Archive for the ‘How to’ Category

Don’t Be That Awkward Runner

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Four Parts to Good Running Form

1. Posture

Stand up with your feet pointing straight ahead, knees soft. Head level with eyes looking forward.

Reach up and stretch up toward the sky, elongating spine.

Relax arms at your sides to a 90* angle.

Keep arms and shoulders relaxed.

Use compact arm swings and avoid crossing the body’s central line.

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How to Increase Oxygen in the Blood

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

How to Increase Oxygen in the Blood

Overview

Oxygen is extracted from air you breathe through your lungs. How much oxygen you get to your vital organs depends on a number of factors. Oxygen levels are especially important for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. According to the American Lung Association, 12 million people in the United States were diagnosed with COPD as of 2009 and 12 million more likely have COPD but are undiagnosed. The ALA says COPD is the fourth leading cause of death. It is possible to help increase the oxygen level in your blood.

Step 1

Keep the quality of air as high as possible by by not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke. Enclosed areas with poor ventilation also impede the amount of air and thus oxygen your lungs take in. If outside air quality is poor, stay inside until it improves.

Step 2

Practice deep breathing for a few minutes daily. Deep breathing means expanding your abdomen as well as your lungs to fill your lungs to maximum capacity. Exhale completely so each breath has the most fresh air you can manage. The volume of fresh air brought in by deep breathing will translate into more oxygen available for your lungs to distribute to your red blood cells and to your vital organs.

Step 3

Sit up and stand up straight with your shoulders back to enable your lungs to fill to the maximum. The better posture you have, the more capacity your lungs will have to fill with fresh air.

Step 4

Exercise enough to strengthen your heart and lung muscles. Regular, brisk walks may be all it takes to help improve your oxygen intake and blood flow.

Step 5

See your doctor regularly so he can determine whether your breathing and air intake are of concern. He may have recommendations to help you improve your breathing, including oxygen therapy. If the problem is complicated by anemia, or a low red blood cell count, he may have recommendations such as taking iron supplements.

Step 6

Take recommended precautions against flu and pneumonia. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommend you don’t go where there are crowds in enclosed places. Get a flu shot and see if your doctor thinks a pneumonia vaccine would be a good thing for you.

References

The American Lung Association

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Mayo Clinic

Richard Nilsen

http://www.livestrong.com/article/24065-increase-oxygen-blood/#ixzz1SkwNgwRt

What is the Best Running Shoe For You?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

To use the Runner’s World Shoe Finder effectively and find the best shoes for you, you must first know your Shoe Type. The short article below will help you make the right choice. Also, at the end of the article, we explain Pronation–a biomechanics term that often confuses runners.

Cushioned Shoes

You should wear cushioned shoes if you are a runner who needs maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial (arch-side) support. These shoes are best suited for biomechanically efficient runners (you don’t overpronate), and midfoot or forefoot strikers. Runners who do best in cushioned shoes often have moderate to high arches.

Motion Control Shoes

You should wear motion-control shoes if you are a runner who overpronates moderately to severely. Motion-control shoes will give you maximum rearfoot control and extra support on the medial (arch) side of the foot. Motion-control shoes are also best suited for big or heavy runners who need plenty of support and durability. These runners often have low arches (flat feet).

Performance Training Shoes

You should wear performance-training shoes if you are a runner who wants a light, well-balanced shoe suitable for racing, speedwork, or daily training. These shoes are best-suited for fast, efficient runners who want to train in them. Moderate overpronators can also train and race in some of these shoes.

Racing Shoes

You should wear racing shoes if you have a biomechanically efficient stride, don’t have any current injuries, and want an exceptionally fast, lightweight shoe for races. Many runners use performance training shoes or their regular training shoes for races.

Stability Shoes

You should wear stability shoes if you are a runner who needs medial (arch-side) support and good midsole cushioning. These shoes are best suited for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators, and/or need added support and durability.

Trail Shoes

You should wear trail shoes if you are a runner who frequently runs off-road, and are looking for rugged shoes with great outsole traction and some weather- and water-resistant qualities. Many trail shoes are built low-to-the-ground for added stability on rough trails.

Pronation Explained

When you run or walk, you land on the outside edge of your foot and roll inward. This entirely normal inward rolling is called pronation. For most runners, the pronation stops at a healthy point. However, some runners roll inward too much. This excessive inward rolling is called overpronation. Runners who overpronate should wear motion-control shoes, which contain special foams and devices that are designed to limit overpronation.

How can you tell if you overpronate? Here’s the easiest way. Take off your shoes, whether your normal work-a-day shoes or your running shoes, and put them on a table with the heels facing out toward you. Now study the heels. If they are fairly straight and tall, you do not have an overpronation problem. If the heels tilt inward (toward the arches), on the other hand, you are probably an overpronator, and should try motion-control shoes. Many (but not all) overpronators are bigger, heavier runners with flat feet.

By Runner’s World

Best Running Shoes For Your Running Mechanics

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Step 1 in the process of finding the best running shoes involves finding out what kind of running mechanics that you have. Before we dive into that, here is a rundown of how running shoes are designed.

Running shoes are designed to support 3 basic types of running mechanics. The names of the 3 types of shoe designs slightly differ between shoe companies, but the most common names are:

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How to Increase Running Speed & Agility

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Running hill repeats is one exercise that increase both speed and agility. With hill training you incorporate aspects of interval training and use the weight of your body for resistance. During repeats you will build muscular strength and endurance in your lower body; gaining strength in those important running muscles can directly transfer to speed in your runs. Like interval training, hill training requires high intensity exercise, which boosts heart rate, speed and strength.

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Stretching Tips

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

I recently attended three stretching seminars, all taught by experienced health and fitness educators, on three consecutive weekends. One seminar focused on stretching muscles that are tight, one focused on activation for muscles that are weak, and the third dealt with how both approaches can be effective. There are many different ways to effectively stretch, so to make sense of all that information, it might be helpful to start by saying this: not everyone responds the same way to stretching, and not every body needs every stretch.

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How to Boost Your Cycling Training

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

By Peter Flatman

What exactly is cadence? According to the dictionary it is ‘Balanced, rhythmic flow, as of poetry or oratory’.Sounds great, but what has this to do with cycling training you may ask. Well basically, cadence is also the rate at which your pedals and (hopefully) your feet spin, and it is measured in revs per minute (rpm).

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Questions about Jaybird products?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

This link provides an excellent reference for commonly asked questions about Jaybird products.

http://www.jaybirdsport.com/support/faq.html

Running Q and A

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Running Basics

How fast should I run? How will it feel? What should I eat? Could I do a race?

Trying a new activity like running can bring a certain level of anxiety. But relax! Running is a great activity for anyone to try, regardless of age or fitness level. We answer your questions — and tell you how to get started.

How do I get started on a running plan?

First, plan your schedule so that you’re sure to set aside time to devote to your new running routine. You can reap fitness rewards with just 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week.

When you start running, don’t plan to go too far or too fast right away — doing so is the number-one cause of injury among runners. Start by running for 20 minutes at a time, three times per week. Gradually increase the amount of time you’re running and the number of days you run, but do not increase either until you feel comfortable completing your current level of training. If 20 minutes is too much, don’t be afraid to take walking breaks. Perhaps begin by running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute, until you complete the 20 minutes. As you get stronger, begin eliminating the walk breaks.

When you’re a beginner, it’s not necessary to worry about how many miles you are running. Focus on the number of minutes instead. Gradually you’ll begin to cover more ground in the same amount of time, and that’s when you’ll want to increase the duration of your workout.

What equipment do I need?

One advantage of the sport of running is that so little gear is required. But the most important investment runners should make is in a good pair of running shoes — not cross-training, walking, or tennis shoes. Running shoes are best purchased at specialty running stores, where employees can recommend models based on your ability and goals. Many will also watch you run, to make sure the shoes you buy complement the way your foot strikes the ground.
You should also have a quality, well-fitted sports bra, preferably made of wicking material to keep you cooler and drier. A digital sports watch is also helpful. As you advance in your running and set new goals, a heart-rate monitor is nice to have, to make sure you keep your effort level where it should be.

How sore should I expect to get?

Your legs will be sore in the beginning, but if you keep up the routine, the leg soreness will subside relatively quickly. If you feel acute pain anywhere, stop running for a few days and let your legs recover, to prevent injuries. Shin splints are the most common injury, usually incurred when you overdo your training or wear improper shoes. Be aware of the difference between being tired and being injured, and make sure you’re not encouraging overuse injuries.

How-To Training

How fast should I be going? Should I be out of breath from the beginning?

Running will certainly feel challenging at first and you will be slightly out of breath when you start. That should eventually subside. It’s helpful to use the “talk test.” If you can hold a conversation while you’re running, you’re at a good pace. Once or twice a week, however, go for a shorter run, but complete it at a higher speed so that talking is more difficult. It will help increase your fitness level and cardiovascular strength.

Should I run on the treadmill or outside?

Both have advantages. Treadmills are a perfect alternative when the weather is uncooperative and can be helpful in easing into new distances or paces. Adam Krajchir, head coach and program director for the New York Road Runners Foundation Team for Kids, believes that treadmills complement outside running because the cushioned surface reduces the risk of injuries that many runners get from constantly pounding their legs on pavement outside.
“Run, wherever you can, inside or out,” he says. “Getting into a regular routine is more important than finding a perfect solution.”

Should I avoid hills? How should I change my form if I come to a hill?

Running hills is a great way to improve leg strength and burn calories. When you run up a hill, shorten your stride and pump your arms forward. Going down a hill, let gravity do the work and give it a little help by leaning slightly forward.
What are side stitches and how to I get rid of them?
Side stitches are common and are caused by a lack of oxygen in your GI muscles. To stop them, Krajchir recommends exhaling hard and long or bending over at the waist while exhaling. You can also slow down your pace until the stitch subsides.
If side stitches become a recurring problem, Krajchir suggests avoiding solid food immediately before a workout and making sure you’re always well hydrated.

Food, Weight, Racing

What should I eat?

Running burns a lot of calories — an average of 100 calories per mile — but it is not a license to eat whatever you want. You don’t need to change your diet unless you’re training for an endurance event like a marathon. But it’s important to not restrict carbohydrates. Get plenty of protein to rebuild muscles, and eat sensible, healthy, high-energy foods (plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains).
Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running, recommends that runners experiment and find what works well for them. For those trying to lose weight, try to balance the percentage of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, with the majority of intake coming from carbohydrates, followed by equal parts fats and proteins.

Will I lose weight?

If it is your goal to lose weight, running is an excellent way of doing so. As with any exercise program, if you expend more calories than you intake, then you will lose weight.
“My best advice is, if you want to regulate your weight, learn to regulate your diet first,” Dreyer writes in his book, “and let your running regulate your toning.”

I’d like to enter a local 5k road race. Will I finish last?

Setting a goal to run a 5K (3.1 miles) race or any other distance is an excellent way to stay motivated and true to your running routine. Local races attract people of all abilities and provide a supportive and encouraging environment to complete a goal. Many people walk the entire race, while others will sprint from the beginning. If you’d rather wait until you’re sure you can run the entire distance, sign up for one that is three or four months away, and work toward the goal.

Words You Need to Know
Use this glossary to follow our running plans.
Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
How hard you’re working on a scale of 1 (sitting) to 10 (sprinting).
RPE 4 to 5: Easy; you can talk with little effort.
RPE 6 to 7: Moderate; you can talk, but you’re slightly breathless.
RPE 8 to 10: Hard; you can only speak a few words as you run.

Cross-train

Swim, bike, walk or do total-body strength training for 20 to 30 minutes. “Activities that don’t tax running muscles are ideal,” says running coach Scott Fliegelman. “If lifting, keep reps high, weights low, and make sure you’re not overly fatigued for key workouts.”

Strides

Short, fast intervals. Not a sprint, but running as fast as you can (RPE 8 or 9). Jog easy (same duration as stride) after each.

Off

Rest! “Following a strenuous workout, muscles need to repair their microtears,” says Fliegelman. Twenty-four hours of R&R helps.

By Erin Strout

Running Tall

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Here is a little list of good helpful running videos.

What to eat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3P3YmfNIPY&feature=relmfu

Stretching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kju1-DGUro8&feature=relmfu

Form

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T-CoHXOvNA&feature=related

How to run to lose weight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLKdw_BE5_A&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Building Lung Capacity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDESs5tZzAY&feature=related