Runner triathlon personal trainer Sundried activewear

Megan is a personal trainer who has completed some impressive challenges for charity. She talks to Sundried about life in fitness.

Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.

I used to compete in volleyball representing the East Midlands. Our volleyball team came 3rd in the UK championships. I have also taken part in Beach Volleyball championships, for 2 years, down in Sandbanks.

I have done two 'Help for Heroes' charity fitness events - one event was completing 5 sprint distance triathlons in 5 days and the other was completing a triathlon with the equivalent distance of London's Marble Arch to Paris' Arc De Triomphe. This was done at a fitness complex and I took part in running and cycling laps of a running track and swimming lengths of the pool.

I have also completed the 40-mile Lyke Wake Walk in the North Yorkshire Moors.

The goal I am working towards currently is the Manchester marathon in October 2020.

Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

I have been very interested in sports and fitness from an early age. I represented my school, both primary and secondary, in their sports teams for football, athletics, tag rugby, rounders, cricket, tennis, table tennis and cross country. In each of these sports the team came within the top 3. In the individual sports, I came first, in the majority.

I have many medals and trophies. I was the only girl playing football for a local boys team in a Sunday League. I played for 5 years in various positions, but mainly defence. I was often the "Man of the Match", and again I gained many trophies.

I also used to take part in summer school sports teams organised by Nottingham Forest Football Club, playing football, and getting the "Top Banana" and "Man of the Match" trophies.

At Secondary School, I took part in a tennis tournament, getting through to the district championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre, where I came first. I also did ice skating to Gold Level, and swimming to Platinum Level.

In 2014, I went into Post 16 and did Uniformed Services for 2 years finishing with a Distinction*. Through the Uniform Services course, I gained my understanding of fitness and how certain training styles and correct nutrition can have an impact on the body. This is where I did the two challenges for Help for Heroes, and two Lyke Wake Walks. I have also taken part in a charity event at East Midlands Airport organised by a local gym, where in relays we had to lift the equivalent to a 747 jumbo jet. The team lifted 183,000 kgs in 3 hours 47 minutes. I have also taken part in a Tough Mudder and Rough Runner, managing to get up the Travelator on my first attempt.

What are your training goals now?

To complete the Manchester Marathon in October 2020, within a goal finish time of 4 hours 30 minutes.

Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

I have some unusual tattoos, including Donald Duck, a Toy Story Alien and a slice of lemon.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

Not to over train and have recovery days. I now understand the importance of a recovery day. I was playing volleyball to a high level and cross country for a running club, training every day without any recovery days. I suffered a back injury, which required me to have an MRI Scan. Fortunately, I now understand these two important factors, and I have since been injury-free.

Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

I don't follow a specific nutrition plan, although I am very aware of the benefits of healthy eating and keeping well hydrated. I keep a close eye on my caloric intake and exercise to burn off calories. On a daily basis I typically have porridge oats with fruit for breakfast; tuna, couscous and salad for lunch; late afternoon snack of a piece of fruit; then salmon, jacket potato and mixed vegetables for my evening meal. I also drink 2 litres of water throughout the day.

What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

When a client is struggling/finding the going is getting tough, I join in to motivate them and reassure them with lots of encouraging words and praise that they can get it completed. I also tell them to think of the end result, and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards.

Talk us through your training regime.

My current training regime is:

Monday - Steady 4/5 miles run at around 9:15-9:25/mile pace.

Tuesday - Sprints at 6:30-7:00/mile pace, following a decreasing structure of 1 mile, 800m, 400m, 200m and repeat starting with the 200m working back upwards to the 1 mile to finish with 90 seconds rest between each set.

Wednesday - 60-minute full body workout/strength training using a resistance band.

Thursday - A recovery day with 30 minutes of stretching and foam rolling.

Friday - short run of 5km at 8:00-8:30/mile pace or 2 mile warm up at 10/mile pace followed by 10 x 100m hill sprints and 2 mile cool down at 10:00/mile pace.

Saturday - A recovery day with foam rolling.

Sunday - A long run aiming for 9/10 miles at 9:30-9:45/mile pace.

How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

Online blogs, keep in touch with other fitness instructors, online research.

What are your top 3 trainer tips?

  1. Focus on my own goals and my clients' goals.
  2. Motivational skills.
  3. Enjoyable classes, to keep clients motivated and happy.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

King prawn linguine.

What do you like about Sundried?

I love the ethical ethos and the fact that some of the products are made out of recycled plastic bottles and some of the tops are biodegradable. This is the way forward to protect the environment. Even with the ethical ethos behind the clothing it is sharp, stylish and functional.

Favourite fitness quote:

"Pain is weakness leaving the body."