Prevent and Treat Pulled Quadriceps

Pulled quads generally happen in runners because of the strength imbalance in the legs. Runners’ hamstrings are used more in the process of running and will get more developed and will be much stronger than the quads. This imbalance causes weakness which can result in a pulled quadriceps.

To treat a pulled quad, you need to use the RICE treatment that most runners are familiar with. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. First of all, you want to try to stay off of it for 24 hours. Apply ice to the affected quad. You don’t need a fancy ice pack to do this – you can put ice into a washcloth and use it. You use only ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. For the first 24 hours, if possible, try to ice every 2-3 hours. This will help keep down the swelling.

Apply a bandage to your quadriceps. You can find quad wraps and elastic bandages at any drugstore or grocery store. Also, to help with the swelling, keep your ankle leg elevated. Taking ibuprofen will also help keep the swelling down.

When you continue running again (slowly), make sure that you are stretching properly before starting out and also, try to avoid during any speed work until the quad is completely healed. If you are still experiencing pain after 2 weeks, you should go see your doctor.

To prevent pulled or strained quads, you should implement leg exercises. The best exercise to do is to do leg extensions on a weight bench. If you don’t have access to a weight bench, they can be done with some things you have around your house. Take a couple of cans and put them into a bag. Put you foot through the bag so that the bag hangs from your ankle. Sit on a couch or chair and slowly straighten out your leg until it is straight out in front of you. This simple exercise will help strengthen your quads.

Also, before and after your runs, you should stretch your quadriceps. A great stretch is one that I’m sure you’ve seen many runners do. Stand where you can hold onto a wall or tree for balance. Grab your foot and gently pull your heel toward your buttocks. You will feel this stretch in your quads. Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds. I usually do this about 5 times before and after I run.

Finding Running Zen

Running used to scare me. I would literally run from just the thought of well, running! I never understood when people said to me how much they enjoyed running. How it cleared their mind. It was relaxing to them. What? When I ran, I did it because I had to for cardiovascular exercise. I did it because it was a healthy way to keep my weight in check. I did it because it was part of a training plan. I never did it because it was my “zen”.

I always told people who were “athletes” that I was not a runner. I was not a runner and when I did run I was not a good runner. Then along came the quote above from John Bingham. It got me thinking about all of those other “runners” out there. Were they all athletes and I was not? Were they all born to run? How was it that they were all better than me and I have been incorporating running into my active lifestyle for years and years? I decided to take the quote from John Bingham and apply to ME! I would like for all of you to do the same and apply what is meant for you to you. Perhaps when I share my thoughts, it will allow you to find your running zen. The place that will allow your body and mind to believe that you are an athlete. A runner.

I decided I could no longer compare. We all do it. It is hard not too. We all want to cross that finish line before the back of someone else’s shoes. This is not a bad thing. It is a good self motivation challenge. You need motivation and a goal. I just stopped comparing my time to their time. I had to set my own goal and find what motivated me.

I used to think let me just get this over with. Run as fast as I can so that I can be done. That was a major downfall and played against me for the most part. Not only would i want to go fast, I needed to go far. How was that going to play out for a non running athlete? It was only when I decided to sign up and run a half marathon that I learned a valuable lesson about time and distance. The two do not go hand in hand. If I were to complete the distance I needed to forgo the time. If I was to go for time I could not complete the distance. Make sense? I had to let go of the “let’s just get this over with” mentality. I needed to find my happy pace, my zen pace, the pace within myself that allowed me to go the distance and actually enjoy the journey. I could not believe it. I found what everyone else around me had been talking about. I find the ability to enjoy running.

Reasons To Try Climbing

  • Something unique. Climbing is a unique experience and if you’re getting bored with your usual range of activities it can really inject some excitement into both your social life and fitness regime.
  • Challenge. If you want to feel you have achieved something special then a session on a climbing wall can really deliver that experience, often on your first visit. Gym climbing walls offer the opportunity for a climber to push themselves in a safe environment. Climbing is not just physically challenging but it can also be a great way to help combat a fear of heights. Once you have reassured yourself that your harness is safe and have your sights set on a particular height on the wall that you want to achieve, the motivation to reach it will outweigh the fear – and the feeling when you reach it is priceless!
  • Fitness. Climbing gives an affective full body work out and will engage muscles that you hardly knew existed before. It is fantastic for arm and leg strength, it also provides a great cardiovascular workout.
  • Variety. Once you have mastered the indoor wall you may feel ready for other types of climbing, of which there are many. Bouldering is also becoming popular and provides an alternative for those who may decide that they prefer to stay closer to the ground.
  • Associated activities. If you do venture out of the gym, either for an outdoor man-made wall or for the ‘real thing’ then you will find that climbing is associated with all kinds of other fantastic activities, like hiking, canoeing and camping. Have fun and be safe!

Military Boots for Hiking

Many people don’t know or understand how tough soldiers have it on the battlefield. Many people don’t want to. There are a few experiences the rest of us may have had that allow us to fathom the reality of the kind of harsh terrain soldiers are subjected to: the times we went hiking or trekking.

Some of us take our outdoor pursuits lightly, but more of us don’t. High impact activities such as those that conventionally go under the ‘outdoor pursuits’ category are not for the faint hearted, or legged. Mounting climbing and trekking are often used by people to release significant emotional pressure gaskets. It’s an activity used to burn up excess stores of energy. Bear this in mind before agreeing willy-nilly to take someone up on an offer to go ‘hiking’ with them.

The hardened hikers out there know that there’s nothing worse than trekking for miles up harsh mountain edges with gradients as steep as right angles in crappy footwear. Indeed, the wrong footwear – or even poorly fitting footwear – will likely land a person in an emergency room. Try descending a steep glacial mountain with boots unfit for the purpose and you’ll understand the importance of a high-quality rubber grip on the soul of your hiking boot.

Military boots are amongst the most robust, custom-designed footwear on the market. Considering their purpose, it’s easy to see why this is the case. The makers of outdoor pursuits do closely consider practical design when inventing high-spec footwear ranges and can represent good value for money. However, with military boots, you know that you’re going to be protected from the harshest conditions and elements. It’s a sort of safe bet when you’re unsure what to look for in outdoor footwear.

Ways To Enjoy Hiking

Hiking is a wonderful means to view mother nature herself and get some excellent exercise at the very same time. It is a fantastic method to lower daily pressure and just get away from it all for a while. You may opt to share the experience together with a companion or perhaps backpack on your own, allowing you to clear your head. Hiking is great for body weight control, for your cardiovascular system and circulation, and is a good cardio exercise workout to deal with high blood pressure

If you are scared to hike alone, you will be able to better enjoy yourself if you have your dog come along with you. This way, you will not feel so alone and you will have a little bit of protection as your dog will serve as a deterrent from criminals should your dog look the part.

Another way to make sure that you are going to enjoy your hiking experience is to take your camera along. This way, you will be able to properly document and remember everything that you experience on your journey. You will also have something to share with your family and friends once you get back home.

Take your family along for an adventure of a lifetime. Explore all that there is to explore within nature and give them an education that they simply do not get in the classroom. This is also a great chance to bond with everyone.

Above and beyond all of that, there is the benefit that hiking will give your body the workout that it has been longing for. You will work out just about every muscle in your body. At first, when you come home, you might feel as though you can never handle another hiking trip again. However, if you keep pushing forward, you will realize that this is indeed something that you can handle and you will be much healthier for it. It just a bit of time for your body to get used to this type of training and hiking.

About Types of Carabiners

Straight Gate Carabiners

Straight gate carabiners are the most common type that is currently available. They open, and allow the climber to easily detach the device from whatever ropes that it is currently attached to. They are the easiest, cheapest, and strongest type that is currently available. They have also been used for the longest, and are some of the most trusted types of climbing carabiners that are available.

Bent Gate Carabiners

Bent gate carabiners are just as strong as the straight gate carabiners. They allow things to be clipped in much more easily, as they do not lock. They are also much easier to unclasp. It is recommended that more experienced climbers use these, as they can be easy to detach by accident if you are not paying attention to what you are doing.

Locking Carabiner

The locking carabiners are also very popular. They tend to be the safest, as the climber really has to go out of their way to get these undone. There are different kinds of locking carabiners that are currently available. Some require you to twist a knob in order to get the carabiner off from whatever it is attached to, while others may only require that you push a safety button. These are often given to new climbers who are feeling unsure about the task at hand and would like a little more peace of mind.

Keep in mind that whatever climbing carabiner you decide to purchase, you have to be sure of the quality, with Petzl being one of the most popular and reputable brands.Always make sure that the locking carabiner that you purchase has been certified. You may also want to comparison shop online, as the price of different types can vary greatly from one store to another.

Proper Way To Ice A Running Injury

Icing a running injury is done for several reasons. First of all it will help reduce any swelling that occurs and reduce inflammation. The icing will decrease the blood flow to the affected area which will help reduce the pain. And, just the icing itself will help to numb the pain right away for some instant relief.

You want to make sure that you are getting the ice on the area as soon as you get in from your run. The sooner that you can ice the area, the quicker it will help. Studies have shown that icing really doesn’t help much if you wait 24-48 hours.

When you are icing your injury, move the ice around in a circular motion. You don’t want to let it sit in one spot very long. Basically what you want to do is to have an ice massage over the area. As you are icing, you should keep the area elevated. This will also help keep the swelling down.

Don’t ice the area for more than 15 minutes. You don’t want to ice for too long and possibly cause frostbite. Then, after about an hour, you can begin icing again. You can keep repeating the icing process as long as you allow the area to warm up. Make sure that it is warm again and feeling normal before you start icing again.

My favorite way to ice an area is to put ice cubes in a washcloth and use that for the massage. This also keeps a layer of cloth between the area and the ice. Many runners use ice in Ziploc bags. This works great, also. Another way to have your ice ready is to keep paper cups filled with water and frozen in your freezer. Then you can just peel part of the cut away and use over the injury. And, I’m sure you’ve heard of runners that use packages of frozen vegetables. There’s no need to go out and buy a fancy, expensive ice pack – there are several things that you have around the house that works great.

Icing a running injury is a great way to get back on the roads. Hopefully these tips will help you to do it properly!

The Stretching Debate

Many old-school runners feel that you should stretch before you go out for a run. However, research has found that it is actually not good for you to stretch cold muscles. Stretching muscles before they are warmed up can cause injury. The best way to warm up before a run is to go for a walk – or just run your first mile slowly for a warm up.

If you still feel that you want to stretch before your run, you can go for a walk as a warm up and then do your stretching before you head out.

Stretching is fine after you come in from your run. Your muscles are adequately warmed up. However, if you have been on a longer run (90 minutes or more) be careful with your stretching as your muscles are fatigued. Make sure you are gently stretching those sore muscles.

Runners who are advocates for stretching also say that running will prevent injuries. Studies have found that this is not necessary the case. The studies show that running injuries are prevented more by strength training and balance exercises. However, stretching will increase your flexibility. And, in my opinion, increased flexibility will help your overall running and make you a more efficient runner.

Many runners just like to stretch after running just for the simple fact that it makes them feel good. It also helps them to relax – so that can be a definite benefit.

If you do want to stretch after running, the important areas to stretch are the quads, hamstrings, calves and hips. Here are some quick stretching tips: stretch slowly and hold for 15 seconds, stretch both sides (not one leg and not the other), don’t bounce a stretch and make sure you are breathing – don’t hold your breath.

The stretching debate will probably continue on and on for years. I personally like to do some light stretching after my runs. That’s what works for me. Do whatever feels good for you. You may find that you love stretching or that you don’t benefit or all. As always, listen to what your body is telling you it wants.

Eating Before A Marathon

First of all, you should be eating and taking in carbs during your long runs when you are out there for more than 1½ hours. Under that time, you are basically using what has been stored up in your muscles previously. A great way to get carbs during your runs is through Sports Drinks or Energy Gels. You can even get Sports Jelly Beans little Energy Bites. All of these work – and some runners even eat gummy bears or other candies. But, you want to try anything during your training runs – not the day of your race. Find out what works for you and gives you energy and have it with you for race day.

The most important rule of eating leading up to race day is to not eat anything that you are not accustomed to eating. Carbs are important for energy on race day. You should be eating meals that are high in carbs during this time to be fueling up. Also important is to get some protein during this time. Another thing that you want to stay away from during the few days before the marathon is anything high in fiber or any food that you know gives you gas or any stomach distress.

Some good things to eat are pasta, bread, cereal, pizza, bagels.

Two days before the marathon is when you really want to make sure that you are getting fueled up. This may be the day of your big “carbo-loading” meal. Also, two days before you want to be making sure that you are drinking water throughout the day to start getting properly hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep.

The day before race day you want to make sure that you are still drinking water and eating some complex carbohydrates. This day about 75% of your calories should be from carbs. You should have your normal 3 meals plus a few snacks throughout the day. You should be finished with your last meal around 6:00 so that it can be digested before you go to bed.

On race morning you should have your meal about 1 – 1½ hours before race start. This should be something to get you fueled for the race – but nothing big or heavy. It should include carbs and a little protein. My suggestion is a power bar – that always works for me! Other suggestions are cereal, oatmeal or a bagel with peanut butter. Just make sure that whatever you eat is something that you have eaten prior to running in the past. It is important that you don’t experiment on race day.

When To Replace Running Shoes

You can take the shoes that you’ve been running in and look at them from behind. If they are starting to wear out, they will not sit flat. You can see the wear on one side. However, your shoes may be starting to break down from the inside even before the outer soles show signs of wearing out. The cushioning on the inside of the shoe which keeps your foot stable and protected will usually break down before the outer sole. Wearing shoes that are broken down can cause injuries if run in for many miles.

The general rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes between 300 – 500 miles. How soon they break down depends on your body weight as well as the surfaces that you run on the majority of the time. Also, how your foot strikes the ground can be a factor. If you are a heavier runner – you should be replacing your shoes around 300 – 350 miles. Lighter runners can usually get 450 – 500 miles from a pair of shoes.

Be aware of any aches and pains when you run. This could be a sign that your shoes are needing to be replaced. Another test is the twisting test. If you can twist your shoe, it may be breaking down. It should be firm.

Keep track of the mileage on your running shoes in your running log. Whenever you write your run in your log, in addition to the usual entries (weather, mileage, course, etc.), write down which shoes you ran in.

Also, you should have 2 pair of running shoes that you are running in at the same time. Rotating your shoes can also prolong the life of them. Wear one pair and then the next time you run – wear your other pair. This will allow each pair to thoroughly dry out on the inside before you wear them again. Even if it is not raining, your feet sweat and will make the inside of your shoes wet.