Since moving to London, I have made the attempt to get myself stuck into a few books. Riding the tube for a couple of hours a day proved tedious without a book in hand, plus it’s always good to fill the head with some easy brain food.
One book in particular that had caught my eye, in which I would love to share with you all, is Helen Croydon’s third book ‘This Girl Ran’.
The author is fascinating from the start, and someone who I most definitely feel I somewhat resonate with. Before all the madness of her training life, Helen was a true feminine; enjoying lavish parties, drinking fancy cocktails and looking the part. Fashion was key; think matching hand bags and shoes, however, she suddenly had an urge to change the lifestyle that she was living and take upon some new hobbies with full force. Which meant fashion came secondary to training… This girl now ran!
Strong minded and knowledgable, Helen has filled the book with snippets of motivation, words of wisdom and a ton of inspirational come-backs. Even with a few falls along the way, there were only gains from the negative experiences that she had. If you’re new to sports, a female dabbling with the idea of starting up running or are wanting a challenge to get stuck into, then this is the book for you!
When having a chat with the lovely Helen, (who I hopefully may meet at one of London’s races in the near future) we always came back to the topic of ‘women in sports‘.
This seems to be a subject that Helen is passionate about, and something in which I feel needs to be spoken about more often. Today, the percentage of women taking part in sporting activities is much greater than those of previous years, and the percentage is still growing! However, more of us need to get involved. Owning our true talents and telling the WORLD about it!
For this ‘party girl turned triathlete‘… Helen is a bit of a pro when it comes to triathlons. Personally having the idea of doing one at some point in my life, I had asked her of any ‘top tips’ that she could give me, being the novice.
So if you’re looking at starting Tri training, then here are a few pointers to look at before you begin…
- Get used to the feeling of cold water on your skin. This was the number one worry for me, and it made sense to practice properly in open waters as many times as you can. “It took a while for my body to get used to the temperature.” Helen mentions, which is why we should take a dip multiple times before going in for the real McCoy. Training in a heated pool is very different to the waters outdoors. I can assure you now!
- Don’t get caught up within the Tri-gear. There are soooooo many items to look into for your first triathlon, and it’s almost enough to put you off. Helen put me at ease by mentioning that it is great just to get the basic needs without forking out on expensive equipment. “Look for second-hand items [like] bikes, as you may only do the event once… And if you enjoy it after your first, you then can go all out on the fancy Tri equipment!” Knowledge and experience will help with those choices.
- You need at least 3/4 months to focus on building endurance. This one is a given, but as Helen describes, this is more to do with brick training (changing from one method to another). Being able to do two separate activities, one followed by another will help with you overall endurance, and in time it’ll get easier to experience those long training days.
It was great to talk to Helen, and the book was such an enjoyable read. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoy fitness, especially if you have a special love for endurance sports. So make sure you check out her website (on the highlighted links above!) for her latest (and previous) books.
Better get myself in the lido for a swim!