FitBits - fitness for fun and wellbeing: July 2016


Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Few races hold a special place in my heart like the Color Run does. (I've now come to terms with using the American spelling, in the name of branding).

It was so exciting when it first came to Brighton - I hadn't seen anything like this before. It was also the same weekend that I became a duathlete, in the September of my first year writing this blog, when I was still figuring out how to sort my knees out and run faster and further, and still firmly in love with bootcamp (2013, if you're wondering).

The Color Run, presented by Skittles, is hailed the 'happiest 5k on the planet'. I've said it before, here, and here, in fact, and I'll say it again: It really is true. It's refreshing, and fun, and silly, and awesome. It encapsulates everything that's brilliant about running.

It's basically a big colourful rave, where everyone's invited, whatever your ability. You'll see families running together, people dressed up, and a hoard of big kids (otherwise known as adults) coming together to jump around like lunatics at the colour stations.


Get your sweatbands and tutus at the ready - I've teamed up with Skittles to offer two winners and their friends the chance to take part in the original, happiest and most colourful fun run, The Color Run, on Saturday 17th September in Brighton.

Winners will also receive a Skittles hoodie.

For your chance to win, just answer the following question:

What is your favourite flavour Skittle and why? 
(Mine are the purple and red ones, because I'm a sucker for red and purple sweets). 

If the joys of Brighton beach don't quite cut it, how about jetting off to Los Angeles to take part in the happiest 5K there then?

Thanks to Skittles, you and a friend could win the chance to stay at one of LA’s top hotels for five nights and get to see the sights in your own retro convertible car for a day. This wicked prize also includes two tickets to a fun-filled night at The Comedy Store or tickets to the colourful Getty Museum, plus $400 to help with some retail therapy.

Not bad eh...

To be in with a chance of winning, head over to the Skittles Facebook page and leave a comment on the competition post, telling Skittles who you’d take to the Color Run and why, using #RunTheRainbow.

If you’re taking part in any of the UK Color Runs, don’t forget to visit Skittles at the Finish Festival to get your hands on a free sample to refuel those achey muscles :)

Terms and Conditions:

The LA competition opened on 09.03.2016 and closes at midnight on 30.09.2016. It is open to UK residents (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) aged 18 and over.  Terms and conditions apply – visit for full details.

The prize is for two tickets per winner to The Color Run presented by Skittles on Saturday 17 September in Brighton
You must be resident in the UK to enter and over 18 years of age
There will be two winners and the prize is as specified
Winners must register online via an e-ticket sent to them by Friday 26 August
There is no cash alternative
Transfers/travel costs are not provided
If the event is cancelled outside of Skittles control, there is no substitute prize

**Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with The Color Run 


To win entry for you and a friend to Brighton Color Run on September 17, tell me which is your favourite flavour Skittle and why! 

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Monday, 25 July 2016

Finding my fit again

Finding my fit again after broken collarbone | FitBits | Tess Agnew

Something inside me clicked last week.

Like a light switch going on in my brain, I finally made a conscious effort to crawl out of the rut I was in and try to find my fit again.

A combination of factors allowed me to finally take back control, but I know what kick started it.

I'll be forever thankful for the absolutely stunning weather that we had in Brighton last Tuesday - it was the morning of the long-awaited first ride back on the road bike since I decided to break some bones. Technically I should've waited until August as it was three months since the op but the novelty of riding my battered, heavy hardtail mountain bike to work wore off after a few days.

Finding my fit again after broken collarbone | FitBits | Tess Agnew

After checking the weather the night before, I planned a 10mile detour along my favourite coastal run-route - out to Rottingdean and back along the Undercliff path. Nice and flat, no hills, traffic or risks for the first time back.

I'm not joking you, it was bloody gorgeous. Nearly 20 degrees already at 7:30am and positively balmy. Brighton's a beautiful place at the best of times, but when the sun comes out to play like that it borders on obscene.

Euphoria, obviously ensued.

Add to that, the hospital physio giving me the green light to start strength training again, a few other stresses calming down significantly, and an OK attempt at cutting down on the sugar and shit, and you've got one happy Tess.

BREAKING: Tess fancied a run

It didn't stop there either. The other night I got the urge to go for a late night run. As in I'm-so-excited-to-run-I-must-run-right-now kind of urge.

I haven't wanted to run for a looooong time. I've made myself do a few parkruns or token plods to work because I knew I needed get back on it, but I didn't want to go, and I can't say I enjoyed any of them.

A photo posted by Tess Agnew (@fitbits_tess) on

On Thursday night, when I stuck my favourite playlist on in my earphones to do the washing up to (living the dream, folks) I managed to fill the bowl about half way before dancing my way to the bedroom to throw on my trainers and get the hell out the door.

I'm not gonna lie - it wasn't easy. 

It took a good couple of miles for my body to stop calling me a dickhead, but when it did I couldn't stop. Running to music's not for everyone, and it definitely doesn't work all the time, but I kid you not - I was RAVING.

Absolutely loving it. Running along drumming like a twat, I was. Waiting for the break, arms in the air, eyes closed (don't fall over, for fuck sake) and BOOM. Ended up being a really strong progression run with some decent pace for the last mile - epic.

Stick some good earphones in, turn it up and tell me this doesn't make you wanna run RIGHT NOW...

Who needs night clubs?! Sometimes the best way to rave is to pull on your trainers, stick your earphones in, turn it right up and run.

Don't stop before the break, whatever you do. 


Do you like to run to music? 

How do you find your mojo again when it goes walkabout?

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Friday, 15 July 2016

A tired Tess' train of thought

I've got 15 minutes to write and publish this post. If it takes any longer than that and my macbook battery dies, I won't pick this trail of thought back up again tomorrow. Plus, this train gets into Brighton in about half an hour anyway so no time to faff.

Stop faffing Tess.

I've been spending a lot of time on trains lately for work. Going to London for meetings, travelling to Birmingham for filming, heading to Manchester for media tours. Today I spent all day and night at the Olympic Stadium for the inaugural Great Team Relay, a corporate 4x5km relay event organised by the Great Run Company.

It was brilliant.

It was all about coming together to experience the joy of running - the challenge, the competition, that finish line feeling. Experiencing it together, just for fun. 

I've never worked event-side before but I know how it feels to run, and race, and to do it together with friends. 

It was a true joy to be part of it from the other side. And I wasn't jealous at all... ;)

After the run people were singing, and dancing, with arms around each other, holding hands. I really think you can add running and beer to anything and it'll bring people together. 

I've been looking for a way to love running again and with the Great Team Relay tonight and the Great Newham London Run on Sunday, again at the Olympic Stadium, I think I'm about to find it, without running a single step. 

And aside from the running, another thing that's made me happy recently is... train people.

On the train on the way to London today I met a lovely psychoanalyst who has just planted a vineyard in Kent with her Barrister husband, and has to wait a few years to sell the fruits of their labour. Mental health is an issue be close to my heart and it was good to tell a (qualified) stranger my woes.

Travelling back tonight in my watery-eyed, too-tired-to-move, sugar-addled state (all hail M&S mini profiterole dessert), I met a beautifully drunk older couple who had just been to a work do in the city and were all giggly and cute, looking at each other intently as they spoke; focusing on me when they asked questions about why I was so tired. And was I enjoying my wine?

Opposite me now are a couple who haven't said a word to each other since sitting down, he's on his phone, and she's just sitting quietly, content.

Joe's over there, he's on his iPad. I don't know his WiFi password so I had to tether to my own phone, eating into my battery. 10 minutes remaining.

Someone behind me has got the BEST hiccups. Proper loud they are. I just laughed out loud at typing that.

The notification of death has been served...

Uploading that screenshot cost me two minutes of battery. Bastard.

I wrote a post on Tuesday about how fat and busy I am, and it's all true - but today, I realised that it's OK. It's OK to fuel yourself on sugar and shit when you're focus is on something other than training. When you're working hard and actually, don't have time for much else.

I saw the beauty in a lot of things today, and it restored a bit of my soul that I thought I'd lost. 

Right now, I'm a little drunk on good vibes from the Great Team Relay, good conversation with strangers and the tiny single measure bottle of wine that I bought to reward myself for my mega long day. 

The profiteroles and yumyums may have helped too (always get the impulse-buy yumyums in the M&S train station queue).

Life is good, guys.

However fat and tired you are :)

PS. I'm getting off the sugar after these events! Promise...

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Sugar got me bad, yo... advice please!

I need your help guys.

I may or may not have eaten a Refresher bar and Bounty earlier at 10:45pm. I put away a big bag of Squashies last night, after destroying a huge slice of cake at work, and in the last week have impulse-bought two massive bags of Haribo at petrol stations, just because.

Sugar got me bad, yo.

This isn't just a week of bingeing either, this is a hardcore addiction that's been going on for months. Pretty much since the day after I broke my bones, actually. I can't stop.

My day goes like this:

Get up tired too late to workout, die on the way to work on the mountain bike because it's hard (not allowed to ride the roadie yet due to position).

inject caffeine, work arse off til late.

come home.

fill said arse with sugar and shit. 


Sometimes I'll have a healthy breakfast of eggs and avocado but then a hectic day and raddled brain sees off my resolve and goodwill in a confetti of sweets, chips and junk food.


There are a few failsafes that I've been pulling out the bag to justify my bingeing:

  1. I'm soooooo busy
  2. I'm still trying to get back to training after breaking my collarbone and wrist
  3. I'm 'hungover' from literally sitting on my arse for six weeks while off sick
  4. Chris is working away so I 'can't' cook for one
  5. I'm too tired to cook when I get home late from work

They're all true. But the real truth is, I actually just can't be arsed.

That's it, nothing more, nothing less. Yes I'm mega busy right now, but I know what makes me feel good; what makes me more productive and happy - and it sure ain't 10:45pm Refresher bars.

Not even the pink ones.

Back on the wagon

I was so desperate to get back to fitness when I was off sick, and now I'm back at work all I wanna do is sleep and eat crap. But I know all I have to do is break the cycle, just for one whole day. Then another, and another.

A photo posted by Tess Agnew (@fitbits_tess) on

In my depressed vegetative state while off sick I hastily booked onto the Phoenix 10k in Brighton to kick my arse into gear, which unfortunately happens to be tomorrow night (well, technically today now, as it's gone midnight).

And I've done, oh, I dunno, ZERO training. 

I've been plodding my way round a few parkrun PWs over the past few weeks, only just living to tell the tale. I'm now riding my mountain bike to work every day which is hard bloody work by the way, and completely unnecessarily so, and before I started riding again I was walking to work, which I actually started to enjoy. 

But running, guys. Ugh. It hurts so bad right now. Even with these BEAUTIFUL shoes to do it in. 

And I know it's just a case of consistency, dedication and persistence to get back into it. The wonderful people of #UKRunChat said so, when I asked while hosting the hour this Sunday. (Click the tweet below to expand the answers)

So, the question I put to you you all is this... (please do answer in time for this evening's race!)

Do I do the 10k this evening, even though I may die a slow, horrible death at 2km / be last in / have to run/walk for the first time ever (nothing at all wrong with this approach, just would be the first time for me so a new experience)? 

Or do I cut my losses and sit this one out, but focus on smaller, more consistent runs and try to get off the sugar and shit to reclaim my health?

I'll try to get off the sugar, caffeine and crap anyway, promise...


What should I do? 10k or no 10k? 

Would really appreciate your advice here!

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