How To Choose The Best Running Belt For You

Running Belt

A running belt has become a rather trendy piece of equipment for runners which not only provides a functional purpose but can also act as a fashion statement. Running belts come in all shapes and sizes as well as for a variety of different purposes from just helping you carry everyday items such as your phone and keys to more fitness minded items such as your water bottle and energy gels. Which running belt you ultimately choose will largely come down to what you intend to use it for i.e. are you a recreational or a competitive runner, running in marathons. Whilst this article doesn’t go into running belts specifically this article will help you choose the best running belt for you.

1) Storage Size

This should be at the top of the list of factors when taking into account which running belt you should buy. If you are looking for a belt for some relatively short distance runs then space will not be a top priority and you can choose a belt that has slightly less storage space which might be more aesthetically pleasing. If on the other hand you are planning on using it for long distance training runs then you are going to require something that has ample storage space for water and any energy supplements you might want to take along.

2) Comfort

Comfort should also be one of your top priorities when choosing a belt, ,you will after all be wearing it and due to the nature of running you don’t want to have to be worried about what is happening to your belt and its contents whilst you are running. There are a number of different belt designs such as pouch or tubular so make sure you know the differences and which will suit your body type best. If your friend has one ask them if you can try it or if all else fails go into a shop and try them on. Brands such as Amphipod and Flipbelt are examples of a tubular design whereby they basically have a one size fits all approach where the material has the ability to stretch.

3) Appearance

This is not a huge concern for those who are more worried about performance however those of us who are more fashion conscious then this does become a larger concern. There is no doubting that some running belts are better looking than others and the ability to choose from a wide range colours might be an important factor for some. You may also consider that some running belts use their colours as refractory surfaces to increase your visibility when running on the road which is a worthwhile safety benefit.

4) Quality

This could be said for practically every purchase but the quality of the materials and workmanship should be important. We recommend going for a breathable lycra that not only provides comfort but also performance. Investing in a running belt that is of a higher quality will only save you more money in the long run by not having to replace it as frequently.

How Smoking Impacts Your Running

Running is a healthy workout commonly practiced by individuals who want to enjoy, maintain, and promote a healthier lifestyle. It is more than just a hobby for people who have a deeper purpose in running, like aiming to be a professional runner.

But what happens when a runner is smoking cigarettes, too? How can smoking really affect running? And, if you are a smoker with aspirations to be a runner, do you have to give up smoking?

It is common knowledge that smoking has a negative effect on the lungs, and when you have healthier lungs, the more manageable running will be for you. Being able to manage your breathing more efficiently will enable you to endure running for a longer duration of time. There are runners who smoke that admitted to have more laboured breathing than those who do not smoke.

Smoking also limits the oxygen absorption in your bloodstream. Oxygen has to be transmitted to your joints and muscles in order for them to function more effectively and endure running. Since smoking limits the amount of oxygen your blood gets and sends to your system, you may easily get tired while running if you’re a smoker. It is also possible for you to encounter more frequent joint and muscle aches or pains if you smoke as a runner, as your muscles are being pushed to their limits while they aren’t getting the oxygen they need in order to produce energy and keep up with your running.

However, even though smoking can affect a runner’s performance, it’s not uncommon to find smokers among runners. You can always find some smokers from casual runners to marathon joiners. Some simply can’t quit, and some don’t feel any unpleasant physical effects that directly affect their running performance.

Sure, you can always opt to get more training to increase your stamina and muscle endurance; but just imagine how much farther you can go with your running skills if you give up smoking. You can totally maximise your lung at and muscle capacity to accomplish even greater as a runner.

At the end of the day, quitting smoking altogether to put more focus on running will be totally up to you. Just keep in mind that smoking can have a major undesirable effect on one’s health – runner or not.

Bad Running Habits

Running is an exercise that’s supposed to keep you fit. Still, some runners, beginners and seasoned alike, miss the opportunity to maximize what running can do for them. If you’re a regular runner, be wary of some bad habits you might be getting into. Bad habits may hinder you from enjoying the benefits that you should be getting from running regularly.

Watch out for some of these bad habits that you might be practicing, otherwise the efforts you exert on working out regularly may just go to waste—or worse, it can lead to injuries that may prevent you from running.

It’s common for beginners to become fascinated with seasoned runner’s skills. This fascination or admiration can easily lead to wanting to be a seasoned runner as fast as they could. One of the bad habits runners have is doing too much too soon. Yes, you want to run as fast as you can, you want to be a pro when it comes to running, but don’t forget that even the best runners have started out as beginners. It took time and effort for them to master their running skills. Being in a hurry in developing your running skills can lead to injuries. Take one step at a time. The habit of trying to do too much too soon is common with experienced runners as well, especially those who are recovering from injuries. As much as it’s inviting to get back on track and get your former running pace back, you have to take it easy. Make sure that your priority is to fully recover from the injury. With sufficient time and proper practice, you’ll catch up to your old running pace.

Staying up late at night is another bad habit some runners follow. Getting enough sleep and rest is crucial to every runner as it aids in recovery and restoration of muscles from strenuous running. According to Ralph Downey, Ph.D., Chief of Sleep Medicine at California’s Loma Linda University Medical Center, “Sleep enhances the restoration of cells that are damaged from running.” Having adequate hours of sleep not only helps your body recover, but boosts your running performance as well.

If you’re planning on being a regular runner, you ought to know that you have to invest in the right shoes. The right pair of shoes doesn’t mean the most expensive ones; but choose a pair that suits you well and you’re most comfortable wearing. Wearing a pair of running shoes that do not protect your feet or do not fit you well may cause foot injuries.

Forgetting to wear sunscreen is also one of the common mistakes runners make. If you’re running outdoors, protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, even if the weather doesn’t seem sunny.
Another bad habit some runners practice is ignoring dull aches and pains. While it’s true that body aches and pains are an aftermath of running, watch out for pains that have lasted for more than two days. Don’t self-medicate by just drinking pain relievers, consult a health professional to prevent the injuries from getting worse.

Some runners also forget the importance of cooling down after running. Cooling down by walking or jogging after running helps the body recover more quickly.

Breaking bad running habits may be a challenge but once you’ve steered clear of them, it can be a great deal of help in improving and maximizing your running performance.

Running for Older People: Staying Fit at Fifty

Running for Older People Fit at Fifty

In 2013, an elderly couple from Australia broke the world record for running a marathon every day for an entire year. Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68, are just two of the many older runners who have proven that age truly does not matter–especially in running.

Running has become a very common exercise for people of all ages. A research from University of California at Stanford found out that running slows aging and improves elderly health. The research also revealed that older people who run have a reduced risk of heart disease, neurological disease, cancer, as well as sleep disorders. Aside from this, running has also proven to be helpful to older people who suffer from memory loss according to a study conducted by University of Colorado Boulder. Running also relieves emotional stress and is proven to improve psychological health.

Although running is generally good and advisable for older people, there are still important things to keep in mind before trying the exercise.

There’s no age limit when it comes to running. However, for aspiring runners, especially those over the age of 50, it is recommended to consult a doctor prior to trying to run to ensure that it is safe for them. It’s crucial to know that the runner is in good shape for running; otherwise, the workout may do more harm than good.

For those who are just starting to run, remember to take it easy. Keep running at a slow to moderate pace. Any exercise done regularly, even with low impact or intensity, will still give amazing results.

Another factor to consider is good nutrition. Good eating habit will lead to healthier, stronger body that can withstand daily workouts. Hydration is also extremely important before and after running.

Do some warm ups before actual running. After running, it is also essential to stretch.

Cycling or spinning is also a good pre-running warm up. Cycling can improve the overall strength of your muscles. With increased muscle endurance, you can have better running performance.
One of the important things to remember while running is to stay alert and be mindful of your body’s reaction while jogging. If severe pains in the knees, joints, legs, or hips are felt, give yourself a rest and don’t push yourself too hard. Also, if physical pains are experienced, you should be checked by a health professional right away.
If your doctor has advised that running is not suitable for you, some other form of low-impact running can still be tried such as aqua jogging or deep-water running. Deep-water running is an excellent aerobic exercise. It has great effects on the heart and lungs as well.

Don’t forget to rest in between runs. Don’t overdo it.

There are older people who participated and did well at marathons. Even for older people who plan to start running just now, it is never too late. With proper preparation and precaution, it is possible for older people to run and enjoy the benefits running has to offer.

Supplements For Runners

Everyone’s goal should be to eat a nutritionally balanced diet that comes from whole foods. You shouldn’t have to rely on supplements in order to provide your body the nutrients it needs. Having said this, even the healthiest of eaters may be missing out on some nutrients and could therefore benefit from taking a few key supplements to make up for any deficiencies they might have.

Here are some things that you might be deficient in and could benefit from supplementing with.

CalciumCalcium strengthens the bones and could therefore reduce the risk of stress fracture injuries. Various studies have also found there to be a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes amongst people with high levels of calcium intake. By consuming three servings of dairy each day you should be consuming sufficient amounts of calcium however if you continually fail to reach this goal it might be beneficial to supplement your diet.

Recommendation – Take 1000mg of calcium carbonate each day.

Fish Oil – This is a common deficiency with the majority of people rarely, if ever, eating fish. Omega 3 fatty acids that are present in fish oil reduce muscle soreness and are most commonly found in oily fish such as salmon. If you are eating 2 or more servings a week then there shouldn’t be any need to supplement.

Recommendation: Take a fish oil supplement that contains adequate amounts of both DHA and EPA. Aim for a minimum of 500mg.

Multivitamins- These are probably the most commonly taken supplement with 35 percent of adults taking them on a regular basis. If you already eat a well balanced diet then you probably won’t benefit from taking them. They do provide a good safety net and can fill in any gaps that might be present in your diet.

Recommendation: Don’t store them in places with high humidity such as your bathroom as this can affect their potency. Also be wary of overdosing on vitamins as this can be dangerous. The company MyVitamins have a great range of multivitamins and other health supplement.

Vitamin D – The body requires vitamin D in order to properly absorb calcium and therefore plays an essential role in bone health. A lot of people have a deficiency in vitamin D as it is present in very few foods. Our bodies are capable of making vitamin D when we are exposed to sun light however as most of us spend a large number of hours in doors a lot of us suffer from a deficiency. Most people would benefit from supplementing with vitamin D.

Recommendation – Take 1,000IU of vitamin D3 daily.

Whey protein – Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk and is a waste product from the manufacture of cheese. Whey protein has one of the best naturally occurring amino acid profiles and thus it will help increase your strength and build muscle. It is also very fast absorbing compared to other protein sources such as meat or soy. For runners it can speed up the recovery process and you can try eating after you have completed your run.

Recommendation – Take a protein shake post workout or you can add it to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies or in other protein based recipes. If you are in the UK then make a purchase from Discount-Supplements.co.uk they have a large range of protein powder. Make sure to use a discount or voucher code when purchasing from Discount Supplements.

3 Track Workouts For Beginners

Most of us start by running on the road, parks or a designated trail but for those of us lucky enough you might have access to a running track nearby. You shouldn’t be put off and think that running tracks are only for professionals. It is a great way to start off your running career.

The great thing is that you can focus entirely on your running and you don’t have to worry about a lunatic driver coming around the bend. Tracks are predictable, it’s the same on every lap and there isn’t anything there to trip you up. Since it’s easy to keep track of the distance you have run, it’s good for pacing. The surface of a track is also relatively soft so it’s going to give your muscles and joints and easier time by reducing the impact.

Although many believe a running track is reserved for track stars, it’s actually the perfect place to learn to run, increase your speed, and get away from the repetition of running on the roads.
Here are some quick facts that will come in handy when you are running around in a circle.

A standard athletics track has 8 lanes and it is 400 meters when measured from the lane closest to the middle. When running on a track you should run in a counterclockwise direction. The track operates very much like an expressway, where runners at different spends should stick to certain lanes. The inner lanes are used by runners who are operating at higher speeds whilst the outer lanes are for the slower paced runners.

If you want to try some track based workouts here are a few that will help you on your way.

Classic Quarters

This workout alternates between hard and easy and will really help you improve your speed and fitness.
Start off by warming up with a jog for four laps

For the real workout you will run one lap at a hard but controlled pace. Followed by one lap which you can use to recover. You can walk so that you can catch your breath and then jog to complete the rest of the lap. You should repeat this 4 times.

As a warm down, do 2 laps, one as a easy run and one just walking.

100s

This is a short workout with the goal of improving your running form.
In order to warm up start off by jogging for four laps.

For the actual workout you will need to sprint the straights which are 100 meters and the walk around the bends in order to recover. Keep doing this until you have covered 1 mil (4 laps)

For your warm down, walk one lap.

1, 2, 3s

This workout is longer than the other 2 mentioned so fat. They are a great way to learn how to control and pace yourself.

For your warm up start by jogging for four laps.

1 Run one lap at a hard but steady pace followed by one lap to bring down your heart rate and control your breathing.
2 Run two laps at a hard but steady pace followed by one lap to bring down your heart rate and control your breathing.
3 Run three laps at a hard but steady pace followed by one lap to bring down your heart rate and control your breathing.
2 Run two laps at a hard but steady pace followed by one lap to bring down your heart rate and control your breathing.
1 Run one lap at a hard but steady pace followed by one lap to bring down your heart rate and control your breathing.

For your warm down, simply walk one lap.

That’s three workouts you can try the next time you are able to run on a running track. Have fun!

Marathon Preparation Training

There were over 1,100 marathons held in the US with over 541,000 runners competing in 2013. That’s a lot of runners, anyone know the statistics for the UK? The marathon has turned into a common goal for many bucket listers and is not so far out of reach for the average runner as it was before. The modern marathon is open to runners of all abilities and is achievable to all those willing to put in the time and training

Here are some workouts that will help you achieve your marathon goals, you may have to adjust them slightly in order to match your experience level.

The Marathon Race Simulator

You should do this workout approximately four weeks before the actual race. This should be the last high intensity workout before the marathon.

As a warm up you should job for 1 to 2 miles. The actual workout will consist of 8 miles run at race pace followed by 1 mile for recovery followed by another 8 miles again at race pace. As a warm down, you should jog for 1 to 2 miles.

This may seem like too much workload for some runners, if this is the case you can simply reduce the distance down to 6 miles. If it’s more to your liking instead of basing the workout on distance you can do so by time and instead run for 2×45 minutes.

This workout should under no circumstances last longer than 3 hours.

The Marathon Progression Run

Start off by jogging for 5 to 6 miles as a warm up. In the workout you will then gradually increase the pace until you reach your race pace. The first 3 miles should be run at race pace +15 secs per mile. The next 3 miles should be run at race pace +10 secs per mile. The next 3 miles should be run at race pace +5 secs per mile. The final 6 miles should be run at race pace. As a warm down, jog for 1 to 2 miles.

Marathon Preparation: Track Intervals

This should be performed once every week. You should start doing it approximately a third of the way into your marathon preparation. Every week you should try to make it a little bit harder by doing one extra 5 minute repeat. If you can’t fully complete the workout one week then do not add a repeat.

As a warm up jog for 2 miles. The workout requires you to run for 5 minutes at 10K pace. This needs to be done 5 times. Take a 5 minute recovery between each run. To warm down have a 2 minute job.

Marathon Preparation: Race-Pace

To start, warm up by jogging for 5 miles. The workout is a simple one, run at race pace for 10 miles. To warm down jog for another 5 miles.

If this seems like a lot of mileage to you then instead of running 5,10,5 you can run 3,6,3.

I hope you enjoyed these sample workouts and maybe you can use them when you are preparing for your next marathon.

Losing Weight and Running

Many people looking to get into running don’t do it because they like to run, it’s simply to lose weight since running is one of the best ways to burn off excess calories.

This is a simple topic but one that many people get wrong, confused by the rubbish information out there written by people that don’t have a full grasp on the subject. When it comes to losing weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit, there is no escaping this fact. That means you are providing your body with less energy (food) than it needs, this forces it to make up the deficit through the use of stored body fat.

Where people may go wrong is that even though they understand the need to have to eat less they overdo it. Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. By cutting their food intake too dramatically their running performance may take a hit due to falling energy levels.

Cutting too many calories in the form of carbohydrates while training will not only hinder your performance but also your recovery. Your ability to challenge yourself on a workout and to cope with a higher workload will diminish.

What You Should Be Doing

There are some so called professionals, like the writer of this article, who claim you shouldn’t pay attention to calories. This is complete nonsense for the simple reason that you have to control your calories in order to lose weight. Eating “healthily” doesn’t mean you will lose weight just as eating junk food doesn’t mean you will gain weight, it’s all down to creating a calorie deficit.

We want to create about a 10% calorie deficit which is enough to lose weight at a nice steady pace that isn’t too high. We also want to keep our carbohydrate intake as high as possible. These two things will limit any negative impact a diet will have on our running performance.
Since we are eating less we should try to stick with nutrient dense foods. This is because we have less calories to play with in order to provide our body with the micronutrients it needs. If we were to fill up our daily calorie intake with junk food we may not be able to provide our body with sufficient vitamins and minerals.

You may have to experiment with the macronutrient breakdown of your diet. That means, how much of your daily calories come from protein, how much comes from carbohydrates and how much comes from fats. If you feel lethargic during your workouts you will have to increase your carbohydrate intake and in order to do so you will need to decrease your intake from protein and fat.

It really is that simple, but for some reason when it comes to nutrition people misunderstand or misapply the basic concepts.