Olympics

WIN! Speedo H2O Active Swimwear Range

Swimming. It’s not really my thing. I nearly drowned when I was younger and have been scared of the deep end ever since. In fact even the shallow end makes my knees knock. So when Speedo asked me to travel to Majorca and try their new H2OActive range it wasn’t a decision I wanted to dive into.  But after some deliberation I decided to take the plunge and confront my fears as every expert starts as a beginner and you have to start somewhere!  That, and the fact it was in sunny Majorca.  If it had been a coach trip to Margate Lido I don’t think I’d be starting at all.

Speedo H2O Active

On shoot I learnt lots about the benefits of working out in the water and how adding it could really compliment my current routine. It works muscles I never even knew I had! Moving some of my favourite HIIT moves into the water meant I burned just as many calories (possibly more because of the resistance) as on land but with the added bonus of reducing the risk of injury and not looking like a sweaty mess.

Speedo Photoshoot

Since then I have been learning week by week to swim and I’m making great progress but the progress wouldn’t have been as quick if it wasn’t with the help of a few friends.  I’m having 1-to-1 lessons with Swim For Tri, attending group swim clubs (Swim Dem Crew is my fave) and partaking in Aquaphysical Float Fit Class for strengthening exercises on top of the water.

Aquaphysical Float Class

Practising in a group is great as I’m still a little nervous to go swimming alone.  I’d feel like I’d want to make sure the life guard was looking at me the whole time- nudge nudge.  It’s also fun to hang out with new faces week in and week out to discover that I’m not the only adult who swims like a seal trying to breakdance .

Speedo Fit With Friends

I have been practising my strokes wearing the new Speedo H2O Active range and it’s great for a number of reasons

1. It's Vibrant & VERSATILE 

Style and function belong together and so with the multiple back strap details, H2O Active range is supportive enough for you to workout both in and out of water. It’s bright, bold, mix and match range can be paired to match your mood and your workout. 

Speedo H2O Active Bra
AJ Odudu Speedo

2. It’s eco friendly

Thanks to the partnership between Speedo and Aquafil, it is now possible for the fabric to include 78% ECONYL yarn, a nylon fibre made from regenerated plastics including abandoned fishing nets that might otherwise harm animals in the ocean.

Eco Friendly H2O Active range

Figures show that 20% of global waste comes from the textile and clothing industry, and with Speedo’s help there has been a 21% increase in recycled, non-hazardous waste. The fabric is durable, lasting twice as long as standard swimwear, is  resistant to chlorine, suncream, oils and holds it's shape well too, making it perfect for multi fitness needs. 

Side Plank

3. You Can BE BODY CONFIDENT

With cropped leggings, high necklines and a range that you can layer, H2O Active is a range fit for any shape or size. It's even good for nervous swimmers like me.

Aquaphysical Floatfit Class
Speedo Mix & Match Range

 

WIN!

Partnering with Speedo has really sparked a new and enjoyable thirst for learning and so I want to give you the opportunity to win a Speedo fit kit of your choice from the brand new H2o Active range (pictured below), to hopefully encourage you to workout by and in the pool too.

Speedo H20 Active SS2 Range

All you have to do is comment below for your chance to win. Give me a comment on Instagram too and let's connect. Winner will be announced on Monday 22nd May. Good luck!

Speedo H2O S2 Collection

XOXO

What I'm Wearing: Speedo Swimsuit, leggings, bikini and long-sleeve top

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Speedo

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 

Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony

It's been four years since London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games and how awesome was that?! The Spice Girls performed whilst riding around on top of black cabs, there were hundreds of hospital beds being pushed around by NHS staff and Emeli Sande wowed everyone.

Sir Paul McCartney graced the stage, J.K Rowling read an extract from Peter Pan and the actual Queen appeared in a scene with James Bond! Not to forget the passing of the torch between David Beckham and Sir Steve Redgrave plus, the athletes parade.  Our Opening Ceremony was absolutely bonkers but undoubtedly brilliant.

Olympic Park London

Practically, London transport links improved, run down areas were given a make over and generally, people in London seemed happy and carefree. To top it all off, Team GB had their most successful Olympics since 1908, receiving a whopping sixty-five medals. *Go us!*

Team GB DFS

Today, the feeling in Britain is still one of pride which is why this year, there are eleven Olympic Fanzones across the UK, where you can watch the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in a fun and atmospheric environment for free. One of the Fanzones is of course the Olympic Park in London, where I was the official host for Team GB Facebook Live, to celebrate the launch of these areas and the start of Rio 2016.

Fanzone Olympic Park London

Rio showcased a great opening ceremony with scenes of dance and expression throughout, so I'm really excited to not only get behind Team GB but also, to support the Rio Olympics as a whole.

You can show your support too and find your nearest Fanzone by clicking here, remembering to keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram for daily updates. So without further ado, let the games begin.

#BringOnTheGreat

XOXO

Denise Lewis & AJ Odudu

Victoria Pendleton Is My New Personal Trainer

Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion Victoria Pendleton is my new personal trainer?! Yeah right! (But I wish she was).

Today I attended Fitness First gym in honour of their brand relaunch, taking part in an exclusive spin class hosted by Victoria Pendleton. Now apparently, statistics show that today is the most depressing day of the year but there was no such sign of any Monday blues at this event (nonsensically named, “Red Monday”). I’ve honestly never been so happy to jump out of bed at 6am. I was seated right next to Victoria so it's official, I have trained with an Olympian. *Smug*.

Forty minutes of continuous cycling caused quite a sweat but nevertheless, Victoria and I exchanged great words like “URGH! I’m shattered already” (OK well that was more me than her),  we laughed together and we even celebrated with a sloppy high five at the end of the class! I’ve definitely got the wheels in motion for us to become BFFs right? In all seriousness though, Victoria actually said I had (and I quote) “really good technique and consistent speed” so someone please get on the phone to Team GB because they have bagged themselves a new AJ shaped recruit. Pass me a gold medal (for effort at least).