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Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

Just after our lockdown restrictions were eased, I hit the trails after a three month hiatus from running, not expecting anything spectacular. We’d paused our training routine at the start of the pandemic so as not to run down our immune systems, choosing instead to spend our daily allotted exercise walking a flat 5km route from our doorstep every morning.

So, when I was 8km in to my first run back and realised that I was going to make my best 10km time, I was pretty puzzled. When I finished, my Garmin told me that not only had I shaved around 7 minutes off my pre-lockdown time, but my VO2 max had gone from 44 to 47, and I’d sustained a heart rate of 170+ for longer than ever before. And — even better — I’d barely broken a sweat. …


I dropped 14lbs using My Fitness Pal, but I felt terrible…

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

The 1200 calorie diet is one of the most simple — and probably most successful — diet plans out there. Aimed at women, this diet is based on the assumption that the ‘average’ female needs to consume at least 1200 calories a day to just exist. This is meant to cover the basics — that’s the cost of breathing, sleeping, digesting food and minimum movement. So, it’s no wonder that, despite dropping weight, I ended up feeling miserable, unwell and unfit on this diet plan.

My Fitness Pal’s 1200 Calorie Diet

Like most women, I discovered the 1200 calorie diet via the My Fitness Pal app. I was starting to up my running regime and wanted to make sure I was fueling up right. As a veggie, I also wanted a reliable way to track my protein intake, to make sure my body was healing after each run. Someone recommended MFP to me and it was perfect for this purpose — until the pandemic hit and I started working from home. …


How you can enjoy the great outdoors whilst protecting it for the future

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Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

When I first got into running and hiking, I developed a bit of a shopping addiction. I was enthusiastic about my new hobby and excited to try new clothing and equipment, so I found myself shopping often and buying cheap. I didn’t want to buy something and find out that it didn’t feel comfy, or that I wasn’t going to stick to it — and I didn’t want to waste my money.

What I found out is that I ended up wasting my money anyway.

Buying cheap not only meant that I had a wardrobe full of clothes that needed clearing out every couple of months, but it also meant that the things I really liked and wore a lot needed replacing often. Often what I was replacing had been so cheaply made that it was beyond repair or re-use, so it ended up in landfill. …


And how to not let all those extra safety precautions ruin your run.

Female running alone in a park
Female running alone in a park
Photo by Fil Mazzarino on Unsplash

When I first started running regularly, a fellow female runner told me I should ‘dress like a man’ in order to stay safe. It shocked me. This was a woman who had bright pink and blue hair, facial piercings and tattoos, and a very fierce belief that people should dress in a way that they wanted to, regardless of gender. But here she was, telling me to wear a hat that covered up my hair, baggy pants and layers that would hide my butt, and a sports bra that flattened my boobs.

All this, just to stop men from giving me grief. …


My Garmin knew I was sick, but how accurate was it?

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Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

I might never know if I had Coronavirus earlier this year, but I do know that my Garmin knew that there was something wrong with me.

And after doing a little digging, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

Not only are people reporting that their fitness watches are recording erratic data when they experience symptoms, but there’s even evidence to suggest that this wearable tech could predict whether someone is coming down with COVID-19. …


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Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects thousands of people every year. Some might only experience it once or twice in a lifetime, but for others, the low mood, lack of energy and change of appetite comes and goes like clockwork, arriving every autumn when the nights get darker, and lifting in the spring when the mornings get lighter.

For many people in 2020, SAD will hit during one of the world’s biggest mental health crises to date. Some of us have been locked away for months, isolated from friends and family, missing colleagues and our old routines. Others may be facing redundancy, financial hardships and the prospect of a long, uncertain winter ahead. …


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Photo by Chris Gonzalez from Burst

Here in the UK and likely across the world too, it’s been great to see that so many people have started up a new running routine whilst they’ve been locked down. However, it’s probably not surprising that not only are people finding it hard to keep up their new healthy habit, but are getting bored of running the same old route over and over again.

When it comes to keeping your passion for running alight, there’s one trick that’s guaranteed to keep you going back for more, and it’s a simple one— get back to nature.

Exercising in the great outdoors comes with so many benefits, and it’s never been more important to us as human beings to go outside. With a global pandemic and our previous way of life looking like it’s changed for good, there’s every reason why we should be stepping out of stuffy gyms, getting away from our crowded cities and taking a big, deep breath of fresh air. …


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Photo by Scott Webb from Burst

If the latest COVID guidelines have ruined your wedding guest list, chances are you’re now looking at either downsizing your big day or completely postponing it — but all doesn’t have to be lost. My husband and I eloped last year, just before the pandemic hit (phew!), and we did exactly what we wanted to do without the pressure of planning a huge wedding. It was low-key and easy on the wallet, but to us, it was the all-singing, all-dancing wedding that we wanted, and we’ve never looked back.

So, before you cancel your big day or start hastily striking your less-favoured family members off your guest list, I’d like to put forward an argument — and some tried and tested learnings — for planning a more intimate wedding. …


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Running up Fairfield Peak by Rebecca Ramshaw

We are fell runners.

Fells are rugged, jagged hills, unique to the north of England. They are rolling mounds of impossibly old rock, smashed together with grasses and heather.

There are features unique to the fells, and words unique to the features. Becks, tarns, pikes and craggs — an unforgiving geo-language cut through with mile upon mile of flat lakes formed from glaciers. These words were chosen by Norse Vikings and they’ve evolved and merged into a strong northern dialect, now as British and salty as pie and chips and totally inseparable from the landscape.

Fells are shaped by the elements but remain unmoved, even when battered by weather. They’re tough. Cold even in summer and unashamedly steeped in glorious low light in winter. At times it feels that all their features exist to work against you. On wet days the trails up become streams gushing down, rain comes at you sideways as if not from the sky. Wind turns water into glass, the act of looking up at the path ahead becomes total agony. You audibly groan. You try running with your eyes closed, but you miss the landscape. So you look down, watch your feet and conquer the miles one rock at a time. You spend most bad weather runs wondering how many rocks to go until you can turn back and throw yourself down to dry clothes, hot coffee and breakfast in a pensioner-packed café at the bottom. And you still go back to do it again. …

About

Rebecca Ramshaw

I’m a trail runner and hiker living in West Yorkshire, UK. I love to write about running, health and life post-30.

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