Top Outdoor Challenges For 2016 February 02 2016

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Whether you're big into cycling, wild about running or just fancy trying something different this year, 2016 won't be short of outdoor events across the UK to keep you fit and healthy. Many of these events are a great way to raise money for charity so if you want to set yourself a personal challenge and raise some money for a good cause while you're at it, then read on.

Hill Walking

Where marathons and swimming can feel like very unitary, solo activities, hill walking is an activity you can enjoy the company of others in and share an amazing experience you'll remember forever. The breath-taking views from the top are also an additional, attractive perk of hill walking. Many hill walks are open challenges meaning that you can choose from a selection of charities to raise money for.

Ben Nevis, located in the Scottish Highlands is the highest mountain in Britain and a very popular spot. You have the option of undertaking your challenge in summer or if you're really brave, in winter. Other popular challenges include the Lake District 5 Peaks (15 July) and 24 Peaks (10 June) for more experienced hill walkers. Both Ben Nevis and the Lake District walks can be done at midnight to really take advantage of the scenery against the backdrop of a rising sun. However, if you're really passionate about mountaineering why not try the revered Welsh3000s (10 June)? It is one of the most challenging mountain climbs to undertake but has some amazing views to boast of.

Cycling

If cycling is your thing, there's a wealth of interesting cycling events happening across the UK this year. The Edinburgh Night Ride is a 50 mile overnight cycle across Scotland's capital city happening on June 18. With sights that will include The Castle, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament Buildings, the Fourth Road Bridge and even a coastal route thrown in for good measure, it will be a varied and extremely interesting cycle to say the least. If you fancy going further afield than the UK however, the London to Paris cycle is happening on 7 September for 5 days to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK. You will begin in London's city centre and finish off underneath the Eiffel Tower, having cycled a whopping 300 miles. And with Paris to enjoy afterwards what could be a better reward?

Fun Runs

If you feel a bit daunted by the prospect of cycling all night or climbing up the highest mountain in Britain why not ease yourself into outdoor challenges by doing a fun run? Charities frequently hold fun runs and walks across the UK as they are an easy way for people to get active and involved with a good cause! This March 20th the Where's Wally Fun Run is happening in London's Clapham Commons to raise money for National Literary Trust. It's a manageable 1Km and you can jog, walk or run your way through it, dressed as Wally of course. However, if London is a bit too far afield look up fun runs and charity walks happening in near you!


Winter Workout Motivation January 26 2016

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Whether your New Years resolutions involved running, cycling, walking or mountain climbing, most people's will have involved some form of fitness plan for self-improvement throughout the year ahead. However, a couple of weeks into January and the dark mornings, frosty footpaths and limited daylight of winter can get many people's spirits down. To beckon back that ever receding motivation we have put together a list of ways you can get yourself back on track when you feel yourself struggling.

Realistic Expectations

If you started 2016 with the intention of getting up at 5am and running for an hour before getting ready for work then chances are, unless you have already been running for quite a while, you were defeated before you even really got started. Your workout shouldn't be a form of punishment and if you're making yourself get up at an ungodly hour before you even have a real investment or passion for the exercise then you've no real chance. And this does nothing to improve your waning motivation. Beginning with baby steps instead of a hardcore regime will foster better feelings about the workout itself. Then you can gradually up your game as you go along!

Goal Setting: Short Term/Mid Term/Long Term

Instead of having vague New Year workout "resolutions" for 2016, call them "goals" and put together a more concrete and detailed plan. Group your goals into short term, mid-term and long terms categories defined by months throughout the year. E.g. a goal set for December 2016 would be a long term goal but something you want to achieve by May would be a mid-term goal. Having this more detailed insight to what your goals are will make them feel immediately more achievable. Think of it as a year-long to-do list!

Have a Bit of Fun

Bring a bit of fun into your workout by compiling a running playlist if the repetitiveness is something getting to you. Songs with more than 120 beats per minute are meant to make exercise seem easier. Stumped for ideas? Spotify and Songza have some great playlists put together especially for working out purposes! If music just isn't cutting it though, fear not, because you can now run away from hordes of zombies whenever you feel like it. Yes, you heard me correctly, Zombies, Run! is an app with 200 different missions involving outrunning zombies who are hot on your trail. It's an adventure game that you actually have an active input beyond pressing buttons and who knows, it might be just what you need to get those motivation levels soaring.

Get Yourself a Nice Workout Kit

Working out can make even the most confident of us feel very self-conscious. If you throw on old clothes that don't necessarily make you feel very good about yourself, this will have a reflection on your motivation for going through with the workout at all. So, it's important to invest in a workout kit you'd actually like to be seen in. Factoring in comfort, warmth and breathability are all important key factors in putting together your workout kit. Don't get held back on those rainier days either by having a good waterproof coat at the ready too.

Reward Yourself

Is there a better source of motivation than the thought of having your favourite meal, watching that new show on Netflix or having a relaxing bath after your workout? Promising yourself these little treats for after you've finished your workout are important to keep yourself motivated and to recognise working out as being something rewarding within your life.


Revamping Dry January January 19 2016

Feeling guilty about not partaking in Dry January? Never fear, we're giving Dry January an entirely new meaning!

As it's one of the coldest, wettest months of the year, we recognise how important your clothing choices are in tackling the elements and the impact that these choices can have on your overall wellbeing. Let's face it, have you ever gotten soaked by the rain and been completely fine with it? The unpredictability of the weather and the way in which it affects our moods, (and sometimes our entire day) is quite often exacerbated by poor clothing choices, particularly outerwear. Your fur collared leather jacket might look great with your outfit but the moment you get caught in a rain shower it is an immediately regrettable choice. I know. I've been there. So, if for 2016, you want to finally say no to being cold and wet, we've compiled your Dry January guide to waterproof clothing, detailing all the different styles of jackets and coats and explaining how wash and reproof your Mac in a Sac when the time comes round to it.

Mac in a Sac Classic Waterproof Packaway

You don't have to sacrifice style for comfort with Mac in a Sac. Available in a range of fourteen colours you can ensure your Mac in a Sac goes with whatever outfit you choose to wear! It's waterproof, windproof and breathable qualities will protect you from the elements so you're free to enjoy your day without the weather ruining it. With a concealable hood and adjustable drawcord you can customise your Mac in a Sac depending on the weather and your size. The Mac in a Sac Classic is also unisex so you can choose his and hers.

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Mac in a Sac Full-Length Unisex Waterproof Travel Coat

You'll get full coverage from the rain in this stylish, long length coat. Fully waterproof from top to bottom, this coat is perfect for those particularly nasty rainy days to ensure you can get on with your day as normal! Can also be packed away into its own stuff sac for when the sun decides to make an appearance. Flatteringly fitted with a detachable hood and belt so you can customize your look whatever way you want.

Mac in a Sac Elle Women's Waterproof Packaway

Retaining all of the waterproof, windproof and breathable features of the Classic Packaway, Elle comes in a range of cute polka dot patterns if the block colours of Classic aren't your thing! It still has all the practical protective features that the Classic packaway has but with an additional feminine twist.

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Mac in a Sac Strata Jersey Lined Jacket

Offering all the protective, rain proof qualities that the Classic has, this jacket is perfect for those particularly nippy, wintery days with an additional thermal Jersey lining to ensure you stay toasty. With breathable fabric, comfort cuffs and a packaway hood in the collar you can embrace the winter months without fear of feeling the chill in the air! With the option of packing it away into its own pocket, this jacket is really handy to throw into a handbag if you're in a rush. Like the Classic, the Strata jacket is also unisex.

alt="Mac in a Sac Unisex Strata Jersey Lined Jacket"

 And Something For The Kids!

Mac in a Sac Kids Packaway Raincoat

Easily packed away into a compact sac, this raincoat can be kept in a school bag in case of rain showers at break time. Also perfect for school trips whenever the weather isn't in your favour. It is lightweight, breathable and waterproof with a concealed, adjustable hood.

alt="Mac in a Sac Kids Packaway Raincoat"

 Target Dry Kids Little Nipper Rainsuit/Splash Suit

This rainsuit/splash suit offers full length protection from the rain so that your little one doesn't need to hold back whenever there's a good looking puddle to splash in! Made from lightweight, waterproof material but sized so that it offers room for an extra layer underneath on the particularly chilly days.

alt="Target Dry Kids Little Nipper Rainsuit/Splash Suit"

 Clothing Features Explained

  • Waterproof 5000mm: This is the measurement used to determine how resistant to water a particular fabric is. What defines "waterproof" is set by standards determined through a test that entails placing a long column on top of a garment sample and then filling the column with water successively until it leaks. 5000mm translates to 5 metres worth of water resistance on most of our products, for instance, the Mac in a Sac 2. The garment has to withhold at least 1500mm to be 100% waterproof.
  • Breathable 5000GSM: This tests the amount of water vapour (in grams) that pass through a 1 metre sq of fabric. Breathability is all about not allowing condensation to build up. This will, ultimately, keep you warmer.
  • Fully Taped Seams: The stitching in waterproof clothing is normally a weak point because the tiny holes from the stitches aren't of course waterproof. Heat-shrunk taping is used on stitched seams in order to eliminate any chance of leakage.
  • Concealed Hoods: Packaway jackets have their hood tucked under the collar meaning that it can be kept from getting in the way when it's too wet. It can also be adjusted with toggles.
  • Reversed Zip: Zips on our products are made from both plastic and nylon. Through improving the zip for Mac in a Sac 2 and making it a reversible zip, its surface is much more flush to the outer-fabric. This also improves windproofing.
  • 2 Way Zip: With 2 way zips the lower half of the zip can be unzipped whilst helpfully keeping the top section zipped. This proves useful for stepping into cars and also onto horses or bikes.
  • Packaway: Many of our items can be stored in their own supplied stuff sack which is compact enough to be stored in a bag or briefcase for when it isn't raining.
  • Adjustable Hem/Hood: Features can be adjusted easily using the elasticated cords and spring loaded toggles. This in turn will improve the fitting.

How to Care for Waterproof Products

Through wear, you may notice some of your Mac in a Sac's great rain resistance and breathability features are diminishing slightly as time goes on. This is an easily fixable issue meaning you can ensure your rain protection continues and you get your money's worth (and more) from your Mac in a Sac. The process involves washing your Mac in a Sac and (if needed) reproofing it also to restore its original rain resistance performance.

Washing Your Mac in a Sac

All Target Dry products are machine washable at 30 degrees, a delicate setting, if your washing machine provides this option. There are many different types of wash and re-proof products on the market, however, for your Mac in a Sac we recommend using NikWax Two-Stage treatment. This product can also be used on all sorts of outdoor equipment such as tents, awnings and rucksacks etc.

  1. Firstly, make sure to clean out the detergent dispenser of your washing machine as the chemicals in ordinary detergent can affect the features of your clothing through stripping down the waterproof coating which will make it more likely to produce leaks. Also make sure to do up any zips, buttons or Velcro tabs to avoid them getting caught in the washing machine.
  2. Washing too many items in the machine at once will impair the effectiveness of the wash. Limit it to two items at once and also ensure they are both waterproof items.
  3. Use three full caps (150ml) for medium/hard water or 2 full caps (100ml) for soft water.
  4. When wash completed, avoid scrunching or kneading your waterproof clothing as this is abrasive on the material.

If you find that the fabric of your Mac in a Sac is absorbing water as opposed to repelling it then it may be time to do some reproofing. This isn't necessary after every time you wash it, simply if you notice that it may need it.

Reproofing Your Mac in a Sac

There is no need to wait for your items to dry after washing, you can get straight to reproofing! Reproofing products can come in wash in format or spray on format. NikWax Two Stage Treatment is a wash-in treatment.

  1. Being a wash-in treatment it is again necessary to ensure that you remove any detergent build up in your detergent dispenser.
  2. Use a max of two waterproof items in the washing machine.
  3. Use two full caps (100ml) of NikWax TX Wash-In per garment.
  4. Wash on 30 degrees
  5. When finished, leave to dry in an airing cupboard or on a washing line (weather permitting of course).

Challenge Or Adventure December 21 2015

Every now and then, you decide to do something out of the ordinary. Something worthwhile. Something that will not only challenge you but also please you. Recently I had the privilege and pleasure of helping a group of local ladies fulfil that wish, as we embarked on the National Three Peaks Challenge. 

This was one heck of a road trip! Leaving Belfast (in our snazzy Target Dry jackets), we first took on the highest peak in the UK, the mighty Ben Nevis in Scotland, before heading south to complete the extremely gorgeous and picturesque Scafell Pike in England, and finishing with the breath-taking Snowdon in Wales before sailing back to Dublin and driving north again to complete our challenge. Five countries travelled, three highest peaks climbed and nearly 1000 miles driven in 5 days. Needless to say a large glass of wine was entertained in the celebrations! 

We chose to complete one peak a day, in comparison to the popular 24 hour challenge that seems to have grown rapidly over the last few years. It’s nice to see that the British Mountaineering Council is also recommending this approach. Personally, I am not a fan of the 24 hour structure. I feel it not only increases risk of injury when attempting to complete all three mountains in such a short time frame, but it also has a negative impact on the environment both on the hills and the surrounding areas in terms of traffic, littering and human waste. It also reduces the amount of financial spending taking place in local areas in terms of retail and tourism. The abundance of people being off loaded from a bus and ‘dumped’ on a mountain, to practically run straight up and down again, only to scramble straight back on to a bus….well, just simply fills me with a mixture of dread and disappointment!

I fully understand that taking on a challenge such as The Three Peaks, is often a test of physical and mental strength for a lot of people. I used to be a competitive athlete, so I get it! However, when it comes to the hills, I just don’t understand why you would want to rush that experience and miss out on fully enjoying your surroundings. Hiking against the clock, for me, takes away what hiking is all about. For me, submerging myself in nature in its purest form such as mountain ranges, is all about really appreciating the natural earth. It’s about watching cloud formations, watching weather systems approach, feeling the temperature change, the sun’s heat penetrate your body and the wind on your face. It’s about taking time to have a cup of tea and watch the ravens dance, listen to the wildlife sing their songs, and fully embrace the feeling of achievement and wholesomeness when finally standing on that summit. So, for me, I’m finding myself ask the question, ‘when did it all become about the challenge and not the experience’

But hey, each to their own! I never say never, so who knows, one day I may find myself taking part in one of these challenges. Perhaps for a good cause such as a charity fundraiser. However, if I do, I will ensure I take the odd moment to look up, I won’t leave any trace and will gently look after the environment and surrounding areas that I have the privilege to explore.


Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy During Winter December 07 2015

ways to stay fit and healthy over winter, fitness blog

With the weather starting to turn colder and the days getting shorter, you may be wondering how to stay fit and healthy this winter. Check out some of my top winter health tips below...

Keep Your Immune System Strong

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to keep your immune system running smoothly. Make sure you drink enough water, and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg. Give your immune system an extra boost with foods that are high in vitamin C, like lemons, kiwifruit, capsicum and broccoli.

Sleep Well

The NHS recommend getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, but instead most of us only get an average of six and a half. In winter, our bodies are naturally inclined to sleep more because of the longer nights - so embrace this and get all the rest you need.

Stay Active

During winter it's vital to stay active. Regular exercise will help strengthen your immune system, reduce stress levels, and help you stay on top of your fitness. Don't go overboard, though, as straining yourself too much will have the opposite effect. Aim for 20 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week.

Get Some Fresh Air

One of the most easily overlooked winter health tips is the importance of getting outdoors into the fresh air every day. As your body works harder to stay warm, it produces endorphins which will create a strong sense of happiness, plus your body needs a daily dose of Vitamin D. Take advantage of the season to try a new activity, like ice skating, which will help encourage you out of the house.

Wrap Up

When you do head out into the outdoors this winter, make sure you protect yourself from the elements. Dress in layers of sweat resistant materials, and go for items which are easy to take on and off, so that you can adjust your body temperature easily - and don't forget the importance of a good waterproof outer layer to protect yourself from both wind and rain.

 


Time to hit the ‘reset’ button November 26 2015

Last night I had the most amazing workout. Ever.

I have been feeling a bit pressured with life recently so I am aware I need to make some peaceful time for myself to 'reset'. But I have also been feeling like I want to have bundles of energy to train hard and get through that massive To Do List. So, a bit muddled up lately. Do you ever get like that? Feel like you're spinning in circles and not getting anywhere fast?

For a while I've been craving a big workout with my beloved sandbags, and because it was such a beautiful evening I grabbed them and headed for the coast. I was definitely not disappointed.

The environment and pace of life of the great outdoors simply lent itself to the most perfect combination for a calm, but strong workout. I trained my body well, while also managing to calm my anxiety, decrease the stress levels, and gain some clarity again. I didn't leave feeling 'pumped' or buzzing full of high energy endorphins. I felt strong and content. A wonderful feeling.

I put together three different workout routines, which I really enjoyed, and the scenery...well, you can see for yourself! It certainly did the trick. The environment definitely contributed to me feeling totally energized, revitalized, strong and de-stressed. Amazing. And it's moments like this that reiterate why I am so passionate, through Tribal Fitness, to provide other women with the support to engage in similar outdoor training opportunities. The benefits really are endless.

Grab your trainers, fitness gear and of course a waterproof jacket and head outdoors. Whether it's for a run, jog or a power walk, you will feel calm, renewed and ready for what life may throw at you. 


Five Health Benefits of Getting Outdoors October 06 2015

Whenever I was feeling ill as a child, my mum always took me out for a walk - to “get a breath of fresh air”. And in fact, there’s a lot to be said for that good old fashioned remedy; huge amounts of research and scientific studies have all proven that spending time outside in nature is fantastically good for us, for a variety of reasons…

Relaxation

The sounds and smells of natural environments are extremely beneficial for mental health, providing a sense of calm and aiding relaxation. Leading sound expert Julian Treasure says that birdsong is one of the most reassuring sounds to human ears, and other natural sounds are just as relaxing. Then there’s the smell of the forest: trees and plants emit an organic compound called phytoncides, and when inhaled this can help reduce anxiety.

Recovery

Research undertaken by Professor Roger Ulrich at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has shown that the countryside can have a positive impact on recovering from illnesses. In fact, he found that even a simple view of trees through a hospital window could improve recovery rates.

Defence

Vitamin D is produced and activated in our bodies when sunlight hits our skin. This vitamin helps fight certain conditions, including osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Regular exercise also helps to prevent some cancers, as well as tackling obesity which can lead to dozens of future problems.

Focus

Spending time in nature can also boost creativity and improve focus. Our everyday lives are over stimulating and getting outdoors can give our brains a break from that, restoring attention levels. Many really successful and creative people, including Goethe, Dickens, Darwin, Beethoven, and - more recently - Steve Jobs, were known for taking long walks to help them focus, so you’re in great company!

Happiness

Being outdoors makes us feel good! Studies have shown show that activities outdoors, particularly in natural environments, make us feel more happy than the same activities performed indoors. People who live within 1km of a park or wooded area also experience less anxiety and depression than those living further away from green spaces, and spending time in nature has been proven to lower levels of stress and boost happiness.

So, there you have it - five excuses to take a break from work or whatever is stressing you out and just head outdoors. Of course, mother nature can't always be relied upon for a clear, dry day. Make sure you pop on a waterproof jacket to protect you from the elements. A packaway rain mac is the perfect solution for a lightweight, handy option to take with you on any outdoors trip. 


Why Walking Is Good For You September 16 2015

If you’re not exactly a gym bunny, the thought of regular exercise might cause you to break out into a cold sweat or bring out the most creative and elaborate excuses. 

For many, it’s the thought of being judged by other gym-goers or the fear of looking incredibly unfit and out of shape. It could also be the boredom factor. Running on a treadmill doesn’t exactly stimulate the senses. 

Walking is arguably the easiest and most enjoyable form of exercise. You can get out and about, take in the scenery, breathe in the fresh air whilst knowing that you are doing the body the world of good. We run through a few of the top benefits of enjoying a brisk walk every now and again.

It helps with weight loss

A fast 30 minute walk will help you burn 150 calories, which is roughly the equivalent of one thin slice of pizza or 10 tortilla chips. A good walk will increase muscle mass and tone, which will in turn speed up your metabolism. 

It reduces lethargy and increase energy levels

Ever suffer from an afternoon slump? A quick walk will help to increase oxygen supply to every cell in the body. Make sure to get out at lunchtime so you feel refreshed and awake.

It helps you sleep better

Oregon State University stated that ’30 minutes of brisk walking over five days could help you sleep more easily’. The study showed that the participants slept better and felt more alert during the day.

If you’re prone to spending an hour on your phone every evening, go for a quick walk a couple of hours before bedtime and set your phone on the other side of the room. You don’t want to undo the benefits of your evening stroll!

Improve your mood and feel happy

Being active releases endorphins, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Whilst a walk is not high intensity or a fat burning exercise, it does help to improve your mood and certainly the social aspect helps to make it much more enjoyable. 

Check out your local or national walking clubs and get social to increase your motivation and improve your mental wellbeing. In Northern Ireland, there are several walking festivals or events that you can take part in. The Ramblers also have a finder tool so you can view details on your nearest walking club across the UK and Ireland.

Improve your general health

Getting outdoors not only improves your fitness, it can also help with your general health. Vitamin D is hard to get from food sources, but it can be generated from natural sunlight. Getting plenty of Vitamin D is vital for your bone health and immunity.

Walking also helps to lower your blood pressure and it can improve memory (by boosting cognitive performance) and enhance creativity in the young. This has all been proven through experimental studies from University institutions and health clinics. Walking genuinely is the best solution for improving your fitness, energy levels and your mental wellbeing.

Don't let the unpredictable British and Irish weather spoil your walking sessions, a packaway Mac in a Sac jacket is the perfect way to keep dry while staying fit. 

 


Meet Guest Blogger Nikki; A Fitness & Outdoors Fanatic August 11 2015

 

My name is Nikki, and I’m an addict

Let’s get straight to the point…I have a passion for nature and for fitness. In fact, I think it’s bordering on the side of addiction. But hey, I’m cool with that. There are worse addictions!

So, hi! My name is Nikki, and I’m an addict!

As with any passion (or addiction), it exists, surely, for the primary aim of achieving happiness. And I am unbelievably thankful that I can very easily find this, every single day, by just walking out of my front door.

These passions have steered me from a very early age. I was the child who was always climbing trees, walking down streams, competing in many sports, and choosing to sit outside for as long as possible (even if it meant wrapping myself in a hundred layers, and under an umbrella!). I found school hard. Not necessarily academically, but because I found it a form of torture. For someone who has an addition to being outdoors and embracing nature, being trapped in a classroom for hours on end, just looking out the window at what’s on offer, is just plain cruel.

Growing into adulthood, my love of exercise and nature only strengthened, as I would spend endless hours watching the sea, taking photographs of wildlife and losing myself in countryside walks. The enormous amount of benefits that can be achieved from both physical activity and immersing yourself in the great outdoors, is well documented. It was therefore inevitable that I wanted to maximize on this and due to my sporting interest, I was to become involved in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. I had found a career trying to help others achieve a similar level of addition! Perfect!

Or so I thought.

Despite my years of commitment of working within the health and fitness remit, I was not 100% happy. Sure, I was doing what I loved. I was training people and helping them to become healthier both physically and mentally. I was helping communities by providing them with sustainable activity opportunities. I was educating and encouraging children about the benefits of exercise. I was developing plans for new parks. I was writing obesity strategies for local government. I was running healthy eating programmes for families. But there was a missing part of the jigsaw. I needed to step away from the desk and get outside! And I wanted my clients to experience and understand the huge benefits of being outdoors, even if they weren’t being physically active. You see, I am totally passionate about encouraging people to explore the great outdoors more. Especially in Northern Ireland as we have amazing opportunities here, right on our doorstep, (and for free!), that many people are simply unaware of or just not utilizing!

There is a burning desire within me, to really support and encourage females and children to get outside and be active! For me it is one of the most important and fundamental issues in our society right now. (Oh dear, I can feel the passion in my belly bubbling up about this, so I shall step aside from this line of thought and leave that for another day!).

Despite my passion, addition, obsession, or whatever you want to call it at this stage; launching my own business, Tribal Fitness, was never on the horizon at all, and actually developed completely by accident and very much unexpectedly! But hey, you just gotta roll with the punches in life sometimes.

While on maternity leave I moved back to Northern Ireland, and me being me, I just couldn’t sit in and be surrounded by four walls and a mountain of nappies every day. I needed the walls to disappear and I needed to be walking on real mountains!

I mentioned in passing to other local mums that I was thinking of doing an outdoor exercise session once a week with my baby (I am a qualified pre/postnatal fitness instructor), just to keep me sane! Within ten minutes I had twenty names on the list. Alas, Tribal Fitness was born.

Within three years, I was saturated with demands and had to make the hard decision whether to scale back, scrap it all, or franchise. I franchised, and now have four totally amazing ladies running their own Tribes. And still looking for more!

This was fantastic! We were helping ladies through our female only bootcamps to engage in a realistic and fun way to keep healthy. Mums were also ecstatic as they were catered for with our Pramtastic sessions, which meant they didn’t need childcare to exercise in a safe group, and of course had the added bonus of meeting new friends. However, there were two more passions of mine that weren’t being fulfilled, and I had itchy feet again.

Children. I could go on and on and on forever about this, so I shall be extremely brief. I believe it is vitally important that our young children are not only educated, but also given the opportunities, alongside their parents, to embrace a healthy lifestyle, incorporating physical activity and a healthy approach to food. Thus, RunnerBeans Bootcamp was formed. (phew, I did well to keep that short.).

But my main itch was still the abundance of nature that was laying there, just waiting for these lovely ladies to discover. I was lucky enough that one of my best friends is a qualified mountain leader and activities instructor, and jumped at the chance of launching Tribal Fitness Adventures: an offshoot to the main company. We run regular day (and night!) hikes in the marvelous Mournes, as well as organizing trips away such as Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, the highest peak in Ireland. All our trips are female only, so it gives women the chance to experience something different in a relaxed and friendly environment. A lot of ladies are under enormous amounts of pressure and often carry guilt about ‘taking time off’ from their role as ‘employee’ or ‘mum’ or ‘wife’ or ‘daughter’ but once they are surrounded by nature, the shoulders drop, the breathing slows and the worries are sent away in the wind. If just for one day. Many have commented that they simply would never had the experiences they’ve had if it wasn’t for Tribal Fitness. And that just makes me smile from ear to ear. 

So, you can imagine how excited and proud I am about taking a group of these amazing ladies to complete the Three Peaks next weekend! Yep, awesome eh! Most of these ladies had never set foot on a mountain a year ago. Some had a fear of heights. Others have overcome health and fitness issues. It will be a fantastic achievement for each and every one of them prepared to give this amazing challenge a go. And I am extremely thankful to TargetDry for supporting this event, and for their very kind donation of waterproof jackets for the whole team, which will no doubt enhance our experience.

I look forward to sharing our Three Peaks experience with you, as well as discussing topics such as Children in Nature, Exercising Outdoors, Family Activities, Attitudes to Exercise, Top Tips & Handy Hints, Outdoor Holidays and Adventures, Clothing & Clobber, and much more.

However, in the meantime, please remember that the great outdoors is there for the taking. It is on offer 24/7 for every single person on this earth. Embrace it. In any way you can. And look after it, in every way you can.

Until we meet again, step outside, and choose adventure!

Stay healthy!

Nikki


Summer Workout Kit Essentials July 29 2015

Although the weather lately has been a bit of washout, there’s still time to enjoy the ‘warmish’ temperatures and get a bit of a workout fitted in to your routine.

Whether you’re heading to the gym or getting out and about, here’s a list of the essentials that you will want to bring with you to ensure that you maxmise your workout session.

Filter water bottle – It stands to reason that if you’re working out, you need to stay hydrated. Brita make great filter water bottles so you can sip on clean filtered water whilst you go for a run or hop on the treadmill. 

Face wipes – With all the sweat that your body produces during a fitness session, you will need to keep a couple of face wipes handy. Not only will they feel refreshing and soothing against your overheated skin, they will also clean away the sweat, oil and grime to help prevent breakouts.

Deodorant – We’re not talking your standard roll-on. Make sure to stock up on the 24-48 hour deodorants, that will keep you feeling fresh from your morning workout right through until the evening. Look for one that’s both long lasting and nourishing for your skin. After a tough fitness session, your skin will be dehydrated and warm, a nourishing deodorant will help to cool and hydrate your skin.

Suncreen – Even on an overcast day, you are still at danger of the sun’s rays damaging your skin. If you’re going on a power walk or a run, make sure that you lather on sunscreen to protect any exposed skin.

Glucose tablets – You can buy tablets that dissolve in water, but when you’re out and about, it might be a lot easier to take gluco chewable tablets. They help to give your body a bit of a glucose boost so you can keep going for longer.

Energy bar - A post-workout snack is great for giving your body a much needed hit of nutrition. Opt for a healthy, fruit-filled energy bar to put the vitamins and minerals back into your body.

SPF lip balm – Your lips are often forgotten when it comes to protecting your skin against the sun. Sweat can also leave them feeling a little dry and chapped. Pack a moisturizing lip balm with added sunscreen, so your lips are well nourished and hydrated.

Packaway Mac – The weather can be pretty unpredictable. Make sure your workout isn’t spoiled by any sudden showers and invest in a lightweight, waterproof, packaway mac.


10 Essentials For Any Camping Trip June 16 2015

Camping is one of those activities that either conjures up great memories of weekends away with the family/friends or nightmare situations where you run out of toilet roll, get covered in midge bites and can never quite manage to get the fire lit. 

One way to have a great camping trip full of fond memories and to avoid any nasty disasters is to make sure that you have all the essentials you will need. There’s nothing worse than forgetting to bring water, your sleeping bag or no way of cooking or eating your BBQ food.

Follow our top essentials list for a fun camping break with friends or family.

1. Tent

A tent is the absolute core essential that will ensure you get a decent night’s sleep and protect you against the wind, rain and evening chill. Sure sleeping under the stars is really bringing it back to nature, but if there’s a sudden rain shower you may have to bring your trip to an abrupt end. 

2. Sleeping bag

No self-respecting camping enthusiast would dare leave the house without a sleeping bag. Whether you’re an experienced or newbie camper, a sleeping bag should be one of the first things your pack. Even if you’re camping in a hot travel destination, the temperature will drop in the evenings and you don’t want to get a bad night’s sleep and wake up feeling not so fresh and rejuvenated.

3. Ground mat

Lying on the cold hard ground does not do your back any favours. Pack a ground mat so your sleeping bag doesn’t get cold and damp from any evening condensation. Bring an extra blanket with you if you fancy another layer between you, the ground and the mat.

4. Torch

How else could you share spooky ghost stories around the fire than with a torch?! Definitely one for the backpack, a torch comes in handy for any midnight trips to the toilet or for finding those left over crisps in the dark.

5. Waterproofs

The weather forecast can often lie. When you’re expecting nice sunny days, it can be quite unsettling to see a dark raincloud head your way. Make sure you’re prepared for what nature throws at you with a good waterproof coat or jacket. It doesn’t have to take up much room, a waterproof packaway mac is great for providing a watertight barrier between you and the elements. 

6. Wipes

Becoming one with nature isn’t the cleanest of activities. Wipes come in handy for any mishaps, spillages and general hygiene.

7. Plastic Bags

Keep your dirty laundry separate from your clean clothes by keeping a stash of plastic bags in your rucksack. They also come in handy for storing dirty dishes or general rubbish and left over food.

8. Stove/BBQ & Plastic Cutlery

Camping meals can be dull unless you have a portable stove or a disposable bbq. There are only so many packets of crisps or sweets that you can eat! There are loads of options when it comes to portable stoves for festivals and they are very reasonably priced and quite compact. If you do bring a stove then don’t forget your cutlery.

9. Portable phone charger

Whilst camping should be about switching off and getting back to nature, most of us can’t survive without our phones. Should anything happen whilst you’re out in the wilderness, at least a phone can help in getting emergency services to your aid. Portable phone chargers are a godsend when you don’t have a socket nearby.

10. Toilet roll

Last, but certainly not least, the absolute camping trip essential; toilet roll. Unless you have an encyclopedic brain, it’s unlikely that you will know every plant and leaf and which of those are poisonous and which are harmless. Best to stay on the safe side and avoid unwanted rashes with toilet roll or at least a packet of tissues.


Our Top Essentials To Help You Survive The Festival Season May 06 2015

source:magazin.salzburgerland.com

The Festival season has officially begun! 

If you’re heading off to any summer festivals across the UK, Ireland and Europe this year, make sure you are well prepared. The weather can be highly unpredictable and lets face it, there’s nothing worse than getting caught in torrential rain and stuck in a mud bath. It’s not fun if you're dressed in a t-shirt and shorts in cold, wet and windy conditions.

We’ve put together a few recommendations for your festival survival kit to make sure you get through it with as relatively little damage as possible. Packing the essentials gives you peace of mind that nothing will get in the way of spoiling your fun!

Backpack/rucksack - this goes without saying that you need a good quality, durable backpack that’s big enough to carry everything you need but that won’t weigh a ton. Don’t go overboard and pack the kitchen sink. Take a couple of changes of clothes and a few accessories to change up your look should you desire to.

Wellies - No self-respecting festival buff would be without wellies! Definitely not something to scrimp on, wellies need to be completely waterproof, fit well (to avoid any stuck in the mud situations) and of course it doesn’t hurt if they look funky and stylish. Check out our ladies and kiddies wellies that come in a range of different patterns and bright fun colours.

Plimsolls - when the weather is good, you won’t want to be donning the wellies. if you do, expect sweaty, smelly and heat swollen feet! Plimsolls take up minimum space in your bag and they can easily go with any outfit.

Plasters & Paracetamol - avoid any nasty blister eruptions with waterproof plasters. Protect your ankles and any minor cuts and help them heal. Packing paracetamol will help with any headaches (those unexpected and also those self-inflicted) and make sure you don’t miss out on any musical acts.

Sunscreen - even though the sky is cloudy, you can still get burnt! Cover any exposed areas and avoid the burnt tomato look.

Wet wipes - definitely, definitely one for the backpack. Easy to keep fresh and clean and easy to dispose of.

Torch - another essential that goes without saying! Festivals are for having fun and staying up all night. A torch will ensure you don’t stumble in the dark and will guide you on any late night trips to the portaloos.

Waterproofs - Unexpected showers can catch you at any moment. Make sure you still enjoy your weekend away even when the weather is lashing down. There are plenty of options out there if you’re looking for a fashionable mac or poncho, but chances are, if they’re cheap they will most likely fail to keep you warm and dry. Mac in a Sac polka dot ponchos and waterproof packaway jackets are perfect for ensuring that you enjoy the music without getting completely drenched.

Dry shampoo - Unless you want to stand under a freezing cold shower to wash your hair, you can keep your mop looking fresh with good old dry shampoo. Spraying it at the roots will keep it looking grease free and smelling clean.

Let us know what festivals you will be attending this summer, as well as your survival essentials!


Mac in a Sac - Now Offering Free Shipping to US Customers April 03 2015

Our Mac in a Sac range of waterproof packaway jackets and over-trousers, are retailed in many UK stores and distributed into many countries around Europe, Asia & South America.  

UK based customers buying direct from our website have enjoyed free shipping since our since launch late in 2012.  And today, we are pleased to announce that we can now offer FREE SHIPPING to customers from USA!

We understand that delivery costs can sometimes be an impediment when buying online, so we have worked hard to leverage the Amazon.com platform to move stock to a distribution centre in the US.  This allows us to fulfil orders from the USA quickly and easily, and offers the customer FREE Shipping. So its a WIN-WIN :)

You can view our range of products on our Amazon.com Storefront

We have the following products available:

 


The Mac in a Sac Neon: It’s here December 17 2014

Back in July we posted a sneak preview of our ‘new for Spring/Summer 2015’ Mac in a Sac Neon (find the blog post here). We are excited to announce that we have had an early introductory shipment of it and it is now available to buy from our online store!

It would make a perfect Christmas present if you know anyone who is a keen runner, loves getting out and about in the dark evenings or just generally loves the neon trend! Be sure not to wait too long to order though- we only have a limited amount of stock and we won’t be expecting a new shipment until early February! Get yours now and be one step ahead of the crowd!

Available in four vibrant shades of neon; yellow, pink, green and blue, there is something to suit everyone.

Here’s why it’s awesome:

  • It’s seriously waterproof with a rating of 5,000mm
  • It has an equally impressive breathability rating of 5,000gsm [find out more]
  • Windproof- no chilly winter breezes getting through this jacket!
  • Fully Taped Seams reinforce the high waterproof rating by protecting the seams against leaks
  • Packs into its own little neon sack
  • It has a concealed, adjustable hood that can be packed away when it’s not needed.
  • Reversed front zip and zipped front pockets keep all your valuable safe while you’re on the go
  • A generous back vent helps make this jacket’s breathability even better
  • Reversed contrast zips add an extra colour pop to brighten a rainy day
  • Elasticated comfort cuffs keep the sleeve tight to your wrist to keep water out.
  • An adjustable drawcord at the curved hem helps to cut drafts
  • Reflective branding and piping adds to the already high visibility of the jacket
  • It is designed for a unisex fit
  • It packs up small- at just 220mm in height and 95mm in width, it’s perfect for throwing in your backpack.
  • It only weighs 300g! You won’t even know it’s there
  • We even have an amazing 2 year guarantee on these jackets to protect against manufacturing faults!

So if you want to brighten these dark nights with a Mac in a Sac Neon, you'd better be quick! But don't worry, if your size and colour preference is sold out, we will have more in February. We hope you like them as much as we do.

:-)


Mac in a Sac on Tour in Micky Flanagan's Detour de France! November 27 2014

For his first-ever TV documentary, comedy favourite Micky Flanagan has left behind the comforts of his home in South London to explore the sights and sounds of France, jumping on a bike to put his own spin on the route taken by the Tour de France. A TV show about an amateur cyclist comedian attempting to take on one of the most gruelling tests of endurance in the world? What's not to like? Naturally, we couldn't resist giving it a watch.

Tuning into the series finale on Monday night, we were delighted to see that one of our Mac in a Sac 2 Packaway Jackets was accompanying him on his journey! Check out the circled jacket hanging casually on the back of the parisian chair opposite him in the still below! Perhaps hanging out to dry in the sun after it had protected him from a downpour...

We're always keeping an eye out for our products making little guest appearances on TV and we were especially pleased to see one of our jackets featured in such a fitting programme.

Our Mac in a Sac 2 Packaway Jacket is the perfect cover up for cyclists who are on the go through all types of weather. Here's why...

  • It's highly waterproof (with a resistance of 5,000mm), highly breathable (5,000gsm) & windproof.
  • It has fully taped seams, so no leaks!
  • It features a concealed, adjustable hood for when the weather turns really nasty.
  • Zipped front pockets will make sure you don't loose any of your belongings.
  • As if the 5,000gsm breathability rating wasn't good enough, we've even added a generous back vent to keep you even cooler.
  • An adjustable drawcord at the hem ensures the jacket is watertight.
  • Weighing a mere 281g, it's perfect for chucking in your backpack. You won't even know it's there!
  • Small and compact, it only measures 200mm by 82mm packed away!
  • It even comes with a 2 Year Guarantee just in case anything goes wrong with it. You. Are. Welcome...

So next time you're heading out on your bike, take a leaf out of Micky's book and make sure you are prepared for all Mother Nature has to throw at you; take a Mac in a Sac!


Six Fun Things to Do With the Kids on a Rainy Day November 13 2014

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re trapped indoors with nothing to do when the weather outside is simply too bad to venture out. Add 3 restless kids to the equation and you could have a nightmare situation on your hands. But not to worry! We are here to help with our top six things to do indoors on a rainy day.

Play an Imagination Game

Here are a couple of games that are great fun for the kids and can be played anywhere as there are no props required:

One-word story: Sit around in a circle and start off the game by saying, “Once upon a time,” then go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. It’s a good idea to decide on a genre first like a fairy tale, ghost story, etc.

Improvised poetry: Start off by saying a line of poetry. Something simple and easy to rhyme with like, “The cat sat on the mat”. The next person must then say a line that rhymes with it, and so on.

Little Chefs

It’s a great idea to get the kids involved in the kitchen on a rainy day. Keep the recipes simple so there is nothing too difficult or dangerous. Home-made pizzas or Rice Krispie cakes are simple, delicious and great fun to make. You can enjoy your food when it is ready by having an indoor picnic- you could even invite the teddies too.

 

Organize Your Own Film Festival

Queue up some classics, old (Mary Poppins?) and new (Frozen?) and have a marathon screening. Keep a cosy throw on hand, a big bowl of popcorn to dip into, and settle in to enjoy the show(s).

Make You Own Instruments

You would be surprised at what you can do with what’s lying around the house. Tissue boxes with elastic bands can make great guitars, a couple of paper plates with milk bottle tops make tambourines and some dried rice or pasta in bottles, tins or plastic containers make great maracas and shakers. You could even bang pan lids together for cymbals and cooking pots with wooden spoons for drums. Then it’s time to get practising for the bands big debut!

Host a “Tea” Party

Play dress up in fancy clothes, set the table with the “good” china, and put on your most formal manners (be sure to extend your little finger and sip politely). On the menu: tea (for you), juice (for the kids), and easy egg or chicken salad sandwiches cut into fun shapes, thanks to the cookie cutters lurking in your cupboard. The kids can decide the guest list, being careful to choose which of their favourite dolls or stuffed animals are on it.

 

Have an Indoor Treasure Hunt

Play an indoor treasure hunt to keep the day lively. The kids will need to work as a team to uncover the treasure. Make a set of clues for the players to try and solve (try rhyming the clues for fun or writing riddles). Each clue will lead to the next one and then finally, to the treasure. Seal the clues in envelopes marked with a number like ‘2/7’, or “Two of Seven”). This will help the treasure hunters to keep track. The treasure can be anything you like such as a small toy (or a few depending on how many players are in the team), cinema tickets, maybe a stash of coins (regular or chocolate), or some sweets.

*OR if all else fails, you can always get the Kids' Mac in a Sacs on and head out in the rain anyway! The choice is yours!


Spooky Halloween Party Ideas for the Kids October 29 2014

With Halloween Weekend creeping up on us (no pun intended!) we thought it would be the perfect time to share some spooky party ideas that will get the kids super excited. We've included our favourite Halloween recipes for ghoulish, yet tasty party treats, and our pick of the best hair-raising party games that your kids will love.

Party Food

Our top three delicious and fun recipes to make your party the scariest (but tastiest) ever!

Slime Bug Cups

You will need:

  • 4 x 135g packs lime flavoured jelly
  • a selection of animal and bug sweets
  • 2 x 154g packs Oreo biscuits

Method:

  1. Follow the pack instructions to make the jelly. Pour a third of the mixture into 12 small pots (or glasses). Add a couple of bug sweets to each pot, then leave to set in the fridge. Keeping remaining jelly at room temperature.
  2. Once set, add more bugs to each pot, leaning some against the edges to make them poke out the top. Pour over a third of the jelly and leave to set in the fridge. Repeat with remaining bugs and jelly.
  3. For the soil topping, place cookies in a plastic bag and gently crush with a rolling pin.
  4. Just before serving, sprinkle a layer of soil over each slime cup, then top with a few left over creepy crawlies. Perfect!

 

Eye Ball Pops

You will need:

  • 100g/4oz Madeira cake
  • 100g Oreo cookies
  • 100g bar milk chocolate, melted
  • 200g bar white chocolate, melted
  • few Smarties and icing pens, to decorate

You will also need:

  • 10 wooden skewers
  • ½ small pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded, to stand pops in

Method:

  1. Break up the Madeira cake and Oreos and whizz together in a food processor along with the melted milk chocolate.
  2. Tip the mixture into a bowl, then using your hands, roll into about 10 or 12 walnut-sized balls. Chill for 2 hrs until firm.
  3. Push a skewer into the base of each ball, then spoon the white chocolate over the balls to cover. Stand the cake pops in the pumpkin, then press a Smartie onto the surface while wet. Pop them back into the fridge until the chocolate has set. Before serving, using the icing pens, add a pupil to each Smartie and some red veins to the eyeballs.

 

Owl Cupcakes

You will need:

For the cupcakes

  • 280g butter, softened
  • 280g golden caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour, minus 1 rounded tbsp
  • 1 rounded tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 medium eggs

For icing and decoration

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 280g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tube orange ready-to-use icing
  • 1 small bag Maltesers
  • 1 tube chocolate M&Ms minis (just the brown ones) or Cadbury's mini buttons
  • 1 tub jelly diamonds (just the orange ones)

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with brown cases. Beat the cupcake ingredients to a smooth batter and spoon into the cases. Fill them up to the top (you may have a little left over). Bake for 20-25 mins until risen and spongy. Leave to cool on a rack.
  2. Beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Slice off the very tops of the cakes and cut each piece in half. Spread a generous layer of icing over each cake.
  3. Work on one cake at a time, squirt a pea-sized blob of orange icing onto two Maltesers and use to fix a brown M&M (or button) on each. Sit the eyes, two pieces of cake top (curved edge up) and a jelly diamond on the icing to make an owl. This can be great fun to get the kids to help with.

 

Party Games

Now that you have the food sorted out, it's time to invite the guests round and get the party started! Here's our top three party games to play at Halloween that the kids are sure to love. Enjoy!

Dress the Mummy

You will need:

  • a big supply of toilet paper!

Separate the party guests into groups of three or four (two is fine for smaller parties) and give them a few rolls of toilet paper. The object of the game is to try and turn one member of the group into a mummy by wrapping them up in the toilet roll! There are special prizes to be won for quickest or the best attempt.

Witches Cauldron

You will need:

  • a large cooking pot
  • a damp sponge
  • a shelled hard-boiled egg
  • a large piece of orange peel
  • selection of rubber toys from the toyshop (frog, snake, etc)
  • blindfold

Fill your cooking pot with items such as the above (and any other suitable things you can think of - you'll need enough items to allow each child a turn). Each child has a go at being blindfolded and sticking their hand into the 'cauldron' to find the imaginary item you name.

For example, you could ask them to look for: 'A hairy giant's tongue' (the damp sponge), 'a dragon's eye' (the egg), a goblin's skin (the orange peel), 'a frog/snake' (rubber toys), etc.  

Brain Digging

You will need:

  • a big bowl of cooked spaghetti
  • some ping-pong balls or similar
  • some small bags of sweets

Get the kids to dig in amongst some bits of 'brain' to find a trick or a treat! Cook a big pan of spaghetti, leave to cool for a moment and then turn into a big bowl. In amongst the pasta hide some ping-pong balls or similar. Three balls will have 'treat' written on them, and the other three will have 'trick' written on them. Each child gets a turn to dig through the 'brains' and pull out a ball. If they choose a trick ball they have to do a forfeit (something silly, like go for a run around the garden, or do a silly impression), but if they pick a treat they get a small prize, such as a small bag of sweets.

We hope you like our ideas for hosting the perfect kids spooky party! Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!


Tips for Running in the Winter Chill October 15 2014

After the hottest September on record, now in mid-October the chilly weather has finally set in. We’re finding it harder to get up in the mornings with the darkness still lingering at 7am and finding ourselves reaching for a woolly jumper to wear in to the office. It can be a very tempting time of year to hang up the gym gear and lie up in front of the fire with a hot chocolate and a film. Forget about the exercise routine for a couple of months and just relax indoors in the heat.

Tempting as it may be, there are too many benefits to ignore when it comes to keeping up your fitness routine through the winter months. You’ll keep your fitness levels high (not to mention your spirits!), improve your immune system and help keep those extra pounds at bay with the coming over-indulgent holiday season.

We’ve put together a post with a few tips for staying motivated, keeping up your routine and staying safe as you continue to run the roads in the darker mornings and evenings.

Wear the right clothes!

With the dark evenings setting in, now is the time to make sure you are wearing the right clothes to ensure you are visible to other runners, cyclists and motorists. Very often we see too many runners out in dark clothing which makes them hard to spot and consequently makes them very vulnerable. Make sure you invest in some high-vis gear such as our Mac in a Sac Active Lite Running Jacket, and you could even add some ankle and wrist straps to make you stand out even more.

Check the Weather

There’s nothing worse than heading out for a run and then getting caught in a downpour you weren’t expecting. The British winter can be extremely treacherous, casting all kinds of precipitation on you when you least expect it. Make sure you check the forecast and if you think the weather is looking too bad, don’t force yourself out the door for the sake of your routine. You could fall and hurt yourself in icy weather and then it could be even longer waiting to get out for your next run. If you insist on making it out in the rain, you will need a breathable waterproof jacket like our Mac in a Sac 2 to make sure you stay dry while keeping you well ventilated on your run.

Bring a Friend or Tell a Friend

You could plan to go running with a friend during the colder months. This will keep spirits high and will mean you have someone to motivate you when you’re not feeling in the mood to exercise. Even if you go running on your own, make sure you tell someone when and where you are running to and when you will be home. Safety first.

Motivation

It might be a good idea to plan your route ahead of your run. This way, you can plan to run a different route than usual to keep things interesting, or you could plan a shorter journey than you normally would run in warmer weather. Just keep telling yourself at least it’s not as long as usual!

Another good idea is to have a little treat waiting for you when you get home. Even if it’s just a cup of tea. Tell yourself you can’t have it unless you go for a run first.


Sneak Peak at our Spring/Summer 2015 Collection! October 02 2014

It's been a pretty crazy time in the Mac in a Sac office over the past few weeks! Remember our blog post on the new Mac in a Sac Neon a few weeks back? This week we've got another exciting preview for you!

Remember our pretty printed Elle Jacket from our Spring/Summer 2014 collection? We're happy to say that it will be returning next season! Samples of our brand new colours and prints have come in and we thought we just couldn't wait until next year for you all to see them! Well...we're just giving you one colour for now. We'll keep you in suspense about the rest.

The new Elle Jacket comes in this fun "dotty blue" polka-dot pattern with a bright fuchsia zip and cuffs.

 

For anyone not familiar with the Elle, it's just like our regular Mac in a Sac 2, but instead of being a unisex fit, this one is made just for the girls. It currently comes in four prints, three floral and one micro-dot. We will be adding this fresh blue polka-dot creation to the line-up in our Sping/Summer 2015 Collection!

Features:

Here's a little more info on the Elle Jacket. Perfect for keeping you dry at festivals, walks in the park or when you're out for a day's shopping.

  • Waterproof, Breathable & Windproof
  • Fully Taped Seams
  • Adjustable Drawcord at Hem
  • 2 Zipped Front Pockets
  • Concealed, Adjustable Hood
  • Comfort Cuff Tabs
  • Packs into Floral Sac with ribbon
  • 2 Year Guarantee

 

 


Our Top 5 Cycling Routes in Northern Ireland September 18 2014

September is a great time of year to get out on your bike and go exploring. It’s not too cold yet, but not as warm as it was in the height of summer. We thought this week would be perfect timing to bring you a blog post on all of the exciting routes you can take in our home country of Northern Ireland. We've been looking at all of Cycle NI's routes and we've chosen our top 5:

    1. Knockchree Cycle Route- Kilkeel, County Down (18 miles)

    A beautiful country route between Kilkeel and the country village of Attical. This route allows you to take in breath-taking views of the Mourne Mountains. This route is a circular route allowing you to begin and end in the same place. This route takes you past beautiful scenery such as the Whitewater River, Cranfield beach, Greencastle, and then up through the country roads to take a better look at the mountains. We highly recommend this route if you are in the area.

     

    2. Giants Causeway to Benone Cycle Route- Ballycastle, County Antrim- County Londonderry (22 miles)

    Another stunning cycle route takes you along the North Coast of Northern Ireland between the legendary Giants Causeway and Benone, passing through Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine and Castlerock. Quite a lot of this route follows a traffic-free shared use pathway adjacent to the Giants Causeway & Bushmills Heritage Railway line. With beautiful views of the coastline, this comes in at number 2 on our list of top cycle routes in Northern Ireland.

     

    3. White Rock and Mahee Island Cycle Route, County Down (27 Miles)

    This route follows along the western shores of Strangford Lough and Drumlin Country rewards cyclists with some of the finest views of the Lough to be had by bicycle. Castle Espie Wetland Centre and Nendrum monastic site are particular points of interest on this route. Passing through Kilmood and taking time to appreciate the historic St Mary’s Parish Church built in 1820, you can follow the ridge high above Lisbane from where Strangford Lough can be seen off to one side before re-joining the outward route back to Comber.

     

    4. A Country Down Tour, County Down (28 miles)

    This route gives a hilly ride through Drumlin country towards the south end of Lisburn. It takes you past lakes and loughs with great views of the Mourne Mountains, Belfast Hills and the Lagan Valley. This route is hilly for the most part with several short steep hills around Annahilt so it is recommended for experienced cyclists and people who are looking for a fitness challenge. There are also several fast descents on return to the Lagan Towpath so remember to take care.

    5. Castle Archdale Family Cycle, County Fermanagh (6 miles)

    We thought we would finish off our top five with a short 6 mile route that’s perfect for the whole family. The Castle Archdale Family Cycle Route is situated 15km north west of Enniskillen and explores 230 acres of mature forest. Situated on the shores of Lower Lough Erne, this route provides truly beautiful scenery for the whole family to enjoy.

    We hope you enjoyed our run down of our top cycling routes in Northern Ireland. For more information on any of these routes, visit www.cycleni.com. And as always- don't forget your Mac in a Sac! :)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Delivery Options September 04 2014

    One of the worst things about ordering online is wondering when your purchase will be delivered and if it will reach you on time for that holiday or business trip you have planned. Here at Mac in a Sac, we have done everything in our power to make sure that your parcel reaches you in as little time as possible.

    UK Standard Delivery - FREE!

    All of our UK orders are shipped out free of charge- no threshold spend limit to qualify for free shipping here! We use Royal Mail’s First Class delivery system which should have your parcel with you within 1-3 days of posting it. We regularly hear feedback from customers stating their surprise and delight at having their package delivered the very next day for free.

    Expedited Next Day Delivery

    If you are in a hurry to receive your order and need to have it guaranteed for delivery the next day, we have a Next Day Delivery shipping option which comes at a cost of £7.95.

    The added bonus of choosing this option is that you can use your unique tracking number and courier to find out how your order is progressing. Visit our Track Your Express Order page now to see where your expedited order is.

    If you have a question about international delivery, visit our Delivery & Returns page for all the information you need. If you still have unanswered questions, drop us an email at shop@macinasac.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


    Where can I wear my Mac in a Sac? August 21 2014

    What’s the perfect occasion to make sure you have your Mac in a Sac on hand? We have been reading all of your reviews telling us where you have worn your Mac in a Sacs or why you bought them and we must say we have loved reading your feedback! Here are some of the best ones…

    Disney Land

    We heard from one very happy customer telling us they had brought their Mac in a Sac on holiday to Disney Land, Florida! Perfect protection for all of those water rides. Thanks Zoobie69!

    Water Hose War

    One of the more surprising uses for our Mac in a Sacs was revealed in this review from Michael who bought one of our jackets back in April. We're glad you are getting good use out of your purchase!

    A Gift...

    Joshua bought one as a gift for a friend after finding his own so useful on a previous trip across the Scottish Highlands. Impressed with the value for money and the high performance level of the jacket, we're very happy to hear Joshua feels that he can recommend us! 

     

    Whale Watching

    It's always great to hear when our jackets get to do some traveling. In this case, one of our Mac in a Sacs found it's way across to Australia to go whale watching! Thanks for letting us know- we hope you enjoyed your trip!

    A Tour of Ireland

    It's equally exciting to hear that our Mac in a Sacs are being put to good use here at home in Northern Ireland. We loved this review from Graham who has visited the Causeway Coast and the Sperrin Mountains in our jacket.

    We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences with us on our websites, Amazon and Trustpilot. Keep them coming! It's great to let others know about the sizing, quality and generally what to expect from our products. It also puts a big smile on the faces of all of the team here at Mac in a Sac! :)


    New colours in our Mac in a Sac Strata! August 06 2014

    August has just begun and some of our brand new Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection is starting to arrive with us already! This season, we are introducing two brand new colours in our thermal lined packaway Mac in a Sac Strata. Nautical Blue with a contrasting red zip and Acid Lime with an equally striking blue zip are our fresh new colours for the coming winter season.

    Both of these new colours are available to pre-order now. We are expecting them to arrive with us on the 16th August- not long to wait! Be sure to get your order placed soon to avoid any disappointment.

    We will do a full product review on the features of the Mac in a Sac Strata when the new colours come in, so stay tuned! 


    Mac in a Sac Neon: A Sneak Peak at our 2015 Collection! July 23 2014

    Last week, our team was over at Outdoor Friedrichshafen, one of the largest trade fairs for the outdoor sector in Friedrichshafen, Germany. We were very excited to be unveiling one of our new products for 2015: the Mac in a Sac Neon.

    Mac in a Sac Neon Packaway Jacket - Colour range

    Designed to make you stand out when out doing a spot of late-evening walking (and keep you dry, of course!), the new Mac in a Sac Neon will be available in 4 vibrant neon colours: Pink, Yellow, Blue and Green.

    Mac in a Sac Neon Stand

    As part of our Spring/Summer 2015 Collection, the new Mac in a Sac Neon will be set to hit stores in February/March time next year. We're excited to hear what you all think so be sure to drop us a comment on social media to let us know! :)