Podcast of the Month: Running Commentary

I recently discovered a brand new podcast to listen to on my run and, most importantly, my morning commute. Running Commentary is a really simple concept- stand-up comics Rob Deering and Paul Tonkinson record the conversations they have on their runs around London. These conversations include: life, comedy, and running. But mainly running.

 

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What I love is the informal nature of their conversations; they’re completely unedited, and also you can hear their breathing as they run and chat simultaneously, which gives you a sense of camaraderie when you’re out trotting round London on your own. There are also random interjections, such as “ooh look at that bird, what the hell is that?” and “we’re just running past a large, unaccompanied dog…does that dog belong to anyone?” These perfectly reflect the conversations I have with friends whilst running: a mix of the deep and meaningful, combined with the completely frivolous- the only difference being that we’re not recording ourselves.

They also come up with occasional pearls of wisdom that aren’t shrouded in pseudo-spiritual nonsense- here are some of my favourites from a recent listen:

  • “Those lie-downs at the end of a marathon. That’s sacred time, isn’t it. Just like, ‘I think I’m gonna lie down here. I’m just gonna lie down here. Just here on this bit of pavement, it looks really cosy. I’ll just wait for my family to collect me.’”
  • “I’m not religious, but I do think that running is a spiritual thing for me. A spiritual get-out on a week-by-week basis.”
  • On race photos: “I always say if you wanna see what you’re gonna look like it 20 years time, just take a look at 40k”
  • “It can get very surreal, can’t it, when people start running past you in fancy dress (during a marathon).”
  • “It’s quite an episodic run on a Sunday, isn’t it, cos there’s so much going on.”
  • “The fundamental thing with running is-you get away from your brain.”
  • “In life, you wanna unlock. But you can’t make the decision to unlock can you, it’s just gotta happen. But running makes that happen. Cos it makes you switch off.”

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I highly recommend giving them a listen- they’re very unstructured and personable, which is exactly what I love. They’ve even recently started to take other runners on their jaunts, including ultra runner and Guinness World Record holder Susie Chan, who shared her experiences running the Andes to the Amazon Jungle Ultra and setting a treadmill World Record this year. Girl crush alert! So yeah, give these chaps a listen!

Any podcasts you recommend, running or non-running related?

Lots of love,

Pippa

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50 Reasons I Love Running

I’m about to start a new marathon training season! Yay!

I’ve really enjoyed this off-season and have 100% fallen back in love with running, especially without pressure or purpose. That being said, I’ve always loved running a lot of junk miles and it’s going to be hard to tone it down, focusing more on quality than quantity.

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And so, here’s my little love letter to the sport, also known as 50 Reasons I Love Running:

 

  1. It’s the best way to appreciate where you are both geographically and physically
  2. You get to see your city in a whole new way
  3. Fresh air does you so much good
  4. You can run almost wherever you are
  5. It’s a great way to meet people
  6. Runners are an incredibly friendly bunch
  7. It can take your mind off what you’re stressing about
  8. Or allow you the time and space to process it
  9. It can be cheap if you want it to be
  10. It gives you an excuse to travel
  11. FREEDOM!
  12. Peanut butter
  13. Cake
  14. Pizza
  15. Frozen Yoghurt
  16. It’s an easy way to get from A to B
  17. It’s nice to be fit enough to run for a train if you have to
  18. There’s a satisfaction in seeing mini-muscles grow over time
  19. It gives me structure in life
  20. I get to listen to podcasts and great music
  21. I’m gradually getting leaner and fitter
  22. Running kit is so freakin’ comfortable
  23. Spending your life in lycra is pretty great and weekend makes you look like you have your shit together
  24. You know you can always run away from weirdos and murderers if need be
  25. Getting a proper deep sleep after a tough training session
  26. Having good enough fitness to do other things
  27. As a sport, running is just ridiculously convenient
  28. A good sweat never hurt anyone
  29. You can be as competitive as you want
  30. You get to go on random road trips for races
  31. Did I mention all the food?
  32. Being able to shut people down when they judge you for eating cake
  33. How good a 7up tastes after a long, hot run
  34. Warm coffee feels after a freezing cold run
  35. Winter becoming bearable when you get outside in it
  36. The ridiculously supportive community I’ve encountered, both online and in real life
  37. Shamelessly spending hours a week on Instagram fangirling over other runners
  38. And endless running blogs
  39. That really horrific breathlessness
  40. Surviving a shitty run, because it makes you better equiped to deal with the rest
  41. Having a goal to work towards
  42. But then again, so is the ability to run just because you can
  43. Being grateful for the body you have
  44. You don’t need a membership to be a runner
  45. You always make friends on race day
  46. Training hard means you get an excuse to treat yo’self
  47. Having cardiovascular fitness never goes out of style
  48. Trainers are so much more comfy than regular shoes
  49. Putting on fluffy slippers after a hard run
  50. Having a hot soak in the bath and then melting into the sofa after a long run.

Have I missed any?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Cross Training Focus: Another Space

I’m about to dive straight into the deep end of another training season, and my biggest priority is not to overtrain or get injured- that’s my biggest takeaway from training in Spring- I did way too much, and ended up paying the price on race day.

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I was recently lucky enough to try out Another Space; a new workout studio in Central London. Based in Covent Garden, the boutique studio offers a variety of workout classes including cycling, yoga, hot yoga, and HIIT classes. I got a free pass through my work- perks of the job! I’ve been trying to mix it up fitness-wise with more cross-training and less actual running, with a view to being a more rounded athlete. I decided to give a cycle class a go during a rest week from running, and even persuaded my fellow runner Ashley to come along for the ride- helpfully, I’d been given an extra credit for that exact purpose.

First impressions of the studio itself were great: the staff were friendly, and welcoming. As we checked in, we were given the option of ordering post-class smoothies ahead of time! Every little thing had been taken care of- the changing rooms were adorned with Cowshed toiletries, and handy essentials like cotton buds, spare hair ties, and even disposable razors. You literally didn’t have to think about any of this stuff.
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Now, to the class itself. I’d never been to a spin class before, and as I was shown to my bike, it was adjusted properly for me. Despite my experience with real bikes and stationary bikes in the gym, it turns out I’d been doing it all wrong in the past! It was a really great environment that felt more like a club, with blaring music and neon lights. The instructor was full of enthusiasm and, at times, aggression, and really pushed us to push ourselves. There was a mix of sprints, hill climbs and resistance work, all combined with ab and arm work. Then we broke for a weights session (still on the bike) that really got the arms working- and then back to sprints. We ended, 45 minutes later with a few stretches and shoulder releases, and I was thoroughly exhausted- it was the hardest I’ve worked at a class in a long time!

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Finishing up the class was a relief, and I headed straight to the lovely hot showers. Having fresh towels and lovely smellies made a huge difference, and I left the studio feeling clean and refreshed, as opposed to sweaty and still a bit gross, like when I leave my regular gym. So I’d highly recommend Another Space- if you’re based in London, it’s pricey but definitely worth a shot!
What’s your favourite way to cross-train? 

Have you tried spinning?

Lots of love,

Pippa

Mindfulness: On rest days

I’m coming to really appreciate the importance of rest days. During my last training cycle, I had so many days when I was overtrained, undernourished and most importantly, absolutely knackered. It caused me some real problems both professionally and personally- a unique combination of grouchiness and inefficiency that only prolonged endurance training can bring.

In an attempt to not fuck up my life in general and, more specifically, in my Autumn training cycle, I’m taking a ton more rest days and paying closer attention to what my body needs. This image sums it up nicely- oh, we love you Mindy.

 

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Mondays are my rest day. I get home from work, I put on my PJs, and I watch hours of TV whilst playing Candy Crush or Whatsapping my friends. It’s the exact opposite of what most people would call ‘healthy’, but it nourishes my soul and gives me time to recuperate for the week ahead. Hopefully, it will stand me in good stead for the training season ahead!

What’s your rest day routine? And any new TV shows I should try out?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

The Protein Works: Vegan Protein Review

As I’ve mentioned, I’m making a few explorations into the plant-based lifestyle. For me, that also includes finding a vegan protein shake to supplement with on the rare occasions I find myself lacking in protein. Additionally, I’m lactose intolerant- so whilst I do occasionally drink whey protein, it upsets my stomach and skin. So even on the days I’m not being vegan, a non-dairy protein is great to have.

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I’d seen a vegan protein on The Protein Works, along with great reviews, saying mainly how great it tasted. I debated for a while, but eventually bought the Vanilla Creme flavour, and waited excitedly for its arrival. It’s a Raw Vegan Blend, which is a mix of several different plant-based proteins, providing a great amino profile. And I couldn’t wait to try it!

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But sadly, I was disappointed. I mixed it up with water for a late-afternoon refuel but found myself completely unable to drink it. And that’s saying something. I actually gagged! Maybe I just got a bad batch, or maybe The Protein Works needs to work on their flavouring.

I don’t often write bad product reviews- if a product is bad, I usually won’t write about it, even if it was sent to me. But I was so disappointed with this most recent product (which I bought with my own money) that I just had to write something. On a more positive note though, if you’re looking for a vegan protein, I can recommend the My Protein Vegan Blend in Chocolate. It doesn’t taste as good as a whey shake and has a slightly chalky texture but it does the job, and you get used to it!

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Can anyone recommend me a good vegan/non-dairy protein powder?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa