hold the cards so this isn’t very secure for cash. I do however fold my emergency tenner and slide it between the cards although I’ve caught it trying to escape a couple of times.
  • You will still need a screen protector for you phone although the case edges are slightly raised so the screen won’t be damaged if you lay it face down on a flattish surface. 
  • Because putting cards in the elastic raises a bump in the back of the phone, it doesn’t sit very easily in my car phone holder which holds the phone by the edges in a shallow dish.
  • It’s currently only available for iPhones.


I’m really precious about my mobile phone and this case has survived 2 triathlons, 2 marathons and multiple long runs and bike rides. It’s been thrown into swimming bags, in with wetsuits and in my usual handbag with keys, safety pins, coins and other assorted detritus. It’s also been accidentally dropped from my sweaty little hands at a variety of heights onto grass, tiles, pavements, pebbles, feet and it’s been damp from lake water, spilled drinks and rain. And it still looks good and has protected the phone. 

My armoured case has stayed in the drawer and my wallet has been consigned to my handbag.

As a runner and triathlete, I wouldn’t have thought about buying this case .... but for how useful it has been for races and travel I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another.

It’s just SO handy.

Find out more info here 

Friday 3 June 2016

Foolproof Tips on How to Effectively Avoid Hitting the Wall - Guest Post

Afternoon! I've got a guest blog on today. This is Louie Luc who writes over at Health Listed and he's written a post on how you can avoid hitting 'The Wall' in a marathon! Enjoy!

My name is Louie Luc and I’m a 30-something runner, marathoner, ultrarunner and fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyle blogger. Running is my greatest passion in life and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned along the way with others who are similarly passionate about the sport. 

As any serious running enthusiast or cyclist will know, there is nothing more difficult than “hitting the wall.” This usually happens around mile 20 into a race and when that feeling washes over you, totally pushing you down. Your spirit wants you to keep on going, however your body is just saying ‘no’. 

That shift from feeling in control and strong to questioning as to how on earth you’re ever going to manage to finish, feels like sheer hell. Even when you’re running at a slow pace, every step seems like trying to navigate through quicksand with weights tied to your feet. That horrible acknowledgment of your energy levels dropping, your muscles getting stiff and increased breathing rate is something that no athlete wants to -- or even needs to -- endure.

Through training, longer runs and speed sessions, it is possible to actually increase your endurance so you can avoid having to deal with the “wall” at all. I’m here to help you with my tried and tested tips to stop you both from “hitting the wall” and finding the strength to keep going once you’ve hit that plateau. I’ve also discussed this topic  with some of the top running bloggers I know and these are some of our best tips combined.

What Does “Hitting the Wall” Feel Like and How Can You Move Beyond It?

There’s nothing worse when you’re in the middle of a run and things begin to fall apart. The physical symptoms are bad enough, add this to the negative thought processes and almost overwhelming urge to quit that accompany “hitting the wall” and it’s understandably something that every athlete dreads. Unfortunately, it’s something which every runner will experience at some time or another.

As reported by Runner’s World, research fellow at Stanford School of Medicine, Matt Buman, Ph.D., ran a study into the specific psychological and physical reasons that recreational runners tend to have when they hit the “wall.” He also looked into how they recover from and cope with this setback.

Of the 315 runners surveyed, a huge 43 percent had hit that plateau in a recent race. Although the study focused solely on marathon runners, the information he collected is helpful to all running enthusiasts -- professional and otherwise. Take a look at these three proven strategies to help ensure you can bounce back from those mid-run meltdowns in no time:

1. If You Feel Pain: Slow Down, Stop and Stretch or Walk

When you’re pushing yourself to the limit, it’s perfectly usual to feel pain in your calves, quads, hamstrings or even upper body. If the pain becomes severe, it is important that you slow right down and assess the condition of your body. Often, simply stopping for a few seconds of stretching or walking is enough to ease the discomfort and to allow you to continue. 

2. If You’re Overwhelmed: Shift Your Focus

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you have miles left to cover. A great trick to use when you feel that you just can’t handle going on, is to shift your focus to something else entirely. For example, you could make a grocery list in your head or perhaps count the number of trees along your route. 

The runners in Buman’s study used techniques such as counting backwards to help them refocus. They were also urged to focus on their own physical well-being and on staying hydrated in order to stop themselves from feeling overwhelmed.

3. If Thirsty or Feeling Energy Drop: Drink Water or an Energy Drink

Runners who keep going without water for 75 minutes or less and who feel sluggish and thirsty are likely to be suffering from mild dehydration. This is simple to remedy, you just need to keep a sports drink or some water with you and take regular drinks. 

If, however you’re on a longer run and you feel thirsty, have heavy-feeling legs, accompanied by a lack of energy, you could be running low on fuel. To remedy this, drink an energy drink that can be converted to glucose in order to fuel your muscles.

A Final Thought

We all run at our own pace, with varying levels of fitness. What works for one person, might not necessarily work for another, so try not to stress too much if you get into difficulties during a race. 

Goals can always be made fluid and modified and just remember, there will always be more races. The here and now is not the be all and end all. It’s the journey that really matters as well as the destination.

Happy running!


Author bio:  Louie Luc is a runner, marathoner and ultrarunner. When he is not blogging about fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles on his personal blog. Louie is living his biggest passion: running.