Juneathon Day 8 – A New Week In Which To Redeem Myself

Sennheiser Thru the Gears

The first week of Juneathon is over and now begins a whole new fresh week – a week in which I can hopefully redeem myself after the slackathon that began the first week.

I had planned to run today but when I got up, my legs were still aching from last week’s run (although I don’t think they can still be aching from last week’s run; it must be from something else. What that something else is though, I haven’t a clue. Maybe lack of crisps or something.) so I decided to go to the gym and go on the rowing machine which usually sorts any DOMS out.

But because I had planned to run though, and because I am supposed to be marathon training training – especially as marathon training singular starts next week, eek – I thought I’d do some intervals on the treadmill when I got to the gym. Intervals are an integral part of training, after all.

So, I did 30 minutes on the rowing machine, then as I was scrolling through my Audiofuel playlist looking for the Pyramid Max 180 interval session, I saw the Sennheiser Thru The Gears track which is my absolute favourite Audiofuel track as it gives you such a fantastic workout on the treadmill, so I gave that a blast, then I went on the cross-trainer for 20 minutes.

Not a bad workout for a Monday, eh?

Well done everyone on your efforts throughout the first week of Juneathon – I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves. Personally, it’s given me the boost I needed to motivate me to get back into exercising as I’ve been a bit slack over the last few weeks. Hopefully it’ll give me a good base for the beginning of my marathon training too.

Oh, and I promise to run tomorrow. Punky promise. (That’s pinky promise as autocorrected by my phone.)


Rowing machine: 30 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Juneathon’s completed: 6/30

Audiofuel Polyrunner: Keep Your Feet To The Beat

Polyrunner 160 BPM

I’m not actually sure if  Audiofuel founder Sean says ‘keep your feet to the beat’ in the new Audiofuel Polyrunner tracks but he does, in his comforting familiar way, say, ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4’ in the coaching tracks to help you keep your feet to those beats.

On the website it also says Polyrunner will ‘help you run effortlessly like a gazelle’, so I was eager to try out the new tracks with their magical properties that would make me run effortlessly gazelle-like.

Did I run effortlessly gazelle-like? Did I bollocks. I did, however, run slightly better than I did yesterday when I couldn’t even manage a mile without stopping to walk, no matter how many times I reminded myself that Helen just ran a mile without stopping even though she hasn’t run for about a year and is still recovering from having a baby (apparently you don’t just plop them out, then go straight to the pub – it involves blood transfusions and stitches and stuff. Shudder.)

Like all Audiofuel tracks, the music – thanks to composer extraordinaire Howie – keeps you moving and motivated without being annoying or intrusive. The tracks come with or without coaching so if you get fed up with Sean’s voice you can shut him up. Obviously, you won’t get fed up of his voice but if you get brave enough to count to four by yourself, the option is there.

The Polyrunner Bundle is a bargain. For £8.99 you get 7 downloads, including: Polyrunner 160 BPM, 162 BPM, 164 BPM, 166 BPM, 168 BPM, coach free Polyrunner and Polyrunner 160 BPM with individual tracks so you can vary your pace to suit your fitness level and running goal.

Visit the Audiofuel Polyrunner page for more information and to sample the tracks before you buy. Audiofuel even offer a money back guarantee – so if you buy it and don’t like it, you haven’t wasted your pennies.

You will like it though – I guarantee it (although not in a money back way).

(p.s. For those new to Audiofuel – it doesn’t really consist solely of Sean saying ‘1, 2, 3, 4’, it consists of motivational coaching.)

Audiofuel Powerblast: Turbo Training


The stationary bike is what I hate most in the gym. It’s rare for me to go on it, I usually stick to the rowing machine and the cross-trainer. I do like spin classes though and so I thought, how can I make the stationary bike more fun? And then I thought, I know, I bet Audiofuel’s bike tracks will make it fun and so today I took the Audiofuel Powerblast session to the gym with me to try out.


Audiofuel’s bike sessions are designed for use with a turbo trainer or spin bike (not to be used outside on the road). I have no access to a spin bike at my current gym but I thought it’d be fine on a normal stationary bike. And fine it was. This track goes on for an hour – I thought how the hell am I going to stay on a stationary bike for an hour without dying of boredom? But then I thought, ho hum, I’ll just stay on until I get bored. There was no boredom. It was all fun. In fact, it was absolutely great – Sean (founder of Audiofuel who does the coaching on the track) talks you through what you’ll be doing and tells you what cadence (RPM) to ride at (80rpm in the recovery bits and 95rpm in the speedy up bits).

Sean also tells you what gear to put it in, saying things like big back cog and little cog. Proper cyclists will probably understand this, I just changed the resistance on the bike according to how I felt (mostly by cruising on the recovery bits and making myself work harder by upping the resistance on the sprint bits).

It’s like a spin class but without an annoying instructor trying to make you wave your arms in the air or getting off her bike and ramping up the resistance on yours to full as she thinks you’re slacking.

The impossible has been made possible. Stationary bikes can be fun.

Audiofuel’s Powerblast is available on the Audiofuel website along with other tracks for the turbo trainer or spin bike, including ones coached by Chrissie Wellington (Ironman champion and spit of FitArtist).

p.s. Still plenty of time to sign up for Janathon!

Audiofuel Power Up 2012 Interval Training


Audiofuel Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training


I’ve always said Audiofuel rocked. Now they really do. Audiofuel’s Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training tracks have left their dancing shoes behind and put on their biker boots.

A pyramid session is split into sprints and recoveries, the seconds/minutes increasing on the way up to the top of the pyramid and decreasing on the way down. The longest sprint in the session I tried out today is two minutes, so even lightweights like me aren’t scared of giving it a go. What’s even better is that you’re allowed to walk in the recovery bits.

Having a new training session motivated me to get out of the house. I haven’t run for a week as I‘ve got a bad knee but I wanted to try out the pyramid session. I also wanted to try out my new Craft running top.

craft-running-top-pink (Please excuse my cat licking her bum)

I’m a fan of Craft tops. They’re not expensive, fit well, comfortable, stay in place and still look good after they’ve been washed lots of time (unless your washing machine is like mine and eats your clothes).

With my new running top on and my new Audiofuel pyramid session in my iPod, I flew out the door, eager to run. There are two levels to choose from – 20 or 30 minutes. I chose my level of hardcore – 30 minutes. (Actually, I chose 30 minutes because I wanted a 30 minute run but sshhh, don’t tell anyone.)

It starts off with Sean (one of the founders of Audiofuel) introducing himself and explaining about the pyramid session and then leads into the warm-up with Audiofuel’s trademark ‘one two three four’. After the warm-up is the first sprint of 30 seconds, followed by the first recovery – also 30 seconds. The sprints and recoveries go up in increments of 15 seconds until the top of the pyramid of 180 seconds is reached. During the sprints, Sean gives encouragement and shouts out things like ‘COME ON, LET’S GO!’ and ‘LET’S SEE YOU FLY!’ and as he’s telling me to fly, I catch a glimpse of my shadow and um, I’m seriously not flying. In fact, it looks like my shadow would like a bit of a sit down.

On the other side of the road, I see two girls jogging. I’m not sure why I’ve decided they’re jogging and not running, maybe it’s because they’re wearing lots of clothes and going slowly (ha, like I’m not going slowly). I’m on a walking bit of my recovery and I’m hoping they don’t think I’m a lightweight and I want to shout out ‘I’M DOING INTERVALS. I’M ALLOWED TO WALK’ and then I’m on a sprinting bit and I’m about to catch them up and I think oh fuck, they’ll think I’m purposely overtaking them and just as I’m so close I could almost bite one of them on the shoulder*, it’s the recovery bit again and I slow down and then I’m hoping they don’t think I’m playing tag with them and then they go off a different way and I can stop wondering what strangers are wondering and I carry on doing fast bits and doing slow bits and then I’m in a field and as I’m on another walking bit, two girls are running up towards me and they must be proper runners as they’re wearing short shorts and I want to shout out again ‘I’M DOING INTERVALS. I’M ALLOWED TO WALK’ and I wonder why there’s so many people out running today as that’s five in total (I didn’t bother mentioning the man I saw, he wasn’t very interesting and he never says hello to me anyway so he can bog off) and maybe they all got their happy face magazines the other day and thought ‘OH SHIT, I’D BETTER START DOING  A BIT OF JOGGING’ and because I deferred from last year, I also got the happy face magazine and so I’d better stop pissing about and do some jogging too.

Anyway, Audiofuel’s Power Up 2012 Pyramid Interval Training session: It’s magic, as my mile splits – even with the walking bits – are faster than I’ve done for ages. And it’s rock music, none of that poncey dancey stuff**.

*I’d like to point out that I have never bitten anyone on the shoulder.

**I like the dancey Audiofuel stuff too.

Audiofuel: Adrenaline Junkie 2 Challenge


This morning I tried out Audiofuel’s long-awaited Adrenaline Junkie 2. Long-awaited for me, anyhow, as I’ve been bursting for some new tunes from them (although, I’m not yet sick of Dansatisfaction. I need that track to give me a boost when I’m flagging).

I’m going to take it out for another go on my next run and write a longer review then (plus I need to go out in a mo to eat pizza and drink beer with helsbels), but I wanted to let you know about this Thursday’s (28 July) Audiofuel Adrenaline Junkie 2 Challenge.

For just £10, enter the Adrenaline Junkie Challenge and get:

  • A copy of Adrenaline Junkie 2 – with coached and coach free non stop DJ mixes
  • A place in the race at 7pm on Thursday evening (run from your own home)
  • A chance to win new sports headphones
  • An unreleased version of the track "Self Belief"
  • An Adrenaline Junkie 2 certificate for your Facebook wall


The gun will go at 7pm GMT on Thursday 28th. The countdown will happen on the Audiofuel Facebook Page.

After the start time, hit the streets where you live and run for 44 minutes with Adrenaline Junkie 2.

When you get back, post a photo of yourself or a picture or screen grab of your distance on their Facebook wall.

Audiofuel will give a brand new pair of Sennhieser Sports headphones to:

  • The post run photo they like the best (they’re expecting a lot of sweat)
  • The finish distance picture or screen grab they like best
  • The post run comment they like the best

Good luck!

The mystery of the bird-poo-covered car

My getting up early thing yesterday must have been a fluke, as today I didn’t get up ‘til 9, and that was only because I had a spin class at 10:30 and it takes me over an hour to leave the house and so I got up and looked out the window and sitting in the driveway, instead of the car that Shaun had been driving to replace his normal one was his usual car, covered in bird-poo and although I hadn’t asked Shaun where his car was, it didn’t occur to me that he’d sent it off to get covered in shit and be returned in the early hours of the morning.

After I’d finished pondering the poo mystery, I got my stuff together and went to the gym. As I’d got up late, I didn’t get much time to do anything else before the class, so just did eight minutes on the rowing machine then went and did the class, then I got back on the rowing machine to make it up to twenty minutes and two men got on the machines either side of me and I turned round and there was a whole row of machines behind me that were empty and I wondered if I should tell them the concept of personal space but I only had three minutes to be annoyed and then I wanted to go and do Thru the Gears on the treadmill but Lightning Blue Eyes by Secret Machines came on my iPod

and I thought ooooooooooooooh, I must listen to this first and so I walked on the treadmill while Secret Machines were playing and then I did Thru the Gears and I must have been putting some effort into it, despite what my pace says, as I was sweating buckets and then I went shopping and bought the most unromantic anniversary present in the world ever.

Ho hum.

Cycling: 5 miles / 30 minutes
Spin: 45 minutes
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 1.43 miles / 17 minutes
Cars appearing overnight covered in shit: 1
Unromantic anniversary presents: 1

Adrenaline Junkie

After seeing Audiofuel Sean mention on Facebook that Adrenaline Junkie 2 would be out soon, I thought to myself ‘I don’t remember trying out the old Adrenaline Junkie’ and so I looked in iTunes and lo! Adrenaline Junkie wasn’t there. I thought to myself ‘this must be rectified immediately’ and like someone who cares about her friend’s business and livelihood should, I bought it off the Audiofuel website emailed Sean and said ‘oi, I haven’t got the old Adrenaline Junkie, can you send me a link to it please?’ and Sean being the nice guy he is, said fuck off freeloader ‘of course you can, here you go’ and so, hurrah, I had some new old Audiofuel to try out.

As if turned out, I did have most of the tracks on Adrenaline Junkie in my collection but having all the tracks run on to each other with coaching from Howie telling you how long each track will last for and at what intensity was great. (Except for the two tracks where he said I’ll be running at 190bpm when I promptly told Howie in my head to fuck right off.)

It’s just as well I don’t see many people out and about round here, as today’s sartorial decisions in all things running made me look like I’d got dressed in the dark. I had on a blue sports bra, orange and black capris, a pink top and my new blue Run Breeze socks which apparently are anti-blister and ergonomically designed and left and right-footed and breathable and moisture managed and have mid foot grip for anti-slipping.



They look nice and were very comfy and didn’t give me blisters and that’s all you need to know really.

Today’s schedule called for four miles and as I got to 3.95 miles, it looked like I was going to make it in under 11 minute miles and so I ran and ran until I got to the titchy terraced house two doors away whose owners had decided to hire a digger to dig their front garden which is all of about two square feet big which meant that only the spadey bit of the digger was in their garden and the rest of the digger was taking up the whole of the pavement and so I had to stop and walk in the road around it and that is my excuse for doing over 11 minute miles.

Distance: 4.01 miles
Time: 44:24
Pace: 11:04
Calories: 422
Adrenaline Junkies I didn’t have: 1
Adrenaline Junkies nice Sean gave me: 1
Number of colours worn at once: about 8
New pairs of running socks: 1
Diggers on postage stamp sized gardens: 1
Under 11 minute average miles: 0

p.s. You can get Adrenaline Junkie at half price on the Audiofuel website by using the discount code Juneathon

p.p.s. Talking of Juneathon, don’t forget to sign up for it. Slacking is not an option

p.p.s.s. There’s still time to enter my limerick competition to win a copy of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Thru the hardcore Pyramid

Hal says I have to do three miles this morning. Hal also said I was supposed to have stretched and strengthened yesterday but I spent the day trawling the mean streets of Maidstone (successfully) looking for a new book club venue and then going to Pizza Express for lunch and then going (even more successfully) shopping in Ashford on the way back and then I couldn’t be bothered with all that stretching and strengthening nonsense but I decided the runs are more important than the stretching and strengthening nonsense anyway, aren’t they?

So I get up this morning and my shoulders are hurting as I must have slept funny or something and I can’t be bothered to go out for a run but I don’t want to slack off this early in my training schedule as I have got two half-marathons just two weeks apart to train for after all and then I’m on Twitter and Travelling Hopefully says she was going to do intervals and I think ooh, intervals, that’s a good idea but the Audiofuel Pyramid 180 Max interval session only takes me about two miles and so Travelling Hopefully says that sometimes when she does intervals, she rounds it up to three miles and I think, well, I can’t be outhardcored by her and so I plot a three mile route and decide to do the Pyramid followed by Thru the Gears and when I go back to Twitter to waste some more time, Lissy Runs tweets that she’s got two halfs to do but there’s only two weeks between them and she’ll have to ditch one of them and so I say

I must be stupid two then as I’m doing two halfs with two week’s between them

and then I delete my tweet and correct the embarrassing ‘two’ and tweet it again, as yes, I’m that sad that I edit my tweets and then I delete it again and write it again, this time without the unnecessary apostrophe, as yes, I am that sad that I will edit twice the same tweet and then helsbels comes on to say to Lissy Runs that we’re doing two halfs with only two weeks between them and if we can do it, she can do it and I remind Lissy Runs that Juneathon participants are hardcore and then fairweatherrunner comes on and says she’s done two halfs with only two weeks between them before and she survived and Lissy Runs says ok then, she will do it, so yay for her, and then I ask Travelling Hopefully if she’s been out for a run yet and she says yes, she went at 6am and so she has definitely outhardcored me there and I force myself out the door and turn my Garmin on while I’m still walking down to the gate as then my three miles will be up sooner and I cross the road and start running and I do the interval session and I walk most of the recovery bits although not all of them and then Thru the Gears comes on and I run along to that and when I get close to three miles my Garmin tells me that I’m close to doing it in under 11 minute miles for the first time in about two years and so I don’t stop to walk across the last two roads as would be befitting for someone who usually adheres strictly to the Green Cross Code

(and not just because I’m scared that a weirdy looking man will turn up and call me Dumbo) but run across them as befitting for one of those small children who run out in between cars* in one of those scary public information films they made you watch at school**

and I do indeed manage three miles in under thirty-three minutes which is pretty cool considering that included walking breaks.

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 32:33
Pace: 10:46
Calories: 318
Stretches and strengthenings slacked off of: 1
Runs slacked off of: 0
Time wasted on Twitter: some
Hardcore Twitterers doing two halfs in two weeks: 3
Roads run across: 2
Miles over 11 m/m: 0
Audiofuel – Pyramid 180 Max
Audiofuel – Thru the Gears

*I am not as brave as I sound. There weren’t actually any cars coming.
** I didn’t go to school in the 1940s but that’s all I could find.

Audiofuel: Sennheiser Thru the Gears review and free download

Update: Please note since I wrote this post, the free download is no longer available.



Audiofuel have teamed up with Sennheiser to compose a 15 minute soundtrack called Thru the Gears.

I was a bit hesitant at first to try it, as it’s got some mean looking man on the cover dressed in an Adidas hoodie but as I’ve played to death all the other Audiofuel tracks, I thought it would be a nice change to have something fresh to listen to while I went on the treadmill at the gym.

It’s a coaching track, so you’re told what to do and when and a girl with a nice roboty kind of voice tells you to stretch for a minute, then to walk for a minute, then to increase the speed for three minutes, then another three minutes, then two minutes, then there’s a cool down period where you walk and stretch. I didn’t bother with the stretching bit and just walked during those bits.

This session is amazing. Proper amazing. It really powers up as you get faster and faster and there’s pianos and strings and guitars and bass and everything and it all mounts up to one massive crescendo and you forget how knackered you are as all you can feel is one big fuck off buzz.

After I’d finished, I wanted to do it all over again but as I had a body pump class starting, I nipped into the changing room to get my phone out of my locker and to post on Audiofuel Sean’s Facebook wall to thank him for the big fuck off buzz I’d just had.

Then I did my body pump class and went home and told Shaun how good it was and then I told everyone on Twitter how good it was and it really was so good that I went back to the gym this morning to do it all over again and I got the same buzz, so it’s obviously not like heroin where you don’t get the same buzz after the first time (so I hear, obviously I’ve never had anything stronger than a Junior Disprin…).

And, amazingly, this track is FREE! Free to everyone! Hurrah!

Click here to be taken to the Audiofuel website for your free Thru the Gears download.

Distance: Don’t know as I wasn’t taking much notice
Time: 15 minutes
Free soundtracks: 1
Big fuck off buzzes: 2

More interval training with Audiofuel Running Music

I’ve drawn myself up yet another half-marathon schedule, seeing as the Folkestone half I’m supposed to be doing is in eight weeks’ time and if I increase my long run one mile per week for the next eight weeks, I should be ok, barring any injuries. I think the furthest I’ve run since moving to Kent over a year ago is 6 miles so it’s not really looking very likely but hey ho.

My new schedule is very simple, it goes like this:

Monday: Gym/XT
Tuesday: Intervals
Wednesday: Gym/XT
Thursday: Short-ish run starting at 3 miles for the first week, increasing to 5, then dropping back to 3
Friday: Drink wine Rest
Saturday: Long run, starting at 5 miles for the first week and increasing to 11
Sunday: Gym/XT

Hmm, just realised I have no weight sessions in there. I’ll do them on the cross-training days.

My new schedule may have to be altered depending on if I get a new job and if I do, what days I’ll be working.

Anyway, as today is Tuesday, that meant intervals, so I took Audiofuel’s Pyramid Max 180 interval training session out with me and this time, instead of going slowly during the recovery bits and going a bit less slowly during the fast bits, I walked during the recovery bits and went faster during the fast bits as I thought having a greater difference between the fast and slow bits would be better than having just a marginal difference between the fast and slow bits. If that makes any sense, perhaps someone could tell me if that’s right or not?

I took a new route today and ran up the road, nearly into a car coming round a bend, and got to the top of the pyramid, turned round and went back the way I’d came.

And even though I did walking bits, you can tell I went faster in the fast bits, as my average pace overall is still faster than I’ve been doing recently.

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 21:29
Pace: 10:45 m/m
Calories: 205
New training schedules: 1
Weight sessions on training schedules: 0
Walking bits: Lots
Cars nearly run into: 1

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