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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2016: A Final Recap

It’s 2017. Yay!

All I can say is, it’s been a rollercoaster. It was a challenging year all round, what with a slew of current affairs nightmares and celebrity deaths. Nonetheless, it wasn’t all bad- here’s one final recap!

crazyrunninggirl-oatmeal-2016-quote-768x768January:

January began with a slight lack of motivation that was swiftly and thankfully followed by  being given the all-clear to marathon train! And then came the training itself! I started the New Year with a determination to get dating and started seeing someone relatively early on in the year.

February:

Marathon training really took its toll on life and I learned a lot of lessons about maintaining balance in all aspects of my life including work, dating and a social life. The highlight of the month was a trip to my parents’ house, where I raced and took first female at The Golden Gallop

March:

I passed my 3 month appraisal at work, though it was a few days after breaking up with the guy I’d been seeing, and it didn’t go as well as I had hoped…oops. You live and learn. In other news, I completed my first ever 20 – miler which marked a huge shift in the way I perceived myself as an athlete. I’d just completed this amazing thing I hadn’t even thought myself capable of a few months ago!

April:

I ran my first marathon in Manchester! Even though it was tough, and I got my ass well and truly handed to me, I’m so glad I did it! The rest of the month consisted of recovery, a ton of gorgeous yoga classes, and spectating friends at the London Marathon.

May:

My birthday! I set out goals for the year of 25, which included putting myself out there more, trying new things and making a real effort to expand my social circle. I also cut all my hair off! Pixie cut for the win.

June:

The high point was Dorking 10 miler with the running club, followed by the horrific low point that was Brexit. Ugh. Come on England, what were you thinking?

 

July:

Training for Budapest Marathon began with a horrifically hungover 10 mile long run! I had been at a local festival the night before (hosted by my boss) and there had been tequila. Youch. In other news for July, I discovered yoga at Another Space, which has become my ultimate yoga class when in London.

August:

Battersea Park 5k signalled my first ever 5k race one balmy Summer’s eve in London. I had the first nigglings of a calf issue then, which put me on rest from running right up until my trip to Iceland. Reykjavik Half was a gorgeous race day and a lovely holiday- my calf held up, the weather was beautiful, and I ran next to Christy Turlington, beating her by a matter of seconds!

August was a great month and my inspiration was at an all-time high. One of my favourite female ultra-runners Nikki Kimball left me a comment on my WCW postand I wasted a good afternoon intended for blogging watching the Rio 2016 Women’s Marathon in my favourite coffee shop. But hey, if you enjoyed wasting it, it wasn’t really time wasted!

 

September:

One of my closest friends left me! The fantastic Geni is off doing aid work in Kosovo for two years, supporting a community that desperately needs it- and in tough conditions too! She was my brunch buddy, personal therapist, cheerleader and coffee enthusiast. My plan is to go and visit her soon.

Training wise, I got into a total slump, but managed to dig myself out of it thanks to sage advice from Coach Andy, as well as just taking the pressure off! I started climbing again – a former love of mine, and rediscovered another way to move my body and feel empowered.

Oh, and a low point? My favourite podcast Running on Om stopped and I mourned. Still in mourning to this day!

October:

I was lucky enough to snag tickets to The OM Yoga show and zenned out for a full day, doing a multitude of free classes, trying amazing vegan eats, and most importantly getting free samples. I was saddened when I realised an old calf injury (see August) resurfaced, and it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to run the full marathon distance in Budapest. However, I ran the 30k, and had a great holiday with a huge contingent from City Athletics. I saw a city I’d never have found an excuse to travel to; ate great food, and drank many a glass of wine.

November:

I was made redundant right at the start of November, which started things out on a bit of a low. Nonetheless, I kept busy (my way of coping) with my new Gymbox membership, plenty of physical activity, and even a running and brunch pop-up! In other news, I was told that my landlord intends to sell my flat, so I’ll be having to move out in the coming months. Not ideal timing, but not a horrific situation either.

December:

December was spent wrapping up at work, and hitting the pavements on a job hunt. I met with some amazing companies and secured two job offers (which are still in consideration). I spent time with the people closest to me at many a Christmas party, and balanced it out with some great workouts. Then, a week before Christmas, I broke my ankle. Or maybe tore a ligament. We still don’t know. Cue going home to my parents’ house a little earlier than expected, for good food, a few glasses of wine, and snuggles with my puppy.

 

All in all, it’s been a year of ups and downs. Nonetheless I feel like I’m in a relatively positive place, in terms of my ability to handle the trials and tribulations that come my way. I have a great group of friends, including many a City Runner, and I’ve had some great experiences this year. If so much can happen in one year, I’m excited to think where I’ll be in 12 months time!

 

What was your highlight of 2016? Any favourite race?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Highlights: Running in 2016

This year has definitely been a mixed bag in terms of my running, but overall I’ve made some great progress and had a great time in the process. So without further ado, here are my highlights. As always, I love hearing about other people’s achievements, so do let me know your best moment from 2016.

Manchester Marathon

Now this is a tricky one. My first marathon- Manchester was a goal I hunted down for several months. I was excited, motivated and absolutely terrified in equal measure. It took up all my headspace, and allowed for little else at that point. Race day itself was a struggle. A real struggle. At Mile 6 an age-old hip injury kicked leaving me in pain, and by Mile 8 I could barely even walk. But whilst I went to a really bad place mentally, it never once occured to me to quit, and that’s someting I’m eternally grateful for. My day was absolutely made by my two closest friends coming to cheer me on, meet me at the finish line, and most importantly buy me a fried chicken burger. Now that’s love!

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Reykjavik Half

Reykjavik Half was the first Half Marathon I’d ever raced, and so it was a definite highlight! Prior to that, I’d always had a weird mental block about the distance, convinced I couldn’t cope with the combination of speed and endurance. But race itself was a gloriously sunny, crisp day in August, and I ran happily along, finishing with a time of 1:53, well under my Sub-2h goal. Not too shabby for a first attempt, especially in the middle of a training cycle!

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Budapest 30k

This was definitely a tricky race for me-I had originally intended do the marathon but an injury had led me to downgrade to the 30K distance. I went to a really bad space mentally within the first few miles of the race, but was completely uplifted and spurred on by my fellow City Athletics crew. Post race, the holiday itself in Budapest was fantastic, with plenty of good food, drinks and great company!

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Golden Gallop 10k

The Golden Gallop holds a special place in my heart. Whilst I didn’t get a PB (in fact, I matched my previous PB to the second), I placed first female! Whilst it was a small race field, how often does a first finish happen to anyone?! The aspect that I’m produest of is not giving into negative self-talk about the win- whilst I didn’t run at an elite level, and yes it was a small race field, I was running an unfamiliar course with a 13 miler in my legs from earlier on in the week. So I have no reason to be negative- and I’ll never forget that finish!

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Running in Reykjavik

The day after the half marathon, I popped on my running shoes and headed out the door with no plan, pace or expectations. I just wanted to run. I took it gently, running along the coastline and breathing in the fresh, crisp air, now filled with a fine mist. It was one of the most wonderful runs I have experienced all year- one that makes you truly grateful to be alive.

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Fat Run London

A few weeks ago I tried something new- a pop-up running and brunch club. It was a stepout of my comfort zone, both in terms of the food and meeting a load of new people. But I showed up with running buddy Clo and we took in a gentle, autumnal 4 miles through Regent’s Park, before heading back to the most important part- brunch. The food was indescribably delicious- all roasted veggies and gorgeous chicken thighs, with kale and grain salads to go with them. I’m so glad I took advantage of the opportunity and didn’t chicken out at the last minute- it was worth it!

Sri Chinmoy 5K

As with the 13.1, I’d always had a mental block with the 5k as a race distance. But one sunney evening in September, I finally faced my fear and raced with my Athletics Club in the gorgeous Battersea Park. If I’m being completely honest, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done- it was a find a pace and cling on for dear life kinda situation. I finished in 23.03, which I’m proud of for a first attempt, and managed not to throw up at the end. Winning!

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What’s been your running highlight from this year? 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Healthy Eats on the Go: Lunch

Last week I shared with you my favourite healthy breakfast options for when I’m pressed for time, on the go, or just fancy treating myself. And now, we move on to lunch. Normally I bring a prepped lunch or bring the ingredients for a hearty salad, but sometimes (and more often than not right now) things are busy and I just can’t be bothered. Thankfully though, my little corner of London offers a fantastic range of nutritious options. So, the key things I look for in an on-the-go lunch option are:

  • Slow release carbs such as brown rice, wholewheat bread or beans
  • High protein content
  • Some decent healthy fats

Here are my top picks:

Itsu: Chicken n’ Brown Rice Miso

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This is hands-down my favourite lunchtime treat, especially when I’m ill or doing a large volume of training- the slow release carbs from the brown rice keep my energy levels up, whilst the chicken gives me a nice boost of protein that keeps me full. Oh, and it tastes amazing too.

  • Calories: 343
  • Protein: 32.2g
  • Carbs: 35.5g
  • Fat: 8g

 

Pret: Smoky Chorizo Chicken Soup

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I’m so in love with Pret soup that I know their Soup of the Day rotation by heart- a bit sad, I know. But this one is my favourite due to its high protein content and wonderful taste. You can also add a chunky bread roll if you fancy upping your carbs, or have one of their new smaller “side” portions with a sandwich.

  • Calories: 233
  • Protein: 15.9g
  • Carbs: 21.1g
  • Fat: 8.1g

 

Leon: Mini Chicken Meatballs

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Great things often come in small packages, and this is no exception to the rule. I often have this when my body is really craving meat, and it’s just fantastic. I love that Leon offers smaller portion sizes of some of its classics, so you can treat yourself without heading for an afternoon food coma.

  • Calories: 490g
  • Protein: 18.2g
  • Carbs: 65.9g
  • Fat: 18.8g

 

Abokado: Red Thai Chicken on Brown Rice

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Another asian-inspired healthy choice- I really love the slow release carbs and high-protein content, plus the red thai sauce is gorgeously decadent but surprisingly healthy! I was frustrated when I checked the website for nutritional information and found that the only info available was total calorie and fat content. I like restaurants to be completely transparent when it comes to nutrition, so this isn’t ideal. However, it’s still a good healthy choice so I’m including it nonetheless.

  • Calories: 378
  • Protein:
  • Carbs:
  • Fat: 13g

 

Greggs: Mexican Chicken Sandwich

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A bit of a curveball in this list of healthy options, but Greggs truly has been pulling it out of the bag recently with more balanced options. In particular I love this chicken sandwich on wholewheat bread, which definitely caters to those days when you just need carbs. It’s certainly a lot better than a sad supermarket prawn sarnie!

  • Calories: 393
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 49g
  • Fat: 12g

 

It’s so great that brands are increasingly looking to appeal to consumers’ health concerns- who’d have thought five years ago that Gregg’s could position itself as a balanced meal option? Given that eating healthily and nourishing my body well is one of my top priorities in life, I’m encouraged by what I’ve been seeing recently and can’t wait to see more of what’s to come!

 

Where do you go for healthy eats?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Monday Motivation: Leo Manzano

This week I thought I’d share some motivation that really hit home for me when I saw it earlier this week. It’s about Leo Manzano, who is a Mexican-American middle distance runner. What struck me about this video was Leo’s focus on learning from injury- as someone who is currently a little bit in denial but also a little bit injured, it gave me solace and inspiration to see that you can come back from chronic or recurrent injury, and be an even stronger athlete than before.

 

 

How do you deal with injury?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa