Top 5 | Fitness Classes in London 2018

As seems to be the norm now in London, new gyms, fitness classes and training trends are cropping up left, right and centre – even as a complete fiend I’m struggling to keep up! However, I’m doing my best, and have pulled together my round-up of classes that I think are worth trying out this year (no doubt in 6 months time I’ll want to re-write this whole post all over again. But in the mean time.. here goes, my top fitness classes in London for 2018:

If you’re looking to try something for free… my previous post might be more your scene. Or if you’re still playing catch-up on 2017, head over here.

1. KXU


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: HiiT & Run
WHAT IS IT: An adrenaline-inducing class incorporating interval training, speed and treadmill inclines, all to a killer playlist and low lights.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE: 1 class is £24, however they do offer discount packages.

WHERE: 241 Pavilion Road, London. SW1X 0BR
NEAREST TUBE: Sloane Square

2. F45


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: Athletica
WHAT IS IT: Get leaner, faster and more agile in a 45 minute cardio session that will have you sweating and gasping for air. Meanwhile, your now Zen-like mind will be wondering how the time went so quickly. It’s team- based, intense and a great way to rid yourself of 820 calories.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £39 for 2 weeks unlimited classes

WHERE: All over London
NEAREST TUBE: Check here

3. BXR


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: Versaclimber – Climb to the beat
WHAT IS IT: This session provides an introduction to the VersaClimber & its ability to provide a total-body cardio workout. A fun-paced environment incorporating a mixture of muscle isolations & intervals with the range of movements required to provide each climber with the correct form & needed for a successful start to their climbing journey.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £20 for non-members

WHERE: 24 Paddington St, Marylebone, London W1U 5QX
NEAREST TUBE: Baker Street

4. Run Junkie


​​WHAT IS IT: The first indoor running studio to utilise the Skill Mill – a curved treadmill with no buttons to press, powered only by you. They have taken the simplicity and effectiveness of running outside and made it into a fun, invigorating and inspiring workout.

WHERE: Currently holding a pop-up at Lululemon in Marylebone – Get a spot before its gone!
NEAREST TUBE: Baker Street

5. One 10


​​RECOMMENDED CLASS: Nirvana
WHAT IS IT: Nirvana is a full-body session where you ride to the driving beats in a club-like atmosphere. This is 45 minutes of complete escapism, surrounded by fellow fitness fanatics who want to have as much fun as you do. Your MOVES profile tracks every second so you can see the calories you burn, giving you all the motivation you need. Find your rhythm with Nirvana.

INTRODUCTORY PRICE: £20 for 2 Classes

WHERE: 16 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3BL.
NEAREST TUBE: Baker Street

The Habit Hunter x

Top 5 | London Running Routes

“Unexplored Paths Lead to Undiscovered Treasures”

‘Spring Marathon Season’ is upon us, which for many means ‘Panic Season’ is among us. Regardless of what anyone says, running in the Winter can bring the bleakest of times, battling with wind, rain and the unpredictable British climate. However, there’s also those crispy frosty mornings with the most beautiful sunsets that can suddenly seem to subside the drab feelings of those miserable days! So don’t let the weather be an excuse, mix up your training spots, explore some new London running routes and don’t stress about missing a training run now and again (we all do it).

1. THE UNEXPLORED PARK ROUTE


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WHERE: Richmond Park
DISTANCE: 11.6KM
NEAREST TUBE: East Putney or Barnes

2. THE CANAL ROUTE


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WHERE: East London Towpaths
DISTANCE: 10KM
NEAREST TUBE: Mile End or Limehouse

3. THE LUNCH BREAK ROUTE


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WHERE: Regents Park & Primrose Hill
DISTANCE: 5.4KM
NEAREST TUBE: Regents Park, Great Portland Street or Warren Street

4. THE TRAIL ROUTE


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WHERE: Hampstead Heath
DISTANCE: 5.8KM
NEAREST TUBE: Hampstead

5. THE ROYAL PARKS ROUTE


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WHERE: Hyde Park, St James Park, Green Park & Kensington Palace Gardens
DISTANCE: 10.5KM
NEAREST TUBE: Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, St James Park or Lancaster Gate

The Habit Hunter x

Insight Into | Why I Won’t Remain Vegan

As you may be aware, I took the pledge of Veganism this January. Why? Well, why not was my response to most. I wanted to try something different, and see what all the fuss was about. However, I am now taking the pledge against Veganism. Why? For the following reasons:

1. Social Life 
Without a doubt the number one reasons for not sticking to Veganism is the sheer anti-social nature of it. Don’t get me wrong, there are an incredible number of restaurants popping up all over the place serving vegan menus, but do you really want to restrict yourself to 5% of a menu? Do you really want to have to check the menu of every restaurant suggested by friends and family to see if you can actually eat anything before making a commitment? Yes, 2018 is already revolutionary in its Veganism adoption, but for now, I am not willing to question a night out with friends at the thought of not being able to sit at the table and enjoy the meal with them.
2. Cows 
Quite honestly, I just miss cows milk. Ever since I can remember I would drink more than a couple of pints of milk a day, so I knew this was going to be one of the biggest challenges. On top of this, as a huge coffee fiend, no one will ever convince me that almond milk or oat milk comes close to the full-fat stuff in a flat white!
3. Placebo 
Telling myself I was going vegan simply made me want to eat everything that wasn’t. For the past few years I have reduced the amount of meat I have eaten (thanks to a traumatising chicken experience in China!), and this hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. That is until I told myself I couldn’t eat it because I was ‘vegan’. All I did was crave a beef burger and sirloin steak. Whilst just living my life without even thinking about it I was naturally making more health conscious decisions.
4. Cost 
Okay, so whilst many will argue that eating Vegan is not more expensive because you’re spending less on meat la di dah di dah, quite frankly this wasn’t the case for me. Due to buying minimal meat before, the alternatives I was buying were in fact more expensive. For example, coconut yoghurt – comes in at at least £3 a pot, compared to your 99p natural yoghurt – and to be honest, my Sainsbury’s natural yoghurt tasted a whole lot better!
5. Extra Supplements 
For anyone that has done their research, they’ll be aware that there are key vitamins and minerals missing from a vegan diet. Most prominently, vitamin B12. The thought of having to have B12 shots at the doctors, purely because I wasn’t allowing to nourish myself with them in their natural form was quite frankly ridiculous. You’ll spend more on that than a glass of milk so for me it just wasn’t worth it.

Going forward:
Whilst I won’t be continuing with veganism, I am certain that I will continue to eat less meat and most likely stick to a relatively vegetarian diet. My dairy intake will likely be reduced, and I will add more grains and pulses to my diet. No I don’t hate animals or want to damage the planet, so don’t hate me for not sticking to vegan, but I’m just simply not convinced its the lifestyle choice that is right for me. I have huge respect for those that can do it, and preach to continue to do so. But just be aware it’s not for everyone, and preaching like there’s no other choice is neither fair nor responsible. Let people make their own choices on the matter, and do what’s right for you as an individual not for those around you.
The Habit Hunter x

 

Insight Into | The Mission Marathon Journey Begins

As you may have read in my previous post back in November, I got through to the final selection for the Runners World x Vifit Sport Mission Marathon squad. Whilst I had the most unreal day, meeting other like minded runners all with the aspiration to win a spot for the Spring marathon, never did I dream I would actually win!

But 1 month later, I received the long-awaited email to my inbox informing me I had been selected as the ambassador for the Speed Demons squad (with the aim of breaking a 3hr marathon). As a result I have been allocated a coach, nutritionist and a spot in the marathon in April. So where does that leave me now? In a state of excitement (and a little daunted) by the months ahead. With Tokyo marathon in February I am hoping this will be the perfect training race to judge what I need to work on for London. With this in mind, Jane Vongvorachoti (Olympic runner) has provided me with my first training plan, which I will be sharing with you along the way – the first month of which you can see below:

Week 1 – Total Miles: 46

Monday – 7 miles easy with 10x100m strides
Tuesday – progressive run-3 miles at 5min pace, 3 miles at 4.30,3 miles at 4.20
Wednesday – easy 6 mile run with 5x100m strides
Thursday – 2 mile warmup, some running drills then 16×400 @ 3.30 pace rest is 400m jog, cd 1 mile jog
Friday – recovery run 5 miles
Saturday – 13 miles easy pace about 5-4.30 pace, should feel easy then 5x50m strides after
Sunday – rest

Week 2 – Total Miles: 49

Monday – 2 miles easy then, 10x high knees, buttkicks, sprints up a 50m hill then 3 minute rest and run 4miles hard recovery 1 mile
Tuesday – 8 miles recovery run and 5x 50m strides
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 2 mile warmup, drills, 8×600@ 3.40 pace, recovery 400 m jog cooldown 1 mile, do core work afterwards for 20 minutes
Friday – recovery run 6 miles in morning. in PM run 4 miles recovery
Saturday – 14miles approx 4.30s-4.40s easy with last 3 miles at MP (4.09)
Sunday – Recovery 4 miles

Week 3 – Total Miles: 52

Monday – 10 miles progressive, start at 4.40s min miles and slowly bring down pace to 4.10 pace
Tuesday – 2 mile warmup, running drills, 8×800 at 3.45-3.50 pace recovery is 400mjog, cd 2 miles
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 1 mile warmup, 6 mile tempo run at 4.09 for first 3 miles then try to bring the pace down to 4.00s if you can), 2 mile cooldown
Friday – recovery run 7 miles and 5x100m strides
Saturday – 13 miles easy at about 5.20 pace to 5.00, 5x 50m strides
Sunday – Recovery 5 miles

Week 4 – Total Miles: 54

Monday – 4 miles easy then 10x 60m hills hard, walk back down for recovery, then 3 miles hard effort, 1 mile cooldown
Tuesday – 8 miles recovery with 8x 50m strides
Wednesday – 6 miles easy with 10x50m strides and core work for 20 minutes
Thursday – 3 mile warmup, 2×3 miles at 4.05 -4.00 pace with 2-3 min recovery, cd 1 mile
Friday – recovery 7 miles
Saturday – 15 miles with last 4 at 4.09 pace
Sunday – Rest

Please do let me know if you have any questions, or any tips that can help me on my journey!

Thank you, The Habit Hunter x

Insight Into | Runners World Mission Marathon Selection Day

So last Friday was a little more exciting than mostly – partly due to the fact I wasn’t to be sat in an office all day – but mainly because I had been invited along to the #missionmarathon selection day by Runner’s World.

How did this all come about?

Having see nike run coach, Becs Gentry, put a post out on instagram, I saw Runner’s World were holding a competition in partnership with Vifit Sport, a high-protein recovery products company. With the opportunity to win a coveted spot in the London Marathon 2018, alongside training support and nutrition products from the coaches, including olympic athlete, Jane Vongvorachoti. So, naturally, I thought why not? and threw my name into the mix. Only to receive an email just over a week later telling me I was successful and had made it down to the final 18.

What did the selection day entail?

The day took place at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, on a surprisingly sunny November day. Upon arrival we were met by the Runner’s World team and the other runners involved from the 3 categories (Finish Liners, Breaking 4 & Speed Demons). We then had our photo taken (think awkward year book photo day at school), ate some breakfast and got on with the first session. For my group, the Speed Demons, this was REPEAT.

REPEAT SESSION

This was a Q&A session held with Ben Green and Andy Dixon, both sub-3 marathon runners. Who gave us an insight into their running backgrounds and the training entailed to break that 3 hour barrier on marathon day, or in Bens case completely smash it at 2hrs30. With a great insight from the guys we headed into the next session RECOVERY.

RECOVERY SESSION

Ironically having done nothing but eat and talk all morning we went to a ‘well-deserved’ recovery session held by Andy Vincent, a Third Space PT and self-appointed ‘Foot Geek’. Andy talked us through stretching, foam rolling (the right way) – who knew breathing was so vital?, and actual mind-blowing foot stretches. Never did I realise that such minor alterations could make such a huge difference. From a classic runner with the lazy stretching trait this session was particularly valuable. Key takeaway – I need to stretch more! Following this, we headed off for the most anticipated session of the day – RUN.

RUN SESSION

With the sun shining, and the chance to run on an incredible track, this was definitely a highlight of the day. Jane Vongvorachoti and Joe Mackie took the session. Starting off with some classic drills (think high-knees etc) we were then summoned to the challenge of the day. Having all opted for the Speed Demons group (i.e. hoping to break sub-3 in a marathon) there was no surprise they wanted to see if we were up to the task in hand. So we were told to run 2 miles (8 laps), though we were reassured ‘this was not a race’ – there was no surprise that putting 6 competitive runners on a track we weren’t going to try and make our mark. So off we went, film crew in tow. Over the moon to have made it back as the first female in the group and third overall! Needless to say having struggled through IT band syndrome the past few months I’m over the moon to finally be back running properly.

All in all, it was a great day, with everyone in attendance totally deserving of the prize. Was amazing to spend the day with like-minded runners, nand to be able to chat running without feeling as though I was driving them into complete boredom! Massive shout out to Runner’s World for putting the day together and running the competition, as well as all the other support and coaches that came along too. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome, but irrespective – it was an epic day, and over the moon to have made it this far.

The Habit Hunter x