Race For Life

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 

Race For Life | Pretty Muddy 2015

So at the weekend the moment finally came for me to head to Finsbury Park , London, join the #PinkArmy and run 5K for Cancer Research's Race For Life Series, Pretty Muddy.

Race For Life London AJ Odudu

The clue was in the title but 3K into this pink obstacle course I was wondering where this mud was. It soon came in abundance. 

Race For Life London AJ Odudu

Mud slides, pools of muddy water, tunnels leading to more (you guessed it) mud and even having a group of unsuspecting "helpers" shovel mud onto us, meant that the mud was completely unavoidable. 

Race For Life London AJ Odudu

It was lots of fun though. A well sign posted obstacle course, around a beautiful park and so naturally,  I was delighted to be getting muddy for money, helping to raise cash for Cancer Research the only way I know how; running about!

Race For Life London AJ Odudu

There's still plenty of time for you to donate or sign up to a race near you so join in if you dare. You'll get a pretty medal to go with your pretty muddy hand and well deserved it shall be too.

Race for Life AJ Odudu

Lots of earthy love,

AJ 

xoxo


Running Tips for Beginners

Tomorrow I'll be taking to Finsbury Park, London to run 5K as part of the Race For Life Series. To get me in the mood I'm going to the Anniversary Games  to watch the likes of Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah at the Olympic Stadium which I'm super excited about. Who could forget that in 2012, in that very stadium, Mo Farah won the 5000M race in a time of 13 minutes and 41 seconds. WOW!

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I won't be going for Olympic Gold, but I will be running for a fantastic cause, Cancer Research. It's a charity close to my heart and one that I have actively supported before during London's Winter Run.   

Running Tips for Beginners

Over this 5K trail, I'm envisioning a muddy obstacle course where I (and thousands of women of any ability) can run, walk, climb or crawl to the finish line, all while dressed in Race for Life's signature colour pink, making it the prettiest event ever! 

To some 5K doesn't seem like much, for many it'll be a huge achievement, especially for such a great cause. So here are some running tips for beginners.

Good luck to everyone running, walking and crawling in pink tomorrow. See you at the finish line!

AJ

XOXO

 

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Help to keep me motivated and donate here.

 


How To Run & Make Friends | The LDN Edit Photo Shoot with Nike

OK so picture the scene, I wake up at 5:45am to get picked up and driven to Putney Bridge for breakfast, hair and make-up, to ready myself for a photoshoot with a team of photographers and creatives that I’ve wanted to work with for yonks.

Even though it’s a legit photoshoot with Nike, I’ve brought my own Cannon camera and my GoPro on a selfie stick. I’m loud, energetic and am currently pouring myself a bowl of granola, dried fruits and milk purely for Instagram purposes on my fully charged phone. I’m not hungry at this point, I’ve just devoured a full English breakfast but after the Instagram snap, I eat the bowl of granola too. I’m ready.

ajodudu.com selfie stick.PNG

I posed and the photographers snapped away before we all packed up and headed to our next shoot location in Shoreditch, East London. There, we had a room at The Ace Hotel where we would get changed into different outfits, stay warm and...eat scones. We took lots of action shots and still images on and around Boundary St before devouring the fattest lunch ever at Pizza East where I continued to bug everyone with my 2 metre long selfie stick. I wanted to capture as many magical moments of the day as possible and this is why.

On June 21st, London will be one of 20 cities across the globe to host a race as part of the Nike Women’s Race Series. This is a 10KM race that I have signed up to do in Victoria Park, not because I enjoy leading an active lifestyle and am quite good at running but because this is part of a race series that comes with a clear message; To unite us women and enable us to experience and celebrate the power of sport together

It’s this ‘togetherness’ that made me sign up with my squad of fit friends (pictured below), Natasha, Zanna and Tashi. For the purpose of the 10KM run we go by the name of Crew Run LDN Ladies and it is together that we posed for an exclusive shoot with Nike to flaunt our fitness fashion picks, ensuring that we’re all geared up for race day and to remind ourselves that it’s together that we will start the race and it is together that we will finish.

It sounds soppy but that message really strikes an emotional chord with me. Looking back, sport/fitness/exercise has always enabled me to make friends and build greater bonds with people, even within my own family. I remember vividly that my mum used to get my siblings and I to join her to do Mr Motivator’s workout VHS in the living room back in my home town, Blackburn. Even though VHS is long gone, my mother and I still talk fondly about our fitness dates in our tiny living room and it is that (amongst other things of course) that have helped me to maintain a great bond between my mother and I.

Outside of my home town Blackburn and away from my mum and childhood mates, I have found a new community of friends through sport. One of the first things I did when I moved to London was partake in a 5KM run along The River Thames with my work colleagues from the BBC. Those colleagues have now become lifelong friends. And it’s not stopped there.

I’ve also made mates with my Crew Run LDN Ladies. These girls are charming, hard working, witty and share my passion for an active lifestyle. I can’t wait to run with them and thousands of other women on June 21st because in the words of Beyonce, Who Runs The World?! Yeah...you know it!

Sign up to join our crew here: gonike.me/JoinUs_RunLDNLadies

Massive thanks to the awesome people I worked with on the shoot: Make up artist, Gia Mills | Photographer Ollie Adegboye | Photographer's Assistant, Bilal Mustapha | Creative Director, Niran Vinod | Producer, Sarah Tuxford | Producer, Charlotte Davis | Lulu Skinner | Sam Bloch

 

Race For Life: Pretty Muddy

I'm excited to announce that I've partnered with the wonderful charity, Cancer Research for their Race for Life series, where I'll be taking part in their Pretty Muddy run, this June 13th. 

Over this 5K trail, I'm envisioning a muddy obstacle course where I (and thousands of women of any ability) can run, walk, climb or crawl to the finish line, all while dressed in Race for Life's signature colour pink, making it the prettiest event ever! 

Better still, it's for a fantastic cause, Cancer Research. I'm delighted they've asked me to team up with them as one of their official UK bloggers because it's a charity that is very close to my heart and one that I've actively supported before, the most recent being when I took part in London's Winter Run.

Over the course of the coming weeks I'll be sharing my entire training programme from start to finish. I'll also be showing you my complete step by step nutrition and food diary. This will certainly keep me on track but hopefully, inspire you to join me too. 

If you're already up for the challenge, join me on June 13th in London for Pretty Muddy. If that doesn't tickle your fancy then there's a whole host of activities taking place across the country, including UK's first ever female only marathon. 

To twist your arm I have a reader discount code which can be applied not only to the Pretty Mudder race that I'm doing, but also to any of the 300 Race for Life events taking place this  year too, so take your pick and get involved. You can sign up by clicking here.

Reader discount code: RFLAJ

I'd love to know how you're getting on or what event  you decide to do so Tweet me, Instagram your progress pictures, join me on Snapchat (AJ.Odudu) and of course, donate to Cancer Research.

In the mean time, wish me luck!

xoxo

 Sign up by clicking here.

Don't forget to enter reader discount code: RFLAJ

Help to keep me motivated and donate here.