How Does Running Help With Academic Performance?

running shoes for overpronators

Finland has a national action program dubbed Finnish Schools on the Move (FSM). Under the program, children in comprehensive schools go on a 15-minute break to play and socialize after every 45-minute lesson. On the program website, officials say engaging in physical activity improves learning. Away from Finland, studies done over the years show a strong link between exercising and better performance in school.

You may have thought of incorporating a running regime into your study plan. Well, Finnish education authorities show you’re on the right track. And it’s possible to do both activities well, especially if you choose to buy Studybay.com papers and essays, where buying an essay online can place you miles ahead in your studies.

Let’s look at how running helps improve academic performance.

Running Improves Memory

Running improves memory in several ways:

● It increases blood flow to the brain: Blood perfusion in the brain means better memory, so you develop better recall of what you study.
● It increases the size of the hippocampus: As a form of aerobic exercise, running increases the size of the hippocampus. A greater hippocampal volume is associated with improved memory.
● Supports endorphin production: Running raises body temperature and activates sweat glands. And as you sweat, the body ramps up the production of endorphins like dopamine and serotonin. These ‘happiness’ chemicals have a positive effect on learning and memory.

Running Improves Brain Activity

We’ve determined that running has an impact on hippocampal volume. The hippocampus, in turn, connects to the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain responsible for:
● Comprehension
● Problem-solving
● Reasoning
● And creativity, among other functions.

Neuroscientists call these critical brain activities executive functioning. Unlike reflex action, executive functions are actions we take willfully. When you have excellent executive functioning, your academic achievements are likewise exemplary.


Running Helps You Focus Better in Class

Healthy hippocampus activity helps you block distractions, improving your concentration and focus. Running helps redirect your attention to where you need it most when school is in session:

● The classroom
● Group discussion
● Or private study time.

Running Helps with Multitasking
Another benefit of a healthy hippocampus is that it gives you cognitive flexibility, enabling you to multitask. Without this ability, you cannot take notes as the instructor is teaching. You would also find it hard to carry out instructions as the teacher gives them.

Running Improves Mood

According to Mayo Clinic, running lifts your mood and helps ease anxiety. When you’re less anxious and in good spirits, you’re more likely to concentrate while studying. Conversely, a depressive mood weighs down the brain and leads to cognitive dysfunction.

Scientists found that depression shrinks gray matter volume and reduces functional activity in the hippocampus. Your academic performance takes a hit when in such a condition. Even though life regularly throws us curveballs, you can push yourself to get your daily dose of exercise and, in this way, alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

FAQs

1. How Often Should I Run?

To get the most out of running, do it 3-5 days weekly, each lasting at least 30 minutes. Remember to have a rest day between your active days to give your muscles time to recuperate. Going at it every day of the week is unhealthy and will only hurt you in the end, as you develop tears in the muscle tissue, which leave you too sore to exercise.

If you haven’t been physically active, start small and then add to the minutes as you go on. A 10-minute run is acceptable for someone who’s just starting. Then increase it to 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes every few days or week.

You may go beyond 30 minutes if you feel up to it. Let your body guide you. You’ll know when to increase the sprint duration as you listen to your body. Keep the intensity low initially, then increase it as your body adapts to the new routine.

The important thing is to keep your routine consistent. That’s how you get the benefits, by doing it week after week.

2. When Is the Best Time to Run?

You can run at any time. Some people prefer to do it early in the morning, some in the evening, and others during the day. Research into the different time slots shows that each has unique benefits. But for students who want to reap maximum academic gains from the exercise, plan your schedule so you finish your running session an hour before your study time.

Cognitive neuroscience researcher Prof. Charles Hillman reports that enhanced cognitive ability following a bout of exercise lasts at least an hour. That’s according to findings from a study he led on the impact of exercise on cognition in preadolescents. Running one hour before studying a particularly challenging topic can help with information absorption and retention.

3. Should I Eat Anything Before Running?

A prerun snack is important if you’re running for over an hour. Experts recommend eating a high-carb meal 3-4 hours before your run. Avoid foods that slow digestion, such as fat, fiber, and protein. You want your digestion system to work optimally to prevent the sluggishness that could impact your performance.

Carbohydrates are preferable as they increase the amount of glycogen in muscles, keeping your blood sugar levels high so you don’t develop hypoglycemia. Consuming carbohydrates also increases exogenous carbohydrate oxidation, which improves your endurance so you can run longer without exhaustion. Ensure you don’t take a heavy meal, as this can cause indigestion or nausea. Fruit, cereal, or an energy bar are all good snack options.

If you’re running for less than an hour, you can omit snacking before your run. But there’s no harm in taking a light meal 1-2 hours before your run. Should you opt out of a prerun snack, listen to your body during the run, and stop if you feel dizzy.

Take fluids to keep you hydrated before and during the run. Experts agree that spelling out a standard fluid intake threshold for every runner is impossible. The amount of water to take depends on the temperature, how long you intend to run, and how much you sweat. Keep a bottle of water with you and sip a little as you go if your body demands it.
Final Thoughts
Beyond improving posture and physical fitness, running can help improve your academic performance. It does this by boosting memory, focus, comprehension and problem-solving ability, and easing anxiety. To make these effects long-term, make running a lifestyle goal rather than a one-time or short-term endeavor.

References

American College of Sports Medicine Joint Position Statement. Nutrition and Athletic Performance – PubMed. (2016, March 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000852
Hillman seeks to understand exercise-cognition links. (2011, February 9). Default. https://beckman.illinois.edu/about/news/article/2011/02/09/72648afe-64e5-4977-a5d3-5768c81c778c
Oxidation of carbohydrate feedings during prolonged exercise: current thoughts, guidelines and directions for future research – PubMed. (2000, June 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200029060-00004
Beck, K. L., Thomson, J. S., Swift, R. J., & von Hurst, P. R. (2015, August 11). Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S33605
What to Eat Before Running. (n.d.). What to Eat Before Running. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-to-eat-before-running
Running for health: Even a little bit is good, but a little more is probably better – Harvard Health. (2014, July 30). Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/running-health-even-little-bit-good-little-probably-better-201407307310
Mental Health Benefits of Running. (2023, May 9). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/how-running-affects-mental-health
Zhang, F., Peng, W., Sweeney, J. A., Jia, Z., & Gong, Q. (2018, March 5). Brain structure alterations in depression: Psychoradiological evidence. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1111/cns.12835
Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. (2017, September 27). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495
C. (n.d.). Serotonin: What Is It, Function & Levels. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22572-serotonin
Voss, M. W., Soto, C., Yoo, S., Sodoma, M., Vivar, C., & Praag, H. V. (2019, February 16). Exercise and hippocampal memory systems. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2019.01.006
C. (n.d.). Serotonin: What Is It, Function & Levels. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22572-serotonin

How To Run Commute – The Complete Running To Work Guide

run commute

It’s a fantastic way to sweat while doing something productive.

But it requires some preparation and planning.

I’ve compiled today’s article’s ultimate guide to starting your run-commute.

By the end, you’ll learn the following:

  • What is run commuting?
  • The benefits of running to and from work
  • How to get started with run commuting
  • The run commuter checklist
  • How to choose the right running bag pack for running commuting
  • How to plan your route
  • How to get cleaned up
  • And so much more…

Let’s get started

The Benefits of The Run-Commute

Though run-commuting is not a popular way to get to and from work, there are many benefits to doing so.

Let’s discuss a few.

  • Running Is Fast Than Walking. On average, expect to be able to walk three to four miles per hour. But if you can keep an 8-minute running pace, you can cover 7.5 miles per hour or 12 kilometers per hour. In some cities, running can also be faster than driving. For example, driving speeds in crowded cities can be around seven mph.
  • Boosts productivity. Running first thing in the morning improves your productivity. Not only will you arrive at the office feeling awake, but your brain will be functioning at its best.
  • Reduce Stress. Running home from work can help clear up your mind and clear the day’s stress from your system so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
  • No More Traffic. Hate getting stuck in traffic? Then run commuting is for you. By running to work, you’ll no longer have to worry about getting stuck in traffic for hours and hours, moving at a snail’s pace while losing your sanity with every passing minute. Instead, you’ll be the master of your work commute. So say goodbye to burning traffic—as long as you have a realistic run-commute plan.
  • More base miles. One of the best ways to build endurance is to do a lot of long, slow miles. The more miles you can run without fatigue, the faster you’ll likely run on race day. But it’s not easy to find time for them. Running to and from work is a great opportunity to add miles to your weekly total without compromising your lifestyle.
  • Running Is Cheap. Compared to other transportation means, running is cheap. You don’t need to pay for any gas, train tickets, or parking fees. It’s just you and your feet. Of course, you’ll still use up your running shoes, but you’ll use them most productively and frugally.
  • Eco-friendly. You’ll be doing an excellent service to the environment by leaving a “smaller” footprint and inspiring other people to follow (and run) in your footsteps.

How to Start Run-Commuting 

Here are the guidelines you need to become a daily run commuter.

Plan Thoroughly

Success favors the prepared mind—this couldn’t be more true regarding run-commuting.

As a rule, plan out the logistics and running gear needed for the job in advance—you’ll need more than your running shoes.

Here are the five steps to an effective run-commute plan:

  • Make a Run commute list
  • Lay out your running gear
  • Get the right running backpack
  • Plan your running route
  • Have fun Run Commuting

Let’s explain each step.

Make a Run Commute List

Make a checklist of everything you’ll need for the run and work.

Planning takes care of all your excuses not to start running and commuting.

Here are the run commute essentials to consider.

  • Running gear such as your shoes, clothes, reflective vest, and a GPS watch,
  • A small purse,
  • Your phone and other electronics,
  • Work-related stuff, like your laptop, a diary, a lightweight folder, and glasses,
  • door keys,
  • Breakfast and/or lunch packs. Snacks too,
  • A water bottle,
  • A waterproof jacket that wicks moisture away for a rainy day,
  • A spare plastic bag to keep your spare clothes dry,
  • Reflective tape or a reflective vest if you plan to run near sunrise and/or sunset on roads.
  • Towel and toiletries

Of course, you cannot keep all this in your pocket and typical work bag.

You’ll need a special running bag.

Let’s see how to choose one.

Running Backpack

The most important piece of run commute gear is the one that carries everything—your backpack.

Few things are as frustrating as a backpack that bounces all over the place and causes painful rubbing.

Of course, if you can narrow your carry-on items to your phone, wallet, and keys, then a fanny pack is enough.

But that’s not always the case, as most of us need to carry more, whether it’s clothes, a laptop, toiletries, or any other item.

The market for running packs has grown thanks to run commute’s rising popularity in recent years. You can find these online and in most running shops.

The Right Backpacks For Run-Commuting

Get a backpack that’s specifically designed for running.

These are usually made with ultralight materials and have straps that wrap around the chest or waist level. This helps prevent it from bouncing all over the place during a run

The straps also help evenly distribute the backpack’s weight and hold it comfortably across your back.

Make sure the backpack fits firmly without chafing or weighing you down.

Try out a few before you make up your mind.

Pack Smart

Do not pack more than you must—or this will wear you out, especially when you’re not used to running with weights.

One trick to help you avoid carrying extra items is to bring several days’ worth of toiletries and clothing in your drawer or locker room.

Things to leave at the office may include:

  • Deodorant
  • Suit
  • Loose change
  • Laptop
  • Hard files
  • Towel
  • Work shoes

Not sure if your backpack is waterproof?

Pop your clothes and electronics into a plastic bag.

how to run commute

Know The Route

Always taking public transport to the office? Then you might not know exactly how far is your daily commute.

So, as a rule, know your routine. Then, check your online maps and look for the alternative route if it seems not passable. You can also check out likely routes by car or bike first if you’re unfamiliar with the region.

It’s not fun if you get lost and run out of time. Few things are worse than arriving at the office drenched wet, exhausted, hungry, and behind schedule because you got lost and had to run some extra miles

I’d also recommend looking for the most pedestrian-friendly areas, especially if running through an urban area.

Running on the freeway is no fun—it’s also illegal.

What’s more?

Have a few running routes of different lengths to vary your running distance and make your training more enjoyable.

When It’s Too Far

Let’s be practical.

If you live 30 miles from your office, then you’ll have to run an ultramarathon every time you run commute. That will be asking for too much.

Here’s the workaround: you don’t have to run the whole distance.

Here are three options:

  • Get off the train or bus a stop earlier, then log the remaining miles on your feet.
  • If you drive to work, perhaps you can find a safe parking lot, then run the rest of the distance to the office.
  • Look for a colleague who lives closer to the office and asks them to join you.

Give It a Test Run

Anything that can derail you from your new plan during the early stages will discourage you from carrying on.

Before running to and from work, your first step should be to test your running gear and run-commute strategy.

Doing this will ensure that everything is in place and working smoothly. Once you know you have a solid strategy and backpack, try your first few runs on days when the weather is friendly.

Get Cleaned Up

Unless you’re willing to spend the next work shift avoiding all of your colleagues, then having a shower is a must.

Most office buildings have a shower (even facilities for fitness fanatics), but what if your workplace is a shower-free zone?

The easy solution is to take a bus/train to the office, then run home and shower in the comfort of your home.

Insist on running to work, but your office building is a free shower zone?

Consider visiting nearby cheap gyms or pools you can join and use their changing facilities.

Take Care of Your Hygiene

Here are the essentials:

  • Shampoo,
  • Soap,
  • Deodorant,
  • Comb,
  • Foot powder,
  • Wipes,
  • Lotion

You can easily find all of this in the travel section of any department store.

Get all you need, stash all your toiletries in a little bag, and store it in your drawer.

How To Run Commute  – The Conclusion

Here you have it!

Now you know all there is to know about running to and/or from work.

I hope you start doing that soon.

So please make sure to build this awesome running habit ASAP.

Thank you for reading my blog

Cheers.

How To Choose The best Running Shoes for Overpronation

running shoes for overpronators

If you’re a runner who overpronates, you might consider getting running shoes specifically designed for this condition.

Overpronation may cause shin splints, runners’ knees, and other overuse injuries—not ideal issues to deal with while logging the miles, right?

But what’s overpronation to start with? And how do running shoes for overpronators help (if they help)?

Keep on reading to find out the answers.

In this article, I’ll briefly overview overpronation and how to choose the best running shoes for overpronators.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What Is Pronation

To understand overpronation, let’s first discuss what pronation means.

Pronation refers to the foot’s natural movement from heel to toe during foot landing while walking or running.

When your foot hits the ground, it rolls inward to absorb the shock, and your arch bears, on average, three times your body weight.

Those with arches that collapse excessively are overpronators, while those whose arches collapse relatively little or not enough are known as supinators.

A neutral runner is someone whose arch collapses an average amount—not too much or too little.

Overpronation Explained

Overpronation refers to the excessive inward roll of the foot following a foot strike.

Technically, it occurs when your foot rolls more than 15 percent inward or downward during the foot strike cycle

When you overpronate, you’re putting more weight on the inner side of your feet. This puts excessive strain on your big and second toes.

The uneven weight distribution undermines your foot and negatively impacts other biomechanics of your legs.

Most notably, overpronation can cause strain on the big toe and second toes and instability in the lower legs, especially in the tibia, which can increase your risk of shin splints, knee pain, etc.

More than often, runners with the condition are often considered to have “flat feet.”

The Solution To Overpronation

One of the best ways to limit the effects of overpronation is to wear shoes specifically designed to address such a problem.

These are called stability and motion control shoes and offer much support and structured cushioning.

This can limit the excessive inward rolling of the foot during a foot strike, which, in theory, may help prevent injury.

But before you start using shoes for overpronators, ensure you do overpronate.

Don’t try to fix something that ain’t broken!

How To Determine Your Pronation Style

You can take many tests right now to get your pronation checked.

Go To A Running Store

The easiest (and most effective) step is to head to the local running specialty store and ask the staff to analyze your technique as you run—or walk—on a treadmill.

If you don’t have access to a sports store or want a more personalized approach, consider consulting a podiatrist and have them assess your pronation style.

The Wear Pattern Test

Don’t want to go anywhere or spend any money?

Then simply check the wear patterns on a pair of worn-out shoes.

The wear location and severity can tell you whether you need stability or motion-control shoes (more on that later).

This method can also provide extra clues about the impact on your feet. This can help you decide where you might need more support and cushion.

To perform this test, get a pair of running shoes that you have already worn out extensively. Then check the bottom of the shoes and see where the most wear is.

If most of the wear appears on the inside edges along with the ball of the foot and the heel, along the inner edge, and toward the big toe, you likely overpronate

Note – Using stable running shoes won’t cure or correct your overpronation.

Sorry, it’s too late for that. Every runner pronates. The natural inward-rolling motion is part and parcel of the gait cycle. As a runner who overpronates, you’ll need maximum support and stability.

Shoes made for overpronators are usually designed with extra arch support, a firmer midsole, and some additional cushioning that offers plenty of support.

This helps distribute the shock stress of running more effectively to limit pronation.

Since overpronation is a common issue for runners, most running shoe companies provide stability shoes and their neutral models with various degrees of support depending on your overpronation level.

How to Choose The Right Running Shoes For Overpronator

Got the confirmation about your overpronation?

Time to move to the next step.

Stability Vs. Motion Control

The main difference between stability and motion control shoes is the degree of support and cushioning.

Both stability and motion control shoes are designed to manage overpronation but to different degrees.

Stability shoes only provide midsole support and are often designed with few other support systems. This makes them ideal for runners who overpronate slightly.

On the other hand, motion-control shoes are for more severe pronation issues.

These offer support virtually everywhere on the shoe—from the midsole to the heel.

Motion-control shoes are also designed with additional support in the heel of the shoes and the arch.

Motion-control shoes also tend to be less flexible than stability shoes, allowing for less movement of the feet.

This is why these shoes are heavier and more durable than the average.

This may make your running experience less comfortable, especially if you’re not used to running in them.

Not sure how to make sense of this?

Err on the side of stability shoes.

These tend to be more flexible and less heavy than motion-control shoes.

They’re also easier to run in.

If the overpronation is causing problems, try moving onto motion control shoes.

The Checklist For Running Shoes For Overpronators

In short, here’s is what to look for when choosing running shoes for overpronation:

  • Proper arch support
  • Good stability
  • A supportive and cushioned midsole or insole
  • A firmer structure and sole
  • A durable outsole, preferably made from rubber
  • Motion control for serious overpronators.

The 5 Best Running Shoes For Overpronators

Below are some shoes that offer some of the features that overpronators need.

Feel free to experiment, then choose the shoe that best suits your needs.

Asics GEL-Kayano 24 Lite-Show

ASICS Gel Kayano 24 is one of the best shoes for overpronators, providing comfort and stability.

This shoe focuses on the two primary spots where you need a lot of support as an overpronator—the heel and midsole.

Despite the extra cushioning in those key areas, the shoe is also lightweight and flexible.

What’s more?

ASICS lite-show reflective technology helps you stay more visible in low light conditions, which is key for staying safe when running early in the morning or at night when it’s dark outside.

Asics Gel-Kayano 27

Another awesome shoe designed by Asics for the overpronator.

This shoe is one of the top stability shoes, designed with a dual-density midsole, a structured heel counter, and an outsole Guidance line to guide your foot straight and lessen pronation.

The sole is also more flexible to help encourage a more natural gait.

What’s more?

The mesh upper helps your feet cool and comfortable.

Brooks Addiction 14

This fantastic motion-control shoe works very well for runners who require a lot of stability on their runs and heavy runners who overpronate.

It also provides a generous fit, ideal for those with flat feet or using custom orthotics.

Remember that Brooks Addiction shoes tend to be heavier than other shoes since they have a lot of cushioning.

Saucony Omni ISO 2

In Latin for “everything” or “all,” Omni ISO 2 is a stability shoe that works well for overpronators.

It has a good fit and comes in a good-looking design.

The shoe also features ISOFIT technology, which appeals to various foot types as it adapts to most foot types for a comfortable fit.

Running Shoes For Overpronators – The Conclusion

There you have it!

If you’ve ever wondered how to deal with overpronation while running, you know something about the subject.

Being well-informed is key to making the right decision—running is no exception.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

Mile by Mile: Essential Safety Tips for Runners to Avoid Getting Injured

How To Clean Running Shoes

You’re a runner. It’s a pastime, an outlet, a stress-reliever, a hobby. It’s your particular way of life and that deserves to be celebrated, protected. Running is a great way to stay in shape and clear your mind, but these things cannot be done if you’re running safely. The open road can be a dangerous place, you want to make you’re doing everything you can to stay safe.

It’s important to be aware of the safety precautions you can take to avoid being injured. No one wants to end up in the ER with a twisted ankle or worse. There are a few things you can implement into your running routine to avoid potential accidents.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Stay alert; always be aware of who or what is around you when you’re running. This means being cautious when crossing the street and avoiding busy areas with a lot of traffic. If there’s something or someone that makes you feel unsafe, it’s best to find another time or route to run.

Bring a Friend

Running with someone else can be a great way to stay safe. Not only will you have someone there to talk to and keep you company, but they can also help lookout for potential danger. If something does happen, having someone there to help is invaluable.

They can call for help if you get hurt, or get you someplace safe until help can be found. The worst thing about an emergency is being alone in one. You want to avoid this as much as you can.

Stay Visible

Make sure drivers can see you when running at night by wearing reflective clothing or accessories. This will make you more visible in low-light situations and could potentially save your life.

There are several types of reflective clothing that you can purchase. Things like jackets, vests, headbands, and wristbands are all great options. You can also purchase reflective tape to put on your clothing or shoes.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Pay attention to the weather conditions before heading out for a run. If it’s raining or snowing, consider staying inside. The same goes for extreme heat or cold. You don’t want to be running in bad weather and end up getting sick or suffering a sprain or fall.

Be Mindful of Your Pace

Especially when running in unfamiliar areas, it’s important to be aware of the pace you’re keeping. If you’re going too fast for the area you’re in, you might miss something dangerous or important. On the flip side, if you’re moving too slow drivers may become impatient and honk their horns. Keep your running route on roads that have sidewalks or shoulders. If you prefer open streets, stick to backroads and less populated areas.

Find a happy medium where you can get your exercise while being courteous to those around you.

Be Mindful of Traffic Laws

When running near traffic, make sure you’re following the law. This means crossing streets in designated areas and using sidewalks when available. Keep an eye out for cars and other obstacles, don’t assume that drivers can see you. Even if they’re in your line of sight, there may be barriers or blind spots that keep them from spotting you.

If there’s a crosswalk nearby, use it. Avoid running across busy streets or intersections. Watch for traffic lights and stop signs.

Watch Out for Potholes & Obstacles

Keep your eyes open for any obstacles that might get in the way of your run. This means avoiding potholes, cracks in the pavement, and other debris. If you’re running on trails or through a park, be aware of tree roots, rocks, and other hidden hazards.

Worst Case Scenario

If you are involved in an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should file a police report with your local department as well. If you want to pursue legal action, contact a personal injury attorney. Firms like Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will help you file a claim, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court if necessary.

They’ll do all of the legwork like contacting the people involved and gathering the necessary evidence to prove your case.

Stay Hydrated

It’s also important to stay hydrated when running. Bring along a water bottle and make stop frequently for a drink while you work out. Running is a great way to get in shape and enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to do so safely. Your health is the priority.

Let Someone Know Where You’re Going

It’s a good idea to let someone know where you’re going. This could be your spouse, friend, neighbor, or family member. You don’t have to tell them every time you go for a run but just in case something does happen they’ll know where to look for you and what route you planned on taking.

Bring Your Phone

You want to be reachable. Carry your phone with you when running. This way if something does happen, someone can get in touch with you or call for help.

You don’t want to leave your mobile device at home because that could mean being out of reach and alone if an emergency occurs.

These are just some general safety tips to keep in mind when running. Following these guidelines can help you stay safe while getting your daily exercise.

 

 

How To Choose The Best Knee Brace for Running

knee brace for knee pain

Run often enough, and you’ll, sooner or later, experience knee pain. Most runners suffer from knee pain at one point or another. This pain can range from annoying aches to debilitating pain that can stop anyone in their tracks.

Research shows that the knee joint is afflicted by roughly 50 percent of all running injuries. In addition, as many as 70 percent of runners report experiencing knee pain at some point.

That’s a lot of runners in pain, and if you happen to be one of them, you’ve more than likely considered using a knee brace in the hope of soothing your pain and speeding up recovery.

In this article, I’ll explain a few things you need to know when considering a knee brace for running. But the most important thing is to consult a doctor or a physical before “fixing” any issue with a knee brace.

More specifically, I’ll look into the following:

  • What is a knee brace for runners?
  • The benefits of knee braces
  • Can you run with a knee brace?
  • When to wear a knee brace for running (and when not)
  • The different types of running knee braces
  • How to choose the right knee braces for runners
  • And so much more

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What is A Knee Brace?

A knee brace is a catch-all term for various devices designed to provide * support to the knee joint and (hopefully) relieve pain and/or speed up recovery post-injury.

Knee braces are usually made from foam, metal, plastic, or elastic straps and materials and come in many colors, designs, and sizes.

There are various knee braces, such as knee sleeves, motion control brace, and several more (explained below), which offer a range of knee joint support levels.

A good knee brace usually applies pressure around various structures of the knee. This, in turn, may provide additional support for knee stability.

But here’s a little caveat. It’s not always easy to tell when your knee requires extra support.

What’s more?

There’s a wide range of braces in the market—so what kind suits you the best?

So do knee braces work?

The best answer I can come up with is a definite maybe.

Companies that make these devices claim—and often exaggerate—the many benefits of their products.

It’s marketing, after all. Who could blame them?

But scientific research is still in the woods.

Check the following studies:

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Here’s my best advice.

If you’re considering using a knee brace because of knee pain from running or have a history of a knee injury, consult your doctor about your options.

Don’t let the marketing lure you in.

Only your doctor can decide if and when you should use a knee brace for knee pain while running—and the decision should be made based on your knee condition.

Now that we got the medical warning, let’s get more into the specifics.

Should You Run With Knee Support

I hate to sound like a broken record, but you’ll experience knee pain from running sooner or later. The more miles, the more likely for knee support to follow.

Running is a high-impact activity. For this reason, the sport is notoriously known for many overuse injuries. Knee problems are common.

Don’t take my word for it. Research published in the Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute reported that roughly 20 to 40 percent of all knee issues occur at the joint, specifically the patella or the kneecap. This area experiences a lot of wear and tear linked with high-impact exercise for long periods.

So when should you start wearing a knee brace?

A knee brace might be helpful if the pain gradually starts and isn’t an acute injury.  You can also use it as a proactive tool against knee injury. This is why many pro athletes wear knee braces during training and competition.

Fortunately, wearing a knee brace, as we’ll see today, may help soothe and prevent knee problems and allow you to keep training comfortably and pain-free for the foreseeable future.

 

When Should You Use a Knee Brace?

The rule of thumb is to use knee braces when you’re experiencing knee pain or would like to prevent injuries during running.

Knee braces can also be used for rehabilitative goals, for example, following an ACL injury.

When it’s the case, a brace may limit the movement of joints while allowing the patient to slow recovery and regain their range of motion.

Keep in mind: Use a knee brace under the guidance of your doctor or therapist, who can help you pinpoint the exact culprit behind your knee pain.

Don’t fall for the hype.

When Should You NOT Wear a Knee Brace?

Despite the ads, a knee brace won’t answer all of your knee pain prayers

In reality, sometimes, using one can cause more harm than good.

If you’re dealing with a serious injury, such as a sprain or ligament tear, you should rest your knee instead of wearing a brace and pushing through the pain.

Even if you use the best brace worldwide, you risk worsening your injury. So, if you experience stubborn pain or swelling or can’t fully straighten or bend the injured knee, it’s time to visit a doctor.

Once you get the green light from your doctor, then it’s to pick a proper brace and start running slowly against it. The severity of your injury will determine your mileage and the kind of knee brace.

What’s more?

Remember that a knee brace is a temporary tool to fix any underlying problems that lead to knee pain.

What’s more?

Some medical conditions can make you prone to the side effects of using a knee brace. In addition, avoid using a knee brace if you’re experiencing pain in your lower limbs or have diminished sensation.

How To Choose The Right Knee Brace – Based on Brace and Injury Type

There are many types of knee braces, coming in various sizes and shapes and performing different functions.

While some knee braces are designed to prevent injury, others are designed to help speed up recovery. This is why you need to know the REASON you need a brace. Applying the right solution starts with understanding the problem. Otherwise, you might do more damage.

For this reason, the best running knee brace for you depends on your specific needs.

Let me explain some of the common types.

Knee Sleeve

Although not technically braces, knee sleeves are the most common type of knee support.

These come in various sizes; you can slip them over your knee under any clothing.

Knee sleeves offer compression to the knee and help soothe swelling and pain in the whole area.

But still, allow you a full range of motion.

Since they’re minimalist braces, these work best for reducing and soothing mild running pain.

For serious cases of knee pain, choose a brace that offers more stability and support, just like the following.

Patellar Brace

Looking for more support?

Patellar braces, as the name implies, help guide the kneecap—the patella—to track evenly and reduce pressure on the tendon.

This option works very well if your knee pain is caused by Runners Knee or Jumper knee (patellar tendonitis).

These are designed to prevent the patella from moving out of place. They’re usually employed to treat the causes of patellar tendinitis and patella sublocation. You can choose between a sleeve or a hinged design for patellar stabilizers.

Wraparound Brace

If you’re looking for maximum support while keeping somewhat of normal range of motion, look no further than a wraparound brace.

These cover roughly as much of the knee as a sleeve but tend to be thicker, which provides more support and stability.

Wraparound braces work well for runners dealing with mild to moderate knee pain.

Monitor your usage duration and whether your symptoms improve when using such a brace.

Avoid using them on a religious basis. Too much support can be…a little bit too much!

Rehabilitative Knee Brace

Recovering from a knee injury?

A rehabilitative knee brace helps regulate movement to protect the affected ligament from further damage.

This lets the knee recover at its own pace without any rushing. To get the right rehabilitative knee brace, consider going to a professional. For example, bracing services at Reflex Knees can ensure the brace is fitted correctly.

Functional Braces

Have a history of knee injuries?

Try functional braces.

These work well for runners who require a higher level of protection and support post-surgery.

This brace helps keep the injured knee properly aligned during bending movements. This, in turn, helps protect the ligament from further damage.

The Conclusion

Knee braces work very well for protecting against knee pain while running, but relying on them too much and too often can prove problematic.

As a rule, use knee braces only in pain cases, then stop once your condition improves.

And yes, get the green light from your doctor before you start using one.

If pain persists, or you regularly need a knee brace, consult a doctor or physical therapist to determine the root of your pain.

Tips For Using A Knee Brace

Here are a few things to remember when shopping for a brace for knee pain.

Choose The Right Level Of Protection

So, what’s the proper level of protection for a knee brace?

It depends on what’s ailing you.

As I have already explained, different knee braces offer various levels of support.

It’s up to you and only you to decide which ones make the more sense.

The rest is just details, as the saying goes.

Good Fit

Just like running shoes, your knee brace has to fit properly if you want it to work for you.

As a rule, a knee brace should feel comfortable and snug.

It has to firmly fit your knee without restricting blood flow or clamping on too much.

All in all, the simpler the brace, the easier it fits.

Those made from elastic materials can be simply used as a sleeve over the knee.

You just need to find the right size for you.

The Right Compression

So how tight should the brace be?

As a rule, you should experience a feeling of tightness around your knee when wearing a knee brace.

But it has to feel comfortable and offers the support needed.

Is the brace too tight or cutting circulation? Then go for a larger-sized brace or loosen the straps.

The 2-Finger Trick

Would you like to know how to ensure a proper fit?

Perform the 2-finger trick.

The fit of a knee brace depends on its type.

But performing this trick can help you decide which is best for you.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by putting on the brace and securing the straps you normally would.
  • Slide two fingers between your leg and the strap.
  • It may be too tight if your two fingers hardly fit under the strap.
  • When it’s the case, loosen up the strap and try again.

What’s more?

Have your brace examined by your doctor, who can confirm that you’re using the right one correctly.

Be Consistent

Remember to wear the brace during running—or any form of physical activity that causes pain in the knee joint.

In other words, you have to be consistent about it, or it won’t help much.

But do not push too hard.

Stop running and review your actions if you feel abnormal pain or tenderness.

Paying attention to your body is the golden rule of staying fit without getting hurt.

Knee Braces For Runners – The Conclusion

Using knee braces while running can relieve pain and protect our knees from further damage and injury.

But as a rule, it’s key to use a brace correctly and stick to your doctor’s advice to get the maximum benefits from it—otherwise. As I repeatedly say, the brace may harm your fitness and well-being.

And you don’t want that.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

 

Stress Fractures In Runners: Causes, Symptoms, Tests & Treatment

running 3 miles a day

Out of all running injuries, nothing strikes more fear into a runner’s heart than stress fractures. They’re a painful, nagging condition that requires long weeks, even months, of recovery.

What’s more?

This notorious injury is common among runners, especially those that run long distances and/or push themselves more than they should.

So would you like to learn more about how to manage stress injuries in runners? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, I’ll provide a full overview of stress fractures in runners. By the end, you’ll learn the following:

  • What is a stress fracture?
  • The causes of stress fractures in runners
  • The most stress fracture-prone areas in runners
  • The main symptoms to look for
  • Can you run with a stress fracture?
  • And so much more

Stress Fractures In Runners Explained

Also known as a hairline fracture, basically a small crack or severe bruising in a bone.

Stress fractures are the classic form of overuse injury caused by the gradual build-up of trauma from repetitive submaximal loading and bad posture.

The typical stress fracture onsets as a stress reaction, which manifests as swelling around the bone.

Then, in case it progresses, it can develop a small crack. If this injury reaches this stage,  you’ll likely have to rest the injured limb for a few weeks—even months—to let your body heal.

Surveys show that stress fractures may account for 20 percent of all running injuries.

Athletes who participate in high-impact sports like basketball, football, and soccer are also prone to this condition.

In some cases, but rarely among productive age runners, stress fractures may be blamed on inadequate bone mineral density or bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.

They can also be traced to genetic disorders or nutritional and hormonal imbalances.

Stress Fractures Vs. Bone Breaks

This may surprise you, but a fractured bone and a broken one aren’t technically the same.

As I explained earlier, a stress fracture is a bone crack or break that occurs when force is applied to a bone repeatedly and over time.

This means that they develop slowly over an extended period.

The other characteristic is your bone stays still in the same place. You won’t even notice anything except the ongoing pain or bruising.

On the other hand, the typical bone break happens when an outside force is applied suddenly to a bone. The key here is the discontinuation of bone structure.

Falls, car accidents, and sports contacts like football can often cause bone breaks.

Common Stress Fractures In Runners

A stress fracture can strike any bone, but the weight-bearing bones are most prone in runners.

Let me explain.

The lower leg in the shin bone (the tibia) is the most affected area.

Survey shows that about half of all stress fractures occur in the tibia.

But stress fractures are also common in other bones.

The foot, especially the second metatarsal, is another stress fracture-prone bone.

More specifically, the second and third metatarsals in the foot, according to the American Academy Of Orthopedic Surgeons. According to surveys, roughly 25 percent of all stress fractures strike these two bones.

The condition is also pretty common in:

  • The heel, what’s known as the calcaneus;
  • The ankle joint, more commonly in a small bone called the talus;
  • The fibula, the outer bone of the ankle and lower leg; and
  • The navicular is a boat-shaped bone on the top of the midfoot, specifically in the ankle between the talus and the cuneiform bones.
  • The talus is a small bone located within the ankle joint

Extreme (but rare) Cases of Stress Fractures

The bigger bones in your pelvis, hips, and femur are also prone to stress fractures, which aren’t common among runners.

And only a few people can feel it since it’s not the main weight-bearing.

Causes of Stress Fractures While Running

The primary cause of the condition is, of course, overuse.

If you increase your training volume and/or intensity too fast and over a short period, you’re setting yourself up for injury.

Other factors that may contribute to stress fractures include:

  • Bad footwear. Running in improper running shoes that provide little or no shock-absorbing ability.
  • Being a female runner. Research shows that female athletes are more prone than male athletes. This is blamed on the so-called “female athlete triad,” a mix of eating disorders, bone density issues, and menstrual dysfunction.
  • Running technique. Overstriding may sometimes contribute to tibial stress fracture as it stresses the main weight-bearing bones more.
  • Inadequate nutrition. For example, insufficient vitamin D intake can put you at risk, according to research from The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery.
  • Bone conditions. Bone disease compromises bone strength and density. Osteoporosis is one example.
  • Weather condition. Research shows that stress fractures are more common in the winter than in any other season of the year due to a deficiency in Vitamin D.
  • Foot Abnormalities. According to research, runners with anatomical foot abnormalities, such as fallen arches, are more prone to stress fractures than those with a neutral arch.
  • Muscle tightness. Research from the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy reported that tight calves make you roughly five times more likely to sustain a metatarsal stress fracture.

Symptoms of a Stress Fracture

If you notice any bony tenderness that worsens during running but subsides during rest, you might be experiencing the onset of a stress fracture.

Stress fractures are characterized as achy or generalized pain in and around the affected area.

You can’t pinpoint the exact place.

This pain usually develops slowly and worsens during running or any weight-bearing activity.

Pain worsens the more miles you log in. Then, it becomes highly localized to a specific “area” on the bone, which will even be painful to the touch. Sometimes it causes bruising but is mild.

Devoid of rest, the pain gradually worsens—to the point where it limits your range of motion and alters your running gait.

stress fractures while running

How Are Stress Fractures Diagnosed

Sometimes, your doctor can diagnose a stress fracture from a medical history and physical checkup, but imaging tests are often required to confirm the condition.

Since stress fractures are thin, X-rays usually cannot spot them, especially shortly after the onset of pain. The doctor may recommend an MRI or CT scan in addition to the physical checkup.

Can you Run With a Stress Fracture?

Though you might feel tempted to run on a stress fracture, it’s never a good idea. Running through a stress fracture does nothing but delay healing and will likely cause a compensatory injury for changing your running gait.

From my experience and the stories I’ve heard, I wouldn’t risk it.

It’s the dumbest thing you can do as a runner.

Running through the tibia, fibula, or fracture requires a more serious injury. It’s also painful since these are the major weight-bearing bones that withstand a lot of the stresses of running.

What’s the next plan?

Depends.

If it’s an incomplete fracture with no misalignment, bandage, and casting might help. But if it’s a complete fracture with multiple breakages, a knife and fixation are the only solution.

Next? Six months rest.

As a rule of thumb, avoid running through a stress fracture.

What Should I Do If I Do Have A Stress Fracture?

If you suspect a stress fracture, stop training altogether and do what you must to speed up recovery.

Next, visit a physician—preferably a podiatrist or an orthopedist—to have it diagnosed.

Let me break down what you need to do.

Stop High Impact Exercise

Your first step is to let the affected bone(s) recover completely following injury.

It takes at least 28 days for complete remodeling.

I’d recommend that you cross-train during your recovery period.

Choose exercises with minimum impact.

Ideal options include aqua jogging, cycling, swimming, or yoga.

You’re good to go if you avoid high-impact weight-bearing exercises like running, rope jumping, and plyometrics.

Keep it as long as you feel comfortable before adding the intensity.

Reassess every month.

Cold Therapy

Apply ice on the affected area to keep swelling down and ease tenderness.

I’d recommend using a frozen bag of beans or ice wrapped in a towel or cloth for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, at least three times a day.

Just whatever you do, do not apply a source of cold directly on your skin.

Compress it

Compress the injured limb by lightly wrapping it in a soft elastic bandage to reduce swelling.

Elevate it

Keep your injured limb raised higher than your chest level.

Using a hanging traction device can help.

Severe Cases

What should you do if home treatments don’t improve your symptoms?

Simple.

Consult a doctor or podiatrist.

They will help you determine your injury’s exact location and severity and what to do next to bounce back and speed up your recovery.

Left untreated, stress fractures can result in the bone breaking completely.

Further Tests

First of all, expect to be X-rayed.

But you may need to do more.

Often, traditional X-rays may look healthy as they might not be enough to spot a stress fracture, especially when the fracture is not completely through the bone.

For this reason, I recommend you consult a sports-oriented physician for a thorough bone scan.

They’ll typically recommend a nuclear bone scan, an MRI, or other advanced imaging techniques to fully detect the condition.

The Doctors Recommended Treatment Options

Your doctor will recommend taking an NSAID—Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs— such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.

Depending on the area and the severity of the stress fracture, your doctor might also recommend a splint, a cast, or protective footwear  (such as a wooden-soled sandal or a stiff-soled shoe) to immobilize the injured limb.

Crutches are also recommended to keep weight off the injured leg until you’re past the acute phase.

Sometimes, your doctor may need to put a fracture boot on the injured limb to keep the bones fixed.

This helps eliminate the stress on the leg and speed up recovery.

Expect Surgery As The Worst-Case Scenario

In extreme stress fractures, surgical intervention is needed to patch up the damage, especially when the fracture line has extended completely across the bone, or you have low bone density.

This is done by inserting a type of fastening, known as internal fixation, to support the bones of the injured area. External fixation might be one of the treatment choices for osteoporotic patients.

Again, it depends on the severity and alignment.

How long It Takes To Recover From A Stress Fracture

Recovery time varies from one runner to the next.

The good news is that most stress fractures will heal after time and rest.

Some people can recover well, starting from 28 days, but most take six weeks to six months or even longer.

That’s a wide range.

And reason stress fractures are categorized into two main groups:low risk” and “high risk.”

A stress fracture within the low-risk category often heals independently and may not call for aggressive treatment measures such as long rest time or crutches. This category includes fibular and tibial stress fractures as well as metatarsal stress fractures.

On the other hand, a high-risk stress fracture often occurs in areas notorious for healing poorly. Examples include stress fractures of the pelvis, navicular, and femur. If you develop fractures in any of these bones, you’ll need drastically longer times away from running and a proactive approach to resuming running again.

The only good news is that these high-risk fractures are less common in runners than in the low-risk types.

 

Stress Fractures in Runners – The Conclusion

There you have it!

If you’re serious about learning to better manage stress fractures from running, then today’s post should get you 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.

Running In the Sun – Benefits, Risks & Tips

running in the sun

Looking for the best advice on running in the sun? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Running in the sun is inevitable at one time or another, but it’s key to understand the benefits and risks of doing so.

Though skipping a run is never a good idea because it’s “too sunny,” you’ll want to ensure you’re safe.

How come?

Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause skin issues. When running in the relentless summer, your skin is prone to drying, flaking, chafing, windburn, and, most importantly, painful sunburns.

To make things worse, runners are especially prone.

Today’s post lays out all you need to know about protecting your skin while running in the sun. More specifically, I’ll dive into the following:

  • The danger of sunburns
  • Runners and Skin Cancer
  • Is It Okay To Run In The Sun?
  • Why Is Running In The Sun Harder?
  • The Pros of Running in the Sun
  • How To Avoid Sunburns When Running In The Sun
  • How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for runners
  • When runners should consult A Dermatologist

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

The Dangers Of Sunburns

Sunburns put you at a higher risk for dehydration, heat stroke, premature aging, and, most importantly, skin cancer.

Here are some horrifying stats:

  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, and colon combined.
  • Roughly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer in the U.S., according to skincancer.org
  • One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime
  • According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies from melanoma cancer every hour.

Feeling terrified?

You should be.

Runners and Skin Cancer

As far as I can tell, running has a few downsides, but a big one is that it puts you in the high-risk category for skin cancer.

This isn’t just me talking: my statement is based on many scientific papers.

One example is an Australian study in which researchers reported that marathon runners suffer more abnormal moles and other skin lesions often associated with skin cancer than a less-outdoorsy control group.

Another research published in the Archives of Dermatology reported that marathoners had increased numbers of age spots and abnormal moles—all of which increase the risk for malignant melanoma.

The reason is obvious.

When you spend extended periods training under the ruthless sun, you expose your skin to high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the most detrimental environmental risk factor for skin cancer.

Not only does spending extended periods outdoors increases exposure, but research also found that long * intense training—think long-distance training—may suppress the immune system, which makes you more prone to skin damage.

Is It Okay To Run In The Sun?

Yes, you can—as long as you’re doing it right.

The truth is, it’s safe to keep running in the sun. But If you’re running long distances and spending more and more time under the sun, it’s key to take the right precaution to protect yourself (some of which I’ll share with you later).

Why Is Running In The Sun Harder?

Running outdoors on a cold day or during the evening is one thing. Completing the same run when the sun is out is another thing.

Although most runners enjoy running on a sunny day, it usually feels much more challenging as you try to pick up the pace or go the distance.

So how come?

I hate to state the obvious, but running in the sun feels harder because sunshine is often accompanied by heat.

Running at high temperatures forces your body to exert more effort, thus, making your normal pace feel drastically harder to maintain, especially over a long distance.

Here’s the truth. The heat of the sun saps your energy fast. That’s why running when it’s hot can increase your perceived exertion. It feels much more challenging than the same run on a cooler or overcast day.

You should always put this into consideration. Making the right choices during the summer can make all the difference.

That’s not the whole story.

A blazing sun can also impair your vision, especially without sunglasses. It can also make exposed skin feel super sensitive.

The Pros of Running in the Sun

Though the risks of running in the sun are no secret—age spots, burns, premature aging, tan lines, cancer—the joys of running in the sun are plenty.

Let’s look at a few of these benefits.

Simulates Altitude Training

Don’t have the time to head to higher lands? Then try running in the heat as an alternative for boosting your endurance and power. Research has reported that training regularly in the heat impacts your body in the following ways:

  • Improved sweat rate
  • Reduced overall body temperature
  • Reduced blood lactate
  • Improved blood plasma volume
  • Increased skeletal muscle force
  • Etc.

So what does this mean?

Simply, running in the heat stresses your cardiovascular system, which strengthens your heart and allows you to run farther and faster, especially in extreme weather conditions.

running in the sun skin protection

Sun Exposure

I hate to state the obvious, but sun exposure, as you already know, is good for you. It’s highly recommended. Ultraviolet rays from the sun provide our skin cells with the needed energy to kick off the process of vitamin D synthesis.

But what do you know about vitamin D?

This is a key vitamin that improves bone strength by allowing for calcium absorption.

That’s not the whole story.

Conversely, lack of vitamin D has been associated with many conditions. For example, weight gain, depression, and some cancers, such as breast, colon, and heart, have all been linked in some way to vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is crucial because it helps to absorb calcium, which is key for stronger bones. Devoid of vitamin D, calcium absorption isn’t possible.

Make You Faster

Another benefit of running in the sun is improved speed.

Again, don’t take my word for it.

Research from the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported increased speed in cyclists after spending around 20 minutes exposed to UVA rays via a Uva lamp.

The researchers suggested that improved performance is due to nitric acid. When released into the bloodstream, this compound boosts blood flow, increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that flow into muscles.

Just remember that too much exposure, as with any good thing, can put you at a higher risk for a slew of issues rankings from the nagging annoyances to serious, even fatal, conditions.

How To Avoid Sunburns When Running In The Sun

Here are a few safety measures to help you protect your skin throughout your summer workouts.

Choose the Right Sunscreen

Recent surveys have revealed that just over 14 percent of American men and only 30 percent of American women slather on sunscreen before going out.

This simple measure might be the easiest way to prevent millions of yearly cancer cases.

But…

Not all sunscreens are created (or made) equal.

Some are significantly better than others.

For the best protection, opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields you against UVA and UVB rays. It must also be water resistant and have an SPF of at least 30, preferably higher.

This will greatly reduce your risk of sunburn while running.

Put On Your Sunscreen the Right Way

Once you get your hands on a strong sunscreen, use it properly.

To get the lotion to bind with the skin, apply it for at least 20 to 30 minutes before heading out.

Cover all of your exposed skin to err on the side of caution.

Slather it on your face, ears, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and anywhere else at the sun’s mercy.

Sunscreen is not bulletproof. It will wear off eventually, putting you at risk as the day passes. To avoid this, reapply your sunscreen, especially when planning to run for more than 60 to 90 minutes.

Skipping this step results in many runners complaining about sunburn despite using strong sunscreen when they first set out.

Run Early Or Late

I hate to sound like Captain Obvious, but the easiest way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure, but it’s not always possible unless you only run at night.

But I’d generally avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p. m.

That’s when the sun is at peak intensity.

Even on the hottest summer days, early morning or late evening is drastically cooler, so get your run done then, and you’ll feel pretty damn good about it all day.

This also helps you avoid heat-related conditions.

If you must run outdoors when the sun is strongest, take cover in the shade as much as possible and slather on sunscreen, then hope for the best.

Protect Your Face

Whether running, walking, or hiking, your face gets a lot of sun exposure.

So what should you do?

Wear a hat or a visor to keep your face shaded to prevent more sunlight exposure to protect your face when running in the sun.

What’s more?

Visors are also great for protecting your eyes and face from sunshine, which cools you down and helps prevent squinting.

Wear The Right Clothing

Another helpful measure for limiting the risk of sunburn while exercising outdoors is to wear the right clothing.

Choose items that meet these three criteria:

(1) Tightly woven, as this prevents the penetration of ultraviolet rays through the fabric

(2) Darker in color, so less UV radiation reaches your skin

(3) Made from the right materials (usually nylon or a nylon-polyester blend)

Want more protection?

Look for clothing made with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (ULF) fabrics.

The higher the UPF rating, the less UV radiation reaches your skin.

Also, wear sun-protective sleeves for exposed arms and a visor or hat with a brim to protect your scalp and face.

Visors are especially helpful since they protect your face without trapping heat.

Consult A Dermatologist

Excessive exposure to sunlight means you’ve undoubtedly sustained some damage to your skin. And this is the case even if you do your best to protect your skin against sun exposure.

For this reason, it’s key to check with a dermatologist regularly—at least once per year—to monitor your skin health and measure any damage or issues before it becomes a real problem.

Running in the Sun – The Conclusion

Here you have it! You all need the above guidelines to protect your skin and prevent painful sunburns while running in the summer. And it’s not rocket science! All you have to do is take action.

Now it’s your turn.

Do you have any sun protection tips for us?

What’s your favorite sunscreen?

Cmon, talk to us.

In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong

David D.

When Is The Best Time To Take A Protein Shake For Runners?

woman running in the summer

You likely think of protein shakes as more essential for weightlifters than for runners, but both types of athletes stand to gain huge benefits from using them. Protein shakes can improve both the performance and recovery of runners and they’re an easy way to supplement their diet with minimal hassle. 

Protein shakes can also be more generally helpful for weight loss and muscle growth. It’s essential to know when to drink protein shakes for weight loss to take advantage of these benefits. This article will outline why protein shakes are helpful for runners, what varieties are best, and most importantly, when is the best time to drink them.

What Are Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are a broad category, but they generally consist of protein powder and a liquid shaken together. The type and amount of protein used and what type of liquid is used will largely determine the nutritional value of the shake. 

Popular options are milk or water. It’s also quite common practice to add additional supplement powders and food ingredients to further boost its nutrition. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll just examine the single most essential ingredient for protein shakes: the protein powder.

The Benefits of Protein Shakes For Runners

Protein powder is an incredibly easy way to boost an athlete’s nutrition intake without drastically changing their diet. Protein powders have become increasingly popular since their invention in the 1950s to the point that even non-athletes and casual gym-goers often use them regularly as well.

Building Muscle Mass

Their most famous benefit is the assistance they provide for building muscle mass. It can be difficult to consume enough protein through diet alone, so protein shakes offer a quick and transportable way to sprinkle in additional nutrition. 

Protein is what muscle is mostly made of, so getting enough protein through diet is necessary to provide the building materials for creating new tissue. This is what makes protein such a dietary staple for weight-lifters. However, protein powder’s benefits extend well beyond this.

Supporting Muscle Recovery and Reducing Risk of Injury

Protein is also essential for muscle recovery, protecting muscle health, and reducing the risk of fractures. Runners in particular are more prone to injury than most other types of athletes because of their rigorous training and the repetitive stress they put on the body. 

The health of their joints and muscles is integral to their performance, as well as being able to maintain their health and athletic ability long-term.

Improving Performance

Protein also improves runners’ athletic performance in several ways. It allows them to recover more efficiently from their training which speeds up performance improvements. Though runners are known to be lean without the extreme muscle mass stores of other athletes, they do need to maintain enough lean muscle mass to give them power and endurance. 

Consuming protein shakes can help them maintain this appropriate amount of muscle. Despite popular opinion, eating protein alone won’t cause muscle gain. It has to be combined with a significant amount of resistance training and a caloric surplus as well in order for the slow process of muscle growth to occur. This means that runners can safely consume protein shakes to aid in recovery without worrying about adding on muscle mass bulk that could slow them down.

Sprinters on the other hand usually do aim to have a significant amount of lean muscle mass to give them extreme power and speed over short distances. These runners will need to consume a significant amount of protein as well as an overall increased amount of food during their muscle-building training. Protein shakes are an excellent way to add extra calories and protein to help support this goal.

How Much Protein Do Runners Need?

The amount of protein a runner needs will depend somewhat on their athletic goals and their current health status. If a runner is recovering from an injury, trying to build muscle, or trying to lose fat, they will require an increase in their usual maintenance protein consumption. Even during regular times, a runner athlete’s protein consumption should be higher than the average non-athlete.

Runners will need approximately 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day as a baseline level. This translates to 0.55 grams per pound of body weight per day. If an athlete is undergoing any of the previously mentioned conditions that increase their needs, they could benefit from going as high as 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. In pounds, this would be 0.73 grams of protein per pound per day. 

Symptoms like poor muscle recovery, general fatigue, and slow injury healing are all indications that current protein consumption could be too low. It’s always best to consult with a health professional well versed in sports nutrition if a runner is unsure of their dietary needs. 

What Is The Best Kind Of Protein Powder for Shakes?

Now that you understand why protein shakes are important for runners, it’s helpful to know what kind to select. There’s a huge variety of different protein powders available on the market, but these are the most common kinds.

Common Types of Protein Powders

  • Whey Protein
  • Casein Protein
  • Egg White Protein
  • Pea Protein
  • Hemp Protein
  • Soy Protein
  • Brown Rice Protein

All of these protein powders can be supportive of good nutrition, but some are more beneficial than others. Whey protein for example is a complete and balanced protein source with excellent bioavailability and easy digestibility. This is an ideal source of protein for any runners that aren’t vegan or vegetarian and don’t suffer from lactose intolerance.

Casein and egg white protein are also great choices, though, like whey protein, they do contain animal products and aren’t suitable for those with certain restricted diets. Casein protein also takes longer to digest and may therefore be more limited in its applications of supporting athletic performance.

The final four proteins are all plant-based options which means anyone (excluding those with allergies) can consume them. Their main drawback is that they don’t offer a complete or balanced source of protein alone, and are therefore usually best consumed in a blend.

When Should Runners Take Protein Shakes?

Finally, and most importantly, you’ll need to understand how to use protein shakes to reap their benefits. Protein shakes are best consumed immediately after a workout if muscle growth or muscle recovery is your main priority. Having a protein shake within 30 minutes to 2 hours after a workout is ideal timing for this purpose.

Protein shakes are also a wonderful snack to have in the evening before bed. This will help muscles to repair overnight and will satisfy any late-night hunger cravings. If muscle gain is the goal, consuming protein shakes as a snack between meals will also help to boost caloric intake and add lean mass in combination with an appropriate training regime.

Summary

Overall, most runners should prioritize a balanced diet and consume protein shakes after training to aid in muscle recovery. The liquid form allows it to be digested quickly to start the process of muscle repair as soon as possible. You’d be hard-pressed to find an easier and more effective alternative for performance recovery for runners.

The Role of Sports in Education: How Participating in Athletic Activities Can Help Students Develop Key Life Skills

Compression Pants for Running

Participating in athletic activities has been a long-standing tradition in many educational institutions. From elementary to high school and even college, sports have always been an integral part of the educational experience. While many students participate in sports for the thrill of competition and physical activity, sports participation can also help students develop critical life skills. In this article, we will explore the role of sports in education and how participating in athletic activities can help students develop key life skills.

Benefits of Sports Participation in Education

Physical Health Benefits

Participating in sports can have numerous physical health benefits. Regular physical activity can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. In addition to these benefits, participating in sports can also lead to improved muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Mental Health Benefits

In addition to the physical health benefits of sports participation, there are also significant mental health benefits. Sports can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve mood. According to a study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, participating in sports can also help improve self-esteem and self-efficacy, which are essential components of mental well-being.

Academic stress can be a significant barrier to participating in sports. The pressure to perform well in exams and assignments can lead to students neglecting their physical health. This is where Edu board writing service can help. These services provide academic assistance, including essay writing and exam preparation, to reduce academic stress and free up time for sports and other extracurricular activities.

Life Skills Developed through Sports Participation

Teamwork

Participating in sports requires teamwork and collaboration. In team sports, each member of the team has a specific role to play, and success depends on each member’s contribution. Through sports participation, students learn how to work effectively in a team, communicate effectively, and develop leadership skills.

Leadership

Sports participation can also help students develop leadership skills. In team sports, team captains are often responsible for leading the team, making decisions, and motivating their teammates. Through sports participation, whether that’s a game of football or exciting afternoon in the forest with some cheap airsoft guns, students can learn how to be effective leaders, communicate clearly, and make decisions that benefit the team as a whole.

Communication

Effective communication is critical in sports. Whether it’s communicating with teammates during a game or working with coaches during practice, students must be able to communicate effectively to succeed in sports. Sports participation can help students develop these communication skills, which can be valuable in many aspects of life.

Time Management

Participating in sports requires excellent time management skills. Students must balance their academic workload with their athletic commitments. Through sports participation, students can learn how to manage their time effectively, prioritize tasks, and develop discipline.

Goal Setting

Sports participation requires setting goals and working towards achieving them. Whether it’s improving a personal best time, winning a championship, or simply improving skills, students learn the importance of goal setting and the satisfaction that comes from achieving those goals.

Academic Benefits of Sports Participation

In addition to the physical and mental health benefits of sports participation, there are also academic benefits to be gained. Research has shown that students who participate in sports are more likely to achieve higher grades and have better attendance records than those who do not participate. According to a study conducted by the Women’s Sports Foundation, female high school athletes were found to have higher graduation rates, better academic performance, and lower dropout rates than non-athletes.

One reason for this correlation between sports participation and academic success is that sports can help students develop important time-management and goal-setting skills. For example, student-athletes must learn to balance their schoolwork with their athletic responsibilities, which requires discipline and organization. This can translate into improved academic performance as students learn to prioritize their time and set goals for themselves.

Furthermore, participating in sports can also lead to improved self-esteem and confidence, which can in turn improve academic performance. When students feel confident in their abilities on the playing field, they are more likely to feel confident in other areas of their lives, including academics. As a result, they may be more willing to take academic risks and seek out challenging opportunities.

Challenges and Solutions for Sports Participation in Education

While there are many benefits to sports participation in education, there are also a number of challenges that schools and students may face. One common challenge is budget constraints, which can limit the availability of sports programs and facilities. Another challenge is competing demands on students’ time, such as academic work, extracurricular activities, and family obligations.

To address these challenges, schools and communities can work together to find solutions that support sports participation and its positive impacts on students. One solution is to form partnerships with community organizations, such as local sports clubs or youth organizations, to provide additional resources and support for athletic programs. This can help to expand the availability of sports programs and facilities, as well as provide opportunities for students to develop their skills outside of the school environment.

Another solution is to use creative scheduling to accommodate students’ academic and athletic commitments. For example, schools can schedule sports practices and games outside of school hours or during study hall periods to minimize the impact on academic work. Additionally, schools can consider offering online or blended learning options to provide more flexibility for student-athletes.

Finally, increased funding for athletic programs can help to address budget constraints and ensure that students have access to quality sports programs and facilities. By investing in sports participation, schools and communities can help students develop important life skills, improve their physical and mental health, and achieve academic success.

It is important to consider the wide range of resources available to students who are interested in participating in sports. For example, there are many organizations that provide scholarship opportunities and other forms of financial assistance to students who are looking to pursue sports in college.

To conclude

Sports participation in education can be a game-changer for students. It can help them to develop important life skills, achieve academic success, and improve their physical and mental health. So, let’s invest in sports participation and create a brighter future for our students.

The Ultimate Guide to Running Lingo

Looking to learn more about the running world? Then the below list of running terms is all you need.

Like any other sport, the running world has jargon that can be hard for beginner and advanced runners to understand and remember.

So whether you’re trying to fully understand the meaning of VO2 max or want to learn the difference between a “rabbit” and a “pacer,” this is your opportunity for a thorough running lingo lesson.

Today I have compiled an extensive list of more than 150 words you might encounter in the running world and tried to explain each and one of them in the simplest and clearest ways I could.

And please, if you think I’m missing out on a couple of terms or more, feel free to share them in the comment section or shoot me an e-mail. I will be glad to talk to you and, hopefully, learn something new.

Seriously.

I need to hear from you.

So are you excited? Then let the vocabulary lesson begin…

The Ultimate Guide to Running Terms

Basic Running Terms

Carbs: Short for carbohydrates, this is one of the primary food groups. Carbs are the sugars, fibers, and starches commonly found in vegetables, grains, fruits, and other food.

Carbs are vital for runners because they are crucial for providing energy on the run and speeding up recovery afterward.

Common sources of carbs for runners include pasta, bread, and potatoes.

Glycogen: This is your body’s store of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen to be used for energy.

This form of carbohydrate storage is found mainly in the muscles and liver and is converted to glucose for energy during running.

Warm-up: A critical piece of all running workouts, it consists of 5 to 15 minutes of easy running, jogging, or any light exercise before a prescribed run or race.

The Warm-up is an integral pace because it raises the heart and breathing rates and gets the blood flowing to the muscles, which can help you improve performance and ward off injury.

Cooldown: The flip side of the warm-up refers to the gradual transition back to normal functioning after a run.

The primary purpose of a cool-down is to bring the heart rate to its resting level and release muscle tension before ceasing the exercise.

The 10% Rule: This is one of the most important and widely accepted general running guidelines that states you shouldn’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next to stay injury free for the long haul.

The Run/Walk Method: The Galloway method is a system of training that involves alternating between running and walking intervals during a workout or race.

This is the perfect strategy for beginners runners looking to improve their cardio power and build their fitness base without doing too much too soon.

Running Base: A type of running training that builds a solid foundation of aerobic fitness and endurance over a set period before starting a specific training cycle/plan.

Pace: A term that refers to how fast you are running and the expected time it takes to run a certain distance, typically expressed in minutes per mile or kilometer.

Pace is also used to refer to a particular race pace.

For example, a 5K pace is the estimated time for a runner to cover one mile during a 5K race.

So when a runner talks about running at a 10-minute pace, they talk about the time it takes to clock one mile.

Quads: Short for quadriceps, the four large muscles at the front of the thigh: the Vastus Medialis, Intermedius and Lateralis, and Rectus Femoris.

These muscles are in charge of stabilizing the knee during a foot strike.

Quads’ weakness is linked by research to runners’ knee and other overuse injuries.

Hamstrings: These are the long muscles along the back of the thighs.

Weakness and/or tightness in the hamstrings is a common issue for many runners that might lead to performance trouble and injury.

Therefore, you must follow a comprehensive hamstring strength and flexibility program as a runner.

Aerobic: This is a broad term for any type of physical exercise intended to improve how your body uses oxygen to generate energy and sufficiently meet its energy demands during exercise.

Classic examples of aerobic exercises include running, spinning, walking, hiking, and swimming.

Anaerobic: On the other side,  anaerobic activity is any exercise that causes you to be quickly out of breath, in which your body’s need for oxygen surpasses the oxygen supply.

This term is usually used to describe a very high-intensity exercise not intended to boost the efficiency of your body’s cardiovascular system.

Classic examples of anaerobic activities include sprinting, jumping, and weight lifting.

Endurance: Simply, your body can withstand pain and discomfort and run for extended periods.

An Important component of a well-rounded training program.

Running Economy: A broad term that refers to the many biomechanical and physiological factors that may contribute to your running performance and impact the efficiency of your running motion.

Overtraining: Also known as “burnout,” this is a training condition that’s described as running too long too intensely that athletic performance collapses, leading to all sorts of fitness and health troubles, including fatigue, unwanted weight loss, and chronic injury.

Running Form: Also known as “running mechanics,” this is the science and art of running technique, and it refers to how you should move your body while running.

Contrary to popular belief, there is not such thing as a perfect-form recipe that works for everyone.

Instead, if you are looking to improve your running form, then you should do whatever keeps you injury-free and feels right for you.

It’s, after all, your particular physiology that has the ultimate call.

C25K: Standing for Couch to 5K, C25k is a popular beginner training program that newcomers to running use to build stamina and power without risking injury or burnout.

It’s also a famous Subreddit for the same purpose.

Conversational Pace: This is a running pace in which is the training effort is relaxed enough that you should be able to speak in complete sentences without much huffing and puffing.

This is also referred to as the Talk Test.

Rest Day: An important day in every runner’s calendar that involves no running or intense physical exercise.

Also known as recovery time or downtime.

Interval Training: A broad term commonly used to refer to all types of speedwork and track workouts in general.

Interval training involves alternating between high periods of fast running with recovery breaks of low-to-moderate intensity.

Recovery Run: Used to refer to an easy, slow, and short run, usually at 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate, and taking place within a day after a challenging run, such as a speed session or a long run.

Recovery runs are performed mainly at a conversational pace.

Tempo Run: A type of running workout in which you typically run at 75 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes or a specific number of miles.

As a rule, tempo runs must be performed at a comfortably challenging pace.

LSD: Acronym for long slow distance, the longest run of the week, usually taking place on the weekend.

LSD runs are performed at a pace that’s drastically slower than the race pace goal. However, they are vital for training the body to utilize efficiently diverse fuel sources while working on mastering and perfect running form.

Hill Training: Also known as hill repeats, this type of cruel speedwork requires running up and down a hill of a decent degree of incline with a recovery break between each rep.

Hill training is necessary because it can help you build strength, speed, and confidence in the shortest time possible and with the fewest injuries.

Fartlek: A Swedish term that stands for “Speed Play,” a form of speed work format in which the runner performs bursts of faster running, following an unspecific and unstructured training pattern, unlike traditional interval training, which centers around specific distances and/or timed intervals.

Trail Running refers to all sorts of running and hiking trails—mainly through woods, mountains, and natural and dirt paths.

Trail surfaces are more merciful on the body and the exact break you might need from road running. In the UK and Ireland, trail running is usually mountain or fell running.

Cross Training: Or XT for short, this consists of low-impact activities or forms of exercise other than running, such as weight training, cycling, swimming, yoga, and aqua running.

Cross-training is vital in a running program because it can help you prevent injury, boost conditioning and improve every facet of your fitness while adding variety to your training program.

Newbie: Or a beginner, this is a newcomer to running who just took up the sport, and he is beginning to learn the basics by training for a short distance, like a 5K.

Elite: These are the advanced runners.

If you are a beginner or even an intermediate, don’t try to keep up with them because they are fast.

They have done the work.

Triathlete: A type of overachieving athlete that does not only run but bikes and swims, too.

Runner’s High: Refers to the state of euphoria and pure joy experienced by runners either during a workout or right after.

This ecstatic state is mostly the result of the release of norepinephrine, serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine, all of which promote a sense of well-being and happiness.

The Wall: Usually used to refer to a point between miles 19 and 26 of a marathon race in which the runner’s energy and power plunge, making them feel physically and emotionally drained, like they’ve got nothing left in the tank, literally.

Resting Heart Rate: RHR measures the number of contractions per minute of your heart when the body is in complete rest—typically measured first thing in the morning, just after stepping out of bed.

RHR is a good measuring stick of your body’s aerobic fitness and a reliable marker of whether you have been overtraining.

Body Mass Index: or BMI for short, is a simple measure to see if you have a healthy body weight for your height.

As a general guideline, an ideal BMI is in the range of 18 to 25.

If you want to calculate your BMI, then check out this link

MHR: Standing for Maximum Heart Rate refers to the age-related number of contractions your heart can make in one minute when working at its maximum.

The easiest way to measure it is by solving this equation: 220 – your age= MHR.

But this method only provides a close guess.

Racing & Competitions Running Terms

400 Meters: The equivalent of a lap around a standard track.

Mile: 5280 feet or roughly 1600 meters—four laps around a standard track.

5K: A racing distance of 3.1 miles.

Perfect for beginner runners.

10K: a racing distance of 6.2 miles.

The perfect combo of aerobic and anaerobic power.

Half-Marathon: A racing distance of 13.1 miles, or 21.1 kilometers.

Marathon: A race that’s 26.2 miles long, or 42.2 kilometers.

Completing a marathon race should be on your bucket list.

Ultra Marathon: Also known as Ultra, this refers to any race distance longer than a marathon.

Some of the most popular ultra races include the 50KM (31.07 miles),  the 100KM (62.14 miles), and the 100-miler beast.

XC: Or cross country running, which is a type of running sport in which individuals or teams compete in a race on a variety of surfaces—such as grass, trails, rocky areas, hills, gravel—typically anywhere off-road or off-track.

Runners who partake in this kind of race are usually known as “Harriers.”

Road Race: All types of races that are held on a road.

Unlike cross country and track and field running, these races occur on measured courses over an established road.

OCR: Stands for Obstacle Course Racing, which is a type of competitive racing event in which runners have to race on muddy terrains while making their way through military-inspired obstacles designed to test their physical and mental grit to the breaking point.

Some popular OCR events include the Warrior Dash, The Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, and The CMC.

Bucket List: A list of races or physical achievements that a runner hopes (or plans) to have accomplished during their lifetime.

Master: Also known as “Veteran,” this refers to any athlete 40 or older.

MP: Stands for Marathon Pace.

GMP: Stands for Goal Marathon Pace.

Race Pace: Your ideal running pace during a race.

World Marathon Majors: These are big guys when it comes to marathon racing, and they comprise six prominent races: Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, NYC Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, and Tokyo Marathons.

BQ: Standing for “Boston Qualifier,” qualifying for the Boston Marathon is one of the ultimate goals for many a runner.

To qualify for this race, you must gain entry by either completing another race at a qualifying time or by a charity slot.

If you are BQ, that must be a source of great pride and delight.

PR: Short for “Personal Record” and also known as “ Personal Best” (PB), this is used to describe the fastest time achieved by a runner for a certain distance or race.

DFL: Acronym for “Dead F*cking Last.”

It’s self-explanatory and refers to the poor last fella to cross the finish line.

DNS: Acronym for “Did Not Start,” which refers to being unable to attend a race even after registering.

DNF: Acronym for “Did Not Finish,” whether because of an injury, bonking, or simply falling short of completing a race in the designated course time.

Clydesdale: Typically refers to a weight-challenged runner.

This is also a category that’s reserved in racing for heavyweight male runners—usually over 200 to 220 pounds.

Athena: Similar to the Clydesdale category, the Athena category is a division for female runners who weigh more than a specified weight—usually 150 pounds and above.

Chip: This is a small computerized plastic device a runner attaches to their shoelace or race bib to keep tabs on progress and run times during a race.

The chip gets activated the second you step over the electronic mat after the official clock time starts and stops the second you cross the finish line.

Just be careful not to forget your timing chip; otherwise, your race time won’t be formally recorded.

Bling: Also known as hardware, these are the finisher’s prizes that participants receive after completing a race course in the designated time.

Bling might take the form of a medal, mug, belt buckle, etc., a source of great pride for many a runner.

Bib: Refers to the square piece of paper with a designated race number that runners attach to their shirts using a safety pin during a race and use to identify each runner in a race.

Bonk: Sometimes used interchangeably with “hitting the wall,” a “bonk” can hit a runner at any time during a race, and it’s usually linked to plummeting blood sugar levels and improper racing fueling.

Legal Wind: “Wind Assistance,” a technical term that refers to any mild wind that can either help or restrict a runner during a race, thus having a significant say in their finishing time.

This is quite an issue since wind conditions that are too favorable can disqualify finishing times from becoming (personal or world) records.

Second Wind: Refers to a phenomenon typically experienced during long-distance running, in which a runner feels an increase of confidence and energy and finds the strength to press forward, often just as they start feeling completely exhausted.

Rabbit: Also known as Pacemaker, or Pacesetter, often employed by the race organizers, this is someone who leads a race—typically middle or long distance events—for the first section then usually drops out of the competition before the final laps.

Jack Rabbit: A runner who takes off too fast from the start of a race or runs with a rapid and sudden movement, looking a lot like a jack rabbit.

Chicked: A term that describes a male runner (or cyclist) who gets passed by a female athlete during a race.

Nothing to be ashamed of.

Kick: Also known as “Giving it All you Got” or “Changing Gears,” this is a broad term for the final push runners give at the final part of a race to boost speed to the finish line, leaving nothing in the tank.

Don’t kick too early in a race; otherwise, you will score a DNF or a DFL.

CR: Stands for the course record.

RRCA: Stands for Road Runner’s Club of America, an organization that promotes the development of running events and running clubs and supports runners from all levels and training backgrounds throughout the U.S.

USATF: Stands for the USA track and field.

IAAF: Stands for the International Amateur Athletic Foundation, a worldwide organization that tends to everything related to running.

Advanced Running Terms

HIIT: Short for High-Intensity Interval Training, a type of exercise involving short bursts of intense activity—running, biking, jumping, squatting, weightlifting, etc.—with periods of low-to-moderate exercise or rest to recover.

Study shows that HIIT is ideal for speeding up weight loss and increasing fitness level like nothing else, and through the roof in the shortest time possible.

Quality Workouts: Refers to any running workout that you perform at a faster pace or longer duration than your daily runs.

Examples of quality workouts include speed sessions, tempo runs, and long runs, all of which require at least one to two days of recovery.

Carb Loading: Refers to revamping glycogen stores in the body by boosting the percentage of carbs intake during the days leading to a big race or long run.

In other words, carb loading is all about eating plenty of bread, bagels, and pasta to do up and increase energy stores.

Cadence: Also known as stride rate, or stride turnover, this refers to the number of steps taken during a minute of running.

According to the expert, the sweet spot for running cadence is around 180 steps per minute, which is believed to reduce the risks of injury and help you run more efficiently.

Gait: In layman’s terms, running gait is the style you run (or how you run for short).

You can have your gait analyzed and broken apart by experts to help you determine any biomechanical deficiencies you might have and help you improve your running form and become more of an efficient runner.

Foot Strike: One of the most annoying sticking points in the running world today, it refers to how and where your feet should strike the ground while running.

Finding the right foot strike is a matter of personal physiology and preference, so you should aim to find what works best for you and ignore the hype surrounding the subject.

MFS: Stands for “mid-foot strike,” in which you land on the ground in the center of the ball of the foot.

This foot strike technique is usually prescribed for runners, and it’s encouraged by the Chi running method and other philosophies.

I happen to prefer this striking pattern.

FFS: Or “Forefoot strike,” a footstrike pattern in which the ball of the foot to toes lands on the ground first.

RFS: Standing for the “Rear Foot Strike” or “Heel Strike,” a footstrike style in which the heel hits the ground first, followed by the forefoot.

It’s believed that an RFS pattern might lead to all sorts of injuries, but no conclusive evidence proves the claim.

Training Log: A training journal or training calendar, a daily record to monitor progress (or lack thereof), boost motivation, and keep tabs on your daily workouts and diet choices.

A training log can take the form of paper, a spreadsheet, an online record, or a Smartphone App.

Speedwork: Also known as track workouts or repeats, this type of running training program involves increasing a run’s pace according to a particular pattern.

Speedwork is typically used to boost speed, leg power, strength, and agility.

Types of speedwork include sprints, hill reps, and tempo runs.

Pyramid Intervals: A type of speedwork format in which the runner works on increasing the faster-running intervals in a pyramid-like fashion with recovery jogs in between.

For example, a simple ladder workout could include intervals of 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, and finally, a 100etc.

Negative splits: A running training method in which you run the second half of a run or race faster than you ran the first half

Splits: This is how long a runner takes to cover any defined distance.

For example, if you are running one lap on a 400m track, a split depicts the time it takes to complete one 400m lap.

Junk Miles: The moderate-pace miles a runner might run without any specific reason or rhythm other than adding numbers and volume to total weekly mileage to reach a certain total mileage target.

In most cases, junk miles don’t result in any specific physiological benefits.

Strides: Also known as “striders,” they typically refer to a series of 50 to 100 meters bursts of fast running.

Strides are usually performed after a thorough warm-up before a speed workout or race.

Yasso 800: Popularized by Bart Yasso, this is a renowned speed workout format that involves performing ten sets of 800 meters with 400 meters recovery between each set, and it’s used by runners trying to achieve a definite marathon goal.

Pick-ups refer to short and gentle accelerations in speed performed during a run to either spice up a workout or make it more challenging.

DO NOT CONFUSE with cheesy pick-up lines.

Doubles: Performing two running workouts in one day.

Periodization: An advanced training methodology that manages the training program throughout the year so that a runner can peak for an important event at a certain time.

Typically, periodization involves breaking down a training program into “periods” that focus on different training goals, alternating between high and low-intensity training period chunks.

Plyometric Training: Also known as jump, or explosive training, this type of workout is designed to produce explosive and fast movement through rapid loading and contraction of the muscle in a rapid and fast sequence and manner.

Perfect examples of plyo exercises include box jumps, squat jumps, and burpees.

Aqua Jogging: A low-impact cross-training activity in which the runner performs a running motion against the water’s resistance inside a pool or large body of water, where the runner can’t touch the bottom.

Perfect for recovery and nursing a running injury.

BPM: Acronym for “Beat Per Minute” and commonly known as the “heart rate,” this is the number of heartbeats during a minute.

Specific heart rate training is one of the best methods to help you get the most out of each workout.

VO2 Max: Also known as aerobic capacity, this measures your body’s maximum oxygen intake per minute while running.

Factors determining VO2 max include fitness level, body composition, age, and genetics.

Anaerobic Threshold: Also known as “Lactate Threshold, this refers to a physiological point during a running workout at which massive amounts of lactic acid build up in the bloodstream faster—That’s usually when the body switches from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism.

MPM: Stands for minutes per mile and is used to gauge running pace.

MPW: Or miles per week, the miles you run weekly or weekly training volume.

Brick Workout: A triathlon training term that refers to doing two different workouts back to back, with a run combined with a bike ride or a swim.

Taper: Describes a period of a few weeks before a big race in which the runner reduces their total training volume to store energy.

This period involves less running, and it’s used to sharpen fitness levels before a big race.

Streaking: The act of running for consecutive days for an extended period.

In most streaking cases, at least one mile per day more is requisite for an official running streak.

Also, streaking refers to runners who have completed a race, or a bunch of races, multiple years in a row.

DO NOT CONFUSE running naked through a public place.

Pronation refers to how a runner’s foot might roll inward during a running stride.

It’s a normal part of the natural motion that assists the lower leg in dealing with shock.

Some runners pronate a lot—or overpronate—while others pronounce less or underpronate.

This is an important piece of choosing the right shoe.

Supination: Also known as “Underpronation,” this is a biomechanical term used to describe the outward roll of the foot during the gait cycle at toe-off.

It’s believed that supination can put a lot of stress on the foot, leading to Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and the notorious iliotibial band syndrome.

Quad Buster: When you run down long stretches of steep downhill running, your quads feel like they are on fire, typically performed so fast that you might seem somewhat out of control.

Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller brain chemicals released during running (and exercising in general) that reduce pain and promote well-being, creating a state of euphoria and typically leading to the experience known as Runner’s High.

Running Terms For Injuries & Problems

Overuse Injury: The most common type of injury that strikes runners of all levels and training backgrounds is typically the result of too much training volume before the body is ready.

Some widespread overuse injuries include plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and the infamous Runner’s Knee.

Hitting The Wall: Also known as bonking, it describes the complete and utter exhaustion experienced by marathon runners when the glycogen stores are worn-out out and blood sugar plummets to their lowest.

In most cases, bonking can hit from mile 19 in a marathon—especially when following an improper racing fueling strategy.

RICE: Standing for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate, this is a runner’s first line of defense against most running injuries, and it can help reduce swelling, soothe pain, protect damaged tissues, speeding up recovery in the process.

Foam rolling: A form of self-myofascial release in which a cylindrically shaped firm foam object is used to pressure certain body parts to soothe pain, promote a range of motion and speed up recovery.

Dehydration: This condition in which the runner loses more fluids than they take in, leading to a drop in performance and other trouble.

Some of the main symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, thirst, weakness, and fatigue.

Lactic Acid: A term usually used to refer to muscle burn and stiffness after a hard run.

This condition is the by-product of the anaerobic metabolism of glucose produced when the body can no longer generate energy using oxygen.

In most cases, runners typically use lactic acid to refer to sore muscles and muscle fatigue—especially during or right after hard workouts.

DOMS: Standing for delayed onset muscle soreness, which is any sort of stiffness, pain, or soreness of muscle, usually occurring between 24 to 72 hours following a run. DOMS is the byproduct of tiny tears in the muscles resulting from doing more work than they are used to.

Shin Splints: Also known as Medial Tibia Stress Syndrome, or MTSS, this is a  common overuse running injury that manifests as intense and sharp pain along the front of the lower leg caused by improper footwear, weak calves, or overtraining.

Plantar Fascia: This thick connective tissue runs from the heels to the bottom of the foot.

Under too much stress, just like with Achilles Tendinitis, the fascia become inflamed, leading to the condition commonly known as Plantar Fasciitis.

ITBS: Stands for the Iliotibial Band Syndrome, a notorious overuse running injury that happens when the IT band—the connective issues along the outer thigh and knee— becomes tight and inflamed due to overuse.

DO NOT BE CONFUSED with Runners’ knee.

Tendinitis: Also spelled as tendonitis, this is a tendon inflammation, typically from overuse.

Runners Knee: Also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, or PFPS for short, this is one of the most common overuse running injuries caused by inflammation or irritation of the underside of the patella—the kneecap.

Achilles Tendon: Refers to one of the strongest and thickest tendons in the body, located at the back of the ankle, and connects the back of the heel to two major calf muscles: —the gastrocnemius and soleus.

Due to overuse, this vital tendon becomes irritated and inflamed, leading to what’s known to the condition known as Achilles tendinitis.

Chafing: A painful rubbing or irritation of the skin caused by skin-to-skin or skin-to-fabric—socks, underwear, shirt, sports bra—friction.

Heat and moisture might exacerbate the irritation.

It’s painful, and it hurts.

But you can always use moisture creams, such as Vaseline or BodyGlide, to prevent the chafing.

Side Stitch: Also known as the “Side Sticker” or “Side Cramp,” this is a sharp and stabbing pain felt just below the rib cage that occurs during running—especially for beginner runners or during downhill running.

Runner’s Trots: May also be referred to as gastrointestinal (GI) issues on the run resulting in unwanted bowel movement and diarrhea.

Some leading causes of this embarrassing phenomenon include stress, poor diet choices, and, arguably, coffee before a run or race.

Other terms associated with runners’ trots include “Code Brown” and “Fitness leak.”

Chub Rub: A painful phenomenon described as intense chafing caused by the inner thigh rubbing together while running.

Chub rub can be annoying and is common among overweight runners or during hot weather.

Jogger’s Nipples: Also known as “Bloody Nipples,” this is abrasion and soreness of a runner’s nipples due to repeated friction of clothing, leading to bleeding and pain.

Bloody nipples are most common among male and female long-distance runners—, especially during the summer.

Black Toenails: A painful condition taking place because of the development of blood under the nail, commonly caused by wearing tight running shoes or too much downhill running.

In most cases, black toenails heal independently within a few weeks or months.

Runger: Also known as the munchies, this is a type of intense hunger and cravings produced by running.

A short temper also follows the typical runner sensation if the cravings are not satisfied and tamed.

How will you know you got the munchies? If you usually feel like you could eat anything on sight after a long run.

FOMO: This famous acronym stands for fear of Missing Out and is used often.

When applied to running, FOMO describes the negative inner state of being unable to sign up for a race with your running friends and missing out on all the fun.

In some cases, FOMO might lead to fatigue and burnout as runners try their best to compete in as many hard runs and races as possible without considering proper rest and the physiological cost of putting the body under all that workload.

Run Envy: The feelings of envy and jealousy you might experience when you see another runner in the park paying his due diligence when you are not.

It’s perfectly reasonable 😉

Running Terms For Shoes & Other Apparel

Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Refers to any running-specific training fabric made of non-cotton, synthetic fibers, or apparel that can help keep your body warm and dry during a run by wicking moisture from the skin.

This can prevent chafing and a host of other troubles.

Heart Rate Monitor: This is a small device, typically a chest strap, a watch-like wrist receiver,  or an ear monitor,  that’s used to gauge the electrical activity of the heart in real time and record the heart rate for later examination.

Shock Absorption: Also known as “Cushioning,” this describes the shoe’s ability to absorb impact during a foot strike.

In the running, cushioned running shoes are generally a sub-category for running shoes that offer much support and assistance—especially for heavy runners.

Orthotics: These are small insert devices worn inside a running shoe to help correct biomechanical imbalances, preventing pain and injury.

The type of orthotics you might opt for depends on your specific needs and the type of injury you are trying to address.

Gaiters: A sleeve-like garment similar to leggings that a runner (or a hiker) attaches to their shoes and goes up the leg or ankle to protect the feet from the elements, such as water, sleet, dirt, pebbles, rocks, and other debris.

Gaiters are super useful if you do any trail or wintertime running.

Motion Control: Used to describe shoes’ ability to control the foot’s motion, usually made to limit overpronation and other biomechanical issues.

Toebox: Also known as the “Forefoot,” this is the front portion of the upper of your running shoes, the area of the shoe where your toes are.

Toeboxes come in all forms: shallow, medium, or deep, and might also vary in shape and function.

The Upper: Refers to the top half of the shoes, typically the light-weight mesh or leather materials that enclose the shoe.

Outsole: This is the very bottom of most running shoes (the layer of the shoe that hits the ground), typically made of blown rubber or carbon rubber.

Midsole: Refers to the layer for the shoe between the outside and the upper that’s in charge of the shoe’s cushioning abilities.

Typically, midsoles are made from foam materials: either polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate, or EVA for short.

The midsole is also vital for shoe durability.

Drop Bag: This bag contains your special race day items and personal gear that you believe you will need during an ultra race event.

In most cases, drop bags are transported by the race organizers to designated aid stations.

GPS: Standing for the Global Positioning System, the famous and reliable system used to track location, speed, and time wherever in the world.

Several running watches and apps feature a GPS that you can use to track running distance, elevation gain, and other factors with a relatively high degree of precision.

Agility Ladder: A handy piece of equipment that allows you to do agility training in the comfort of your own home.

Running Terms Philosophies and Movements

Barefoot Running:  Also known as “Natural Running,” this term refers to running without footwear.

Barefoot running takes minimal running one step further and preaches getting rid of running shoes.

Movement proponents claim that barefoot running can improve performance and prevent injuries.

Running barefoot has gained much popularity recently, and runners practice it worldwide.

Minimalist Running: A running movement that preaches running in shoes without the added cushion and shunning the highly cushioned heeled models that have become the standard shoes in the running world.

In most cases, minimalist shoes are very lightweight, lack high-cushioned heels, and have little arch support and stiff soles.

Naked Running: A worry-free running philosophy that preaches running without relying on modern gadgets and special gear, except for shoes and clothing.

Don’t get me wrong.

This is not streaking; you’ll still have your clothes.

Nothing illegal.

Miscellaneous Running Terms

Dreadmill: A mocking term used to refer to the boredom and monotony experienced during treadmill running.

Many runners are not very fond of the treadmill and regard it with such disdain, so they prefer to call it the dreadmill instead.

Runhole: A derogatory term referring to a runner who talks ceaselessly and without stopping about running and might prefer spending most of his time training to be with family and friends. A runhole is also fluent in the running vocabulary. He can compile sentences in the running vocabulary without giving it much thought. I can be described as a runhole. But don’t be a runhole—most of the time.

Downhill Warrior: A runner who struggles when running the uphill terrain section or even flats a run or race but sprints at maximum speed down hills.

This is a frowned-upon practice because too much downhill running can lead to all sorts of injuries.

Plus, it’s not a well-balanced approach to running.

Wind Chill: This is the temperature that expresses how cold it feels outside, considering the effective lowering of temperature by the wind.

Heat Index: This is the apparent temperature, and it’s measured by combining air temperature and relative humidity to determine how hot it feels outside when relative humidity is added to the equation.

Weather Stalking: The obsessive act of checking the hourly weather forecast before a significant run or race, expecting it to display your ideal conditions.

Runfie: The combination of Selfie + Run, or the picture you take of yourself before, during, or after a run or race to share on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and let the whole world know about what you just did.

Image Credit – RunSelfieRepeat

Farmer Blow: Also known as the “snot rocket,” this technique used by many runners refers to the art and science of holding one nostril while forcefully blowing the contents from the other with one solid blow.

This skill requires a lot of time and practice to master.

Bandit: A usually frowned upon practice that describes someone who participates in a race without paying the entry fees, robbing the race for the experience without permission.

Carrot: A super attractive male or female runner who motivates you to keep going strong during a run or race by keeping up with their pace as if following a carrot on a string.

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