Barry’s Bootcamp – London East

I’d heard of Barry’s Bootcamp, they call it ‘The Best Workout in the World’.  I’d heard it was popular with the A Listers over in Hollywood and New York.  I’d also heard it was pretty tough.  But hey, I ran 37 miles round the Lake District, I ran down a fell mountain in high winds and rain, I’ve pulled myself out of the darkest places just to cross a finish line – I’m tougher than anything Barry and his Bootcamp could throw at me.  Aren’t I?!  I thought it was time to give it a try.

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On Tuesday I headed over to the London East studio with a couple of girls from work, we I was really looking forward to it!  I have to admit, I didn’t really know what would be involved but, checking out the website beforehand, I was a little concerned that the first question on the FAQ’s was ‘Will I die?’ but, really, how hard can a 60 minute workout be?!

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When we got there (an hour early, we were a little keen!) so had plenty of time to have a look around and check out the selection of post-workout protein drinks available from the Fuel Bar.

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There’s only one room, it’s not a gym, it’s just one room where the bootcamp takes place with a row of 20 treadmills and 20 floor stations.  When you book your place (which you have to do pretty fast!) you choose to start on the treadmill, or on the floor, we chose the treadmill.

It looks swanky.  The lights are low with floor to ceiling mirrors on each wall, the trainers are all ripped and the other fitness fanatics all look like they know what they’re doing.  Still, I know how to work a treadmill and I remembered to pack my favourite lycra so I didn’t feel too intimidated!  Our trainer was Sandy, Sandy is is responsible for bringing Barry’s to London, so he must be good…

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You’re assigned a workstation at reception so there’s no fighting over your spot.  I hopped on treadmill 2 and waited for instructions.  We started with a warm up and were given 3 different choices for beginners, intermediates and advanced.  It’s running on a treadmill, clearly I’m an intermediate verging on advanced, right?!

Barry’s treadmills are set at miles per hour rather than the usual kilometer per hour and we were given the choice to start on 6, 7, or 8.  7 mph is 8.30mm (not that I could do that kind of maths at the time but I started on that pace anyway!).  Over the course of the next 8-9 minutes Sandy had me working up to 9 mph (errr, 6.40mm) on an incline.  I wasn’t sure I was intermediate anymore. Warm up over then…

We then moved onto our floor spot – Tuesday is ‘leg and butt’ day so we were in for 8-9 minutes of weighted lunges and squats.  This wouldn’t be so bad but the lightest weights they had left were 7.5kg, and I needed 2 of them!  Jess managed to get some 6kg ones, I didn’t like her anymore.

We were then straight back on the treadmill for another round of fast paced running, with the incline going up to 10% my pace dropped to somewhere inbetween the beginner and intermediate pace.  It was 8 minutes of solid hard work and I only made it up to 8.5 mph this time.  Back on the floor we did some weighted side lunges and box jumps before jumping back on the treadmill for round 3 (where I managed 9.3 mph without falling off!)

By the end we had done 3 sets on the treadmill and 3 sets of leg and bum floor work.  Honestly? I was knackered.  When we headed back upstairs our pre-ordered protein shakes were waiting for us, I went for Cool Runnings, a blend of pineapple juice, coconut milk and vanilla whey, it tasted pretty damn good.

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So, it turns out Barry’s Bootcamp is actually a bloody tough workout, the runs are pretty fast paced and the floor work is brutal.  As with everything, you get out what you put in, but I think you would struggle without a good level of fitness beforehand.  When I woke up on Wednesday I was quite pleased not to ache as much as I thought I would but, after a morning sat at my desk I quickly changed my mind…my legs were suffering post-Barry’s depression.  However, I loved it and I want to go back!

Whilst it’s pretty swanky, unsurprisingly, it also has a pretty swanky price tag.  For a one off class it’s £20.  There are savings to be made by buying packs of 10 if you have a spare £170, you can even buy a pack of 50 for £700 but, either way, it’s quite pricey.  Throw in a fiver for a post workout protein shake and you’ve easily spent £25 before walking out the door.

Is it worth it?  I’m definitely going to give it another go, maybe on abs day…

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I went to Barry’s Bootcamp as a paying customer.  All views are my own.

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Re-Fueling On-The-Go

When I come back from a run, I’m often tired, sweaty and a little achy.  All I really want is a hot shower and and a little sit down with a cup of tea – the last thing I feel like doing is eating a meal.  One thing I really struggle with is trying to eat after a run, especially if it’s a particularly long or tough session.  Ironically, I seem to eat much more on days I don’t run than those I do!  However, I’m fully aware that the quickest way to help my body recover from whatever torture I put it through, is to refuel with healthy food within 30 minutes.  Easier said than done though…

My latest trick is to whiz up a handful of spinach, a frozen banana and scoop of whey protein with some milk, it tastes like a creamy milkshake but with loads of good stuff!  I find that, because it’s a drink rather than solid food, it goes down a lot easier and will tide me over until my appetite makes an appearance.

Whilst I often prefer to make something fresh from scratch, my life can be pretty hectic and it isn’t always practical.  If it’s race day, or my run finishes away from home, a couple of hours can fly by before I even think about food.  Really not ideal.

Recently, a new dairy-based protein drink,  Upbeat, came on my radar and, after checking out the labels (a bottle of sugar is not my idea of recovery), I thought it could be the answer to some of my post-run problems.  It’s whey protein based (from milk), so helps with muscle repair, and comes in 3 fruity flavours and chocolate orange (definitely worth a try!).  Low fat, around half the sugar of other well known smoothie brands (you know the ones I mean), and less than 150 calories, it’s easy to grab a bottle on the run (or post run as it were…)

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Yesterday I ran the Bournemouth Half Marathon and, as I pushed myself much harder than I would on a training run, I ended up feeling a bit sick at the end.  It’s not new to me, my body concentrates its efforts in pumping blood to my muscles rather than my stomach and I just don’t feel hungry, I’m not one of those people who can delve straight into the goody bag for snacks no matter how good they are!  I thought it would be a great opportunity to give Upbeat a try for a post-race protein boost.

The Science Bit – 250ml (Chocolate Orange Flavour):

  • 150 Cals
  • 2.6g Fat
  • 20g Protein
  • 9.2g Sugar (compared to 25g for the same size bottle of a well known fruit smoothie)

Yesterday I tried the Choc Orange one, which was a bit like a decadent milkshake, but I’ve also tried the Strawberry, and Raspberry & Blueberry flavours which taste a bit more like a fruity yoghurt drink.  Personally, I think they’re a convenient, simple way of re-fueling post run when you don’t have the time (or appetite!) for something more complicated, and they taste pretty great  too!  I’ll definitely be keeping a couple in my fridge for my next race.

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I know some people have an issue with protein supplements but, personally, I find it an easy way to give my body what it needs after a tough session.  Running causes micro tears in muscle fibres which need repairing and, if you’re anything like me, you need that to happen quite quickly if you want to be back on the run within 24 hours.  Protein isn’t just for body builders, us runners need it too!

You can find Upbeat in the chilled sections of larger supermarkets and Holland & Barrett.  Upbeat kindly gave me some vouchers and merchandise to try out their products but all views are my own.

Review: FLEXISEQ Sport

During marathon training I tend ache a lot, funny that hey!  I push myself through run after run with aching, stiff legs and weary limbs because it just has to be done – you can’t run a marathon without putting in the work right?  I find that the more miles I run, the more I tend to get sore knees as well as achey muscles and I get really stiff when I sit at my desk for most of the day.  Of course it eases off if I don’t run…but I like to run!

Recently, I was kindly sent a sample of FLEXISEQ Sport gel to try out – a product that claims to help with joint pain and stiffness.  I have to admit, I was a little skeptical, but intrigued, it’s a product that’s endorsed by Saracens Rugby Club and they must have knee problems all the time so I was keen to give it a go.  If this product actually helped relieve my stiff knees it could be just the thing I need, especially as I’m training for my first Ultramarathon in August!

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What is it?

FLEXISEQ Sport is a gel that lubricates cartilage and damaged surfaces in the joints to help with pain and stiffness – they even say it’s proven to be as effective as a prescription painkiller, I think that’s quite a claim!  Most importantly, in my opinion, it’s drug free.

Generally I’m not a fan of painkillers or painkilling gels – if something in your body is giving you pain there’s usually a reason for it and painkillers just mask the problem – you could make it worse.  This kind of product appeals much more to me so I was looking forward to trying it.

The science bit

When you apply the gel to the joint, microscopic spheres (Sequessome vesicles they’re called) are absorbed into the skin and into the joint to replenish the depleted layer of lubricants that are usually found on healthy cartilage.  I guess it’s like a 2nd layer of lubrication for the joint.

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How do you use it?

The benefits are cumulative so they recommend you apply the gel twice a day – it doesn’t have a strong odor and isn’t sticky so fairly easy to apply, be warned though, it feels very cold when you put it on in the morning!

I used it on my knees, but you can use it anywhere you have stiff joints, you simply spread the gel over the soft tissue area in a circle around the knee cap, leave it to dry and you’re good to go.

Does it work?

I’ve been using the gel for 2/3 weeks now (although I haven’t remembered to use it every single day) and I have to say, I haven’t had the usual stiffness in my knees I often get from running despite running a 15 miler at the weekend.  It’s been quite nice not to have to make excuses for taking the lift down the stairs at work!  That said, my mileage hasn’t been as high as it has in previous months so I can’t give it the full seal of approval for heavy training, but I will most definitely continue to use it for the next few months.  If you have trouble with stiff joints I would definitely recommend trying it!

Many thanks to FLEXISEQ Sport for giving me a chance to try their new product! All views are my own.

The Battle between Juicing & Blending

Ever since I got my Nutribullet at Christmas I’ve been absolutely obsessed with blending any kind of fruit, veg, nut & seed I can get my hands on.  I’ve just about got used to people at work asking me ‘err, what kind of pond life do you have for breakfast this morning Katherine?!’  I’ll admit it, I’ve been totally taken in by the marketing hype around ‘nutrition extracting’ and I even start to crave blended spinach & avocado if I go a couple of days without…hey, there are worse things I could crave!!

I’ve read a lot about the benefits and pitfalls of blending and juicing recently so when Joe Blogs invited me to an evening of juicing vs blending hosted by Currys and Philips, I couldn’t wait to hear more from the experts!

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Meeting at Joe Blogs head office in Kings Cross, I joined some other bloggers to find out who the real winner was in the battle between juicing and blending.  It was a fight I was looking forward to!

First off we were joined by Stephanie, founder of juicing company Raw & Juicy who introduced the 2 contenders.  Would juicing prove itself to be the ultimate detox tool…?  Or would blending be crowned champion with its more substantial smoothie making?  Let me confess now, I was firmly in the blending corner from the start…

First up: Juicing

Juicing essentially extracts all the water and nutrients from produce and discards most of the fibre leaving behind a pulp.  The first thing I learned was that there are 2 different types of juicer you can use…I just assumed they were all the same!

Centrifugal Juicer

These juicers have fast rotating blades that quickly grind the fruit and veg into a pulp.  The upside is that food needs little prep in the way of peeling etc but the downside is that you can lose a lot of enzymes which, in my opinion, defeats the point.

Masticating Juicer

The other type is a masticating juicer which juices the fruit and veg much more slowly and thoroughly to preserve more flavour, vitamins and minerals.  However, the downside to this is that the preparation takes more time and effort and, from what I’ve seen, these type of juicers are more expensive.

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Juicing: The Good Bits

  • Juice is easy for the body to digest because of the low fibre content
  • Huge nutritional density due to the volume of produce used – it takes 12kg of carrots to produce 1 litre of juice!
  • Gives you increased energy
  • Pleasant consistency
  • Easy on the stomach

Juicing: The Bad Bits

  • Can cause blood sugar spikes leading to mood swings and energy loss.  Vegetables aren’t so bad, but juicing fruit gives you a high sugar content – one to be wary of if you do it regularly
  • Lots of wastage – juicing leaves behind a lot of pulp that isn’t needed.  However, you can use this creatively and turn the pulp into ice lollies, compost or add to soups!  Not entirely sure about a carrot pulp ice lolly but I’m sure pineapple and raspberry would be delicious!
  • Not as filling as blending due to the lack of fibre
  • Requires lots of cleaning – there’s no getting around this one, juicers are messy!

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Next we took a look at Blending:

Blending differs from juicing because it liquidises the whole fruit or vegetable and turns it into a thicker smoothie.

Blending: The Good Bits

  • Blending retains all the fibre making smoothies more filling than juice
  • Slower absorption gives you more sustained energy
  • You need less produce
  • Can add nuts, seeds and oils for an added nutritional punch
  • Easier to clean!

 Blending: The Bad Bits

  • Some people aren’t keen on the pulp consistency
  • Takes longer to digest

It’s also worth remembering, a smoothie isn’t a drink, it’s blended food, so knocking it straight back will put a strain on the digestive system.  Unless you shove a whole plate of food in your mouth at once you shouldn’t do the same with a smoothie!

So, on the one hand you’ve got juicing which gives you a dense nutritional burst and on the other you have blending which offers you a wider range of nutrients and fibre…I think we might have to call it a draw!

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Mocktail Masterclass

Next was the fun bit, we got to make our very own juices and smoothies using loads of fresh fruit and veg!  A team of people from the Cocktail Service came to show us how it was done.  Apparently, the concept of juicing and blending dates as far back as 150BC where there was evidence of people mashing up pomegranates and figs!

The first drink was called Berries Matter, a mocktail which was expertly made for us in a blender.  This was a mix of cranberry & pomegranate juice, strawberries, raspberries, agave (natural sweetener) and ice.  It tasted lovely, I wasn’t sure it actually needed the agave syrup but I guess it may have been a little bitter without it.  Because of the juice content, the liquids started to separate quite quickly so it’s definitely one to enjoy straight from the blender.

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Then we got to have a go ourselves so Bonnie, Lorna, Emma and I got cracking on a Tropical Smoothie. First we used the Philips Viva 700w juicer to juice half a pineapple and 6 kiwis.  We then put the juice in the Avance 2L blender and added 3 bananas, a mango and half a melon.  Topping up with ice, the mixture was blended and made around 5 smoothies – delicious!

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We then moved on to a vegetable based drink called the Booster.  We juiced 3 large celery sticks, 3 carrots and a pack of 4 ready prepared beetroots, this was then added to the blender with an avocado and more ice.  Apparently pre-packed cooked beetroots aren’t the best for juicing as they are so soft so they turn to pulp very quickly so we added another one straight into the blender.  If you’re going to juice beetroots, raw ones are best!

This one wasn’t to everyone’s taste but I actually quite enjoyed it.  I think because the last 2 drinks were quite sweet it was a bit like having pudding before dinner!

Berries Matter, Booster and the Tropical Smoothie

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You can add most types of fruit and veg to a juice or smoothie, each with different health benefits.  Some interesting facts:

  • Kiwis contains 5x the amount of vitamin C as oranges – the perfect cold buster
  • Bananas can solve all your problems having proven to help with stamina, mood and even asthma
  • Fresh pineapples are the only known natural source of bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healing

All in all it was a lovely evening, something I didn’t expect to say about spending my evening juicing celery!  I’ll be sticking to my morning smoothies but, if I had more time I would definitely consider adding some fresh juice into the mix too.

By the end of the night, and please forgive me, I couldn’t help but think these drinks would be great with a bit of vodka…now that would have been a knock out!

I would like to thank Joe Blogs, Currys and Philips for having me.  Whilst I was invited to take part in the evening, I was not paid to write this post.  All views, as always, are my own.

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Hot & Sweaty with Ellie Goulding

When an email landed in my inbox from Nike Women inviting me to the exclusive launch of Ellie Gouldings’ new Tighten & Tone N+TC workout with none other than Ellie herself I couldn’t reply quick enough!

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The venue was Tobacco Dock in East London where I joined maybe 300 other like minded ladies bubbling with excitement and ready to get sweaty on the mat. There was a small stage at the front and the evening kicked off with a stunning acoustic performance from Ellie who treated us 5 or 6 of her hits including the current number 1, Love Me Like You Do and one of my favourite running tracks, Anything Could Happen.

Ellie Goulding was singing just a metre away from me!!  ARRGHHHH

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Despite being an international superstar, she told us she was feeling shy.  She needn’t of been because we all loved her, and even more so for being so normal, but  she was clearly putting her heart into her performance.  It was bloody brilliant!

Ellie then rushed off to change into her workout gear (reminding us why we were there!) and we went to find ourselves a mat, the punishment was about to begin…

The Nike Master Trainers were introduced on stage together with Ellie’s personal trainer, Faisal, who would be leading the session with Ellie. Ellie has been a bit of a fitness freak for some now and she’s also a keen runner so I knew the workout would be beneficial to my marathon training.

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We started the session with a good warm up before getting stuck into the Tighten & Tone workout. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but it’s only a 15 minute workout, how hard could it be?  I was expecting an easy ride. I was wrong.

Tighten & Tone is a combination of high and low intensity intervals designed to activate the core, strengthen the arms and work the legs.  We completed a range of exercises including burpees, planks, pike push-ups, squats, thrusts, seated scissor kicks (ouch!) & lunges for 30-60 seconds with a couple of 10 second rests if we were lucky.

The Nike Master Trainers were dotted around everywhere checking we weren’t slacking so there was nowhere to hide!  Ellie proved herself to be just as fit and strong as I thought and completed all of the exercises with graceful ease.

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How was it?  More intense than I thought and definitely one to work up a sweat – there were some real lung busters in there.  I’m definitely going to need some more practice at those seated scissor kicks!

After the workout we were greeted with a choice of healthy meals, I went for the teriyaki salmon salad, together with a welcome glass of bubbles, it was just what we needed!

And how did I feel the next day? In pain…

Thanks To Nike for a fabulously fun evening of live music, sweaty exercise, delightful company and champagne!

I’ll definitely be doing Ellie’s workout again and you can try it yourself by downloading the free NTC app, you don’t need any equipment so you can even do it in front of the TV.  No excuses!  There won’t be any Faisal though…sorry 🙂

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So I got me a Nutri-Whatsit

I’ve always been a fan of smoothies, milkshakes (cocktails…), basically anything where you whizz ingredients up to create a fabulous fruity, fresh (ahem, alcoholic…) drink.  As I became more aware of the importance of nutrition in running, I started to experiment more with different fruits and veg to create drinks bursting with vitamins and minerals rather than less healthy milkshake varieties.

When the Nutribullet started to surface, it positioned itself as a ‘super food extractor’ rather than a blender or a juicer – it claims to break down and pulverise fruit, veg, seeds and nuts so that every gram of nutritional value is ‘extracted’.  In my day job I work in advertising so all I heard was ‘blah, blah, blah’, it sounded like a lot of marketing hype to me and an excuse to charge £100 for a blender.  I wasn’t convinced.

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However, as time went on the hype didn’t go away and my friends started raving about it. Jealously got the better of me and I caved…6 weeks later I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t had at least one ‘Nutriblast’!  Essentially, it is a blender, but a very powerful one that can handle seeds, pips and skins, as well as leaves and flesh, which makes it very easy to pump full of different fresh produce to turn into a (mostly!) delicious drink.

There are some general rules they recommend which are easy to follow and help you get the most out of your smoothie, ensuring it’s not too sugar heavy from all the fruit:

1. Fill half the cup with leafy greens such as spinach or kale

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2. Fill the other half with fruit – any fruit you like, whatever you can find, just chuck it all in (err, except apple pips, apparently they contain a chemical that releases cyanide when ingested…useful to know!)

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3. Add a ‘boost’ for protein, this can be anything from almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds to acai berries or spirulina

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4. Finally, add your liquid.  Water is the easy choice but I like almond milk for added B vitamins, perfect for tired muscles after a tough run.

I’ve been trialling lots of combinations and I don’t think my fridge has ever been so full of fresh fruit & veg!  It’s pretty cheap to stock up on seasonal produce so needn’t be expensive and you can often get frozen chunks of mango, blueberries, cherries etc in the supermarket which are easy to store.

Avocados have become one of my favourite ingredients, full of potassium, fibre and healthy fats, they give the smoothie a real creamy texture as well as helping to fill you up.  Spinach and kale have surprised me because you really can’t taste them when they’re all blended up and give a vibrant green colour as well as packing a firm nutritional punch.

Otherwise I’ve been throwing in anything I fancy, bananas, apples, pineapple, pears, plums, kiwis, oranges, peaches, grapes, mango, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, cucumber.  I often add half or quarter of a lemon or lime to lift the flavours – take the skin off but just throw the flesh straight in, pips n all.

Ginger, chia seeds, spirulina, almonds, cashews, flax seeds, oats and greek yoghurt are all great additions to your daily smoothie and help pack in further good proteins and immune-boosting stuff.

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I haven’t tried beetroot yet but I have some in the freezer ready for when I feel brave – beetroot is great for runners because it helps reduce oxygen consumption during endurance sports and allows you to train for longer before you to reach the point of exhaustion.  I really must get more involved with this earthy gem…

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Not strictly in keeping with the rules but I’m loving this one I stole from the Nutribullet Twitter page –  2/3 oranges, greek yoghurt, cinnamon and a splash of orange juice, a proper vitamin C hit!

Smoothies for breakfast are a great start to the day – you can immediately load up on at least 5 fruit and veg varieties and pack in loads of good stuff to make you feel great before you even leave the house.  Unfortunately ready-made smoothies from the supermarket are often packed with additional sugar and preservatives and were made some time ago so I would stay clear of these – stick to your home-made delights.

This week the Nutribullet has come into its own for me.  On Wednesday I had a wisdom tooth out under general anaesthetic, I’ve never had a general before so I was a bit freaked out and have been left with a sore, stiff jaw and a gum sewn up with some kind of dissolvable stitches, as well as feeling more than a bit woozy.

Needless to say running was off the cards for a few days, but so was regular food.  I made the most of my smoothie obsession and dutifully planned out 3 nutritious smoothies a day to force myself to be healthy even if I wasn’t hungry.  Fresh food, especially fruit & veg, is always the fastest way to recovery and I’m aiming to be back in my trainers tomorrow!

Obviously you can make smoothies from any household blender, the Nutribullet is just a pretty powerful one.  Have a go with different ingredients and see what combinations you love the most for a fabulously nutritious snack!  If you’re still not sure, don’t just take my word for it, apparently Kate Middleton is a fan.  Just saying…

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Review: Runners Need Women’s Event

This summer Runners Need are running some exclusive Women’s Running Events held in their stores across London.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but when I arrived at the Waterloo Bridge store I was greeted with champagne and Lola’s cupcakes so I was pretty happy already!

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They checked me in then gave me a free Asics’s technical run top (a really good one that I would actually have paid for) in a choice of pink or black. Pink please!  As if that wasn’t enough, I was then presented with a chunky goody bag and went off to find a seat whilst juggling all my freebies and trying not to spill a drop of bubbly or ending up with cake all over my face!

The first guest speaker was Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Running magazine, Christina Macdonald.  She talked about her experiences with running & fitness, problems she’s had along the way and her journey to becoming a marathon runner.

Secondly was Nina Anderson, Britain’s number 1 in W40 200m, 400m, & 800m, and top Running Coach.  She was very inspiring to listen to having tackled all distances from 200m to the marathon and coached people across all levels of the fitness spectrum.  She offered us 3 key running tips

Nina’s Top Tips:

  1. Every session you do should have a point – how does this run relate to your running objective?
  2. Keep a training diary – an excellent way of monitoring progress and reflecting on achievements when lacking in motivation.
  3. The importance of strength & conditioning work.  She recommends a body weight session which can easily be done at home (she didn’t specify what this included but I imagine a combination of squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, dreaded planks etc)

Finally she told us that easy runs should be easy and hard runs should be hard.  If you make the easy runs hard then you can’t push yourself as much on the hard runs.  Makes perfect sense but I’m still guilty of pushing myself a bit too hard on those easy runs…I’m not entirely convinced this means I don’t push myself enough on the hard runs after throwing up on Wandsworth Common during my last interval session but I definitely understand the benefits of taking some sessions easy!

We also had talks from Mike Whitby from Asics and Nora Mulcahy from Covent Garden Physio.

Mike introduced us to the Asics 33 range (named because it considers all 33 foot joints) which promotes ‘natural running’.  Natural running is allowing the foot to run, quite simply, as naturally as possible, much like barefoot running, but still offering your foot some protection against concrete, grimy streets and the occasional dog poo.  It’s a lightweight and flexible shoe with a low heel drop to allow your foot this natural movement and strike the midfoot or forefoot rather than the heel.  The benefits of this are that you land over the centre of mass which means the body utilises its own cushioning properties and therefore reduces injury risk.  Apparently only 15% of runners are midfoot strikers and 10% forefoot.

Nora talked about her transition to barefoot running.  When she started there was little advice available so she made the mistake of heading straight out for a 5 mile run…with a backpack.  This left her calves feeling like ‘they were about to explode’ so she didn’t repeat this mistake!  She stressed the importance of going back to basics and, if you want to transition, you need to build up 1km at a time.  Sounds like you need a lot of patience!  Nora now runs round Victoria Park, completely barefoot, with her shoes in her hands attracting odd looks from the locals.  She loves it!

I’m not quite sure what I think about minimalist running shoes, and I’m certainly in no rush to go crazy and abandon my faithful cushioning altogether, but I have been considering adding a lighter ‘racing’ shoe to my collection.  I had a chat with Mike afterwards and, despite being an Asics rep, he wasn’t all ‘Asics this and Asics that’.  He advised me that I probably wouldn’t have the time to transition to something too light, like the Adidas Adios or Asics Tarther for my next marathon in October, but I could definitely switch to a performance shoe if that was the way I wanted to go (he recommended the DS for me, yes this is an Asics shoe but I told him I was an Asics fan!)

I shall most definitely be looking into it further and will aim for a lighter racing shoe for my next 10k, maybe that’s the answer!

There are still 2 Runners Need events left this year, Victoria & Southwark Bridge, so if you’re a fabulous runner chick, of any level, make sure you get down there, it’s open to all!  Just make sure you register on the website first.

Awesome Swag Bag!

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