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Training

Transition bag check list

September 10, 2017

Swim

  • Tri-suit
  • Wetsuit
  • Goggles
  • Earplugs
  • Vaseline

 

Bike

  • Bike (V IMPORTANT)
  • Tools
  • Water bottle
  • Helmet
  • Any other bike clothing you may change into
  • Cycling shoes
  • Socks
  • Garmin
  • Pump
  • Gas canisters
  • Sunglasses
  • Gels
  • Food bars

 

Run

  • Trainers
  • Visor
  • Any other run clothing you may change into
  • Garmin watch
  • Sun cream
  • Vaseline
  • Gels
  • Food bars
  • Race belt

 

Other bits

  • Waiver form
  • Medical certificate (I think this is specific to France)
  • Passport or ID
Lifestyle

Wish List!

February 11, 2015

I have a serious shopping problem when it comes to buying whole foods, clothes and sports wear! I literally waste sooo much of my limited spare time scrolling through sites and making shopping bags full of things that I really can’t afford! It really hasn’t helped this year that my placement is working at Harrods.. not only do I want the whole of Shoe Heaven, all of this seasons Chloe and Stella McCartney, but I also have the torture of the sports floor to deal with, (hosting Asics and Sweaty Betty.. oh and Stella McCartney for Adidas!)

I spend so much time in active wear that I find it really easy to justify the need for new kit! It is only typical that I picked a hobby that contains not one, but 3 sports worth of clothes to buy for.. not to mention the gym work that comes with it to add for a fourth!

Just incase anyone out there wants to buy me a gift, or wants some new purchases themselves, here is my wish list for the week,

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.26.05Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.27.51Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.31.05Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.31.51Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.32.57Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.37.13Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.42.25Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 21.01.58Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 21.00.32Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.58.48

 

– Rapha jersey with arm warmers

– Sweaty Betty bra

– Every Second Counts vest

– Castelli bib shorts

– Asics top

– OMM running jacket

– TYR swimsuit

– Sweaty Betty top

– 2XU Tights

– Lexie Sport Tights

Em x

Uncategorized

July Wish list

June 27, 2014

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Training

Winter running kit

January 29, 2019

If you keep up with me on my Instagram, you can probably see that I’m actually a big fan of winter trail running. It takes far more procrastinating and needs much more motivation to get me out on a faster run than it does a muddy, steady, wintery trail run!

I frequently get asked about what kit I would recommend for these kinds of sessions, so I thought I would put together a list of some of my current favourites. * I just want to make a point and say that a lot of the time I run in really old stuff, including a long sleeve run top that I got once from Aldi for £6, and that you don’t really need really fancy run kit, though it is wise sometimes to invest in some good key pieces to keep you warm and comfortable during winter runs!

Zone 3 RX3 compression tights

Didn’t know Zone 3 did more than just wetsuits/tri-suits? Me neither until a few months ago! I’m obsessed with these tights and really enjoy that they’re compression. When finding the link for this post I was v impressed about all the technical aspects of the tights (have a read), and ultimately I just love how they don’t fall down when running!

 

Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity run leggings

Another great tight option is the Sweaty Betty zeros – they’re amazing quality, high-waisted and really great to move in. Weirdly, I really don’t like them for in the gym, but they’re my go-to run legging. It helps that they come in so many lovely prints too.

 

Zone 3 seamless base layer

Another contender from Zone 3 is their long-sleeved base layer. My core body soon warms up when running so I actually prefer to have thin/breathable items and layer up if needs be. I’m guilty of running in all black (it’s my favourite clothing colour), which isn’t very sensible when running through some woods early morning, so I’m happy to have such a bright and visible item in my activewear drawer!

 

Salomon Speed Cross trainers

I have ran in Salomon Speed Cross (when on trails) for years, I basically just get a new pair every Christmas because they’re so great (and because I’m not very good at washing the mud from them so they get a bit worn and torn)! Running on the trails is made so much easier and more enjoyable in these.

 

Liv Norsa Womens Winter headband

I really suffer with ear ache and always have to wear a headband, whatever the weather! This is obviously a cycling head-band and I wear on my bike and when running… it keeps my ears nice and warm!

 

I haven’t included too much so hopefully your bank-balance won’t take too much of a beating but like I said, it’s not about fancy kit and I’m a big fan of some of my wardrobes golden oldies!

Em x

Training

Training at La Santa with Red Bull

January 23, 2019

I have never felt imposter syndrome so much as I did sitting on an Easy Jet flight, on my way to Lanzarote with Red Bull, to stay at La Santa and train with Lucy Charles…. I mean, WHAT!?

I’m still not over it.

In typical Emily fashion #NotAFitspo… I spent the night before (with a 4:30am alarm), downing champagne and cocktails with a friend! I felt like I blinked before I had my alarm ringing in my ears! I think all of the excitement meant I managed to avoid the hangover that I deserved.

I sat in EAT at Gatwick with the Red Bull team and other bloggers (I can recommend the bean and poached egg pot with feta and avo) holding in the extreme levels of excitement that was consuming me.

We arrived at La Santa and got shown to our apartments… the seriously slick, larger ones on the front that look way too fancy to be in a sports complex (excitement levels now through the roof). I dropped my bags and then headed to a group lunch, WITH LUCY CHARLES. It took all of my will power to sit and eat my Spanish omelette like a normal person without completely fan girling.

We then went on to paddle board – apparently this is not something to add to my (very small) list of talents, before heading out to a really lovely dinner outside of the complex.

Thursday’s alarm went off at 6:40am for a 7am swim with Bella Bayliss -OMG. It was my first swim in 3.5 months – though thankfully I still knew how to do it. We did some drills, and the main set was x3 sets of 200’s (steady, fast, faster), repeated twice. My lats were v tired after this but it was seriously cool to be coached by Bella with Lucy Charles swimming (lapping) next to me.

Then for breakfast – the best part of La Santa! I opted for savoury first with eggs on toast, beans and bacon, then on to fruit and yogurt and muesli (the order sparked some debate, please let me know in comments which order you would go?).

We then had to get ready to ride – I was so excited for this part! The ride was only around 25 miles, but nice and hilly/windy as you would expect in Lanzarote. It was a pretty cool experience to be riding and chatting next to Lucy for this, getting run-off-the-bike tips and Kona recommendations!

We really did train, eat, train, eat, train, train – so next was lunch, before a nutrition chat with Lucy and Red Bull – chatting all things caffeine! – FYI a Red Bull has pretty much the same caffeine as a coffee (and way less than Nocco/Monster).

I saved a Red Bull for the third session of the day, pre-empting that I may need it – I did. A run session with Lucy, Reece and Bella which consisted of a 5k(ish) run and then some efforts – the efforts hurt, I’m definitely not very run fit right now!

Far too quickly it was time for our last supper… another restaurant away from the complex and another delicious meal!

I somehow managed to convince my favourite photographer (once again, being an embarrassing fan girl), to do a shoot with me before I caught my flight home. It was pretty surreal being shot by James Mitchel, also getting tips and advice as I grow my passion in videography and photography.

To sum it up – it was the best trip ever! Ever, ever, ever! I’m really embarrassingly un-cool and a complete triathlon nerd. Thanks so much Red Bull! Head to my YouTube to watch the vlog!

Em x

 

Training

First triathlon: What do you need

January 6, 2019

So…you want to do your first triathlon, but you’ve got no idea what you actually need to do it. Unfortunately, triathlon has the cost of 3 different sports… each of which are very expensive in their own right!

How expensive triathlon is, Is completely relative to the person and where they’re at in their triathlon journey. Basically, it’s as expensive as you want to make it – there will always be a new super-duper bike that can help you shave seconds off, new tech to help you with the numbers, and the most expensive baby food labelled up as magic sports nutrition.

I’ve listed the basics below for what you’re actually going to need – I’m going to dedicate a whole post to help you choose your bike… it’s a tough decision to make (I care more about my bikes than I do my car!), so stay tuned for that one. Remember, you can always borrow from people for your first one, or buy second-hand to keep the cost low before you’ve decided to fully commit! So, here it is:

  • Wetsuit (depending on course)
  • A trisuit (this can be cycling shorts and top)
  • Goggles
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • A bike
  • A helmet
  • Cycling shoes (optional but encouraged)
  • Sunglasses (optional but encouraged)
  • Trainers

Extras:

  • Bike repair kit
  • Spare tubes
  • Cycling kit
  • Run clothing
  • Turbo trainer
  • Pool membership
  • Race belt
  • A million more things that you can find in my Ironman kit checklist blog here.

It’s a fair list – and the chances are I’ve forgotten something, because you always need something else! As I mentioned, most people don’t go out and buy all this at once, they build it up over years of doing it, and borrowing where they can. It’s also really natural to start at the cheaper end of the scale and invest as your passion grows.

Be warned… triathlon is addictive. I never thought I would become the kind of girl who gets more excited about new cycling shoes than a pair of Louboutins, but here I am.

Em x

Training

RedBull TimeLaps 2018!

October 30, 2018

Red Bull Timelaps challenges cyclists to compete in the world’s longest one-day road cycling event. As summer fades to winter, teams of four will race through the night on the weekend the clocks go back in the UK, making it a gruelling 25-hour race against time. In a twist, at 0200 a ‘Power Hour’ is activated; and riders shift to a shorter course where laps count double

When Hannah and Emily (you will probably know them as Twice The Health) messaged me to tell me I was on their team for Red Bull laps, I probably should have had a look at what exactly it was. I was in full Ironman training mode at the time, and just assumed it was probably a bit of fun and nothing too tough. LOL.

About the week before the event I had a look at what it actually was and got in touch with a friend who had previously done the event, for any tips he may have. Chris (said friend) immediately asked if he could give me a call – turns out my reputation for being a tad un-organised and not very well prepared for things, slightly concerned him in regard to this event (and rightly so!). I soon learnt that the bike I planned to ride wasn’t allowed… and basically I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. Obviously, I took none of his advice and still turned up VERY under-prepared.

I travelled to TTH HQ Friday evening ready for an early start to Windsor park on Saturday am. Thankfully, Emily and Hannah organised a camper van (named Flash), which was the BEST THING EVER – I genuinely think I may have had to quit if we only had a tent! We (Me, Chloe, Emily & Hannah) arrived to Windsor and it started to concern me that I was freezing in joggers and a huge puffy jacket.

We may have been feeling pretty smug about Flash, but that soon disappeared once we realised we were pretty much the only team in transition without a gazebo for our bikes and ourselves when waiting to take over for our laps – big error.

I was up third for my stint and it soon became apparent after 1 lap that I was definitely not Ironman recovered, and that this was going to be difficult. I had nothing in my legs or my engine… I felt shocking. As soon as I finished my first hour stint, I shovelled in ALL THE FOOD in an attempt to recover and make it through the long day/night ahead.

By the time I was up again, the darkness had arrived! I turned up without lights and had to do some borrowing from the team (and still managed to pick up the wrong ones!), which meant the ride was VERY scary! It was a small lane, it was hard to see the edge, and huge pelotons of extremely speedy cyclists came flying by on the right. Also… I don’t know quite how to say this without sounding like a complete IDIOT (Which, I guess I am), but I was wearing sunglasses. Yes, I was wearing sunglasses in the pitch black. No, I could not see a thing.

The next few stints where marginally less scary once I lost my sunglasses. LOL.

After each stint, you had roughly 3 hours before your next one. This may seem like a long time, but by the time you had switched over, taken off your shoes/helmet and swapped some of your wet clothes for some warmer layers, had some food and calmed down… it was basically time to go get ready again. Basically what I’m trying to say is I didn’t sleep AT ALL.

I couldn’t actually decide which part was more painful.. riding or waiting to ride. It was so cold, and we we’re all so tired. The clock seemed to stand still from 7pm-7am.

Despite the pain and suffering… the atmosphere, support and solidarity in suffering was amazing. The people that kind of event attracts are the best kind of people – I can say now that we had such a great time, though at the time I would have said something more like; “why are we doing this”, “I would never do this again”, “this is ridiculous and awful”. It was ridiculously tough and a whole new kind of challenge, but I feel super lucky that I got the chance to do it with the most awesome team!

Em x

Training, Travel

Ironman Taiwan 2018

October 11, 2018

On the way back from Zurich, 24 hours post Ironman (that’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in 35degree heat and a fair few hills), I decided to look at what race I could do next, and soon. With limited options left at this time of the year, Taiwan was thrown into the suggestion list.

To race two Ironman distance events in 8 weeks is one thing but throw in over 24 hours of travelling and some crazy humidity (a climate I have never experienced), is quite another. Of course, this seemed like a great plan to me.

Before I knew it, me and Sam (absolute boyfriend goals for not even questioning it when I told him the plan was to head to Asia!), are at Manchester Airport, about the board our first of three flights to get us to the unheard-of island that is; Penghu.

It was 27 hours of travelling before we eventually landed in Taipei – we missed the last flight of the day to Penghu, so we had to sacrifice a night we had paid for in Penghu, and buy another hotel room in Taipei! To say we were disappointed with the food at the hotel would be an understatement… we had no idea that it was only going to get worse once we landed in Penghu.

The small planes of Penghu have a ‘first come, first serve’ policy when it comes to bikes on planes… meaning we were 2.5 hours early to the airport, which contained one shop (a newsagent type shop, which of course included random sweet potatoes and questionable looking meat just boiling away in the middle of the confectionary isle!). I can quite confidently say that it was the scariest journey of my life – I could reach both sides of the plane if I stuck my arms out, and my head was almost touching the roof when I stood up. It felt like the plane may have been partially sucked into a hurricane throughout the one-hour journey.

Arriving at our hotel was the only reassuring thing we had experienced since we landed in Asia – it was lovely, and also home of the expo/race briefing for the race. We spent 4 nights here before the race, settled in and met some amazing people who really made my Taiwan experience special!

So let’s get into race day…

The hotel breakfast was actually a ‘food box’, including a cheese sandwich, a cheese scone and an apple – first issue of the day. I ended up having to have cornflakes with water out of a mug – possibly breaking the record for the worst pre-ironman breakfast in history?

The swim…

Seeing a 500m transition, up some steps and a hill a few days before the race was slightly daunting. Seeing and hearing people discuss the waves due to the crazy weather we were getting (due to a nearby typhoon), was even more daunting.

We arrived at the swim start nice and early to find a lack of toilettes – we ended up exploring a nearby temple and found ourselves in the middle of people chanting/praying! Despite the lack of toilettes, the swim was the most amazing thing I have ever seen – everything lit up and beautiful!

Around 30 minutes before we were due to start, we were informed that due to the crazy weather conditions, the swim would now become 400m. Yes, you read that right – the swim was now to be shorter than transition 1. I would absolutely be lying If I said I was disappointed. I opted for non-wetsuit as I decided over the distance, my competitors wouldn’t be able to put too much time between us, and It would mean a quicker transition.

Despite the distance, the swim was ridiculously hard! It was my first sea-swim, and it became very obvious why the full distance could not have gone ahead.

The bike…

I got to T1 to see only one girl in my AG was out ahead of me, I surprised myself with a super quick change and headed out on my Beautiful Liv Avow. Within minutes the second problem of the day happened – my front water bottle (which is attached to the bike and something I refill throughout the race), fell from my bike and smashed into my wheel. I managed to stay on the bike, but the real worry was how I would now get through 112 miles on the bike in ridiculously hot/humid conditions, with only one bottle per food station.

10 miles into a bike course with open-roads (a lot of close calls with mopeds that did not care about a race going on!), a pack of stray dogs ran across and missed my bike by about half a second!

In between battling through a bike course in a typhoon, I genuinely thought I was being shot at, when in actual fact fireworks where going off in the streets, In broad daylight!

Despite struggling to stay upright and moving forwards in the most ridiculous wind (I really cannot put into words what it was like and how bad it was!), the bike course really was something special. We covered every inch of the island, passing temples and beautiful bridges.

The run…

Arriving at T2 to see that I was the first in my AG back, spurred me on for a fast T2 in an attempt to put more distance between us. I set off on the run feeling stronger than usual by this point, and very happy to see Sam there cheering for me! My plan of action was to keep the miles within the 8minutes, walk for 30s every 3 miles and have a gel at those walk points. This plan was going great… until It wasn’t. The heat and wind got too much, and I quickly adjusted the plan so that I could walk at every aid station, but still keeping within the 8 minute miles.

I just about stuck to the running pace, but very much slowed down and elongated the walk periods, which of course, really brought my average pace down.

The run was mentally tough – very hot, very windy, and some really long stretches without food stations. Oh, and only two toilettes.

By the time I was heading towards the red carpet, I was pretty certain I was on for a Kona slot – I hadn’t seen anyone in my AG pass me, and I knew how much people were struggling in these conditions. As always, nothing beats that finish line feeling, unless the presenter throws their arms around you at the end and asks if you’ve ever been to Kona – that beats every red carpet experience!

I have thought about the Kona dream every single day for the last 3 years. I’m still in shock that it’s happened – my 4thIronman, 2ndin 8 weeks. I chased my goal all the way to Taiwan, and I did it – it means the absolute world. Thank you so much to every single person that wished me luck for this race and supported my crazy journey. To the brands that helped me get here, encouraged me and believed I could do it, I can’t thank you enough!

I also met some absolutely amazing people on this trip who I will never forget! Simon – someone gravitated towards at Penghu airport once I heard a fellow English voice, was such a big part of my Taiwan Ironman experience. He took me out on a bike recce (scariest of my life thanks to the typhoon), gave me countless tips and reassurance, helped me find transition, travelled to the start with me and celebrated post-race with me. Britney, Jenny, Brooke, Jonathan (and family!), Marnix, and all of the Liv/Giant Taiwan team, it was so awesome to meet you all, thank you for being part of my Taiwan dream!

Get ready for the Kona spam!

Em x

Training

Langma Advanced Pro Disk review

April 23, 2018

Advanced-grade carbon Composite frame and fork

Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset

Giant Contact SL stem and handlebar

Composite Variant seatpost

Giant SLR 1 Disc WheelSystem

“Impeccably handcrafted for the toughest climbers, passionate cyclists, and fierce competitors, Langma is the secret weapon for charging the breakaway. Langma is programmed for both climbing and quick accelerations so you can conquer the steepest climbs, power in the peloton, rail technical descents and attack the group! This bike is a true companion for a determined rider.”

Now, there are the details for the readers that actually have a clue about bike and all the technical aspects… unfortunately I am not one of those people! I am going to write a very “Emily Young” style bike review here…

How beautiful and fast it looks – of course this is up there on my priority list when wanting a new bike. I’m not going to lie, I’m generally an ‘ all black ‘errythang’ OR completely the opposite and want my cycling stuff to look like Barbie threw up on it with every shade of pink going – this is clearly neither, but I love it! Fiery red has got to = fast, right? It looks very sleek and speedy.

It has tubeless tyres – hallelujah for gals like me who aren’t the most practical despite numerous attempts at practicing! Of course, these can actually still puncture, but it has to be a pretty bad puncture to have to change it/stick a tube in! I honestly think tubleless tyres are the best invention ever!

Disk brakes mean significantly more stopping power and are better at stopping in bad weather (when you live in the UK you’re bound to be cycling plenty in the rain).

How stiff it feels – I had never really thought about this when riding my previous bike, but I can really feel a massive difference between my old bike and how stiff this frame feels! I feel like I gain so much more power per stroke, the bike is easier/smoother to handle and I feel much more stable!

So…. If you’re fancying yourself a new roadie (because you can never have too many bikes) I would absolutely recommend the Langma Advanced Pro Disk! Any questions… give me a shout!

Em x

 

 

Lifestyle

Imposter Syndrome

March 26, 2018

Mike Ross.. you are a FRAUD!

… *please go watch Suits to understand – you will also thank me because it’s SOOO good*

Imposter syndrome reflects a belief that you’re inadequate, feeling like you’re doing something thanks to pure luck, and that sooner or later someone is going to ‘expose’ you for a fraud. It makes you feel like you’re undeserving of your positions or circumstances, not good enough for the role, not the right candidate.

This is something I can really relate too, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m a worrier and I have been all my life, I over-think everything, and my personality is extremely obsessive… it’s caused me many issues over the years, (eating disorder, adrenal fatigue), and it’s something I’ve really made a conscious effort to change over the last year.

I have spent the last couple of years doing pretty much every educational course within my interest that I can find – in the hope that the qualifications may make me feel more adequate when I share my passions on my blog, over my social channels, and in my job. I still don’t feel any different despite the pieces of paper. Clearly I have learnt nothing from Suits!

I am an ambassador (a VERY proud ambassador) for two amazing brands; Sweaty Betty and Liv Cycling, where I get the opportunity to present events around fitness and cycling. Every time I show up for an event I feel like a fraud, like someone’s going to call me out for not being a proper cyclist, for being slow, for not knowing anything – it apparently doesn’t matter how many miles or Ironman’s I do… I still feel this way.

I decided to write a few tips down on how to manage feeling this way, I hope it helps!

Recognise the positives of being the beginner/novice/not knowing everything

Maybe this makes you more relatable? Maybe you’re more qualified for this role BECAUSE you’re still learning and growing with it. Everything is constantly moving and changing, it’s impossible to know everything!

Focus on how you’re growing/developing/learning

 Stop stressing over whether you’re perfect for the role… focus on gaining the most out of it! Learn from every experience, embrace it, be bold and brave and absorb all the knowledge you can.

Have some perspective…. If it wasn’t you

If you were looking at someone in the same position as you, would you consider them not worthy of being there? Probably not! Focus on facts and try not to let emotion get in the way.

Focus on the positive

You are there, and there’s a reason for that! Find those reasons and remind yourself of them, celebrate them!

Visualise success

What do you hope to do in your position? Strive towards that, the best you can do is all you can ask.

Remember that most people feel this way… insecurity is a normal emotion

Believe it or not, a lot of people can relate to these feelings, don’t think it’s only you!

Fake it until you make it

I particularly love this saying, as it’s always something my boyfriend says to me and something he really does embrace. It’s important to go for things and strive for things beyond what you think is capable; otherwise you will never reach or know what your full potential is!

Em x

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