BeFit V’s Balance Festival

When you’re into fitness the thought of an event dedicated to fitness, for 3 whole days, is pretty exciting.

But the first time I went to BeFit I hated it – it was so overcrowded and despite booking on to some of the classes my name wasn’t down so I had to annoyingly queue for them (the queues were long!). It all just felt way to commercialised – like the Ideal Home Show for the fitness crowd.

Thankfully this year I’d been invited to BeFit by Saucony Stride Lab – and with only a couple of hours there (I attempted to do it in my lunch break!) I had to make the most of it.

The venue was better than when I’d visited in their first year – The Business Design centre, in Angel, seems to have a little more room, but it’s still your classic stuffy exhibition hall with bad lighting.

I’d never actually done a GAIT analysis – despite running lots of 10K’s and half marathons  – so it was really eye-opening to see how I could run better to avoid injury.

Basically, I need to have better abs! Well not quite….but the one pointer given was to increase my ab exercises -apparently a tight core helps you to run more in line and prevent injury.

They analysed how I ran on the treadmills from three different viewpoints (three cameras looking at my feet, how I ran from the back and how I ran from the side) and found out that my stride was too long, as well as my right foot stepping down slightly to the side rather than straight on to the treadmill – every time I ran.

Once I tried on some Saucony running trainers, fit for my feet and corrected my stride, making it shorter, it looked completely different. I went away with some exercises to do before and after running and a reminder to keep my stride shorter!

I didn’t get time to try any other classes out – but heard it was pretty hectic, with queues and crowded classes. But with such great studios there like Barry’s and UNIT – if you’ve never tried them it could be worth the long queues.

But if I’m honest I liked Balance Festival much more than BeFit. The venue was perfect, the speakers were great and the classes were much better organised.

We started the day with a Third Space class – which was tough. Then on to a UN1T class – which was even tougher. We finished with a 20-minute yoga class and then a talk from Jody Shields.

In between classes we had a wander around the space – the venue split up all the classes perfectly – having some downstairs and others in different rooms – which made it feel less crowded, more ‘thriving’ than ‘crammed’ and much more enjoyable.

I think I know which event I’ll be returning to next year.


  • Book way in advance for any classes you want to go to
  • Get there super early – aka when the doors open
  • Plan your route around the venue – know what classes and talks you’re going to and get there eraly
  • Have fun!


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