The Sunday Long Run: Plan your fitness and outdoor adventures

Half marathons, foam rollers, CrossFit books and the latest TV series on mountain rescues
This week's compact fitness guide

If you're looking for some fitness and outdoor inspiration for the week ahead, well, you've come to the right place. This week in the Sunday Long Run we tick off our pick of the best things to watch, read, listen to and buy – you don't even need to put your gym kit on.

And while we've got you, check out the best of this week's content from Get Sweat Go:

Running: The best backpacks for roads and trails

Workout: The ultimate gym bags

Yoga: The best yoga towels for sweat-free practice

Trek: Our guide to visiting the US National Parks

Watch this

Rescue: River Deep, Mountain High

We all love heading to the outdoors but the dangers associated with natural environments should never be underestimated. In this ITV series we follow the perilous work of the RNLI, Marine River Rescue Units, Coastguard and Mountain Rescue teams as they help people in some of the UK and Ireland's most remote locations.

Each episode focuses on different emergencies, from a lost American couple on County Derry's Devil’s Ladder in hurricane force winds to a climber with head injuries stuck 75ft up a cliff face.

The series is not only an important reminder of the risks of heading into the wilderness, but an exceptionally honest insight into the heroic work carried out by the various emergency services, many of whom risk their own lives on a daily basis.

Watch it here

Buy this

Manta Foam Roller

Buy now: Manta (UK) / Amazon (UK) | £35

The Sunday Long Run: active essentials for the week ahead

Buying a foam roller these days is no easy task. The range of options available to anyone looking for some personal myofascial release is frankly enormous, with products popping up in all shapes and sizes.

The Manta foam roller may well be the weirdest looking of the lot, appearing more like a fancy Greek vase than a device to help ease muscular issues. There's a reason it looks like that though. The primary focus is the back, with a special spinal groove in the middle to allow the shape to access areas most other foam rollers can't hit as effectively.

Other elements of the design (there are handy guides on the website) help focus on other larger muscles like the glutes, the hamstrings and the calves.

Sweat this

Body Machine Performance Studio

London isn't exactly short of high-end fitness studios, but if you're looking for something a bit different to the usual hotspots, Body Machine is well worth a visit.

Created by the incredibly experienced Frances Mikuriya, the studio focuses on two specific workout formats. The first is SpinAddikts, a spin class developed from Mikuriya's time teaching in both New York and San Francisco that aims to adopt the most up-to-date techniques. The second is TRX.

The first authentic licensed TRX training facility in Europe, the massive studio covers a range of suspension training classes to improve your strength, movement and flexibility, from beginner sessions to advanced formats targeting specific training goals.

Where: Kensington High Street

Price per class: £24, with bulk class packs available. There's also a current intro offer of two classes for £30

Download this

Fear of Tigers – The Guestlist Podcast

The Sunday Long Run: active essentials for the week ahead

Setting up your Spotify with running playlists is all well and good, but quite often you end up listening to the same old tunes because you can't be bothered to set up a new one. Either that or you pick a random 'running playlist' and end up having to keep stopping because you can't handle another or Katy Perry number.

The Fear of Tigers' weekly podcast 'The Guestlist' is a one hour-ish radio show covering dance music from the last couple of decades. Each edition is an eclectic mix of old and new music spanning a wide range of electronic tastes.

Most of the back catalogue is free, however, if you become a weekly subscriber ($3 a month) you'll receive frequent shoutouts and mentions from podcast producer Benjamin Berry – something that's perked us up many times during a long run or weekend race.

It's also downloadable as an MP3, so can be used on wearable music devices that can't handle Spotify downloads yet.

Listen on: Patreon | Soundcloud

Race this

Saucony Windsor Half Marathon

The Sunday Long Run: active essentials for the week ahead

The autumn race season is almost upon us and events are booking up fast. Whether you're looking for something to get you ready for a marathon or you want a big standalone race to set your sights on, the Saucony Windsor Half Marathon is one you should look at adding to your list.

The race course takes in two laps of Windsor and the park that surrounds it, offering one of the most impressive backdrops you're likely to find in the shape of Windsor Castle. As road marathons go it's far from flat, with a fair few hills to tackle as you make your way around the tree-lined Berkshire landscape.

With 6,000 entries, it's a large-scale marathon that promises an enormous crowd of cheering spectators to help motivate you as you push on for that PB. The other plus point is the fact that after you've finished you have the rest of the day to enjoy one of the UK's most scenic towns – including some very impressive pubs.


Read this

Dottir – Katrin Davidsdottir

Buy now: Amazon | From $15.84

The Sunday Long Run: active essentials for the week ahead

Katrin Davidsdottir not only came fourth in the 2019 CrossFit games but she's also won it twice before, so we'll take her word on pretty much anything she has to say when it comes to fitness and training.

Her new book covers her journey to becoming a CrossFit champion, from early childhood gymnastics to the various sacrifices she's had to make along the way, spanning setbacks, jealousy, body image and failure.

It's quite easy to sit and watch high-level athletes on TV and social media and view them as super-beings, however, Dottir gives an honest and humbling account of the struggles that take place to get there and is a reminder that every world-class athlete is just like everyone else, except for the ridiculous amount of hard work they've put in.

Book this

Warrior Routes and Extreme Sleep Outs Talk

The Sunday Long Run: active essentials for the week ahead
Credit: Zak Bentley

Part of the Explorers Connect series of events, this evening follows the escapades of James Dyer and Phoebe Smith, two adventurers who have both taken on exceptional and inspirational challenges.

James Dyer speaks about his expeditions following in the footsteps of famous historical figures such as Lawrence of Arabia, Hannibal, and the Spartans, across some of the world's most epic landscapes.

Phoebe Smith then takes us through her project to spend 10 nights suspended from some of the UK's landmarks as she raises money for Centrepoint – the young people's homeless charity – as well as some of her other adventure challenges, including her upcoming Antarctic expedition.

When: 12th September

Where: Drury Lane, London

How much: £6.60

The five-minute fix

When it comes to bodyweight training and calisthenics there aren't many people that know as much as Chris Heria. In this video, Chris takes us through a series of pull-up variations to try out. Yes, some look ridiculously hard, but it's worth seeing just to understand how much the human body can do. (13.12)

If, like us, you often head to the gym for a leg day and your warm-up consists of little more than a few lacklustre air squats, then you need to watch this video from the Squat University. It may look intense, but if you're going to lift big, you need to do it right. (6.15)

Think you know how to do a plank? Here Carrie Owerko demos three plank variations to target different areas of the core. None of which we'd ever tried before. (2.44)

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