Jenni Falconer’s Fitness Diary - February 2015

Every now and again, there comes a time to liven up your fitness regime. That might mean investing in a couple of new items for your workout wardrobe, testing out the latest fitness gadget, or tucking into something delicious yet nutritious. It might even mean giving that new trend everyone’s talking about a go! Here are my top get-motivated must-haves for spring 2015:

1. OK, so this is slightly biased, but I absolutely must recommend my XPG range in Debenhams for really comfy, good-quality running tights and capris. The waist belt is fairly thick and helps support you in the ab zone – particularly useful post-Christmas! They are also in a very nice stretchy black material, so an easy match for tops of all colours. They’re well priced too, so if you’re not wanting to spend very much, £24 for just below the knee and £25- £35 for ankle length isn’t bad going.

2. Hotel Chocolat may not be your typical destination for fitness supplies and slimming aids, but don’t rule it out just yet! Next time you’re out for a long run or suffering post-workout fatigue, reach for the chocolate! Cacao seeds are the primary product derived from the plant, presugar.

In this state, chocolate is an excellent source of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and B6, minerals and essential dietary fats and it contains an incredible 621 antioxidants.

3. I’ve just got a Tom Tom Runner Cardio watch to help with my marathon training and I love it. It helps monitor my speeds and allows me to train at my optimal heart rate zone. I was told years ago that the best way to train is by using your heart rate – that way you really can make the most of your workout.

4. I know that some people can run for hours without music but for me, on longer runs, I like listening to my playlists to help me focus on something else. Yurbuds are small earbuds that twist into position in your ear and really do stay locked in place, even after a very sweaty 26-miles.

5. Following a few injuries over the last few years, I’m now lost without my foam roller. It’s a tool that’s handy to have in the house to help stretch out my muscles after exercise – I can feel the stretch just by rolling my leg up and down. My daughter, Ella, who is three, brings it to me when I come in from a run.

6. How about having a supply of post-workout products in the house to help ease the muscle aches that sometimes follow? As I increase the length and duration of my runs in the build up to the marathon, I’m grateful for the Arnicare cream I have in the cupboard. It helps ease the pain of stiff muscles and swelling so can be handy during intense training.

7. Every now and again, treat yourself to a sports massage. OK, it’s not the most relaxing thing in the world – they generally don’t dim the lights and play the sound of the waves splashing against the shore. However, despite the discomfort during the treatment, afterwards you will feel like a coiled spring ready to be released once again.

8. Invest in some decent trainers. Make sure they suit your gait and that they fit properly. I had to pull out of the marathon in 2013 on account of incorrect footwear leading to a damaged shin bone. They were decent trainers, but they just weren’t right for me.

Jenni Falconer