About Intensive Running Exercises

Long runs

Long runs involve increasing your usual running distance. If you run an average of 2km a day, you can take it up to 3 or 5km. Long runs help increase your endurance, and make you stronger as well. The longer you are able to run, the better you get. Remember to increase your distance gradually, and take occasional breaks to let your body rest.

Running on terrains

Running on different terrains, such as roads and hills, helps your muscles to develop. Gravity plays a big role on helping you develop your muscles on elevated terrains, since you use more force to push yourself up. Remember to run on a terrain slowly at first, and let your body get used to it first. This will help you avoid accidents and injuries.

Speed workouts

Speed workouts are good intensive workouts for you to try once in a while. In speed workouts, you focus on developing your speed, by performing plyometrics, sprinting workouts or other exercises. Your speed will improve dramatically if you incorporate speed workouts into your running for about 2-3 times a week.

Tempo runs

Tempo running workouts basically involves running hard at a sustained pace for a period of time. This type of running workout improves your running power if you gradually increase the time you do the workout. Your muscles are able to adapt to the current tempo, and you are able to exert more force every time you run.

Stretches for Runners

Stretching before running is a little different than stretching after running. You need to warm your muscles up a bit before stretching by running in place for about sixty seconds. Even then, before running, stretches should be milder than after running stretches. Be gentle with your muscles, remember you are only trying to “wake them up” and get them prepared for running. However, you should never try to push through resistance or pain whether stretching before or after running.

While opinions vary on what the best stretches actually are, here is a list of those stretches that most experienced runners consider to be the best.

  • Wall Pushups, there are a number of wall pushups that you can do and these different exercises are intended to stretch different muscle groups. There are wall pushups for stretching calves, shoulders, hips, lower back and legs. You should do a combination of wall pushups before and after running.
  • The heel to buttock is self-explanatory. Place one hand on a wall and raise and grasp one foot and bring it as close as comfortably possible to the buttock. Then switch and alternate with the other foot. This will stretch your quadriceps.
  • One of the more colorfully named exercises is the Back Scratch. This is done by crossing your arms, grasping your elbows and gently pushing up over your head until your hands are in a position to reach down and scratch your back.
  • The Hamstring and Back Stretch is a simple exercise where you lie on your back, bring your knees up to your chest and hug your legs for about thirty seconds.
  • In the Groin Stretch, sit down and put the bottoms of your feet together, then lean forward with your elbows on your knees and gently push your knees toward the ground.

Aside from the normal running stretches, a moderate yoga program is also a good idea. There are yoga exercises that stretch every muscle involved in running and more.

Clydesdale Runners

Most of the rules that apply to lighter runners also apply to Clydesdale runners. However, there are some things that you need to be aware of and may need to modify your running. Now, I will be talking about “heavier” runners. That is not meant to be detrimental in any way.

First of all, you need to be careful about increasing your hard running. You still want to do long runs, speed work, hills, etc. that all runners should be doing. However, you need to be careful when increasing your mileage and running fast. You are carrying more weight and therefore you are exerting yourself more. So, it is even more important that you listen to your body.

Make sure that you are staying hydrated. You need more water than a smaller person for a couple of reasons. A heavier person sweats more than a smaller person and if a person that is in shape sweats more than a person that is out of shape. So, since you are a heavier person that is in shape – you need to make sure that you are getting plenty of water.

Shoes are important to Clydesdale runners. Make sure that you go to a specialized running store and fitter properly for your running shoes. You need to make sure that you have the support that you need. Heavier runners need a heavier midsole. The salesperson will be able to find you the shoe that will work for you.

It is important for all runners to change their shoes regularly – but even more so for Clydesdale runners. The rule of thumb is to stop running in your shoes after 300-400 miles. If you start noticing them breaking down – you definitely want to change them. Making sure of the support of your shoes will keep you from getting injured.

Make sure that you are using Vaseline or Body Glide on you before you head out for a run. Chafing is a problem for most runners – Clydesdale or not. You want to put this on all areas that you may chafe – where your arms swing against your body, between your thighs, etc. This will help you to stay more comfortable on your runs.

Proper Clothes For Winter Running

Runners should wear clothing that is not only comfortable, but “runner friendly”. What I mean by that is that you should wear apparel made with moisture-wicking fabrics. This fabric will “wick” away the moisture from your body as your sweat and keep you dry. This is important in both cold weather and warmer weather. If you wear shirts that don’t do this – as you sweat, the sweat stays against your body, you stay wet, cold and pretty miserable.

Cotton is the one fabric that you want to stay away from. Cotton will absorb your body heat, your moisture as your sweat and will cling to your body. This makes your run pretty miserable not matter what time of year it is. Most runners that have been running for years can attest to this. We’ve all been out there in our cotton t-shirts before better material became available.

Layering your clothing is the best way to stay comfortable when you are running in colder weather. Multiple layers will keep you drier than one heavy piece of apparel. The different layers will keep you warm while wicking moisture away from your body. How many layers you wear depends on a couple of factors – how cold the climate is your running in, is it raining and how warm you like to be when you run.

Another good thing to remember is that you should dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. The extra 10 degrees accounts for your body heat.

Your base layer is the most important. This layer needs to move moisture away from you so that you won’t get chilled. This is the layer where you definitely want a technical shirt – such as CoolMax. For some runners, this layer could be a singlet or for others a long sleeve shirt.

A shirt with a zipper that is a great next layer – especially if you are using 2 layers. If it gets a little warmer, you can partially unzip and allow some ventilation. If it turns cooler on you or the wind starts to pick up – you can zip it all the way up.

When the weather is really cold or if its raining/snowing, you need some sort of jacket. You can find jackets now that are wind-resistant and water resistant. When you are looking at jackets, make sure to look to see if they are venting in the back (and sometimes under the arms). This will allow the ventilation that you need so that your layers don’t get “heavy” as you sweat.

You also want to remember your hands and feet. Be sure to wear gloves and a hat or band over your ears on those super cold days. Also, If it’s raining, I like to wear a cap that is rain-resistant. This keeps the rain from getting in my eyes.

Reasons To Run Alone

First of all, running by yourself gives you time to sort through anything that you may be going through in your life. You can reason through any problems that you may be having – and usually come out with a good solution. Running by yourself gives you the quiet that you need to sort things through.

Sometimes, it’s just nice to have the “me” time. We’ll all so busy with workers, family and friends sometimes there’s just no time for yourself. Running gives you that time that you need to be by yourself. You don’t have to answer to anyone during that time but yourself.

I feel that running alone makes you a stronger runner mentally. It’s great to have a buddy when you start feeling bad during the middle of a long run. They can talk you through the bad time. However, during a race you need to be able to mentally get through any tough times. You get the confidence that you can get through anything. And, that’s a great feeling to have.

If you are running alone – you can listen to your body better. You can stay focused on how your feeling and be aware of anything that your body is telling you. If it is telling you to walk for a minute to get over a glitch, you can. If it’s telling you to speed up, you can. It’s all up to you. You can run as fast or as far as you want.

And, an extension of that is that you can run wherever you want. When you run with others, you have to worry about finding a place to meet, the time to suit everybody, etc. When you run by yourself, it’s all up to you. If you want to run early to get your day started off right – you can. And, you don’t have to worry about your friends showing up late and making you late the rest of the day.

Now, running with friends does have its advantages. I did it for many years. But, I’m really glad to be a solo runner now. It suits me much better where I am now.

Cushioning Running Shoes

Feet come in three basic styles: high arched, neutral and flat. The shape of a foot affects how weight distributes when standing and walking. Neutral foot position is both the most common and the best for injury prevention. High arches put more weight on the ball and heel while flat feet can cause considerable pain. The best running trainers help everyone achieve a neutral foot position and reduce impact.

Running is a high impact exercise that exaggerates the effects of small stride deviations. The knees and ankles are most affected by running. Over time, running can cause damage to the joints that will limit mobility. Properly cushioned shoes help prevent those types of injuries for people with high arches or under pronators. The wear pattern on your shoes can tell you if you over or under pronate. If the outer edge of the sole shows more wear, you under pronate. If the inner edge shows the wear, you over pronate. If you have flat feet, cushioned running shoes are not always the best choice.

Before you make a final decision on a cushioned running shoe, check your foot type and stride. The quickest way to test for stride issues and shape is to ink the bottoms of your feet and run across a piece of paper. The imprints left behind will show any problems that need correction. If the entire footprint is visible, you have flat feet. If the ball and heel show with little or no side visible, you have high arches. If a fair amount of the side of the foot is visible, you have neutral feet.

Top of the line training kicks can correct any and all of these issues while protecting the joints. The addition of roll bars, air pockets, and carefully shaped and crafted inner soles are just a few of the ways shoes can correct your stride and reduce impact.

Winter Running For Beginners

Do not worry about breaking records

First of all, you need not to worry about increasing mileage or pace during winter times because the cold and icy condition make it more prone for you to slip and injuring yourself. We would like to also advise you to do your warm up indoors. Try to avoid icy roads and go for the snow, which provide better traction and grib. Shorten your stride and run slower for the sake of keeping safe during very ice and wet days ahead.

Clothing

Not surprisingly, you must wear proper winter clothing if you want to run during the winter. Wear thick dry socks and use slightly larger running shoes to accommodate the space needed for these socks. It is essential to keep your feet warm during winter runs to prevent frostbite and vessel problems. Also wear a warm hat during your runs. A great amount of body heat vapors through the head during cold condition and this will affect the circulation in your body. Your hands must be covered in wool gloves and you must also wear thick running suits. For shorts, you can wear those made of polypropylene or Lycra and combine it with wool running trousers.

Avoid Wind-chill

You must be careful and avoid running into a wind-chill. This extreme cold can be bad and dangerous. Experienced runners like to run into the wind to start their run and then return to the starting line with the wind blowing at their backs. This will make your return run easier as your body has become warmer.

Skin and hydration

Use moisturizer and sun block to prevent blistering in your face. Despite of the fact that you are running in the cold, you still need to maintain sufficient hydration just like when you are running during the summer. Hydration is important to help your muscles recover after a run in the cold and icy condition. You can also try drinking energy drinks with high carbohydrate to maintain your immune system during winter runs. Fresh vegetables and vitamin C can also help your immune system during your runs in cold condition.

Staying Hydrated On Runs

If you have a long run or race planned, you need to start hydrating a few days before. Check the color of your urine to see if you are drinking enough. It should be almost clear or pale yellow. If it is not, you need to be drinking more water.

The morning of your run or race, drink about 16-20 ounces of water about an hour before. At that point, you need to stop drinking so that you don’t have to make a “pit stop” during your workout or race. Right before you start, though, drink about 4 ounces to make sure you are hydrated to start.

During your long run, a good rule of thumb is to drink 4 ounces of water every 20-30 minutes. If I’m running for more than an hour and a half, I’ll make one of my water stops one with a sports drink like Gatorade. This will replace the electrolytes that you will be losing and help get you through the rest of your run.

I don’t like to carry anything with me when I run – but if you do there are many different kinds of water bottle holders that you can use. I plan my runs to go by places where I know there are water fountains (like parks) and I’ll carry a couple of gold dollar pieces with me to get my water or Gatorade. (I hate to give someone a soggy dollar – so a gold dollar piece works great!)

After your run, make sure that you drink 16-24 ounces of water or sports drink to rehydrate. I like to have a bottle of water ready when I come in from my run. I take it with me and do a cool down walk while I am rehydrating. Remember the urine rule. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to keep drinking until it’s clear or light.

Another thing to remember is that just because the weather may be cooler, you still need to stay hydrated. You are still heating up and losing fluids through your sweat. Also, if it is windy and cooler, it will dry up your sweat – which actually will increase dehydration. So, make sure that you are still drinking enough water during those days.

Technical Running Apparel

Technical running clothing is made of synthetic fabrics – you may also hear them called moisture wicking materials. Two of the most popular are CoolMax or Dri-Fit. These materials are especially made for runners. They are much better for your running comfort than cotton.

Cotton clothing will absorb your sweat while you are running. And, then the cotton stays wet. This will make you uncomfortable for a couple of reasons. First of all, it makes your clothing heavier as you run. And, it will also trap this moisture against your body and can make you feel cold and pretty miserable. This can even happen on a warmer day.

However, the technical fabrics are made to pull the sweat away from you body – thus the term, moisture-wicking. They are made to dry faster than cotton and will stay pretty dry as you run. This will make you feel much more comfortable as you run. And, for those that do a walk/run program, it is really helpful so that you don’t get chilled during the walking parts of your workout.

The material that technical running clothing is made of is lightweight and stretching. This makes it less bulky than cotton. It also means that you don’t have to wear many layers when you run on colder days. A moisture-wicking shirt and a jacket or other top over it is probably all you need. If it’s a super cold day, then you will need a middle layer. This will keep you dry and warm without carrying around extra weight.

Technical running apparel is needed for all your running wear. Tops, tights, sports bras and your socks. Yes, technical socks are needed rather than cotton. The cotton socks will stay wet and can cause blisters.

Once you try technical running apparel you’ll be hooked. You’ll see how comfortable you stay during your runs. If you’re still a little skeptical, try one piece to see how much better you feel.

Technical running clothing will cost a little more than cotton running clothes. However, you definitely get your money’s worth. If taken care of properly, they will last a long time. And, it’s hard to put a price on how much better you’ll feel during your runs.

Rotate Running Shoes

Even if you are running on a day without rain or snow, your feet will still sweat. This sweat will transfer to the inside of your shoes and the lining, etc. will get wet. If it is a rainy or snowy day, you have wetness happening on the inside and the outside. Having another pair to wear on your next run will give your shoes time to dry out before you wear them again.

During your runs, the foam in your running shoes will compress with the strike of your foot. Not allowing enough time for the shoes to decompress, your shoes will break down quicker. In addition to your shoes wearing out before their time, this can also lead to injury if you keep wearing them.

If you have one favorite style of shoe that you like, it’s alright to have 2 pair of them to rotate. You can also run in two different styles – just as long as you make sure that each style is correct for your foot type. This is usually what I do. I wear the same brand, but will have 2 different styles that I rotate.

The general rule of thumb for running shoes is 300 – 500 miles on a pair of shoes. You can keep track of this in your running journal. When I record my run for the day, in addition to my mileage, course I ran, weather, etc., I also write which shoe I ran in. This helps me keep a log of which pair I’m running in each day.

Running shoes are vital to keep you out on the roads running comfortably and without injury. You want to make sure that you take good care of them. Make sure that you are taking good care of them. A good way to do that is to give each pair a day off – even if you don’t take a day off!