• Sundried Product Review By Alister Brown Founder of UKRunChat

    As a guy who practically lives in sports gear, I was very interested to test out the new Sundried Olperer T-Shirt and Furgler 2.0 Running Shorts. Before the items arrived and from my prior knowledge and experience of the brand, I was expecting great quality and well-presented pieces of clothing that would be long-lasting and very fit for purpose. So it’s fair to say I was pretty excited to get my hands on the parcel and get my running shoes on!

    First impressions are pretty ace. Each item came in a smart zip-up wallet and they certainly gave a good quality feeling. You get the feeling a lot of effort and thought has gone into first impressions and branding at Sundried.

    The t-shirt is made from 100% recycled materials including used coffee grounds, which I have to say is quite unique, cool, and very green. As a coffee lover, I was disappointed it didn’t smell of coffee! Joking aside, the material feels great and was very comfortable to wear when out on a run. I tend to sweat a lot when running which makes some fabrics heavy, but wearing this felt light and seemingly very fit for purpose in that respect. The branding is succinct and smart with just a red “SD” at the base of the t-shirt. The colour is nice and I even wear it out and about when I’m not training as it’s quite smart. I’m nearly 2 metres in height and not very wide so it can be hard to find clothes that fit me well, but the Large t-shirt was perfect for me and very comfortable. One other thing that I noticed was lacking, but present in other Sundried tees was the handy zip pocket for your house key, however there is pretty much always space in your shorts for that and on long runs I have my hydration back-pack on anyway for any electronics, keys and nutrition.

    Now I mention shorts, I have to say I was very impressed with them. The first thing that struck me was that they are different to conventional running shorts that I own. They’re a bit longer in the leg so perfect for my long legs, have more of a thicker waist line and two deep zip pockets.  Like the t-shirt, they don’t get heavy with sweat and have a free and light feel about them. They have a casual and smart feel to them and again are dual-purpose in that you could easily wear them walking round town doing your shopping as well as for training in.

    I view Sundried as a brand which really does think of what is useful for anyone who is an active person and design products with the user in mind. The effort in design certainly comes across in the final product which I am a big fan of. As someone who has experience in triathlon and duathlon as well as running, I’ve worn a range of different brands and not many compare with what Sundried offer. I’m a big advocate!

    About the author: Alister Brown is an avid runner and represents Great Britain as an age group duathlete. He also runs the successful runner's network UKRunChat.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • Garmin Forerunner 30 Running Watch

    Garmin Forerunner 30 Running Watch

    Garmin has announced the Forerunner 30, a simple-to-use running watch with built-in Garmin Elevate™ wrist-based heart rate technology that delivers streamlined running, activity tracking and connected features. Whether out for a jog or training for a 10k, the Forerunner 30 tracks how far, how fast and where athletes are running without the need to carry a phone. In between runs, it doubles as an all-day activity tracker, keeping count of steps, calories and intensity minutes so users can record progress and activities even when they are not running. The Forerunner 30 will be available exclusively in Europe, Middle East and Africa but will work outside of these areas if you travel.

    “The simplicity of the Forerunner 30 means athletes can easily take their running to the next level – all they have to do is put the watch on and go,” said Andrew Silver, Garmin EMEA Product Manager. “With a variety of built-in features, the Forerunner 30 is the perfect tool for runners who want to stay fit, stay connected and share their progress.”

    Runners using the Forerunner 30 will get a better idea of their fitness level with the addition of VO2 max, a measurable indication of aerobic performance or fitness level, while training tools like Auto Pause®, Auto Lap® and pace/speed selection help provide athletes with an essential running experience. Garmin Move IQ™ technology will also detect and automatically categorise activities including running, walking, cycling and more.

    Vibration alerts for incoming calls, voicemails and text messages help Forerunner 30 users stay connected without having to dig a phone out of their purse, pocket or bag. Throughout the day, the Forerunner 30 automatically uploads to Garmin Connect™ where users can share their workouts with friends and family in real time with Live Track, join fitness challenges, analyse training progress, set and track goals and much more.

    The Forerunner 30 features up to eight hours of battery life in activity mode and up to five days in smartwatch mode. It is available exclusively in Europe in turquoise, amethyst and grey and has a suggested retail price of €149.99.

    The ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

    For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Study Finds Tibetan Yoga Can Relieve Breast Cancer Sufferers

    Yoga Stretching Workout Outdoors City Skyline

    In a study of 227 cancer patients, American researchers from the University of Texas found that those who practised Tibetan yoga at least twice a week felt less fatigued and suffered fewer sleep disturbances than those who didn't. These are common side effects of chemotherapy and can often lead to stress and anxiety in sufferers.

    The authors of the study found that "participating in Tibetan yoga during chemotherapy resulted in modest short-term benefits in sleep quality, with long-term benefits emerging over time for those who practised it at least two times a week."

    Yoga Stretching Child Pose

    What is Tibetan yoga?

    Tibetan yoga focuses on continuous, fluid movement which is known as 'vinyasa'. Regular followers of the practice of yoga may already be familiar with this Sanskrit term, which usually refers to the transition between two positions. Tibetan yoga focuses heavily on 'magical movements' and breath currents, considering that meditation is contrived and conceptual. The continuous movement of Tibetan yoga is said to help with circulation and breathing as well as joint pain.

    If you’d like to have a go at some yoga yourself, make sure you take a look at the new Sundried yoga mat. Made from premium Jute fibre, this natural material provides a non-slip texture and won’t fray or break no matter how much you use it. It comes with a free downloadable yoga guide so that you can learn new poses and disciplines at your own pace.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sundried Ambassador Emma Vincent Conquers Nuclear Races

    Nuclear Races Obstacle Course Race

    At the end of 2016 a good friend of mine, Lisa, asked me if I wanted to go to a taster session of a Muddy Obstacle Course Run.  At the time, the thought of running through woodland, jumping over tall walls, and crawling through muddy ditches didn’t appeal to me one bit.  People did this for fun?  After a few times of Lisa asking me to take part in an OCR event, I made the loose promise that I would sign up to the first one of 2017.  I didn’t realise Lisa took me seriously and held me to my promise as she booked me onto Nuclear Races Rush in May 2017. This was a 12k run complete with over 100 obstacles. 12k?! I hadn’t run in about 10 years and the last time I went for a run I couldn’t even complete 5k without stopping. Weights are my thing, not running!

    I decided one of my new year’s resolutions was to get running again.  I dusted off my running trainers and every Monday morning decided to start running at least 5k.  It took a while to get back into it, but having Nuclear in mind I knew I wasn’t going to quit this time.  Within a few weeks, I started to increase the miles on the road and managed to run 10 miles.  The running was no longer the issue.

    I have never been able to do monkey bars or climb over walls.  Despite having a good level of strength, my upper body was a lot weaker than my legs. In April, a month before the race, Lisa booked us and 8 others into a private session of the PT Barn.  A unique training venue filled with monkey bars and rigs and they specialise in helping you with your technique for such events.  After the 2 hour private session I had conquered monkey bars, turns out my lats are stronger than I once thought! The walls were still an issue but I knew on the day there would be people helping me get over any obstacles I needed help with. 

    Monkey Bars Nuclear Races Gym Strength

    13th May – the day had arrived.  The nerves kicked in as soon as we arrived at the site. I signed in and picked up my timing chip.  I was part of a team of 12 people, and I was the only newbie.  During the warm up it started raining, oh great that’s all I need, until I realised I was about to be throwing myself in lakes and mud so a bit of rain really isn’t going to make an issue. During the course, I had been over walls (by climbing on people to get over them), crawling through muddy bogs, riding zip wires into the lake and even managed to throw myself down the death slide.  When I ran through the finish line and was presented with my finishers medal I was relived it was over, but also pleased with what I had accomplished.  I enjoyed every minute of it! It's surprising how many fears you accomplish when you do an event like this.

    It was then I become part of the Mudd Queens.  An online community of likeminded females who devote their time to entering and training for these events. Everyone offers tips and hints on what to wear on race day, down to training.  The encouragement you get from these legends is unbelievable and I am proud to be a part of the team.  They post up about events they are doing and it makes me want to do more and sign up too!

    It’s down to the Mudd Queens that I have found a new love for OCR events and running.  My OCR events calendar is now filled Nuclear Blast, Nuclear Blackout, Only Fools Ride Horses (Blast and Blackout both on 16th September and Only Fools Ride Horses on 17th September – again what was I thinking?!) and Nuclear Fallout to finish out the year.  In terms of running I have a 5-mile charity run this year and 2 half marathons next year. 

    It’s great to be able to tell my clients about the events I am doing and I have even managed to persuade a few of them to come on a few runs with me too!

    I would encourage anyone who is thinking of doing an OCR to sign up – it’s definitely worth the mud, water and bruises!

    Nuclear Races Mud OCR Obstacle Course Race

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • How To Build A Stronger Core

    How To Build A Stronger Core Abs Workout Exercise

    Having a strong core is one of the most important parts of being fit and healthy. Whether you're male, female, young, old, we all need to have a strong core to be able to function well in other movements and to thrive in daily life. It's more than just having a six-pack or a toned tummy, a strong core goes much deeper and so you'll need to spend time working on it. Here are some key exercises and movements that you should incorporate into your weekly training to make sure yours is on point.

    The Plank

    This is a classic exercise that most of us have done at one point in our lives - whether voluntarily or not! The plank targets deep into the core and works all of the abdominal muscles, not just the superficial ones. Make sure you keep your shoulders over your elbows and suck your stomach inwards and upwards throughout the hold. Practice this move as often as you can and see if you can beat your previous time. To work your core even more, try this variation.

    How To Do The Plank Activewear Strong Core

    Deadlift

    This movement is one of the biggest strength exercises you can do as it targets almost every muscle group in the body. As it is weighted, the added resistance works your core more than just do basic ab exercises and you'll feel a real difference. This exercise also works your back so you will get more benefits. Keep your back straight throughout the lift and keep your stomach locked in tight for best results.

    Trunk Twists

    This is a gym-based exercise which requires some resistance from a cable machine. If you don't have access to a gym, you can also do this exercise with a resistance band. Hold one handle with both hands and stand away from the machine. Lock your abs tight and twist away from the weights. Squeeze your stomach inwards and feel the burn!

    Kettlebell Swings

    As a cardio exercise, most people probably wouldn't consider this to work their core. As the weight swings up into the air, squeeze your abs and feel them working. Make sure you sit into a deep squat and keep your back straight. 

    Press Ups

    This is another exercise that you probably wouldn't usually consider to be a core exercise. If you do your press ups properly, you should feel your core working throughout. Keep your head in line with your spine and don't look down at the floor. Suck your stomach upwards throughout the movement and drop as low as you can each time. Try not to let your legs and back raise up into the air and keep a smooth line. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren