I met Annie Foulds, a professional fitness coach and Sweaty Betty ambassador, at the launch of the new Sweaty Betty Get Fit 4 Free campaign. As well as being enchanted by Annie's infectiously upbeat personality, I was fascinated by her impressive and varied résumé of achievements. While Annie’s current focus is on marathon running, she’s previously completed an ultra-endurance Sahara race, been a professional dancer and fitness competitor, and she’s even doing a part-time psychology degree!
I caught up with her for more details on how she eats, trains and maintains such an enviable physique...
You developed the new GF4F campaign - talk me through the process of designing the workout?
Sweaty Betty gave me the brief of want they required, then I used my experience and passion for how I like to train myself and encourage my clients.
I wanted to have a workout that covered all three elements: cardio, conditioning and stretching. I am an endurance athlete, so I love the high intensity training. I spent many years training for fitness competitions, so I know who important it is to have a strong body. I also love yoga and find it enormously beneficial and a great compliment to my style of workout.
There's something for everyone in the SB Fly Flex Flow workout. I am a great believer in having all three elements in one’s life - not just one - to have a wonderfully healthy mind and body.
What's your nutrition like on a typical day?
Breakfast (5.30am) - half a banana, white Americano, and granola with honey and milk
Snack (10.30am) - a handful of nuts and an apple, another half a banana
Lunch (between 2pm-3pm) - salmon salad from Pret, or salmon and veggies at home
Dinner (between 5.30pm-8.30pm) - fish (cod), vegetables and juice
I will drink at least 2 litres of water per day
I don't use supplementation really; just vitamin C and zinc. I use gels when I am running a marathon. I try to keep my nutrition clean as possible.
Favourite healthy meal or snack?
I adore king prawns - I could eat the whole pack. They are low in fat, easy to cook with just about anything or eat on their own! Nuts are a real favourite too - but only in very small quantities. They’re a great source of protein.
A glass of champagne at the weekends.
You’re such a busy lady, what does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me starts very early at 5.30 am. I shower, have a quick breakfast, dress and am out of the door by 5.50 am for my first client session at 6am - 7am. I have eight clients a day.
The sessions vary from running, kickboxing, TRX, conditioning, Insanity, or dance sessions. Some days I can have three running sessions back to back. So, I feel very fortunate that my main hobby is running marathons. As my sessions are so varied, I make sure my training bag is packed with new outfits the night before, as I could have up to five changes in one day.
My day is about 14 hours long. Some days are shorter, but generally I sit down at home at 8.30pm. However, I am a mother too, so I make sure I have time to collect my son from school.
What is your own training regime like?
I manage my own fitness by being very strict on myself. I am my own worse critic and I will push myself very hard.
If I have a gap in my day I will make sure I go off for a run, or if the gap follows a running session, I will do a stretch session at home. I try and run at least for an hour about five times during the week. Obviously, if I am really short on time, I just do what I can and run harder and faster; I will maybe find a hill or add in some stairs - Battersea Park is great for that. I always do a long run on Sundays. Off-season, I try to keep to around 45 - 50 miles a week. I try to compete in two marathons a year now. This year I am intending on completing four. London, Stockholm, Athens and Florence.
I love being an Insanity instructor and I practice my sessions at home, which keeps me in good condition. As I mentioned. conditioning work is important to me, so I squeeze that in at home whenever I find the opportunity. My family will tell you that it is not a strange sight to see mummy walk lunging down the hall way or doing jump squats in the kitchen!
You look amazing (can you believe that Annie is 45?!), what are your secrets?
Haha! That is very sweet. I drink lots of water. I keep my skincare very simple. I don't wear a lot of make-up - blusher, lipstick and mascara. I facial scrub and moisturise daily - morning and night. I mix my body moisturising cream with olive oil and rub it into my body twice daily. I even put olive oil in my hair when I am blow drying it. I have a fab hairdresser called Eve from Errol Douglas Salon in Knightsbridge where I have been going for over ten years.
What are your workout outfit essentials?
I love a bit of colour. It makes me feel happy! Sometimes I'll wear bright orange vest tops with funky coloured longs socks; they’re such fun and they keep my calves warm too!
However, some days I want to look cool and sharp - so I opt for very chic Sweaty Betty black leggings, vest top and black ski jacket.
A must are my colourful head bands - they are fun, but also very essential - they stop my hair looking very mad and keeps my earphones when I am running in place. They also double up as a neck warmer too!
I also love my Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity outfit - I just bought the latest blue colour way! It's just amazingly cool and practical. The Zero Gravity Tights lift your bottom!
What is your ethos?
"Live today like there's no tomorrow".
I also like "Train to Change," because this applies anything; your mind, your body, or preferably both.