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    Give Back Friday!

    Give Back Friday!

    It's that time of year again, where shoppers will punch, kick, and even stab. Yes you heard us right, stab another person, just to get there hands on the last TV set in the store. 

    It's Black Friday!

    We have decided for our first black Friday we are going to do things a bit different. Yes! we will be still giving discounts out on our online store, however 10% of our Sales from Thursday to Monday will be donated to the Charity Re-Cycle Bicycle. Yes that's 10% off our sales online going to re-cycle Bicycle charity :) We like to call it "Give Back Friday"

    Re-Cycle Bicycle are a charity that works in partnership with six organisations across seven different African countries. They provide bikes to various African countries to help local communities increase access to opportunities, whether that be economic, educational, social or personal. Not only this but they connect workers with employment, students to schools, patients to healthcare and everyone to friends and family. 

    A bike can be so much more than just a luxury training expense to these people, it can provide so much more. 

    If you want to know more check out the video below or check out their website http://www.re-cycle.org/ 

     

     Re~Cycle supports this model of social-entrepreneurship, using a business model to achieve a charitable income.

    Thanks in advance and please feel free to share!

    Team Airofin

    Top 5 Gifts for a Cycling Enthusiast!

    Top 5 Gifts for a Cycling Enthusiast!

    It is that time of the year again, where the winter has well and truly set in and Christmas creeps ever closer. If you are struggling to think of gifts for that special cyclist in your life then take a look at our suggestions for the top 5 gifts, which will no doubt leave a smile on the face of that special someone.


    1. Strava Premium Package


    Strava is free, and the majority of cyclists are already ever present on the social fitness site. However Strava Premium is a subscription service that offers a few extra features making it that little bit more special. One feature is the Strava Live Segments, which works with Garmin Edge and Smartphones. The rider will be alerted when a segment they are interested in and when it starts they will be able to track their pace compared to their PR, their friends and King of the mountain.


    There is also the Route Builder, which uses Strava’s enormous database to suggest routes based on what’s popular with cyclists. For example, a rider can just click on the map from here to there, and Strava will fill in the route based on what cyclists ride. It’s handy for riding in new areas. A really thoughtful gift for that cyclist who loves statistics.


    https://www.strava.com/premium


    2. Smart Phone Bike Mount


    If like us you use all the sports trackers possible to see the statistics of your cycles then phone bike mount can be the perfect gift. It allows you to access features such as Google Maps from your handlebars or sports tracker so you can reach your destination. It’s also useful for using your smartphone as a very advanced bike computer.


    A relatively cheap gift idea and one that could be added as a stocking filler.


    http://www.qwerkity.com/bike-phone-holder


    3. Velgo X4 Lights


    This wrap-around bike light can be worn like a backpack or fitted over one. It may not seem like the most exciting Christmas present ever, however during these dark days there is nothing more important than a cyclists safety for when they are riding through the unlit streets.


    It is a great gift for the safety conscious cyclist!


    www.oxfordproducts.com


    4. Go pro


    Lets be totally honest most cycles aren't worthy of being filmed. However, sometimes riders do find themselves somewhere beautiful, and wouldn’t it be great if they could get some footage without a lot of fumbling around with buttons and menus?


    Well thats exactly what the Go pro Hero 5 Session has been added for. A single button press turns it on and starts recording. Press it again and it’s off. Really simple and even something your Grandparents could work.


    Theres a 4K video, voice control and a little blinking light to let users know it's rolling.

    www.gopro.com


    5. Airofin Cycling Kit


    We couldn't finish this list without adding the most essential of Christmas gifts. (wink wink) Now, if you are a really good Friend / Husband / Wife / Mother / Father / Daughter / Son / Uncle / Auntie etc, then you would be thinking the ultimate gift for any cycling enthusiast is a fresh new kit. The excitement of opening the box, unwrapping a pristine kit and putting it one before dashing out to get on the bike. There is nothing like it. So put a smile on that loved one and take a quick peek at our range.


    We know it gets expensive around Christmas and all the presents start to add up - so here is 10% OFF your first purchase. ;) Just use code NEW10

    Take a look at some of our awesome Gifts HERE!

    How to Get Rid Of That Stubborn Belly Fat!

    You don't need to spend a fortune on crappy abdominal machines and gizmos to tighten and tone those abdominals. You just need to understand a few things about the body. 

    "How do I get rid of this?" Is one of the most popular questions I get asked as a personal trainer. Men and women of every shape and size ask me this question on a frequent basis when starting out with one of our training plans, whilst pointing to their bellies with puzzled faces.

    It's the million-dollar question, and one that many companies are making more a whole lot of money from instead of offering answers. But you don't need to spend a single penny on those gimmick machines you just need to understand the human body and more importantly “your own body”.

     

    The Latest Gimmick

    These television ads promoting these devices that apparently stimulate the abdominal muscles without exercise are every where now. I even saw an infomercial for an "ab belt" that claimed it does the work of a few hundred sit-ups in ten minutes! The ad shows people doing various abdominal exercises the wrong way, hating every second of it, versus smiling men and women going about their days with "Ab-whatevers" strapped around them. How enticing!

    They pay in shape “actors” to testify that they have lost inches around the waist as a result of using these products. Many inches. Men with six-pack abs give credit to the device. This is feeding the viewership's disillusionment about how to lose the belly. How wrong they actually are. 

    If a heavy set woman does hundreds of crunches a day, she may develop strong abs, and they might tighten up a bit, but she'll still have lots of fat covering them up, and she won't look any thinner. 

    About fifty percent of her body fat is located directly beneath the skin. Do you know where most of the rest of it is? Inside the muscles. Doing crunches will not get rid of this fat, and neither will the vibrating belt in the television ads. And that my friends is just a simple fact.

    Burn The Fat

    Now lets have a look at some of the best ways to slim down in that mid region

    Examples of exercise which will actually help burn that fat around the belly. 

    • Walking

    • Running

    • swimming

    • Cycling

    So yes if your a triathlete you are in luck, as all of these sports you should be paying enough attention to. 

    However other activities such as volleyball, tennis and basketball or any activity that brings your heart rate to its training zone and keeps it there for at least twenty minutes conditions your heart and burns fat.

    High intensity circuit and weight training is perfect for this. If you take a look at any professional cross fit athlete you won’t see them carrying around a big gut. 

    As you lose subcutaneous fat, your skin will become more taut. As the fat within your muscles decreases, you will appear more toned and less flabby. The number one thing you need to think about is the cardio. Five times a week as a minimum. Diet will pay a HUGE role in the reduction of your stomach and waist size as well.

    Make Your Body A More Effective Fat Burner!

    Large Muscle Groups To Concentrate On

    • Front and back of thighs

    • Buttocks

    • Back

    • Chest

    • Triceps and biceps

    • Calves

    • Hips

    • Forearms

    • Shoulders

    Toning along with cardiovascular work will speed up and improve the process, but don't think that you only need to work on your abs. This is another grave misconception. The truth is that when you work all the larger muscle groups, adding more mass to your muscles, you rev up your metabolism to heights it has never before reached.

    Your muscles will need extra calories to maintain themselves, so more of the food you eat will be feeding your muscles instead of your trouble spots. Your conditioned heart (from the cardiovascular stuff) is more effective at burning calories as well.

    As the fat comes off your body, it will come off your belly. Your body fat is like one organ, located throughout your body, and you can't take it off of just one spot unless you have liposuction done.

    Always work your abs at the end of your workout. There's a good reason for this. You are indirectly using them for all the other exercises you do.

    The abs are important stabilizer muscles that keep your form in check. If you do abs first, you will tire them out, and your whole workout will be less than optimal. Work down from the largest to the smallest muscles.

    Crunches and sit-ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine. This muscle compresses the abdomen to a point, but there are other muscles that you need to pay attention to, as well.

    The internal and external obliques, are located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. They are the muscles you use when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist. They also contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. Adding a twist to crunches works, as well as dumbbell side bends, but be careful not to use any jerky motions, especially if you've had back problems.

    The transversus abdominis is located at your sides, below the obliques. Often called "lower abs," this is the muscle that women who are trying to lose the belly after pregnancy should concentrate on. Exercises that call for raising the legs instead of the upper body are very effective at strengthening the transversus.

    Walking at a decent intensity puts all of the abdominal muscles to work. Make sure you swing your arms and contract your midsection while you walk, and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body accustomed to a daily walk, you'll hate to go a day without it. Walk for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

    Weight training not only helps the metabolism, but it also strengthens the bones. Women who work out with weights are much less likely to develop osteoporosis in later years than their counterparts. Adding muscle also does wonders for the energy level and self-esteem.

    Contrary to a popular myth, lifting weights will not bulk you up with muscles that will eventually turn to more fat. They will give you a more feminine and symmetrical shape. If you enjoy weight training, do it.

    Yoga is equally effective at strengthening the body, especially the abs and back. It improves the posture tremendously, to create a taller, leaner appearance. Pilates and many mat-based exercises are also great alternatives. The important thing is that you find an activity that you like to do. This will greatly improve the odds of you sticking to it.

    The most important thing you need to do is to program yourself mentally. Don't use a scale to measure your progress. If you work out with weights, you may gain a few pounds while losing inches around the waist. Instead, use that pair of jeans that you want to fit into again, or a pair that fits you now. You'll see a slight change every few weeks, and that should give you confidence.

    You are able to sculpt out a slimmer silhouette with cardiovascular exercise, a healthy, balanced diet and whatever bonus activities you throw in. In terms of diet the key is to eat natural foods, anything that grows from the ground, hangs from tree’s and food that is not full of sugar or has been highly processed. The types of food we would avoid are white refined carbohydrates, like white pasta, rice, or bread. These are good for quick release energy before sport but should be used sparingly and only before exercise as if they are not used they are essentially materialised into fat. Cereals are another low quality food with minimal nutrient impact and are usually packed with sugar. These cereals should be avoided as they provide the body with very little nutritional content. Finally anything that has processed sugar in or any other form of the word (Anhydrous Dextrose, Cane Crystals, Cane Sugar, Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup Solids and Crystal Dextrose) should be avoided at all costs. Orange juice is an example of what people perceive to be healthy however the orange juice, even if it is fresh has had all the fibre removed which means the sugar is very quickly absorbed into the body and if not utilised is turned into fat. The amount of sugar in one glass of orange juice is equivalent to a coca cola. 

    I'm not telling you that it's easy, but it really is pretty simple. In an age where people don't even have to go outside to grill a steak, it's tempting to spend a few dollars on a quick fix. Human anatomy hasn't changed much throughout history, however. If you adopt that hard work ethic and apply it to your every day life, you will achieve your greatest results.

    How To Smash Through Your Running PB's During The Off Season!

    How To Smash Through Your Running PB's During The Off Season!

    It’s wintertime, the temperature is dropping to single-digits, and snow is looking more ominous. The thought of getting out of that cosy bed, lacing the trainers and thrashing through that icy cold air doesn't sound all that appealing. 

    The cold temperatures combined with the darker days is not very motivating even for the most dedicated of runners. One of the best strategies for getting through the tough winter months is to sign up for an early spring race to keep motivated throughout the off season. 

    The winter months shouldn't just be about maintenance however. This is the period where serious improvements can, and should be made. Think about it! During the season you have race after race, competition after competition and much of the preparation for those races is working on getting back to full fitness and recovery after difficult races. There is limited time to focus on really developing any weaker parts of you race. 


    We have put together some really killer tactics to improve your run time during those winter months, to come back stronger, faster and fitter. 

     

    1) Work on Hills 


    "Running up steep hills is really fun" Said Nobody ever!! Let's face it, running up hills sucks. Yes going back down them is a little bit more enjoyable but to get better and quicker we have to practice working on them. Hill work will improve your running times drastically. To start out try finding a hill that is roughly 250-500m long with a gradual ascent and work up and down this for a set period of time. After a while you will notice your legs will become stronger and will take them a lot longer to fatigue. 


    2) Focus on Speed 


    When I started training for my first triathlon, I was still pretty new to running. I’d been at it properly for just over a year, and the thought of intentionally running faster sounded pretty grim. I just wanted to finish the races. During subsequent training cycles, I learned that speed work (pushing harder in the middle of a workout at a specific speed for a specific amount of time) would change everything. That’s right, running faster… helps you get faster. Pretty crazy, right? Speed work works best when you’re running hard at a distance relative to your race distance, so tempo runs or mile repeats are best for marathoners. I always felt like I was getting a little bit of speed but lots of endurance from mile repeats. Give this a go and see what happens to your race times.


    3) Work on stride length and speed


    Working on your stride length and speed is perhaps something you would need a coach to help with. However there are a few little tricks that can help with improving both stride length and speed. The first thing is to work on flexibility in your hip flexors (front of the hip). This will give you the ability to improve the length of your stride. The next thing to look at working on is your flight time (The amount of ground you can cover whilst both feet are off the floor). This is a product of power, that a runner generates pre take off from forward not vertical propulsion. One way to increase this power is to work on hill runs as we have just discussed, along with some form of power strength training. 


    4) Mix up your training


    Yes getting better at running you have to run, a lot. But the daily grind on your knees of running constantly can actually be detrimental to improving run times. You need to come up with a range of training options where you can still improve your cardiovascular fitness but take some strain of your knees. Swimming, cycling and even crossfit type workouts can not only provide a refreshing break from slogging away pounding the streets but it can provide a well earned rest for your knees and shins. Most runners never consider another form of training during the season. It’s somewhat understandable due to time constraints or other factors during the race season, but now it's the off season and there are no more reasons or excuses.


    5) strengthen your legs


    Strength training is an important component in most professional sports. In distance running, however, we’re in the stone ages. Strength training has been proven to improve running performance, whether that’s running economy or time to exhaustion. A lot of times people associate strength training with getting buff and that is not the case if done correctly. Strengthening the legs with the correct exercises should be a crucial aspect of every triathletes and runners training programme.

     

    The Ultimate Cycling Holidays!

    The Ultimate Cycling Holidays!

    Are you looking for your next cycling holiday destination in Europe? And just not sure where to go? 

    Well, here at Airofin we have put together the ultimate list of holiday destinations for you cyclists. The excitement of a cycling holiday is incomparable with any other holiday for us. The close connection to nature, the absence from daily life and the daily leg burn from those uphill climbs makes the cycling holiday a pure delight for the team at Airofin. 

    We have put together a list of our top cycling destinations with some of the best up hill cycle climbs you can do. 

     

    1) Stelvio Pass - Italy 

     

    This is a mountain pass in Northern Italy with an elevation of 2757m. It is the highest paved mountain pass in the Easter Alps and has some of most spectacular views. Each year on the last Saturday of August or the fist Saturday of September the Stelvio National park organises the Stelvio Bike Day where they close off all roads except for cyclists. It has been ranked in the top 5 “Must Ride” climbs in Italy. It is definitely worth a visit, however it is geared more towards the advanced cyclists. 

    Difficulty 8/10

     

    2) Alpe d’Huez - France

     

    This is a cyclists dream… or Hell, depending on whether you love steep climbs or not. Based in the centre of the French Alps. Every day during summer an average of 1000 cyclists climb this mythical ascent. It is a once in a lifetime climb with some absolutely world class views and surroundings. We would highly recommend the location due to the scenery and the friendliness of the locals.  

    Difficulty 9/10

     

    3) Grossglockner - Austria

     

      

    The Grossglockner High Alpine pass is the highest surfaced mountain pass road in Austria in the state of Salzburg with an altitude of 2504m. This is one of the ultimate challenges for cyclists with steep ascents and quick descents however the breath taking surroundings make up for the tough terrain. The best times are before 9am and after 3pm due to lower levels of traffic. It is an amazing cycling destination for intermediate and advanced cyclists. 

    Difficulty 8/10

     

    4) Col Du Galibier - France

     

     

    Col Du Galibier is another mountain pass in France, however this is in the southern region of the French Alps near Grenoble. It is the ninth highest paved road in the Alps but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t home to some of the best views in the world. Also known as ‘cycling paradise’ to the Airofin Cycle Team. The pass has been used in various Tour De France’s and was used in 2011 twice to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first appearance in the Tour De France. This is a great cycle pass and has some spectacular views and climbs, it is not the most difficult out of all the climbs but is certainly no easy challenge. 

    Difficulty 7/10 

     

    5) Trollstigen - Norway

     

     

    Trollstigen is a serpentine mountain road in Rauma Municipality in Norway. Norway is not necessarily renowned for cycling however this is one of the most dramatic places to ride in Europe. Deep in the mountains of western Norway the main climb is 12.2km, so whilst not the steepest of climbs not many can match it for the incredible landscape through which is passes. Surrounded by cascading waterfalls, lush valleys and sheer cliffs, this is one that has to be added to the cycling bucket list. It is not the most challenging of rides however it does possess some tricky parts and challenges throughout. 

     

    Difficulty 6/10

     

    If you have any other locations which you can recommend then please get in touch with us or leave us a comment on one of our social media pages!!

     

    Thanks and spread the cycle love by giving us a share if you enjoyed.