Hello and welcome to Diet and Fitness with Davina where you will find:-

I enjoy blogging about Pilates, Fitness and Nutrition.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.  I would appreciate any feedback.




What a wonderfully relaxing Pilates and Nordic Walking Retreat weekend everyone had!

The weather was glorious!  The company was welcoming and fun!  The vegan food was fulfilling and delicious!

4 people even immediately re-booked for the next Pilates and Nordic Walking Retreat weekend – 21st – 23rd September 2018.

Once everyone was settled in, the weekend began with a Yoga class taught by Jo De Rosa,  who lives in the house with her husband Dom, the Chef.

Dom cooks the vegan healthy food, with his team, which is served by Jo and her assistant.  Most of the vegetables are grown within the gardens of Inner Guidance Retreat centre, so the food is always fresh.

We truly experience how gluten, dairy, alcohol and sugar-free foods taste and feel so good!

Everyone enjoyed the food and all diet requirements were taken care of.  There were a variety of dishes served, and no-one realised they were on a vegan clean eating style retreat.

As well as morning smoothies and raw cacao drinks, brunches and afternoon cake, we were served 2 course vegan dinners, and as the weather was warm, we were able to enjoy meals outside.  This gave everyone the opportunity to get to know each other.  There was a relaxed atmosphere with lots of chatter and laughter.

4 different types of Pilates classes were taught within the retreat centre studio, whilst listening to the birds outside, as the doors were open looking out onto the gardens across the field of horses.

After brunch on Saturday, Caroline began the Nordic Walking session.  This started with a thorough warm up and technique session, then we walked to Lavenham village.

Some ladies who either had treatments booked or didn’t want to walk so far, turned back guided by me.  There was ample time to spend a couple of hours relaxing in the garden and have a dip in the small swimming pool or the hot tub.

Afternoon cake was left in the cooler as and when we wanted to eat it, which gave everyone the opportunity to relax and choose what they wanted to do.

The evenings were spent walking around the garden, where you will find hammocks and swings, and walk around Labyrinth where much laughter was heard! Stories were also shared around the fire and in the hot tub!

Sunday morning, we learnt about raw Cacao, and Dom gave us a Cacao ceremony which involved some meditation.

As well as the Pilates classes on Sunday, everyone had some time to relax in the garden, enjoy treatments or walk into Lavenham Village.

A variety of holistic treatments offered throughout the weekend by Carol, Angel Therapist, were from a choice of: Rheiki, Massage and Reflexology or the Inner Guidance Special, which incorporates some healing, to coinside well with the purpose of this thoroughly relaxing Retreat Weekend.

If you don’t want to miss out on the next Retreat which is the weekend of 21st-23rd September 2018, please email info@davinaspilateshealthandwellness.com to book your place.

Privacy Policy

Privacy and cookies policy

  1. Introduction

1.1    We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors and service users.

1.2    This policy applies where we are acting as a data controller with respect to the personal data of our website visitors and service users; in other words, where we determine the purposes and means of the processing of that personal data.

1.3    We use cookies on our website. Insofar as those cookies are not strictly necessary for the provision of our website and services, we will ask you to consent to our use of cookies when you first visit our website.

1.5    In this policy, “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Davina’s Pilates Health And Wellness.  For more information about us, see Section 19.

  1. How we use your personal data

2.1    In this Section 2 we have set out:

(a)    the general categories of personal data that we may process;

(b)    the purposes for which we may process personal data; and

(c)    the legal bases of the processing.

2.2    We may process your personal data that are provided in the course of the use of our services (“service data“). The service data may include name, address, telephone number, email address, and any injures referring to pilates classes. The service data may be processed for the purposes of providing our services, ensuring the security of our website and services, maintaining back-ups of our databases and communicating with you.

2.2    We may process information that you post for publication on our website or through our services (“publication data“). The publication data may be processed for the purposes of enabling such publication and administering our website and services

2.4    We may process information contained in any enquiry you submit to us regarding goods and/or services (“enquiry data“). The enquiry data may be processed for the purposes of offering our services to you.

2.5    We may process information relating to transactions, including purchases of goods and services, that you enter into with us and/or through our website (“transaction data“). The transaction data may include your contact details, your card details and the transaction details. The transaction data may be processed for the purpose of supplying the purchased goods and services and keeping proper records of those transactions.

2.6    We may process information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our email notifications and/or newsletters (“notification data“). The notification data may be processed for the purposes of sending you the relevant notifications and/or newsletters.

2.7    We may process [information contained in or relating to any communication that you send to us (“correspondence data“). The correspondence data may include the communication content and metadata associated with the communication. Our website will generate the metadata associated with communications made using the website contact forms. The correspondence data may be processed for the purposes of communicating with you and record-keeping.

2.8    We may process your enquiry data.  This data may include name, address, contact details and any injuries relating to Pilates.  The source of this data is for client records.  This data may be processed for client records.

The legal basis for this processing the above date is the performance of a contract between you and us and/or taking steps, at your request, to enter into such a contract.

2.9    We may process any of your personal data identified in this policy where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, whether in court proceedings or in an administrative or out-of-court procedure.

2.10  We may process any of your personal data identified in this policy where necessary for the purposes of obtaining or maintaining insurance coverage, managing risks, or obtaining professional advice. The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests, namely the proper protection of our business against risks.

2.11  In addition to the specific purposes for which we may process your personal data set out in this Section 2, we may also process any of your personal data where such processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.

2.12  Please do not supply any other person’s personal data to us, unless we prompt you to do so.

 Retaining and deleting personal data

3.1    This Section 6 sets out our data retention policies and procedure, which are designed to help ensure that we comply with our legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal data.

3.2    Personal data that we process for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.

3.3    We will retain your personal data as follows as long as necessary.

3.4    In some cases it is not possible for us to specify in advance the periods for which your personal data will be retained. In such cases, we will determine the period of retention based on the following criteria:

3.5    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section 6, we may retain your personal data where such retention is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject, or in order to protect your vital interests or the vital interests of another natural person.

 Security of personal data

4.1    We will take appropriate technical and organisational precautions to secure your personal data and to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal data.

4.2    We will store all your personal data on secure servers, personal computers and mobile devices, and in secure manual record-keeping systems.

4.3    The following personal data will be stored by us in encrypted form: your name and contact information and personal information relating to pilates.

4.4    Data relating to your enquiries and financial transactions that is sent from your web browser to our web server, or from our web server to your web browser, will be protected using encryption technology.

4.5    You acknowledge that the transmission of unencrypted (or inadequately encrypted) data over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.


5.1    We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our website.

5.2    You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes to this policy.

5.3    We may notify you of significant changes to this policy by email.

Your rights

6.1    In this Section 9, we have summarised the rights that you have under data protection law. Some of the rights are complex, and not all of the details have been included in our summaries. Accordingly, you should read the relevant laws and guidance from the regulatory authorities for a full explanation of these rights.

6.2    Your principal rights under data protection law are:

(a)    the right to access;

(b)    the right to rectification;

(c)    the right to erasure;

(d)    the right to restrict processing;

(e)    the right to object to processing;

(f)    the right to data portability;

(g)    the right to complain to a supervisory authority; and

(h)    the right to withdraw consent.

6.3    You have the right to confirmation as to whether or not we process your personal data and, where we do, access to the personal data, together with certain additional information. That additional information includes details of the purposes of the processing, the categories of personal data concerned and the recipients of the personal data. Providing the rights and freedoms of others are not affected, we will supply to you a copy of your personal data.

6.4    You have the right to have any inaccurate personal data about you rectified and, taking into account the purposes of the processing, to have any incomplete personal data about you completed.

6.5    In some circumstances you have the right to the erasure of your personal data without undue delay. Those circumstances include: the personal data are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed; you withdraw consent to consent-based processing; you object to the processing under certain rules of applicable data protection law; the processing is for direct marketing purposes; and the personal data have been unlawfully processed. However, there are exclusions of the right to erasure. The general exclusions include where processing is necessary: for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information; for compliance with a legal obligation; or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

6.6    In some circumstances you have the right to restrict the processing of your personal data. Those circumstances are: you contest the accuracy of the personal data; processing is unlawful but you oppose erasure; we no longer need the personal data for the purposes of our processing, but you require personal data for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; and you have objected to processing, pending the verification of that objection. Where processing has been restricted on this basis, we may continue to store your personal data. However, we will only otherwise process it: with your consent; for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; for the protection of the rights of another natural or legal person; or for reasons of important public interest.

6.7    You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data on grounds relating to your particular situation, but only to the extent that the legal basis for the processing is that the processing is necessary for: the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of any official authority vested in us; or the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party. If you make such an objection, we will cease to process the personal information unless we can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override your interests, rights and freedoms, or the processing is for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

6.8    You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data for direct marketing purposes (including profiling for direct marketing purposes). If you make such an objection, we will cease to process your personal data for this purpose.

6.9    You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data for scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes on grounds relating to your particular situation, unless the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out for reasons of public interest.

6.10  To the extent that the legal basis for our processing of your personal data is:

(a)    consent; or

(b)    that the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are party or in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract,

and such processing is carried out by automated means, you have the right to receive your personal data from us in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format. However, this right does not apply where it would adversely affect the rights and freedoms of others.

6.11  If you consider that our processing of your personal information infringes data protection laws, you have a legal right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority responsible for data protection. You may do so in the EU member state of your habitual residence, your place of work or the place of the alleged infringement.

6.12  To the extent that the legal basis for our processing of your personal information is consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of processing before the withdrawal.

6.13  You may exercise any of your rights in relation to your personal data by written notice to us OR by unsubcribing in addition to the other methods specified in this Section 9.

Third party websites

7.1    Our website includes hyperlinks to, and details of, third party websites.

7.2    We have no control over, and are not responsible for, the privacy policies and practices of third parties.

Updating information

8.1    Please let us know if the personal information that we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.

Acting as a data processor

9.1    In respect of personal data,  we do not act as a data controller; instead, we act as a data processor.

9.2    Insofar as we act as a data processor rather than a data controller, this policy shall not apply. Our legal obligations as a data processor are instead set out in the contract between us and the relevant data controller.

About cookies

10.1  A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

10.2  Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.

10.3  Cookies do not typically contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal information that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.

Cookies that we use

11.1  We use cookies for the following purposes:

(a)    We use cookies to identify you when you visit our website and as you navigate our website.

(b)   We use cookies [to help us to determine if you are logged into our website.

(c)    We use cookies to [maintain the state of your shopping cart as you navigate our website][ (cookies used for this purpose are,

(e)    We use cookies as an element of the security measures used to protect user accounts, including preventing fraudulent use of login credentials, and to protect our website and services generally.

(g)    We use cookies to help us to analyse the use and performance of our website and services.

(h)    We use cookies to store your preferences in relation to the use of cookies more generally.

Cookies used by our service providers

12.1  Our service providers use cookies and those cookies may be stored on your computer when you visit our website.

12.2  We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of our website. Google Analytics gathers information about website use by means of cookies. The information gathered relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of our website. Google’s privacy policy is available at: https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/

12.3  We publish Google AdSense interest-based advertisements on our website. These are tailored by Google to reflect your interests. To determine your interests, Google will track your behaviour on our website and on other websites across the web using cookies OR We publish Google AdSense advertisements on our website. To determine your interests, Google will track your behaviour on our website and on other websites across the web using cookies. This behaviour tracking allows Google to tailor the advertisements that you see on other websites to reflect your interests (but we do not publish interest-based advertisements on our website).] You can view, delete or add interest categories associated with your browser by visiting: https://adssettings.google.com. You can also opt out of the AdSense partner network cookie using those settings or using the Network Advertising Initiative’s multi-cookie opt-out mechanism at: http://optout.networkadvertising.org. However, these opt-out mechanisms themselves use cookies, and if you clear the cookies from your browser your opt-out will not be maintained. To ensure that an opt-out is maintained in respect of a particular browser, you may wish to consider using the Google browser plug-ins available at: https://support.google.com/ads/answer/7395996.

12.4  We use Acuity Scheduling to take online payments You can view the privacy policy of this service provider at  https://acuityscheduling.com/privacy.php

12.5  We use Acuity Scheduling to take online payments You can view the privacy policy of this service provider  https://www.mynearyou.com/privacy-policy.php

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13.1  Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies and to delete cookies. The methods for doing so vary from browser to browser, and from version to version. You can however obtain up-to-date information about blocking and deleting cookies via these links:

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(f)    https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10-microsoft-edge-and-privacy

14.2  Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.

14.3  If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.

Our details

15.1  This website is owned and operated by Davina’s Pilates Health and Wellness.

15.3  Our principal place of business is at 32 Lovering Road, Hammond Street, Cheshunt,  Herts  EN7 6WU

15.4  You can contact us:

(a)    by post, to the postal address given above;

(b)    using our website contact form;

(c)    by telephone, on the contact number published on our website from time to time; or

(d)    by email, using the email address published on our website from time to time.


Green Veg with a difference

Green Veg with a difference


We all know the importance of green vegetables are in our diet but sometimes they can become boring especially if they are just steamed and served!

I have added some chopped Roasted Pepper and Black Olives to these.  With a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of minerals including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium and vitamins including vitamins K, C, E, and many B vitamins.

They are also very low in carb and have a good fibre content.

If you would like to break habits and eat real foods then join my Revitalise Programme.

Click here for more information.




Sweetcorn Frittata




This time I simply added a tin of sweetcorn and half a chilli to four eggs and baked in my Stoneware muffin dish for 20 minutes.








Start your morning off with a Revitalise Berry and Seed Salad.

Gaining some anti-oxidants from the berries and healthy fats from the seeds, you can also add some pro-biotic by adding some natural greek yoghurt for a more filing breakfast.

Also a combination of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats.

And according to the Daily Mail, Berries are very good for you 


This is just one of the healthy, delicious breakfasts you can have on my Revitalise programme.






One-pan summer eggs


I found this recipe on BBC Good Food




  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g courgettes (about 2 large ones), chopped into small chunks
  • 200g/7oz pack cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 eggs
  • few basil leaves, to serve

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the courgettes. Fry for 5 mins, stirring every so often until they start to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic, then cook for a few mins more. Stir in a little seasoning, then make two gaps in the mix and crack in the eggs. Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of foil, then cook for 2-3 mins until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter over a few basil leaves and serve with crusty bread.





This dish could be made with a choice of vegetables.  I chose courgette, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach.  You could also add sweet potato and red onion.



  • coconut oil
  • courgette
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • clove of garlic


Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the courgettes and mushrooms and fry until they start to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic, then cook for a few mins more, add the spinach. Stir in a little seasoning, then make two gaps in the mix and crack in the eggs and cook to your liking.

With all the vegetables there is no need to have bread unless you really feel the need.




These are ideal as a healthy grab and go breakfast or a snack.  They can be made with a varied combination of ingredients.




These are Salmon and broccoli mini frattatis.

I mixed together 5 eggs, tinned salmon, broccolli and spring onion and sprinkled with parmesan cheese before baking them in a stoneware muffin tray for 20 minutes.





Day at Excel – Proud owner of running number 38203


The Thursday before The London Marathon, I was really excited because I had to go to collect my running number from Excel, London.

I had a lovely day there looking around the exhibition stands at the range running gear and trying on different styles of trainers.

There were a couple of informative talks about fueling before and during the marathon and how to cope with the race itself.





marathon train

Traveling to Greenwich the start line


I had to be at the Station at 7am to catch the train into London.

The train was packed with Marathon runners some were excited and some were nervous. A buzz of conversation surrounded the train as we were all  trying to get tips off each other of how to cope with the 26.2 miles.

We soon arrived at Greenwich which was the starting line of The London Marathon for the charity places.



The Children Trust Marathon runners

The Children Trust Marathon runners


When I arrived at the start line, it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and there was a breeze.

I found the other runners from The Children’s Trust and we had some photos taken before we had to hand our bags into the baggage lorries which would then take them to the finish line.



I then made my way to my starting point.  Everyone was really nervous by this time.  There were so many people in different costumes and some quite funny.  We were all running for charity and all for different reasons close to our heart.

I had butterflies in my stomach.  I thought I was going to feel full from all the extra carbs I’d been eating and the bowl of porridge for breakfast but I felt empty.  It felt as if we were waiting to go on a big roller coaster ride.

At 10am the siren went and we very slowly made our way forward to the start line.  I was quite far back as I was in the 4.45hr group.

I had a plan in my head to take it easy for the first 5 miles.  There were masses of people that we were elbow to elbow to each other it was quite difficult to get a good pace going.   I didn’t want to use too much energy by weaving in and out of people so whenever I saw a gap I squeezed forward.  I could feel the anxiety in the air as we were all trying to find our pace.

At 5 miles, I took my first energy gel which I did every 5 mile through the race.  There were water stops at every mile and Lucozade stops every 5 mile.   We were just taking a few sips and then throwing the bottles to the side of the road.  There were bottles everywhere you had to be careful not to fall on one.

We passed Cutty Sark at Mile 6 but I don’t remember this as I must have been focusing on my pace.

I tried to increase my speed slightly when I could.  These first few miles had been quiet but as we turned the corner I could hear the sound of drums and there were swarms of people either side cheering.  We all had our names printed on our running shirts so people could shout out our name to encourage us to keep going.

The miles seemed to be whizzing past with so much going on around us creating a bustling atmosphere.  We were already at mile 10 and now I thought I really should get a better pace going.  My ankles had started hurting because it was difficult to run properly.

We were not far from London Bridge, the road started to widen and I was able to lengthen my stride but I didn’t want to go too fast as I knew I had a long way ahead of me.  As we hit London Bridge,  the atmosphere was amazing with all the crowds cheering and shouting your name.  There were balloons and banners highlighting the different charities.  There was a ray of colour surrounding us.  This was overwhelming and emotional and I felt proud to be British and to be part of such an amazing event.

At mile 14 I was desperately looking our for The Children’s Trust balloons and banner which is where my friends and family would be standing.   It was lovely to have their support  and to hear them cheering me on very loudly!

It was still quite hard to get a good pace as the roads through mile 15 were very narrow, the pedestrians had come onto the road rather than staying on the pavement and some runners had started to walk.  People were offering us sweets, bananas, biscuits to build on our energy stores.

Still smiling after mile 16

Still smiling after mile 16

I couldn’t believe when I arrived at mile 16 with so much energy in store and the time had passed so quickly.  I ate my lucozade bar to give me that extra boost till the end and really focused on picking up my pace still holding a little back for the last 6 miles.

I remember passing pubs with live music and live bands and dancing with my arms while I was running.

At mile 19 and 20 we circled Canary Wharf where the atmosphere boomed again.  The roads started opening up so I lengthened my stride once more.

At mile 22 I was again looking out for my family.  Once I was them I was on a mission to finish.

I was running my fastest, I could hear the crowds shouting my name, I was overtaking everyone as most people were tired but because of my slow start I had plenty of energy in store.

I was counting down the miles.  It wasn’t until I passed mile 25 that I felt my energy stores were slightly depleting but I kept pushing on until the finish line. I could see a lot of people struggling by this point, some people’s legs were buckling underneath them.

I crossed the finish line in 4.13hrs….I was buzzing from adrenaline, I had enjoyed the whole experience.

All I can say is WOW….what an amazing experience to run The London Marathon.



My Marathon Experience

london marathon 2014 With less than a week to go.  I have completed the training and am now at the tapering stage.  I feel everything has calmed down now as I prepare for the day.

The training has been especially tough in the last few weeks as I was increasing my long run to 20 miles.  I also added another mid-week training day to help me cope with the longer run at the weekend.  My weekly schedule for the last month was  6 or 8 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and 10 miles on Wednesdays.  I was then taking 2 days rest before my long run on Sunday.   My focus was getting more miles under my feet than speed and was now covering around 42-45 miles per week!

I planned  a 20 mile route  using mapmyrun.com which was quite hilly but had a flat finish along Lea Valley canal.   The first time I got a little lost and ended up doing nearly 22 miles.  I was quite wary so went out at a much slower pace.  I started to feel hungry halfway through and always carried a Lucozade energy bar with me so I ate that.  By mile 15 I was really tired but I still had a long way to go.  When I came off the canal, I only had a couple of miles to go so I kept plodding on.  Unbelievably in the last mile home I suddenly found some hidden energy.  Maybe it was relief of being nearly home.  I picked up my pace and even managed a sprint the last quarter mile. The second time I ran this 20 mile route I felt more confident.  I went out with a much better mindset to get stuck in and get the run done.  It was a much better run but I had completely run out of energy by the end.

Maybe I had gone out too fast or maybe it was because I didn’t have the Lucozade energy bar?  


gade valley

It was time for the final training run with  Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead.   This time we were doing 20 miles!  I felt tired before we started the run and was cold and shivering.

The run always started along a canal but when I started the run I was still cold and my ankles were hurting which gave me a much slower start.   On the previous training runs the first hill I found pretty easy and wondered what the other runners were groaning about but this time it  was a real challenge.  I had no energy and struggled the steep climb. It was strange as I’d never felt like this before.  I also felt bloated as I’d been eating more carbs and a had large bowl of porridge which made me feel lethargic and caused me to get stomach cramps during the run.

Once I warmed up I felt a lot better, I met a guy who was also training for the London Marathon so we ran together.  As we approached mile 16 I was surprised how quickly the run had gone and I still had a some energy in store.  We ‘dug deep’, as they call it, and increased our speed till the end, pushing ourselves to the limit and the last few miles we were running at 8.50 min/miles!  I really don’t know where I found the energy especially with  how I was feeling at the start of the run.  It definitely makes a difference to find a running partner especially when you need that extra push.

When we arrived back, we were really pleased with our time until we realised we had gone the wrong way and missed a 3 mile loop out so we had only done 17 miles!!

I took this as a blessing in disguise as I then realised that I’d over trained in the last couple of weeks.  It was still a good run and we did some great speed work at the end.

With most training plans you increase the mileage then have an easy week.  I wasn’t taking that easy week.  A lesson to be learned.  Luckily my body only switched off on the last long run and I have managed to pick it up again through tapering.  I have gradually decreased my mileage but increased my speed to keep my fitness levels up.

Another learning curve was the large bowl of porridge in the morning.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, part of the training is the preparation for the day.  I have learned that my body prefers smaller meals  so I shall have a small bowl of porridge and take a small peanut butter sandwich to eat an hour or so before starting the Marathon.


Part of my training for the Marathon is trying to work out what you may personally need to fuel the 26.2 miles and this is what I feel will be good for me:

energy gel  lucozade bar

6.30 am    small bowl of porridge with fruit, almond milk and natural yoghurt.

9.00 am    small peanut butter sandwich and glucose/caffeine drink.

5 miles into race and every hour 1 energy gel

10 and 20 miles Lucozade bar

The London Marathon also provide you with Lucozade Energy drinks and gels and plenty of water along the route.

If you have enough glycogen stores in your body which can be topped up with glucose and carbohydrates they can sustain your energy for longer.


Now I am at the tapering stage and feel much better my runs have naturally got faster.   I have gradually cut my long runs down from 17 to 15 to 10 to 8 with midweek runs being 5 miles.  It feels strange to just run for 4 miles in the last week.

It is advisable to have a sports massage a couple of weeks before the marathon.  These can be very painful but definitely well worth it. I had a few niggles in my ankles as I have some shin splints which is why I’ve had a lot of pain during the long mileage.  I have now seen Amrit, my Sports Therapist who did some work on my legs which has definitely relieved the pain.


carbsPart of  tapering and preparing for the London Marathon is Carb Loading.  I’m not a big fan of starchy carbohydrates so I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables but as I will be running 26.2 miles I feel it is important that I add in some starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, wholegrain pasta and rice and wholegrain bread and whole oats.

Carbohydrates is the cleanest fuel our body uses to it is important to top up our stores beforehand.  In the last 72 hours it can be good to cut the protein down slightly so you are able to eat more carbohydrates.

The best way to get glycogen into your muscles is to eat little and often.  Our muscles can only store so much glycogen at a time otherwise it is stored as fat.

The day before the Marathon I plan to have a high carbohydrate meal around 5pm so I am not too bloated the next morning when I will start the day with a small bowl of porridge.


My only concern now is my pace.  I should by now have a pace but as it is my first time I am really unsure.  It is important that I don’t go out too fast and pace myself comfortably to last the 26.2 miles.

I do have a plan to start the race quite slow then increase slightly every 5 miles.

I have 3 goals, first is to complete the London Marathon, second is to complete in under 4.30hrs and third is complete in under 4hrs!!


I will be running for The Children’s Trust and it’s stories like this that will inspire me when things get tough.

If you would like to make a donation you can easily through my fundraising page:- http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavinaGutteridge1

My Marathon Experience

Time has really flown since my last Marathon Experience Blog.  I have really thrown myself into my training.

Since the Watford Half Marathon,  I increased my mileage to 17 miles which was a real challenge especially fighting against the weather.  My first 17 mile run I did one Sunday in very strong winds and by mile 10 I was very tired as not only was I trying to keep a good  running pace but I was having to use all my strength to run in a straight line.  By mile 13 things did start to ache but listening to music while running really does help to push you on.    The route I planned was quite hilly which is great training as although there won’t be hills at The London Marathon there will be more mileage.


healthy eatingPart of marathon training is a healthy balanced diet packed with protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.  I must eat the right foods to repair my muscles and give me energy.   My weight has increased due to muscle growth but also if I have extra treats.  So just because I am training for the marathon doesn’t give me a chance to eat what I like because if I gain excess fat around the middle I feel bloated and lethargic.  I always try to follow the 80/20% rule as we all like the odd treat.

I try to eat 3 healthy meals a day and a snack.    Part of the training is preparing for the actual race day by trying different breakfasts.  It is important to fuel long runs.   I have found that a small bowl of porridge with fruit and a spoonful of greek yoghurt works for me a couple of hours before a long run.  My stomach can’t hold too much otherwise I feel bloated and can get stomach cramps while running.  I then aim to eat something with protein within 30 minutes of a long run. If I don’t feel hungry after a long run I enjoy a protein smoothie.  I have also had a wholemeal bagel with egg or peanut butter.

I’ve found that if I fuel my  long runs with a good breakfast such as porridge and a small meal afterwards of protein, good fats and carbohydrates then I am less likely to crave food later in the day as my body is satisfied.

I usually do my long runs on a Sunday and cook a roast dinner which also seems to satisfy me otherwise I feel hungry the day after.

Everybody is different and you have to do what’s right for you.


It is extremely important to keep hydrated.  I am constantly drinking water or herbal teas so I am hydrated all the time and before a  long run.   I then carry a bottle of lucozade along with some energy gels for the extra glucose during a long run.


It was time for the next training run with  Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead.   This time we were doing 17 miles!   I felt good and was ready for the course.  I did well at the previous Hemel Hempstead 12 mile course.  I had also covered  two weeks of 17 miles in my own training so it was good to be running in a group.

I hadn’t really thought about a pace, I decided just to go with how I was feeling and breathing while I was running.  The most important tip is not to go off too quickly as you  want to try to save some energy for the final few miles.  Some parts of the run I was feeling good and running quite fast. There was a much bigger hill this time at mile 12 but I pushed on.  The weather was much better and the scenery was lovely which makes the run more pleasurable.  The photo is of Ashridge House in Berkhamsted which we ran past where, I believe where they filmed ‘4 Weddings and a Funeral’.

17 miles is such a big step from 13 miles.  I noticed more discomfort in my hips, knees and ankles.  I was fine until I hit mile 14 but we all were feeling the same and everybody is so supportive which really helps get you through till the end.

I was pleased when I finished as I had knocked 10 minutes of my previous time and finished in 2.40hrs.  I feel it really makes a difference running in a group.


TCT 2 The following week I was back at The Children’s Trust for a challenging, undulating 18 mile course of mixed terrain of road, off road and uphill through a field!  They were using the same course as the 10 mile training run but this time we had to do 3 laps and a further stretch of road.   As I had done this route before it was great to compare how far I had come with my training.

At their last training run I really struggled but this time I was surprised how much easier I found it.  I ran the first couple of hours with Phillip Green, Britains Got Talent semi-finalist who made the run much more fun as we chatted along the way apart from when we hit the hills!  These were tough but as my fitness had improved so much I knew how to cope with them.

I managed to complete this course with some energy at the end in 2.52hr.


foam roller

As the mileage was increasing my muscles were tightening and I was really pleased I’d invested in a foam roller.  By lying on a foam roller y0u can self massage your muscles releasing any tension and toxins.  This can be very painful if the muscles are tight but the benefits you get are worth going through a little bit of pain.


Here is a very good link at releasing the IT Band using a foam roller.  The IT band is where most runners have tightness and can cause pain in the knee.  I also use the foam roller on my thighs, hamstrings and glutes.

It was then time to increase my mileage once again to 20 miles!