Unavoidable Hurdles

Missed Workout

So, the plan was simple.  Bike/Run brick this morning with a lunchtime swim.  Simple days training, or so I thought.  Unfortunately this training day was scuppered by an unavoidable hurdle.  Where I work we occasionally have to undergo random drugs testing; and yes, today was one of those days.  So, rather than go for a lunchtime swim, I ended up peeing into a pot!

So, what do you do, if you have an unavoidable hurdle?  Whilst sometimes there is nothing you can do about missing training sessions, there are some principles you can follow to get your training back on track as quickly as possible.

1. Don’t make up for lost training.

The number one rule to follow when adjusting your training for missed days is: Do not try to make up missed workouts or mileage. Squeezing in extra workouts, adding “missed” miles to your warmup, cooldown, or easy days is the quickest route to injury and overtraining.  Squeezing too many workouts too close together cuts into recovery time, meaning you’ll begin your next workout while your muscles are still repairing from the previous workout. This can create a vicious cycle if you’re not careful.

Likewise, adding extra mileage for the sake of hitting weekly mileage totals will usually defeat the purpose of your training plan. For example, a warmup is designed to prepare your muscles for the hard workout ahead, not to build aerobic endurance. Adding mileage to your usual warmup does nothing to advance your fitness. On the same note, recovery training sessions are designed to aid in recuperation by speeding the transport of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to broken down muscle fibers. Training longer on your recovery days doesn’t aid in this process and can actually inhibit recovery.

2. Don’t worry about losing fitness.

Why do we freak out when we miss a few days of training? Most often, it comes down to an irrational fear that missing a few runs will ruin all the hard work we’ve put in over the previous months.

While you might not gain any fitness during your time off, you won’t lose that much, either. You’ll experience a negligible reduction in fitness after taking as many as seven days off. Even if you need to stop training for 10 to 14 days, the amount of fitness you lose is insignificant – as little as 3-4%.

Don’t fret if you’re forced to take time off for sickness, injuries or travel. You’re not losing as much as you think, and with a few quick workouts, you’ll be back up to speed.

3. Don’t let missed training get you down.

Many athletes find it difficult to rebound after missing training sessions.  It can put you off your routine, or even lose momentum.  It takes more than one missed training session to lose significant fitness, so don’t let a missed training session ruin your training schedule.

Follow these basic principles, train wisely and achieve the unthinkable.

Homemade Rogan Josh Curry Paste

No more jars of sauce in this house!  Furthering our quest for healthy living, we are now making our own curry paste.  Yes, we do like our curries, so to try and make them as healthy as possible, we tried this recipe by Jamie Oliver.

We skipped the oil on this one and added an additional 50g of roasted red peppers.  We preferred to use ground coriander instead of coriander seeds.  A brilliant, easy to make, super healthy low calorie curry base.  This paste can be frozen too.


Not enough time…….


Chatting with my Barber the other day, we were discussing training.  He told me his woe story of the fact that it takes too long and that he never has time to train properly.  Further discussion brought out the fact that he does train, 3 to 4 times per week and spends an hour+ in the gym at any one time.  The problem was two fold:  Firstly, there was no structure to the training; Secondly, there was too much time being wasted on ‘junk’ training.  Spending 45+ min on a treadmill with no goal is not a great idea – Talk about getting bored!  Plodding for what?  When it came to weights it was the usual, “Bit of this, bit of that” scenario.  After further talk, we worked out what he wanted to achieve and then set about sorting out a training plan that had an emphasis on the overarching goal and also decreased time in the gym whilst increasing output.  So, the culmination of the discussion and some thought produced 4, 40 min workouts that incorporate both CV and Muscular Endurance using a treadmill and a body weight circuit.


CARDIO – 20 min Run

  • 3 min jog
  • 3 min @ 5km pace with 30 sec easy jog
  • Repeat 4 times
  • 3 min jog

BODY WEIGHT – 20 min running clock

  •  PRESS UPS – 15
  • TRICEP DIPS – 15

Start with push ups. Continue until all exercises/reps completed. Rest 1 min then repeat. Continue cycle for 20 min. Record number of complete circuits at the end.


CARDIO – 20 min Run

  • 3 min jog
  • 1 min flat out/ 2 min easy jog
  • Repeat 4 times
  • 5 min jog

BODY WEIGHT – 20 min running clock

  •  SQUAT – 15
  • SIDE LUNGE – 10

Same circuit routine as workout one.


CARDIO – 20 min Run

  • 5 min easy jog
  • Run 1 mile as fast as possible
  • Easy jog for remaining time


  •  PLANK

Starting with plank complete 30 sec of each exercise. Move straight onto next exercise with no rest between exercises. When completed all exercises, rest 1 min. Repeat 5 times.


 CARDIO – 20 min Run

  • 2 min easy jog
  • Increase pace every min to 10 min – Increase same amount every minute
  • After completion of min 10, decrease by same amount of speed to min 18
  • 2 min easy jog

BODY WEIGHT – LADDER – 1 to 10 to 1


Start with 1 press up, 1 sit up etc. Continue cycle to 10 reps, and then reverse rep number finishing on 1 rep for each exercise.

Please feel free to have a go, and hope that you achieve the unthinkable.

Weekly Food Prep…

So, we love spending Sunday mornings prepping our foods for the following week. While I love cooking from scratch for every evening meal, sometimes there just isn’t the time, so I love to have some meals already made that I can pop in to the freezer for those ’emergency’ moments. Today we made a delicious vegetable and black bean chilli. Full of gorgeous veggie nutrition and a healthy filling protein hit from the beans. We also made a delicious lentil, tomato and chicken dahl which we will share another day. Between the 2 dishes we have created 14 portions of food. As I’m like most women, I’m constantly trying to drop a few pounds, especially from the shop budget hehe!!! I need to make sure that I always have something low calorie, high nutritional food available to stop me from grabbing something I’ll regret later on. Great value, cheap nutritious food that our whole family enjoys.


Veggie Chilli Recipe:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 or 2 red chillis
  • 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomato
  • 1 x can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cacao powder (optional)
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • Handful fresh coriander – finely chopped


  • Dice the aubergine, drizzle with olive oil, cover and roast in the oven for 25 min.
  • In a large pan, saute the onions until soft, add pepper, courgette, garlic and chilli.  Cook for a further 5 min.
  • Add all the spices coating all vegetables.
  • Add tomatoes,roasted aubergine and coriander.
  • Leave to simmer until all vegetables are nice and soft.
  • Add black beans and cacao powder and warm through.  Add lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste.
  • Serve on a baked potato or with rice.

Perfect Porridge Bar

On the quest to ensure breakfast is eaten, yet another delicious bar that is easy to make and tastes fantastic.  Full of goodness and definitely does not make you feel bloated.  This is from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food.  Tastes like a naughty cake 🙂


  • 100g unsalted mixed nuts – I used almonds, walnuts and cashews.
  • 50g mixed seeds – I used chia, sunflower and pumpkin.
  • 100g mixed dried fruit – I used cranberries and crystallized ginger.
  • 1 heaped tsp ground ginger.
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 orange
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 175g porridge oats


  • Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.  In a food processor, pulse the nuts, seeds, fruit and spices with the finely grated orange zest, then place in a bowl.
  • Peel the orange then blitz the segments to a pulp with the banana in the processor.
  • Pour the mixture into a measuring jug.  Add the honey and top up to 500ml total volume with water.  Pour into a large pan on a medium to high heat and just bring to the boil.
  • Stir in the oats and blitzed nut mixture.  Keep stirring and beating for 5 min or until the oats start releasing their starch and the mixture becomes gluey.
  • Transfer to a non-stick square baking tin.  Spread mixture out and bake in over for 45 to 50 min, or until golden and set.
  • Leave to cool in the tray for 10 min,  then transfer to a wire rack.
  • Can be stored for up to 3 days.


Per Bar:

  • 171cal
  • 9g Fat
  • 1.2g Sat Fat
  • 4.4g Protein
  • 20.8g Carbs
  • 11.6g Sugar
  • 3.6g Fibre

Courgette and Prawn Curry

So, it has been a hectic few days with the hund being sick.  Not a lot of cooking going on and it was nice to get back into the Kitchen today.  We love a curry in this house, but we all know they can be pretty laden with lard!  We made a great courgette (zucchini) and prawn curry that is really easy to make and it tasted really delicious.  A quick meal that takes only 15 min and serves a family of 4.  One thing that helps us is to have a stash of various curry pastes.  We make all our own from scratch and put them in the freezer for later use following Jamie Oliver’s recipes Curry Pastes


  • 1 large white onion
  • 4 large courgettes – diced and seeds removed
  • 1 or 2 large red chilis – dependent on how hot you like it
  • 2 tbsp Rogan Josh curry paste – see above link for paste recipe
  • 400g chopped tomato
  • 400g can green lentils
  • 350g peeled prawns
  • Large handful fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • salt/pepper to season


  • Dice courgettes and onions; finely chop chili
  • Melt coconut in a large pan, add onions and cook until soft.  Add courgette and chili and cook for a further 2/3 min
  • Add curry paste; cook until everything coated with the paste.
  • Add chopped tomato and half can water; cook for 5 min
  • Add prawns, lentils and coriander
  • Cook until all ingredients are cooked through.  Add the lime juice, season to taste.  Serve on a bed of basmati rice, or my favourite is a bed of baby spinach