fitness motivation

Heart Rate Hotel | Fitbit Charge 2

The past few weeks I’ve been sharing my life with the Fitbit Charge 2.  Normally my heart is kept well away from strangers as it’s prone to breaking and emptying itself after a bottle of Pinot to whoever will listen.  But this little Fitbit fella looked pretty and seemed harmless so I brought him along for the ride as I prepared myself for the Shoreditch 10km run on the 8th of October.

fit bit charge 2

My new workout partner’s specialty is he can measure your heart rate any time of day, and since he is always dutifully by my side, use this information to calculate all kinds of nifty diagnoses on how I should be working out. My Fitbit, or Fabricio as I call him, can tell me my resting heart rate over breakfast so I know how my general fitness is doing.  On my morning run to the office he gently points out if I am going too near my maximum heart rate, no one wants to be too flushed when doing the morning hello’s. 

fit bit

The genius of my new companion is working within specific heart rate Zones.  A heart rate Zone is a particular range your heart rate can hit whilst performing a certain type of activity.  Of course all hearts are different, some have had far fewer deep wounds than my patched-up old thing, so the ranges are calculated using your age.  Your maximum heart rate = 220 – A, where A is your age.  So my maximum heart rate was… Ha, nice try.

activity tracker

Fabricio split my activity up into 3 heart rate zones:

1. PEAK

85-100% of your maximum heart rate.  This is when I’m really going some.  Typically a spin class when I’ve got two guys either side of me- there’s only going to be one winner in that situation and it’s usually me ;) 

2. CARDIO

70-84% of your maximum heart rate.  I’m within this range when I’m jogging to work.  The
perfect pace to get me to the office without a sweat, plus my bloodstream is usually still processing an extra-tall Latte.

3. FAT BURN

50-69% of your maximum heart rate.  This can be anything from my hot yoga class to a
particularly tense episode of First Dates.

fitbit charge 2

I’ve been working within these zones for the past two weeks and it’s given me so much confidence that I’m on track for the big race.  It almost becomes an addiction, I find myself checking in with Fabricio at any spare moment, he’s always there for whatever my heart desires.  So do yourself a favour, get yourself a Fitbit and check in to the heart rate hotel.

run

 XOXO

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Fit Bit

What No One Tells You About Running The London Marathon

Yesterday saw thousands of runners take over London for the day, conquering a huge challenge and raising millions of pounds for charity in the process. I was one of those lucky runners and 24 hours later I'm still in awe of what a spectacular and unique occasion it was.

London Marathon AJ Odudu 2017

I really am bursting with pride. If you watched or are feeling inspired, great! But before you sign up to a marathon, here are just a few things that no one tells you about running your first marathon.

1)  The emotional onslaught you face on race day and the week prior. 

A combination of nerves, anxiety, impatience, excitement and cold hard fear.  If only the armada of butterflies in my stomach were able to propel me across the line.  Instead by mile 20 it felt like they had all turned back to caterpillars.  Which was ironic because it was about that point when a caterpillar overtook me.

London Marathon 2017 Costumes

2)   Boredom

Everyone talks of “hitting that wall” but no warned that I may hit boredom.  Four and a half hours is a long time to be doing one thing, and at times you find yourself being hypnotised by a swinging ponytail. Luckily the boredom passes quickly. Unluckily it's soon followed by pain.

3)  Nothing goes according to plan

The race gels you have been practising with suddenly make you feel sick. Your activity tracker doesn't work and you thought you'd be able to hear your parents scream your name but didn't. These unexpected moments stress you out!

London Marathon Family and Friend support

4)  You run more miles than you signed up for

Weaving in and out is not the one! A slalom of empty water bottles, discarded gel packets and the odd rhinoceros. I think I notched up a half marathon with just my zig-zagging.

5)   The feeling of astonishment when...

...being overtaken by people and objects that should never assume that role.  Mr. Blobby, a Womble and at one point a guy with an actual washing machine on his back.  Apparently Currys closes early on Sundays. I was even shamed back into running by a wonderful OAP called Jeremy. What a legend!

Virgin Money London Marathon 2017

Despite all of the above, the atmosphere of togetherness is incomparable. The strangers that dedicate their entire day to coming out to spur you on;  the runners who are in just as much pain as you but find the strength to reassure you that you'll be ok; your deeper bonding between your family and friends . It's beautiful. It's brilliant. It's the best worst idea I ever had!

London Marathon 2017

I'm sore today but pain is temporary and the memories I created yesterday will last a lifetime. It's definitely too early to say whether I'd ever put myself through that again but I'm proud to say I did and I managed to smile through most of it. 

London Marathon Adrienne LDN

Well done to everyone who completed the marathon, thank you to everyone who supported and if ever you get the opportunity to do it for yourself... well, just think long and hard! 

London Marathon AJ Odudu 2017

XOXO

Country Comforts : Thyme Luxury Hotel

Last weekend I pulled up on acres of the Cotswold Countryside to Thyme Luxury Hotel, dressed head-to-toe by Primark in my favourite Cammo combo.

Primark Fitness OOTD

Good job as before I checked in, we were putting the fit kit to the test; skipping, squatting and burpee-ing our way through a one hour fat burning HIIT class. It was no wonder I was feeling Sheepish afterwards.

Sheep Sofa

Next it was time to check into my cottage which was cosy and lovely. With a welcome letter, a bag of gifts and a posh suite to myself, it was like I was on a honeymoon!  Just without the inconvenience of a husband.

Thyme Hotel Cottage
Luxury Hotel in The Cotswolds
Thyme Luxury Hotel

Lunch in the barn was next on the agenda and it was filled with all the goodness I needed. Kale, rice and fig salad with a squash and feta cheese tart was on the menu. Yum!

Healthy Kale, rice and fig salad
Squash and feta cheese tart

After scoffing lunch it was time to head to Thyme Hotel's Cookery School to bake a carrot cake that was free from refined sugars. The cake was delicious, though in a Great British Balls Up I messed up my sugar icing, so had to abort that part of the mission. The icing on the cake not so much.

Homemade Carrot Cake

After cake we had a 40 minute yoga flow class in Tithe Barn. I received motivation from the bright Primark yoga mat, though at times I felt it was somewhat repetitive.

Motivation Monday Primark Yoga Mat

Here’s me doing what the mat told me to.

Yoga Tree Pose

A three course dinner at Thyme Hotel's very own Country pub around the corner called The Swan was followed by a massage, nightcap and in my cosy cottage. I put my feet up by the fire and drifted off.

The Swan Pub in The Cotswolds

The next morning head gardener, Beverly gave us a tour of the grounds. As we walked I picked up some chicks:

Thyme Farm Chickens

Met a fat pig that resembled a cow;

Pig Cow Farm

Sniffed some fresh veg;

Gardener

and squealed with excitement when Beverley told us that Gary Barlow and Kate Moss live locally and often go to The Swan pub! So that's that then: Thyme Luxury Hotel really is a perfect place for a five star nature kick. 

Primark Puffa Jacket

If you ever fancy a quintessentially English getaway then this peaceful place is fit for a Princess... in wellies. After all, how many farms have Cow-Pigs? 

Thyme Hotel have a few rooms and packages to choose from (I had a cottage called The Dairy) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Yay!

Hen Party Ideas

Yoga mat, water bottle, skipping rope & towel by Primark

What I'm wearing: Blue and red puffa jacket, leggings and all activewear by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

 

Instyle Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blogger

Thrilled to announce that I won Instye Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blog in the Project 13 Awards. I've not won an award since I was 8 years old (it was a Mars bar FYI) so a huge thank you to everyone who voted.

AJ Odudu Insyle Magazine

To me, winning is beginning and I'm so glad I started AJODUDU.COM, now an award winning site. EEK!

Instyle Project 13 Award Winner

I receive an actual trophy in London soon but in the meantime, here are images from the winners magazine photoshoot which was awesome. Shot in London by two of the most talented photographers around Luke + Nik, I got to jump around in a posh, red frock worth over a thousand pounds (which I of course had to give back to the stylist :)

Instyle Magazine AJ Odudu

These images were published in Instyle Magazine's final December print issue 2016 along with a lovely little interview.

Final Issue of Instyle Magazine
Luk + Nik

You can check out my online interview with Instyle magazine, where I share some realistic fitness motivation tips, gym wear hacks and confirmation that I do indeed, eat!

Thanks again for the votes.

XOXO

Photography by LUKE + NIK

Top 5 Buddy Workout Benefits

Like most people, I can quickly become bored when doing the same fitness routines over and over, so my secret to keeping on track is to opt for fun ways to stay active that never really feel like working out. A great and very simple way to achieve this, is by working out with a friend.

Buddy workout Tasha Greene

According to research from go ahead! we’re 74% more likely to stay on track with our fitness goals if we do them with a friend. Because of this, the team at go ahead! has teamed up with a squad of fitness and wellness experts (including little ol' me) for their go ahead! Summer Buddy Project.

The project encourages people to ‘buddy up’, to help make sure they stay motivated to keep on track with their healthy intentions. With this in mind, here are my top five buddy workout benefits: 

1. More motivation to get up and go if you're meeting a friend

You're less likely to cancel on your mate for a fit date than cancel on the gym if no-one is there to meet you. Nobody likes a flake (unless it's literally made out of chocolate).

workout buddies

2. You get more out of your workout

 A bit of friendly competition helps you push each other to stretch your limits. You're more likely to do an extra rep or run a little faster with your friend.

3. Train together, stay together

Exercise can actually create a greater bond between you and your friend (catch up on all the gossip whilst sweating together) and studies show couples who work out together are happier in their relationship.

partner wall sit

4. It's a confidence boost

You're more likely to venture into that intimidating weights section of the gym, or try a new fitness class if you've got a friend with you for moral support.

5. It's fun!

You can definitely have a giggle with your mate during exercise, even if you're simply cracking a strained sweaty smile during a spin class.

So there you have it; pop on your gym kit, grab a buddy and enjoy your workout!

fun fitness with friends

For even more tips check out the go ahead! Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as right here,  on my Youtube Channel and daily fitness updates on my Instagram!

XOXO

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with go ahead! :)

Together We Ride | The Pack

I've always been a big fan of team work so naturally, I was excited to captain a team in a new spin class at Virgin Active Active called The Pack.

The Pack is a group cycling class where three teams go head to head in a series of high-intensity challenges which are played out on an interactive screen at the front of a studio. 

Group Exercise

As a team leader I curated the playlist and encouraged my team to power through which I thoroughly enjoyed but for those that have never heard of this class before, here are three things you need to know before checking in.

1. You can come to the class alone

There's no need to worry if you can't encourage your mates to get sweaty with you as you'll be entered into a team upon arrival. If you do manage to gather a Spin squad however, you can actually book the class as a team. I was the leader of the Music team, made up of DJ's, radio presenters and music bloggers (I'm aware we look like the Smurfs).

The Pack Virgin Active

John, founder of The Everyday Man, was the leader of the Tech team. What a ray of sunshine.

Adrienne lead the pink team (made up of mums and fit bloggers) into victory. Well done ladies! I'm not bitter whatsoever, although I do feel that my team were robbed during the Hold The Line, game. (Oh yes, in this class you realise just how competitive you actually are).

Adrienne TMM

2. You don't have to dress the same 

Although I always welcome a uniform...clearly :)

Danielle Peazer + Ashley James + Pips Taylor

3. You'll walk out fitter

After peddling your socks off for 60 minutes, you'll improve your cardiovascular strength, sculpt and tone your body, burn calories and feel good enough to show off your post-workout sweat patches.

AJ Odudu + Adrienne TMM
  • Free class alert

Try The Pack class for free and let me know what you think. I've no doubt you'll have heaps of fun too.

XOXO

Happiness

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Virgin Active. #TogetherWeRide