Full body gym workout

I thought I’d share a recent full body workout I filmed the other weekend for you! It’s gym based and is part of the second phase of my current gym programme.

Below is the full video, showing most of the exercises minus the core and calf work. I’ve also written the full session below if you want to give it a go! If you haven’t done any of these movements before though, there are plenty of progressions and I’d always advise asking a trained professional to talk you through the movement to ensure your form is on point! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask 🙂

 

Hannah’s Happy Pace Full Body Gym Workout:

Power clean & Jerk 4 x 4

Deadlifts 3 x 6

Bulgarian Split Squat 3 x 8
Barbell Bench Press 3 x 8
Dumbbell Incline Bench Row 3 x 12

Candlestick/Dragon Fly Progressions 3 x 3-6
Single Leg Eccentric Calf Raise 3 x 15
Seated Bent Leg Calf Raise 3 x 15

 

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Learning to Olympic lift again

A few years ago I started Crossfit, and loved it! However, trying to keep up with Crossfit Wods and marathon training proved too much, and so sadly it had to go. What went with it was learning to Olympic lift.

Without anyone at the gym to coach me, I felt it was too tricky, and dangerous, to try and teach myself! However, I’ve wanted to get back into it for ages as I really enjoyed it and wanted to add it in to my training sessions for power and strength, as well as to learn a new skill.

So finally, almost a year-and-a-half later, I’m learning again!

I’ve started with push jerks and split jerks and have also begun perfecting my power clean technique. I’d forgotten how beautifully frustrating it was, if that makes sense?! It’s like any lift I guess, or any session in the gym, you want to lift more and get better and when you do, it’s so satisfying!

I’ve posted a few videos below. I’m aware that my technique needs a lot of work, especially on my clean, but hey, I’ll get there!


If you’d like to learn to Olympic lift, or want to perfect your technique, I’d always recommend getting a proper coach to help you so that you learn the correct technique and how best to build it in to your training.

If you’ve got any tips for me I’d love to hear them too!

My week in training 29 Feb – 6 March

my week in training

Monday:
Rest day! If I do a long run on a Sunday I’ll usually always have Monday as a rest day. Sunday’s run was a mix of fast paces for 14miles in the lovely Yorkshire sunshine. My legs felt fine on Monday but it’s always nice to have a sleep in rather than a 5.30am gym start isn’t it!?

Tuesday:
I trained at the gym this morning and got to try out my new lifters! They were an absolute bargain by the way, £29 from £90 – how could I resist!
At the minute, I lift twice a week minimum and follow a programme which changes every three weeks. On each three week programme, the sets and reps change every week but the session remains the same. Today’s session was made up of back squats, front foot elevated split squats and single leg deadlifts, with some supersets, core, calf and glute work thrown in, too. This was actually one of the best sessions I’d had in ages, legs felt strong and I had a lot of energy.
The energy was still there after work which was good as I had a run planned. I  had to do a 10k made up of 5mins at 10k pace with 1 minute recovery jogs in between. I finished in 43minutes and 21 seconds which I was thrilled with after a heavy strength session.

Wednesday:
Another early morning gym session, this time made up of sumo deadlifts, bench press, bent over rows, step ups and then a serious booty blaster, but more on that in another blog post! I was literally shaking afterwards – what a sesh! My second breakfast was definitely needed after that!

Thursday:
Track Thursday this evening! Headed back to the gym to do my speed session which was a mix of paces held for either 2 minutes, 1 minute or 30 seconds, with the rest periods getting shorter each time. I was sweatttyyyy afterwards and beyond ready for my dinner but it was a good session although in all honesty I probably didn’t work as hard as I could’ve done.

Friday:
Rest day! Woohooo! I started work at 7.30am this morning so no early gym session. I also had a long run planned for Saturday and a friend from uni coming over so my workout was basically cleaning the house quickly before she arrived!

Friday night dinner & drinks!

Friday night dinner & drinks!

Saturday:
After a delicious meal out on Friday, my friend Liv (who is also training for London) and I got up to run out to the peaks. Huge bowls of porridge later and backpacks (well, for me) at the ready and we were off. Well, I think it’s safe to say we experienced every weather possible on this run from snow at mile 3 to wind rain, sunshine and finally hailstones at mile 15! 16.63 miles later and we were done. The route was stunning and even though I thought I was actually going to get trench foot from the mud and water at one point, I felt like I was Bear Grylls’ sidekick! Check out these  pictures below!

peaks 1 peaks 2

Sunday:
My legs felt fine and I floated the idea of an easy paced run or going to the gym but in all honesty I think I was still drunk from the night before!! Had a fantastic night out on Saturday with Liv and my friend Hannah with a solid 3 hours of dancing and plenty of drinks. It’s alllll about balance…so here’s a picture of Sunday brunch at my favourite spot in Sheffield.

Sunday brunch

Ready to take on next week now! Only 7 weeks to go…!

🙂

Glute & core conditioning circuit for runners

main pic 1

It’s a well-known fact that runners need a strong core and solid glutes to help maximise running economy. Most physiotherapists and strength and conditioning coaches will advise doing various exercises to help keep your core and glutes strong in order to help prevent injuries as well. Not only that, but these areas of the body, particularly in running, support your every move.

When we run, our glutes keep our pelvis level and propel us forward as we drive one foot in front of the other. Strong glutes will help you to generate a more powerful stride though a strong hip extension.

If your hips are wobbly or your core is weak, you’re wasting valuable running energy through those areas. That wasted energy should be put into getting a greater stride which can ultimately help you get faster!

As part of my strength sessions I do a core and a glute circuit as accessory work to compliment the rest of my strength work and running sessions. I like to think of it as part of my general body maintenance.

I do 3 sets of each circuit and between 12-15 reps for each exercise.

I’ve detailed them below, give them a try and let me know what you think!

Glute circuit:3 sets of 12-15 reps each leg. Do all of the exercises on one leg before switching to the other leg. 

Side lying clams:
clams 1
Lie on your side and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle/just under. Keeping your feet together, hinge and lift your knee up as far as you can. Squeeze the glute to keep it engaged and try to keep your hips facing forwards as much as possible.

Side lying straight leg raise:
hip lift 1
Lie on one side with your legs out straight. Rotating the foot slightly to engage the glutes, lift the top leg up as high as you can until you feel it in your glute. Lower it back down slowly and that’s one rep.

Prone hip extensions:
prone hip 1
Lying on your front, place either a rolled up towel or rolled up yoga mat underneath your hips. Bend one leg to a 90 degree angle and leading through your heel, lift your leg up and squeeze your glute at the top before lowering back down slowly.

Side lying recovery position leg lifts:
recovery lift 1
Lie on your side once again and put your leg across your body in a 90 degree angle, similar to the recovery position. Lift your leg up so it’s level with your hip again before lowering back down. That’s one rep.

Single leg hip lift:
hip lift 2
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to the floor about hip width apart. Take one leg off the ground and straighten it completely before lifting your hips up, driving through the heel of your foot that’s still on the floor. Finish the movement at the top by squeezing the glutes before lowering down to start the next rep.

Donkey kick:
donkey kick 1
Start with your hands and knees about hip width apart and then lift one leg up, keeping it bent at a 90 degree angle. Push through your heel and squeeze your glutes at the top. Really concentrate on squeezing your glutes and using hip extension to lift the leg rather just swinging it up and down aimlessly.

Now on to the core circuit. Do 3 sets of between 12-15 reps. I use a Swiss ball for this circuit but you could also use valslides or a TRX.

Swiss ball pikes:
pikes
Start in a plank position with your feet on top of the Swiss ball. Using your core, keep your legs as straight as possible and try to pull your feet towards you as you bend at the hips, so that your hips are stacked over your shoulders.

Swiss ball knee tucks:
knee tucks
Start in the plank position with your feet on the ball once again. Similar to a pike, use your core to bring your knees in as close to your chest as possible before rolling back out to the plank position again. As you roll back out, try not to let your back arch, keep a hollow body position by tilting your pelvis.

Swiss ball mountain climbers:
mountain climbers
These are harder than they look, trust me! You can do mountain climbers with or without a Swiss ball but add the Swiss ball for an extra challenge. When using the Swiss ball to do mountain climbers the key is to keep that hollow body position and bring your knees in slowly in a controlled manner until your knee touches the ball.

Swiss ball hamstring curls:
hammy curls
Lie on your back and straighten your legs out, putting your feet on top of the Swiss ball to lift your hips. Keep your hips lifted as high as possible and engaging your hamstrings and core, bring the ball in slowly towards your bum. Roll out until your legs are straight again, keeping your hips lifted for the whole rep.

Come Dine With Us challenge – part 1

Come dine with me 5

It’s no secret that I love food and I love to cook, so when one of Dane’s friends suggested doing a Come Dine With Me style evening with a group of us I thought it was a brilliant idea.

We were the first to host, and after toying with the idea of doing some sort of roast/Christmas dinner, we settled on a somewhat Spanish themed evening and decided to make lots of different tapas style dishes. come dine with me 1

We love tapas and Spanish food in general and took inspiration from my favourite restaurant in York, Ambiente Tapas. They also have a restaurant in Leeds so check them out if you live up north! Dane also has family friends who live in Gran Canaria and has spent a lot of time there, which is why he was in charge of the Spanish tortilla and the “wrinkly” potatoes on the menu. I think the potatoes were actually one of everybody’s favourite dishes throughout the evening, but more about the menu to come later in this post.

The Spanish tortilla

The Spanish tortilla

I’d been working until midnight the evening before so preparation began at 11am sharp the next morning and I’m not joking when I say we were in the kitchen all day!

Although there was no £1,000 cash prize at stake like in the real Channel 4 show, Dane and I still wanted to win, so it was all hands on deck to make sure we prepared some awesome tapas and equally brilliant entertainment.

Our guests weren’t arriving until about 7.30pm that evening so we used the day to prepare as much as we could. We made the desserts first before moving on to the dishes that could be served cold. We prepped the wrinkly potatoes along with a hot sauce to accompany them and fried some other potatoes ready to make the Spanish tortilla later.

The 'wrinkly' potatoes with hot mojo sauce & the dates with bacon

The ‘wrinkly’ potatoes with hot mojo sauce & the dates with bacon

Aside from the food we also prepared the entertainment. We decided to do some couples head to head challenges including a Mr and Mrs style quiz like the TV programme. We decorated paddles and wrote different sets of questions specific to each couple and decided we’d ask them to write some for us when they arrived. We also did Heads Up and the Malteser game. For the Malteser game you have about 8 Maltesers on a plate at one side of the room and using just a straw you have to get them into a glass at the other side of the room. The final game was who could build the tallest and most solid structure out of raw spaghetti and marshmallows in just five minutes – let me tell you, that five minutes goes quickly!

We made the remainder of the food just before the guests arrived and had a paella cooking while we tucked in to a little starter of olives, meats and breads.

Our Spanish inspired menu

Our Spanish inspired menu

The paella

The paella

Here’s our menu in more detail:
– Board of olives, Spanish meats, cheese, bread and various dips
– Chorizo & prawn skewers which were made up of chorizo, prawns, red onion, pepper and courgette
– Judias Verdes which is essentially greens pan-fried in garlic butter, toasted pine nuts and sundried tomatoes. The greens we used were tenderstem broccoli and green beans.
– Chicken and seafood paella
– A classic Spanish tortilla
– Canarian “wrinkly” potatoes with hot mojo sauce
– Datille con bacon (dates with bacon!) on a bed of rocket. We removed the stone from the dates before stuffing them with a blanched almond, wrapping them in bacon and pan frying them. They are amazing!
– Pudding was a chocolate orange brownie (the world’s best brownie!!) served with Yorkshire ice cream or a banoffee cheesecake.

Come dine with me 8 Come dine with me 6

The PUDDINGS!!!! :D

The PUDDINGS!!!! 😀

We have been given marks but we won’t see them until the other two couples have hosted their dinner party. After each evening you record your thoughts/scores in a video on your phone and keep it until the end of the competition – looking forward to seeing those already!

All in all it was a fantastic evening and we had a lot of fun! I’ll admit, we did get somewhat stressed during the day but when you’re actually sat down and enjoying the food you forget about all of that. Cooking for other people is definitely something I want to do more of in 2016 so watch this space!

The next installment of Come Dine With Us will be held next month so I’ll post about their menu afterwards.

If you’d like the recipe for any of the dishes made just comment below or Tweet me @HannahBryan91 or on Instagram @HBryan91 and I’ll post them for you!

🙂

A brief training update & tips to maximise your training time

While I don’t like to start with an apology, I feel this post needs one. So firstly, I apologise for the lack of posts recently. In the last two months I’ve moved to a new city and started a new job – life has been hectic to say the least! With the love of a new job to keep me occupied, I’ve found that my priorities have shifted and as a result, training has taken a back seat.

I’ve been more than happy with this, much to my surprise, but with a marathon on the horizon and the drive to hit a new PB, I’m having to adapt my training slightly and make the most of the sessions I can do.

When you’re following a structured or dedicated training plan, it’s inevitable that aspects of life such as your job, house or a family, may mean sticking to that plan isn’t always possible. I thought I’d use this post to give you a quick training update and list a few of my top time saving tips to help you fit training in and make the most of training time.

squats

At the minute, my strength training programme is pretty much the same every week, for four weeks. I’m incredibly lucky that I have Dane to write me a new strength programme every month. At the minute I’m doing two strength sessions a week and I love knowing what I’m going to be doing every time I walk into the gym, for me it just means I get on with it instead of faffing about! The first session is made up of squats, rows, split squats, core exercises, calf work and stiff leg deadlifts. The second session involves sumo deadlifts, dumbbell step ups, more core work,calf work and hip thrusts. At the end of every session I do a glute circuit, which I’ll blog for you with some videos at some point.

gym1

Now on to the running! The road to London Marathon is a long one, so I’m mindful of pacing myself. I’ve been doing a speed session once a week (last week I did 800m repeats with a 200m walking rest period in between) and then a couple of recovery runs, one longer one and a tempo one.

track

As I mentioned earlier though, if something comes up at work or with my friends/family, then that schedule can change. Some people train with the mindset that it’s NEVER ok to miss training but personally I think that’s an unhealthy attitude to have. My training for the Berlin marathon definitely taught me the importance of balance!

So here’s a couple of my top tips on how to maximise your training time and fit it in to a busy schedule:

  1. Schedule training in the same way as you would with a dinner date. Drafting in a training buddy is beneficial in so many ways but if you use training time as a way to catch up with someone at the same time then you’re more likely to make sure you fit it in. The other evening, Dane and I wanted to see each other, but I also needed to train and eat so we ran to a restaurant!
  2. Utilise your lunch hour. I get 30 minutes at lunch which isn’t enough time to get a run in and eat, but it’s definitely long enough to get outside and stretch my legs. Getting some fresh air will not only rejuvinate you for the afternoon but can help fire you up for training later in the day. On the other hand, if you don’t get time to train, at least you’ve been out at lunch to stretch your legs and will feel far less sluggish in the afternoon.
  3. Make your quality sessions count. On days where you can afford to do a good session, find the motivation to do it. This is beneficial not only physically but provides you with some mental relief from the pressure of a structured training schedule. If you finish early one day at work for example, or don’t start until later, then make that the day of the week when you’ll do your biggest session. If the rest of the week doesn’t go to plan then at least you’ve got one of your main sessions done.
  4. Be as prepped as you can possibly be. It’s such a simple thing but having your food prepped, clothes laid out and gym bags packed saves so much time and just takes that hassle out of getting ready for the gym or thinking you need to go home to get your stuff or worrying about when you’re going to eat. Having your food prepped too will also help to fuel training.food prep 1
  5. Mix up your training. Similar to booking in a date with a training buddy, booking on to a boxing, spin or another fitness class will make sure you get a good workout in using a structured time period. I find that a spin class is perfect for this. It’s 45 minutes of solid hard work and forces you to work hard throughout.
  6. If you’re worried that you won’t have time to train at all, firstly, try not to worry! If you’re really pushed for time but eager to get something done, do one or two tabata sets. Burpees, kettlebell swings and even body-weight squats are all absolute killers! Equally though, if you don’t have time to train at all, don’t worry, just look ahead to the rest of the week.

What are your time saving tips when it comes to training? Tweet me @HannahBryan or use #hannahshappypace on Instagram. Follow me on Instagram @hbryan91

🙂

How to recover after a marathon 

First things first, you’ve completed a marathon! Woohoo, congratulations, it’s a major achievement and definitely one worth celebrating! 

Before you start the celebrations though it’s important to think about how you’re going to aid your recovery after the race. Generally it takes your body 2-3 weeks to recover from a marathon and what you do in the stages after the race is just as important as what you’ve done leading up to it. Of course, recovery will vary for each runner. A seasoned marathon runner for example is more likely to recovery more quickly than someone who just completed their first 26.2 

Recovery after a marathon starts as soon as you cross that finish line. Drink something as soon as you can and eat a banana or something you’re offered as soon as you’re over the line. As hard as it may be, fight the urge to immediately collapse in a heap on the floor – don’t sit down! A walk to meet friends/family or back to your hotel or car will be good for you and will prevent you from seizing up immediately. 

Once you’re home, put your feet up and as soon as you can stomach eating get some fuel down you. Make sure there’s carbs and protein in there to start replenishing those depleted glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery. Something along the lines of a chicken pasta dish is ideal. Of course, now is the time to treat yourself to a pudding too, you’ve earned it! Listen to your body and give it what it craves, this is its way of telling you what it needs! 

Running a marathon is a huge stress on your body and after the race you are more likely to be susceptible to injury and infection as a result of that stress as well as depleted glycogen stores and dehydration. Make sure you get plenty of rest and eat healthy, balanced meals to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Think hearty, wholesome dinners, vitamin c and early nights! 

Now let’s talk about DOMs! Many people suggest an ice bath to ease muscle soreness but speaking from my own experience I don’t see it as the be all and end all. I’d recommend doing some light exercise to ease DOMs within the first few days after a marathon. This could be a gentle 30 minute walk, a slow swim or even a gentle, short bike ride to loosen up the legs. Yoga is always beneficial too. Hydration is key as well. Drink little and often after the race until you’re rehydrated (hello clear wee!) and this will help to ease muscle aches and pains by flushing out the lactic acid. A massage within a couple of days of the race can help to ease muscle soreness too. 

Post marathon blues are inevitable and trust me, they are real! My advice for beating the blues is to focus on something which isn’t running to give yourself a mental break. Now is the time to try something new that you couldn’t do before because of marathon training. Once you’ve recovered, set yourself some new and exciting running goals! 

In terms of returning to training, ease yourself back in to it and most importantly listen to your body. Try not to put pressure on yourself to get back to it before you’re ready. Try some easy pace runs to get back in to things and remember, easy pace means easy pace! Foam roll and look after yourself. 

Enjoy the recovery time, wear your medal to work and make sure everyone knows what a running superstar you are!! 

🙂 

#hannahshappypace