Posts Tagged ‘running’

Walking and Running: Essential Gear Plus

April 10th, 2010 No comments

Get decked out in the right equipment

When you’re serious about staying in shape, going for a walk or run involves more than just pulling on a pair of old sneakers and heading out. If you want to be comfortable, stay safe and have fun you’ll want to consider a few essential pieces of equipment.

What you’ll need
Shoes - Asics, New Balance, Saucony, Nike, Adidas - the list of respected athletic shoe brands is long. Make sure when you’re *choosing shoes[Athletic Shoes] that they are made specifically for the activity you’ll be doing. Walkers have different needs than runners and require different footwear.
Warm weather clothing - Since your plan is to work up a sweat you should be wearing moisture-wicking clothes that pull the sweat away from your body and keep you cool and dry. Cotton is an ok choice, but it can get wet and cause chafing. Clothes should be comfortable and non-restrictive. It’s handy to have a zippered pocket somewhere on your outfit to hold house keys or other valuables.
Cold weather clothing - If there’s a chill in the air it’s best to layer clothing on the body and keep extremities warm with lightweight mitts and a hat. Wind resistant outer layers keep away cold breezes. You’ll be glad if you splurge on thermal socks. If you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice, strap a pair of Ice Joggers over you’re shoes; they have tiny plastic spikes on the bottom to keep you from slipping.
Skincare - Skin lotions and lip balms don’t exactly sound like walking and running essentials but they are. Products with an SPF will protect you from the sun’s damaging rays all-year-round, while extra moisturizing products will keep your skin from getting dry and chapped in the winter.

Pedometer - Basic *Pedometers[Choosing the Best Pedometer] can be bought for as little as $10, or more advanced ones for as much as $50. The better models will include a calorie counter, heart rate monitor, distance calculator and be able to differentiate between walking and jogging steps. Some keep track of your steps for up to a week at a time and allow you to upload your data to computer.
Tunes - Whether you want a top-of-the-line iPod to hold your library of 10,000 MP3s, or a bargain basement player that’ll hold 250, having some sort of music or instructional tape to keep you motivated is a good idea.
Nordic walking poles - Want to boost your calorie burn by as much as 46 percent without feeling like you’re working that much harder? How about reducing tension in your neck and shoulders just by walking in a way that also reduces stress on the knees? These handy poles are the answer. They generally cost about $70 to $100, and come with tips to help you tackle all terrain, including metal tips for slip-free winter walking.

My 10 Minute Mile

May 9th, 2009 No comments

Since I've decided this is the year to improve my long-distance running skills, I've been thinking a lot about speed issues. As it stands, I can run continuosly for 10 minutes. And using the word run is being pretty generous. It feels like more of a jog or possibly even a quick walk. I'm used to running fast and for very short periods of time. Sprinting has always been my preference, ever since I was 10 years old and bringing home ribbons from track and field. Back then, much like today, I was fairly impressive for short bursts of effort but completely miserable when it came to running more than half the school track.

So to find out how the speed of my new long-distance efforts measure up I again turned to the trusty Gmaps Pedometer website. Turns out the answer is pretty good. I marked the spot my run starts and the point where I consistantly give up and walk. Turns out that 10 minutes takes me to about .97 miles.

In other words I'm pretty darn close to a 10 minute mile and I'm sure next time out I can force those last few steps. There's not a whole lot of consensus on whether a 10-minute mile is all that fast. Some people are pumped when they reach it, while others consider it a starting point. Since I've already confessed my inabilities I'll go with being excited.

Next step, seeing if I can duplicate the results indoors on a treadmill with a one percent incline. That means 10 minutes at 6 MPH. I have a feeling I might not be so motivated when there's no destination. I'll let you know what happens.

What's your mile time?

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Keeping your routine

May 6th, 2009 No comments

rkouts. I don't want to burn out or get sick. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I will get out again when I get used to my new routine, but the most important thing is that I'm not discouraged. Actually, I don't think I'd be that discouraged if my reasons for not running were more about laziness than conflicting workouts.

I'm always hitting ruts in my routine, whether it's not wanting to lift weights for two weeks in a row or letting cardio go by the wayside. I feel confident because I know I will bounce back. I give myself a break and then get right back into my routine, which I believe is the key to my success. If I felt down about it I'd probably just give up altogether and my attempts to eat healthy would go out the window as well.

I'll quit rambling and get to the point. So what if you didn't make it to the gym this week. So what if you ate that entire bag of chips. Don't beat yourself up about it. You took a break from your healthy routine but the important thing is that you get back to it and don't make small failures an excuse to give up.

My 10 Minute Treadmill Mile

March 11th, 2009 No comments

The verdict is in. My 10 minute mile is not just real, I can do it both in and out of the gym.

When I ran outside and took 10 minutes to complete 1 mile (or 1.5 km for those more familiar with the metric system), I was a little unsure of whether I could duplicate the results. I also wondered if I'd be able to do the same on a treadmill.

It's not that I've never spent time on a treadmil before, and yes I realize treadmill running is easier than road running (obviously, since the road isn't revolving under your feet), it's just that I tend to find the treadmill a bit boring. There's nowhere to go and most of the time you end up staring at a wall, the backs of other runners, or a television that you can't focus your eyes on without feeling nauseus. If you're really lucky, you get a window view.

So I sucked it up and cranked the volume on my MP3 player. After a warm-up I increased the speed to 6 MPH, the incline to 1 percent and settled in for the not-so-long haul. And I did it pretty comfotably for 11 minutes, which took me past the mile marker. The best part was I felt comfortable enough to continue jogging at a reduced speed for another 10 minutes.

So now I know firsthand that the wisdom I impart to others is true. Small increases can help you reach your fitness goals without burning out.

Next goal...I think I'll work up to a total running time of 30 minutes before addressing speed again.

The Old Run-Around

March 5th, 2009 No comments

It's that time of year again. Well, it is for those living in cold climates who choose to hibernate during the winter months anyways.

It's the time of year when semi-avid runners plot their return to the streets, tracks and trails. And let’s face it, at least a little plotting is necessary. If a runner's mileage has been scaled back for several months, or hasn't continued at all it’s going to take some work to get back into top running form. Even if the total amount of running stayed close to the same, and the road was simply replaced with a treadmill, there’s work to be done. We're not talking marathoners here, just simple folks who want to transition from walking to running, or add a few miles to their routine.

Since I’m one of those summer warriors whose ambition goes out the window when the temperature drops, I too realize I need a strategy if I’m going to be up and running this summer. I hate to admit it, but last year was supposed to be my “summer of running” where I'd finally break the 10 minute mark and transform my usual run/walk intervals into one fluid running workout. The biggest problem last year…I started too late. When I finally began making decent progress the fun races were over and the running group numbers had tapered off. Besides, in the middle of the summer it’s much too hot to run unless you do it before the sun rises. Ya I know, lame excuse.

To make things simple on myself, and the rest of you, I’ve devised a checklist of things to do so we can both meet our running goals this summer. Here are the first three tips:

1. Start now - As soon as the snow is off the sidewalks, get your butt off the couch and strap on a pair of running shoes.

2. Start slowly - This may seem like bad advice to the over-achievers out there but it’s important for those who haven’t had much running success in the past. As an example of how it works, you would go for a 29 minute walk and add one minute of easy jogging. The next time out, add another 30 seconds or a minute of jogging. When you feel ready add a few more minute-long jogs during your walk. Your joints will be able to gradually prepare themselves to deal with the stress of running and your lungs will thank you too. As a general rule, don’t increase the time or intensity of your run more than 10 percent a week. And keep track of your progress.

3. Map it out - If time isn’t the most important factor, you need to find out how far you’re going. Gmaps Pedometer is a great way to do this. You can increase the distance you're running at each workout and see yourself get that much closer to your goal.

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