10 Reasons More Women Should Take Up Hiking

We’ve been talking about rugby a lot recently. Now for something completely different.

Hiking is great, I love it. You have an excuse to head out on an adventure in the great outdoors, with the wind in your hair and the mud squelching satisfyingly underfoot. Sometimes I consider plastering myself in blue face paint, wielding a big old stick and hurtling naked down a mountain side screeching “I AM QUEEN BOUDICA!”, but then I think it might just be easier to call one of my outdoorsy mates and suggest we take a jaunt up a big hill.

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Review: Kate and her Trespass Yukon Walking Boots take on the Cornish coastline

I might have mentioned this once or twice before: I love the outdoors. I love walking, hiking, trekking, scrambling, whatever you want to call it, so imagine my delight when Trespass – UK outdoor wear brand extraordinaire – wrote to us to say that they’d like us to test out some of their products!

The boots on the left are my trusty old walking boots looking a little sad. I must have walked at least a couple of thousand miles in these old things, but they’ve served me very well for a fair few years and are super-comfy, but when Trespass sent me a brand new pair of Trespass Yukon Womens Walking Boots to try out (right), I was only too happy to oblige.

Old and new (l-r)

Old and new (l-r)

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A Video Postcard from Cornwall

Hello there chums! I have been on a bit of a hiatus for a few weeks, so I thought I’d post a video postcard from sunny Cornwall to say “Hi! I’m back!”

So there you have it, I’m chilling out down here in the south west for the next few months, so I would LOVE to get your input on what sporty activities I should be getting involved in whilst I’m here. Leave us a comment, or give us a shout on Twitter @thesegirlsdo!

Gans kara (“with love” in Cornish… I hope),

Kate

6 Things Sporty Girls are Tired of Hearing

1. “You’re playing sport AGAIN tonight?”

Yup. Bloody love it. I would genuinely rather go and run around outside with a bunch of awesome people after work than most other things.

Source: Tag Rugby 7s

2. “Aren’t you worried about bulking up?”

Er, we’ve been through this guys. Girls’ bodies don’t react the same way to strength and resistance training as guys’. Having said that, sure, I’m fairly muscle-bound and therefore a tad on the heavy side, but my body fat % and wait:hip ratio are pretty damn good. Take that potential heart disease and type 2 diabetes. #BOOM Continue reading

Daddy Cool: Fathers’ Day fitness inspiration

Being as it was Fathers’ Day on Sunday we wanted to take the opportunity to pay homage to our Dads this week, in much the same way as we did for our Mums on Mothers’ Day – we’re both very lucky to be close to the men in our lives, they are a continuous source of support, inspiration and encouragement, and they are undoubtedly also the reason the pair of us are so bloody headstrong and competitive…

Kate: My Dad has always been a keen sports man, when he was younger he played soccer, rugby and gaelic football for school and university teams as well as being a keen runner and squash player. Nowadays, along with my mum, he cycles, rows, kayaks and hikes like a mad person!

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Review – Record Breaking Squat Jumps & BMF Fun in the Sun

It’s official! Katie and I are bona fide World Record holders!

Admittedly, breaking this record didn’t involve some life-threatening feat of daring, or anything really gross like not cutting our toenails for a couple of years, but it is still a real record, honest guv.

Last week British Military Fitness ran a special event to celebrate National Outdoor Fitness Day, where they attempted to beat the world record for the greatest number of people performing jump squats simultaneously at a single venue and These Girls were very kindly invited to join in! So, off we toddled to Wandsworth Common on a sunny Saturday morning, thinking this was as close as we’d ever get to being on that show Record Breakers with Kriss Akabusi. Anyone else remember that? I must be getting old.

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Rip Van Winkle’s guide to working out: Sleep, exercise and holding off on the gin

I’m not a great sleeper. I love to sleep, I’m just not very good at it. At the weekend, I can easily sleep for 12 hours if I don’t set an alarm and as a teenager I took teenage lie-ins to whole new levels of concerning. I used to sleepwalk as a child and grind my teeth and I still toss and turn and talk, but apparently I don’t snore (thank goodness for small mercies…).

sleep

Working in the City means I find myself in stressful situations from time-to-time and, by my own confession, I am a bit of a worrier, which doesn’t help matters. But I’ve never been a great sleeper, so stress can’t be the only factor at play. The only thing I know for sure that helps with these nocturnal niggles is exercise.

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Review: Run or Dye – The World’s Most Colourful 5k!

We’re on a bit of a review rampage this week, here’s another one for you folks! This time it’s all to do with fun, fitness and flinging paint…

When we were emailed by the lovely people at Run or Dye to ask if we would like to run their crazy, paint-filled 5k in North London last week, we jumped at the chance! Given I’m not much of a runner at all, I was surprised that that was my reaction, but the thought of prancing around a 5k course to some bangin’ tunes whilst hurling powdered paint at K-Ferg just sounded like good, clean (or not so clean) fun, and a great way to kick-start my half-marathon training. So off we trotted to Cockfosters on a breezy but dry Saturday morning to join the throngs of other runners for some fun!

We were treated on arrival to some face-painting to get us in the party mood – courtesy of the ladies at Artyful, who had come to support the event – it certainly worked! Then we changed into our very own Run or Dye T-shirts; just by entering the race, every runner is given a free t-shirt, a wristband, some snazzy transfer tattoos and some powdered paint to get messy!Pre-Race painted faces

Soon enough it was time to get going. As we took our place at the starting hold, we were struck by the variety of people who were in attendance – from those who were there to try and knock a few seconds off their PB, to whole families including small children in buggies or being carried on shoulders – Run or Dye really is for everyone! We loved the fact that the staggered start was not done by predicted finish times. There is no elitism here, it’s truly inclusive and has a great family, party atmosphere as a result. The tunes were blaring (Katie did a lot of singing to Taylor Swift… gutted I didn’t manage to catch it on video), and as we waited to reach the start line the DJ almost caused a riot (I’m obviously massively exaggerating, but people did get very excited…) as he threw free gifts of sunglasses, tutus and packets of paint into the crowd, and then we were off!

The course was set out around some parkland, taking us over fields, pavements, mud tracks, through woodland and most importantly through the ‘Colour Zones’ where paint is hurled at you by some very enthusiastic volunteers! It was pretty windy on the day, so the paint had a tendency to just float away rather than stick to the t-shirts, but just running through a big blue cloud full of squealing people was good fun in and of itself.

Katie paint selfie

We made it to the end with big old grins on our faces, and a fair bit of paint in our mouths (it’s not the best tasting, but it’s totally harmless, and frankly you’re having so much fun you barely care!). I was so pleased to have actually run it without dying, but I was so distracted by the music, cheering and paint, I barely had time to think about the actual running. Runners, joggers and walkers alike, cheered each other on as we went, and there was plenty of support from the side-lines too.

Post-run paint

To top it off, you finish with a party – hooray! The DJ gets spinning and everyone bops away in a final flourish of a paint-throwing bonanza!

paint party time

For anyone who wants to run their first 5k in a fun and friendly way, this really is the race for you – and for all you seasoned runners, RoD is a fun morning out, and something a bit different to do with your Saturday, for £25 we think it’s a bit of a bargain!

More upcoming events from Run or Dye:

30 May – Exeter, Great Fulford
6 June – Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse
27 June – Cheshire, Cholmondeley Castle
5 July – Kent, Penshurst Place
11 July – Bournemouth, Kings Park
18 July – Perth, Scone Palace
25 July – Ipswich, Chantry Park
1 August – North Yorkshire, Castle Howard
5 September – Paris, l’Hippodrome de Chantilly
12 September – Galway, Ireland, Lough Cutra Castle
26 September – Oxford, Cornbury Park
3 October – South London, Hever Castle
10 October – Derbyshire, Chatsworth House
18 October – Edinburgh, Hopetoun House

These Girls Still Do – Yoga and physical activity in older women

As I mentioned previously in our Mothers’ Day special, my mum is a yoga instructor. She took up Hatha Yoga about 15 years ago when she became concerned about her joints and has been head over heels in love with it ever since. After my younger brother was born, she trained as a Yoga teacher as it was something she loved to do and was a flexible (no pun intended…) job that she could work around Dad’s working hours and the hectic timetable of having three, and subsequently four, young children to look after.

I’m incredibly proud of my mum, her business has gone from strength to strength and she offers a valuable service of easily accessible yoga classes to women and men of all ages and abilities throughout the local, rural community. But what impresses me most of all is her clients. The majority of the people who attend her yoga classes, though by no means all, are women of retirement age. I go to class whenever I have an opportunity and let me tell you I am a fit person but these ladies truly put me to shame in the flexibility and strength stakes.

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The Running Bug & Friends: Committing to my first Half Marathon

You may have heard, Katie Ferguson ran the Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 on Sunday. But she didn’t just run it; she smashed it. 3.33.24. For those of you who don’t know, that is a very, very good time.

Spot the happiest runner...

Spot the happiest runner…

I went to watch the runners whiz past at Canary Wharf  and found myself carried away on a wave of unexpected emotion. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a fan of running. I’m quite bad at it and I don’t really understand the appeal of running for its own sake – except the fact that it is fantastically good exercise – but something about watching the London Marathon this year really inspired me. When I spotted Katie amongst the throngs I (a) screamed so loudly that I scared an old lady, and (b) honestly almost shed a tear of pride. What an outrageous and ballsy thing it is to set yourself the mental and physical challenge of running 26 miles. What sort of extraordinary person wakes up on a Monday morning, goes into work and at the watercooler utters the words “I achieved a GFA time at the London Marathon” in response to the question “How was your weekend”?

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