ClassPass London

I was lucky enough over the past month to be offered the chance to try out ClassPass.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically a monthly membership for a huge amount of the boutique studios in London, from spinning studios to pilates and yoga studios and everything in-between. There are a huge variety of studios across the city, with more being added all the time. There are plenty of classes on offer, you are somewhat spoilt for choice, although you need to book the popular ones a while in advance to avoid missing out. I also found that they don’t have all the selections of classes from certain studios, so you might find that there are no options for you at your favourite studio during the time you are looking for.Picture 1

Basically you can visit any studio three times during the month, there is so much variety in studios available though that I don’t see this really being an issue as if you hit one studios quota, you can probably find something similar elsewhere, and then next month you get to visit your favourites again.

If you cancel a class at short notice (less than £12) you get charged a flat £12 fee. For me this was not ideal, as sometimes you do need to cancel at short notice. I had to cancel three classes throughout the month, once due to major transport issues- something which regularly happens in London-and the other two due to waking up ill. I think the flat charge is a little unfair, as sometimes you do really have a good reason for cancelling at short notice and I don’t think you should be penalized for that. Perhaps losing a credit for that particular studio, or having a strike system might be a better option.

In terms of the classes, I actually only managed to make it to about 5 classes across the month, due to the fact that I was away three times during the month and then had to cancel those several classes I was intending to go to- sad that I still missed trying Project Fit!Picture 2

I visited my favourite spinning studio Cyclebeat twice, and thoroughly enjoyed adding spinning back into my week. However, I was disappointed that the beat board which displays your stats during the class, did not work for ClassPass users. I find this one of the main perks of the studio as I always work pretty hard when I can see the data, you also don’t get emailed out the stats afterwards. Cyclebeat said they were working on a solution to this, so hopefully they can get it sorted.

I returned to Frame Shoreditch for a much needed stretch with their flow yoga class. Frame is an ideal studio for me as it’s so close to my work, and I can get to the late classes if I am finishing late on a weeknight. They also have a good variety of classes, and I think most of them are on ClassPass too.

The final studio I tried was 1Rebel, this was the first time I had been there, and I absolutely loved the setup of the studio. The ride class included free towels, clip in shoes, and water. There is also a Roots and Bulb juice and food bar for a post workout refuel. I went to a Ride class on a Sunday morning so it was fairly quiet- I imagine it’s busier on a weeknight or on one of their themed rides. We only had maybe 10 or so people, so within a huge studio it felt a bit empty, although the instructor was great and worked with what we had. The class included upper body weights which I am not a big fan of during spinning classes, I just think it’s a really unnatural thing to do when on the bike and interrupts the flow of the cycling. I would love to go back and try one of their reshape classes.

Overall, I really like the idea of ClassPass, when you consider a lot of these classes are around £20 a pop, and gym membership at most decent gyms in London is in the region 80-90 pounds a month, it’s actually pretty fairly priced. You would only need to go just over once a week to make it pay, and I certainly think it’s a great, varied way to mix up your routine.

I haven’t decided whether to sign up for it yet or not, I would like to try the 3/6 month options, but I am a bit put off at having to pay the full amount up front. Also the fact that there aren’t many studios close to me puts me off, as I have to factor in transport, when I am not in the city for work/studying. I also don’t want to feel like I have to go to classes to make it worth my while, stressing about getting into the city early or on days off to make the most of it. Though I think it would be a good idea to add a few classes a week to my running routine.

The Details

  • A monthly ClassPass membership is £89 pounds for unlimited classes
  • As a limited-time launch promotion for first London users, they are offering unlimited classes for £79 a month. (Be quick- this ends soon!)
  • If you are really ready to make a fitness commitment, you can sign-up for 3 months for £69 a month or 6 months for £59 a month. (This has to be upfront, and also is ending soon).
  • You can cancel any time although you have to then pay a rejoining fee £69 to sign back up again, which sees a bit steep for me.
  • You can put membership on hold for a month for £19, which is ideal if like me this month you are spending more time out of the country than it it during a particular month!

Thoughts on ClassPass if you have tried it out?

Training Essentials: Glutamine

I wanted to start a new series where I feature products like foods, supplements, kit and other bits and pieces that I use regularly and I believe help me to train hard, recover properly and feel great on the run!IMG_4441

 

I mentioned previously about all the digestive issues I had been having during marathon training, thankfully I was saved by Viridian nutrition sending me some digestive products and Monkey Nutrition who sent me their glutamine powder. Glutamine powder has been a regular feature in my marathon training cycles previously, but I took a break from it last year, and then just forgot all about it!

Monkey Nutrition are a high quality award winning supplement company, who produce a full range of sports performance products like protein, omega oils and amino acids. They ensure each product contains the optimum ingredients to maximise growth, recovery and all round health. All products are FDA labelled, there are no added nasties, everything that is in the products serves a purpose.

I like that they focus on health and nutrition from diet first, before suggesting any supplementation. Their website has a good feature where you can search for products based on your goals, there is also stacks of information on there to help with your training.

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Monkey Nutrition kindly sent me their glutamine to help my training. Glutamine is the most common amino acid found in our muscles, it is a non essential amino acid, but under severe stress becomes essential. It is depleted under stress- i.e high intensity or strenuous workouts-which can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue. It is essential for any regular athlete, particularly for general well being and recovery from injury or illness. It supports the immune system and is also vital for protecting and repairing the GI tract, ensuring efficient digestion and thus nutrient absorption, after all if you aren’t digesting properly then you aren’t going to be getting the necessary nutrients from your food.

The glutamine powder came in a huge bag, so I will be well stocked up for a long time. 1/2 tsp serving provides 2g glutamine, I just mix it with water, it’s fairly tasteless, I guess a little like baking soda. I take it last thing at night before I go to bed.

I’ve been taking it for a few weeks now and I am happy to report that my digestive symptoms have been much improved. I’ve also noticed much quicker recovery in the last few weeks, I seem to be able to train hard day after day without feeling the effects the next day, this could be a combination of things, but the glutamine certainly seems to have helped.

What are your training essentials?

Have you used glutamine before?

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the glutamine powder, all opinions are my own.

Why I Run

Apparently quite a lot of people who run, don’t actually enjoy it. Which begs the question, why are you running? Life is too short, do something you enjoy. I love running, it brings so much joy to my week.

Credit to Mary

It’s taken me a long time to figure out why I run. I never really thought that deeply or looked into my reasoning behind it. All I know is 5 years ago I started running, and I haven’t stopped since, something deep down is driving this passion.

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I love the races, the training, the camaraderie, pushing the pace, plodding along, cheering on friends, running with friends, running alone, listening to podcasts, listening to nature, seeing the world, exploring new cities, meeting new people, seeing where my body can take me, and where I can take my body.

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I don’t run for the physical benefits. I do run for the mental benefits. I like the quiet runs, the serene peaceful runs, or the noisy congested runs through the hustle and bustle of the city. I like running out anger, frustration, sadness, as well as running when happy or celebrating. Running makes me feel alive.

I like running because I can. Running errands, running home, running to something, avoiding transport, and using my body as my mode of transport.

I run to show others that it’s possible, that anyone can do it, that Vegan’s can be strong, that Women can be strong.

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I don’t run for PB’s, I don’t run for time, I don’t run to punish my body, I don’t run to stay in shape, I don’t run to eat. I run to be at one with my body, not battling against it.

I run to see how far I can go, to test my limits, or to discover them.

I run to meditate, to clear my mind, to train my mind, to inspire new thoughts and creativity.

I run to see, to see the world through new eyes, from different angles, to be part of it, to feel it around me, because the world is beautiful, and running takes me to those beautiful places.

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The more time I spend on trails, the less I care for the monotony of the road, the pressure of the Garmin and the big city races. I run to be outside, to be in nature, to escape, to get lost and yet to find myself at the same time.

I run because I bloody love it. Do what makes you happy!

Om Yoga Magazine March + April

I’ve cancelled a lot of my magazine subscriptions lately, too much negativity, and repetitiveness which I don’t have time for in my life, I’m really enjoying my new subscription to Like the Wind magazine, and another source of reading pleasure every month is Om Yoga magazine. Filled with inspiring stories, great recipes, great lifestyle tips and of course lots of yoga chat too, it’s simply bursting with positivity and a joy to read.

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I have been enjoying getting through the March and April magazines, and my favourite articles included this piece on Yin Yoga:

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I have been to one Yin-Yoga class in the pass, and I absolutely loved it, I just found it so restorative and relaxing. It can have an incredible impact on the nervous system, and particularly with our stressed, busy modern lives I think it something that could benefit a lot of people. I find when marathon training, my cortisol and other hormones get completely out of whack, and I think Yin-Yoga could be just the thing to keep me in balance- will need to bear this in my mind for next time!

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I really enjoyed this article on utilizing yoga and meditation for the mental side of long distance running. I think long distance running and meditation have a lot in common, both require patience and dedication, and for me running has always been a form of meditation. I’ve tried to incorporate more meditation into my routine as of late, and I have used a number of the above tips during long training runs or races. For me long distance running is largely about the mental side, of course you have to put in the physical work, but really in the last 6 miles of a marathon it comes down to the mental side, and techniques to help with this can only be of benefit.

Om Yoga magazine has lots of great articles about lifestyle, health and of course yoga, why not treat yourself to a subscription!

 

 

Disclaimer:I received this issue of Om Yoga magazine free of charge, all content and opinion is my own.

Wings for Life World Run

I’ve been taking some time off running post marathon, and with not much in the diary for the rest of the year other than the Hackney Half, I am looking forward to getting back to running for fun and the sheer hell of it. I’m always up for a challenge though, and so this May I will also be running the Red Bull Wings for Life World Run. It’s a pretty unique concept, as a race where the finish line actually chases you, this makes it super accessible to all levels from beginners, to elites and wheelchair users.

The chaser car starts 30 minutes after the start and gradually speeds up until the last runner is caught, once you are caught by the car you are out of the race. There is a goal calculator on the website, so you can put in an average pace and see where you might be caught! 100% of World Run proceeds go to the charity Wings for Life, which funds world-class research aimed at finding a cure for spinal cord injury, it’s a great cause and well worth signing up for the race to support it.

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There are runs taking part all over the world in 40 locations across 6 continents, so it’s a truly global event. At 12pm on the 3rd May the UK Wings For Life World Run event will take place at Silverstone Circuit, one of the world’s most iconic motorsport venues. I’ve never run there before, so I am very excited about this!

This year Wings for Life have made it possible to create teams within the race so we can combine kilometres and compete with other teams. Come and join my team, take part in the Wings for life World Run and run for those who can’t.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received a complementary entry to this race