I first got the pleasure of meeting Annie simply by chance in a bar in London, the first day I moved here. Me and my dad got talking to her, having no idea who she was or how similar her interests and hobbies were to our own! I recognised Annie on another occasion when I was at work, for those of you that don’t know, I am currently on a PR placement year at Harrods. Annie came into the store as a guest instructor to teach a class during the launch of our Happy New You campaign over the New Year. I didn’t get chance to speak to Annie on this occasion, but I went home to learn exactly who she was and what her role was within the fitness industry.
Since then I have found and followed Annie through my fitness and nutrition Instagram, always in awe of her fabulously lean and defined bod, talk about a fitspo! By complete coincidence, I found myself stood next to Annie as we were about to set off for a little race around the city, also known as the London Marathon! I was totally excited to see her, we wished each other luck and that was it.
Annie is a former professional dancer, athlete, fitness competitor, fitness model, athlete, trainer and ultra runner! As you may have guessed I was particularly interested when I came to learn that Annie has taken part in the 100km Del Sahara – a gruelling ultra run that I have written on my own bucket list!
What started your interest in running?
I went to a great school in Suffolk, Northgate High School. It had the most fantastic sports facilities. I found my love for running there at the age of 11 years old. I represented my school and county in the 200 and 100 meters – I definitely preferred the 200 meters. I was also a member of the relay teams.
I didn’t start running marathons until I had my first son ‘Jack’ at the ripe age of 30 years old. I started off running 5k, 10k, half marathons to full marathons – then Ultras.
What made you want to enter the Marathon del Sahara?
I was doing my normal blog on social media and I saw an advert ‘do you think your are tough enough’ by Susan Nowell. She had previously won the event and I was looking for a tough Challenge to raise money for GOSH. (Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital). They saved our son’s life ‘Jack’. He had cancer at the age of 10 years old.
What would be your best peice of training advice for such a grueling event?
Allow enough time to train probably and work with a mentor.
What was the toughest part of the race? There can be a lot of practical issue’s in a race that long and tough, as well as emotional..
The toughest part of the race apart from the physical endurance was no doubt the mental challenges. Your emotions were constantly changing from high to low. The physical aches – I was used to, nothing new there. But, I actually missed the basics of home, hot water, bath and a proper loo. My family were greatly missed. However, I made some great friends and met some amazing people and grew a little more in character! I came back up graded.
What is your favourite type of training currently? you seem to do a bit of everything!
Yes, I do – I am a great believer in cross training. I think the three main elements should include some form of stretching (yoga) conditioning work (TRX, Pilates or weights) and cardiovascular (running, cycling, HiiT, or swimming)
My personal Favorites are running, Body weight conditioning and dance based stretches. I am an certified Insanity instructor which combines HIIT and body weight conditioning – fantastic workout. For some reason, people seem afraid of it in the UK. But, it is very similar to Tabata training, which has been around for over twenty years.
What are your sporting goals for the future? I know you are still running marathons..
Well, I have started my present goal list – I hope to complete the following races New York Marathon (completed 2014)
London Marathon (completed 2015)
Stockholm – 2015
Athens Marathon 2015
Florence Marathon 2015
Bupa 10k – May 2015
Run to the beat 10k – September 2015
Royal Park Half Marathon – 2015
What are your favourite sportswear brands?
I am a very proud Sweatybetty Ambassador (Harrods). I love wearing SWEATBETTY. I adore the zero gravity line – they are so great and look amazing on! Second choice would have to be NIKE, not for shoes, just clothing though. ASICS for running shoes.
What is your favourite go to nutritious meals or snacks?
I live on fish and vegetables – I should look like one, really! I enjoy bananas, nuts and jelly bellies as my snacks. Pre and post marathons – a bowl of chips are definitely my favourite snack!
You are such an inspiring and positive person over social media, what is your favourite quote to keep you going when things gets tough?
Ah – thank you! Wow!
Well, what I say to myself and my clients – is ‘don’t stop until YOU are done’ I am a great believer in the power of your mind – I have been through so many tough challenges – on a personal and professional level. When my mind is set – there’s very little to stop me.
This is why I am currently studying psychology masters. I want to share this amazing gift we all have – our minds and spirit.
Find Annie on her Instagram: @ANNIEFOULDS