There’s an asymmetric profile to the advantages of warming up before heading out on a run – it helps to materially decrease the risk of injury as by ignoring or rushing a warmup, you’re more likely to pull a muscle, tear a tendon, or tweak a joint. Also, I find that if I don’t warm up but rather go straight into a run, it’s simply harder to sustain the pace, and I’m more likely to burn out quicker. This, in turn, makes me feel demotivated and discouraged from running again; cue the spiral of unfavorable results! This post is a brief overview of my 4 favorite warm-up stretches which you might give a try next time you’re about to go for your run! (more…)
I was recently invited along to the launch of Under Armour‘s new running shoe, the SpeedForm Apollo, which goes on sale this coming Friday (28th February), and is their updated follow-up to last year’s SpeedForm RC. The UK fitness advertising landscape is a homogenous onslaught, but this Under Armour offering is newness at its best, and as an obedient consumer, I just LOVE a bit of newness!
For the event, Ian Dickinson (Under Armour Head of European Footwear) flew over from their Netherlands base of operations, and I had a chance to pick his brain on the brand’s history, its ethos, to learn how it’s approaching the ultra-competitive footwear market, and to discover some of the drivers behind the technological innovations underpinning this Apollo shoe.
First off, I have to declare that I like these shoes. A lot. What strikes me first, as an objective viewer (I have no biased interest to declare), is the fluidity of its sleek lines; there’s a gentle suggestion of the natural ‘foot’ anatomy, right from the contoured upper which hints at ‘toes’, to the smoothly sculpted heel basket which has been scooped-out to fit snugly, right down to the full-on ‘footprint under-sole’.
Besides the obvious fact that it comes in a cute girly pink and a gorgeous aqua blue for men (I’d prefer this option personally), it feels like a really strong running shoe under foot. It includes technical features you can actually feel as a wearer, such as being super lightweight, having a ‘medial stability bar’ to offer a bit of extra midfoot support and prevent it rolling around when you land, and yields a deeply cushioned, well-supported ‘ride’. One of my favourite features is that it’s completely one-piece, whilst being ultimately breathable (featuring an impossibly airy blend of meshed fabrics which form a pseudo-skin layer), and not having any seams or stitches which gives it a second-skin feel and reduces the ever-debilitating ‘blister rub’. Also, unlike many other big brand shoes, it’s manufactured entirely in a clothing factory – out of the same fabrics as lingerie, which brings a whole new sense to the word ‘racy’ 😉 !!
I’ve been giving them a good going round the running track in Regent’s Park, and I really do like them; the seamless sensation is a massive plus, as I don’t get distracted or annoyed having to stop and adjust. I kind of forget the shoe is there at all, which I can only imagine is the highest form of praise you could offer to a ‘running shoe’ designer 🙂 Some more pictures below… Faya x (more…)
This week, I was invited to train with the US sportswear brand Under Armour in one of their ‘Urban Gym’ sessions; I was warned to expect a host of brutal, gritty training stations to tackle whilst using some innovative training kit. The event took place underneath Southbank’s iconic Golden Jubilee Bridge in the heart of London – an amazing location! So this post breaks down into 3 neat sections; 1 – ‘the workout’, 2 – ‘the gear’ and 3 – ‘the philosophy bit!!!’. click MORE to get the lowdown… (more…)
Dear Santa, I’ve been really healthy (almost) all year and I intend to be next year as well; after a festive wander through Harrods, here are my 18 top fitness gift ideas that’ll certainly help keep me on track through 2014; including some clothes, trainers, workout equipment, healthy food & drink and other gym knick-knacks. The sort of thing any fitness freak like me would love to open in just a fortnight’s time! 😉 Faya x (more…)
I’m a big fitness fashion junkie, and am especially a bit of a fiend when it comes to trainers (i’ll post a shot of my collection one day!). But aside from being spoilt for choice in terms of prints and colour, these humble gym-slippers also serve a far more functional purpose – to look after our poor old feet, knees and posture! Far too often, feet get neglected and suffer because of it. They work so hard for us every day, yet we pay very little attention to them – aside from the occasional indulgent pedicure. ‘Fashion over function’ doesn’t serve your long term interests with feet – if you exercise as regularly as I do, appropriate foot care is critical as the skin and bones are put under so much more stress. Above all, I think it’s worth paying extra attention to what kind of shoe you buy and for which occasion. A little gem that I’ve used for some time is ‘Runners Need‘ – they always have good descriptions, specs & reviews alongside the brand products, so I can be pretty sure that I’ll end up with the right shoe for the right purpose.
Another one I’ve recently stumbled across (no pun intended!) is Simply Feet. Due to an old knee-based running injury from a long time ago which flares up every now-and-again, I’ve been wearing ‘Rhythm shoes’ from Weil footwear recently. They’re super comfy – perfect for trekking around London – lightweight, breathable, with technical fabrics – but most importantly they’re podiatrist-designed, and feel like they support & stabilise my foot every step. Crucially for me, they don’t look like a piece of ugly medical technology; they look just as good as, for example, the Nike Lunarlon – my pair of Rhythm’s in the pictures here even have some coral pink girly detailing so I can coordinate them! If you have any back, heel, knee or leg pain when you run, or if you simply over-pronate, these relieve pressure & naturally re-align the foot.
I’m going to write a post on running socks too, as I think that completes the fitness-ready footcare regime! Keep your eyes open!
WEARING?? Nike Limitless Leggings, Bershka hooded waterproof jacket, Weil Rhythm Shoes in Silver / Coral, Mulberry ‘Henry’ gym bag. See all the pics from this shoot HERE.