Trying out Esquared PLUS Promo Code!

The lovely folks at Esquared approached me to try out the newest London-based fitness app – an opportunity that I snatched up right away! This is an honest review, and all opinions are my own – promise! 

As most of my lovely readers will know, I’m a keen runner and all-round fitness enthusiast. I’m always on the lookout  for new and exciting ways to enjoy fitness in the city, but like most Londoners, I hate the idea of being tied down by a contract. That’s why Esquared, a new London-based fitness app, seemed right up my alley! So let’s jump in:

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What is Esquared? 

Esquared describes itself as “the only place to book on demand exercise classes and gym sessions in real-time. No membership. No commitments. No catches.” It’s a bit like ClassPass, but without having to pay up-front for credits- you just pay as you go.

Some of the studios on offer through the app include:

  • Best’s Bootcamp
  • Fierce Grace Yoga
  • Good Vibes
  • More Yoga

How it works

It’s really simple to get started on the app- just download through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store  and sign up in a few steps. Then, you’re good to go! You can easily top up your account, or use my promo code (further down) for your first class free – exciting stuff!

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Personally, I’m concentrating on my running at the moment, so was looking for classes to complement my training. Straight away, I found two of my favourite London studios, Good Vibes and More Yoga, and signed up for classes straight away. (Side note – I always forget how difficult pilates and yoga are… and regret signing up about 10 minutes in!)

 

You can sync the app with the calendar on your phone, meaning that you can keep track of classes, and get reminders, and make changes to your booking if you need to. I found this really handy, as some evenings after work I’d find myself in the mood for something other than a regular gym session – and I could make bookings right away!

Once you’re finished with your class, the app asks you to provide a quick review to help other users make their decision. It’s as simple as that!

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Don’t mind me, on the way to Sunday yoga

The Pros 

  • Really easy to use; syncing to your calendar is a really nice bonus and helps you manage your classes on the move
  • Easy cancellation – you can cancel up to an hour before your class without losing your credit
  • No limits on the number of classes you can do at any given studio (unlike ClassPass)
  • In-app payment is really simple, and there seem to be quite regular promo codes

The Cons

  • Still relatively limited in terms of studios – would love to see the likes of Another Space and Psycle on there!
  • You have to review every class straight away, before you can book any more. This is a bit frustrating as you might want to leave a longer review, and that could get in the way of your next class!

Is it worth it? 

Overall, I do think it’s worth it. I would absolutely love to see more variety in the classes on offer – think hot yoga, Crossfit and ballet barre – but for someone who wants flexibility, and likes to book classes at the last minute, it’s perfect!

Promo Code! 

And now to the good part – a promo code for followers of Pip in Motion! It’s super simple:

  • Download the app through the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Enter the promo code PCALVIN20564 
  • Voilá! £20 credit to try your first class with Esquared!

 

What’s your favourite way to keep fit in the city? Have you tried Esquared? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

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Why I Run London: My Top Running Spots

Living in London, I’m often overwhelmed with gratitude for how many lovely green spaces, tourist attractions and secret hideouts there are to run in. We’re really very lucky, aren’t we? It seems like every time I head out for some miles, I discover something new, or just find a new appreciation for the city I live in. So here are some of my favourite running spots in the capital.

Burgess Park

I recently took to Burgess Park for what was actually a very painful run; however the scenery more than compensated for my injury. It’s about 5k round the park, although I like to do laps of the lake, especially when it’s sunny.

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Regent’s Park

This park is about a mile from my office, so I spend many a lunchtime sweating my way around it, and I’m not the only one! There are so many different sections to the park that I’m always stumbling upon something new, but my favourite part is the zoo- it’s so odd to be running along mindlessly and suddenly spot a camel!

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Regent’s Canal

Okay, this is kind of similar to the park. I love to go through the park and onto the canal, seeing canal boats, ducks and the occasional hyena (again, from the zoo). It’s flat and relatively quiet, making it the perfect place for building up some speed. I’ve run two parts of the canal, and whilst I haven’t quite figured out how they join up (I can’t geography), they’re both gorgeous places to run.

Greenwich and the Thames Barrier

Ok ok, hear me out on this one. The Thames Barrier has to be one of the bleakest places known to mankind; however, I think there’s a certain beauty to that. Following the river eastwards from Greenwich, you go through the docklands and marshes, and eventually end up at The Thames Barrier, at which point you really have to turn back, or come away from the river. It’s a bit bleak, but I quite like the idea that this is what the East End of London used to look like, back in the day. And it’s interesting, if nothing else- where else would you see an abandoned fairground, a moored shipping container and the Emirates Cable Car all in one outing?

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Greenwich 

I adore running in Greenwich, and I’m even prepared to huff my way up the steep hill from my front door to get there. It’s absolutely gorgeous first thing in the morning before the tourists descend; seeing the Cutty Sark, a ship whose history I learned about at length when I was a child, is often enough to lift my spirits on even the worst of runs.

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Embankment

The Thames is the heart of our city, and therefore it’s no surprise that it takes a central role in my running, as well as that of many other runners. The Embankment is the North side of the Thames, and it’s generally slightly less congested than the other bank. You can run along from Tower Bridge, through The City, past St. Paul’s Cathedral and even up to the Houses of Parliament. Granted, you still have to dodge a few tourists, but it’s worth it for the views.

Primrose Hill
 

Primrose Hill gives you a stunning panoramic view of London if you’re prepared to make the climb. The hill itself is deceivingly tough, with a long incline that gets steeper at the top. It’s one of my goals for my speed season to chase down my PR on that Strava segment and make it my bitch!

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Hilly Fields

This small park has a place in my heart due to it being my local Parkrun; I’ve met a lovely community of runners through the weekly Saturday morning events. The Saturday morning Parkrun punctuates my week nicely, and it’s during those mornings that I notice the seasons changing so beautifully. Funny how that happens.

St. James’s Park

There are three Royal Parks that surround Buckingham Palace; St. James’s Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. It’s surprisingly easy to do all three in one route, and I always get goosebumps when running past the palace itself. If you’re lucky, you get to see the changing of the guards, and as a bonus, it’s lit up beautifully at night.

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Blackheath

By the time I get to Blackheath Common on my Sunday long runs, I’ve only done 1 mile, but all of that has been uphill. And so I always stop to stretch out my calves. It can be very bleak in terms of the scenery, but recently I was lucky enough to catch the sunrise!

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 Is there anywhere I’ve missed in London that you’d recommend running?

Lots of love,

Pippa

Where to get discount running kit

“I know, I know” I tell my mother for the hundredth time, “I have a lot of running kit”. This conversation takes place every time I go to visit my parents, and inevitably have to sneak a pile of dirty lycra into their washing machine. And yes, I do have a lot of running kit. But I pride myself on finding a good deal, and so I thought I’d share that with you.

PS. My mother and I now have an agreement; she’s not allowed to ask how much I spend on running gear unless she’s looking to make a donation 😉

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I was introduced to Sports Shoes by my Aunt and Uncle- both runners, both bargain-hunters after my own heart. The website essentially has a lot of last season’s running shoes, meaning that they sell for around half the price, as long as you don’t mind having them in a different colour way. (A caveat- occasionally updates in a shoe will involve technical adjustments- so it’s worth doing your research). The online shoe finder is actually pretty decent and there’s a good range of clothing too- although the shipping is a bit steep at £4.99.

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A Glasgow-based running website, Run 4 It is often cheapest for specific shoes + postage. I ordered myself a pair of Brooks Ravenna from their website after becoming convinced they were the shoe I absolutely had to have or else the world would end. Long story short, I sent them back, but the shipping and returns process was really simple, and I’d highly recommend these guys.

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Originally a cycle website that expanded into other sports, Wiggle is a great store for a bargain. They offer free delivery over £25, and I really like their own brand, dhb. I own several high-vis long-sleeved tops from dhb, and I find they fit me really nicely, and are visible at night whilst not being overly garish. Wiggle is also great for sports nutrition- I get my SiS electrolytes from them, at half their RRP.

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Ohhhhh Decathlon, you will be the death of me someday. For those who don’t know, Decathlon is an amazing sports store originally from France. It caters for pretty much every sport you could imagine, including the likes of rollerblading, alpine skiing and horseriding. They have huge warehouses, often in industrial estates, and they’re seriously dangerous to go in. Everything is really cheap, and they have a 365-day guarantee on all products. I have to use the online store because I know that if I actually went into a real store, I would come out 100% broke. Having said that, they don’t often do free shipping- Black Friday 2015 being an exception. If you’re based in the UK and just starting out in any sport, Decathlon is the way to go!

All this goes to show that you really don’t have to spend a fortune. But also, no-one will judge you if you do!

Where do you get most of your running kit?

Lots of love,

Pippa

Mindfulness: Falling for fall?

Summer has always been my favourite season, and so when Autumn arrives it can be easy to feel despondent. Whilst social media gets excited for crisp leaves, warm jumpers and Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but I often struggle slightly- I think that’s the thing with the British Summer- blink and you’ll miss it.  That’s why it can often be quite startling when Autumn comes around.

That being said, the colder months are generally much better for me than they used to be, and I think that has a lot to do with running all year-round. Spending more time in nature, getting that endorphin fix, and trying to run during the limited daylight hours- without any of this, I’d be lost. So whilst I’m not overly excited about the end of Summer, things are looking up. And here are the things I’m looking forward to:

 

  • Blanket scarves. These are basically a socially-acceptable blanket that you’ll always have to hand during the winter months. I can even get away with wrapping myself up in mine when I’m at the office.

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  • Chai tea. I feel about chai tea the way many people feel about the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’m in love with it. Cannot get enough. I love super sweet chai tea when you’re stuck inside on a super grey and rainy day. Preferably wrapped in a big blanket scarf.

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  • Bonfire Night! This is my favourite “holiday” of the year. We Brits snuggle up, watch fireworks and build huge bonfires, in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot- an attack on the Houses of Parliament that was foiled at the last minute. It’s such a community event, and I absolutely adore it.

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  • Crisp mornings. Whilst Autumn/Winter in the UK is generally grey and foggy, every once in a while we get a gorgeous crisp sunny morning. These are the best to be out running in.

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So there you have it. I’m not 100% on board for the colder months, but I’m a damn sight more positive than I would have been this time two years ago!

 

What’s your favourite thing about the colder months? Please, give me tips on how to survive!

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Monday Motivation: A Life Outside of Running

Morning! This week’s motivation is courtesy of Ashley Higginson and Saucony. Ashley is a steeplechase runner who almost gave up on her sport completely. In the end, it turned out to be finding a life outside of running, and a sense of balance, that rekindled her fire.

 

 

This speaks to me a lot. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about something Lauren Fleshman said in a recent Running On Om episode- that running was the kindling for a lot of the joy in her life- but that’s scary and, at times, limiting- especially when injury comes your way. I think recently I’ve become increasingly consumed by running, and I’ve started to realise I don’t want to define myself solely as a runner. Anyways, tangent over.

 

What’s motivating you this week?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa