Although I absolutely love the longer sunlight hours we get with the summer season, I can’t deny that I’m more of a cold weather running girl. That being said, I do love being able to run in vests and not having to worry about how many layers are needed!
I find running in the summer quite difficult – I find that I overheat quite quickly, can get irritable with tiny flies and suncream in the eyes really is a buggar!
So Dom and I have a couple of races coming up in the autumn: a 10KM race in September and a half marathon in October – therefore summer training is going to be inevitable!
I feel like I can’t be the only person on the planet that suffers with this, so I wanted to share my (tried and tested) tips for surviving summer running:
- Go early – get out there before the sun’s managed to properly get its hat on – that way the heat won’t be too uncomfortable.
- Get shady – don’t go somewhere that’s completely exposed, you’ll overheat instantly! Find a nice park / path lined with trees for a cooler running route.
- Hydrate – stay safe and make sure you’re taking on enough water – nobody wants to finish a run feeling ill!
- Protect your skin – this one is simple, just don’t be an idiot. Get a sporty suncream that can withstand sweat (at a proper factor level – I go for 50+) and make sure you protect yourself.
- Save your eyes from the flies – like I said above, flies going in my eyes really frustrates me and can really put me off my stride. The best way to protect yourself from this? Some running shades! These ones by sungod are my new go-to favourites – see why below.
I’m not usually a run-in-sunnies kind of girl, because they tend to fall off! These, however, are very different. They not only fit my head without squeezing, but they also offer 100% UV protection and scratch resistance.
You can fully customise your sungod sunnies so if you fancy black frames with green lenses, go for it. If you want tortoise shell frames with blue lenses, go for it! You can design your own pair here
Personally I went for matte clear frames and pink 4KO lenses. I went for the polarised 4KO lenses that gives you enhanced optical clarity.
They’re also matte – so don’t feel all greasy / slippy (even when I’m dripping in sweat / sweating off my suncream) and lightweight, so they’re super comfortable to wear while running.
Would I recommend sungod sunnies? YES. Get on the website, design your own pair and fall in love with them.
So I’ve got a new brand for you: Lesara.
I’d never heard of it before… but I’m incredibly impressed. I got a full sports kit and wanted to share my honest thoughts:
First up: the trainers.
I absolutely love the look of them! They’re not running / exercise trainers, because they’re not very form fitting to my feet, and the sole is a bit high, but as shoes that I could wear to work / for drinks, I am absolutely obsessed.
Second: the leggings.
Be-a-uuuutiful. High waisted (a must for me), patterned along the sides and mesh at the back. I love the design! I will say that the leggings can be a bit see-through (so make sure you’ve got underwear on!) and it doesn’t have any pockets (always an added plus), but I will definitely be wearing them to the gym / running as they’re super comfortable!
Third: the top.
LOVE the colour (which goes beautifully with the leggings) and the high neck cut and loose fit is really comfortable. I’m a BIG fan of this top and would highly recommend.
Finally: the sports bra.
It’s a lovely grey marl sports bra that’s super stretchy and comfortable. If I had bigger boobies I probably wouldn’t wear it for high impact exercises
If you fancy any of the above (or anything off the website) use the code ELIN10 – valid from 29th May – 12th June. It allows your fans 10% off anything at Lesara!
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May) – and so I wanted to talk about something that I’ve found personally affects me and my mental health: work.
And I’m not alone.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) carried out a survey of more than 4,500 people regarding stress at the workplace.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the study found that millennials – those aged between 18 and 38 – felt more under pressure at work than their older colleagues with 28% stating that working through stress was expected in their job.
This is compared with just 12% of those aged between 53 and 71.
Overall, the data also revealed that across both generations just 14% of people said they were comfortable speaking to their manager about their stress levels.
When I feel overwhelmed at work, the anxiety begins to creep in and I know I withdraw. However, I wanted to share a couple of things that I’ve been working on doing, that I’ve found to help alleviate this:
- Make sure I’m getting enough sleep – I try and stick with the routine I’m used to and go to bed early to try and get as much ZZZZ as possible
- Shut it out – I find working with headphones on limits distractions and allows me to plough on. Obviously this won’t work every time (especially with ridiculous workloads) but it helps with focus and productivity for short, busy periods.
- Get in some exercise – it’s no secret that exercise helps deal with stressful situations! I try and get out at lunch time when I feel overwhelmed as it forces me out of the office for a bit. If I can’t handle that because I’ve got “too much to do”, then morning workouts it is!
- Force myself to socialise – I’m the first to admit I’m not the best at this, but I find engaging with people helps take your mind off it.
- Tell someone at work – this can be tricky, obviously (as the stats above show) not everyone is comfortable speaking out. However, I would always recommend you talk to someone at work if it all gets too much – a problem shared is a problem halved after all. And I find it’s good to know I’m not alone in my struggle.
Working through severe stress and feeling as though we can’t put our hands up and ask for help is not ok. We deserve better than that.
This year I’ve tried to mix it up by taking advantage of the many boutique gyms on offer in London – not only does having an instructor mean you don’t have to stand in the gym for 15 minuted planning out what you’re going to do, but also it’s kept me excited about training.
Many of these gyms do incredible intro offers, so if you’re looking to give them a go, definitely look out for these!
The gym classes I’ve done most of are spin classes – though these can certainly vary depending on where you go! So I thought I’d do a round up of the ones I’ve tried below. If you like this blog post, and would like to see more like this then leave me a comment below!
LONDON SPIN CLASSES
- Location: Mortimer St, Canary Wharf & Shoreditch
- Intro offer: 2 credits (classes) for £20
- Style of class: The workout combines spin with full body and arm exercises. Combining speed work with power, and choreography with weights, you’ll work your entire body – and have fun in the process. Instead of racing or riding to RPMs (rotation per minute), here you ride in sync with each other and the music. The instructors are great at motivating you to push you beyond your limits and you’ll ride to playlists that have been handcrafted with the help of Dj’s and music industry experts, from hip hop, electronic, and house to rock and R&B.
- Style of gym: Luxe! It’s white, sleek, modern and beautiful.
- Other classes on offer: Barre, HIIT & yoga
- Benefits: Sweat towels and cleats are provided free of charge. Changing rooms contain free lockers and shower towels. The showers are stocked with the best Sachajuan products and there are also hairdryers, straighteners and deodorant (along with tampons, hair ties and moisturiser) so you can leave feeling good as new!
- Location: Holborn, Hammersmith, Battersea & Monument
- Intro offer: 3 rides for £29
- Style of class: Dubbed as “the ultimate party on a bike experience”, the class is a full body workout. The lights are turned down low, the music up high and the energetic instructors are incredible.
- Style of gym: Modern, with an urban feel (exposed cement and metal stools)
- Other classes on offer: n/a
- Benefits: Sweat towels and cleats are provided free of charge. Changing rooms contain free lockers and shower towels. The showers are stocked with the REN toiletry products and contain Dyson Hair Dryers (FANCY!)
- Location: Richmond, Oxford, Moorgate & Blackfriars
- Intro offer: 3 credits (classes) for £20
- Style of class: Their standard class, Ride, is different to the above – in that it creates a virtual you in a virtual scene on the big screen – so you can see where you are in the pack. It focuses on RPM and gear level – it’s quite stat heavy so those of you who are math geeks will love it. They also have a class called Beat, which I believe is similar to those above (riding to music), although this isn’t available at all locations.
- Style of gym: Sleek, stylish and modern.
- Other classes on offer: HIIT
- Benefits: Sweat towels and cleats are provided free of charge. Changing rooms contain free lockers and shower towels. The showers are stocked with the Cowshed toiletry products and contain Dyson / GHD hairdryers and GHD straighteners!
- Location: Fulham
- Intro offer: n/a
- Style of class: Similar to Digme, this class focuses on your RPM and gear, and it shows a real-time leaderboard (Burn Board) to keep you motivated to overtake the person above you (which you can opt out of if you’re not feeling competitive). Set in a club like atmosphere, the dark lights and motivating instructors will get you working HARD.
- Style of gym:
- Other classes on offer: Core, yoga & HIIT
- Benefits: Sweat towels and cleats are provided free of charge – PLUS they give you a nice, cold wet cloth during the cycle (towards the end) to help keep you cool. Changing rooms contain free lockers and shower towels. The showers are stocked with the Bamford bath and body products – so you’ll leave smelling sweet no matter how hard you work!
- Location: Kensington
- Intro offer: n/a (although you also have to pay to rent cleats)
- Style of class: Again, this spin class focuses on working your entire body. Lose yourself in the music as you push through the climb, saddle up in the sprint. The class also uses live metrics and individual performance tracking tools to ensure you’re working hard!
- Style of gym: Boutique – you wouldn’t even know it was a gym until you go downstairs – the upstairs is simply a healthy cafe!
- Other classes on offer: Circuit, lift + row, TRX, Pilates, yoga and more!
- Benefits: Sweat towels are provided free of charge, plus the changing rooms contain Bamford bath and body products, free lockers and shower towels.
- Location: Chelsea
- Intro offer: n/a
- Style of class: The class that is designed to feel like a house party – a darkened room, disco lights and a sound system that wouldn’t sound out of place at a festival! The energetic instructor will have you moving and grooving in your saddle while you are burning up the calories.
- Style of gym: Beautifully designed with a relaxing atmosphere. Not just a workout space, KXU also offers a nutrition bar and a spa!
- Other classes on offer: Choose from strength (boxing, TRX, you name it!), cardio (HIIT, barre) or stretch (more types of yoga class than you can shake a stick at!)
- Benefits: Free sweat and shower towels, free lockers and even hands free water stations!
So if you’ve been following my posts on here or over on my Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve stopped running as much as before recently. But that’s not the only way you can do cardio. Want to find out how to incorporate cardio into your routine without spending an hour at a time pounding on a treadmill? Read on…!
There are a number of reasons why you should incorporate cardio into your weekly fitness regime / life in general – from aesthetic goals such as weight loss, to overall health reasons such as improved cardiovascular efficiency.
How to do cardio without running?
- HIIT gym workouts: it look me a while to understand that high intensity interval training workouts were still working your cardiovascular system (and therefore ‘cardio workouts’)! So sign up to one of those body pump classes at your local gym and get that heart rate going!
- Tabata at home workouts: 8 intervals > 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off > 4 minutes of work. This can be used with any type of exercise, doing as many reps as you can and working hard for only 4 minutes. Put your music on and do it anytime, anywhere! No excuses…
- Spin: take yourself to a spin class for a really intense cardio workout – you’ll walk out with jelly legs and lungs on fire… and you’ll even want to go back (trust me)! The spin classes at the boutique studios in London are by far my favourite – turn the lights down low and just ride to the music. The key to this one is the instructor – you need someone high energy who really pushes you!
- Row: the key with this one is technique – you can be pulling as fast as you want but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Take the time to get your form right and you’ll go further (therefore rowing faster) with fewer strokes. If you’re not sure then just ask a PT at your gym to check if you’re doing it right. Then get ready to feel the burn… try alternating 500m as fast as you can with 100m rows on the minute for 5 minutes.
For me, it’s music. When I’m stuck exercising indoors, I need something I can train to! These headphones by Sudio are incredible – you can charge them up and use them wireless or plug them in and use them normally. The sound quality is incredible, they can deal with me being super sweaty and they really help you zone out! I have super small ears so finding earphones that fit me is difficult, that’s why these headphones are great – they sit on the ear so comfortably and I never worry they’re going to fly off!
Get 15% off your Sudio purchase with the code: Livelyel15