Vibram’s got the Sole Factor

Vibram – probably best known for their five finger trainers, have opened Vibram Sole Factor. Based near Old Street, they now provide a unique service to repair or customize your shoe with its own type of sole, depending on the desired performance and personal taste…

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I have always been an advocate of ‘a shoe worth wearing is a shoe worth repairing’ and Vibram have just upped the game… With a real focus on improving the performance of a shoe, you can take in pretty much any style from classic leather to Converse and the team of elite cobblers will discuss how you wear the shoe and the best sole for the job. The logic goes like this; Converse are traditionally for a basketball court and so the design isn’t necessarily as durable for everyday wear on concrete – switch up the sole and you have a shoe that will perform better and last you longer with none of the style lost. Your  work shoes have a leather sole which gets worn down quickly and in the wet, they slip…replace with a ‘more grip’ sole and your shoes become far more effective as well as looking good.

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When I visited, I took a pair of my boyfriends favourite New Balance trainers (with very worn down soles) to test out the theory. A week later, I picked them up with a brand new bright Vibram sole and a rebuilt heel – essentially they have been given a new lease of life and they look great!

Two things that I like about Sole Factor, aside from having a refreshed pair of kicks

  1. In a world focused so hard on consumerism, more ‘make do and mend’ going on is a great thing, and if we can start looking at making what he have and love last longer, it’s not only better for the environment, but also kinder on our pockets.
  2. The focus at the Vibram Academy is to train and raise the profile of cobblers… These guys and girls are experts at their craft and it’s a skill which deserves the elevation and respect that Vibram are promoting.

This new store is most definitely full of sole (see what I did there?) and worth checking out if your shoes are in need of a refresh or upgrade…

You can find them at 215 City Road, London, EC1V 1JN

Thank you to Dust PR for inviting me to the launch day!!

 

 

Frankie x

 

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Second SKIN

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I’m very lucky to receive some gorgeous kit to try out and I only feature what I genuinely like and wear so that I can give you, my lovely readers, real life reviews and information.

Leggings are an item especially close to my heart, so when the new SKINS A400 Starlights arrived, I whipped them out of the box and went straight out for a run in the sunshine.

SKINS isn’t a new brand for me; I trained for, and ran The London Marathon (2012) in my first ever pair, so its been great to see and feel the latest design features for this compression wear!

With Marathon training in full flow for a lot of people, what you wear to take on the distance is an important part of the journey. These are a wicked piece of kit to look into for compression technology, support given to your muscles and also aiding recovery post training. They really worked for me when I was putting in those long miles.

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However, these slinky beauties are definitely not just for running. I’ve put them through their paces with some bodyweight, calisthenics and HIIT training as well as stretchy yoga time. The fit and feel work across the board!

Features I am loving:

The construction – These leggings are built for support and the fit is fantastic as well as  flattering, which, lets be honest, is pretty important. I love the paneling on the legs and the fit on the back of the waistband scoops beautifully into your lower back….ladies, I’m sure you’ll agree that when a waist band sits in the right place, it just works! A lovely touch!

Reflective fun – …for safety!. There are 360 degree reflective patterns on the leggings so you light up wonderfully if you’re running in the dark. When a flash of light hits them, you know! And the patterns are nicely done too…

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Leg length – As a shorter human, this is something I struggle with a lot when it comes to leggings. There’s usually a foot or so of extra material that I cleverly have to tuck away. In the case of these SKINS, the leg length works on me. I literally tuck the hem slightly so that my ankles show a little more. Major plus for little legs.

Now lets be honest, not every product can be perfect. Even though it doesn’t stop me loving these leggings, the only slight negative for me is that they are a little see through at times, when bending, stretching and squatting. My advice is to be selective about the undies you wear with them…maybe save those polka dots for another day.

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For me, these are the kind of leggings I put on and feel like a super hero in… even back in 2012 they made me feel ready to kick ass on my run and after the 26.2 miles, they also helped the recovery process (after they’d been washed, of course)

If you bag a pair or already have them as part of your fit kit, I hope they make you feel like a super hero too!!

For more info and to check out these and other styles available, check out SKINS.

 

 

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Images by Ify Osi fizzycal.com

 

Sports Massage with Soul

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When I find a business with added soul, especially when that business is all about improving your wellbeing, I have to share it with you… I make sure I only pass on products or services that I genuinely use, love and hope will be helpful for those who read my blog.

After a long stint of not treating my body to the hands of a professional, (bad I know and I was DEFINITELY in need of it) I went along to Fibre Tense – an ethical and environmentally conscious company providing sports and massage therapies with a goal to reshape the manual therapy and fitness landscape.

I mean, who doesn’t love the treat of a massage? They’re great for not only some well needed relaxation time but also extremely beneficial for easing those tight muscles, recovering from injury and helping our bodies to work more effectively.

Adam Ilko, founder of Fibre Tense is passionate about active and healthy living. The ethos: Massage, Movement and Motivation – Making real change, represents the idea that your ability to improve your wellness should extend far beyond the manual therapy. Even after you have left the treatment room (floating), Adam and his team have made sure that there is a wealth of information available online through the website and Wellness Blog so that you can benefit from their knowledge and wisdom from the comfort of your own home. My personal fave is the Muscle Map to Stretching…just so handy if you’re in need of a little inspiration or assistance with technique.

“I steadfastly advocate positive action for climate change, renewable energies and saving the environment. I always strive to act on ways to make a positive difference for every creature on our planet and therefore a lifestyle wellness for all” – Adam Ilko

London is such a non stop city and the majority of people here live fast paced, stressful lives. One of the huge advantages as soon as I met Adam, was the time given to me as a client… time to talk before the session (which isn’t taken off your time on the treatment table) and time afterwards to gather yourself instead of being rushed out for the next person to come on in. It really is the small details that make a big difference.

Oh and as well as my muscles feeling incredible when I left, so did my skin…Adam uses coconut oil for his treatments so keeping it natural and healthy!

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Whether you are just looking for some time to unwind, want to treat a loved one, or you regularly train and need to re-set, Fibre Tense is where it’s at!

As a treat for you gorge readers there is a £10 discount when you book online and use the code HOLAH15 – With winter setting in, it’s a great time of year for some added luxury!

On that note, I’m going to get booked in…

 

 

 

If you have enjoyed this post or know someone who might benefit from the information, please share and spread the sports massage love… thank you for reading!!

 

 

 

 

 

Are you wearing the right sports bra?

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After putting the Berlei sports crop through its paces this summer, I had a fantastic response to the blog post ‘Berlei Knows Breast’. However, it did highlight an issue; most women aren’t wearing the correct sports bra for the type of training they’re doing and that most of us aren’t sure exactly what to look for when shopping for a sports bra in the first place. So, I decided I’d like to help out my ladies…

Damage to your breasts is irreversible – yes, irreversible! Yikes…This damage inevitably leads to sagging as breasts aren’t muscle…we all know we don’t want sagging! A good sports bra can reduce movement by up to 83%!

Whether you’re a AA or a GG you NEED to wear a sports bra for training. Lets be honest…none of us want our breasts to sag so lets beat the bounce in style!

Rosalind Strach, Lingerie Designer, has the following tips for finding your ideal bra:

  • Warning! Your sports bra will feel considerably tighter than your normal lingerie… that’s the point!
  • For DD and above, avoid low cut and thin straps. The raised neck lines and thicker straps are designed like that for a reason….support support support!
  • If possible, go to a specialized sports bra shop and get fitted. Otherwise, buy a few sizes and TRY ON!
  • Make sure the level of impact is relevant to the exercise/sport you’re participating in. Yoga and pilates will be lower impact than sprints and circuits.

Your breasts can move up to 9cm during exercise and they do so in a figure of 8 motion if unsupported. That is between 400-600g of weight bouncing around…even if you’re in the smaller B-C cup range, this still applies…

Here’s my compact guide to a selection of sports bras out there at the moment. Some of these I own and wear myself and the styles for larger bust sizes have been recommended by friends and clients coming in at DD-GG.

Low –  Medium impact

Catalyst Crop

Catalyst Activewear, Lunar Crop – This is a low impact bra in such a flattering style and seriously yummy pop colours. The fuschia is a favourite of mine and I tend to wear it for yoga or day to day layered under a soft vest. Style details are a feature for Catalyst Activewear and this crop doesn’t disappoint – £47 (Available from November – sign up here to get exclusive information about the launch of this luxury sustainable brand)

Adidas techfit

Adidas, Techfit – This is a medium impact bra, so ideal for exercise such as walking, weight training, yoga & Pilates. I wouldn’t run in this bra as it doesn’t offer enough support. Very comfortable though and the racer back is always a flattering look. For the larger bust size this style may not be supportive enough but always try on to make sure – £22

High Impact

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Berlei Sports Crop – As reviewed in ‘Berlei knows Breast’, this bra had to be in the selection as it’s my go to. The sports crop is perfect for high impact training including HIIT, sprints, circuits, burpees and much more. Sizes go up to a 38DD, so it’s a good option for larger busts if you prefer non-wire – Currently on offer at berlei for £21 – maybe I’ll bag another one!

Panache FrontPanache sports bra Now available in a J cup, this bra is award winning. The wide cut straps and silicon wrapped wire make for added comfort and the sleek design means that it doesn’t just reduce bounce, it adds style too. This bra does come in smaller sizes but is highly recommend for those with a larger bust. There is also a non wire style as well. Available at stockists including Bravissimo – £40

Running

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Shock Absorber Run Bra A classic sports bra especially for runners. I wore this bra for the London Marathon and would highly recommend it. Sizes go up to 38G so this is also a great option for bigger busts. The double fastening back offers incredible support and the seamless inner means no friction. Available at stockists including Wiggle – £26.99

Berlei awardBerlei Running Underwired – Last but by no means least, this award winning sports bra has been tested by athletes, runners and also, me. I was surprised that I found this bra so comfortable, as I prefer a non wire but to put it bluntly, the boobs don’t move and it looks great too! With the wider, padded straps and moulded cups for a natural fit, this bra is a dream to wear. If you prefer, the straps can also be worn crossed over at the back and sizes go up to 38FF. Oh and they’re currently on offer at berlei.com – £22 (what are you waiting for?)

Ladies, whatever your bra size, sport or workout style, make sure you look after your breasts, because lets be honest, they’re fabulous!

I hope this helps you in the hunt for the right sports bra – let me know if you find a style that works for you!!

Love, health and happiness,

Fx

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Legging Lust

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The love I have for leggings is real and as my daily fitness uniform, they create the base of my outfit and have a become a bit of a feature of my day to day look… closely in line with sunglasses. It definitely makes getting dressed for work fun… they can reflect my mood, the season or be completely functional, especially on those cold winter mornings. There are only a few pairs which can hold up against hours outdoors throughout December…

I get asked regularly where my leggings are from and so I decided to go through the ever expanding collection and share just some of my favourites with you. With a couple of the brands the exact pattern may not currently be available but I have provided links so that you can shop all their latest collections…

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Now I know how seriously us girls take leggings, so my mini reviews will always be honest… Life’s too short to wear things you don’t love and it’s important to know what will work for you and make you feel super woman bad ass when you slip them on…

frankie_leggings_boom_aTully Lou – These neon and mesh beauties most definitely turn heads wherever I go. They are not for the faint hearted but are extremely comfortable and flattering with a low waistband and sexy paneling. As a shorty I have to tuck the bottoms cleverly, but that’s just short girl problems…I love them! Just be careful of those fingernails putting them on and taking them off. Seriously fun to wear! Available to buy at HipandHealthy

frankie_leggings_boom_bH&M – I’m impressed with the H&M sportswear range. These are definitely my go to basics especially if I am roughing about in training. In the more affordable price range at £14.99 I don’t mind getting these bad boys a bit dirty. They’re not technical clothing but they are cut beautifully with flattering detail and a mid – high waist band. I’m sure they’re supposed to be capri, but on my legs they come to my ankles. The colours and prints in the latest collection fit perfectly into a fitness wardrobe.

frankie_leggings_boom_cGymluxe – A favourite British brand of mine, the Deco leggings are a key piece in my wardrobe. The fabric offers muscle compressing qualities and the high stretch with sweeping mesh give that signature luxe look. The plum colour is just perfect for the new season! The leg length is very generous on these, so if you’re a shorty you may want to get them taken up or tactically tuck. Seriously sexy, stylish leggings! Enter FRANKIE10 at the checkout for a 10% discount when you shop online – The new collection is landing soon and not to be missed.

frankie_leggings_boom_dPrimavera – If you are looking for tropical vibes in your workout wardrobe, look no further than Primavera Fitness. The leggings are super soft and hug your body in all the right places while still being extremely durable. The Afro Chic pair have a lower waist band, however there are other designs to suit everyone. I mainly wear my leggings for yoga, but the occasions they have been through HIIT training they felt amazing. Inspired by samba, nature, sun and sea the prints are guaranteed to add zing to your outfit – LOVE! Enter FRANKIE01 at the checkout for 10% discount when you shop online.

frankie_leggings_boom_eCatalyst Activewear – A brand that looks this good on while also saving forests is a winner in my books. For every meter of fabric going into their clothes, Catalyst fund The World Land Trust to buy a meter of forest. As well as this their leggings are a dream to wear and the colour…oh the colour! The red is on point and there are more to choose from too. Extremely flattering waist band, great length and the material is super snug and doesn’t lose shape at all. My pair are a bit too thick for summer training but I will be rocking them a lot now that the season’s changing. A MUST have!

frankie_leggings_boom_fPrana – “A brand should give much more than it takes from the world” Another beautiful ‘environmentally conscious’ company making gorgeous leggings. Prana leggings are so soft and comfortable, with yoga at the heart they are perfect for my practice and I tend to save them for that and relaxation. As well as comfort, they are incredibly well cut and the patterns are so pretty! I wear the capri, but they also have full length online – Definitely worth checking out the latest collection.

frankie_leggings_boom_gOnzieI discovered Onzie in Story Coffee when I asked the lady wearing them where they were from. It trns out that she was the London distributor (The brand is Aussie)…and the rest they say is history. It’s no secret that I love some mesh so me and these leggings were destined to be together. Another yoga focused brand, they are extremely soft with a wide waist band and the leg length isn’t too extreme (I only have to tuck them under half an inch) The cut of the mesh is extremely stylish and slick. I wear mine off duty too… J’adore!

I do love to talk leggings – I hope the info on each brand is helpful…With a new season upon us, I feel some style updates will be on the way!

If you have any fave brands you’d like to share, please leave a message in the comments! I always love discovering new leg wear!

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Berlei Knows…Breast!

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For the past month or so I have been putting the Berlei Sports Crop through its paces and when I say paces I mean, sprinting, burpees, back lever practice, pull ups, box jumps, squat jumps, crawls and general every day wear…I am so grateful to receive parcels of active wear and so I like to really try things out and review them thoroughly for you. This process usually involves plenty of sweating…

It’s safe to say I am now a BIG fan of Berlei. As the sister brand of Gossard, they know what they’re doing and with added design sass, which, lets be honest, is what us girls love!! They take protecting our breasts very seriously, which I am pleased about, as I will admit to having not always worn the right bra for some of the high impact work I do. I am lucky that one of my best friends works in lingerie and takes it upon herself to check my bra collection and cut up those which don’t make the grade. Plenty of LOLs but with a serious tone. Here’s why…

Protect the boobs:

  • Damage to your breasts is irreversible – yes, irreversible! Yikes…This damage inevitably leads to sagging as breasts aren’t muscle…we all know we don’t want sagging! A good sports bra can reduce movement by up to 83%!
  • Your breasts can move up to 9cm during exercise and they do so in a figure of 8 motion if unsupported. That is between 400-600g of weight bouncing around…even if you’re in the smaller B-C cup range, this still applies…
  • 64% of women complain about pain during exercise and cut their workouts short because of it…That’s a lot…and all they need is a good sports bra!

I don’t think many of us ladies wear the right size bras, let alone the right sports bra, but it is definitely time to make a change and start looking after those breasts…

Style and support:

So, the Sports Crop Top has been a dream to wear. When I first put it on I thought it was too small for me as it sits right under my bust. Much higher up and tighter than my normal (non supportive) bras, but now I’ve worn it so much I’m like, duh, of course it is – it’s a proper bra!!

The style of the bra is very much wearable both under your kit (handy) and as a crop top in its own right on show. The cut out back is designed for breathability but it looks really stylish as well so that’s a bonus…It’s actually my fave feature of the bra itself! IMG_5620The material and design means that even though it’s high impact support, I forget I’m wearing it. It’s genuinely THAT comfortable! No rubbing…nothing! Just support and sass!

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No sports bra, no sport:

Check out the Berlei campaign featuring the Women’s England Hockey Team for #beatthebounce and for a very apt Wimbledon theme, check out Serena Williams giving a Berlei safety demonstration – very fun!

Whether yours are big or small, you NEED a good, supportive sports bra and I would fully recommend checking out Berlei – they know what they’re doing and they do it with style…perfect! Oh and there’s a sale on at the moment…. Go, go, go!!

Shop the Sport Crop Top here and let me know if you end up getting anything and how you find it!

#BeatTheBounce

Fx

Thank you for reading! Sharing is caring – if you have found this article useful or simply enjoyed it, please share and spread the love! You never know who’s boobs you might save with just one link xxx

Finisterre: a Frankie review

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I spend a lot of time outdoors for my job and so having a wardrobe stocked with functional (and stylish) kit is essential for surviving all seasons…

Recently I have been lucky enough to try out two pieces from the finisterre collection which have now become firm favourites.

Not only are the products great, but the vision and commitment of the Cornwall based company is something I can fully get on board with. Responsibly sourced fabrics, innovative designs built to last and a repair service if needed, because “sometimes our clothes need a spa day”. Finisterre don’t like waste and would much rather breathe new life into an old jacket than add it to landfill… Just brilliant!!

I have been wearing (a lot) the merino ‘Eddy cap sleeve’ t-shirt and the lightweight, reversible jacket which is most definitely warmer than you may think from looking at it, but this is just how finisterre roll with their insulation wear.

The t-shirt has become a staple due to its extremely flattering long length fit and incredible warmth, making the last of the fresh spring mornings much more bearable. I don’t like wearing lots of chunky layers when training people, so this is perfect. If you’re worried about the merino irritating your skin, you needn’t be…it is super soft and as someone with slightly sensitive skin, I have been pleasantly surprised.

I know that I will be getting my fitness paws on some more of these T’s for the Autumn/Winter months this year and have a feeling the long sleeved version will also come in extremely handy!

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eddy_baselayer_oyster_w_staticLayered over my merino dream I’ve been rocking the super cute reversible jacket which allows you to decide whether it’s a yellow or a blue kind of day. I have always wanted a yellow rain coat so this is my preference…

An insulator of the lightest kind, this little wonder has kept the chill off while cycling and the rain off whilst training and walking in the countryside. It has also been a total lifesaver during that awkward seasonal change over when it’s too warm for a winter coat but not warm enough to go without that extra layer…AND it rolls up teeny tiny into the zip pocket on the front, so you can pack it away in your bag if needs be.

I maaaaaaay have, ok, definitely have been perusing more of the finisterre look book for summer wear…Its making me want to head to a cornish beach right now and dip my toes in the sea…

Daydreaming aside..If you’re looking for outdoor wear which screams style and function, with the added bonus of earth friendliness, you need to check out finisterre

Happy FriYAY!!

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