Motivational Fitness Tips

Dame Kelly Holme's Marathon Race Day Tips

So this is it, one week to go before the (insert expletive here) London Marathon.  Physically, I’ve pushed my body as far as it can go.  I’ve trained as regularly as humanly possible, four times a week since Christmas (not including the weeks I’ve had off).  I’ve taken care of my body so that I remain injury free (even though my knees creak like a deserted pirate ship).  I’ve been completely tee-total (apart from weekends and Friday nights).  And I’ve even been sleeping more than usual (alarm set to multi-snooze).

Dame Kelly Holmes

So at this late stage all that lies left is the mental preparation.  Which ironically is driving me, well, mental.  On a scale of 1 to bricking it I’m well into double figures.  Sometimes I can’t even visualise myself making it to the finish line, let alone in a good time. 

For inspiration I’ve been watching films such as Usain Bolt’s ‘I Am Bolt’ and Mo Farah’s 'No Easy Mile’.  This has helped somewhat.  My knees don’t creak curled up on the sofa.

Double Olympic Gold Dame Kelly Holmes

Fortunately I once met Dame Kelly Holmes too and she gave me some great little bits of advice fit for complete marathon novices. She said;

1. Pace YOURSELF

Every marathon runner lives in fear of hitting the proverbial wall but Holmes says there’s no such thing as a wall! “If you don’t over-exert yourself by starting too fast, I promise that you will not hit a wall”. She promised… so that makes it AOK. I’m going to run with an activity tracker to ensure that I am running as slow as I think I am to begin with.

Apple Watch

2. Run efficiently

When running uphill or on an incline, shorten your strides to reserve energy for when you hit the flat roads again to lengthen them. Use your arms to help propel you forward too. The better your running form the more energy you save.

Dame Kelly Holmes and AJ Odudu

3. Flex your temperament

Your body for all it's strength answers to the small squidgy ball between your ears, you need to harness the power of your mentality to crack the whip on your physicality. Holmes advises to "think of trigger words to give you a boost (i.e. You can, believe, fierce) and run with your name printed on your vest so that you can hear words of encouragement from the crowd too". 

26.2 miles is a long way no matter how trained you are and you’re going to feel sore and tired even before the moment you finish. Stretch, foam roll, ice bath and sports massages are all part of recovery.

Leg Stretch Dame Kelly Holmes

4. Eat Smart

"The night before the marathon I ate lots of small meals to fuel my muscles. I ate rice as I prefer it over pasta. On race day I ate porridge: a sustainable energy source that is also light". Lots of water is also important including electrolytes in water. And sleep. Of course you'll feel nervous but try to relax so that you feel fresh on race day. No multi-snooze button allowed.

5. Run With Pride

Remember that thousands of people across the globe would love to do the London Marathon and haven't been able to get a spot. We are lucky to have the opportunity to try. Holmes told me that "it's an incredible event that brings people together no matter their nationality, age, gender, interests, abilities and disabilities. The long, demanding run is worth it"!

Dame Kelly

I am so delighted to have met not only a running legend but a great, strong woman who reminded me that I must find the strength within. I still feel nervous but I hope on race day that I really can achieve and so can you!

Please share this blog post if you think it could help others and let me know if you have any other tips to avoid marathon induced panic attacks. Good luck!

xoxo 

Top 5 Winter Fit Tips

Winter makes most of us want to snuggle up in bed but sadly, hibernating isn't going to keep us fit. Here's how I exercise to beat the winter blues.

Nike Zip Top

1. Wrap Up Warm

I still enjoy outdoor workouts if I get the right fit kit. Lightweight windbreakers, thermal leggings and lightweight gloves that keep your paws warm without getting sweaty are the answer to all my workouts. There are even long sleeved tops that cover the palms of your hands if gloves aren't for you. 

Sit Ups

2. Workout At Home

I personally love going for a brisk winter run in the fresh, cold air but for those days when leaving the house is all too much, I stick on an exercise DVD or playlist a load of YouTube workout videos and do that for 30-60 mins 3 times a week. The benefit of exercising this way is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. The difficulty with exercising this way is that it can always be put off until another day. I suggest scheduling it into your diary to reduce the chance of avoiding your work out. 

Outdoor winter workout

3. Get stretching

For a mood enhancing fix try yoga. It's not all about being flexible (thankfully). In fact, it helps to combat fatigue whilst strengthening your body. If (like me) you often find being in a silent room full of tree poses very dull, try a class that plays music while you flex or, if you really need an incentive to brave the cold weather, take up hot yoga. Either way, it's sure to increase your energy levels, realise some tension and strengthen and tone your entire body. Three cheers for Namaste!

Yoga

4. Make a music playlist

Let's face it, you need to be in the right frame of mind to workout. Playlist a bunch of songs that make you feel happy, strong and invincible and crank it up just before you workout. Beyonce's Run the World, M.I.A's Bring the Noize, Missy Elliot's Lose Control and the theme tune from Rocky- You're the Best NEVER fail me so...press play.

Workout Playlist

5. Workout with friends

Sign up to a workout class with a friend or few and turn it into a social event. After most of my workouts I often catch up with friends over a healthy smoothie, a post-workout protein shake or a healthy brunch. It's a great way to get fit, get chatting and eat food. What's not to love?!

AJ Odudu Fitness

So there you have it. My top tips to keep you training, even al fresco.

XOXO

Photographer: Niran Vinod

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

I find that recently, the easiest way to hang out with my friends is to workout with them. We meet up, exercise for an hour before catching up over a healthy post workout breakfast or lunch before going about our business. It's the best! Here I am with my friend Tasha Green doing wall-sits...

MOTIVATION MONDAY

running...

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

gazing into each others eyes (she's such a babe)...

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AJ ODUDU

and laughing at the fact that we are totally (and intentionally) wearing matching outfits.

workout with Tasha Green

Fit dates are awesome! Get involved.

XOXO

Motivation Monday: Running Essentials

A few weeks ago I signed up to a 5K run in London as part of Cancer Research's, Race for Life series. The race I'm partaking in is called Pretty Muddy and in addition to my at home work outs and gym sessions, I have hit the road, grass and treadmill to get fit for the race. Today, I thought I'd quickly share with you my running buddies which are motivating me as I train. These are:

  • Good supportive, bright trainers,
  • Headphones that don't fall out of my ears,
  • Loads of great tunes,
  • My Misfit activity tracker and
  • a pink towel, a pink water bottle and pink socks. Lots of pink!

Let me know what keeps you motivated when working out or try some of my suggestions above. It's not long now until Race For Life's Pretty Muddy race on June 13th. You'll be pleased to know that it's not too late to start training nor is it too late to donate.

Check out a series of workouts perfect to get you ready for any 5K run on my YouTube channel, including my top running tips and please give whatever you can to this fantastic charity. Every penny counts so there really is no amount that is too small.

Happy training!

xoxo

Products: Towel Mate Gym Towel || Misfit activity tracker || Nike trainers || Race for Life socks and water bottle || Beats By Dre Wireless Headphones 

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