How to Choose Best Running Sunglasses

couple runner with sunglasses

Whether you just picked up running or are an elite runner, investing in a nice pair of running sunglasses is essential.

Picking the right pair of frames for outdoor exercise can sometimes be tricky, but no need to worry—in today’s post, I got you covered.

In today’s post, I’m providing you with the guidelines you need to find the perfect eyewear for any running distance.

Please keep in mind, I’m not gonna give you style advice, but comfort advice.

In this article, I’ll share with you the guidelines you need to help you choose the perfect pair of sunglasses for your next run.

The Dangers Of Sunlights

Our eyes are one of the vital organs—and they deserve all the protection they can get.

Not only do your eyes see shapes and distinguish between millions of colors but also regulate light signals that keep your body’s internal clock functioning properly.

So why should you wear sunglasses when running?

Excessive sun exposure can take a toll not only on your skin but on your eyes, too.

It can actually damage your eyesight in more than one way.

Without proper eye protection, excessive exposure increase your risk of developing eye problems such as from the lightest problem, foreign bodies, dry eye syndromes, to cataracts, macular degeneration, and growth on the eyes called pterygium and pinguecula.

That’s not the whole story.

The eyelids and the sensitive skin surrounding it are cancer-prone.

What’s more?

Running eyewear will also help keep the rain and elements out of your eyes during rainy weather.

Rainwater can be too acidic, causing a lot of harm.

Sports sunglasses can also protect your eyes from insects, cobwebs, leaves, branches, or any mud or dirt from getting into your eyes when running outdoor, especially on trails.

The bottom line –Proper eyewear is one of the best ways to minimize eye damage and should be part of your running kit and gear.

You don’t need to be an elite runner to grab one running glasses for you.

How To Choose The Right Running Sunglasses

Here’s what to look for when choosing running sunglasses:

Protection

The first factor to consider when choosing a pair of running sunglasses is the level of protection.

There are three types of rays emitted by the sun: UVA, UVB, and UVC— When choosing running sunglasses, look for a pair that blocks all of these ultraviolet rays.

What’s more?

Remember—Ultraviolet light can be dangerous on both sunny days and when the skies are cloudy.

So it’s best to keep your eyes protected anytime you’re running outdoors.

runner choosing proper running sunglasses

Running Sunglasses – Proper Fit & Comfort

Casual sunglasses may protect your eyes from sunlight, but might not stay in place when running, so another priority is getting a pair that doesn’t bounce around.

Go for what feels most comfortable for you.

Not only finding a pair of sunglasses that stay in place while running is comfortable, but can also prevent unnecessary tensing, distraction, strain, and squinting.

For instance, if you have a wide face, make sure your running sunglasses don’t pinch over the temples.

Conversely, if you have a smaller head, look for a model that fits tightly and doesn’t slip nor bounce around.

Take some attention to your nose shape too, make sure the bridge fits perfectly and not slips down when you start bouncing the ground.

Additional resource – Buy glasses online with GlassesUSA

Wraparound Running Sunglasses

UV rays can reach your eyes from all angles, so go for sunglasses that cover as much of the eye area as possible.

I’d recommend wraparound sunglasses as these offer the best coverage from side to side.

Polarized Tint

Consider getting a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses as they’ll reduce glare, especially if you do a lot of running on paved roads or near lakes.

The polarization can reduce the glare reflected from the cars and road surfaces, allowing you to pay more attention to your run.

Wear A Hat Or Visor

Besides running sunglasses, another measure for added protection is wearing a cap or a visor.

A hat helps shade the entire top half of your face, especially the sensitive skin on the eyelids that sunglasses often fail to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.

In fact, a cap or wide-brimmed hat may block as much as half of the UV rays.

These can also hinder UV rays that strike the eyes from above or around glasses.

What’s more?

Headgear can also help absorb sweat, so it won’t get into your eyes.

You’ll also love running with a hat if you get caught running in the rain.

Conclusion

In the end, the price is not that important.

Pick a pair of running glasses with these features, not the most expensive one.

Choose comfort over the brand.

Fit over fashion.

Get it.

Trail Running 101: A Complete Guide for Beginner Runners

man running on trail

Ready to ditch the city streets and venture into the wild world of trail running? You’re in the right spot!

If you’ve been pondering the idea of hitting the trails but aren’t quite sure where to begin, don’t fret. Many new runners face the same dilemma. The world of trail running offers a refreshing escape from the concrete jungle, but those first steps can be intimidating.

But hey, there’s no need to worry any longer! In this article, we’re about to embark on a journey—a complete guide to trail running that’ll turn you from a city slicker to a trail-blazing pro. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to:

  • Start trail running with confidence
  • Discover fantastic trails near you
  • Stay safe and sound during your trail adventures
  • Pick the perfect trail running gear

Excited? Good! So, let’s lace up those shoes, embrace the great outdoors, and dive into the exciting world of trail running.

Trail Running Explained

So, what’s trail running all about?

In layman’s terms, trail running involves running on anything that is unpaved and/or natural, mostly taking place on softer, more cushioned surfaces like dirt paths and grass.

In general, a good trail surface should:

(1) Offer natural obstacles (think roots and rocks),

(2) Be unpaved (preferably natural),

(3) Provide great scenery (away from the hustle and bustle of the city) and

(4) Involve elevation gain (lots of ascents and descents).

The Benefits of Trail Running

Let’s uncover the treasure trove of benefits that await you in the world of trail running. It’s not just a run; it’s a journey filled with advantages you won’t want to miss out on.

  • Less Risk of injury. Trail running is your body’s best friend. Why? Because it’s a kinder, gentler alternative to the relentless pounding of pavement. The surfaces beneath your feet are forgiving, like a plush carpet for your muscles and joints.
  • More challenge. Trail running serves up a smorgasbord of obstacles. You’ll conquer steep hills that leave your lungs gasping for air, navigate technical terrain that demands quick thinking and nimble footwork, and power through mud, rocks, and roots.
  • Burns more calories. Research shows that trail running can torch around 10 percent more calories than road running. Sure, 10 percent might not sound like a lot, but it adds up over time. So, if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds while enjoying nature’s beauty, trail running is key.
  • Improves balance and coordination.  As you navigate the unpredictable terrain, your body engages those smaller, intrinsic “helper” muscles, especially in the hips and core. These muscles work in harmony to keep you upright, helping you develop a rock-solid foundation and agility.
  • Gets you into nature. The off-beaten path whisks you away from the hustle and bustle of city life, immersing you in the tranquility of the wilderness. Picture yourself running alongside glistening streams, weaving through ancient forests, and breathing in the pure, untamed air.

What’s not to like!

The Bad News

Now, before you dive headfirst into the thrilling world of trail running, let’s address the elephant on the trail: the challenges. Here a few:

  • The Rugged Terrain: Mother Nature doesn’t always lay out a red carpet for trail runners. You’ll encounter steep ascents and descents that feel like scaling a mini-mountain, jagged terrains that test your footing, and sneaky spots in the sand that can throw off your balance. But guess what? These challenges are what makes trail running an epic adventure.
  • Nature’s Little Surprises: Picture this: branches seemingly conspiring to trip you up, low-hanging trees that demand you to duck and dive, and rocks and roots that play hide-and-seek with your feet. It’s a wilderness out there, and these surprises are all part of the game.
  • Risky Business: Yes, there’s an element of risk when you’re out in the wild. But fear not; I’m about to arm you with tips and tricks to keep those risks in check.

How To Find a Trail Near You?

Finding the perfect trail is like discovering a hidden gem, and it can make or break your trail running experience.

Here are a few tips on how to locate the best trails around you.

Urban Trails Exist:

Living in a bustling urban area doesn’t mean you’re miles away from trails. You’d be surprised at how many hidden pockets of nature you can find. Look for local reserves, parks, or even the network of gravel roads and dirt trails that many towns and cities offer. These can be your starting point for off-road running adventures.

Connect with the Community:

Joining local running clubs or visiting running stores is like unlocking a treasure trove of trail knowledge. These seasoned runners can point you in the right direction and even introduce you to fellow trail enthusiasts. It’s a win-win!

Tech-Savvy Solutions:

In this digital age, technology can be your trusty sidekick. Consider using apps like Suunto Heat Maps to discover new trails, or simply rely on Google and Google Earth to scout potential routes. The internet is teeming with resources like Trail Run Project, where you can find valuable trail information and even connect with the trail-running community.

Know Your Terrain:

Before you lace up those trail shoes, do some research on your chosen trail. Understand its unique characteristics, from potential obstacles and hazards to convenient pit stops.

And don’t forget to check for any wildlife encounters you might expect—knowledge is your best friend when it comes to staying safe.

Get the Right Trail Running Shoes

Ah, the age-old debate: road shoes vs. trail shoes. Let’s dive into this footwear conundrum, shall we?

Road Shoes vs. Trail Shoes:

You might wonder if your trusty road shoes can handle the trails. Well, for short trail runs, they can do the job, but hear us out. Regular trail running will eventually call for a pair of dedicated trail shoes. Why, you ask? Let’s break it down:

Protect Those Feet:

Trail shoes are your armor against all sorts of foot-related troubles. From the ever-dreaded stubbed toes to bruised soles and slippery falls, they’ve got you covered. Plus, with those gnarly terrains and uneven surfaces, a sprained ankle might be lurking.

Lower to the Ground:

Here’s a nifty trick that trail shoes bring to the table—they tend to be lower profile, meaning they sit closer to the ground. Why is this important, you wonder? Well, it significantly reduces your risk of those pesky ankle twists and sprains. No one wants to hobble home after a run, right?

Traction Galore:

Ever found yourself sliding around on muddy trails like Bambi on ice? Trail shoes come equipped with rugged treads that offer more grip than a superhero on a mission. Slippery slopes and muddy paths won’t stand a chance.

Get the Right Trail Running Gear

Now, let’s talk gear because hitting the trails isn’t just about the shoes; it’s about being well-prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

So, gear up, trailblazers!

Trail-Worthy Threads:

Your regular running gear won’t cut it here. Opt for technical clothing made from synthetic, moisture-wicking fabric. It’s like your second skin, keeping you dry and comfortable through mud, rain, or sweat

Battle the Bugs:

Depending on where and when you run, insects might decide you’re their new favorite snack. Arm yourself with insect repellent—your shield against pesky bites and unwelcome tick guests.

Gaiters: The Unsung Heroes:

These might look like oversized socks, but they’re your secret weapon against nature’s little surprises. Gaiters guard your feet and shoes against the elements—think dirt, debris, and pebbles. They’re like a forcefield for your feet.

Shine a Light:

Planning a dawn or dusk adventure? A headlamp or flashlight is your trusty sidekick. Navigating the trails in the dark becomes a breeze, and you’ll avoid those accidental encounters with tree branches. Ouch!

Other trail running items include:

Additional resource – Trail Running First Aid Kit 

Start Slowly

Alright, let’s get real about your first trail runs. Remember that feeling when you first started running? Well, you might just experience it all over again, and yes, it might not be all sunshine and rainbows.

Even if you’re a seasoned road runner, brace yourself for a reality check: trail running can slow you down. In fact, according to Trail Running magazine, expect to be 10 to 20 percent slower on those winding trails compared to your flat-road pace.

Here’s a little math for you: if you usually conquer a 5-mile road run in a cool 50 minutes, that same distance on the trails might stretch into more than an hour. Yep, it’s a whole different ballgame out there.

However, don’t fret about your pace. Instead, focus on finding your trail running groove. Start with about 60 to 70 percent of your usual effort. Take your time, soak in the surroundings, and, most importantly, keep an eagle eye out for those sneaky obstacles Mother Nature throws your way.

A complete beginner?

Try my beginner running plan.

Hydrate All the Time

Hydration is always important when you’re running, but it becomes much more crucial during your trail adventures, especially when you find yourself deep in the wilderness, far from the familiar sights of urban life.

Here’s the golden rule: aim to drink at least 15 to 20 ounces of liquid for every hour you’re out there pounding the trails. But hey, if you feel like your body’s thirsting for more, don’t hold back. Listen to what it’s telling you, and gulp down that refreshing H2O.

Now, it’s not just about chugging water; you’ve got to keep those electrolytes in check. Electrolytes are key for optimal performance – calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium – they’re the ones responsible for muscle function, water retention, and even blood pH levels.

To keep the hydration game strong, think about investing in a trusty hydration belt or pack. Sure, some folks might opt for the handheld water bottle, but let’s be honest, it can be a bit distracting – not to mention it might throw off your trail-running groove.

Trail Running Safety

Like any other outdoor sport, trail running has its dangers, and if you plan to spend any length of time on remote trails, it’s key to know how to stay safe.

To stay safe on the trails, do the following:

  • Say something. Tell someone—a family member, a friend, a neighbor, you name it—where you’re running and let them know when they should expect to hear back from you. Here’s the full guide to safe running.
  • Cell phones & maps. Bring your cell phone, and learn how to use a map and a compass —in the event you get lost. Of course, most phones today are equipped with a GPS system, but you should keep in mind there may be no signal outside city limits.
  • Be identifiable. Bring with you your ID and a list of emergency contacts—in the off chance something bad happens to you, God forbid.
  • Run distraction-free. Leave your headphones at home so you can keep your ears on your surroundings. Remember to enjoy the pristine sights and sounds of the natural world—without letting them distract you from the task at hand.
  • Stay on the mark. Keep your runs on marked trails as often as possible, and don’t be afraid of running right through a stream—getting your feet wet is part and parcel of the trail running experience.
  • Run with others. There is safety in numbers, to do your best to schedule your trail runs with a training buddy or a running group.
  • Beware of animals. Familiarize yourself with the type of wildlife in your area, and know what to do when you come face to face with a bear, a mountain lion, a snake, or any other dangerous animal.
  • Protect yourself. You can always bring with you pepper spray if you are running alone and safety is an issue.
  • Use a Safety app. Download and use safety apps for your phones, such as Road ID and bSafe.
  • Bring energy. For long trail runs, make sure to bring with you water and some food and fuel.
  • Be visible. Put on a headlamp or flashlight if you are planning to run when it’s dark.
  • Pay attention to wildlife. Here’s how to prevent animal attacks while running.
  • Keeps your eyes open. Be mindful of your surroundings. Use common sense. Listen to your gut, and never ignore those ancient gut feelings.

Practice Good Trail Running Etiquette

Trails have their own unspoken code, and if you want to keep the outdoors safe and friendly, it’s time to embrace it. Here are some pearls of wisdom to make you the trail etiquette champ:

  • Mind Your Manners: Always be aware of fellow trail users. Nobody likes surprises, so if you’re coming up from behind, give a friendly heads-up with a hearty “Passing on your right (or left),” especially if you’re about to zoom past them. It avoids startling them and keeps everyone on the same page. And on those narrow single tracks, be ready to yield if needed.
  • Maintain Your Space: If you’re part of a running pack, remember the ten-foot rule – keep a healthy distance from each other. This not only ensures you get a better view of the terrain ahead but also prevents any accidental stumbles or tumbles.
  • Friendly Vibes Only: Embrace your inner trail ambassador. Be the hiker, runner, or walker who smiles, nods, and shares a few friendly words. It’s amazing how a simple “hello” can create a sense of camaraderie on those winding trails.
  • Spread the Love: Remember, it’s not just about following the rules; it’s about contributing to the thriving trail community. Whether it’s a smile, a nod, or a few encouraging words, spread positivity and make the trail a welcoming place for all.

How To Choose Running Shoes For Beginners

running with a bunion

Looking for the best advice on how to choose running shoes for beginners? Then this article is for you.

Whether you’re running to lose weight, or training for a marathon, proper running shoes are key.

I don’t want to scare you off from the get-go, but choose the wrong running footwear, and you risk plantar fasciitis, shin splints, blisters, black toenail, and other injuries.

Your running performance will suck, too.  That’s not cool at all!

Here’s is more bad news.

With a host of price ranges, shoe types, a dizzying selection of styles and brands, trying to find a proper pair of sneakers is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

“Why things have to be this hard, David!”.

Simple: Not all runner’s needs are the same.

All sorts of things—your running style, your weight, your biomechanics, the surfaces you run on, and your running workouts—can impact shoe choice.

Not sure what all of this means?

Keep reading.

In this post, I’m sharing with you my full guide to choosing proper running shoes.

By the end, you’ll learn all you need to know about finding running shoes that fits your running needs like a perfect glove.

Let’s lace up and dig in.

The Benefits of Proper Footwear For Runners

Proof that running shoes help prevent injuries is still, surprisingly, a controversial subject in the running community.

It’s not, in fact, settled from a scientific standpoint.

But all in all, I think that shoe choice matters for injury-free and efficient training.

Let me explain.

Running shoes serve the function of protecting your feet from running’s impacts, as well as help you achieve and maintain top speed.

Problems you can avoid by choosing the right running footwear include :

  • Plantar Fasciitis,
  • Runners Knee,
  • Knee pain,
  • Ankle sprains,
  • Arthritis, and
  • A long list of aches, pains, and injuries.

Since you’re here reading this article, I’d bet that you also share my opinion and believe in the importance of running shoes.

How To Choose Running Shoes For Beginners

Here is the step-by-step system for choosing running shoes that suit your fitness level, body type, training goals, and personal preferences.

The Golden Rule

Guess what’s the most important factor in choosing running shoes?

To no body’s surprise, it’s actually comfort, according to a study published in the British Journal Sports Medicine.

Sure, comfort is subjective as it means different things for different runners.

It’s also not easy to measure nor to keep track of.

But, as far as I can tell, here’s what it means for me.

The ideal running pair should feel like a part of your foot, smoothly matching your specific biomechanical needs.

It’s a mismatch when it’s not the case.

That’s why I always urge my readers and running friends to try different sizes, brands, and models until they find that one that just “clicks”.

Now we got that out of the way, how do you make sure, really sure, that a shoe has passed the comfort test?

Other than running in it for a few weeks, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does the pair feel on initial contact?
  • How well does it transition?
  • How flexible is the shoe?
  • Do you feel any rubbing/abrasion inside of the shoe or at the back of the heel?

If your answers are nothing but positive, you got yourself a winner. Congratulations!

Go to a Specialty Running Store

When looking for new running shoes, get them from a local specialty running store instead of a wholesale sporting goods store or online.

In general, special running stores hire professional staff who understand shoe construction and are experts in matching foot type and mechanics to running footwear.

This is exactly the kind of assistance you’ll need to find the right sole-mate.

Keep in mind that this whole shoe fitting process takes time, at least a half an hour.

Don’t feel rushed into making any decision.

Additional Resource – Here’s a list of the best running shoe brands.

Questions to Ask. Answers to Look for:

Once you’re in the store, be prepared to answer a long list of questions as honestly as possible.

Some of the questions include (but not limited to).

  • What are your preferred running surfaces?
  • What is your foot type?
  • What is your gait type?
  • Planning to do any trail running?
  • Do you have any history of lower limb injury?
  • When was it the last time you got injured?
  • What are your common pains and sore areas?
  • Are your feet slim or wider than normal? (sometimes they will simply ask feminine or masculine type)
  • What brand, or type of shoe, have worked for you in the past?
  • How many running workouts you do per week?
  • Are you a forefoot striker or a heel striker?
  • Do you do any sort of speedwork, faster running?
  • What is your average weekly mileage?
  • Are you looking for conventional or minimalist shoes?
  • How much do you weigh?

If you don’t get asked some of these questions, know that you’re getting the wrong help.

Remove yourself from the premises immediately, and look for your shoes somewhere else.

That store doesn’t care about your needs; they just want to make more sales.

Additional resource – Guide to insoles for running shoes

Leave Breathing Space

As a rule of thumb, have at least a thumbnail’s width distance from the tip of the big toe—usually the longest toe—to the end of the shoe.

You should be able to play the piano with your toes.

If it’s not the case, then go up one size.

Remember that one shoe size is about 1/3 inch.

So do your math.

Also, your heel shouldn’t slip out when you walk or run.

What’s more?

Try on the new shows with any orthotics or inserts you plan to use while logging the miles to ensure that it can comfortably accommodate any add-ons.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to break in new running shoes.

Not All Feat Are Created Equal

Your right and left feet are of slightly different shapes and sizes, with one—usually the dominant one—larger than the other.

This is the reason you need to have both of your feet measured.

What’s more?

Foot size changes over time and one model can be significantly different from another, so go by what feels most comfortable, not by your “standard size.”

I’d recommend that you measure your feet for length and width at least twice a year, or whenever trying new running shoes.

You should also do this in the evening as feet tend to swell after prolonged sitting or standing.

Test Out Running Shoes

A common mistake I see beginners make is trying to cram the feet into the shoe.

That’s the wrong approach.

A shoe has to conform the shape of your feet—and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

Again, some Salespeople just want to make a commission—they don’t care about your needs.

I understand. Everyone has to make a living, but not on the back of my running comfort.

Sorry!

I’d recommend that you test out the shoe on the in-house treadmill.

Most specialty running stores provide this “free” service.

Not possible?

At the very least, ask the staff if it’s all possible to take a lap around the store or the block.

As a rule, test out four to five pairs from different models and brands and ranging in price from $75 to $110.

Don’t get fixated on just one brand—loyal consumers can be, sometimes, dumb consumers.

Additional resource – Here’s the full guide to running shoe anatomy.

Get Quality Shoes

Quality running shoes are made from superior materials that will last you longer and provide maximum support and protection.

Try to save money on poorly made shoes, and you’ll end up having to replace them sooner than planned.

These shoes won’t also offer much in terms of support and protection.

So how much?

Mid-range shoes do the trick for me.

Expect to invest at least $80 to $100 on these.

Think of this an investment in your fitness and health.

Good running shoes are worth their weight in gold if you ask me.

I cannot manage without them—neither can you.

So don’t skip.

Additional resource – Running Shoes Vs. Cross Trainers

how to choose running shoes for beginners

How to Find a Cheap Pair

“Yes, David, your tips seem to fine and dandy, but good running shoes are pricey, right?

Yeah, no.

The most expensive shoe in a store doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

But, most importantly, there are many things you can do to find cheap options.

For starters, go for last year’s version of a mid or top-range shoe.

The differences won’t be that important, but you’ll, at least, get a top-shelf pair for a fraction of the price.

You can also look for bargains. Some of the places to check out when shopping for running shoes are department stores and outlet malls.

Most shoe retailers, including Nike, Adidas, and Brooks, have homes at these outlets, which means you can get your hands on those expensive pairs at a discount.

These stores also prefer to move products quickly, so they often discount the slow-selling items, such as running shoes, as well as semi-annual sales they’re always advertising.

Getting your shoes online is another option.

According to the analysis of prices from 41 online retailers conducted by RunRepeat.com, getting your shoes on, one can save you about 40 percent.

That stands for roughly $40.

Of course, this option only when you already know your feet really well.

Here are a few of my favorite shoe websites:

  • Zappos –offers a wide range of running shoes with free shipping and returns.
  • ShoeKicker—this handy website helps you pinpoint the lowest possible prices on shoes in one place.
  • Shoebuy –comes with a price-match guarantee, meaning if you could find a better deal on another website, they’ll refund you 100 percent of the difference.

Additional resource – Running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Part 2: Determine Your Arch type

The above tips should help any beginner find proper running shoes, but if you’re looking for more advice, especially technical advice, or just want to be a self-proclaimed expert on running shoes (just like me), then the rest of this article should get you started on the right foot.

Let’s nerd out a bit.

Warning: Arch type and running gait can be a part of the shoe fitting process, but they are not the ultimate measuring stick.

If you feel like you’re being pushed into a buying a certain shoe to control your pronation, or whatever, then think twice.

Comfort first!

Mine unlike yours and yours, unlike mine.

Arch Type In Runners Explained 

When you hear people talking about foot arch, they’re mainly referring to the height of the medial arch, which tends to differ from one person to the next.

See picture.

The Foot Type Tests You Need

To determine your foot type, you can do any of the following:

  1. Have a podiatrist assess your foot type.
  2. Check the wear patterns on the soles of a pair of worn-in shoes.
  3. Or, perform the “Wet Test.” Highly recommended.

The Wet Test For Finding Foot Type Explained

The “Wet Test” is not the most accurate arch type test, but it’s a good start, and a convenient, free, way to figure out your arch type.

Here is how to how to do it:

  • Dip your foot in the bowl of water for a few seconds,
  • Stand on the paper bag to show an imprint.
  • Take a look at the imprint that your foot left on the brown paper bag
  • Compare the imprint to the images below.

Foot Types

There are three main foot types based on the height of the medial arch.

Here there are, along with the corresponding recommended running shoes.

Additional Resource – Overpronation vs Underpronation

The Flat Arch Type

Roughly 20 percent of the populace falls into this category.

As you can see from the image, these have very low or non-visible arches. In fact, flat feet imprints display the entire sole of the foot.

In theory, having flat feet might present some serious trouble for runners, increasing the risks of heel pain, arch pain, and plantar fasciitis.

The Best Shoe?

Motion-control shoes and stability shoes.

The Medium Arch Type

Approximately 60 percent of the general population falls into this category.

The medium arch is the ideal type as it is flexible and can help you absorb a lot of impact while running.

For the most part, runners with a medium arch tend to be neutral or may overpronate on some occasions.

Also, having a medium height arch that naturally supports body weight is a sign of biomechanical efficiency, but it does not necessarily mean that they are injury-proof.

Additional resource – Running shoes for overpronators

The Best Shoe?

If you fall into this category, lucky you for because a broad range of shoe options is available, but stability shoes still the best.

You can also go for a minimalist shoe if minimalist running is something you want to try.

The High Arch Type

If your arch type belongs to this category, then your feet may pronate enough to absorb the maximum amount of shock.

Research has linked having a high arch with stress fractures, and heel pain issues since this type of foot tend to be less flexible, taking in extra impact.

Best Shoes

Runners with a high arch often, but not always, require shoes with extra cushioning.

Running Gait Demystified

Once you determine your foot arch, you’ll want want to figure your running gait cycle type.

In essence, running gait is a set of unique actions and reactions that a foot performs while in motion (whether it’s walking, running, etc.) in order to provide support, balance, and shock absorption for the body.

The most important thing about running gait that you need to understand is pronation.

Pronation Explained

Pronation is part and parcel of the natural movement of the human body.

In essence, it’s the foot’s natural inward rolling for impact distribution, following the heel striking the ground during a running gait.

Getting your head around your own pronation type is one major puzzle piece in helping you pick a comfortable running shoe.

Assessing Running Gait

Here are the two options you have to determine your running gait:

The Pro Option

The best way to determine your running gait is to have your foot analyzed by a specialist using multi-angled cameras and a treadmill.

While using these special tools, the specialist can assess your gait and measure how much your foot rolls in, or rolls out.

But this is not always an option, right?

Don’t worry.

I got you covered.

Additional resource – Should you rotate running shoes

The Home Free option

You can figure out your running gait is by checking the wear pattern on the side and the sole of a used pair of running shoes.

Here’s how:

  • Place a used pair side by side on a table, toes pointing away from you,
  • Look at them from eye-level behind the heel
  • Compare your results to the three categories below.

Running Gait Types

As a general rule, running gait falls into three broad categories: (1) neutral, (2) overpronation, and (3) underpronation.

Here’s what each means. .

Additional resource – How to measure foot size for running shoes

Running Gait—The Neutral Gait

This is the basic neutral pronation type.

If you have a neutral gait, then you might be a biomechanically efficient runner.

A neutral gait means that your ankle, knees, and hips are all in alignment, therefore, be able to absorb impact, and reduce pressure on the joints and knees.

The Ground Contact

During the neutral gait, the outside of the heel strikes the ground first, then the foot pronates to absorb the shock and support body weight.

The Test

When a pair of used shoes do not show any inward or outward tilt and/or showing signs of wear down the middle of the sole, it usually indicates a neutral gait.

Common in

Runners with medium arches, as you can already tell.

Best Running Shoes?

I highly recommend a stability shoe or neutral shoe.

Additional Reading  – Your guide to the heel to toe drop.

Running Gait—The Overpronation Gait

As I have already stated, all runners pronate—to one degree or the other.

The forward roll of the foot following a foot strike helps distribute the shock of impact, reducing the risks of overuse injury in the process.

So, a little pronation is a good thing.

But a little too much can be problematic, resulting in overpronation, which is an exaggerated form of the foot’s natural inward roll.

The Ground Strike

During the overpronation gait, the foot lands on the outside of the heel, then pronates excessively inward, transferring the shock of the impact to the inner edge of the foot instead of the ball.

In theory, if you tend to overpronate, then you are risking knee pain and injury.

The Test

If the shoes have a slight or a substantial inward tilt along with signs of wear on the inside by the big toe, then you might have an overpronation running gait.

Common in

This gait type is mostly common among flat-footed and/or low arch runners.

Best Running Shoes?

The type of shoe you need depends on the degree to which you overpronate.

Stability shoes works very well for mild-overpronators.

But if you severely over-pronate, go for  motion control running footwear.

Additional resource – How to recycle old running shoes

Running Gait—The Underpronation Gait

Also known as supination, if you underpronate, then this means that your foot rolls out during a running gait.

Foot Strike

The outside edge of the heel strikes the ground at an increased angle but does not roll inward during the gait cycle.

This causes a massive transmission of shock through the lower limbs.

This results in insufficient impact reduction upon landing, putting a lot of pressure on the leg.

Some of the common injuries among underpronators include shin splints, ankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis.

Doesn’t sounds nice, right?

Here’s the full guide to under pronation

The Test

If your shoes have a slight or a significant outward tilt along with wear patterns on the outside edge of the sole, then chances you have an underpronation/supination running gait.

Common in

Runners with high arches are likely to be supinators.

Best Running Shoes?

I highly recommend neutral shoes with adequate cushioning properties for increased shock absorption.

Measure your arch really well so you can add sufficient cushion.

Shoe Types

As I have already stated, running shoes come in many different sizes, shapes, and levels of stability.

With all that being said, here are the main types of running shoes to consider before making a purchase:

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes feature a good dose of medial support and midsole cushioning and are perfect for runners who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation.

Motion Control Shoes

If you tend to exhibit moderate to serious overpronation, then motion control shoes are what you need.

These come in with extra built-in support and flatter outsoles—the exact mix you need to ward off excessive pronation and providing sufficient stability to the feet.

Neutral Running Shoes

If you are looking for minimum medial support and maximum midsole cushioning, then neutral running shoes are the best choice.

Neutral running shoes provide a bit of medial (arch-side) support and midsole cushioning for extra shock absorption ability.

In fact, some brands of super-cushioned shoes can provide as much as 50 percent extra cushioning than standard shoes.

Barefoot Running Shoes

For the most part, most barefoot running shoes have no cushion in the heel pad.

They also come with a very thin layer of the shoe between the ground and the skin.

Just keep in mind that with this type of running shoes, you’ll be provided with the bare minimum when it comes to protection from the elements and potential risks on the ground.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to dry running shoes.

Running Surfaces And Running Shoe Choice

Oh boy!

One down and some more to come!

Another thing you need to consider—especially when it comes to making your shoes last as long as possible while providing maximum protection—is the type of terrain and/or surfaces you’ll be running on.

Here are the main running surfaces to consider along with the ideal type of a shoe for each terrain.

Classic Road Running Shoes

If you are like the majority of recreational runners out there and tend to run on paved roads, indoor tracks, and/or packed trails, then classic road shoes are all you need.

Most classic road shoes have flexible outsoles and are fortified to provide enough cushioning during repetitive strides on hard, even terrains—think paved surfaces—flat and hard surface.

Trail Running Shoes

If you trail run often, consider investing in a trail running shoe.

As the name, Trail shoes are designed for the beaten and off-road paths.

These surfaces are usually peppered with mud, roots, rocks, gnarls, and other (injury causing) obstacles.

Most trails running shoes are fortified with a much denser rubber outsoles than the standard road shoe.

They are also designed to provide better tread and superior grip, which can provide better control on softer, often slippery or uneven terrains.

Cross-trainers

If you’re in the market for a sports shoe for the gym, or CrossFit workouts, then go for cross-training shoes.

Most cross-trainers are designed to have more contact with the ground or floor.

As a runner, you’ll be doing plenty of cross-training workouts.

For that, check my page here.

It got all sorts of strength training, yoga workout, and everything in between that you need to become a well-rounded runner.

Here’s the full guide running shoes anatomy.

Take Care of Your Running Shoes

As I have explained in a previous post, running shoes are not invincible.

According to most experts, a pair of running shoes should last between 400 to 500 miles—that’s roughly four to six months for recreational runners.

Once the shoe is past this mileage range, it’s compromised and using it puts you at risk for injury.

And you don’t want that.

Luckily, there are many things you can to make the most miles out of running shoes.

In fact, take good care of them, and they’ll last much longer.

Let’s look at a few measures.

Use your Running Shoes for Running only

The average pair has a lifespan of around 400 to 500 miles.

Every trip to the grocery store, Zumba class, tacks on the miles, and eventually contribute to the downfall of your favorite shoes.

Yes, it’s an exclusive relationship!

Your running journal should keep you honest.

Here’s how often to replace running shoes.

Wash Your Running Shoes

Sure, you won’t necessarily deteriorate your shoes faster if you do not keep them clean, but you will definitely if you clean and dry them improperly.

Never put your running shoes in the washing machine.

Instead, get the dirt off the shoes by wiping them down with a shoe brush or a dry cloth after use.

Let your sneakers air dry completely instead of placing them near a heater vent or tossing them in the dryer.

Never use chlorine or peroxide to clean up.

Soak them for a moment with gentle detergent is enough.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to running shoes for flat feet.

Rotate Your Running Shoes often

Do not wear the same running pair two days in a row.

They need time to air out and bounce back.

By doing so, you extend the lifespan of your shoes.

So, for instance, if you’re logging in serious miles in preparation for a longer race, consider rotating two—or more—pairs of shoes during the same season.

This is also helpful for tailoring the specific shoe for the type of run.

Storing Your Running Shoes

Exposing your running shoes to extreme temperatures and elements can cause severe strain on the shoes.

Storing your shoes in your box after use, car trunk during the summer heat, or outside when temperatures are freezing is the fastest way to break them down.

Instead, store them in moderate temperature, preferably in an open area where they can air dry and breathe.

Remember, microbes living there too.

Here are are more tips on how to make your running shoes last longer.

How To Choose Running Shoe For Beginners  – The Conclusion

There you have it.

The above guidelines will surely help you to find your perfect sole mate and budget-friendly.

You need to take action, and the rest is just details.

Don’t be afraid to ask the expert before you decide on your own.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

Prevent A Heat Stroke When Running in the Summer

woman running in the summer

Summer is a great time for running.

It’s the ideal opportunity to shed winter’s layers and hit the outdoors.

But when the temperature rises, running becomes a huge physical undertaking, and intense running can be quite dangerous.

In fact, run too long in the heat leads to heatstroke—that excruciating fatigue that makes you feel like you’re about to explode from the heat.

While running in the heat is often safe for most runners, taking a few preventative steps will help you stay safe and prevent complications associated with the heat.

This hot season, do your part in avoiding heat stroke when running by following the tips below.

But first things first, what is heat stroke and why it occurs?

Heat Stroke in Runners Explained

Heatstroke, the most dangerous form of heat-induced illness, occurs when the body’s heat-regulating system is compromised by excessive heat.

During the condition, body temperatures increase above its normal range, which is a degree or two of 98.6° F or 37° C.

Signs include nausea, confusion, seizures, disorientation, and often a loss of consciousness or coma.

Treating Heat Stroke When Running

On the onset of any symptoms, do the following immediately:

  1. Out Of The Sun

If you suffer from any heat-related illness symptoms, it’s key to immediately get out of the sun and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room.

If you can’t get indoor, try to find the nearest cool place or at least shade.

  1. Elevate

Lie down and raise your legs to a level above your chest to get the blood flowing.

  1. No Clothing

Remove any tight or extra clothing and equipment.

  1. Drink

Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or sports drink to replace lost liquids and salt.

Don’t guzzle, though, but take sips.

  1. Apply Cold

Bring your core body temperature down by applying cool towels to your skin, taking a cool bath, spraying yourself with a garden hose, or placing ice packs or wet towels on your neck, head, armpits, and groin.

Seek Medical Help

If these measures fail to improve your symptoms within 10 to 20 minutes, seek medical help.

Left untreated, heatstroke can cause organ failure, brain damage, and even death.

If you don’t cool down your body, heatstroke can lead to organ failure, serious injury, or even death.

How To Prevent Heat Stroke When Running

When it comes to managing and dealing with heat-related issues in runners, prevention is the best course of action.

After all, prevention is better than cure.

Here are the measures you need to protect yourself from heatstroke when running in the heat.

Enjoy!

Stay Well Hydrated

Proper hydration is key for warding off heat-related illnesses.

Water is not only a key nutrient, but it literally makes roughly 60 to 70 percent of your entire being.

While the key to staying well-hydrated is drinking plenty of water, it’s easier said than done when temperatures rise.

Your body generates more heat when you’re surrounded by hot air, making it harder to maintain core temperatures within the healthy range.

Here’s how to keep your body well hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of liquids before, during, and after your runs.
  • Top off your hydration stores with 8 to 12 ounces of water before your run.
  • Drink small sips during running roughly every 10 to 15 minutes, especially when running long in the heat.
  • Toss in four to six ounces of water about every 15 to 20 minutes while running, then keep drinking fluids until your urine is clear.
  • Weigh yourself before after your workouts. Shoot for 16 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight lost.

What’s more?

Keep in mind that thirst isn’t a good indicator of dehydration.

Once you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration include elevated heart rate (even when resting) and dark, golden-colored urine.

Additional resource – Running in the sun

stay safe when running in hot weather

Check The Heat Index

When planning to run outdoors, check the heat index to see if it’s suitable for outdoor exercise.

The heat index calculates air temperature with relative humidity to determine what temperature actually feels like.

The higher the index, the hotter the weather feels.

For instance, if the temperature is 90 degrees and the relative humidity is 70 percent, the air will feel as though it’s 110 degrees.

Also, consider the pollution level.

The higher the pollution level, the harder for you to breathe.

When the heat index exceeded 90 F, Consider jumping on the treadmill or cross-training.

You don’t want to torture yourself and end up in ER, right?.

This will make it harder for sweat to evaporate from your body.

Additional resource – Sodium for for runners

Dress Right

When the mercury rises, you need workout clothes that can keep you fresh, dry, and comfortable.

Go for high-performance fabrics that will wick the moisture and sweat away from your body.

High-performance fabrics have tiny channels that wick moisture away from your skin to the outer layer of the clothing, where it can evaporate faster.

Some of the best fabrics include Drymax, Coloma, Smartwool, polypropylene, and other high-performance athletic fibers.

What’s more?

Avoid tight clothing as it restricts the heat removal process as well as dark colors as they absorb the sun’s heat and light.

Protect Your Head

A running hat can help protect your face from the sun’s UV rays, as well protect your eyes from UV rays (again) impact that may lead to cataract and other eye problems after years of exposure.

This also helps reduce the risk of the sunburn.

A hat will also protect you from flying insects and cobwebs, especially if you run a lot in the country or on trials.

How about A visor?

Often a hat is too constrictive and may trap heat.

Instead, wear a visor if you want to wear something on your head to block the sun.

Additional Resource – Running in polluted areas

Be Patient

In order to prevent exertional heat stroke, it’s key to gradually acclimate yourself to running in hot weather.

It takes roughly two weeks for your body to adapt to the heat.

This is what’s known as heat acclimatization, and it consists of a series of physical adaptations that help your body better manage heat stress, cooling itself more efficiently in the process.

During that period, your working heart rate decreases, your core body temperatures lower, and sweat rate increases.

Instead of pushing the pace, scale down your running distance or intensity for the first few weeks.

Additional resource – Ice bath for runners

Pay Attention to Your Body

As long as you listen to your body and are willing to take the right precautions, you should be able to safely enjoy running in the summer season.

While running in the heat, pay attention to signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

These include:

  • Fast breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Redness or paleness in the face
  • Nausea
  • Warm, dry skin
  • Intense thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting

If you start to notice any symptoms—stop running, move to a cool, shaded area, and drink plenty of water until you feel back to normal.

Ignore these warning signs, and your condition will worsen, leading to a medical emergency.

If you already have a condition related to one of those issues, I suggest you run in a group or partner up.

Stay safe out there!

Conclusion

I can only give you this much attention because you are the only one that understands your body better than anyone.

By taking the above steps, you can pretty much guarantee that you can prevent a heat stroke when running.

It’s really up to you.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

Face First: Why Runners’ Face Protection Should Be Your Top Priority

Why do some long-time runners look old? If you’re looking for an answer, then you’ve come to the right place.

You’ve probably heard the rumors that running can make you look old or even cause wrinkles. But is there any truth to it?

The answer might surprise you.

Running is an intense activity that puts a lot of strain on your body, and it’s natural to wonder if it could also be taking a toll on your face.

In this post, we’ll dive into the science behind runners’ face and separate fact from fiction.

You’ll discover that the idea of a runners’ face is nothing more than a myth and learn some tips to protect your skin while running.

So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting started, keep reading to find out the truth about runners’ face.

The Truth Behind Runners Face

The mysterious “Runner’s Face” phenomenon is a fascinating yet controversial topic that has captured the attention of many runners and non-runners alike.

This alleged premature-aging phenomenon supposedly affects runners in their 30s and beyond, leaving them with a less-than-youthful appearance. But let’s delve into the depths of science and statistics to uncover the truth behind this enigma.

Some believe that the repetitive up-and-down motion of running causes the skin to lose its elasticity, resulting in sagging cheeks and facial structures. However, before we jump to conclusions, let’s examine the evidence at hand.

Contrary to popular belief, the theory of bouncing faces is nothing more than an urban legend. There is a distinct lack of solid scientific proof to support this claim. Instead, much of the so-called evidence stems from anecdotal accounts or dubious “sponsored articles” by beauty clinics attempting to prey on the insecurities of potential customers. So, when it comes to putting fillers in your face, you can confidently say, “No, thank you!”

But here’s the twist: While the bouncing face theory may not hold water, there are genuine reasons why some endurance athletes may appear older than their actual age. These factors have nothing to do with the repetitive motion experienced during training. It’s time to separate fact from fiction and uncover the true culprits.

Let’s get to the truth.

Why Do Runners Look Old – The Free Radical Theory

Research suggests that running and other forms of cardio training can cause free-radical stress that may damage collagen and elastin, the skin’s most vital supportive fibers. When you exercise, your body develops free radicals from training stresses, which is a natural response from the process of recovering and patching up the muscles. The problem is, depending on the length, type, nutrition, and recovery time, the excess of free radicals can accumulate and damage the cells, which we usually associate with aging.

Is It Hopeless?

Don’t throw your running shoes into the trash just yet. A study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine reported that only extremely intense training results in cell damage.

So, what qualifies as extremely intense?

Any training for 90 minutes or longer at 70 to 80 percent of maximum heart rate, according to research.

Maybe this is the reason why you’re more likely to notice some of these effects on serious endurance runners who log a lot of miles every week. Mild intensity is defined as training at 50 to 60 percent of the maximum heart rate three to five times a week.

In other words, if you’re a recreational runner performing most of your runs outside of the intense category, then you shouldn’t worry about scaling back your running to protect your precious face.

It’s important to note that regular exercise, especially running, is one of the major triggers for healthy skin. Exercising regularly can increase circulation, improve bone density, and upgrade your immune system, which may grant your skin a more youthful and lively appearance. Plus, exercise is also one of the best anti-aging measures you can take for your lungs, heart, brain, productivity, and brainpower.

Additional resource – Vitamin D for runners

The Sun

Running outside can be an invigorating and rewarding experience, but it can also put your skin at risk. Exposure to the sun can do a number on your skin and leave you looking older than your years.

Did you know that every minute spent under the sun counts as one exposure? So, if you’re going on a 2-hour run, you’re racking up around 120 exposures! The sun’s UV light can damage your skin’s layers and cause age spots, uneven pigmentation, and even skin cancer. According to research, 80 percent of the signs of aging are attributed to sun damage.

Air Pollution

It’s not just the sun you need to worry about. Air pollution can also contribute to the formation of a less-than-radiant complexion. In fact, a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that exposure to air pollution can drastically increase the signs of skin aging. If you’re curious about the impact of pollution in your area, you can check out Dermalogica’s Skin Pollution Index. The higher the number, the greater the impact on your skin.

For more on the impact of running and the elements on your face, check out the following sources:

Anti-aging Effects of Select Botanicals: Scientific Evidence and Current Trends

Does age-dynamic movement accelerate facial age impression?

The Relationships between Age and Running Biomechanics

The Facial Aging Process From the “Inside Out”

The Science and Theory Behind Facial Aging

How to Protect Your Face When Running Outdoor

Here are a few tips to help you protect your face while exploring the outdoors.

Use Sunscreen

Are you tired of constantly battling sunburn and uneven skin tone after a long run outdoors? Look no further than sunscreen, the ultimate weapon against the damaging effects of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. And no, sunscreen isn’t just for women – it’s for anyone who wants to keep their skin looking young and healthy, regardless of gender.

But not all sunscreens are created equal. To get the most protection possible, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your lips – after all, they need protection too.

If you’re a long-distance runner, opt for a spray sunscreen for easy reapplication during your run. But don’t forget to apply your sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before your run to allow your skin to absorb it fully.

And here’s a pro tip: sunscreen typically starts to lose effectiveness after about two hours, or even sooner if you’re sweating heavily. So be sure to reapply frequently, especially during long runs.

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, opt for a sunscreen with SPF 50 and no higher. While higher SPF may seem like a good idea, it can actually lead to a greater risk of clogged pores and breakouts.

But sunscreen isn’t the only defense against outdoor elements. Air pollution can also wreak havoc on your skin, leading to uneven pigmentation, age spots, and even skin cancer. To find out the impact of pollution in your area, check Dermalogica’s Skin Pollution Index.

Wear A Hat And Sunglasses

Let’s shed some light on the essential accessory that should be a staple in every runner’s wardrobe—the mighty hat or sun visor. This multitasking marvel not only shields your face from the scorching sun but also comes to the rescue when the sweat starts pouring. Say goodbye to pesky droplets interrupting your flow! A hat or sun visor soaks up that perspiration, leaving you with a cool and comfortable running experience.

Now, let’s talk about the windows to your soul—your eyes. Did you know that UV rays bouncing off the pavement or sand can wreak havoc on your ocular health? Don’t fret! We’ve got your back with a simple yet powerful solution—sunglasses! These stylish accessories are not just a fashion statement; they are a vital line of defense against the harmful effects of UV radiation. By donning a pair of sunglasses with UV/UVB protection, you shield your eyes from potential threats like pterygium, ocular melanoma, and cataracts. Now, that’s a sight for sore eyes!

But hold on, before you rush to grab any pair of shades, let’s dive into the science behind UV protection. Opt for sunglasses that offer reliable UV filters to safeguard your vision. Steer clear of those trendy but ineffective eyewear options that lack the necessary protective coatings. Remember, the more light that penetrates your pupils, the greater the risk to your eyes. So, be a savvy runner and choose sunglasses that prioritize your eye health without compromising on style.

Don’t Run Shirtless

While going shirtless may seem like a way to beat the heat, it actually exposes your skin to more sun, leaving it vulnerable to potential damage. What’s more, running shirtless can trap sweat against your skin, keeping you warmer than you’d like. But fear not, for there’s a simple solution that will revolutionize your running experience.

Enter the world of technical, high-performance shirts—the superheroes of moisture-wicking magic. By opting for a quality wicking shirt, you bid farewell to sticky sweat and embrace a drier, more comfortable run. These shirts work their magic by efficiently pulling sweat away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate and keep you cool. But not all shirts are created equal, so choose wisely!

When selecting your ideal running shirt, seek out breathable, lightweight fabrics that allow your body to breathe and regulate its temperature. Look for clothing designed with the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), a measure of how effectively the fabric blocks harmful UV radiation. The higher the UPF rating, the greater the protection for your skin. For example, a shirt with a UPF of 50 will only allow approximately 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach your precious skin. Now that’s impressive!

If you prefer running in sleeveless shirts or tank tops, worry not. You can still keep your arms protected by investing in sun-protective sleeves. These nifty accessories offer an extra layer of defense against the sun’s rays while allowing you to enjoy the freedom of your preferred running attire.

Now, let’s talk about fabrics to avoid—namely, cotton. While cotton may feel soft and cozy, it falls short in the sun protection department. Cotton fabrics typically have a UPF factor of approximately 5-7, meaning they allow a significant amount of radiation to reach your skin. So, bid adieu to cotton and embrace the world of performance fabrics engineered to keep you safe and comfortable.

Eat Lots of Antioxidants

Imagine this: a plate bursting with vibrant colors, brimming with the power to protect your skin. Say hello to the superheroes of nutrition—the antioxidant-rich foods that can thwart potential damage caused by those pesky free radicals. Let’s dive into the delectable options that can revolutionize your skincare game.

First up, we have the tropical delights of kiwi and pineapple, packing a punch of antioxidants to fortify your skin’s defense. These exotic fruits are not only a feast for the senses but also a feast for your skin’s vitality. Next, we venture into the realm of berries—the small but mighty warriors against free radicals. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries offer an abundance of antioxidants that can help keep your skin radiant and youthful.

But wait, the citrusy wonders of fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are also on the menu. Rich in vitamin C, these zesty treats not only give your immune system a boost but also work wonders for your skin’s health. The secret lies in their antioxidant properties, shielding your skin from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.

Vegetables take the stage as well, with broccoli leading the charge. This cruciferous powerhouse is not only packed with essential nutrients but also serves as a source of skin-loving antioxidants. Green and red peppers join the party, adding a vibrant touch to your plate while bolstering your skin’s defenses.

But let’s not forget the skin-boosting wonders of carotenoids—the antioxidants that lend a vibrant hue to fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, papaya, and mango are just a few examples of the skin-loving treasures that nature provides. By indulging in these colorful delights, you give your skin a powerful ally in the fight against free radicals.

If you’re looking for an extra boost, turn to skin supplements that contain vitamins A and E. These trusty allies work hand in hand to nourish your skin from the inside out, providing added support in your quest for youthful radiance.

Runners Face – The Conclusion 

I hate to disappoint you, but there isn’t such a thing as runners face.

The up-and-down movement is nothing to worry about, and it’s definitely not going to age your skin faster.

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t protect your face when running outdoors.

By taking the above steps, you can drastically slow down the aging of your skin.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

27 Running Motivation Tricks – How to Get Motivated to Run

Looking for simple ways to improve your running motivation?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you a list of 27 of my favorite strategies for keeping running motivation high.

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

1. Find Your Big Why

Knowing your big why is an essential way to stay on top of your goals.

Sorting out your priorities begins with you asking yourself why.

Why would you pursue something when you don’t actually know why you’re doing it. It doesn’t make sense, right?

To find your deep why ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do you want to run more regularly?
  • Why do you want to get fit?
  • Do you want to lose weight?
  • Do you want to eat healthily?
  • Do you constantly getting bullied?

Think about these questions for a few minutes, then make a detailed list of the reasons you want to accomplish your fitness goals.

Still a beginner? Try my beginner running plan.

2. Set The Right Running Goals

As a beginner, plan to run for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week.

Write down your goals, so you use them as a point of reference—they’ll also evolve as you get stronger and fitter.

Sure, feel free to dream big, but remember to stay within your fitness level.

Getting hurt is a common motivation killer.

Here are a few more goals to consider:

  • Working out 4 to 5 times per week
  • Losing one pound a week
  • Doing yoga twice a week
  • You name it!

You’re more likely to accomplish your ultimate running goal—whatever it might be—if you break it down into short-term, mini, manageable goals.

Here’s how to design your running program.

3. Write And Rewrite Your Goals

Setting your goals is the first step.

Rewriting is the rest of the steps of the trip, as you’ll need to make constant tweaks in order to reach your destination.

That’s why goal setting is a skill.

The more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it.

Write down your goals every day—even if this seems redundant.

The often your rewrite your goals, the clearer and more refined they get.

Doing so also reminds you of what you want to achieve.

4. Turn your Goals into Pictures

Post a picture or a visual representation of your running goals somewhere visible where you can see it on a daily basis.

Take three to five Post-It notes then jot down your top fitness and health goals.

Make sure that each goal is a few words long, just like a mantra.

Run three times a week, for example.

Other examples include:

  • Losing an X amount of pounds,
  • Developing healthy eating habits,
  • Improving running performance,
  • Increasing total body strength,
  • Getting more quality sleep,

Next, print out your goals in big words. Then, post them up on your refrigerator, computer desktop, your wall, or at work.

If you are running as part of a team or club you can also create visuals of the above goals by making custom patches for each goal. You can choose services of a patch manufacturer like UltraPatches to get your patches designed and manufactured in various types for your clubs and teams for every specific goal you want to visualize and use them as rewards and giveaways for achievements to motivate and boost the morale of members.

5. Plan your Running Routine
in Advance

“Action expresses priorities.” Mahatma Gandhi

Plan, to the letter, the type of run, date, time, and place of each session in your daily calendar.

This might be the best time investment you’ll ever make.

For an average month, you might go for a total of 15 to 20 workouts, depending on your schedule and training goals, of course.

Next, schedule your sessions the way you do with your social events and work meetings.

6. Plan Your Gear in Advance

I hate to sound like a broken record, but success does favor the prepared mind.

This is especially the case when trying to become a regular runner.

The better you prepare in advance, the easier you make it on yourself, and the more likely you’re to do it.

I hate to admit it, but the number of times I skipped a run because I couldn’t find my favorite running shirt is quite annoying.

Lay out everything you need for your run—clothes, trainers, water bottle, headphones, armband, general positivity—then place them on the kitchen counter or near your bed, so you always have every ready to go.

At least, never run in a rush so you won’t get irritated before you hit the track.

Here’s how to overcome your running excuses.

7. Draft a Contract

This may seem a bit out there, but drafting a contract can push your motivation to the next level.

This is especially the case when you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals.

Inside of contract, make sure to include the following:

  • Your long term goals
  • Your short terms goals
  • Your exact action plan
  • A list of your excuses
  • Rewards and punishments
  • Date at which you should reach your fitness goals.
  • Your signature and the date of signature

Next, hold yourself accountable for doing what needs to be done in order to apply the terms of the contract in your daily life.

8. Build a Support System

Research shows that building a support system can increase your odds of success.

This support system may include members of your family, friends, colleagues, and workout buddies.

Instead of plodding alone, build a supportive cast of encouraging and like-minded people, whether in person or online.

Just like my girlfriend and I, we try to be as annoying as possible whenever one of us is trying to be a couch potato or reach for the low hanging fruit.

Stay hard!

9. Find A Running Motivation Buddy

Having a running buddy keeps you honest—for both the short term and the long.

In fact, a workout buddy can provide you with a mix of accountability, competition, and support that can virtually ensure success.

Ask everyone—your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

You can also join a local sports club, or go online to find the perfect match.

What’s more?

Make sure you share similar fitness goals and have the same fitness level.

10. Make a Public Commitment

Want to use peer pressure to the max?

Share your goals with others.

Sure, this might not work for everyone, but it’s worth trying as research shows that making such a commitment makes it more likely to achieve one’s goals.

Share your goals with your family members, friends, co-workers, online buddies, then keep them updated on your progress.

11. Have a Killer Running
Motivation Playlist

According to study, listening to music while working out can improve mood, boost athletic performance, and increase consistency.

It also makes your training more fun. You don’t need science to know that.

Choose music within a certain tempo: roughly 120 to 140 bpm, or beats per minute.

You should also update your playlist often to keep it fresh.

Nobody loves listening to the same tracks over and over again.

Additional Resource – Why is my running not improving

12. Reward Yourself Often

Write down a long list of your mini-goals.

Then, write down a suitable reward or treat for every mini-goal.

By suitable I mean, it’s suitable to (1) the size of the goal ( for example, don’t reward completing a 45-minute weight lifting session with a long vacation in Paris).

And (2) does not compromise your ultimate goal—so, for instance, if you’re trying to lose 30 pounds of body fat, don’t reward a short run with a dessert binge.

You’ll only sabotage your results.

Common rewards include:

  • A nice healthy dessert
  • Reading your favorite book
  • Taking a long nap
  • Going to a nice restaurant
  • Binge-watching your favorite show.
  • Getting a message
  • A hot bath

13. Get a Coach

In case you can afford it, get a coach or mentor to work with, especially when you feel like you need more direction.

Here are a few perks of having a personal trainer:

  • Provide you with a structure for your training.
  • Provide you with the tools you need to break through some of your emotional barriers.
  • Learn the correct form and avoid technical mistakes.
  • Hold you accountable for your progress, improve your consistency, and speed up your fitness gains.

14. Keep a Running Journal

Monitoring your training helps you detect a pattern in training, which is vital in uncovering what works the best for performance and injury prevention. This is the case whether you’re a stressed mother, overworked manager, or a busy student.

You can monitor your goals online by using an app like LogMyRun to prompt you to enter data about your training,

After each run, note the following in your running log:

  • Time and distance
  • How you were feeling (physically, emotionally, and mentally)
  • Approximate mileage
  • Running speed
  • Weather conditions
  • Pre-run meal
  • Calorie burn
  • Sets performed

15. Chart Your Progress

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”- Peter Drucker.

Not keeping track of your progress (or lack thereof) is the recipe for stalled results.

It also makes it more likely for you to forget about the little improvements you have made.

Keep track of your progress using a training log or diary.

Or you can also use apps like JEFIT, Fitocracy, or Fitness to keep tabs on weights.

Here’s what to keep track of:

  • Your weekly body weight,
  • Your body measurements,
  • Number of reps and sets along with the weight used on each exercise,
  • Your weekly running mileage,
  • Your daily calorie intake,
  • Before and after pictures,

Websites like MyFitnessPal and Fitbit are also great resources and tools for keeping track.

set running goals to improve your running motivation

16. Use Affirmations

Still, struggling with your running plan?

Try using affirmations.

Affirmations are specific, positive, and empowering statements that can help you overcome negativity, self-sabotage, etc.

Here is a list of some of my favorite affirmations.

  • I love fitness and exercise every day.
  • I am motivated at all times to work out.
  • I embrace success in all areas of life.
  • I am becoming more and more motivated every single day.
  • I find it easy to motivate myself and get myself in the right state of mind.
  • My life is full of purpose and motivation.
  • I feel motivated and am moving in the direction of my fitness dreams.
  • I am a highly motivated person
  • I am highly motivated, ambitious and driven
  • I am always looked up to as someone with high energy, drive, and motivation

17. Act Like it

This is an excellent tool I picked up from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

And in essence, it’s the good old fake it until you make it tactic.

According to the “act as if” principle, it’s possible to manifest outer circumstances and conditions by acting “as if” they already happened.

By “acting as if” you already have something you want (even though you might not feel like doing it), you’ll create the conditions for it to manifest in your life with greater ease and possibility.

There is nothing spooky about it.

For instance, we can feel happy by acting as if we are already feeling happy (even if we are miserable as f**).

By doing so, you’ll find it that you actually start to feel motivated for the workout.

18. Use the Stick

Humans are not that complicated when it comes to motivation.

We are either motivated by the things we want—the carrot, or by the things we don’t want—the stick.

What’s more?

Research shows that pain is actually a stronger motivator.

To use the stick, ask yourself the following question:

  • What is the cost (physical, emotional, social, and health-wise) of failing to see your running resolution to fruition?
  • What are you standing to lose by not getting fit?
  • What are the consequences of leading an unhealthy life?
  • Next, write down your answers and revisit them on a daily basis.

19. Put Money On the Line

There are plenty of websites and apps that help you bet on your training goals.

If you don’t want to stay accountable for your action, you lose money or have to donate to a charity whose cause you don’t support.

If you accomplish your goal, you’re either rewarded with a paycheck or donation to your favorite charity.

You can also pre-book your gym sessions—and pay for them in advance.

Or plunk down some money for a race.

Once you prepare an ongoing group class or a personal trainer, you’ll want to show up to get your money’s worth.

20. Take a Recovery Week

Running, especially high-intensity training, can put a lot of stress on your muscles, tendon ligaments, joints, and the nervous system.

By taking time off, you help your body to repair damaged muscle tissues.

Schedule a recovery week every fourth or fifth week of intense training.

Do it in a periodic manner, and you’ll always come on top.

During the recovery week, you’re not allowed to run, lift, or do anything at all.

You only need to go on walks and mind your diet.

There’s no fixed rule on this. Feel free to set goals and recovery on your own.

21. Don’t Skip Your Runs

You might feel tempted to tell yourself, “No biggie, I’ve been running for a few weeks in a row…I’ll just skip it for a couple of days, then I’ll be back on track,” that may harm your running motivation.

Cracks are starting to form, and you’re trying to ignore them.

Make it a rule to not skip a single run, especially during the few first weeks. If it’s on schedule, it has to be done.

If you fail, don’t beat yourself up, nor be harsh on yourself—everyone messes up sometimes.

22. Run in the Morning

Research shows that people who exercise first thing in the morning tend to stay better consistent with their training program.

It’s a matter of priorities.

You’ll be less likely to get distracted in the morning when the rest of the world, especially your children (if you have any), are still asleep.

To make this a reality, set your alarm, put it somewhere it away from reach, lay out everything you need for our morning workout, then go to sleep.

Give it a try! Surely you are going to be addicted.

You can also try running twice a day.

23. Run Commute

Running is a fantastic exercise, but it’s also a great mode of transportation, so try running to or from work.

In some cities, running can be often faster than driving during rush hour.

Who knows, you might end up getting home earlier than you’d normally do taking the public bus.

The first step? Simply stuff your essentials—cash, credit card, ID, phone, etc.—into a runner-friendly backpack or fanny pack and run home from work instead.

Remember: Check for the safest and best routes in your location.

Additional resource – Ice bath for runners

24. Run for Health, Not Just Weight Loss

Lots of people take up running because they want to lose weight.

But regular training benefits go beyond the scale. In fact, if you’re only running to slim down, you’re not seeing the big picture.

Here’s what you stand to gain from exercising regularly:

  • Reduce the risks of chronic diseases,
  • Strengthen your body,
  • Decrease your risk of heart disease,
  • Strengthen your immunity system,
  • Improve productivity,
  • Add years to your life,
  • Fight off mental problems, like depression and anxiety,
  • Boost your endurance and strength,

25. Compare Yourself To Yourself

Being competitive is a good thing, but when you start comparing yourself to others, you might end up doing more harm than good.

This is, of course, something we all do: we look at the guy (or girl) next door and check if they’re doing or having better or more than us.

This achieves nothing but makes us feel bad.

Instead of comparing yourself to other people, build the habit of comparing yourself to yourself.

Yes, it’s a skill that requires practice, patience, and time to fully develop.

But, by building this habit, you’ll learn how to keep the focus on you.

On your own achievements.

On your own results.

And nothing else.

26. Be Grateful

Being a runner is a gift that you should never take for granted. Just think about the last time you got injured and couldn’t go for your 5-mile run. It sucks, doesn’t it?

But are you grateful?

If you’re not, which is likely the case, then

grab a little notebook and start jotting down the things you are grateful for. Begin with the obvious and build it up from there.

These might include:

  • Having a family that supports you,
  • Being able to work out (many people cannot due to serious health issues),
  • Having a roof over your head,
  • Being able to read these words,
  • Waking up this morning,
  • Getting to work on time,
  • Having enough money in your bank account,
  • Not living in a war zone,

27. Don’t Give up

Fall down seven times, get up eight,  Japanese saying .

Running motivation is a fleeting mistress.

It comes and goes. You cannot confine it.

In fact, making mistakes and falling off the fitness wagon is 100 percent normal.

Nothing happens overnight except for failure.

Failure can pull the rug under you without you even noticing anything going wrong until it’s too late.

Please, whatever you do, do not give up.

When all else fails, just keep on going. It’ might just take you a few tries before you make it to the end goal.

Keep on going strong toward achieving your goals.

That’s what matters in the long term—not just some hacks and tactics you picked up from a blog or website.

Conclusion

There you have it! The above running motivation tips should be enough ignite your fire and get you going as fast as possible.

Taking the first step is often the hardest, so the easier you can make that, the more successful you’ll be. The rest is just detail, as the saying goes.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for stopping by! Keep running strong.

David D.

The Benefits of Deadlifts for Runners: Strengthening Your Way to Success

picture of deadlift

If you’re serious about taking your running game to the next level and reducing your risk of injuries, then listen up, because I’ve got some exciting news for you. It’s time to bring deadlifts into the spotlight and make them your new best friend on the road or trail!

Now, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, isn’t running all about endurance? Why would I need to bother with body strength?” Well, my friend, let me tell you something: that’s a common misconception, and it’s time to set the record straight. Strength training is an absolute game-changer for runners, and one exercise in particular stands tall among the rest—yes, you guessed it—the deadlift!

But hold on, don’t roll your eyes just yet! I promise you, this is not your typical boring workout routine. Deadlifts are like a secret weapon for runners, providing a whole range of benefits that can supercharge your performance. They’re not only runner-friendly but also downright awesome for building strength and resilience. Trust me, once you discover the power of deadlifts, you’ll wonder how you ever ran without them.

In this article, I’m going to spill the beans and share with you why deadlifting is an absolute must for runners. I’ll also let you in on a few of the most efficient deadlift variations that you can seamlessly integrate into your cross-training routine. So, lace up your shoes, grab a water bottle, and let’s dive into the world of deadlifts together!

Ready? Let’s hit the ground running, quite literally, and uncover the secrets behind this extraordinary exercise. Buckle up, because it’s about to get exciting!

Are Deadlifts Good for Runners

Let’s talk science for a moment. The deadlift is not just any exercise—it’s a compound movement that targets a wide range of major muscles in your body. We’re talking about the ones that truly matter for us runners, like the powerful back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings.

These muscle groups are the driving force behind our forward propulsion, and they hold the key to unlocking our speed and stability while pounding the pavement or conquering the trails.

Now, you might be wondering, “How exactly do I nail the deadlift technique?” Fear not, my friend, for I’ve got your back. There’s a treasure trove of deadlift variations out there, just waiting for you to discover them and add them to your cross-training routine. But here’s the catch: you’ve got to do them right. We don’t want any unnecessary injuries derailing your running dreams, do we? Proper form is crucial, so take the time to learn and master the technique.

But hey, don’t fret over which variation is the “best” one for you. The beauty of deadlifts lies in their versatility. Choose the variation(s) that resonate with you the most, considering factors like personal preference, injury history, and your specific training goals. It’s like crafting your own unique path to greatness, tailor-made for your individual needs.

Now, I know you might be thinking, “Hey, can you back up these claims with some evidence?” Absolutely! Let me unleash the power of research and share a few pearls of wisdom with you. Numerous studies and research papers have highlighted the remarkable benefits of deadlifts for runners. They not only enhance overall strength but also contribute to improved running economy and injury prevention. It’s like giving your body an upgrade, boosting your performance, and safeguarding you from potential setbacks. Talk about a win-win situation!

Beginners Start Slooooow

Beginners, start with a relatively lightweight and focus on proper form.

So if you are a beginner, start with relatively lightweight (a 40-pound loaded bar, for instance) and focus on your technique.

Ego won’t work here, make sure to make form a priority.

Here are six deadlift variations to try, whether you’re seeking to improve your strength, speed, power or endurance

1.     Conventional Deadlift

This is the classic form of a deadlift and the foundation of all other variations.

Get this one right, and the other versions will come in handy.

There is a lot to cover here, so please hang with me here.

Proper Form

Stand tall, feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead or slightly outward.

Line up the balls of your feet under the bar.

Then, hinge from the hips, bend your knees, then grip the barbell with shoulder width or slightly wider with an overhand grip.

This is your starting position.

Be kind to your spine.

Always protect your spine by activating your core.

I’m talking about your abdominal muscles here.

If you feel somehow painful in your lower back, drop it down, activate more.

Next, raise the weight up by extending your hips and.

Remember to contract your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calf muscles while keeping the weight close to your body head up, chests out, back flat, and knees pointed in the same direction throughout the movement.

Hold for a moment, then slowly bring the weight down to the floor by bending your hips and knees.

2.    Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift is the wider stance version of a deadlift, and it focuses primarily on the quadriceps, the inner thighs, and glutes.

The move can also help you improve your range of motion (especially within your hip flexors) needed for lifting heavier weights without injury.

Proper Form

Start by standing tall,  feet twice shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out at an angle, chest up,  again core should be activated.

Next, while keeping your back flat, bend your knees, hold the bar and lift it up by pressing through your heels and thrusting your hips forward.

Stand all the way up, pause, then slowly lower it to starting position and repeat.

3. Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift is a fantastic variation for the hamstrings, an important running muscles.

Feel free to perform it by either using a loaded barbell or with dumbbells.

Proper Form

Begin by standing with shoulder width or a narrower stance—depending on your own personal preference.

Grab the bar from the floor with shoulder width to wide overhead grip and keep looking straight ahead as you lift the weight up.

Next, while keeping your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly bend at your hip joint and lower the loaded barbell as far as you can without rounding your back.

Make sure to extend your hips forward until you starting feeling a good stretch in the back of your thighs.

Bend down as far as your flexibility allows, but don’t force it; otherwise, expect trouble.

Once you reach the bottom portion, pause, then pull the weight back up to starting position and repeat.

Make sure to squeeze your hamstrings and core muscles at the top of the motion.

4. Trap Bar Deadlift

Trap Bar version is back friendliest deadlift-.

No room for injury to stop you.

This variation helps you cut injury risk while upping your ability to lift heavier loads.

Proper Form

Stand in the center of the trap bar, bend your hips and knees, then lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Next, while keeping your back straight and core engaged, grab hold of the bar’s handles using a neutral grip, then lift it up by thrusting your hips forward, pause, then slowly return to the starting position.

5. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

The Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift focuses on the inner thighs and lower back muscles.

It also improves balance, strength, coordination in the entire lower body.

Proper Form

Assume a wider stance, your toes pointing outwards, core engaged, and back flat.

Next, while bending at the hips, grasp a kettlebell of challenging weight with both hands, then lift up off the ground by extending your knees and hips.

Then, stand tall with chest out, head held high, and core engaged.

Lift the kettlebell off the floor by extending your hips and knees.

Make sure to stand tall, with chest out, core engaged, and back straight.

Pause, breathe, then lower to starting position.

Additional resource – Single leg bridge for runners

6. Single-Leg Deadlift

The Single-Leg Deadlift works the glutes like nothing else.

The glutes are the central power of your running stride, and essential for keeping stability throughout your gait.

Make sure to build the proper form first before do it with single leg.

I’d suggest that you perform this variation with a kettlebell as it’s more convenient, but feel free to use other tools.

Proper Form

Hold a 15 to 20-pound kettlebell in your right hand, and lift your left foot slightly off the ground.

Next, while activating your core and keeping your back straight, lean your entire torso forward and lower the weight toward the floor by bending at the hip and extending the left leg behind.

Hold for a count of three, then press back up to starting position.

Super worth a try, right?

For a stable posture during your running schedule. Deadlift not as scary as the name, though.

What are you waiting for?

Yoga For Runners – Top 27 Yoga Poses To Try

Have you ever thought about supercharging your running routine with a touch of yoga magic? Well, today is your lucky day!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll be your yoga guru, unveiling a treasure trove of poses to boost your flexibility, mobility, and strength.

But before we roll out the yoga mat, let’s first uncover the incredible perks yoga brings to your running game.

Yoga Increases Flexibility

As a runner, you’re no stranger to muscle tightness. Those nagging aches and pains often stem from muscles that are too tight, leading to injuries and subpar performance. But fear not, yoga has your back (and hamstrings and calves)!

Yoga is your secret weapon against muscle tightness. Through regular yoga practice, you’ll improve your flexibility, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy range of motion in your joints and muscles. Say goodbye to those stiff glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles – yoga will help you regain your suppleness.

Yoga Boosts Total Body Strength

Running is fantastic for your lower body – it’s like a strength training session for your legs with every stride. However, it tends to focus primarily on specific muscle groups, leaving others underutilized. This imbalance can set the stage for injuries down the road, like the dreaded runner’s knee.

Enter yoga, your ticket to a balanced, full-body workout. In yoga, you’ll engage all your muscles in various poses and movements, building strength evenly across your body. Think of it as a holistic approach to fitness. With yoga, you’ll discover newfound strength in your core, upper body, and those oft-neglected stabilizing muscles.

Yoga Enhances Mind-Body Connection:

Running can sometimes turn into a monotonous activity – one foot in front of the other, focusing on your pace, and miles ticking away. Yoga adds a refreshing twist to your routine by introducing mindfulness and a deep mind-body connection.

Yoga encourages you to be present in the moment, tuning into your body’s sensations and connecting with your breath. This newfound awareness can enhance your running form, making you more efficient and less prone to injury.

Strengthen Your Mind with Yoga

Running isn’t just about physical endurance; it’s a mental game as well. Your inner game, which includes self-confidence, self-esteem, and mental resilience, plays a vital role in achieving your running goals and conquering life’s challenges.

Yoga is your go-to tool for building a robust inner game. Through yoga, you’ll learn valuable techniques to calm your mind, manage stress, and boost your self-confidence. Poses like the Warrior series can instill a sense of power and determination, translating directly to your running endeavors. When your mind is strong, your body follows suit.

Breathe Deep With Yoga

As a runner, you understand the critical importance of lung capacity. Efficient breathing fuels your runs, providing the oxygen your muscles need to perform at their best. Yoga takes your lung capacity to the next level.

Yoga teaches you the art of full-spectrum breathing, engaging not just your shallow upper lungs but also your middle and lower lungs. This holistic approach to breathing increases your lung capacity and oxygen intake, benefiting your running performance.

On the yoga mat, you’ll discover the significance of breath control. Deep, controlled breathing not only optimizes your physical performance but also nurtures your mental state. It helps you stay calm under pressure, manage pre-race jitters, and focus during challenging runs.

Yoga For Runners as a Restorative Practice

Yoga, especially its restorative asanas (postures), possesses incredible soothing and healing powers. These gentle poses are like a comforting embrace for your tired body. They promote deep relaxation and conscious restoration after a challenging run.

This restorative aspect of yoga accelerates your recovery process, making you a healthier and more resilient runner in both the short and long term. It’s your secret weapon to bounce back faster and stronger.

Yoga is The Best Form Of Active Recovery

Active recovery, the practice of engaging in light exercise on your rest days, is essential for runners. Yoga reigns supreme in the realm of active recovery. Why, you ask?

Imagine this: It’s your rest day, and you’re itching to stay active without pushing too hard. Yoga steps in as the perfect solution. It provides a gentle yet effective way to keep your body engaged, promoting flexibility, mobility, and muscle recovery.

So, when recovery days roll around, don’t miss the opportunity to incorporate yoga into your routine. It’s your chance to rejuvenate and maintain your running prowess.

The Yoga Gear You Need

So, you’re ready to dive into yoga as a runner, but before you strike a pose, let’s talk yoga gear.

Having the right equipment can elevate your practice and ensure you’re getting the most out of it. Don’t worry; you don’t need a shopping spree – just a few essentials to get started. Let’s break down what you need:

A Yoga Mat

Just as runners rely on their shoes, yogis lean on their mats. A yoga mat is your sacred space, offering comfort and stability for your practice. It’s where you’ll find your balance, both physically and mentally.

Investing in a quality mat is worthwhile. Look for renowned brands like Hugger Mugger or JadeYoga.

While fancy mats can range from $90 to $120, you can snag a starter mat for as little as $25 on Amazon. Keep in mind that cheaper mats may lack durability and cushioning, so consider your usage frequency when choosing.

Straps

When practicing yoga, comfort is key. Opt for breathable, moisture-wicking yoga attire that allows you to move freely. Whether it’s leggings, shorts, or tank tops, make sure your outfit supports your practice.

Yoga Blocks:

In the world of yoga, the trusty yoga block is your best buddy. It’s a versatile tool that can help you enhance your practice, improve flexibility, and maintain proper alignment. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, yoga blocks have your back (or should we say your spine?). Let’s dive into why these blocks are a game-changer:

Bolster:

If you want to take your practice to the next level, consider a yoga bolster. It’s a cushioned prop that enhances relaxation during restorative poses and meditation.

Additional resource – The Myrtl routine

Yoga Clothing

Just as you choose the right running gear, picking the perfect yoga clothing can make a world of difference.

Here’s what to consider:

  • High-Performance Fabrics: Seek out yoga attire made from high-performance, moisture-wicking fabrics. These materials keep your body dry and comfortable during your practice.
  • Yoga Pants: A classic choice for both men and women, yoga pants come in various colors like navy, brown, or black. They offer flexibility and ease of movement, allowing you to flow through your practice comfortably.
  • Form-Fitting Tops: Opt for form-fitting tops that stay in place, even during those deep forward bends. You don’t want your shirt flying over your head mid-pose!
  • Mix and Match: Get creative with your yoga attire by mixing and matching different tops and pants. Express yourself through your clothing choices while keeping functionality in mind.

Take Classes

Embarking on a yoga journey is a marvelous way to harmonize mind, body, and soul.

But where do you begin? Allow me to guide you through the process:

Explore Live Classes

The energy of a live yoga class is truly unique. Consider joining a local yoga studio or fitness center. You’ll experience the guidance of a skilled instructor and the camaraderie of fellow yogis. It’s a journey best shared.

Online Yoga Classes

If a live class isn’t accessible, online classes are a fantastic alternative. You’ll discover a multitude of free yoga classes on platforms like YouTube.

Here are some YouTube channels that I recommend:

  • Travis Eliot
  • Yoga with Kassandra
  • Yoga With Adriene

Online Subscription Services

For a more extensive yoga experience, you might explore subscription services like Yoga Download. These services typically cost between $10 to $15 per month and offer a treasure trove of yoga courses suitable for all ages and backgrounds. They may even have specialized programs tailored for runners.

Whichever path you choose, remember that yoga is a personal journey. It’s not about how perfectly you perform each pose; it’s about connecting with your inner self, finding balance, and embracing mindfulness.

Yoga For Runners – The Best 27 Poses

Without further ado, here’s a long list of yoga poses for runners that improve flexibility, strength, and functional fitness.

Enjoy!

Note – A Yoga Warm-up Routine

Before you try any of the yoga poses shared below, please make sure you’re well warmed up.

Perform the following warm-up yoga sequence (even following a run) to get your muscles and joints for action.

Yoga For Runners  – The Flexibility Routine

The following yoga poses are exactly what you need to improve your flexibility as a runner.

1. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

The Forward Fold asana is ideal for runners since it opens up and stretches out the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back—some of the most troubled areas in runners.

Proper Form

Begin in standing pose, then as you exhale, hinge at the hips and bend forward, lengthening the front of your torso.

Next, fold forward slowly and grab onto your shins, or for a more intense stretch, reach down for your toes or ankles.

Breathe deeply and let the crown of your head move toward the floor, releasing and relaxing your neck and head as much as possible.

I highly suggest that you hold this pose for as long as you can.

Anyway, as long as you are breathing deeply and feeling the stretch, you are doing just fine.

A yoga strap is really welcome.

Step over the strap and try to pull the strap first.

After your spine neutral, reach deeper with the strap.

2. Downward-Facing Dog (Ado Muka Svanasana)

This asana mainly stretches the hamstrings.

Runners are notoriously infamous for tight hamstrings— this tightness can hinder performance and lead to injury.

In fact, injuries like runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, and other injuries, even leg cramps, have been linked to tight hamstrings.

This yoga pose also stretches the calves, and shoulders and strengthens the arms and legs.

Proper Form

To perform downward facing dog right, come into your hands and knees with hands straight below your shoulders and knees directly below hips.

Next, tuck your toes under, spread your fingers wide, then on the inhale, raise your knees off the floor and push your hips up toward the ceiling.

To dig deep into those hamstrings and calves, draw your heels down as far as it is comfortable.

Keep a slight bend in your knees if it’s too much to handle.

Hold the position for five deep breaths.

3. Low Side Lunge (Skandasana)

One of the most dynamic and simple poses for promoting flexibility and mobility in hips and hamstrings.

This pose can also help you prevent side cramps, along with other running pains and aches.

Proper Form

From mountain pose, separate your feet into a wide stance, then fold forward and place both hands on the ground.

Next, place your right hand on your right knee, and while exhaling, bend your right knee, while lengthening the left leg.

Make sure that your left foot is aligned with your right ankle.

Keep your chest lifted and open, and hold the stretch for five deep breaths. Then repeat on the other side.

4. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

Tight hips are another major issue among runners.

Nevertheless, the Triangle pose is a great asana for stretching the hip flexors as well as the groin and the hamstrings.

Plus, it also adds strength to the ankle, thighs, and knee, helping you ward off a plethora of running injuries.

Proper Form

To perform the Triangle pose, begin by standing straight and extending your right leg to the side a little more than hip-width distance apart.

Make sure to turn the right toes in slightly and rotate the right thigh open to turn your left foot at about 90-degree angle.

Next, turn your right foot perpendicular to your left as you extend your right arm straight above your right foot, then gradually fold over at your right hip and lower your hand down to grab your thigh, knee or shinbone.

If you want more, slowly walk your hand down to grasp your calf or ankle, or big toe, but never compromise good form.

Hold the position for five breaths, then slowly press back to starting position and switch sides

5. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

This is a must yoga pose for runners since it opens up and stretches the scapula, shoulders, elbows, ankles, hips, and knees, and also strengthens the calves and ankles, as well as improving balance and coordination.

Plus, it speeds up blood flow, leading to faster recovery rates after a workout.

Proper Form

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, raise your hands above your head, and swing them down in front of your body, wrapping your left arm under your right arm.

Next, bend your right knee and cross your left leg around the right leg, hooking your left foot on either side of your right leg.

Lower your butt down as much as you can and lift up through the arms to stay well balanced.

Keep the pose for the five deep breaths, then unwind and switch sides.

6. Camel (Uṣṭrāsana)

As a runner, chances that you spend a lot of time hunched over, shoulders in, and chest down.

That’s why a heart-opening pose, like the Camel, is ideal.

This yoga asana improves flexibility and strength in the upper body, and it also can help you build better posture—on and off the running track.

Plus, opening your chest will not only counter some of the bad posture patterns from running, but it will also open up your chest and give you more space to breathe, and as you know, the better you breathe, the more oxygen you pump into your blood and working muscles, thus the better you run.

Proper Form

To safely perform the Camel asana, begin with your knees on the floor, hip-width distance apart, and hands on the hips.

Next, stack your hips right over your knees, draw the shoulder blades down the back, and reach back with your hand to take your low back.

Focus on your knees, if its in a V shape, you are doing something wrong.

Then, from there, take the center of your chest up and slide your palms down as far as you can.

Try to reach back to take hold of your feet or ankle.

Reach as far down as it’s pain-free.

Shoulder blades should be facing to the sides of your body, not forming M shape.

Avoid M shape on your shoulder blades for deeper pose and bigger space.

Stay in the pose for five deep breaths, then slowly come back to starting position.

7. Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

As a runner, stress, and tension can build up in the hips and create tightness—a tightness that can compromise performance and lead to a plethora of running injuries.

The Pigeon asana increases the range of motion and flexibility in your hips, boosting running performance and reducing the risks of injury—especially knee pain.


Proper Form

To perform the Pigeon right, start from table pose (on all fours), then slide your right knee forward toward your right hand, then straighten and stretch your left leg back as far your hips will allow.

Rest your right shin on the floor, slightly behind your hands.

Next, square your hips and lower your body down as far as you can while feeling the stretch in your hips, glutes and groin area.

You can sit up and rest on your palms, elbow, or lie all the way down for a deeper stretch.

Hold the pose for five deep breaths, then to come out from the Pigeon, tuck your left toes under and bend your left knee and slowly glide your right leg back until you are back to starting position.

Switch sides.

Yoga For Runners  – The Recovery Routine

Here are my yoga poses for post-run muscle soreness and recovery for runners.

8. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Asana)

If you pick only one pose from my my yoga for runners list, do the Viparita asana.

This inverted pose speeds up recovery by draining fluids from the legs, stretching the hamstrings—troubled area for runners—and releasing tightness and stress in the lower back, feet, and legs.

Plus, it’s so simple and easy to perform.

Proper Form

To perform the Viparita asana, start by sitting with one hip close to a wall.

Next, swing both legs up the wall and get your butt as close to the wall as it’s comfortable.

If you feel any pain in the lower body—especially in the hamstrings—then slide a few inches away from the wall.

Hold the position for as long as you can, then to come out safely from the pose, bring your knees into your chest for a couple of breaths, roll to one side, rest for a moment, then slowly get up.

Make sure spine neutral, not curving so your legs are not going to put stress on your spine.

9. Seated Star Pose (Baddha Konasana)

A great pose for releasing tension in the hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting down on the floor with the soles of the feet together, heels roughly 20 inches in front, and knees bent in a kite shape, forming a diamond shape with the legs.

Next, straighten your spine then slowly round the spine forward, bringing the forehead towards the heels.

Hold the pose for one to two minutes before slowly releasing.

Here are seven yoga poses for your post-run routine that will help you speed up recovery rate, thus bounce back faster and keep you running injury free for the long haul.

10. Reverse Child’s Pose

An ideal asana for stretching and releasing the quads and hip flexors.

It also elongates the back and relaxes the entire body.

Proper Form

To perform this pose right, start by sitting on your heels with your big toes touching, knees about hip-width apart and hands resting on your thighs.

Then, lay your torso between your thighs and lower your belly and chest to rest between your knees, bringing the back of your head to the mat.

Next, extend your arms straight in front of your palms down on the floor, and stomach sitting comfortably on top of your thighs, forehead to the mat.

Stay here for at least a couple of minutes.

Try 30 seconds, if you feel comfortable, you can add it up from 60 seconds to two minutes.

11. Reclining Cobblers Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

A great restorative yoga asana for releasing the abductors, chest, hips, groin, and the lower back.

Proper Form

Start by sitting in a Staff Pose, with the legs extended straight in front of you on the floor.

Then, bend your knees and draw your heels in toward your pelvis.

Next, press the soles of your feet together and slowly drop the knees open to the sides, then slowly lean backward and bring your elbows to the mat.

Lower your back as far as you can.

Hold the pose for ten deep breaths, then to come out safely, roll over to your right side, and sit up, using the hands to support you.

Feel free to use props to deepen your pose.

Blocks can be placed under the knee.

If you are into Iyengar, you can wrap strap and sit on it, so you can really control the stretch.

12. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Another ideal pose for opening and releasing the hips and groin.

This pose stretches the hip joints, which can get tight and stiff from running.

Plus, this pose is very calming for the body and mind.

Proper Form

Start by lying down on your back, and on the exhale, draw your knees into your chest and grab the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands.

If this stretch feels too much, then grab behind your thighs.

Next, open the knees and bring your hips down to the floor as far as you can, and hold the outside of the feet as you draw the knees toward your armpits while keeping your lower back firmly on the floor.

Breathe deeply and make sure to rock gently from side to side to release any tension.

Hold the pose for ten deep breaths, then move on to the next pose.

13. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This asana twists and releases the spine, and also stretches the shoulder, glutes and the hips—troubled areas for runners.

This pose lengthens the back muscles, which is good for relieving back pain— especially following a long run or after sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Proper Form

Start off by lying on your back, then bend both knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor.

Next, bring your right knee close to your chest and extend the left leg straight on the floor.

For the twist, drop your right knee over to the left side of your body, twisting the spine and low back.

For more stretch in the upper body, open your right arm to the right side in line with your shoulders, while resting your left hand on your right knee for a deeper release and twist in the spine and lower body.

Hold the pose for ten deep breaths, then slowly bring your right knee back, straighten your right leg, and do the other side.

14. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The perfect pose for rest, relaxation, letting go, and contemplating after a workout.

Proper Form

To make the most out of this awesome pose, lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor.

Use a small pillow (or fold your mat) below your neck if you have to.

Next, close your eyes, keep your legs comfortably apart, release your feet and knees complexly and breathe deeply.

There is nothing to do.

Just be present and turn your attention inward and scan your body from head to toe, looking for tension and contracted muscles.

Go as deep as you can, and enter a complete state of total relaxation.

Let your mind go then bring all of our attention to your breath.

Be in the now.

Stay in Shavasana for at least 10 minutes.

You can have soothing and relaxing music in the background.

It’s okay to fell asleep during this pose.

Most of the yogis did that too!

Yoga for runners couldn’t be this easy.

Yoga For Runners  – The Strength Routine

Here are seven yoga poses that every runner should do to increase strength in the whole body

If you find any of these poses too easy and boring, then just hold the asana for one full minute or longer while making sure you have proper alignment and the right form to test your strength and stamina.

Don’t cheat.

That’s the motto.

15. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

This is a must since running is an exclusive lower-body activity, so the upper body gets tossed to the side.

So don’t be surprised if you have the upper strength of a 9-year-old.

The good news is that this pose is perfect for you.

This yogic pushup position builds strength in the upper body when done properly.

Yoga for runners at its best.

Proper form

Lie facedown, then propel yourself up to plank position.

Make sure your body is aligned from head to toe.

Next, come a little bit forward on your toes and bend the arms straight back, keeping the upper arms hugging into your sides as you lower your body to hover a few inches above the floor.

Pause for a moment, then push back up slowly to a plank position, or roll over the toes, and come back to upward facing dog.

Make sure to keep your shoulder below the level of your elbows and keep your whole body straight.

Do at least ten slow push-ups before you move on to the next asana.

Ideally, shoot for five sets of 10 reps.

Try not to collapse your hip or chest.

For easier one, try to move your wrist wider to the side.

16. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

The low lunge is a great pose that strengthens the thighs and the calves.

This asana also stretches the front of your hips.

Proper Form:

To perform Burning Low Lunge, step your right forward three to four feet to assume a lunge position.

Next, press back through the right heel to straighten the left leg.

Lower your left knee until it almost touches the floor and bring down your hands to the sides of the front foot, under the shoulders.

Hold the position for five deep breaths, then switch sides.

17. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III increases strength and length in the spine, core, and torso while also strengthening the muscles in your legs.

Plus, it also builds balance and concentration.

Proper form

Start by standing in mountain pose with feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides.

Then, step forward with your right foot three to four feet in front.

Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, so your toes point to the top of the mat, and pivot your left foot inward at a 45-degree angle.

Next, shift your weight forward onto the front heel as you gently kick up your back up in the air while bringing your torso forward until it is parallel to the floor.

Make sure to engage your core and that your neck is in a relaxed position.

Gaze at the floor a few feet in front of your body and hold the pose for five deep breaths, then bring your left leg slowly to the floor, and switch sides.

18. Crescent (Anjaneyasana)

This dynamic standing yoga pose strengthens all the muscles in your lower body.  It also stretches the lower body while improving balance and stability.

Proper form

From mountain pose, step your right foot three to four feet in front of you, then lower your hips into lunge position and shift your weight onto the ball of your back foot, bringing your hands to your hips or above you and reach for the ceiling, with palms facing each other if balance is not an issue.

Make sure to keep your upper body as high as you can while staying up on the ball of the back foot.

And check that your hips are squared the entire time.

Hold the position for five breaths then switch sides.

19. Goddess (Utkata Konasana)

Running requires a lot of glutes and quads action, and this pose can come in handy.

The Goddess asana is a wide squat variation that will tone your lower body and core like no other asana.

Proper form

From mountain pose, take a step open to the right, so your feet are about three to four feet apart, and lift your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.

Next, turn your toes out slightly, then on the exhalation, bend your knees directly over your toes and squat down, so your quads are parallel with the floor.

Hold the position for up to ten deep breaths, then slowly lower your hands to your hips, and press firmly into your feet to go back to starting position.

20. Three-Legged Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This is a powerful variation of the classic downward dog asana, and it will help you build immense strength and mobility in your lower body, especially in the glutes—also known as the buttocks—and lower back.

Proper Form:

In downward dog, step your feet together, so your big toes are touching.

Then with arms and legs straight, inhale and raise your right leg while keeping your hips level and the right foot strongly flexed, raising the right leg up in the air, and coming into a downward Dog split.

Hold the pose for five deep breaths, then switch sides.

Make sure to engage your core throughout the pose and to keep your shoulder parallel to the floor.

For more challenge, try balancing on one the right foot, left arm, then switch side—left foot with the right arm.

21. Bent Standing Split (Tadasana)

If you have any flexibility issues in the hamstrings, quads, and hips, then this asana will be extremely difficult (and really useful!).

Chances you are tight in these areas if you run regularly (and don’t a proper stretching routine to counteract the effects of pounding the pavement).

This move also increases balance, which enhancing coordination and strengthening the thighs, knees, and ankles—this can help you stop ankle sprains and reduce the risks of knee pain and injury.

Proper form

From mountain pose or Tadasana, hinge at the hips to come into a mild forward fold, with your fingertips touching the ground.

Next, shift your weight onto the right foot, then on the inhale, lift your left leg parallel to the floor.

As you lift your leg higher, bring your torso closer to your right leg.

For more challenge, walk your hands to either side of your right foot and grab your foot or ankle as much as you can.

Hold the pose for five deep breaths, then bring your left leg down on the exhale, recover for a moment, then on the inhale repeat on the other side.

 Core Yoga Poses For Runners

A strong core—the muscles of the abdominals, lower back, obliques, and glutes, is essential for preventing injury and fatigue in runners.

The core muscles are key for developing good running form and posture, stopping you from bending at the waist—especially when fatigue starts to set in.

This can help you ward off back pain along with a host of biomechanical problems.

The sequence includes seven powerful yoga poses to fire up and strengthen all of your core muscles—with no exception.

22. Plank (Phalakasana)

The plank asana tones most of your core muscles.

It also builds upper body and low back strength and lengthens the spine.

Proper Form

Assume a push-up position with hands and knees shoulder width apart, fingers spread wide apart with the middle finger pointing forward, and toes tucked under, pressing into the palms with the straight arms.

Form a straight line from your head to your ankles by tucking your tailbone under and engaging your core muscles to keep your pelvis torso steady and firm.

No sagging allowed.

To keep your legs active through the hold makes sure to press with your heels toward the back of the mat.

While maintaining your neck soft and gazing down at the floor, hold the plank position for one to two minutes before moving into the next asana.

Lift the base of the skull away from the back of your neck and gaze down the floor.

To come out of this pose, slowly bend your knees to the floor to assume child pose, then move on to the next asana.

23. Dolphin Plank (Makarasana)

Or elbow plank, this is a variation of the classic plank, resting on the elbow this time.

This asana targets more of the muscles of the abs, with less strain on the arms and shoulders.

This is a great asana for runners since it targets the entire core as well as helping improve posture and adding strength to stabilizer muscles.

Proper Form

Start by lying face down on the mat, resting your upper body on your forearms with your elbows right under the shoulders, and palms firmly grounded.

Next, to come into the dolphin plank, raise your hips towards the ceiling, coming onto the tips of your toes while staying on your forearms.

Make sure to maintain a straight line from your head to your heels by keeping your back flat and abs engaged throughout the hold.

If your spine curving, retreat and try again.

Make sure to protect your spine straight.

Hold the pose for one to two minute, then lower down and move to the next asana.

24. Balancing Star (Vasisthasana)

This is the third plank variation I’m sharing with you today.

This asana mainly targets your side core muscles—what’s known as the obliques—as well as strengthening the thighs, glutes, shoulders, and arms.

It also challenges your balance like no other asana—except for, maybe, Warrior III.

Proper Form

Start in the classic plank position, then roll open to your right side and raise your left hand off the floor, and stack your left leg your right leg.

Then, shift to face the side of your mat with your weight equally distributed between your right arm and right foot.

Make sure to keep your shoulders, spine, and hips in one straight line from the head to the ankle.

You can stay here balancing on your right hand with feet stacked.

But to come into the full version of Balancing star, raise your left foot up as high as you can and reach your arm to the ceiling as high and straight as you can without losing balance.

Be sure to keep a straight line from your head to your ankles.

For more challenge in the balance department, try looking up at your top hand.

Hold the pose for 45 seconds to one full minute while keeping the core engaged and pose steady throughout the hold.

To come down, lower slowly to classic plank then switch sides.

25. Boat (Navasana)

This is one of the simplest yoga moves with one and only purpose: sculpting and toning the abdominals.

This asana engages the deeps muscles of the abs and will improve your running posture and stability.

Proper Form

Begin by sitting on your mat with legs in front of you.

Next, bend your knees, lift your legs off the mat, and lean back a bit to balance on your sit bones, then bring your knees in toward your chest with your thighs at a right angle to the floor and shins parallel to the floor.

To do the Boat right, make sure to sit as tall as you can, then slowly start to straighten your legs, bring your arms out straight in line with your shoulders, forming a “V” shape with your body.

Don’t lean on your buttocks, that’s cheating as you’re not engaging your core properly.

Hold the pose for one to two minutes, then take your time to slowly lower down to the floor.

26. Sunbird Pose

Begin in tabletop pose, then reach forward with your right arm like you are about to shake someone’s hand and raise your left leg up, holding it parallel to the floor.

Make sure to engage your core muscles while you are doing your best to pull the extended limbs away from each other.

Next, bring your knee towards your chest while curling the right elbow to the left knee on the exhale, as if you are performing a crunch.

Then inhale and extend your arm forward and leg back.

Continue the motion for 12 to 15 reps, then switch sides.

27. Locust Pose (Salabha)

This asana is ideal for strengthening the lower back, the muscles that surround the back of the spine and abdominals as well as improving posture.

It’s also a great spine opener.

And it can help you undo the hunching effects of running, vital for building better posture, both on and off the running field.

Proper Form

Begin lying on your stomach on the mat with arms along the sides of your torso.

Then, place your hands, palms faced down, next to your chest, with your elbows bent like chicken wings.

Next, raise your chest off the mat by only using your back muscles, curving your spine upwards, and lifting your legs off the mat using your inner thighs up toward the ceiling as you reach the crown of your head up as high as you can.

Unlock Your Running Potential: A Guide to Pre- and Post-Run Nutrition

post run nutrition

Are you looking to boost your performance, enhance your recovery, and improve your overall health and fitness as a runner? Well, a crucial aspect to focus on is your pre- and post-run nutrition.

Neglecting what you eat before and after your runs is akin to heading out on a road trip without enough fuel in the tank – you won’t get far. What you consume and when you consume it can be just as important as your training regimen.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into the significance of addressing your nutritional needs before and after your training sessions. I’ll also provide you with an extensive list of pre-run and post-run meal and snack ideas to fuel your runs effectively.

However, it’s worth noting that the strategies outlined here may not be the best fit if your primary goal is weight loss. For weight loss-oriented eating plans while running, please refer to my weight loss page. Additionally, consulting with a dietitian for a personalized eating plan that aligns with your specific body composition is always a wise choice.

Let’s embark on this journey to optimize your runs and overall fitness – no emojis needed!

Pre-Run Nutrition For Runners – Meal Ideas

Getting your pre-run nutrition right is like giving your car the best fuel for a long road trip – it’s essential for peak performance. Just as the frequency and intensity of your runs matter, so does what you eat before hitting the pavement.

But there’s more to it than just energy. Research indicates that proper pre-training nutrition can help stave off low blood sugar and its unpleasant symptoms. These can include dizziness, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and even blurred vision – not exactly the kind of companions you want on your run.

How Much Food to Eat Before a Run?

So, how much should you eat before lacing up your running shoes? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. Your ideal pre-run meal depends on a few key factors: the intensity and length of your run, your fitness level, and your personal digestion preferences.

Here’s the deal: The size of your meal impacts how long it takes your digestive system to work its magic. A quick snack can be digested in less than an hour, a small meal might take one to two hours, and a larger meal could require up to three to four hours to fully process.

It’s like a finely tuned machine – finding the right balance ensures you have the energy you need for your run without any uncomfortable side effects.

Training Intensity and Food Choices

When it comes to your training intensity and food choices, it’s all about matching your fuel to your workout. Whether you’re hitting the 400m track or tackling a challenging hill, any run that drains your energy requires some pre-run nourishment.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re gearing up for a moderate to intense workout – think 5K pace or faster – you’ll need some energy in your tank. For most runners, a small meal consumed two to three hours before your run or a hearty dinner the night before should do the trick.

Now, if you’re planning an easy run, say 30 minutes or less at a relaxed and comfortable pace, you might get away with just a glass of water – especially if you’re already practicing healthy eating habits.

Alternatively, you can experiment with exercising in a fasting state if that works for you.

But what if you need a quick energy boost? In that case, reach for a light snack like a banana, an energy drink, or some revitalizing orange juice.

And if the idea of a full breakfast before a morning run isn’t your cup of tea, consider options like a small piece of fruit, a nutritious smoothie, a hypertonic sports drink, or a hearty, energy-rich dinner the night before to fuel your run.

Pre-Run Meals – The Right Choices

Here are some of the foods and snacks I eat before my runs to help keep me energized without weighing me down.

  • Banana or apple with nut butter
  • Two whole eggs with peppers, low-fat cheese, and onions
  • Smoothie
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Oatmeal with fruit and low-fat milk
  • Oatmeal with whey protein
  • Jelly toast and peanut butter.
  • Half a cup of brown rice with black beans
  • Half a cup of oatmeal with berries and agave.
  • Apple with a serving of walnuts
  • Sweetened potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil
  • Salad with roasted chickpeas and vinegar
  • Burrito with beans and brown rice
  • Banana with almond butter
  • Quinoa bowl with pecans and blackberries
  • Multi-grain crackers with hummus
  • Multi-grain bread with raw peanut butter.
  • Protein shake with one scoop of protein powder and a banana.
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt and raisins
  • Energy gel or energy bar.
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Whole grain bread and almond butter
  • Carrots and cheese
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Bagel with cottage cheese
  • Banana and chocolate milk
  • Yogurt and almonds
  • Trail mix of dried fruit and nuts
  • Crackers and cottage cheese

Post Run Nutrition For Runners – Meal Ideas

Post-run meals are not to be taken lightly; they play a crucial role in your recovery and overall training benefits. Neglecting the significance of what you eat after a run can result in feelings of fatigue, subpar performance, sugar cravings later in the day, and a less effective recovery.

By nourishing your body with the right nutrients in your post-run meal, you’re essentially continuing the recovery process, providing your body with the essential building blocks it needs to recuperate and thrive.

The Right Mix

Research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine highlights the importance of consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein immediately after exercise.

To optimize your post-run meal, experts recommend a ratio of 3:1 to 4:1 of carbohydrates to protein, although this can be adjusted based on your individual preferences and needs.

While the timing doesn’t have to be precise to the minute, it’s generally advised to consume these macronutrients within 30 to 45 minutes after your run for optimal results. Research has shown that delaying carbohydrate intake by more than two hours after exercise may lead to a significant reduction in glycogen synthesis, which is your body’s process of replenishing energy stores, by up to 50 percent compared to eating right after your workout.

Post Run Meals – The Best Choices

I highly recommend chocolate milk as an excellent option for post-run recovery. It provides an ideal combination of carbohydrates and protein to replenish your energy stores and support muscle repair.

Additionally, the high water content in chocolate milk helps replace the fluids lost through sweating and respiration during your run.

Furthermore, chocolate milk is rich in essential minerals, including calcium, which is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and supporting energy metabolism. It’s a delicious and convenient choice that can help you recover effectively after your run

Here are more easily digested post-run meals and snacks to experiment with:

  • Fruit and low-fat milk smoothie
  • Grilled chicken with roasted veggies
  • Salmon with sweet potato
  • Smoothie made with low-fat milk and fruit
  • Oatmeal with banana and almond butter
  • Cereal and skim milk
  • Tuna salad sandwich on grain bread
  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Almonds and a piece of fruit
  • Baked salmon and asparagus
  • Whole grain toast and almond butter
  • Sweet potato with cottage cheese
  • Low-fat chocolate milk
  • Yogurt with berries
  • Whole-grain bagel with egg whites
  • Pasta with chicken, eggplant, and broccoli
  • Egg white and spinach omelet
  • Pita and hummus
  • Vegetables and hummus
  • Whole grain cereals with banana and milk
  • Protein sports bars
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, almond, and banana
  • Turkey on a whole grain wrap with vegetable
  • Apple with almond or peanut butter.
  • A handful of raisins and nuts

Everybody is Different

Absolutely, it’s essential to understand that when it comes to meal timing and nutrition, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Every individual is unique and may respond differently to various foods and eating schedules. It’s all about experimentation and finding what works best for you in terms of performance, enjoyment of your training, and personal preferences.

So, if you’re hitting the running track after work, consider having a small pre-run snack like a banana with all-natural peanut butter or any of the snack options mentioned earlier.

However, feel free to choose your own healthy snacks that align with your preferences and needs. Remember, there’s no universal solution, and the snack ideas provided are simply suggestions to get you started on your journey to optimal nutrition for running.

Pre and Post-Run Nutrition – To Conclude

Today’s article is by no means the full guide to proper fueling for runners.

Performance nutrition is a very complicated topic, and it goes beyond my limited expertise.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep Running Strong.

Hydration for Runners – How Much Water Should a Runner Drink

runner drinking water

Ever felt like your engine’s running a tad low during a sprint? Maybe it’s that cramp in your side during a marathon or simply feeling zapped after a short jog around the block.

Could be a mystery, but let’s talk about a likely suspect – hydration (or lack thereof!).

It’s not just the summer sun that can leave you parched; those deceptive winter chills can also leave you surprisingly thirsty. The truth? No matter the season, if you’re putting one foot in front of the other, your hydration game needs to be on point!

You see, when we’re in motion, hydration isn’t just about quenching thirst—it’s the secret elixir for peak performance and dodging those pesky injuries.

Here’s the good news.

Navigating the waters (pun intended!) of hydration doesn’t require a PhD. Good news, right? You don’t need to be a scientist to sip smartly.

In this blog post, we’re diving deep into the ocean of hydration knowledge. We’ll explore the “whys” and the “hows” of water intake for runners. Ready? Tighten those laces, fill up that water bottle, and let’s make a splash!

The Importance Of Proper Hydration For Runners

Ever thought about going on a food cleanse? You could actually survive without food for about a month. Shocking, right? But try living without water for just a few days, and your body would raise the white flag. But why is water such a big deal?

The answer is clear (just like the best kind of water!). Our bodies are swimming pools, with about 60-70% of us made up of H2O.

Here’s the exact breakdown:

  • Brain Boost: Think you’re sharp? Thank your brain, which is a whopping 95% water.
  • Breathe Easy: Our lungs, which help us catch our breath after a run, are nearly 90% water.
  • Blood Flow: Our blood, the highway for nutrients and oxygen in our body, is cruising at 82% water.

The Roles of Water

Water performs many functions in the body, including:

  • Life’s Highway: Water zips through our bloodstream, delivering goodies like nutrients and oxygen to our cells and sweeping out the not-so-great stuff (a.k.a. waste).
  • Ever taken a jump or made a sudden move? Thank water for cushioning your soft tissues and keeping those joints smooth as butter.
  • Enjoying your energy bars? Water ensures you digest them right, so you get all the energy you need.
  • Want that runner’s glow? Hydration helps your skin get rid of toxins, keeping it fresh.
  • Feeling hot or cold? Water balances your body temperature through sweating and respiration, so you’re just right.

Dehydration – Why Do you Need to Avoid it?

The human body is like a sponge, and dehydration is when that sponge is dried up. Without enough fluids, everything starts to malfunction. Cells don’t get the water they need, organs don’t function optimally, and, frankly, things can get pretty dire. Ever felt dizzy during a workout or cramped up halfway through a run? Yep, it’s likely dehydration is the culprit.

Here’s How Dehydration Plays Out Inside You:

  • Sweat It Out: Running means sweating. And sweating means losing water. Your body is just trying to cool down, but it’s also draining itself in the process.
  • Blood Drama: Remember, our blood is about 82% water. So, as you dehydrate, your blood gets “thicker,” reducing the volume. That means your heart is pumping less blood with each beat.
  • Less Oxygen & Nutrients: With lower blood volume, your muscles aren’t getting the oxygen and nutrients they desperately need during a run. So, they cry out for help, which we feel as fatigue and slowing down.
  • Heart Works Overtime: Studies have shown that a mere 2% loss in body weight from sweating (which is easy to do on a long run) makes your heart work way harder. It’s like running with a backpack. Nobody wants that!
  • Nasty Symptoms Alert: Lower blood volume? Check. Overworked heart? Check. Add fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, and nausea to the mix. In severe cases, this can escalate to heat-related illnesses and even become life-threatening.

Additional Resource – What’s the best temperature for running?

Mild VS Severe Dehydration

Dehydration levels can range from mild to serious, even life-threatening cases.

Mild dehydration can typically be treated at home, whereas severe cases of the condition require immediate medical attention in a hospital or emergency care setting.

The most common symptoms of dehydration include:

Mild Dehydration

Severe Dehydration

  • Extreme thirst
  • Sunken eyes
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dark urine, or no urine at all
  • Fever
  • Loss of consciousness (in serious cases).

A Dehydration Epidemic?

It sounds strange, but despite water being readily available, many of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration. Experts suggest a large percentage of us don’t drink the recommended 60-70 ounces of water daily. And that’s just the average recommendation – if you’re active or running regularly, your hydration needs shoot up even further!

How Much Water Should a Runner Drink

As much as we’d love a neat, one-size-fits-all answer, hydration is personal. Why? Because we’re all unique individuals with varying needs based on several factors.

What Influences Your Hydration Needs?

  • Training Intensity: A casual jog around the block isn’t the same as training for a marathon.
  • Fitness Level: Newbie runners might sweat differently than seasoned marathoners.
  • Wardrobe Choices: Running in a t-shirt and shorts in the cool morning is different than donning layers in colder weather.
  • Personal Physiology: Some of us just sweat more than others – it’s just how we’re wired.
  • Environmental Factors: Running in humid Miami is a vastly different experience from a breezy San Francisco morning.

A Simple Guideline

While there’s no universal rule, a popular guideline suggests drinking half your body weight in ounces. So, if you tip the scales at 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water throughout the day. But remember, this is a general guideline. Depending on your activity level and the factors listed above, you might need more (or sometimes less).

Listen to Your Body

Remember the good ol’ thirst mechanism? Don’t ignore it. If you’re thirsty, drink up. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay on top of your hydration.

Additional resource – Your guide to Charleys Horse in runners

runner eating

How to Stay Well Hydrated While Running

Here are a few ways that can help reach your daily quota of the life-granting liquid:

Drink The Whole Day

Consistency is key. And when it comes to hydration, it’s no different. Drinking water consistently throughout the day is like ensuring your car’s gas tank is always full. You never know when you’ll need that extra mileage!

Morning Ritual

Start your day on the right foot (or sip!). Before you dive into that morning coffee or tea, grab a glass of water. It’s a refreshing wake-up call and kickstarts your hydration game.

Desk-side Buddy

Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, keep a filled water bottle at your desk. It’s not just decorative; it’s a visual nudge to sip frequently. Before you know it, you’ll be refilling it multiple times throughout the day!

On-the-Go Hydration

Heading out? Don’t forget your trusty water bottle. Whether you’re running errands or going for a quick walk, having water on hand ensures you won’t be caught dehydrated.

Bedtime Routine

Just as you begin your day with hydration, end it on the same note. A glass before bed can help maintain hydration levels as you sleep. But pro-tip: don’t overdo it unless you fancy midnight bathroom trips!

The Hydration Mantra

Having water accessible and in sight is the trick. The more you see it, the more likely you are to drink it. Make it a personal challenge – how many times can you refill that bottle in a day?

Additional Resource – Running in polluted areas

Start Your Runs Well Hydrated

Let’s set the scene: You’ve got your running shoes laced up, your favorite playlist ready to go, and the open road ahead of you. But have you checked your hydration levels? Before you set off on that run, let’s talk about pre-hydrating the right way.

The Rule of Thumb (or Glass!)

Aim to sip about 500 to 900 ml of water in the two to three hours leading up to your run. Imagine having two to four glasses of water as your pre-run ritual. And remember, if your body is already sending you thirsty signals, you might be starting on the back foot.

The Fine Balance

But here’s the catch: Just like in Goldilocks, you want the amount to be just right! Chugging too much water right before your run can give your kidneys an overtime shift, and you may find yourself hunting for restrooms more than focusing on your pace  (more on this later).

Additional resource – Sodium for runners

Hydration During Long Runs

For those extensive runs, remember the golden rule: sip about 150 to 250 ml (that’s roughly a cup) every 15 to 20 minutes. Picture it as your own little pit stop. A momentary pause not just to catch your breath but to quench your thirst.

Upgrade Your Drink!

And hey, if you’re out there for more than an hour, especially in that sweltering sun, swap out that water bottle for a sports drink. Why, you ask? These drinks pack both carbs and electrolytes, giving you that much-needed energy boost and keeping those muscle cramps at bay.

No Water Stops? No Problem!

We’ve all been there: those trails that don’t have a water fountain in sight. But guess what? There’s no excuse for not having water on hand. Enter the foldable tumbler. It’s your trusty hydration sidekick. Run with it, sip from it, and when you’re done, fold it up and tuck it away. Or better yet, find a water source and get a refill.

After Your Runs

Okay, you’ve done the hard work, aced that run, and now you’re back, a bit sweaty and super proud. But hang on, before you kick off those shoes and sink into the couch, I’ve got some important hydration homework for you.

The Post-Run Cool Down

Did you know that in just an hour of running, you might have lost up to half a liter of fluid? Yep, it’s not just sweat making your tee cling to your back! And if you decided to run during that midday sun? Oof! Those numbers can soar.

Here’s your simple rehydration blueprint:

Right after you finish, guzzle down two to three glasses of water within the first 10 to 20 minutes. Think of it as a mini-celebration for crossing that finish line!

A Quick Recap on the Hydration Timeline:

  • Prep Time: Guzzle down two glasses (that’s 500ml) about two hours before your run.
  • The Warm-Up Drink: Sip on one to two cups (250 to 500 ml) just 10 to 15 minutes before you hit the road.
  • Mid-Run Refills: Every 15 to 20 minutes into your run, have about a third of a cup (roughly 75 to 250 ml).
  • The Finisher: Once you’re done, down two to three glasses (500 to 750 ml) within 30 minutes.

The Pee Test

The color of your urine can be an insightful indicator of your hydration levels, offering a quick and straightforward check. Here’s how to use this method effectively:

  • Light Yellow – Lemonade: This is the ideal shade, indicating you’re properly hydrated. If your urine is consistently this color, you’re likely drinking the right amount of water.
  • Clear: Transparent urine might mean you’re overhydrating. While it’s essential to ensure you drink enough, excessively clear urine can dilute essential salts and minerals in your body.
  • Dark Yellow – Apple Juice: Darker urine is a sign that you’re dehydrated and need to increase your fluid intake. The darker the shade, the more you need to hydrate.
  • Smell: If your urine has a particularly strong odor, it might also be a sign of dehydration. A more concentrated urine can result in a stronger smell.
  • Portable Guide: If you find it difficult to remember these guidelines, printing out a urine color chart might be handy. Keeping it in your running bag can serve as a quick reference when you’re out and about.

Weigh Yourself

By weighing yourself both before and after your runs, you can get a clear picture of your sweat rate, which is essentially the amount of fluid you’re losing.

Here’s how you can make this method work for you:

  • Pre-Run Weigh-In: Before you hit the pavement or the trails, take a trip to the bathroom to empty your bladder, then step on the scale. Make a note of your weight (ideally without clothes to get the most accurate reading).
  • Post-Run Weigh-In: As soon as you complete your run, towel off any excess sweat and weigh yourself again (under the same conditions as your pre-run weigh-in).
  • Calculate Fluid Loss: Subtract your post-run weight from your pre-run weight. The difference gives you an estimate of the amount of fluid you’ve lost. For example, if you’re 1 pound lighter post-run, you’ve lost about 16 ounces (or 500 ml) of fluid.
  • Replace What You’ve Lost: For every pound you’ve lost during your run, aim to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water over the next few hours to properly rehydrate.
  • Factor in the Conditions: Remember, your sweat rate can change depending on various factors. Hotter temperatures or increased humidity can lead to a higher sweat rate. Likewise, if you’re pushing yourself harder or running at a faster pace, you might find yourself sweating more.

Do not Overdrink

Simply put, hyponatremia occurs when the sodium levels in your blood are abnormally low. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the balance of water in and around your cells. Drinking excessive amounts of water can dilute this essential electrolyte in the bloodstream.

Early signs of hyponatremia include nausea, headache, and bloating. If unchecked, it can escalate to more severe symptoms like confusion, seizures, vomiting, and in dire cases, coma or even death.

Runners, especially those participating in long endurance events, might feel the urge to drink large volumes of water to stave off dehydration. But without a corresponding intake of electrolytes, they can unknowingly dilute their sodium levels, putting them at risk of hyponatremia.

The best way to prevent overhydration is by drinking to thirst rather than sticking to a rigid schedule. Listen to your body’s signals. Consuming sports drinks with electrolytes during long runs can also help maintain a balance.

The survey from the 89KM Marathon in South Africa is a stark reminder of how prevalent and dangerous overhydration can be. Overhydration not only hampers performance but also poses significant health risks.

To Err On The Side Of Caution…

Everyone’s hydration needs vary. Factors such as climate, personal sweat rate, intensity of the exercise, and individual physiology play a significant role.

Both dehydration and overhydration present symptoms that can help in early detection. Learn to read your body’s signals.

Consuming sports drinks or electrolyte solutions can help maintain a balance, especially during prolonged activities. These can help replenish lost salts and reduce the risk of hyponatremia.

If you’re unsure about your hydration needs or suspect an imbalance in your electrolyte levels, seeking medical advice is a prudent decision. Regular checks, especially if you’re a long-distance runner or engage in intense training, can help prevent complications.

With time and practice, you’ll better understand your body’s hydration needs. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

How Much Water Should a Runner Drink – Conclusion

I think that’s pretty much it.

Today’s post covers all you need to know about staying well-hydrated when running and exercising.

Now, it’s up to you to put it into practice.

The rest is just detail.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.