Learning to run barefoot

There's more to barefoot running than simply taking off your shoes. It takes time to get your feet fit for baring all and know-how to adapt your technique to the nuances of the barefoot strike. I unlaced my trainers and headed out with barefoot running coach, Rollo Mahon, to see how it's done...

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Fit to the core

Core training is heavy on promises - everything from better posture to a flatter tummy, improved athletic performance to fewer injuries. But does it work? A growing number of experts are contesting the benefits of core training - while others insist that it should be part of every active person's regime. Sam Murphy gets to the core of the matter...

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Down to earth

There's a move away from 'bells & whistles' footwear to something altogether more minimalist. Sam Murphy looks at some of the shoes that offer less...

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Fighting talk - find your mantra

If the findings of sport psychologists are anything to go by, you need to choose your words carefully when you talk to yourself... Sam Murphy finds out about the magic of mantras.

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Gearing up for triathlon

Smart kit choices can knock precious seconds off your transition time and help you to a faster finish. Sam Murphy finds out what's in store...

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How to get fit outdoors

Recent statistics from accountancy firm Deloitte show that gym membership is in decline in the UK. With the average monthly membership fee sitting at £46, it would be easy to blame the recession – but there is more to the gym exodus than a tightening of purse strings. Many exercisers have simply found better ways of working up a sweat outside the confines of a gym.

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Extreme workouts

Extreme workouts, it seems, are the order of the day. Some of the classes on offer at UK gyms include Psycho Circuits, Last Man Standing, TNT (There’s No Tomorrow) and, my favourite, Armageddon. While the workouts of yesteryear promised us “fun” and “fat-burning”, the latest classes come with taglines like “playtime is over”, “are you tough enough?” and “sick bag on standby”. I investigate the rise of extreme workouts - and test their appeal...

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The Magic Mile

How fast are you over a mile? Upping your pace and stamina over the distance will benefit your 5K, 10K and half-marathon times – and give you a kick that will leave the opposition gasping. Sam Murphy offers training advice and an 8-week programme to get you mile fit...

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Stretch yourself

Cyclists may be renowned for their supreme cardiovascular fitness, phenomenal power output and colossal thighs – but when it comes to flexibility, it has to be said that most of us are decidedly lacking. But does it matter? Sam Murphy finds out...

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Don't be a quitter

One in four of us abandons our New Year health or fitness resolution before January is out. More than half of us have given up within six months. Sam Murphy explains how to stick to your New Year fitness regime, this time.

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