Review: Suunto Spartan Ultra Watch


Back in August, Suunto approached me to see if I would be interested in testing their new Spartan Ultra watch which was being launched imminently. This happened to be quite timely as my last GPS watch was at the bottom of the ocean after a bit too much fun. When Suunto got in touch I was already considering buying their Ambit 3 as I had heard great things about the brand and more and more friends were switching to Suunto. And so the love affair begins…


 On first impression when opening the box, I was immediately struck by how large the watch was and worried that it would grow dirty quite quickly as I had been sent the white version. I needn’t have worried though as the watch strap still looks pristine even after testing it for a full month. The screen is prone to fingermarks but these wipe off easily and I guess is to be expected from a device which has the functionality of touch screen. I actually really love the fact that the Spartan Ultra has incorporated touch screen into the device as it feels quite intuitive when scrolling back from the main menus. As someone with relatively small wrists I thought the size of the watch would irritate me but actually I have grown to love the size and large round face…it feels much lighter than my previous GPS too. Whilst I have grown to love the large size of the watch in training, I know that it will cause me a few issues when racing in a triathlon as I will need to take it off my wrist and put it back on again in transition 1 in order to get my wetsuit off. That’s just an incentive to be speedier on the bike though.


If there is one thing this watch can do, it’s track every sport imaginable. For me, this is probably the best technical feature of the watch. So far I have used it for running, cycling, kayaking, sailing, pool swimming and open water swimming. There is also the functionality to track a triathlon race which I will be doing at Hever Castle Triathlon. In addition to the sports I have already used it for, a few other examples of activities you can track include circuit training, skiing (cross country or alpine), rowing, hiking, and can even differentiate between trail, road and track running, in addition to many more. As someone who epitomises the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ this watch really is fabulous…I just love being able to track every single sport I have an interest in.


GPS Locator 

This is a very mundane feature to mention but one I really do feel is worth a dedicated section to. You know how annoying it is when you’re waiting for your watch to pick up a signal? This isn’t a problem with the Suunto Spartan Ultra. With previous watches there have been times where I could have run my first mile in the time I had to wait for satellites to be located (I’m really not joking), and so it is incredibly refreshing to hit start and have things ready to go in a matter of seconds.

Battery Life

Another slightly dull technical feature to mention as something I love however anyone who takes part in endurance sports will understand the struggle of your watch dying at a critical moment. I tend to train 6 days a week at about 1-2 hours duration on each day and I have only had to recharge my watch once per week, and even then it still had a decent percentage of battery life left in it. Although I’m not a marathon or ultra runner, I suspect this watch would be a dream for you (in fact, my ultra-running uncle uses a different model in the Suunto range and he thinks his watch is brilliant too).

Display Screen

The display on the watch is also pretty impressive, it has a sapphire glass colour display which feels really durable. The screen is incredibly easy to read, even in bright light which was something I struggled with when trying to read my previous GPS. Another benefit of the large screen is that the information displayed when tracking a sport is big and bold so you don’t need to spend ages looking at your wrist to get a general idea of where you’re at. It also feels like a bit of a treat having a colour display – I don’t know why this should make a difference, but it just feels that little bit more sophisticated and like it’s ahead of its competitors in this respect. Whilst the default screen is a clock (very handy!) it is really easy to navigate up and down to get to where you want to be within the menu, it also has a rather aesthetically pleased tally and colour-coded breakdown of all the activity you have done in that particular week.


Suunto uses a platform called Movescount to keep track of your activity, and as well as the web platform there is also an app which is really easy to download and use. At first I was a little apprehensive – I’ve always been a Strava lover and moving to Movescount would mean I would lose my followers and wouldn’t be earning any Queen of the Mountains (fellow Strava-lovers will appreciate the importance of this…). Well, it turns out I love Movescount. I could of course export my files and reupload them to Strava to get 100% stat-tracking satisfaction, but actually I am perfectly happy with what Movescount provides.Within the app I can create videos of my routes (which you will have seen if you follow me on Twitter)…I personally love this feature and wish I was an ultra runner so my videos could be that much cooler. But still, I created a video from running in Paris and from sailing out to the Maunsell Forts so have had my fair share of fun. I’m planning to create a video of my triathlon too and am really keen to see how that turns out. I also love the heat maps within the web platform and how stylish and clean the site is.


General Fitness Tracker

I have never really been into the whole ‘wear a fitness tracker in daily life’ trend and subsequently have not bought one of these, however I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Suunto Spartan Ultra could also double up as a fitness tracker and could tell me how many steps a day I was taking. I only tried this for one day, because, if I’m honest I really don’t feel the need to track my steps because I know that I am far more physically active than most people and also because a sports watch doesn’t really fit in with the clothes I would wear to work. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many steps I took on an average day in a sedentary office based job and take comfort in the fact that if for some reason I had to stop exercising, I would still be a relatively healthy and active human being.


I would really like the Suunto Spartan Ultra to autopause when I stop during a workout. As a blogger (and I am sure many of you can relate to this) I occasionally stop to take a photo whilst out and about, and whilst it isn’t a huge issue having to stop the watch each time it would be helpful if the watch could pause itself when no movement is detected. I am yet to find a device that does this but it really would be something that would convince me to invest in a product…the same issue also applies to waiting at traffic lights too. And don’t even get me started on the distress of forgetting to restart your watch.  The other slight issue I had was just before heading out sailing; I had lined the watch up ready to start tracking that particular activity but didn’t want to press start as I was still rigging my boat. But low and behold, it started automatically after a minute or so of waiting for me to get moving which meant I then had to restart the watch when I realised upon launching and had a workout that I needed to delete once home and uploaded onto Movescount. Again, this isn’t a huge issue but was a slight inconvenience at the time as I hadn’t deleted a workout at that point and was worried it would mess up my stats. I am also an Android user so haven’t been able to pair my phone directly with my device, although apparently a software update is being released at the end of this month which will fix this issue.

Would I recommend? 

Oh, wholeheartedly YES! I absolutely adore this watch and feel like it has become quite a trusted friend throughout this month of training. At the moment the positives of the watch far outweigh the very few negatives and I feel like it would be a great watch for someone who enjoys taking part in multiple sports.

The watch I have retails at £519 which I feel would be prohibitive for people who just like to go for an occasional run and would not recommend it as an entry-level device, but if you are a serious endurance athlete then this is certainly a model you should consider.



Strava: Strive

Longtime no post, whoops.

After the Oysterman Triathlon I sort of lost my motivation for all things triathlon…I still absolutely adore the sport and am completing my training religiously, but I have definitely reached that stage of mental and physical fatigue and am looking forward to a bit of a break. Hever Castle Triathlon is this weekend so my training for the week is a little lighter than usual, this is also my last race of the year and whilst it has been an interesting year where I have learnt to push myself through barriers I didn’t even know existed, I really am looking forward to a few months without racing (my next race is 5th Feburary 2017!).

A big part of this loss of motivation is because I’m ridiculously injured so training and racing physically hurts, but I’m hoping these injuries will clear up over the autumn and winter with reduced training and a bit of bio-mechanical work. The other part is that I crammed my race schedule with too much and that took some of the fun away – lesson learnt for next year. I have also felt far less inclined to document my training on social media because even I get sick of that world sometimes.

Whilst I’ve been in this little funk, I have been following the Strava Strive videos and slowly but surely have felt better about myself and the effort I’m putting in. The concept behind this initiative, in Strava’s words: ‘Being an athlete is simple – all you have to do is strive‘, essentially just you, doing your own thing, at your own pace, is enough to be an athlete. Being an athlete, at any level and with any distance, requires courage, determination, enthusiasm and a general bonne humeur, and these videos really do highlight that attitude.

So if you ever have moments of self-doubt whilst on your journey as an athlete, watch one of their videos and take pride in how far you’ve come and how much is still ahead. Also, the videos are beautifully shot and really do help to remind you that being an athlete should be fun (even when deep in the pain cave).

Race Report: Oysterman Triathlon

How would I sum up my performance in the Oysterman Triathlon? Sloooooooow. Really slow.


I didn’t go into this race in the best condition unfortunately. After my last big race I developed a chest infection which lingered for 3 weeks, and as an asthmatic that sort of thing really does hinder me when it comes to training. I then had one week before Oysterman to enjoy training sans chest infection, however became ill in other ways during that week and was hit with the very sad news that my grandfather had passed away. Add to that mix the fact that my bad feet (I was diagnosed with hyperextension in early summer and spend most days in pain) flared up three days before the race, and involved me trying to force my toes to dislocate so I could re-set them on race-mas eve, and well, you pretty much have a race that shouldn’t happen.

But it did happen, and boy am I glad it did, because…I got to race with my family! Whilst my uncle was off running an ultramarathon nearby (he’s a modern-day superman), Bex and Sam tackled the triathlon with me. I liked to think that Bex and I were the female version of the Brownlee brothers. However in reality, whilst Bex is very hardcore, I am far less focussed and spent most of the race just enjoying the scenery.


I think the swim was my favourite part of the race, although I really did enjoy all elements of it. Sea swimming is one of my favourite activities in life and although I consciously recognise that my technique becomes pretty poor when swimming in the sea I find it incredibly soothing (perhaps not quite the feeling you’re aiming for when racing…). Despite the fact that there was a really strong tide on the day and some rolling waves forcing us back on the longest stretch of the swim, my time was actually quicker than in the aquathlon – and it was 100m further too. On the whole I was rather pleased with the swim however the one annoying part for me was that just as I had broken away from the group I had been comfortably swimming with and headed towards the last buoy before swimming back into the beach, that group were told they no longer had to swim around the buoy. Whilst I am really pleased that I swam the entire course, I was annoyed that at least 10 people left the water having swam approximately 75m less than me. I did still leave the water before them though so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

Unfortunately de-wetsuiting became a bit of an ordeal. I had been distracted in transition when preparing for the swim so didn’t vaseline my wrists and ankles properly and so inevitably I got stuck. I’ve only included one photo of me exiting the water whilst struggling with my arms as there are already far too many photos in this post, however trust me when I say I have a whole sequence of me pulling weird faces whilst my monkey limbs were flailing about. Still, I eventually managed to free my arms on the run up to transition, and then had the exact same problem with my legs. Unfortunately this meant transition 1 was still a good 4 minutes for me but soon enough I was out on the bike.IMG_2577IMG_2604IMG_2606IMG_2614IMG_2623IMG_2633IMG_2650IMG_2654

The bike was 20K out into the surrounding countryside plus a busy carriageway. My method of fuelling for this race was to have two sachets of baby food whilst on the bike as I can’t really stomach gels and thought baby food would be better than nothing. I actually only ended up picking up one sachet in transition though and soon realised I hadn’t actually secured it properly in the pocket of my tri suit. I heard something hit the ground about 7K into the cycle and looked behind me hoping it wasn’t something falling off my bike, only to see that lone sachet on the floor. I wasn’t prepared to stop and pick it back up as I knew my legs would struggle to get going again if I stopped, so I chose to carry on and forget about fuelling.

Again, I really enjoyed myself on the bike. There were strong headwinds for approximately 60% of it which is something I really struggle with as I don’t have the same power behind me that other athletes do (something I’m determined to work on for next year) but I spent the whole time smiling and not once did I allow anything negative to creep into my mind. The only thing I was worried about was encountering any mechanical issues or a puncture as I had deliberately left my tools at home and knew that if I did get a puncture it would be game over for me. There was one stretch of road which we had to cycle twice and had smashed glass in a few spots at the side, so I became very paranoid about this and made sure I cycled towards the middle of the road whenever passing it. By the time we were on the bikes it was about 7.45am and so the roads, despite being open, were relatively traffic-free and easy to cycle on.

I do recall having multiple conversations with my bike on the route – I really like to talk to myself when cycling. Anyone else do that? IMG_2682IMG_2691IMG_2699IMG_2700

Unfortunately the run for me really let me down. I knew that I would be struggling by this point because of my feet, but had no idea just how much pain I would end up in. The run route was one I was fairly familiar with as it was almost identical to the Whitstable Park Run which I occasionally do. But even being able to visualise the route did nothing to help me get through the run. I had to really dig deep in order to finish as I didn’t want a DNF in this race…plus despite the pain, I was having a really good time.

Eventually I crossed the finish line with my usual sprint finish and heaved a sigh of relief whilst giving high fives and hugs to my husband, Bex and Sam. I had told everyone the evening beforehand that I wanted to come in under 2 hours. My time? 1 hour 59 minutes and 27 seconds. So whilst this really wasn’t my perfect race, I managed to achieve my time goal and left feeling satisfied in the knowledge that I had given all I could possibly give on that day, despite the fact that it wasn’t my best.

Hever Castle Triathlon is my next race in three weeks and after that I will be hanging up my running shoes for 5 weeks to try and fix my feet properly. But until then, training resumes at full pace because Hever is my A race of the season and I have high hopes for my performance.


I should also say a huge thank you to my wonderful husband who wakes up at 5am to take me to my races and then spends hours stood up taking photographs of us all. He’s a hero!

Holiday Training

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Okay, so perhaps the title of this blog post is a little misleading. I had intended to do plenty of training whilst taking a much-needed holiday to Greece to spend quality time with my husband, my parents and the islanders who have watched me grow up from a little girl into an almost-30 year old. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to cycle out there, but knew I could fit in three runs each week and would be doing a lot of sea swimming in between sailing around the Sporades and pool sessions back on the island.

Oh how good my intentions were.

What happened? Well, not a lot unfortunately. In the days leading up to the holiday I was mentally and physically drained…I literally had nothing left to give and just needed an opportunity to switch off. We arrived in Greece and headed straight to the pool where I was disciplined enough for the first few days to follow part of my training plan and practice my drills and tumble turns. I also encouraged my husband to get involved and was teaching him how to swim crawl properly (although I’m by no means an expert but have learnt a lot since attending a weekly swimfit class). I had no motivation to run during this time though, and despite re-reading one of my all-time favourite books; Queen Chrissie’s ‘A Life Without Limits’, all I could think about was how unhappy I was in my training and how I hated triathlon at that moment in time. Reading Chrissie Wellington’s words about how exciting she found the sport and her rise to the top would usually inspire me, but as those first few days of the holiday passed I was seriously considering emailing my coach and dropping out.

I thought perhaps I would either pull out of all my races for the rest of this year, or still continue with the races but coach myself and take a much less-structured approach to training…just training for enjoyment and the love of triathlon, more than anything else. I was just so confused as to what I actually wanted from this year and from myself.
13653187_10208796761789018_3920653840792075234_o13668936_10208796764989098_3156032763638381062_oDCIM106GOPRO DCIM106GOPRO13667748_10208796722988048_8216103196822720151_oDCIM106GOPRODCIM106GOPRO Luckily after four or five days I pulled myself out of my funk. I realised that on those days where we were at a pool, the people on the sides were watching us when we were in the water because actually we weren’t just doing a bit of lazy swimming – we looked like we knew what we were doing and swimming was ‘our sport’ (perhaps helped by the fact that we were doing tricep dips whilst lowering ourselves into the pool), I also got a bit of a kick out of the fact that I won every swimming race my husband and I had. I started to relax and allowed my love for swimming for the sake of swimming to return. We also did a huge amount of sea swimming and snorkelling which is when I’m in my absolute element. Taking our yacht out to explore the deep waters of the Aegean is nothing short of magnificent and something I will never grow bored of, but fun factor aside, swimming in open water is also a fantastic workout and one which I could just enjoy without putting any further pressure on myself.

And so by week two, my mental strength had returned and I made the conscious decision to continue not running until I arrived back in the UK just so I could make sure I wasn’t pushing myself too hard before I was ready to take everything back on again. This ended up being a rather good plan as by the end of the holiday I was itching to put my running shoes on and hit my usual routes. Even more excitedly, when I eventually did land back in England I had a new pair of running shoes waiting for me which ASICS had sent to review – and we all know that there is nothing more motivating than a new pair of running shoes.

And so, whilst writing this, I am fairly confident in saying that I think I have my training mojo back and am ready to enjoy my events. I’ve come back from Greece feeling refreshed, relaxed and refocused which were all things I was severely lacking in over the past month or so. I think that part of my problem is that, even though my coach is absolutely brilliant, being coached is probably not the right thing for me (although I have decided to stick with it for the rest of this year!). I’m an utter control freak and that includes being in control of the training I want to do – now I know that won’t make me a good triathlete and it is only with coaching I can reach my full potential. But actually, maybe I don’t want to reach my full potential…maybe full potential isn’t actually worth sacrificing your happiness for, and perhaps being completely consumed by training and nutrition isn’t something that is particularly useful for me at this stage in my life. Perhaps there’s more to life like just enjoying a bike ride for the pure enjoyment of feeling the wind in your hair with the sun shining down on you and stopping for an ice cream mid-ride. Perhaps the medals and glory really aren’t worth it after all and it’s simply having fun that counts (oh my gosh, did I actually just type that…who am I and where’s the real Victoria?!).

To add a bit of balance to this post though, and to completely contradict what I have just written in the above paragraph, I did also tell my husband at the end of my holiday that I wanted to be a Team GB triathlete by the time I’m 30. So I guess the old competitive Victoria hasn’t really gone away. And now that my goal is clearly written down in this little part of the internet, I should probably start formulating a plan as to how I’m going to turn this into a reality. Told you I was confused.

First Sea Swim of the Year


Last week I decided to embark on my first sea swim of the year with two colleagues. We had been planning the swim for about two weeks and were desperately hoping for some lovely sunshine and warm weather. Of course, as the day crept nearer and my obsession with refreshing the BBC Weather website grew, I knew that sunshine would unfortunately not be happening and that the air temperature would be rather cold. I had already tested the water temperature earlier that week though and was pleasantly surprised to find it fairly comfortable.

I woke up to really grey and drizzly skies on the morning of sea swim day and ventured into work in thick tights and a jumper. I should also add that I hadn’t been well the two days previous and was still feeling pretty drained. As soon as I got to work I put on my extra heater that transforms my office into the tropics and treated myself to a hot chocolate at lunch time for a much needed sugar boost. I felt determined to swim, no matter what (even the Daily Mail’s horror stories couldn’t put me off).  It was just 11’C outside and we were committed.

We met at my house after work to get changed into our wetsuits and then walked down to the beach – it was only a two minute journey and actually felt very pleasant at this point – it’s amazing how much warmer you feel in neoprene. After leaving our towels in a pile on the beach we took a quick pre-swim selfie where we all looked warm, happy and raring to go, and then walked into the water. Again, none of us were overly shocked by the water temperature when we first started to walk in. In fact, up to my knees it really was quite refreshing…but then you know the dreaded dunk is about to happen. Usually I’m the type of person that will dither around for ages trying to acclimatise to the water temperature – but we were all rather excited and buzzing off the adrenaline, plus peer-pressure took over and there was no way that I would let the team down. Within 20 seconds, we were all in and fully submerged…and still not feeling particularly cold.

When I organised the swim I said it would be more of a splash to get used to swimming in our wetsuits, but once we were in the water I felt like we should make the most of it so pointed out a sign further along the coast (which no one else could actually see…probably not great for morale!) and off we swam. The tide worked to our advantage on the way there although we all took to swimming breast stroke rather than front crawl, which I think is completely fine given the fact it was our first swim. We also swam at a pace where we could talk to each other…it was really quite leisurely and enjoyable. About half way into the swim we all started asking each other if we were feeling cold, and whilst we weren’t necessarily feeling the effects of the cold at that point, our hands were starting to turn odd shades of white and blue.

We soon reached the sign and then turned around to swim back…this was when the challenge really began. The tide was against us which made the swim back so much more difficult – we also couldn’t spot which part of the beach we had left our stuff on…okay, so perhaps I made us swim a bit further than we should have. But I always like to push myself as far as possible. We were beginning to feel the cold by this point too – you know when you get one of those really big shivers running through your body? I had that probably ever minute or so which incentivised me to swim faster, but swimming faster when the tide is pulling you backwards means you don’t actually get anywhere quicker. It felt like we were swimming for ages on the way back, but eventually we were back on the beach we started at and took our post-swim selfie.

We had swam for about an hour which I’m amazed by as I only ever intended it to be a 30 minute swim (we guessed that we had swam approximately 500m but when I went back to Strava the distance during my run the following day it turned out to be 900m!). Despite the swim back feeling tough, we had made it and it was definitely one of those moments where you felt so proud of yourself. Of course then we had to climb back up to the house…this was where the challenge really began for me. After getting out of the water I started to get very cold but couldn’t bring myself to take my wetsuit off as I thought it might keep me a bit warmer on the walk home. Half way up the steps of doom I had to stop and just huddle myself into my knees to try and muster up some strength to continue the climb – my lips were a bit blue at this point and I wasn’t sure if it was the cold or just generally not being well that was affecting me. Eventually we made it back up to the house and after waiting a few minutes to allow my body to adjust to the indoor temperature I enjoyed the longest shower known to mankind which was incredibly restorative.

I’m already looking forward to the next sea swim…I just hope it’s sunny next time!


A Weekend of Cycling


Victoria’s recap:

Last weekend my husband drove off to Wales with the boat and kayaks for a week of adventures with his friends. Knowing I had a free weekend, I messaged Sahdya to see if she fancied coming down to Kent for some cycling. Sahdya agreed and a plan was soon hatched to have as much fun on two wheels as possible.

Luckily Sahdya knows how to cycle, although because she doesn’t currently own a bike her only recent experience has been riding a ‘Boris Bike’ – not the easiest way to get around the city, but still plenty of fun. After meeting at the train station we had a quick healthy brunch (kale scramble for me, as usual) before hopping on the bikes and cycling along the coast to Whitstable. I always think a good bike ride is marked by the snacks you can incorporate whilst out and about, and the sole purpose of cycling to Whitstable was for a delicious ice cream from Sundae Sundae. Needless to say my salted caramel did not disappoint, and the ice cream man even put a chocolate star on the top, much to my delight. We then cycled back along the coast with a nice tail wind which carried us home quite quickly, before having a thoroughly indulgent evening eating pasta and watching The West Wing.


We woke up early on Sunday morning knowing that we only had a short break in the weather where it would be dry, and after fuelling up on croissants and green juice (which unintentionally ended up being the same colour as my Bianchi) headed back out on the bikes, this time into the countryside. We must have crossed paths with about 15 other cyclists and everyone we passed gave a cheerful ‘good morning’, I also had a man tell me how much he loved my Bianchi which left me feeling like a very proud parent. Yes, Edoardo the Bianchi is beautiful, and yes, I love him dearly. Whilst Sunday was a shorter cycle, it had quite a few hills to contend with which wasn’t the most comfortable on a hamstring injury I sustained last week, but still, hills are always good practice for race day.

All in all, a thoroughly fun and active weekend – we really made the most of being outdoors, even if the weather wasn’t as lovely as I had hoped!

Sahdya’s recap:

This time last weekend I was cycling along the coast with Victoria. It was such a fun weekend filled with delicious food, cycling, and The West Wing all with the best company J I haven’t owned a bike since I was 11 but I have ridden a bike since for leisure. Living in London I have used the “Boris bikes” a couple of times in Hyde Park but I’ve never dared venture out onto the roads despite doing a cycling course several years ago as cycling on the roads of London seems quite scary (coming from the woman who has lived in Afghanistan and Palestine!) When Victoria invited me to stay a month ago little did I know that she had a weekend of cycling in store although having been friends for five years now I knew some form of exercise would be included along with cake and Earl Grey tea of course!

Victoria and I not only cycled along the coast but in the countryside too and on both days we were blessed with sunny weather. The great thing about exercising with Victoria is that you never feel like you are exercising! Having run a 10k together in January and now having cycled together I’ve been thinking the past few days that Victoria is responsible for changing my attitude to exercise. I used to exercise begrudgingly but since knowing Victoria I’ve come to realise that it can be fun. It’s all about finding out what kind of exercise you enjoy doing that way when you are exercising you don’t feel like you are at all!

So, what did I learn about cycling last weekend? Well, I learnt that it sure is hard work! It looks easy but you definitely need strength and stamina especially when you’re riding up hills and you can feel your legs burning. However, you are compensated with the descent; one of the joys of cycling I discovered. What kept me going on both days was the scenery which was beautiful, an ice-cream on Saturday halfway during our cycle and fuelling up with an almond croissant, half a chocolate and almond swirl and a kale, banana and kiwi smoothie on Sunday morning. One of the many things Victoria and I agree on is not depriving yourself of such food but eating it in moderation and then exercising to burn the calories!

Oh, and what else did I learn? That you definitely need to wear padded shorts unless you want your butt to hurt like hell afterwards!

There is nothing better than exercising outdoors. In fact whilst I was staying with Victoria she managed to persuade me to sign up to the City of London Mile road race which will be what my next blog post is about!


Destination Running: New York City


Most people know just how much I love destination running, whether that be for a race or just to keep on top of training, and New York did not disappoint. I started my work trip in a rather uninspiring part of New Jersey but still managed to fit in a run (even if it did mean running laps of a Walmart carpark…) but once I moved back into NYC the fun really began.

I was working ridiculous hours but decided to run commute between my places of work during the week which meant I avoided the subway and enjoyed the glorious weather which was in the low twenties whilst I was there. The last time I was in the city it was the middle of winter and I was permanently frozen so this felt like quite a treat, especially as I knew temperatures in the UK were awful so it was nice to escape the chill for a bit.

One of my most memorable runs was on my one and only day off with my friend Sarah who lives in NYC. Sarah knew that I wanted to run the Brooklyn Bridge whilst I was in the city so we agreed to meet up on the Friday morning on the Manhattan side of the bridge, then run across, before exploring the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. Of course the bridge was ridiculously busy with tourists but we still had a fantastic time and I honestly could not have been happier running across such an iconic site with the sun shining down on me and in the company of a great friend. We then had lunch at Friend of a Farmer before heading back to Manhattan. I decided to run back from the World Trade Center to 41st Street where I was staying which meant I could get a really good mileage under my belt for that day.

There really is nothing better than destination running – it’s such an easy way to see so many iconic sites in one go!