Katy Downing has come a long way since she started training for the 2017 RideLondon for charity on a borrowed bike.
Having completed a couch-to-5k program, Katy joined the local tri club to improve her swimming. Within the next twelve months, she completed five sprint triathlons, two 10ks and several 5ks.
Impressive enough, but even more so when you consider she’s fitting it all around working and raising a young daughter. She’s not stopping anytime soon though.
The London Landmarks Half Marathon isn't just Katy's first challenge of 2019, it's also the first time she'll be doing a half marathon alone.
We’ve sent some kit to help Katy along with her training. Watch this space to see how she gets on and make sure you give her a follow over on Instagram.
So, the mince pies have been eaten. The last of the Baileys has been drunk. It’s time to get back to work!
Training-wise, I had a rubbish end to the year thanks to some big changes at work stealing my focus and energy. Cycling and swimming training went out the window. Sometimes life takes over!
However, I did complete my first half marathon in just under 2.5 hours at the beginning of December, but the credit for that really goes to my amazing running buddy Jana for pulling me around. I’m also thankful to my Northants Tri teammates for encouraging and cheering us on.
New year, fresh start. The first event is on the horizon and training is back in full swing. As I sit and write this I have managed to run, get on the turbo or swim every day but one since the first of January.
Rest is as important as training. I did have training planned on my one ‘day off’ but I felt tired and needed the rest. It’s vital to listen to your body to avoid burn-out.
The training all sounds like a lot but I fit it in when I can and don’t worry if I can’t. I’m lucky that I work somewhere where I feel safe to run on my lunch breaks. It's pretty flat, but you could see that as a bonus.
I can jump on the turbo after my daughter has gone to bed or just about squeeze it in before her bedtime if my husband is home to do bath time.
Swimming and riding on the road are my hardest challenges. I suffer with my confidence on my road bike so I’m working on finding a riding buddy to make me go out. It sounds ridiculous really. When I started riding, it was to train for Ride London. I would be out on the road 3 times a week and not think about it!
Swim training with the club is great and I’m in a lane with lovely people. We have our own dedicated coach who ensures we spend most of the time training and not chatting!
I’ve been amazingly fortunate to have been supplied with some fabulous new running kit as part of the Wiggle Challenge team. I have a kit bag that I leave at work, fully loaded with enough kit for the week so I have no excuse not to go out for a run at lunchtime.
So far, I’ve been getting plenty of use out of my lovely Under Armour kit and Adidas Solar Boost trainers. The leggings and top are warm in this cooler weather, but they let the sweat escape so that you don’t get wet from the inside out.
My favourite piece of kit must be the Skins leggings. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m ‘runner’ shaped, but they fit and feel great. A premium price tag but a premium product – I'd say these are a worthwhile investment.
I hope you have all had a great start to your fitness this year and remember it's not how far or how hard you go, just get up and do something, you’ll be glad you did. Looking forward to catching up soon.
What's in Katy's kit bag?
I've only run up to 6km in these so far but no blisters so far! I'm looking forward to building up my distance in these - they're so comfy and I love the bright colour. I also like the longer soft tab at the back which makes them easy to pull on.
I loved my old running watch so the Garmin had a lot to live up to. Thankfully it didn't disappoint. It was really easy to set up and connect with my other Garmin devices. The large display is clear enough to read at a glance during training sessions.
I love HIGH5 and they've been my go-to nutrition brand for a long time. The HIGH High5 ZERO Protect are great for winter training as they contain Vitamin C to boost the immune session. These are great made in a mug with hot water after a long cold session.
These leggings have become a permanent fixture in the kit bag I keep at work. They dry quickly so they're great for my lunchtime runs. A nice winter weight for slower work or cooler days.
It's a perfect top for this changeable weather. It keeps you warm and whisks the moisture away. My only negative comment would be I'd personally like it a bit brighter for the darker nights.