Work, Running and Life…How Does it All Fit In?!

fitness schedule

With only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, how on earth do you begin to fit everything in without stressing out? A good life balance is essential, not just to keep you sane, but to ensure your running regime is as effective and enjoyable as possible.

Every runner has been there, feeling as though they are running for running’s sake. It’s horrible when every mile feels like a marathon in itself, and that’s after ignoring the little voice in your head telling you to stay in bed for an extra hour as you get your trainers on. You also know that as soon as you get back you have to get ready and leave for work, and then you have a busy evening.

It is the stuff of nightmares, but something that every runner will easily be able to relate to. How do you fit in all of the above while also allowing time for you just to sit back and chill?

Scheduling

Are you the runner that looks to ‘fit in’ a run when possible? Stop doing that, it’s not the way forward.

Think about how many times a week you run and schedule your runs at the start of every week. If you know when you will be running, you can fit everything else in around your runs, which you are already fitting in around work and other events. See how this is already getting easier?

Don’t Stress About Missing a Session

What do you do when you miss a run? Stress out and immediately look to cram in a run before you next run? Get worked up because you are behind on that training plan you follow?

Again, stop doing it. If you miss a run, you miss a run. So what? It happens; just make sure you hit your next run. The worst thing you can do is to veer away from your plan and cram in a run where there shouldn’t be one, especially if doing so does not allow you to rest before your next run. This is how injuries happen.

Days All About You

Does your current schedule not include any days where you can do whatever you want? If not, then reschedule, because a healthy life balance includes days just for you. If you work Monday to Friday, make sure that either Saturday or Sunday is free in order to give you the chance to rest and recuperate.

Booking days out is beneficial to rest not only your body but your mind, too, by taking you out of your usual environment. Attending events provides ample opportunity to unwind and let your hair down. If you click here you can find an example of a venue suitable for hosting events big and small, where you can celebrate an occasion with friends and family or party for no reason other than because you want to.

Other Exercise

Do you still find running boring, even with your newly-balanced schedule? If running is the only exercise that you do, then it should be no surprise. Don’t be afraid to substitute the odd run here and there for a session in the gym, a bike ride or another spot. Variety is the spice of life and, when you enjoy exercise, it doesn’t even feel as though you are exercising.

Even the most hardened of runners can find it hard to get their trainers on and plod along for X-number of miles. Running is best complemented with a balanced fitness regime, helping to condition your body to achieve the best performance possible.

The next time that you are worried about how you are going to fit everything in, remember that missing the odd session is not the end of the world, and mapping out the week ahead will help avoid a headache. Enjoy your running but, more importantly, enjoy your life.

 

 




Getting more out of your workout: The science behind boosting endurance

dumbbells

Whether you’re into running, swimming, cycling or aerobics, exercise requires a decent level of endurance to help you to avoid losing steam. Whether you are a natural born athlete or not, it’s important to seek out ways to enhance and improve your performance.

It’s important for you to know what endurance is and how your body builds it. The main requirements for endurance in sports is the ability to sustain a fast pace over a long period of time without feeling fatigued – it allows you to work out at a certain intensity for an extended length of time.

Try out these tips below to help you bump up your endurance that little bit more. With the right training and nutritional guidance, you’ll be able to keep going stronger for longer.

  • Eat well. When it comes to any type of exercise, carbohydrates are key. Your body uses glycogen for fuel, which is a substance found in bodily tissues and which acts as a store for carbohydrates. Once the glycogen has run out, the body will begin to seek out energy from another source and begin to burn fat. You should consume around 30-60g carbohydrates an hour while doing extended cardio sessions (this may vary depending on your weight). Studies have found that the right combination of carbohydrates and protein can enhance your endurance and reduce any muscle damage.
  • Top up with supplements. Sometimes it’s not possible to get all the energy you need from diet alone, especially if you’re engaged in an intense workout. You can top up your intake with the smart use of supplements and boost your body’s endurance in the process. From protein powders in supermarkets through to creatine from specialists such as Fysiqal Nutrition, there are lots of products that could help you push on to the next level.
  • To keep going harder and longer you need to keep your muscles fresh. Expert John Mandrola, from Greatist.com, says: “Go hard on hard days; go easy on easy days; and never string hard days together without adequate rest”. If you’re feeling fresh and rested it will help you go the distance. It’s something marathon runners understand, with training plans typically building in rest every other day.
  • Work on your weak parts. People often stick to what they know, but to help build your endurance you’ll need to mix it up a little bit. Getting to your personal best means working on those bits that are most challenging. It might be hard going at first – but overcome your weaknesses and you’ll unlock greater performance levels.
  • Train smartly. Check out the gradual adaption principle and learn how increasing your mileage and speed is a great way to build endurance. Run on soft surfaces, get enough sleep and drinks lots of water to avoid any injuries. Review your regime and see which bits you could fine tune.
  • Add strength. Variation is important in endurance training. Strengthening bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles will help improve your overall fitness. Mix up aerobic exercises with dumbbells and kettlebells to help improve your stamina. Strength and stamina go hand in hand.

With a good diet, lots of rest, a decent training regime and a focus on strength work, you’ll be able to work towards having a body that can go further and faster than ever before during your workout regime.

 

 

3 Staging Secrets to Improve Your Sporting Event

 

cycling event

 

There are two main types of sporting event: one is the big event with lots of different groups involved, the other is a smaller event, such as that run by a local club, with the aim of promoting a sport and attracting new members. Whatever the size of your event, there are some staging aspects you can’t avoid. Here are three staging considerations to think about when you start planning:

Make Barriers and Fences Work Harder

In sporting events, you have two types of active attendees: the athletes and the spectators. Neither stays still for long. You’ll need various types of barriers or fencing to either demarcate sporting areas or to keep spectators off running tracks or roadways.

They’re also useful to cordon off areas, say if you’re holding an outdoor sports event with various side attractions going on. Whenever possible, try to cater for all age groups, maybe having kids’ entertainment going on in a cordoned off area. Ideas include face painting or small competitive sports activities and games. Having barriers around these areas is good for safety, but it also shows people where to queue if the activity is popular.

In road races such as cycling or running, you’ll need crowd control barriers that prevent those watching straying into the path of athletes. Maybe you won’t need them all along the route, but in prime observing locations it may be necessary to erect a secure barrier that people can’t cross. Some kind of barrier system is also a good idea at finish lines as these often attract large crowds.

Seating

If you’re holding a sporting event in a local field, you’ll likely need some tiered seating around the sports activity area so everyone can be comfortable as well as getting a good view of the action. Events held in a sports hall or similar may benefit from bespoke seating arrangements too. Modular tiered seating is available for hire from specialist staging companies.

Some indoor venues may also benefit from this kind of seating, especially in individual sports where there is a show element, such as gymnastics or martial arts.

Another type of seating to consider is dining, grouped around catering vans or pop up kitchens. Cordoning off catering areas creates zones that people can identify with, as well as offering resting places.

Stages

Do you need a stage? Consider how you’ll announce each event, name athletes taking part, celebrate winners and encourage runners up? Spectators will expect some kind of commentary to keep them informed about what’s happening. You may also want to provide music between events, or to accompany certain sports that have a dance element. Decide what kind of stage and PA system you’ll need, from full stage decks to single decks for a speaker.

Along with the stage, you’ll likely need amplification and power, so there are cables to consider and how you’ll ensure these are safe in a public place.

Professional stage systems come in all shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of events, both indoors and out. Considerations include what size stage you need, and how strong it needs to be which will vary depending on what’s happening on the stage. Professional stage providers can help you determine what’s needed, and hire choices include either having it assembled for you on site or assembling and dismantling it yourself. If you’re arranging assembly yourself, make sure you get full instructions and drawings.

And finally, don’t forget to arrange insurances and licences, promote like mad, and capture contact details such as email addresses from those who attend so you can follow up afterwards.




Look Out For These Exercise Injuries

sprained ankle

Keeping fit is pretty important for a healthy life. Most of us partake in some form of recreation and training. Be it running or CrossFit, the elliptical or deadlift, you must always make sure that you choose the intensity of the exercises to match your current physical state.

Otherwise, you risk some serious injuries which can take a lot of time and money to heal. Experts at Fix Body Chiropractor Group of San Diego explain what consequences even a seemingly minor injury can have on your life in this article http://www.fixbodygroup.com/a-sprained-ankle-may-have-lifelong-consequences/.

So, what injuries should you be concerned about, how they occur and what can you do to prevent them? Read on to learn more.

Neck

As one of the most sensitive and vital parts of your body, you should take extra care when exercising to avoid neck injuries. The primary motivator for neck injuries is bad posture. Sadly, more and more people have improper posture and the science has proven it is killing us.

The majority of neck injuries while exercising come from the misalignment of the key points of the body. Typically, they occurred on the bench press, so you must make sure that your lower back and neck have firm support before you start lifting.

Shoulders

The major issue which can affect your shoulders is a sprained tendon, which comes as a result of the overly strained rotator cuff. We use our shoulders for the majority of exercises, so it’s no wonder they get injured.

You can easily prevent these injuries by just doing enough prep before serious exercises. Rowing and cable machines work well for this. Make sure you rotate your arms in all directions to fully activate your shoulders.

Lower Back

Probably the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions gym injury are back pains, most notably, lower back pains. These injuries come as a result of improper posture while doing exercises. Whether it is the result of your regularly poor posture, or from doing exercises which you don’t have the strength to do, the pressure is transferred to your lower back. And your lower back can only take so much before you injure yourself.

As a prevention, make sure you stretch and prepare well before you start. Oh, and make sure you can handle the weight you are lifting.

Knees

The knee is to your legs what your lower back is to the body, the middle point which gets all the stress of improper exercise. Whatever the type of exercise, if you’re not ready for it, your ankle is too weak to bear the pressure, and your hip is too immobile to do the same. This leaves only the knee. The biggest issue with knee injuries is that they never fully heal, so prevention is far better than trying to heal.

Prevention largely consists of warm up exercises which engage your whole legs, like lunges. The hip, knee, and ankle are all activated, preparing you for exercise.

Ankle

Improper posture offsets your centre of gravity and puts additional stress on the front of your foot. Furthermore, improper footwear during exercise is all it takes to seriously injure your ankle or the foot.

Find a proper shoe for exercising. If you are running, buy running shoes, they are named that for a reason. They are particularly good at distributing your weight properly, making sure you don’t put unnecessary weight on a single part of your foot.




How To Avoid Injuries While Exercising Or Playing Sports

Sporting injury

If you exercise or play a sport, either alone or with others, you could get hurt when you don’t pay attention. Perhaps, you do military presses with added poundage, although your shoulder has been aching for some weeks now. Unfortunately, you tear your deltoid muscle.

Perhaps, you run to the finish line, although you know that pain in your ankle is a clear sign for you to stop. Unfortunately, you experience a severe ankle sprain and the painful swelling takes weeks to heal.

Or perhaps, you keep on pedaling as fast as can when you’re biking, although you are now well past the point of fatigue. Unfortunately, you run over a rock that you didn’t notice, wobble, and fall.

We can suffer from a wide variety of minor injuries, like sprains, contusions, or pulled muscles, while exercising or playing sports. It’s important to learn how to prevent injuries from happening in the first place by pacing ourselves, stretching, and using proper techniques. If we do injure ourselves, we can use ice/ice/heat therapy, supportive braces and sleeves, OTC pain relievers, and rest and elevation to speed up recovery. You can get more information online on how base layer bracing and compression zone technology can help you prevent injuries or help speed up your recovery.

Common Injuries, Prevention, and Recovery

Let’s take a closer look at some basic types of sports injuries, how to prevent injuries from happening in the first place, and what to do if you do have an injury.

  1. Common Injuries

The six most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, knees injuries, shin splints, dislocations, and fractures. They range in severity.

  1. Sprains are the most common of all types of minor injuries. They occur when a ligament, the connective tissues attached to bones, overstretches or tears. This occurs in wrists, knees, and ankles.
  2. Strains are similar to sprains, except that muscles or tendons, not ligaments, overstretch or tear.
  3. Knee injuries range from mild to severe, and if severe, they may require surgery to repair cartilage or ligaments. There are different types of knee injuries. Illiotibial band syndrome occurs when the ligament from the hip to the shin becomes painfully tight or get inflamed. Runner’s knee is tenderness or acute pain close to the front of the knee cap. And tendonitis refers to the condition when there is inflammation or degeneration within a tendon.
  4. Shin splints refer to pain associated with the tibia. This pain can be to the front of the lower leg, the foot, or the ankle. There are different types of shin splints, like anterior shin splints or medial shin splints. This injury is common among runners who run on a concrete path or road.
  5. Dislocations, or luxation, occur when the bones in a joint are forced out of alignment. These usually affect those in contact sports like football or martial arts. This is an emergency and requires a medical expert to push the dislocated bone back into place. This is acutely painful because the connective tissue around the joint is damaged and inflamed. Dislocation may occur in fingers, hands, shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips.
  6. Fractures are a broken bone. An acute fracture is a one-time injury while a stress fracture is the result of repeated bone stress over a period of time. These are medical emergencies.
  1. Injury Prevention

The reason we overdo things when playing sports is because we are high on natural endorphins and feel invincible, and we also have goals that we are fiercely determined to reach. Whether we are competing against others or our previous best records, it’s hard to be sensible and stop and when we have so much momentum going for us. You can prevent injuries by wearing protective gear, warming up and cooling down, and not playing when you’re injured. If involved in a team sport, you should watch out for attacks by the other team and understand the rules of the game.

  1. Injury Recovery

Depending on the type of injury, treatments can include massage, rest, heat treatments, icing the inflammation, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. If severe, you should go to the hospital immediately.

While some sports injuries are due to accidents, the majority of them are due to not paying attention or pushing past pain.

 

The Relation Between Running and Sport-Specific Training

Running for tennis players

Tennis is a very start-stop-start kind of sport. Most of the running in the game consists of brief sprints – either from side to side behind the baseline or towards the net and back. Part of this also involves a player and his or her ability to make small adjustments in a flash, which is why running is such an integral part of the sport.

Whilst an official tennis court’s dimension is only 27 feet wide for singles matches, the fact of the matter is that players do a lot of running. In more ways than one, a typical game proves to be a stamina challenge. That is, unless athletes come in prepared and put in the necessary roadwork.

Most people can remember the gruelling John Isner versus Nicholas Mahut match during the first round of the 2010 Wimbledon tournament. In total, the whole ordeal lasted a mind-blowing 11 hours and five minutes that spanned across three days, breaking numerous tennis records in the process. The aforementioned match is arguably the ultimate testament of how proper conditioning and running are vital parts of the sport.

Even though one might not see his or her favourite tennis player run a full marathon – unless her name is Caroline Wozniacki – those long distances under their feet does wonders for their overall game. Not only does it improve their cardiovascular system, running also develops athletes’ stamina and endurance.

The key to all of this, however, is to run at a moderate pace. In other words, find a steady speed and stick to it for about 20 minutes or so. By doing this, tennis players will feel their endurance reach new levels. This is also where high-intensity training comes into play.

Indeed, distance running builds a tennis player’s endurance, but incorporating specific high-intensity training will give them much-needed functional movements. This refers to a type of program that mimics their actual movements on the court, during a game. For instance, suicide runs are an excellent high-intensity exercise, as they simulate the feeling of chasing after a ball, as well as improving one’s stamina and quickness. A well-written piece on Active by Paul Gold even points out the secrets of speed training specifically for tennis.

In hindsight, there are many reasons why tennis is a superb way to get and stay in shape – especially for a generation that is easily distracted with some of the latest fads and technologies. Jess Goulart, a sports journalist who regularly writes articles for tennis site Play Your Court, even came up with tips on how millennials can get fit, and one of those, of course, is through playing tennis regularly.

The connection that binds running, tennis, and fitness goes beyond the obvious improvement of a player’s game. To a certain extent, athletes of all skill and experience levels can benefit from each of these facets both physically and mentally, which is why cross-training is such a significant part of any sport.

Guide for Starting a Running Regime This Spring

runners

Spring is definitely in the air and that means it’s running season again. Of course, the hardcore runners have been out all winter – and good for them – but many of us can’t bring ourselves to head out for a jog in wintertime, whether it’s because of the cold winds, the icy ground, or the dark early nights. Spring is the perfect time to start working on your fitness again and there are some great tips for anyone hoping to avoid injury and make their runs as enjoyable and safe as possible.

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SMART Goals For Running

Girl running

SMART goals are usually used in business rather than fitness – think sales, targets, customers, that kind of thing. But with spring here (or nearly here, at least), you might be feeling inspired by all the runners currently out training for their spring marathons, or by the parkrunners you dodge every Saturday morning when you’re out walking the dogs. 

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4 Ways to Train When the Weather Is Crap

running in the rain

If your weather’s anything like the weather here at the mo, it’s not very inviting to go out and run in. I’m okay if it starts to rain while I’m out – in fact, I can breathe easier when it’s raining – but when it’s damp and grey and drizzly, it’s hard to motivate myself to get out there in the first place. 

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3 Myths About Running Shoes

Asics Cumulus 15

The 16 year old goth me would be horrified

Unless you’re Zola Budd (if you’re under 40, ask your parents who she is), you’re going to need to wear something on your feet (and I don’t mean Heelys or rollerskates like the ones you can buy at Skate Hut). When I started running, I bought a cheap pair of trainers from ShoeZone for £10 and although I don’t recommend you do that, there are some common myths about running shoes. Here are 3 of them.

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