7 Tips to Improve Cycling Fitness Fast And Easy

Here are my top tips to improve your cycling fitness.

1. Base Fitness.

Base fitness refers to the underlying aerobic fitness of an athlete. Aerobic fitness is increased through training at a heart rate zone of between 60 – 80%; this level of training is often associated with long steady training rides. At this level of training the heart is exercised, increasing its capacity to send blood around the body.

Base fitness is important for endurance events, however it is also important to have a good base of aerobic fitness before undertaking more strenuous, interval training sessions.

2. Winter training and cycling fitness.

Winter is a good time to have a break for 2 to 3 weeks. You will lose some top end fitness, but in the long term it can beneficial, especially if you have had a hard season. After taking a break for a couple of weeks it is important to work on building up your base fitness through steady training miles. This will get you ready for the racing season in spring.

3. Monitor performance with Power Meter.

A power meter enables you to accurately measure how much effort you are putting in. It can be useful for gauging effort levels during training. A power meter is more accurate than a heart rate monitor in determining effort levels.

4. Have a clear focus.

To enable the best progress in cycling fitness it is important to have clear goals and a training plan to match. This enables you get the most from each training sessions. When training the quality of training is more important than the quantity.

5.Train at an intensity greater than Race pace.

If preparing for a 10 mile time trial, training should involve more than just riding 10 mile time trials. Interval sessions which involve short time periods of efforts greater than in a race will increase your anaerobic threshold and increase top end speed.

6. Adapt to signals from body.

When training it is important to listen to the body. If we ignore signals of the body then it can easily lead to over training which can do more harm than good.

It is an important skill to be able to respond to signals from our own training. This will come over time, it is also helpful to keep a training diary where you can write down how you feel and signals such as average heart rates.

7. Enjoy your Training.

If we view training as an experience to be endured, if we feel training is only about suffering then we have the wrong attitude to training. If we enjoy training we will have a positive attitude and this will enable greater progress and improve your cycling fitness faster. Interval training will never be “enjoyable” in one sense but we should try to maintain a positive attitude to our training.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_J_Pettinger/99042

What to look for when buying Omega 3

Omega-3 is good for your health. The best way for you to get enough in your diet would be to eat foods that are rich in Omega-3, such as fatty fish. However, not everyone out there can tolerate fish and that is perfectly understandable. For this reason, there are supplements you can take. Mind you, there are hundreds of supplements available and not all of them have the same health benefits. In order to make sure you get the health benefits you need, we’re going to tell you what to look for when buying Omega-3 …

Amount of Fatty Acid

You should always look at the amount of fatty acid that is in the supplement. Look at the label and find the amount of EPA and DHA per serving.

Type of Fatty Acid

Don’t forget to look for the type of fatty acid. Omega-3 should come from marine sources.

Concentration

The concentration level is definitely important. The mount of DHA and EPA can vary from 200-700 mg per capsule. If it has a high concentration of DHA and EPA, this will allow you to consume more omega-3 in fewer doses.

Omega-3s are Available in a Variety of Forms

Fish oil is available in a natural form, but you can also find it in a processed form. Mind you, the processing form may not be as good, because it can affect the form of the fatty acids. This is something you must remember, because your body can absorb some forms better than others.

Fish Oil: When it comes to conventional fish oil, omega-3 is normally present as triglycerides.

Fish: If you’re eating whole fish, you can get your omega-3 fatty acids from the triglycerides and phospholipids.

Processed Fish Oil: When the fish oils have been processed, they turn into ethyl esters. Ethyl esters aren’t found in nature. When comparing processed fish oil with natural fish oil, we find that the body doesn’t absorb processed fish oil as well as natural fish oil. This is because of the ethyl ester form. However, there are some manufacturers out there that process the oil further so that it changes back into the synthetic triglyceride form – this is a form that your body can easily absorb.

All three of these forms have some pretty good health benefits nesting behind them. However, studies have suggestion that when omega-3 comes from ethyl esters, it’s not as good as the other forms.

So there you have it, when you’re buying Omega-3, make sure you check the label to learn about the concentration, type of fatty acid, and the amount of fatty acid.

Is Omega 3 really all it’s cracked up to be and is it safe to use?

Go ahead and name an illness that runs in your family – Alzheimer’s, heart disease, depression, arthritis, asthma – and Omega 3 can help prevent it. Or not …

Is Omega 3 really all it’s cracked up to be? Is it safe to use? Those are questions that are asked by many people and today, we’re here to answer them.

Today, Omega‐3 has been ranked as one of the most important essential nutrients available today. Research has indicated that a higher intake of omega‐3s could have many health benefits nesting behind it.

Take a look at some of the benefits in order to see if Omega‐3 is all it’s cracked up to be:

Omega‐3 and Your Cholesterol Levels

Both krill oil and fish oil are efficient in regulating your cholesterol triglyceride levels. While both are capable of reducing the enzyme activity that can cause the liver to metabolize fat, it seems krill has more benefits in reducing liver triglycerides.

Omega‐3 and Your Heart

By turning to fish oils, you may be able to reduce the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. A study done by American medical researchers indicated that men that used fish oil at least one time a week lowered their risk of heart complications by fifty percent than men who each fish less than one time a month.

Omega‐3 and Children

Omega‐3 is also beneficial to children as it can help maximize their intellectual potential. Studies conducted have indicated that children that consume an omega‐3 fat supplement when they are infants scored higher on vocabulary. Omega‐3 plays a major role in brain health – DHA and EPA increase neuronal growth, keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, and increase cerebral circulation.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

By consuming Omega‐3, you can lower your blood pressure. Replacing red meat with fish during some of your meals would be beneficial for this. You should avoid the salty fish, like smoked salmon.

Omega‐3 is essential for human health. However, the average human has too many omega‐6 fats in their diet, while they consume a low amount of omega‐3. Both Omega‐3 and Omega‐6 are important in the diet, but there needs to be balance. An ideal ration of omega‐6 to omega‐3 fats would be 1:1.

Is Omega‐3 Safe to Use?

The U.S FDA has concluded that the use of DHA and EPA (the main omega‐3 fatty acids) found in dietary supplements and fish is safe to use, as long as the daily intake does not go over three grams per person each day. So, 1‐2 fish meals on a weekly basis is okay. For people who have bleeding disorders, caution is advised, because Omega‐3 could increase the risk of bleeding, so dosing adjustments may be needed.

Conclusion

Is Omega‐3 really all it’s cracked up to be? Of course it is! Is it safe to use? Yes it’s safe, as long as instructions are followed properly.

Omega‐3 and Weight Loss

Are you looking to lose weight? There are so many different weight loss programs out there – some of them just don’t make sense and make it seem impossible to lose weight. Despite it all, if you’re looking to shed some pounds, regardless of who you are, you should make sure you include Omega‐3 in your diet. In this article, we’re going to be discussing Omega‐3 and weight loss …

You probably won’t believe this, but if you want to lose weight, turning to something as small as a fish oil supplement can help you lose a couple extra pounds every month. This is nothing like the other supplements out there that usually contain caffeine and various other stimulants, because supplements that contain Omega‐3 aren’t going to make you feel nervous and jittery. Plus, you’re not going to crash a couple of hours after you take the supplements, unlike the other types of supplements currently on the market.

Overall Health Will Benefit

When you take regular weight loss supplements, you’re simply focusing on weight loss and that’s about it. However, with Omega‐3, not only will you lose weight, your overall health will benefit. Taking fish oil on a daily basis can help your heart, brain, and joints. Looking at weight loss supplements currently on the market, we cannot find any that make these type of claims.

Take a look at how fish oil supplements (Omega‐3) can help you shed those unwanted pounds …

Omega‐3 Can Decrease Your Appetite

Staying full longer between meals is a good thing when you’re trying to lose weight. By taking a couple of fish oil capsules right after you eat, you could stay full for a longer period of time. Over time, this method will help you shed some pounds, without leaving you feeling hungry all the time. How does fish oil work its magic? It helps you stay full, because it releases serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that is responsible for regulating not only your mood, but your appetite as well.

Omega‐3 Helps You Lose Fat and Build Muscle

Taking Omega‐3 on a daily basis can help you lose fat and build muscle – isn’t that good news? Simply by taking enough Omega‐3 each day, and combining this action with a healthy diet, you could get the body you’ve been dreaming of.

Makes Your Diet and Workout Program Better

When you take a fish oil supplement, it can make our diet and exercise program better. Studies have indicated that those who consumed Omega‐3 on a routine basis lost more weight than those taking a normal placebo supplement.

As you see, Omega‐3 can help you lose weight better than an actual diet supplement can. Plus, it has so many other benefits nesting behind it. With those amazing benefits, we can’t see why anyone would turn away from Omega‐3.

Can Omega 3 Reduce Stress and Improve Moods?

You’re having a bad week, a bad month … a bad year. Every time you turn around, it seems as if a new type of stress is tossed in your direction. There you are, sitting there, thinking you’re never going to have the opportunity to be in a good mood again and you’re on the verge of scheduling a doctor’s appointment to get a bottle of anti-depressants just so you can get through your day.

Before you do that, you may want to take a look at Omega-3 and give it a try. Can Omega-3 really help reduce stress and improve moods? Let’s take a look and see …

Omega-3 can help reduce the effects of anxiety, depression and stress, helping to improve your moods.

What is Depression and Anxiety?

Anxiety is common, this is something many of us experience every now and then. During this time, we may feel anxious due to relationship problems, work issues, family troubles, or we simply feel burned out. When anxiety pops up all the time and it has a negative impact on the quality of your life, you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Depression is a common mental health issue. It could be trigged by a major life changing event, such as a job loss, or it could pop up out of nowhere, for no reason. Individuals that suffer from depression have feelings of hopelessness and sadness and find it hard to keep up with daily tasks.

How Does Omega-3 Help the Body and Brain?

Your body needs Omega-3s in order to function normally. There’s two main types of active Omega-3 fats – DHA and EPA. EPA is known for its anti-inflammatory effect. EPA is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, making it able to decrease inflammation in the brain. DHA, on the other hand, is found in the cell membranes of our neurons. It is responsible for sending signals faster between the cells in your brain.

Omega-3 is Great for Depression, Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Various studies have indicated that there’s a link between depression, anxiety and low levels of Omega-3s. You see, Omega-3’s, mostly DHA, are in brain cell membranes. When you have a lack of Omega-3s in your brain and body, it will make it difficult for serotonin to pass through the cell membranes.

Studies have shown that by taking Omega-3 supplements, people can improve the symptoms of depression, anxiety and mood disorders. EPA has been found to relieve symptoms of neuroinflammation.

Resilient to Stress

It has been found that by taking Omega-3 supplements, you will be more resilient to stress, making it easier to regulate your mood.

Taking Omega-3 Supplements

Healthy adults should get around 500 mg of combined DHA and EPA. You can get this by consuming fish at least 2 times per week, and consuming green, leafy vegetables. Those that don’t eat fish may find it hard to get enough EPA and DHA in their diet. If this is the issue, you can turn to Omega-3 supplements to help.

Finding Motivation To Run

“I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” ― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Anything done consistently for 21 days becomes a habit. For running, to become a habit, you will have to do it for about 4 weeks in a row… the extra days to account for your rest days.

However, no matter how often you run, and how long you do it, there will come a day when you just do not feel like running.

It happens to all of us. You’re supposed to do something but you really don’t feel like it. Your brain will start making all kinds of excuses and they will all seem perfectly justifiable and reasonable. Yet, deep down you will know that you need to go for that run. You’re feeling guilty.

This is most important time not to give in and skip your training. If you let it slide this time, there will be a next time and from there it’s just a matter of time before you lose this excellent habit.

Some things in life need to be done consistently. Bathing, motivation, reading, sleeping… and running. If you have a garden and stop pulling out the weeds, it’s just a matter of time before the weeds take the garden.

The same thing with running. If you stop, you will slowly lose the stamina you worked so hard to build. Your metabolic rate will start to drop gradually and you will find the pounds creeping back on to your body.

That’s tough but that’s the way it is.

So how do you stay motivated?

You will have to vary your training runs.

  • Change routes and see new things.
  • Change the time of your run. Maybe run on a cool evening instead of first thing in the morning.
  • Find a running partner.
  • Run with music. Change up the music every time you start getting bored.
  • Always try to beat your personal best
  • Challenge yourself by using weights, interval training, etc.
  •  Do whatever it takes to add variety to your running sessions

Another way to motivate yourself is to subscribe to a running magazine. Running Times is an excellent magazine that has been in publication since the 1970s. It has thousands of subscribers.

You can get a subscription for Running Times at Magazine.com.

In it you will find tips, tricks and articles that will keep you motivated and proud to be a runner.

Running is a sport and one of the best there is. You should be proud that you are a runner and if you have the stamina and strength, that’s an achievement. This pride in yourself will keep you going.

This chapter started with a quote and this book will end with one. It will pretty much sum up the power running will have on your life.

“As long as my heart’s still in it, I’ll keep going. If the passion’s there, why stop?…
There’ll likely be a point of diminishing returns, a point where my strength will begin to wane. Until then, I’ll just keep plodding onward, putting one foot in front of the other to the best of my ability. Smiling the entire time.” ― Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Lose Weight The Easy Way By Running?

Ah ha! Finally am answer to question that I have been asked 1000s of times . The answer has been broken down below. Follow it closely and the fat will melt off your body.

  • Always make sure your daily caloric intake is at a deficit. Weight loss will only occur when your calorie intake is less than the amount you expend.
  • You must alternate your running tempo over the week.
    • Monday, Wednesday – High intensity interval cardio
    • Tuesday, Friday, Sunday – Low or moderate intensity (running on an empty stomach for 30 minutes)
    • Thursday, Saturday – rest days

The above is just an example. Change the days to suit your schedule. As your fitness improves, you may choose to do high intensity for 3 or 4 days a week.

A high intensity workout should look like this.

  • Week 1 – Sprint 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds (Do 15 repetitions)
  • Week 2 – Sprint 45 seconds, walk 45 seconds (Do 13 repetitions)
  • Week 3 – Sprint 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds (Do 10 repetitions)

The point to note here is that you may not be able to do the full number of repetitions. That’s ok. What you need to do is try your best and be panting and perspiring like crazy. You want a hard workout that leaves you breathless.

Train as hard as you can but be sensible. Over time your stamina will improve and you will be able to sprint for longer periods. These hard sprints are extremely effective for weight loss.

Have you seen the sprinters’ bodies at the Olympics? Hard, toned and muscular like they were chiselled from stone. That’s the power of sprinting.

High intensity training will take its toll on your body’s nervous system. It is a very taxing form of exercise. That is why you alternate it with slow cardio. On the slow cardio days, just a 30 minute jog on an empty stomach will do. It has to be at a comfortable pace. That’s it.

Follow this method, eat right and you will lose weight.

As you improve, you may find hills to run up and down to make things more challenging. You could run uphill with all your might and then walk down. Repeat till you are exhausted. Wow! What a workout.

Always bear in mind that with time all things are possible. You will get faster. You will get stronger. You will lose weight as long as you keep at it.

Problems Will Arise

There will be times when you eat too much. There will be times when you are emotionally troubled and may not be able to give your best during your workout. There will be occasions where you have been losing weight for a while and suddenly the weight loss stops, or you gain a pound instead.

All this is extremely normal. Success is not linear! It’s ok to slip up. We are all human… but what you should never ever do is give up just because you slipped once. If you eat too much on one day, don’t automatically assume that it’s all over and go back to poor eating habits and forget about exercise.

No! No! Tell yourself its ok. You slipped up once but you will work out harder the next day and keep moving. The key is to keep moving. Don’t let small setbacks throw you off the track.

Keep on keeping on. Success will be yours.

7 Easy Techniques & Tips That Will Improve Your Running

Running is a very natural activity. Unlike weight training which has many nuances in form and methods, running is a basic activity and as long as you maintain good posture, you will definitely become a good runner.

The most important point to remember is that the only way to lose weight with running is to actually go out and run. Reading this will not make you lose weight. You absolutely MUST take action. Once you put in the sweat equity, your body will drop the pounds.

Now let’s look at certain issues that are highly debated among runners and fitness professionals.

1. Should you run on an empty stomach?

This question has been debated so much its critics and defenders have written books about it.

If you want to lose weight, you should definitely run on an empty stomach, preferably upon waking. The reason for this is that your glycogen stores are low. So, your body will burn fat for fuel instead of the muscle stores.

There are 2 conditions which you absolutely must follow.

  • The duration should be between 20 to 30 minutes. No longer.
  • You should run at a steady pace. A good way to measure this is to ask yourself whether you could hold a steady conversation during your run. You must be able to. If you can’t because you’re panting, then you’re going too fast.

Running on an empty stomach is a tool you can use every now and then to burn stubborn fat stores. Alternate it between days of high intensity runs.

2. Go barefoot or wear shoes?

Shoes. Always wear shoes. There are proponents of barefoot running who believe that wearing shoes hinders their natural stride. So, they choose to run barefoot.

Since the aim here is to lose weight by running, let’s just keep things simple and run with shoes. You do not want to spend time looking for a safe place to run without shoes. If you’re using a treadmill at home, you may wish to give it a try and see if it works for you.

However, it really is best to stick with shoes because running is a high impact activity. Having shoes that cushion your feet is definitely a good idea.

3. Treadmills or Tracks?

This is up to you. There are pros and cons to both. With treadmills, things can get boring and the scenery never changes. The speed is pretty much fixed and you will have to adjust it if you want to go higher or slower. If you’re on the tracks, you can speed up or slow down as you wish.

However, if the place you live in is facing inclement weather, going out to run may not be an option. Or if you only have time to run at night, safety may be a concern. In cases like this, a treadmill in the privacy of your own home will be better. In the end, both are effective. It’s just a matter of preference and budget.

4. How Do I Calculate MHR or Maximum Heart Rate?

You can get your MHR by deducting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 35 years old…

220 – 35 = 185 (your max heart rate)

To easily keep track of your heart rate, it would be a great idea to get a heart rate monitor. They are pretty affordable and you’ll always be able to track your heart rate and see if you are in the zone ideal for you.

Take note that the MHR can be affected by factors such as hydration, heat, heart size, etc. So, if you feel discomfort while exercising in the MHR zone, drop your intensity a notch or two. Don’t push past beyond the point of discomfort.

5. How should I breathe while running?

There are a few pointers to take note of about breathing while running. Correct breathing will result in you running faster and experiencing less fatigue.

  • Breathe with your belly, not your chest. You should see your belly expanding and contracting.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Measure your breaths to your steps. If it’s a leisurely run, inhale once for every 3 or 4 steps and exhale once for the same amount of steps. If it’s a fast run, breathe in for every one or two steps.
  • Keep your mouth slightly open so air can go in through both your nose and mouth.

The key point to note is that breathing just like running is a natural activity. Don’t worry too much about it. The more you run, the better your lung function will be and breathing will be easier and natural. Run consistently. That’s the key to improvement.

6. Is there any way to train myself to run faster?

Yes, there is. It’s a proven method that will make you a faster, stronger runner. It’s a method created by, Adam Kessler, who has had 15 years of experience in training athletes to be faster at their sports. You can check out his method at http://www.howtorunfasternow.com/run-faster-method/

7. Dealing with Injuries

There are a few injuries that are pretty common among runners. Almost all can be avoided with proper care.

You may visit http://www.runnersworld.com/health/big-7-body-breakdowns to learn about the common injuries and how to avoid them.

There is a plethora of information available online regarding any injury you may sustain while running.

In any case, while information online can be helpful, it is always best to consult your doctor.

The key to avoiding unnecessary health issues is to respect your body and leave your ego at the door when you go running. Pace yourself, do not push through pain and rest if you’re so breathless it causes discomfort.

Take your time with the process. The whole fun is in the journey. If you enjoy the journey, the destination will be that much sweeter.

Run at your own pace. Let your body burn fat at the pace it wants to. As long as you are steadily losing some weight every week, you’re on the right track. Just keep at it. Aim for small improvements but don’t push your luck.

You don’t want to end up with a stress fracture.

Be sensible and careful.

11 Common Running Mistakes

Before you start running, you need to be aware of the common mistakes that most people make when they run. Once you avoid these potential pitfalls, you will get the best results for your efforts and also reduce your chances of injury.

1. Do not do static stretching before a run.

Many beginner runners stretch while their body is still cold. This is not safe and can cause injury. Research has also shown that muscle strength decreases after stretching. This means that you will not be able to run at your full strength.

Your best bet will be to do some dynamic warm up such as a few minutes of skipping, mountain climbers, burpees, etc. Once your heart rate is up, then you may do some mild stretching.

2. Do not wear old, worn out shoes. Period.

3. Do not have unrealistic expectations.

This often leads to beginner runners trying to do too much too soon. It takes time to lose weight, get fit, run faster and get healthier. It takes time! Many people want results overnight.

They think that if they do more they’ll lose the weight faster and run better. This is totally wrong. All that happens is that they raise their chances of getting injured. Furthermore, it makes running become torturous since they are pushing themselves way past the point of comfort. After some time they quit because nobody wants to endure suffering if they can help it.

Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to improve little by little and you will shed the weight steadily and reach your goals.

4. No change in running tempo.

Steady state cardio has its benefits but you should always have interval cardio in your training regimen. That means sprints, uphill runs, etc. This will constantly challenge you and high intensity training not only increases your strength and endurance but will also keep you in fat burning mode for hours.

5. Not eating enough carbs.

Running is a cardiovascular activity. You must eat carbs to give your body fuel to run. Consuming some carbs before and after a run will do wonders for your performance and metabolic rate.

6. Over striding when running is another common mistake.

Over striding is when your heel lands way past your body’s center of gravity. People make this mistake falsely assuming that they are running faster. They are just wasting energy and may get shin splints due to this.

Always strive to land with your food directly beneath your upper body. Your strides should be quick, not overly wide. This is proper running technique.

7. Poor upper body form is another mistake.

You may see people running with their arms flailing or flapping around. If you’ve been running long enough, you would have encountered all kinds of runners with strange upper body form.

The correct technique will be to keep your arms at a 90 degree angle and at waist level close to your hip. Keep your chest out, your posture straight and when you swing your arms by your sides when you run. The arms should not cross your body but always be at the sides.

8. Not resting enough.

This is such a common mistake and one of the biggest causes of injury. Beginners need to give their bodies time to heal and rest. Music is the space between the notes. If you run daily without any rest days, your body will not be able to restore its glycogen stores.

Furthermore, the undue stress will cause your body to release the stress hormone, cortisol. You really do not want this to happen because cortisol indirectly leads to weight gain. Let your muscles and cardiovascular system heal. In this way, you will become a better and stronger runner. There is no rush.

9. Failure to train with other methods is another mistake.

Yes, running is an excellent exercise but it does have its limitations. So, while you may be a runner, go ahead and incorporate a few sessions of weight training, swimming, rowing, etc. in your training regimen. This is excellent for all round body development. It also keeps things interesting.

10. Running stiff is extremely common among beginner runners.

The only way to be a good runner is to relax and breathe properly as you run. Drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw and watch what state your body is in when you run. Consciously make an effort to relax your body while you are running. You want to be in a zone. Relaxed, focused and still efficient.

11. Failing to drink enough water

This can result in dehydration, exhaustion and may even result in heat stroke. Drink lots of water and the occasional isotonic drink will be beneficial too.

What You Need To Know Before You Start Running

You will need a few things before you start running.

Good running shoes

The most important thing you will need are good running shoes. There are many brands on the market with a range of prices. You may be tempted to go for the cheapest pair but bear in mind that this is the only investment you will be making.

It is best to get running shoes that provide good support. Most running injuries are caused by wearing old shoes or ill-fitting shoes that are on the verge of falling apart. There is a lot of impact in running and this impact needs to be cushioned by shoes that were designed for running.

The best thing you can do is to visit a running speciality store where the staff can evaluate what type of shoes are best suited for you. Different types of feet will require different types of support. For example, someone who is flat footed may require a higher arch. Get shoes that work for you and that’s half the battle won.

A good practice would be to note down the day you buy your running shoes. You will need to replace your shoes after about 400 miles or about 640km. Do not judge the condition of a shoe by its outer appearance. Sometimes the shoe may still look good but the inner cushioning may be all worn out.

A sign of poor cushioning would be pain in your knees, muscle fatigue, shin splints, etc. If you’re feeling a nagging pain that has appeared out of the blue, chances are it’s time to get a new pair.

If your budget allows for it, get 2 pairs and alternate them. The shoes will last longer since the cushioning has more time to dry and decompress. In the long run, you’ll actually save money on shoes by using this method.

About halfway through the life of your running shoes, you might want to buy another pair of running shoes to rotate into your runs. Your shoes will last longer when you allow them to decompress and dry out between workouts. Also, having a fresh pair of shoes as a reference will help you notice when your old ones are ready to be replaced.

Although you should replace your shoes every 300 to 400 miles, there are ways to make sure they last until the higher end of that range. Follow these tips for making your running shoes last longer. Once you’ve bought a new pair of running shoes, you can donate your old ones to one of these organizations that collect used running shoes.

Comfortable Running Attire

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. This is true with running attire.

There are all kinds of attire being sold for running. Some people like tight fitting sportswear, others like loose fitting t-shirts and some men don’t even like wearing a shirt when they run. Your best bet is to wear what you are comfortable in and run

That being said, women will need to get a good sports bra. Both sexes will have to get socks that are made for sports. These are usually a synthetic blend of materials because 100% cotton socks tend to cause blisters.

As you become a more avid runner you may decide to invest in clothing specifically designed for running. These clothing often have unique features such as removing moisture from your skin fast so that you feel cooler and they also do not chafe your skin, especially during long runs.

Stopwatch

Having a stopwatch is essential to tracking your progress. You will want to reduce your timings and strive for improvement. You can only do that if you’re keeping track of your runs. Most digital watches including the inexpensive ones come with a stopwatch feature. Get one and use it. Record your distance and timings in a journal religiously.

Water Bottle

This is not essential if you hydrate well prior to your run. However, some people may feel breathless and thirsty while running if they are not used to it. If you get thirsty easily, get a water bottle. The only issue is that you will have to carry it with you and run or you could leave it on a bench nearby and get to it whenever you need to.

If you’re getting water bottles, it’s best to get a BPA water bottle that is made out of hard plastic. It is safer for you.

Weights And Resistance

After a while, as your stamina improves, you may wish to add resistance. This will make your runs more challenging and force your body to adapt. Your stamina and strength will improve by leaps and bounds.

Anti-Chafe Balm

Some people may experience chafing since they run often. You may get an anti-chafe balm from a sports store or you could just order one online from Amazon.

Other than the items mentioned above, runners may prefer other items such as headphones to blast their favourite music, running armbands to slot in their smart phones, heart rate monitors, sunglasses, running tape, headbands, head lights, etc.

Quite frankly, all these are luxuries and totally up to you. If buying these motivates you to run, then by all means get them and run. If you don’t have the budget, you don’t need them and it doesn’t make you uncool. What really matters is how good a runner you are

What else do I need to know?

Besides getting equipment, there are 2 essential things you need to do.  What you need to do before a run is:

  1. Stretching
  2. Hydrating

Always stretch after your body is warmed up a little. Do not stretch cold. You can warm up by doing jumping jacks for a minute. Other exercises that are good would be skipping, mountain climbers and burpees.

Once your heart is pumping and your blood is circulating, then you should engage in a series of stretches. Ideally, you should aim for a total body stretch. Focus on the knees, calves, ankles, waist and hamstrings. You should also rotate your head and shoulders. Just get limber and mobile.

The whole stretching session could be about 3 to 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be a drawn out yoga stretch that lasts 45 minutes. In fact, you do not want to stretch too long. Your body will warm up during the run. This initial stretch is just to prep you up for the run.

As for hydration, make sure you are consuming the recommended amounts of water daily. Since you’re a runner now, you will need to consume as much water as required. Constant sips throughout the day is ideal. Don’t overdo the water consumption but don’t neglect it either.