The essential piece of January running kit

A t-shirt was delivered yesterday. Two t-shirts, in fact. And not just any t-shirts but Janathon t-shirts, yay!

Ideally, I’d have had them sorted way before Janathon started, so I could buy one and check the quality before letting you all know they were available. But because Cafe Press took an absolute age to approve the design (72 hours? Pah!), I didn’t get the chance.

But, I am 100% DELIGHTED with these t-shirts. I was worried that they’d be that cheapy, thick cotton that’s uncomfortable to wear but these are gorgeous. They fit beautifully, the cotton is just the right thickness and weight and I proudly wore mine to the gym this morning.


This is a normal cotton t-shirt but performance dry ones are also available (along with lots of other styles, like the baseball top below).

janathon 019 

If I’d have thought about it, I’d have saved wearing it until tomorrow when I’ll be doing my first Parkrun but I’m going to do a white wash today especially and hope it dries in time.

T-shirts, hoodies, bags, mugs, dog t-shirts, slankets, stickers, badges and all sorts of stuff are available in the Janathon Cafe Press shop.

If you’ve bought a t-shirt, I’d love to see a photo on your blog of you modelling it!

Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 10 minutes
Stationary bike: 10 minutes
Janathon t-shirts: 2

Janathon Day 8: The first week of jogging, slogging and blogging is over!

I set my alarm for 7. I woke up at 8:30. Damn, there was my plan of getting up early and getting out for a run by 8 scuppered. And it meant I’d lost 90 minutes of my day but then I thought, if I spend 90 minutes fewer on Facebook and Twitter, that means I’ve clawed back those 90 minutes, hooray!

I decided running could wait until tomorrow though, when I WILL get up at 7am and go for a run and this morning I went to the gym instead.

My gym isn’t very far away and my running-to-the-gym PB is currently 2:42 and today I thought I’d try and beat my PB and, wahoo, I SMASHED IT, I AM BADASS, I NAILED IT, I TOTALLY OWNED IT, I BLEW IT OUT OF THE PARK*, etc. with a new running-to-the-gym PB of 2:36.

Then I did some gym stuff like go on the rowing machine and cross-trainer and, to finish off, I did 20 minutes of the Audiofuel turbo trainer track (that I reviewed here) instead of the treadmill as I’m just a crazy, reckless, carefree, spontaneous kind of girl who likes to mix it up, as The Damned would say (if they were singing the wrong words).

So, now we’re into the second week of Janathon – well done everyone keep up the good work!

Run: 0.28 miles
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Stationary bike: 20 minutes
Minutes spent in bed ignoring the alarm: 90
Minutes of the day clawed back by not going on Facebook or Twitter: 90

*If I EVER use phrases like that on my blog again, please feel free to ask for my address so you can come round and give me a slap.

Janathon Day 6–A sober Saturday

I thought the gym would be full this morning. I don’t usually go to the gym at the weekend as, I run on a Saturday, and Sundays are reserved for hangovers rest days. But, as I didn’t drink anything stronger than hot chocolate last night and was tucked up in bed at 10:30 reading – with, in hindsight, maybe a touch of irony – ‘Hangover Square’ by Patrick Hamilton (blimey, that book is bleak. If ever a book could be described as a colour, that book would most definitely be grey).

So, because I woke up this morning unhungover, off I went to the gym. The gym was empty. Not even the usual people I see in there in the morning were there, they must be weekday warriors, like me.

I bloody loved this workout. Maybe I should stay sober more often*. I went on the rowing machine for twenty minutes, then the cross-trainer for twenty minutes, then despite my legs still aching from Friday’s weights session, I went on the treadmill for a Thru the Gears run. It doesn’t matter how many times I do Thru the Gears on the treadmill, I still get a tremendous buzz from it. If you want the same buzz, you can get it for FREE on the Audiofuel website (I’m assuming it’s still available, as the link’s there but it’s been out a long time now – if it doesn’t work, you can get it for a bargain-worthy 69p on amazon and yes, that is my five star review underneath it).

Oh, and because I am extra-hardcore, when I got back from the gym, I did a 30 minute upper body weights session at home.

Sober Saturdays: 1
Bleak books: 1
Hangovers: 0
Weekday warriors: 1
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 15 minutes
Weights: 30 minutes


The JogBlog guide to not looking like a New Year Newbie

It’s that time of year every seasoned gym-goer dreads. The time of year when there are two questions whizzing round their heads:

1. Will the newbies be hogging all the machines; and

2. Will everyone think I’m a newbie too?

This morning, I had planned to go to the gym and these were the questions I had in my head so, upon opening my kit drawer, I pulled out an old pair of running tights and grabbed a t-shirt but eek, the t-shirt was a salmony-pink colour and nothing screams NEWBIE as much as pink does.

Then there was the shoe dilemma. I have two pairs of running shoes that I haven’t even tried on yet, let alone wear, but – like pink – new shoes are a no no if you don’t want to be mistaken for a newbie so I put on the purple pair I’ve recently been wearing to the gym and they even had a bit of mud on them. Result.

And yes, I know we all had to start somewhere, so I’m not really mocking (although a bit of ‘spot the newbie’ fun in the gym does help to pass the time), especially as my newbie runner kit seven years ago consisted of thick baggy tracksuit bottoms, a cotton t-shirt, a heavy hooded fleece, two normal bras worn at the same time and a pair of trainers that cost me £10 from Shoe Zone.

I needn’t have worried though, there were no newbies in the gym, just the three ‘older’ people who are usually there in the morning and I did my usual rowing machine/cross-trainer/treadmill combo without having to wait for newbies to stop hogging the machines.

Pairs of old running tights: 1
Salmony-pink t-shirts: 1
Pairs of purple trainers with a bit of mud on them: 1
Newbies in the gym: 0
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 20 minutes
Treadmill: 20 minutes
Courtney Love – Sunset Strip
Duran Duran – Electric Barberella
David Holmes – I Heard Wonders
The Black Keys – Lonely Boy
Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
Ghostpoet – I Just Don’t Know
Knifeworld – In A Foreign Way
U2 – Vertigo
Eugene McGuinness – Shotgun
The Polyphonic Spree – Running Away
The Secret Machines – Lightning Blue Eyes

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!

Duchesses ordering pizzas, and Dalai Lamas

My weather widget said all day yesterday that heavy rain was forecast for most of today. MY WEATHER WIDGET IS A LYING BASTARD. I postponed lunch with a friend today because I didn’t want to get soaked on the way to the station and there hasn’t been a drop of rain all day.

So I went to the gym instead and I got there in a cycling PB of 11:53 which is fast for me as it usually takes me 17 or 18 minutes. I’ll have to try and get it down to 10 minutes.

First up was the rowing machine for twenty minutes and then I went on one of the cross-trainers that has a TV on them and Loose Women was on and so I thought I’d watch a bit of that (DON’T JUDGE ME) and Tony Parsons was on it and they introduced him as being a journalist and hanging out with the Sex Pistols and David Bowie but they missed out the bit about him being once married to Julie Burchill and then they were talking about being a gooseberry and showed this picture of Prince Charles, the Dalai Lama and Camilla


and I thought why do they think she’s being left out of the conversation? They don’t know what happened just before this photo was taken. A pizza dude from Domino’s might have just stuck his head in the door and said ‘Pepperoni Passion with extra olives, Your Duchess?’ and she was just getting up to pay him while the Dalai Lama checked Prince Charles’ fingernails to make sure his hands were clean enough to be eating pizza with. 

I don’t know… people are so quick to judge.

Then I got on the treadmill for an Audiofuel Thru the Gears session (I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love this) but after a couple of minutes I couldn’t be arsed to do any more but then I thought to myself THERE IS NO CBA IN GSR OR VLM and then I thought but ha! everyone always said there was no I in TEAM when clearly there is


and yes, I know this was doing the rounds a couple of weeks ago but it’s still bloody funny and I carried on doing Thru the Gears and then I went to cycle home and wondered if I could do another PB but my legs were aching and the wind was in front of me and so I didn’t PB but I got back in 14:26 which isn’t bad.

Lying bastard weather widgets: 1
Lunches postponed: 1
Cycling to the gym PBs: 1
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 30 minutes
Tony Parsons on the TV: 1
Camillas ordering pizza: 1
Dalai Lamas checking Prince Charles’ fingernails: 1
Treadmill: 15 minutes
CBAs in GSRs or VLMS: 0
I’s in teams: 1

Zombie Proms and Polka Dots

I went to my spin class today and when I got there there was only one other person on a bike but loads of other bikes had been reserved by people putting their towels on it as if they were flipping German or something and eventually people got on their ‘reserved’ bikes and the instructor turned up and I thought EEK, WHERE’S THE USUAL INSTRUCTOR? I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS ONE BEFORE AND SHE MIGHT MAKE ME WAVE MY ARMS IN THE AIR AND STUFF but she did have an absolutely gorgeous figure and I thought if waving my arms in the air gets me a body like that well… bring it on, although obviously what I was really thinking was, fuck, hope she doesn’t make me wave my arms in the air.

But she didn’t make anyone wave their arms in the air. In fact, it was a fucking fab workout – great music (although not something I’d listen to by choice but great for spinning to) and the instructor was absolutely relentless and she kept us going and going and going and I was absolutely knackered by the end of it. Which is how it should be.

Then I cycled home and picked up my new polka dot dress from Tesco (stop laughing, Tesco do some nice stuff) and I even bought a pair of sandals to go with my nice new dress (I usually wear biker boots or Converse with everything and although I don’t mind looking a bit odd, I don’t like to look completely stupid and didn’t think boots or Converse would go with polka dots) and although my new sandals are only 2-inch high wedges, I’m doing my usual tranny shuffle through the house while trying to get used to them.


And tonight I’m going to wear my new dress and my new shoes to the Zombie Prom, which a uni friend is performing in.

Cycling: 5 miles (with another 6 miles later)
Rowing machine: 20 minutes
Cross-trainer: 10 minutes
Spin: 45 minutes
Bikes reserved by people putting towels on them: lots
New spin instructors: 1
Fab workouts: 1
New polka dot dresses: 1
New pairs of sandals: 1
Tranny shuffles through the house: lots
Zombie Proms: 1

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