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Daily Archives: 16 September, 2013

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Running Playlist

Music to get you going!

Running along to music is a great distraction from counting the minutes or the kilometers. Certain songs can boost your mood and lift your spirits giving you the extra energy needed to carry on. Runners often find themselves running along to the beat and getting into the necessary rhythm that is needed, especially for long distance.  This is a selection of some of the most popular songs that people listen to but it is purely personal preference as to what is going to keep you motivated…

Firestarter The Prodigy

Hey Ya! Outkast

Lose Yourself Eminem

Stronger Kanye West

Hard Rihanna

Lights Ellie Goulding

Bulletproof LaRoux

Misery Business Paramore

One Way or Another Blondie

Crazy in Love Beyoncé

Good Feeling Flo Rida

Let’s Go Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo

Eye of the Tiger Survivor

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Running for beginners

How do I start running?

If you are a newcomer to running then don’t be discouraged when you find that you cannot  run 5k at your first attempt. Running, like any sport, requires practice in order to improve. This is one of the great things about it – you can set yourself goals, work towards them and when you accomplish them you will feel great! There are many workout plans for first time runners available online which provide great information on when to run, how long to run for, warming up and down and how not to overdo it (try this 8 week program from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/beginners/the-8-week-beginners-program?page=single ). Running should be enjoyable and gratifying, so keep this in mind when tailoring a workout plan to suit you.

What equipment do I need for running?

The good thing about running is the lack of equipment you need! Trainers are very important and can help prevent injury, not only boost your run. Correct sports wear is adviseable. A sports bra should be worn by women. Also available now are synthetic clothes that wick away the sweat – these clothes tend to be more expensive but are worthwhile as they keep you cool in Summer and warm in Winter.  An unnecessary but worthwhile item is an MP3 player as music is a good source of motivation.

Should I eat before a run?

It is recommended that you should stay clear of solid food for a period of 1.5/2 hours before you begin your run. This is because running on a full stomach is known to give stitches whereas running on a completely empty stomach may result in a lack of energy. You will have to find what works best for you. One thing for certain is that you stay hydrated.

Make sure you warm up and cool down when running…

It’s never a good idea to injure yourself on the first attempt! To avoid straining any muscles, to lubricate the joints and to make you more limber you should do some gentle jogging and stretching so that your body is prepared for a workout. It will improve your performance by rising the core temperature of your body therefore allowing oxygen to move at a faster rate providing more energy to your muscles and brain. Cooling down is just as important; your heart will be beating rapidly after a workout and you should ensure a gradual return to normal heartrate by maintaining movement. Furthermore, after a workout your muscles are at their warmest which means it is the best time to deepen stretches. Doing this after every workout you will notice an improvement in your performance and less soreness the day after.

 

 

 

 

 

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Running tips

 

Woman running in autumn fall forest

 Running tips

  • Use races as sources of motivation. A regular program of running is good but races are the goals that you work to achieve.
  • A mile burns approximately 100 calories, therefore every mile you do counts whether its during a warm-up or on an easy day. Running slow and long is the key to building your endurance allowing you to run faster.
  • Take regular rest days to allow your body to recover. This is important if you begin to feel any injuries – it is better to rest for a few days than to do more damage.
  • To make your body stronger try running up hills. I’s a form of resistance training to force your body to use new muscles and build those of your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • A training partner is good company and motivation. If they are good they will spur you on when you are tired and make you run on the mornings when its cold and raining.
  • When you get a stitch – breathe deep and push all the air out of your abdomen. This is to open up the diaphragm, where the stitch occurs.

Good form for running

Look Ahead

You can see what is in front of you (i.e obstacles) but it also means your body is upright allowing you to breathe deep and fill your lungs.

Relax!

When running, let your jaw hang loose, don’t have any extra tension in your shoulders by bunching them up, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms. All your energy should be focused on your legs to propel you forward not on the tension in other body parts.

Short, light steps

Instead of wasting energy moving up and down you should concentrate on taking short, light steps. You should not bounce when you run as your feet have to absorb the shock of the floor and you will feel tired more easily.

Land mid-foot when you run

Most people agree that you should land on the middle of your foot and then roll through onto your toes. Landing on the heels is bad for your forward momentum and landing on your toes leads to bouncing.

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Choosing the right trainer for running

Runners need a shoe that is comfortable but also one to prevent injury. Some running shops will employ people who can watch you run and advise you what pair of trainers to choose. Trainers are designed for different purposes and for different shaped feet; a good running shoe will correct pronation and result in a more efficient stride.

 

Foot shape and the correct shoe

 

 

1. The flat foot

This is typical of an overpronated foot. You need a shoe that will counterbablance an inward rolling motion as you are most likely to strike the floor with the outside of your heel first.

Suitable trainers – Those with motion control. This means they are ususally the heaviest and most rigid and have a firmer section under the inner part of your foot.

2. The normal foot

This footprint shoes that the foot is striking the floor biomechanically ‘correctly’. A normal foot will roll inward slightly on contact with the floor.

Suitable trainers – Shoes with emphasis on stability. They usually have moderate control features to support the arch and a lot of cushioning for comfort.

3. The high-arched foot

An underpronated foot (where the foot rolls outward instead of inward). This is the most rigid shock absorber.

Suitable trainers –Those with plenty of cushioning to counter balance the rigid impact of the high-arched foot. Stay away from trainers with stability and motion control (that reduce foot mobility) because this type of foot is already very stable.

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Running injuries

Running puts your body through a lot of physical pressure and it is common that runners find themselves injured at some point. The important thing is to know what to do with your injury… Should I run through the pain? Should I rest today? Is it serious?

Find some of the most common running injuries and helpful advice on what treatment is best:

1. Knee pain (Runner’s knee)

This is a very common injury in runners. It is usually when the area under the knee swells and you feel either a sharp and severe OR dull pain around/behind the kneecap when you run.

Possible treatments – Apply ice to the knee to reduce swelling. Try running uphill to strengthen glutes and improve control of movement of the knee, hips and thighs. Squats, lunges and straight leg raises are all exercises that can help to support your knee. However, if pain is severe then you should not run or work the knee but see your doctor.

2. Shin splints

This is the name applied to general pain over the front of the lower leg. It is often quite a dull pain caused by small tears in your tibia (the shin bone).

Possible treatments – In the first few days of pain use ice to soothe the area. Do not try to run through it, running should be significantly reduced to avoid further, serious damage. Gradually build up your running to a normal level when your shin starts to feel better. Make sure you have the correct type of shoes for your foot and even running on grass will help to reduce the impact on the lower leg.

3. Heel pain (plantar fasciitis)

A sharp, painful sensation at the base of the foot towards the heel and along the arch. If you have very high or very low arches then you are more prone to suffer from this.

Possible treatments – Do stretches that target the heel and to prepare your feet for training. Make sure you have trainers that are suitable for your type of feet. Short term relief treatments are to roll your foot over a golf ball and an iced water bottle. You should wait until the heel is better before running (normally 2/3 weeks but severe cases can take up to 6 months).

4. Muscle strains

New runners often complain of muscle strains after running, specifically the hamstring muscle which is used for sudden acclerations. It may feel as though someone has kicked you suddenly in the back of the thigh.

Possible treatments – Do not continue to run if you have pulled the muscle. Apply ice at regular intervals throughout the day and elevate the leg to reduce swelling. See a doctor if you have problems walking and if the pain does not subside after a rest period. Try swimming and pool-running as safe alternatives to maintain exercise.

 

How to prevent further injury…

Purchase footwear that is the correct shape/style for you feet. The sales assistant should be trained to advise you on this.

Warm up before you run and cool down afterwards.

Do not push yourself too hard, too fast. It is better to advance slowly and injury-free.