A few weeks ago I was talking with a cousin who declared that 2015 was her "Year of Food", a year she spent exploring and devouring dishes from around the world and documenting them in a diary. My year of food could have been any year in the past 10, since I met my better half my exploration of food from cultures around the world has been an experience!

What has 2015 been a year of for me?

2015 was my "Year of Fitness", most of it documented via the wonders of Strava!

I'll be fit When I'm 25

I had always promised myself that by the age of 25, I'd "be fit". That age came and went pretty quickly and 5 years on, 2015 was my year of putting that right. Technically, I started running a few years back but I picked up a foot injury and then rediscovered barefoot running in the summer of 2013, by November 2014 I started getting back into it seriously and did my first Park Run 5km in Southsea on the 27th December 2014 (29:11). I cycled to work a lot in 2014 before I bought a new car and I also started Freeletics (Body weight workouts) in June and hit them pretty hard.

So, it started just before 2015 but please don't hold that against me.


This year I've run a lot. Apparently over 1052km (653 miles) and counting! - at least since I started tracking it.

A photo posted by Tom Ellis (@iamtomellis) on

My runs for the year included:

...and countless free runs on my own!

I even got out over Christmas day & Boxing day for Park Run and a 10km on the Sunday with my Dad who also took up running this year.

A photo posted by Tom Ellis (@iamtomellis) on

Hang on you said Fitness, not running

The company I work for encourage me to be fit & healthy by providing a free on-site gym. That's a pretty significant cost saving (~360 quid a year for a cheap one) and has opened my mind to a bunch of other activities and gives me access to have a Sports Massage.

I've tried:

  • Spinning - fun and SWEATY!
  • Riding my Bike to Work (lots!)
  • Free weights - rows, deadlifts, squats and everything in between
  • Yoga, Tai chi, Pilates - via Body Balance classes
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HITT), Tabata
    • GRIT - Another class at my gym
    • Freeletics - Awesome phone app and workouts
  • Cardio workouts - T25/Insanity

After a lot of blood (no seriously, I tripped running in Valencia), sweat (buckets and buckets) and tears (a couple of small manly tears after the Ealing Half - or was that salt in my eye?), I feel fitter, healthier, muscular and more alive athletically then I ever imagined.

What's next?

I didn't ever think that the short, blobby kid in school would be in the shape he was now. I'm not entirely sure how much weight I've lost but I think I was around 95kg (15 stone) at peak and it didn't look pretty. I'm now around 80kg, so I've lost around 15kg but more importantly I feel fantastic and look a ton better than I did before.

... and I'm absolutely loving it!

Can you spot the difference?
Before and After picture

Now that I'm in better shape and as it's December I thought I'd outline some plans for the year ahead, somehow putting it up online will help me focus:

  1. New Years Day Park Run 5km
  2. Run January - run at least 5km every single day in January - crazy?!
  3. Ealing Half Marathon - After last year, why not?
  4. Wimbledon Half Marathon - I'd like to do a few more of these as I'm local
  5. Lochness Marathon - 25th Sept - my first marathon
  6. Portsmouth Marathon - December - tentatively :)
  7. Complete a 15-week Freeletics Programme - I got to around 11 weeks this year (injury!)

I'm also going to get more focused in my HIIT and weight training to build more strength and help my master my pull-ups.

What are your fitness plans for 2016?

Help me get further by giving me some encouragement and check out my progress on Strava:


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