One of my main concerns about life on the road is how to keep up good nutrition and fitness. Being outside for a lot of the day exploring the UK’s beautiful countryside will hopefully keep me on my feet but I felt concerned about how to still eat well without a fully stocked kitchen. As someone who likes to train in the gym regularly and is a self confessed meal planner, I’m going to be looking at ways to keep this up on the road.
My first port of call was to ask my brilliant personal trainer, Amy, some questions that might help me start off. She is a two time Ironman finisher, multiple marathon runner and all round fitness expert, so I knew she’d be able to point me in the right direction.
She was kind enough to answer some fitness questions for us.
Tell us how it felt completing your second Ironman this year
Crossing the finish line of Ironman this year was emotional! Completing my first Ironman event last year was the result of years of training and a bucket list goal I had dreamed of for a long time. Finishing the event again this year was extra emotional as I completed it alongside 9 other friends who I had signed up with a year previously and shared the long, hard journey to the start line. As well as that I also used the event to fundraise for Macmillan who had helped us so much when my partner had battled cancer last year, I raised over £1100 so the finish line was really special.
How would you say taking control of your nutrition and fitness can improve your everyday life?
We all know that healthy eating and regular exercise will help to keep us “healthy” however I think that most importantly it keeps us “functional”. In the most simple terms regular exercise helps us to perform our daily activities efficiently and with ease such as climbing the stairs without getting out of breath, carrying heavy shopping bags out of the car or being able to run for the bus, that kind of thing. Also as we get older we lose muscle mass so weight lifting is particularly useful to keep us functional throughout our whole life. Activities such as standing up from a chair or reaching for a tin of beans on the shelf we might take for granted now but as we age we want to ensure that we keep our bodies strong and fit to continue enjoying life and being able to do the everyday activities that maintain our independence and quality of life.
As well as being physically healthy I also believe that regular exercise is so important for our mental well being. Getting a regular dose of endorphins helps boost mood, improves self confidence and makes you feel great!
What are your three favourite pieces of portable fitness equipment?
I love TRX suspension cables. You can do a full body workout on this one bit of equipment and all you need is a tree branch!
Boxing pads and gloves are another fave if there are 2 of you. Mixing high intensity boxing circuits with some bodyweight exercises not only gives a great workout but is also great fun!
A skipping rope is another must, skipping is a great way to keep up cardio fitness working your heart and lungs and can be done anywhere needing very little space!
Where is your favourite local place to train outside and why?
Here in Brighton we are spoilt for choice with great outdoor spaces to train. With the seafront on our doorstep this can provide a great place to train in the summer (early mornings before it gets busy!) using the pebbled beach for beach sprints, long staircases and plenty of railings to hang a TRX, plus if it’s hot there is the option of a dip in the sea after training to cool off! We also have some lovely parks suitable for all kinds of exercise, Hove Park even has outdoor gym equipment! The South Downs is on our doorstep providing beautiful trails for running , cycling or walking the dog, we don’t have an excuse not to be active down here!
What advice would you give someone trying to keep up good nutrition on the road?
Try to eat as naturally and unprocessed as possible. It might be tempting to go for ready made food and easy options such as pot noodles but this will not make you feel good in the long term. I would advise using travelling round the country to take the opportunity to check out the local produce, look for farm shops and explore local markets to really get inventive and make the most of the extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients often lacking in our imported supermarket produce.
What event/life goal is next for you?
Having trained for 2 Ironman events in the last 2 years I am going to have the next year off from triathlon and focus more on running. Training for such an epic challenge really does require a huge amount of commitment and dedication and also a huge amount of patience from my partner and friends as it takes up so much of my time! I am going to run Manchester marathon in April next year so will spend the Winter out running on the Downs with my dog and focussing on one sport for a while! I also want to focus more on strength training in the gym.
If you want to find out more or work with Amy, you can find her personal training page here: Love Life Fitness Brighton
She also writes a brilliant blog which you can read here.
We’ve both had the pleasure of training with her and would definitely recommend contacting her for all your fitness needs!