WOMAN WITH EDGE: ZARA DAMPNEY

Zara Dampney
Zara wears Speedo Solid Rippleback Swimsuit, £21

Most of us are packing away our cossies until next year, but not Olympic beach volleyballer Zara Dampney who’ll be training in hers year round. She caught up with Fitphernalia to share her tips

When Zara and her doubles partner Shauna Mullin represented Britain in the 2012 Olympics (the first time a British team have been in the Games), there was more focus on the girls’ skimpy outfits than their performance. ‘It annoys me. When you look at other track and field athletes they wear really similar outfits, so I don’t see what all the fuss is about,’ she says, ‘I feel comfortable in what we play in – we’re often in warm conditions and you don’t want sand getting stuck in your clothes and weighing you down.’

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HOW TO… RUN A PB

‘Slow and steady wins the race’ – a lovely sentiment for life, nonsense when it comes to actually competing in an event. What you need then is SPEED.

I don’t naturally possess any. And, bizarrely, the more races I’ve done the slower I’ve got. My 10k times have gone in decline: 58 mins, 59 mins, 1hr 5mins… If I let the trajectory continue, I’d eventually grind to a halt. So a couple of months back I decided to set my next 10k race – Sure Run to the Beat, this weekend – as a goal to work towards a new personal best (PB). And I called on the wisdom of Fitness First‘s Scott Mackenzie to help me train.

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Climbercise: Indoor climbing just got cool

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Climbing walls of all sorts. Oh, and a trapeze. Well, why not?

While the headline to this post might indicate that I’ve previously branded climbing ‘uncool’, that’s not strictly true. I have always been  in awe of the monkey-limbed of the world. On the three occasions  I’ve tried indoor climbing , I’ve stood spellbound as the regulars swing from a single hand (or finger. Am I exaggerating? I’m not sure), as they scale terrifying heights. Still there’s no denying that most climbing centres traditionally come with a hefty dose of scuffed paint, naff outfits and…well…nerds.

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CALLING ALL LONDON FITTIES

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If you follow Fitphernalia on Twitter, you’ll have seen on Wednesday I announced the launch of Summer of Sweat – a series of heavily discounted pop-up fitness classes in London, courtesy of the ladies behind Lunges & Lycra. (If you don’t follow Fitphernalia on Twitter then lesson learnt. Get on it – @fitphernalia).

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