Sport talk with James Bishop: Part 2

Here is the second part of my interview with James Bishop! Last week I met up with James to chat through his youtube channel and to have a discussion of his running in December.  This week in our second sport talk, I found out whether James did the Iron Man he set out to do, what Goalhanger films has been up to recently, and what James wants to do in 2016. During the video, I also took the opportunity to ask James about his sports watch. I am on the look out for a new running watch (as much as I do love my forerunner 210) so I asked James about the super duper watch he has – take a look for yourself, and maybe add it to your wishlist! James has actually spoken about the Garmin 920 XT on his you tube channel here. If you can recommend a new watch to get - love to know your thoughts!

I can’t believe how quickly this year is going! Really excited to share with you ideas and plans for 2016  - bring it on! For now, enjoy your weekend, it’s nearly Christmas; get wrapping (if you need to), and enjoy the festive time.

Don’t make a wish this Christmas – simply formulate a dream. Then start encouraging yourself to make it happen.

JB interview Part 1: Fitness, running, Christmas.

I have enjoyed starting to film on Youtube, ‘vlogging’ and chatting about running, as well as lifestyle and fitness stuff. Learning to edit and film has been a cool thing to take on and I am enjoying the challenges that often pop on for more about that…:)

Yesterday  I caught up with James Bishop, athlete, entrepreneur and part of the team at  Goalhanger films – who have made some pretty immense sporting content.

James is also big into sport himself – taking on his own challenge for Christmas 2016 which we chat about here in Part 1.

More will be revealed in a PART 2 Blog coming very soon!

Click here for James' channel.

By the way - if you have youtube do let me know and I will check out your channel!

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 2015

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has had a good week. It's been nearly a week since I travelled to Sheffield for SHAFF - which is the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. Like Kendal Mountain Film Festival, this is a chance to meet some very wonderful, incredible explorers, adventurers and sports people, and see some fantastic films!


This was the first time I had actually managed to see 'Running Wild' on the big screen, as I unfortunately could not make the screening of the Kendal showing. Seeing the beautiful scenery of Chamonix again, some dear people on the screen - it left me very nostalgic, and keen to go back out to Chamonix again. Not long now !

I also saw some other really amazing films. 'Finding Traction' about the incredible feat of Nikki Kimball's 273 mile ultra challenge was uplifting, motivating and quite frankly, nothing short of running mastery. It was then an honour to hear her talk at the Women in Adventure forum later in the evening. Her, along with other very talented women in sport, including climber Mina Leslie- Wujastyk, and adventurer Squash Falconer reaffirmed for everyone in the room, and everyone who has heard about it since - that women are taking the sporting world by storm, as we absolutely should be acknowledged for doing.

Whether male or female, a runner, climber, skier etc, novice or expert - keep doing what you are doing, and enjoy every moment. Everyone is a sporting champion in their own right, no matter who you are.

A really wonderful event, bring on SHAFF 2016 already!

Skiing December 2014

Day 1 We arrive to beautiful green mountain terrain, stunning scenery…. wait, GREEN? Where’s the snow? Lifts look shut, place is very quiet. Uh oh….Would this be the closest we would get to skiing?

 No fear – by the end of the day the snow is fallin’. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and day of skiing planned ahead. Not enough here for skiing – but tomorrow we aim for Verbier.

Day 2

Today we are up relatively early for Verbier. Bit of a drive to get there but good to be out on the snow! Conditions were not great though – visibility at an all time low + rain! Spent more time with goggles off than on while skiing! At least we are getting to ski though, which somehow didn't quite seem possible yesterday.

Day 3

Today we went to Cervinia, Italy. The relatively sudden high altitude provided a bit of a challenge, however the weather was fantastic, as were the views! Some good piste runs and some great banter with the guys skiing until the setting sun. A brilliant day! Pretty psyched to catch up with Nikki Barnard tomorrow for a winter trail run.

Day 4

The boys set off for Verbier again, but I stayed put. Caught up with running soul mate Nikki Barnard (barnardsadventures) and went for a potter. Quick bowl of pasta and headed out again on the trail for some ‘me time’. I can’t explain how these trails make me feel, but they give me a peace there I cannot replicate so far anywhere else. The light was perfect through the trees, weather calm. You just cannot find trails like this in many other places.

Day 5

Today was a big adventure, and a bit of a test for me. This was my first ski tour, onto the Argentiere Glacier. I am so grateful to the boys who took me, helping and guiding me the whole way. This was out of my comfort zone – I love the mountains, but feel most at ease in a pair of trainers on the mountain trail, never mind dealing with crevassed, glacial landscape. I have loved skiing since I was a child, but normally play it safe, enjoying the comfort of the pistes. I am now beginning to venture a bit off piste, to see the real beauty of the mountains, and today was the biggest off piste adventure. The nerves were not helped by the fact I had a binding problem with my skis, popping off at random on turns in a russian roulette fashion: not something you want to have to contend with in the heart of the mountains. The team were awesome though, and I felt in safe hands even in a cold and somewhat unnerving environment. This was real ‘type 2’ fun : scary, required strategy, felt difficult and overwhelming. But who could regret scenes like this?

Day 6

Today is the last day, and a chilled one. The snow isn’t amazing so we felt like having a reflective day in Chamonix. What a trip! Thoroughly enjoyable and a beautiful way to spend those days before Christmas. I will always feel most myself amongst the mountains.

December Update

It can be pretty hard to stay motivated during December when it comes to a fitness regime and exercising. The nights are drawing in, it is colder, there is more opportunity for indulgent snacking (Mr.Kipling starts to feel like a chum). However, I actually find that it can be a great opportunity for maintaining fitness and building core strength, while at the same time be a period of reenergizing. Pilates : An all round the year essential for me, but something that I rely on more in the winter months. I find pilates really helpful for me in terms of helping strengthen and stretch tired muscles. It’s something that doesn’t require a lot of time put aside either which is great in a busy festive period. If you are on a budget or don’t have time to make a class, there are some great pilates videos (even youtube!) out there.

Skiing: I am about to go skiing and I am really excited about this! Skiing is great for maintaining fitness and strengthening core muscles. It’s also a good sport to do aside running for a bit of a change of scene. It also gets me back to the mountains around Chamonix, which feels like my second home.

Climbing: I am by no means a good climber, but I really enjoy hitting the wall. It helps stretch muscles that are tired from running, and it’s a good challenge setter! It’s also something you can enjoy all year around with indoor climbing walls.

Running: There is productivity in rest. I enjoy running for the scenery this time of year, and for the real joy in just running. This was taken last weekend at Burbage in the Peak. While I am training currently, this doesn’t need to detract from the wonder of running this time of year. If anything, a positive running attitude is a positive training one.

Health tips: Remember this time of year – drink lots of water. Try and keep a healthy balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. It’s possible to stress out your body in a time when you should be relaxing, by not properly taking care of it. Having said that, it is a time to enjoy spending time with close friends and family and for recuperation. One thing I am a big fan of this time of year (well, anytime of the year!) is big breakfasts with good friends! I recently caught up with some of my best mates over a massive brunch!

How are you spending December?

Kendal Mountain Film Festival

It’s a funny feeling when you think back to the summer. On the one hand it feels like so long ago, and yet on the other time seems to have gone by so quickly. I often think back to the race morning of the OCC. Getting up ridiculously early awaiting my journey from Chamonix to Orsieres (only to then run it back again ;) ). Anything from the down jacket I wore to travel, to the song they played at the starting line, now takes me back to my 53km mountain challenge.

However I got to relive the experience in an even more real way two weeks ago, when I went to the Kendal Mountain Film Festival in the Lakes. I had been to the festival the year before, and had no idea, then, that I would be featuring in it the following year after completing my first ultra-marathon. At that point I hadn’t even run a half marathon! Bonkers.

It was an amazing festival. To give you an idea of just some of the truly incredible work displayed, do watch (or indeed, re-watch) the trailer. I think it is marvellous to come to an event where people are honestly living out a dream, that however distant or unreachable it may seem, they find a determination, and therefore a way, to achieve it. This is pretty inspirational for the rest of us, and I left feeling really uplifted and thinking ahead to my own next goals for 2015.

Kendal Mountain Festival 2014 Trailer from Kendal Mountain Festival on Vimeo.

It was also wonderful to catch up with a very inspiring man and true friend. John Ellison, founder of Climbers Against Cancer, is one of the most positive, determined people I know. Despite his own battle with cancer, John has raised hope and awareness to thousands of other people with cancer. A real fighter and a true hero. Here we are re-enacting the same photo taken a year before – may there be many more annual pictures John.