Did you know that majority of us will give up our new year resolutions three weeks into the new year? Fitness is one of the biggest changes made and the best way to get into a new routine is by slipping into your forgotten sneakers and pounding the pavement.
Tala Al Ejou, personal trainer, running coach, creator of Run, Wild, Free is the newest ambassador to join luxury fitness brand lululemon. The French-Saudi Dubai-based athlete demonstrates an unwavering determination to incorporate functional strength building into the lives of everyone she coaches and meets and here she shares her tips and tricks to pursuing your health goals.
What did you have for breakfast?
This is the one meal I can never skip, it is probably my favorite meal of the day. I actually sometimes have two breakfasts. My super early breakfast usually includes a coffee, a banana, and a piece of wholewheat toast with peanut/almond butter and honey. My late morning breakfast post training or in between training clients is eggs or a smoothie.
Tell us a bit about your fitness history, were you always a sporty type?
I started off playing squash as a child quite competitively that I had to play against women much older than me at the time, and also against the boys. Then I went to boarding school where I ran cross country and played lacrosse. I remember being thrown into my first ever cross country race and sprinting off and kept going, and at some point turning around and finishing and being like where is everyone. I’ve always had good endurance and once I set my mind to something I don’t look back. I even tried kite-boarding professional for a while, tried a few competitions on the world tour when I was living in Brazil.
How do we kickstart our fitness routine in the new year?
Setting goals, big or small is what will keep you motivated, keep you inspired and what will push you to get out in the morning and achieve them.
Your tips on staying motivated?
Find friends that are passionate about the same things as you. We all motivate each other differently, and yet at the core we all have this one passions to go running together and be outside. Change up your routine, run somewhere different, and always run with people. That way you can’t show up or not go because you know someone is waiting for you, and what better way to start your day doing something healthy surrounded by motivating people.
Give us three good reasons to start running?
It’s one of the cheapest sports out there and one that probably gives you the most satisfaction when you finish, there is not better feeling that a runners high.
Running can be very sociable, if you’re part of a run club or a group of friends that run, its a great way to catch up with friends and run in places you’ve never run before. Running is also one of the biggest stress busters. I don’t come across many people that are angry or stressed when they’ve just finished a run.
Best running spots in the region?
I absolutely love running in the mountains of Wadi Showka, and however much I struggle running up Jabal Jais (highest mountain in the UAE) the view from the top makes the run so worth it. A lot of people tend to say that running here is so boring and that there is no nature, however I find that the UAE has an abundance of amazing places to run, you just have to be willing to get in your car early in the morning and drive to them.
Any fitness apps you’d recommend?
Strava and Garmin are the apps I use the most, as they are great running community apps, where you can compare and also check how all your friends are doing and running. Mapmyrun is also a highly recommended too that allows you to map out your run prior to running and being sure of the exact distance of where you want to run.
What is the best decision you ever made?
I would actually say going from studying to being a marine biologist to finding my path back to fitness, which is what I was always passionate about from a young age.
What are your new year resolutions?
My new years resolution for 2018 would be to keep pushing boundaries to what I think I’m capable of, running trail races that will be so out of my comfort zone but more importantly waking up every day still being passionate about what I doing. More than anything for 2018 I want to keep pushing people to move better and motivating them every day to strive for something that they love to do.