Discover the ‘Bardou’ You

Bardou

Natalie Richardson, Adee Phelan and the team at Bardou live to make you more beautiful and, indeed, the brand new salon on Avda. Playas del Duque in Puerto Banús is a thing of beauty itself. The impressive exterior with its spacious terrace hints strongly at the delights you can expect to find through the glass doors of the salon’s double-fronted entrance.

The first impression of the interior is the sensation of space that the designers have maximised with the organisation of various treatment stations and relaxation areas in the main salon area. There are other 'off-stage' rooms for tanning and massages that are discreetly tucked away; in some cases behind the scenes for extra privacy and in the case of massages, to reduce distractions. The use of fashionable shabby-chic stripped and varnished floorboards in the main salon contrasts perfectly with the black and gold detailing throughout, including the fabulous Baroque-style mirrors that enhance the hair stylists’ stations.

And there’s champagne. At Bardou, clients are offered a glass on arrival to ensure that their time in the salon is relaxing and the attentive, friendly staff instantly make you feel as though you’ve walked into a place where they have been excitedly waiting for your arrival.

Hair styling is an art and, with celebrity hairdresser Adee Phelan at the helm of a team of three senior stylists, you can be confident that your hair will get the best cut and colour. The latest Olaplex treatment is available and Bardou’s impressive range of hair products is top notch and extremely popular.

There are manicurists’ stations dotted here and there and, with part of Bardou’s promise being ‘Express Beauty’, it’s good to know that if you’re in a hurry you can enjoy a manicure or pedicure while having your hair done. Of course, you don’t have to rush your treats and there’s a lovely pedicure corner with a reclining chair where you can put your feet up and relax.

Make-up and facial treatments are another Bardou speciality and the dedicated, professional team uses only the best quality products. The Crystal Clear line will have you looking refreshed and younger; we recommend the Comcit facial that includes a Crystal Clear polish with derma roller to plump up the skin.

Eyelash extensions are very ‘du jour’ and Bardou has an expert who can give you a lovely lash look. You can also have your eyebrows shaped, tinted or given the HD treatment. And, if you’re looking for permanent make-up then that is available for eyebrows, lips and eyeliner. In fact, you can also have a beauty mark – very Marilyn Monroe and Ariana Grande!

The up market line of make-up products used by the salon’s artists is the High Definition brand. This micro-fine make-up is a favourite with artists preparing actors and models for filming and photographic shoots. It creates a natural life-like radiance and will keep you looking picture perfect for hours on end, plus it is available for a range of skin types and skin tones. Bardou also has a number of special offers for wedding parties that will ensure everyone from the bride to her bridesmaids and family members look as good in the photos at the end of the day as they do at the beginning. Hen parties are also welcome and if you bring your girlfriends for a party in Banús, then Bardou is the perfect place to spend a few hours trying out wedding make-up ideas.

From head to toe, Bardou is the place to go when you want to look perfect – book an appointment and discover the salon team’s expert knowledge that will create a whole new “Bardou’ you.

Jessica (Beauty Therapist)

Jessica attended the Yorkshire College of Beauty and qualified with a distinction in 2008 before specialising in non-surgical and aesthetic treatments and working for MYA cosmetic surgery in the UK. She is also a trained photographic make-up artist and has worked in Barcelona, Malta, Paris and Marbella on commercial assignments.

Paul (Stylist)

Paul has been hairdressing for 25 years, having trained and worked in Leigh-on Sea managing the Jon Sturgeon Hairdressers before moving to Spain just over three years ago. He qualified in ladies' and men's cutting and colouring, hair extensions, up styles and wedding hair.

Lauren (Stylist)

Vidal Sassoon trained in London and a L’Oreal colour expert for ten years. Lauren managed a top central London salon and has lived in Marbella for 18 months. She worked on Virgina Macari’s shoot for British Vogue and SOCIETY Marbella for Bardou, as well as some high profile TV projects. She is qualified in women and men's cuts, colouring and is a Great Lengths and Gold Fever extension specialist.

Savannah (Stylist)

Savannah qualified at Andrew Collinge Academy in Liverpool and went on to work in some of the city's top salons before making the move to Bardou Marbella. She specialises in long, curly blow dry styles, up dos and braiding, as well as colour and cutting. She has also styled for numerous magazines and TV commercials and is trained in Great Length hair extensions.

Julie (Front of House)

Julie has worked in the customer service industry for many years, assisting celebrities and members of the Royal Family while working as a flight attendant. We are very lucky to have Julie in our team after several years at Reflections. Julie will be sure to welcome you with a cheerful smile as our front of house.

Tori (Head of Beauty)

Qualified in Cideso beauty therapy in Ireland and has been in the industry for over 12 years at five-star spas and cruise ships, Tori is qualified in all types of aesthetic treatments and specialises in facial rejuvenation, including the new Crystal Clear Comcit machine, which is exclusive to Marbella and features, microdermabrasion, oxygen and micro-needling. She is also qualified in sports massage.

 
Marbella Healthstyle

Kim

Finally the sun has made an appearance and it feels as if it is hopefully here to stay! It's great when the summer arrives and everyone has that holiday feeling. This month I’ve been checking out a lot of the new beach bars and chiringuitos along the Coast. As a family we always have our Sunday 'fun day’ at a different beach each weekend, so it's good to see that there is an endless list of amazing places to go.

1. La Sala by the Sea

Of course, out of all the beach bars one of my favourites has to be La Sala by the Sea. The atmosphere is amazing and, depending on which day you choose to go, you can experience a mix of everything from a laid back vibe to full on party style. It has the atmosphere of a beautiful resort in Thailand with its stunning decor and a menu which is full of classic Thai dishes; a personal favourite is the Teriyaki Salmon. A day spent here is always top of the list and do check out La Sala's website as they always have fantastic deals on throughout the year.

2. Book My Sun-bed

A brand new app has arrived on the Coast and I think it's a great idea. Gone are the days of having to get up at six and claim a sun-bed with your beach towel. Now you can book your bed online through the app and reserve it until you choose to arrive. It also gives users the chance to discover new places to go, which they might never have known about. Using the app you can scan through, see if there are sun beds available then make a hassle free booking. Perfect! For more info have a look for Bookmysunbed at the Apple app store.

3. Bikini Time

As summer is just around the corner I have been on the lookout for some new beachwear and have my eye on the amazing bikinis from Virginia Macari. Having seen them I have decided that I want the whole collection. Up until now I have always found it hard to track down bikinis which look great but are still comfortable and practical for a day by the pool or on the beach. I have my eye on the gorgeous lemon #LaSicilia bikini - it's beautiful and would be great for a boat day or pool party.

4. Finca Besaya

One of the most famous restaurants here in Marbella is Finca Besaya and it is most definitely one of my top places to go for a night out. The restaurant is situated just outside Marbella in a beautiful villa which has a real hippy vibe and is worlds away from the old Marbella stereotype, being full of vibrant colour and a Moroccan inspired decor with a large terrace, bar and beds. The restaurant has a stunning menu and after dark the terrace turns into a great place to dance the night away.

5. Butterfly World Fuengirola

As it has been raining on and off for the past few weeks we have been taking the kiddies to some of the indoor activities in the area. One which my little ones absolutely loved was Butterfly World in Fuengirola. It's contained in a little temple which opens out to a magical garden full of ponds with little bridges, stunning flowers and plants - and the most amazing butterflies from all over the world It really is a lovely place to take the kids for an afternoon.

6. Barcelo Spa  

I was treated by my lovely friend this month to a day at the gorgeous Barcelo Spa and had the most relaxing day. Sometimes being a mummy - as amazing as it is - can be full on, so it was lovely to have a few hours with my friend to chill and be pampered. They have a fantastic pool with massaging jets, a sauna, steam room and a long list of treatments to choose from.

7. OAK Garden and Grill

I am very excited about the opening of La Sala's brand new restaurant, OAK Garden and Grill. It's starting to look fantastic and the menu is insane. Watch this space to find out more!

8. Healthy Choice

I’ve been trying to find new ways to make my food healthier, so I’ve trying to lower my intake of sugars and carbs this month. However, as a fan of pasta (spaghetti bolognese being one of my all time favourite dishes) I found it really hard to cut them out of my diet. However, I am delighted to have discovered courgettes. Just use the courgette as a substitute for the pasta and it tastes just as good. Shred it with a peeler into strips, quickly fry in olive oil for two to three minutes then serve in your choice of pasta sauce. It contains hardly any calories (around 36 per courgette, compared to a bowl of pasta, which could be in the hundreds) and, as it's a vegetable, you are getting one of your five a day.

9. Les Cubes

I've heard great things about this place and I’m planning a little trip here with the girls this month. The menu looks fantastic and the setting can't be beaten. Even though it has only recently opened I have already heard great things about the tasting menu. Apparently the place is divided into two areas (or cubes): To Be Or Not To Be (drinks and lounge) and Kalinka Malinka and C'est La Vie (gastronomy). Anyway, it all sounds fabulous and we can't wait to drop in for a visit – it'll probably be a long one if I know my girls!

10. Fashion Show

I always have a great time dressing up and playing around with fashion so was massively looking forward to attending a fashion show at La Sala. Intropia was showcasing its new line, which included beautiful day-wear and the most fabulous evening dresses, perfect for some of the opening parties this year. It's all available in El Corte Inglés, so you can bet that I'll be be popping down to take a look and try a few bits on!

 
Marbella Healthstyle May 2016

MarbellaHealthstlyle

It's been another busy month here on the Coast and things are about to get even crazier, with summer being just around the corner! It's the calm before the storm, as most people who live here know that when the days become longer, the holidaymakers flood to the area for some well deserved fun and summer really feels in full flow. I love being able to catch a few more hours on the beach with the kids and my friends after the school run. Being out in the fresh air really makes me appreciate living in such a beautiful place.

1. Bardou

This month I was lucky enough to visit Bardou, the brand new, hottest salon on the Coast. Located in the port, it opened recently after much anticipation and is owned by the lovely Adee Phelan and Natalie Richardson. They were present in the salon and busy chatting to clients, which was really refreshing and great to see.

I was firstly taken back by the beautifully designed interior of the salon  - very glamorous and chic - but the friendliness of the staff is what really made me feel at ease. It has so much to offer from all aspects of hair cutting, colouring, blow-drying to facials, nails and eyebrows. I'm not really one to pamper myself in spas or salons, being more of a DIY girl, so this was a real treat. The staff made me feel welcome and relaxed and I had a lovely day there, enjoying a facial and a colour and blow-dry and, I must say, it was one of the best facials I have ever had. It was a microdermabrasion facial with oxygen therapy, which made my skin feel clean and rejuvenated and gave it a lovely glow, The oxygen facial has become really popular with many celebrities recently, as it is known to help the appearance of the skin and create a more radiant look, while also helping the circulation and complexion. Bardou is one of the only salons here in Marbella to offer this exclusive treatment. Then I had my hair coloured and styled; a new colouring treatment called Olaplex was used, which is meant to help with the effects of damage to coloured hair. Living in the sun it is always a struggle to keep my hair in a good condition and, as I’m a bit of a beach bunny, the salt and sea air really dry my hair out so it was helpful to have a conditioning treatment to help reverse these effects. If you fancy a day out with the girls or just a day to yourself, I would recommend a little trip down to Bardou. You will come out feeling relaxed, refreshed and renewed.

2. Málaga

When we lived in the UK we were quite close to London and I always enjoyed days out in the city with all its hustle and bustle, so I was totally surprised when we spent a weekend in Málaga, our closest city here on the Coast. Only 45 minutes from our house we found ourselves in the coolest, prettiest city I have visited in quite a while. Many people just think of Málaga as being the home of the international airport, but if you venture into its heart you will be surprised by how much is on offer and how much there is to see and do. It is full of amazing restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, museums, art galleries and the architecture is truly stunning. One of its other pluses is that it also has a fantastic beach, so you get the best of both worlds. The brand new port has just been completed and you can visit the daily market, which features stalls selling handmade items made locally. Of course, Málaga is probably most famous as the birth place of Pablo Picasso, so be sure to visit the Picasso Museum, which has workshops for the little ones; I always think it's good to involve the children in local history. However, I have to say that my favourite part of being in the city was just taking in the atmosphere. It has such a specific vibe, very laid back but still buzzing, so if you're looking for a bit of culture for the day do think about taking a trip to Málaga. Buses depart from Marbella frequently throughout the day and the fare only costs approximately eight euros.

3. Party Time

This is the month when the area seems to come alive with opening parties for the local beach clubs and bars. It can be quite full on but also one of the highlights of the year. I love it that a lot of my friends from the UK come over for the parties, which are always worth attending, but as I really cannot handle three-day hangovers anymore I’m going to make sure I hydrate properly. It's always good to let your hair down once in a while though - for the soul as well as the body! You can find out what is opening when and where here in Society.

4. Health Studies H2O

I have read a lot of reports recently about the effects of using plastic bottles, containers and cling film in the storage of water and food and the results have been surprising. I always keep a big bottle of water in my car but after reading the recent studies I have decided to change to a glass container. Not many people may know that as the days grow hotter, the plastic heats and releases chemicals into the water. These chemicals have the potential to be extremely damaging to the body. Wrapping or cooking your food in plastic containers can also have similar consequences. This is quite worrying, as I know many people also leave plastic bottles of water in the car, especially during the warmer months. To be on the safe side, store your water in a glass bottle, or one which contains no BPA.

5. Vino

I love to have a glass of wine now and again, so this month I am very excited to be visiting the local vineyard in Monda. I have always fancied a day out at an authentic vineyard so I was thrilled to find out that one the best vineyards in Spain is just around the corner. You can spend the day touring the beautiful vineyard and winery while sampling the different wines on offer. You can also learn about the history of wine making, from viticulture to how the grapes are harvested. I just hope there is no grape stomping involved or I'll have to get a pedicure!

6. Birthday Trip

I celebrated my 30th birthday in March and was lucky enough to be whisked off by my partner and kids to Madrid for a few days. Leading a busy life here in Spain, it was lovely to have a few days in the city, spending some family time together. We jumped on the train in Málaga and two hours later we were in the centre of Madrid! We stayed in a beautiful hotel called the Petit Palace, which had the prettiest, most romantic restaurant I think I have ever seen, built in the hotel's wine cellar. We also took a trip to the Warner Brothers theme park which was like being in a Looney Toons cartoon and the kids loved it. None of us can wait to return.

7. Safe Tanning

Everyone loves to have a bit of a tan, it just makes you feel and look better, but with the weather  heating up and having a health scare last year courtesy of a mole which had slightly changed colour, I think it's really important to remember to use sunscreen. It's lovely when the days are warmer and you can spend more time at the beach or around the pool, but with the stronger rays comes the worry of overdoing the sun and causing long lasting damage to your skin. My mum always used to tell me to look after my skin and when I was younger I would think, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” but now, as I’m getting older, I think it is vital to smother on the factor 50 and this is even more true for youngsters. Skin cancers are a worry to everyone so the best way to make sure you stay protected is to keep applying that sunscreen. There are some great creams on the market nowadays that also smell good and - let's be honest - orange perma-tan is not a good look.

8. Flamenco

Living in Spain and raising my family here, I feel that it's really important to be involved in the local culture and one of my favourite things to do is to take a trip to Marbella's Casco Antiguo where there are some beautiful restaurants which offer traditional Spanish cuisine and flamenco. It is always fun to see the youngsters, and the not so young, dress up in their flamenco dresses and put on a show while you dine. You can feel the passion from the dancers, which is a refreshing treat in this modern world and it is wonderful to see them keep the tradition of their heritage going for generations to come. It always makes me feel honoured to be able to be part of it. My kids love it there just as much as I do and I think Marbella's old town is by far one of the most beautiful places to visit. The famous Plaza de los Naranjos (Orange Square) in the centre of Marbella has to be one of my favourite places along the Coast. You feel like you have gone back in time and it is lovely to see the locals all gathered in the square, which is adorned with orange trees and pretty flower covered white townhouses eating with their families while listening to classical guitar music. It's an enchanting place which comes to life at night and definitely one not to miss.

9. Saddle Up

Exercise can, let's be honest, be boring if you are hitting the gym every day, so I like to get out and about and try new things. This month I’ve been trying my hand at a bit of horse riding. I was a keen rider when I was young but I’ve not been on a horse for years, so thought it was time to saddle up and give it another go. There are some wonderful horse riding academies in Marbella and many that offer the rider the chance to venture out into the beautiful Spanish countryside for a trek - even  beginners. My daughter has also just started her lessons and I think it's going to be a wonderful way to spend time together in the fresh air. Check out Andalusian horse riding for more information.

10. Morocco

I am really excited about taking the ferry to Tangier this month when my sister comes to visit. It is something I have been looking forward to since moving to the Coast. A journey of only around 35 minutes from Tarifa will take you to another continent and I am thrilled by the prospect of visiting the markets and tasting the food.

I will keep you posted.

Kimberley x

 
Start Spreading the News

ReflectionsSince I started writing this column many of you have suggested that I should write a book about my life. Well, I don’t know about that but, believe me, you could easily fill a book with the day-to-day goings on in the salon. Here’s this month's highlights.

A Hair-Raising Story

Nader has finally decided to grow his hair. Hallelujah! This is a cause for celebration because there are only so many times you can be stopped in the street by the police because your shaved head makes you look like you might be connected to a terrorist cell. It was also quite common to see people cross the street to avoid Nader because they thought he was going to run off with their designer handbags. Now that he has grown his hair he seems to be channelling '80s boy band', which is definitely preferable and less disruptive.

This Means War

Now that Gerry has his own column in Confeti Magazine he thinks he has finally arrived. As if he wasn’t bad enough before, his ego has now reached a new high – or should that be 'low'? He had been behaving like a child and couldn't stand the fact that I had a column in SOCIETY Magazine, so he stamped his feet till he got his own way. He is lucky that he is the best cutter I have ever met, as much as it pains me to say it.

Leaving the Euro

All hell broke loose in the salon and I actually thought we were going to come to blows. No, it wasn’t over misplaced hair tools, nor was it over a client. It was much more important than that – we were arguing about the Eurovision Song Contest. You see, the staff at Reflections are a mixed up bunch and we come from all over. Gerry thinks he is Italian (he is actually from Tooting in London!), Nader can get very passionate about Israel and don’t even mess with Cristina when it comes to Spain. As for me – well, I was traumatised by it all. Thank God I’d had a bottle of wine before watching it or I don’t know what I would have done. I have been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest since I was six years old and can still remember the feeling of seeing Bucks Fizz for the first time and thinking that they were out of this world.
What the hell happened? Firstly, we had Justin Timberlake performing. Isn’t he American? I mean, shouldn’t the name give it away; EURO-vision. Who are we going to invite next year? Mars or, maybe, Jupiter? And since when have Russia and Australia been part of the EU? They seem to have let in anyone with an ‘ia’ at the end of their name. There must have been a hell of a lot of visas in that auditorium! Talking of the Aussies, did you see their judge? She looked like she had fallen into a drawer and come out wearing half of it. What was that about? I quite liked the Russian performance even though the pyrotechnics were a bit OTT. Health and Safety must have been praying he didn’t have a lot of hair lacquer on. As for the Spanish, why did they sing in English? Now, that was confusing, I was wondering by this point if I was watching the right programme and don’t even get me started on the winner! Ukraine was singing or should I say wailing about Stalin and genocide. Genocide? At Eurovision?
After watching I have decided the UK should leave Europe as it obviously isn’t working anymore. Bring back Lulu is what I say!

Validated By Moi

Every mother should have a bottle of Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment €17,25 in her beach bag. Lightweight and deeply conditioning, the spray works to reduce dryness, resulting in smooth and nourished hair. This product will untangle your daughter's long matted locks after a day on the beach and there won’t be a tear in sight. There is nothing quite like it on the market at the moment.

I have been dragged kicking and screaming into Club Olaplex. Yes, I will admit when I'm wrong and I was somewhat sceptical at first. I felt it was very gimmicky and made me think, “Hmm...Emperor's New Clothes?” However (big sigh), having used it over the past six months I have been really impressed by its strengthening abilities. The boss, Mr B, will be popping the champers now I have finally got on-board.

While I am down on my knees in the confession box I might as well admit I have fallen in love with the GHD Classic Curve. I know, I know - I am a bit behind the times on this one but, heigh ho, better late than never. They give natural, effortless beach waves for any age and the results are incredible, providing there is enough length.

Sleeping Beauty

Another item just added to the ‘Jonathan Recommends’ list is Germaine de Capuccini Sleeping Cure, €35,00 a detox night concentrate designed to put an end to the fatigued appearance that makes your skin look five years older. It works with maximum effectiveness during the 23:00 to 2:00 Golden Hours, when the cellular regeneration process reaches its highest point.
I know that I always bang on and on to the staff about always reading the instructions before using any new products, but usually I do practise what I preach. However, I was feeling ridiculously tired/hangover on this particular evening and decided I knew better. I snapped open the top of the ampoule with my hand, of course not realising that the residual glass had now fallen into the cream,which I was now busily smearing across my face. This would have been bad enough on its own, but I managed to massage broken glass into my face TWICE before I realised my skin shouldn’t be feeling like it was on fire. I looked into the mirror to see that I was covered in blood, if I had told you that I had fallen face-first off a motorbike going 100 kph you would have believed me. It was only then that I had a moment of clarity and realised that’s what the plastic doodah in the box was for. Hey, who needs one of those 200€ vampire facials when you can give yourself a Jonathan DIY version?
After nearly scarring myself for life, I will say the Sleeping Cure is really amazing and I must remember to buy some more. Honestly, the amount of Germaine de Capuccini products I now have in my bathroom I should look about six. Actually, forget that - I should look like a bloody embryo!

Ta-ra!

Love Jonathan

 
A Smart New Weapon Against Cancer

HClinicThe advent of the liquid biopsy ushers in a new era in the fight against cancer. It is hoped that this new tool will help to give cancer patients an even better chance of being cured of the disease.

Liquid biopsy is a procedure which is now being used in the treatment and monitoring of patients with cancer. Until recently it was only used in research programmes, but now the liquid biopsy is becoming increasingly useful in the diagnostic and therapeutic planning of treatment in oncology patients.

The procedure is based on the natural evolution and behaviour of malignant tumour cells. During the growth process they infiltrate neighbouring tissues, becoming detached from the tumour and leaking into the circulation. These cells are called CTCs (circulating tumour cells) and can be detected and measured through special electromagnetic procedures which help to determine their presence and detect variations in concentration (numbers per ml) in line with the state of the diagnosed tumour. Afterwards, once treatment has been given, CTC variation can be monitored, their evolution correlating with the patient's condition. Subsequently the same checks can be performed periodically, monitoring for tumour recurrence the moment it occurs.

CTCs obtained from liquid biopsy have already been useful in breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cancer of the prostate for many years, their evolution being extensively studied and validated. In prostate cancer, increased CTC count has been detected in the circulation several months preceding the increase in serum PSA levels, with increased PSA being an indicator of possible recurrence.

This CTC measurement has now been complemented by the possible measurement, not only of the number of cells present but also of DNA and RNA fragments present in the patient’s blood circulation known as ctDNA and ctRNA. This allows us to:

  • Be aware of the presence of an active tumour.
  • Be able to determine mutations presented by the tumour. 
  • Establish different treatment possibilities.
  • Know how they will affect development of the disease.

This is a significant advance in ascertaining the evolving status of different tumours. All that is required to check this is a simple blood test, taking just 5ml of blood. In the near future this procedure will be included as part of the usual management of the patient’s treatment.

Currently this investigation (Liquid Biopsy) is already being performed at HC Marbella Hospital's Oncology Unit, mainly for patients with diagnostic problems but in the future it is likely to be used for the majority of patients to monitor the progress of their condition more accurately.

In the figure attached you can see an explanatory diagram.

Dr Hernán Cortés-Funes
Head of the Oncology Unit at HC Marbella and Chief Medical Equipment

 
Run For Your Life!

matt-roberts-500-800-profile-1Matt Roberts is the UK's leading fitness trainer. He has also written several bestselling books on the subject and worked with celebrity clients such as Tom Ford, Amanda Holden, Trudi Styler, Michael McIntyre, John Galliano, Mel C  and The Saturdays. He also acts as a fitness expert for BBC Radio 2, BBC Breakfast, Sky News and frequently writes and runs seasonal promotions for The Times, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph.

Didn't we tell you that we'd help you achieve that amazing beach body in time for the summer? Our resident exercise guru, Matt Roberts has all the advice that you need if you're thinking of improving your fitness levels, dropping a kilo or two or maybe entering a marathon.

Starting out on the journey to complete a running event (or even starting to run for the first time, for fun) needn’t be daunting. Simply follow a few tips and you’ll soon start looking forward to your running and an injury-free transition.

First things first – kit! Do you have a decent, well-fitting pair of running trainers that are less than six months old? If not, now is the time to invest in a pair. Go to a running shop which has staff knowledgeable enough to match the right trainer to your gait. While there, stock up on a few basics if they are not in your collection – shorts, leggings, t-shirts and perhaps even a light waterproof jacket. Make sure that you try them on in-store as you don’t want any chafing halfway around the course.

It’s a great idea to speak to a professional trainer regarding how best to begin your running programme. The best gains in training are made when you start slowly, build up progressively, have plenty of rest days and, most importantly, be consistent. At this stage it’s a great idea to think about other forms of exercise to mix your training up a little. Just running the increasing distances that you’ll be demanding of your body can be very tough on your joints and connective tissues, so why not add in a bike ride, team sports game or swim to your weekly routine? Also, start and keep a diary of all that you’ve done so far - it’s a great motivator.

The best motivational tricks for getting out there include;

  • Keeping a plan and record of your runs on your main calendar or diary. You’ll not want to miss a session if there’s a visual cue.
  • Also, remove all the obstacles to you getting the run done, for example keep your kit by the front door so that it’s there ready to be put on before you have a chance to sit down and chill when you come back home.
  • You can attach personal mental rewards to runs: “I’m only going to watch the next episode of ‘Breaking Bad’/’Homeland’/’insert favourite mini-series’) after my next run.”

Once you're running regularly and - hopefully - enjoying the increasing levels of fitness, a big part of continuing to enjoy the process is staying free of injury. How do you do this? Pre-workout you should focus on mobilisation; this is the process of gently increasing the blood flow to your muscles, lubricating your joints and moving your body into a state where you are ready to exercise safely. It should form part of every warm-up before you get out there and start running. Movements like leg swings, spiderman steps and squat-to-stands are a good trio to start with.

Post-workout is the time to stretch, as static stretching will be more effective when the muscles are warm and malleable. Try to hold each pose for a full 30 seconds, to gain maximum benefit. Think about the period immediately after your run being the time when you have the best opportunity to prepare and recover, ready for your next run. It is very important to make the right food and drink choices at this time, to get the most out of the effort you’ve put in.

Think about these few suggestions and you'll soon start noticing results. Best of luck!

 
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