Refreshing my routine

I thought I’d do a short and snappy post on my new workout routine.

A few months back I used to do lots of longer runs every week (5 miles – which is quite long for me!) but then decided it would be better to vary things a bit more by doing shorter runs and more strength training (check this post out for a recap). I’ve been really enjoying this because it means I don’t get as bored. I do love running but I was finding that my runs were becoming very prescriptive and wearing. Same miles, same route, snorrrre.

Now I run no more than 3 miles and ensure I’m doing bursts of speeds and then recoveries throughout the run. This has been increasing my pace amazingly! I can now run 3 miles in under 23 mins.


I’m so chuffed! And running mainly at lunch-time rather than stupid o’clock in the morning is making me enjoy the runs more and push myself harder. I no longer think “I can’t run faster, I only woke up 10 minutes ago”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get my run done in the morning as it’s done and dusted, but I much prefer running in actual day-light (granted, it’s grey, drizzly and cold daylight, but I’ll take what I can in Britain!)

I still do my strength training in the morning but I get to do this in the pleasure of my warm home, usually in my pyjamas. Alfie looks at me like I’ve gone mad when I do my routines in the living room. But as I said in a previous post, this means I get 30 minutes more sleep and can still do the workouts I want. It’s a win-win situation!

Previously my strength routines have been vary random. I would find a routine on YouTube, or whatever I could remember from various sources (years ago Pump classes, Internet, other blogs). Not very structured. Now I’m getting serious.

I devised three workout routines: core, upper body and lower body. They each pretty much take 30mins to complete. In about 6 weeks I’ll change the moves to continue challenging my body. Both Jemma and Laura do this and I thought I’d follow suit as it seems like a very good idea. Also it requires less brain power in a morning to work out what I’m doing – very important!


Core Workout
Plank 2.30-3mins
Side plank 1  min
Sit-ups 60-70
Bicycle sit-ups 60-70
Reverse crunches (instruction) 30-40
Vertical leg-crunch (instruction) 30-40
Seated Russian twist (instruction) 45
Wiper Plank (instruction) 46


Upper Body Workout Routine (instructions)
Three sets of 12-14:
Press ups Chest
Flat chest flies Chest
Triceps push Triceps
French presses Triceps
Lateral raises Shoulders
Upright rows Shoulders
Hammer curls Biceps
Single arm row Back


Lower Body Workout Routine
Three sets of 12-14:
Dumbbell squats Legs
Dumbbell sumo squat Legs
Lunges Legs
Side leg raise (instruction) Thighs
Hip-lift progression (instruction) Butt
Toe-Taps (1-2 minutes) (Instruction) Butt
Single-Leg, Single-Arm Reach (instruction) Butt & core

[For the lower body squats and upper body moves I use dumbbells.]

So far these have been great. The upper body one absolutely kicked my butt. Well, it kicked my arms, shoulders, chest and back! Just opening doors was painful put it that way. As the weeks progress I’ll be upping my weights and/or repetitions to keep pushing myself.

So with running three times a week, these three routines every week and Pilates on Saturday I think I’m all set. Maybe this sounds a lot but I’m really enjoying it. I can’t not run, I know that much is true. But running alone didn’t give me a balanced workout. I’m a perfectionist, what can I say?

Soon this will all change though and I will be sticking to a training plan for the Reading Half Marathon. But this won’t be until after Christmas. Enough time for me to get bored of this routine! Winking smile

And HERE’S a great site for lots of “booty-focused” exercises too. Glute strength is something that tends to get forgotten about with runners and cyclists alike so it’s quite a handy list.

How do you keep in shape?

Pumpkins, Pilates and Cinderella

And it’s Monday again! One week closer to Christmas…

This weekend was great. We didn’t really ‘do’ anything but we got a lot done, if that makes sense. Basically, we had no plans to go anywhere but we had a lot of chores to get on with. Mundane things like getting the car washed, then cleaning and vacuuming the inside, putting things up the loft, taking clothes to the Army and Navy… Yep, exciting stuff. I’m a married lady now, this is my life now! Winking smile And I love it! It’s just nice to get all those niggling jobs done that have been driving me mad. I’m a bit of an obsessive cleaner so I’m in my element.

I saw my sister, brother-in-law and their little girl, Ellie. We gave her her present from Disney World (a Barbie Cinderella) and she was over the moon. Though I ended up having to speak for the Barbie in a ‘princess voice’ for longer than comfortable period of time. Though I think I got off lightly, Ben was her human climbing frame haha.

I also went to a local farm shop to buy a pumpkin. I could have bought so much veg but I refrained as I’m pretty sure Ben would get fed up eating squashes every night…


So I just bought a large pumpkin, a mini pumpkin (a munchkin!) and a corn on the cob. All for under a fiver. Bargain!


How cute is that little thing?? I just had to buy it. For 30p you can hardly not, right? I made a delicious soup with that little guy – which I will share for WIAW soon.

Last week we decided to have a bit of a different meal for Friday night. We tend to have more exciting meals on Friday and Saturday just because it’s the weekend. So I bought some chunky pork ribs from the butchers and a jar of BBQ sauce (I was feeling lazy – I know I could have easily made one myself…next time). So Friday morning I marinated the ribs in the sauce and put it in the fridge. I wasn’t too sure how to cook ribs to be honest so I Googled it as work. FIVE HOURS they said to cook it. Well, that isn’t going to happen for sure! So I found a ‘quick’ recipe for an hour and a half. OK, fair enough, ribs are probably better slow roasted but I’m a busy hungry girl and I really wanted them Friday night. You know when you just really fancy something? Anyway, that evening after roasting them for a ridiculously long time in the oven (almost 2 hours) they were done (or if they weren’t, I didn’t care by this point. It was either uncooked ribs or my own arm that I would have eaten at this point).


They were pretty yummy I have to say. We had one and a half ribs each. I had some veg on the side while Ben had some garlic bread. Thumbs up.

On a food-related side-tangent…I’ve been really enjoying my salads as of late as well. I tend to throw in whatever really, and usually a bit of fruit. Recently it’s plums or mainly figs but I’ve just bought a mango so I’m really looking forward to that.

Salads October

Salads left-to-right: flaked tinned salmon, goat’s cheese with fig, fried egg, more figs and mozzarella, & homemade paprika hummus and two hard-boiled eggs.

On Saturday I went to my first Pilates class. It was a one-on-one so I get the basics before actually starting a class. It was brilliant. The instructor was very good. Really good at giving direction and clearly knew her stuff! We used the reformer machine [see below picture] as well, which I was so excited about.


My legs were in the air and everything. It was crazy. The hour whizzed by. I’m going again next Saturday and I’m so excited. I wanted a less intense exercise to strengthen and stretch my muscles, and this was perfect. The only tricky part was how technical it all was. Imprinting your spine, inhaling here, exhaling there, neutral position…a lot of technical jargon that I need to master. But it’ll come I guess.

So that was pretty much it! Here’s what I’m wearing.


Blazer and belt from New Look, top from Warehouse, jeans from Top Shop.

I’m loving the blazer look – stylish while warm! The best kind of outfits in my opinion.

What did you get up to over the weekend?

Have you done Pilates before?