Author: TickHill

What is the best type of music to run to

Whether you’re getting ready for your next marathon or just your weekly day at the gym tour going to need some beats for top performance. Running can be a real chore and it’s hard to find that motivation at times. Music will help you get the motivation to move when you don’t feel like it.

Studies have shown that music can improve an athlete’s performance. Normally it’s supposed that fast songs are the best choice but other studies have shown that tempo matters very little. Instead, it depends on whether the runner finds it personally motivational

A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research had 15 men run three 5km runs over several weeks. The first one while listening to slow 80-100 beats per minute songs. The second while listening to faster songs of 140-160 BPM and the last with no music at all. They performed far better when listening to music but the interesting thing is that the difference in their finish times between fast and slow music was minuscule. The runners were allowed to choose their own music so the researchers concluded that the speed of the music didn’t matter in making a person feel motivated but more what the song means to the person. If it’s a song you enjoy you.

You can take from that so that it doesn’t make much difference how fast the song is just so long as you find it enjoyable. All that said though here’s a list of five music types that are great for running.

Heavy Metal

This is loud and aggressive music that is sure to get the blood pumping. Being so fast paced this will keep you running all the way through your workout. A lot of it is also very angry which can be channelled into a great workout. Metallica, Ghost and Rage Against the Machine are some great choices.

Electronic

A great beat can work really well for keeping you in a rhythm. There’s a good reason clubs play this music a lot as it’s fast paced music that gets everybody moving. Some great artists are DJ Krista and The Prodigy.

Rap/Hip-Hop

The consistent beat of rap combined with great storytelling lyrics can really take your mind away and allow you to get through a difficult workout. The more aggressive versions can also give you that extra boost when it’s needed. Good choices are N.W.A, Wu-Tang Clan, 2Pac and Immortal Technique.

Classical

There are many kinds of classical music to choose from. Not all are slow paced but all are certainly relaxing which can help keep you mellow and allow your mind to drift away.

Classic Rock

Just like heavy metal, classic rock can be great for getting you moving. It’s carried enough in style and sound that you’re sure to find something you like.

Experiment with different music styles and find one that works for you. As the study above shows, it’s what the music makes you feel personally that matters, not the speed or tempo.

How to treat common running injuries

Whether you’re running a marathon or just your daily jog an injury can screw everything up and throw your whole exercise routine out the window. As much as we might wish for a pain-free run, injuries do happen, in fact as much as 82% of professional runners can expect an injury at some point in their career.

The good thing though is that most injuries are quite preventable with the right care. As you’ll soon see, massage therapy works wonders for treatment and should be part of any serious athletes training routine. Adam Harris in Vancouver is one of the best in the business for massages geared towards athletes. So if you wish to stay on top of your game read on and find out what the most common injuries are, how you can prevent them as well as treat them.

Achilles Tendinitis

Running from your calf muscles down to your heel, the Achilles tendon is the thickest tendon in your body. Excessive training without proper rest will cause a lot of tension and pain both during and after running. Once injured it takes a long time to heal as it doesn’t receive a lot of blood flow.

Proper stretching before and after a run along with adequate rest will usually prevent tendinitis and keep any pain from getting worse. Should you, however, develop a lot of pain then massage therapy, especially a sports massage, can loosen the muscles and get you back to full health.

Runners knee

A very common injury, runners knee can have multiple causes but generally, it happens when your kneecap is out of alignment. Symptoms include feeling pain around your kneecap, especially when using stairs, doing squats or anything really that puts strain on the knee.

While the pain might be felt around the knee, the cause is usually to be found around the lateral hip and thigh. When you first notice any pain applying ice post-run will help it from getting worse but for effective treatment, you need to rebalance the muscles in the lower body. Lateral side steps and stretching your hip flexors are great for this.

Plantar Fasciitis

You know that sharp pain you get when breaking in a new pair of shoes? That’s your planter fasciitis, a broad sheet of connective tissue on the soles of your feet. While poorly fitting shoes are a common cause of it, a poor running technique can also cause severe irritation that can make every step pure agony.

Depending on how bad it is it can be cured easily with ice, stretching and adequate rest. If the pain becomes chronic though only a deep tissue massage will break up the tension and get the blood flowing again.

This is far from a complete list but these are the most common injuries most runners will experience at one time or another. We highly recommend that at the first sign of any discomfort you take adequate rest and stretch the muscles. Getting a massage 1-2 times a week, will also help prevent injuries and heal most should they get worse.

Overuse Injuries in Running

If you have been running for years now, probably you might have come to a point once in your running career that you get into some kind of a running injury. And overuse injury is the most common one. This often occurs when the runner is isn’t experienced and probably are getting too excited to run long distances and in a much longer period of time without realizing that they’re already imposing exhaustion to their body.

As it is called, overuse injury happened when you tend to overuse your legs and your knees. If you put too much stress to your joints, muscles and tissues, it would result to overuse injury which can be painful and frustrating to the extent. It might even result to a severe injury, taking away from you’re the chance to run for life.

Dos and Don’ts

This is what you have to keep in mind, if you are new to running, understand your limits and make sure that you know the dos and don’ts. Marathoners are seasoned and experienced, and that’s what beginners need to understand. If it’s your first time to run longer distances, take note of all the things that you can and can’t do.

Running requires preparation. That means if you are planning to join fun runs and marathons, it requires preparation. How? You can do regular short runs a week before. You really have to prepare and condition your legs and knees before the actual run. And make sure to rest in between. Never push yourself too much.

You also need to gradually improve yourself. You can’t do it in a day. Increasing your mileage every time you run is a great idea. You might want to start with long walks first. Then slowly challenge yourself and increase your distance. You also need to use the right shoes for long walks to keep yourself from injury.  Here is how you can continually increase your distance.

 

For beginners, never level yourself to marathoners who have been running for years. You can achieve that. But it would require a process. Make sure to do regular exercise and stretching as well. Instead of running every day, you can just do it every other day, giving your legs the time to rest and heal if needs to. Overusing your legs, joints and knee muscles will definitely lead you to injury.

Running Injuries

Running injury is one of the most common injuries on the record. That’s even the reason why many companies are actually finding ways to help people with injuries to run still. Just like wearing leg compression socks which can help for better blood circulation. There are still other helpful gears that you can also wear to avoid injuries.

Remember, injuries can be career ending. Your legs are as important as your eyes. Getting into serious injury that affects your legs would mean a lot to how you’d be living your life. Overuse injury might be common and simple. But it might lead to a more serious one if you don’t have the right knowledge. Running is awesome, but staying away from injury is even more awesome!

Injury Prevention in Old Age

As we grow old, we are becoming more and more vulnerable to injuries. That’s one of the reasons why elderlies are required to put extra precaution to avoid injuries which might have a more severe effects or worse would cause disability to people of old age.

 

Statistics show that about 90 percent of the causes of injuries to elderly are falls and accidents on car collisions. And since all of us one way or another have our elderly loved ones at home, or we ourselves will become old sooner or later, it’s important that we know how to prevent getting into these incidents that would lead us to sever injuries.

The best way to stay away from injuries is to have the right ideas. It is important that you have the right information what and how to prevent injuries. Although there might be sites like www.braceaccess.com that are working to help people with injuries to get better, prevention is still better than cure.

Injury Prevention

There might be no definite formula when it comes to injury prevention but there are several effective suggestions that will help the elderly to stay away from injuries.

First, it is important that elderly’s body already have limitations. That would mean you know when to do something and not to. For instance, people of age driving a car. Keep in mind that almost every part of their body aren’t working as well as they were young. Poor eye sight, less leg and arm power and not so good eye and hand coordination. Thus, if possible, they should refrain from driving. Yet if they still want to, they need to have someone with them or they should maintain a very low speed.

Another way to prevent injuries to elderly is to make sure that you have someone who keeps an eye on them all the time. Falls and slips are some of the cause of injuries for them, yet if they have someone who can assist them on whatever they do, accidents can be avoided.

Lastly, you have to understand that hazards are all around your home. If you have elderly at home, it would be important if you can clear your home from threats and harms. In order to avoid slips, falls, cuts and a whole lot more incidents, take a closer look at every part of your house and remove whatever you find that you think may harm them.

Elderly Injury

Elderly injury have severe effects and it may even lead to complete disability. In which you’ll find some who wear knee braces for osteoarthritis. Yet you definitely don’t want to reach that point. As we get old, our body becomes weaker and is not able to resist too much force. Our bones becoming brittle, knees become weaker and we react less fast.  That’s why we need to give more attention to the possible causes of injuries around us. Before things become worse, preventing accidents to happen is important. And having the right information on hand is needed and will help a lot.

Which Pre-workout is the Best for Runners?

Running takes a lot of endurance, especially if you want to compete. In order to become a proficient runner, you must practice and workout on a regular basis. With that in mind, a sound mind and body will be very important to keep you running on a regular basis and that’s where supplements come into play. But always remember that you shouldn’t rely to supplements alone. Nothing can beat a healthy and balanced diet.

But pre-workout supplements can help you bring out the best in you. This list of pre-workout supplements review should help you decide which ones to get. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Amino Energy: Optimum Nutrition

A decent supplement to enhance your cardio endurance as well as recovery. It contains BCAAs, a great recovery and endurance supplement ingredient. Aside from that, it also contains L-glutamine, caffeine and antioxidants. Recommended servings contains caffeine equal to a cup and a half of coffee.

Body Rush: Force Factor

Brings you energy and focus by utilizing a powerful combination of caffeine, tyrosine, green tea extract, and guarana extract. Aside from providing endurance and strength, it also comes with BCAAs, B-vitamins, carnitine and electrolyte blends that’s going to be helpful for hydration.  Here’s more info on how it works.

N.O.Xplode 2.0: BSN

If you want a caffeine-free supplement, then this one is for you. For those who loves caffeine and thinks that it’s the only that provides you with a powerful kick, then you’ll change your opinion. It comes with a lot of B-vitamins, taurine and tyrosine, all of which provides you with a decent amount of energy boost, which when combined, will provide you with similar effects. It also contains creatine and beta alanine to boost strength. Overall, this could probably be the best caffeine-free pre-workout supplement one can obtain in the market today.

EVP (Evopoietin One-Alpha): Evogen

Another caffeine-free pre-workout supplement which focuses mainly on providing you with focus. With a good focus, you can easily up your chances of getting a good workout. We all know that there are days where we’ll be in the zone, but there are also days when we’re not and when that time comes, this supplement will do the work. In addition to that, it also boosts strength via creatine and beta alanine along with improved endurance with the help of B-vitamins, Citrulline and glutamine.

Xtend: Scivation

With 7g of BCAAs and 6g of Leucine and Glutamine, your muscle growth will surely go above the charts and provide them with endurance during training. In addition to that, the included Citrulline Malate will help your muscles obtain necessary nutrients.

Long Distance Running is more in the mind than anything else

Committed runners take it as a sweet challenge to travel through long trails.  A two-hour non-stop run is a great way to relax and to stay toned and fit.  It is a great cardio but it also is one that requires good stamina and determination.  Now, when you think about running for two hours, you are probably thinking, “well, that is way too much for me!”  You see, your body is perfectly capable of taking it.  Very long trails are traveled by runners every day.

Running Marathons

 

Think about marathons, the pretty long ones. There is always a winner in the many categories.  But the main race involves several kilometers taken in no less than at least one hour.  So you come to ask yourself what it is that they have that you do not.  Yes, a trail of, say, 10 kilometers, is a very long way to go. However, as stated before, your body is perfectly fit for it if you are a regular runner.

This leads to the conclusion that the one thing that is probably keeping you from running long distances is inside your mind.   Now, it does require more than confidence, granted.  It also requires some work.  Probably your worst fear is that you will be stuck in the middle of the trail and will have no strength to go back.

If you are having this kind of fears, then you should probably train a little.  Actually, start little by little.  Ideally, put yourself a goal for every training session.  Start the first day with a mere 3-kilometer run.  Then, little by little, push yourself a bit more every day.  You will be able to identify what is the maximum distance you can run.

With this information, you must find a program or diet that will allow you to build resistance to push your boundaries.  Work on this aspect before taking your running any further. Very importantly, do not halt on your regular running routine.

Running Trails

You should be able to collect enough performance to go over longer trails now.  There is an inherent satisfaction in the success of running through a long trail.  You can see that it is more about determination.  The success of such endeavor depends on your mind more than in anything else.

Your mindset is the most important factor affecting whether you succeed or not.  Throughout times we have seen how the power of the mind has enabled people to complete feats others might think impossible to complete.  Once you have set your mind into doing something, you have gone halfway already.

Long-distance trails are not for the faint of heart.  They are for people who love running and who believe that they can do it anytime, anywhere.  Learn how to get psychologically fit for doing those things that your body “thinks” it cannot do.  Psychotherapy can help you overcome your fears and help you be the best you can.  Rely on them to help you meet your goals.  There is a long distance trail waiting for you, challenging you.  Reach that goal and enjoy the satisfaction of delivering your best work.

How Biathletes and Hunters Calm their Breathing After Running

 

What do hunters and biathletes have in common? Well, they all do long rounds of cardio while shooting in between. A biathlon usually consists of the athlete skiing across a country trail with the total distance disrupted with four shooting rounds. The first two shooting rounds in a prone position while the other two is in standing position. Those who have tried this even at the amateur level knows the difficulty in trying to calm your nerves in order to shoot and hit your target.

Hunters on the other hand, have to do long distance walking and running after their game and shooting as the opportunity arises. This too presents a level of difficulty in acquiring, shooting and actually hitting your target. Not even the best archery sight with the best bow reviews can help you in hitting your target in this kind of scenario. So how do they calm their nerves after running or walking or skating?

Calming your breathing and consequently calming your nerves is both an art and a science. Elite biathletes and hunters can calm themselves down by lowering their heart rates seconds after they stop and acquire their targets. Here are the techniques that they employ:

  1. Have a steady composure—They tend to remain calm even in every stressful situation. They make it a point to practice a calm composure throughout the day rather than to calm themselves down in haste during the competition.
  2. Train harder—In order to make the body accustomed to stress, you need to train really hard until calming down your breathing, acquiring your target and consequently hitting it is second nature. You have to remember that the ability to lower your heart rate in seconds is a sign that you are at the top of your health. If you cannot attain this ability, that means that you are not that fit.
  3. Practice deep breathing—This is the key to everything. If you do frequent shallow breaths, then that means you’re panting and consequently, your hands won’t be steady. This is a huge problem among hunters and biathletes. You need to practice deep and consistent breathing in order to calm your nerves.
  4. Have the right mindset—Keep anxiety out! You can’t expect to practice all of the techniques above if you are an anxious person. This is particularly true when training and during the actual competition.

The best way to remain calm is to avoid overthinking about the matter. Give yourself time to relax after you have trained really hard. Both mind and body need a breathing space in order to recuperate and regain its strength.

Importance of Flexibility for Running

Flexibility

Flexibility is considered the range of motion within a joint or group of joints, or to take it one step further, the effectiveness of a joint to move through a particular range of motion.

It is actually considered one of the four core components of fitness:

1. Cardiovascular endurance

2. Muscular strength

3. Muscular endurance

4. Flexibility

Given that this has been recognized by many of the world leaders in fitness research, it is safe to say it is important for everyone’s general well-being. However, when it comes to sports, and especially running, it becomes even more important.  Here is how to stretch before running.

Injury Prevention and Performance

Although there is the odd contradictory study, the majority of research regarding flexibility for injury prevention shows that it does indeed decrease the rate of injuries, particularly those that result from over-use or imbalances.

The reasons for this are still being sorted out, but there are a few explanations. One is that if your muscles are capable of stretching further allowing your joint to move a little further through its range of motion, that may offer a little bit more “buffer room” when being forced to exert force near the end of your range of motion. In other words, if your muscle are being “stretched” to their limits less often, there’s a lower chance of strain injuries.

Stretching can also help alleviate muscle imbalances. For example, it is very common for hockey players and speed skaters to have extremely tight hip flexors. This can eventually result in annoying back problems, which is one of the last things you want to deal with when preparing for competition.

In terms of running, especially for long distances such as marathons or ultra-marathons, there is a dual benefit to stretching:

First, by increasing your hamstring flexibility by, let’s say 1cm, that will make a huge difference in number of steps required to complete the race. This may result in less required effort, ultimately allowing you to push harder sooner, maybe even resulting in a new PB.

Secondly, by taking a lower amount of steps over a given distance, there is statistically less opportunities for you to injure yourself with a rolled ankle or something silly like that. Additionally, less step may mean less use, and therefore a reduced risk of overuse injury.

The main disadvantage of stretching, at least in the static sense (e.g. sit-and-reach) is that it has been shown to decrease muscular power output. For endurance events, this isn’t really a problem, but for those also participating in a sport that requires a little more explosiveness, this can be a problem especially if you’re looking to reduce risk of injury.

Therefore, it is often recommended that dynamic stretching be performed prior to the event (e.g. leg swings), which has been shown to prevent this loss in muscular power output. Then, during cool-down, it is recommended to perform the standard static stretching that most of us are used to.

Overall

Stretching is extremely important for health and fitness and elite competition alike. The type of stretching you perform is up to you and depends on what sort of training you are doing. Lots of runners perform static stretching before AND after a run, and they find it really helps, so don’t feel limited to only what you read in this article. We simply want to get the wheels turning for you and help you reach your own personal running goals. If you find it boring, we don’t blame you, but finding some peers to stretch with or having some music handy can really help solve that problem!

Sprint Training for Endurance Athletes

When you want a little extra

Running at a recreational level, and especially a competitive level, is definitely a commitment. Not only is it a challenge to achieve your fitness goals, but it can be even more difficult to maintain those achievements for the long term.

Many runners who have participated in our group runs have asked what we do for cross-training. At first, we would simply respond by saying that running is enough training along. We still stand by this comment, but it has become clear to us that ONLY running isn’t necessarily suitable for all individuals, particularly those who run purely for recreation.

Therefore, in this article, we discuss some ways that you may be able to supplement your running workout with a completely different type of activity, allowing you to further personalize your training regime to something potentially more enjoyable for you.

What should you keep in mind?

First of all, given we are a running group, we do not want to discuss forms of training that will hurt any fitness benefits you have seen from running, or anything else that will be bad for your running workouts.

In order to address this, we feel that a focus should be placed on activities that do not cause an undue amount of physical stress to the lower body, those that have a high-risk of acute or chronic injuries, but still provide a different-enough workout that you will find it both enjoyable and beneficial.

Boxing

Are we serious? Yes. Really? Yes.

Although we acknowledge boxing isn’t for everyone, take away any preconceived notions you have and you will see just how awesome it can be. Boxing really incorporates all types of workouts, but these guys and girls can definitely be considered endurance athletes. In fact, we actually started thinking about boxing after a couple boxers joined our running group as a supplement to THEIR workouts!

Many people think boxing is synonymous with fighting, but that is not the case. Most boxing gyms are more than happy to welcome recreational boxers who are simply looking to get or stay in shape, and you can even perform your own workouts at home.

Boxing is similar to circuit training at a fitness gym, where all parts of the body are worked in a highly intense manner, but definitely focusing on endurance and cardiovascular fitness. You will rarely touch a weight, as most exercises are performed under your own body weight. Furthermore, boxing-specific exercises add an extra level of fun, and can also serve as self-defense training.

Boxing is also pretty cheap. All you need is a pair of boxing gloves, hand wraps, a mouth guard (depending on how far your training goes), and your normal gym clothes. Eventually if you want to progress to your own home workouts, you can set up your own punching bag at home with relative ease and have other little things around like jump ropes.

Last note about boxing, you don’t have to spar if you don’t want. A lot of people think if they join a boxing gym that they are automatically volunteering to put themselves in the ring with an opponent. This is not the case, and most gyms are aware that this can even be a liability issue for them, so they shouldn’t ever be putting you in the ring without you coming forward and volunteering on your own. Even then, they will want to make sure that you are ready and comfortable with making that step.

Football and floor hockey

Football is a pretty obvious sport that could cross over to running, and all you need is a pitch and some mates to play around with. However, perhaps a more interesting, or at least unfamiliar, sport is floor hockey. Many community centres are stocked with floor hockey sticks. If you can find or create a couple goals/nets, a ball, and get some mates together, you can have some unconventional fun that likely puts everyone on the same level. It’s also a crazy workout!

Circuit Training

In general we do not want to promote weight lifting if you are serious about endurance running. However, resistance training does not need to be geared towards sprint-type athletes that are looking to bulk up.

If you have a membership at a local fitness centre, consider circuit training. This usually has its own area in the fitness centre and is composed of various exercise machines. If they aren’t grouped together in their own area, you will simply just have to move around the gym a bit more.

In circuit training, you usually perform an exercise on one machine that targets a particular muscle group, then immediately move on to the next machine that targets a different muscle group, and continues, eventually working all muscle groups. People tend to perform the exercises with low weight and high reps, which facilitates enhancements to muscular endurance.

Summary

In general, what sort of training regime you develop is up to you. This will depend on what types of goals you want to achieve and how committed you are to running. Although we suggest the above activities, that does not mean there aren’t any more of similar or better benefit. As long as you aren’t feeling over-worked, are using low weights and high reps, and it is enjoyable, then you should be well on your way to great training regime, and an even better lifestyle!