This does not mean slouching your shoulders, but think about ‘pulling your shoulders away from your ears.’ Keep your shoulder blades to neutral, not too tensed or not too slouched down. This helps your arm swing and trunk rotation when you run.
Don’t put them inside your pockets, but when you swing your arms keep them to the level where your pockets are or where your hands might slightly brush your hip. Keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle and point your hands forward. Remember that you want to move forward so you should swing your arms forward as well, not bringing your hands in front of your chest to keep your trunk from twisting too much.
You can observe that a lot of runners tend to clench their fists. This small movement causes tightness around the arms and even tension on the neck and shoulders. Imagine holding eggs with each of your hands – you don’t want to break them so gently cup your hands and relax.
I once went to a department store in the Philippines to look for a pair of shoes. One salesman ambushed me with his trivia to convince me to buy his shoes. He said that runners should ALWAYS land on their mid-foot. I disagree with this notion because runners have significant individual differences from one another. Most runners would be comfortable landing on their mid-foot but if you have a high arc, it’s a different story. Also in terms of technique, if you want to sprint then you’re better off landing on your toes. Some people will be more comfortable landing on their heels and then rolling their foot, as long as they have enough heel cushioning. What’s more important is your ‘stride length’ – you would not want your leg to be way ahead of you unless you are sprinting. Your feet should land directly underneath your body and as your foot strikes the ground, your knee should be slightly bent naturally upon impact.
There is a mile long (not mile high!) waterfall on a mountain not far from our house that I have climbed several times now. The biggest dangers are slipping and falling (15 feet in some places), getting a deep cut on sharp rock, and, remotely, getting bit by a poisonous viper (they like the water).
I decided though that it really wasn’t so dangerous and to go ahead and climb it with my eight year old son. We wore shorts and t-shirts and coral reef shoes that provide excellent traction and remain light and flexible in water. We wore rough leather biking gloves and helmets. The helmets weren’t very comfortable but prudent and the gloves are fingerless and worked perfectly. There was no need for hooks or ropes and I read up on the viper beforehand in case of a bite. My son hiked ahead of me, and he was light enough that should he slip I would have been able to catch him. In the very worst scenario I would have broken his fall. Everything went smooth. The water was gorgeous and we had a blast.
I received a lot of criticism from many quarters for taking him on this adventure, but I also received a lot of respect from my son for providing him with the challenge. Personally, I never apologize for nature or it’s beauty, and while I see the need to calculate risk, I also realize that there is some danger involved in every single thing you do on any corner of this earth. I am only too happy to share with my children the wonders and joy of nature; their school sure won’t.
Though a long running session at a slow pace has its benefits, for maximum belly fat reduction, opting for this training approach is futile and a waste of time. Instead, if you’re looking to get rid of belly fat in the shortest time possible, then interval running is the way to go. Also referred to as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short) in the fitness circles, this type of training is ideal for burning body fat in the shortest time span. In fact, doing running intervals burns 3 times as much fat as running at slow and steady pace, according to new research from the University of New South Wales, in Australia.
In addition, interval training boosts metabolism levels through the roof, builds muscle mass-especially core muscles-and improves speed and endurance levels like nothing else.
Interval running combines intervals of high intensity running (80-90% of your maximum cardio capacity), with low intensity jogging breaks for recovery and rejuvenation. The on/off pattern is key for burning colossal amounts of calories without risking injury or overtraining.
Here is how to proceed with an interval running session:
The length and intensity of each interval depends mainly on your fitness levels and training goals. If the one-full minute is too much, shoot instead for 30-seconds and build on that. Trying to run in someone else shoes will only get you injured and discouraged, instead find your own sweep spot and gradually progress forward.
It was speaking about how nose breathing will improve your performance 100 fold! I first went into detail about the history of nose breathing, from it being one of the most important factors in yoga and relaxation. It spoke of how they train race horses by forcing them to breath through there noses while training. To explain more about the yoga part first. You have to understand this huge point, which is your nose was made for breathing. Your mouth was not, now obviously you can breathe through your mouth but notice how when you wake up in the morning with a sore throat every time you sleep with your mouth open. That is because your mouth has very little protection from everything that is harmful in air. Your nose has tiny hairs called cilica are there to protect you from the harmful stuff in the air. Also when you breath through your mouth you are actually teaching your mind and body to hyperventilate. That cannot be good in any situation. Nose breathing allows you to fill your lungs up 70% more to capacity. Nose breathing also naturally slows down your heart rate, and allows you to go longer and faster. That is key to performing at a higher level. Heart rate has to stay down while you have more air and energy to out perform great athletes.
I learned that when they train race horses, a technique that they would use is to place the horse in water to swim distances and they would clamp the race horse’s mouth closed forcing it to train breathing through its nose. Now I don’t know how animal rights activist would feel about this but I do know that this will make anything that breathes a better athlete. This article went into depth about how babies come out doing this. You ever watch a baby when he or she sleeps? They sleep with their mouth closed, and then can learn bad habits growing up. I saw all this information and I knew that I needed to apply this technique in my football training, so I started slow by jogging my 2 miles in the morning only breathing in and out my nose. Then I started to practice deep nose breathing in my hotel room to expand my lungs.
Something that I still do to this day is I do yoga. Yoga is great for flexibility, but most people do not understand that it teaches you how to breath and expand your lung capacity. This could be huge for normal fitness people and athletes. It got to the point where it came natural to me in the game or in practice and I could start focusing on my football technique instead of dying out there because I couldn’t breathe. My tip is to start slow by just doing something maybe like a warm up with only breathing in and out your nose and then start doing hard workouts like sprints breathing through your nose to work up to your actual games and/or competitions, and just watch how much you feel better.
The 5k race is a distance which could possibly slip by you very fast, but aiming for the finish line unprepared, you could be facing unnecessary exhaustion and tiredness in the second half of the race. Having said that, the next obvious thing is having a training plan in place which is designed to address the exact demand – in this case, increasing your speed at a 5k race.
Reaching your personal best is THE GOAL! In order to accomplish a successful PR in a 5K, there are a few different types of workouts you should be inculcating into your training plan. You will be required to go a step beyond just your general aerobic runs, which will keep up your general fitness levels, but not your speed limits in a 5K. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ training program and you are going to want to tweak the workouts a bit to suit your needs. What a 5K training plan will do is develop the following areas in a gradual but consistent manner: Endurance, Strength, Speed, Tapering.
5K Speed Training Plan:
As is rightly said, ‘Train hard and go in rested’ is a good policy to follow. How to run a faster 5K is possible only through a dedicated training plan. Below we have taken into account some 5k specific workouts to incorporate into your 5k speed training plan to achieve that PR!!
Interval runs are used to up the runner’s anaerobic threshold levels, endurance levels and build muscle strength.
One minute intervals:
Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with one minute of hard running, and one minute of recovery – repeat 8 sets of the same. Relax by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.
Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with two minutes of hard but with controlled effort running, and one minute of walking and one minute of jogging for recovery – repeat 6 sets of the same. Cool by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.
Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Then repeat the following steps three times –
One minute of hard running but with controlled effort and one minute of an easy walk or jog for recovery.
Two minutes of hard running and one minute of jogging and one minute of walking for recovery.
Three minutes of hard running and one minute of walking and two minutes of jogging for recovery.
Speed is a combination of strength and power.
Strength is the maximum force your muscles could produce. It is developed through hill training but also with some weight training that should be focused on lower body parts.
Power is a neuromuscular capacity depending principally upon the fastness at which muscle fibers can be recruited for force execution, then movement. It is trained through short sprints and track repeats workouts. For example, 60m short sprints repeats with complete recovery is an excellent way to stimulate neuromuscular system in a way it is forced to engage as much force as possible in a very short bout of time.
Less structured types of exercise like fartlek or strides are also utilized to develop speed; these are methods not leading to a high level of tiredness while significantly enhancing speed-oriented capabilities of the runner. It is proven that neuromuscular system has memory, then not stimulating speed oriented components during training is a sure way to not succeed in being fast in the future.
When strength and power enhance, and speed is brought to an acceptable level, the next step is to work at maintaining this speed for a longer period. After all it is the prime principle of long distance running: run fast and long. Speed endurance is the term employed to qualify this capacity; it relies upon the muscles ability to maintain the high and fast force production longer and longer.
Challenges to deal with when training endurance is the production of acid lactic in tissue at a certain speed named Lactate Threshold. The fine art of training consists of elevating the threshold so that good speed is kept on an extended amount of time. Admittedly, lactate threshold pace can be maintained for one hour. It is then just above half-marathon pace for non-elite runners.
To train speed endurance, you should make middle to long length repeats on the track at a pace above lactate threshold. That means for example 800 meters or 1k repeats at 5k race pace. Recovery should be kept short to not let muscles the opportunity to recover completely, and then simulate endurance conditions and race rigor.
Finally, working below lactate threshold allows to make longer repeats length or split tempos for a duration that could extend to one hour at marathon pace. This type of work allows to situate precisely in race conditions and to teach muscles what exactly the speed they should maintain for this determinate duration (sometimes feeling so long during the race) looks like.
Hands Skills: We use our hands to climb are making the body upward and closing to the rock. There are many kinds of rock fulcrum, usually more than 50. Climbers must familiar with these fulcrum shapes. And know how to seize these different fulcrums. Also we must know how to use our power or strength, according to the position and direction on the outstanding. We know there are many methods, such as digging, kneading, pulling, dragging, tyring, and holding. We have many kinds of methods to the same fulcrum. The strength of fingers is very important. We can exercise through pull-ups, hang pull-ups, knead weight. Now some excellent players can use only one finger to pull-ups. If so one hand can have a rest in a long climb routes, because you can use only one hand to climb.
Feet Skills: Feet skills request the use of your feet action, including the trample point, convert skills. The aims of convert feet are keeping our body balanced and decreasing our hands burden. For example, we convert to our left foot from right. First, you can lift your left foot upper your right, shaft turning clockwise but your weight is on your right foot. Then you should touch the rock from upper and trample. Sparing your right foot and let your weight on your left foot. Certainly you should wear a pair of vibram five fingers shoes to avoid slippery. I think these kind shoes are best choice.
Abnormal actions: There are some special actions when climbing, such as grasping on solid fulcrum to pull-ups, using steps, crack or other terrain to move your body with palm and forearm, making your body on the rock, grasping rock to move your body, using the forepaws inside or toe thrust, reduce the upper body support the burden. and so on. This step requests a high quality shoes. I introduce vibram five fingers classic. They are suitable. Anyhow, allow yourself to climb higher and more stability can be regarded as the most effective climbing skills.
Specific practice: Some daily exercise or specific training can promote oneself climbing ability improvement. For example, pull-ups can increase the strength of our arms and fingers. Adhere to skip can exercise flexibility and compatibility. Table tennis training is beneficial in judgment and insight. While swimming can strengthen Lung function and increase body strength and endurance.”
Ive been getting pretty fed up with struggling through every run with sore ankles, arches, knees and hamstrings and had almost given up and decided perhaps I just wasn’t built to run any further than 5km (even though I have in the past completed 2 half marathons and 1 full marathon, how I did this I have no idea!) until one of my clients started training for a half marathon and it got me thinking again about Barefoot Running.
The theory goes that over the last few hundred years or so (I’m no historian!) our feet have slowly been getting weaker from constantly being put into highly cushioned and “protective” footwear. Because our feet have not had to use their natural sensory and proprioceptive abilities, the muscles and tendons have become weaker and the pathway that sends messages from the foot to our brain’s has all but grown over.
What most of us don’t realize is that our feet are a highly sensitive tool, similar to our fingers and lips. If you think about how much we use our fingers to tell us whether something is hot/sharp/cold/slippery and then imagine trying to use your hands in the same way but whilst wearing giant mittens, this is basically what wearing highly cushioned shoes has done to our feet.
We no longer use them the way they were made to be used, resulting in 8/10 runners being injured over and again. The other major influence highly cushioned shoes has had upon us is the “heel to toe” technique. If you are anything like myself I have been rocking a pair of Asics and a solid heel to toe running technique for years. And I have the injuries to show it.
Landing on your heel with a dead straight leg sends an impact weighing twice your body-weight right through your ankle, knee, hip and into your lower back – there is no shock absorber other than the joints it travels through. When you land on your mid-foot, your knee is slightly bent; helping to absorb some of the impact into our calves and quads and away from our joints. If you take your shoes off and try a few hundred meters barefoot, you will most likely find that you naturally start to run mid foot. This is how we were made to run.
If I look back to when I was a kid right up until about 16, I never wore shoes unless I had to, ran like the wind and suffered no injuries. This is because each step I took I was landing on my mid-foot ( the wide fleshy bit just behind your toes) and my feet were using all their sensory abilities to send messages to my brain that increased my proprioception and in turn strengthened my muscles and tendons!
So, long story short I have brought a pair of vivo barefoot shoes ( the streets of London are no place for actual barefoot!) which are basically a thin bit of traction rubber designed to ease my feet away from my Asics towards a more natural and strong gate. I have also purchased “Born to Run” by Chris McDougall and 3 chapters in I can highly recommend it as an entertaining and educational read.
This, of course, could be another fad like all the rest, but the more I read the more sense it makes. I think Barefoot is onto something good and here to stay. All I need to do now is stop writing about it and get outside to give it a whirl!
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 safe.
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!
If 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!