Posts Tagged ‘London’

Fit Summer Bodies with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen

June 21, 2018 at 12:18
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Do you struggle to stick to healthy, nutritious ways of eating because you’re busy, have no time to prepare or just don’t quite know what you should be eating for your goals? Worry no more, our next course is in conjunction with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen, who deliver all your meals direct to your door for up to 10 days. Whether it’s getting in shape, hormonal support, or you simply want to infuse your body with the wholesome, nutritious food, support don’t miss our exclusive Fit Summer Bodies

Our current course is midway through and already, some of our clients have recorded up to five centrimetre losses off their waist circumference, 1% fat loss and an increase in muscle mass. This is all to do with our exercise prescription, which we gear, each and every course, to the individuals that we see and what their goals are. We create as personalised an experience as possible, while making it much more fun than personal training because you do it in a group.

Now, imagine all of those benefits and combining it with an exclusive retreat-like feel that you’d get with a meal delivery service. Plant based nutrition expert, Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen creates the most delicious, healthy meals and works around the world for exclusive health retreats, as well as creating incredible meal delivery products for personal clients.

We spend money on clothes, facials, magazines, chocolate and holidays to make ourselves feel good yet often baulk about spending money on looking after the most important thing we have – our health and bodies.

To really eat well, you need to engage with food and having a meal delivery service can be a great way of setting your foundations, weaning yourself off bad habits and learning new ways of creating healthy, wholesome meals. And by the end of it, you WILL feel fantastic.

Spaces on our Fit Summer Bodies, are restricted to just 14 in each time slot, 6.15am to 7am or 7am – 7.45am and runs from 23 July – August 16. Or you can do a Fit Body Blitz, July 23-August 2nd or August 6th-16th. The five or 10 day plan with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen must start on 23 July.

We have a 10% early bird discount on the four week course ONLY, which expires 1st July. Input the code FSB at checkout.

For details of the Fit Summer Bodies with Gem’s Wholesome Kitchen, which costs £25 per day, click here.



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Dispatches from the caffeine-free front line

June 5, 2018 at 12:54
Posted by Rachael Woolston

I confess. I’m a coffee addict and I love all coffee, espresso, Americano, even cappuccino although my favourite is a short Cortado or a freshly brewed espresso pot in the morning. Yet, despite all that, I gave it up in April. 

Why? Because I asked my clients to go caffeine-free for our Transform Six week Challenge and so I thought, if I was asking them to do it, I should too in support (the fact that I was the ONLY one to do so however, will be something I’ll raise with them all!).

There were a few more reasons too, the fact that I always needed to run to the toilet as soon as I had a coffee (perhaps lactose and caffeine related) and because I had this general idea that I was perhaps drinking a bit too much.

What is too much though? Well, I’d always have one first thing in the morning before I was coaching at 5am, although in truth this would usually only be a few mouthfuls, then one when I got home, and perhaps another couple in meetings or to keep me awake. Doesn’t sound much, right?

Yet, on the first week of giving up, my headaches were just AWFUL! And the desire to drink coffee was like a terrible itch that wouldn’t go away.

It’s funny because, over ten years ago I went to Portugal to write about a juice retreat for The Metro newspaper, where I had to give up not just coffee but food too (lots of juices and broths). But I didn’t get any headaches then and I was drinking similar amounts. And I think that’s because the world of coffee has changed hugely since then.

Back then, you’d get a bit of a weak coffee from Pret and that was about it. For Londoners in the know, Flat White, the Kiwi coffee shop on Brewer Street was the first of it’s kind. Now, there are coffee shops selling fantastic coffee on every street corner (sometimes three within a few shops of each other) and it’s MUCH stronger than it used to be. Everything from how it’s roasted, the blend, the type of coffee bean ALL effect the amounts of caffeine.So whereas a Pret coffee might give you a light buzz, nowadays most coffee will have you gabbling and firing through emails as if you’ve had a shot of something far more illicit than coffee.

Indeed, The Food Standards Agency guidelines released in 2008 recommends 400mg for the average person, about EIGHT cups of coffee. I’d be a gibbering wreck on eight cups!

And another reason why coffee is so hard to give up is because coffee shops have come of age, they’re cool, nice places to hang out so they’ve become a social occasion, somewhere to meet friends instead of going to the pub, a place to go for meetings, hell, even a place to sit and work, where means buying coffee. Which all means that my first three weeks were hell.

While alcohol-free drinks have finally started to move on (Erdinger is my favourite) alternatives to coffee in cafes have not. Decaf coffee, I hear you cry. Well, yes, but I’ve definitely had a buzz of some decafs too which I shouldn’t have done. And if I’d kept the ritual of coffee drinking, I think it was only so long before I’d slip back.

So, what have I drunk instead? I started off having fresh cinnamon sticks in hot water which is really nice, then lemon and hot water and lots of pepper mint tea. I’d have almond milk chai lattes in coffee shops and nip to a juice bars for nut milk based drinks. Delicious, but both are expensive and often full of sugary items.

But gradually, day by day, I found peppermint herbal tea was enough.

It was my intention to return to drinking coffee at the end of our last six week course but then something weird happened. On the last week, when I taught four mornings which required me to get up at 5.15am, and then work all day (often writing features for national magazines) before coaching until 8pm at night, I realised I felt more alert, awake and free of that horrible feeling of being wired WITHOUT coffee.

So, now eight weeks on, I’m still largely caffeine free except for the occasional sip that I steal from my partner’s cup in the morning (I’m not THAT virtuous). The hardest thing now about not drinking it now the craving has gone is the social side; having a coffee after a bike ride, meeting a friend, going for a hot drink and a croissant (shhh!) after an open water swim. I’m not sure the solution to that yet but I’m going to try and fine one.



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Review: Aqua Sphere Cara Swimsuit

April 3, 2018 at 4:19
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Nowadays more and more women are trying their hand at triathlon, which means getting the right swim suit for all those laps up and down the swimming pool…We tried out the new Cara swimsuit from swim specialist, Aqua Sphere

An Italian brand, Aqua Sphere started out producing swim googles renowned for increased peripheral vision and comfort but have since branded into swim wear for the active and triathlete.

They have a range of female swimsuits divided according to water exerciser, lap swimmer contemporary and lap swimming classic. The Cara swimsuit suits in the lap swimmer contemporary section, which appears to be for women wanting to dip their toe into triathlon training but who prefer the comfort of a more well fitting swimsuit than some of the skimpier ‘race’ swimsuits out there, which can leave many women worrying about how they’re even going to walk to the poolside let alone swim.

So, what did we think?

It is very flattering and super comfortable, without being too revealing at all because it doesn’t cut up high over the hips and it has a inbuilt shelf bust control for those women who need a bit more support. The adjustable straps looked fairly think and as the swim suit has a high back, we were initially worried it would feel restrictive when swimming freestyle but it didn’t impede our stroke too much.

For experienced swimmers or triathletes, the straps at the back and flattering fit might prove a bit of a hinderance and you may benefit more form their lap swimmer classic but if you’re new to triathlon or swimming, want to feel comfortable in the pool and out of it, this is a great swimsuit which would not look out of place on holiday or when training.

Available in sizes 30 – 44 SRP £43.99    www.aquasphereswim.com/uk

Join our Free Fitbitch Facebook community if you live in Brighton and Hove and would like to join our Wednesday morning ‘Adventure’ sessions, which will include 6am open water swimming, trail runs or bike rides. They’re free and you attend at your own risk, no training provided, it’s just a meet up. You can join here
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Learn to Run 5km

September 14, 2016 at 7:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Our Learn to Run 5km is a fun, friendly five week course that will help you to get fit and develop your running endurance and fitness. It is accompanied by a training plan which will receive upon booking.

Sessions last for 45 minutes

Many other learn to run courses stretch to ten weeks. But we have been running these courses now for over five years and have helped hundreds of runners, including total beginners, reach their goal by week five.

If you DON’T reach your target (and have attended every session and followed our plan) then you can re-take a course for free. But we are 100% confident in our methods which are tried and tested.

This course is for complete beginners and will build you up from zero to 5km . It is also perfect for lapsed runners or those looking to build their confidence.



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Learn to Run 10km


Posted by Rachael Woolston

Want to run your first 10km and finish it off by running Brighton Brooks 10km on November 13th? Join our ten week course for total beginners and we will help build your distance and confidence so that you are ready to take on your first event with the Fitbitch running community.



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Injury-proof your running body


Posted by Rachael Woolston

Is your running always halted in its tracks by injury or constant niggles? Help remove the obstacles with a course that helps you to build your stability and strength whatever level of runner you are..

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Over the last eight years, we have coached hundreds of women to become runners, get faster and run further so there’s not  much we don’t know about when it comes to women’s running – and motivation to run and keep going.

The biggest reason we see many women fall by the wayside when it comes to running is trying to do too much too soon. And without the correct foundations, this often ends in injury setting you back months.

Our Run Rehab course is aimed specifically at strengthening all the muscles which are essential for running to help you prevent injury and become stronger, fitter and more efficient. Over our six week course (starting Friday 16th September) we will help you build stability and balance both through core and gluteal work in a small group environment.

This course is ideal for ALL levels of runner and will help you rehab and get back to running if you are injured OR help to prevent you getting injured in the first place.

If you have only JUST started running for the fun of it, our Run Fit class may also be suitable. For those new to Fitbitch, you can try your first class of RunFit free by entering the code RFP at checkout.

RunFit, a running and conditioning class for beginners. 7pm Thursdays, Preston Park (Five weeks free with Learn to Run 5km, £7 drop in/included in outdoor season pass)

RunRehab for all levels of runners with targeted exercises to help prevent injury. 8-8.45am Hove Seafront until October and then New Fit Studio, The Level, Brighton. £60 for a six week course.

 

BOOK HERE

 

 



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Learn to Run 5km

September 13, 2016 at 9:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Course Dates Tues 13th September – Tues Oct 11th

Learn to Run 5km is a fun, friendly five week course that will help you to get fit and develop your running endurance and fitness. It is accompanied by a training plan which you can download from our website free at www.fitbitchrunning.com.

Sessions last for 45 minutes

Many other learn to run courses stretch to ten weeks. But we have been running these courses now for over five years and have helped hundreds of runners, including total beginners, reach their goal by week five.

If you DON’T reach your target (and have attended every session) then you can re-take a course for free. But we are 100% confident in our methods which are tried and tested.

This course is for complete beginners and will build you up from zero to 5km . It is also perfect for lapsed runners or those looking to build their confidence.



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Building Distance to 10 miles

September 10, 2016 at 8:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Entered The Bright10 miles October 16th? Enjoy the journey to building up to 10 miles with our five weeks of group runs including off-road beautiful trails.

You should be able to run 5km comfortably in order to join this course. We will be doing the runs on a basis of time on your feet though, allowing this course to be suitable for all speed levels.

Please consult our Schedule and Booking page for days as it varies on Saturday and Sunday. You can book this course as a standalone course, or book a season of sunday runs £105 that will take you thorough to February – or add a full season which includes our trademark Smash Your PB, RunStrong, RunFit and many other courses.

LOCATIONS FOR THE COURSE

 

 



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Learn to Run 10km

September 6, 2016 at 9:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Course Dates – Tues 6th September – 8th Nov

Want to run your first 10km and finish it off by running Brighton Brooks 10km on November 13th? Join our ten week course for total beginners and we will help build your distance and confidence so that you are ready to take on your first event with the Fitbitch running community.



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Race Review: Beat the Tide 10km

August 12, 2016 at 5:18
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Fancy a race that uses nature to give the event a clever twist? Fitbitch runner, Andrea Childs reports on a 10km where you battle the incoming tide for the finish line…

Sandy sprints

Sandy sprints

 

A total of six Fitbitches travelled to Worthing for this year’s Beat the Tide, an annual 10k race organised by Sussex Trail Events (www.sussextrailevents.com). It’s a one-of-a-kind event for anyone who knows the pebbly beaches of the South Coast. At this time of the year, the tide goes out far enough to reveal some rarely seen sand, a wide enough strip to run along and indulge your wildest Baywatch Babe fantasies. Unfortunately, having arrived late for the 7pm start, the Fitbitch crew were less Pamela Anderson, looking California tanned in an orange swimsuit; more sweaty, stressed Brightonians in our trademark purple running tops.

It had all started so well. Facebook race page posted in the Fitbitch runners group (we have these for all events, to help keep track of which Fitbitches are taking part which helps motivate you to get involved too – you can join HERE). Lifts organised (that’s the beauty of running as part of a community; there’s always someone to share a ride with). Sun shining (okay, we didn’t organise that bit, but it’s always a good omen for a race). And then we set out for the roughly 14-mile drive along the coast from Brighton to Worthing.

The journey usually takes around 35 minutes. On that evening, a combination of rush-hour congestion and a traffic accident meant that despite setting off before 6pm, one car arrived at 7.05pm and the other at 7.25pm. Fortunately for the first car, the organisers had realised the traffic was a problem and had delayed the start by a few minutes, meaning that at least two of us began the race on time. When they finally arrived, the remaining four Fitbitches were warmly welcomed and allowed to start the race half an hour late, following the footprints in the sand left by the other Beat the Tide runners. The organisers even called the marshalls along the course to let them know they were coming. Fortunately, they managed to catch up with the tail-enders before too long.

The race itself couldn’t have been better – a straight dash along the beach and then coastal path from Worthing to Widewater Lagoon in Shoreham, and back again, with only a short sandy beach sprint to join the two sections. Along the way, children cheered from the groynes, kite surfers skitted along the surf and marshalls handed out drinks (there were two stations) and jelly sweets. The atmosphere was fun and friendly, with lots of local club runners taking part, plus a couple dressed (I think) as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. And because, as the race marketing says, we were ‘racing against nature’ – the incoming tide – there was a cutoff of two and a half hours for participants, although none of us found ourselves paddling to the finish. One of the Fitbitches placed third woman. And as our last runner approached the line, the sun setting behind her, the rest of the crew ran down to support her over the last few metres as she finished her first 10k race and was handed her medal (there was one for every finisher). We’ll definitely be back next year. We’ll just leave longer to get there next time.

Being part of a running community helps keep you motivated and inspired - plus there's always someone to share a post race celebratory cocktail

Being part of a running community helps keep you motivated and inspired – plus there’s always someone to share a post race celebratory cocktail

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Review in Brief: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The good

A chance to shun the pebbles and run along a sandy beach. Fantastic welcome from the race organisers, despite our late arrival.

The bad

The headwind was great for kitesurfers but not so much for runners. And be aware that there are no toilets provided.

The ugly

The traffic. Maybe we can cycle to the start next year?

If you would like to join our running community, sign up for our newsletter for details of all our Autumn Winter courses, as well as community races and Girls Run the World trips to races around the world.

 

 



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The Diary of a Running Mum: What to Wear

August 5, 2016 at 11:48
Posted by Rachael Woolston

At the beginning of 2016, Fitbitch runner and mum of four, Tanya Taylor took on the challenge of running every day. Perhaps not surprisingly, she’s become an expert at what to wear.

Missed Tanya’s earlier despatches? catch up with her first and second despatches here

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Running through poppy fields with my daughter, Romy in July. Miles run this year: 836 Number of feet climbed: 46,988

 

I want to take you back to the year 2007. This was the year I first started to run. I had given birth to my fourth child six months before, and had recently stopped breastfeeding. I was horrendously self-conscious of my body and felt at a total loss with my identity. I was worn out and could hardly string a sentence together without punctuating it with “I’m SO tired” every other second. I felt dull and unattractive. Having four children under the age 9 was all consuming. The frustrations of not being able to fit into the clothes I wanted to wear, in order to feel like the person I knew I was, had found me, in a roundabout way, standing at my local park about to attempt to run for the first time since school. I had signed up for a 10k race in Bournemouth with some of my friends, and training was about to begin.

 

Now at this point, I need to tell you that clothes and fashion have always played a huge part in my life. For every significant moment in my past, I can tell you EXACTLY what I was wearing and probably where I bought it. My grandmother used to style Princesses and movie stars back in the 1950’s, it’s in my blood. So when I think back to this day, I don’t remember how the run went, or how I felt afterwards. I do rememb
er the ridiculously inappropriate ‘Leroy from Kids from Fame’ running ensemble though – men’s cotton Carhartt tracksuit bottoms, vintage Nike Windjammer and an old pair of vintage Nike trainers that I had bought in NYC ten years before. NOT an outfit I can recommend!

Nine years on and I officially suffer from running kit OCD. I can now browse endless rails of lux-sportswear and know exactly what will work and what won’t. I can touch a fabric and know whether it will be gentle on my weather beaten skin or cause multiple unsightly chaffing sores. I can assess a neck line at the blink of an eye and know if I’ll look more Jeff Capes than Jessica Ennis. I need my kit to look good, feel comfortable and to ‘perform’.

More and more high street stores are now meeting the demand for women’s technical sportswear, and if you shop wisely, you can get some bargains. H&M have a great range (which my daughter also loves), and Topshop’s collaboration with Beyonce, Ivy Park, has some great pieces which I’m desperate to sample. Sweaty Betty and Lululemon always drop great prints in their collections, and their products perform well if your budget allows their above average price tag. TKMaxx is brilliant for a bargain, and is pretty well organised, so don’t be put off by the volume of stock.

Wearing good kit really does enhance your running, if you feel good from the off, then your run will start (and hopefully end) well – trust me!

Here’s my guide to the perfect capsule running kit for Autumn

  • Nike Epic Lux, £70

  • The best running leggings I’ve found so far. You can buy them cropped or in full length, and although I prefer the basic black, they are also available in seasonal colours and patterns. The waistband is high (and VERY comfortable) so there is no danger of the dreaded muffin top spoiling your instagram snaps. Try not to baulk at the price, they last for ages, I promise.
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  • Zoot Women’s West Coast Singlet, from £30

  • Light, breathable, well fitted and stylish, my favourite new find. Feels great on and has reflective details for night running. It also has UPF 50+ sun protection so great for hotter runs, holidays or the Girls Run the World trips. Available online from The Triathlon Shop.

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  • Nike Dri-Fit Knit long-sleeve, from £41

  • A brilliant layering piece for cooler days, I’ve had mine for two years now and it’s still going strong. The Dri-FIT fabric keeps you dry and comfortable, whilst the knit-in mesh fabric allows breathability. Thumbholes help to keep your hands warm, and the seamless construction gives enhanced comfort. These tops nearly always get reduced in Net-a-Porter’s end of season sales by half price.
  • OMM Kameleika Race Jacket, from £128

  • A favourite amongst Fitbitch runners, although it doesn’t come cheap. The jacket is waterproof, breathable and has a 4-way stretch making it perfect for running without restriction. It is superlight and has taped seams and lovely big pockets. The price tag reflects the technical detail of this running jacket, and it is an investment piece. Worth it if you run a lot or are thinking of taking up adventure races.

    Muji Hairband

  • If you have long hair that needs tying back, you will understand the frustrations of running with your hair falling out of your topknot and into your eyes. I have used these hairbands for many years. They are THE BEST. You will thank me for this nugget.

    Balega Enduro Low Cut Sock, from £10.56

    Great colours, well cushioned without over heating your feet, and the top of the sock doesn’t dig into your ankles to give you ‘cankles’. I love these socks! Available from Wiggle.

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  • Sweaty Betty Stamina Bra, £35

  • Hmm…this is my biggest struggle as I have quite a broad back (swimming), but smallish boobs (breastfeeding four children.) I find the ease of an overhead bra with no fastenings preferable. Try Sweaty Betty for this style. Lots of my more well endowed running buddies swear by Shock Absorber. Be aware that when you run your ribs expand with your breathing, so you don’t want the band to feel too tight.
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  • Flip belt, £25

  • This tubular running belt fits snuggly on your hips without budging and you can choose between small, medium and large. The slits are perfect for your iphone, keys (there is a key attatchment for extra security) and gels. Although they now do one with zips, the one without is perfect – it’s comfortable and there are no buckles to rub. Available in a choice of colours and machine washable.

My top tracks to get you running this month

 

Arctic Monkeys – Do me a Favour

 

LCD Soundsystem – Get Innocuous

 

Britney Spears –Womanizer

 

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way

 

Fujiya & Miyagi – Ankle Injuries

Don’t miss Tanya’s next report coming in September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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New Shoes & kit from Brooks Running

June 25, 2016 at 12:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

A few weeks ago, I was invited to view the upcoming new shoe launches from Brooks Running – and there are some interesting new running shoes in the range. Pick of my favourites was the Hyperion, £90, their lightest and fastest road shoe. It has a stretch woven upper for a seamless sock-like fit and so I’m intrigued about trying it for triathlon as it should mean I can move straight from bike to running keeping transition to a minimum. It also looks fantastic. It is not a shoe for a beginner though as it relies on you being biomechanically strong. Or at least over a short distance. I’d use these for 5km and 10kms but no  more. Not that they can’t be used for longer distances but you’d need to be a stronger runner than I.

 

Hyperion

Hyperion

 

Their big new launch is the Neuro, £115, which looks like very chunky and yet when you pick it up, it feels as light as anything. Aimed at those who want to run fast, the ‘pods’ on the sole are aimed at promoting neurological feedback so that the body adapts and creates improved biomechanics while also creating rapid energy return. It also has a hammock system that helps to wrap the underfoot to help better foot alignment. It looks kind of funky and sounds good in theory but the jury is out until I review them.

 

Neuro, second down

Neuro, second down

On the clothes side of things, I am a HUGE fan of their LSD Running Jackets, £49. These are absolute genius pieces of kit and I think EVERY female runner should have one. They are super light-weight, windproof and water resistant. Best of all, they pack away into the pocket and you can wear it round your arm. They are invaluable for taking on runs where you don’t know what the weather is going to do and even better for race start lines. I’ve worn it to loads of races and then tied round my arm and been completely unbothered by it, it’s so lightweight. It is one of the best pieces of kit that I own and they’ve no launched it in more funky colours.

And my other firm (excuse the pun) favourite is the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer, from £34, a fantastic running bra that keeps you feeling secure and goes up to a DD cup. it has front adjustable straps as well a a hook and eye back and looks good too.

Moving Comfort, Rebound Racer

Moving Comfort, Rebound Racer



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Learn to Run 5km

June 21, 2016 at 7:00
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Course Dates: June 21st – July 19th

Our Learn to Run 5km is a fun, friendly five week course that will help you to get fit and develop your running endurance and fitness. It is accompanied by a training plan which you can download from our website free at www.fitbitchrunning.club.com.

Sessions last for 45 minutes

Many other learn to run courses stretch to ten weeks. But we have been running these courses now for over five years and have helped hundreds of runners, including total beginners, reach their goal by week five.

If you DON’T reach your target (and have attended every session) then you can re-take a course for free. But we are 100% confident in our methods which are tried and tested.

This course is for complete beginners and will build you up from zero to 5km . It is also perfect for lapsed runners or those looking to build their confidence.

The course is £40 if you join our running membership.



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