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Welcome to the Sportspace Blog!

Designed to keep you informed on all the latest news in the health & fitness world, as well as provide expert insight on topics such as nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and sport, the Sportspace blog is your first stop for everything active. All of posts are designed to help you, our customers, and many are based on common questions and queries our staff get asked on a daily basis.

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If you’ve got an area you’d like us to investigate or if you are interested in writing a blog post for us, feel free to get in touch with us by contacting:

For any questions relating to any of our posts or website material, please give us a call on 01442 507100. You can also reach us online via our official Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

 

How to prep for race day – The London Marathon

It’s that time of year again, you have seen people running on the treadmills for hours and running in the streets at all times of the day and night, it’s time for the London Marathon.

I caught up with our resident Marathon man & Gymspace Supervisor Kyle Stephens to ask for his top tips for anyone running the London Marathon this Sunday, here is what he said:

Ok, so from my 7 marathons here are my top tips...

When I’ve got to Marathon week, my last run is usually on the Thursday, a nice 6 miles/10k and then that’s it. Then its feet up and rest!

If I was going to have a sports massage, I would do that 2 days before the run but I would make sure the therapist knew I was running on Sunday to make sure my legs were recovered.

Beetroot Juice!! I swear by A little sport shot called 'Beat-It Juice' - beetroot juice widens up the capillaries and allows more oxygen in! The nitrate in the juice mixes with your saliva to produce Nitrite... Nitrite plays a great part in cardiovascular health! I swear by it and drink shed loads in the days leading up to the marathon because it works within hours! But be warned it turns everything red (I mean everything- Yuk)

A big tip to all runners is to not get carried away with the crowd and start off too fast... It’s so easy on the day, emotions run high, adrenaline kicks in and before you know it you are running faster than your race pace- meaning you will not finish strong because you have used too much energy at the beginning. The best thing to do is start slow- laugh in your head at the people running past you and remember you will be the one running past them later!

Don’t just drink the Sports drinks provided. Drink water too- I always run the whole thing with a bottle of water in one hand and sports drink in the other- Never gulp! Always sip!!

Don’t try anything new on race day! Race day is not the day to be trying anything new!!

Shock Horror - even as a personal trainer I would be adding salt to my food right now, in the pans with the veg, potatoes, on my dinner everywhere - it’s an electrolyte and the electrolytes are going to be depleted through the marathon and cause CRAMPS!! This has helped me in the past (I’ve also run with a money bag of salt and kept putting it into my mouth before and throughout the race).

Bananas - Also great for trying to keep the Cramps away – it’s the potassium in them that helps.

And finally, unfortunately, I want to say it’s very normal - its 7am on race day, what’s just happened in the toilet is called runners trots and 22,000 other people are panicking about the colour too! It’s completely normal.

Now all that there is left to say is:

The training is all over, you have done everything you can to prepare yourself, there’s only one thing left to do- and that is - ENJOY it!

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Everyday Champion January 2017 - Leila WIlks

January 2017 Everyday Champion

Name: Leila Wilks

Nominated for: Determination to learn to swim and to learn the skills to teach basic swimming techniques so she can pass this knowledge on to orphans in her home city in the Philippines.

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SwimTag – A customer’s perspective

We asked one of our regular swimming customers, Tina Gill, why she started using SwimTag and how it motivates her, as we had spotted she had got the SwimTag bug. In October (2016) she was 9th on our Top 10 Leader board for most calories burnt with 8414 kcals burnt in the month. But then in November (2016) she trumped that by taking the top spot of 1st on the leader board with 18364 kcals burnt – amazing! This is what Tina had to say…

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Everyday Champion December 2016 - Jackie Colfer

December Everyday Champion

Name: Jackie Colfer

Nominated for: Outstanding progress - starting on our 0-5km running club and afterwards competing in the Sportspace Triathlon.

 

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Everyday Champion November 2016 - Nick Hill

November Everyday Champion

Name: Nick Hill

Nominated for: Outstanding achievement whilst working through severe health issues  

 

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Should I use protein shakes? The good, the bad and the ugly.

If you’re interested in building lean muscle, you probably would have considered taking protein shakes to help give you a little boost along the way. But how much do we actually know about protein shakes, their contents and their effects? We asked Sportspace Personal Trainer, Dr Kate Couchman, to share her expertise in the area and help you decide whether or not protein shakes are right for you.  

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Top 5: Guilt-free treats to satisfy a sweet tooth

 

Find yourself reaching for that bar of chocolate after a workout? Or perhaps you’re partial to a slice of cake (or two) after dinner? For many people out there, the urge to reach for something sweet and sugary during the day is high – and so is the feeling of guilt straight after. But it doesn’t have to be.  You can satisfy your sweet tooth and stay on track with your diet at the same time. How? By substituting your sugary favourites for some of our top 5 guilt-free alternatives, helpfully constructed by Sportspace Personal Trainer, Lewis Erskine. 

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5 reasons why you CAN do a Triathlon

Sportspace Sponsored Athlete and Professional Triathlete, Amy Kilpin, gives you five reasons why you can take on a Triathlon (regardless of age, ability or experience)...

As I stood at the start line of the half Ironman World Championships last year, I had to remind myself where I had come from only a few years ago. And that, quite frankly, was nowhere.

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Everyday Champion July - Sue Sizer

Congratulations to July’s Everyday Champion, Sue Sizer, who has been nominated for the award following her outstanding weight loss journey with us here at Sportspace.

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5 ways to improve your sleep

Tips for improving sleep 

Struggling to get that all-important shuteye? The importance of having a good night’s sleep each and every night cannot be overlooked. In the hectic and fast-paced world we live in today it can be hard to settle down in the evening and look forward to a good night’s sleep – especially with the number of round-the-clock home entertainment opportunities available now too. People are going to bed later and getting up for work feeling exhausted and it’s common for some people to wake up frequently throughout the night.  But common doesn’t mean normal.

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Everyday Champion June - The Biggest Losers 2016

A slight twist has been added to this month’s ‘Everyday Champion’ award. Instead of giving the monthly accolade to an individual, we’ve gone one better and awarded it to the 20 members of our 2016 Biggest Loser group!  Their achievements could not be ignored and all of us here at Sportspace are immensely proud of everyone involved.

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SWIMTAG: technology to revolutionise your swim

With the recent launch of SWIMTAG across Sportspace sites, we asked Amy Kilpin, one of our sponsored athletes, to take it for a swim and give us her thoughts - here's what she had to say: 

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2016 Dacorum Sports Awards

Miss our coverage of the 2016 Dacorum Sports Awards last Friday night? No worries, we’ve rounded up all the highlights and the best bits for you below! 

Like last year, Little Hay Golf Complex played host to the awards and we rolled out the purple (yes, purple!) carpet for our guests as they arrived on the night.

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5 Kettlebell Exercises To Help You Get Leaner, Faster

If you want to pack on more muscle and get leaner, faster, start using kettlebells.

Not only will you generate more power, build more lean muscle and fire up your metabolism, but you’ll also improve your balance and stability. The kettlebell has a unique shape, meaning you can push, pull and swing it like no other piece of equipment, effectively adding a new branch of exercises to your workout!

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Everyday Champion May - Roderick Bugg

Congratulations to May’s ‘Everyday Champion’, Roderick Bugg, who has been nominated for the award following his inspirational journey back to fitness after being diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.

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5 Gym Myths Debunked with Sportspace

The fitness world is littered with conflicting ideas on the best way to get fit, lose fat and stay healthy. Many of which, are way wide of the mark and can actually have a negative impact on you reaching your goals. With the number of channels we can find information on increasing, we thought we’d enlist the help of Sportspace Personal Trainer, Karen Elliott, to help you cut through the clutter and debunk some of the most nonsensical gym myths out there.

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Everyday Champion April - Robert Wood

Congratulations to April’s Everyday Champion, Robert Wood, after his fantastic dedication to our ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ challenge during March.

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Eleanor Scranage-Harrison – Alpine Skiing update

Introducing Sportspace sponsored athlete, Eleanor Scranage-Harrison, a young alpine skier who wrote to us last month to give us an update on her fantastic work on the slopes!

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Everyday Champion March - Nigel Scrimshire

 

Congratulations to this month’s ‘Everyday Champion’, Nigel Scrimshire, who has been nominated for the award following his fantastic progress after joining Sportspace through the exercise referral scheme.

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Six reasons swimming lessons are essential for your child

 

With roughly 45% of 7-11-year-olds in the UK still unable to swim 25m unaided and more than 1,000 primary schools still not offering swimming lessons, ensuring your child learns to swim is more important than ever. To those not already taking swimming lessons, they may be seen as expensive, inconvenient or unessential, but here at Sportspace we believe every child should be given the opportunity to learn to swim. So we’ve compiled SIX reasons as to why swimming lessons are crucial for your child:

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Sportspace Athletics Track
Sportspace Berkhamsted
Sportspace Hemel Hempstead
Sportspace Kings Langley
Sportspace Longdean
Sportspace Tring
Little Hay Golf Complex
XC

Sportspace Athletics Track

Centre Opening Times

Monday Closed
Tuesday 2.00pm 6.30pm
Wednesday 2.00pm 9.00pm
Thursday 2.00pm 6.30pm
Friday Closed
Saturday 10.00am 2.00pm
Sunday 10.00am 2.00pm

Sportspace Berkhamsted

Centre Opening Times*

Monday 6.15am 10.00pm
Tuesday 6.15am 10.00pm
Wednesday 6.15am 10.00pm
Thursday 6.15am 10.00pm
Friday 6.15am 9.00pm
Saturday 8.00am 8.00pm
Sunday 8.00am 9.15pm

 

*Gym opening times differ, please click for more information.

Sportspace Hemel Hempstead

Centre Opening Times*

Monday 6.15am 10.00pm
Tuesday 6.15am 10.00pm
Wednesday 6.15am 10.00pm
Thursday 6.15am 10.00pm
Friday 6.15am 10.00pm
Saturday 8.00am 8.00pm
Sunday 8.00am 10.00pm

 

Sportspace Hemel Hempstead is open from 9am-10pm on bank holiday Mondays.

 

*Gym opening times differ, please click for more information.

Sportspace Kings Langley

The Sportspace Kings Langley team operates various classes and courses for all ages in local venues. Please note that these classes are not included in the Gymspace Direct Debit Membership.

 

For more information, please call 01442 507100.

Sportspace Longdean

Centre Opening Times*

Monday 6.00pm 10.00pm
Tuesday 6.00pm 10.00pm
Wednesday 6.00pm 10.00pm
Thursday 6.00pm 10.00pm
Friday 4.00pm 10.00pm
Saturday 9.00am 2.00pm
Sunday 10.00am 9.00pm

 

Please note Sportspace Longdean is closed on Bank Holidays.

 

*Gym Opening Times

Sportspace Tring

Centre Opening Times

Monday 6.15am 8.00am
4.30pm 10.15pm
Tuesday 6.15am 8.00am
4.30pm 10.15pm
Wednesday 6.15am 8.00am
4.30pm 10.15pm
Thursday 6.15am 8.00am
4.30pm 10.15pm
Friday 6.15am 8.00am
4.30pm 9.15pm
Saturday 9.00am 8.15pm
Sunday 9.00am 9.30pm

Little Hay Golf Complex

Opening Times

Summer Weekdays 7.00am 9.00pm
Summer Weekends 7.00am 8.00pm
Winter Weekdays 7.00am 6.00pm
Winter Weekends 7.00am 6.00pm

XC

Centre Opening Times*

Monday 10.00am 10.00pm
Tuesday 10.00am 10.00pm
Wednesday 10.00am 10.00pm
Thursday 10.00am 10.00pm
Friday 10.00am 10.00pm
Saturday 10.00am 10.00pm
Sunday 10.00am 10.00pm

 

*Please call reception on 01442 507100 for the specific opening times of each activity.

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