In the May/June 2013 issue of Brides we've enlisted the help of bride-to-be and double Olympic Gold medallist Victoria Pendleton to share her everyday tips to help fellow future brides. But first we caught up with her to talk about her post-Olympics fitness routine, wedding planning and (of course) her dress...
What's your fitness regime like at the moment in the run-up to your wedding?
"Gosh, there really isn't an average week these days. But I try and do something physical most days in the week, whether it's a pilates class, a run or a bike ride. It's nice to be able to be more spontaneous about what I do, because I've always had such a strict training routine. But I couldn't live without exercise - it's part of my life. It makes me feel so much better, I really enjoy it.
I've been really enjoying going running, which I never used to be able to do. I was always discouraged from running by my coaches because of the risk of injury, so it's been really liberating just to take off for a run. I don't run for long - I haven't done more than 5km, but I'm really enjoying it. Running with my dogs is amazing, and running cross-country. I think the distraction of having to watch your footing distracts you from the fact your lungs are burning!
I'm also enjoying having a lot more freedom when it comes to nutrition. I actually really enjoy Special K, but wasn't allowed it in the past because it didn't have enough energy - I needed high-energy cereals.
I've been eating a lot of vegetarian food, trying out vegetarian recipes, which I was never allowed to do before because I would build meals around my nutritional needs: I knew I needed this much protein, this much carbohydrate - taste wasn't really the priority. To be a bit more creative and not have to worry about the nutritional content is completely new to me. I love Loraine Pascale's veggie recipes."
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be who want to get into shape but are perhaps not such big sports enthusiasts?
"I think that everyone is capable of loving exercise and finding it satisfying, if you are willing to take a bit of time and effort figuring out what works for you. A lot of the results are dependent on you liking what you do - without the right guidance the gym can be a really daunting place."
It sounds like you're really enjoying your freedom right now - AND you're planning a wedding, which is exciting. Are you enjoying the whole process?
"I'm enjoying the process, although I am a bit concerned because one of the most organised girls I know is planning her wedding and it's taking place a month before ours. She keeps saying things like, 'You HAVE booked the catering, haven't you?' but in many ways this is great because she's keeping the pace. She tells me what I need to do. I know that she will keep everything under control. I just have to listen to what she's doing, and follow suit."
Have you picked up a copy of Brides?
"Yes, I have! I subscribe to Vogue, so I obviously went for Brides. Who doesn't read bridal magazines? When someone asks you to marry them, you go out and buy a load of magazines, don't you? I've been really enjoying looking for ideas and thinking about colours, that sort of thing."
And we have to ask, have you found your dress?
"I'm going for my first fitting next week. I won't say who the designer is, but I will say it's a Brit designer. I was always going to choose a Brit designer. Hello, I'm Team GB! It would be rude not to."
For more tips on how to get into shape for the big day pick up your copy of the May/June 2013 issue of Brides - out now!