Running Essentials You Need To Know

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Running is one of the most low-maintenance sports to ever exist. There will be no need to buy any expensive equipment to enjoy this exercise. However, if you are really serious about it, there are some running items that you need to have in order to achieve a safe and fun-filled run.

The very basic thing that you need is a nice pair of running shoes. The good news is that there are a lot of great brands available in the market today. All you need is to choose what best fits you and your budget.

Aside from shoes, you will, of course, need good running clothes. As a rule, it is important to avoid items that are made of cotton because it will just end up absorbing your sweat because once it gets wet, it will stay that way all throughout.

A reliable running belt can make things easier for you. You can put in there the items you will be carrying while running such as your ID, money and the likes. Some belts are even glow in the dark to protect the wearer during nighttime runs.

For your skin protection, you should have sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Aside from this, you can also use a hat or a visor to protect your face from the glaring rays of the sun.

If you have additional budget and you want to track your body fat percentage, then you can get a body fat scale. For the brands recommended by fitness experts, you can see the best body fat analyzer from this list.

These are just some of the very basic items you need for running. Again, you do not need much. Just enjoy the run, the thrill it can bring as well its effect on your health and fitness.

Trail Running Preparation

Trail Running Preparation

Trail running has its own charms. Running on muddy terrains and dirt paths can give you a magnificent feeling of being connected with nature. Many runners switch from running on flat tracks to trail running for many different reasons, one of which is the beautiful, relaxing atmosphere running on natural, scenic ambience brings.

Although trail running can impose a feeling of relaxation, it’s no laughing matter to engage in this type of running. Trail running is extremely challenging as it includes running on uneven slopes, rocky, and muddy paths which can be dangerous and may cause injuries if you haven’t prepared enough for it.

You need to be physically prepared in order to survive trail running. Since the surface you’ll be running on can go upward and downward, you may want to brace yourself for the constant change in running phase and rhythm you may experience. Also, because you’ll be stepping on natural landscape, it is possible for you to encounter obstacles such as big rocks as well as fallen trees that you may have to avoid to complete your run.

Because of this, you have to take on some physical trainings in order to be ready for what you will face in trail running.

Doing some box jumps will enhance your ability to land softly on the ground. Being able to land softly and immediately get back to running is crucial to navigating terrains, especially in downward slopes.

Enhancing your ankle strength is equally essential since you’ll be sprinting on uneven surfaces. Immediately switching to trail running from running on flat surfaces unprepared can cause ankle sprains or other ankle injuries. Doing some foot workouts while barefoot can help you establish ankle strength and brace you for trail running. You may try some leg lunges as well as leg balancing barefoot.

Practice running on grassy areas as well as soft grounds and transition slowly. If you’re just starting trail running, concentrate more on being accustomed to running on the challenging environment rather than the running at faster speeds. You can focus on your speed once you get used to the difficult landscape of trail running.

Trail running is a rewarding experience for every runner.  As soon as you become familiar with it, you will realise why hundreds of runners switch to trail running.

Bad Running Habits

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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.

3 Track Workouts For Beginners

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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

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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.