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…)
There are some sports figures who transcend the era in which they played; they’re few and far between, but they’re immortals, the ultimate hall of famers, era-defining legends, and their very names are synonymous with the sport itself. Bjorn Borg was such a character in my home country (and beyond), but on a scale almost unimaginable for two decades, it was Steffi Graf for the female game. During my Olympics trip to Brazil with adidas, I had the epic opportunity to meet, interview AND play with Steffi, who is herself a representative for the brand. It was remarkable for so many reasons! Click MORE to see and read about how we got on 🙂 (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…)
It’s the Halloween time of year again, and just throwing it out there, but I guess you might be finding it harder to stay on the fitness ‘straight & narrow’ as we run into the festive season, consuming a bit more alcohol than normal, chomping on some salty sweets and let’s not forget all the sugary ‘trick or treat’ fare. You might even have some war wounds after running around town late one night chasing bats dressed up as Batman – cape, knickers at minus 2 degrees? Sound familiar? HAVE NO FEAR – Fitness On Toast’s healthy (& seasonally on-trend) Pumpkin Soup to the rescue – it’s ultra hydrating and nutrient-rich to make up for all the sugary sweets, alcohol and salt in which you’ve been overindulging! Plus it’s packed with minerals and vitamins to help recover from a heavy night out or just a little man-cold. Read MORE for ingredients & ‘How To’, here! (more…)
This post focuses on tips & tricks for correct running technique. A couple of weeks ago, on a blog trip (a.k.a ‘excuse for a mini-holiday’) to the perma-sunny Quinta Do Lago, in Portugal’s Algarve, I indulged in some long, peaceful runs along the gorgeous sweeping beaches. I’ve always loved long distance running, and without sounding like a total hippie… (more…)
This post is about an alternative, healthy ‘burger’ recipe which takes inspiration from a recent blog trip to New York. ‘When in Rome’ do as the New Yorkers… with that in mind it seemed right that on my monumental ‘cheat day’ I should go overboard and indulge in a proper American burger, milkshake & fries! If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know this is a VERY rare occasion indeed! I headed to the grand opening of Shake Shack in Grand Central Station, which I’d heard so much about (great PR!). To celebrate it I wore my favourite gold burger ring by GoldieRox – gorgeous jewellery celebrating junk food, best of all with 0 calories!!! (On that matter, in America most menus now include ‘calories’ which is really helpful!)
I was fully aware that this meal would rack up some seriously naughty numbers but I was blown away; I consumed 1870 calories in just one meal, which is pretty much what I would typically eat in a day!!! Going to Shake Shack was certainly a bit of a fun outing, and I believe you do have to enjoy and live life a little now and then, but this serves as a reminder of just how easily you could be consuming a VAST amount of the wrong kind of calories without even realising it. In the event, I could only manage a half of my portion (still 935 calories), and since my body isn’t used to it, I struggled for the rest of the day. I’m much more at home with a healthy alternative; my previous healthy burger recipe included a tuna steak; this alternative is my nutritious, low-fat, low-sugar and lower-calorie ‘Skirt Steak Wrap’ (pictured below), which weighs in at a nutritious 485 calories, bursting with vitamins minerals and quality protein. See MORE pictures, ingredients and ‘how to make it’ below…
It’s October in New York and this day was a scorcher – 27 degrees! Since there are a few fantastic jogging routes around the gorgeous Central Park, I thought I’d go for a little explore; my ‘fitness curiosity’ got the better of me, and that turned into a 40 minute jog, after which I decided I wanted to finish off with some legs!! This post documents that leg routine, and be warned, it’s pretty gruelling, targeting all major muscles – hamstrings, quads and glutes – to tone, firm and strengthen thighs and bum! Unlike some of my previous leg posts, having just been jogging for the last 40 minutes this workout included no weights, just a park bench and some steps! That extra bit of added cardio should get you sweating and avoid shivering in the chilly ‘autumn’ weather! Really challenge yourself by keeping the rest period to a minimum – Weights not required, the combination of leg exercises is utterly exhausting!
Whilst we’re on the topic, if you’re thinking about taking up running I think it’s worth keeping a log book. By recording your performance you will be able to see how you’re improving and to potentially help avoid injuries, typically sustained when you try to go all-out for no reason. Analysing patterns can help you learn how your body responds to different intensities. Are you pushing your body too hard too soon, or may the opposite be the case? Are you letting your body recover properly? There are lots of apps to help you with logging your runs – so many that I plan to write a post about them! If you’re thinking you don’t take your running that seriously – try to at least record the distance, time and pace. Getting into the habit might just inspire and motivate you to run that extra mile, when the incremental exertion is the greatest 🙂 My favourite thing about it? You get to set yourself / your friends challenges and to enjoy the fresh air whilst getting to know the city & countryside – sounds perfect! 🙂
Click below to see the full routine, shot in Central Park, New York.
I am a little bit too excited about my custom-designed trainers that have just arrived from Nike ! I love trainers, so to be able to nuance my very own pair is a bit of a treat 🙂 I went for patriotic Swedish blue and neon ‘Volt’ yellow, and on the tongues it has the F.O.T. (Fitness On Toast) abbreviation and my name monogrammed on. It’s a bit of fun, and a nice way to put some personality on your shoe for a pretty small premium!
The technical name of this pair is ‘Nike Free 5.0 iD Women’s Running Shoe‘. I’ve owned a few pairs of the previous versions, and I find the shoe ideally comfy – it has a similar feel to barefoot running, but with some subtle cushioning, and it’s practically weightless – a very ‘free’ experience for my feet, which matters because I’m in them all day. The sole has deep cuts along the length and width of it which ‘enhances the natural range of motion, encouraging a smooth, efficient stride whilst helping maintain stability’.
If, like me you wear trainers alot it’s worth having a few pairs to swap between (depending on your sport of choice), as well as considering that a shoe’s useful life is only c. 6months before it’s time to pick up a new pair. I’ve teamed my shoes with a pair of dual layer socks, to maximise that ‘new shoe’ comfy feel 🙂
Click MORE below to see extra pictures. Faya x
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.