Running can be an excellent way to get in a workout or it can be a serious calling. Whether you are eyeing professional competition or are just a recreational runner, there are certain exercises you can do to help improve your performance. The key here is remembering that running isn’t all about the legs. You need strength and endurance in order to get the most out of the running and that means building up core strength and improving muscle condition from the legs up.
It’s important to vary your running with these other exercises to ensure that you are getting a balanced workout and reaping the most benefit. This way you’ll not only build up strength but also increase speed when you do hit the track. As you improve your conditioning, you’ll be able to notice the difference in your running as you move more smoothly and quickly. With that in mind, here are six exercises that can help to improve your running performance:
Remember that your body is like an engine and the more you keep it in tune, the better it will perform. In order to keep running at your best, you need to make sure that your cardiovascular system, muscles and reflexes are all in top shape. Then you can bring all of those components together and get the most out of your running.
About our guest blogger: Scott Murphy is a writer who loves to write an article on various topics such as health, fitness, exercise etc. He has the passion for the sport over 20 years. He is a regular contributor to allrowers.com, a site offering reviews, workouts, industry news and education about the benefits of rowing and regular exercise.
Running is one of the best sports that you can involve yourself in. It’s a sport that is open to people from all ages and walks of life. When you watch a marathon, you will see all types of runners all striving towards the same direction with just one goal. That is, to cross the finish line.
It’s a sport that you don’t necessarily need fancy equipment to engage in. Basically, all you need is a good pair of well fitted running shoes (that get expertly fit from your local running store like Universal Sole. You can throw in a few accessories like to improve your performance but these are optional. Running rewards you with better health. It’s an activity recommended by doctors to people with Cardio conditions and typically, it improves blood circulation so it resolves a lot of health issues.
If you run a lot, you will need to build your endurance to withstand running long ranges in a marathon or competition. You will also need to condition your leg muscles so they won’t give way when you experience tiredness or cramps. The best way to condition a runner’s body before or after a competition is to some Yoga.
There are at least 6 yoga poses that are used as conditioning exercises for runners. Once you master these poses, you can practice them at home or before any run. If you haven’t tried Yoga, you can enlist in a Yoga class and receive the proper instructions on how to do these poses. You can also get the services of a yoga teacher training overseas. Getting mentored by an Indian Yogi will be one of the best experiences you will have.
The following are the best yoga sequences for strengthening and stretching the muscles that every runner should know. Please consult a physician before starting any new and/or strenuous exercise. Also, if you are new to yoga, always consult a professional about proper techniques for poses. Get ready with your Yoga mats!
1) Supported Backward Bend
You will have to stand up straight with your feet parallel to the ground. Keep the hip-width distance apart. Place your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing to the ground. Look upwards as if reaching for the sky with your chest up, opening the shoulders and without crunching your lower back. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Just do 1 set of this pose.
2) Shoulder Openers
For this pose, you will have to stand up straight with both feet parallel on the ground. Interlace your fingers behind your back with the palms touching if possible. Then, bend your elbows and place your knuckles on your lower back near the sacrum. Attempt to make your elbows meet behind your back. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. You only have to do this once.
3) Intense Side Stretch
This exercise if perfect for loosening tight hamstrings. Start by standing up straight with your feet apart with a hip-width distance. Step the left foot back to a distance 3 to 4 feet behind you. Keep the heel of your right foot aligned with the heel of your left foot. Allow the left foot to be able to turn around in a 45 degree angle. Place the hands on the hips then square your hipbones with the front edge of your mat. Bring your left hip slightly forward and then draw your right hip slightly backwards. With your core engaged to keep the spine length, start to hinge at your hips and fold forward. Allow your torso to melt over your right thigh. Keep your thighs engaged throughout the pose and release the top of your head towards the mat. Let the arms release towards the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds while breathing deeply. Repeat only once and switch to the other side.
4) Half-Split with Flexed Foot
You’ll have to begin with the crescent lunge. While on the ground, bend your left knee while you stretch your right leg behind your back. Carefully drop your right back knee and stretch your toes. Place both hands on top of the front left thigh and alight your shoulder over the hips. Let the top of your back thigh melt downward. Hold this pose for 30 seconds then switch to the other leg. Do 1 set of this pose.
5) Reclined Bound Angle
This pose is performed while lying on your back. The sequence will provide your body the needed release for the groin and hips and helps you de-stress after a marathon. Lie on the back with the knees up on the sides of the mat. Join the soles of your feet together until they touch. With this pose, bring your heels in close to your body as you can. Make sure the back is kept on the floor the whole time. Place one of your hands over your heat and the other hand on your belly. Hold this pose for 1 minute while you breathe deeply.
6) Seated Figure Four
Sit with your left knee bent towards your chest with your foot flat on the floor as close to your butt as much as possible. The arms must be placed behind you with your fingertips pointing forward. Then cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
Turn your hands around and push your chest forward. This will bring your chest into your legs. Your back must be kept straight. Hold the pose for 30 seconds before switching sides. Do 1 set of this pose.
About the author (USOLE Guest Blogger): Jessica Max is a passionate writer for www.topicexchange.com (keyword - better health). She loves to write on home remedies, beauty, health and food which helps people in a every day life.
One of the easiest exercises to do is running. It relatively simple, and does not require specialized training and requires only the most basic work-out equipment – shoes. It can be done anywhere, on pavement or on the road, or off-road. Some may choose to use additional equipment such as a treadmill. For people trying to get back into shape, or is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle with exercise, or is trying to get into an active lifestyle, and is looking into running for answers, here are 5 major benefits of running that can improve your life.
One’s ability to sustain physical activity and mental effort may be increased with regular runs. Those who run regularly can develop their muscles to carry out longer periods of activity, alongside forming better lung and cardiac capacity. Those who run also have a sense of increased energy and decreased fatigue which enables them to carry out more tasks throughout the day.
Running is not only good for your body but for your self-esteem as well. Those who get into the running experience a sense of achievement that boosts morale. When runners hit their running goals they give themselves a sense of triumph that leaves them feeling happier. There is also, that in the process of achieving a healthier body, confidence if uplifted, which in turn increases self-esteem.
Strengthen that core:
Running improves posture and strengthens limbs by strengthening your midsection. Most people don’t think that this area gets targeted as well when you run, for most, running just develops the legs, some part of the arm, the lungs and the heart. But running gets to your core as well. After getting into a habit of running, you’d soon feel this benefit when you breeze through daily activities with ease. A solid core helps improve your physical performance.
Reduces risk of cancer:
Getting into an active lifestyle, or simply by getting more exercise thru running, decreases the risk of developing cancer. Some studies have shown that those who frequently exercise are significantly less likely to develop cancer. Those who have increased body size, or are smoking or have stopped only recently been shown to gain the same benefit from running in terms of decreasing their risk for developing these deadly diseases. Women are at a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Keep you sharper, even as you age:
Those who exercise, as studies have shown, can keep their minds sharp. Running may reduce the symptoms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is also kept at bay for those who exercise, even those at risk of developing this condition by family history.
Though there are many benefits that can be gained from running on a regular basis, it is important for those who want to get into this to learn proper form, and what it the right workout apparel and gear to use. Take heed about injuries and other conditions that you may develop, especially with the feet and legs. There are many resources on feet remedies available everywhere, but best to avoid developing problems first. It is always wise to consult experts first, regarding your physical capacity and to ensure not to over exert and go beyond what your body is capable of achieving as of the moment. As you go along, you can expect your performance to improve, and then you may proceed to bigger challenges in running. Whatever your objective may be in getting into running, not only do you stand to achieve this, but you also gain a ton of other benefits.
About the Author:
Jessica Max is a successful writer and loves to write well-researched and high-quality content on different topics related to foot care, nail care, and plantar fasciitis. She is currently writing for www.feetremedies.com (keyword- feet remedies). She is an expert advisor and keeps blogging about nail care tips and natural solutions for feet related problems.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BUDWEISER SIGNS ON AS PRESENTING SPONSOR OF UNIVERSAL SOLE’S BURGERS & BEER 5K
CHICAGO, IL (May 24, 2017): Universal Sole Running Store is proud to announce that Budweiser has signed on as the presenting sponsor of the sixth annual Burgers & Beer 5k hosted at Soldier Field on July 17, 2017. As Chicago’s oldest independent running store, USOLE is thrilled to have the support of one of the beer industry’s largest brands.
“We had an amazing opportunity with Budweiser presented to us, not only to support our event, but also our charity partner, Girls in The Game,” said Joel Feinberg, owner of Universal Sole. The partnership originated through a regular attendee of the USOLE events seeing Burgers & Beer as the ideal opportunity for Budweiser to get involved on a local level. “We wouldn’t have had this partnership without the support of our USOLE runners. Even though Budweiser is a large brand, we feel that it speaks volumes of how the community works together to support a cause. We consider ourselves very lucky!”
Budweiser will be served from the iconic, pop-up beer garden at the Burgers & Beer 5k. The beer garden features seating, 42” plasma TVs and a “rooftop” lounge. Burgers & Beer has been a USOLE tradition since 2010. It started as a grassroots event to bring people together for a free fun run of three or five miles coupled with a cold beer and burgers from various neighborhood bars. The fun run held on the first Monday of each month has always been about bringing the Chicago running community together. With the growth and popularity of the monthly runs, USOLE introduced the 5k event in 2012.
The race signed on with Girls in the Game as their charity partner for the second year with proceeds supporting the partner programs. Girls in the Game knows that girls are strong, and that given the opportunity they're capable of changing their lives and their communities. Since 1992, Girls in the Game has empowered more than 40,000 girls, helping them to grow up happy, healthy and strong. They learn through sports, health, and leadership programs that it’s not about winning. It’s about making your voice heard and overcoming obstacles; getting off the sidelines and into the game.
The Burgers & Beer 5k features a flat, fast out-and-back course starting at Soldier Field and heading south to 31st Street on the Lakefront Path. Registration will remain open until it reaches 1,000 entries. Each runner will receive a burger, beer and a custom beer stein. Additional beers will be available for purchase onsite. Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female finishers and age group winners. Athletes can register on www.universalsole.com.
ABOUT UNIVERSAL SOLE
Universal Sole finds its roots supporting running, walking, and racing in Chicago. It is where people come to make informed choices, to understand why one shoe might meet their needs more than another or to hear an honest opinion about the latest gear out there. USOLE is also the host of the annual Burgers & Beer 5k, Four Mile Classic and Trail Challenge Series. The store also hosts numerous weekly training runs, monthly fun runs and events directly out of its Lakeview location at 3052 N. Lincoln AVE, Chicago, IL 60657. USOLE invites everyone to stop in and find out why we are the "Soul of Running in Chicago!" For more information, visit www.universalsole.com.
UNIVERSAL SOLE MEDIA CONTACT
Morgan Kinney, Kinney Communications
The New Brooks Ravenna 8
The Brooks Ravenna 8 now in at USOLE Lakeview! A new redesign making it more streamlined giving a light, smooth ride all while giving mild stability for those that need it! A great shoe for those needing some light stability but don't want a heavy shoe while putting in all those miles!
The New Brooks Launch 4
The Brooks Launch 4 has arrived at USOLE Lakeview! This light weight trainer is newly updated with an extra hit of rubber under the forefoot and a redesigned heel that lets your neutral stride shine. Great for folks looking for a light weight alternative for up tempo runs in training or longer distance races.
Check out the latest USOLE Newsletter! If you would like to receive the newsletter, you can sign up right here @ this website! Enjoy folks!
By Joel Feinberg - Universal Sole Running Store
*City Photo Credit (taken on the run) - Robert (Bob) Horwitz*
Well, it is finally here! Winter has reared it's ugly head already dropping sub-freezing temps on us! This creates a dilemma for many as to stay in-side on the dreaded treadmill "dreadmill" or head outside to collect those winter miles! Well, we are here to say you can run outside in the winter and on most days. Now, we will say that please use some discretion as well because sometimes, it is not the actual weather, but can be conditions such as ice & excessive wind that may keep you inside. Keep an eye on the weather reports and make that call that works best for you. We are going to tell you some tips about how to dress for your run in the winter in Chicago!
By Ben Davis, For Active.com
It's that time of year, everyone. The leaves are falling and the breeze is chilly. People are trading in their tank tops and shorts for blue jeans and long-sleeve tees. It's a great time to be a runner, but it can be a frustrating time if you've just started running and have never had to brave the elements. The number one question heading into the chilly months is, "As a new runner, what can I expect with cold-weather running?"
The short (and most exciting) answer, is faster times. Yes, we run a lot faster in the cold races than we do in the standard, hot-summer month 5Ks and 10Ks, but there are a few things to learn before heading into the snow. First, let me share my worst cold-running experience. On January 17, 2009, I ran my first 5K. When I woke up that morning, the thermometer said 22 degrees, with a wind chill of 19. Having never done anything in conditions like that (I trained on an indoor track), I panicked and put on all the winter clothing I could find. It was a big mistake.
My official getup consisted of the following:
In all likelihood, this won't be your experience, but it does bring me to what you should remember for cold-weather running:
1. You won't need as much as you think you will. My rule now is shorts with short sleeve tech shirt down to 45 degrees and shorts plus long sleeve tech from 45 to 32. Anything below freezing calls for long thermals, shorts, and jacket with gloves (awesome running beanie, optional). As I mentioned earlier, I found out rather quickly that running will heat the body up relatively quickly and more often than not, you'll regret that big puffy coat. Lower body stuff like leggings and tights aren't as suffocating, so feel free to experiment, but err on the side of minimalist up top.
2. That awful lung burn thing after your first few cold runs? Don't worry; it goes away. I can't tell you how many times I tried to "become a runner" in the winter months and got discouraged because of that awful burning sensation when I breathed; there is nothing worse than only being able to inhale half a breath out of fear of popping a lung. But don't worry; you'll get through it. It just takes a couple of runs to get your respiratory system adept to dealing with frosty air.
3. Nine of 10 scientists agree: runners look 50 percent cooler when wearing black gloves. OK, maybe not. But there's no doubt about it; running in the winter is so great because it brings out so many fashion choices. First off, the aforementioned gloves. There's just something about them. You feel faster when wearing them; you feel professional. Next there is the headgear. Women have the trendy headbands and earmuffs and guys have the wintertime beanies. But, again, be your own fashionista. Try new things and mix it up a little bit. Whatever you do, though, don't be the guy running with his shirt off when it's below freezing. People aren't staring because they think you're really awesome... Trust me.
4. Hydration is still important. Yes, you obviously need more water in the summer months when you are sweating up a storm, but don't think that just because it is cold you don't need to hydrate. Ice cold water might be the last thing you want when the temps are low, but just be sure not to skip the water completely. Be smart and be healthy.
Bonus: If you get snow where you are, you have all the water you need; just stop and eat some of the white stuff and go on your way.
Other than that, just get out there and do it. You're going to be faster, and you're going to learn to love it. It might be tough at first, but I guarantee people will envy your willpower when they see you braving the brutal conditions as they pass in their van with the heater at full blast. Anyone can run in the spring, summer, and fall; it takes a true champ to face mother nature in the dead of winter.
There’s a reason trail running is booming in popularity. A few reasons, actually.
By Lisa Jhung - Reposted from Runner's World Magazine
Heading out on a trail instead of pavement is appealing for so many reasons. Escaping into the woods or meadows gives you a nature experience that a road run often cannot, and a trail's softer surface gives your body a break, too.
The benefits of trail running span the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual areas of your life. And doesn’t that cover pretty much all of it? Here are a few ways trail running is good for you and some tips on how to get started.
“With knee pain, especially, and ITB syndrome, shin splints, and any other condition that is worsened with increased impact," says Dr. Levin, "the lesser impact of running trails is going to feel better than pavement. Trail running may be more beneficial for preventing most forms of tendinitis; however, there is some evidence to suggest that running on a harder surface would be less aggravating for Achilles tendinitis."
Good for Your Brain
Trails provide an undeniable escape from what can be an otherwise hectic day. Eliminate the outside environment of cars and other city noises and import sounds of birds and trees rustling in the wind, and you’ve got an entirely difference experience.
“Spending time in nature can give a person a spiritual connection,” says Shoshona Bennett, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating women with postpartum depression. “You feel like you’re connected to something bigger, and that’s Mother Earth. When a woman [or man] looks at the trees, the birds, the sun, it’s very grounding."
Proceed, With (Some) Caution
A trail doesn’t have to be steep, rocky, or riddled with roots to be called a “trail” or to give you any of the benefits of mind and body. Simply finding a non-paved surface, like a packed dirt road, wood-chip-covered path, or Rail Trail, will allow you to ease up on your joints and enjoy nature.
Dr. Levin recommends running a flat trail at first before graduating to a more challenging route with uneven surfaces or changing incline. Once you do start venturing onto technical trails, take heed.
“You have to be a little more on guard as far as to where you’re stepping,” Dr. Levin says. “There’s a higher risk of acute traumatic injury, like an ankle sprain.”
However, running on an uneven surface can make you stronger overall. “You’re going to be recruiting more of the smaller, more stabilizing muscles that we rely on for proprioception and balance, especially around the ankles,” Dr. Levin says.
And when making your foray into trail running, “Don’t push at the beginning,” he says. “Let yourself progress.”
But don’t let trails intimidate you. After all, it’s just dirt.
UNIVERSAL SOLE - a grass roots running events company (which had roots of close to 20 years as a running specialty retailer) offering information on running shoes, gear, accessories & overall fitness trends.