Halloween, Clocks going back, Smell of snow in the air ... that means November in Chamonix is just around the corner. Let's face it, there's not normally a lot going on in Cham this month! Which is exactly why it's such a lovely time of year. If you're in town, let's make the most of TIME for US!! SOOOOOO - let's recharge, give our bodies (and livers!) a break, have some fun, and get in shape in time for winter.

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DETOX - lose weight and feel amazing!
DDPP - dance dance party party
And ... DON'T forget ... ?
Well done to the Chamonix Girls (and Philippe!) for great times in the Paris 20km. Here's a report of their running adventures in the city of Lurrrrrve. Nice one ladies - sounded like an awesome race. What's next on the agenda? Lausanne half? Cannes-Nice Marathon?
Trudi, Jane and Julie getting set for 20km
So we arrived in Paris on saturday afternoon after a long day in the car from les Houches via Geneva. Jane drove us superbly through Paris with Philippe on red light/lane change duty, whilst Julie and I sat grinning in the back totally happy to have arrived in Paris.

A quick check in at apartment followed, as we had to meet a friend of Philippe’s in order to park at his amazingly located apartment, next to the Eiffel Tower. We stopped outside of an underground parking, naturally thinking that it was the location, but no- to our amazement we entered his residence through enormous black electric gateway (guarded if you please), into a beautifully quiet courtyard with gravel paths and grassed areas. This was only the beginning of an amazing weekend.

Saturday night apero (well, you have to in France, don’t you?) was an alcohol free affair for two of us, whilst the elites had a quick snifter or two before our simple pasta dinner. Then straight of to bed for as much sleep as possible before the big day!

Light breakfast of coffee,yoghurt and banana proved to be the winning combo. Worried that I had eaten breakfast at 7.30 and the race was not until 10, I stuffed a couple of squares of almond paste into my jacket pocket. Good move. We set off at 08.15 - opened the large Parisian wooden entry door to see it had started peeing down with rain :(

Excited walk to metro, nervous train ride, walk through Champs de Mars to Eiffel tower, and then sports centre to drop off kit bags. On the way, I bagged a cheeky couple of bin liners from a municipal worker, as we were getting soaked, and it was still only 9am...

Off to the start line then... Mega nervous, as we waited for the boys at our meeting point... 9.20 still no guys, so we decided to get in the line up anyway...

Excited chatter, wee bottles on the floor, jumpers, bin bags, all gradually being discarded as the start time approached it was still raining but warm, the screens were showing warm up exercises to upbeat music. The elite runners set of first, we all shuffled forward. Then 5 minutes until the start went and still 7 mins until we got to the actual start line- a proper effort not to slip or trip on someone’s discarded bottle or clothes..

And then finally the moment came...over the line we went...

First 3km nice and steady, so steady that Jane tried to chat with me once or twice, obviously our first race together as she didn't realise quite how much I needed to focus on the task ahead!

5km checkpoint,31.08 and a quick few gulps of water to wet our inners, the rain had eased off, but it was warm and damp.

We ran at a great pace , the 3 of us staying together until 10km comfortably. At 10km,1:03 water, first sport gel ever, and bingo, we were off again. Slowed to drink, but didn't stop at any point during the race.

We reached the River Seine at around 9km, and ran along the river from Quai Louis Bleriot until the Louvre, where we did a small loop into the building before crossing over the bridge … for our return leg, also alongside the river. We passed through several tunnels, where the combined body heat at one point was almost unbearable. People were chanting, bands were playing, everything from steel bands to Mustang Sally.

We managed to keep overtaking slower runners throughout.

1:37 at 15km, almond paste and water provided the small boost needed to get us home. Now I knew the work would begin. Message from Steph “relax and enjoy it-you’ll storm it” playing in my head… Feeling confident that we’d all finish before the 2h15 target I had in my head, I wanted to push it but was just worried about burning out after such a good first 15km, so really concentrated on just keeping my pace steady. Km 18-19 was the toughest for me. All about hanging in there and not allowing myself to slow down. Started to pass people who were really struggling, one guy collapsed on the side of the pathway…don’t look… keep out the demons,and just keep moving…

19km, telling myself the race will be over in max 8 minutes, give an effort after 3 mins… then we saw the finish line… ok troods, pull something out from the bottom of your socks, and finish in the spirit you have envisioned during your mental preparation for this…

A super race experience, with a finish time of 2:10:40 -  I am a very happy person, and already thinking I can get in less than 2 hours next year, maybe? J

Go, Go, Go- Les Etoiles de Mont Blanc!
Coming soon to Chamonix Gym ... well not quite, but something similar. Watch this space ;o)
Here are a few photos from last weekend's trail running trip to Monaco and Gorbio in the French Riviera. Seriously, what a stunning place to run - in perfect autumn conditions! Cool air, warm sun, and a light breeze. Plus: they had coke at the aid stations and chocolate at the finish. I'm moving there! Many thanks to www.asgorbio.com for organising a fantastic event. Guy & Belle loved their 16km and kicked arse. And the 42km Marathon event was not only my best ever run - in terms of pacing myself and finishing strong - but also one of the most unspoilt and beautiful race courses I've done. Makes a lovely change to see the sea as well as mountains. Looking forward to next year already! Thanks Belle for the photos.
Trail running near Nice & Monaco, France. Stunning running country - mountains and the sea all in one!
Trail running near Nice & Monaco, France. Stunning running country - mountains and the sea all in one!
Getting ready to race! Gorbio - an old medieval town in the mountains just behind Monaco and Nice
Getting ready to race! Gorbio - an old medieval town in the mountains just behind Monaco and Nice
At the Off - only 42km and 2700m of climbing to cover ...
Three of a Kind - the Willett Support Team! Thanks guys :o)
We all know what we SHOULD be doing to be healthier.
And if time and money – mainly time! - were no object, of course we WOULD.

Wouldn’t it be lovely:
   To fuel ourselves with delicious, organic, balanced meals that really taste like REAL food?
   To sleep uninterrupted for 7-8 hours every night - in a perfectly dark, quiet room
   To enjoy varied exercise 5 times a week?
   To spend more time with the people we love?
   To enjoy a massage and feel your muscles really unwind?
   To breathe deeply? 
   To spend a quiet moment alone, every day? 
   To actually relax?

Yeah right!

We all know we’d benefit from it. 
Permanent ‘Fight or Flight’: 
We know that if we continue to run our bodies at a constant level of stress we’ll get ‘stuck’ in that permanently wired state of fight or flight. We know our blood pressure will go up, our cortisol levels (stress hormone) will shoot through the roof, and our  poor adrenal glands will become exhausted.

We know that if we’re chronically sleep deprived our immune systems will become weak, and if we eat processed rubbish our insulin will spiral out of control and our cholesterol levels will rise … We know that we need to eat well and exercise and find a
happy life balance or our bodies will eventually decline into fat storing, high risk, heart attacks waiting to happen.

We know ALL THAT
Let’s be Honest!
We also know – deep down - that many of the ailments we’re already suffering from, or might do soon, are directly related to our lifestyles NOW. They’re not something we can worry about in the future. We know that if we made some changes now  they’d make all the difference to how we look, how we feel, and how healthy we’ll be as we get older.

Let’s be Really Honest:
This is Real Life! Juggling a full time job with travel, family, kids, sleep, friends, hobbies, social life, traffic, money worries, responsibilities … We do try to be healthy. We really do. But it just never seems to be enough. There aren’t enough hours in the day. So we give in a little. And then don’t really see results. So we give up.

Our modern lives are run at an insane pace: It’s no wonder our bodies are having a meltdown. And we’re not alone. Our lack of everyday wellness is costing us, our companies, and our countries billions every year.

So what can we do about it that’s REALISTIC?
3 ‘Es’: make a little difference every day … to make all the difference:

1. Eat some form of protein and some form of fresh fruit/vegetable with every meal.
2. Eat little and often and don’t let yourself get hungry.
3.  Just choose the healthy option – you know exactly what it is!
Stick to those 3 ‘rules’ then have a day off a week when you do/eat whatever you like.

1. If motivation is your enemy: Get a good personal trainer. If you’ve paid. You’ll go!
2. If time if your enemy: Find little ways to build exercise into your day. Seek advice.
3. If friends / family are your enemy: Include them and get active together.
Make it fun … Take lessons or ask an exercise professional for help. You’ll see results quicker & enjoy it more. 

1. Sleep: Do you really need to be faffing around on the internet at midnight? Go to bed!!
2. Make time for yourself every day. Even if it’s only 5 minutes. Be quiet. Be still. And breathe.
3. Be on time. We all do it! Rush rush rush panic. Don’t add to your daily stress by being late.
And … do one thoughtful thing every day for someone you love! Then smile and feel good ;o)

Seriously – try it for a week! 

Be Pure Fit are working in Partnership with DGI (Development Group International) to provide wellness solutions in the work place. For more information on the little things you can do to make big changes to your wellbeing, get in touch: 
www.bepurefit.com | info@bepurefit.com 
Right then Chamonix!
It's time to get FIT 2 SKI with Be Pure Fit & Off Piste Performance. There's snow on the peaks, the leaves have turned, you can see your breath in the morning ... winter's coming. So let's make good use of this interseason and get ourselves properly ski fit this year. No more spending the first month of the season huffing and puffing with burning legs and stopping every 5 turns.
Join our FIT 2 SKI programme from 06 Nov to 11 Dec and start this season in the best ski shape of your life!
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How many times have I heard the following phrase (or variation of) in the last few months?

'I’m not really a gym go-er’ …
‘I don’t really like the gym’ … 
‘I hate the gym’ …

So here’s a thing that may come as a surprise. ME TOO!!!! I might run a gym and spend a lot of time in it. But I am SO not a gym person. Like everyone else, I live in Chamonix for the outdoor lifestyle: the running, biking, climbing, skiing …
The thought of staring out of the window at passing cars while plodding on the running machine. Or an hour of the latest ‘new’ exercise trend (that’s actually not new at all). Or rowing to nowhere, with no water in sight. Oh my God. Seriously? It fills me with the same dread as all those ‘non-gym-ers’ who apologise, but then look slightly smug, as if I’ve missed the point of being in Chamonix ;o)

It took me a while to get it. Most of us have to experience something for ourselves before we truly believe it. My own gym revelation came with a combination of being injured and studying. Fed up with not being able to run, constrained by time, a dodgy hip and an even dodgier ankle, I was given a challenge by a coach: ‘Don’t run for the next 3 weeks, just do the weights programme I tell you, and I’ll bet you’re a faster runner at the end.’

Yeah right. I NEED to run. And be outside. And burn energy. And move. Or I’m a bad, bad person to be around. And there is no way I can get faster at running without running. 

But after just a week on the ‘no run’ programme, I started to notice a difference in my body. Another week and I was actually
getting a buzz from doing weights - and genuinely enjoying getting stronger. Weirdly enough my hip and ankle both felt better(funny that!). By the end of week 3 I could hold a plank for several minutes, do twice as many press ups and burpees, and my balance was so much better.  I'd 'woken' up muscles that had got lazy with lack of use. I felt stable and purposeful in my movements. And rather than bulking up, I found myself feeling leaner, taller, stronger, and full of beans. I had thought I could only get that buzzy endorphin rush from running.

So then came the actual challenge. I hadn’t run for 3 weeks. I felt totally out of practise. Press ups and planks, bring it on. But running? Hmmm. Convinced I'd fail, I refused to even give it a go. I hadn't even had a practise run. But a bet was a bet. I was dragged back to the running machine. No pressure!

So I started running. Slowly. And felt surprisingly ok. So I went a bit faster. And still felt pretty good. Amazing even. I was sustaining a pace that had previously been a short sprint. I never thought I’d be able to keep going at that speed. But I did. Quite easily. And to my complete shock, I knocked a full 2 minutes off my previous best 10km time. I’d started easy, so I could probably even have gone a bit faster! Next time ...   

So, there we go. I was WRONG.

The whole gym thing works. If you know what you want out of it. And if you work at it.

That was a year ago. I’d still rather be outside - and am at every opportunity. But the gym has now become an invaluable partner to the other sports I do in Chamonix. Without it, I’d be weaker, wobblier, weedier - and probably a whole lot more injured. So, whether you’re after flexibility, weight loss, power, injury recovery, endurance, or better posture: Use the gym wisely and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. 

Thanks for reading. Now: try it for yourself!

Ps. Chamonix Gym is not dark, stinky, full of meat heads or intimidating. It’s friendly, new, clean and shiny enough to take the edge off the fact that we’d ALL rather be outside! The music however, is notoriously crap. So bring your own.