Top 5 | Marathon Recovery Tips

Having just about come down from the shock of getting a PB in the Madrid Marathon I thought I’d share my insight into recovering after a marathon. I have to admit I’m possibly my body’s own worst enemy when it comes to recovering (i.e. I’m not great at sitting around & doing nothing)! But when you’ve put yourself through your paces & meandered 26.2 miles in the heat you need to take a time out, don’t rush back in — you’ll only learn the hard way by getting an injury and put yourself out for longer!
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1. Take an ice bath
– yes it might sound horrendous! But trust me, it’s so worth it. Even if you can only bear it for a minute or two your muscles will thank you for it in the morning.

2. Get a light massage – some people have the urgency to get a ‘sports’ massage post-marathon, but the scrutiny may do you more harm than good. By all means get a massage, but just take it easy.

3. Go for a run – for some this is easier said than done. It’s something to put into action two days after running your Marathon, yes you need rest – but you also need to keep moving. Your body has got used to training, don’t let it slip away, getting the bloody flowing again at a very gentle jog will help — I promise!

4. Eat lots of fruit & protein – the natural sugar and carbohydrates in the fruit will do you a world of good and give your body what it needs to recover properly, you burnt a serious number of calories pounding the streets now it’s time to take back on what your body needs to repair and avoid any damage.

5. Cross-train – if you can’t succumb to a run just yet, get out there and go for a swim or a cycle. Keeping your legs moving with low-impact exercise will speed up the recovery process. Don’t do anything too strenuous, but don’t just stop completely! That’ll do you more harm than good!

The Habit Hunter x

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Insight Into | Taking on The Race to the Stones

A couple of hours have gone by now since clicking the ‘Register Now’ button for 2017 Race to the Stones, reality has hit — and I’m not entirely sure what I’ve done. In hindsight it perhaps would’ve been better to have spent a couple of hours before entering reading others race reviews rather than leaving that until post-registration! The fear has hit and the 100km challenge is upon me.

For anyone who, just like me up until this morning, has very little idea about Race to the Stones and what it it, here’s a brief breakdown:
– The UKs No.1 Trail Run
– Covering 100km through the North Wessex Downs
– Climbing hills, stumbling trail tracks & descending amongst iron-age forts
– Needless to say.. a pretty extreme challenge

So the registration process began, and I was provided with a few options:
1. Undertake half the challenge of 50km on the Saturday
2. Undertake half the challenge of 50km on the Saturday
3. Undertake the 100km race over 2 days (50km each day)
4. Take on the full 100km in one day
— and sticking true to my competitive (and perhaps a little idiotic) nature, most of you will be unsurprised to hear I have opted for option 4 (aka… taking on death).

Whilst it’s not the first ultra run I have entered into having run the West Highland Way over a couple of days last year, it the first I have entered into as a one day event, and considering my training for marathons tends to focus on lots of 8/10km runs as opposed to the recommended ‘long runs’ I may need to up the ante over the next few months.

When Is It?
Race to the Stones 2017 is on Saturday 15th July starting nice and sprightly at 7am.

Why Am I Doing It?
Over and above just loving to challenge myself every now and then, this race is a little different for me. Whilst I support those who undertake running events for charity, many of you may have realised my lack of charitable support when it comes to entering distance races in the past. This is not due to an inert nature of lacking in sympathy, generosity or sincerity – but merely a moral belief that with running becoming more of an enjoyable hobby than anything else I don’t believe I should ask people to pay for me to complete something I love for the sake of gaining a free race entry. Therefore, up until now, all races I have ever completed have been completely self-supported & funded. However, this one is a little different (I’m not descending upon a sob story don’t worry)!

But this to me is real challenge – something that in hindsight is probably looking a taking me well over 15 hours to complete which means running through the dark of the night (most likely by myself for a lot of it) and without the support of friends and family really will be verging on impossible to complete. I have therefore opted to take the challenge in support of Cancer Research. A charity that has supported a variety of my own family and close friends as well as an abundance of others around the globe, and one which I am sure many of you will agree are more than deserving of support.

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Therefore, I ask of you, whether it be the mere £2.80 you’d spend on your Starbucks Coffee during your morning commute please support me in this ridiculous quest of putting my body through the works for a great cause and one which will spur me to cross the line whether it be still using my semi-functioning legs or through a mere hands and feet crawl over the finish!

Please Click to Donate Here

The Habit Hunter x

Insight Into | My Decision To Become a Qualified Personal Trainer

“Don’t Limit Your Challenges – Challenge Your Limits” 

Having set out to challenge myself, yet again, I’ve signed up to take my Level 2 and 3 combined certification to become a fully qualified personal trainer with Train Fitness. No – I am not giving up my job, putting my life on hold or throwing away my university degree. I am ultimately undertaking the course for 3 reasons:

1. Anyone that knows me (or has even vaguely flicked through The Habit Hunter site) knows about my passion for running. With an ultimate desire to be able to combine this passion, alongside travelling, with my degree in international business and turn it into a career (an in the pipe-line goal)I think its vitally important that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to encouraging other people into running.

2. I never thought I would say this having spent far too many hours in the Edinburgh University library during my final year of university – but I actually miss learning. Okay, I have a job that constantly pushes me to be learning on a daily basis, but on the job skills seem to come a whole lot easier than studying new concepts. So the challenge of taking on this new course in an area I covered very mediocrely in my GCSE Sports Science exam is a big driving force in this decision.

3. Health and fitness has always been a part of my life I have taken a huge amount of interest in, further increased with my challenge of completing the World Marathon Majors by April next year. And as much as I have my routine – when I go for a run, what type of workouts I combine with running and what I need to take on to fuel myself in order to be able to do all of this, I still feel overwhelmed with the abundance of information that surrounds the industry. Therefore, in order to be able to educate myself further on something that I value as an integral part of my life was a particular swaying factor in this decision.

How Did I Make A Decision as to Which Provider to Choose?

Anyone that has ever researched personal training courses has probably experienced something very similar to me – a complete oblivion of information, much of it unclear, and a huge amount of it appearing as a money making business with little resources given to the participant. The courses I came across ranged from £1000 – £4000!! And yet all seemed to offer the same thing — how can you possibly differentiate with such a crazy price difference?

So then it came down to some more in-depth research. Looking into how the courses were delivered was a key factor for me. Having a full-time job (of which I had no intention of leaving) meant that I needed a course that I could undertake outside of working hours, but still feel like I was getting a genuine qualification. Therefore, I needed to find a distance-learning course. This is where I came across Train Fitness. They offer distance, part-time & full-time courses for the personal training qualification. Having spent hours reading an abundance of reviews (all of which rave about Train Fitness) it seemed obvious I had hit jackpot! And not only was that not enough to make choice an easy one – but they offer all the course material online and via their mobile app. Allowing me access to the material at all times, without having to spend out on all the course books (the only provider I came across that seemed to offer this).

Another big defining factor was the guys I spoke to at Train Fitness. Since my first conversation with Tyrone, it was evident they were not delivering me a sales pitch but merely offering advice as to what my options were, and acting as a sounding board for where I was at and what the best option moving forward for me.

And — to top it all off! They were incomparable to others when it came to the price. Train Fitness seemed to be the only provider not forcing you into having to buy course books or additional add-ons but instead gave me a set fee, which includes all the information and support I need to not only get started, but to complete the qualification. Taking on a PT course is never going to be a cheap decision, but Train Fitness definitely make it affordable. So whilst I am new to the course and can’t yet bring much to the table as to how I am getting on with the course material, I have nothing but glowing reviews on how the process has been so far and couldn’t recommend Train Fitness highly enough!

How Long Will it Take to Qualify?

Ultimately the ball is in my court with this one – whilst I am determined to get the course completed, and will dedicate a lot of my time out of the working day in order to be able to do this, I am also training for the Madrid marathon in April, holding down a full-time job & hoping to sustain a social life amongst it all. So realistically I am setting myself a 5 month window of completion! (I’ll keep you in the loop of how I’m getting on with this goal).

Overview

So hopefully, for those of you looking to undertake a PT course this has provided an insight amongst the abundance of information out there as to where to look and what to consider. For those who know me, it’s given you a bit of an insight into why I am setting myself yet another challenge & for my parents (cheers for always being a guaranteed readership) it’s hopefully reassured you that I’m not throwing away my job in the whirlwind of my next venture!

Love always,

The Habit Hunter x

Top 5 | Free Fitness Classes in London

Blue Monday has been and gone, but let’s be honest, the bank account is still taking a hit — December’s pay-check is out of the window on Christmas presents, Dry January turned into “I can’t survive January without a drink’, and you’re counting down the days until January’s payslip arrives into the account. 

Not only have you got the bank account blues, but you’re getting “Special January Deals” from each and every gym you’ve ever engaged with (regardless of whether you’ve ever actually made it through the threshold of their door) , telling you to come and lose that extra Christmas “warmth”. But…. you can’t afford it! Vicious cycle right? 

So here’s the lowdown on losing that ‘Christmas warmth’ all for the lofty price of £0. 

1. Nike+ Run Club 
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THE HABIT HUNTER’S RECOMMENDATION: For those just starting out try their Tuesday night ‘Ready Set Go Run’ session & for those looking for a jaunter around the streets of London, hit up their ‘Home Run’ on a Thursday (6:34pm.. still not sure why they are so precise).

WHERE: Check for Locations
WHEN: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

2. Tribe Tempo Tuesdays
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THE HABIT HUNTER’S RECOMMENDATION: For the novices or even most experienced upon us, the Tribe running community caters for everyone. The Tuesday Tempo sessions provide a shake-up to your mundane long-run — and even better you can’t treat yourself to a free Tribe bar/shake post-session.

WHERE:  The Tea Building, Shoreditch 
WHEN: Tuesdays – Usually 6:30pm or 6:45pm 

3. Sweaty Betty Free Workout Classes 
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THE HABIT HUNTER’S RECOMMENDATION: If you’re wanting to push yourself after your Christmas indulgence, head to the HIIT class. But for those wanting to ease into their exercise regime the experts at Sweaty Betty really know their stuff when it comes to Yoga and Pilates (Plus — it’s a great excuse to ‘invest’ in some of their clothing).

WHERE: Check for Locations
WHEN: Everyday 

4. Reebok Fithub 
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THE HABIT HUNTER’S RECOMMENDATION: Mix it up and head to the Reebok Fithub in Covent Garden for a variety of HIIT/CrossFit style classes.

WHERE: Covent Garden
WHEN: Tuesday & Wednesday 

5. Lululemon Run & Yoga 
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THE HABIT HUNTER’S RECOMMENDATION: Their partner events with Chasing Lights Collective are a one-off and provide those with a ‘fear of running’ reassurance that it’s much less dull when you’re all in it together and can begin to enjoy it! 

WHERE: Check for Locations
WHEN: Check for Timings

The Habit Hunter x 

Top 5 | Fitness Classes in London 2017

“No Matter How Slow You Go, You Are Still Lapping Everyone On The Sofa”

With an abundance of fitness classes popping up and about all over London, I thought I would give my insight into my favourite classes. It’s undeniable that the wellness scene in London has taken off by storm, which has led to some crazy asking prices for workout classes, however, one thing I can promise you is – these classes are worth it! It’s also worth noting that many of these places offer a discounted price for your first class (and sometimes even no fee at all), so don’t feel like you can’t give them a shot – NO EXCUSES! If you’re looking to try something for free… my previous post might be more your scene.

1. Kobox


​​INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £25 for 2 classes & hand wraps

WHERE: Unit 8-11 Kings Walk, 122 Kings Road, London
NEAREST TUBE: Sloane Square

2. Barry’s Bootcamp


​​INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £20

WHERE: Central: 163 Euston Road, London East: 2 Worship Street, London
NEAREST TUBE: Central: Euston, Euston Square or Warren Street East: Liverpool Street

3. 1Rebel


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: Reshape
INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £20

WHERE: St Mary’s Axe or Broadgate Circle
NEAREST TUBE: Liverpool St or Moorgate

4. Frame


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: Cardio Circuits
INTRODUCTORY PRICE: Classes range from £7 – £25 or bag an EARLY BIRD which gives you 8 Classes for £75

WHERE: All over London
NEAREST TUBE: Shoreditch, Kings Cross, Victoria, Queens Park

5. Psycle


​​INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £20 for 3 Classes

WHERE: 76 Mortimer St, Marylebone
NEAREST TUBE: Oxford Circus

The Habit Hunter x