Keep on running

By Suzanne Braithwaite

This time last year I decided to embark on a challenge. I was on maternity leave with my little girl Freya and realised it was time to start shifting the baby weight after far too many coffee and cake mornings with my new “mother and baby” friends.

Running commenced and the bright idea of attempting the London Marathon 2014 became the target.

It is now just days away (eek) till I endeavour to complete the 26.2 miles around the sights of London.  I’ve done the training, all 427 miles over a 16-week programme, and burnt over 30,000 calories, so I should (hopefully) make the finish line.

With fitness becoming an ever more important part of the wellness concept in spas, I’m lucky enough to be in a job that has helped keep me going over these last few months of agonising training – come wind, rain (remember the hurricane weather) or shine.

I’ve mixed up my training by swimming and doing yoga, but I also tried some interesting new spa fitness programmes including Speedflex, a circuit-based training concept, which launched in the UK last year.

Speedflex allowed me to try out the concept at its London-based centre in Lombord St, where the team first assessed my fitness levels using their Inbody 720 machine before I tried out the circuit. The benefit of using Speedflex to train when running a marathon is that it combines a low-impact, high-intensity cardiovascular and resistance workout for optimum calorie burn (which saves the heavy impact of road running on my knees). The circuit features seven machines, which respond to the individual’s force and to create their resistance levels, enabling users of all abilities and ages to work out together, at their own pace.

Another godsend from working in this industry is that I get to try out all the new treatments the brands come up with (I know – poor me). My aching limbs have found a full-body massage works wonders for recovery and luxury pedicures have definitely save my soles!

Thanks to LPG for letting me try out its Lipomassage – which helps to tone up and get rid of stubborn fat cells, La Sultane de Saba for its wondrous chocolate treatment and body massage (definitely a must try after a 10-mile run) and Aromatherapy Associates for sending through its De-stress Massage and Body Oil, helping to calm the mind and soothe my body (just need to convince the hubby to give me a massage now).

All this hard work is going towards two good causes, as I’m running for the charity PANDAs, which helps women (and men) who suffer from pre and post natal depression, as well as Yorkshire Cancer Research. If you would like to donate here is my fundraising page:

Thanks for all your support. See you at the finish line!

UPDATE: I did it! It is definitely one of the hardest, most mental and physical thing I've ever done but I ran the whole thing, crossing the finish line in 4hrs52mins. A massive thank you for all the support I've received. And a shout out to Kissed by Mii, who gave me a spray tan so I had a lovely golden glow while running. Who says beauty and fitness can't mix! FYI - the tan looked amazing even after crossing the finish line (marathon-proof tanning!). Also to Gelish for my gel nails I had done at Earlsfield salon American Nails - the colour match my marathon top perfectly. Here's a picture of me at the finish line with my medal.