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Who wants 2 Free Christmas Presents? An Adventure? And 2 x Discounts?


First indulge me for a couple of minutes so I can help you get through the holidays, and demonstrate how exercise will help you feel better, after what has been a difficult year.


Do you think the holidays are a time for exercise?


Absolutely not! I need a break! I hear you... it has been a very difficult year for all of us, navigating a pandemic, potential employment issues, this word 'furlough' that didn't exist in 2019 (well it did but did we know it?), lockdowns, health, bereavement, limited weddings, and the rest.


However, as we close into Christmas and bubbles (something we only used to put in a bath), there is one thing that we can do which can bring us some relief.

Fitness, running, swimming, cycling, weights, gym work, it may be actually be a really good way to manage some of the more challenging aspects of Christmas, and it may also mean you can eat more Christmas Turkey or the vegetarian/vegan/fruitarian etc alternative!


Before we continue I promised you 2 Free Christmas Presents, so here you go:


Exercise is known to release serotonin and endorphins. These are two free Christmas presents which are accessible to you right now (if you want 2 actual free gifts scroll down, genuine gifts you can download now too)!


Both serotonin and endorphins will make you feel better, and put you in a more relaxed frame of mind, as you try to argue about who won the last game of trivial pursuit or who is going to win the brussel sprout eating competition (thanks Dawn French for that one).


Serotonin stabilizes our mood, it helps with sleep and processing food. Endorphins to put it crudely help you to be happy and relieve pain for a time. So why wouldn't you want all of this?


What better presents could you ask for, maybe a new bike right...? What's the rule again? N+1? Or is it dependent on a tolerant spouse?


Now you've had your gifts, what about an Adventure?


Christmas can be a chance to explore new routes as you visit relatives, go home, or stay put.


Have you ever thought about wandering off the beaten track, to see where that road leads; you know the one you pass every Tuesday on your cycle to work... or the gap in the edge of the thicket you always run past?


Maybe, just maybe it's time to explore...


I have tried this and came back super muddy on one of my adventures but feeling a real sense of accomplishment, and of course some free serotonin and endorphins to boot!


It was Jez Cox (Pro Cycling Commentator, former Elite Duathlete and Elite GBR Triathlon Team Manager) who mentioned trying a local adventure out during lockdown one.


He did so when we talked Sport and Mental Health on my podcast which you can access via the Anchor streaming platform here.

Navigating the ongoing Christmas Feast:


If you're like me and around Christmas you know you're gonna put away at least 5 tins of pringles and a mountain of Christmas pudding (and the rest), exercise can help to keep you on track weight wise.


Remember there is more to life than how much we weigh, our fat levels and what we look like in the mirror, but equally myself included I know this can be a sensitive subject for many.


Ultimately, I would say relax, and enjoy yourself over Christmas, and come 2021 maybe that's the time to pick up new habits. A new you isn't required at all.


Same You, New Habits!


To get you started I want to help you with tips, tricks and news around running, triathlon and fitness via my free mailing list.


If you sign up you will receive 2 free gifts: a training planner, and a downloadable PDF.


Thank you and the discounts:

Thanks for reading, and if I don't see you before have a wonderful Christmas! Eat well, sleep well, rest well, be present, if you're on your own or isolating due to Covid do stay in touch with friends and family members via video chat if you are able.


Merry Christmas from me (sorry I look tired it's been a long year haha!) and my wonderful sister, who has been a rock this year for me.


She also runs her own business Locks and Lashes by Lauren (mobile hair and eyelashes in Surrey and Oxfordshire).


As a thank you for being a part of the TriClub and Locks and Lashes by Lauren Community we are offering each other's customers 10% off your first appointment for locks, lashes, and your fitness levels until the end of January 2021.


Hopefully it's a little something to get you and your loved ones looking and feeling good on the inside and out for the New Year!

Merry Christmas from,

Ian & Lauren

TriClub / Locks & Lashes by Lauren


PS: Follow TriClub on Facebook: www.facebook.com/triclubuk to stay up-to-date with the latest offers, news and discounts, and remember to sign up for the email list too.


Remember to follow Locks & Lashes by Lauren on Facebook.


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With despair in the air, suspicion around, and a world on its knees from a simple (or not so simple) virus, we are definitely not where we thought we would be this time last year.

San Diego!

October 2019 was a time of hope when I was preparing to grace the shores of San Diego, the home of modern triathlon.


Arriving with no plans, but to go with the flow I had the privilege of making connections across a number of triathlon, running and fitness groups in the most random of circumstances.


Indulge me for a minute as these are great memories:

Image by Victoria Palacios

Highlights included:

- Training with the Triathlon Club of San Diego in the (sometimes) shark-infested waters of La Jolla bay, as well as competing in an aquathlon with the San Diego University TriClub.


- Running with Milestone Running Shops on their Halloween run followed by a tour of one of the local breweries. There I got to meet a whole host of people including Alex and Kristine which led me to Alex’s...


- ...Tuesday Waterfront Run Crew, additionally I got to meet Iman Wilkerson, some of whom you may recognize from her talk on sport and mental health with me which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAtLAn0h6Fc


- Iman runs a business in an app called the RunDown which allows people to find running groups in San Diego, as well as take part in virtual exercise - perfect for anyone new to the city; she also hosts a Run Group facilitated by the brand Lululemon.


- I was fortunate enough to attend the Lululemon run group and meet some of the staff from the brand where I got invited to a flat party. Getting back fairly late, I got up and went to...


- ...Climb Cowles Mountain with the ever-so friendly November Project, meeting a number of people including a respected Armed Forces Veteran, a director of Sea World, and of course the mighty Bruce who faithfully leads the way week in and week out.


- A particular highlight for me was the welcome from everyone, a warm community with much love for their city, state and of course the people – I’ve never seen quite so many athletes in one place (bar my current location in Loughborough).

Adapt to survive, and thrive:

These guys epitomise what it is to stay fit and well mentally and physically. During lockdown Iman undertook 100 days of meditation which could be seen on instagram stories, Milestone Running Shop adapted their services and provided a delivery service for running equipment and much needed banter on their social media pages, I'm aware of all the great people I met are showing what it takes to persevere on and are keeping up their daily exercise routines. I know that all of them are keeping fit, well and active.

2020, the year of the 'p' word:

This year is very different due to the pandemic, I had a staycation where I worked on this business TriClub, aiming to support people who want to get into triathlon, running and fitness, as well as those who want to progress on to loftier goals such as PBs and international age group vests. The purpose is quite simple, to help people realise their potential in this sport.


Going out to San Diego helped me realise my potential, it helped me relax physically and mentally from the stresses and strains of work, as well as extend my online and in-person community.


With despair in the air, we need to remember who we are… that we are capable human beings who are able to reach out to someone for a chat or phonecall, go online to find virtual/phone support when we are struggling (116123 for the Samaritans free phone from the UK on landline and mobiles).


This will all be over down the road, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we have the ability to get out the door and exercise, whether that is a visit to the gym/swimming pool (when they are open), a walk along the street/canal/countryside (dependent on location), or a workout session indoors virtually if we are in lockdown.


You have the ability to be a healthier and happier version of you, the choice though is yours…


Top tips, you've waited long enough:

- Choose to eat healthy

- Get regular sleep

- See friends and family, whether online or in-person

- Start exercising, or keep going with it!

- Stay hydrated

- Talk, talk, talk you will feel better... as Ron Burgundy says...


We're all in this together, we will get through this, and like San Diego, brighter shores are on the horizon. Perseverance produces character, and in turn hope, it won't disappoint.


Stay classy!


Ian

TriClub Owner & Head Coach


This blog was written to celebrate something different this year, TriClub being a part of the #smallbiz100 with Small Business Saturday. Thank you for your support and remember to shop local where possible.


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40 Years:

The London Marathon has been and gone for another year, as you well know it was very different to the previous 39. As an elite only race it was quite the unusual spectacle, and with a very unusual end.




Three performances though stand out to me.


1) Sarah:

The first an unbelievable and incredible finish from Sarah Hall, demonstrating commitment to training and that determination to chase after your goals when the unachievable is in front of you.


2) Brent:

The second by Brent Lakatos to fend off his rivals in the men’s wheelchair race, showing strength and persistence to lead the effort and individual sprints to come out on top.


Marathon Highlights:

To view some marathon highlights and behind the scenes footage with the athletes click here: https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a34241725/sara-hall-london-marathon-results-2020/



Image: Miguel A. Amutio


The third I’d like to talk about a little more in-depth.


3) Age Groupers:

Whilst I enjoyed watching the elite battle it out, there was another battle going on all around the world, one of grit, resilience and some would say a defiance to circumstances… the age groupers, by this I mean the everyday individual who works and trains (although saying that Brent works as a full-time engineer and a full-time athlete which is an incredible feat!).


Watching the age groupers around the world competing in the first ever Virtual London Marathon was a particular highlight as it showed that we are able to push through tough times, come out on top and engage in activities that can bring hope, joy and a dose of happiness.


Taking part in the VLM:

This year I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in the marathon, well only the first 10k. This was to support my friend Jo on her epic effort which was in aid of the charity Mind.


Jo I coached last year to complete the 2019 version of the event. This year she embarked upon the race in a very different set of circumstances.


Jo as I mentioned runs for the charity Mind, she also runs for her family, and she runs as a woman who is willing to persevere, demonstrating great character, and like the rest of us she stands defiant to the giant of despair that is the pandemic of 2020.



Image: Miguel A. Amutio


Mindset:

Most of you reading this are not elite athletes on paper but you most certainly have the tenacity and capacity to have the mindset of one. You demonstrate that in-spite of difficult circumstances you are resilient and have the ability to be the best version of yourself. I am very proud of Jo and all athletes who attempted, competed and completed the VLM.


It can be you are sat there thinking, I could never do that? I don't have the ability?


What if you could. What if you made the time? Started a new routine? And what if you don't have to run the marathon as a starting point. Maybe it's worth contacting your local running club or if you'd prefer to start this journey solo (as may be required during a second lockdown wave) why not try the couch to 5k app.


From there you can build the distances, and eventually work towards the lofty achievable heights of the London Marathon.


Maybe you need to start believing in yourself like Sarah, like Brent, like Jo, and the thousands of people around the world.


To all of you, I take my hat off, keep on running!

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