2 July 2018

Looking for a new challenge in 2018? Take part in a Tough Mudder for Charity Feed the Minds and help put an end to FGM.

tough mudder

Each year, fundraising fitness and health challenges are being thrown out at us from every angle; Veganuary, Stoptober, fun runs and triathlons. But nothing can compare to the grueling obstacle course that is taking the world by storm. Whether you are swimming through icy waters, dodging electric shocks or just trying to struggle through the 12 mile mud laden track -Tough Mudder will test you further than ever.

But this event isn’t just about testing your fitness. Already the course has raised £3 million in the UK for charity. Feed the Minds is recruiting now for Tough Mudders in Sussex and needs your help to transform people’s lives through education. Here are just a few reasons on why you should sign up…

Fundraising for Feed the Minds gives you a purpose

Although you may gain some satisfaction from finishing a Tough Mudder, it cannot be denied that fundraising for us will enhance your motivation to train for and complete the course. By taking part in the Tough Mudder in West Sussex for Feed the Minds you will help women and girls around the world, like Bridget (pictured), to say no to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM), to stand up for their rights and transform their own lives.

When you join our team, we ask that you set yourself a goal to raise a minimum £350 for Feed the Minds. To put this into perspective, just £25 could support one girl in Kenya to complete our Girl’s Education Program, providing them with knowledge on their rights, building their confidence and helping them to stay in school, without going through FGM.

Although fundraising can be daunting, you don’t need to worry as Feed the Minds will be there to support you throughout your campaign. Often, all it takes is a few emails to friends and family with your fundraising page, which we will help you set up.What better way to do it than for a brilliant cause? Signing up for a Tough Mudder can help to transform the lives of more vulnerable women and girls like Bridget

The Challenge of Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder is more than just a race that gets you muddy- it is a combined test of stamina, endurance and determination. There are 25 obstacles overall, all placed strategically on the 12 mile mud track of the various rural locations that this event is hosted at. From the brand new ‘Kong Infinity’ obstacle, described by Tough Mudder as a legionnaire style challenge, to the icy waters of the ‘Arctic Enema’. There is even the small matter of running through a field of hanging Tasers in the aptly named ‘Electroshock Therapy’. Not only do you have to have strength, but you must also be prepared to push past a further pain barrier that cannot be tested in most endurance challenges.

Therefore, it will stretch not only your physical abilities but it will also take all of your mental grit to finish. Tough Mudder pushes your perseverance and resolve right to the edge.

Support network during your training

You may want to take part individually or with others, but either way Feed the Minds will provide you with a constant support network for both your fundraising and advice on preparation. Unlike any run, cycle or even triathlon this obstacle course takes teamwork and unity, akin to a military training course. You are not racing others but challenging yourself to simply do one thing: finish. Feed the Minds will offer whatever assistance you may need throughout the build up to Tough Mudder. Sign up here today

25 April 2018

Should you run a marathon?

Related image

With Brighton and London marathons now complete those involved can go back to normal life that isn’t consumed with worry about how many miles they have managed to fit in this week or whether they need to carb load, foam roll, do some hill training or generally be a slightly crazed obsessed running human!

I’m painting a warped picture of course there is the monumental sense of accomplishment, pride in oneself and general admiration from everyone you know at having achieved the toughest running challenges known to (wo)man.

So you should you sign up next year?

Here are some things to consider:

  • You will need to prioritise – that’s a definite. The training sessions are time consuming and believe me its hard to keep a full time job and family running smoothly without dropping a ball to get some of your longer weekly runs in.
  • You will need support – Your family will feel the hit as you depart for hours on end. You should ensure everyone is 100% behind you. You will need them to kick you out of the door on many occasions throughout the winter when it is dark and wet outside.
  • You should plan your training out very carefully – don’t rush the preparation, do include strength training, sprint work and mobility/flexibility work. If you are unsure how to do this all our Brighton personal trainers will be very happy to help you
  • Its a good idea to work out how you are going to motivate yourself. The Brighton marathon is in the spring, so you will be building up miles in the winter and it wont be appealing every session, who do you want to run for, show devotion to or honour. Maybe it should be enough that you want this for you. Certainly for some people this is true
  • You will be digging very very deep mentally, the runs are long and the devil on your shoulder will be wanting you to stop at every mile. How are you going to shut him up and plough through the mental barrier? There are some great mind control tricks that we Brighton personal trainers can show you, but different things work for different people so you will need to try a few before you work it all out.
  • And talking of your mind. You will need to still it. This is a long and steady feat and you will need to harness all your mind control possible

Whilst this all sounds very challenging and time consuming and a bit serious! i would hate to put you off. Running a marathon is one of the greatest achievements you will (if you follow the advice here) accomplish in your life. Decades after you have run your race, even if only the one, you will recall sections of it with such clarity it will surprise you, and you will feel chuffed and proud and amazed with yourself all over again.

2 April 2018

Brighton 10km training plan

So you ran your first Brighton 5km and decided you really liked it? You’re body feels stronger and fitter and you’re feeling like you can tackle the next challenge?! How about a Brighton 10km run, and perhaps this time how about setting a time to achieve it in and working carefully towards it?

Here is an 8 week training plan to run a 10km race either for your first time or for those of you who are more experienced at running in Brighton and Hove. Remember to take it easy and don’t set yourself an unrealistic target and to aim to stick to the plan as faithfully as is realistic for you. Don’t kill yourself to fit a session in if you are feeling unwell or your body is too sore, but do push yourself if it is simply that the weather is grotty or you have had a bad day at work. Getting outside and pumping blood around the body is a fantastic way to repair self esteem or bad moods and you will be amazed at the transformation compared to when you left the house (and your family will be thankful too!).

Please remember that these running plans are only part of the picture and that you will need to ensure you maintain a balanced strength and conditioning program to bolster the demands running in Brighton places on the body. Next week I will post a good training session to achieve exactly that, which you can perform at home, here is one from a couple of weeks ago that is also really good – one of the workouts that us personal trainers in Brighton actually do ourselves.

Good luck with your running, if you need some advice or help from one of us Brighton personal trainers please get in touch, otherwise click the picture below to get a full size printable version or download the PDF version of this plan here


10km brighton training plan





27 March 2018

An 8 wk Brighton personal trainer 5km run plan

If you are new to running, 5km run is a great target, as your personal trainer in Brighton, my advice would be to train with plenty of preparation up to and over 5km. Use all the tricks like hills and speed variations to get you to your goal but just scale according to your ability. Make sure you train frequently but don’t train every day and definitely don’t train if your body is sore and most importantly make sure that you are prepared enough to enjoy the experience. I hope this is the road to many happy running races for you in the future!

If you know what you are doing here is an 8 week training plan based on your target time. Its a good idea to not aim for sub 20mins in 8 weeks if all you can achieve at the moment is a 30mins 5km! what i mean is try and set realistic goals that you will be able to succeed at, the next time you prepare for a race you can shave off some time and so on….8 weeks will fly by!

A personal trainer would build something like this for you and very often run these with you or at least make sure that you are performing each session optimally. If ou would like one of us to run you through this program or any other just get in touch, otherwise good luck…click the photo for a larger version to print:

personal training in brighton

26 April 2016

Softer Running

Running brighton

I first heard the concept of running on a softer surface versus Tarmac while at school. This is the reason for our year group always having to wait until being on the field before we were allowed to start running.

It used to drive us crazy! But were their reasons valid?

According to Dr Rebecca Robinson, consultant in sports and medicine at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, there is no evidence that running on a soft surface such as grass is better for the body than running on a hard surface such as tarmac – and here are the reasons for it…

It boils down to bone being a living tissue which is constantly remodelling.

The key is to start GRADUALLY – there’s no surprise there, but the surprise may lie in the possitive response it can create. When started gradually and built up, it can cause the laying down of new cells, making the bone matrix stronger.

For running beginners, starting on softer ground is a good idea; it’s lower impact and good for developing balance and bounce in a new runner’s technique.

So combining the benefits of both involves a good mix of surfaces in a training programme, including road, grass, trail runs and even sand runs if possible. They all have their own stimulus on the body, helping to create stronger ligaments, muscles and tendons. With the uneven surfaces and direction changes promoting ‘whole-bone loading better’.

Running itself, compared to cycling and running, has been shown to be more protective against conditions such as osteoporosis in which bone loss causes an increased risk of fractures.

So keep up the running, use it sensibly as a training tool along side plyometric (explosive/jumping) training; mixing up the terrain and be smug in the knowledge that for all your hard work, you’ll be enjoying the wealth of health benefits in the long term.

26 March 2016

Hit the ground running


Running is an activity and sometimes sport we are all familiar with and running injuries are all too common amongst those of all abilities; and it is precisely this which we at Brightonfit try to address.

The reason for this is already known: technique, or the lack of…running itself won’t injure you, but the way you run can.

Looking closer it’s all too easy to see why, when the classic running ethos is backward. When a regular person decides to start running, their approach will often be; get the miles in, build these up steadily, maybe do some shorter distance runs and then worry about technique later down the line – which again, often never happens.

The approach we instill in our clients turns the previous approach on its head. Firstly we look at ‘skills & drills’ of running technique, followed by shorter distance and even sprint work as intervals, then finally adding stamina runs for distance or tempo runs on a timed basis, based on ability to keep a pace.

Perhaps look at the reason like this; if you took up weightlifting, I am sure any reasonable person would want to master the technique prior to lifting the heavier weights, to prevent injury. However when looking at a far more accessible activity such as running, the temptation to by-pass this crucial first step is almost standard.

Brighton is a very active city, we even have our own marathon! I personally love the fact there are always runners everywhere you look, I’m often one of them. We at Brightonfit and are here to help. We are passionate about the same sports as you and strive to impart our knowledge and experience to help build on your current ability, be that beginner to expert.

Book through us or for more specialist packages and barefoot techniques see our dedicated running school site here


1 October 2013

Cyprus International 4 day challenge


Training in earnest has begun now for November’s Cyprus international 4 day challenge. The race is in it’s 9th year and looks really cool. You run 4 different races on each of the days; day 1 is a 6km time trial, day 2 is an 11km hill race, day 3 is a half marathon and day 4 is a 10km city run.

I am looking forward to some bright weather there – the event seems to be blessed with sunshine historically and I’m pretty sure ill be sick of the mud and clouds in here by then!

Training is going well; I’m feeling pretty fit and just want to work on my speeds. I’ve got my eye on a sub 1hr 30min half marathon time, however as many of you who know me already are aware, despite running practically for a living I rarely race. What this means on race day is that I will need to be very careful my mental state isn’t affected too adversely by my nerves.

I have run a 1hr 47min half marathon without any training before so I don’t feel the goal is unrealistic, however the course was a flat road race and this one undulates with an overall climb of 400 metres.
Currently I am lifting weights using compound movements, running 4 x week mixing up intervals, hills and tempo runs with longer ones and am just building up some mileage to get into my stride a little. And I have been kickboxing again after nearly 10 years out of the ring for the past 6 months which is totally unrelated but muchous fun and partly attributing to my current fitness levels.

So im feeling good and aim to keep a log here of how things are going over the next couple of months until race day on the 21st Nov…..watch this space!

23 June 2012

Barefoot running shoes in the gym









So did I mention I am currently training on a 3 month joint mobility/yoga/bodyweight circuits program?

No, well it came about after I came out of hospital a couple of months ago (5 days stomach decompression after my small bowel decided to stick itself together). I was feeling pretty crappy; weak, beaten and humbled by life forces. I wanted to start training again but having not eaten for a week and been on such a vast amount of pain killers it was impossible for a few more weeks. During that time I contemplated where I wanted to go physically. Something I dont usually do-for me it has always been about training as hard as possible to get as fit and strong as possible to lift more, run faster, box for longer. My mantra to push myself when I was flagging on hill sprints or whatever was “Are you dead yet? no? then go faster”

I decided I wanted a body that didnt ache and grumble from all the sports injuries I carry, that I wanted a good base fitness and strength but that I really wanted to be limber and agile and quick and light over anything else. So I designed an experimental program to test on myself. Each month the exercises change but throughout the experiment the protocol stays the same.

I am training on a 4 day cycle: A rest day, a medium day and 2 hard days. Everyday I do joint mobilisations and yoga-these are the tedious sections for my mind and it takes a lot for me to focus on this type of training. I force myself to do it, today is day 33 and I am pleased to say I have made huge gains in this department, my yoga poses particularly. I can feel the benefits already walking around with a much fuller range of movement, I feel more limber and natural.

The two hard days are tough but very short. Last week I ramped up the exercises and introduced some different ones so my session is longer and harder. This really works for my psyche as I enjoy the nature of these very tough physical challenges. I can feel myself getting much stronger-it is a different strength from the gains made through weight training, more subtle and a general feeling of overall strength rather than the muscle soreness you feel in isolated muscle groups from weights.

This training doesn’t fatigue me, I don’t at all feel that I am doing too much. Its hard when I do it and then afterwards I feel fine and can get on with my day without feeling too tired. Historically when I was training hard this wasn’t always the case.

As the sessions are studio based I have bought a pair of minimalist shoes. Barefoot shoes. An oxymoron? No it is a thin skin of a shoe that covers your sole to protect it from the ground but still allows the foot to move and flex organically. I like the way the sessions are without equipment and so very natural feeling and I feel connected to the ground in these shoes. I have started using them a little for running in too, I would love to use them more for this but having taken about 3 years to completely fix my plantar after I injured it from running literally barefoot on road and other hard ground for years I have kind of been a little worried to risk it again.

Anyway lets see what happens, the shoes are quite disgusting looking and I may be too self aware to wear them in public! I am looking eagerly forwards to the next 51 days of my program and will report again soon.


24 December 2011

Running with wolves part III

Husky sledding in the Arctic goes down as the purist, most life affirming, soul satisfying combinations of passions rolled into one titanic experience that any dog lover could have.
I know dogs, I know dogs well, I know all kinds of dogs, I know dogs alone, in pairs and in packs, Ive run with them all, old and young, for years, dogs love to run and I know why (see running with wolves part 1). Yesterday they embraced my company….yet again unconditionally….although this time I was not the pack leader. From this angle I saw through a different lens, they exposed their infra structure, their vunerable underbellies, their magical sense of eachothers strengths and weaknesess, precise timing, speed, intuitive reactions, convincingly infinite power combined with a spirit that seemed impossible to dilute.

I was just a bystander, someone to provide reason to charge like a well oiled machine powered by redbull through the Arctic, a resistive force to load the sleigh down. 5 dogs pull a wooden sleigh carrying up to 2 humans, one stands and “drives” the other sits. The Sami will tell you shifting your weight from one foot to the other whilst standing on the back of the sleigh will steer it. This is not true. The dogs are finely tuned to eachother and have done this a bazillion time before thus despite which way you lean they will drive you the way they know or want. Invariabley this can cause some confusion at the human end, it would seem processing instruction from human to dog is not something I am used to being challeneged on. However once I gave over to it I had the full richness of the experience. Being driven by the dogs was blissful. The serenity, power, concentration, hard breathing, warm exhalation vapour trails streaming from their mouths, frost forming on their whiskers and eyebrows, tails straight out behind them as they pull and pull and pull hard every single paw revolution being important as it cycles through and presses the earth and rebounds with elastic recoil over and over. Their bodies contort with the force they generate against the harnesses in a bid to tug harder and drive forwards with more acceleration. The pursuit for speed is relentless, even after 90mins they were wild with anticipation for the chance of more running.

They are lashed in an X formation, the Sami ties an old dog with a young one at the front and back of the pack. The middle warrior seemed the steady one, a little grouchy, but as much of a workhorse as the others. At the front were the smart strong dogs, leading the way, stopping first, intuitively leading us all despite my initial protestations. The rear two were pure energy balls, leaping a foot in the air and yapping the minute we stopped, their bodies were almost entirely bent as the speed their back legs were driving us forward was faster than the harness allowed their front legs and thus the entire pack to travel at….yet the never once eased up, its almost as if they didnt mind being practically folded in half for the slight glint of hope that the pace may increase whereby they would be perfectly placed to take up the slack and power forward at a pace that was much more preferable!

They were small, all of the dogs, but hard, at a guess not much more than 5% body fat and ranged in colour….I fell in love with the black and brown young one at the back of our pack, who I struggled to not cuddle back when he jumped up at me and rested his head in the crook of my arm. His ears were folded forwards and he drove like a beast, character over brimming….id have given him my last rolo but the Sami seemed very strict;)

24 December 2011

Running with wolves part II

Pepe and I have a new running partner in Ruby a 2 year old collie cross. Ruby is every bit the character filled ball of energy that you would expect from a young collie. Added to which she is also Pepe’s girlfriend, which is probably best discussed on a “inter-species canine loving” type blog rather than here but pertinent to the fact that he pretty much lets her get away with anything she wants. This usually involves high volumes of repeated barking and charging simultaneously at him in an attempt to engage him in play. Pepe is a wise old dog and pretty much knows what these runs entail….undue expenditure of energy is not in his game plan, god forbid he were to lark around and play with his young bit of fluff rather than missing a juicy sniff or pee stop.

Today for some reason was different.
Ruby was a delight for both Pepe and I….she fell into a perfect trot pace from the outset. When the paths were narrow either Ruby or I led, at broader points I had Ruby to my left and Pepe to my right both half a step behind me. Today I didn’t run with music like I usually do, our breaths were rhythmical and it felt good as we worked hard up the hills and through the woods. The air was still and thick, fog still in some places, particles of moisture formed little breath clouds as we exhaled. Each of us helped the other through the run, sometimes Ruby would pace Pepe and I, and sometimes she would hang back to provide him with moral as I carved out our pace and direction. Running with wolves….whatever the pack….is one of the single most raw and pleasurable experiences I know.