Just back from a magic weekend in Annecy (an hour from Chamonix): Sporty fun, quality time with friends and family, great food, nice wine ... AND watching 2 of our closest friends get married. What an incredibly special 2 days - marking the start of my official annual love affair with the Alps in summer. Not only is this area of France stunningly beautiful, but there's such a huge choice of things to do. Everyone's active, smiling, and busy getting involved being fit and healthy. What's not to like?
The view of Lac d'Annecy from Col de La Forclaz : a great hiking and road cycling spot! The colour of the water is just incredible. Apparently it's so pure you can drink it as you swim.
Looking back up towards Alpine peaks from the Lake Annecy shore. What a place for a 2 hour run ... (or a swim, or a bike ride ... or just some sunbathing!)
An amazing wedding!
Post wedding hiking - we crossed paths with Annecy's Maxi Trail Race: http://www.annecime.org/ - 79km with 4400m climbing. OOOOF.
Beautiful walking trails high in the hills around Annecy. A lovely day out with the husband. Nice!
OK, so it's nothing to do with sport or fitness, but for anyone who lives overseas, this is brilliant. What the British say, what the British mean, and what everyone else undrstands. Scarily true!!!!
Scroll down for what's going on at Chamonix Gym this week. We've got some free classes and some new classes! (Version francaise ci-dessus).
OK, so it's a pretty cheesy video, but there's no denying the TRX is a seriously good piece of kit. Very impressed (and knackered!). Works every bit of your body, indoors or outdoors, as hard or as easy as you like. Must be good if the only criticism I can come up with is the colour ...
Fitness is not just measured in how fast, how much, or how long you can go ... a 'better' measure of overall wellness, fitness and cardiovascular efficiency is believed to be how quickly you recover.

Want to know where you are on the scale? Try this test:

1. Accelerate your heart rate through running, biking, or other method to an anerobic level (this is your hardest effort - a pace you can do for only 20-30 seconds... such as a full sprint. make sure you build up to it with a good warm up of your muscles as well as your heart & lungs!)
2. Measure your heart rate with a monitor at the end of the sprint. Or take your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
3. Recover for 60 seconds by walking or biking slowly (do not stop moving!)
4. Measure your heart rate again after 60 seconds and subtract that number from the peak.

The key:
POOR less than 12 Beats Per Minute (BPM) recovery
FAIR 12-20
Good 20-30
Excellent 30-40
Over 40 is outstanding.
The recovery rate is important because this is a measure of the soundness of your cardiovascular system, not just our heart health.

A recovery rate of greater than 35 BPM indicates almost no risk of sudden death from heart disease.12 or less increases the risk dramatically. If this is you, please consult a doctor before exercising further!

Scroll down for info on FREE stuff coming up at Chamonix Gym. It's May. It's interseason. There's not a lot else going on. So it's time to get into shape. Scroll down for info on this week's free sessions, including TRX training and Trail Running. We've made a few changes to the class schedule for the rest of summer too. As requested, we've added more CORE, more CRECHE, and there's a new aerobics class starting soon too.
It already seems like about a year ago that we ran the London marathon, and as one of my personal training clients just reliably informed me, the Chamonix Marathon is only 7 weeks away. Crap. Better start running up some hills.

In the mean time, here's just a quick review of London, which was, as hoped, a totally amazing experience. The Chamonix girls (Steph & Charlotte) ran it together: The goal was sub 4 hours, lots of fun, and high-fiving as many kids as possible along the way.
It started with a bit of an epic, after a missed 1st flight, a delayed 2nd flight and a final mission across London to register, only to get there 5 minutes late and be told NO. No entry. No running. No sponsorship. Absolutely NO way. Pulling all cards, strings and more, there were tears, pleading, begging, feet stamping, even a phone call to Richard Branson's daughter ... until eventually the organisers were kind enough to take pity on us, bend the rules and let the 8 of us 'late crew' in. What a stress!!!

Race day was everything I hoped and more. What an amazing experience to be a part of such an enormous event - around 37,000 runners, raising something like £50 million for charity, the London Marathon is a never to be forgotten experience.

Highlights of the day: SHEWEEs - OMG. Female urinals. Hilarious. Brilliant. Seeing London as a runner on a beautiful sunny day. So many people trying so hard for such good causes. Amazing. Crowd support. Incredible costumes: the bride & groom, the 2 rhinos, the army boys, the guy who did it all backwards ... and of course crossing the line under our goal time, feeling good, and enjoying it!

Big respect to Iain Martin who ran as Chewie, and Chamonix mountain guide & athlete Jon Morgan who now holds the world record for the fastest cartoon character (Fred Flinstone). MASSIVE thanks to Sarah for having me to stay, to Charlotte for running together, to Mum and everyone else who came to watch. And of course to everyone who sponsored me for The Samaritans - especially Pete & co from Mythic Beasts and Alex and team from Media Molecule. THANK YOU!! Hopefully somewhere, somehow Oggie was there to enjoy the day too, and be proud of being part of an incredible event.