young fitness woman running on sunrise seaside boardwalk

Group running has many benefits. You get to chat with someone, keeping your runs lively and preventing it from becoming boring, you have someone to motivate you to continue running, and many other great benefits that can help you appreciate running even more.

But did you know that just like running with groups, running solo has its own special advantages as well?

If you’re used to running with your peers, it’s likely that the idea of switching to running by yourself makes you uncomfortable. However, you may actually be missing out on some fantastic perks running on your own has to offer.

When you run alone, you get to disconnect from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. You can enjoy having your personal time, dedicated to yourself and to no one else. This personal time can help you clear your mind for a while.

Moreover, when you run alone, you can focus more on the little aspects of your running technique that can have great impacts on your running performance such as your breathing, your posture, your mileage, and your speed. When you run with someone, chances are, you’re too busy talking to them that you are unable to monitor the important parts of your running.

Running with someone can be a great source of motivation in running; but if you run independently, you will learn to find ways to motivate yourself instead. You will develop strategies to encourage yourself to keep going in the absence of someone pushing you to work hard.

Running independently will allow you to change pace as you want, whenever you want it. If you have a running buddy, there’s a big chance that you’ll adjust to their pace. If you choose to run solo, you can vary the speed of your training and can even include Fartlek in your running routine.

If you continue to run solo regularly, you can develop a running practice while taking your time because you don’t have to worry about someone waiting for you. You can take as much time you need in warming up, you can run as much as you want, and you may stop as soon as you wish.

There are many advantages to running solo. You don’t even have to choose to run alone all the time, you can just do it every now and again to see how wonderful and useful it can be.

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Coffee and Running

Coffee is excellent in stimulating your mind and giving you a boost, and we don’t have to be experts to be able to notice that taking in caffeine can definitely give us the mental alertness and extra energy we need everyday – especially in the mornings.

However, there were some previous studies that claimed that coffee may actually do you more harm. These studies discovered that coffee has adverse effects on the body.

Most runners give their best to run regularly for one common reason: to stay fit. Professional runners run not only to be fitter, but also for personal achievements. Participating in running events such as marathons can fuel the drive of a runner to safeguard their health even more.

So what happens when a runner drinks coffee? Would coffee give them extra energy they need for their runs? Or could a runner possibly be risking his overall health and performance from having a cup of Joe?

Coffee contains caffeine that increases mind alertness as well as endurance. Runners can actually benefit from drinking coffee because caffeine pushes your body to use fat as a fuel source while running, instead of glycogen. Therefore, glycogen is conserved to be consumed at the latter part of the race or run – helping runners endure the race for a longer duration.

Furthermore, coffee enhances production of endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that create that positive feeling in your body. These endorphins are helpful in adding to your motivation to continue running and may even give you a runner’s high.

When it comes to dehydration, though, more recent research found out that there is no hard, concrete evidence which proves that coffee actually affects the hydration or dehydration significantly.

If you’re planning to drink coffee for your next running exercise, you must know that it takes time for the effect of caffeine to do its job. So, it is recommendable to drink your coffee an hour prior to your run in order for you to enjoy its maximum benefits.

While these good news about the positive effects of coffee to your running performance may urge you to drink a lot, it is important to not forget that you can’t have too much of a good thing. Since coffee is a stimulant, too much consumption may lead to sleepless nights, jitters, anxiety, and even heart palpitations. You must always monitor your coffee intake and make sure that you don’t drink too much of it.

Research also revealed that too much coffee intake may cause withdrawal and if large amounts are consumed regularly, the good results may not be as effective anymore. If you intend to drink coffee in preparation for a running event, it’s best to minimise consumption for about a day before the big day.

The amount of caffeine that would work effectively varies for every runner. To be able to find out what would work best for you, you should try drinking coffee before you do your running trainings instead of just trying it on the day of the actual race or marathon.

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Running seems to be a pretty straightforward sport where the runners use the exercise as a way to get fit or lose weight, join marathons, or both. However, there are different types of running that you can choose from—it depends on what you’re trying to achieve in running. Improved endurance, strength and speed are just some benefits you can gain from running regularly. Knowledge on the types or running can be advantageous in choosing what fits your needs depending on what you want to improve at.

There are eight types of running which varies in pace, intensity, and distance.

Easy or Recovery runs is the type of running done at a slow, more comfortable pace. This is usually done after long, intense, strenuous running to get rid of the muscle stiffness from long runs. Recovery runs are essential for runners intending to join competitions and marathons. Easy or recovery runs done after an intense training can also release the emotional, mental and physical stress of the training itself.

Most casual runners engage in base runs. A base run is the type of running at the runner’s natural speed or pace. Base runs meant to have moderate to long distances and should be done often. Regular base running is a great cardiovascular and aerobic exercise. It’s also great for enhancing muscle strength and endurance.

Threshold or tempo runs require running at the fastest pace you can and maintaining that pace for an hour. Threshold runs can be helpful in increasing the time you can uphold a certain pace or speed.  Tempo runs can be very challenging but, when done right, can have amazing effects on the runner’s efficiency. It also has excellent benefits on the lungs as it improves aerobic capacity. According to Dr. Jack Daniels Ph. D., the author of one of the most popular training books for runners, “Daniels’ Running Formula”, there’s a type of tempo running known as cruise intervals. Cruise intervals require the runner to have a faster pace than a regular tempo run but allow short rests between intervals.

Long runs are just like base runs in the sense that the runner can maintain a natural pace. The difference is the distance that the runner has to cover. As the name suggests, long runs require greater distances than base runs. Long runs improve endurance. Another variation of long runs is progression runs, wherein the running speed is being increased as you go along.

Hill running can be done on inclined surfaces (even inclined treadmills) and can be very beneficial in increasing muscle strength. Also, running on steep areas is more challenging than running on flat surfaces; so if you try hill running and then switch back to regular running, you can feel the improvement in your muscle endurance and stamina. Running on hills also burns calories than running on flat areas.

Fartlek training originated from Sweden in the 1930’s; the word fartlek means ‘speed play’. Fartlek calls for running at different speeds at short periods of time. It means being able to quickly switch to different paces on one long run. You may start running on faster speed then change to slower speed. Being able to alternate speeds during running is the key to fartlek training.

Whether or not you’re planning to join marathons or striving to be a professional athlete someday, it’s always good to know what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Choosing the right type of running that fits you should also depend on what your body can handle. Trying different types of running one at a time can also help you in selecting which one works best for you—or you can include them all in your fitness regimen, just make sure that you’re not pushing yourself too hard.

 

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Should I Run During Pregnancy

For years, many believe that doing workouts is not advisable for pregnant women. Contrary to this, recent studies and research show that aerobic exercises are not only allowed, but can even be a lot of help during pregnancy.

One of the aerobic exercises suitable for pregnant women is running. Running can be excellent for the cardiovascular system of both the runner and the baby. If you’re not a regular runner before you got pregnant, running may not be for you, though. Lower impact aerobic exercises such as swimming and brisk walking are better for pregnant women who are not used to running before pregnancy. Even seasoned runners ought to ask for professional advice first before running.

Aside from being an excellent way to stay fit, running is also a great means of relieving stress. Since pregnant women may experience a lot of stress and mood swings, running can be a huge help in staying stress-free. Staying happy and positive is vital to your baby’s development.

All pregnant women who intend to run still need to have some precautionary measures to bear in mind before and during running. While running may be healthy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry—especially when it comes to your baby’s well-being.

Consider the weather. Yes, one of the aims of running is to sweat; but pregnant women must avoid too much heat. Being overheated can lead to miscarriage. Only run when the weather’s not too humid or hot. On the other hand, you must also watch out for rainy weather or winter months. During these times roads can be slippery and can be dangerous.

During pregnancy, your balance may be affected due to the baby’s weight you are carrying. Your center of gravity will shift so it’s better to keep running in a slower pace to avoid falling and prevent injuries. Since pregnancy affects your balance, it’s more advisable to run on treadmills. If you still insist on running outdoors, choose to run on flat surfaces and avoid running uphill.
Be wary of the signs your body is telling you while running. If your heart is beating abnormally fast or if you experience shortness of breath, you should stop. Remember that you and your baby share the oxygen you take in so if you’re out of breath, chances are, your baby is, too. If you feel abdominal pains and/or vaginal bleeding while you run, you should call it quits and see your doctor.

Maintaining a lower body temperature is important so you should wear breathable clothing and stay hydrated at all times. In addition to proper clothing, you must wear a pair of running shoes that protects your feet. During pregnancy, joints are loosened due to pregnancy hormones so make sure you wear comfortable shoes when you run.

Although there are some pregnant women who have joined and completed marathons, it’s better to keep running to a moderate level because you’re not only risking your own health but your baby’s as well.

“Exercise is not a process that needs be eschewed or prevented during pregnancy,” says Dr. John Botti, (Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine) from Penn State Geisinger Health System. Running during pregnancy can make your baby healthier. Just don’t forget to listen to your body and understand what you’re still capable of doing.

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Running Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy diet is beneficial to everyday life, for all types of people. Some would choose between following a specific type of diet and engaging in a fitness routine for them to get fit. What they miss is that there are specific diets recommended for every exercise. Contrary to what some people believe, you can’t eat anything you want when you’re dedicated in working out.

Running is one of the most common forms of exercise. You can see runners on the streets, beaches, parks, etc. every day. Possibly the most affordable of all workouts, it’s the easiest way to get fitter. Casual running can be a part of your daily routine as it is a very simple. Still, there are some non-professional runners that do casual runs regularly but may wonder why they aren’t getting any fitter. If you’re one of them, you may want to double check what you eat.

Carbohydrates, proteins, iron, healthy fats, and water are just some of what your body needs when running. Meeting all these required nutrients in preparation for a run will help maximize your workout; this is especially good for runners with a hectic schedule who have a limited time for running as it can ensure good result even when they just run for short periods of time. Carbohydrates in the form of sugar are also important after running to replenish the stored sugars.

Complex carbohydrates will provide runners the fuel and energy they need for the run. However, for casual runners, you must bear in mind that fueling up with too much carbs in preparation for running would just cause excessive fats. Black rice, whole wheat bread, and vegetables are some of the best sources of complex carbohydrates runners need.

Protein-enriched foods are essential for every runner. Proteins help muscles grow, heal, and recover after long runs. Muscle recovery is important so you can keep running regularly. Lean beef, chicken, eggs and milk are good sources of high-quality protein. Protein sources are certainly more expensive than carbohydrate ones so be sure to be on the lookout for deals and sales when you can. I like to use Musclefood who are often cheaper than the supermarkets whilst often times being higher in quality. If you are looking for a Muscle Food discount code be sure to check out this website.

Iron-deficiency is one of the causes of getting tired easily while running. Instead of taking iron supplements, you may resort to eating foods rich in iron such as clams, oysters, and lean red meats.

Healthy fats found in avocados, almonds, and olive oils help boost immune system while running. Healthy oils or fats can help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Proper hydration is crucial in all workouts. Ensure that you intake fluids (even during running), especially on hot days. However, be careful not to over hydrate. Over hydration or having too much water can lead to Hyponatraemia.

Meeting all these food requirements, combined with running regularly will generate excellent results. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is important for both runners and non-runners. In some cases even though you have tried your best to have a balanced diet you may be lacking in certain areas in which case I would recommend taking some supplements. I personally like Myprotein’s range of energy gels and drinks as well as multi vitamins. If you would like to try them be sure to use a Myprotein discount code from The Fitness Recipes who list all of the latest vouchers.

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11 Nov 2006, Berkeley, California, USA --- Jogger Splashing Through Mud While Trail Running --- Image by © Corey Rich/Aurora Photos/Corbis

Cross–country running is a type of running sport where participants compete in teams. It’s a race that takes place in open country and uneven lands, usually held in winter or autumn. The mere thought of running while getting in touch with nature is enough reason to persuade some runners to give cross-country running a try. In addition to the opportunity of running on beautiful, challenging terrains, running on different types of lands can help enhance muscle endurance and strength of cross-country runners.

Like many of the popular sports we have today, cross-country running originated in England in the 19th century. Now, cross-country is becoming more and more popular.

If running on flat surfaces is not easy, imagine running uphill, downhill, on muddy surfaces, and rocky surfaces in one long run. Just like preparing to join marathons, preparation for cross-country running is easier said than done. Cross-country running calls for strength and skill.

For runners who are used to running on tracks and roads, adjustment is necessary to be able to engage in cross-country running. Skills on running on uneven lands are harder to master so it’s better to start training even before the cross-country running season begins.

Since you’ll run on natural terrains on the race itself, it’s sensible to include practicing to run on hills in your training. You have to experience cross-country running first hand.

With running races on flat roads, speed and pace are the most important aspects to improve; with cross-country, effort, endurance and strength are also vital. Therefore, strength training will help a lot in preparation for cross-country running.

Being able to change your pace, technique and balance is also essential for cross-country running. You must learn how to adjust to different terrains quickly, especially that the sport requires being ready for changes in weather because unlike running on tracks, dry lands will change to muddy surfaces once it starts to rain. Cross-country runners should be set to run on mud, grass, asphalt, gravel, and even rocky roads.

Many months of extensive training, mental preparation, and dedication are needed for cross-country running. The sport can produce strong, agile athletes because of its level of difficulty. Since cross-country running is one of the most challenging types of running, finishing cross-country races can be truly rewarding.

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Brief History of Running

Running as a competitive sport originated from different parts of the world. One of the earliest recorded running competitions was held in Ireland as part of the sporting festival also known as Tailteann Games in 1829 BC. In 776 BC, the first event of the first ever Olympic games in Greece was a foot race.

As for marathons, it commemorates the legendary Greek soldier Pheidippides who was believed to have run 40 kilometers from Marathon, Greece to Athens in 490 B.C. The first marathon in modern Olympic events was held in 1896. Though the marathon became part of the Olympic Games, the distance was not standardized until 1921 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

In 1860s, track and field events were introduced in the United States. By 1873, the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America was already holding races.

It’s true that the marathons became a part of the modern Olympics in 1800s, but it was considered as an all-male sport then. It was in Summer Olympics of 1984 when women were allowed to participate in their very own Women’s Marathon.

There are debates on who really invented jogging. However, the word was coined in 1962 by Arthur Lydiard from New Zealand.  It is around the same time when it was discovered that running or jogging is beneficial to physical health and was considered a means of exercise.

Since the discovery of health benefits of running, more studies were conducted to prove that running is indeed an excellent work out. Today, modern science even reveals that running is good for mental health, too.

From 19th century up to now, running is still popular worldwide. There are even new inventions created to improve and maximize running performance. Treadmills, Aqua jogging, inventions of running shoes to boost performance, and many innovations related to the workout. Being easily accessible to most people, it won’t come as a surprise if this exercise will continue to gain more popularity in the future.

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