Calling all Cyclists & Runners (& anyone else who would like to join theDUO!)

NEW OUTDOOR CLASS STARTS WEDNESDAY 4TH JUNE

Join theDUO
Outdoor Strength and Conditioning sessions
aimed at
Cyclists and Runners

Developed & delivered by
Bex & Claire
Two Personal Trainers with a passion for Cycling & Running

Build Stamina  –  Develop Core Strength – Prevent Injury

Starts Wednesday 4th June at 6.15 -7.15am
in Verulamium Park, St Albans

For further details please email info@greatshapefitness.co.uk or call 07759 298 768

Mad march hare

Spring is my favourite time of year – the daffodils are slowly starting to open delighting us with their happy yellow faces and the promise of new beginnings. Blossom hangs heavy, laden from branches filling the air with their sweet perfume, it’s getting lighter & slightly warmer, what’s not to love?!  So now is the ideal time to get outdoors & get exercising.  Yesterday I did just that & was lucky enough to spot a whimsical hare swerving wildly in a field next to me whilst out on a run.  A truly uplifting sight – yet another reason to get outdoors and embrace all that nature has to offer.

Yoga – a balanced approach to fitness

A few months ago I decided to start incorporating yoga into my weekly exercise schedule.  As a runner & cyclist I rarely get the chance to ‘slow it down’ and tight hamstrings and hip flexors were beginning to niggle more so than usual.

Yoga offers so many benefits, the most obvious being improved flexibility.  In addition, it helps to improve core stabilisation, strengths bones & muscles through weight bearing exercises and develops mental focus and concentration.  (There are a whole host of other benefits to yoga practice, but I don’t have the space to go into them).

Yoga is particularly beneficial for runners & cyclists.  Running & cycling have very repetitive movements usually in one direction and in one plane of motion i.e. forward and backwards.  Over time, this process can lead to imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries.  Yoga is not just simple stretching, it works the muscles and joints through their full range of motion & activates smaller rarely used muscles that help to support the primary movers. The body must be worked through all three planes of motion in order to remain strong, balanced and healthy. Yoga works not just in the sagittal plane but, in the frontal and transverse planes as well, ensuring well-balanced development.

After a few sessions I have definitely started to feel less tightness in my legs and I’m able to do more of the yoga poses which in the beginning seemed impossible.  I am now starting to incorporate some of the yoga moves into my regular stretching routine after an invigorating outdoor workout.  Pigeon pose & Downward dog I salute you!!

New Shoes!

My new outdoor trail running shoes have arrived, and what better way to celebrate than to take them out for an off-road run in the local forest.  Post-workout I always make sure I eat or drink something within 30-60 minutes to replenish & repair muscles.  My personal drink of choice at the moment is a homemade blueberry and banana shake.  If you want to try it here’s what you need:-

  • Handful of ice
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • Small banana
  • 1 large handful frozen (or fresh) blueberries
  • Small pot of low fat natural Greek yoghurt
  • 1tbsp flax/sesame & sunflower seeds
  • large pinch of cinnamon

Whizz ingredients in a blender & enjoy!

 

 

St Albans parkrun

We’re halfway into the month of January now and the St Albans parkrun had record numbers last weekend!  The 5km off-road course was put to good use as the usual route was still heavily flooded.  I was the tailrunner which meant I was running at the rear of the group encouraging people around the 5km course who were new to running, & also to give some of the regular runners some gentle motivation & words of encouragement to help them round the undulating course .  It felt good to be part of it & also seeing so many people embracing the great outdoors!

 

Benefits of Training Outdoors

As the daylight hours are slowly diminishing now is the time to get outdoors and boost your energy levels in order to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.   By exercising outdoors you will get an abundance of negative ions from the air, which ironically, are actually really very positive! These negative ions are invisible but are said to boost energy, enhance mood and promote quality sleep, as well as help us to stay mentally focused.

As research shows we can burn up to 30% more calories training outside. Additionally, you will find how training outdoors stimulates the senses, exhilarates the mind, heightens your experience and improves your general well-being.

Exercising outdoors will entail some work on uneven terrain, therefore your body has to work harder and utilise more of your muscles. Of course, there’s the added advantage that training outside tends to be less claustrophobic due to the open spaces available at any one time.

If you are worried about the elements, in my experience there is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes! Think of all that lovely sunshine providing your body with Vitamin D on the days when the weather is fine.

The majority of my training sessions are based outdoors, the benefits of which are well documented.

To learn how I can help you with outdoor training please contact me on 07759 298 768 or by email at info@greatshapefitness.co.uk