Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.
I love a challenge and am always looking for the next adventure so over the years I have taken part in various events. My most competitive was in Duathlon for the GB Age group team, but I also compete regularly in triathlon (anything from sprints to Half Iron), OCR races and all sorts of running events. At the moment, my focus is cycling - I've always felt I've got more to give on the bike so I've just started working with a coach and am hoping to try my hand in the TT (Time Trial) world soon.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
I played sport as a child but it wasn't until after my children were born (now 6 and 8) that I started running and sport became a big part of my life. Always looking for a challenge, within a few years this evolved into triathlon. I got into this in a big way very quickly and within a couple of years had qualified for the GB team. In my work as an osteopath I had always had an interest in sports injuries but thanks to my new hobby, I started treating more and more sports people and soon found that if I could look after their injuries as well as train them, it was a winning combo. This was when I trained as a PT so I could offer my clients the whole package.
If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities.
What are your training goals now?
I love to be competitive and continue improving my performance but I will very openly admit that I have taken myself far too seriously in the past and it took the fun out of my training. My goal now is still to push myself, find new challenges and adventures but at the same time to really enjoy the whole process, less focus on winning and taking part because I love it and I'm learning from it. Not because I need to beat someone. For me this is a much healthier and sustainable way to approach training.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I broke my back in 3 places in a horse riding accident a number of years ago and spent a long time in a spinal brace and then recovering. Exercise was a massive part of my recovery, physically and mentally. I'm a real advocate now, especially in my day job as an osteopath, for not letting injury hold you back and putting the hard work in to get you back to where you want to be.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Strength and rest! For me, two key things that are so often overlooked. I would have avoided half of my injuries over the years had I started off with some strength work to compliment my running and cycling - not only that, but it's so great on so many other levels (I LOVE my gym sessions!) it's now a non-negotiable part of training for myself and all my clients. I tend to find a lot of us also don't get enough rest, or don't want to rest - thinking it'll slow our progress. This is so wrong, we need to rest and it ultimately makes us stronger and healthier.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
Food is the one area where I have to be extra disciplined - I'm a very lazy chef and would often choose to eat nothing or grab a snack rather than make something for myself. Not good! The key to this for me is being organised, prepping meals in advance and having a very good hubby who cooks a lot of the time! I try to stick to 3 solid, balanced meals a day with snacks in between depending on what my training is that day. I really recommend apps like 'My Fitness Pal' to track your food intake.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
My USP as a trainer is that I'm an osteopath too, so I have a really deep, medical understanding of the body and how it works. A lot of my clients come to me with injuries or problems that they believe, or have been told by others, will stop them from reaching their goals. Using all of my skill sets and experience, we get them going and soon achieving things they never thought they could. Along this journey, it's really important to regularly stop and reflect on where you have come from. So many of us, me included, are guilty of not celebrating our wins but just always focusing on the next thing. Reflection, and recognizing how far you have come, is such a powerful way to stay motivated.
Talk us through your training regime.
At the moment my focus is on cycling so I'm currently working with a coach and cycling 5 to 6 days a week. The sessions range from long rides out on the roads to shorter turbo interval sessions. To compliment this, I add in 1 or 2 strength and conditioning sessions each week as well some yoga and stretching sessions. If I have time, I also try to still do the odd run or two - it feels strange to me not to run at all coming from a running background!
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I'm always reading, enrolling on courses, talking to other professionals and so on. I think when you are lucky enough that your hobby and profession merge into one, your passion for knowledge and to keep improving is natural and authentic.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Know your WHY - why are you doing this? Whether it's health reasons, a personal challenge or something more specific, it really helps with focus and motivation to have a clear image of 'why' in mind.
- Have fun with it - the majority of us are not professional athletes, even as serious amateurs, fitness is still our hobby. It should be an adventure, a learning curve and an enjoyable process.
- Take a well rounded approach - for example: if you're a runner, don't just run. I really believe you will do far better if you look at the whole picture including strength work, cross training, nutrition, recovery and rest and so on.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sausage, mash and baked beans!
Why work with Sundried?
I'm so excited to be working with Sundried. I have bought Sundried products in the past and have loved the quality, comfort and durability of everything. My favourite, randomly, so far are my arm warmers! I also think the ethos of the company is brilliant and it's great to be able to support this. I spend my life outside training in nature's playground, the outdoors is such a big part of my life and doing what we can to help look after it for generations to come is important to me.
Favourite fitness quote:
I have so many! Lots of them are about strong women in sport but I've chosen one here for everyone:
'Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming'.
This sums it all up for me.
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