Fit Foodie: Training buddies are the way to go

This week I’m chatting all about training buddies. I’m sharing my healthier take on two
Halloween classics; pumpkin soup and sticky toffee apples.

Earlier this year, I decided to shake up my training routine and set myself the goal of running a 5km race over the summer. This was a major shift for me as I’m used to running for about 12 seconds. I started training twice weekly with two of my friends and to be honest, enlisting the girls’ help turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made for my fitness.

Here’s why I think training buddies are great:

  • Consistency: Training with friends, with a common goal in mind, gave me a reason to run consistently and when it comes to fitness consistency is key.
  • Social: We have a whats-app group for our sessions and we message each other to organise them. This is
    a major motivating factor for me. It’s a great way to spend time together, and by switching your coffee dates to fit dates you might even save yourself some money.
  • Accountability: When things get busy with work and life in general, it can be hard to motivate yourself to lace up the runners and get out the front door. I’ve noticed that training with the girls has really helped in this regard. It’s one thing to cancel your own plans — it’s another to cancel on a friend who’s counting on you.
  • Motivation: The extra little push a training buddy gives you can make all the difference when it comes to smashing out those last few reps or final few meters. Sometimes, it’s the only reason you get started with your training session at all. Recently, on a run at the very end of a 5km I suggested we sprint the last 100m. We all did it grudgingly but we would not have done it without each other being there.

My top tips for choosing a workout partner:

  • Fitness levels: Aim for someone who is at the same level, or slightly better, than you. This way you can progress towards your goals and improve your
    fitness levels, strength and speed together. Pairing up with somebody who is way fitter, faster or stronger than you might be a little demotivating.
  • Attitude: Pick someone with a similar attitude to you. I like to train with people that I would share a cup of coffee with. Some days I’m really happy to be training and other days I’m a bit moany! I find training with people of similar
    attitudes helps. You need to gel with your training partners.
  • Goals: Choosing someone with a common goal is important because if they understand what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, then they can be a better workout partner. They can help keep you
    focused on and achieve your goals. Choosing the same goal is helpful — an event to work towards.
  • Schedules: Ensuring your schedules are similar is key because no matter how ideal your training buddy might be, if your schedules never coincide then it’s not going to work. Can you train in the morning or do you need to train in the evening? How are weekends for you? Think about this before getting your self a training buddy.



A couple of years ago it was pretty unusual to see a woman in the weights room but nowadays it’s far more common - although it’s still fairly male dominated 🚹 Today, after finishing a set of chin ups, a man turned around to me and said “you’re pretty strong for a girl”, first of all mate, I’m a woman 💅🏽 and second of all who said females can’t be just as strong as men? 💪🏼 Yes we may be anatomically smaller built humans, and physiologically find it a bit more difficult to build muscle, but that doesn’t make us weak. Furthermore, what really gets my goat is gender specific workouts - I mean you would never see a male ‘booty guide’ or ‘bingo wing blaster’ but female targeted workouts are always focused on changing our bodies. This is not to say men don’t get pressurised into looking a certain way, but let’s be honest, there’s not half the amount of focus on appearance, but more so on performance and strength. Men and women can train exactly the same way - you don’t need to have a beard to bench press and you don’t need to have a pair of ovaries to do yoga. *Mic drop* 💁🏽 Wearing @reebokwomenuk #thefoodmedic #hazelwallace #thefoodmedicbook #Thefoodmedicworkout

A post shared by Dr Hazel Wallace (@thefoodmedic) on

Hazel Wallace is a practicing doctor with a special interest in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. She is also a qualified personal trainer. Her blog and book are packed with recipes plus exercise and nutrition tips. I like Hazel’s approach as she debunks many of the myths that are out there and instead offers solid, evidence-based advice.

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