Day in the life…

…of me on a week day. If you follow me on twitter you will know that I am a teacher and so holidays and weekends go a little differently but Monday to Friday I follow a very set routine.

 

6:12 am – Africa by Toto starts my day not a moment later than 12 minutes past 6!

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Shower, dress, the usual. If it’s a smart day at work (i.e. no practical lessons and so I’m in a suit) you can be sure I’ll be running late as this is slower to get in to that tracksuit bottoms and a tshirt. I love a PE kit day!

6:45am  – Breakfast this is anything from overnight oats to bread and nut butter, eggs if I was quick getting changed, cereal if I was really slow. If I have had a hard session the evening before and have had a spare moment then I try to make something ready for the next morning. I spend week days dreaming of weekend pancakes.

7:10 am – Time for school

7:30 am – Arrive at school, chaos unfolds from moment one, I spend most of the time until 1:30 when lunch is trying to suppress the ever rising hunger. Numerous cups of tea might help take my mind off how starving I am but if determination is wavering then it might be the case of eating lunch at break time. Often this is of course out of ‘pre-planning from past experience’ as when one of the many lunchtime meetings arise it’s either lunch at break or lunch at 3:15, I’ll go for break time any day.

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3:15pm – So after morning meeting, assembly, two lessons, duty, two more lessons, lunch club or meeting, longest hour of the day aka P5, the kids finally stop shouting in my ear shot. Here I might have the chance to grab a snack, or of course lunch if it wasn’t eaten at break. Either way I am seriously flagging again here, before the next meeting, after school club or staff training. If it’s a snack I will have been looking forward to this since my last mouthful of lunch so I always make it good. Get Fruity bars are firm favorite. I LOVE my food and am always thinking about what I can eat next however I know this has to get me through training and out the other side to tea.

4:30 if I am very lucky, 5:30 if we have had meetings, 7:30 if it has been parents evening, options evening, presentation evening ect ect ect, I get to go home.

The rest is not so much governed by time but more energy levels and therefore my average working speed.

Make tea, this will be anything massive and filing!

Go training – This varies but a standard week includes 1 HIIT session, 1 intervals session, 1 long run, 2 swims, 1 weights/power session.

Eat tea, usually cold after training with left overs going as lunch for the next day.

Collapse in bed, sleep….

 

….and off we go again!

Asics Zero Distraction Bra Review

Asics Zero Distraction Bra

Asics have done it here! Ladies you NEED this sports bra! Zero distraction indeed, I actually forgot I was wearing it.

Now cards on the table here I am not the most well-endowed, shall we say up there and don’t really have the issue of having to keep them strapped down BUT I am that person who if the slightest thread is itching, annoying or even a hair is in my way I will notice every step of my session and couldn’t possibly think of anything else. This is a nightmare when it comes to clothes, especially new ones that I haven’t yet decided if they are ‘OK’, is it too loose, too tight? Is it itching, irritating does it move? ARGH!!

Simply put this is the best sports bra I own and it has made it to the top of the tablel in one foul-swoop after three wears. Well done Asics!

Pros –

  • Adjustable – With an adjustable back and straps this doesn’t confine you to either S, M or L. You can make it fit you.
  • Slightly padded cups – No embarrassing moments in those cold sessions, enough said about that.
  • Adjustable whilst wearing – Genius! The straps are adjusted at the front by little hooks, you no longer have to be a contortionist to get the straps the perfect length. On top of this not only are these soft to the skin but even have a layer of thicker padding over your collar bone to prevent it digging in. Seriously give this designer a medal!

Things to consider –

I actually don’t have anything to write in this list in terms of the bra its self the only tiny negative is that it only comes in black. Now I know black is slimming and all that (not that im sure this can work with sports bra) but everyone love a bit of colour. I hope this is something they bring out very soon. Fingers crossed.

Find it at sportsshoes.com here

 

 

Fuel up for the perfect traning session

When I’m training (that’s most of the days) or recovering (that’s the few days left )  I follow a pretty fluid structure in terms of how I fuel up ready for a big session. I like to call it ‘eat what I like/have in the fridge’. I am not someone who is on a diet, I have never been on a diet nor will ever go on a diet and I wholeheartedly believe in everything in moderation; you might not feel this works for you but for me its going ok. I wouldn’t want to spend my whole life craving something, eventually giving in to temptation, feeling guilty and then starting the cycle again. Life is for living and cake can fit in to that pretty nicely.

During the school week (I am a teacher so I don’t go to work I go to school) I avoid puddings, these are a weekend treat and it makes me look forward to them rather than have them out of habit at the end of every meal. Everything else is pretty much fair game. I genuinely like healthy food so it does make the job of sticking to a varied diet a lot easier, I have a lot of meat and veg with every meal but as I said I eat what I fancy cooking and usually what I haven’t had that week already.

The only part you could perhaps call a regime, superstition, or habit even is that I HAVE to have a caffeine boost before training to make me feel ready to go and a recovery protein shot of some form afterwards. Before every session I like Youth Energy, this gives me the boost I’m looking for with no added nasty’s or unnatural junk. I used to stick solely to coffee however couldn’t get on with the overly powerful ‘buzz’ and almost light headedness it gave me once it had kicked in.
Afterwards as part of my recovery I am partial to a protein shake or bar but don’t like to have the same thing every day. I find it helps me recover quicker setting me up for the next day. After all I do have 1400 students to cope with before I even start my session, I need every bit of energy available 😉

If you haven’t done so already you must give EnergySnacks a visit. These guys have jumped on the monthly box band wagon but in a superb way. Move over monthly make up or recipe kits, its time for real life training related stash!

Not only are they doing boxes of brilliant branded gels, recovery shakes, protein snacks  (even the GU protein and caffeine stroop wafel!!!!)  they are boxing up a ever changing mixture and delivering it to you each month to keep your cupboard stocked. If you don’t like sticking to one brand or get bored of the same flavour of protein shakes after every session then this really is the thing for you.

In conjunction with EnergySnacks I have created my ideal training box that they will be packaging up and selling as their box for runners. This focuses on the things I like and use I have deliberately chosen a wide range of brands as no one wants to be eating the same day in day out. I’ve also thrown in some extra Hydration sachets for that winter boost.

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Pre training energy

Clif Energy bar
GU Stroop waffle

Post training recoveryclif-barsuntitledskhh8-mg-1

32GI Recovery protein drink
Clif Builders bar
High Five protein hit
OTE any time bar
Torq recovery bar


Hydration

GU Hydration drink mix
Skratch Lab Hydration Mix

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Haglofs Trail Shoe Review

Haglofs Gram Gravel Women’s Trail Running Shoes

Sportsshoe.com kindly sent me the Haglofs Trail shoe to review just over a month ago and I have been putting them through their paces. Any followers of my Twitter will know my training encompasses a huge variety of activities from hill sprints to burpees in the mud, sled pulls and weights. Think Cross fit style HIIT training outdoor regardless of the weather with trail running thrown in for good measure. It is the huge variety of things I do that I thought these Haglofs Trail shoes would make the perfect pair to provide me the grip I need throughout the wetter months.

Pros –

  • Good overall grip – Wet grass, shallow mud and frosty frozen ground; these have worked fantastically and allow you to put the power down without wheel spinning.
  • Cushioning – Excellent thick sole; especially on frozen ground this came in to its own, anyone looking for a winter knee saver this is the one.
  • Variety of colours – Looks aren’t everything however no one is going to turn down something that looks nice and does a fab job. This is that shoe, a wide range of men’s and women’s that look great and do the job. What more can you ask for?!

Things to consider –

  • These are not a fell shoe – Why would they be they don’t claim to be however this is noticeable when going through deeper mud, the grip does become quite easily clogged up.
  • Grip at the front of the toe is limited – I found when doing things like burpees or pushing up a steep incline when it is your toe that is making contact with the floor the grip is limited however once the ball of your foot hits the ground you’re flying!
  • Ankle area – The foot opening in these seems to be quite small and stiff making them a bit firm for uneven running or if you are prone to ankle rolling. This seems to be worse with lower ‘no show’ socks, higher or cushioning socks have solved this for me. Perhaps they just take a bit of time to break in.
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Haglofs Gram Gravel Trail Shoe

Weight training in winter = Speed in spring

Training for any multisport event comes with its questions and is always a difficult one to get spot on. Focus all your efforts on one disciple and the other suffers, try and split your sessions between both and you don’t improve at the rate you’re hoping to. I have tried something completely new this season and I love that’s it is paying off. The majority of my sessions each week have a high intensity interval training (HIIT)/circuits style focus with some specific run and pool sessions thrown in to keep the baimg_7269lance. These session are all outdoor, whatever the weather! Something about working in the mud and rain adds a comedy factor, you have to laugh at yourself doing chest down burpees in a muddy puddle…if I don’t, I think the other option would be to cry. Check out the ‘Caveman’ sessions at http://www.bodyforce.co.uk to see what i get up to
I truly do love doing these sessions, I have always thought that swim training and long runs are so boring and I thought this was how it just had to be if I wanted to improve. As a child I would always be in the pool with the swimming club and the best part about each session was before and afterwards catching up with my mates. It is so important that training is fun, regardless of if you are working towards the Olympics or simply to stay healthy, it has to be enjoyable or else you are fighting a losing battle.
The circuit sessions combine everything in one go and are by no means easy, sprints to improve lactate threshold play a major part and feature in large blocks. Your lactate threshold is the point where your muscle begin to react to the lactic acid in the blood stream, increasing your cells resistance to this allows you to work harder for longer. This is understandably vital for most athletes regardless of the disciple but especially for those in multisport or endurance events.img_3827
Glute and Hamstring conditioning is another favourite of my coaches’, not so much of mine as this means a killer session and jelly like legs. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and weighted runs all require explosive power from these muscles. Combine this with a starter of sprints and you really do have a tough workout on your hands. Throughout the winter season after races have finished my focus is always on strength, weight training in the winter leads to increased power and speed in the spring. It is combining this power with the muscular endurance from the lactate work that will allow me to push that little bit harder in the summer months and races.

Nutrition plays a large part in training and is often the aspect people forget about. How I train in the day affects what I eat in the evening as well as for breakfast the next day.  If my evening session has been cardio heavy I will have depleted glycogen stores these can only be replaced by having a carbohydrate heavy meal. Attempting to train with depleted stores is like training when you have a cold, everything is 10 times harder and you feel as if you never really have the energy to get going. If I have had an unusually hard session or am feeling run down after work I will have a protein bar after my evening session to replenish my body ready for the onset of work and training the next day. Training properly has to go hand in hand with eating properly your body cannot function without the energy it requires, if you are asking it to increase its exertion levels you have to provide it the fuel to do so.  Being a full time teacher and training seriously every evening I cannot afford to forget this, it is so important to give your body every fighting chance.

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Caveman conditioning by http://www.bodyforce.co.uk the Onley way to train!

The perfect Christmas list

Finally all the ideas you need for all the adventurers, runners and generally sporty folk in your life all in one place.
Christmas time can be so hectic everything somehow gets super busy and as if your life wasn’t busy enough on a daily basis with work, family and actually trying to live, you now have to find from somewhere that extra little slot of time to find presents.
This will save you that last ounce of stress; look no further Christmas is sorted, done and dusted!

 

  1. The Proviz reflect 360.1

The daddy of all reflective jackets. Long gone are the days of the little reflective strip across a fluro yellow coat. I have seen these from a car drivers perspective and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they lit up brighter that my car lights! How that is even possible I do not know.

Even better news it that they come in all different combinations you are bound to find the perfect one for you: men’s, women’s, long sleeve, vests, cycling, running, outdoor they are amazing!
http://www.provizsports.com

 

 

  1. Berghaus Asgard Hybrid Women’s Down Jacket2

 

Stay warmer for longer with Berghaus’ innovative body mapped 700 fill goose Hydrodown. Berghaus have packed the down in just where we need it to keep warn and at only £49.99 from sportsshoes.com it’s a brilliant piece of kit at a superb price

 

  1. Oboz Walking Shoe – Mens and Womans3

    Oboz isn’t the biggest brand in the outdoor market however they have made a really great shoe with this one. Both the men’s are woman’s versions come in a range of colours and styles and are bang up-to-date combining bright colours with good technical specifications.

 

 

  1. Asolo GTX

These boots really are the king (or queen) of all boots. If you haven’t tried Asolo it’s 4now time to get them on your Christmas list. Both my husband and I have had Asolo walking boots for as long as I can remember. In the time our ‘walking mates’ have been through two or three pairs of others ours are both still going strong. Fully water proof, super comfy, light and flexible they are brilliant, I have even ran 3 miles in mine (unplanned may I add) but no sore ankles or blisters here!

 

 

  1. Inov8 Tri-X-Treme 2455

 

If you are a female triathlete, circuit/ HIIT enthusiast, or cross fitter you need these in your life. These are my go to shoe as well as my trusted race shoe. The solid sturdy sole is brilliant for the beating shoes get at circuit style training whilst being perfectly flexible for the shock absorption needed while running. Inov8 have put a wide foot hole in these making them really easy to get on when your feet are wet in transition and as well having cleverly positioned drainage channels in the sole allowing water to drain out as you run; preventing the blisters pooling of water causes. How clever is that!  

What’s even better for when you put these at the top of your Christmas list this year is they are less than £30 from sportsshoes.com!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

  1. ASICS FUJI Lightweight Backpack6.jpg

 

I do love a good trainer but enough of the shoes for now, this backpack is an item taken straight from my own Christmas list its self.

Lightweight, small and body hugging, it’s the perfect pack for a trail run or one of those walks where it’s just you a waterproof and your map. Mesh straps ensures the wearer is well ventilated and if that wasn’t enough the fabric is water repellent keeping your valuables safe from sweat and rain.

 

 

  1. Skins A400 Thermal Range7

 

Another favorite out of all the kit I own and something I wear all winter long; at school, to races, up mountains and for training.

A fantastic fit and a top which is comfortable both against the skin and as part of your layering system. Something I would buy time and time again, brilliantly warm and versatile. If you are in need of a decent thermal layer to avoid having to fork out on one that let you down when you need it most, this is the one.

 

 

  1. Buff – Anything from Buff, anything at all!8.jpg

 

I am all over buff, as much as bobble hats have taken the world by storm. The buff range is ever growing and now covers everything from colourful woollen bobble hats to merino tube scarfs. An essential bit of hit for any adventurer whatever the time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Inov-8 Rain Cover Small Backpack Cover9.jpg

 

Another item pinched from my own Christmas list this year. The perfect stoking filler for any outdoorsy loved one in your life. At only a fiver from sportsshoes.com for the small size this is a brilliant addition to any adventurers’ kit. Stuff this cover in your pocket and in the likely chance (lets be honest this is England) it rains while you’re out it’s at hand to save your valuables. A perfect bargain.

 

 

 

  1. Helly Hansen Wool Graphic Women’s Running Pant10.jpg

Take a look at the beauties! 100% merino wool to keep your warm and allow sweat to wick away from the body. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.

Helly Hansen have a huge range of patterns out at the moment and matching tops available to complete the look.

 

 

  1. and 12 Over Board 20 Litre Dry Tube11.jpg

Dry bags are an essential in any outdoor kit, have a few sizes in your repertoire and you’ll never be without one. I have lost count of the times dry bags have saved by bacon (sometimes literally12.jpg) and prevented a very miserable soggy night’s sleep.

This is a great set at a great price from sportsshoes.com 3 bags for only £15.99.

Only downside of keeping all your kit in dry bags all the time is unless you are super organised it can be really hard to actually remember in which bag you packed your stuff. Add a window; Genius!! Problem solved.

 

 

 

  1. Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel13.jpg

 

As much as it is sometimes nice to go off the grid and ignore those calls and texts it’s not always practical. Is there a better way when amongst nature to use it to keep your mod cons powered. I love how this come in a camo skin, as if it will blend in with its surroundings, let’s hope it’s not so hidden it gets lost. The Goal Zero Nomad also boasts a great feature of being able to charge two items at once with the different panel or choose to combine the power and speed up the process.

 

 

 

  1. Aquasphere Polarized Kayenne Goggles14.jpg

 

Whether you are buying for an open water swimmer, once a month pool swimmer or world champion, these are the best goggles you can hope to find. Again this is speaking from experience as something I own numerous pairs of. Kayennes provide a fantastic leak free fit, come in men’s and women’s specialised shape, polarized, coloured or clear lenses and a range of colours. Their larger lenses provide a 180 degree visibility keeping you aware of your surroundings at all times preventing the disorientation that can come with swimming particularly when in open water.

 

 

 

  1. North Face Tent Booties 70015.jpg

Again one of my favourite items of kit and something myself and my husband have both owned for many years and have no intent on replacing any time soon.

These booties come complete with a slightly stiffer sole than you would expect to see on a standard slipper allowing them to be worn outdoors and packed with real down keep your feet toasty warm in the coldest of conditions. These are a lifesaver when camping and are always at the top of my ‘to pack list’.

 

 

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7 ways to FREE fun!

#GetOutside with your family for FREE or just the car parking fee!

 

We all know how important being active and outdoors is, it’s in the media often enough! Equally we all know how hard it can be to think of new and exciting ideas to get the kids active without breaking the bank! Weekends and school holidays can begin to seem harder than work with young ones in toe and as a parent it is a constant juggle of all the throws of life and being a first class entertainment unit.

It is so important to instil from a very young age all the positive habits of being outdoors, being active and having more to life than just work, home, bed, repeat. As the saying goes ‘Old habits die hard’, make your and your children’s old habits positive ones.

To start you on your way I have complied 8 ways to #GetOutside for free or just the car parking fee. Make a flying start and take on one this weekend:

 

  1. #Selfie Treasure Hunt

All kids love phones, right!? And who had even heard of a ‘selfie’ 10 years ago. This is a great activity I actually even love to do myself, take as many photos as you want of your house, garden, local park, village, where ever you fancy going. Make sure however your photos are close-up and cryptic. The challenge is for those taking part to hunt around for where the photo was taken and then take a selfie in front of that place. I usually give extra points for creative photos; think handstands, human pyramids. This works brilliantly as a fun free and unusual birthday party for all ages and can be as long or short as you want. You could go the whole hog and even have score boards and prizes! Give yourself half an hour to take some pics and you’re ready to rock.
Don’t fancy printing all the pictures off?! Then don’t! Base yourself in a central position and when one selfie is brought back Whats-app the player the next clue, this way as well you see the players after every clue to check they are still ok – perfect for litt’luns.

 

  1. Pooh Sticks

Poohsticks ˈpuːstɪks/ noun

A game in which each player throws a stick over the upstream side of a bridge into a stream or river, the winner being the person whose stick emerges first from under the bridge.

Legendary game, enough said!

 

  1. Go on a walk (cycle/scoot for the kids)

Admittedly this doesn’t always sound that fun and I appreciate some may not even flirt with the idea because of all the paraphernalia associated; where do we go, how do I even plan a route, what do I wear/take/eat..ARGHHHH! Let’s not go!

It doesn’t have to be all that hassle, I am someone who much prefers to go on a walk with a purpose, usually round something or up something. This in no way has to be some military fashion route march; it can actually be very lovely and sociable.
Start with your local reservoir; more often than not they have a very good website detailing everything to put your mind at ease and even have different coloured routes of varying length and difficulty. Choose one you fancy and off you go. They are often gravel paths, so perfect for the kids to take bikes and scooters and how about rewarding yourself with a coffee and cake in the café after you are done. What could be more perfect, fresh air, worn out kids, and CAKE!

 

  1. Printable scavenger hunts

These are an absolute must-remember-life-saver. Going on a long car journey, visiting the beach, a city or simply need to fill a few hours in the garden the options of these are endless. Just google and print! If you really have some time on your hands (firstly please let me know how) you could always make your own but there really are so many out there already done for you.
Why not find one suitable for your local park and have an afternoon of exploring.

 

  1. Frisbee/Football/Rugby Golf

This is my favourite on the list; if you or your kids are footy mad then this is the one you have been waiting for!

It is so simple:

  • Choose a starting point ideally in the corner or edge of a big field,
  • Throw something – a ball, hoop, dog toy, stick…
  • Where ever it lands that is the ‘hole’, players have the get their frisbee or football to it in as least kicks/throws as possible.
  • Once all players are at the ‘hole’ throw again.

Could anything be simpler! If your kids are old enough teach them this, get them to teach their mates and that is summer afternoons and evenings sorted for a long time. Just remember to keep score!

 

  1. Blackberry Picking

No only a free activity but FREE FOOD, awesome!

Autumn is this best time for this, anywhere you find brambles/thorn bushes during late September through to November you will find blackberries. Nearby are usually loads of nettles so looks out for these as a good place to get started. I would avoid any next to roads or where animals gather and the best are always found in the most hard to get to places, of course!
Set off with the beach buckets and spend an autumnal afternoon collecting. Blackberries are packed full of Vitamin C and are at their juiciest at the end of a sunny day when the sun has given the juice a boost.

Tip: Pick the young supple leaves of a blackberry bush in early summer to make blackberry leaf tea. Simply wash a handful and place in a tea pot with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes and serve with sugar to taste. This not only tastes delish but also sooths a sore throat, keep a handful in the freezer for that quick go to remedy.

 

  1. Wet wellie wander

This is a fantastic way to get the kids out of the house on a blustery day. Get togged up but most importantly wear wellies (remember the name)!
Set off with the aim to see who can find the deepest puddle but be careful the only rule is you are not allowed to get wet feet. For this one let the kids choose the route, where do they think is a good place to go? Where have they seen puddles in the past? Put them in charge, they will not only love the responsibility but surprise you.
Who can find a puddle that comes just up to the brim of their wellies without spilling over and in. Will you be the one to get soggy socks!

 

  1. River Dipping

Anything water based is a win with me and this is brilliant to try at all different times of the year, there is so much variety in water courses across the UK. Try this when you are at the beach, at a canal and in a small stream. If you have a little fishing net then fantastic, if not grab a bucket or failing that get ready to get your hands wet. See what wildlife you can find, extra points awarded if you can actually catch it!! Just remember to keep all wildlife submerged in water and place it gently back where you found it.

Tip: Check out idea number 4; scavenger hunt sheets are available online to give you ideas of things to hunt for depending on where you are wanting to look. If you are heading to a reservoir or canal look out for the information boards, councils often display brilliant infographic boards of what can be found in the water and banks surrounding. These are obviously specific to where you are so get your eyes peeled and get hunting. How many can you spot?!

 

Twitter is the best place for minute by minute action from me and all my GB Aquathlon training news not to mention plenty more active ideas! Be sure to pay @sjacksonhorner a visit to get the next part of the story….It’s going to be good J

‘My Story’ From Teacher to the Euros 2016

As a PE teacher you have to be pretty resilient and it is not just going out in the British wind and rain that have its challenges. Summer comes with the iconic ‘PE teacher tan’; sock and t-shirt lines are tough to work with!
When I am not out on the school field with 30 teenagers in tow I’m either training, racing or doing more outdoorsy things which tend to fill my weekends and holidays. Through school and university I was always your typical sporty girl; in every team and spending every evening at training for one thing or another. It was being involved with Guides and Scouts however that really opened up the world of outdoor pursuits and wow did I love them all. Kayaking, climbing, camping were all so different to the school sports I spent my weekdays doing so these began to fill my weekends.img_0929
When I became a teacher my aim was to give the pupils in my care the opportunities that I had, I have amazing active parents and this really showed in my childhood. This goal is still my main driving force through my career and has been my motivation to lead many new activities to my pupils. I really try to be an inspiration to my pupils, children tend to have a very low belief in their actions and I strive to motivate through mine.  It was starting new trips and sports in school that got me thinking about starting new things for myself. A mate and I planned what has become an annual surfing trip to Newquay, this was the first time I had ever surfed and I was hooked instantly! So I bought my own board, roof racks, the works and now the other half gets dragged along on surfing holidays too!

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In September 2014 my Dad decided after 40 years of running that it was no longer enough of a challenge so he entered a local triathlon. Not wanting to be outdone I borrowed my partner’s bike and entered. I have always swam competitively since a young child so this part didn’t faze me but in the other two sections I was just waiting for the end. Turns out it all went pretty well and in the well renowned hardest sprint distance triathlon in the country I finished in second place.

I had caught the bug! I love training hard anyway but find competing in events gives me a focus and makes me push that little bit harder in every set. Through the year I have started to enjoy the Aquathlons more, mainly because it means no blagging 24km on a borrowed bike, obviously a massive bonus! After 2 further races which saw me get a 2nd and 4th under my belt I wanted to qualify for the National Championships, this meant another new thing; open water! I consider myself to be pretty tough and swimming in dark murky water doesn’t bother me, despite not liking pond weed touching my feet, but nothing could have prepared me for this swim! Swimming is my favourite thing to do ever but I hated it, I was in a borrowed Tri wetsuit so I was totally freezing, there were fish, I felt sea sick bobbing along in the waves, I just wanted to get out. But giving up is never an option so instead I held my own and fought back in the run to finish in second place. Not bad for my first OW attempt and that was it I was going to the National Championships and undertaking yet another new aspect… a sea swim. I was hoping for a better swim; I knew what to do now, I had the tactics going round and round in my head, I was going for clean water, ready and determined. I wouldn’t say it went perfectly and was my dream race but I was crowned Runner-up British Aquathlon Champion. I had done it, I had held my own against the best in the country – that is all I ever wanted and I am so proud! I don’t think any race goes without a hiccup, in this one I was stung across my neck by a jelly fish and had to go back in transition to get my race belt that I had forgotten to put on – who does that in the National Champs?! But it was fun, I was working hard and that’s what matters. Everything I do is due to pure 100% love of it and giving things ago, you never know what you can do until you try and you often surprise yourself.
Next step for me was the European championships in 2016. To have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world whilst representing the mighty GBR is so exciting and something that keeps me focused every night in training. It makes every muddy, sweaty, painful rep totally worth it.
Twitter is the best place for minute by minute action so be sure to pay @sjacksonhorner a visit to get the next part of this story….It’s going to be good!

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European championships 2016 6th place, 4th Brit