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sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the uk

Issue 13: July/August 2011

On your bike!

Sportsister rides with Victoria Pendleton  

+ The best kit for the great outdoors Hit the beach with our top surf fashion The knowledge: adventure racing Getting started: sailing Mix up your training and workout with a friend


Cycling holidays - plus 10% discount on UK breaks for every reader




Membership to David Lloyd Leisure, Icebreaker running kit and free entry to Cycletta events






Sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the UK


What’s inside?

The buzz around women’s cycling just seems to keep growing. Trends come and go but it really feels like the love affair between woman and bike is here to stay. One of the things we love the most about this is how women who would not consider themselves sporty are taking to two wheels, be it for the commute to work or a ride with friends or family on the weekend. There are also a growing number of women racing as part of clubs, taking part in sportives and heading downhill on mountain bikes. We love that there truly is a bike for everyone and it’s great fun figuring out which type of cyclist you are.

4. News and Views

So who better to have on the front cover of this issue than Olympic and world champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton. She’s made a name for herself as the sprint queen of the velodrome but we caught up with her to hear about Cycletta, the new women’s only cycling events that Sportsister is partnering with this year.

What’s being done and said in the world of women’s sport.

7. The Great Outdoors

No longer the sole preserve of boy scouts, in recent years camping has most definitely become cool. Here’s our pick of the top kit.

8. Victorious Victoria

We chat to Olympic and world champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton about life in the saddle.

10. Runner’s Notes

The latest news and products for runners.

13. Wellbeing

Cycling aside we have also got a fantastic collection of kit for all you camping lovers; we look at the booming sport of adventure racing; there’s a getting started guide to sailing and a training plan for working out with a friend.

Our pick of the best water resistant sunscreens.

As usual there are some excellent competitions too so don’t miss the chance to win a six month membership at David Lloyd Leisure or some fab Icebreaker running kit.

Discovering a new area by bike can be one of the most rewarding ways to travel. Check out our top cycling holidays.

Enjoy the issue, Louise & Danielle

14. The Knowledge – Adventure Racing Everything you need to know to enjoy adventure racing.

17. Travel

18. Half time

Our guide to what’s new...what’s good…what works…what’s worth spending your money on…what’s fun…

20. Hit The Beach

Summer’s here and the sun is shining. Head to the beach and make for the water, it’s got to be our favourite time of year.

22. Getting started - sailing

Get started in sailing and enjoy this fantastic sport.

23. Cyclist’s Notes

The latest news and products for cyclists.

24. 4 Stars 5 Questions

See what Gemma Spofforth, Michelle Wie, Corrine Evans and Isa Guha have to say.

26. Nutrition

Our favourite summer salad recipes.


30. Competitions

Win a membership to David Lloyd Leisure, £250 of Icebreaker running kit and free cycling event entries.

32. Training



Workout with a friend to boost your motivation.

33. Put To The Test

We review the Sheactive Every Woman’s duathlon.

34. What’s On?

Get inspired with our pick of the best sporty events to do and watch.

What’s online at Competitions Head to our competitions page to see all the latest giveaways

Sportsister Newsletter

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Sportsister blogs

Read our exclusive blogs written by both the Sportsister team and also top sports stars. Correction: In Sportsister’s May/June issue, on the Runner’s Notes page, we incorrectly pictured Columbia’s Mobex Sprint bag when we were in fact referring to the Mobex Float bag. Please accept our apologies. Sportsister founders: Danielle Sellwood and Louise Hudson Editorial Director: Louise Hudson Creative Director: Danielle Sellwood Commercial Director: Gary Cole London Sales Agent: Nick Edgley Business Development Director: Sally Lockyer Contributors: Kim Ingleby, Monica Stott and Jessica Whittington Address: Sportsister, Regency Offices, 2 Wood Street, Queen Square, Bath. BA1 2JQ Tel: 01225 326 430 Email: Printed by: Media CPM (


news and views Sportsister the heartbeat of female sport in the UK

News bites Netball: Hertfordshire Mavericks are crowned Superleague champions

Six-time finalists Hertfordshire Mavericks secured their second title after a closely fought battle with Surrey Storm. Mavericks had topped the Fiat Netball Superleague table for most of the season. Team Bath player Stacey Francis was named player of the season.

Tennis: Strong performances by GB women at French Open and Wimbledon For the first time since 1992 two British women made the second round of the French Open when both Heather Watson and Elena Baltacha won grand slam matches. This was backed up by first round wins at Wimbledon for Laura Robson, Anne Keothavong and Baltacha again.

Football: Birmingham City top the table at the half way break The new FA WSL league started well with improved attendances, exciting football and plenty of goals. Birmingham City finished the first half of the season on top, with Arsenal Ladies hot on their heels. The players now turn their attention to the World Cup in Germany.

Athletics: Heartbreak for Paula Radcliffe on her return race

Radcliffe was hoping for a victorious come-back in her first competitive appearance for 18 months, but the marathon world record holder was no match for Jo Pavey who led from the start to take the UK 10km championships title at the Bupa London 10,000.

allplay tennis A new initiative has been launched to make it easier for you to play tennis. Through allplay, you can easily find a playing partner, a local court or a coach. Get inspired by Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis and TV Presenter Tim Lovejoy who have taken up tennis for the first time as part of the allplay challenge. They have six months to progress from tennis novices to playing a match in front of a live audience at the AEGON Masters tournament at the Royal Albert Hall in December. More info:

Spotlight on London 2012 Name: Lizzie Armitstead Sport: Cycling (track and road) Date of birth: 18/12/88 How are you feeling about 2012? I’m just so excited. Not nervous yet, just excited about it all and so motivated to train harder than I’ve ever trained before. It’s going to be hard not to get overwhelmed as it gets closer but I’ll be practising with the competition along the way and hopefully I’ll be used to all the media attention and the buzz of it all by then.

Triathlon clubs launch at David Lloyd Leisure David Lloyd Leisure has become the first health, fitness and leisure chain to affiliate and launch triathlon clubs with Triathlon England in all its English clubs. It has also gained the same status with Triathlon Scotland for its six Scottish clubs and with Welsh Triathlon for its Cardiff club. It’s sure to prove a popular addition to the already packed programme of events on offer, and as triathlon continues to boom in popularity members can take advantage of having structured training programmes and sessions run by British Triathlon-qualified coaches. There are also plans to extend this into 2012 with triathlon events specifically for David Lloyd Leisure members. The triathlon clubs will offer members a minimum of two training sessions each week for all levels of fitness as well as provide information and motivation to take part in local and national events. Group Health and Fitness Manager for David Lloyd Leisure Rob Beale said: “We are excited to be able to launch these clubs after feedback from our members indicated many wanted to get involved. With all our clubs having first class facilities and Triathlon-trained coaches it made sense to offer triathlon training with a structured programme. We are looking forward to seeing our members competing in triathlons, including our own family-friendly events in May next year.” More info: * Did you know that David Lloyd Leisure members can now pick up a free copy of Sportsister magazine at their local club? *

Which events are you hoping to compete in? I’m aiming to compete in three events and want to compete on both the track and the road. How are you feeling about your competition? I think the Dutch team are my main competition. They have a team of very strong girls, both on the track and on the road. Having such strong competition does make a difference to my training because they are always in the back of my mind and make me push that bit harder. How are you training for the 2012 Olympics? I’ve been doing some different things recently. I’ve been doing some extra gym work to try and improve my peak power and I’m giving that extra little push on every ride I do. I’m always trying to power over every hill that I ride and push myself as hard as I can. What sports are you looking forward to watching in the 2012 Olympics? I always enjoy watching athletics and I’d like to watch some of the men’s cycling as well. What are your key events between now and the 2012 Olympics? I’ve been doing some different things recently. I’ve been doing some extra gym work to try and improve my peak power and I’m giving that extra little push on every ride I do. I’m always trying to power over every hill that I ride and push myself as hard as I can. Lizzie Armitstead is an ambassador for the new Hornby Olympic range. For more information on Corgi taxis, Hornby Olympic trains and the eagerly awaited Scalextric Velodrome (out in September) visit


Turn to page 30 for your chance to win a free membership to David Lloyd Leisure

Salomon at Snow and Rock Left: Whisperer Tee (£39.99) and Wayfarer Pant (£74.99) Right: Whisperer Hoodie (£100.00), Whisperer II Tank (£34.99) and Wayfarer Short (£49.99)

The North Face Kara Jacket (£75.00)

Salomon Minim Gradient GTX jacket (£310.00)

The Great Outdoors

No longer the sole preserve of boy scouts, in recent years camping has most definitely become cool. Whether it is music festivals or forest breaks, with the family or a group of mates, just make sure you remember to ‘be prepared’ and that way no amount of English ‘summer’ weather will spoil your fun.

Arcteryx Covert Cardigan (£125.00)

adidas Women’s Terrex ½ Zip (£40.00)

Eurohike Primavera 3 Man Tent (£109.99)

Berghaus Argentium 2 Short Sleeve Tee (£23.00)

Icebreaker Nature 200 Long Sleeve Scoop (£49.95)

Lowe Alpine Edge 18 (£35.00)

Arcteryx Cierzo 18 Bag (£40.00)

Eurohike Compact Chair (£14.99)

Techtrail Axio Mini Watch (£100.00)

Mammut Redburn (£110.00)


Camelbak Groove Tritan 600ml (£24.99)

The North Face Base Camp Boot (£125.00)

Arcteryx: 0114 2586 688 Berghaus Camelbak Eurohike Icebreaker Lowe Alpine: 01539 740 840 Mammut Meindl Salomon Snow and Rock Techtrail: 01773 521521 Teva The North Face

Meindl Respond Lady XCR (£104.99) Teva Contoured Mush Flip Flop (£21.00)



Victoria She made her name as a part of the most successful track cycling team Britain has ever seen. At the Beijing 2008 Olympics Victoria Pendleton became the sprint queen of the velodrome when she made it all look too easy as she raced to gold.

Since then the 30 year old has become one of the most recognisable women in British sport, juggling her life as a professional athlete with time in front of the camera as she is the face of several brands and campaigns. There are not many female athletes that can consider themselves household names, but she is definitely on the list. Like all other British athletes right now, her focus is on London 2012, and the chance to compete in an Olympics on home soil. But for Victoria, along with many of her teammates, it’s a different scenario this time round. After having such success in 2008 it’s not been easy for many of the athletes to find the same drive and determination when they have already achieved what they set out to do. The dream was always to win Olympic gold, and when you actually get to live that dream, the ‘what now?’ question rears its head. In addition to this there is a whole new set of pressures because you are now competing as the reigning champion. So the challenge for her has been to regain that focus and set new targets and challenges. One big difference is that in London Victoria will get the chance the race in three events – the sprint, the team sprint and the keirin – as opposed to just the sprint in Beijing. If things go her way then she really will be the golden girl of the track. It’s been quite a journey for the girl from Hitchin who grew up cycling with her dad, himself a keen cyclist. She speaks fondly of her youth spent planning routes and riding as a family. Despite attracting the attention of talent scouts at a young age she opted to focus on her education and only started cycling seriously whilst at university. But it wasn’t long before she was regularly competing for her country. But it’s not all about speed and medals. As this year she has become the lead ambassador for a new women’s cycling event called Cycletta. Aimed at all levels of cyclists, two events held in Bedfordshire and Cheshire will take place, and Victoria will be riding along with Sportsister at the events. “The idea is to give women the opportunity to cycle on traffic free roads, and to make it as appealing as possible,” she explains. “I think that women tend to band together and do things in large groups fairly easily as we encourage and support each other. I think it’s a great opportunity to encourage more women to cycle.” She cites fellow GB cyclist Ross Edgar as her best friend in cycling and explains that they motivate each other with their training. But she realises that not all women enjoy riding with men. “Knowing what it’s like to train and ride with men, I know it can get very competitive! The competitive element of events is not always what draws women in. Whilst there are a lot of competitive females out there, and I have to put my hand up and say that I am one of them, this element may not appeal to all women.” But don’t worry, if you are feeling slightly daunted about cycling with an Olympic champion, Victoria assures us she won’t leave us pedaling in her dust. “I’m going to be in amongst the crowd. I really enjoy chatting to people and I think it’s important for me to speak to as many people as possible and make their experience worthwhile. I am not going to be racing round at the front because I can do that on any day, this is going to be all about the enjoyment and more of a recovery ride for me.”


Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein


As a perfect example of how you don’t have to compromise on style when on your bike, we are giving away a waterproof jacket from British brand Water off a Duck’s Back. It has been tailored with cyclists in mind and features hi-visibility, reflective panels that can be hidden out of sight once you are at your destination. The coat is waterproof, breathable, machine washable, packs very small and is crumple resistant too.

Just head to and click on the Competitions button to enter. More info:

TOP TIPS FOR CYCLING 1. No matter how much you love music don’t ride your bike with your headphones in. Riding on roads alongside traffic means you need all your wits about you, so leave the iPod at home. 2. So many women don’t cycle in helmets because they don’t like the look or the feel of them. But it really can be the difference between life and death if you have a serious accident. There are loads of great styles around now and even products to fix your hair to avoid the dreaded helmet hair look! 3. If you are planning to ride regularly for

CYCLETTA Would you like to cycle with Victoria Pendleton? Well this is your chance, and you don’t even need to be a top cyclist. Cycletta is a new women only bike ride and you can line up at the start line with Victoria and the Sportsister team too. There are two events taking place, one at Whipsnade Zoo just 30 minutes from London, the other at Tatton Park, 20 minutes from Manchester. Open to cyclists of all levels, the 40km rides are manageable for everyone with a little training and preparation. They take place on closed roads which means if you are a nervous rider in traffic this is a great chance for you to relax on your bike away from the cars.

Do I need a fancy bike? Absoloutely not. Cycletta are expecting a real mix of bicycles at the event, from your Dutch style bikes complete with shopping baskets, some muddy mountain bikes, plenty of hybrids and some road bikes too. Whatever kind of bike you have will be fine just make sure it’s had a recent service so it’s in good condition. If you don’t have your own bike, and can’t beg, borrow or steal from a friend, then you can organise bike hire through the event.

over half an hour at a time you will really feel the benefit of padded cycle shorts. If a lycra pair is a step too far for you, you can buy padded briefs to wear under your regular clothes. Think about your cycling outfit before you head out. Nothing ruins a ride out more than being too cold or too wet. Check the weather forecast before you leave and dress accordingly.

How do I train for an event like this?

4. Take your bike for a regular service, this means at least once a year. If you ride regularly you will want to increase this to twice a year. It’s also worth learning a few basics about maintenance so you can check your bike is performing well and fix any small niggles, British Cycling is running a series of beginner’s courses this summer.

Cycletta North

Just head online to and we have got a training programme that Victoria Pendleton designed specifically for Cycletta. The easy to follow six week plan has three levels to choose from depending on your current fitness and the time you hope to complete the event in.

Cycletta South

Sunday 11 September ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire Sunday 2 October Tatton Park, Cheshire

Want to win a free entry into Cycletta? Just turn to page 30

To sign up to Cycletta just head to

5. To be a more efficient rider (ie more

speed, less effort) keep your cadence (the rate at which your pedals/wheels turn) high. It might take a while to get used to the faster pace of leg turning but it will make you a stronger rider.

6. Think about your riding position. Make sure you relax your shoulders holding tension in your upper shoulders is a waste of valuable energy so keep it loose! But don’t forget your core – this is much neglected by cyclist’s but hugely important. You are far more efficient if your core is solid. Be conscious of how activated your core is when cycling and soon it will become habit.


Ask the expert!

Runner’s Notes

3 of the best: running tops An essential for all runners is a well fitting, comfortable, lightweight and breathable tee.

Event alert:

Eden Marathon and Half Marathon 2011 I’ve got one word for you – hills. If you don’t like them you may want to stop reading now. But for those of you who aren’t put off by this, then make sure you add Cornwall’s Eden Project marathon to your must-do list. Hills aside it’s a stunning course and a very professionally run event with beer and pasties on offer at the finish line. This year’s event on October 9 will be the third annual race. Entry cost: £30 (marathon) and £23 (half marathon) More info:

Endorphin boost

When one of our favourite outdoor brands announced that it was launching a new range of women’s running gear, it was a happy day in the Sportsister office. And we were not disappointed by Canadian brand Arc’teryx’s new Endorphin collection. With the clean lines, attention to detail and fantastic quality we’ve come to expect from Arc’teryx it’s now a firm favourite in our running wardrobe.

Odlo Steam Tee Price: £40.00 Stockists:

Price: £40 to £250 More info:

Barefoot e-book If like many others you have heard about the barefoot running revolution, but don’t really know how to get started, then you are in luck. Lee Saxby - a leading coach and Vivo Barefoot Ambassador has put together an extensive e-book containing all you need to know.

Ronhill Aspiration Contour Tee Price: £28.50 Stockists:

We are delighted that Vivo have taken the lead on this because the one thing missing up untill now is some good, solid and consistant advice. Don’t be put off by the techy cover, it’s actually a good read that is easy to understand and follow for all levels. Starting with the principles, this book leads you through the concept of proprioception, exercises, technique and footwear - step by step! So If you are serious about giving barefoot running a try - read this first. Available to download at:

Emily Mason BSc (Hons) MSc (Chiro) DC LCC Doctor of Chiropractic at The Spinal Answer Chiropractic, Fulham. London

Asics AYAMi Graphic Tee Price: £25.00 Stockists:


I run approximately 30-40 miles per week and I have started to get pain in the outside of my knee after I have been running. I notice running downhill is more painful than on the flat. I get the pain on standing up after sitting a while.


Pain at the lateral knee can arise for a number of reasons, the most common overuse knee injury in runners in Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB Syndrome). There are several signs to look out for with this condition; a ‘snapping sound’ may be heard in the outside part of your knee when bending and straightening. A tight, tender band running up the outside of the thigh of the affected leg is the key sign for ITB syndrome. You also may have noticed your walking pattern may have become rather stiff resulting in crossing your legs over one another when walking and/or running. Recommendations Stop running for 2 weeks. Avoid plyometric training, sprint or incline training. Incorporate swimming (avoid breast stroke) to maintain cardio fitness. Stretch and foam roll your leg muscles focusing on the outside and front of your thighs – daily! Get an assessment of your running gait and your feet including your footwear. You may need insoles to support the bones of your feet and special exercises to re-train any imbalances in your gait. Resume running after 2 weeks rest by starting at 50% of your original running time, add 10% each week as long as pain free. Remember to always do a proper warm up, stretch and cool down and foam roll! Note: It is always advisable to seek advice from a registered healthcare professional for any type of pain you are experiencing as it is difficult to make a correct diagnosis of a problem without taking a full history and doing a thorough examination. You may need treatment including muscle release, joint manipulation, taping and compression.



Best Beauty Buys

Be sun smart

Phyto 7

We are all very aware of the dangers of the sun, and if you are playing sport and in and out of the water, having a sunscreen that stays put and doesn’t wash off is essential. The good news is that high protection doesn’t have to mean thick creams, new technology means clear and light formulas that absorb quickly into the skin.

2. 1.

This beauty cult classic is a must for anyone with dry, frizzy or curly hair. Use a small amount on dry hair and you’ll find your hair soft, supple and silky. Believe the hype with this one! Price: £12.50 Stockists: Available at John Lewis

3. 4.


Ella Pure Achy Body Oil

Ideal for use pre or post exercise this easy to apply body oil contains ginger, eucalyptus and black pepper oil. It supports joint movement and warms the muscles and can also be used to reduce general aches and pains. Price: £8.00 Stockists:

1. Surfer’s Skin SPF 30+

£9.99 (125ml) Created by surfers from New Zealand who were looking for a product to keep them protected against the strong Kiwi sun, this is heavy duty cream that will stay put for up to two hours whilst you are in the waves. No matter how much you sweat the cream will not run into your eyes, which is crucial for sports sunscreen. The formula contains manuka honey and aloe vera too.

* Sportsister loves * 2. ultrasun High SPF30 Sports Clear Spray Formula

£26.00 (150ml) Designed to be only applied once a day this easy to use spray formula is perfect for minimal effort sun protection. The clear spray dries quickly and offers day long protection even if you are in and out of the water. One bottle will last you around two weeks so it works out excellent value.

3. Murad Waterproof Sunblock SPF 30

£24.58 (125 ml) Suitable for both your face and body this waterproof formula also contains ingredients to helps diminish and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It is easily absorbed in to the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and soft and not at all greasy. It smells great too thanks to the pomegranate antioxidants in it.

Fudge Dry Shampoo

Give your hair an instant dry clean and keep it refreshed and clean in between washes. Perfect for use after the gym if you don’t have time to wash your hair. Price: £9.95 Stockists:

4. Shiseido Very High Sun Protection Cream SPF50

£32.00 (50ml) Designed specifically for the face this highly nourishing cream smoothes on easily and is invisible on the skin leaving no feeling of stickiness, which is often a problem with high factor creams. Every Shiseido product is formulated using only carefully selected ingredients such as Rose Apple Leaf extract for preventing the UVA-induced DNA damage and Ectoin for preventing UVB-induced DNA damage.

5. Avène SPF20 Moderate Protection Emulsion

£10.50 (50ml) This is a great choice if you have sensitive skin or suffer from a skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema, acne or rosacea thanks to the unique Avène SunSitive formula. The thermal spring water found in this cream has proven anti-irritating properties and it contains no parabens or alcohol.

Australian Bush Flower Essence Body Love Organic Essence Skin & Space Mists These mists have been created using a base of pure botanicals, herbal extracts and aromatic oils designed to help your wellbeing in various situations. Try Calm & Clear for times of stress, Space Clearing when you need to clear your head of negative thoughts and Travel when you are feeling the negative effects of being on the road. Price: £14.95 (50ml) Stockists:


The Knowledge Essential Kit Guide

Adventure Racing

Getting your kit right is crucial. It should be light, breathable and suitable for all elements of your race.

Photo credit: Questars

*Sportsister readers can get 10% off Thoni Mara - just enter SS10 at checkout*

Nicola Macleod has been adventure racing since university, and in 2009 was crowned world champion as part of the adidas TERREX team. Here she shares her top tips for making the most of this sport.

Thoni Mara Tee Price: £30.99 Stockists:

Why should I give adventure racing a go? - It doesn’t matter how fit you are. Races range from week long events in the most inhospitable places in the world to a few hours around central London, so there will be one to suit you. - I love the variety: from white water rafting to climbing cliffs to downhill biking, all in the space of a few hours. - It’s a great way to spend time with your friends in the outdoors. How should I train? - To race with the best in the world you might put a 24 hour training week in... but more important than any fitness regime is having the mental strength for it. - Join a kayak club. There are loads of friendly local ones with expert tutors. - Run up and down hills if you want to win! - Learn mountain biking skills. It’s amazing fun and Britain has some of the best trails in the world. What kit do I need? - Expect snow, rain, sun and wind in the same day and dress accordingly. - Multisport helmets like the Salewa Krypton are the way to go. - Carry a sunscreen lip balm. - Always take some treats like chocolate but remember on longer events you will be craving savoury food.

Helly Hansen W Pace ¾ Tight Price: £41.10 Stockists:

Any final tips for race day? - Don’t practice for sleep deprivation. Instead bank sleep before a big race. - Never, ever give up. Just remember everyone else feels the same as you do! - Navigation and tactics are race winners. - Pick your team mates well! - Some last a few hours...some last over a week. So choose your challenge wisely.


Nicola races for team adidas TERREX – Nokia Coast to Coast This challenge crosses some of the most famous mountain landscapes in the world by bike, foot and kayak. The 100 mile event across the Scottish highlands can be done in one day by the experts and two days for the rest of us. Date: September 17-18 More info:

Osprey Talon 22 Price: £69.99 Stockists:

South West Coast to Coast This epic, self propelled, 140 mile multi-sport traverse of Britain’s largest and most beautiful peninsular has become a must-do for endurance athletes since its launch eight years ago. Coast 2 Coasters trail run, road cycle, off-road mountain bike and kayak their way along the route. New for this year is a 50 mile course for a shorter, but still challenging, adventure. Date: September 17 More info: Wild Thing On the outskirts of the Peak District this in an adrenaline fuelled 10km negotiating man made and natural obstacles along the way. Expect giant walls, cargo nets, mud slides and an assault course. Date: September 25 More info: Q2 The Quest Challenge Held in the Norfolk/Suffolk borders and designed to suit all levels of competitor this team event involves trail running, mountain biking and kayaking whilst navigating your way around a series of checkpoints. Date: October 1-2 More info:


Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra Price: £89.99 Stockists:


Cycle holidays Discovering a new area by bike can be one of the most rewarding ways to travel. It’s a great way to really appreciate your surroundings as you move at a pace that means you’ll miss nothing. Here are our picks of some great bike breaks both here and abroad.

Hit the Spanish trails with the girls The growth in women only mountain bike courses in the UK is fantastic to witness. It means more and more of you are taking to the trails with your bikes. And a great addition to that is this week long course in the sun drenched province of Cordoba, Andalucía. Spoilt with an abundance of riding close to the Spanish villa, the Joyriders team know all the best spots to suit your riding ability. You’ll stay in luxury accommodation and be spoilt with great food and wine – the perfect combination for after a hard day’s riding. Plus for the women only week held from October 15-22 they have partnered up with cycle fashion brand AnaNichoola so you can guarantee some great goodie bags too. Price: £495 based on 2 sharing a twin room. Includes 7 nights luxury accommodation, 5 days guided riding and tuition, 1 day villa based workshop and skills session, airport transfers, breakfast and an unlimited free bar. More info:

Follow the footsteps of Roman soldiers History buff or not, we are sure you’ll be fascinated with this three day cycling adventure that takes you along the boundary of the Old Roman Empire, starting and finishing at either end of Hadrian’s Wall. Covering some of Northumberland and Cumbria’s most stunning scenery you will cycle around 35 miles each day. Your luggage will be transferred between the B&B’s and inns in which you will stay, leaving you free to enjoy the ride. The trip is suitable for families and anyone with a basic level of fitness will be able to enjoy the route. You will ride along quiet roads, traffic free paths and National Cycle Network routes taking you from Newcastle to Tynemouth. Price: Saddle Skedaddle offer both supported (£335 including bed, breakfast and lunch) and self-guided tours (£295 including bed and breakfast) with dates throughout the year. Bike hire is an additional £80. More info:

Special offer You can get 10% off Skedaddle Weekends and 5% off all their other UK, European and Long Haul cycling holidays for all bookings received up until 31/08/2011. Just quote Sister11 at the time of booking. Excludes bike hire, flights and any supplements. Sportsister discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other Skedaddle offers, discounts and promotions or referrals from third party commission based agents.

Saddle Skedaddle Offer Save 10%

Cycle Cognac for a peaceful pedal This is a slow paced eight day ride along quiet rural roads, past scenic estuaries, historic abbeys and quaint villages. This area of France, around 100 miles of north of Bordeaux, is one of the country’s best kept secrets and exploring it on two wheels has got to be the best way to see it. You’ll spend time in Cognac, the medieval town best known for the production of the world’s top brandy, as well as visiting one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of France. Suitable for cycle novices you’ll travel around 30 miles a day for four of the days with a further 50 miles of optional rides available on free days. Price: £861 including flights, all transport, seven nights’ B&B, cycle hire and guiding. The last trip for 2011 runs on August 6 but you can book now for 2012 from June through to September. More info:



....what’s new....what’s good....what works....what’s worth spending your money on....what’s fun....what’s hot....what’s special....what’s new...what’s good....

Fun in the sun...

Sportsister’s editor got addicted to Frescobol, the Brazilian version of beach tennis, on her first trip to Rio de Janeiro many years ago. Every since then her prized bat and ball set has been top of the packing list for any holiday. Now Speedo has launched its own paddle and ball pack so you can enjoy some Frescobol fun this summer at festivals, in the park or even in the sea. Price: £12.99 Stockists:


A pair of Maui Jim sunglasses We have teamed up with Hawaiian sunglasses brand Maui Jim to give you the chance to win one of two pairs of their Ho’okipa frames. Worth £108 these glasses have been designed for fast action sports as well as chilling in the sunshine.

Tasty treat...

You may have noticed Munchy Seeds on the pages of Sportsister before, we’re big fans. So it’s no surprise that we love their new chocolate coated mix. With sunflower and pumpkin seeds plus pieces of dried apricot, all wrapped in delicious Belgian milk and dark chocolate, they make the perfect snack time treat. Price: £1.50 Stockists:

Sport is cool...

The look is ultra-modern with a rimless frame meaning your view is not obstructed. Both the lenses and frames are saltwater safe making them perfect for beach pursuits. Maui Jim has been making sunglasses in Hawaii for 30 years and they claim that the Aloha Spirit permeates their philosophy. We love that this particular style is named after Maui’s Ho’okipa Beach, one of the world’s premier windsurfing spots where you can watch the best compete. More info:

Closing date for entries: August 31, 2011 If you would like to win one just head to’s competition page to enter.


As if you didn’t already know that. But just to hammer the point home Sportsister has launched its own Tumblr blog. Home to the coolest things from the world of sport, it’s our own treasure trove of sporty treats. More info:

Super bikini, Superkini... This is one product that really does deserve the name super. Calling on the expertise of their team of surfers, O’Neill has come up with a bikini fabric that literally grips to your skin, meaning no more embarrassing big wave bikini incidents. It still feels silky smooth and comes in a range of great prints as you’d expect from a brand whose roots are firmly on the beach. Meaning you can just concentrate on the surf and worry about nothing else. Price: £54.99 Stockists:

Sportsister loves... Judging by the amount of people who applied for London 2012 tickets Olympic mania has officially reached the UK. Whether you were lucky enough to get tickets or not why not grab a souvenir that shouts cool rather than tack. These cushions are the epitome of London cool with their home-spun style. Designed by renowned British designer Jan Constantine the whole range is hand embroidered. Price: From £54.00 Stockists:

Minty fresh

adidas Women’s 5km Challenge...

This year adidas is challenging women to recruit a ‘breast friend’ to run with them at the UK’s largest women only 5k. It will be a great motivator for both of you and a fun way to spend time together, and you can raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Entry cost: £15.00 More info:

Made with fine English peppermint, farmed in Hampshire, these mints contain no nasties. In fact they are actually good for your teeth thanks to a natural wood sugar from beech trees that helps reduce plaque and the risk of tooth decay. Price: £1.49 Stockists:


Trend alert....Backwards running If you can put up with the sniggers from other people in the park you may just discover that backward running is not nearly as daft as it sounds. With wide ranging benefits it can be a potent weapon in your training and research has shown that it has massive potential in injury rehabilitation. It creates a stronger, more balanced lower body and encourages better posture too. It works the muscles that forward running (unless you do hill work) doesn’t touch i.e. calves, shins and front of the thighs. And fans of barefoot running will like the gentler running style where your forefoot hits the ground first, eliminating a heavy heel strike. Don’t just take our word for it. The London Backward Running Championships will take place in Crystal Palace Park, South London on July 17, with 1km and 3km races. Then on August 14 it will be the turn of Heaton Park in Manchester, who will host the UK Backward Running Championships. More info:

The Cycling Bible The Complete Guide for all Cyclists from Novice to Expert By Robin Barton As you would expect from a book with this name all levels of cyclist will find something of interest in this fun, inspiring and beautifully illustrated book. Covering bike maintenance, choosing the right bike for you, cycle safety, touring suggestions and more, it will be a welcome addition to most household’s bookshelves. Price: £24.99



Women’s Insulator Steamer Wetsuit (£240) Stockists:

Hit The Beach

Summer’s here and the sun is shining. Head to the beach and make for the water, it’s got to be our favourite time of year. Wear wetsuits and boardies, layer with comfy cover ups and make sure you have the ultimate accessory – a surfboard.


Saale Sweat (£49.99), Lake Tahoe Walkshorts (£34.99) and Nano Triangle Superkini (£54.99) Stockists:


Animal Lobelia Dress (£36.99) Stockists:


Altona Boost Suit (£34.99) and Altona Bikini (£32.99) Stockists:




Hot Chip Rio Bikini (£55.00) Stockists:

Whitfield Bikin (£27.99) and Medusa Boardshorts (£34.99) Stockists:

O- Bonfire Hoodie (£45.00) and Multi Stripe Printed Spiked Bottom (£25.00) Stockists:

Protest Denby Bikini (£24.99) Stockists:

Getting Started

Know your port from your starboard? Glossary of basic terms:


Aft - The back of the ship (also known as the stern) Bow - The front of the ship Port - The left-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow Starboard - The right-hand side of the boat when you are facing the bow Leeward - The side or direction away from which the wind is blowing Windward - The side or direction from which the wind is blowing Boom - A horizontal pole which extends from the bottom of the mast - this does move, so watch your head! Rudder - Located beneath the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass or metal used to steer the ship Tacking - A basic sailing manoeuvre allowing you to change direction when sailing into the wind

Whilst some people may be put off by sailing’s slightly elitist stereotype, the truth is that sailing really is for everyone. It’s actually a lot cheaper and easier to get involved with than you might think plus, you don’t even need to live near the sea! With a number of events taking place throughout the summer, not forgetting next year’s Olympics on home soil (well, water) too, we thought we’d give you the sailing low-down so you can give it a go for yourself.

What’s it all about?

Sailing entails controlling a boat with large foils called sails. In order to change the speed or direction of the vessel, the sailor must manage the force of the wind on the sails. There are many different types of sailing craft depending upon whether you want to race or if you would prefer to go cruising. But regardless of your age, gender, or level of ability there are lots of choices to consider.

What are the options?

Dinghy sailing - Undoubtedly one of the best ways of getting into sailing, there is no better way to get a feel for a boat and how it reacts to the wind and water than at the helm of a dinghy. Dinghies are open boats suitable for day sailing in a variety of areas both inland and on the open sea. Bringing you closer to nature, they can be sailed single handed, double handed or even as a family and offer an ideal starting point for those new to the sport. Yachting - Yacht sailing is extremely diverse - one day you might be racing or sailing offshore surrounded by dolphins and the next you could be anchored in a secluded bay, eating freshly caught fish for lunch. Most yachts will even have kitchen facilities, cabins and toilets on board - perfect for those who would prefer not to leave their creature comforts on dry land.

What can I expect?

So, where do I start?

First of all you need to decide what kind of sailing you want to do. It might be worth considering going on a taster course - perhaps try a taster session at RYA (Royal Yachting Association) recognised training centre or give their Start Sailing or Start Yachting courses a go. Sailing for the first time can be slightly confusing so it is really useful to have the guidance of an instructor to avoid any early disasters. They will also be able to give you advice on the best sort of boat for you and how to get the most out of your sailing. To find your nearest training centre use the ‘Where’s My Nearest’ tool on the RYA ( website.

But isn’t it expensive? What kit will I need?

When starting out you will require minimal kit as the training centre you choose will provide all the safety kit and clothing that you need. Sailing gloves are recommended and can be purchased for as little as £15 while sun cream and sunglasses are also advisable. For yachting you might need your own sleeping bag, non-slip deck shoes and plenty of thin layers.

Regardless of the type of boat or sailing you want to learn, you will spend most of your time on the water gaining practical skills. Instructors will demonstrate before letting you loose.

As you progress you may want to purchase your own sailing kit such as a wet suit or dry suit, boots, rash vest and buoyancy aid. Your instructor will be well qualified to offer advice and it will depend greatly upon what sort of sailing you plan to do, at what time of year and the location.

You don’t need to have any particular skills to get involved - whatever your age or ability there will be some kind of sailing available to suit your needs. It’s just a case of getting out there and finding out what you enjoy - but don’t just take our word for it! Over to the experts for this bit...

Before buying your own dinghy it is worthwhile talking to your local sailing club or RYA training centre to see what is suitable for your requirements. You can pick up bargains and be afloat for as little as £200 but on the other hand you could quite easily pay over £10,000 for a new performance racing dinghy!

For 22-year-old Kate Gibbs who has been out on the water since she could walk, the recipe for sailing success is strength, stamina and perseverance, along with a love of winning! But it’s not all about competition, she tells us, “it is a brilliant sport with something to offer everyone - those who want a thrill or just a pootle about on a sunny evening, plus there’s a great social scene too!” And the great thing about sailing is it’s a sport that can be picked up at any age, as Jane Swan discovered. “My seven year old son started sailing and I didn’t want to be left behind!” she explains. “I love the fresh air, salty spray and that there’s no mobile phone or emails. It’s a great workout and you get a huge buzz every time you get on the water.”


Watch out for...

Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week - August 6-14 2011, Falmouth Having developed into the largest regatta in the South West rivalled only by Cowes Week, the Henri-Lloyd Falmouth Week expects to see around 450 yachts and dinghies race in three fleets across eight days, and there’s even a Champagne Day too! Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week - August 6 -13 2011, Cowes, Isle of Wight A real mecca for sailors, Cowes Week offers a great opportunity to watch the action and soak up the atmosphere. Don’t miss Ladies day on the Tuesday and another great event to look out for is the Extreme 40’s racing as a part of their global race series on the Monday. 2012 Olympics - July 29 - August 11 2012, Weymouth and Portland With 10 sailing events across 14 days of competition, next year’s Olympic Games promise to showcase some of the world’s leading talent in the charming yet challenging Weymouth Bay waters.

Cyclist’s Notes

Event alert: Not for the faint hearted, but manageable with the right training, the Etape Cymru is a closed road cycle event in Wales. The 100 mile route has a lung busting 6000m of climb as it takes in several well known climbs in the area. Starting and finishing in Wrexham and passing through the beautiful Clwydian Range look out for the Horseshoe Pass Challenge. Riders are invited to race up this 6.1km climb to clock the fastest time possible. Price: £65 with reductions for British Cycling members

Singletrack style

More info:

Mountains are the terrain where German brand Vaude is most at home. So it makes sense that their mountain bike gear is not only packed with great features but is super comfortable and looks pretty good too. The Gravit jacket is a technical, windproof jacket that looks great styled with the matching shorts. Layer a Rider’s shirt underneath to complete the look. Prices: £120 (Gravit Jacket), £60 (Rider’s Shirt) and £95 (Gravit Pant). More info:

Red or Dead bicycles “Ride with Care, Pedal with Flare!” That’s what Red or Dead say, and they’re not wrong. Their new range of bikes, created in association with Raleigh, certainly do have flare by the bucket load. With three bikes to choose from, and matching helmets available soon, these wheels are aimed at the discerning female commuter or weekend ambler. Being Raleigh manufactured the bikes have everything you might need in a decent commuter bike, as well as some cute add on’s such as a retro bell, printed storage cover and coordinating saddle. Price: From £299.99 Stockists:

Green bicycle maintenance Born out of a love for both cycling and the environment, Green Oil is a family run business that allows cyclists to do their bit for nature. From the recycled bottles, to the reclaimed wood display racks, being green is central to all they do. The Eco Rider Deluxe Set is the greenest bicycle maintenance kit on the market, with performance to match. And to apologise for the tub not being recyclable they have thrown in a pack of seeds so you can turn it into a herb garden! Price: £34.99 Stockists:

The Bobbin Globe Store London-based retailer Bobbin Bicycles has hooked up with hip urban cycle brand Globe Bikes to create a fantastic shop in Islington, north London. Globe bikes are inspired by European city cycling but engineered in California using lightweight materials and a minimal aesthetic. For two brands with quite different styles it may not seem like an obvious pairing, but they have made this union work. Apparently the two found a common interest in urban utility cycling: how to haul people and stuff around on two wheels with efficiency and grace. Through brainstorming sessions, staff from both camps have explored and defined a retail space where tweed is too twee, vintage too heavy and hybrids too boring. We love it! More info:


45 stars questions 1. Tell us about the moment in your sporting career that has made you most proud. Winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships with my team in my final year (Florida Gators), I was team captain and the girls did everything and more to achieve this. I am so proud of them and this is definitely my most proud moment as a swimmer. 2. Which is your favourite kind of training session? Taper time, when we do almost nothing! But I also love our set of 10x100 all out because it really challenges you. And out of the pool I love the boxing sessions we do. 3. What essential item is always in your kit bag? My fins. They are my best friend – I could never do without them!

1. Tell us about the moment in your sporting career that has made you most proud. I haven’t reached this point yet; it is in the future, after more hard work and determination. 2. Which is your favourite kind of training session? I love warming up with some light cardio. Then I go in the ring with my dad and do some boxing on the pads. I love kickboxing as it works my whole body and gets my heart rate up fast. 3. What essential item is always in your kit bag? Wax, if you don’t have good wax you’re in a right pickle! Making sure you have the right wax for the right temperature water is very important. I always use Sex Wax as it gives me the best grip. 4. If you could swap places with another sports star for a week who would it be? I would have to say Joey Duck. She is a greatly talented young athlete who will hopefully be representing GB at the Olympics in 2012. To be in her shoes training and focussing for such a prestigious goal must feel amazing. 5. Who is your best friend from the world of surfing? I wouldn’t say I have a best friend in the surfing world. All the girls are friends and when we are on trips we all become really close but as well all live in different parts of the UK and the world it’s hard to keep in touch all year round.

4. If you could swap places with another sports star for a week who would it be? Maybe a darts player or chess player. It would be nice to sit and use my brain if I could! 5. Who is your best friend from the world of swimming? That is a really hard question to answer, I love all my friends and my whole team here. I love all the British team and I even enjoy the company of my competitors so I can’t single out one person!

Gemma Spofforth Swimming

Corrine Evans Surfing 1. Tell us about the moment in your sporting career that has made you most proud. Winning the world cup in 2009 with England was without question my proudest achievement to date.

Michelle Wie Golf

2. Which is your favourite kind of training session? I most enjoy fielding drills as well as training at Bisham Abbey, where we get to witness how athletes from various other sports prepare and train.

1. Tell us about the moment in your sporting career that has made you most proud. My first win on the LPGA tour at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational was a great feeling. Along with winning the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play Championship when I was just 11. 2. Which is your favourite kind of training session? My trainer Diane has this kettlebell routine which really kills you but it’s great for my fitness and really gets me pumped so I love doing it! 3. What essential item is always in your kit bag? My Nike golf cap as well as some energy bars and water to keep me fuelled. 4. If you could swap places with another sports star for a week who would it be? Maria Sharapova, I think she is great for tennis and very stylish. 5. Who is your best friend from the world of golf? I get along with all the girls on Tour but I am especially close with Christina Kim, Jeehae Lee, Jane Park and Suzann Pettersen. Michelle will be amongst a field at of stars when she plays at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links, July 28th – 31st, 2011. For more info please visit


Isa Guha Cricket

3. What essential item is always in your kit bag? I always carry a thick pair of socks to wear during the dreaded ice bath.

4. If you could swap places with another sports star for a week who would it be? It would have to be Venus Williams; I would love to experience what it feels like to win Wimbledon. 5. Who is your best friend from the world of cricket? Lydia Greenway Isa Guha is exclusively represented by Total Sport Promotions Ltd - www.totalsportpromotions. com. You can follow Isa on twitter at @isaguha


Summer salads

Make the most of the abundance of fresh ingredients at this time of year and there need be nothing dull about a summer salad. Quick to prepare, packed with nutritious ingredients and delicious to eat they are sure to become firm favourites with all the family.

Warm Green Bean, Halloumi and Potato Salad with Olives Serves 4 Ingredients 200g new potatoes, sliced 200g green beans, trimmed 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 50g baby capers, washed Small bunch of mint, chopped Small bunch of dill, chopped 12 black olives, stoned 150g cherry tomatoes, cut in half Salt and pepper 1 tbsp olive oil 200g halloumi, sliced Method Place the new potatoes in a medium sized pan, cover with cold water, and then lightly salt to taste. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside. In the meantime bring a medium sized pan of salted water to the boil, then cook the green beans for 2 minutes, drain and set aside. In a medium sized bowl mix together the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, then add the capers, mint and dill. Now add the potatoes, beans, olives and tomatoes, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized non-stick frying pan and cook the halloumi on both sides for 1 minute until golden brown. Add the halloumi to the salad and mix gently, then dived between 4 plates and serve immediately. For more recipe ideas like this head to

Top tip Swap shop bought mayonnaise for a home made alternative and not only willStyle youBeef reduce calorie, fat and salt Thai and your Watercress Salad intake but we think you’ll prefer the taste too. Just whisk lemon juice into crème Serves: 4 add some chopped herbs (try fraiche, parsley or chives) and season with salt and pepper.


Thai Style Beef and Watercress Salad Serves 4 Ingredients 2 (175g) sirloin steaks, trimmed of fat 15ml/1tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed 3 tomatoes, deseeded and sliced 1 small red onion, sliced 225g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced 1 (85g) bag watercress 30ml/2tbsp Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce Juice 1 lime 15ml/1tbsp Thai fish sauce Method Coat the steaks with the peppercorns and season with a little salt. Cook under a hot grill for 6-8 minutes, turning once until medium rare. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Toss the tomatoes, onion and cucumber with the watercress. Whisk the chilli sauce, lime juice and fish sauce together. Thinly slice the steak and toss together with salad and dressing. Serve immediately. Head to for more watercress recipes.

Hot Smoked Salmon Salad with Sugar Snaps Serves 4 Ingredients 150g sugar snaps 1 avocado 1 lemon, juiced 200g artichokes in oil, drained 400g hot smoked salmon flaked 2 spring onions, sliced 50g radishes, sliced Small bunch of dill chopped 2 tbsp mayonnaise Salt and pepper Method Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and cook the sugar snaps for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water for 1 minute, then set aside. Cut the avocado in half, then remove the stone and scoop out the flesh, then cut into chunks. Place the avocado into a medium sized bowl with the lemon juice. Cut the artichokes into chunks and add to the avocado, then add the sugar snaps, salmon, spring onions, radishes, dill and mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper, gently mix and divide between 4 bowls. For more recipe ideas like this head to

Straight from the grove It was the packaging that first caught our eye but Nudo is much more than just great design. These artisan olive oils are made by an English couple living in Italy and really pack great flavour in to a dish. We love their lemon and chilli flavoured oils which are perfect for using at summer BBQ’s. Plus they run a great adopt a tree scheme where you will receive all the produce from your very own olive tree in the Italian hills. Price: From £4.49 More indo:


Meet our bloggers Head online to to read our regular bloggers posts.

Gail Emms - Sports Spy

Gail Emms, Olympic silver medalist (badminton) is a passionate campaigner for school sports and young athletes, she blogs about her experiences both past and current.

“I always think back to when I was just starting out in my career as a badminton player, I remember meeting someone in a cafe and he asked me what I did. I answered that I was a professional badminton player. The man instantly smirked and said “Yeah, but I reckon I could beat you!”

Sisters In The Saddle - Katie Gormley

Cycling, riding, peddling, fixed or free. What’s new, what’s old, what works, what doesn’t, what we’re loving, events, competitions, adventures. In a nutshell this space is about two wheels and what you can do with them.

“Some girls are girly girls, some are not. I fall heavily into the latter category. How then does someone like me end up in possession of a very pink bicycle? Full City on Leather Lane is my favourite bike shop and my first port of call for replacing the Gitane’s lost wheels. The shop sources second hand parts from all around and a lot of frames from France. These guys have become firm friends of mine and I knew when I called in there I’d get coffee, commiseration and wheels in one delightful package. What I wasn’t expecting was this...”.

Mountain Girl - Sophie Nicolson The story of a girl who swapped the office for adventure and has decided that she really wants to go somewhere in the vertical world. Follow how she gets on in the quest to become a real climber.

“Oh and hopefully you’ll be able to do all this with a degree of style and flow! Basically you have to be as hard as Vinnie Jones, have the hip flexibility of Shakira, the mental strength of Lance Armstrong and the speed of Usain Bolt. Ok perhaps not but that’s how it feels to me a bit at the moment…I’ll keep you posted with how I’m getting on!”

Danielle’s Barefoot Running Blog

This blog is all about my experiences as I test out barefoot running – I will investigate the market, sort facts from fiction (maybe) and test the footwear. Expect news on barefoot running, minimal shoes and a bit of chat about my experiences.

“Oh how work can get in the way of life and running. I have been so busy of late I have only managed about one run a week, which is a tragedy given the lovely weather. However this Sunday I made up for it with fantastic run out and up the hills to the countryside beyond. Not only did I manage a run, but I also managed to look Über cool as they say. Ages ago in the depths of winter I was sent a pair of adidas running glasses to test. But in the snow and winter nights they seemed a bit out of place and became buried in the drawer and forgotten about”.

My Year Of Ultimate Challenges - Clarissa Goodwin Follow me as I attempt to take on a different challenge every month for the next year from cycling, running, swimming to dancing, abseiling challenges….with as much variety as possible!

“The route was signposted with special ‘Nightrider signs’ the whole way. These were a bit tricky at night, especially through central London areas which I hit around 2-3am and was when ‘normal’ people were coming to the end of their nights out on the town. Initially I thought this would be a detracting factor with the challenge taking place on a Saturday night, however drunken socialites provided unique and extremely enthusiastic support”.



Win a six-month David Lloyd Leisure club membership

We’ve teamed up with David Lloyd Leisure, Europe’s premier racquets, health and fitness group, to offer you the chance to win a fantastic six-month membership. With 79 clubs across the UK and a further 10 across Europe, there’s bound to be a David Lloyd Leisure club near you. And there’s something to offer every female sport and fitness fan – from a plethora of exercise classes to luxurious swimming pools. Swimming is a great way to improve fitness, tone up and burn calories for those revealing summer months! It’s low-impact, too, so you run less risk of injury and it’s a great addition to other training programmes. At David Lloyd Leisure, there are so many exercise classes, you’ll be spoilt for choice. More than 10,000 classes a week across the UK are on offer, so you’re sure to find one that’s just right for you. Pick from high-energy classes - hosted in state-of-the art gyms and studios - to boost fitness fast or holistic classes, aimed at reducing life’s stresses and promoting flexibility. Strength and conditioning classes will tone and sculpt your body, while dance classes will allow you to learn new moves and get fit. David Lloyd Leisure is renowned for tennis, plus we have squash and badminton courts, so if you feel like upping your game, there’s plenty to choose from. And after working up an appetite, club lounges are the perfect place to unwind. Whether you want to relax with a latté or enjoy a healthy meal, a warm welcome is always on offer. To enter: See the how to enter information at the bottom of the page. (please see for full terms and conditions.) Closing date for entries: August 31, 2011 More info on David Lloyd Leisure:


Win £250 worth of Icebreaker clothing

We’ve teamed up with the UK’s favourite Mountain Sports stores, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports who are offering you the opportunity to win £250 worth of women’s Icebreaker clothing Icebreaker produce ultra technical sports systems for summer and winter use. Their women’s GT range is designed to give you a competitive advantage in high performance activities. The summer GT range features lycra for shape and fit and offers superb moisture management making it perfect for running and cycling this summer. One lucky winner will win a £250 voucher to choose their own favourite pieces from the Icebreaker range. To enter: See the how to enter information at the bottom of the page. (please see for full terms and conditions.) Closing date for entries: August 31, 2011 More info on Icebreaker:


Win entry into Cycletta

We are giving away six entries into the Cycletta event of your choice. Cycletta is a new women only, closed road cycle event, with one ride in the north (Tatton Park, Cheshire on October 2) and another in the south (Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire on September 11). You can read more about the events on page 8 where we speak to event ambassador Victoria Pendleton and share our top cycling tips. So if you fancy riding 40km on traffic free roads in a female friendly, fun atmosphere then this is the ride for you. We are giving away the tickets in pairs so you can win entry for you and a friend. To enter: See the how to enter information at the bottom of the page. (please see for full terms and conditions.) Closing date for entries: August 14, 2011 More info on Cycletta:

How to enter: Go online to, click on the Competitions button in the top-right hand corner of the homepage and follow the instructions. There are new competitions each month - good luck!

next issue

Photo: Nike

Stride Out – Enjoy the best autumn running fashion from our favourite brands Kit Bag - Time to refresh your gym wardrobe, we round up the best buys in the shops right now Getting started - Squash The Knowledge - Discover the joys of running off road with our guide to trail running Nutrition - How to eat healthy in a hurry Training - How to train for a duathlon Wellbeing - We put body scrubs to the test

Don’t miss the next issue out 6 September I would like to subscribe to Sportsister magazine





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TRAINING PLAN: Workout with a friend! IFS Personal Trainer of the Year and Energised Bootcamp Head Coach Kim Ingleby suggests some top tips for training with a friend.

Inspiration! Want to try something new or enter an event together? Have a look at our ideas for some of the best things to do with a friend this summer.

Sheactive Every Woman’s Series An all women series of events including duathlons, an aquathon and a trail run, in manageable distances and an encouraging environment.

Go Ape

Running Drills The most effective way to improve your overall running pace is to mix up your training sessions. This will also give you a leaner, lighter and more toned physique due to the way the variety challenges your body. Start with a 20 minute run at a comfortable pace to warm up and have a good quality stretch at the end – really important! Hill intervals: Find a challenging hill on your route where it will be easy to do repeats. I would recommend you start with 3 repetitions and build every fortnight to 6 or possibly 8 reps, In turns you run up the hill as fast as you can, keeping good technique, feet light, body strong and arms working – jog easily on the way down, keeping your core engaged. When you reach the bottom your friend goes, so your recovery is the time it takes your friend to run up and down. A great incentive to be strong and powerful up the hill.

Outdoor Circuits Outdoor circuits are brilliant to do together – really good fun, challenging and more effective with a partner. Set out a circuit with each of you deciding on 3-4 exercises, choosing one lower body, one upper body, one core and one cardio exercise each, so it gets you both involved. Warm up with a 10 minute jog, and cool down for 10 minuntes including some good stretches.

These high rope courses with zip wires and rope ladders challenge you both physically and mentally. Make sure you’ve both got a head for heights!

Circuit 1: Lunges Press Ups Crunches Star Jumps


Aim to do each exercise for 30 seconds to begin with – building to 60 seconds. Over time build up to three circuits. If you are unsure of any technique do ask a professional to avoid injury – nothing should cause pain when you do it.

These two women only, closed road cycling events are perfect for doing with a friend and suitable for all levels of cyclists.

Go Spike - Volleyball

Go along to one of the many Go Spike events happening across the country this summer and try your hand at volleyball for free. They are all outdoors with some being held on the beach.

The British Gap Big Dip

Head to the outdoor pools being set up in London’s Clapham Common and Manchester’s Spinningfields this summer and take to the water with a friend. It’s so much more fun to swim in the outdoors and once you have finished your lengths you can chill out at the beach area.

Circuit 2: Squats Tricep Dips Dorsal Raises Sprints on the spot

You can do the exercises together to motivate each other – or different exercises and encourage each other, and observe each others technique to avoid injury. If you can, move quickly between the exercises with no rest. As you are always working a different muscle group this should be fine, but listen to your body.

Swimming Not for everyone but since triathlons are becoming more and more popular perhaps it is one that would suit some of you and I am often asked what you can do in the pool to relieve the boredom. Aimed at those who can swim 1200m comfortably but it can be adapted according to your ability. Warm up: 100m easy pace – focusing on technique and breathing 50m kick, then 50m pull buoy x 2 100m easy Then: 100m fast – 20 seconds recovery x 2 50m fast – 10 sec recovery x 4 25m fast x 8 – 5 sec recovery With the repetitions one of you leads, and you change leader each time – constantly motivating each other. This will really add to your workout and make it more interesting. For more support and ideas from Kim Ingleby visit


cut out and keep

Here are three simple workouts you could have with a friend….

Both bikinis from:

Some people really enjoy training on their own. However, the benefits of training with a friend with a similar fitness level, is definitely evident. From increased motivation, commitment and fun, it is definitely worth trying especially if you are not a member of a gym. It is cheaper than having a personal trainer, but can be just as motivating. So have the courage to ask a friend if they would like to get training – set some clear six week goals which you both share, a weekly training date and then notice the difference in your training with these workout ideas below… no kit required – just a good pair of trainers, a sports bra and your training buddy!

PUT TO THE TEST: Sheactive Every Woman’s Duathlon The Sheactive Every Woman’s series of events include duathlons, an aquathon and a trail run. The aim is to encourage women of all shapes and sizes, fitness levels and ages to give it a go in a fun and friendly women only environment. Sportsister’s Danielle Sellwood checked out the first event of the year - a duathlon in Bristol to see if it lived up to the billing. I hadn’t actually planned to take part until the week before, so with very little actual preparation I turned up at the Downs in Bristol on a glorious sunny Saturday morning. This was the only bit of the event that I didn’t really like since I had to leave my house by 6.30am in order to get to the 8.30am start. I had entered the novice event which comprised of a 2.5km run, 10km cycle and a final 2.5km run. Looking at the distances I was a slightly worried that it was a bit short and hardly worth getting up so early for, but as it turned out it was just right. My other concern was that I would look a bit daft on my mountain bike with big knobbly tyres – not exactly a speed machine – but in the event there was a broad mix of bikes from speedy racers to daily commuters. The broad mix of women was brilliant, just what I had expected and the smaller entry numbers made it just so easy and straight forward, no queuing for the portaloo or hanging around waiting in line for the start. Bliss! The transition area where we placed our bikes was easy to navigate even for a total novice like me and with clear instructions I soon put any worries to one side. After cheering off the challenge distance competitors we lined up and headed off for the first leg of the run. The 2.5km run took us round the top of the Downs on a variety of grass, pavement and trails, I sat firmly in the middle of the pack and relaxed into the event which was easy because there was no jostling or speedy wannabes charging past. As I approached the transition area, I felt a little surge of excitement at the prospect of switching to my bike. Fortunately by now we had all spread out a fair bit so it was totally calm and smooth – I almost felt like a real athlete as I jogged to the road with my bike! The bike section was great, I really loved this bit, it’s so rare to get to ride without cars on the road. The whole time we were passing riders coming the other way or runners in the challenge distance, and the looping course worked really well because it meant that I really felt part of the event! All too soon, I was back at the transition area and off on my last run. It did feel a little odd to start with but within a few minutes my legs adjusted and I was able to enjoy the final stretch towards the small, supportive and cheering crowd. Good Points: - Great atmosphere, lovely people and lots of fun. - Free massage at the end of the race. - Lovely leafy and open course - countryside in the city! - Small entry numbers made it all hassle free. Bad points: - The early start. Would I do it again? Yes please! More info:

Sportsister tries rowing Fancy giving rowing a try? Well, the good news is that British Rowing has launched a scheme called Explore Rowing to get more people on the water. The scheme offers flexible, fun and more varied rowing programmes for beginners, at clubs throughout the country. At the heart of this new scheme is funding for clubs to purchase new and specially designed boats. These are more stable than the Olympic class racing boats and are perfect for beginners, as Sportsister’s Danielle Sellwood found out this spring.

Rowing is not only a great work-out, but it’s a really fun sociable activity too - plus you get to mess about on the water - which we love! Check the website to find clubs and courses near you, you may even get tempted to try one of the summer rowing challenges too! More info:


what’s on? Events to watch and do

events to watch: July 3–10 2011

events to do: July 17 2011

World Netball Championships 2011. 16 teams will be heading to Singapore. Since the first Championships back in 1963, either Australia or New Zealand has won the world title at every event. England will face Malawi, Barbados and Malaysia in the group stage and will be hoping to better their fourth place finish in 2007. More info:

Speedo Open Water Swim. Swimmers will take to the Thames with the dramatic backdrop of Hampton Court Palace and finish 2.25 miles downstream in Kingston upon Thames. This event is part of a series of Speedo sponsored open water swims taking place this summer. More info:

July 13-19 2011

London to Cambridge Bike Ride. Get on your bikes and enjoy a brilliant day out whilst helping to raise vital funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Starting from Pickett’s Lock in north London, the London to Cambridge bike ride winds through beautiful countryside to the finish at Midsummer Common in the heart of Cambridge, where you’ll be met with music, refreshments and massage. More info:

European Fencing Championships 2011. Head to Sheffield to see some of Europe’s top fencers battle it out at the European Fencing Championships. It will be the first international fencing event held in the UK which incorporates both able-bodied and wheelchair fencing. More info:

July 16-31 2011

FINA Swimming World Championships. Held in Shanghai, this is a key event ahead of next year’s Olympics and will be a key indicator of Britain’s medal hopes in London. Double gold Olympian Rebecca Adlington will be looking to dominate in her freestyle events, also look out for Keri-Anne Payne and Fran Halsall. More info:

August 5-6 2011

Aviva London Athletics Grand Prix. Held at Crystal Palace this is the sixth and final event in the Aviva series. make sure you get your tickets in advance to see top athletes from over 45 countries competing. More info:

August 8-14 2011

YONEX BWF World Badminton Championships. The Championships are coming to Wembley Arena this year giving fans the chance to see the world’s fastest racket sport played in a 2012 Olympic venue. China is currently the most successful nation in the history of the World Championships but with more than 300 of the best badminton players in the world fighting it out for the titles on offer there’s sure to be some fantastic competition for them. More info:

August 17-21 2011

Canoe Sprint World Championships. British canoeists are in excellent form at the moment with fantastic results in World Cup events in this spring so hopes will be high for them at this event. Look out for Jess Walker and Rachel Cawthorn who will be vying for medals. More info: © / A Edmonds

August 18-20 2011

The Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open. If you fancy checking out some top class sport for free then don’t miss this one. It’s the 18th tournament on the 2011 Ladies European Tour schedule, and home grown players Catriona Matthew and Lynn Kenny are set to take part. The event’s unique format will see the professional golfers playing alongside an amateur field. More info:

For lots more ideas of events to enter and all the events to watch all year round log on to


July 24 2011

Various dates from July 30 - September 9 2011

Marie Curie Cancer Care Walk Ten. The charity is holding a series of unique summer evening walks taking place at 20 spectacular venues around the country, such as stately homes, many of which are usually closed to the public in the evenings. At the end of each 10k walk, there will be fun activities, such as fireworks, live music and picnics. More info:

July 31 2011

Manchester Urbanathlon. If you thought you had to travel to the deepest, darkest countryside to get involved in a wild and challenging race, then think again! In this Urbanathlon you will run, wade, scramble and dangle through a totally unique urban obstacle course around East Manchester, taking in the Commonwealth Games track and the Manchester City football stadium. More info:

Sportsister July/August  

Get cycling with Victoria Pendleton plus The best kit for the great outdoors, Adventure racing, getting started Sailing and our usual mix of...

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