Getting outside the ‘Box’

I’m often asked how I manage to train in London. Ok yes the traffic is bad, and it’s not all rolling countryside but everything is fairly easily accessible. Location is important, living in south west London I have the best access to Richmond Park, open water, the River Thames and the Surrey hills.

However sometimes London just doesn’t cut it. And when you are out riding/running the same routes every week sometimes its time for a change!

The last 3 weekends I have spent outside of the dreaded M25. New friends, new places and new adventures. The lowdown:


Old Hunstanton, North Norfolk

An early train shared with those returning home after a cheeky night out in London my bike, overnight oats and rucksack made it on the 6.45am train to Cambridge. An hour or so later I was at Ely, a couple of stops outside Cambridge.

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Here the adventure began, 80km of straight flat roads (although with an almighty headwind) took me through Norfolk countryside, along rivers and through Sandringham estate. I made it to Old Hunstanton beach and Matt’s beach house at around 11am, what a start to the day!


Next up was a trail run along the beach and through fields with the Mile27 crew (more on them later). Some tough running through dunes at the end rounded off a nice 16km route even with the detour through a golf course….

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Matt provided some epic eats which you’d expect being a nutritionist. He’s been helping me out recently, providing advice on the nutrition and getting some all important #knowledgebombs Check his new blog out here if you are interested in more!

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Sea swims, sun bathing and good chats were on the menu for the afternoon before dragging myself back on the bike for 20km to the nearest train station. Safe to say cycling was harder on the way home!

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A day trip to the beach, 80k ride, 16k run. Easy. Thanks to Matt and Mile27 for the hospitality 😀

The Peak District/Doncaster

Doncaster. Doesn’t fill you with confidence does it? But I was off to visit my fabulous friend Karen for another weekend of training! Karen ‘I don’t really live in Doncaster’ is someone I have met through the world of GB triathlon and more recently instagram! It seems us #trigirlz are great at supporting each other and it meant I got another excuse for a weekend away!

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After a super quick train journey on Friday night (again with the standard hen/stag do parties ongoing on the train up) the peaks were on the menu for Saturday morning. We went through some beautiful countryside just outside Sheffield taking in the views despite the weather and of course coffee & cake!

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And although the ride was eventful for some (tramlines are a b****) it was a great and different day out exploring (and gossiping) by bike again!

On Sunday I had entered a local Sprint race 3 miles from Karen’s house, ideal! I was expected to ‘dominate’ (not my words!) No pressure then! Sprints are not my fave being far too short and fast for my liking. But the lake was lovely and I popped my head out in 2nd place so it was time to give it some.

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The bike was pancake flat but with some brutal headwinds. I just tried to pick off as many men as possible who had started 5 minutes before the ladies. Going into the run I knew I was leading but I was interested to see how the legs would feel and if I could find any speed! I tried to start at 4.20mins/k with the aim of coming down to 4.15s or 4.10s. I did this with some success winning by over 5 minutes! And again used the men as my main targets. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and I won free entry into next years event so I’ll definitely be back!

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Warwickshire aka Home-Sweet-Home

Home to see mumma Kirk 😀

I love heading home for the weekend, I should do it more! A 2 hour drive or train and you are in the middle of nowhere in the Warwickshire countryside. No phone signal, just the dulcet tones of the donkey next door.

My coach had planned me some big sessions but by getting up early which I do anyway I was able to get my training done before 12 and spend the afternoons chilling at home.

I did two 10 km TT hard out efforts on the bike along the Fosse Way, an old Roman road that is predominantly straight and links Exeter to Lincoln! Obviously I didn’t quite get that far. Followed by a 14km run around my local reservoir Draycote Water.

And then on Sunday I explored some back roads to pick up 100km on the way to Compton Verney an 18th century manor house which hosts art exhibitions. There I did a couple of laps around the grounds as part of a brick run before meeting my mum for lunch and a wander around the exhibition.

Its always nice to head home to chill out and eat some good home cooked food, thanks Mum!20170723_122657

 

So why not go and train somewhere different this weekend? Even if its just a short train ride away or a run to a new brunch spot, discover somewhere new.

This weekend I’m heading to the Mile27 café for some Friday night athletics viewing and also on Sunday for Run&Brunch. Come along, its free 😀

 

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Photo by Jack Atkinson @knowjack

 

 

 

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