This may help you enjoy your 1st trail run

 

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Running off road can be exhausting at first, and it may take you up to twice as long as your normal run, especially in the early stages of training. It’s wise to leave your ego at home, slow your pace and focus on finding a new rhythm. In a matter of weeks, you’ll be running up hills you used to walk, and you’ll develop a sense of being one with the terrain. Here are some tips to help.

Use your arms. Running uphill, you gain more power by pumping your arms vertically from your hips toward your shoulders. Stay balanced by keeping your elbows slightly wider and farther away from your body on the technical and downhill stretches of the trail. Keep your torso tall, shoulders relaxed and chest open to allow your lungs to fully expand and get extra oxygen.

Stay focused. Like downhill skiing or mountain biking, you’ll find a safe line down technical terrain by looking a few steps in front of you. It can be tempting to look around you or at your watch, but do so only when the trail is flat and predictable or while taking walk breaks. Watching your steps carefully my save you from injury. Just imagine hurting your knee and having a few weeks needed for a recovery. It’s not worth it.

Develop strength. In your weekly training, it’s important to include exercises to build balance, strength and agility so you’re ready to tackle obstacles (tree roots, sand, uneven terrain) on the trail. Add these into your strength program:
– Single Leg Balance: Stand on one foot for about 35 to 45 seconds, keeping your torso tall and hips under the shoulders. Repeat on each leg four times. When this gets easy, hold light dumbbells and add a running arm motion while you balance on one leg. To progress even further, stand barefoot on a folded towel, balance disk or gym mat for 60 seconds.
– Single Leg Lunge: With your feet hip-width apart, take an exaggerated step forward with your right leg onto a pillow balance pad or disk. Keeping your core in good alignment, bend the front knee 90 degrees until the thigh is parallel with the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Push through the heel to straighten the leg. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions. Then switch legs. When this gets easy, alternate legs after each repetition.

Change gears. Adjust your pace (walk if you need to) according to the terrain, and maintain a consistent effort level as you climb uphill. Practice your downhill technique by lengthening your stride, keeping your weight slightly forward and arms wide. Think of taking quick steps, never landing fully on each foot. When in doubt, walk. Running over downed trees or through mud and sand takes some time getting used to, and it’s best to progress slowly. Tackling obstacles will get easier as your body gets stronger and more seasoned on trails. A watch with heart rate check might be very useful here. Try to stay around 85% your HR. Don’t go over it too much. This 85% sometimes will require walking, sometimes running depending on the terrain. Hitting 90-95% of your Heart Rate may cause you a lack of energy later on.

Dress right. Trail running shoes are lower profile than regular running shoes, and provide more lateral support for your ankles and feet. The rugged tread offers better traction on muddy, wet trails. They should fit snug in the heel, but have room in the toe-box. Wear layers, sunglasses, bug spray with sun protection and a running hat. A hydration backpack can carry a map, cell phone and water bladder comfortably. Don’t go for a bigger backpack. You don’t want to carry to many things. Remember than when you get tired every additional gram will feel like a kilogram. Bring the most important things only.

In order to race well on the trails, you have to train on the trails. Aim to run at least twice a week on trails (50 percent of your runs) and the rest on roads. Balancing the two will allow you to adapt to the new demands of the trail while maintaining the ability to run on harder surfaces without soreness. Start with training on groomed trails, and progress to rugged trails once you have more off-road miles under your belt.

Go with what you know. Wear the trail shoes you’ve trained in, and if the race is 10k or longer, bring your own hydration system. Some races offer aid stations on the course, but many don’t. During trainings try to reduce refueling. Let your body learn relying on its own. It will be hard at the beginning, but once your body will get better on metabolizing fat, your runs will be easier. But don’t do that during a race. Drink as often as you need, but not too much each time. Better less and more often.

Start slow and find your natural place in the pack. The start of a trail race is a bit like the swim start in a triathlon, where everyone merges onto a narrow trail. Trying to dart ahead of the crowd early can leave you lifeless in the later stages of the race. Race like the tortoise, not the hare, and conserve your energy for the last quarter of the race when everyone else will be fatigued.

Play mind games. In the later stages of the race when you are tired, pick out a runner ahead and set a goal to pass them on a downhill or flat stage of the race. It’s a fun way to keep your mind actively engaged and finish strong. Once you pass the runner, focus on the other ahead of you. It’s a great motivation and it keeps your mind busy.

Relax and have fun. Trail running is a great way to mix up your regular running routine and explore nature’s playground. Enjoy the race!

[source]

~oOo~

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These three are not the same. Ok?

Before I get involve into running I thought these three words are the same in different terms or how you use it. Don’t be confused, now you can differentiate these words.

Here’s a quick breakdown of these three major types of speed workouts.

Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.

Bennies = Stress-free workout that improves mind-body awareness, mental strength, and stamina.

Tempo Workouts are like an Oreo cookie, with the warmup and cooldown as the cookie, and a run at an effort at or slightly above your anaerobic threshold (the place where your body shifts to using more glycogen for energy) as the filling. This is the effort level just outside your comfort zone—you can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping for air. If you can talk easily, you’re not in the tempo zone, and if you can’t talk at all, you’re above the zone. It should be at an effort somewhere in the middle, so you can talk in broken words. Pace is not an effective means for running a tempo workout, as there are many variables that can affect pace including heat, wind, fatigue, and terrain. Learn how to find your threshold and run a tempo workout that is spot on every time here.

Bennies = Increased lactate threshold to run faster at easier effort levels. Improves focus, race simulation, and mental strength.

Interval Workouts are short, intense efforts followed by equal or slightly longer recovery time. For example, after a warmup, run two minutes at a hard effort, followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging or walking to catch your breath. Unlike tempo workouts, you’re running above your red line and at an effort where you are reaching hard for air and counting the seconds until you can stop—a controlled fast effort followed by a truly easy jog. The secret is in the recovery as patience and discipline while you’re running easy allows you to run the next interval strong and finish the entire workout fatigued but not completely spent. Just like rest, your body adapts and gets stronger in the recovery mode.

Bennies = Improved running form and economy, endurance, mind-body coordination, motivation, and fat-burning.

[source]

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Jogging: Brain Booster

It is well known that exercise increases our fitness levels by making the muscles more resistant to fatigue.

Past research has found exercise spurs the birth of new mitochondria – structures in the cells that produce the body’s energy – in the muscles.

This process increases your fitness endurance while reducing the risk of obesity.

Now, a team from the University of South Carolina have revealed that a regular gym session could sharpen the mind in exactly the same way.

They have found that regular treadmill sessions also give a boost to the cell’s powerhouses in the brain.

Research leader, Dr Mark Davis said this energy boost helped the brain to work faster and more efficiently.

“The evidence is accumulating rapidly that exercise keeps the brain younger,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Davis as telling Scientific American.

In the short term he said this could reduce mental fatigue and sharpen your thinking in between gym sessions.

He added that building up a large reservoir of mitochondria in the brain could also create a ‘buffer’ against age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.he researchers came to their conclusions after a study, published in The Journal of Applied Physiology, on a group of mice.

Half of the mice were exercised on a small treadmill for half an hour a day while the other half were left to lounge in their cages.

Unsurprisingly they found after eight weeks that the running mice could exercise for 126 minutes before they tired, while the sedentary mice could only manage 74 minutes.

However, tissue samples revealed the running mice also had a surge in mitochondrial development in the brain, with evidence of both new mitochrondria and increased signaling between the brain cells.

Dr Davis said although it was an animal study, it was reasonable to assume the same process ‘occurs in human brains’.

He added that a 30-minute jog was the human equivalent to the workout that the mice completed. [source]

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Running Shoes and its parts

Anatomy of a Running Shoe

When buying a pair of Running Shoes, it is important to be familiar with its parts and features to make it easier for you to communicate with the retailer. That way, he or she could help you better in finding the right pair according to your foot type and running event, among other things.

There are several basic parts of a Running Shoe that will be discussed in this section. They are the following:

Upper: The entire top half of the shoe

  • Lace system: either standard laces or a BOA system, or some alternative. Laces run througheyelets, which secure them to the rest of the shoe.
  • Vamp: the toe of the shoe (toebox is inside). Saddle and overlays surround the sides of the foot
  • Heel counter: the stiff support that surrounds your heel. The heel tab is the part immediately around your Achilles tendon, and it provides a notch for the tendon.
  • Collar: the soft, cushy top of the heel, where you slip your foot into the shoe
  • Tongue: cushions the top of your foot from the shoe laces. A gusset at the sides of the tongue keeps water, dirt, and debris from sneaking into the shoe.
  • Insole: what your foot directly rests on—can be swapped out for an orthotic, gel insert, custom footbed, etc.

Lower: The parts under your foot

  • Midsole: a main shock absorber, can be dual-density to provide special cushioning to different parts of the foot
  • Shank: something stiff (yet flexible) underneath your arch that gives the shoe its lateral structure and deflects bumps and rocks underneath
  • Outsole: The external bottom of the shoe with traction, reinforcement overlays, and shock absorption. Some tread patterns are particularly grippy on rocks, some dig into dirt well, some shed mud, etc.

What to Ask Yourself

Now that you know the anatomy of the beast, what do you need to consider when selecting the right one?

  • Terrain type and conditions: Do you need a waterproof shoe with a Gore-Tex insert to keep you dry on rainy days and on puddle and stream crossings? Do you tend to run on smoother rock and dirt surfaces or are you going across scree fields? Decide just how much lugged traction, structural burliness, and sticky rubber you need.
  • Distance: The more built-in support a shoe has, the more it’s going to weigh. So feel free to get a supportive, stable shoe if you tend to just run a few miles each time. But if you’re regularly running long distances, a lighter-weight shoe might work better. Find a balance between weight and support—where do your needs fall?
  • Road vs. Trail: We designed this guide for trail runners, but it’s good to be aware of the differences between a trail shoe and a road shoe. Trail shoes have much more built-in support and stability, which, naturally, weighs more. Road shoes are much lighter in weight but normally don’t have deep tractional lugs or a shank that spares you from feeling sharp rocks underfoot. So how do you divide your time between road and trail? Taking your trail shoes on the road occasionally won’t do you any harm, but it may not be the very most comfortable or endurance-oriented option.
  • Your foot shape: Do you have high or flat arches? Bony ankles? Oddly-shaped toes? Try a “wet test” to get an idea of your arch type. Dip your foot in a pan of water, then carefully make a footprint on a dry surface like a paper bag. Take a look at the shape to evaluate:

  • Pronation and supination: A foot is supposed to pronate, or roll slightly inward from your heel toward your big toe as you step, but not too much. Many people over-pronate, or roll too far inward, and this wears both on your shoes and your body. A “motion-control” shoe can correct for this with extra arch support and construction that will gently nudge feet toward a correct movement. The opposite of over-pronation is supination, which is sometimes the case for people with rigid, high arches—they strike the ground on the outside edge of the foot instead of rolling inward, which can lead to stress fractures and general discomfort. Supinators should avoid shoes designed for over-pronators and should steer toward cushioned shoes that absorb some of the harsh impact on the foot’s edge. Taking a look at a shoe you’ve worn down can help you determine:

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So which body type are you?

One day, while I’m doing my weekly training I’ve noticed something new in my training ground. There has been a slight change in the surrounding lately and I’m kinda happy for it. I’ve noticed that the numbers of runners, joggers, cross-trainers and anyone who wants’ to get fit are getting bigger. Though it’s getting crowded in road unlike before but still this is a good sign. I talked to someone and found out that some of them taking their exercise routine seriously and don’t want to get back to their old lazy habit which is a good thing, right?

And then one runner ask me how did I attain my body figure today and what diet that I’m doing. I honestly said, just run. Run gradually, increase your total mileage per week and have a proper diet. Even you’re doing it in a slow pace; let’s say you’re doing it in 6-7 mins. per kilometer that’s fine as long as you lose that body fat. Also try high intensity exercise. I also said to them that they should identify first what body type they are. So that they can optimize their diet and training that suit to their body type.

For all those who doesn’t know what body type they have. Try to read this article that I’ve read earlier. This will give you the idea how your body works. So it’s important to be able to identify and understand your body type. Different body types require different training methods and diet plans. So listed below are the 3 male body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph, along with their characteristics.

ECTOMORPH

An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.

Typical traits of an ectomorph:

  • Small “delicate” frame and bone structure
  • Classic “hardgainer”
  • Flat chest
  • Small shoulders
  • Thin
  • Lean muscle mass
  • Finds it hard to gain weight
  • Fast metabolism

Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight. They have a fast metabolism which burns up calories very quickly. Ecto’s need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Supplements are definitely recommended. Ectomorphs should eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them.

MESOMORPH

A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.

Typical traits on a Mesomorph:

  • Athletic
  • Hard body with well defined muscles
  • Rectangular shaped body
  • Strong
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Gains fat more easily than ectomorphs

The mesomorph body type responds the best to weight training. Gains are usually seen very quickly, especially for beginners. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. Usually a combination of weight training and cardio works best for mesomorphs.

ENDOMORPH

The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs. Endomorphs find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat.

Typical traits of an Endomorph:

  • Soft and round body
  • Gains muscle and fat very easily
  • Is generally short and “stocky”
  • Round physique
  • Finds it hard to lose fat
  • Slow metabolism

When it comes to training endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, a large portion of this weight is fat not muscle. To keep fat gain to a minimum, endomorphs must always train cardio as well as weights. Usually supplements may not be needed as long as the person has a high protein intake in their diet. [Source]

REMEMBER “Body type influences how you respond to diet and training. Understand your body type in order to plan your muscle building training and diet program”.

So which body type are you?

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Free your Feet

Did you know that running with shoes do more harm than running in barefoot? Try to look at this infographic that I saw around the web a few days ago and maybe you will consider switching to run barefoot. 🙂 Enjoy!

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