Run San Francisco

Last month I flew across the pond with adidas and touched down 8 hours behind in San Francisco. The Jetlag hit me hard.  So hard that at one point I thought I was in Chicago. I also thought the The Golden Gate Bridge was called The Red Gate Bridge. I still think my name is better but apparently it’s too late to change it.

Still, in my confused and delirious state I met some incredibly charming people, bore witness to some beautiful scenes and adopted a brand new Instagram husband.

Boyfriends Of Instagram

Here’s my trip to San Francisco with adidas in bite-size form.

After checking into The Clift Hotel (very nice but no in-room kettle- sacrilege!) I was presented with adidas Ultra Boost X trainers and took them for trail runs from Lands End to Ocean Beach;

Ocean Beach San Francisco

on a track session around Kazer Stadium;

Kazer Stadium San Francisco USA

up the steep hill of Filbert St and down one of the most iconic streets in San Fran, Lombard St. 

Lombard Street San Francisco USA
Crossroad San Francisco

in a huge warehouse on treadmills;

Treadmill adidas Ultra Boost X

and eventually reaching the top of Bernal Heights Summit before taking on our greatest run, across The Red Gate- sorry, Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

All the outdoor runs were at jogging pace, in wet and foggy conditions but with the most scenic views and certainly landmarks to visit on a short trip, easy to get to by car if running everywhere isn't your thing.

I ate breakfast and dinner at Clift hotel which was nice and on my final day we had 2 hours to squeeze in some sight seeing, out of our running kit. Here’s some San Fran experiences I can thoroughly recommend:

1. Be A Shameless Tourist

When I’m in a foreign country I take pleasure in the simplest things. My friend Adrienne swooned as she spoke to an American Police Officer, aka a cop, and I was made up by the sight of a bright yellow school bus, half expected to see Bart Simpson in the window.

The Simpsons

2. Get On A Tram

From Grand Union Square we took an old tram all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. The hills in San Fran are so steep that at times it feels as though you’re on a roller coaster and you can even hang your feet off the edge for a more thrilling experience. *Scream if you wanna go faster*.

IMG_6099.JPG

3. Buy Some Tat!

You’ve been there. Done that. Got the $10 fridge magnet to prove it.

San Fran Souvenir

4. Connect with people

Experience's are better when shared and although I went on a trip with friends I know back home, I had the pleasure of meeting my girl crush Hannah Andersson, reconnected with Sophietta and Julia who I once met in Paris and talked DS lips with Hannah Bronfman (Google it).

Hannah Bronfman

Have you been to San Francisco? What did I miss?

xoxo

IMG_6912.JPG
Girl Gang
Julia and Sophietta
Bernal Heights San Fran
adidas Pure Boost X
Clift Hotel View

WIN! Life On The Run | Saucony

School run, coffee run, late to work run, training run: it all counts so three cheers for Saucony’s brand new Life On The Run collection, a range designed for the everyday runner. Their Freedom ISO trainers are definitely ticking my boxes.

Saucony Life On The Run Collection

Plush Cushioning? Tick!

I run outside on hard surfaces and thanks to the cushioning, they soften the impact of each and every running stride.  They're like running with pillows on your feet... without looking clinically insane.

Skipping Lunge Exercise

Lightness? Tick!

Your feet are already supporting your entire bodyweight so why trouble them with extra weight from a shoe? These shoes hug your feet like a second skin.

What to wear when running

Look banging? Tick!

Great fit, grip and breathability are all winners, but worthless if the shoe looks like naff.  Thankfully the Freedom ISO Saucony trainers beautifully achieve the marriage of style and functionality so you may kiss the bride!

Saucony ISO Freedom Running Trainers

Three big boxes ticked! Here’s a video of me in action, sporting the new Life On The Run range and showing it’s true versatility.

COMPETITION TIME

This sounds cheesy but I genuinely get inspired to run by friends, family, health reasons and all of you! Be it here, when I bump into people out and about or on Twitter and Instagram, you guys really motivate me to keep on moving so I've teamed with Saucony to give you and a friend the chance to WIN the Life on the Run Freedom ISO trainers, worth £140 each!

HOW TO ENTER

All you have to do is comment below, sharing your fitness goal for this year or a fitness tip and if you're on Instagram, tag a friend on my Saucony post. Winners will be announced on Sat 11th March 2017 so go go go and good luck!

What I’m Wearing: Saucony apparel and trainers.

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Saucony UK

*If the winner’s sizes aren't available when the competition is drawn alternative product of the same value will be supplied.*

The Beginners Guide To Aerial Yoga

Anti-Gravity or Aerial Yoga uses silk hammocks to support your body and suspend you in mid air allowing you to do challenging stretches you’ve never done before.  It’s like being a trapeze artist without the threat of plummeting to your death in front of a large crowd of people, which is good with me. 

Dancer Pose Yoga

I absolutely loved my first Aerial Yoga class at The London Dance Academy and so thought I’d share my 4-step guide to aerial yoga for beginners. Get ready to fly!

STEP 1. Don’t Eat Or Drink Within 2 Hours Before Class 

In class you’ll be twisting, turning, hanging upside down, swinging and literally spreading your legs. Avoid feeling queasy by taking it easy on the food before class.

Standing Splits Aerial Yoga

STEP 2. Sit Back

Postures that look like they’re not of great benefit are doing more than you think. My favourite one was the chair pose which is said to help relieve lower back pain and improve posture.

Chair Pose Aerial Yoga

 STEP 3. Try Every Posture

It’s easy to look at certain demonstrations and doubt that you’d be able to do it but you shouldn’t feel intimidated. Moves that look intricate to begin with are quite often the postures that you find yourself in seconds later as the teacher takes you through them step-by-step. There’s a lot of room for progression and poses that you find difficult on the floor become much easier in the hammock. I mean just check out my upside down dancer pose; I couldn’t do this on the floor!

Aerial Yoga Pose

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go

There were certainly times in class that I strongly doubted that the harness was going to be able to carry my 10.5 stones of body weight and instead rip the ceiling down.  I like to take the roof off when DJing but when it’s your body mass that’s responsible it’s just embarrassing.  Thankfully, the harness is designed to hold up to 2000lbs in weight which is the equivalent to 10 baby elephants, though holding any more than 4 elephants at a time means the range of positions they can do is extremely limited. So as the Frozen princess sings: Let It Go!

Anti-gravity yoga

So there you have it. A class great for your body, mind and Instagram feed. Happy Swinging. 

XOXO

What I’m Wearing: Primark top &  leggings

Yoga Matt by Primark

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Chewton Glen Luxury Treehouse Escape

When Next invited me on a wellness stay at Chewton Glen luxury treehouses I bit their arms off. My dad never made me a treehouse as a kid, something about not having a tree.  Also I think the only time I get to relax and keep still in London is when I’m on an escalator. This trip away sounded an absolute dream.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

So I hopped on a train to escape the intensity of the big smoke and after a 15 minute drive from New Milton train station I arrived at Chewton Glen Luxury Hotel & Spa. A man took my bag and placed it in a ‘luxury golf buggy’, which looked nice but was hard to discern why it was deemed so luxury. I then jumped on and it was indeed a smooth drive to my quarters, all 30 seconds of it.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa Treehouses
Chewton Treehouse

When I got to the treehouse it was absolute perfection. I had a roaring fireplace, two floors to myself, a collection of sweet locally sourced treats and a hot tub that was ready to jump in. So I jumped in. Naturally all previous plans to leave my room were now vetoed so I ordered room service instead. The room service guy told me that loads of celebs had stayed there before, including George Clooney!  Sadly the pillow just smelt of lavender.

Chewton Glen Bedroom
Chewton Tree House
Open Fireplace Chewton Luxury Hotel

After the best night sleep I woke to find that my breakfast had been delivered in a hamper through a secret hatch. How cool?! I ate it on my stunning terrace overlooking the New Forest.

Breakfast Hamper
Breakfast
The New Forest

Once I’d finally torn myself away from my Treehouse, I walked through Chewton Woods to Highcliffe beach. It was only a short walk which was just as well as it was -2 degrees!  Thankfully due to my bright orange sleeping-bag-esque coat I was snug as a bug. Plus visible at a distance of 50 miles.

Chewton Glen Forest
The New Forest

The weather was so bright and beautiful that I couldn't resist a little coastal run. 

Coastal Run

I didn’t forget to stretch- I felt like a Ninja Warrior. I looked like one too.

Warrior Pose Highcliffe Beach

And as I was with all of my blogger friends, we posed along the beach.

Highcliffe Beach

During my active stay I did yoga and took a full body workout class in Chewton’s Gym Studio. Small, but had everything you need. I was lucky enough to use the spa too. Well, the tin did say luxury.

Chewton Spa

One relaxing facial and pedicure later I was back in my treehouse to change for dinner in the main hotel. Their smoked salmon was particularly delicious.

Smoked salmon

On my final morning I packed, had breakfast and took one last dip in my hot tub.  It's not everyday a girl gets her own hot tub, it's just a shame George Clooney didn’t extend his stay: it had plenty of room for two.

New Forest
Next Multi-Coloured Long sleeve swimsuit

If you fell in love with Chewton Glen Treehouse & Spa through the photos as much as I did in real life, then add it to your bucket list and get yourself booked into this paradise. After all, how many hotels have a secret hatch?

Chewton Glen have a few Treehouses to choose from (I had a treehouse loft) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

Happy adventuring!

xoxo

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

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

You can see me in action at Chewton Glen over on my YouTube channel too. 

What I'm Wearing: Coat, swimwear, trainers and all activewear from Next

2017 | Three Ways To A Fresh Fit Start

You’ve hammered the Christmas parties- hard. You’ve hammered the chocolates- lard. And New Year’s Eve was so boozy your flatmates walked in on you licking the base of an empty tin of Celebrations. We’ve all been there.

New Year

So it’s fair to say the season’s festive hurdles have been a serious impediment to your progress at the gym- I get it. My gym lately has been ghost town. Even the ghosts have been slacking. So we just need to put the guilt behind us. It’s now all about the new year and the word on the street is it’s 2017! Here are three simple things that you can do to kick start the next 12 months and engage the “new you” ethos. *Fit kit at the ready*

1. Single leg kick backs

Many people sit at desks most of the day, which allows their glutes (butts) to get weak because they're not using them. An effective exercise to tone your glutes is single leg kickbacks. Do this exercise two or three times per week for 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets and not only will you notice your legs are stronger, but your derriere will be perkier. This exercise will also work your hamstrings. Let’s kick it!

Single Leg Kick Back

2. Run

If you can; RUN! Not only does it benefit your cardiovascular system helping to improve stamina and function with all internal organs, but it also combats mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If you’ve never ran before, grab a bottle of water, your headphones, press play and walk for  1 minute before breaking into a light jog for 1 minute and repeat for 20 minutes. You’ll be surprised how quickly you build the stamina and confidence to run. 

Run

3. Flex & Smile

To most of us flexing is somewhere between vain and embarrassing, yet I can’t help but smile when I pop my hip out and bring on the “gun show”. Research shows that smiling is really good for you as neurotransmitters called Endorphins are released when we smile and they’re responsible for making us feel happy and even help to reduce stress. So my advice? Find somewhere outside the gaze of judgemental strangers, get your favourite fit kit on and get FLEX HAPPY! 

Flex Friday

Happy New Year everyone!

XOXO

Wearing New Look Crop Top & Leggings, Trainers from Next

New Look Fit Kit

There’s nothing like a brand new fit kit to incentivise your workouts.  Thanks to the nice people at New Look I’m now covered in bold prints, matching co-ords and slogan tees which are light and comfortable. New Look has managed to create a range that is performance focused whilst looking completely awesome and very ‘now’, and what’s more, I got to be apart of their campaign video!

The shoot was one of my favourites I’ve done in ages for many reasons. For one, I got to hang out with two of my best fit friends Adrienne and Kim. Adrienne taught me a badass dance routine in between takes. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen on my story.

Adrienne London, Tone What You Own

Then, I got to punch a bag. I never knew I’d feel so smug afterwards!  That bag will think twice now before giving me a dirty look.

Boxing + New Look

Plus, I got to take home my favourite pieces from the collection, including the Marble Print Leggings and top below.

New Look Marble Print Leggings and Top

Life’s too short for a boring fit kit and I think New Look got the memo. What do you think of the collection?

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with New Look

Paul & Joe Striped Suit

AJ Odudu

Not one to blend into the background, I thought I'd step out to DJ in London at the Instyle Magazine Project 13 Party, wearing the most stripes and colours possible. 

Paul & Joe Striped Suit

I paired my 70's style Paul & Joe suit with New Look boots and Roderick Vere Sterling Silver letter pressed necklace.

Striped Suit Paul & Joe

And I even stuck some marble print nail art to my finger tips purchased from Primark.

70's Suit

Catch up on all the fun by clicking here or by following on Instagram and Twitter.

XOXO

Photographs by Patricia Mirembe Make up by Wande

InStyle Magazine DJ Playlist

What a week! One minute I’m running around with the Brownlee Brothers, trying my very hardest to keep up with them, the next minute I’m DJing from the most Instagrammable venue in London, Lights Of Soho, playing tunes for Instyle Magazine's Project 13 Awards after party. Now that I've had a moment to catch my breath, let's have a chat.

Instyle UK Magazine Party DJ

Celebrating online writers and bloggers, Instyle Magazine's Project 13 is in it's second year, enabling thousands of people to vote for their favourite blogger in a range of categories (from travel to food, craft to fitness) to win an award. Much to my surprise and delight, I won the award for Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blog. Thank you so much for voting!

Instyle Award

There was even more to celebrate as not only did I win an award but I was also DJ'ing at their after party and got the party into full swing playing a mix of RnB and pop tracks but the following seemed to be particularly popular on the night:

  • Lee Walker feat. Katy B - Freak Like Me
  •  KDA feat. Katy B + Tiny Tempah - turn the Music Louder
  •  George Kwali & Kideko feat. Nadia Rose - Crank It
  •  Eats Everything vs Audion - Dancing
  •  Stardust - Music Sounds Better
  •  Robin S - Show me Love never 
Music DJ London

It was a super fun night, celebrated behind the decks, with friends and a cocktail or few. You can read me gushing over how chuffed I am about being an award winning blogger and see the full list of Project 13 winners by clicking here. Plus, if you want details of my striped suit click here for outfit details.

AJ Odudu DJ

As always feel free to get in touch via Twitter and Instagram and let me know what tunes you like listening to?

XOXO