Did you ever wonder why there are so many types of running shoes and athletic footwear
styles? The main reason is to avoid foot injuries by creating a shape and style of shoe
that is appropriate for different sports and activities.
Athletic shoes are made into both standard and sometimes odd sizes for men, women, and
children. These shoes are designed to help a person achieve top performance in basketball,
football, baseball, golf, bowling or any other athletic or team sport. In addition,
athletic shoes are created for running and walking as well. The type of sport shoe that a
person needs will largely depends on the chosen sport, activity level and the preference
of the person wearing the shoe.
When choosing an athletic shoe, consider how the shoe will be used. If you participate in
casual sports activities such as volunteer church baseball leagues or neighborhood
football matches, you will not need an expensive athletic shoe. However, if you play
sports competitively, you might want to consider specially made athletic shoes. For
instance, a person who takes running very seriously, is more likely to invest in a higher
quality athletic shoe than the average runner. Higher quality shoes are often needed
because they are required to spend several hours a day training to build speed, endurance,
and strength as they compete. In order to for runners to do this they will need a shoe
that will last. This is true for those who play other types of competitive sports, as
The choice of athletic shoe is also important for moving and protecting the foot while
participating in sports. For example, in basketball or football, a person needs to think
and act fast as they dribble, pass the ball or run down the field. Therefore, the person
needs the appropriate shoe for optimum performance and safety. Basketball shoes often have
a strong grip on the bottom that prevents an athlete from sliding. In both football and
baseball, each player usually has shoes that have cleats on the bottom of the soles. This
is to help the player grip the ground as they move quickly during play. Cleats are also
important because players also have to play in varying outside weather conditions such as
snow, rate, sleet, and extreme heat or cold. The right shoe is important because weather
conditions can affect how well a player moves around the field, and the players
ability to run without slipping and falling. The wrong shoe can cause falling and injury
There are several companies that make high quality running and athletic shoes. Nike,
Etonic, New Balance, Asics, Mulziny and Adidas are all popular shoe manufacturers. These
shoes often come in a wide variety of styles and features. In addition, these athletic
shoes often have shock absorbent soles for a softer impact when the runners foot
hits the ground. Furthermore, good quality athletic shoes are often made in wide and
narrow styles as well as arched, normal, or flat designs that help fit the overall shape
of a persons foot. Along with that, these shoes come in a variety of sizes so that
everyone can find a pair that fits their foot well.
Sometimes a person can find a high quality athletic shoe from a manufacturer or retailer
that does not advertise nationally. These types of shoes are often called "off
brand" or "generic". Many times, these shoes are just as durable and
dependable as the regular name brand shoes, but often cost much less than name brand
shoes. The fit of a shoe is usually a matter of personal preference, so before purchasing
these off brand shoes, it is important to test them out for fit and feel.
Further information can be found online about generic or off brand shoes. However, it is
important to remember that information about these shoes often comes directly from
companies whom manufacturer and advertise their shoes. If in doubt about the quality of a
generic shoe, it is sometimes not worth saving a few dollars. Buy the shoes from a brand
that you know will not let you down, whether it is a nationally known brand of athletic
shoe or not.
Athletic shoes can be purchased for both recreational or competitive activity needs either
online, in a store, or by mail order. When purchasing shoes online or mail order, there is
always the risk of the shoe not fitting right because each brand will fit a little
differently. However, you can increase your chances of finding a fitting shoe if you know
a little about the brand of shoe that you choose to purchase. Also, consider trying the
shoe on at a store before buying online.
When purchasing a shoe in a store, there may be a smaller selection than what is available
online. However, the advantage is buying a shoe that will fit properly. This goes for the
fitting of athletic shoes as well. If you do a little online research on athletic shoes
before shopping at a store, it is easier to make a better decision about the purchase of
shoes. When researching shoes online, it is easier to compare shoe brands, prices and
Many beginners to running do
not give the kit enough consideration. Yet if you spend a little time to find the right
running shoes and apparel it will increase your chances of staying the course.
It would be so easy to put on a pair of your old trainers and kit you used to wear at the
gym and shoot straight off for a run. However, you would be following in the footsteps of
many a failed runner before you! You will increase your chances of successfully becoming a
regular runner if you make a commitment by spending your hard earned cash on specialist
Here are three good reasons to buy specialist running kit.
1. Making a financial commitment is a statement of your intent. You really don't want to
waste your money by giving up after a week and end up wearing your brand new running shoes
for nothing more challenging than a walk to McDonalds!
2. You won't be surprised to discover that specialist running kit is designed for the
rigours of running. From shoes to the vest you wear, they are made to be comfortable to
ease the wear and tear on your body.
3. Wearing specialist running kit will actually make you feel the part. Put it on and look
in the mirror and you will see a runner looking back! It's like putting on a uniform that
will help you get into the mindset of a runner.
So make the commitment early on to do your research and find the right kit to get you
started. Let's look at the basic kit.
It is vital to get this one right. A badly fitting, inappropriate pair of running shoes is
going to make your whole running experience unpleasant. Everyone is different. We all have
different mechanics, body shape and running style so please don't buy on price (or
appearance). Ask around and find a reputable running shop you can visit where they will
check your style and find the most appropriate shoe. Even if you have a drive all day to
get there, it will be worth it.
Running Apparel Running apparel is designed to keep you comfortable in the eventuality
that you will be running for long periods. The hi-tech material will take the sweat away
from your body and prevent rubbing and soreness. Believe me when I say that there are few
things in life as unpleasant as 'runner's nipple' when you still have another hour to go
before your finish the race!
Safety is also an issue. Most running apparel has reflective strips or bright colours so
you can be seen in the day or night. In addition, you can always buy separate reflective
gear for added safety.
A more recent development in running gear is the running sock. They are made up of two
layers of material to stop rubbing within the shoe and prevent blisters. If you are going
to be running for longer distances and periods these are well worth the investment.
Obviously this one applies to women only. It is essential to visit a good sports store
that can advice, measure and fit a sports bra that is going to prevent excessive movement
when running. A poorly fitting bra that provides inadequate support can cause discomfort
and even lead to health problems including back pain.
Perhaps not as essential as getting the right shoes and kit, but many runners would not be
without them. Apart from protecting the eyes from UV light during prolonged periods out of
doors, they also prevent flies, grit and specs of dust getting into your eyes. In most
cases these will not be a serious hazard, but it does interrupt your stride if you get a
fly stuck in your eye!
Find a watch that can be easy to operate with one hand and has a lap function. At a later
stage you can use the 'lap button' to record times at intervals through your run. Not
essential at the start of your running career but it can be useful to record your times so
you can see your progress.
Roy Palmer is a teacher of The Alexander Technique and has studied performance
enhancement in sport for the last 10 years. His new book Zone Mind, Zone Body (Ecademy
Press) argues that many of today's popular fitness methods may be doing more harm than
good. More information on his ideas and methods can be found by clicking Fitness Programs for life
Shin splints is a very common ailment that affects athletes but can
also occur in the non-athletic individual. It is an inflammatory condition occurring
either in the front of the lower leg or in the back. The cause for each is different.
Typically, with shin splints, a person will be doing some kind of athletic endeavor
(walking a long distance would qualify), and begin to notice soreness in the lower leg,
either in the front or back of the leg. The more the person moves the more the condition
worsen. Should the person stop, the pain will diminish somewhat only to worsen once the
activity is resumed.
Anterior shin splints, or pain in the front of the lower leg, may be more prevalent
running on hard surfaces, or running or walking down hill. After the heel hits the ground,
in gait, the foot should slow down in order for the front of the foot to hit the ground.
People with a tight heel cord (Achilles tendon), do not allow the foot to slow down so the
muscles that control the forefoot and originate in the front of the lower leg are forced
to overwork. This overworking of the muscle causes the muscle to swell and since the
muscle is in a confined location in the lower leg, the swelling causes pain.
Posterior shin splints generally occur when in people who are moderately to severely
pronated or more commonly known as flat footed. People who exhibit this type of foot
structure force their feet to overwork, thus causing the muscles in the back of the lower
leg to also overwork. Again, this overworking causes the muscle to swell and since it too
is in a confined space, pain will occur.
As previously stated this condition generally occurs in athletic people, but people
exhibiting certain types of foot structure, who are called upon to do a fair amount of
walking can also experience shin splints.
Symptomatic treatment of the condition is through the use of icing the area and taking
anti inflammatory medication such as aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, Advil, etc. Also, avoiding
the type of walking surface that caused the problem would be indicated. This is acceptable
treatment for the short term, but not considered a solution to the problem.
The best way to alleviate the problem on a permanent basis is to have your feet examined
by a foot specialist to determine the type of foot structure you exhibit and thus find the
cause of the problem. Generally, an orthotic, usually a prescription type of device will
be indicated, but certain individuals may also experience relief with an over the counter
type device. In addition to an orthotic, the athletic individual should also examine his
athletic shoes as there are various types of shoes on the market, many of which may help
correct the abnormality in the foot structure and thus relieve the symptoms.
The non-athlete should also examine his or her shoes as flimsy type shoes may exacerbate
the abnormality in that person's foot structure and bring about the pain associated with
Other conditions that may mimic shin splints include stress fractures of the lower leg,
along with muscle tears. Anyone who is suffering from shin splints that do not respond to
the above mentioned treatments should consider having an MRI to rule out theses
Lastly, a condition that mimics shin splints but has the potential for more serious
consequences is known as "anterior compartment syndrome". It is basically a more
severe form of anterior shin splints, however, in this case the excessive swelling of the
muscle will cause excessive pressure on the nerves resulting in numbness in the area and
weakening of the muscles into the foot. Equally important, the blood supply in the
affected area is cut off. The patient will complain of numbness in the foot and leg, along
with pallor (due to the circulation being cut off), along with excessive pain. This is
considered a medical emergency and immediate medical care is indicated.
I started teaching fitness classes
a long time ago. So long ago, in fact, that Jane Fonda was THE NAME in fitness and all the
classes were called Aerobics. In those days, there was no certification for instructors
and most of us came from a dance background. In other words, we did what we wanted with
very few guidelines.
Along with the increase in popularity of these classes and fitness in general came
certification, liability insurance, expert guidelines and large amounts of scientific
research on fitness topics. In other words, teaching fitness classes became a "real
Since that time, stretching seems to be a really controversial area of fitness. When do
we stretch? How do we stretch? Does stretching prevent injury? Do you get sore if you
stretch properly? And you know what? After many studies, the mysteries remain.
Of course, there are a couple of generally accepted beliefs I would like to share with
you to help you better understand and plan your fitness activities.
A muscle's strength is related to its ability to stretch. In other words a muscle
expands before it contracts. This is particularly easy to see when you look at someone
jump. First the person will bend the knees (expand the muscles) and then spring up
A warm muscle stretches more easily than a cold one. The follow on to this idea is that
a warm muscle is also stronger in that it is more resistant to tearing with heavy use.
How is this applied to fitness programs? Well, the number one thing I always say to my
clients is "Warm-up first before stretching". The response from clients is
often, "isn't stretching a warm-up"? The answer is (polite yet emphatic) NO!
The purpose of a warm-up is to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints and get
the heart ready for what is to come. The best warm-up is usually about 5 minutes of a
lower intensity version of the activity you are about to perform. For example, walking for
a time before you begin running is good. For weight training, it's also good to walk first
followed by some rhythmic arm movements to warm up upper body joints.
Now here's a big controversy among fitness professionals: when is the optimal time to
stretch? Well, I like to stretch at the end of the workout or at several times during the
workout if resistance (weight) training - when the muscles are very bendable. My mental
picture of this is that muscles, tendons and ligaments are like taffy candy. When taffy is
cold, it breaks when bent. When taffy is warm, it pulls and stretches.
While no one has yet managed to prove conclusively that stretching prevents injury or
reduces muscle soreness, most athletes and fitness enthusiasts will tell you that
stretching really helps them feel better after a workout. My personal observation is that
stretching promotes a balanced range of motion in the joints and generally promotes the
feeling of relaxed well-being after a workout. Some of my most popular classes end with a
stretching session and a few minutes of deep breathing/deep relaxation. Very nice!
About the Author: Ainsley Laing, MSc. has been a Fitness Trainer for 25 years and
writes exclusively Body for Mind eZine. She holds certifications in Group Exercise, Sports
Nutrition and Personal Fitness Training. Click here to read other articles by Ainsley.
About the Author
Ainsley Laing MSc.has 25 years experience in Group Exercise, Nutrition and Personal
Training. She is the chief editor of Body for Mind - Wellness Lifestyle for Sucessful
People. Read more at http://www.bodyformind.com
Running is a wonderful form of
cardiovascular exercise; unfortunately it has gained a reputation for causing injury. This
is unfair, in my opinion, and in this article how to avoid common running injuries in 3
easy steps, I will show you how to avoid some of the most common ones.
The first common problem that I see in runners that can cause everything from muscle
strains to tears is simply lack of a proper warm-up. While this may not seem so bad, after
all most people might think, "Well in five minutes I've worked up a sweat so it can't
be all bad." While this may be true a cold and tight muscle is more apt to be injured
be it a simple, pull, strain, or in the worse case and tear. But the worst thing a lack of
a proper warm-up does simply add wear and tear on the body, the body is not warm and ready
to go so each time you push it to the limit by not warming up I feel you are just that
much closer to an injury. Think of it this way if you keep stretching out a rubber over
and over sooner or later it is going to break, but not just from that last stretch, it was
all those previous stretches that combined to do it. One day you'll be running and out of
the blew bam, an injury will happen, most people will put it off to well it was just my
time, but what they forget is all those times they were in a hurry and ran without a
warm-up. A warm up doesn't have to be much, walk first of 5-10 minutes progressively
getting faster and faster until you're doing a light jog and then slowly and I mean slowly
over the coarse of another 10 minutes pick up your pace until you are running at the pace
you want to.
The second common thing that I see runners do all the time, which over time can cause
injuries is not stretching. Again just like with warm ups, you think, well I'm running
late so I'll just skip stretching JUST this once and well we all know what happens,
something comes up again and again, and well you get the idea. Stretching out your
hamstrings, calf muscles, lower back, upper back, abs, and just about any other muscle you
find that is tight after a run will only take 10 minutes, yet as with warm-ups, over time
you'll see less soreness, less of those nagging injuries and I'll bet that you're running
will improve. Now if you're wondering why I didn't include the thighs in the list of
muscles to stretch, it is simply because most peoples thighs maintain an adequate level of
flexibility, however by all means if your thighs are tight by all means stretch them out.
An excellent book that can be found at most libraries is called STRECTHING by Bob
Anderson. With this book you'll have all the stretches you could possibly want.
Last but definitely not least is the post workout meal. If you are wondering why I've
included nutrition in an article about injuries, well a muscle that is not fully
recovered/sore is more apt to be injured and there is no better time to refuel your body
than after a hard run. I'm glad that protein has come back into favor as of late, because
before running was all about carbohydrates, and they are great, especially if you favor
good quality ones like brown rice, sweet potatoes and fruit. However, protein is vital for
muscle growth and repair, so if you don't have enough you are not going to recover as
well/if at all, as you should. A great post workout drink is called SURGE and it is made
by biotest. However if you can't afford it or simply want something more basic go out and
grab some whey protein isolate and mix it with some juice, or you could simply have a
banana or two with your shake. I know you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results you
will see (faster recovery, better runs) from simply just adding a post workout protein and
carb meal after your runs. If you're wondering how soon you should have your shake after
your run, if you can get your shake or whey isolate and bananas in within 30 minutes of
your run you'll be fine. I hope you've enjoyed, how to avoid common running injuries in 3
easy steps, and I wish you all the best in your running.
If you liked the tips in this article you will be able to find out even more info that
will help your running by going here http://tinyurl.com/mt2mc
About the Author
The fitness guy has been involved in health and fitness for over 20 years For more info
please visit: http://tinyurl.com/mt2mc
Most runners whether recreational
or professional will agree with me that they have been forced out of running one or more
times by running related injuries. Whereas it is a fact that running injuries happen,
preventing them is worth all the effort and when they happen, knowing how to deal with
them is crucial. Recreational running is a fun sport and anybody who is physically able
can pursue it regardless of age. It is one of the most effective ways to lose extra body
weight and keep it under control.
Recreational running has also become a great social activity in our society today.
Everyone who has incorporated it in their lifestyle knows the health benefits associated
with it. Due to the increased number of people currently engaging in fun running, there
are now more cases of running related injuries than there were few years back. I get asked
all the time how one can deal with these injuries and since every case is different we are
going to look at general ways to avoid or manage running related injuries.
Build your mileage gradually:
It is human nature to try and accomplish as much as possible in life within a short
time. For running unfortunately, doing too much too soon will only hurt you and discourage
you from pursuing your favorite sport. This mainly applies to beginners more than advanced
runners. It is important to remember that your body has to adjust to accommodate the any
increased physical stress and it can only do so gradually. An increment of around 10
percent of your weekly mileage is enough after every 3 to 6 weeks. In other words, if you
are doing 15 miles per week and you want to increase your mileage, you do not need to go
past 16.5 miles per week. Bear in mind that your body will need up to 4 weeks to
accommodate the increase comfortably.
Avoid running on hard surfaces:
Most injuries associated with running are as a result of running on hard surfaces. I am
sure there are trails or parks almost every location and making good use of them is
paramount. If you like running along paved surfaces, at least make an effort to run on
grass or dirt roads or trails once or twice every week. A good time is when you are doing
one of your longer runs; it is refreshing to your legs. It is also important to avoid
uneven surfaces as these may mess up the alignment of your body especially your legs and
Choose the right running shoe:
I cannot stress this enough, but the condition of your running shoe greatly determines
the number, type and frequency of running related injuries in your running pursuits. In
other words, if you choose the wrong shoe type for your feet, the chances are that you be
hurt even if the shoes are new. Sometimes you may have the right type of running shoe, but
you have exceeded the mileage requirement for the shoe. If you are a beginner and you are
not sure what type of running shoe to buy, get advice from running shoe expert or your
trainer or more experienced runners. Avoid buying cheap shoe simply because of the price,
it may cost you a fortune to treat injuries or even worse case stop you from running
Supplement recreational running with other activities:
Our bodies need a break from running especially when we are tired. Since taking a break
has its place in our running schedules, I recommend doing other activities that will yield
similar benefits as running, but put less stress in our bodies. Swimming and biking are
the two most common and effective supplements to running. Both of these activities lift
the pressure away from your legs and in the process allow them to recover without you
really taking time off from working out. If swimming is not enough, try running in the
pool, this will surely give you a great workout. Swimming and biking are also great for
rehabilitation after sustaining an injury.
Take time off from running:
As mentioned earlier in this article, our bodies need time to accommodate the physical
stress that we are inducing through running. The principle behind training in any sport is
to improve performance. This happens through recovery and adaptation. The simple
explanation of this fact is when you run you are stressing your muscles and other body
systems and they can only be stressed to a certain level. Once that level is reached,
fatigue sets in and if you do not stop, your body will break down. The best way to avoid
breaking down due to fatigue is to take one or two days off every week from running. If
you neglect taking time off, you are calling for trouble, you will get burnout or injured
and you may not have a choice but to quit running.
Eat healthy and hydrate well:
Most people use recreational running to lose extra weight or control their body weight.
Due to bad advice, I have seen people running and still eating wrong foods and drinking
highly dehydrating drinks. If the whole idea of running is to be healthy, then it does not
make sense to counter that effect with bad eating habits. There is no right or wrong, I
believe moderation is the key. Eating a desert once in a while is great and fun, eating it
after every meal - well, you can answer that for yourself. It is a fact that carbonated
drinks when taken excessively only help to dehydrate your body. Drinking water and
non-carbonated sports drinks are highly recommended. Supplements and vitamins also go
along way in keeping you away from injuries. So remember always to eat enough to supply
just enough energy to meet your daily demands, but not excess that will be stored as fats.
Extra body weight makes your body more susceptible to injuries.
Get body massage and bone adjustment:
Body massage and bone adjustment are necessary components of recreation running. When
you workout, there is wear and tear of the muscles and tissue in your body resulting in
waste products such as lactic acid. When these waste products build up in your body, they
make your muscles and tissues stiff and as result vulnerable to injuries. Getting a full
body massage often will help to get rid of this stiffness. The alignment of the bones may
also become bad due to bad running surfaces. Visiting a chiropractor once in a while is a
great idea in avoiding bone alignment related injuries.
The injury prevention ways suggested here will only help if you follow them. However it
is not an exhaustive list. These are just suggestions that have been proven to work for
both professional and recreational runners alike. The best advice when pursuing any sport
is to be proactive in avoiding injuries, they are very expensive! Recreational running is
The author has masters in
sports and leisure management. He is a former professional track and field athlete. He is
currently coaching and counseling athletes and recreational sports individuals of all
ages. For information visit http://www.recreationalsportsforlife.com
Strong legs, strong lungs, strong will. Such is the portrait of a typical distance
runner. The good news is that you can be a runner, too.
Running carries with it the same benefits of all cardiovascular exercise: it helps
reduce stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, reduces risk of certain diseases,
increases confidence, brightens your mood, helps you sleep better, gives you more energy,
and, in general, provides a better sense of well being. It is also a great way to burn
How many calories do you burn running a mile?
Conventional wisdom says that, for every mile you run, you will burn 100 calories. But
other factors play into the equation as well, including your running speed and your body
weight. Generally speaking, a 135 pound person will burn about 100 calories per mile. A
200 pound person, running at the same speed, may burn 150. Obviously, the faster you run,
the more calories you will burn.
Starting to run
Running can be stressful on your body, particularly on your leg muscles and knees. But
you can minimize your risk of injury with a few simple tips.
Make sure to stretch before and after every run. Walk briskly for at least 5 minutes at
the beginning of each run. Once you feel your body starting to warm up, do some gentle
stretching exercises. Focus on steady, continuous stretches and avoid bouncing through the
If you are new to running, here is how you can work up to a 30 minute running routine
while reducing the risk of injury.
Your first goal will be to make sure that you can walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes.
If you can do that, start to run at a slow pace until you become short of breath. Then
walk briskly until you feel like you can run again. Continue with these intervals. You can
challenge yourself by timing these intervals and working toward longer intervals. For
example, maybe the first day you will run for 30 seconds and walk for 2 minutes. As your
endurance increases, run longer and walk for shorter distances.
Another interval technique involves counting your footsteps, instead of measuring time.
When you are first starting your running routine, you may do 100 or 200 running footsteps
with 300 or 400 walking footsteps in between. Then you can work up to 400 or 500 running
footsteps with 200 walking footsteps in between. Each day, try to extend the number of
running footsteps and reduce the number of walking footsteps (even by just a few
footsteps) until you are running for a full 30 minutes. Counting steps can help give your
mind a clear focus toward an achievable goal.
It is important to not push yourself too hard. Even if you simply walk for 30 minutes
and can manage to get in a couple of one or two minute runs, you are getting your heart
rate up, and you will be reaping some of those health benefits. The rule of thumb is this:
run at a pace at which you can still talk. If you are very short of breath, slow down or
take a walk break.
Once you are running for a full 30 minutes, keep up this interval training to maximize
the benefits of your running routine. For example, run at your normal pace and then speed
it up for 30 seconds or one minute (or 200 or 300 footsteps).
After every run, walk for a few minutes, and stretch your muscles again.
Making the most of your running routine
Here are a few more tips to help you make the most of your running routine:
Invest in a good pair of running shoes, which will increase comfort and reduce your
risk of injury.
Plan to rehydrate about every 10 minutes during your run.
The best places to run are smooth dirt roads or paths, which are not as hard as asphalt
and concrete. Ask around (at your local running store, for example) for recommendations of
Finally, make sure to follow these simple safety precautions: Running with a friend (or
even a dog) is safer than running alone. At the very least, tell someone when you are
leaving, where you are going, and when they should expect you to return. Leave your
valuables at home, vary your routes, and stay in busy, well lit areas. Pay attention to
what is going on around you. That means leaving the headphones at home, or turning the
volume down low. Lastly, always jog against traffic, so you can assess oncoming cars for
A running routine is a rewarding way to build strength and endurance. Enjoy the process
of developing your own strong legs, strong lungs, and strong will.
Note: The tips in this article are for general information only. Before starting any
exercise routine, you should consult with your doctor.
Two simple exercises to improve your running technique.by Roy Palmer
Much of the activity of running requires
less effort than you think. One of these is the leg swing, a movement that makes up a
considerable amount of the action. Many runners use a kicking action to bring their foot
forward for the next stride yet this use a tremendous amount of unnecessary effort. Once
your foot is off the floor it requires no effort at all for it to swing through. Try the
following exercise to appreciate how to run more efficiently.
1. Sit on the edge of a table so the whole of your upper legs down to the knees are in
2. Bring back your left leg until it is underneath the table and then let it go so it
swings forward. It is important to let it go and not to swing it forward yourself.
3. Let alternate legs swing with minimal effort (just give them a little nudge) and think
of each leg as a pendulum. If you are experiencing the need to make them swing by using
your hamstrings or quadriceps, think of the space at the back of your knee joint and let
go from there.
The same applies to using the shoulders and arms when running. Let's try a similar
experiment with your arms.
1. Stand and think of a line from the tip of your shoulders through the biceps, down
the arm to your thumbs. Or just think 'long arms'.
2. As with the legs, see if you can get your arms swinging straight and by your side with
a minimal effort without lifting your shoulders.
3. Now let your arms bend at the elbow; place your thumb lightly on your index finger,
keep your fingers relaxed and again swing your arms without the shoulders lifting. Your
hands should be relaxed, nether clenched into a fist or fingers held straight.
These actions of your limbs will help to propel you forward whilst running but require
less effort than most runners use. More information can be found by clicking Running
About the Author
Roy Palmer is a teacher of The Alexander Technique and has studied performance
enhancement in sport for the last 10 years. In 2001 he published a book called 'The
Performance Paradox: Challenging the conventional methods of sports training and exercise'
and is currently working on a new project about The Zone.
Whether or not
you are going up or down, hill running requires effective technique and
practice. Within this article I'll focus on the best way to approach
downhill running safely and effectively.
To avoid pain and
injury, take precautions when running downhill. Without the appropriate
technique you risk placing unnecessary stress on your joints and tendons and
may even find yourself taking a bad fall.
A great number of
runners don't think about proper form when tackling a downhill section. Many
people lean back or use their heels and leg muscles like brakes to control
their descent. This approach can result in increased impact and injury.
Other people may
lean forward and over-stride gaining speed and losing control. This approach
can also cause knee and ankle problems and lead to a serious fall. Increased
speed usually results in heavier foot falls and more stress on the body.
technique for running downhill involves the proper form, balance, stride,
focus and mindset.
and make an effort to land on the balls of your feet. Running on the balls
of your feet will help you reduce the force of the impact even while
maintaining the agility you'll need to navigate obstructions during your
descent. It's usually better to go over logs, roots and rocks whenever you
can. Many objects can be slippery and cause you to lose your grip and fall.
balance by raising your elbows and using your arms to keep you well
centered. A moderately wider stance will also help preserve good balance
during a descent.
stride and increase foot turnover to maintain control without using your
legs and joints as brakes. Increased foot falls, and more contact with the
trail increases your control. Your ability to make agile moves is
significantly improved with a shorter stride as well.
Remain focused on
the trail and look ahead so that you have ample time to respond. Remember
the faster you're running the further ahead you must look.
Stay mentally and
physically relaxed. When you're relaxed and flowing you're much less likely
to be injured. You can do it! Visualize your successful descent and flow
with the trail.
As it is with all
new techniques, take it slow. Walking or reducing your pace is an excellent
way to focus on better form and build confidence. Downhill running can be
fun and doesn't need to be painful or dangerous if you take care to maintain
good form and focus.
This last weekend, I met with someone who I haven't seen for 8 years or so. This
person, a quiet and very kind man, was my training partner for my first marathon 12 years
ago. It was great to see him - not only because he looks so fit and healthy at age 57, but
also because it was only this weekend that I truly felt the way that he
"touched" my life so many years ago.
You see, training for a marathon is a long journey. So many hours and months my partner
and I spent running, thinking about running, planning for running, eating for
running....do you get the idea? Of course, achieving the goal was that much more sweet
because of how hard the journey was. That one journey got me hooked and I have done many
more since. But the first one remains the most special.
My marathon partner was 45 when he ran his FIRST marathon. He is quite an inspiration!
As a person who is "into fitness" I have many friends and colleagues who are
sports people. Not only that, but most of them (me included) are now of the age that they
are called Master Athletes. What is a master athlete? This is someone who competes in the
older age categories of a sport.
So, most of my friends and I are masters in our sports. Among my peers, I hear a lot of
moaning about how we are getting older and just don't feel able to compete with the
youngsters. To that, I say.... Experience and science is starting to show otherwise. Have
you noticed that there are a lot of professional and amateur athletes that are still
getting better at their sports even though they are also older than they are
"supposed" to be?
There are many reasons for this phenomenon, but training methods, nutrition science and
just plain old determination not to retire is fueling much of this.
The activities of these older athletes and the fact that there are so many now have
some important lessons for those of us who feel that old age is a reason not to be fit
and/or enjoy whatever sport we choose.
We can excel at sports or be as fit as someone much younger, so long as we keep some
basic ideas in mind:
The decline in fitness is very gradual as we age. In other words, there's no reason to
stop JUST because of age. Recovery from intense training slows as we age, not the ability
to train intensively. Muscular strength, flexibility and quickness (power) require extra
attention to maintain, to keep us in the game and injury free. Eating right helps
recovery. Adequate sleep is important for recovery. Let's look at these ideas
The decline in fitness is really just a de-training effect. If you don't use it, you
lose it. Age has much less to do with this decline than inactivity does. When you were 20,
if you didn't exercise, what happened? Probably, you got weaker and put on body fat. Is
there much difference now years later?
Recovery time has to do with the body's ability to regenerate. Of course, the body
adapts to the loads placed on it at any age; so if you GRADUALLY begin to train your body
more often or more intensively, it will adapt to this training and "learn" to
Muscular strength, flexibility and ability to respond quickly diminish without
training. The lack of muscular strength causes the joints to carry more of the load. When
the joints carry the load instead of the muscles then the joints tend to break down in a
variety of ways. So, it's important to build all the muscles of the body no matter what
sport you are involved in.
The tensile strength of muscles, or their ability to stretch, lessens when they are not
regularly stretched, so it's important to take extra care to stretch the muscles when they
are warm. A tight muscle leads to muscular imbalances which again can cause joints and the
back to carry loads in a way they were not designed to.
Joints tend to deteriorate with age. They lose the collagen matrix and "squishy
stuff" that lubricates them. Keeping the muscles strong and flexible, so that they
themselves do the work instead of the joints, is the best way to slow this deterioration.
Also, if you already have joint pain, strengthening the muscles will lessen the load on
the joint...and hence lessen any pain and stiffness.
Nutrition science has come a long way in recent years. Nowadays, athletes are using
nutrition to aid in recovery. The crux of this is that eating lots of antioxidant rich
foods (fruits and vegetables), protein (meat, fish, dairy, beans, eggs) and lots of water
help the muscles rebuild and alleviates oxidative stress from exertion.
There are many supplements that have been proven, such as glucosamine for joint health,
that can help with individual issues. So, if you are training hard and feel that your
nutrition is less than optimal, it might be beneficial to consider supplements. It's a
good idea to study up on anti aging supplements and general nutrition guidelines to see
what might benefit you.
The body uses sleep time to recover and build. Enough said on that.
The moral of the story? Age by itself is not a good excuse for doing the things you
love to do. If you have always dreamed of running a marathon - GO FOR IT!
About the Author
About the Author: Ainsley Laing, MSc. has been a Fitness Trainer for 25 years and
writes exclusively Body for Mind eZine. She holds certifications in Group Exercise, Sports
Nutrition and Person Fitness Training. Read other articles by Ainsley at http://www.bodyformind.com .
If you're at a stage where you're not enjoying your running so much, take
a look at these tips from Do Running, all aimed at helping to save you time and effort so
you can take pleasure in your running again.
1. If possible, get yourself into a routine and run at the same time
every day. If you're deciding when to fit in your run, you'll waste time.
2. Keep track of when you run - mark your calendar and you'll find you
running will improve.
3. Work out your goal and then work out how to get there. Devise a four
month running plan consisting of your weekly runs - long runs, speed sessions, hill
practice and don't forget your rest days. This way, you'll only need to look at your
schedule as you head out the door.
4. Try running first thing in the morning while you still have the will
to do so. The longer the day goes on, the more likely you are to find other things to do
and running will lose its priority status.
5. If you don't have time for a full stretching routine, concentrate on
your calves and hamstrings.
6. When you're running try and think positive thoughts. If you are
feeling down, remind yourself of how far you've come over the last few weeks or months.
7. If you're not sure where to begin on your tempo training workout,
then jog slowly in one direction for 30 minutes then turn round and run nearer to your
desired long distance pace for 20 minutes. Jog slowly back to your starting place.
8. Rather than pile on the miles, work out your goals and then set your
mileage accordingly. Many runners train more or faster to achieve their goals instead of
savouring their miles.
9. If you do want to run further but feel you're struggling to build up
your distance, take a one minute walking break after every nine minutes of running. This
will allow you to double the time you're out and you'll feel good about the distance
you're achieving. If this is still too hard, then take a walking break after every four
minutes of running.
10. One day a week, don't worry about your pace, time or distance. Get
up and head out whenever you feel like it and just run and remember you are an athlete.
11. Check your resting heart rate before you get out of bed. If your
heart rate is above normal, then it could mean you're tired and need to have a rest day.
Katina Read writes regular stories for the running website dorunning. Specialising in
running footware, clothing and accessories, dorunning is becoming an unmissable resource
for athlets of all abilities. With vast amounts of information to help runners, dorunning
is fast becoming a runner's bible.
With amateur and professional athletes buying their running shoes and gear from us, we are
always up to date with the latest in the world of running. Visit dorunning for more news
stories, training and nutrition tips and associated information.
in the dark can be a challenge and presents some unique challenges. Running in the dark
can also be very exhilarating, especially when you run in a group.
There are basic 3 questions that you need to answer
before you head outside for your early morning or late evening run.
What sort of terrain are you going to be running on?
How much light will there be on the route you plan to run?
How safe is the route you plan on running?
Will you be running on the roads or will you be running
on trails or a track? If you will be running anywhere that there is traffic, then you need
to be sure to make yourself as visible as possible. Any time that you are out running with
traffic, you need to assume that they can not see you. Very few drivers will look for
runners out after dark. After all, it seems as if few enough lookout for runners during
the daylight hours!
Does the route that you are planning on running have
regular street lights or house lights that can show you your path? Are the moon and stars
bright enough to allow you to see where you are placing your feet? If not, then you will
want to bring some sort of illumination with you.
How safe will the route that you are running be? It can
be dangerous to run through an area with rocky terrain. You may also need to worry more
about predators at night, both two-legged and four. I have never felt a need to carry any
sort of weapon when I ran, but I am male and have lived in relatively safe cities for most
of my life and most of my trail running after dark has been with a group.
Once you have answered these questions, you will need to
decide what you are going to carry with you. Here are a few items that you may need (I
recommend that everyone get the first 3 if they ever plan on running in the dark or in
Get a reflective vest or jacket
. Preferably a
bright one in some unnatural color like fluorescent yellow or orange. You may look funny
during the day, but I never let that bother me. Having been hit by a car, I like to make
sure that I stand out against my surroundings. You may not need to wear this if you are
not going to be running where there is traffic.
Get a headlamp
. They are pretty cheap these days.
You can start with a $20 (or less) pivoting headlamp at your local hardware store that
will work well enough on the streets (that is what I currently have.) If you are going to
be on trails or running in the dark regularly, then you will want to get a brighter one
that is made for running. The ones that are made for running generally have a little extra
support, the battery is located at the back of the head, and there are 6-8 white LEDs.
Unless it is very bright where you are running, you are going to want to wear your head
lamp on all of your runs in the dark.
Get a red strobe light
. I use one that I bought
for my bike as a tail light, but it came with a strap so that I could wear it on my arm. I
have used it running more often than I have used it on my bike. It has 8 or 10 red LEDs
that are very bright and that flash in 6 directions (3 horizontal and 3 vertical). You may
not need to wear this if you are not going to be running where there is traffic. I have
found that this does the best job of getting me noticed by traffic when there is any,
though. Almost every one of them sees me if I have all three of these items on.
You may want to carry some mace
. You will need to
be careful not to accidentally spray yourself or somebody you are running near, but it can
come in handy if you are mugged or if a dog or some other animal begins to chase you.
Bring some friends
. Running with a group in the
dark is a great shared experience, and it can be a lot safer than running solo. You are
less likely to be hassled than if you run alone and traffic is more likely to see a crowd
than a single person. If you fall and hurt yourself, there will be somebody there that can
take care of you or get help.
Bring a cell phone
, especially if you do not
bring any friends with you. If you get lost, get hurt, or just get tired and lazy you will
be able to call for somebody to pick you up or emergency services to come rescue you.
. You should carry some sort
of identification with you any time that you leave the house.
The last thing that you should consider before you leave
your house is the weather. If it is foggy, slippery, raining or snowing really hard, or
extremely cold then you may want to avoid running in the dark. Your visibility may be
impacted and it can be easy to get lost or step on something that you can not see.
Especially on roads, you need to worry about people driving that won't be able to see any
lights or reflective material that you are carrying. When it is really cold or has been
snowing, there may be no shoulder for you to run on and a driver may not have adequately
cleared their windshield so that they can see where they are driving.
Days where the weather makes it too dangerous to run
outside I will bite the bullet and run indoors or cross train. It is never a good idea to
miss a workout, but if you can not get home safely from the workout then it is worth
trying to find some other activity to do or even changing up your schedule a bit to
accommodate the weather.
Running at night can be safe and enjoyable, and there are
a lot of tools that make it easy to get out in the dark. Make sure that you have an extra
helping of common sense and that you can see and be seen, and have fun playing out in the
Running in the dark is something that all runners will have to deal with at
one time or another. Whether you are an early morning runner (as I am) or an
evening runner - darkness is something that we have to plan for. It's
important that you are able to be seen by oncoming traffic. You also need to
be able to see where you are running to avoid anything that may cause you to
trip and fall.
Luckily, times have changed so much since I began running over 30 years ago.
It used to be that you could get a reflective vest and that's about it. Or,
you hoped that someone could see the small reflective strip that was on your
running shoes. Now, there are so many neat things that you can use to run
safely. Read on to find out different things that you can wear to remain
Reflective running vests as well as reflective strips that go around your
arms or ankles are still available. And, still one of the best ways to stay
visible. The vests are lightweight and you really don't know that you have
them on - and they certainly make you noticeable to oncoming traffic. The
strips are also easy and just wrap around and fasten with Velcro. The only
downside that I've found with these is that when wearing them on your arms
-sometimes they will slip and become annoying.
Reflective caps are something that I've come to love. I wear caps all the
time anyway. You can get caps that are completely made of reflective
material. Caps also come with a flashing red light on the back. Recently, I
purchased a cap that I've fallen in love with. It has lights on the brim.
The lights shine as a high beam (to illuminate the path in front of you), a
low beam (to see your watch or more closely at your feet) or you can use
both high and low beam at the same time. I wore this cap the other morning -
and it worked great!
Running tops and jackets have come a long way with keeping runners safe,
also. You can get jackets made completely out of reflective material. These
work great - and with the newer "runner friendly" fabrics keep you warm and
safe at the same time. Also out there on the market now are jackets that
have a light source. Saucony makes a great running top (yes, I just had to
get one) that has a small light comes with it. The light fastens onto the
sleeve and can stay on all the time or you can set it to blink. And, the
coolest thing about this - it plugs into your computer to recharge!
you find yourself having to run in the dark from time to time, make sure
that you are making yourself visible to oncoming cars. Luckily these days,
you can also do it in style!
Making sure that you can see where you are running in the dark can help you
to stay away from injury. Download my free report
Injuries and Runners for other tips to
help you stay injury free.
Throughout my experience of running marathons, triathlons, and small 5&10K races, I
found that the beneficial and enjoyable races were my local 5k's. If you've ever thought
about running one I highly suggest getting out there trying it. Here are a few helpful
hints on preparing yourself for one.
1. Sign Up, Already
Chances are, no matter where you live, there's a 5-K nearby soon. It's the most popular
race: 7,500-plus 5-Ks held in 2006 drew more than 3 million runners. Why? "It's only
three miles!" Well, 3.1 miles, but so as long as you're logging three half-hour runs
per week, you can complete a 5-K this weekend. And you can run a fast 5-K with as little
as six weeks of concentrated training.
2. Just Have Fun
5-Ks are a great way to meet people and stay in good shape and they're newbie-friendly.
I would have to admit that I was a little afraid that the veteran racers would be annoyed
with a newbie. The opposite was true; the local running group cheered me on. If you're
used to looking at your watch, try ignoring it during your next race. I did that in two
5-Ks this fall and set new personal records each time.
3. Use 5-Ks for Speed
Runners training for a longer event, like a half or full marathon, can use 5-Ks in
place of speed work. I primarily use 5k's to race into shape, this has helped me complete
114 5-K Races for the Cure. I usually tend to run a little slower than race pace and for
about 20 to 25 minutes, here's how I prepare myself for a local 5-K:
MON: Rest day
TUE: Speed session
WED: Easy run, longer distance, or rest day
THU: Speed session
FRI: Rest day or easy run with last half mile at race pace
SAT: 5-K race
SUN: Easy run, mid-distance
4. Eat a Little
You don't need additional calories before you run a 5-K, but if you're used to eating
breakfast, you might feel hungry. Your body needs some calories to help you wake up and
keep going, but don't overdo it. I suggest just half a bagel with peanut butter, half a
banana, or gel/sports beans/shot blocks is enough. Also a little tip for the newbie's
trying their first 5k, there is no reason to eat before a 5-K, as they all have real food
Joshua Quintana is a successful personal trainer, both in the private and military
(retired) sectors. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please
click here: Get Fit Today
Runners are not designed well to deal with heat or limited water - we can survive for a
moderate amount of time without food, but water is a close second to oxygen on the list of
essentials to survive.
Fluid is lost through sweating, breathing and urinating - for runners, particular
attention has to be paid to the sweating factor. As soon as runners start to run, they
start to dehydrate with about 75 per cent of the energy put into exercise converted into
heat and then lost.
The extra heat has to be dissipated in order to keep the core body temperature within the
safe limits of around 37-38°C and if fluids are not taken on, the blood will thicken and
reduce the heart's efficiency, increasing the heart rate and raising the body temperature.
A two per cent loss in body weight caused by dehydration can lead to a 20 per cent drop in
performance for runners and even a one per cent drop can diminish the performance of some
Many runners taking part in marathons do so with a level of hydration of between two to
five per cent, though runners do need to be careful about hydrating too much as they run.
If you're drinking as much as 800ml of fluid per hour in order to maintain your
dehydration level at lower than two per cent, then you could be drinking too much.
For many runners, modest dehydration is a normal and temporary condition not leading to
any serious medical conditions.
Drinking on the Run
If you're a long distance runner, you need to learn how to drink while on the move as
frequent small sips are best in order to prevent overloading your stomach. Tips to
practice drinking while running include running a circuit around your home, stopping off
each time you pass to grab a drink. You can also try stopping off at any shops that you
pass to buy a drink, or if you're running on a treadmill, take a bottle of water with you
and take a drink every three miles or so.
During a Race
Most people are right handed and tend to veer off to the right, so consider practising
veering off to the left to grab your drink as this may be less crowded. It may also be
easier to head for the end of the table as there may be less people than at the front.
If you need to stop, don't feel you have to keep running while you drink. You'll only lose
a few seconds if you walk while drinking but make sure you stick to the side of the road
out of the way of other runners.
After a Race
It's important to start a run or race hydrated and equally important to replace lost fluid
after a run.
A good guide is to drink around 500ml of fluid two hours before a run - try water, a
sports drink or diluted fruit juice - and another 150ml just before you set off. Your body
will then have enough time to get rid of what it doesn't need before you set off.
For after a run, general guidelines are that for every kilogram of bodyweight lost, you
need to consume one and a half litres of fluid. During the first 30 minutes after a run,
try to drink around 500ml and keep taking on small amounts every five to ten minutes.
Listen to your body and if you have a headache or feel nauseous you need to keep drinking.
Runners do need to be careful not to drink too much after hard exercise as excessive
consumption is a potential danger.
Hyponatraemia - "low blood sodium" - is caused by excessive water consumption
which lowers the concentration of sodium in the blood and can be very dangerous. In mild
cases, hyponatraemia causes bloating and nausea, but in extreme cases it can lead to brain
seizure and even death.
Women in particular need to be careful about hyponatraemia as they tend to sweat less so
need to drink less. An average woman needs to drink up to 30 per cent less than an average
man to ensure their blood doesn't become diluted, lowering sodium to a dangerous level. A
safer alternative is to drink a sports drink which contains sodium.
Researchers have also found that drugs such as asprin and ibuprofen impair the body's
ability to excrete water and so can increase the risk of hyponatraemia.
Exactly how much you need to drink depends on how heavily you are sweating so you need to
try different approaches to hydration in order to establish a strategy which works for
Exactly how much is enough?
To check if you are hydrated before you start to run, the easiest way is to check the
colour of your urine which should be pale yellow.
Generally we need to drink two to three litres of liquid a day but runners taking part in
hard training sessions or races need to drink more.
Researchers recommend that you drink one and a half times the fluid lost during a run - an
easy way to work this out is to weigh yourself before and after a run.
Experiment during your training to establish how your body responds to dehydration and
find out what works best for you.
How to replace Fluids
Runners need to replace sweat lost with fluids - water, diluted juice and sports drinks
are all good choices. If you've been running for less than an hour, plain water is fine,
but if you have been running hard for longer than an hour, drinks containing sugar or
maltodextrin - a slow-release carbohydrate - and sodium may be better.
Researchers have found that sports drinks which contain carbohydrates increase the amount
of water absorbed into the bloodstream.
The difference in sports drinks
There is a vast range of sports drinks on the market, from hypotonic, isotonic and
hypertonic drinks. A hypotonic drink is more dilute than body fluids - there are fewer
particles per 100ml, which means that it is absorbed faster than water.
Squash diluted at least 1:8 with water, or one part fruit juice diluted with three parts
water are examples of hypotonic drinks.
Isotonic drinks have the same concentration as body fluids and are absorbed as fast as or
faster than water. These drinks are a good compromise between rehydration and refuelling
and examples include Isostar, Lucozade Sport or fruit juice diluted half and half with
water or squash diluted 1:4 with water.
Hypertonic drinks offer a higher dose of energy with the fluid and reduce the speed of
fluid replacement. These drinks include cola, lemonade or neat fruit juice and are more
concentrated than body fluids and absorbed slower than plain water.
Millie Reed writes regular stories for the running website dorunning. Specialising in
running footware, clothing and accessories, dorunning is becoming an unmissable resource
for athlets of all abilities. With vast amounts of information to help runners, dorunning
is fast becoming a runner's bible.
With amateur and professional athletes buying their running shoes and gear from us, we are
always up to date with the latest in the world of running. Visit
[http://www.dorunning.com/home.asp]dorunning for more news stories, training and nutrition
tips and associated information.
need carbohydrates for their nutritional needs in the endurance sport of
sports people, distance runners need carbohydrates for their nutritional
needs in the endurance sport of distance running. While other sports like,
say weightlifting that rely mostly on proteins, runners depend heavily on
The main reason,
of course, is that different sports have different goals. Weightlifting, for
instance, puts a heavy premium on proteins because proteins help build
muscles and bulk up a person body better and faster than other food.
Distance running needs food that builds stamina and strength.
One of the most
studied topics is the role of carbohydrates in sports performance. Most
practicing sportsmen now know that carbohydrates are best for strength and
now also taking a look on the link between low carbohydrates intake and
exercise-induced free radicals that leads to impaired muscle function. Every
athlete knows that carbohydrates can improve endurance, while the lack of it
reduces glucose supply to the muscles which, in turn, leads to fatigue.
normally seen as the loss of the body overall force-generating capacity.
This may be caused be a lot of reasons, but scientists believe it is the
loss of muscular ATP, a high-energy molecule that fuels muscle contraction
generated by glucose.
high-carbohydrates diet while training ensures a good store of muscle
glycogen long before competition time. Glycogen, the bodyæŠ¯ carbohydrates
store, is the fuel for endurance. The carbohydrates could be taken in as
fluids (such as juices) or in solid forms (fruits or starches).
However, a long
and hard exercise sometimes drains the muscles of stored carbohydrates
(glycogen). Eating right away (the best time is within the first hour) food
rich in carbohydrates combined with protein is best. The proteins would help
in muscle repair broken by the strenuous exercise.
bars both have carbohydrates and proteins but they are expensive and mostly
tasteless. A peanut butter sandwich is okay, washed down with some sports
drink. Best, of course, would be some cereal with nuts and dried fruits in
No other factor
is more important in the success of a distance runner than maintaining
enough fluids in his body.
training or in competition, produces body heat more than in normal
circumstances. This heat is then released through sweat, which in turn,
depletes the body's fluids. When the body is dehydrated, general fatigue
To maintain the
body water status, runners should develop the habit of regular and fixed
fluid consumption (every 10 to 15 minutes) during practice runs, whether
thirsty or not. The amount is around one-half to one litre of fluid per hour
on mild conditions. (The amount should be more, of course, if conditions are
In hot and humid
conditions, a combination of water and sports drinks (to provide
carbohydrates and electrolytes like sodium) is best.
runs (practice or competition), many runners suffer from bowel problems. One
way to avoid this is to stay away from food high in fiber content as well as
those rich in fat.
You can also buy
commercial liquid meals formulated for athletes and convalescents. Make sure
they have high carbohydrate content. You may also make your own formula
using skimmed milk powder, fruits, and regular milk.
It is not very
clear how caffeine appears to enhance endurance performances in athletes. It
could be that it is a central nervous system stimulant. It stimulates the
release of adrenaline that increases heart rate and blood pressure, blood
flow to muscles and the release of glucose by the liver.
Caffeine is found
in coffee, tea, and chocolates (cocoa). It is also added to cola drinks and
other beverages. Normally, caffeine is a natural diuretic (with a 31% hike
in urine production.) During competition, however, it loses its diuretic
effect but may improve your capacity to have that extra kick at the end of
All in all, the
two things distance runners have to remember about nutrition is
carbohydrates and fluids. These are the top two important nutrition needs
for the sports.
You have made a commitment to yourself to start a running program to get yourself into
shape. So what is the most important part of the program that most people fail to
consider? I would ask you to think about the choice of Mp3 player and a pair of running
headphones. The need to listen to some music while exercising is nothing new, and many
people are already doing so, however if you are like most people, you live in or near a
city. The sounds of the traffic and other noises are just a part of life. Luckily
technology has solved part of that problem with the invention of Noise Cancelling
Headphones. With sales of Mp3 players at all time highs, and more and more people becoming
active in workout programs, so has the need to block out those distracting external
There are many reasons why you are feeling stressed out these days, hectic work schedules,
long commutes, and just poor time management. So when you make an effort to start
exercising, many times you begin with running, jogging or walking. If that is part of your
workout, then using the proper gear is also required. Choosing a comfortable pair of
shoes, stylish workout clothes, and of course your music to keep you motivated. Some
people listen to EBooks or podcasts of their favorite programs to pass the time while they
run. The selection of Mp3 player is important. Sadly the standard ear buds that come with
most of these players are very cheap, and have absolutely no noise reducing capabilities,
and many times in fact hurt your ears. Choosing replacement running headphones becomes
important as part of your exercise program. The selection of new running headphones should
always consider the following factors:
1. A comfortable fit, either in ear headphones or over the ear is a
personal choice; but many people choose both types and alternate wearing each style.
2. Brand of headphone and capabilities of each type. If you just want to
listen to a radio, then maybe the highest quality features are not required, if you love
hearing clarity then consider quality types.
3. Noise Cancelling or just Noise Reduction. If you are in a higher
traffic area, or external noises are a problem, then the Noise Cancelling Headphones are
becoming very popular.
4. Durability of the product is important, just like anything else in
our lives; you get what you pay for. Cheap headphones have little effect and may not last
very long. A higher quality brand name offers many more features and perhaps a replacement
guarantee in case of accidental damage.
5. Running headphones that use Noise Cancelling features also help
preserve your precious battery life. It is very frustrating when you are exercising and
the music stops because you had to keep the mp3 player turned up near full volume for the
whole time. Noise Cancelling Headphones allow you to listen at much lower volumes and help
prolong your listening time.
6. The workout may require a lot of movement, so if the running
headphones have too long of cord, or too short this may also create problems as well.
7. Does it look good? While working out, staying in fashion might be an
important part as well. If you want to look stylish or modern choose a brand of running
headphones that will compliment you as well.
To some people listening to music and choosing a quality pair of headphones is just not
that important. However if music is a very important part of your life then you should try
to enhance your ability to listen clearly while exercising. I think it is great that we
can combine these two fun and relaxing things. This is why choosing the proper exercise
equipment is so crucial. Choosing good running headphones is like buying the right pair of
shoes, we need the right fit.
Buying running shoes is about much more than looking for the best price. You need to
find the right type of shoe to fit your running style. You first need to identify your
foot type from these three basic types:
Flat Foot - Pronated
When running, your foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls inward.
A large area of your foot touches the ground.
Many types of running over-use injuries are associated with this foot type.
Over 1/2 of the population has this foot type.
High-Arched Foot - Supinated
The foot does not roll inward (pronate).
A large area of the arch of your foot does not touch the ground.
Neutral - Ideal Foot
Your foot lands on the outside of your heel and rolls slightly inward.
This is the ideal running style to absorb shock.
Only a very small percent of the population has this foot type.
You can get a good idea of your foot type by using the "wet test". To do
Remove your shoes and socks and get into your bare feet.
Get the bottom of your foot wet. Step into a bucket of water or something.
Step on a surface that will show the imprint of your foot. A sidewalk, light-colored
driveway or construction paper works well.
Compare your imprint to the descriptions below to determine your foot type and best shoe
for that type.
Flat Foot - Pronated - Look for shoes with a straight or semi-curved shape with max
support for the inside of the foot. They might be identified as motion control or
High-Arched Foot - Supinated - Look for shoes with a curved fit and a lighter outsole.
They might be identified as cushioned shoes with a lot of flexibility.
Neutral - Ideal Foot - Look for shoes with a straight fit and moderate cushioning.
After determining your foot type, look for shoes that match the descriptions above.
There are a number of places online to buy running shoes and many great deals to be
found. Just make sure that you are purchasing a pair that fits your foot type properly.
Charles Dee is an avid Endurance Junky!. He is a contributor to the http://www.endurancejunkies.com web site, a
resource for runners, triathletes, ultra marathoners, marathoners, trail runners and more.
Daily News, Gear Reviews and Endurance Related Articles are available.
All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. None
of the photographs may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey.