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personal trainer

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Why running is not enough to be a better runner

As you might have already worked out, I’m an extremely keen runner and I’m passionate about showcasing the benefits of exercise and how they can enhance your lifestyle and mental health. In recent years my own lifestyle and career changes have directed me more towards working alongside runners and helping them to progress their performance, whether that’s improving their Parkrun time or training for an endurance event.

One thing that comes up a lot when talking to other runners is the lack of cross training within their exercise schedule - I see it time after time; runners trying to get better at running by running some more! Indeed there is some fiber of truth to this, but how about changing the demand you put on your body and give it some extra support so that it can perform even better next time you lace up those trainers?

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Introducing different forms of exercise will most definately compliment your chosen sport, not just running. Some of the many benefits of cross training include improved cardiovascular fitness, reduced chance of injury, muscle group balance and also avoidance of boredom.

In more detail, there are three main components which are important to train in order to develop conditioning, whether you’re a runner, footballer, rugby player or hockey player, to name a few. These are speed (moving as fast as possible in a straight line), agility (changing direction quickly and efficiently) and quickness (instant rapid responses). I also like to add in plyometrics ( short bursts of power in the muscles and joints) to my client’s training as well as my own. Furthermore, core work is essential to support the main powerhouse to the body.. the ‘core’ refers to the abdominal wall, lower back and postural muscles, glutes, hip flexors and pelvic floor muscles (men have this too by the way!).

So how do you get involved?

Don’t over complicate it, it’s about moving differently and therefore working different muscle groups. Cross training comes in many forms including swimming, yoga, circuits, weight lifting and more!

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About a year ago I heard about Rabble (via Linkedin) which is an outdoor group activity which makes exercising fun! .. No really, it’s a series of games, many of which we all would have played when we were younger; such as Capture the Flag and British Bulldog. These have been adapted for adults as a progressive workout which challenges your cardio fitness as well as incorporating speed, agility and many of the other components which help to make us strong and fit. In the very first game I played I covered nearly 2 miles of running around and burnt just short of 400 calories in an hour. The best part is that not once did I think about how tough it was or was I even aware that it was effectively an exercise class I was taking part in.

In December last year (2018) I qualified as a Rabble Instructor along with three other running leaders from my running group Run Like a Girl. Having closely observed the ins and outs of Rabble gaming, I’ve become more and more intrigued by the benefits of this type of exercise class but more to the point, how it pretty much covers all of the components I’ve talked about above. In just one game, a player will partake in numerous directional changes, shuttle runs, high intensity intervals as well as challenging the core and cardiovascular fitness.

Whilst my approach is to introduce Rabble to members of Run Like a Girl to encourage them to cross train, it’s also just a really great way to socialise and exercise at the same time. You don’t have to be a runner, or even partake in a specific sport to play Rabble, it really is for everyone and all abilities.

You can read more about Rabble by visiting their website here

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Polka Dot video production

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Polka Dot video production

Back in March ‘18 I had the opportunity to be part of a short film produced by Worcester videographers Polka Dot Production .

Jo and Duncan Cox are a husband and wife team who direct and produce some of, if not THE finest wedding videography I’ve seen - seriously check out their work, it’ll make you want to get married just so that you can have them make a film about it. 

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Fortunately for those who are already married or those who just don’t fancy it, Jo and Duncan also make promotional videos and this is where I came into it. Polka Dot Production wanted to expand their portfolio by adding a short film to their arsenal of high end video production and they had very clear ideas about how they wanted to do that. 

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So in short, I spent a few hours running around the South Warwickshire countryside while Jo and Duncan filmed me both from the ground and using a high spec drone. I’ll let the film do the rest of the talking but let me just wrap this up by saying that these guys were a pleasure to work with. They were professional, creative and made me feel very relaxed. 

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Letter to my younger self

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Letter to my younger self


Dear young Lauren 

I know things are tough for you now, being an adolescent is definately one of the more challenging life phases we’ll go through, but I  can absolutely 100% guarantee that we’re going to be ok. Here are some little nuggets of hope for you..

When we were in our mid teens, our PE teacher kept entering us into the inter schools cross country trials even though we hated every single step because she saw great potential, not because she had it in for us. This will scar is for years but we come good in the end.

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The sporty girl teasing and laughing at us about our running style (you know exactly who I mean).. in about 20 years we’re going to bump into her at the gym and she’ll be unhealthy, depressed and hugely overweight. We won’t laugh back at her though, because we’re better than that.

It’s ok to be at the back.. and no, this is not how we’re going to die today. One day we’ll become an ultra marathon runner where the race is nothing to do with pace but going the distance... and that we can do! Hang out at the back, it’s going to be fine.

Tell Mum about our unhealthy relationship with food now! She’ll save us sooner. Binging and purging now is going to shape the way we look at food for the decades to come. It’s not ok to starve ourselves and use lunch money for cigarettes to surpress our appetite. But please know that it won’t always be like this, we win in the end!


One day in the future we’re going to start up a women’s running group and it’ll fast become one of the biggest groups in the country and win awards - that seems so crazy right? We hate running!! So don’t worry too much that we’re not doing so great in school. There’s more to life than algebra!

So hang in there little Loz, life gets really good as you get older, I promise you that. What I can also tell you is that there are more difficult times to come, but don’t worry, as we grow older we also grow stronger, both mentally and physically. We will learn to surround ourselves with a strong and positive support network by way of family and friends. We’ll never be alone.

I’m signing off now, I can’t give it all away because we like surprises, right? Furthermore, I can only tell you what I know for the first 39 years of our life, there’s more to come which I don’t know about yet!

Be kind to yourself little Lauren, trust your instinct and don’t get too drawn in by the wrong crowds. 

Take it easy

Older Lauren


What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?

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Muddy Stilettos Awards - WIN!

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Muddy Stilettos Awards - WIN!

So it seems that quite a few of you folks believe that I'm kind of alright at what I do.. you only went and voted for me to win the Muddy Stilettos Award for the Best Fitness Instructor (Warwickshire) category! Huge thanks to all that voted, I honestly feel so honoured to have received such a prestigious award.

I was invited to attend an award presentation at Hilltop Farm where I was greeted with a glass of champagne and the friendly team at Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire HQ. It was a lovely afternoon spent networking and meeting the other award winners, all hardworking, inspiring women in business and truly deserving of their win.

Click here for more information about Muddy Stilettos and their fantastic lifestyle blog.

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