When To Replace Your Running Shoes

When to replace running shoes

Do you know how often to replace running shoes?

If you answer no, you’re about to learn all you need to know about running shoes’ lifespan and how to make sense of it.

Here’s the truth.

Running shoes are an invaluable training asset. They help protect and support your feet throughout the running gait, which, in turn, improves performance and prevents injury.

What’s not to like?

Besides finding a pair of shoes that suit your running style and needs, the next thing you need to do to make the most out of your running kicks is to replace them regularly.

So, how many miles can I get out of running shoes? Then you’re asking the right question.

This is, in fact, a common question among most runners – knowing the exact mileage to run before a pair of running is truly worn out and needs replacement.

I hate to break it to you, but there are no black-or-white answers. There’s no formula. The recommended range can be as slow as 300 miles to over 600 miles, as it all hinges on several variables.

In today’s post, I’m explaining how long running shoes typically last and some warning signs that your shoes are past their time.

Let’s lace up and dig in.

Why Replace Running Shoes?

Run long enough, and your running shoes will wear and tear, especially the midsole.

So what’s the midsole, and why it’s so damn important?

The midsole has a thick layer supporting the feet throughout the running gait cycle.

Often made from foam materials, either Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), Polyurethane (PU), or a mix of both materials.

Viewed under a microscope, the midsole can be seen as made of hundreds of tiny air pockets that look like a sponge.

On every foot strike, these air pockets compress like a sponge, reacting and absorbing the stress and returning energy to you as you begin your next stride. This is the reason behind the bounce we experience in our shoes while running.

Here’s the truth.

When your footwear no longer provides enough protection and support as before, you’ll feel pain.

The longer you run in worn-out shoes—as in they don’t have the structure and components they were designed with—the higher the risk for something to go wrong—and it eventually does.

That’s why replacing your running shoes regularly is one of the best things you can do to prevent overuse injuries.

Additional resource – How to rotate running shoes

How Often to Replace Running Shoes?

Most experts recommend swapping out running shoes every 400 to 500 miles.

If you average 30 miles a week, look for new kicks every four to five months.

But the 500-mile isn’t gospel, even though it works pretty well.

The rule might be too simplistic and doesn’t apply to every runner or every shoe brand.

The exact number depends on many factors, such as running biomechanics (such as foot type and foot-strike pattern), running surfaces, body weight, and the type of running shoe.

Heavy runners who often run on a hard surface may need a new pair at the lower end of the recommendation range, while light runners who stick to

By the same token, if you often stick to a treadmill, you might not need to retire your kicks as soon as you’d if you regularly tackle technical trails.

Here are a few variables that impact your running shoes’ lifespan.

Shoe Construction

The exact mileage limit of running shoes will mainly depend on the way they’re wet-built.  That’s why choosing higher quality shoes will ensure you can reach the maximum mileage they can sustain.

The shoes’ materials impact how the lifespan of the shoes. Higher-quality materials are built for durability and endurance. This helps you get more miles from them.

The Surface

Depending on where you run, the bottoms of your running shoes can break down at various rates.

For instance, asphalt or urban sidewalks are much harder on the bottom of the shoes compared to softer surfaces such as grass or dirt paths.

Where you often run can also impact how often you should replace your running shoes. Whether it’s trails, roads, or a treadmill, pay attention to how the various surfaces affect the condition of your shoes.

Your Weight

Another crucial variable that impacts shoe lifespan is your weight. The heavier you’re, the more load you put on the shoes, wearing them down faster.

Your Running Style

Your pronation type can also impact the lifespan of a shoe and how many miles you can squeeze out of them.

For example, if you tend to overpronate, your shoes will likely wear out faster than a neutral runner training the same frequency.

That’s why you should examine your running gait at a running-specialty store or self-assess yourself, then choose cash that suits your style. This helps the shoes last longer and may save pain and injury.

how to often to replace running shoes

10 Signs You Need To Replace Your Running Shoes

Here’s what you need to pay attention to ensure your running shoes don’t run you into the ground.

1. Check The Tread

Paying attention to the appearance of your running kicks can reveal the early signs that it’s time to replace them.

One pointer is a worn-out outsole.

The outsole is the rubber part that comes in contact with the ground from your heel to the toes, and it’s an essential shoe part as it not only supports your feet but also provides the clearest signs of wear and tear.

Over time, the outsole begins to wear away.

Just like car tires, when they lose tread, the outsole smooths over and starts looking like a bald tire.

Examine any bald spots where the rubbers have worn out or broken away on the outsole.

A little abrasion should be no big deal, but when the tread is completely worn out, and the white midsole is exposed, it’s time to ditch that pair of running shoes.

Here’s the full guide to running shoe anatomy.

2. Check For Absorption

As I previously stated, the midsole is important because that’s part of the shoes that offers most of the support and cushioning come from.

Log too many miles, and this structure starts to break down and become useless.

Here’s how to check the midsole for wear and tear.

Put one hand inside the shoe, then press your thumb into its center (that’s where the midsole is located).

Get new shoes if you can feel your fingers cramming through the shoe and/or if the midsole feels rigid and hard.

You can also perform a flexibility test.

Hold your shoes with laces up, then bend the toe to the heel.

A shoe that folds easily indicates that it lacks proper support and is no longer suitable for running.

If the shoe feels firm, it’s still providing proper support.

3. Damaged Heel

In most cases, all you need to do when your foot slides up and down your shoe is to tighten the laces. But if doing so didn’t help, it’s a sign of significant wear on the inside of the heel as the shoe begins to fray.

4. Lack of Springiness

Though the outside of your shoes may look great, you may need to replace thyme if the sole has compressed, losing its cushioning and springiness ability.

Additional resource- How to prevent runners toe

5. You’re Feeling Pain

If you notice unusual pain while running, the wear and tear of your shoes could be the culprit. Of course, it’s not always the case, but nothing has changed about your training and form; the shoes must be checked out.

So if you experience little niggles in places you had none before — especially in the soles, arches, shins, and knees— then it’s time to look at your shoes.

This is especially the case when experiencing pain on both sides— for instance, in both knees.

6. You Can Feel Everything With Every Step

Feeling every stone with every step is a serious sign of wear. Running shoes should provide protection and proper cushioning so that your feet land softly on the ground without feeling stones and rocks.

If you don’t toss the shoes, it will eventually lead to pains, blisters, and soreness.

7. You Can Feel Discomfort And Pain

The second you feel discomfort or pain while running, the chances are your shoes have run their course. Aches are never a good sign, and one of the problems causing this is worn-out cushioning. The pains usually appear right after a run, a solid sign that you need to replace the shoes.

Yes, these symptoms can appear for other reasons, but you must check your shoes once you notice any muscle stiffness, pain, or discomfort. Always pay attention to the alerts coming from your body. The aftermath of a run should leave you happy and accomplished, not extra-tired and with painful feet, ankles, lower back, or shins.

8. You Notice Slipping

It does look like an obvious pointer. Unfortunately, many people decide to ignore it. Slipping while running on a dry surface usually means it’s game over for the shoes.

If you’re an experienced runner, you already know that slipping can happen, but mostly during winter when the temperatures are cold, and there’s ice on the ground. But once you start noticing it on dry surfaces, get ready to splurge on a new pair.

9. Check The Soles

Flip your running shoes to check the soles for damage, especially in the midsole area. People have different running styles, meaning not everyone will wear their shoes equally. They can look great on the outside at first glance, but paying close attention to their appearance is important once you’ve run over 500 kilometers.

The outsole is usually the first part that shows signs of wear, and the midsole follows. Next, check the treads; if they look worn out, you have some shopping.

10. Check For Blisters

Another sign to remember is constant blisters on your feet after running. It can mean that you simply don’t have the right pair of running shoes or that it’s time to retire the one you have.

So, if you suddenly have blisters, especially in the middle part of the sole, unfortunately, time to ditch your old running shoes. With use, the shoes change their shape, end up worn out, and don’t fit your feet how they’re supposed to.

Making Your Shoes Last Longer

Now that you know something about the many things that wear out your shoes, let’s look at what you can do to prolong your footwear’s life. To help keep your shoes going strong, try these tips.

Use them For Running

Using your running shoes while running errands around the house or the supermarket might make you feel comfortable, but it will also speed up the wear and tear of the shoe, and you don’t want that.

Save your running shoes for running, walking shoes for walking, and hiking shoes for hiking. Every shoe is built with a purpose and for a purpose. You’re doing your body and the shoe a big disservice by using the wrong footwear for the wrong activity.

Rotate your shoes

Another trick to help extend your footwear is to have more than two pairs of shoes in rotation. Rotating your shoes may also grant midsoles enough time to decompress and the whole shoe time to dry out.

Get Quality

Make sure you’re using high-quality shoes. Most experts suggest that running shoes have a lifespan of between 300 to 500 miles. I know, that’s a wide range (more on why later, I promise).

Let’s do some math to put that number into perspective. First, assume an average of 400 miles and check how long your shoes will last.

  • 10 miles a week – 40 weeks
  • 20 miles a week – 20 weeks
  • 30 miles a week – 13 weeks
  • 40 miles a week – 10 weeks
  • 50 miles a week – 8 weeks

Take Care Of Your Shoes

Another key tip is to clean and dry your running shoes after each run to prevent bacteria and smells from forming. This is especially the case following a wet or muddy run.

Had to run into water or rain? Then crumble up some newspaper and stuff it inside your shoes for a quick dry. To help deodorize your shoes, use cedar-filled shoe inserts. This helps refresh stinky running shoes.


There you have it.

The above guidelines cover most of what you need to know about how often to replace running shoes.

Remembering to check them for signs of wear from time to time is crucial to prevent injuries and properly protect your body. These shoes don’t last for a lifetime; they eventually hurt your feet, causing blisters, discomfort, pain and even slipping off the ground. To prevent all these moments, make

The rest is just details.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.


Running with Bunions: Prevention, Care, and Keeping Your Stride

running with a bunion

Are you a runner suffering from bunions?

Then you have come to the right place.

For most people, the word bunion conjures images of ugly foot deformities and long-term pain, especially in the running community.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As repelling and scary bunions can be, there are a few measures you can take to help you live with them and keep running strong.

In today’s post, I’ll share with you what you need to do to treat and prevent the progression of bunions while running.

More specifically, I’ll dive into the following:

  • What is a bunion?
  • How do bunions form?
  • Can you run with a bunion
  • What causes bunions in runners
  • How to soothe bunion pain
  • How to run safely with bunions
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What’s The Bunion?

A bunion, also known as Hallux valgus, is a foot deformity that affects the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, primarily on the inside portion of the big toe. In simpler terms, a bunion occurs when the big toe joint shifts out of its normal position, causing the affected toe to protrude or form a noticeable bump.

This condition typically results from ongoing stress and pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint. Over time, the big toe may move out of alignment, turn inward, and become swollen, leading to the development of a painful bump on the side of the foot.

Because the metatarsophalangeal joint bears a significant portion of the body’s weight during walking and running, bunions can be quite painful, especially when engaging in physical activities like running.

While a bunion may begin as a mild issue, it can worsen over time, potentially becoming a severely debilitating and visually noticeable foot deformity.

Bunions are relatively common, affecting a large percentage of the global population. They are estimated to impact about 25% of individuals aged 18 to 65 and more than one-third of people over the age of 65.

This condition is particularly prevalent among individuals who spend extended periods on their feet, such as waitstaff, nurses, teachers, and many runners.

What Causes Bunions in Runners?

Bunions can develop in runners due to a variety of factors, much like the causes of foot problems in general. Some of the factors and conditions that can contribute to the development of bunions in runners include

  • Loose Joints and Tendons: Individuals with naturally loose joints and tendons may be more prone to developing bunions as the joints and ligaments around the big toe may not provide adequate support.
  • Bad Footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight, narrow, or have a narrow toe box can increase pressure on the big toe joint, potentially leading to the formation of bunions.
  • Low Arches: Runners with low arches (flat feet) may be at greater risk of developing bunions as the lack of arch support can affect foot mechanics and joint alignment.
  • Genetics: A family history of bunions can increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing them. Genetic factors can play a significant role in determining foot structure and function
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy-related hormonal changes and weight gain can lead to changes in foot mechanics, potentially contributing to bunion development.
  • Jobs Requiring Long Standing Periods: Occupations that involve prolonged periods of standing or walking, such as teachers, nurses, or cooks, can place continuous stress on the feet and toes, increasing the risk of bunions.
  • Weak Foot Muscles: Weakness in the muscles that support the arches and toes can affect proper foot mechanics and contribute to bunion formation.
  • Muscle Imbalances: Muscle imbalances in the feet and lower legs can lead to abnormal foot mechanics, potentially causing bunions over time.

Does Running Cause Bunions?

Running itself doesn’t directly cause bunions to develop, but it can exacerbate existing bunions and contribute to their progression. The development of bunions is primarily influenced by genetic factors and foot structure, as mentioned earlier.

The key points to consider are:

  • Genetic Predisposition: Bunions often run in families, suggesting a genetic component. If your parents or close relatives have bunions, you may be genetically predisposed to develop them as well.
  • Foot Structure: Certain foot structures, such as having low arches or flat feet, can increase the risk of bunions. These structural characteristics can be inherited and are not caused by running.
  • Running Impact: While running itself is not a direct cause of bunions, the repetitive impact and pressure placed on the forefoot and toes during running can aggravate existing bunions. The friction between the bunion and the side of the running shoe can lead to increased pain and discomfort.
  • Exacerbation: Serious cases of bunions can significantly impact a runner’s ability to continue their training. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the joint deformity.

Additional resource – Black toenail guide

Can You Run With A Bunion?

It depends!

If it’s not causing you much grief or discomfort, go ahead and keep up your training. Just remember, your choice of shoes can make a world of difference we’ll dive into that soon).

But if that bunion is making a fuss, don’t fret.  I’ve got your back with some top-notch precautions to ensure a pain-free run. No need to cut your run short because of those pesky bunions.

Keep scrolling to find out how to keep running comfortably with a bunion.

Do Bunion Correctors Work?

Bunion correctors, such as toe splints or separators, may provide some pain relief and improved comfort for individuals with bunions, but they are not typically considered definitive solution for correcting or eliminating bunions. The effectiveness of bunion correctors can vary from person to person, and research on their long-term impact is limited.

Studies have shown mixed results when it comes to the ability of bunion correctors to realign the big toe or permanently correct bunions. While some individuals may experience reduced pain and discomfort while using these devices, the overall impact on bunion alignment appears to be limited.

It’s important to understand that bunion correctors are often recommended as a conservative, non-surgical option to manage bunion-related symptoms, such as pain and pressure. They may provide temporary relief by promoting better toe alignment and reducing friction between the toes.

However, they are not a guaranteed method for correcting the underlying structural issue causing the bunion.

Treating and Preventing Bunions While Running

Most bunions are permanent unless surgically removed or corrected.

But there are a few steps you can take to make running with bunions more comfortable, even to slow a bunion’s progression.

Tape The Bunion

Taping or padding the affected toe can be a helpful strategy for individuals with bunions who experience discomfort or pain while running. Here’s how you can tape your bunion:

Materials needed:

  • Medical tape or adhesive padding: You can find these items at most drugstores.
  • Toe separator (optional): Toe separators can be used in combination with padding for added relief.


  1. Prepare your foot: Make sure your foot is clean and dry before applying any tape or padding.
  2. Apply padding: Cut a piece of medical tape or adhesive padding to the appropriate size to cover your bunion. The padding should be soft and cushioned to reduce pressure on the bunion.
  3. Place the padding: Carefully apply the padding over the bunion, ensuring that it covers the bunion’s prominent area. You may need to adjust the positioning to find the most comfortable and protective fit.
  4. Secure the padding: Gently press down on the padding to make sure it adheres to your skin and stays in place.
  5. Consider toe separators (optional): If you have toe separators, you can use them in conjunction with the padding. Toe separators help create space between your toes and reduce friction. Place them between the affected toe and its neighboring toe.
  6. Put on your running shoes: Ensure that your running shoes provide enough space to accommodate the padding and any toe separators comfortably. You should not feel excessive pressure or discomfort when wearing your shoes.

By padding and taping your bunion, you can help reduce the direct pressure and friction on the affected area, which may alleviate pain and discomfort during running. However, it’s important to note that this is a temporary solution and may not address the underlying structural issue causing the bunion.

Additional resource – Side stitch when running

Strength Exercises

Strength training not only makes your foot muscles strong but can also protect you against bunions. Now, don’t expect these exercises to magically zap your bunions away – they’re like that stubborn roommate who never moves out.

But they can definitely make your life more comfortable and keep those bunions from getting any fancier.

So, why does this matter?

Well, stronger foot muscles mean better support for your tootsies. And if you’re a runner or just love to strut your stuff, you’ll appreciate the improved mobility in your big toe and less of that nagging discomfort during your daily strolls or jogging sessions.

Now, let’s dive into the muscles you want to target. Think of it as a superhero lineup for your feet:

  • Adductor Halluces: These little guys help bring your big toe back to center stage.
  • Flexor Halluces Brevis: These champs keep your big toe flexible and ready for action.
  • Abductor Halluces: The bodyguards of your big toe, they prevent it from wandering off.
  • Fibularis Longus: The supporter of your pinky toe, ensuring it doesn’t feel left out.
  • Tibialis Posterior: The stabilizer – it helps keep your arch from taking a vacation.

Now, for the fun part – the exercises! Here’s your superhero training program:

  1. Single-Leg Calf Raises: Get ready to stand on one leg and give your calf muscles a workout they won’t forget.

  1. Shin Release with a Lacrosse Ball: Roll out those shins to ease tension and improve flexibility.

  1. Toe Extensor Exercise: Train your toes to lift like they’re reaching for the stars

  1. Calf Release with a Lacrosse Ball or Foam Roller: Roll away the stress in your calf muscles with the help of a lacrosse ball or foam roller. Check out this video [link] for guidance.

  1. Big-Toe Adductor Exercise: Get your big toe moving with this exercise that uses a resistance band.

Have The Right Shoes

Finding the right shoes for your running adventures is like finding the perfect sidekick. They need to have your back, especially if you’re dealing with bunions. Trust me, the right shoes can be a game-changer, and the wrong ones? Well, they’re like that villain who just won’t quit.

So, here’s the scoop – head over to a specialty running store pronto. These folks know their stuff and can help you find the perfect-fitting shoes to keep those bunions in check.

Now, let’s talk shoe features to look out for:

  • Go Wide: Wide-fitting running shoes are your new best friends. They provide your bunions with the space they need to breathe and stretch out. It’s like giving them their own cozy room. You wouldn’t want your big toe feeling cramped, right?
  • Go Soft: Soft toe boxes are a lifesaver. They help prevent any unwanted rubbing or chaffing on your bunion, especially if it’s feeling tender or has some extra fluid hanging out. Soft is the way to go!
  • Go Low: Say goodbye to elevated heels! Look for shoes with no heel elevation, also known as ‘zero drop’ shoes. They keep your feet happy and bunion-friendly.
  • Enough Room: The toe box is where it’s at. Make sure there’s plenty of space for your toes to wiggle and groove without feeling squished. Opt for shoes with minimal stitching and breathable mesh around the bunion area – they won’t cramp your style.
  • A Flexible Sole: Think of it as giving your feet a little workout. Look for shoes with flexible soles that let your foot muscles do their thing. Rigid soles? No thanks, they’re like that annoying friend who won’t let you dance freely.

Use the Right Knot

You know what they say: it’s all in the details – even when it comes to lacing up your running shoes. Tying them the right way can make a world of difference, especially if you’ve got bunions.

Here’s the trick – focus on loosening up those laces near your toes. This nifty move reduces the pressure on your toes, bunions, and the ball of your foot. It’s like giving your feet some breathing space!

But wait, there’s no need to fret if you’re not sure how to master this lacing technique. I’ve got your back with this handy YouTube tutorial. It’ll walk you through the “Bunion Step-Over” lacing technique, making it a piece of cake

Seek Surgery

When those at-home remedies just aren’t cutting it, and your bunion pain is cramping your running style, it’s time to consider the big guns – surgery.

Now, don’t get too anxious; this isn’t your run-of-the-mill operation. It’s what the experts call a “bunionectomy.” It’s a fancy term, but it gets the job done.

Research has reported over 100 types of surgery can be performed to remove bunions. Common interventions include repositioning ligaments, tendons, and the joint, causing alteration in the angle of the big toe.

The goal? To realign that big toe joint, wave goodbye to the deformity, and restore normal function – all while giving your foot some much-needed relief.

The process is a bit messy. The surgeon delicately opens up that big toe joint and works their magic to reposition the bones.

In some cases, they may need to do a bit more, like trimming bones or securing things in place with metal plates or screws. It’s all in the name of getting your feet back in tip-top shape.

But here’s the pro tip: when you’re on the hunt for a surgeon, make sure you find one who knows the running game inside and out. Bonus points if they’re a runner themselves – that’s when you know you’ve hit the jackpot.

So, if you’re at that point where bunion pain is just too much to bear, don’t hesitate to reach out to a sports podiatrist who can guide you through the process and help you get back to pounding the pavement in no time.

Full Recovery Period

A bunionectomy can put you out of commission for a few days to a few weeks and wearing a surgical boot for roughly a month.

Full recovery from this can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. So, going back to your former running glory should take a while.

This might sound like a long time away from your running shoes.

But it’s a much better option than suffering severe pain on every step you take while running.

Don’t you think so?

During your recovery period, do plenty of low-impact exercises to keep fit and going strong.

Running With Bunions – The Conclusion

Although the above measures seem simple, they can make a big difference. Dealing with bunions while running does not have to be complicated—as long as you know what you’re doing.

You can make some simple changes to how you train that can protect you and prevent the progression of toe deformities.

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

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong.

David D.

Running With Asthma – The Complete Guide

running with asthma

It’s no secret that running with asthma can be tricky.

Many runners with asthma may experience wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, or chest tightness during and after running.

That’s why many asthmatic people try to avoid running.

But, in actuality, cardio workouts, like running, may help you improve breathing control and minimize the effects of asthma, research shows.

Today’s article will dive into the benefits and downsides of running with asthma and how to do it the right way.

More specifically, I’ll look into the following:

  • What is asthma
  • The benefits of running for people with asthma
  • The challenges
  • Can you run with asthma
  • How to run safely with asthma
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Note – Just because you cough or have difficulty breathing while running doesn’t mean you have an asthma attack. A host of conditions can mimic asthma, such as vocal cord dysfunction or allergies. Consult your doctor for a full diagnosis. Also, get the green light from your doctor before you start running or make any drastic exercise change.

Exercise-Induced Asthma Explained

Asthma is a respiratory condition known for inflammation, swelling, and narrowing of the airways. Besides the increase in mucus release, these airway issues can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, rapid respiration rate, and stubborn respiratory infections.

There are many types of asthma, but in runners (and active people in general), the most common one is what’s known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or EIB for short. As the name implies, this condition is triggered by exercise—running is no exception.

EIB causes wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and other symptoms during or after exercise, triggered by narrowing airways.

What’s more?

It’s possible to be diagnosed with EIB without a diagnosis of asthma.

A survey shows that roughly 10 percent of people with asthma symptoms only during exercise don’t have a history of the condition.

What Happens When you Run With Asthma?

Since running is a form of cardiovascular exercise, logging the miles with asthma can be chilling. Any narrowing of the airways may restrict breathing, making it harder to deliver enough oxygen to your heart and work muscles.

Over 90 percent of people with asthma suffer from asthma symptoms during or after exercise.  Even if you don’t have chronic asthma, you can still develop exercise-induced asthma. Surveys show that around 10 percent of asthma-free people may experience exercise-induced asthma.

If you have asthma, your body reacts by narrowing the airways, which is known as bronchoconstriction. This causes wheezing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath as your oxygen levels plummet. Over 90 percent of people with asthma suffer from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

This can be a frightening experience whether you’re dealing with exercise-induced asthma or it’s triggered by pollution.

What’s more?

Asthma symptoms can come and go, and specific triggers, such as cold air, smoke, dust, mold, and pet danders, can cause flare-ups (often out of nowhere). In addition, the ebb-and-flow nature of the conditions makes managing it a little more challenging.

What’s more?

Exercise-induced asthma is common among top athletes, including Olympic athletes and professional hockey players.

Factors that may increase the risk of exercise-induced asthma include:

  • Dry air
  • Cold air
  • Air pollution
  • Long-distance running
  • Chlorine in swimming pools

Common Asthma Symptoms in Runners

Common symptoms of EIB may begin during or soon after running, lasting for an hour or longer if left untreated.

The symptoms may appear five to ten minutes after exercise ends and often go away within an hour of rest.

Some of these include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue during running
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Mediocre athletic performance

Can You Run With Asthma?

Of course, you can – as long as you take the right measures since exercise generally may worsen asthma symptoms for some people.

Here’s the truth. Running DOES improve lung function, but it often doesn’t feel that way when you’re coming down with an asthma attack and/or when you first start.

Of course, running may not boost your lung capacity since your body size primarily determines it. But, according to research, logging the miles regularly can help your lungs perform better.

With proper care and medication, you can reach your full running potential. However, remember that you might need to take even more measures during winter since cold air can trigger asthma attacks (more on this later.

how to run with asthma
Jogging outdoors. Young man and woman running at park

Can You Run a Marathon With Asthma?

And the answer is yes, of course, you can.

Don’t take my word for it. The legendary marathoner Paula Radcliff had asthma throughout her career.

And she’s not the exception. Surveys have shown that over 700 athletes that completed the 2012 London Olympics had confirmed asthma. Yet, the same athletes were twice as likely to gain a medal than their asthma-free rivals.

Again, don’t get me wrong, though. Training for a marathon while having asthma isn’t going to be easy. The more severe asthma you have, the harder it will be.

But don’t let that stand in the way of your marathon goals. Instead, approach it the same way you approach any other injury – Devise an action plan and learn how to stay consistent.

Is Running Good For Asthma?

Running with asthma can certainly has its cons, but there are a lot of benefits to gain if you choose to log the miles.

This may shock many people, but research found that running is good for people with asthma. The impact of running and exercise on asthma has been examined for a while and is widely recommended by health and medical experts.

In addition to the well-known benefits of running, such as improving endurance, increasing strength, losing weight, reducing  stress, and building bone density, hitting the pavement can also help you manage asthma symptoms in the following ways:

Additional resource – Dealing with heart murmurs

Running Improve Asthma Control

Yes, that’s right. Running can be an ally when it comes to dealing with asthma.

Again, don’t take my word for it.

Research examining the effect of endurance running for five weeks on an adult with mild asthma reported that endurance running could boost the aerobic fitness of adults with asthma. The researchers also suggested that it also limits the severity of exercise-induced asthma.

Another review of 11 studies with over 500 subjects with asthma concluded that aerobic exercise, such as running, improved overall asthma control in most of the subjects. This improves asthma control and limits the rate and severity of asthma attacks.

Improved Lung Function

I hate to state the obvious, but weak lung function indicates asthma.

Here’s the good news. Research has found that sticking to a consistent exercise routine can improve lung function and slow down the age-related decline in lung function in asthmatic people.

For example, this study has demonstrated that high-intensity exercise improved lung function while slowing down the decline in adults with mild or moderate asthma.

Improved Oxygen Uptake

Running is a cardiovascular exercise per excellence. Hence it improves the oxygen delivery capacity of your lungs. Again, a study has found that improved oxygen capacity can make breathing much easier, especially when it comes to improving lung strength and function. As you can tell, this can lead to oxygen uptake increases.

The more efficient your oxygen uptake, the less effort it takes you to breathe.

Reduce Airway Inflammation

Airway inflammation is one of the main signs of asthma, resulting in wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. So anything that helps soothe inflammation in the airways can help reduce asthma symptoms, especially when they’re triggered by airway inflammation.

Guess what’s good for this? Of course, exercise.

Again, don’t take my word for it. Research has found that three-month aerobic exercise plans reduced airway inflammation markers in asthma patients.

How To Run With Asthma

If you’re serious about running regularly with asthma, paying attention to your satsuma is key. Then, you can take a few measures to ensure your training is safe and comfortable.

Without further ado, here are a few measures to help you make the most of your runs when you have asthma.

Have A Running With Asthma Action Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is a true statement whether you’re trying to make a 6-figure income or planning to run with asthma.

A good asthma action plan should include preventive measures to manage asthma symptoms and limit flare-ups. In most cases, it should contain more than a few strategies for running with asthma to feel more confident in your ability to train safely and comfortably.

When you create an effective asthma plan, you’ll have the strategies you need for running with asthma which will improve your confidence to have effective and safe training.

For the most effective plan, consult your doctor and know your options. For example, they might prescribe a daily inhaler to reduce risk by soothing airway irritation.

The plan should help you manage your EIB symptoms.

What’s more?

Your doctor might also suggest you take a rescue inhaler around 10 to 15 minutes before


I cannot emphasize the importance of proper warm-ups while running. This is especially the case if you’re running with asthma.

A good warm-up prevents injury and ensures good performance. It could also keep your asthma at bay by preparing your lungs for the hard work ahead. By easing into your runs, you’ll give your airways and lungs enough time to handle the hard work to come. Otherwise, you might risk a flare-up, and you don’t want that.

Always begin by jogging slowly for five minutes, then perform a set of dynamic stretches quickly and continuously.

Think lunges, inchworms leg swings, butt kicks, etc., then do a few short, hard pick-ups—or bursts of speed running at a controlled pace.

Carry Your Inhaler

Have your rescue inhaler with you while out running. And this is the case whether it’s something you tend to use often or not. The moment you start experiencing symptoms while running, use it right away. No more dilly dally.

Find The Right Time

If you’ve known asthma triggers, such as smog or pollen, figure out when to run outside.

Pollen is often higher in the early morning, whereas smog is usually problematic later in the day.

As a rule, avoid running or only go for a short run on days when pollen counts are elevated.

Check Pollen Counts

Is Pollen a trigger for you? Then make sure to be careful during the spring when the pollen count is high since pollen causes cause bronchial spasms and airway irritation that can lead to flare-ups.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but you always have the option of moving your runs indoors on days when the pollen count is high.

Know Your Limits

The key to avoiding asthma attacks while running is to start slowly and pay attention to how fast and far you can go.

Don’t push your body too far—or you’ll regret it later.

So how do you keep things under control?

Measure your training intensity using the talk test.

You’re likely okay if you can keep a conversation going while running.

If your breathing becomes restricted or you start to feel faint or dizzy, ease back and rest until your breathing is back to normal. I’d recommend that you rely on effort instead of pace or mileage to guide your runs.

Pay attention to your breathing and notice any signs of an asthma attack, such as flushed skin, faster breathing, excessive sweating, wheezing, coughing, or chest tightness.

If you feel any of these, slow down or stop and take your rescue inhaler. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Choose The Right Weather and Season

In general, it’s best run in humid and warm conditions.

Pay attention during spring and fall.

Some of you might have pollen or grass sensitivity that triggers asthma.

If you have to run outside in the cold, put on a scarf or facemask to cover your mouth and nose— this helps warm the air up before it reaches your lungs, preventing it from irritating your airways.

Or, jump on the treadmill—indoor running is less like to induce an asthma attack.

Check Air Quality

Pollution is a common cause of asthma symptoms.

I recommend using an app like AirNow.gov and checking the air quality before heading out for a run. Keep it short or very easy if it’s yellow.  I recommend skipping your outdoor run and training indoors if the air quality is orange or red. It’s not worth it.

For the best air conditioning, I’d recommend running after it rains. You should also try running on trails to avoid pollution from cars and industrial zones.

Cover Your Face

As I hate stated earlier, even if you don’t have asthma, you might cough while running in cold temperatures. The reason is simple. Breathing in cold and dry air can irritate your airways, which is a trigger for bronchospasm.

For this reason, I’d recommend covering your mouth and nose while running, so the “warmed” air you exhale helps moisten the air you inhale.  Avoid a bandana or face cover made from cotton, which can freeze in cold and wet conditions.

Your best options are a fleece balaclava or neck gaiters.

Take Your Meds

Take your allergy medication roughly 4 hours before running. Some research suggests that taking too close to running time may impair your breathing, and you don’t want that.

Asthma medication used before working out can control and mitigate exercise-induced asthma symptoms, especially short-acting beta-2 asthma medication, such as albuterol.

Even if you only use it once in a blue moon, it’s better to safe than sorry. Consult your doctor if you have persistent side effects from medication, such as palpitations or tremors, before you start logging miles.

Pay Attention to Your Body

If your lungs are acting up, slow down or stop running altogether.

You may experience wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or coughing.

Next, get your rescue inhaler and follow your asthma treatment plan.

Start running again once your symptoms subside by walking slowly or even walking.

Running through the symptoms only makes things worst.

When to See A Doctor

If you’re dealing with asthma, it’s key to consult your doctor before starting a running plan. They can work with you to make the right training and treatment plan. This helps that running is safe.

What’s more?

Remember that various health conditions may mimic asthma and cause similar symptoms, making getting a thorough and accurate diagnosis important.

Running with Asthma  – The Conclusion

Ultimately having asthma shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your running goals and living a healthy lifestyle.

And, in some cases, running with asthma can help your symptoms

By taking the right asthma measures during and after your runs, you can safely and comfortably keep running and doing this sport to meet your training goals.

So lace up those running shoes and run with them.

Aqua Jogging For Runners – The Benefits & Technique

aqua jogging

Aqua jogging is a fantastic cross-training, rehabilitation, and conditioning workout for runners, and it’s getting more popular among elite athletes.

It’s also pretty simple. You strap a floatation device around your middle, head into the deep end of a swimming pool, and simulate the running movement by treading water. The rest is just details.

So what’s the most effective aqua jogging method? Should you only cross-train when inured? How to make the most out of aqua jogging? That’s where this post comes in handy.

In today’s article, we’ll explore some benefits of running in deep water and how to add it to your workout routine.

More specifically, I’ll cover:

  • What is aqua jogging
  • What’s the science behind aqua jogging
  • How to use aqua jogging to supplement your road miles
  • What is the proper aqua-jogging form
  • Aqua jogging workouts to try
  • Who should and should not do aqua jogging
  • What is required aqua jogging gear
  • The pros and cons of aqua jogging
  • How to increase aqua jogging efficiency
  • And so much more.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started

What is Aqua Jogging?

Aqua jogging has gathered a lot of steam over the past few years. However, unlike using an elliptical machine or cycling, aqua jogging is quite similar to running on land—at least regarding the range of motion and muscle engagement.

Also known as deep water running, aqua jogging simply runs while in water but without touching the pool bottom. It involves using a floatation device and then moving your arms and legs in a running motion in the deep end of the pool and practically removes any jarring effect of running.

Aqua jogging is a powerful crossbreed of running and swimming that is gentle on your joints and muscles. Still, it can help keep or even boost your cardiovascular endurance and improve your running technique (we’ll dive into the benefits later on).

It simply simulates the running movement but with the assistance of water in the pool. You put on a flotation device around your midsection, jump into the deep end of the pool and move your arms and legs in a running motion.

It’s the ideal form of cross-training for runners since it mimics virtually the same running movements and employs the same muscles as running.

Your goal is to avoid touching the bottom or the sides. Instead, you move around the pool at a slow and steady pace. Buoyancy device is designed to keep you balanced and upright in the water so you can focus on aqua jogging.

Don’t have a belt? Then you can run laps in the shallow waters of the pool. Aqua running is most effective in deep water, though some specific exercises can also be performed in shallow water.

Who Should Try Aqua Jogging

From the looks of it, virtually all runners can reap some benefits from aqua jogging, but if you fall into any of the following groups, aqua jogging will be so much more beneficial if you:

  • Are nursing or recovering from an injury and you need to maintain your fitness
  • Have tight tips or are prone to injury
  • Spend long hours in a seated position
  • Don’t normally cross-train, train
  • Have arthritis since the pressure of the water can help soothe the pain
  • Are overweight and dealing with issues with joint pain
  • Have access to a pool and love to be in the water

Is Aqua Jogging Good For Runners

Of course, it is. Let me explain why.

Here’s the truth. Running is a cardiovascular exercise per excellence. But it has a huge downside – it’s also hard on your body. Surveys show that most runners will get injured at one time or the other during one year of running.

Yes, overuse injuries are that rampant, and for the serious runner, there is no bulletproof way to sidestep this nagging issue.

Aqua jogging enters the picture. Initially designed as a fix for injured and recovering athletes, aqua jogging is a fantastic tool for runners nursing an injury.

Since you’re performing similar movements to running underwater, aqua jogging isn’t hard to learn.

The Benefits Of Aqua Jogging For Runners

When done correctly, aqua jogging offers a lot of benefits to runners.

By adding aqua jogging to your running plan, you’ll boost your cardio power, improve form and build muscular strength—all while limiting the wear and tear on your muscles and joints.

Here are a few.

Maintaining Fitness Through Injury

Aqua jogging is often used to maintain cardiovascular conditioning and help recover after an injury. The water resistance, the free range of motion, and the minimum impact on bones and joints allow you to exercise pain-free without risking further injury.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

The research examined a group of ten well-trained runners who exercised exclusively with deep water running for a month and compared 5K race performance pre-deep water and post-deep water running.

The conclusion?

The researchers reported no statistical difference in 5K time or other metrics for performance, such as lactate threshold and submaximal oxygen consumption.

In English, please. This means aqua jogging can help you maintain running fitness for up to a month, even if you’re well-trained.

In another experiment, the researchers monitored the impact of aqua jogging over six weeks. During the study, 16 subjects were divided into two groups:

  • Group I  did aqua jogging sessions
  • Group II ran on land.

Opting for the same training durations and intensities, the researchers reported no statistical difference in performance markers such as blood lactate, maximal blood glucose, and body composition between the two groups.

Helps With Recovery

Looking for a tool to help you with recovery? Look no further than aqua jogging.

Water running is the go-to option for injured runners as it allows them to run without pain or risk making an injury associated with hitting the pavement worse. It gives you that running-related workout without making your injury worse. It can even speed up your recovery time.

Again don’t take my word for it.

This research has reported that aqua jogging can be employed as a recovery tool to speed up the repair of damaged muscles after hard training. Another research has also reported that aqua jogging g while rehabbing an injury can help maintain optimal shape

So what does this mean?

This means that aqua jogging is a super useful recovery tool and the ideal cross-training method for injured runners.

Additional guide – Heart murmurs and running

Burns A lot of Calories

Research has reported that running in deep water may burn more calories than on land, so if you’re looking to maintain a healthy body weight while on a running sabbatical, aqua jogging should help.

But how many calories aqua jogging burns is tricky. The average calorie burn for a 30-minute aqua jog may hover around 200 to 250 calories. But that’s exactly what is average. So you never know for sure.

Improved Muscle Strength

Running through water is more challenging than running on land. Since water is denser than air, your movements in the water are met with greater resistance than it is used to.  Moving in water has around 12 times the resistance of air.

This, in turn, helps build strength in often neglected areas in runners, such as the hip flexors and arms/shoulders.

Aqua jogging also forces you to keep an upright posture which is a great strengthener for your core muscles.

Intense But Gentle

Aqua jogging offers a great workout that’s also gentle on your body. If you’re looking to reap the benefits of regular exercise but can’t join in because of injury or chronic conditions, aqua jogging is the ideal choice for low-impact aerobic exercise.

All runners, beginner and elite alike, can benefit from jogging in the deep water.

Build Proper Technique

Aqua jogging isn’t just for injuries. One of its main benefits is simulating land running techniques. Like when you run on land, aqua running calls for a strong and upright posture.

That’s why deep-water running is a fantastic way to improve your running technique without increasing the pounding on your muscles and joints. In other words, it allows you to focus on refining your technique in a safe, low-impact setting.

What’s more?

Aqua jogging helps improve running form because the resistance of the water makes it harder to swing your arms.

Keep your legs moving and leaning forward (more on aqua jogging form later).


By simulating land-based runs, intervals, tempo, or fartlek, you’ll reap the same benefits without adding stress to your running muscles and joints. Water running is also a safe and effective alternative to running on land on hot or cold days.

Improved Balance

Running in deep water improves coordination and balance by building strength in your supportive muscles and enhancing your agility skills in the comfort of a warm swimming pool.

The Downsides of Aqua Jogging

There’s no such thing as the perfect exercise. ALL workout routines come with downsides. And aqua jogging is no exception.

The main downside of aqua jogging is that you won’t be able to get your heart as elevated as when running on land.

What’s more?

Thanks to the water resistance, you likely will feel sore when you first begin aqua jogging.

What’s more?

Depending on where you live, you might have trouble finding a proper to practice in. This may make sticking a regular aqua jogging routine tricky.

How to Get Started With Aqua Jogging

Now that you know more about the benefits of aqua jogging for both injured and injury-free runners, it’s time to jump in the pool.

The Gear You Need For Aqua Jogging

Aqua jogging requires little gear.

As a runner, you’ll want an active swimsuit, goggles, and—most importantly—a flotation belt.

The Floating Device

A good running floatation belt should help put you into a forward as if running on land. So, getting a floatation belt is key if you’re trying to focus on your form.

Some pools may have this equipment, usually near the kickboards and pull buoys. Just whatever you choose, pick a comfortable belt that does cause any rubbing or blisters on your body like some of the belts at the pool.

I’d recommend all aqua jogging beginners to use a belt as it helps keep you torose above the water—otherwise, you’ll be spending too much energy trying to stay afloat, which is not ideal.

Once your technique improves, you can run in deep water without help.

As a rule, make sure the pool end in which you train is deep enough so your feet won’t reach the bottom when you run. In addition, having the right posture is crucial to effective aqua jogging. You’ll want to stay completely upright—with your feet directly under your shoulders.

To warm up, start treading water on the spot for 5 to 10 minutes, driving your arms and legs in a running motion, and using good form

Aquatic Shoes

One additional gear to consider is a pair of aquatic shoes. These may allow you to achieve better cardiovascular intensity when compared to skimping and running barefoot in deep water.

Most aquatic shoes are designed with purposefully placed fins and vents that make it easy to increase your heart rate and keep there, which might be one of the most frustrating aspects of deep aqua jogging.

Some of these shoes are also designed with detachable cushioned insole for better comfort and arch support for stability. The shoes also feature drainage ports for fast drying.

What’s more?

A pair of aquatic shoes will help you against slips and falls. As you might already know, the smooth pool floor of shallow water makes the stage for the ideal slip-n-slide surface to glide over.

Start Slow

Take it slow if this is your first time trying aqua jogging or you haven’t been in the water for a while.

I’d recommend spending a few days getting used to the feeling of water and swimming with gentle strokes and kicks until you feel comfortable. I’m not implying that you should become a pro swimmer before you start aqua jogging, but some familiarity with the water should help

Aqua Jogging Form

Using proper form is key to getting the most from every workout. As a rule, try to mimic your natural running style.

Here are a few hints:

  • Bring your knees toward your chest and go through your full range of motion the same way you’d on land but in a more exaggerated manner.
  • While keeping your fists closed, pump your arms vigorously.
  • Keep your body straight and avoid leaning forward too much, which is somewhat different than your typical running posture.
  • Perform higher knee lifts and a more compact back kick than running on land.
  • Find a focal point at eye level ahead of you to keep your head level. Avoid wobbling your shoulder.
  • Strive to establish an efficient, smooth-running form without any excessive movement.
  • Keep your posture close to perpendicular to the surface of the pool. Imagine you have a cord through your center, pulling you up.
  • Just as you’d when pounding the pavement, run tall with your body straight and pay attention to upper body rotation. Imagine yourself running around an athletic track or along a beautiful trail. Don’t let your hands move past your aqua running belt and come up to roughly chest height.
  • Keep your core engaged and shoulders locked in place, pointing down the pool.Don’t cheat. Avoid paddling with your hands. Keep driving your arms back and forth rather than across your body.
  • Keep your fists loosely closed, and let your legs carry you forward.
  • Avoid holding on to the side of the pool when recovering. Instead, keep your legs moving as if you’re treading water, and breathe deep.

Aqua Jogging Without A Belt

Planning to try aqua jogging without a flotation belt? Then know it can be done. But it’s going to be harder and more energy-consuming than using a belt since you have to work hard to stay upright.

Using a flotation device helps make aqua jogging easier and can shift your center of buoyancy, forcing you to change your running position. But, with no belt, your lungs become the center of your buoyancy, forcing you to engage your core muscles to stay upright. But, of course, this also works at your core.

The thing is. A flotation belt helps with form, and when you’re using it, you’ll get to focus on moving fast, increasing your heart rate, and getting a good session. On the other hand, having no belt will make the workout much more challenging as you’ll work harder to keep your head out of the water.

To keep your head above water while aqua jogging with no belt, do the following:

  • Move your legs back at a wider angle than when running on the road
  • Perform fast leg turning
  • Push down your feet at the bottom of the stride
  • Keep taking deep breaths
  • Engage your core

Like swimming for the first time, with little practice, you’ll get much better and get a good workout without the belt. After that, it’s just a matter of practice and patience.

Warming Up For Aqua Jogging

Warm up for your workout by doing a few minutes of easy pool running, just like you’d do easy running on dry land. Your warm-up doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep your heart rate at around 60 to 70 percent of your max.

A Beginner Aqua Jogging Workout To try

Aqua running workouts can recreate and mimic the time-based interval format of the typical running program.

Here’s a beginner aqua running routine.

10-minute dynamic warm-up, followed by:

Three minutes of medium tempo effort—80 percent of max power.

  • One minute of running hard at your maximum speed.
  • 2-minute rest.
  • Repeat four times.
  • 5-minute cooldown.

The Pyramid Aqua Jogging Workout

10-minute easy warm-up, followed by:

  • One Minute hard – 30 seconds easy
  • Two Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  • Three Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  • Four Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  • Four Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  • Three Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  •  Two Minutes hard – 30 seconds easy
  • One Minute hard – 30 seconds easy
  • 10 minutes easy cool down.

The Aqua Jogging Fartlek Workout

10 minutes easy warm-up, followed by:

  • One minute sprint at your maximum heart rate. This is an all-out effort.
  • One minute medium jog at around 80 to 90 percent max. This should feel like a tempo effort.
  • 30-second recovery jog.
  • 30-second medium effort.
  • One minute all-out effort
  •  One-minute recovery jog
  • Repeat the tempo, sprint, and recovery efforts at random intervals for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  • 10-minute easy cool down.

Aqua Jogging For Runners – The Conclusion

I won’t lie to you and pretend that aqua jogging is nothing but a walk in the park.

It isn’t.

Running in deep water is numbingly boring and requires much more physical and mental effort than running on dry land.

There’s no scenery to enjoy while doing this.

Plus, you’re moving forward really, really slow.

But, as you can see in today’s post, it’s worth the effort.

The benefits of aqua jogging are too good to pass on.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

How to Avoid Wild Animal Attacks While Trail Running

Would you like to learn how to prevent animal attacks while running? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re an urban athlete or a trail junkie, you’re like to come across different creatures of the animal kingdom sooner or later.

Pursue running long enough; whether you’re a trail junkie or an urban athlete, an aggressive animal will likely cross your path sooner or later.

These unforeseen run-ins with wildlife during a run can be unnerving. However, most such encounters while running will be harmless.

But, to err on the side of caution, you should learn in advance what to do when you encounter an animal during a run (both for your and the animal’s safety). That’s where today’s post comes in handy.

Fearing Animal Attacks While Trail Running

One of the main fears preventing many runners from trail running is an animal encounter.

But here’s the truth.

Although the danger is real,  the fear of wildlife shouldn’t keep you away from the trails.  Trail running isn’t any more or less dangerous than road running – as long as you take the right precautions.

There are risks whenever you leave your home—and trail running is no exception.

The Bad News

How often have you read news articles about runners and outdoor ashless getting harmed or killed by rampant wildlife?

If this is news to you, check the following articles;

A woman gets attacked by a bear in the middle of a marathon

I can go on and on, but by now, you should have heard of plenty of horror stories. And the media is doing a great job at scaring us from venturing into the trails.

But it shouldn’t. Death is always around the corner. We drive cars. We cross the street. We meet strangers. We do many things that might invite Angel’s death to our doorsteps. Life is dangerous.

And so it trails running.

The fact is, we are exposed to several dangers every time we hit the trial.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but animal encounters are lower on the list. The main danger, in my experience, is serious injury from fallen goon technical terrain, roots, or, God forbid, rocks.

Of course, you also risk getting lost or exposed to extreme weather conditions on the trails.

How to Avoid Wild Animal Attacks While Trail Running

Here are some general tips to help you stay safe out there

Use Common Sense

Overall, wild animals tend to avoid humans but can attack if they feel in danger. You shouldn’t get out there to pick fights with animals – The odds are not in your favor.

Pay attention to your environment, the type of wildlife you’re likely to encounter, and the risk they pose. Avoidance is the best strategy.

Don’t Panic

I know I would panic if I were suddenly being stared down by an angry bear. But the golden rule of staying calm as possible is the way to go. Animals can sense fear, and losing one’s s$$t tells the animal you’re a likely victim. This, in turn, may goad an attack. And you don’t want that

Keep Distance

Stick to marked trails as often as possible during your trail runs. The safest thing to do when you run across an animal is to give it distance. You’re, after all, on their turf, so you better respect that fact. Most wildlife feels threatened when you invade their territory.

Animals mostly become aggressive once they feel distressed or threatened. However, animals will also attack if they’re wounded, starving, dehydrated, etc.

Be Prepared

Depending on where you’re going, being prepared may mean having defensive tools, such as pepper spray, a sharp knife, a club, or even a firearm. You can also use rocks or whatever you can lay your hands on to fend off an animal attack if things turn wrong.

Petting Is A Bad Idea

Avoid petting animals in the wild at all times. That cute baby bear trotting alone likely has a mother nearby who will attack if she thinks you are dangerous. Touching wildlife is out of the question. It’s neither safe for you nor for them.

Make Noise

An effective strategy to protect yourself from wildlife is to make noise and a lot of it. If not careful, you can easily frighten a wild animal, which might provoke an attack. So whenever you approach a dense route or sharp corner, make some noise, so the wildlife knows you’re nearby.

If you come across one, talk calmly to them so they know you’re a human and do not mistake you for dinner.

Be A Tracker

Watch for animal tracks and droppings as you run through the wilderness. These often indicate the presence of animals nearby. Therefore, stay alert and keep a safe distance.

You can also go the extra mile by learning to identify scat and tracks of various animals (link).

Partner Up

Whether you’re running through a dark alley or a secluded trail, there’s always strength in numbers. The more people with you, the less likely a predator will dare to approach and attack.

That’s why running with another person—or a group—will greatly reduce the risks of an imminent attack.

Avoid Animals

In the end, the best way to survive a dangerous wildlife encounter is to avoid it in the first place. Overall, most animals may go out of their way to avoid humans.

Believe it or not, we’re at the top of the food chain. And most animals are well aware of that fact.

That said, just like us, animals will fight tooth and nail for their survival and their cubs’ survival. So you’re better off not threatening either one.

How to Manage Wildlife While Running

Here’s a more personalized approach to dealing with various and common animal encounters during your runs.

Avoid Dog Attacks While Running

Run long enough, and you’ll eventually come across a dog.

Canine encounters are, after all, one of the most common animal encounters.

Usually, behind a fence or on a leash, dogs pose little to no threat, yet that’s not the case all too often.

Dogs can get territorial, defend their turf, and act aggressively.

And you never know how other people treat the dog.

That’s when an untrained, aggressive, and unsupervised dog attack can cause serious damage.

(Check this story)

Warning signs:

  • Charging through doors
  • Hindering your path
  • Stopping eating on the approach
  • Getting very still and ridge
  • Barking and showing teeth
  • Lunging forward

How To Approach Them

  • Avoid eye contact, or you’re asking them to lunge at you.
  • Stay calm. A dog will pick up on your fear.
  • Stop running and stand tall. Avoid many any jumpy movements that can trigger the canine chase instinct
  • Avoid sticking out an open hand or jumping up and down excitedly.
  • Stand sideways while keeping the dog in your side vision.

Avoid Wolf Attacks While Running

The image of coming face to face with a pack of hungry, wild wolves may send shivers down your spine, but attacks on humans are not the norm.

They’re so rare as this animal would rather avoid people at all times.

Behaviorally, wolves tend to be pack hunters covering huge uninhabited areas. That’s why if you spot one in the wild, chances they’re not alone.

What’s more?

Wolves are coursing predators; they love the chase and will pursue prey on the run.

Warning signs:

  • Bristling the pelt as if looking bigger and more threatening
  • Erect Ears
  • Crouching backward
  • Making a barren, irritated expression
  • Curling back the lips to show the fangs and gums

How To Approach

  • Make a lot of noise. Shout at the wolves as loud as possible.
  • Toss branches and rocks at the animal but without looking vulnerable.
  • Raise your jacket or shirt over your head to appear bigger and more threatening.
  • opt for a strong, confident body posture
  • Back away slowly if you see a wolf before it sees you.
  • Avoid eye contact, but don’t look scrawny. A wolf considers eye contact a challenge.
  • Do not run. You’re not fast enough.
  • When attacked, keep the wolf away from vulnerable spots such as your neck and head. Then attack their nose and eyes. Go for their head if you’re lucky enough.

Avoid Mountain Lions Attacks While Running

Also known as panthers or cougars and weighing between 120 to 180 pounds, mountain lions are infamously stealthy and, at times, lethal predators.

Typically, mountain lions prey on mammals, such as deer, raccoons, and beaver.

But occasionally, they develop a taste for humans.

About 10000 mountain lions are believed to dwell in the Western U.S. alone.

You’re likely to run into one either in the late spring or early summer.

During this period, young mountain lions gain independence from their mothers and drift widely, seeking untaken territory.

Warning Signs

  • Crouching
  • Stalking while trying to stay under the radar the entire time.
  • Creeping and moving silently toward the prey.
  • A mountain lion often goes for the neck and shoulders on the fence.

How to Approach

  • Always give the animal enough space to escape
  • Stand tall and make loud noises, raising your arms slowly and opening your jacket. Try banging rocks together.
  • Pick up a branch, wave it around, or toss it at the animal to show you have no fear. Act the part of a predator.
  • Do not run. Again, you’re not the fastest animal here.
  • Do not bend or crouch to pick up anything, nor turn your back.
  • If attacked, fight back and protect your neck and throat. Again, pepper spray will be so helpful in this case.
  • Again, pray, pray very hard.

Avoid Bears Attacks While Running

Bears tend to be omnivorous.

They prefer to munch on berries rather than human flesh, which doesn’t make them less threatening.

Most bear attacks result from the animal feeling threatened and then reacting in a manner that eliminates the threat.

Nothing personal.

The worst thing you can do is to startle them as you come running across the corner.

And God forbid, if you surprise a nursing mother, you’ll get attacked as she tries to defend her cubs if she thinks you’re a threat.

Mother bears are behind 70% of all fatal human injuries.

Solo males on the hunt are dangerous, too.

Warning Signs

  • Bear seems hostile, as in standing tall, groaning, etc.
  • Swatting the ground or nearby vegetation with the front paw
  • Lunging or feign-charging toward you
  • Ears getting flat against the head

How To Approach

  • Pay attention so you can spot a bear scrabbling around in the bushes before it sees you.
  • Be loud. Shout at the bear. Hopefully, it understands that you’re human, not prey.
  • Get the hell out of there if you spot any cubs. It’s not time to take pictures.
  • Avoid climbing trees. Most bears are better climbers than you.
  • Throw things at the bear, displaying confidence.
  • Keep bear spray on you so you can use it quickly if an aggressive bear is 30 to 40 feet away.
  • When attacked, drop on the ground and play dead. Protect your face with your forearms and the back of your neck with your hands.
  • Pray, and pray hard.

Avoid Deer Attacks While Running

Deer are timid by nature and make off the moment they spot a human.

They’re also rarely aggressive and one of the most common animal encounters for runners.

But a deer feeling threatened is another story; a deer attack can cause serious damage.

Avoid provoking this animal, especially during the fall—the mating season during which they’re most aggressive.

Warning Signs

  • Deer approaching you while making loud noises
  • Changing  the stance and ear posture
  • Avoid Stomping the feet while huffing

How To Approach

  • Avoid getting close to one, especially on foot. You don’t want to be kicked and fly.
  • Pay attention to your running route to avoid a collision.
  • Have situational awareness.
  • When attacked, climb a tree or hide behind a rock.

Avoid Snakes Attacks While Running

Snakes are another animal that poses little to no threat, as the majority tend to fall within the harmful variety.

Only a small minority of snakes are poisonous, so you shouldn’t treat them all as if they are.

For example, there are only 20 species of venomous snakes in the U.S.—the most dangerous one is the infamous rattlesnake.

If you encounter a snake with a triangular-shaped head—as opposed to a round one—your life might be in danger.

That’s a telltale sign of a poisonous serpent.

Like most other animals, snakes are only a danger when harassed or feel threatened.

Otherwise, they want nothing to do with you.

What’s more?

Most snakes are nocturnal creatures, spending most of the day sleeping or sunning themselves, and are most active throughout spring and early fall.

The Warning Signs

  • Hissing
  • trying to escape
  • Feign striking
  • Assuming an S position.
  • Withdrawal of the head or tail
  • Hiding the head
  • Watching you and stalking your movement.

How To Approach

  • Pay attention to where you’re placing your feet and hands, especially when running over a log or climbing over boulders.
  • Suppose you see a snake on a trail or road; back away slowly and far from the snake. Stop and sprint in the other direction if you have to. If you are confident enough to jump far, take a big leap.
  • Do not goad the snake in any way. But, again, this is not the time for selfies.
  • When attacked, stay calm and head to the emergency room ASAP. Call 911 if you suspect a poisonous attack. Keep in mind that sucking out venom only works in the movies. Sucking venom makes it spread quicker into your system. Lethal!

Avoid Moose Attacks While Running

This may surprise you, but moose are likely the most dangerous farmyard animals.

They’re huge and have a bad temper, so stay away from them for your safety.

Again, moose want nothing to do with you unless they feel endangered.

Bulls—the male moose—is super territorial, and females may see you as a threat to their calf.

Moose pose the most danger during the spring—the calving season—and fall—the rutting season.

Warning Signs

  • Broadside display in an attempt to show off size.
  • Animals move their ears, smacking their lips and raising the hair on their hump.
  • Yes, a pissing contest.
  • Pawing the ground with the forefoot.
  • Licking the lip

How To Approach

  • Keep your distance from moose.
  • Suppose it charges, sprint away. They often drop the chase after a few strides.
  • When attacked, climb a tree or head for the fence. It’s not the time to test your superpowers (not yet).

Avoid Animal Attacks While Trail Running – The Conclusion

Exploring the unknown while logging the miles is one of the greatest pleasures of being a runner.

All in all, keeping your eyes open is your best defense against animal attacks while running.

If you see one before it sees you, you’ll have enough time to scurry away and avoid an unpleasant experience.

Any experience running into wildlife?

Feel free to share along with your tips and tricks!

Here’s the full guide to running safety.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Stay safe out there.

Keep Running Strong.

David D.

How to Walk 10,000 Steps A Day?

walking 10,000 steps

Walking is good for you. It helps you stay fit, lose weight, and improve endurance—I can go on and on.

However, increasing your daily step count is easier said than done. Maybe you spend most of your day behind a work desk, live in a not-so-walk-friendly city, or don’t feel like doing it after a long day.

Whatever your reasons (and excuses), don’t give up before you read the rest of this article.

Though a 20-minute walk daily is better than sitting at home the whole day, more is usually better. Many health organizations and fitness experts recommend that people should take around 10,000 steps a day.

At a glance, 10,000 steps may sound like a lot to process, but if you build the right habits, aiming for 10,000 steps per day can be a realistic goal.

In today’s article, I’ll delve into the following:

  • How many miles is 10,000 steps
  • How Many Steps Should You Take A Day?
  • How many calories do you burn walking 10,000 steps per day
  • How Long Does it Take To Walk 10,000 Steps?
  • Benefits of walking 10000 steps a day
  • How to walk 10k steps a day,
  • Proper walking form
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in

10,000 Steps Per Day Explained

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past few decades, the 10K step daily target is a practice you must be familiar with.

But did you know that the 10,000 steps principle didn’t come from science but from a marketing campaign?

Yes. And here’s the whole story.

The 10,000 steps per day came from pedometers sold in Japan in the 60s. Shortly after the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, a Japanese company started selling a pedometer called the Manpo-key. In Japanese, Manpo-key translates to 10,000 (Man), steps (P.O.), and meter (Kei).

The fitness device became an overnight success, and the number seems to have stuck.

How Many Steps Should You Take A Day?

This is where things can get a little bit murky.

But science may have the answer. Research has reported that healthy adults typically log roughly 4,000 and 18,000 steps daily. Even if you’re bad at math, this makes the 10,0000 steps per day a realistic goal for most people.

Research from the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity recommends that we should be taking between 4,000 to 18,000 steps per day.

However, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults do 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense exercise a week instead of aiming for a daily step count.

That said, please remember there’s no specific magic number of steps for an age group. What’s right for one person might not be the same for another since everyone is different.

For instance, if you have a chronic condition that impacts your ability to walk, I’d urge you to consult your doctor to know your options and determine your best action plan. Otherwise, aiming to reach the higher end of the daily step count is a good idea if you’re healthy.

Recommend Daily Step By Age

Age is an importance variable when it comes to daily step count.

Overall, daily activities reduce as we get older. This also impacts how many steps we should take per day.

According to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), the younger you’re, the more likely you’re meeting their guidelines for aerobic activity.

What’s more?

A review has reported that people over 18 take around 4,000 to 18,000 steps per day. However, a study examining how many steps children and adolescents take revealed a daily account of anywhere from 10,000 to 16,000 steps per day.

The researchers also reported that the daily step count drops drastically as teenagers approach age 18.

How come?

Daily step count will likely decrease as we age as we either become university students and/or enter the workforce.

The younger we are, the more steps we need to take. This is primarily due to walking around during the school day, joining physical education classes, or simply having fun with friends outdoors.

As a general rule, research suggests that kids aim for a minimum of 6,000 to 15,000 steps a day once they learn how to walk properly and their bones have completely developed. Kids that are overall more active, whether they regularly play sports or run often around the playground, should be on the higher end of the range.

How Far are 10000 Steps?

Ten thousand steps equal roughly five miles, or eight kilometers—about two hours of physical movement.

Unless you have an active job, such as a teacher or waiter, taking 10,000 steps a day with everyday activity is tricky. For example, surveys show that less-than-active individuals log around 3,000 steps or fewer per day of running everyday errands.

Most adults have a stride length of roughly 2.1 to 2.5 feet, so it would take more than 2,000 steps to cover a mile. Of course, the taller the person, the longer their stride is likely to be

How Long Does it Take To Walk 10,000 Steps?

Overall, most adults can comfortably log in 1,000 steps in ten minutes. This is likely slower than if you deliberately walked fast because you’re late but testily faster than you would walk during an easy stroll.

At around 3 miles per hour, it’ll take 100 minutes to cover 10,000 steps.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not recommending that you should walk the entire 10,000 steps in one go. In general, you’ll build up to it through your day-to-day activities. Remember that you might need to do a 30 to 45-minute walk to reach the 10,000-step goal.

Every step counts. And the more you walk, the more steps you accumulate. For example,  you could walk during lunch break, walk to work, or have a walk-and-talk work meeting—the options are virtually endless (more on this later).

Fortunately: Getting there is a real challenge regardless of your fitness level. Whether you walk, jog, or run, as long as you’re motivated, you’ll succeed.

Additional resource – How to Do a Run Streak

walking 10,000 steps per day
Sport Fitness Women running exercise in modern city wear wellness sportswear outside. Young woman workout outdoor exercising on bright sunny outside. Healthy wellness lifestyle woman concept.

Where you Stack Up

Are you taking enough steps every day? Check out the following:

  • Inactive – Fewer than 5,000 steps per day
  • Average – Between 5,000 to 7,500 steps per day
  • Active – Ranges from 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day
  • Very active – More than 10,000 steps per day.

Note – Don’t feel frustrated if your daily step is low. By applying some of the strategies shared below, you’ll be on your way to taking more steps every day than before.

Can Walking 10,000 Steps Help You Lose Weight?

Of course, walking can help you reach your goal weight as long as you burn more calories than you take in through your diet.

Not losing weight while walking 10,000 steps every day? Then take a look at your diet and/or exercise more.

Weight loss is a numbers game. You simply need to burn more calories than you eat to lose pounds. Calories in Vs. Calories out. Most experts recommend a calorie deficit of roughly 500 calories daily to lose one pound a week.

Therefore, walking 10,000 steps a day can help you achieve your goals to lose or keep a healthy weight.

Overall, expect to burn around 30-40 calories per 1,000 steps of walking. This can add up to 300 to 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps. But keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. Although every step burns calories, the exact amount.

The calorie burn rate varies widely among people. Factors impacting calorie burn include weight, speed, stride length, walking surface, and fitness level. But overall, the more steps, the better.

Why 10,000 Steps Per Day Is Good For you

The long list of fitness and health benefits of spending more time on your feet is inspiring.

Walking regularly improves cardiovascular fitness, helps you lose weight, strengthens bones, boosts endurance, and reduces your risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart problems, osteoporosis, type II diabetes, and some cancers.

Let me explain more.

Disease Prevention

Research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows that walking daily can help overall health and reduce certain health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, and blood pressure.

Improved Strength

By definition, walking is a weight-bearing exercise. This, in turn, helps improve strength in your main walking muscles.

Walking also puts pressure on your bones, which helps boost bone strength.

Improved Endurance

I hate to state the obvious, but walking builds endurance. The more you walk, the more endurance you build.

So gradually increasing your daily steps, even by little, can help you slowly improve your overall endurance and conditioning. Once you can comfortably walk for more than 90 minutes per day, you can up the challenge by doing more intense exercise, such as running.

Achieve Healthy Weight

Walking can also help you lose weight and keep it off for good.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

Research from the University of Texas revealed that taking fewer than 5,000 steps daily may limit your body’s ability to metabolize fat the next day.

This fat build-up can boost your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Just remember to back up your walking routine with a healthy diet—otherwise, all the steps will be in vain when losing weight.

Establish a Routine

Even if you don’t like to plan, having a daily routine helps keep you on track.

As a rule, choose a time of the day that works best for logging your daily recommend steps, then try to stick to it every day so that it becomes a habit.

Remember that there’s no right or wrong time of day to walk, but if you keep it up for long enough, it’s usually easier to form the habit. The rest is just details.

Your 10,000 steps plan might look something like this:

  • By 10:00 am, I’ll have 2,000 steps done
  • By noon, ill have covered 3500 steps
  • By 03:00 pm, I’ll have reached 5000 steps
  • By 06:30 pm, I’ll have finished 7500 steps.
  • By 09:00 pm, I’ll have completed 10,000 steps.

Choosing a template like this provides a schedule and accountability—both work better for achieving any goal.

Determine your Current Average

The best first step you can take (no pun intended) to take more daily steps is to start by determining your current baseline. Monitor your step count for a few days using a step counter or a smartphone app. Remember that you shouldn’t try to jump from 2,000 steps a day to 10,000 overnight. It doesn’t work that way.

Once you determine your average baseline, aim to add 1,500 to 2,000 steps a day. That’s around walking one mile extra per day. As your body gets used to the extra movement, take more steps by lengthening your walks or walking more often so you can get closer to logging 10,000 steps per day (more on this later).

Get A Fitness Tracker

You cannot improve on what you cannot measure. You need a reliable fitness tracker to monitor your daily step count.

Many useful fitness trackers are on the market, so find one that suits your budget and goals. But please use it often and right. Don’t just buy it for the sake of having one. It’s not worth it.

The one I’d recommend is Fitbit. It keeps track of your daily step count, heart rate, elevation gain, sleep cycles, and other vital stats.

Lunch Hour Walk

If possible, walk around the block for 20 to 30 minutes from your allowed lunchtime break. Too lazy to walk around outside? Try to walk indoors.

In 30 minutes, you can log in to 3400-3700 steps—more than a third of the goal.

What’s more? Depending on weight, walking pace, and terrain, you might burn as many as 200 calories.

You’ll also feel more focused at work. Your boss will approve.

Go Hands-Free

Another tactic to help you fit in a few more steps is to take your work calls on the go (or simply avoid the conference room and have walking meetings).

Regardless of the reason behind the call, the minutes spent strolling while on the phone add up.

Walking while on a 20-minute phone call is worth roughly 1700-1900 steps—or about 20 percent of the daily goal. Bonus, you won’t feel lonely on the track.

 Active Weekends

Some weekends you want to do nothing but lounge on the couch, but you’re better off being more active. Staycation is fun, but you don’t want the weekend laziness to get carried to your until Monday, right?

There are many options. Here are a few:

  • Explore a nearby town on foot
  • Take a hike at a local mountain
  • Sign up for a charity walk
  • Visit a local park and immerse yourself in local trails

In short, anything that gets out of the house and moving is a good plan for the weekend.

Park Farther Away

Whether it’s your workplace, the mall, or the grocery store, make it a habit to park as far as possible from your destination.

Even a couple hundred steps walking to or from parking adds up fast.

What’s more?

Sticking to the back of the parking lot will protect your car from many a dent and ding.

Get Off Earlier

If you commute to work using public transport, hop off your train or bus one stop—or more—early.

Picking up the pace to catch your work meeting could win you over 1700 precious steps in 20 minutes—or  18 percent of your daily goal.

Partner Up

Bring along your family and friends. Walking together is a fantastic opportunity to connect with others and be more social, which can drastically impact your health and well-being.

Time also passes quickly when you’re walking with someone else.

Play With your Kids

Schedule aside a family walking time for 30 to 45 minutes, if possible, three or more days per week.

This will help you get one step (no pun intended) closer to achieving your target of daily physical activity and your kids’ too.

In addition, introducing an active lifestyle in the early years will improve your kids’ performance.

There are many games you can play. You can hit the park to play soccer or Frisbee. Hide and seek is another wonderful game. Or simply take the kids for a walk around the block.

Walk To The Store

Live within 15 to 20 minutes of walking distance of the grocery store, pharmacy, or post office?

Then consider getting there on two feet instead of four wheels.

Even if the post office is too far, it is still not an excuse as you can simply park your car a little farther then walk the whole way.

Take The Stairs

Taking the stairs helps a lot. This is because each flight of stairs you walk up is roughly the equivalent of taking 40 steps on flat ground.

For example, if you work on the fourth floor, you can squeeze in over 200 steps by avoiding the elevator when you get in and leave home for the day.

What’s more?

Climbing stairs burn about 70 to 100 calories in 20 minutes, depending on your size, fitness level, etc. The faster pace and/or the more weight you carry, the more calories you’ll burn.

Walk The Dog

Calling all dog owners. Walking your dog is a fun way to spend quality time with your dog while logging in your steps.

It’s also something you have to do every day. So even if you’re not in the mood for walking, your dog might be. Remember that your dog is not a doll. It requires physical activity the same as you.

Remember to WALK the dog instead of letting him out of the leash to roam around.

I’d recommend that you follow his lead, and before you know it, you’ll have taken more than 3000 steps in 30 minutes.

Get Dancing

To add some fun while chasing after those 10,000 steps, put on your favorite song and dance around your living room like you don’t care—there’s no one watching, after all.

Hopefully, no one is. So you can count it as a fun cardio workout.

Get A Standing Desk

Standing desks follow the same logic – they allow you to work while you stand. These have a lot to offer, from protecting against back pain and heart disease to lowering your risks of weight gain.

Can’t afford a standing desk?

Look for tasks where you can stand, such as reading hard-copy reports or taking conference calls on the go.

Use A Pedometer

You cannot improve on what you cannot measure. And to measure something, you need to know how to track it.

That’s where using a pedometer can come in handy.

This device helps you monitor your daily step count. This can motivate and help keep you accountable for your 10,000 steps goal.

What’s more,

Some of these devices are programmed with a goal of 10,000 steps per day.

For example, realizing that you have only logged in 3000 steps and it’s already 4 pm should incentivize you to spend more time on your feet before you call it a day.

Your Walking Technique

Lastly, to get the most out of your walks, do it right—practice good form the entire time.

Good technique helps you walk longer while avoiding pain. What’s not to like?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep a straight posture. Do not lean back or forward.
  • Stand up straight with shoulder back but relaxed.
  • Avoid sitting back on your hips
  • Keep your chin parallel to the ground while gazing ahead.
  • Keep moving your hips from side to side in a continuous manner.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged and firm
  • Point your feet forward. Pointing your feet too much outward or inward may cause injury.
  • Keep your body tall. Avoid arching your back but allow the natural curves in your spine

Getting Started With 10000 Steps A Day

You don’t need to shoot for 10,000 steps from the get-go. Start small; go slow.

This is especially true if you haven’t walked for more than 20 minutes a day in a long while.

Generally, start with 20 to 30 minutes of consecutive walking. If that’s too much, shoot for three 5-minute walking at a time. The more active you’re, the more you can do. You’re doing your health and well-being a great service by going the extra step instead of sitting on your watching TV.

10K steps per day –  The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking to increase your daily step count—and why not reach 10,000 steps or more—then today’s post will get you heading in the right direction—no pun intended. The rest is really up to you.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

How to Run a Faster Mile

How To Run A Sub 1.30 Half Marathon

Looking to run a faster mile? Then you have come to the right place.

Whether you’re a beginner runner or looking to run a faster 5K, improving your mile speed is a goal worth pursuing. In fact, for many runners, running a faster mile is a major goal. With some simple tweaks to your training plan, you’ll be set up to have your fastest mile yet.

In today’s post, I’ll share a few strategies to help you run a faster mile (almost overnight).

More specifically, I’ll cover the following:

  • What is the mile?
  • Why the mile Matters
  • How Long Should It Take To Run one Mile?
  • The Fastest Mile Ever Run
  • How To Run a Faster Mile
  • Interval Training For The mile
  • How to Know Your mile Pace
  • One-Mile Training Plan
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

What is the Mile Anyway?

Before you start training for your fastest mile, it’ll be helpful to understand how long a mile is.

The word “mile” is derived from the Latin term “mille passes,” which means one thousand paces. This is because one mile was originally defined as one thousand Roman strides, each stride being two paces.

If you live in the U.S., where you always use miles when measuring distances, you might already know and understand how far a mile is.

But if you’re using the metric system, know that a mile is 1609.34 meters. So you’ll need to complete four loops (and a few steps) on a standard track to complete one mile.

For perspective, to cover the distance of a mile, you’ll need to;

  • Walk at a leisurely pace for 20 minutes
  • Cover 17 and a half football fields
  • Walk 20 New York city street blocks

Why the Mile Matters

A mile may sound short compared to classic race distances, but it’s a distance not to scoff at. Running a fast mile requires a lot of endurance, strength, physical fitness, and mental toughness.

What’s more?

Devoting time and effort to running a faster mile will help you build endurance and a solid base for your next training phase.

How Long Should It Take To Run 1 Mile?

I wish I had the exact answer, but it varies from runner to runner.

Overall, the time it takes to run a mile hinges on many variables, such as your current fitness level, Age, weight, height, gender, and running experience.

A beginner can likely complete a mile run in roughly 12 to 15 minutes. They can achieve this by running relatively slowly or following the run-walk method, during which the runner alternates between walking and jogging.

If you’re a beginner with no running experience, I will urge you to start with this method to ensure that you don’t push yourself too hard as you take your first few steps on your running journey. The average runner can cover a mile in 8 to 12 minutes. This pace is relatively fast but drastically slower than a 6-minute mile runner.

A good runner should be able to run a mile in less than 6 minutes. This pace is quite fast, but remember that Eliud Kipchoge completed the berlin marathon at 2:01:09. That’s an impressive 4:37 per mile.

The Fastest Mile Ever Run

The fastest mile every run to date is a sonic 3:43.13 held by Hicham El Guerroum from  Morocco since July 1999. This standing world record for the imperial mile was achieved at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome during the world championship games.

As for women, the Ethiopian Sifan Hassan is the current female world record holder for the fastest mile of 4:12;33.

Fun fact – The mile has been the only non-metric distance recognized by the IAAF since 1976.

How To Run a Faster Mile

Here are the tips you need to improve your mile time as fast as possible

Start With A Baseline

Have no idea what your actual mile time is? Then perform a timed trial run. This should help you set a benchmark to measure your progress. It’s virtually impossible to reach a destination if you don’t know where you are and where you’re going.

Where? Of course, a standard track.

One lap on a standard track is precisely 400 meters long. This means that four laps roughly equal one mile.

Remember that some tracks may be shorter (or longer), so do your math first. If you’re unsure about the length of the track, just ask.

Following a 10-minute warm-up, run a mile at 9 out of 10 regarding exertion rate, then see where your current ability lies. I’d recommend performing this test every 8 to 12 weeks, depending on your training goals and personal preferences.

Interval Training For A Faster Mile

One of the best ways to improve your speed—and running confidence—is to do high-intensity interval training. Adding speed intervals to your training plan can help to improve your one-mile pace and overall conditioning.

How long and fast you go on each interval will depend on your fitness level, mile goals, and injury history.

The How? Simple.

Following a 10- to 15-minute warm-up, alternate between running fast for a given distance and then easy jogging or walking for the same distance to recover. I recommend starting with four to five repeats, then working to eight reps over a few months.

For example, you might run a few 200-meter sprints on a track – half a lap—or 400-meter sprints -full lap—with a short recovery between each effort. The session is pretty straightforward.

Performing 200-meter sprints? Then start with six reps and work it up to 8-10.

Performing 400-meters? Then start with fewer reps—let’s three to four—then try working your way to five or six. You can perform these reps on a track or any well-measured stretch of road. You can also do these sessions on the treadmill.

You should include at least one day per week to speedwork. Consider including two days per week if you’re super competitive—but don’t rush it out. Take your time.

Word of caution. If you’re a beginner, I’d advise you not to perform any speed work runs until you have a few months of steady-state training.

Find Your Target Lap Time

The second step is to define your goal time for running the mile.

If you have no idea, then the starting point test should help. Following a 10-minute warm-up, run a mile at full effort and see where your current speed lies.

Next, hit the track.

Remember that a lap around a standard track 400-meter so four laps (plus nine meters at the end) will get you a mile.

Next, divide your goal mile time by 4 to determine your target lap time.

For example, if you’re shooting for a 7-minute mile, you’ll have to run the equivalent of four laps at a pace of 1:45 minutes per lap. This is a pace of 4;20 minutes per kilometer.

A good starting pointing it completing a series of 8 to 10 reps of 200-meter at this goal pace of 1:45 minutes per 400-meter, then taking a 30-second recovery in between each repetition.

Additional resource – How to run at night

Build Endurance

Speed is just one piece of the puzzle. You’ll also need to improve your ability to run longer distances than the mile.

You might already run a few times longer than a mile, but you’ll want to add one run that’s drastically longer.

To build your running distance, start by slowly increasing your weekly mileage. Start with two to three miles, then add one mile a week until you cover six to eight-mile a session.

For example, if your longest run is 4 miles and your total weekly mileage is 12 mine, add roughly one mile per week until your longest run is over 8 miles.

This can be done by adding a mile to your longest run or increasing your total weekly load by up to 10 percent each week.

Planning to train for a half marathon or full marathon? Then keep building distance on that long training day. Completing one long run per week—as well as other runs on schedule—will improve your endurance and stamina, which will result in faster times.

run a faster mile

Improve your Leg Strength for a Faster Mile

Speed, endurance, what else?

Of course, strength.

Although running (more and faster) is the best way to improve your performance, what you do on your non-running days can drastically impact your mile time.

Strength training is key for optimal running performance. Your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and core all play an important role.

Stronger muscles set you up for healthy form and efficient performance, which allows you to run faster at a faster pace with less effort.

Lifting weights can also increase your stride length, which is key for faster running.

Some of the best exercises to improve your running speed include:

  • Squats
  • Squat-thrusters
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • One-legged squats
  • Calf raises

As a rule, shoot for 10 to 15 reps of each exercise. In addition, aim for two to three circuits.

Remember that you don’t need to become an Olympic weightlifter to see gains in speed. At a minimum, you’ll need two 30- to 45-minute sessions per week to see great results.

Run Hills To Improve Mile Speed

Looking for more?

One thing you can do to mix speedwork and strength training is to do hill reps. This is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to fire up your glutes and increase your leg strength.

Uphill running can also enhance your running efficiency and improve your lactate threshold—all of which help improve your mile speed.

Hills are a great addition to a mile training plan because they feel challenging, but put less stress on your body than running on a flat surface.

Hill training also requires more muscular engagement and calorie burn, making them harder sessions before speed is considered.

Hills are an ideal way to improve leg strength.

First, locate a hill that measures around 300 feet with a moderate gradient. Make sure the hill is steep enough that running up it feels like an 8-9 out of ten in terms of effort. Next, complete six to eight reps, with a jog back for recovery.

Run as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then walk down to recover. Once you’re done, finish your session with a 10-minute cool-down jog on a flat surface.

Keep your focus on good technique, and don’t try to force your way to the top. For more challenges, go for a steeper hill to work on power.

Start with five to six reps, and work to at least 10.

Stuck on the treadmill? Shoot for a 4 to 6 percent incline.

Improve Your Form

Running a faster mile isn’t just about running then more running. Technique also matters—and it matters a lot.

Proper form helps you move more efficiently, which increases not only your speed but also your endurance. You should aim to improve your form before speed, especially if you’re a beginner runner.

There are many things you can do to improve your running form.

  • Try to run as tall as possible, back straight, core engaged, and shoulders relaxed while striking the ground on your midfoot.
  • Keep your head up to keep good posture and balance. Avoid hunching over or tilting your neck down.
  • Bent your arms around a 90-degree angle with a little elbow bend. Make sure you have a nice comfortable arm swing.
  • Activate your core and use quick and short strides. Avoid overstriding, as taking giant leaps can only slow you down and put more pressure on your muscles and joints.

What’s more?

You can also perform dynamic warm-up drills focusing on different aspects of good running technique. This helps make sure that your movement is optimized during your workout. The efficiency of movement is key and all that.

To put this into practice, perform drills that accentuate various aspects of proper form. Do them as a part of your warm-up. Some of these drills include:

  • Butt kicks
  • Soldier walk
  • Fast feet drill
  • Backward running
  • Carioca

Improve Your Cadence

Also known as stride rate, running cadence is the rate at which your feet hit the ground while running.

Instead of trying to lengthen your stride to cover more ground when trying to pick u the pace, increase your cadence and focus on taking short and quick steps as you run faster. This increased cadence may also help prevent many common overuse injuries, research shows.

Most running experts preach a cadence of 170-180 strides per minute. But keep in mind that the research suggests that cadence is highly personalized.

Here’s how to determine your cadence and how to improve it.

First, know your current stride over.

On your next run, count the number of steps you take in one minute. Try counting just one foot and then double it to get your total cadence. Some running watches also can estimate cadence.

Next, if your current stride is too low, gradually improve it by adding 3 to 5 steps every few runs. The rest is just details. Just remember not to obsess over cadence when you’re a beginner runner. Instead, run in a comfortable way, letting your body find its natural rhythm.

Lose Extra Weight

Looking for extra motivation to lose weight? Then this should get you.

Weight is a compound measurement that depends on many variables such as diet, access to food, hormone, sleep, lifestyle, socioeconomic factors, etc. But, overall, expect to improve your speed by losing any excess weight you might be carrying.

The larger your body, the more energy you burn off since running is a weight-bearing exercise. This means that your weight influences the force and intensity of the activity.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.  Research has shown that runners can get 2 seconds per mile faster for every excess pound they lose. This means a 16-pound weight loss could shave 30 seconds off your mile price time. That’s a lot.

And it’s not just one research. This 1978 experiment looked into how a 12-minute run performance was impacted when adding 5 percent, 10 percent, and 15 percent extra weight compared to the subject’s normal body weight.

The researchers concluded that the running pace was slowed by roughly 1.4 seconds per mile for each extra pound added.

Another research looked at the same thing but used the reverse approach. Instead of adding weight, the researchers lightened runners by 5 to 10 percent of their normal body weight via ropes and pulleys while they ran on a treadmill.

In the end, it was reported that they were about 2.4 seconds faster per mile for every “lost pound.”

At a glance, this may not seem like much, but a 16-pound loss would equate to a roughly 20 to 30 seconds faster mile, with all equal.

Remember that these studies are conducted in a lab setting, so it’s quite different from real-world conditions.

What’s more?

And if you try to lose weight, you might also lose some muscle with the fat, which is not optimal. You might also be fueling while training for a hard race, which compromises training and can limit overall performance.

Recover Well

You can train hard seven days a week, but your efforts will be in vain without proper recovery. Though getting outside your comfort zone is key when working toward running a faster mile, your recovery time is just as crucial in your result.

For this reason, feel free to push yourself during training, but don’t forget to go all out when you recover. It’s a fine balance between stress and recovery. Don’t overtrain, nor should you undertrain. Find the sweet spot.

As a rule, you should schedule at least one full weekly rest day.

  • Avoid training hard two days in a row, such as an interval training or hill reps workout.
  • Get adequate sleep – shooting for 7 to 9 hours per night.
  • Balanced diet – your nutrition plan should include all three macronutrients and be composed of nutrient-dense foods.
  • Stretch often. Try these yoga poses.
  • Foam roll
  • Massage
  • Acupressure or acupressure mats
  • Recovery doesn’t mean a lazy day. Instead, feel free to perform cross-training activities like biking, walking, or swimming.

For the full guide to recovery for runners, check my post here.

Be Consistent

I hate to sound too cliché, but consistency is key – and that’s the case whether you’re trying to make a 7-figure income or run a sub-7-minute mile.

As a rule of thumb, I urge you to follow a training plan (one you find online or one designed by a coach) and include at least four to five days of running each week to improve your mile time.

Running on a whim isn’t the best way to improve performance. Instead, you must log the miles on a consistent base so the body can adapt to the high-impact stresses of running faster. And that doesn’t happen overnight.

Let’s see how to put this into practice.

One-Mile Training Plan

Just because it’s just a “mile,” it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow a running program to help you improve your time.

Depending on your running experience and starting point, training for the mile might sound like a little or a lot. But, regardless of your current goals, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the mile.

A 1-mile training plan is useful for any serious runner craving more structure as they strive to improve their mile time and performance.

The good news is that there are many one-mile training plans available online. But before you go and pick one, I recommend you review any schedule with a running coach or someone with more running experience than you.

Don’t have access to a running coach? Then feel free to email me at [email protected] or, at the very least, ensure your chosen training plan is well-rounded.  An ideal running schedule for the mile should include short-distance sessions, long-distance sessions, cross-training workouts, and rest days—just like any other training plan would.

The main variable is the distance. For example, a long-distance marathon session might be 20 miles, but you won’t need to run that far to improve your mile time.

The exact training plan will depend on your fitness level, pace, running and experience, and most importantly, your goal pace.

What’s more?

Remember that you don’t need to train on specific days, but you might want to avoid running twice a row as a beginner. The fitter you get, the more load you can handle over time.

On your non-running days, feel free to cross-train or rest so your body can recover and adapt to training.

The below one-mile training plan is ideal for beginners, those returning from break, or runners looking to keep base training fitness during the off-season.

 Week One 

  • Monday – Three miles easy
  • Tuesday – Cross train or rest
  • Wednesday –Speedwork: 10 X 200-meter. 30 seconds rest.
  • Thursday – Cross train or rest
  • Friday – three miles moderate
  • Saturday – 45 to 60 minutes long run at an easy pace
  • Sunday – Cross train or rest

Week Two

  • Monday – four miles easy
  • Tuesday – Cross train or rest
  • Wednesday – Speedwork: 8 X 400-meter. One minute rest.
  • Thursday – Cross train or rest
  • Friday – Four miles moderate
  • Saturday – 60 minutes long run at an easy pace
  • Sunday – Cross train or rest

Week Three 

  • Monday – Three miles easy
  • Tuesday – Cross train or rest
  • Wednesday –Speedwork: 5 X 800-meter. One minute rest
  • Thursday– Cross train or rest
  • Friday –Three miles easy
  • Saturday – 80 minutes long run at an easy pace
  • Sunday – Cross train or rest

Week Four 

  • Monday – Four miles easy
  • Tuesday – Cross train or rest
  • Wednesday – Speedwork: 10 X 400-meter at target pace. 30-second rest
  • Thursday – Cross train or rest
  • Friday –Three miles moderate
  • Saturday – 80 minutes long run
  • Sunday – Rest

Week Five

Monday – Test Run or Race!

Race Day Advice For Running Your Fastest Mile

Feel like you’re ready to test your mettle? Then let’s see how fast you can run that mile.


I hate to sound like a broken record, but before you try to run your fastest mile, you should get your muscle set and ready first. A proper warm-up is key for injury prevention and sets the stage for optimal performance.

So what kind of warm-up I’d recommend?

Simple. Start by jogging for 10 to 15 minutes, then perform a series of dynamic stretches such as high knees, butt kicks, inchworms, and toy soldiers. Next, perform fast but short strides to get your body firing on all cylinders.

Get Your Mind Ready

The mile is no distance to scoff at, so you better approach it with the right mindset and respect. Although it’s only four laps around the track, it will hurt.

Mentally go through the four laps in your head. Know exactly what times you want at each lap, then picture yourself running the perfect mile. See yourself running strong, tall, and with good technique. Leave nothing for chance.

Stick to Your Target Lap Time

Have a mile goal? Great. Now break down your target mile time by 4 to determine your target lap time.

If you aim to run a 7-minute mile, you have to run the equivalent of four laps of a standard track at exactly 90 seconds per lap or a 3.45 minute per kilometer.

Have A Stopwatch

A useful tool to have during your mile training is a stopwatch.

When running at a measured distance, a stopwatch will help you accurately measure your lap times and ensure you’re running at the right pace in line with your mile training plan.

The First Lap

Run the first lap as fast as possible, even if it means kicking off the one-mile run faster than needed to get your goal time.

Mentally you’re likely to slow down as you run more laps, so make up for lost time during the first lap. But be careful not to spend all your energy.

The Second Lap

Run this lap at exactly your target time. For example, in the 7-minute mile I mentioned before, lap two is when you should be running exactly one minute 45 seconds, so your time by the halfway point should be around 3:25 to 3:29.

The Third Lap

Lap 3 is the critical part of the mile distance, where you must push yourself the hardest to ensure you don’t slow down. Focus to keep yourself on pace when every cell in your body is begging you to slow down.

To psych up, try devoting that third lap to someone important in your life and promise not to disappoint them.

The third lap is the toughest. This is, in fact, the lap that will determine whether you achieve your goal time or not. You’re more likely to slow down for your initial pace.

The Fourth Lap

The last lap is where you lay it all out. You’re at the final stretch of the mile. The hardest part is already over, and it’s time to run as fast as possible.

Chances you’ve already slowed down on your previous laps, so you need to dig deep and push yourself the hardest. Know that the end is nigh.

And during the last curve, perform the “kick” by sprinting the last 200 meters as fast as possible.

How To Run a Faster Mile –  The Conclusion

There you have it! Trying to run a faster mile shouldn’t be that complicated. All you need is the right mindset, strategies, and a bit of luck. Don’t forget to have enough rest and recovery, so your body will work effectively.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

David D.

How to Prevent Running Injury

prevent running injuries

Looking for the best advice on what to do to prevent running injury? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s the truth. Overuse injuries can throw a wrench in your running plans like nothing else. These are usually joint, ligament, and muscle issues that plague the lower extremities.

And no one is immune—both beginner and elite runners are prone to injury. This makes them quite common, especially among those not taking steps to prevent them.

In fact, research shows that over half of all runners get injured, with many of those occurring in the knee, shins, or Achilles tendon.

But there are a few precautions you can take to help stack the odds in your favor. That’s where today’s post comes in handy.

How to Prevent Running Injury

Whether you’re a beginner runner training for your 1st 5K or a pro runner aiming for a sub-3 hour marathon,  here are 9 nine things you can do to help reduce your risks of getting injured while running.

Know Your Limits

This is, by far, the cardinal rule for avoiding all kinds of sports injuries.

This is what’s commonly referred to as doing too much, too soon, too fast

Your body needs time to recover and adapt to increases in speed or mileage.

Push your body too much, and you will be flirting with disaster.

Action Steps

Take plenty of rest.

Make sure to add recovery days and weeks to your training plan by taking a complete break from training physically and mentally.

Take one day off a week, and space out those hard runs—think hill repeats and sprints—with some easier recovery runs.

During the off-time, cross-train with low-impact activities, such as swimming, low-intensity biking, or, my favorite, Yoga.

Especially Yin or Gentle yoga will help you decompress the stress inside your body, especially within the fascia tissue.

What’s more?

Use the 10 percent rule.

Don’t increase your running mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.

Listen To Your Body

Overuse running injuries don’t happen overnight (falling flat on your face is the exception here, but we already discussed that).

Most running injuries come with early warning signs—discomfort, soreness, aches, and persistent pain—but it’s up to you to listen to them and take the right measures.

Action Steps

Have an early warning system for pain, and do your best to get to the root cause of what’s causing it.

At the first sign of onset, whether it’s a pain that gets worse during a run or forces you to change your running gait, take some days off and reevaluate your approach.

Don’t get me wrong, aches and running go hand in hand, but if the pain persists and/or it’s taking a toll on your body, you need to start paying attention.

In a nutshell, if your body hurts, do not run.

That’s it.

Strength Train

Regular strength training helps improve performance and protects against injury by improving your structural fitness.

This helps your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones to better endure the high-impact nature of running.

For instance, strengthening the hip muscles—mainly the adductors, abductors, and gluteus maximum—can boost leg stability to the ankles and prevent knee pain and injuries.

Action Steps

Strengthen your lower body muscles, especially your quads, glutes, and hip muscles.

Here are the runners-oriented strength routines you need:

Stretch Your Body

Just like strength training, stretching is another off-road thing you can do to protect your body against common running injuries.

Current research finds no link between stretching and injury prevention, but I will bet my money on this, and I strongly urge you to boost your range of motion.

When you improve the range of motion of your running muscles, your body will move more efficiently and have less risk of injury.

Runners tend to be tights in the hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and glutes, so you are more likely to get injured in and around those areas.

Tight hamstrings can lead to knee pain and other trouble.

Tight calves are also bad since they have been linked to the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon injuries in research.

Action Steps

Lucky for you, I have written a lot about the subject, and here are three flexibility routines that can help stretch your running muscles and help you prevent injury in the process.


As previously stated, when you got aching or painful joints or muscles, look no further than R.I.C.E for immediate treatment.

You don’t have an E.M.T. course certificate to do these simple steps.

For example, if your knee hurts, take a few days off from running (Rest).

Ice the painful area for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day.

Plus, elevate the injured knee to limit swelling.

For more, you can also use compression, an A.C.E. bandage or compression socks, which can help reduce inflammation and provide instant pain relief.

how to prevent running injuries

Run on Proper Surfaces

Running on hard and/or uneven surfaces, like concrete or asphalt, puts undue stress on ligaments and joints.

And as a runner, the last thing you want is more impact.

Run often on hard surfaces, and you’ll be risking medial tibia stress syndrome, stress fractures, and other overuse injuries are very high.

Action Steps

Do the bulk of your running on softer surfaces, be it a path through the park, a dirt trail, a bike path, a grass road, and other similarly yielding surfaces.

You can also head to the local track for a more firm and flat surface.

Proper Running Shoes

I can’t emphasize this one enough.

Sure, running does not require a lot of equipment, but shoes are still a MUST.

So make sure to have the right pair on.

Action Steps

Head to a specialty-running store and have your gait and foot type analyzed by expert staff so they can help you pick the perfect pair.

It can be tricky for those with big feet or a big proportion of the front part.

Make sure to replace your running shoes at least every six months—that’s about 400 to 500 miles of running.

This, of course, depends on your weight, size, foot strike, shoe type, and weekly mileage.

The earliest warning of “wear and tear” shoes can take place on the heels part and big toe.

If you feel something not nice or sometimes you spot calluses in your heels, change.

Additional resource – How to treat black toenails from running

Proper Running Form

Poor form can limit your performance and lead to undue pain and injury, leading to shin splints, back pain, limited performance, and so on.

On the other hand, proper form will also help you run more efficiently, so you will run farther and faster with less fatigue.

Action Steps

Here are a few pointers to help you develop and keep good form:

  • Run in a relaxed manner with the least tension possible. As you run, do your best to keep your entire body relaxed, especially your neck, shoulder, arms, and hands. Avoid clenching your fists, as this can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders, and neck.
  • Keep looking ahead. You should be gazing at the ground about 15 to 20 feet ahead of you. Never stare at your feet.
  • Land on your midfoot. I used to be a heel striker, which limited me in many ways. Nonetheless, things changed for the best when I started consciously working on landing on the middle of my foot, then rolling through to the front of the toes.
  • Point your feet straight head. Running with your feet pointed in or out could increase the risks of injuries, and it’s inefficient. So make sure to point your toes in the direction you want to go

Coping With A Running Injury

Already injured? Here’s how to make the most out of your recovery process.

Become a Student

Educating yourself about your injury and healing process is the ideal place to start your recovery journey.

Most running injuries are simple.

There are no big mysteries behind them; there’s always a reason why they happen.

By learning more about the symptoms, treatment, causes, and prevention of your condition, you’ll gain greater confidence and control over your current predicament, which helps ease any anxiety you’re going through.

Here are some of the questions you need to ask your healthcare professional.

  • What’s the full diagnosis? What type of injury do I have?
  • What made me injured in the first place?
  • How long will recovery typically take?
  • What are the red flags that the injury is getting worse?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What’s the goal of treatments?
  • What should I expect during the recovery period?
  • What alternative exercises can I safely do during the rehab period?
  • What can I do to prevent or fight off the inevitable weakness, stiffness, and lack of coordination that increases the risks of relapse?

Set Realistic Goals

Just because an injury sidelines you doesn’t mean you should stop setting goals.

The truth is proper goal-setting post-injury can help instill motivation and foster diligence as you start your recovery journey.

What’s more?

Setting goals grants you an active role in the recovery process, helping you increase self-confidence.

This also cuts your fear and anxiety by helping you focus on what can be done.

Once you have discussed the ins and outs of your injury with your doctor, set SMART goals, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, and Time-bound.

Here’s how to set SMART goals:

  • Specific. Focus on a specific area with a clear map of how and why you’ll improve it.
  • Be able to define clear and quantifiable outcomes, monitor progress, and set benchmarks.
  • Make sure your running goal is possible and that you believe in yourself that you can do it. Go for goals that stretch you slightly but do not hinder your healing process.
  • Result focused. Use your recovery targets to measure outcomes, not actions.
  • Time-based. Set a date for when you want to achieve your goal with a progressive and practical sense of urgency.

Maintain Your Fitness

Getting injured doesn’t inherently equal sitting on the couch the whole day and doing nothing.

Sure, there may be a few days of true rest when recovering from a serious injury, but be sure to consult with your doctor for a list of cross-training options you can do.

I know it’s hard to keep working out when you’re injured, but stopping all physical training may do you more harm than good.

Inactivity may slow down your recovery and drastically lower your feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine, and drastically—setting you up for more trouble down the road.

Low-impact exercises such as swimming, yoga, deep water running, walking, or moderate strength training can substitute for running and help maintain cardiovascular power and sanity.

Just remember to take it slow and get your doctor, therapist, or trainer’s green light before you establish a good alternative workout program.

Stay Positive

For a quick recovery, you need to heed your doctor’s instructions.

Show up for your treatments, rest, and keep track of your healing process.

But that’s not the whole story.

You also need to monitor your attitude—your emotional states and inner talk regarding your injury and the recovery process.

Work hard to keep a positive attitude to get the most out of your recovery process.

Stay focused on what you need (and can) do instead of what you’re missing out on.

I know it’s easier said than done, but keeping a positive attitude is key for a faster recovery.

What’s more?

Surround yourself with supportive people and encouraging items while repeating positive affirmations.

And keep in mind that things will eventually get better.

It’s just a question of time.

Here are more tips on how to increase your confidence.

How to Prevent Overuse Running Injuries – The Conclusion

The things I shared with you today should be enough to help you prevent running injuries. The key is to implement as many as possible. The rest is just details.

Now it’s up to you to take action and start training pain- and injury-free.

What’s not to like?

Do you have any favorite running tips?

9 Overuse Running Injuries: How To Treat & Prevent

running injuries

Running is awesome. It burns many calories, strengthens the joints, and keeps the crazy away, but there’s a downside:  overuse injuries—all of which can be painful, stubborn, and depressing.

Train long enough, and you’ll, sooner or later, pick up one or more injuries.

Don’t take my word for it.

Polls show that roughly 80 percent of runners get injured every year. These are not great odds.

Since we mainly use the lower limbs when logging the miles, most injuries afflict the knees, feet, calves, shin, and ankles. Other weight-bearing limbs, such as the thighs, hips, and back, are also prone to injury.

Here is the good news.

Today, dear reader, I will delve deep into some of the most common running injuries and the best ways to treat and prevent them for good.

But first things first, let’s explain what running injuries are all about.

Note: Before we proceed, I’d like for the record to explicitly state that it’s beyond the scope of this blog post to provide detailed information about sports injuries without knowing all the symptoms. To err on the side of caution, consult a certified sports physician to determine the appropriate treatment options before applying any of the advice shared below.

Overuse Running Injuries Explained

So, what’s a running injury?

“running injury” refers to the injuries that occur during running. You injure yourself whenever you put a particular body part under excessive stress that it can no longer function properly.

No one runner is immune to overuse injury. But most conditions result from poor training practices, lack of conditioning, wrong gear, or biomechanical limitations.

A running injury can force you to reduce your training volume or stop training altogether in cases of severe pain. Injuries can also interfere with how you walk, work, and do everything else.

In other words, the last thing you’d want to run into when logging the miles is a running injury. They suck!

The Most Common Overuse Running injuries

Chronic injuries are, by far, the most common type of injuries, outnumbering acute injuries among runners of every background and training level.

But since they tend to be lower in pain than acute injuries, overuse injuries don’t attract immediate medical attention.

Without further ado, here a list of some of the most common running injuries as well as how to treat and prevent them.

Running Injury. 1 – Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body.

The Injured Part

The Achilles tendon is a major tissue that connects the back of the heel to the two major calf muscles: the Gastrocnemius & Soleus muscles. This vital tendon absorbs several times your body weight on each stride.

The Main Cause of Achilles Tendinitis

The primary cause is repetitive stress to the tendon.. The longer and faster you run, the more stress you put on this tendon. This causes micro-tears to the tendon eventually resulting in tendinopathy. This equals pain—and when severe enough, time off training.

The Stats

According to survey, Achilles Tendinitis makes up roughly 10 percent of all running injuries.

The Contributor Factors

  • Increasing weekly training load too fast, especially when it’s more than 10 percent per week.
  • Weakness in the posterior chain muscles—the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
  • Tight calf muscles, especially the gastrocnemius muscle.
  • Improper running shoes,
  • Being overweight.

Symptoms Of Achilles Tendinitis

The main symptom is a tender pain in the lower calf near the heel or on the back—especially when you run, tip-toe, or step out of bed in the morning. The pain can be severe enough to keep you from running.

Achilles tendinitis may manifest as visible swelling or a knot in the affected area. You might also notice strange noises, like cracking or popping, in the tendon when your foot is flexed or pointed.

How To Treat Achilles Tendinitis

If you have Achilles tendinitis, take as many days off as possible. You cannot run through this injury as it will only get worse, which can take more than a few months to fully heal.

Next, apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes on the injured area twice daily.

To soothe the pain, stretch your calves and wear supportive shoes.  Research also suggests that compression socks for hard runs relieves and prevents Achilles tightness.

You’ll need clinical treatment for severe cases of the condition. Some options include physical therapy methods of electrical stimulation, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), high-voltage galvanic stimulation (H.V.G.S.), and ultrasound.

How to Prevent Achilles Tendinitis

  • Strengthen your posterior muscles. Ideal exercises include eccentric heel drops, calf raises, lunges, squats, deadlifts, and toe walks.
  • Stretch your calves. Lift your toes back toward your shin while keeping your heel on the ground the entire time.
  • Proper form. Work on improving your foot strike and running cadence. Too hard? Run with a Partner or group and ask for
  • Consider wearing orthotics or running in shoes with more support. Steer clear of flip-flops, high heels, or any footwear irritating the Achilles tendon.

Running Injury. 2  –Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are an acute, traumatic, injury that plagues the ankle joint. They’re pretty common among runners and athletes who do sports requiring lots of jumping or switching directions.

The Injured Part

There are three grades of ankle sprains. The most common ankle sprain in runners is grade 1 and 2, which consists of a stretched ligament or a partial tear of the anterior talofibular ligament—the ligament in the front and outside of the ankle.

The Main Cause Of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains happen when the foot is turning, twisting, or rolling movement. This action stretches the ligament surrounding the ankle beyond its normal range, tearing them in the process.

The Contributor Factors

  • Running on uneven surfaces
  • Missing the curb
  • Tripping over a rock
  • Stepping into a pothole
  • Landing awkwardly upon foot strike.

The Stats

Roughly 25,000 people sprain their ankles daily, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Runners are at higher risk.

Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains manifest as tender pain in the ankles—especially when bearing weight on the injured foot.

Other symptoms include bruising, skin discoloration, and a limited range of motion in the ankle area. In severe cases, this ligament may also tear completely.

How To Treat Ankle Sprains

Ice the injured ankle for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times a day. Focus on the affected part first, then circulate over the swollen area. You can also wrap or compress the ankle with an elastic bandage to ease the inflammation and speed recovery.

During the acute period, consider sleeping with the affected foot elevated higher than your chest.

How long to rest depends on the sprain’s severity, so if the injury lingers for more than two weeks, see a physician for a thorough action plan.

In most cases, your physician might recommend taping the ankle, an air case, or an ankle brace to speed up recovery and/or prevent re-injury as you slowly return to your running routine.

As a cardinal rule, start running again once you:

  • can do it pain-free,
  • have a full range of motion in the injured joint, and
  • the strength of the injured limb is equal to that of the healthy side.

How to Prevent Ankle Sprains

  • Strengthen the muscles surrounding your ankle with balance training.
  • Run on proper and smooth surfaces, and avoid technical, trail, and terrains, especially if you have a history of ankle sprains.
  • Improve your running technique, especially your foot strike patterns and leg turnover.

Running Injury. 3 – Runner’s Knee

Often referred to as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, a runner’s knee is associated with pain in the knee and around the kneecap. The injury is the most common cause of knee pain from running.

The Injured Part

This overuse injury is an irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap. This cartilage is located in the patellar tendon and connects to the quads muscle group.

The Exact Cause

Runner’s knee happens when the patella (the kneecap) fails to move smoothly in the femoral groove at the lower end of the thigh bone. This, in turn, irritates the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap.

The Stats

This notorious knee injury is the most common affliction among runners—from all training backgrounds. Research show that about 40 percent of running injuries are knee injuries—and runners’ knee makes up a large percentage.

According to a runnersworld.com poll, about 13 percent of runners reported knee pain in the past year.

Symptoms Of Runners Knee

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome manifests as stubborn and tender pain around or behind the patella—usually under the bottom edge of the kneecap. The pain gets worse when:

  • Running downhill
  • Descending the stairs
  • After prolonged sitting
  • Squatting

The Contributing Factors

The leading causes of runners’ knees tend to differ from one runner to the next. Some of these include:

  • Weak glute, hip, or quad muscles
  • Faulty biomechanics, especially Overpronation, is excessive inward foot rolling during a foot strike. This can be congenital or acquired.
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Too much downhill running
  • Improper footwear.

How To Treat Runners Knee

Decrease your running volume by half, avoid running on consecutive days, or take a break from the sport altogether.

Next, ice the affected joint for 10 to 15 minutes,  three to four times a day. Aggressive treatment options include using a knee brace and/or knee tape or taking anti-inflammatory medication.

See your physician in case the pain gets worse.  Left untreated, runners’ knees can progress into a more serious ailment that may require surgical intervention, such as fracturing or fissuring the kneecap.

How to Prevent Runner’s Knee

  • Strengthen your knee’s support muscles, mainly the quadriceps, hip flexors, and glutes. This should help keep your knees tracking correctly over the femoral groove.
  • Keep your hamstrings and hip flexors flexible and loose. Try this routine.
  • Shorten your stride length while landing with the knee slightly bent. Doing so may take some impact off your knee joint.
  • Get proper running shoes. Check this post.
  • Stick to flat or uphill terrain, running on softer surfaces whenever possible.

Running Injury. 4 – Stress Fractures

Sure, running is a non-contact sport, but the high-impact nature may “break” your bones in what’s known as a stress fracture.

The Main Cause

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone caused by sub-maximal cumulative stress on the bone. This results from excessive training, forcing the bone to take on greater force than it can handle.

overuse running injuries

The Injured Part(s)

The injury can strike any bone, but in runners, the most commonly afflicted areas include the main weight-bearing bones, such as the metatarsals – especially the fifth metatarsal, your pinky toe, the tibia—the lower leg bone, and sometimes, but not as often, the femur—anywhere in the upper leg, even the pelvis or sacrum.


Polls show that stress fractures are behind 6 percent of all running injuries.

Symptoms of Stress Of Stress Fractures

A stress fracture starts as pain around the affected bone that worsens the longer you run but subsides at rest. Tenderness and swelling are also common red flags.

Pain ranges from mild to sufficiently debilitating to stop you from hitting the pavement for weeks, even months.

In advanced cases, stress fractures will make standing on your feet uncomfortable and painful.

The Contributing Factors

  • Overtraining, as in doing too much too soon.
  • Certain nutrient deficiencies
  • Running hard and often on hard surfaces
  • Female runners are prone to stress fractures due to inadequate caloric intake, nutritional deficits, and low estrogen levels.

How to Treat Stress Fractures

The first thing to do to give your bones the necessary downtime to recover. You can always use RI.C.E method to speed up recovery and alleviate pain.

In most cases, it might take up to at least six to eight weeks to achieve full recovery—depending, of course, on how severely you were injured.

During the downtime, cross-train. Aqua jogging, yoga, and low-intensity cycling are good options.

You can return to your former running routine once you can jog pain-free with no lingering pain.

But if pain persists, back off. In extreme cases, you might need to run some tests to see if it’s time for medical intervention.

Additional reading – How to Prevent Running Injury

How to Prevent Stress Fractures

  • Wear the right running shoes
  • Strength train regularly. Try this routine
  • Run on soft surfaces like grass and dirt trails and steer clear of harder surfaces such as asphalt and sidewalks.
  • Consume enough nutrients—especially calcium, to keep your bones strong.
  • Doing plenty of non-weight-bearing cross-training exercises like swimming, cycling, or yoga.

Running Injury. 5 – Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

Also known as I.T.B.S., Iliotibial band syndrome is an inflammation of the IT band.

The Injured Part

The Iliotibial band is a thick piece of connective tissue stretching from the pelvic bone down your thighs.

The Main Cause

When you run or perform any knee-bending movement, your IT band rubs on the side of the femur to help your knee flex and extend.

Do this for an extended period, and the action can lead to irritation that results in pain and inflammation.


According to the survey, iliotibial band syndrome makes up roughly 12 percent of all running injuries, making it the fourth most common ailment in the running world.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

I.T.B.S. manifests as intense pain around the outside of the hip or knee that’s felt down the leg—especially when running downhill or while using the stairs.

At the first stage of the condition, you might feel a sensation of stinging on the outside of the knee—mimicking a knee injury, but still, I.T.B.S. is completely different.

The Contributing Factors

  • Doing too much too soon
  • Weakness in the hip abductor and gluteal—butt—muscles
  • Runners with leg-length discrepancies or those who overpronate
  • Runners with a B.M.I. of 25 or higher who do a weekly run of two hours or more.

How to Treat Iliotibial Band Syndrome

At the first sign of trouble, reduce your mileage by 50 percent for a couple of weeks, and you could prevent serious injury. But, on the other hand, you’ll do nothing but exacerbate injury if you ignore the warning signs and keep running at your typical mileage.

Use the R.I.C.E method as long as there is pain. Then, consider booking a physio appointment or using NSAIDs when the pain is too much to handle—especially if you start experiencing it on the outside of your knee.

Avoid abusing pills just because you’re too lazy to make an appointment.

Stretching and foam rolling may also help you relieve pain.

During the recovery period, you can cross-train by opting for low-impact activities, like swimming, biking, pool running, and yoga, to help keep your fitness base. Then, start again only when you’re ready.

How To Prevent Iliotibial Band Syndrome

  • Add hip abductor strength exercise to your resistance training. These include side leg lifts, lateral side steps, and one-legged squats.
  • Perform a proper warm-up before every run.
  • Shorten your stride and increase your cadence turnover
  • Respect the 10% rule.
  • Use a foam roller to loosen the band and roll out the sides of your hips, which can help break up the tissue knots in the area.

Running Injury. 6 – Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia.

The Injury Part

The plantar fascia is a thick band of ligaments and tendons that covers the bones along the bottom of the foot. This band of tissue runs from the heel to the toes, joining the heel and forefoot and providing arch support.

The Stats

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common culprits of heel pain in runners and amounts to roughly 10 to 15 percent of all running injuries. A poll run by runnersworld.com revealed that up to 10 percent of its readers suffered from this injury this past year

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a tight, tender sensation at the heel’s base that can range from irritating to excruciating. Most runners describe the pain as stepping heel-first onto a nail or walking on glass.

The Main Factors

  • Weakness and/or dysfunction in the muscles of the foot may force the heel to take in more load than it can handle
  • Standing for extended periods, especially on hard surfaces without supportive footwear.
  • Runners with abnormal feet—those with a high or low arch
  • Overpronation—the excessive inward roll of the foot during a foot strike, and supination—the excessive outward roll
  • Prolonged periods of standing, typically on hard surfaces without supportive footwear.

How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Step back from running, especially if the pain is severe, and stretch the fascia tissue at least a couple of times per week.

Preferably, roll your injured foot over a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle for a few minutes, five times a day. A foam roller also helps loosen up the plantar fascia.

Stability shoes and orthotics can also help limit symptoms and hasten recovery, but they’re not a permanent fix, so don’t always rely on them.

Try stretching. This simple stretch can help. Doesn’t have to be with a strap at first.

If the pain persists, see a physician. They might suggest putting on custom-made orthotics or a night splint to speed up recovery.

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

  • Stretch your plantar fascia and calves consistently—especially when running in the morning, as the fascia tends to tighten overnight.
  • Improve your core strength—especially if you have a bad injury history.
  • Strengthen your calves with heel raises, toe raises, and eccentric heel drops.
  • Avoid using high heels or flip-flops, which can irritate this band of tissue and shorten the calf muscles.
  • Run in the right shoes. And stick to the 10% rules.
  • Improve your running form.

Running Injury. 7 – Shin Splints

Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are an inflammation of the tissues around the shinbone.

The Exact cause

This overuse injury is caused by microtrauma to the connective tissues located in the front portion of the lower leg.

The Injured Part

Shin splints are an inflammation of the tendons and/or muscles around the tibia—shinbone.


Shin splints are common among beginners and those returning to the sport after an extended layoff. Surveys show that it accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all running injuries.

Symptoms Of Shin Splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome manifests as aching, stabbing pain felt along the inside front of the lower leg, roughly halfway down the shin, or all along the bone—especially during the first few miles of a run.

The pain can range from mild to excruciating and can be felt in both the front and the outer portion of the shin. It may start as mild numbness or tingling along the shin, felt only when running. Then, over time, the pain may progress to a stubborn irritation noticeable at rest.

The Contributing Factors

  • Drastic changes in training volume before your body is prepared to handle the new stress, especially sprint training.
  • Running in the wrong and/or excessively worn shoes.
  • Running on hard and/or cambered—slightly arched—terrains
  • Having high arches or flat feet (it’s not your fault, I know).

How To Treat Shin Splints

At the first sign of pain, reduce your volume for at least a couple of weeks before slowly ramping it up as long as you can do it pain-free. Running through pain might eventually lead to a stress fracture, and you don’t want that.

Next, ice the injured shin for 15 to 20 minutes daily and keep it elevated at night to ease swelling.

Regular stretching might also help, as well as taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, using Kinesio tape, or running with neoprene sleeves.

During the “relative rest” day, you can swim, bike, pool run, or do yoga if you don’t want to lose fitness. Avoid weight-bearing during your rest days.

Return to running pain-free once you can—even long after you stop applying the RICE method. If the problem persists for longer than a month, see a physician for a thorough examination of the entire shin bone.

How To Prevent Shin Splints

  • Increase training volume gradually and slowly.
  • Do anterior tibialis muscle exercises. These include toe taps and heel walks.
  • Get more calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Strengthen your calves with toe raises, eccentric heel drops, and calf raises.
  • For runners with flat feet, orthotics might help but talk to your doctor before you make any decisions.
  • Strengthen the anterior tibialis muscle on the front of your shin. Good exercises include heel walks and toe taps.
  • Try compression running socks.

Running Injury. 8 – Patellar Tendinitis

Also known as “Jumper’s knee,” patellar tendinitis is an inflammation of the patellar tendon.

The Injured Part

The patellar tendon runs from the kneecap to the top of the tibia. This vital tendon assists leg extension during running and other knee-bending motions.

The Exact Cause

The repeated high-impact nature of running might place too much stress on the patella, resulting in small tears in the tendon, leading to pain and swelling.


Research show that the condition has a prevalence of 11 percent

Symptoms of Patellar Tendinitis

To be precise, patellar tendonitis pain is felt at the bottom of the kneecap—directly over the patellar tendon. However, the tenderness might take place anywhere along this structure.

The pain is worse when making knee-bending activities, such as kneeling, squatting, sitting, jumping, or ascending stairs.

The Contributing Factors

  • Overtraining
  • Too much hill training
  • Running on uneven or slanted surfaces.
  • Overpronation (and other biomechanical challenges)

How to Treat Patellar Tendinitis

Take a step back from high-impact training to provide your body with enough recovery time.

Step back from your running and/or drastically reduce your weekly mileage- even stop it all at once, giving your body the time it needs to end the acute phase and begin the healing process properly.

Next, ice the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes three to four times per day

Return slowly and gradually to your previous training volume once you’re pain-free.

How To Prevent Patellar Tendinitis

  • Strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees, mainly the quads, hamstring, and calves, to provide more support to the patellar tendon.
  • Increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent from one week to the next, making sure to make a recovery a priority here.
  • Keep your calves and hamstrings loose and flexible.

Running Injury. 9 – Muscle Strains

Muscle strains are common among athletes from all backgrounds and training levels—runners are no exceptions.

Muscle pulls in runners usually affect these muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves

The most common type that plagues runners is hamstrings strains, the muscles running down the back of the thigh.

Remember that the same advice applies to most other running-induced muscle pains.

The Injured Part

Hamstring strains refer to a slight tear or overextension of one or more of the three muscles in the back of the thigh (the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris), all of which are in charge of bending the knee.

The Contributing Factors

Beginner runners are more prone to muscle strains because their muscles are not used to the high-impact nature of the sport.

If you do any sprinting or a lot of speedwork, then you are more likely to get the condition. Other causes of the condition include skipping a warm-up, and doing too much too soon.

Symptoms of Muscle Strains

Hamstrings strains manifest as tender stiffness and pain along the back of the thigh, especially when trying to stretch the muscle, speeding up or slowing down while running, or sometimes, anytime you perform any knee-bending activity.

How to Treat Muscle Strains

Most hamstring strains can be treated at home. It’s not as bad as a sprain, leading to the ligament’s tearing. If you have just strained your hamstrings, stop running immediately, and apply the RICE method on the spot.

Take a couple of days off (or more) from running, ice the painful area for 15 to 20 minutes a couple of times a day, and keep the injured leg elevated on a pillow to speed up recovery and reduce swelling.

Recovery time varies from one runner to the next, taking anything from two weeks to three months, depending on how serious the muscle strain is.

How to Prevent Muscle Strains

  • Start all of your runs with a proper warm-up.
  • If you plan to do a sprint or speedwork session, do 15 to 20 minutes in a dynamic warm-up comprising light jogging, and dynamic exercises, such as inchworms, squats, and lunges.
  • Improve your flexibility and mobility in the posterior muscles and tendons, so your hamstrings are no longer prone to being strained or overstretched.

Additional resource – How to stop runners toes

More Injuries and Pains To Deal With When Exercising

The above list only covers a small portion of injuries you can encounter when exercising regularly. So, as a bonus, I decided to share a few more so you can protect yourself out there, whether when running or cross-training.



Running blisters consist of fluid-filled sacks on the skin’s surface. This quite annoying condition is caused by friction between your running shoes or the sock and your skin.

Prevent it

Reduce friction by applying lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, on areas prone to blisters. You should also wear properly fitting shoes as well as running-specific socks. For extra protection, consider doubling on the socks or even throwing the old socks away regularly every time you start to feel them stretched too much.

Pectoral Injury

A very common injury among strength nuts. The injury is often caused when trying to lift a weight heavier than normal, resulting in -a tear of one of the chest muscles or its tendons.

Prevent it

Warm up and stretch out your pectorals before working out. Make sure the core is active. Only work with a weight you can control—you will know it’s too heavy when your form starts to break down— and use a spotter for intense sets. Then, you train for your own, don’t be a shower.

Bicep Tendon Rupture

Attempting to curl a too-heavy weight or suddenly dropping the dumbbell can cause a tear in the bicep tendon, which is the tendon attaching your biceps muscle to bones in the shoulder and the elbow.

Prevent it

Use a weight that you can handle throughout with proper form. For heavy sets, call out for the help of a spotter.

Sternum Fracture

Being unable to lift a bar when bench pressing to the safety point can cause a sternum fracture, a break in the sternum bone situated at the front of the chest. This injury is one of the most dreadful and common gym nightmares.

Prevent it

Work on developing proper lifting techniques, load the bar with weights you know you can handle, and always use a spotter to help you through your heavy sets.

Hamstrings Strains

Hamstrings strains happen for two main reasons: improper form and strength imbalances. But, unfortunately, it’s also very rampant among runners.

As you boost your speed, you also extend your stride, which puts excessive pressure on the hamstrings.

Prevent it

Address any possible muscle imbalances in your lower body. If you don’t know or don’t notice it, seek help from your physical therapist to analyze your form. Make sure also to use proper form—especially when running.

Joint Dislocation

Opting for too much weight and/or improper lifting form can cause a dislocated knee, hand, elbow, or shoulder.

If you put too much pressure on a ligament without a proper form, you will force the bone out of its regular position, leading to serious injury.

Prevent it

Be mindful of your joints and their range of motion. Work on developing mobility and aim to correct muscle imbalances.

Develop good form and only use weights you can handle without putting the joint under too much pressure. Keep the alignment good.

Running Injuries – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for a  comprehensive list of overuse injuries that afflict runners, then my article should get you started on the right path. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

David D.

How To Reduce Sugar Intake

reduce sugar intake

Looking for the best ways to reduce sugar intake? Then you’ve come to the right place.*

Here’s the truth.

Sugar is the ultimate diet saboteur.

It provides little to no nutritional value with lots of calories.


The sweet, toxic stuff is the leading cause of many diseases.

The list is terrifying and includes type II diabetes, obesity, infertility, impotence, depression, tooth decay, and high blood pressure.

You name the disease, and there’s a good chance that eating too much sugar makes it worse.

Would you believe roughly 16% of the typical American diet comes from sugar, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

As a nation, we are simply eating too much of it.

Here Are More Shocking Stats:

Research shows that our diets have historically shifted, from consuming roughly 10 pounds of sugar per person per year in the 1800s to about 150 pounds per person, per year today.

That’s a lot of sugar!

To put it into perspective: the average American consumes about three pounds of sugar every week, which weighs the same as half a gallon of milk, a box of wine, or a big can of Crisco shortening.

Not Horrified?

Here is more: Surveys show that the average American diet includes roughly  30 teaspoons of added sugar daily.

This translates to more than 500 calories, or the same as downing two 20-ounce sodas.

So, are you now serious about kicking this nasty habit?


Here are the six strategies you need.

My Sugar Addiction

For the longest time, sugar was my drug.

As far back as I can remember, I was a comfort eater, and sweet stuff was my biggest weakness.

Biscuits, donuts, chocolate bars, sugary breads, muffins, and even heavy cream.

I could never get enough of it!

I knew sugar was bad for me.

I was also well aware that I was consuming more than the daily recommended 25 grams.

Still, knowing something is bad for you and doing something about it are two completely different things, right?

If you’re reading this, you probably know that cutting sugar is easier said than done—and for many reasons.

For starters, sugar is everywhere.

The average diet is filled with so much of the stuff.

Not only that, some refined sugar is added to virtually every processed food.

And don’t get me started on how delicious foods with added sugar are.

I thought I could get away with my sugar addiction since I was leading a very active lifestyle—running, weight lifting, yoga, you name it.

I know now that’s no excuse.

Being a runner does not give us carte blanche to eat whatever we want.

The fact is, you cannot outrun a crappy diet, no matter how fast you are.

Roughly 18 months ago, I reached a turning point in my life.

After assessing my family’s medical history (metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease) and learning more about the harmful effects of sugar, I finally pulled myself up by my bootstraps and decided to clean up my diet.

It took 11 months of trying different things (and failing most of the time miserably,) but I finally became what most people would consider sugar-free.

I’m proud of my achievement.

I still have a cheat day now and then, but as long as I’m doing it by choice, I have things under control—and with that feeling comes great power.

The takeaway?

If you take anything from my story, realize that this process does not happen overnight.

It takes a lot of patience and strength to make it happen, but long term, it’s worth the trouble.

How To Reduce Sugar Intake

What follows are some of the steps (not necessarily in chronological order) that I took to get rid of sugar without going bonkers or feeling deprived.

Eating the way I’m describing today will help you kick sugar to the curb but also help you feel lighter, more energized, and much healthier.

That’s a bunch of good things if you ask me.

  1. Admit You’re an Addict

The first step toward complete detox is to acknowledge your addiction.

Wait, what?

What are you talking about, David?

I hate to break it to you, but here’s the scary truth about the sweet stuff.

Suppose you’re eating a lot of it. In that case, sugar not only takes a toll on your waistline and overall health, but recent research has shown that it can also trigger addiction-like symptoms and that sugar intake stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as heroin or cocaine.

More specifically, sugar activates the nucleus accumbens, the region of the brain that produces dopamine.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter directly associated with pleasure.

One study from Connecticut College assessed how the much-loved Oreo cookie affected rats’ brains and behavior.

The scientists found that Oreos could be as addictive as cocaine.

Now I’m not telling you that you should never eat an Oreo.

That would just be cruel.

But you need to understand that just like quitting hard drugs, kicking the sugar habit can result in intense cravings and withdrawal, calling for an actual detox process to wean off.

To determine the seriousness of your addiction, take the Yale Food Addiction Scale test.

The test consists of 25 questions designed to help you determine whether you have a sugar dependency.

It also measures high-fat food dependency.

  1. Cut Back On Bread

Although it’s the bread and butter of the Western world diet (pun intended), there are many reasons why bread has to go.

Bread—even whole wheat varieties—is loaded with carbohydrates and refined sugar.

It’s also mostly low in nutrients and fiber.

This is especially true for white bread, which can have dire consequences for your weight and overall health.

Don’t take my word for it.

Science also agrees.

According to a study from the University of Navarra in Spain, eating more than three or four slices of white bread daily was linked to a 40 percent higher risk of becoming obese.

For more on why you should ditch white bread, check the following studies:

I know it’s hard to give up on bread completely.

Bread is universal.

It smells and tastes delicious. Who can resist it?

That being said, with just a little bit of motivation and discipline, kicking bread out of your daily menu is not an impossible feat.

I’d recommend you start by saying no to sandwiches, avoiding the bread basket at restaurants, or limiting your bread intake to just one slice per meal.

If you can’t live without bread, try one of these awesome low-carb bread recipes that are convenient and easy to make.

You can also swap out white bread with healthier whole grains options, such as barley, quinoa, brown rice, or whole-wheat bread.

  1. Go For Low-Carb Snacks

When cutting down on sugar, it’s good to have a few healthy snacks in case you get hungry between meals.

This is especially true during the first few weeks of your new regime.

Here’s the kicker.

Most snacks are full of sugar and unhealthy additives.

Chips, crackers, and pretzels are nothing but sugar bombs with little to no nutritional value.

This is why snacking how we’re used to can do more harm than good.

Here’s what I recommend: swap junk snacks for healthy ones.

The right snacks are high in healthy fats, lean protein, and fiber but low in sugar, grains, and carbs.

They leave you feeling full, which helps you consume less of your upcoming meal and throughout the day.

Here are a few of my favorites

  • Cheese
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Non-starchy veggies
  • Kiwi
  1. No Sugary Drinks

If you want to eat less sugar, boycotting sugar-sweetened drinks is one of the first things you should do.

It was my first step, and it greatly impacted the rest of my diet.

Sugary drinks are bad for you for a slew of reasons.

They pack lots of added sugar, which (I hate to sound like a broken record, but here I go again) increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight gain when consumed in excess.

Not convinced?

Check out this research.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found a strong link between soda consumption and an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other health ailments.

Here are more studies:

Just like sugar in general, we’re guzzling too much of it.

According to the National Institute of Health, soda is the third largest source of calorie intake in the typical American diet.

And the Center For Science in the Public Interest has revealed that sweet beverages make up almost half of the added sugar in the average American’s diet.

You can’t get away with limiting yourself to a can a day.

A 12-ounce can (355ml) can pack 30 and 50 grams of sugar, more than a day’s worth.

Want even more perspective?

One can of soda is the equivalent of:

  • One cup of ice cream
  • Four Tim Tams
  • Three English muffins
  • Four large peaches

This is why you need to remove carbonated drinks from your life.

Instead, keep your taste buds happy with water with fresh fruit, black coffee, or unsweetened tea.

cut sugar from your diet
  1. Stop Drinking Fruit Juice

One of the biggest diet myths is that fruit juices are healthy.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Although they contain some nutrients and minerals, fruit juices are glorified junk food.

I’d go as far as to say they have no redeeming qualities.

You’re simply extracting the sugar and the water from the fruit and tossing away the healthy fiber.

The truth is that fruit juices aren’t much different from regular Coke.

One cup of apple juice contains roughly 29 grams of sugar, and a cup of grape juice has 35 grams.

That’s not far from what you’ll find in a 12-ounce Coke, which racks up 39 grams of sugar.

You might as well be guzzling Coca-Cola!

Go for water instead.

It’s calorie-free and good for you!

You can also add flavor to your water by tossing in a slice of lemon or orange.

Or better yet, enjoy a piece of the whole fruit that still has its nutrient and fiber intact.

  1. Use Sweeteners Instead of Sugar

Get this: One tablespoon of white sugar packs in 12 grams of carbs in the form of sucrose, which is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.

That’s a lot of sugar.

Here’s the good news.

A few sugar-free sweeteners on the market may even boast a few health benefits.

Some of these options are calories-free, while others that are not likely to boost your sugar intake contain only a few calories.

Some of the highly recommended brands include:

  • Stevia. This is a very popular low-calorie sweetener. Extracted from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant leaves, Stevia has almost no calories. It has also been found to help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure in people with diabetes.
  • Xylitol. This one is a sugar alcohol derived from birch bark that also occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Xylitol has 2.4 calories per gram, roughly two-thirds of the caloric value of table sugar, but packs in 100 percent of the sweetness.
  • Erythritol. Another sugar alcohol found in some fruits, erythritol, has 0.24 calories per gram, or roughly 6 percent of the caloric value of table sugar, with 70 percent of the sweetness.

Note – These sugar alternatives are not for everyone, but if you’re willing to give them a chance—as I did—they will help your sugar-free journey.

  1. Focus on Non-Starchy Vegetables

I love vegetables—and for all the right reasons.

Vegetables are an ideal source of nutrients and fiber.

They’re also rich in phytochemicals (plant compounds), many of which stimulate the immune system, slow the growth rate of cancer cells, reduce inflammation, etc.

That said, when I got serious about getting rid of sugar—especially after I started the keto diet—I realized that some veggies contain more sugar than others.

Avoid starchy ones like carrots, peas, beets, sweet potatoes, corn, and lima beans when choosing veggies.

These have drastically higher sugar content, which means that eating them can quickly take you to your maximum daily sugar intake—and you don’t want that.

Instead, opt for low-carb, non-starchy vegetables.  The following are among the best:

  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Leeks
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushroom
  • Okra
  • Baby corn
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Chayote
  • Celery
  • Jicama
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Cabbage
  • Daikon
  • Radishes
  • Salad greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  • Peppers
  • Sprouts
  • Squash
  • Eggplant

You have plenty of options.

Who says eating low carb is a hassle?

  1. Eat Low Carb Dairy

As someone who’s been on the keto diet for quite a while, I’m very familiar with the benefits of low-carb dairy on fitness and health.

Dairy products are filling and can be very healthy.

Good sources help reduce appetite, promote satiety, reduce heart disease risks, and more.

Most dairy products are also rich in magnesium, calcium, and other vital minerals.

Dairy is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a naturally occurring fatty acid that several studies have shown to promote health.

But not all dairy is created equal.

Some products, such as frozen yogurt, fruit-flavored yogurt, and puddings, are bad options on a low-carb diet.

They’re typically laden with carbs, sugar, and several other additives.

But that’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

You have to choose dairy foods that have less sugar added in.

Make sure you’re eating full-fat foods.

Low-fat products such as yogurt, shakes, and smoothies contain more sugar than their full-fat counterparts.

  1. Plan your Meals

The best way to build healthier eating habits is to plan meals, especially when trying to lose 10 pounds.

Knowing what to eat, when, and how much to eat in advance frees up a lot of mental energy and makes it more likely that you stay on the right path.

Failing to plan is, after all, planning to fail.

Having a plan is especially helpful during hectic days—when you’re more likely to grab convenient or take-out foods, which tend to be high in calories, sugars, and fat.

Each week, preferably on a Sunday, sit down and plan what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of the week, then use that list to guide your shopping trips and food decisions.

  1.  Get Enough Sleep

For many, hunger pangs strike the hardest after a terrible night’s sleep.

Have a few bad nights in a row, and things worsen.

A good night’s sleep can help eliminate cravings for sugary foods; this isn’t just my subjective observation.

Science has found an undeniable link between sleep deprivation and unhealthy food cravings.

British researchers found when subjects increased their nightly sleep, they experienced fewer cravings.

Remarkably, they reduced their intake by up to 10 grams the day after a good night’s sleep.

So, why does sleep deprivation lead to sugar cravings?

The prevailing theory says: lack of sleep affects your hormones.

It decreases the hormones that suppress your appetite while increasing the hormones that make you hungry.

In short, the fewer hours you spend under the sheets asleep, the hungrier you’ll feel.

Try to get at least seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night by incorporating the following changes into your lifestyle:

  • Sleep in a completely dark room to increase the production of the melatonin hormone— it’s key for a more restful night.
  • Avoid screens in the hours before going to bed and late at night. I know — it’s such a hard thing to do, but it’s worth it.
  • Go to bed at roughly the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Cultivate a meditation practice before sleep to help wind you down before you doze off.
  1. Practice Out of Sight Out of Mind

Here’s something you can’t argue with: if your pantry and fridge are full of sweet indulgences, you will probably indulge.

It’s as simple as that.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to go looking for a treat if I know I have a chocolate bar or a bag of cookies nearby.

Go through your cupboards, fridge, and freezer and eliminate as much temptation as possible.

Lose all the chocolate cookies, the soda, the organic chocolate, the Pop-Tarts, Halloween candy, and other sugar-rich items.

Leave nothing to chance.

Be ruthless.

In brief, declare your living premises a junk-food-free area.

This is how you set your environment up for success.

Even if you can’t control every environment, at least you can control certain ones—starting with your kitchen.

  1. Eat Your Protein

The major dietary change that helped me the most while cracking down on sugar (as well as with the cravings) was simply adding more protein to my diet.

Doing so could make me feel satisfied longer and keep temptation at bay.

Protein is good for you for many reasons.

It triggers the release of the fullness hormone PYY, which helps you reduce hunger and keep you sated longer.

Protein also hinders the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts your metabolic rate.

I could go on and on about the importance of protein, but you can check my full post here.

I encourage you to add more protein to your meals and snacks, especially breakfast.

With a protein-rich breakfast—think omelet or bacon—you’ll be less likely to reach for your favorite junk food between your main meals.

Here are some of the best high-quality protein sources:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nuts
  1. Read The Labels

Once I got serious about cutting down on sugar, I did a lot of research.

I taught myself how to properly read and interpret ingredient labels and learned about the technical jargon that just means sugar.

It was an eye-opening experience.

I did my best to crack down on products with too much sugar (think juice, soda, candy, sauce, crackers, desserts, and condiments).

The whole process didn’t happen overnight, but it was surely worth the headache, and it will be for you too.

Here’s my promise.

Once you learn this simple skill, you’ll quickly realize how much sugar is in everything.

Here’s what you need to know: sugar goes by many names.

Here are just a few:

  • Molasses
  • Fructose corn syrup
  • Dried cane syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Lactose
  • And other words ending in “ose”

If more than a few forms of sugar appear on an ingredient list, ditch that food on the spot—it’s far less healthy than you want it to be.

  1. Drink water

Water has a lot to offer.

It flushes toxins out of your system, hydrates your skin, gives you more energy, and ensures proper functioning at the cellular level.

On top of all that, here’s the kicker for kicking the sweetness habit: staying hydrated also curbs sugar cravings.

Thirst is frequently confused with hunger.

Sometimes all it takes is drinking a glass of water to squash cravings.

For some people (including yours truly), drinking water eliminates 80 percent of cravings.

That’s a good thing if you ask me.

Before you hit the vending machine or reach for that box of doughnuts, drink a glass or two of water, then wait a few moments.

You may find that your body was calling for water—not food  — and the pesky pangs go away.

To ensure your body is well hydrated throughout the day, drink first thing in the morning, carry a water bottle with you, and drink plenty before and after exercise.

Further, keep tabs on your pee color.

If it’s dark, it means that you need more fluids.

Remember, once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Then it’s too late, isn’t it?

  1. Go Keto

I’ve always shied away from extreme diets or eating regimens.

Nonetheless, the simplicity and the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet appealed to me, so roughly nine months ago, I decided to try it.

I avoided carbs and started consuming all sorts of healthy fats—cheese, avocados, nuts, salmon, you name it.

After surviving the hellish keto flu within two months, I lost 10 pounds of pure fat, increased my energy level, and changed my whole approach to eating.

What’s not to like?

What’s keto eating all about?

The ketogenic diet is a carb-limiting, moderate-protein, high-fat eating style.

This type of eating forces your body into ketosis by shunning carbs and getting 70 to 80 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats.

This is a metabolic state in which the body switches to burning fat cells as its main energy source instead of glycogen.

For the full guide on the keto diet, check my post here.

If making small changes to your diet doesn’t help you crack down on sugar, I recommend trying the keto diet for a couple of weeks.

Yes, it will be entirely new, but give it a try and see for yourself.

How To Reduce Sugar Intake – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for ways to cut out sugar from your diet then today’s post should get started on the right foot. The rest is just details.

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

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

David D.