Here’s to the next adventure

Wow it’s been a whirlwind week.. and with it comes a bit of an essay post today!

Having spent the last 2 years living and working in London, this week see’s the beginning of the end of my time here (at least for now)! I’m taking the plunge, following my heart (and my head) and jetting off to see the world.

No I’m not planning on sitting on a beach do sweet nothing for the next few months, but instead I’m going to take on some new adventures away from home – challenge my mind & figure out where I want to be and what I want to be doing!

As with most 18 year olds, I boarded the treadmill of stereotypes – finished my a levels, went to university, got my degree, got a job.. but somewhere along the way forgot to take a moment to figure out what makes me tick!

Too much time is spent asking “what are you going to do when you leave school?”, “what internship are you doing to prepare you for ‘the real world’?”, “what’s you plan for working when you finish university?” – and whilst I totally respect this works for some – I needed the time to think amongst all these questions, and just didn’t allow myself to!

So whilst it may come a little later than most, the time has come to see what’s out there! Here’s to a new chapter of adventures and planning for the now not for the future!

Happy Thursday 💋

Habit Hunter Hotspots | April Edition

1. Get your caffeine fix

WHAT IS IT? Returning for 2018, the London Coffee Festival is the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event, a celebration of London’s vibrant coffee culture featuring gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live music and a comprehensive ‘lab’ seminar programme that will educate even the keenest of coffee lovers.

WHERE: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
NEAREST TUBE: Liverpool Street

2.Take part in a ‘Fizzathon’

WHAT IS IT? This fizzathon is back celebrating Italy’s finest export with leading producers showcasing their bottles. A ticket will bag you up to eight glasses of fizz – and there’ll be plenty of authentic Italian food if you’re not up for a liquid lunch.
WHERE: Oval Space, 29 – 32 The Oval, E2 9DT
NEAREST TUBE: Bethnal Green

3. Go POP this Easter

WHAT IS IT? Get yourselves and your offspring to Pop’s free Easter bonanza, which this year is hip hop themed. Test your agility at a breakdancing class, test your concentration on a hip hop jigsaw puzzle and try your luck at the gold chain giveaway. At 3pm it’s time for the big kids to hit the dance floor as The Doctors Orders take over the decks from Fun DMC, and play a mixture of hip hop, R n B and grime until the small hours.

WHERE: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road. SW9 8PQ

4. Float on with a Flotilla

WHAT IS IT? Paddington Basin is getting a sprinkling of sparkle as a full-on flotilla of illuminated origami boats are released on to Regent’s Canal. ‘Flotilla’ by artist Steve Messam, is an armada of 180 boats at Merchant Square, which look like white ‘paper’ creations by day and light up at night to set the canal gleaming with a changing pattern of luminous colours.
WHERE: Merchant Square, Harbet Road. W2 1BF
NEAREST TUBE: Paddington

5. Support the city from the sidelines

WHAT IS IT? With its cheering crowds and fancy dress fundraisers, the London Marathon is our very own world-famous running race. Covering 26.2 miles and shutting down roads left, right and centre, it takes over the city for one weekend every April. Here’s all you need to know about running the London Marathon 2018, whether you’re a road-pounding-pro or a newbie in a Disney costume.
WHERE: All around london
NEAREST TUBE: Check site

6. Take in a sip of Paris with Leroy

WHAT IS IT? It comes from the team behind the Michelin-starred Ellory, now closed. This place is mostly about the wine, much of it natural or ‘low intervention’. I’m sure Leroy will quickly join the ranks of the best natural wine bars in London.
WHERE: 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU

7. Be a BRAT

WHAT IS IT? Tomos Parry’s Basque barbecue inspired restaurant sits above Smoking Goat in Shoreditch (also on this list) and it’s about as smoking hot as it gets right now. Instagram is awash with pictures of grilled turbot grilled slowly and served with an emulsion made from the gelatinous cooking juices. The menu is focused mainly on seafood, sourced from Cornwall and cooked over fire. Londoners are going gaga for it.

WHERE: 4 Redchurch Street, E1 6JL
NEAREST TUBE: Shoreditch High Street

8. Pamper yourself at Salon64

WHAT IS IT? Long gone are the days where a trip to the hairdressers only meant a cut, flicking through a copy of OK! Magazine and discussing your next jaunt to Europe. Turning the traditional idea of hairdressing salons on its head, newly opened SALON64 offers far more than your classic cut and colour. I’m talking about a coffee bar, a dedicated station to putting on your make up (because touching up your eye liner on the tube is never good news), charging points, and drool-worthy interiors

WHERE: 4 Bateman St, Soho, London W1D 3AG
NEAREST TUBE: Oxford Circus

9. Dough it yourself

WHAT IS IT? Go and experience a masterclass in pizza making with drinks, Neopolian snacks and your own creation to be had along the way! On arrival you are served friggitoria (Neapolitan street food!) and a glass of prosecco or beer. The class will start once everyone’s settled in, and you’ll be shown how they make the dough, then using one we made earlier you’ll get the chance to throw it yourself, top it, cook it and then eat it all with another couple more drinks along the way!  At the end of the session, you’ll get a shot of Pococello (our limoncello) and some of our famous Nutella pizza ring. You will also get some Pizza Pilgrims goodies to take home.

WHERE: 12 Hertsmere Rd, London, E14 4AE
NEAREST TUBE: Canary Wharf

10. Have a whirl at Dirty Dining

WHAT IS IT? 100 Wardour St are proud to present Dirty Dining. Along with delicious food your heart and feet can feast on the sounds and motions of one of the world’s most memorable movies. A hand picked cast has been brought together to
present a loving (slightly tongue in cheek) homage to the iconic movie, “Dirty Dancing”. Your trip to the Catskills will begin with a lavish 3 course dinner, featuring dishes like yellowfin tuna tartare, roasted chicken with a champagne sauce, and passion fruit tart with coconut sorbet. Then, settle in and watch the show.

WHERE: 100 Wardour St, W1F 0TN
NEAREST TUBE: Tottenham Court Road

The Habit Hunter x

Top 10 | Tips for running your first marathon

1. Stick to what you know

Adopting a new meal plan, sleep pattern, running shoe or warm-up technique on the day of your first marathon is a recipe for disaster. Follow your routine from training on the day of the race. Train like you plan on racing. Eat what you’re going to eat before the race. Marathon morning is not the time for even a slightest change in your routine.

2. Don’t over-carb it

By all means up your carb content during your taper – but be wary over overdoing it! If you’re not a big carbohydrate eater as it is, this is just going to make you feel pretty bloated and rotten come race morning. Your mileage is already going to be lower during this week, therefore your calorie burning is lower too. Be conscious of this, and stick to a good balance without going crazy on the spaghetti carbonara!

3. Do some pre-race map reading

This may sound silly, but if you’ve not managed to already get out on the marathon course during your training plan, it’s worth spending some time looking over the course map and familiarising yourself with some key points on the way round. This will give you piece of mind along the course

4. Don’t underestimate the amount of fuel you’ll need

As much as a good breakfast is critical to fuelling your energy levels before a marathon, it won’t keep you going the whole way around. Muscles use up carbohydrate, which will quickly deplete during your marathon. By consuming gels as you run, your muscles will take less fuel from your carbohydrate store to keep you going for longer. Keep things consistent with your training and what works for you – but as a good starter I’d say consuming 2 gels every hour to ensure a large store of carbohydrate will set you up for a strong finish.

5. Don’t beat yourself up

If you have a bad run, don’t beat yourself up about it! It’s common to have a ‘bad’ run a month or two before your marathon. We’ve all had that confidence shattering run, where we’ve struggled so much we’re left contemplating whether the race we’re training for is even in our reach. Struggling is natural. If your body is telling you that 12 miles is too much on that day, listen to it – there is always tomorrow.

6. Don’t start too fast on race day

A mistake new marathoners commonly make is getting carried away with the excitement on the day. The hype of the race often makes people sprint , I remember this back in Paris. If you take off flying, three miles in you’ll be tired with 23 more miles to go. Start off slow. Pick up your speed as you get going. Once you’re on the move, be aware of how your body feels so you can create your own rhythm. Take the time to decide what to do next – pick up the pace, or stay where you are. Don’t get caught up with everyone around you,. Listen to what’s going on with your own body.

7. Wear the right clothes

Just as I mentioned with trainers, finding and wearing the right gear is just as important as finding the motivation to get out there and get started. There’s something about pulling on a new pair of leggings or  investing in a fancy sports bra (so what if it’s only you that gets to appreciate it) that makes getting out the door that little bit inspiring, after all if you’re forking out on some Lululemon or Sweaty Betty gear you’ll want people to appreciate it right? As cliched as it may sound — theres a whole lot of truth in look good-feel good.

8. Keep your head high

Don’t let people who look like serious runners intimidate you. Many people look like they are about to race for a gold medal at the Olympics. But don’t get caught in that place of thinking that everyone looks so strong and fit. Looks mean nothing. Only your own inner determination to do your best gets you to the finish line. This is your race.

9. Write your name on your shirt or wear something unique

When I ran the New York Marathon in 2016, I wore a plain white running top and one fan actually yelled right to me, “Go white T-shirt guy!” In 2017, when I had my name plastered across my chest for the first time, the personalised “Go Lily!” cheers made a huge difference.

10. Bring warm clothes and a throw-away blanket to the start

Sitting on the ground in the cold for two to five hours is not a pleasant way to prepare to run a marathon. If you are cold or stiff before the race you are probably going to be in trouble. Although most marathons have race staff that will bring your clothes to the finish line, the bag provided usually isn’t big enough for the blanket, so bring something you don’t mind leaving behind.


The Habit Hunter x

Habit Hunter Hotspots| March Edition

1. Treat your mum to something special at Scully

WHAT IS IT? Scully started work in the kitchens at Ottolenghi, going on to become the creative force behind much of the menu as head chef of NOPI when it opened back in 2011. The food on offer doesn’t really subscribe to any particular culinary tradition, but rather draws from Scully’s own family heritage, which stretches from Ireland to Bali. Which basically means you’ll find dishes ranging from candied butternut with cabbage samba and apple shrub; to octopus with salt-baked avocado and black garlic; to beef short rib pastrami with horseradish & pistachio, in a constantly evolving menu.

WHERE: 4 St. James’s Market, SE1Y 4QU
NEAREST TUBE: Piccadilly Circus

2.Get your cheer on and scout out Mo

WHAT IS IT? A brand new sporting event from the organisers of the London Marathon, The Big Half challenges elite runners and amateurs alike with a 13.1 mile course from Tower Bridge to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Just weeks ahead of the London Marathon 20,000 runners – including London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins.
WHERE: Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, Bankside, London SE1 2UP

3. Embrace Women of the World 

WHAT IS IT? The Women of the World Festival (WOW) is back for its eighth year in 2018, returning to the Southbank Centre for five empowering days. Now the largest women’s festival in the world, the festival sees meetings happen across five continents with one million people involved, giving women the chance to talk about their heroines and how their achievements have inspired them.

WHERE: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

4. Soar to the top

WHAT IS IT? Calling all summit sprinters! Dare to take the stairs in brand-new Walkie-Talkie Tower Climb challenge. Hundreds of participants will take on the steep challenge to soar to the top, climbing over 800 steps across 36 floors before being rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views of London in the vibrant Sky Garden, 160m above ground.
WHERE: 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 8AF
NEAREST TUBE: Monument or Tower Hill

5. Get Holi in the City

WHAT IS IT? The ultimate antidote to a dull working week, this fun Holi celebration at Cinnamon Kitchen is one of the best events in London in March. Don some protective garb and prepare to wonderfully messy and colourful at this fun pop up event.
WHERE: 9 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YL
NEAREST TUBE: Liverpool Street

6. Cause a Ruckus in The Vaults

WHAT IS IT? Prepare to party like it’s 1918 at this amazing immersive club night in Waterloo. Head to the river for what is set to be one of the best events in London in March as The Vaults is transformed into a turn of the century London, complete with Irish gangsters and plenty of music and madness.
WHERE: Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN

7. Have dinner above the clouds

WHAT IS IT? Sky Garden’s elegant signature restaurant, Fenchurch, is hosting an exclusive dinner with well-renowned wine producers from Michele Chiarlo. Join them 37 floors up for an evening of delicious wines, exquisite food pairings & intricate tasting notes.

WHERE: 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 8AF
NEAREST TUBE: Monument or Tower Hill

8. Embrace a secret concert

WHAT IS IT? A candlelit acoustic concert at the Asylum Chapel in London. Three carefully selected and talented acts unplugged. The musician’s names will not be disclosed until the evening of the event. This is music as it’s supposed to be: live, intimate and in a very special location. Enjoy hot mulled wine or cider (winter), tasty drinks and delicious home made food provided on site from 6.30pm (not included in the price). Music begins at 7pm with 2 intervals.
WHERE: Caroline Gardens Peckham, London, SE15 2SQ
NEAREST TUBE: Queens Road Peckham

9. Walk amongst the flowers

WHAT IS IT? Paternoster Square is turning yellow again as 4,000 illuminated daffodils pop-up in the space to mark the Great Daffodil Appeal 2018. Each handcrafted flower will represent the people the terminal illness charity will support throughout the month of March.  Walk through the flowers and listen to letters from patient’s families describing the care and support their relatives received from Marie Curie Nurses, make a donation in return for a daffodil pin in support of the Great Daffodil Appeal and leave behind a memory of a lost loved one by writing a message on a daffodil and placing on a ‘Memory Wall’ by the installation.
WHERE: Paternoster Sq,  St Paul’s Cathedral EC4M 7DX

10. FEAST it out

WHAT IS IT? Feast is the NEW grown up and developed version of the old street food and restaurant experience Little Feast, and the sister site to Feast Canteen in Hammersmith. An incredible den of deliciousness, Feast will have big sharing tables and communal seating for 300 diners, DJ’s, as well as a rotating line-up of the capital’s most incredible independent eateries. The space is set to become a new kind of restaurant and bar hybrid for West London and beyond to enjoy.
WHERE: 201 Wood lane, White City Place W12 7TU

The Habit Hunter x

Insight Into | Mission Marathon Week 5 – 8

January was a hit and miss (more miss than hit) month for me. I was gutted to be struck down with a relentless IT band injury. One that seems to have been clinging to me like a bad smell since I ran the Race to the Stones back in July. However, the past week has brought me some new positivity. I must first credit Neil Meekings from Kinect Health, who has been working with me to put things back in place. Over the past few months I’ve seen physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths – you name it, I’ve seen it! my nearest and dearest will vouch for me on this one. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this, there has been a silver lining to the process, and that has been finding Neil at Kinect Health. Finally, someone looking at things with a fresh perspective, analysing all aspects of my movement (and lack of), and seeking to find the root cause of the problem, and not just dealing with the localised pain.

Needless to say this has been a set back to the first month of training, and has left me on the back foot in terms of achieving my Runners World x Vifit Sport Mission Marathon goal. However, I will be coming back stronger, fitter & (fingers crossed) injury free over the next week!

Whilst, I may be behind on my schedule, I wanted to share my original plan for the next 4 weeks of training for those of you that are perhaps looking towards a similar goal and have already under taken the first 4 weeks of training that I outlined in my previous post.  Here goes:

Week 5 – Total Miles: 55

Monday – 9 miles easy with 10x100m strides
Tuesday – 2 mile warmup, drills, 4x50m strides, 7x1k @ 3.45 to 3.40 pace, recovery 400m jog, cool down 2 miles
Wednesday – recovery 5 miles a.m., recovery 4 miles p.m.
Thursday – 2 mile warmup, some running drills then 16×400 @ 3.30 pace rest is 400m jog, cd 1 mile jog
Friday – recovery run 7 miles
Saturday – 14 miles easy pace with last mile at 4.05 pace
Sunday – Rest

Week 6 – Total Miles: 60

Monday – 8 miles easy with 10x100m strides
Tuesday – 2 miles warmup, drills, 4x50m strides then 4x1200m @ 3.45 to 3.50 pace, recovery 400m job, cool down 2 miles
Wednesday – recovery 5 miles a.m., 4 miles p.m.
Thursday – 3 mile warmup, drills, with 4x2mile tempo @ 4.05 to 3.55 pace, cool down 2 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 17miles start @ 4.40 to 5 pace until mile 5, 6-10 miles @ 4.25, 11-16 @ 4.15, last mile @ 4.09
Sunday – Recovery 5 miles

Week 7 – Total Miles: 61

Monday – 10 easy with 10x100m strides
Tuesday – 1 mile warmup, running drills, 4x50m strides then 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 with 400 jog in between all at (400 @ 3.35, 800 @ 3.40, 1200 @ 3.50, 1600 @ 4.00)
Wednesday – recovery 5 miles a.m., 4 miles p.m.
Thursday – 2 mile warmup with 7 mile tempo @ 4.05 pace, 2 mile cool down
Friday – recovery run 8 miles and 5x50m strides and 20min core workout
Saturday – 16 miles easy
Sunday – Rest

Week 8 – Total Miles: 54

Monday – 8 easy a.m, 4 miles with 5x100m strides p.m.
Tuesday – 2 mile warmup drills, then 6 x mile @ 3.55, 2 min rest, cool down 2 miles
Wednesday – recovery 4 miles a.m., 4 miles p.m.
Thursday – 2 mile warmup, 6 miles @ 4.05 then rest 2 mins, then 2 miles sub 4.05, cool down 2 miles
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 18 easy with last mile 4.05 pace
Sunday – Recovery run 6 miles

Please do let me know if you have any questions, or any tips that can help me on my journey!

Thank you, The Habit Hunter x