Griffen Fitness

  • Autumnal Happenings
  • Testimonial of the Month
  • Easy Recipes: Tracy's 'Special' Potatoes
  • Article: How to Improve Your ParkRun Personal Best
  • And Finally... People are Awesome


tracy and coco

Greetings healthy people,

Autumn is here, with the arrival of some wonderful running weather. The last quarter of the year is a great time to start thinking about what you want to achieve next year, keeping up your exercise routine for as long as possible into the festive season, then back on board fitness for 2017. Time flies, so be prepared!If you need some inspiration, how about a Healthy Living Yearbook, designed to help people enjoy getting into exercise. Read the latest review of my book - there's lots of healthy recipes and realistic exercise tips to motivate you.

Testimonial of the Month

Becky F has provided this month's review:
“I'm a reluctant exerciser, but Tracy is so motivating and inspiring! I end up coming away from our sessions feeling empowered and great... She's really changed my views about physical activities. Highly recommend contacting her if you want to get healthier and don't know where to start, or if you need variety and more fun in your work outs since she personalises everything to you and your needs/wants. She's awesome :)”
Thanks Becky, keep up the great work.

Easy Healthy Recipe: Tracy’s Special Potatoes

As a student, I had a penchant for hot chips. This method of cooking potatoes makes a
browned chip-like side dish, but are quite a lot healthier (and doesn’t involve a deep fat fryer!). A serving of 'special potatoes' clocks in under 300 calories and 15g fat, not bad for a wee treat.


A handful of potatoes per person, the fresher the better
1 Tbs coconut oil per serving
Paprika, herbs d’Provence, sea salt, nutritional yeast or your favourite flavouring

special potatoes

-         Scrub but do not peel potatoes.
-         Chop into chip sized wedges, skin on.
-         Either steam or microwave until nearly cooked but still firm.
-         Allow to cool.
-         Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.
-         When hot, add potatoes, stirring until all wedges are coated in oil.
-         Cook on a medium heat, stirring often.
-         After about 7 minutes, or when nearly done, add a dusting of paprika and a handful of herbs d’Provence.
-         Cook until potatoes are browned. You can toss them in a tiny drizzle vinegar and salt, dust with nutritional yeast (it’s actually quite yummy and healthy too) or serve with sauce auld reekie style. Serve with your favourite meal as a treat! Excellent for carb loading...

Article of the month: Tips on getting your Park Run Personal Best

I was recently asked for my top tips on improving your ParkRun (5km) run time, for Women's Running magazine. Here they are:

1.    Most people train too fast. Consider using a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) for your weekday runs. I use a HRM with all of my PT clients to ensure that they are training at the correct pace to improve their performance. LSD (Long Slow Distance) training involves having your heart rate at a lower level, but for longer. Ideally try 30 minutes or more with your HR at 65% - 75% MHR (Maximum Heart Rate). This is the ‘aerobic’ zone where you utilise oxygen effectively. From a good aerobic base you can build your speed and find running easier. Go slower to go faster. It takes time (ideally 3 x weekly) but you will see the dividends within a couple of weeks... and may even shed some body fat. 

2.    Do leg strength. This will also help prevent running injuries that slow you down. Squats and lunges are the basic exercises. Try walking up stairs two at a time, and invest in a wobble board to strengthen your ankles. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need a personalised strength programme.

3.    Practise the route. Once you’ve done it a few times, it gets easier, so run the route during the week.

4.    Stretch! Especially your quads. If you are a desk jockey (i.e. sit at a desk) for a living, you really need to be stretching your quads (quadriceps, front of the thigh between hip and knee) regularly. Yoga is awesome cross-training for runners.

5.    If you feel short of breath when you run, try a Powerbreathe, resistance training for your intercostal (breathing) muscles. It’s training you can do from your sofa watching the TV, check out www.powerbreathe.co.uk for more info. And also do your training runs at a slower pace (see heart rate training above)

6.    Experiment with nutrition before ParkRun. For a 5km you do not need to carb load, but it is always a good idea to have breakfast on race day for energy. There’s a rumour that exercising on an empty tummy is best for burning calories, however it will not make you a faster runner. I like porridge, then a bike ride to the Park Run start line. I eat half a banana out of my pannier bag as I do some dynamic stretching and am ready to go! The other half of banana is for when I finish. Experiment with what works best for you.

And enjoy!

And finally... People are Awesome

Wow! Grab yourself a cuppa herbal and check out this video.
Have a happy and healthy October,

Tracy :)