Working full time as a PR executive for luxury British cosmetic brand Illamasqua , Sarah Brogden is no stranger to the work hard and play hard lifestyle. An avid fitness fan, with an ultimate dream to one day complete a full marathon, Sarah has made it her mission to make exercise and a wholesome, healthy lifestyle a priority, allowing her to live life to the fullest.
This week GTG caught up with Sarah to find out about her overall approach to the workout world and what tips and tricks she have for any training newbies.
What’s your overall approach to health, fitness and nutrition?
Fitness comes first for me. I love the feeling of working out and my motivation is the overall benefit I get from exercising daily. I have more energy, I sleep better, I’m more focused at work and am therefore more dedicated to leading a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. If you don’t have the motivation for exercise, you’re likely to lack motivation to eat well. It’s all connected. If you work out, you eat well to maintain your fitness levels, you’re in tune with your body and more attentive to your general health.
How much is fitness a priority in your life?
It is a big priority. It’s my hobby and I think it is so important to invest time and effort in your interests. It’s how you get a work/life balance. I’ve been active since I joined an athletics club aged nine. It’s normal to me, plus being part of a running club means I can make fitness a social activity, which is definitely a huge motivator.
How do you squeeze fitness in around your busy schedule?
When I was just running, I found it really easy. I’d make sure I made club training session every Tuesday and Thursday after work. If for some reason I couldn’t make it due to work commitments, I’d plan in advance and pack my gym kit so I could run home from wherever I was.
Now I’m training for my first triathlon, it’s a little tricky as I have three disciplines to train for (swim, cycle, run). I’ve decided to forward plan a calendar every month listing my activity. I now cycle to work so it means I can get to the pool and athletic track quickly and easily in the evenings. Cycling to work means I can squeeze in training on the bike too! Again, same as before, if I know I have a work event where I’m not in the office for the day, I will make sure I pack my running kit and backpack so that when my day does finish, I can run home from wherever I am. This is the best way to squeeze in training so that once your home you can just relax for the evening.
In a typical week what is your workout schedule and why?
I try to maintain a strict schedule. Monday I swim, Tuesday I run with my club ( The Mornington chasers ), Thursday I train on an athletics track and at the weekend I will either head out on a long cycle or a 10K run. If I also have time, I try to fit in some core strength training at home using the Nike Training Club app , along with cycling daily to work.
Wednesdays and Fridays I keep as rest days so I try to fit in anything social, such as seeing friends for dinner or more importantly, spending time with my fiancé.
What’s your personal motivational mantra?
When I trained for my first half marathon, I read an article on training tips and one mantra I read was ‘up and light’. Whenever I am running a race and start to feel tired, I straighten my back and repeat this over and over. I recently took part in a 24-hour relay race and when I was out on my 3rd leg at 3am, I used this mantra when I was running through pitch black woodland to keep myself calm and focused.
Another one I use is simply the word ‘relax’, which really helped me during Tough Mudder . I found this event such hard work! It’s 12 miles cross country with 21 obstacles to complete throughout. One of the challenges was to crawl through a caged tunnel of water whilst floating on your back. Being so confined really freaked me out but repeating ‘relax’ over and over kept me fixed on getting to the end of the tunnel.
What tips would you give anyone looking to train for a 10k or a half marathon?
Both distances require very different training. For a 10K, you need to focus on speed work, so interval training (HIIT) and sessions where you are working the body to maximum effort over short periods is best. This distance is fast but still relatively far, so core strength is also super important.
For marathons, I have never done one but know plenty of people who have. This distance is as much a test on your mind as well as your body. When training, patience is key. You’re not going to head out in your first week and complete a 16 mile training run. You’re not expected to either - you have to build up your mileage gradually. I also think over training can be a common error. Try not to sap energy in the crucial few weeks leading up to the race - make sure you taper properly so that come race day, you have the energy (and mind set) to smash it.
To keep up with Sarah’s fitness journey follow her on her blog Lipstick Runner , her Instagram and her Twitter @Lipstick_Runner