Short run this morning
Saw dead hedgehog in the road
Poor little hedgehog
Categories : Haiku, Running
Short run this morning
Saw dead hedgehog in the road
Poor little hedgehog
I know you love it really.
Go and sign up, go go go.
If you’ve ditched your long winter tights to flash your pins this summer, here’s an article for you:
While they may not be as an important consideration as running shoes, finding a great pair of running shorts will keep you comfortable, allow you to run more freely, and can help to improve your performance. Whether you’re a beginner, or looking to switch to shorts from running tights or track pants, this guide is here to help point you in the right direction. There are plenty of styles to choose from, so whatever your personal needs as a runner there’s a pair out there to suit.
You’ll find a variety of running short lengths out there, and for the most part the length you choose really comes down to personal preference. While some find the traditional length a little too short at first, there are technical reasons behind this particular cut.
Shorter cuts allow for far more freedom of leg movement, with side splits giving even more leg room, so your stride is never hindered. The more exposed skin you have, the more body heat you can release. Less material on the legs means less uncomfortable moisture retention too, so if you aim to concentrate on longer distances rather than speed, then shorter cuts are ideal.
These running shorts are skin-tight, rather like traditional cycling shorts. While some may feel a little self-conscious in figure-hugging compression wear, its popularity is on the increase, as it does have some serious advantages for the serious runner. Compression shorts tight fit supports the leg muscles, holding the muscles in place firmly during the course of a run. The compressive nature of the shorts keeps the muscles warm and can help to combat the aches that can develop over longer distances. They’ve also been proven to reduce recovery time.
Some runners prefer this style simply because it minimises chaffing, which can be a problem with loose-fit shorts. A happy medium are these clever two-in-one Nike running shorts from JD Sports, which look like traditional shorts, but have a concealed compression lining.
What to avoid
While the cut and length are entirely up to you, one thing all runner should avoid is shorts that absorb moisture. Weighing you down, leading to discomfort and chaffing, cotton shorts are a no-no. Instead opt for mesh or moisture-wicking material like Coolmax fabric, which help to keep you dry and allows heat to escape.
Many runners like to carry some essential items with them, from MP3 players to energy bars. So look out for secure zip pockets that will keep your pocket’s contents safe.
If you’re going to be running at night, or during the low light conditions of winter, look for shorts that feature reflective strips for safety on the roads.
Yeah, smelly kit, we all love smelly kit don’t we? No? Not even the kit that stays smelly no matter how many times you wash it? Oh.
Well then, here’s something to cheer you up – a washing detergent specially formulated for sportswear.
According to the bottle, it:
It’s not just for sportswear, you can use it as a normal detergent as I did today and although there’s not a lot I can say about a laundry detergent, it left my clothes and kit clean and smelling fresh (which, let’s face it, is all you want from a laundry detergent).
You don’t need me to remind you that Juneathon starts in a month, so you might want to get yourself some of this.
I’m going to get a big head if I get any more bling to display on my blog, but Julia Buckley nominated me as one of her Top Ten Best British Fitness Blogging Birds (IMO). (I’m not keen on the ‘bird’ bit, but I like the IMO bit as it sounds like emo and therefore pleases my inner goth.)
She gave me a badge and everything – look:
I was delighted to see one of my best friends – Helen, who blogs at HelsBels – on there, along with Angela who blogs at Warriorwomen which has been one of my favourite blogs since I started blogging back in 2006. Angela has a dry sense of humour, doesn’t take herself seriously, likes a drink and sticks to a training schedule as well as I do. Really not sure why I like her blog…
Amsterdam was fab, thanks for asking. I came back with a cold that still hasn’t gone but, let’s face it, there are worse things I could have come back with from Amsterdam – herpes or a crack addiction, for example.
Anyway, the other day, I got a tweet from Tamar saying I was no. 3 in their Fitness Spotlight. I wanted to brag at the time but then the Boston Marathon explosions happened and while I don’t get involved in all that collective grief bandwaggoning (public RIPing makes me want to punch people but, as someone who doesn’t like violence, I just unfollowed a load of people instead), I didn’t really think it was appropriate to say ‘yeah yeah yeah, whatever, LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’, but after a few hours everyone on Twitter had moved on from Boston and were talking about what they’d had for breakfast again and then I saw someone else on the list had blogged about her Fitness Spotlighting and so I assumed a reasonable mourning period had passed and I could do the whole LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE thing again.
I still haven’t done any fitness-y things though. One day I’ll be found out for the fraud I am.
Enough about me, have something written by someone else to read for a change.
May, June and July are peak season for running in the UK. If it’s a new hobby you’ve recently taken up to try and get fit, or maybe you’re in a bid to get bikini bold this season – then make this summer your running season.
Before you start, have a read of this beginner’s SOS guide – from sports bras for running to picking the best pal to pound the pavements with, it’s time to take note:
If you’re planning on undertaking some serious mileage this summer then before you pound the pavements make sure you visit a sport shoe specialist – they’ll be able to assess your running style and point out certain traits such as if you have a neutral, under- or over-pronation (basically how the foot rolls from heel to toe when you run). Apparently, around 65% of the population overpronates (which is where your foot rolls inwards too much to try and take some of the impact off running. They say running shoes will last you between 300-500 miles, so it’s well worth investing some money into a decent pair, as you’ll have them for ages and ages.
When choosing the best sports bra you need to pay attention to a few important factors. Firstly, your bra should feel comfy and snug whilst offering structured chest support simultaneously. Make sure your bra fits comfortably on the loosest hook – the elastic in the bra will stretch over time, so if you already have to wear the bra on the tightest hook, it’s too tight. The same can be said about the back and straps – if your sports bra can be pulled away from your body more than one inch then you need a smaller size. Essentially your bra should limit chest movement vertically and horizontally to stop skin stretching, because this can cause irreparable damage to the skin around your chest.
So many studies have linked music to improved running performance and let’s face it; some sweet tunes are far more likely to keep you motivated than the sound of you getting increasingly out of breath! Fiddling with wires and ear-buds can be distracting though, so make sure you’ve trialled a pair of sturdy headphones that suit you.
Now this element of your checklist is optional. Although running is one of those sports that doesn’t depend or rely on anyone other than yourself, it’s not as easy to give up or put off a run if you’ve got someone waiting on you. Choose a pal who’s of a similar fitness level to you so you can match up and compete against each other healthily.
Whether it’s a local 5k, one of the many BUPA 10ks, half or full marathons that take place up and down the country during the summer months, make 2013 your year to run.
I’m off to Amsterdam on Friday and haven’t done a thing about it yet apart from buy the plane tickets and book a hotel (which is very grown up for me – I usually just turn up there then look for somewhere to stay). For some reason, I like to buy new clothes if I’m going away, even if it’s only for a couple of days.
So, today I had planned to sod the exercise and go into town and do stuff like take back some books to the library, get my hair cut, buy some clothes, toiletries and make-up and get some Euros from the Post Office (grown up holiday thing no. 2).
But it was raining. I got up at about 7:30am and it was still raining at 9:30am and so I thought sod it, I’ll go into town tomorrow instead and today I’ll do some exercise at home then crack on with my playwriting essay.
Hmm. That was the plan, anyway. What actually happened was that yes, I did start exercising at home along to Erin O’Brien’s Strong Body Fit Body DVD that I enjoyed last week or the week before or whenever it was I used it but today, I really couldn’t be bothered with it and so I sacked it off after thirty minutes.
Back upstairs to work really hard on my essay then. Yeah, right. What actually happened was that I decided to do two lots of washing, make a red bean, cashew and spinach curry for dinner and then it was lunchtime so I made some mushroom and lentil soup. After logging my meals into myfitnesspal, I was over calories for the day so after lunch (okay… two hours after finishing my lunch and finishing dicking around on the internet and not doing my essay) I did a rare thing – I got changed and went to the gym. Yeah, in the afternoon and everything.
Ouch, that was hard. I was bloated from lunch and it took forty minutes of exercise to stop feeling like a lead balloon. After I’d finished, I had a look at the classes on offer. As it’s a tiny gym, they don’t have many and the only thing I’d possibly do is circuit training but then I thought, maybe in Juneathon, I’ll force myself to do some of these classes. But not Zumba. There is NOTHING in this world that would make me do Zumba. Just the thought of it terrifies me.
Speaking of Juneathon – it’s only a couple of months away – yippee!
Cision interviewed fitness guru Julia Buckley last week and in that interview, Julia said my blog was one of her favourites – thanks, Julia, I’m honoured and delighted! This led to Cision ranking me at number four in the Fitness and Exercise Blogs UK Top 10 which obviously further honoured and delighted me.
You’d think that as the UK’s number four fitness and exercise blogger, I’d actually do some fitness and exercise stuff, especially as I’m still on my Operation Stop Being A Fat Lazy Cow thing. So, yes, I have been to the gym over the last few days but I haven’t done any running though. I haven’t run for a month or more – anyone got any tips on how I can get back out there?
I haven’t slacked off Operation Stop Being A Fat Lazy cow – I did a strength training DVD this morning which I’ll blog about later. In the meantime, here’s a guest post on how to buy the ideal running shoes.
If you are planning to make jogging a regular part of your fitness routine, then you need to have the right trainers for the job. That old pair at the back of your wardrobe will not do – you need more cushioning and more stability than a pair of comfy Converse can offer.
While you should expect a few stiff muscles when you’re just getting back into physical activity, running without the correct footwear can cause more serious problems than a bit of soreness. Reading up on pronation – the way the foot rotates as your run and how this helps – is a good start, and more advice is available on that here. The gist is that if your natural gait is wrong you can put undue stress on your feet and cause problems further up the leg – anything from shin splints to knee problems and stress fractures.
Once you know about your feet and your gait you don’t have to buy from specialists – you can take advantage of deals from high-street retailers such as Debenhams. But it’s important to have that information, so perhaps speak to an expert and bear in mind these pointers before you buy:
The wet test
The best way to check your arches yourself is to leave a wet footprint. A normal arch will leave the heel and forefoot connected by a band slightly narrower than the heel. Low arches will see that band widen beyond the width of the heel, more akin to the shape a shoe would make. High arches, however, will see that band narrow down significantly.
Match your shoes
Normal feet should have neutral stability shoes with only moderate control features, but those with low arches will have excessive pronation and need firm midsoles and control features to correct it, while excessively curved shoes should be avoided. Alternatively, those with high arches need to encourage more pronation to spread their weight more efficiently, so look to encourage extra movement with more flexible shoes that have plenty of cushioning.
Make sure it fits
Even with this advice, you need to be sure before you buy with running shoes. They should feel completely comfortable immediately – there is no time for ‘breaking in’. Any rubbing around the ankles or pinching at the toes will really hurt after a period of running, and could lead you to more serious injuries as you adjust your stride to deal with the pain.