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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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KEEP IT REAL

KEEP IT REAL

What started out as a conversation with my marathon-running partner Dann in the early days of VALA has since become our catchphrase. 'KEEP IT REAL' initially stood for 'KEEP IT natural and eat REAL food' but it has developed into so much more than that.KEEP IT REAL is all about being genuine, honest, authentic and kind to ourselves. It means having a positive mindset and getting out of bed to train on a muggy morning, when all you really want to do is snooze the alarm. It symbolises showing appreciation for family and friends for always waiting enthusiastically at the...

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Reasons to train outdoors

Reasons to train outdoors

The days are getting longer and spring has finally arrived, which makes training outdoors far more appealing! Whilst I really enjoy using the treadmill for a warm up and interval training, nothing beats going for a run up the Afan Valley or down Aberafan beach. Being surrounded by the trees or the ocean is the ultimate escape and I immediately notice the change in my attitude towards running. Rather than begrudgingly watching the time and distance creep up on the treadmill, I feel present and notice the fresh air filling my lungs whilst enjoying the surroundings.Not only does training outside...

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