Jo is prolific in the sporting world, boasting a degree in Sport and Exercise Science as well as having run 9 marathons. She is now pursuing a career as a personal trainer and tells Sundried about how she helps her clients going from personal experience.
Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
During my earlier years and during University I played a lot of sport, my main sport being badminton with which I represented the Welsh Universities. I have now completed 9 marathons, my best time being Edinburgh Marathon which I
completed in 3:52. This year I have set myself a couple of new challenges and have entered my first ultra marathon and middle distance triathlon. The ultra marathon is the 100km trail run along the Cotswold Way and the middle distance triathlon is the Cotswold Classic.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
My journey to fitness started from a young age taking part in as many school sports as possible. I then went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at University adamant that I wanted to go into teaching, however when I suffered my injury my career path changed as I became more interested in the rehabilitation side of fitness, this leading me into the career path of a Personal Trainer.
What are your training goals now?
I'm currently 5 weeks out from my first ultra marathon, this involves long runs and lots of core and stability exercises. I have also entered my first middle distance triathlon at the beginning of August so training is also tailored towards that goal.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I love avocado. I have to limit myself to a pack of 4 a week.
What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?
To believe in yourself and always push outside your comfort zone.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I try not to follow a specific nutrition plan, I believe it is important to follow a healthy but sustainable diet. I see it far too often where clients crash diet to lose weight but then 2-3 months later are back where they started. I cook from scratch and make sure my meals are well balanced and healthy, not depriving myself of that odd treat.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
I believe that if you are motivated and passionate about what you do then it provides clients with the energy and belief that they can also achieve their goal.
I try to keep their sessions as varied as possible, setting them goals which are achievable but at the same time will challenge them. I am on hand to help them with their fitness goals but also provide nutrition advice; personal training for me is about re-educating individuals about what a healthy lifestyle is and to make it long-term rather than a short term habit.
Talk us through your training regime.
I train 5-6 times a week in training season, usually 5 in off season. I usually run 3 times a week varying between long slow runs, short intensity runs, and intervals. On the other days I then swim or bike. Twice a week I will do some core and stability work in the gym just to keep the strength in the legs and core, I find this helps prevent injury. Every night I spend about 20-30 minutes stretching and foam rolling. I see far too many people who suffer injuries from not stretching.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I listen to podcast when I run and in my spare time I read a lot of training articles and journals, I find this a vital part of progressing my learning. Every 3 months I try to book onto a course, whether that's a weekend away or just an online learning course. It's a great way to stay up to date and current within the fitness world.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- To enjoy what you do, don't just go to the gym because you feel you have to, do something you enjoy, whether thats a sport or a fitness class.
- Set yourself goals- Don't just set yourself a weight target, focus more on measurements or a fitness goal, far too often people give up on exercise as they don't see the number on the scales change.
- Nutrition - Dont just reduce calories, eat a healthy well balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be boring or restrictive, just try to be sensible and make wise choices in what you do eat.
If you could only do one workout for the rest of your life, what would it be?
FTP test on a watt bike - This is 20 minutes from hell but at the end, you know for those 20 minutes you have given everything that you have. I find it a great way to test my fitness.
What are your training goals?
My training goals are to be the best and fittest that I can be. To keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone through entering new challenges. My future training goals would be to complete an Ironman.
Why work with Sundried?
Finding a fitness brand that you can be proud to wear because of how it looks and of what it stands for is one of the reasons I was so keen to work with Sundried. Sundried have developed a brand of clothing that not only looks and fits great but also gives something back, working closely with charities and also protecting the world with a low carbon footprint.
Favourite fitness quote:
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda