run

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

The London Marathon 2017 | Race Day Tips and Nervous Energy

Tomorrow, at 10am, I’m running the London Marathon. I genuinely thought at this point I’d be casually soaking myself in a nice hot bath and stuffing my face with a bag of spuds. Instead I woke up after 4 hours sleep, feeling overwhelming tired (naturally), nervous and teary.

London Marathon 2017 adidas

I've had recurring bad dreams where I am not allowed to run because I've lost my race number. That no one’s there to cheer me on and that Banana Man tripped me up! I'm asking myself how will I cope with massive highs and crashing lows, how will I tell myself to carry on when the voice on my shoulder is telling me to stop and why on Earth did I ever volunteer to do such a thing?! If you are feeling the same, it’s time to block out the negative voices, trust in the training you have done and realise that Banana Man doesn’t actually exist.

London Marathon 2017 Training

My friend James advised me “don’t let your head undo all your hard work”, Adrienne tells me “relax and put one foot in front of the other, the same way we always have”, Hayley says “see it as another long training run” and Alice says, “I’ll see you on the finish line with a big bottle of gin!” Even though my friends pearls of wisdom hasn’t completely stopped the butterflies, thankfully, they are calming me down.

AJ Odudu London Marathon

All in all, training for my first marathon has definitely been a mixed bag.  Though I’m sure once I cross that finish line and stop to reflect on the hard work I’ve put in, holding a champagne flute in one hand and my medal in the other, I’ll look at that same bag as nothing but a bag of goodies. So for the rest of the day I vow to only be concerned about the things I can take full control of. Let’s do this together!

London Marathon Race Day Tips

Plan Your Race Day Travel To Start

Get to the race in good time to drop your bag off, have multiple nervous trips to the loo and find your race pen.

  • Red numbers start at Greenwich or Maze Hill

  • Green at Maze Hill

  • Blue at Blackheath

Bag drop closes at 9:30am sharp and the only bag you're able to leave is the clear bag you were given your race number in.

Greenwich Park London Marathon 2017

Race Day Outfit

Tomorrow is not the day to try new things that may cause discomfort. Wear what you've been training in or that you have ran in comfortably before.

Take a layer of outerwear that you're happy to dispose of just before you race. This will be collected and given to charity.

white adidas boost

What To Eat

Hydrate by drinking 350-500ml of liquid 3- 4 hours before race time and then 250ml 45 mins before.

Eat a high carb breakfast 3-4 hours before. This could be porridge with milk and a banana or toast, honey and yoghurt or eggs on toast. Whatever you're used to eating before a long run.

1 hour before start have a carb rich snack such as a banana, or a bar or gel. As long as you're used to eating it.

RUN!

In the wise words of my friend Adrienne, move forward and do what we’ve been doing for yonks. Let’s go!

Millennium Wheel London Marathon 2017

Tell yourself you are ready you can do this and that the nervous energy you feel really is excitement...in disguise.

If you want to track my run download the official 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon app or cheer me on from the side lines. My race number is 56471. You can also follow my Instagram Story along the way @AJOdudu


Good luck to everyone running tomorrow and see you there!

XOXO

I'm Running The London Marathon

I’m running this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April and I’m both excited and terrified in unequal measure (currently the excited to terrified ratio is 1 to loads). Yes, I enjoy running. Yes, I have good fitness levels already.  But I’ve never ran 26.2 miles in one go before and I’ve never had to face the potential humiliation of being over taken by a novice dressed as a chicken.

Run London

Over the past 5 years I’ve attended many marathons and have become very good at them.  Spectating really is an underrated discipline. I’ve watched from mile 8 where the runners look strong, happy and totally at one with their costume (or at two if they’re a donkey).  But I’ve also watched from mile 25 where the scenes are somewhat different. Bleeding nipples, tears of pain, sweaty banana suits peeling off, and, if your spectating skills aren’t as tuned as mine, you might accidentally look down and clock some soiled undies. So I know what I’m getting myself into.  My three main priorities are; 1) don’t hurt myself 2) don’t ruin a pair of undies and 3) to trip anyone dressed as poultry.  

Tower Bridge London

So why am I taking on such a challenge?

Five reasons:

1) There’s really something special about thousands of people coming together to run for fantastic causes in one direction: forward.

2) My spectating coach says I’ve pushed spectating as far as I can.

3) I watched my friends over the years try and fail to win a ballot space so now that I have one I can’t wimp out!

4) My friends that have ran it have all said “you see the city how you’ve never seen it before”. Perhaps they missed out "through squinted eyes and a layer of sweat" ...but I'm still keen to see it for myself.

5) The feeling crossing over the finish line.  It will be my biggest physical achievement to date and I can’t wait to cock my head back and scream at the top of my lungs “Thank f*** that’s over!”

The London Eye

As a complete Marathon novice I’d really value your support; training tips, podcast and music suggestions to listen to whilst I’m running, recovery tips and motivation so Tweet me @ajodudu or follow my progress on Instagram @ajodudu . Currently I keep telling myself this:

The London Marathon

But I need positive mantras coming out of my ears!

Big thanks (?!) to adidas for getting me a spot. Closer to the time I will announce a charity that I will be running for but until then...send help!

Virgin London Marathon 2017

If you liked this blog post please SHARE. 

XOXO

 

 

The London Tri | 5 Triathlon Tips For Beginners

When I signed up to the AJ Bell London Triathlon 6 months ago, I was optimistic that I'd learn how to become a strong swimmer, a good cyclist and a better runner, but just three days prior, I suddenly realised that maybe I had been overly optimistic. After all, I'd never done a triathlon before and I'd only had one swimming session, hadn't practised cycling and I was purely counting on the fact that I'm already a confident long distance runner to get me over the finish line. Luckily the penny dropped that maybe I wasn't going to survive the three triathlon disciplines of a swim, bike and run safely without a little help from my friends.

The London Triathlon 2016

Enter exhibit, Dream Team made up of Hayley and Adrienne, two of the most inspiring and empowering women I have the fortune of knowing. Together, we took part in the AJ Bell Triathlon Olympic Relay and they ensured me that we would cross the finish line happily, safely and together by taking on a leg of the race each.

London Triathlon Swim

Hayley has completed several triathlon's before and took on the 1.5K swim before passing on the baton to triathlon first timer little ol' me, who endured a 40K cycle, before Adrienne brought it home for us after a 10K run in the sweltering heat. I couldn't have been more proud to be part of this team but if it's your first time doing a triathlon, here's a few things you ought to know.

AJ Bell London Triathlon Medals

1) Arrive there with loads of time to spare.

With over 15,000 people entering the race, it may take you a long time to find out where you're going and what you're doing. In fact...it definitely will. (At least 2 hours).

2) There are zero water stations.

I set off on a 25 mile cycle in the sun without a bottle of water expecting a pit stop for a water break. Rookie mistake.

3) You need to count your own laps.

Shout out to the geezer who I bellowed at 30 minutes into the race to tell me how much longer I had to cycle for. Life saver.

AJ Odudu, AdrienneTMM & Hayley Jane Fitness

4) You may want to learn how to use your bike!

I totally cycled 40K in the wrong gear which was (leg-sapping) fun. 

5) Remember to have fun!

Despite our lack of race preparation we soaked up the incredible atmosphere, took full advantage of the free post race protein bars and massage stations, captured the breath tacking views of London's Victoria Docks and most importantly, completed the race. We wore our medals with pride and even met Sporty Spice! It was a great day out.

Mel C and AJ Odudu

It just goes to show the incredible achievements we can make together by cheering each other along. In fact we have all been inspired to actually train hard to enter the triathlon next year to accomplish all three disciplines individually so watch this space.

Congratulations to everyone who completed their triathlon and good luck to everyone partaking in The AJ Bell London Tri today. You will have a blast.

XOXO

Find out how you can partake in the AJ Bell Triathlon by clicking here.

How To Train To Run | Workout videos

Running is one of the best forms of exercises out there. It keeps your heart healthy and your mind focused. But did you know that a few tweaks here or there to your training can make the world of difference? I teamed with adidas to create a series of workout videos designed to make bad runners good and good runners great. On your marks, get set, go!

Train to Run Flex Workout

Flex it out this week with AJ Odudu's Train to Run workout. Incorporate these moves into your routine and you'll be off to a flying start.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 9, 2016
Train to Run Strength Workout

Push your limits with AJ Odudu's final workout. Designed to work your arms, legs and core, it's time to dig deep and show what you're made of.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Train to Run Stability Workout

It's time to work that core. Get those abs fired up with AJ Odudu's stability workout.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 16, 2016
Train to Run - Endurance Workout

January's here and it's time to hit the ground running.AJ Odudu is bringing you a workout a week to get you ready. Week one - improve your endurance.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 2, 2016