Adventures in crosstraining

You’ll be glad to know that despite my post-Berlin struggle I have got two weeks of solid training under my belt now. My long run is up to 10 miles, my threshold pace is back down, and I’ve started doing my squats and lunges in front of Hollyoaks again. As I get ready for another good week of running though I thought I would share some photos from my last few months’ adventures in crosstraining.

The swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath

The swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath are probably my favourite place in all of London. I could spend every day there, and when I lived in West Hampstead last year I spent several evenings a week there. Moving away from the ponds to South London meant that I could not swim regularly enough through the winter to stay safe in the cold water and so I had to wait until spring to get back into it.

My first pond swim was in April when the water had finally reached a bearable 10 degrees. I’m not in the  ponds as often as I’d like to be, but they remain my favourite place in all of London.

There are three ponds on the Heath: the women’s, men’s and mixed. For more information click here.

Nike Training Club class

Nike host free fitness classes for women around the country (though most are in London), advertised and booked via Facebook ( These bootcamp style classes run for an hour and involve more squatting and lunging than you thought you could do in a week, let alone an evening. I dragged fellow Chaser Kayleigh along for the class, which she was quite happy about until it started raining…

The instructor introduced the class as a chance to have fun while keeping fit, a cliche that I inwardly guffawed at. I’m not here to have fun, I thought. I’m a sub-2hr half marathon runner now – I’m here to train! But I couldn’t help but laugh throughout the class as we hopped, skipped, lunged, partnered up, and did those ski squat jump things.

It hurt a lot. And it was rainy and muddy and cold. But it was genuinely good fun and totally free. Why haven’t I been back? I quite simply haven’t had time. But as soon as I can get back to these classes I will.

Oh, and the t-shirt was free too.

Cycling in Norfolk

I had a holiday! As the UK decked all of its pubs out in that bloody awful jubilee bunting I went on a cycling getaway… 2 days and nights of cycling and camping in and around King’s Lynn, Norfolk with my girlfriend and chums.

The location was brilliant for cycling as we were close to so many of the National Cycle Routes. I have never set out to ride along these routes before as my rides are rarely for leisure – normally I have somewhere to be and so I cycle to get there – and so I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to just lazily cycle around the countryside.

It turns out it is pretty easy to miss the Cycle Route signposts though and get lost too… That photo above is from the last couple of miles of the last day as the clouds began to gather and I finally decided that I had had enough.

The BBQ was pretty awesome though: steak sandwiches and tiger bread.


2 thoughts on “Adventures in crosstraining

  1. Ahh I’m originally from just near King’s Lynn, maybe I should do some more cycling around there.

    Also, I’ve been to quite a few of the Saturday morning NTC sessions on Clapham Common when I’ve been down visiting, love those classes. You really don’t think it’s going to be that hard, but it’s always an unpleasant tube journey for those sat near me afterwards!


    1. You really should! We took route 1 up to Sandringham via a country pub. Day 2 we went south towards Downham Market on route 11 (I think…) but got a bit lost. You’re very lucky to haved lived there – it’s beautiful!

      And yeah, those Nike classes are a killer! Standing up to get off the tube afterwards… yikes!


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