• Victoria Fraser Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried activewear ultra endurance runner ambassador

    Victoria is an ultra runner who has completed several 100-mile endurance runs. She talks to Sundried about life as an ultra runner.

    Have you always been into sport?

    At school I enjoyed hockey, tennis and anything to do with dance. Strangely enough, running wasn’t one of my favourites!

    What made you decide to enter the world of ultra running? 

    I never had aspirations to be a runner or even have a tick box marathon planned. I ran a 5 mile charity fun run and loved the feeling of pushing to run further than I ever had and carried on running for enjoyment at weekends. The mileage and curiosity of how far I could push my body and test the limits went up, and I then heard about ultras and needed to know more about them. Something about this under-the-radar group of people intrigued me. I heard about the Centurion running events and instantly wanted to get involved. 

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite race has always been North Downs Way 50/100. I fell in love with the beautiful but brutal trail 7 years ago! 

    And your proudest achievement?

    Most definitely being one of the first to complete the Centurion 50 grand slam in 2016 and then one of few ladies to finish the Centurion 100 grand slam last year.  

    Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet? 

    Thames Path 100 undoubtedly was my toughest finish. I hate the cold and temperatures plummeted from high 20s-30 degrees Celsius in the day to zero at night. Suffering hypothermia during the night at 70 miles was the most difficult point I’ve had to try to carry on from to finish – there were a lot of lessons learnt during that race! 

    How do you overcome setbacks? 

    In every ultra there are highs and lows , being ready and expecting the lows makes it easier to deal with them . In tough moments during long ultras I often think of the people who have given up time to crew and pace and also my daughter who gives me the advice to “ man up ! You’ve done this before !” 

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing? 

    Counting gates and spelling tests are essential for keeping you awake on 100 milers! 

    What are your goals for 2020?

    For 2020 my goals are to run an event abroad and to push my distance over 100 miles. 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take my inspiration from my ultra running friends and anyone who pushes physical boundaries.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    Sundried clothing can be worn for activities and training but also looks good enough to be worn as casual wear. Sundried sports bras for running are comfy, last forever, and no rubbing seams, which is vital when running 100 miles!  

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Beginner Jump Rope Workout And Skipping Guide

    Beginner Jump Rope Workout Skipping Guide

    Looking for a quality skipping rope? Buy the Sundried Skipping Rope for £20 with free delivery.

    Skipping is a fantastic way to get fit and stay fit, even when you don't have access to a gym or even the outdoors. It's compact and can be done anywhere – indoors or outdoors. Skipping will raise your heart rate, improve your fitness, and tone your body. Read on to find out how to skip properly and try our beginner skipping workout to get started.

    Is Skipping A Good Form Of Exercise?

    Skipping is a fantastic workout and can burn up to 10 calories per minute if done at a high intensity! In order to get skilled at jumping rope, it's important to practice and to break it down into sections.

    Let’s start with the jumping. When most people start skipping for the first time they jump too high, just going for it and doing what feels natural without any knowledge on proper technique. But skipping too high is not efficient for a workout and will leave you unable to skip for longer than a few seconds.

    When skipping, the key is to not actually jump. Wait, what? That’s right! If you change your mindset about what your feet are doing, it becomes a lot easier. Instead of jumping, think about doing a calf raise. Practice doing it without the rope to start: raise your heels so that you are on the balls of your feet, and then lower yourself back down using your calf muscles. You’ll soon realise there’s a reason why boxers have such defined calves! You may need to increase the strength and stamina in these muscles before skipping feels easy. Take your time and enjoy the process.

    Once you’ve practised a few times without the rope, try applying this technique with the rope. You should only come a few centimetres off the floor on each bounce. Keep your ankles loose and feel the balls of your feet flex. See if you can keep it up for 30 seconds without stopping.

    Your Arms

    After your feet, what you do with your arms is the most important part of skipping. Hold the handles near the rope-end as this is the most efficient and will allow the rope to swing better. Keep your wrists loose, and your elbows close to your hips. It is a very subtle movement; you do not want to be swinging your whole arm, just a slight movement of the wrist. It will be tempting to tense your arms and lock them by your sides, so try to relax from the shoulder.

    Your Posture

    This moves us onto your posture. Make sure you are standing tall, with your shoulders pulled back and down, and your core and glutes tight. The key to skipping is to relax! If you are skipping for the first time in a gym or a public place, it may be a little daunting, and you may worry about tripping in front of everyone. Let go and have fun and try not to take it too seriously, at least while you are starting out. The looser and more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to trip over and you are less likely to incur an injury.

    Is Skipping A Good Cardio Workout?

    Skipping is a surprisingly demanding cardio workout! If you are skipping for the first time as an adult, you will be shocked by how out of breath you get on your first try! Don’t let this deter you, take your time. If you are new to fitness altogether, then you may wish to just skip in 20-30 second bursts. If you are a seasoned gym-goer, then skipping for intervals of 60 seconds may be more for you. Try our skipping workout plan and see what works for you! Or create your own jump rope routine. Supplement your skipping with leg exercises and mobility drills so that you do not get injured, especially if you are not used to exercising. Skipping has the fantastic benefit of being great for weight loss and by adding skipping into your existing gym routine you can expect to burn up to 10 calories a minute.

    Where To Jump Rope

    Where you choose to do your skipping is important too. If you are skipping outdoors, try to avoid jumping on concrete as this can be harsh on the joints. Skipping on softer tarmac or grass will be better. If you are indoors, avoid carpet as this can make the rope more likely to bounce which can cause you to twist your ankle. Hardwood floors are the perfect surface on which to jump rope.

    How Long Should You Jump Rope For A Beginner?

    When I first got back into skipping as an adult, I was really put-off by the fact that I couldn’t do it well. I saw lots of people in the gym skipping with ease and doing neat tricks so it deflated me somewhat that I was finding it so hard. But don’t let this be the case! After only a few sessions my technique improved hugely and skipping started to feel a lot more natural. Take your time, enjoy it, and maybe even let us know how you get on by leaving a review of the Sundried skipping rope on our website!

    Beginner Skipping Workout

    Day 1

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 60 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 2

    Skip for as long as you can, rest for 45 seconds, repeat for 7 minutes.

    Day 3

    Skip for 20 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes.

    Day 4

    Gym cross-training - leg, ab, and back exercises

    Day 5

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 5 minutes

    Day 6

    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 minutes.

    Day 7

    Rest

    Read more about Skipping on the Sundried Skipping page.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • 20 Minute Home Workout

    20 Minute Home Workout AMRAP

    Try this home workout to get your heart rate up, work your entire body and improve your fitness and VO2 max. This workout is AMRAP, what this means is “As many rounds as possible” and last for 20 minutes.

    We challenge you to make the super 6, that's 6 rounds, of the 6 exercises!

    You should be working as hard as you can throughout the twenty minutes, if you want a short workout, you’ve gotta work for it! The rest periods throughout this workout are active rest, so prepare for your heart rate to stay elevated throughout.

    Preparation:

    Spend 5 minutes warming up. Run on the spot, star jump, dynamic stretch, whatever it takes to get your body warm, limber and ready for action.

    Action: AMRAP 20 minutes

    Can you reach the super 6?

    1.10 180° Burpees: From the standing position, jump into your plank like a regular burpee. Spring your legs into your hands and then jump up to finish the burpee, but as you do, twist 180° so you are facing the opposite direction.

    ACTIVE REST: 20 Squats

    1. 10 Plank rotations: Starting in an extended plank, lift one hand off the ground and straighten it up towards the ceiling, twist your body to follow the extended arm. Once you reach as far as you can twist, lead with the arm and re twist your body to the original plank position, now repeat for the other side.

    ACTIVE REST: 20 Squats

    1. 10 Stand up sit ups: Start laying on your back, bring your knees in and rock your weight onto your shoulders, now sit up, propelling your legs forwards so you sit all the way up to standing. Throw in a little jump at the top and sit back down again, without using your hands.

    ACTIVE REST: 20 Squats

    1. 10 Spiderman Push Ups: Get into your regular push up position but, as you lower to the floor, bring your right knee to your right elbow, keeping the leg off the floor.

    ACTIVE REST: 20 Squats

    1. 10 Skaters: Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg. Bring your right leg behind to your left ankle, without letting it touch the floor. Reverse direction by jumping to the right with your right leg. Swing your arms to help build momentum to propel you further, like you were ice skating. A jump in both directions counts as 1 rep.

    ACTIVE REST: 20 Squats

    1. 10 Up and down planks: Start in a plank on your hands, keeping your balance lower one side so that you are in a plank from your forearm, match the other side and then pick yourself back up into an extended plank one side at a time.

    Now you’ve completed the workout, write down your score (number of rounds) and be sure to beat it next time.

    Don’t forget a cool down, you should spend around 5 minutes stretching whilst your heart rate lowers.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • No Equipment Home Workout (For When You're Stuck Inside)

    Home workout fitness strength gym

    When you're stuck inside, it can feel frustrating not being able to work out. Try this super effective home workout that requires no equipment and will be sure to get your heart rate up and get your engines burning!

    Full Body Tabata Home Workout

    This workout follows the Tabata style of interval training, whereby you complete 8 exercises with 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This means you will complete the workout in just 4 minutes, so depending on how much time you have, you can complete as many rounds as you like. 

    Learn more about Tabata training before you start by reading our article.

    This workout is full body meaning you will target every muscle group and enjoy a great burn. You will certainly work up a sweat and burn lots of fat! Make sure you are comfortable in well-fitting fitness clothing and that you stay hydrated by having a water bottle handy. 

    Get fit at home

    Complete each of the following exercises for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between. Click or tap the name of the exercise to find out more about it and how to do it properly. See how many rounds you can do!

    1. Squats

    2. Lunges

    3. Sofa Dips

    4. Press Ups

    5. Inch Worm

    6. Burpees

    7. Mountain Climbers

    8. Plank

    Related:

    Try our 10 Minute Tabata Workout which incorporates skipping and boxing.

    Read more about the benefits of Tabata training here.

    Read more about how to get fit at home here.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • How To Stay Hydrated During Your First Marathon

    how to stay hydrated marathon

    When you’re racing for two hours or more, you’re right on the threshold at which good hydration practices start to become crucial if you want to perform at your best. Our friends at Precision Hydration have put together some advice to help you start and stay hydrated during your first full marathon.

    How to start hydrated (and why that’s important)

    When people talk about hydration, most of the time it's about what and how much athletes should drink during exercise. These are clearly important questions, but your performance is also massively influenced by how hydrated you are when you start exercising in the first place.

    Once you begin sweating you're generally going to be fighting a losing battle against fluid and electrolyte loss, so starting off properly hydrated can be extremely beneficial. When you're properly hydrated you have a larger reservoir of fluid to draw from over time than if you're dehydrated.

    Starting well hydrated has other benefits too. Optimal hydration maximises your blood volume and this helps general cardiovascular function and your ability to dissipate the heat produced by your working muscles. This reduces fatigue and enables you to maintain your performance for longer.

    Despite the relatively obvious benefits of starting exercise well hydrated, a recent study of over 400 amateur athletes showed that around 31% of them were turning up to training sessions (and, in some cases, competitions) dehydrated!

    Here are some tips to help you start well hydrated…

    • DON’T just drink lots of water in the build-up to the race. You can end up diluting your body’s sodium levels before you start, increasing the risk of a potentially race-ruining (and even dangerous) condition called hyponatremia. At best you’ll end up with a lot of fluid sloshing around in your stomach/bladder.
    • Drink a stronger electrolyte drink the night before the race to boost your blood plasma volume. Aim for drinks containing >1,000mg of sodium per litre, like our PH 1500
    • Drink another bottle of stronger electrolyte drink about 90 mins before you start to top-up your blood plasma volume. Finish your drink >45 minutes before you set off to give your body time to fully absorb what it needs and remove any excess.
    • Adding additional sodium to your pre-race drinks (and meals) helps you absorb and retain more fluid in your bloodstream. This means you’ll have a bigger reservoir of electrolytes/ fluids to draw upon once the race begins and you start sweating some of it out. Having more blood makes it easier for your cardiovascular system to meet the competing demands of cooling you down and delivering oxygen to your muscles.

    sodium salt drink hydration racing marathon athletics

    What to drink during the race

    How much should you drink?

    Every athlete is different but, as a rule of thumb, very few runners can comfortably drink much more than 750ml (24oz) per hour - especially when running hard - so unless experience tells you otherwise, it’s unlikely you’ll need to drink more than that, especially if you got to the start line well hydrated.

    What should you drink?

    Personalising your hydration strategy could really make a tangible difference to your result.

    That’s because everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat and, if you don’t get replacing that right, you risk hydration-related issues like cramp, dehydration and hyponatremia.

    Maintaining the sodium levels in your blood is crucial to performing at your best when you're working hard. Sodium helps you absorb and retain fluid, which keeps your blood volume up, reducing cardiovascular strain, fatigue and potentially helping you avoid cramping up.

    Just drinking water when sweating over long periods dilutes your sodium levels, which can really impact your performance and could lead to hyponatremia, which can have some nasty consequences as highlighted in last year’s London Marathon where one runner ended up in a coma with the condition. Of course, this is an extreme and rare example but it does highlight how bad things can get if you get your hydration strategy badly wrong.

    How much sodium you lose is largely genetically determined and doesn’t change too much due to acclimation, diet etc. So, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to hydration just doesn’t work.

     

    How to drink during the race

    Getting fluids in without choking or spilling most of it down your front whilst running is not an easy task! At most marathons there are drink stations offering water (and probably isotonic sports drinks) at every mile or so between about miles 3 and 25.

    Here’s how to nail drinking on the move…

    1) Line up on the correct side of the road

    No-one benefits from a last minute sideways surge across the path of other athletes, so move across with a couple of hundred metres to spare and try to establish yourself in a gap in the traffic if you can.

    2) Slow down for the grab, and make eye contact

    Whether volunteers are handing out the drinks, or you're taking them from a table, it's a good idea to slow down a bit as you approach 'the grab'. The loss of time is insignificant but it massively reduces the risk of simply spilling the drink all over the aid station workers, yourself and the pavement!

    If you're being handed a drink by another person, it's a good idea to make eye contact with them on the approach, maybe even pointing to them to signal your intent so they know they should give the drink to you. A breathless ‘thank you’ as you run off is an optional but often appreciated gesture if you can muster the energy!

    3) Don’t rush

    Many athletes feel the need to drink the contents of whatever they pick up from an aid station within about 10 metres of collecting it.

    TAKE YOUR TIME!

    Once you have the drink in hand, gather yourself, calm your breathing and take in small sips of fluid over a few hundred meters until you feel you have had what you need.

    Do be mindful of where you end up dumping the cup or bottle (different races have different rules and clean up processes) so you're not littering.

    4) Dump the leftover water on your head

    There are a few potential benefits to dumping water on your head, especially in hot conditions. If you end up with spare water after an aid station pickup, it may be better to dump it on your head rather than throw it away.

    Doing the same with a sports drink is not recommended though, as things can get a bit sticky…

    How to re-hydrate properly once you've finished your race

    You’ll should be able to top up on the fluids and electrolytes lost in your sweat through the food and drink you normally eat in the hours after the race.

    If you struggle with cramp, or feel particularly dehydrated, some more deliberate fluid intake and sodium supplementation might be helpful. Here’s some advice on how to speed up your recovery by rehydrating more effectively.

    And if you want to put any of the above into action in training, just use the code SUNDRIED to get 15% off your first order of Precision Hydration electrolytes.

    Enjoy your race!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
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