Tag Archives: Nike Training Club

#NTCWeek & community

ntcworld

This week Nike is hosting #NTCWeek, it’s 7 days of different Nike Training Club fitness activities, nutrition talks and fashion shows hosted all over the world.

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Unlike the standard NTC classes each week that are lead by Nike Master Trainers, these classes are hosted by community groups so it’s a chance to try out something new.  I was lucky enough to get into 3 classes this week (the sign up is always super competitive with hundreds of women refreshing Facebook trying to get spots!) and have tried out a Get Lean! dance class at Frame, Barrecore at their new Mayfair studio, and the Secret Yoga & Supper Club in Shoreditch.  The classes have been top quality and in typical Nike fashion we’ve received lovely tote bags, workout vests, and even a Fuelband SE at one event. The best part though, and the reason I keep signing up to NTC classes, is the community of really fun and nice women I meet at every single event.

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Last night we did a 1 hour Jivamukti class with the Secret Yoga Club and it was everything I love about yoga. There were two instructors, one to demonstrate the poses at the front of the room, and another walking around helping everyone adjust as necessary.  The light was low and there was a musician there playing music to keep our flow on track.  During the savasana we were even treated to a de-stressing neck massage with cocoa butter. HEAVEN! After we headed up stairs to the showroom and were treated to a 3 course supper club (vegan!) for the full Secret Yoga Club experience.  As I sat around a table with 30 strangers, we actually had loads to talk about and I was so grateful to have had such another amazing community experience

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It’s safe to say I wouldn’t have half the friends in London if it were not for the doors that NTC has opened and I gratefully walked through.  I’ve found an supportive community that extends beyond the stretchy and colourful Nike lycra and into a group of women who like getting active, meeting new people, and taking on new challenges.  Through NTC I met Leah and the awesome Team Naturally Run ladies who I’m travelling to Geneva with this year on a Running Holiday.  There is a special bond you create when you spend a Saturday morning together running up a muddy hill several dozen times.  NTC has also given me more confidence in my own fitness to take on new challenges from speedy Parkruns, reformer Pilates challenges, and even joining a real running club. And to think, it all started with a trip up the London eye

NTC Train to Run Saturday hill sessions

NTC Train to Run Saturday hill sessions

edit: I’ve had a lot of predictable responses of people saying they wish Nike did events outside of London. I totally get that, and understand we are very lucky here in the Capital. But the point I was trying to get across here was that it’s the doors Nike opened, that I walked through to find the community. Everywhere has local events and activities, yes they might be harder to find and require a leap-of-faith on your part to join, but they’re there and will be what you make of them. Get out there and find your community! One of my favourite pieces of advice from Liz & Laura of Write this Run was that if there isn’t something – make it. Start the community you want to be in!

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blogs & tweets I like

I love communicating and interacting with people and brands that share my interests.  Everyone probably knows I’m a twitter-maniac and clearly blog once in a while, but I thought I’d share my favourite FITfluential blogs and twitter accounts.  

Sportsister http://www.sportsister.com @sportsister

Awesome twitter updates on women’s sport and they have some kick-ass competitions on their blog. 

Boutique Sport http://www.boutiquesport.com @BoutiqueSport @BoutiqueRun

They have free and exclusive events just for women in and around London. Need I say more? From run clubs to Barrecore and yoga they have it all if you want to get involved with other like-minded ladies.

Lunges & Lycra http://lungesandlycra.co.uk/ @Lungesandlycra

New to the blogging world these ladies are right on it with a mix of top fitness advice and gin recommendations. I’ve met them at a few running events and they’re as nice IRL as on their blog.

Spikes & Heels http://spikesandheels.com @Spikesandheels

This lady needs no introduction. Whether you follow her on Bangs & A Bun or via Spikes & Heels she is on it when it comes to fashion/blogging/PR/fitness (not in that order!) There is a certain level of envy everytime I see her in in a new piece of amaze running gear. She also started the #beprettyonrestdays campaign where seriously active women took photos of themselves post-workout to put up in an incredible album.

Lazy Girl Running http://www.lazygirlrunning.com @lazygirlrunning

She’s not lazy in the slightest and runs a marathon time I could only dream of.  But she’s also all about balance and knows it’s more important to have a post-race pint than time your quarter-mile splits to the hundredth second.  She’s moving into triathlons now and reading her blog about learning how to swim with a nose plug and bike with clip-in pedals is EXACTLY the kind of real training we all face (not pretty but effective).

Nike Training Club http://www.facebook.com/NikeTrainingClubUK @NikeUK

I go on and on about how much I love the NTC Live classes for women in London. Their facebook page is also a great resource for chatting with the other ladies about their fitness plans and goals. It’s also a great place to be up on the latest product knowledge and very cool Nike events that are invite only.

Pretty Fit http://beprettyfit.wordpress.com @BePrettyFit

Another personal blog of a London girl who likes running a lot. She’s also really good at it. I love a good mix of inspiration and reality.

Naturally Leah http://www.naturallyleah.com @leahnaturally

I just found/met Leah and her blog has followed her training for her first half marathon and has some great race reviews in there too. Her voice is real and it’s refreshing to follow her training. I might be a bit biased in that she used to live in Vancouver and work for Lululemon and thinks Vancouver is the best place in the world…. so go Leah! 🙂

Lululemon Athletica Chelsea http://www.facebook.com/lululemonChelsea

Lulu is in London! Their gear is still mostly out of reach for my day-to-day exercising (I seriously ruin athletic clothing so paying over £50 for a vest/tank top is a bit much for me) But they do have some of the best gear around if you’re willing to invest AND free yoga/pilates every Wednesday and Sunday in their Chelsea studio.  

Seriously Ugly Race Pics http://uglyracepics.tumblr.com/

This one speaks for itself.  If you’ve ever felt pretty good while running – thinking you’re gliding along the pavement like a Kenyan at mile 21… here’s your reality check.

Sheactive http://www.sheactive.co.uk/

Good deals of all the best gear in one place. They always have sales on and it was the only place I could find pink running tights. 

Sport Pursuit http://www.sportpursuit.com/sales

I’m no stranger to deal-a-day websites thanks to the amazing North American Steep&Cheap group of companies, but relatively new to this deal-a-day site has some of the best of the best gear for almost every sport and fitness need.  You have to wait a couple of weeks until you get it delivered, but with those deals it’s worth it. 

Wiggle http://www.wiggle.co.uk/

Whenever I need something specific and Google it Wiggle always shows me the cheapest price with the most options/styles.  Also once I ordered a backpack off it and it arrived in LESS THAN 24 hours using the free standard shipping option. Unheard of.

Gear for Girls http://www.gearforgirls.co.uk/ @gearforgirls

I’ve never bought off this website but do find myself browsing it often.  Plus with photos like this for inspiration how can you NOT want to get outside in their clothing?!

Any other suggestions?

NTC Train to Run classes are awesome. Over 40 girls sign up each week and only the most hardcore seem to show up at Regents Park on a Saturday morning in the cold to get a serious workout with Nike Master Trainer Gil.  All for free!

Photo credit: Gil Cramer

Got a great NTC workout in at Westfield London last Friday… with SERENA WILLIAMS!  Getting the chance to train with a world class athlete? Worth every second of doing burpees in front of Friday mall shoppers with mobile phone cameras… #awkward

shedding for the wedding

I have a motto when it comes to exercise. 

DON’T PAY FOR IT.


photo credit: Julia Balakshin

I’ve never been a big gym fan or an exercise fan in general. I used to play a ton of sports in school, but as you get older “sports” turn into “beer league softball” which doesn’t provide as much exercise as one would hope.

This is why the Nike Training Club has become my new favourite thing.  They offer free NTC classes (like outdoor bootcamps) for women only at 11 park/store locations in the UK.  These are literally 100% free classes that you just have to sign up for (or some locations aren’t as busy so you don’t even have to sign up) and then go.  Being Nike, they offer loads of rewards from t-shirts (I’ve got 3 from them so far), to free entry to the NTC festival this summer. Even if you don’t collect the rewards, the workout itself is a 60 minute high-intensity workout. What else could you ask for? 

For example, this week I went to a Tuesday NTC class after work and here is what we did:

  • warm up cardio circuits: high knees, butt kicks, fast feet
  • snake running around the park and having the last person sprint to the front
  • more circuit work: jumping jacks, squats and planks with knee touches
  • painful circuit: squat jumps, frog jumps (aka harder burpees), lunges
  • more cardio circuit: jogs, sprints, jumps and more sprints
  • parter exercises: plank + push ups, jumps, tunnel crawling, squat holds and more sprints
  • stretches and warm-down

All of the class was do as much as you could, with a lot of people going hard and adding extra push-ups into their planks (crazies) and others going slower and focusing on doing 2-3 reps in good form. You don’t really feel out of breath much, but you sure do feel it the next day(s). Ow. 

In addition, Nike also runs weekly Nike+ Run Clubs at London parks.  You get a bit of training and coaching, not to mention a safe place to leave your bags while you run! I’ve also gone out with the Sweatshop Running Community running group which are awesome and a great way to ease into your first few months of running.

So there you go, weddings can be expensive enough – why pay extra to look your best?