Treating myself…

All this cold weather and I’ve invested in a couple of pairs of long running leggings…

I got these ASICS ones from Wiggle, along with a bright warm bright orange under armour top.

Nice wee reflecting detail on the leggings.

A bit like the puma ones I got for Christmas… they’re both nice and warm, and reflective.

And I treated myself to these… a couple of pairs of Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2s. A little lighter than my Wave Inspires, but hopefully just as good.

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Kettlebell & Single Leg Strength

I have to say, I’m not impressed with these few days of snow we’ve been subjected to.

I’m not a member of a gym anymore so I don’t have access to a treadmill anymore, and I’m not risking running when the streets are full of snow / ice like they are.

The snow came on Monday and there was more on Tuesday, now today the snow is starting to freeze, to make icy pavements. I decided I’d postpone my Tuesday run to Wednesday, but realistically I knew I wouldn’t get out for a run today either. Grrrr.

There maybe are some clear bits out and about, but I’m not going to risk it. I decided instead, to do a simple strength workout after work instead.

Kettlebells and Single Leg work

I used my seconds timer, a 16kg and a 12kg kettlebell and a 12.5kg dumbbell (for the Clean n presses).

At the end I added, a short 3 rounds of single leg work, just over 40 minutes of strength. I managed 10-12 Press Ups, 8 Clean n presses, and 18-22 reps for the 50 second exercises.

Now here’s a new addition to my Garagym.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to lose 10kg? Or even, have you ever wondered what it’s like to workout with 10 extra kilos on your body?

Well, I got myself a weight vest… specially made for women, it holds up to 15 x 1kg bars, and I had 10 in it tonight (just for the single leg work).

It’s easy to add or remove weight to the vest, but I thought I’d start with 10kg to not overdo it. So it felt like I was 10kg heavier, whilst I was doing, 3×10 each side:

– Single Leg Deadlift
– Single Leg Split squat
– Reverse Lunges

I definitely noticed a difference with 10kg strapped to me.

I’m not sure why I was smiling here, I probably wasn’t smiling when I was doing the workout. 😉

This week will probably change to something along the lines of this:

Mon: Squat Strength
Tue: Rest
Wed: KB & Single Leg Strength
Thu: AM run intervals PM Run coaching TBC
Fri: Deadlift Strength
Sat: 17-18M 9:08
Sun: Rest

I’ll need to see what the pavements are like on Thursday though – I might swap my am run for a spin (or a lie in!)

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Wk2 into Wk3

Last week was a good week training wise for me, 3 runs, 2 strength training and 3 rest days, with 2 of those days active recovery with plenty of walking.

I did on average, 16,000 steps a day, and I got a good long 10 hour sleep the night after my long run which I’m sure helped my recovery. Things seems to be settling down nicely. I had no doms on Saturday from my strength training, and just a little bit of tightness in my calves on Sunday from the long run the day before.

Here’s what I did last week:

Mon: Squat Strength
Tue: Rest / 5M Walk
Wed: Rest / 5M Walk
Thu: 7M incl 6M tempo @8:03
Fri: Deadlift Strength + 4.7M easy run
Sat: 15M @8:37 / 152 ❤️
Sun: Rest

I was a bit tired at the start of the week, and the rest from my planned running probably did me good. I missed my interval run (which I thought might happen)… it was meant to be 4x800m with 2 minute intervals. I might do it this week instead.

A good wee easy social run on Friday with my Twinnie fitted in nicely as my third run of the week. I enjoyed my long run on Saturday, but it might be an idea to try and go earlier next weekend if I can.

Progress with my long run this week – it was slightly faster, at a lower heart rate than last week – and crucially, it felt easier – like the speedwork is paying off:

8:40 min miles / 157 vs 8:37 min miles / 152

I’m watching what I’m eating and trying not to be greedy / eat what I want … logging it all on myfitnesspal makes you really think about what you consume. I can clearly eat more on run days and this week I was careful to eat plenty after my long run. I’m making better choices and replacing my usual go to sugary foods with more protein based foods.

I’m showing a calorie deficit all week, and the result is a drop of 1.1lbs in bodyweight in the first 2 weeks of January. I was aiming for 1lb a week so I’ll keep an eye on what’s happening next week. I’m certainly not starving, eating plenty of protein and fibre and cutting out sweets etc.

Wednesday was the only day I went over calories, it was a Rest day so had less calories burned to play with.

Want to learn more about losing weight with strength training, nutrition & exercise? – read Burn the Fat, Feed the muscle, by Tom Venuto

Here’s my plan for next week:

Mon: Squat Strength
Tue: Intervals 1200/1000/800/600/400
(Or 4x800m wi 2 min Rest)
Wed: Rest
Thu: 7M Tempo incl 5M @8:05 / PM Coaching
Fri: Deadlift & TRX Strength
Sat: 17-18M @9:08
Sun: Rest

Depending on the weather I might swap Tuesday for Wednesday… apparently it’s to get really cold on Tuesday… but I’ll see how it goes.

And here’s my strength plan for the next 3 weeks – Monday squat strength, Friday deadlift and TRX strength. I’m going to try and work hard this week with it, now I know all the moves / exercises:

Squat Strength (Mon)

Warm up & Ankle MobilityWarm up Squat 1×5

Pause Squat (2secs) 3×5 35kg / 37kg / 42kg / 42kg
Squats AMRAP 40kg (22) / 42kg / 45kg /45kg

Single Leg Deadlift 10es

Penlay Rows 3×8 30kg / 4×8 36kg / 4×8 38.5kg / 3×8 41kg
Single Leg RDL 3x8es / 4x8es / 4x8es / 3x8es (2×12.5kg)
Press Ups AMRAP 3×15 / 4x… / 4x… / 3x…

Reverse Lunge 10es

Barbell Overhead Weighted Carry 3 mins

Deadlift Strength (Fri)

Warm up & Ankle MobilityWarm up Deadlift 1×5

Pause Deadlift 3×5 46kg / 48.5kg / 51kg / 51kg
Deadlifts AMRAP 51kg (18) / 53.5kg / 56kg / 56kg

Split squats 10es (bodyweight)

TRX Split Squat Jumps 3x8el / 2x12el, 2x10el / 4x12el / 3x12el
Gym Ball Atomic Press Ups 3×8 / 4×10 / 2×12,2×10 / 3×12-15
TRX Inverted Row 3×15 / 4×15 / 4×20 / 3×20

Scorpion 30secs-1 min

KB Swings + Goblet Squats 16kg (timed) 21 / 15 / 9

I start my new job next week, so 1 more week where I am. It’ll be odd to leave a department I’ve been working in for 5 years, but I’m looking forward to what the new role will bring. Excited. 🙂

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15.2M – wk 2 marathon training

Week 2 Training for the London marathon and my plan had 15 miles at 9:08 minute mile pace. I thought it’d be a welcome relief after pushing it a little on the half marathon last week, to run 8:40 min miles with my avg HR at 157 and max 167.

I planned a challenging but fun route I’ve done before… running from the Clyde… uphill for about 8 miles up to Newton Mearns, then back down hill to the Clyde through the southside of Glasgow.
Here’s the elevation chart… it started to go uphill about 3 miles in and continued to 6, though 7 and again at 8, then once you turn onto the A77, you go downhill more or less all the way.

The run up to 8 is a bit tough, but I just kept my legs ticking over and slowed down a bit on the hills or when it was starting to get hard.
I ran mostly looking at pace on the way up, and it was ticking along under the 9 min mile for the most part until I got to the hills. It was a bit odd today, cyclists and pedestrians kept saying hello to me, and at mile 10 I got tooted at enthusiastically by a white van.

There were lots of road crossings, but many drivers gave me right of way which was odd. Perhaps they saw the determination in my face? 😜< a href=””&gt;<<
l in all, today’s long run felt easier than last weeks. Once I started to run down hill, I flicked my garmin to show me heart rate and cadence and I aimed to run with my heart rate around 150 and push my cadence up to 180. I felt like I was flying lol.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee for about 7 miles. Just after Giffnock and before Shawlands about 11 miles in, I noticed that there were lots of people waiting for a bus at all the bus stops I passed. (Strange the things that go through your head when you’re running long…)< a href=""&gt;<<
I kept running / flying past bus stops full of people, I realised there must be a bus behind me. At one of the first stops I noticed the people waiting for the bus, flagging it down. So the race was on. Bus stop after bus stop I was trying to beat this bus… I couldn’t even see it. I was just running forward and seeing if it’d catch me.< a href=""&gt;<<
aw two people I knew, from Work and from a previous Work, and an old man who was chatty in a shop in Shawlands a couple of weeks ago (and he was chatty again).

Then past Shawlands, near Queen’s Park, it pulled up beside me and stopped to let some passengers on. My chance to get away from it. 😜 I ran strongly on and turned left towards Nithsdale Road… I’d beaten it. Cadence up at 180 most of the way.

I ran down towards home, and decided the last mile I’d try and take easy, keeping my cadence up still. I got to 15 miles and decided to add on a last wee 0.2 miles (like I’d do on the day of the marathon) … and walked a bit home.

This weeks long run felt easier, and was faster than last weeks (perhaps helped by the hills?) – 8:37 min mile and 152 avg HR, max 169 (vs 8:40 / 157 / 167 last week). It should have been 9:08, but I’m happy with that. Now today I need to work on my recovery last week I became a bit tired, hungry and grumpy after my long run. 😜 better get eating, hydrating and sleeping. Training going well.

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7M including 6M tempo

My training plan prescribed 7 miles today, including 5 miles tempo, with the pace at 8:23 or under.

I didn’t manage to get my interval run (4x800m:2min rest) on Tuesday, so I was pretty adamant I’d do this run today, and I’m glad I did. 🙂

But it was due to be cold and foggy. I hate winter, really hate it. 😦 I woke before my alarm about 6am, got ready in my warm running gear and went downstairs to wake up and find a route to run.

I decided I’d run up to Sauchihall street and back down and along the Clyde. That’d be about 7 miles. I ran around the transport Museum and around George Square and I thought that would get it up to 7 miles for sure.

I got 20 minutes in and I was running strong, I started to go into Kelvingrove Park an up the hill, but decided to avoid the hill (and the park in the dark) and ran along Argyll street instead.

My pace was ticking along nicely, around 8 minute miles, then at 20 mins in I stopped to take a breather and refocus – I can do this… (run fast!) … and at 30 mins in I stopped to change my tunes. My legs and hips were cold, not ideal for trying to push it.

Who knew Sauchihall Street is uphill by the way?! (Very gradual.)

It all got a bit easier when I started to go downhill around mile 4. Down the other side of Sauchihall Street and down Buchanan street. 🙂

My pace for the tempo miles were:

8:07, 7:54, 8:20, 8:15, 7:55, 7:47

My heart rate was around 160-165, so working hard but not too hard.

Before I knew it, the first 6 miles were over, and I got to 10k quicker than last week, in 50 minutes (40 secs faster). I finished off with a nice easy 1.2 miles home. This kind of running must be good for you. 😜

I’m not sure that the cold is though! Bbbbrrrrr.

7.2 miles, 59:16, avg HR 156, max HR 165

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What goes up…might come down?

You might remember that at the end of last year, I took on the help from a Personal Trainer Ross Jackson from Lean Machine PT (

I’ve worked with him before, and although he probably works more with guys in strength training, he knows his stuff and I enjoy working with him. He’s made me an honorary ‘Lean Lad’ on his Lean Lads Facebook page too… it has some good recipes, results and workouts on it.

Now with his guidance and a couple of workout plans from him, along with 2 PT sessions every 4 weeks…

I’ve strength trained twice a week consistently, and kept my running ticking over too. I also ate what I wanted, and possibly had more calories than I normally would have (over Christmas etc).

8 weeks later at the end of December… and I’d put on 6lbs!!

… 6lbs!

But contrary to what i might have expected (time of the year and all Nov into January)… it’s not all Christmas weight! Yahoo.

It seems that the consistent training and a surplus in calories has allowed my body to do what I didn’t think it could do (as I’ve never been able to) – add lean mass!

The numbers (see further down) show that it’s not fat I’ve put on, apparently it’s lean mass (not fat)… that’s what consistent strength training (and eating plenty) can do – even if you’re a girl like me. 😉

I’ve not noticed much difference to be honest, apart from feeling stronger overall and a good sense of achievement with my progression through the workouts. But the numbers seem to speak for themselves, and I’ve enjoyed the process…

Before I started with Ross… I had my Foxy’s Garagym all set up to train in but I was finding that I was only getting into it around once a week (or not at all). No motivation whatsoever…

So I figured if I invested in a programme and some sessions with Ross, it’d focus me to strength train more regularly. And it worked.

Here were my goals:

1. (Be motivated to) Strength train at least twice a week consistently. (tick)

2. Make strength training work with my running (ie not too sore after Strength sessions). (Tick)

3. Get stronger and feel stronger. (Tick)

Any changes in body composition / weight would be an outcome, but I wasn’t being restrictive in anyway with what I ate / consumed. It’s Winter / Christmas after all. I are what I wanted and had full fat coke when I wanted too (sshhhhh).

I started with Ross mid November, and did two rounds of 4 weeks of training – November & December.

I had PT sessions with him twice in each 4 week block, and he really helped to push me and give me tips on how I can improve with the exercises he gave me (ie squats deadlifts Press Ups).

I’d spent October running and building up to strength work with high intensity bodyweight / Tabata workouts on my own, once a week, then from mid November I worked with Ross.


Now here’s the result 8-12 weeks later:

(I have withings WiFi scales which measure weight, body fat, muscle and water).

Starting 2 October:
Weight: 130.8lbs
Body fat %: 14.7%
Body fat lbs: 19.2lbs
Other % (lean muscle & water): 85.3%
Other lbs: 111.6lbs

2 January:
Weight: 137lbs
Body fat %: 14%
Body fat lbs: 19.2lbs
Other % (lean muscle & water): 86%
Other lbs: 117.8bs

So that shows that although I’ve:
– put on just over 6lbs…
– slightly reduced my body fat %, and
– kept my body fat lbs at the same.

My weight and lean body mass has increased by 6.2lbs, (which I’m actually a little astonished by).

I didn’t think us women (me) could do this, but clearly the right sort of activity/training and intake (eating a lot) can make it happen.

… now I have a bit of a dilemma…

To be more specific: Racing Weight.

[Racing Weight is a book by Matt Fitzgerald which talks about runners being at their Racing Weight so they can be at their peak to perform when racing.] – (my own words)

… What goes up… can come down… right?

To run a marathon, which I’ll be doing in 15 weeks time in London in April… ideally you want to be as light (trained, fit and strong) as you can be so that you’re able to run more efficiently. Or so that you can run as fast as possible, carrying the least amount of weight.

When I ran my PB in 2013, I was about 124lbs – nearly a stone lighter than I am now. Imagine how much easier it would have been to run with a stone less of weight? 14lbs / 6.5kg.

If I run with my heart rate at 165 for a marathon… if I’m carrying 14lbs less, I should run faster, than if I’m 14lbs heavier (ie now). When I did my 3:28 marathon PB I said I’d never push it that hard again… and I won’t. But I’d like to get to my peak for this years London marathon and see what will happen (training / energy / recovery / Racing weight).

I’ve lost weight before – mainly through exercising a lot, not drinking (alcohol) and being a bit better with my food choices – creating a calorie deficit consistently.

In 2008 I went from 147lbs to 135lbs in about 6 months (more activity – better or less calories). Then marathon training and another year took off about another 12lbs. But I probably wasn’t as strong then, as I am now.

And if I don’t lose weight as planned – no biggie, but it’ll be interesting to see what the changes I make (in activity and intake) result in. I’m fit and healthy and happy and that’s what’s most important to me.

Here’s been my weight since 2013… up down up down up down… the ups have usually been when I’ve changed what I do (ie less running Winter 2016, or more regular strength training in Winter 2017).

I wonder if I’ll be able to get it to go back down again? (Below is me in the Summer of 2012 I think / 120-124lbs).

Anyway, I’ve been in touch with Ross about my next round of training and we’ve agreed the following – I’ll aim to lose 1lb a week, by keeping a track of my intake, and continuing my running & strength training

But one thing that’s important is that I keep the strength I’ve built up already.

– I’ve managed to deadlift my own body weight plus (61-66kg)
– I’ve gone from doing Press Ups on my knees to being able to do 3×15 full Press Ups.
– I’ve increased my squat weight to 45kg.
– I’ve been doing single leg work (single deadlifts / reverse lunges / single leg squats) to help my strength in running.

The other day he had me doing pause squats and as many squats as I could manage (x22 with 40kg). Then he had me carrying a 15kg barbell straight above my head in a weighted carry for 3 minutes! 😳My back feels very strong after all of that!

being more careful about what I eat, and training well (but eating to fuel my training)… I’ll aim to lose 1lb of weight / body fat a week …

– to go from 137lbs at the start of January,<<<<<
2-124lbs by the London marathon on 22 April.

se myfitnesspal to track calories to start off with, then see if I can get into a routine of eating enough, but not too much to promote weight loss but still enough energy and protein for fuelling and recovery.

Here are the numbers Ross has prescribed me (based on my current weight):

1850 calories (plus exercise)<<<<<
30g protein<<<<<
g fibre

ot go into too much detail, but in the last week I’ve managed a calorie deficit of around 400 calories a day on average. I’m eating plenty, but exercise is offsetting what I eat.

I’ve changed a few things like eating low fat Greek yoghurt and berries instead of a snack sized mars bar (more protein and satiety)… and I’ve chosen not to eat everything I want to, and stopped when I’ve been full (ie not been greedy!). I’ve dropped just under 1lb this week, so we’ll see what happens.<<<<<
can follow my progress (and me) by liking my Facebook page:

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Wk1 into Wk2

My first week of my marathon training and my second Rest day today week, and I was a bit tired today! I really needed the rest day – I felt a bit tired, cold and could have been grumpy (if I’d let myself be).
(This was me on New Years Day between rain showers on a walk for just over an hour wi Fit Girl bear Erskine).

Today I’m probably tired from working a little harder on the long run yesterday, along with not getting as much quality sleep as I’d hoped, and at the end of a training week with more speedwork in my running.

I’ve enjoyed cranking up the pace on my runs that aren’t long, and I need to remember this so I don’t make excuses not to do them (or I could do easy runs on the Thursday if I must).

I’ve been working hard on each run I’ve done, and I’m feeling it now, but hopefully I’ll get used to it.
Thursdays run this week was a good measure for a 10k including 2 miles tempo (7:40-7:41) and I finished strong at the end too. 10k I’m just over 50 minutes (I’m used to going a bit slower than that in every day runs, maybe 55-56 minute 10ks).
My long run on Saturday was good, but cold. I was able to push the pace to 8:40 min miles when the target was 8:53. That led to me doing a half marathon in 1:53 and an average HR of 157 / max 167.

It was a bit harder than I would have normally pushed myself, but I think it’s the cold I’m finding hard more than anything else. I’ll need to wrap up warm, and run with water on long runs from now on. I’m going to work on building into my long runs and working my recovery out (so that I don’t become a grumpy b after long runs).

But last week wasn’t all about training… I had a brilliant day off work on Friday, after my workout, I drove through to Edinburgh and spent some time with a good friend and her 9 month old baby.

I played with the baby, and managed to be lucky enough to rock her to sleep twice! It was pretty special, as was catching up with my friend.

Here’s what I did last week anyway:

Mon: Rest (1hr walk)
Tue: 3x1600m @7:20, 7:41, 7:50
Wed: Squat Strength wk 8 (str coaching)
Thu: 6M incl 2M tempo 7:41, 7:40 (35 min coaching)
Fri: Deadlift Strength wk 8
Sat: 13.1M Run @8:40 pace / avg HR 157
Sun: Rest
Next week I have Personal Training with Ross from and a new challenging 4 week programme, first thing Monday. I’ll continue to do my strength training on Mondays and Fridays. Rest Wednesday Sunday, run Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday.

I’m back at work too… so I’ll need to get my recovery, energy in and sleep on track. Early mornings to train, early nights to get some sleep.

Mon: Squat Strength (3.1)
Tue: 4x800m / 2 min rest
Wed: Rest (Edinburgh / 5M walk)
Thu: 7M incl 5M @8:23
Fri: Deadlift Strength (3.2)
Sat: 15M @9:08 min miles
Sun: Rest

Oh and I’ve ordered some new trainers with my elephant £1s. Mizuno Wave Catalyst 2s – a lighter version of the ones I run in just now (wave inspire)… still stability shows. Looking forward to seeing how I get on with them.
I also tested myself to a new Nike top or two, I’ll share them once they arrive / as long as they fit ok. 🙂

I’ll leave you with what I thought was a pretty picture of a tree in the sunset I took on our walk on New Years Day. 🙂 I hope you have a good week next week.

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