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All natural energy

All natural energy

When we say “made from natural ingredients” we really do mean it! No hidden preservatives, hard-to-pronounce names or additives here... just maple syrup, date paste, lemon juice, lime juice, chia seeds and Halen Mon sea salt (Wales represent!) blended into one smooth gel to keep you fuelled up during training and on event days.Sign up to the VALA newsletter to be the first to know when we launch this spring and to be in with a shot of winning a VALA sample pack ✌🏻

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Acts of kindness

Acts of kindness

During times like these, it’s so moving to see the compassion and support that we are able to provide each other. From posting “I’m here to help” slips through neighbours’ doors to doing food collections for the elderly, these small gestures offer significant reassurance to others.As a small business owner, I’ve seen a whole different angle to the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends with small businesses and local businesses that I follow all have their own way of dealing with this unexpected turn of events whilst still paying their lease, mortgage and staff. Whilst some businesses have closed up shop in the hope that...

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TOP FIVE TIPS: ULTRA RUNNING - with Ryan Stephens

TOP FIVE TIPS: ULTRA RUNNING - with Ryan Stephens

This week’s guest post is by friend of VALA, co-founder of Ideas and Beers, motivational speaker and ultra runner Ryan Stephens who shares his top advice for anyone thinking of getting into ultra running below:"Hi all! I’m Ryan Stephens, I’m from Swansea and I’m an ultra marathon runner. I’ve been running for years, but in 2019 I decided to step up and do two marathons in a month and a 35 mile ultra marathon. In 2020 I’ve got a 32 miler, 50 miler and 100 miler planned! Here are my my top tips that might be useful for anyone thinking of getting into long...

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Finding hidden trails near you

Finding hidden trails near you

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are in the UK to have such a diverse landscape on our doorstep and how much we take our parks, rivers and coasts for granted. Mixing things up and finding a new trail or route can help to ease the fatigue of constant training. I find running somewhere new a great distraction, as I’m concentrating more on the new sights, sounds and smells than overthinking my breathing or the niggle in my knee.Recently I’ve found Instagram, All Trails and Strava to be great tools for finding new hidden spots in the surrounding areas. I’ll often...

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Benefits of foam rolling

Benefits of foam rolling

I've yet to meet someone that actually enjoys foam rolling (do they exist?) but this necessary evil has recently become my go-to. Having upped my running in the past few weeks due to a shoulder injury that I mentioned a few posts back, I've realised just how much having a @tp_therapy foam roller on hand can help with muscle recovery.This form of self-myofascial release is pretty straightforward and works by applying pressure to trigger points. If you’re new to foam rolling, start by slowly moving forwards and backwards over the roller (aim for an inch a second or slower), pause when you...

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Mix up your running with Fartlek training

Mix up your running with Fartlek training

If you’re new to running or fancy a bit of variety in your current training programme, why not give Fartlek a try? This Swedish phrase meaning “speed play” involves the random interplay of different speeds. It’s an unstructured form of interval training where the total amount of work usually lasts around 30-40 minutes and incorporates sporadically varying intensities.When I first started running seven years ago, I was unintentionally ’lekking for the first few months whilst building up my stamina. I started with treadmill intervals of varying speeds and inclines (which I still love to this day) and would set “mini...

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