How To Clean Running Shoes

How To Clean Running Shoes

Looking for the best way to clean running shoes?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Why is cleaning important?

It’s a key part of taking good care of your running gear so that it lasts longer.

Sweat and moisture in the feet set up the perfect humid environment that facilitates the growth of bacteria which leads to bad odor. Also, cleaner running shoes often have better support and grip.

Here’s the good news – washing running shoes is easy and takes only a few simple steps (and minutes).

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you some effective ways to clean your running shoes and keep them looking new without damaging the functionality or material.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

How Often To Clean Running Shoes?

Running shoes are designed to withstand the wear and tear on the road, but they’re not dirt-proof.

In general, and depending on weekly mileage and running surfaces, running shoes—and athletic footwear in general—requires cleaning at least every couple of weeks.

What’s more?

Sometimes your shoes will need immediate wash is the only way, following a rainy trail run, for example.

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

The Checklist You Need For Cleaning Your Running Shoes

Here are the tools and equipment you need to give your running shoes a thorough wash.

  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Towel
  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Drying rack
  • A Used toothbrush or a soft scrub brush
  • White tissue paper
  • A sponge
  • A bucket of warm water

And that’s all.

Now let’s get to work.

How To Clean Running Shoes  – The Hand Washing Method

The most effective—and safest—way to clean your running shoes without damaging them is through hand-washing (more on why machines are bad for your athletic footwear later).

Here are the steps.

Use The Right Detergent

Since most standard laundry detergents are designed for clothing, I’d recommend using a soap that’s specially made for athletic footwear, such as Sport Shoe Wash or Nikwax Sandal.

The proper detergent should remove both strains and odors without harming or damaging the shoe’s composition.

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

Fill A Bucket

Grab a small bowl or bucket, then mix warm water and a small amount of gently laundry detergent or your stain removal of choice.

Make sure the consistency is moderately soapy but not overly sticky or frothy. You should also use enough water to fully submerge your shoes.

Avoid bleaching agents for white shoes as these can cause discoloration or even damage certain types of fabrics.

Separate

Remove the laces and insoles from your shoes, then brush off all loose dirt and debris. Use an old toothbrush or brush, then briskly rub.

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

Clean Fully

While using a dry paper towel and a sponge, clean your shoes thoroughly from any clinging dirt, mud, or debris before immersing them. For stubborn stains, feel free to use a used toothbrush or a brush that has stiff bristles.

Clean The Insoles

Wash your insoles with soapy water. Use a brush to thoroughly scrub the surface, then clean off the debris and excess soap with a wet sponge.

Just avoid soaking the insoles, as you’ll risk damaging the foam and its shape.

Smelly insoles? No problem. Simply sprinkle them with baking soda to get rid of the odor and moisture. But this is only good for emergencies. Replace your insoles when the odor refuses to go.

If all fails, replace them.

Additional resource – How to measure foot size for running shoes

Wash The Shoes

Fill up a bucket or sink with warm water and some laundry detergent, then place each running shoe in the water and allow them to soak.

This might be enough to get rid of any dirt or grime. But if some remains, feel free to gently scrub the stubborn stains using a cloth or brush.

When done, use a clean cloth or sponge dipped in water, then wipe off any suds.

Air Dry

First, let the shoe drip in an empty sink, then re-squeeze to get rid of any extra water. Don’t forget to pull the tongue out.

Dry your shoes in a warm place and stuff them with scrunched white tissue paper or white cotton towels to help speed up the drying process while preventing color transfer.

Next, put your shoes on a drying rack in a well-ventilated space to air-dry.

This will help speed up the absorption of moisture and keeps the shoe of your shoes as they dry.

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

Baking Soda

Last but not least, once the shoes are properly dried out, sprinkle baking soda inside to get rid of any odors or lingering moisture.

Things not to Do To your Running Shoes

The above process is exactly what you need to do to wash and clean your running shoes without much hassle.

Here are some of the things you should never do, though.

  • Never put your shoes in the dryer. The high temperature may compromise the glue that holds your shoe together. It may also cause the materials or fabrics to shrink.
  • Avoid The washing machine. Tossing your shoes in the washing machine can also damage the fabric and adhesives, shortening its lifespan.
  • No bleach allowed. Avoid using bleach or other household cleaning supplies to wash your shoes. Opt for gentle, footwear-safe options only.

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

How To Clean Running Shoes  – The Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re looking for a simple way to clean your running shoes and keep them smelling—and looking—fresh, then today’s article has you covered. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts or favorite way to wash your shoes down below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

When Is The Best Time To Run? Morning, Afternoon, or Night?

To Run A 5K in 30 Minutes

“When is the best time to run?”

This is one of the most common questions I get from my clients, readers, and friends.

To be honest, I don’t have the answer.

Whether it’s early in the morning, at lunchtime break, or late at night, virtually every runner has an opinion—or two—on the ideal time of day to log their miles in.

To get it right, here are a few guidelines to help you figure out what running routine times work best for you. Dawn, crack of noon, or dead of night.

Sounds great?

Let’s lace up and dig in.

When Is The Best Time To Run? Morning Running

Here’s what you stand to gain by building a morning running habit.

Good Start

Logging your miles first thing in the morning will jumpstart your day on a positive note.  The endorphins your brain releases in response to exercise can elevate your mood and keep it up long past your 30-minute run.

You’ll also feel a sense of triumph after completing a run, giving you an optimistic outlook for the rest of the day.

Improved Motivation

When you schedule your miles as the first thing on your schedule, it’s less likely that something else will come up and stand in the way of your success.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

Research shows that people who exercise in the morning are more consistent with their exercise routines than those who sweat it out in the afternoon or evening.

More Burn

Running in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, may help burn more calories for the rest of the day.

Research has shown that people can burn drastically more body fat exercising on an empty stomach.

Just keep in mind that if you’re too hungry and drained, you may lack fuel for full running potential.

Disadvantages

Morning running has its downsides.

Let’s check out a few.

Stiff Body

Jumping from bed to the streets running can feel a lot harder on your body than at any other time of the day. Your core body temperature might be low, your muscles tense, and your joints stiff. This may set the stage for soreness as well as mediocre performance.

Not A Morning Person

This goes without saying, but if you only wake up early in the day when it’s a matter of life or death, then trying to build the morning running habit will be an uphill battle—one that you may lose a few weeks in.

Sleep Sacrifice

Not only will you need to wake up earlier for your one-hour run, but also factor in the time needed for preparing for the run and getting ready afterward. Even a short 20-minute jog .will take at least an hour.

This can lead to sleep deprivation such as inertia, which is feeling groggy for a while upon waking up, as well chronic fatigue and low energy level.

Additional resource – What’s the optimal temperature for running

When Is The Best Time To Run? Running At Noon

Here are a few of the pros of running during your lunchtime break.

Peak Performance

Research shows that human athletic performance reaches its peak around lunchtime.

This is thanks to a host of factors like hormone levels, core body temperature, fuel usage capacity, breathing volume—all of which peak in the afternoon—compared to the morning.

What’s more?

Research out of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning revealed that people tend to perform their best at exercise later in the day, with both endurance and strength topping later in the afternoon.

Nice Break

If your job is too overwhelming, taking a short break to go for a run can help restore your energy so that you tackle the rest of the day renewed.

The run will function as a rest, allowing you to get some fresh air to clear your mind and set up your intentions for the rest of the day.

Safer

Compared to running at dusk, afternoon runs occur when the world is most awake, and everything is bright.  The sun is out. The streets are alive.

That’s why running during this time is the safest.

Additional Resource – Running during lunch break

Disadvantages

Here are some of the downsides of the afternoon running.

Stomach issues

The biggest hurdle when it comes to afternoon runs is planning around your last meal.

You’d need enough fuel to power you throughout your training. But, if you’re still too full from a full lunch, you’ll experience lethargy and stomach cramps.

best time to run

When Is The Best Time To Run? Nighttime Running

Leading a hectic life from dusk till dawn? Then here are some of the benefits of working out at night.

Stress Relief

Hitting the streets is one of the best ways to help you unwind and blow off some steam.

Nighttime runs do both your body and mind good because they can help you clear your mind from the stresses of problems of the day.

High Performance

In the evening, your body might still be in high-performance mode, which will allow you to perform at your best. But it’s not the case when you are already overloaded at work.

Additional resource – Guide to urban running

Disadvantages

Again, running at night is not without its own challenges, including:

Sleep Disruption

If your runs are challenging enough to leave you especially alert and wired, logging the miles before getting to bed can make it hard to fall asleep.

However, keep in mind that research has shown that exercising at night doesn’t always disrupt sleep—in fact, it can actually improve it when done right.

No Energy

By 8 or 9 pm, you’ve already gone through an entire day of work meetings, shopping errands, commute, and so much more.

All of these may drain you out of energy and make you feel tired and sluggish by the time the evening arrives.

Less Safe

Venturing out when it’s dark means that you’re vulnerable to all types of dangers and risks, especially for female runners.

These include safety concerns, traffic problems, vision obstacles, and higher levels of pollutants in the environment.

Lack of time

Unless you’re a late-night owl and don’t mind going to bed at 2 am, you might be short for the time when running at night.

What’s the answer?

At the end of the day—no pun intended—the best way to stay consistent with your running routine is to schedule your runs according to your individual goals and lifestyle.

In short, the best time for you to run is when it feels easiest for you.

So, when trying to decide what’s the best time for you to run, consider your individual goals and lifestyle conditions. Plan everything precisely, so you could do it during the time slot you choose.

Do you want to get faster? Lose weight?

Tame stress? Or what?

For example, if you want to run your best, perform intervals; for instance, consider scheduling your run during the afternoon.

Looking to reduce stress and unwire? Finish off your day with an easy and comfortable run.

Still unsure? Try running early in the morning, at lunchtime, then late in the evening, then see which you enjoy the most.

Additional resource – How to become a morning a runner

When Is The Best Time To Run?  – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you ever felt unsure about when it’s the best time to run, then today’s post should have provided you with enough answers. The rest is really up to you.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

David D.

What is The Ethical Dilemma for Student Runners?

Athletes face ethical dilemmas a lot; this is where they have to weigh between moral necessities. Since running is a competition, many student-athletes start thinking that it is every person by themselves. Some weigh their ethical dilemma wrongly and end up messing things up, but some handle them well and save themselves a lot of trouble. What is a moral dilemma? And what is the importance of an ethical dilemma?

Being a student runner requires a lot of commitment and hard work; balancing between this sport and learning is not easy, which lands a lot of students in ethical dilemmas. Through research and online free essay examples, ethical dilemmas from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/ethical-dilemma/ we have made this article that will shine a light on student runners’ moral dilemmas. Hence follow along as we unfold this exciting and informative topic.

What is an ethical dilemma?

An ethical dilemma is a situation that makes you choose something which goes against your beliefs and values. They happen to almost everyone, from a teacher to a student and parents.

An example of an ethical dilemma is choosing between going to practice or going to class. Ethical dilemmas are caused mainly by two reasons:

  1. Fear that you might be competing at a disadvantage
  2. The desire of gaining an advantage over the other players

Ethical dilemmas can also be defined as a problem without an acceptable resolution.

What is the importance of an ethical dilemma among runners?

Ethical dilemmas are essential because they help student runners act rationally before attempting to make any decision.

When you face an ethical dilemma, your mind is forced to think critically to solve the problem. Hence ethical dilemmas also boost the critical thinking of athletes to make good choices both on the field and off the field.

Ethical dilemmas help raise discussions among runners regarding different issues to come up with a good solution. Since an ethical dilemma is a problem without an acceptable resolution, many people have different views about various dilemmas, but others are more rational. Through this process, runners can communicate and share opinions leading to bonding and mutual respect.

What are some ethical dilemmas faced by student runners

One of the most significant issues about sports participants in the university is balancing education and practice. Runners are not different; most of them have a hard time going to class after hitting the track early in the morning, while some stress out about evening tracks that correspond to class hours.

A student caught up in such a dilemma might be tempted to skip morning classes to hit the track, while another student might decide to skip morning track time to concentrate better in class. Both decisions are rational, but both have different impacts both on-track performance and class performance.

Another ethical dilemma is faking an injury; some student runners might find track running to be quite tiresome, then they get tempted to fake an injury. Faking an injury goes beyond many people’s ethical beliefs, but some might perceive it as their only way out of track training in and out of campus.

Performance-enhancing drugs cause ethical dilemmas for a lot of students. I mean, taking these drugs covers almost all the reasons why ethical dilemmas even exist. It gives you an advantage against your opponent hence better chances of winning. However, the effects of taking PEDs are pretty drastic on your body.

The drugs cause:

  1. Liver problems
  2. Blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  1. Irregular heartbeat
  2. Depression

Students are hence in a dilemma between choosing between their health and cheating to achieve their dreams. Many athletes in the past have fallen victim to this temptation, and the after-effects ruined their careers immensely.

Other examples, such as reactions to unfair referee knockouts, also cause ethical dilemmas. Such occurrences prove how athletes face many ethical dilemmas daily, with each bearing a different moral lesson.

Conclusion

Becoming a student runner is not an easy feat, and all the ethical dilemmas they face end up making it even more complicated. However, it all depends on the decision you make at the end of the day and how ethical they are.

Author Bio – Harry Butler is a content marketer and manager formerly very much in love with his job. A writer by day and reader by night, he doesn’t like to talk about himself in the third person, but from time to time he can be persuaded to do so.

Difficulties faced by runners who want to study and train in the United States

Yasso 800 Workout

**This is A guest Post by my friend Alina Boska ***

To achieve holistic development, young athletes combine sports and higher education. In order to pursue a top-quality degree, many of them decide to study and train in the United States. Some runners believe that American universities can empower them for their future role in society at the end of their competitive period in sports. What’s more, the US institutions often offer flexible academic programmes and financial support to athletes. Typically, these perks are defined in individually negotiated agreements. Hence, student-athletes from all over the world get great opportunities for pursuing a successful dual career.

However, international students face some challenges trying to combine sports and education in the United States. Read about them below!

Cultural shock

No matter where you come from, you will be immersed in a different culture after your arrival in the United States. For sure, some people’s habits and customs will not be the same as in your home country. Besides, they may even seem weird or unacceptable to you. Chances are, you will experience intense negative feelings because of that. Psychologists say that most students from abroad struggle with homesickness and irritability.

To reduce your immigrant stress, you should first be aware of the main cultural differences. For example, you should learn about teacher-student relationships before coming to the United States. Note that they are rather informal there compared to the Asian and European education systems. It’s also important to start making new friends as soon as possible. Be open to your fellow international students to build a support network and find a safe place to share your experience in the United States.

Academic workload

It can be extremely difficult to focus on your school work when you have regular training sessions. As a runner, you must practice really a lot to achieve your sports goals, which interferes with the study process. Even the best colleges for students who want to start running professionally have very intense learning plans. The US professors always assign pretty much homework to give comprehensive knowledge to students. This a blessing and a curse for students at the same time. On the one hand, they get a great education and increase their chances to make a successful career. But on the other hand, the combination of learning and training exhausts them.

Many students think it’s impossible to find the solution to this problem. However, there is something to do about it. First of all, it would be great to talk to professors during their office hours. You can ask them for additional guidance and support. Also, you can turn to the services that help students with their homework. For example, if you were assigned a complicated term paper or an essay, you can check https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/immigration/ that contains hundreds of tips and assignment samples for students. This website also offers help of experienced writers that can complete your home task within the deadline you set for them.

Financial difficulties

As you might know, college tuition fees in the United States are quite high. Studying at private school usually costs “an arm and a leg” even for athletes who get a discount for their sports achievements. According to the statistics presented by CollegeData.com, an average budget for a private college is approximately $47,800 per year. This doesn’t include the cost of health insurance, which is quite expensive for students from abroad. Also note that as a runner, you are at risk of frequent injuries, so you might need medical help from time to time. Hence, before you arrive in the United States, you should thoroughly count your future expenses.

To ease your financial difficulties, you could check scholarships available for athlete students in the United States. Athletes may also benefit from grants and generous student loans. There are plenty of options for talented students, so you will probably find something that fits your needs. You can turn to your university’s financial aid office and ask for help with the application process. This way, you are more likely to get money for covering your education and living costs.

Final thoughts

Being an athlete and a student at the same time is not easy. Both roles impose a lot of challenges for young people. Especially, if you come to study in the US from abroad, many additional difficulties are inevitable. They include cultural shock, money issues, and heavy workload. However, there are some effective solutions for each of them. Hopefully, this article provided you with valuable ideas on how to make your student life easier.

Author’s BIO

Alina Boskar works as an academic writer at one of the leading assignment services in the United States. She helps students complete their assignments and achieve success at college. As a big fan of sports, Alina spends most of her free time doing exercise in the fresh air. She believes that it is beneficial for both body and brain.

“Unlock Your Potential: Master The 9 Advanced Running Metrics for Peak Performance

Are you ready to take your running game to the next level? Then you’re in the right place because we’re about to dive into a world of advanced running metrics that will revolutionize the way you train.

Thanks to modern wearable tech, you can now track and analyze every aspect of your performance, from your heart rate variability to your cadence and even your running power.

But when you’ve a lot of data on hand, it makes hard to use it to your advantage.

That’s where today’s article comes in. As a seasoned runner and fitness enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours poring over running metrics and experimenting with different training techniques.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain nine of the most important and commonly used advanced running metrics. I’ll also show you how to leverage each one to optimize your training and achieve your goals.

So let’s lace up and get started!

Running Metric – 1. Training Load

Imagine this: You’re a dedicated runner, logging mile after mile, pushing your limits day by day. With each run, your conditioning improves, and you feel your body adapting to the demands of your training.

But here’s the catch: If you slack off often, your hard-earned progress could slip away. So, how do you navigate this delicate dance of pushing your limits while avoiding burnout? Enter the game-changer: training load—the key to monitoring the combined strain of your workouts and optimizing your performance.

Think of the training load as your personal compass, guiding you through the maze of fitness adaptation. It’s like having a trusted coach by your side, constantly assessing the stress on your aerobic system and providing invaluable insights.

This innovative feature goes beyond simple distance tracking and taps into the intricate web of physiological responses within your body. It meticulously analyzes the toll your workouts take, providing a comprehensive snapshot of your training load.

Armed with this powerful data, you gain access to a personalized recommendation engine. It’s like having a virtual trainer whispering in your ear, advising you on when to scale back or push a little harder. This invaluable guidance ensures that you stay within the elusive “sweet spot” throughout your training, where growth and progress thrive.

But what does the research say about training load? A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences revealed that monitoring training load can significantly reduce the risk of overtraining and injury while maximizing performance gains.

Running Metric – 2. Ground Contact Time

Ground contact time, or GCT, might not be the first metric that comes to mind when you think of running, but don’t be fooled by its unassuming name. This little number packs a powerful punch when it comes to improving your running efficiency and preventing injury.

Think of GCT as the amount of time your feet are in contact with the ground while running. Elite runners typically have an average GCT of less than 200 milliseconds, according to research. But why is this important?

Well, for starters, a longer GCT is generally associated with an inefficient running economy, which means you might be wasting energy and slowing yourself down. By improving your GCT, you can make your running more efficient, allowing you to go faster and farther with less effort.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reported that improving ground contact time can boost running performance. That’s a good thing if you ask me.

But that’s not all. GCT can also reveal important information about your running form and leg symmetry. If you have a longer GCT on one leg than the other, for example, it could indicate a strength imbalance or leg length difference. Ideally, you want your gait to be symmetrical and balanced.

So, how do you improve your GCT?

I’d recommend increasing your cadence, which is the number of steps you take per minute. By taking quick and light steps, you can reduce the amount of time your feet spend on the ground, which should lead to a lower GCT and faster running overall.

But don’t stop there. Incorporating lower-body strength exercises and sprint training into your routine can also help improve your GCT and overall running performance. And don’t forget about your stride length – shortening your stride can also help reduce your GCT and improve your overall efficiency.

Additional source – Here’s the full guide to average stride length.

Running Metric – 3. Vertical Oscillation

Have you ever seen a kangaroo bouncing around? They might look impressive, but that kind of bouncing is not what you want in your running. Vertical oscillation measures how much your upper body bounces up and down with each step you take. But why is this important? Well, excess bounce means wasted energy that could be better used to propel you forward.

Research has shown that minimizing vertical oscillation is beneficial for running economy, or the amount of oxygen needed to run at a particular speed. One study found that reducing vertical oscillation by just two centimeters improved running economy by 6% in trained runners.

Excessive bouncing can also indicate poor form, which can lead to injuries. Monitoring your vertical oscillation can help you identify when your form starts to break down and make corrections before it becomes a problem. Vertical oscillation is like bouncing a basketball – just as bouncing a basketball too high wastes energy and decreases efficiency, excessive vertical movement during running can waste energy and decrease efficiency

So how do you lower your bounce? The simple way is to shorten your stride length. This, in turn, helps you maintain a lower center of gravity. Another way is to work on strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. Exercises like squats and jumps can be great for this.

Remember, the goal of running is to move forward, not up and down.

Running Metric – 4. Vertical Ratio

Think of your body as a car. The vertical ratio is like the gas mileage of your vehicle. Just like how you want your car to have great gas mileage, you want your body to have an optimal vertical ratio to improve your running economy and efficiency.

Research has shown that elite runners typically have a vertical ratio of less than 5%, while recreational runners tend to have a ratio of 7-9%. That may not sound like much but it does impact performance, especially the longer you run.

So how can you improve your vertical ratio? One way is to focus on improving your running form. This means practicing proper posture, keeping your core engaged, and landing softly on your feet. Another way is to incorporate strength training exercises that target your legs and core muscles, such as squats and lunges, to help you generate more power and lift with each stride.

But remember, improving your vertical ratio isn’t just about working harder; it’s also about working smarter. Monitoring your progress with this metric and adjusting your training plan accordingly can help you reach your goals faster and avoid injury along the way.

Additional Resource – Here’s the full guide to running watches

Running Metric – 5. Heart Rate

Heart rate, the rhythm of your beating heart, is the drummer of your workout band. It beats in tune with your effort and gives you a real-time understanding of how hard you’re working. It’s like your body’s built-in tachometer, measuring the intensity of your activity.

Your heart rate rises as you ramp up the intensity of your workout, pumping more oxygen and nutrients to power your muscles. The more you push, the faster it beats. And tracking your heartbeats per minute gives you a precise indication of your effort level.

Knowing your maximum heart rate is critical to using heart rate training effectively. This number represents the highest number of times your heart can beat in one minute while exercising at maximum capacity. Your age, genetics, and fitness level all play a role in determining your HR Max. Although subtracting your age from 220 is a popular way to estimate HR Max, the most accurate measurement occurs in a lab.

Different heart rate zones correspond to different levels of workout intensity, and understanding which zone you’re in can help you optimize your training. Generally, the higher the zone, the harder the workout and the greater the benefits. Conversely, pushing yourself too hard can lead to injury or exhaustion.

Additional Resource – Does running make you old

Running Metric – 6. Running Power

Running power is like the fuel gauge in your car; it tells you exactly how much energy you’re spending while running. Monitoring your power output helps optimize your training and improve your overall performance. What’s not to like, really!

Research shows that tracking running power can help prevent injury and improve running economy. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that runners who used power meters to monitor their training saw significant improvements in their running economy and performance compared to those who relied solely on heart rate or pace.

Another advantage of using running power is that it allows you to adjust your running form in real time. By paying attention to your power output, you can make adjustments to your stride length, cadence, and foot strike to improve your efficiency and reduce your risk of injury.

While running power is a relatively new metric in the running world, it’s becoming more widely available with the increasing popularity of wearable technology. Products like the Stryd running power meter and the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod allow runners to easily track their power output during workouts.

Additional resource – Your guide to heart rate variability

Running Metric – 7. Stride Length

Stride length is one of the most important aspects of running. In fact, it can make the difference between a smooth, effortless stride and a choppy, inefficient one.

Improving your stride length isn’t just about covering more distance on each step; it’s about finding that sweet spot where you’re not overstriding and creating a braking effect with each step. Stride length acts like the gear ratio on a bike – just as selecting the right gear for the terrain can improve bike performance, optimizing stride length can improve running performance.

And research agrees. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has linked an optimized stride length to improved performance and reduced injury risk.

The ideal cadence is 180 steps per minute, but that can vary based on factors like height, speed, and running experience.

Having an optimum stride length can make all the difference in your running, but finding that perfect balance is a matter of trial and error.

Running Metric – 8. Cadence

Cadence, or stride rate, is the number of steps you take per minute while running. A high cadence means a faster leg turnover and can help you generate more force to drive you forward.

Improving stride rate helps run faster and more efficiently while reducing stress on your muscles and joints. A higher cadence means shorter stride length and less impact on joints, which can reduce the risk of injuries such as shin splints or knee pain. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that increasing cadence by 5-10% can improve running economy and reduce the risk of injury.

In addition, a consistent cadence can help runners maintain a more efficient running gait, which can lead to improved running economy and faster race times.

Most experts recommend a cadence of 170-180 steps per minute for optimum running efficiency.

Here’s the good news: improving cadence is easy.

One of the best ways to do so is to find a playlist with a tempo of 170-180 beats per minute. Next, try to synchronize your steps with the beat of the music. Another effective method is to use a metronome. Count the number of steps your right foot hits the ground in one minute of running, then multiply it by two to determine your cadence.

Running Metric – 9. VO2 Max

Though it may sound complicated, VO2 max is simply a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen you consume per minute during intense training

By determining your VO2max, you’ll be able to set better training goals, assess your progress, and determine the effectiveness of your training.

Just like HR max, the most reliable way to determine your VO2 max is conducted in a sports lab while using expensive gas exchange equipment.

However, some wearable technology can help you, at the very best, estimate your current VO2 Max by using intelligent algorithms and a heart rate monitor.

Any type of exercise helps your VO2 max, but research has found that going intense and short—as in doing high-intensity interval training—to be one of the most efficient ways to increase and/or maintain an optimal VO2 max. Learn more about VO2 max charts here.

Advanced Running Metrics  – In conclusion

From the looks of it, this may seem like a lot to keep track of, but at the end of the day, when used together, the running metrics I shared today can help provide a detailed and precise picture of your overall progress and training effectiveness.

And the more you practice them and build the habit, the easier it will be to wrap your head around the different stats and features. Yes, it’s just a matter of practice. The important thing is to make the most out of the tech you have. Don’t let it abandon you and waste your money.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep running strong.

David D.

 

The Beginner’s Guide To Virtual Runs – How Do Virtual Races Work

how to run faster

The state of affairs, at the time of writing this, has triggered a surge in virtual races.

Now, these events are here to stay.

Though I don’t encourage anyone to go against the health guidelines set by the WHO, not being able to race sucks.

Well, maybe until things can return to the way they used before—not this “new normal” nonsense.

But how can you turn virtual racing into an enjoyable, successful experience?

This post has you covered.

In today’s article, I’ll share with you a few training guidelines to help prepare for your virtual race, improve and keep your motivation, and make sure you have fun.

More specifically, I’ll go over:

  • What is a virtual race?
  • How to track a virtual race
  • How to find a virtual race
  • How to prepare for the event
  • How to run a virtual race
  • The logistics of a virtual race
  • And so much more.

Sounds exciting?

Let’s get started.

What is A Virtual Race

Virtual races consist of remotely held race events managed by a organization that gives the participants the flexibility of racing a certain distance at their own time and discretion.

In a virtual race, you sign up for the race and complete your given race distance.  You can run—or walk—from any location you choose. The event can take place  on the road, the treadmill, the trail, the beach, the track—you decide.

In other words, you choose your own race, course, pace, then time it yourself.

When you pay to enter a virtual race, you’re expected to meet your goals, let’s say run 5K, run for 40 hours nonstop, or run a marathon, then a medal or prize is shipped to you.

For more on the history and rise of virtual races, check the following resources:

Additional Reading – Here’s your guide to obstacle race course training.

Why Run A Virtual Race?

Pros of virtual running races include:

  • Testing your fitness
  • Staying motivated
  • Focusing on something positive
  • Training for a race
  • Staying in shape
  • Connecting with another runner through social media
  • Breaking a new PR
  • Pushing toward new distances
  • And so much more.

Additional resource – Guide to pacing strategies for different races

How Do Virtual Races Work

Virtual aces work the same way as your standard, in-person race.

As a runner, you pick the distance and a suitable virtual event, sign up then pay the registration fee just like you normally would.

Next, train for the race. That’s all.

Following the race, the participants upload their finish times and are then mailed a finisher’s medal (or any other prize).

Keep in mind that some race organizers will require to show your stats using an app such as Garmin or Strava or even show pictures of your treadmill stats when running on a treadmill.

Additional resource – How to avoid slowing down during  a race

How To Find A Virtual Race

At the time of writing, the majority of popular races are being canceled, and some are offering virtual alternatives. Even major races such as the Boston Marathon and The New York City Marathon have switched to virtual events.

The pandemic doesn’t discriminate.

Try looking up for one in your area, and you’ll more than likely be inundated with options suitable for different distances, speeds, and experience levels.

You can also sift through running communities to find a virtual race that matches your needs.

FindARun.com is a fantastic place for a reliable virtual race directory where you can find races listed from all over the world.

You can also check the Virtual Runner UK, which has a nice directory of a virtual race—sorted by distance. You can also sign up using their own app.

Additional Resource – Guide To Running Race Distances

Choose The Right Distance

Virtual races, just like their in-person counterparts, cover all abilities. From 5K virtual runs to virtual marathons, the range of choices are is wide as ever.

So whether you just took up running or are aiming for a sub-3 hour marathon, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.

You can choose to loop around the streets in your neighborhood or hop on your home treadmill.

You can also run along a familiar trail.

What’s more?

Consider what a virtual race means for the distance of the race you’re planning. For example, a longer-distance event may require extra planning, especially when it comes to mid-race support.

Pick A Familiar Route

The biggest perk about virtual races is that you get to choose your own route—more importantly, your own starting line and time.

Thanks to virtual race, you can compete wherever and whatever time of the day suits your lifestyle—and usually on whatever day of the week.

No need to spend money and time trying to get to the race venue.

However, since you’ll more than likely run your virtual race alone, you’re better off choosing a familiar route.

In fact, I’d recommend that your plan your “racecourse around your neighborhood.

For longer races, plan the course around your home or a convenience store, which can function as an aid station and/or toilet stop. You’re, after all, your own race organizer.

Additional resource  – How to prepare for your best running race

Get The Distance Right

After getting the right distance, it’s time to get the distance right. Or else your race will be a failure.

Few things are as frustrating as plotting out a challenging course, reaching the finish line, and then realizing that you had the distance wrong the whole time.

To do it right, use Google Maps, or your run history, to track your planned racecourse as accurately as possible.

I’d also recommend using a GPS watch during your virtual race. Remember, nobody’s keeping track of your distance but you.

Here’s the full guide to measuring how far did you run.

Follow The Rules

If you’re looking to see your name on the leaderboard or aiming to win an age group size, you’ll want to abide by the race director rules.

For example, if the event requires the participants to upload their time online, remember to make GPS activity setting public.

Record your running time using a tracking device or a smartwatch, take a screenshot or picture of the tracking app or watch for proof of completion.

Strava, Garmin, Nike, Runstastic are all reliable and acceptable by most race organizers.

What’s more?

You should also monitor net elevation gains and loss—some virtual events put a cap on it.

Additional guide – Age grading explained

Pay Attention To Pace

Completing a virtual run is completely different from running a standard, in-person race.

Without the rhythm of the crow, you might feel tempted to start the race too fast (or too slow). This can ruin months of hard training and compromise your race results.

That’s why it’s key to have a proper pace strategy. As a rule, choose a challenging—but realistic—pace and try to keep it throughout your virtual run.

But first, begin by defining your race goals and determine what pace strategy you’re going to use.

Here’s how to prevent a DNF in a race

The Beginner’s Guide To Virtual Runs – The Conclusion

There you have it. if you’re looking to complete a virtual run race today’s post will get you started on the right foot. The rest is really up to you.

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

In the meantime than you for dropping by.

Keep Training Strong.

David D.

5 Most Important Components of Preparing Students for Running Competitions

Yasso 800 Workout

**This is a guest post by my friend Alina Boskar **

Students who participate in athletic competitions have to juggle between their training and academics while devoting enough time to both of them. In the end, nothing is more important than pulling yourself up to come out as a champ in the both the fields.

If you’re someone who’s also preparing for a running competition while preparing for examinations and writing papers, here are five important points that can help you do well in both areas.

Training

Your training will be controlled and directed by your coach. Following their instructions while also finding ways to improve yourself is what every athlete must aim for. Training for the event must be your priority and you must tailor all other activities around it.

Most often, students who participate in running competitions struggle to maintain a balance between their academics and training. It’s important to give due time to both, but you can always take help from experts to help with assignments pertaining to academic writing.

Professional writing sites help students to complete their essays on time. Their ‘Do my Homework’ page allows students to take help from writing experts and finish their assignments on time. As a student-athlete myself, I like to ask experts to do my homework and EssayOnTime helps me finish assignments on time while guaranteeing a good grade.

Stay hydrated and eat well

The last thing you want to do is forget about your health before the competition. Keep a bottle of water with you all the time and keep track of your water intake. Being dehydrated before the race can be detrimental in long races. Sprint runners should also drink water during the competition. Electrolytes are also great to keep your energy up during events.

As for meals, the time before the competition will require you to be most careful with your food intake. If you have more than one event, you must eat foods that will help in muscle and energy recovery. Avoid eating anything that would drop your energy levels, such as simple carbs or sugars.

Time management

Managing your time is also very important. As discussed earlier, for students, managing training and academics well requires a proper schedule. Scheduling your day will allow you to make a routine for each day, where each activity is given a specific period of time in your day based on its priority.

As a student, scheduling your day can enable you to fit your training, academics, and leisure activities within your day. Scheduling can also help in setting times for each meal so that you eat at the right time and keep your body healthy.

Keep a positive mindset

Your attitude towards the competition and the events is perhaps the most important to maintain. Naturally, the stress associated with such competitions is high, which makes it extremely important for you to distract yourself with activities that help you focus on the competition. Focus more on the start and your strategy rather than worrying about the end result. What matters is putting all your practice and effort to reap the most amount of benefit.

Moreover, instead of being overwhelmed by thoughts of failure, try to focus on the experience and all that you will learn during the event. Use your stress to your advantage by keeping yourself pumped and excited for the event.

Get enough rest

Training hard isn’t the only way to win competitions; resting is just as important. Athletes must give their bodies plenty of rest after practice. During sleep, the body is able to repair any damaged tissue, which is frequent when it comes to physical exercises. To avoid any soreness or long-term injury, it’s extremely important for you to sleep at least 6-8 hours every day.

If you struggle to get enough rest, look through your day and find out ways to make space for more resting time. Scheduling and routinizing your days is the best method to do this, as you would have a day that is planned and includes the required 6-8 hours of sleep. Following such a schedule would make it easier to fit activities that are necessary for your physical and mental well-being.

Conclusion

Make sure you clearly note down all that you have learned during the event. Whether you win or lose, there’s always something you can do better, so look for such pointers after your race. Maintain a positive attitude towards the competition from start to finish. As you participate in more competitions, you’ll find that keeping a positive mindset contributes a lot to one’s chances of success and growth.

Author’s Bio:

Alina Boskar works for an academic writing portal where she features as a top writer in essay and homework writing. Besides that, she also writes and does illustrations for a children’s storybook company. In her free time, Alina likes to read sci-fi novels, indulge in gaming and doing yoga.

Should You Drink Beer While Running?

If you love to drink beer as much as you love to log in the miles, then you must have wondered, at one point or the other, whether your drinking habits are affecting your running results.

The answer, as you can already tell, isn’t all black or white.

But fret not no more.

In today’s article, I’ll briefly explain what happens to your body when you drink beer post-workout and how it might impact your running performance and fitness in the grand scheme.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Beer And Overall Health

Getting drunk after a run is actually detrimental to your health, but what about a couple of cans of beer?

Let’s look at some of the research.

Research out of the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined data from health surveys in the UK and look at the impact alcohol and exercise had on the risk of death from chronic diseases.

The subjects were broken down into two groups based on their drinking habits: occasional drinkers, ex-drinkers, and non-drinkers.

At the end, the researchers concluded that those who drank occasionally were better protected against death from any cause as well as cardiovascular disease.

In other words, beer consumed in moderation can do you health good. Beer is ideal for moderate drinking thanks to its low alcohol content and larger volume compared with spirits or wine.

Research has reported that beer consumed in moderation can do your health good.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • Better nutritious. Beer is more nutritious compared to other alcoholic beverages. Beer has plenty of antioxidants thanks to the flavonoids in barley and hops.
  • Protect your heart. Research out of the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that moderate intake of ANY alcoholic drink is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.
  • Cholesterol friendly. Beer has a lot of soluble fiber that may help lower your LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels. Upping your intake of soluble fiber has been shown to regulate healthy blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Good for kidneys. According to this research, male and female subjects whole drank a moderate amount of beer reported a reduced risk of developing a stone by about 40 percent.
  • Good for your bones. Beer also has a lot of silicon, which can help you build stronger bones. Orthosilicic acid, which is dietary silicon in the soluble form, is key for the growth and formation of bone and connective tissue.
  • Chills you out. This is the main reason beer is such a loved drink. The staff helps you unwind and reduce stress levels, which can do good things both to your body and mind.

Note – I hate to sound like a broken record, but you can only reap these benefits when you keep beer consumption moderate.

Beer And Hydration

One of the most undesired effects of alcohol is dehydration. The stuff acts as a diuretic, causing you to urinate more and lose fluids.

In fact, one unit—10 grams—of alcohol stimulates the production of 100 ml of additional urine.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Research has reported that post-workout drinks with about 4 percent alcohol may slow recovery from dehydration by forcing subjects to urinate more in the hours following the drink.

What’s more?

Running after consuming alcohol may make dehydration worse as you’ll be sweating out a lot, especially if you’re running long and/or hard. Dehydration can spell disaster on your running performance. I don’t need to say it again.

However, not all beers are made equal. For example, light beer, which packs in lower amounts of alcohol, is less likely to cause a drastic dehydrating effect.

What’s more? Beer has a lot of water, too—feel free to rehydrate with beer post-run.

Again, don’t take my word for it.

Research out of the Loughborough University examined the diuretic and hydration impact of light doses of alcohol and reported that the effect was insignificant as the participants’ bodies worked hard to restore fluid balance.

Another study out of the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition assessed 16 subjects.

The participants performed an intense run in a hot laboratory. Next, they were offered either water alone or beer and water.

The end result?

Drinking beer had no clear effect on any hydration measure that the researchers used.

This led the researchers to conclude that mild to moderate beer consumption when paired with some water posed no risk on hydration.

Just keep in mind that the strong stuff—think Gin, Whiskey, and other spirits—can cause you to lose more water than they contribute.

Beer And Electrolytes

Electrolytes consist of minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium that contain an electrical charge.

These play different key roles in the human body, such as regulating water levels, maintaining proper pH balance, and aiding in nerve transmission

That’s why sports drinks are common in the running world, as they provide these key electrolytes to help you rehydrate after running.

Unfortunately, we lose lots of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, through sweat while logging the miles. When these reserves are low, we experience headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, etc.

Here’s the good news.

Some beers contain essential electrolytes. In fact, some brews even fortify their products with electrolytes and minerals, which makes them a viable post-workout drink. These so-called “fitness beers” also tend to be lower in alcohol content.

The science agrees. Research has pointed that it is feasible to replace energy stores and electrolytes with a post-workout beer.

Additional resource – Can Running Help Cure Your Hangover?

Beer And Protein Synthesis

To help your muscles recover from running-induced stress, your body stimulates protein synthesis, which is a complex process that makes new proteins to repair damaged muscle fibers.

Here’s the bad news.

Research has reported that drinking alcohol after exercise may interfere with this muscle protein synthesis, reducing it up to a third, which may slow your recovery time.

Not only that, but research has also revealed that excessive alcohol limits muscle growth.

Just keep in mind that the amount of alcohol needed, according to research, is quite a bit more than people typically have.

So, again, a light beer might not be that big of an issue.

Young people jogging and exercising in nature, Back view

Beer Tips For Runners

If you want to make the most out of your post-run beer, stick to the following.

Avoid Binge Drinking – Drink in Moderation

Binge drinking refers to ingesting too much alcohol in a short space of time.

However, what constitutes binge drinking varies from one person to another since everybody processed alcohol differently. This makes it tricky to determine exactly how much alcohol in one sitting counts as a binge episode.

But all in all, most experts consider binge drinking as gulping more than eight units in one sitting for men and more than six units for women.

Choose Lighter Beer

When choosing a post-run peer, go for something relatively light.

In fact, make it a rule to keep it below 5 percent AVB whenever you can.

Also, the higher the ABV, the more calories. To guestimate the calorie punch in your beer, multiply the ABV by the serving size by 2.5. It’s also worth considering beer made with additional ingredients, such as fruit. More brands are using fruit purees in brewing, and this might slightly increase the nutritional value of each beverage.

Keep Track Of Your Units

Most health experts recommend drinking no more than 12-14 units of alcohol per week, with at least two days alcohol-free.

Here are a few real-life examples to consider:

  • Glass of wine (13% ABV): 6 units for a 125ml glass, 2.3 for 175ml, and 3.3 for 250ml
  • Pint of beer or cider (4% ABV):3 units
  • Pint of strong beer or cider (5.2% ABV):3 units
  • Pint of extra strong beer or cider (8% ABV):5 units
  • 25ml single spirit measure (ABV 40%):1 unit

I’d also recommend that you use a free app, like Drinkaware, to help monitor your alcohol intake.

Drink Occasionally

As previously discussed, occasional drinkers have the lowest risk of death from any cause and cardiovascular issues

So keep it for special occasions.  Make it a rule to only drink during special events, and make sparkling water or mint tea your go-to drink.

Mix Water And Beer

As I touched upon earlier, the best way to overcome the beer’s direct effect is to pair it up with water. This not only helps you to stay well hydrated but also avoid going overboard.

As a guideline, match your beer serving with a serving of water to offset the diuretic effect.

Refuel

Following your run, your muscles are primed for carbohydrates and protein. Sure, beer has both carbs and some protein, but in a very low volume, so back up your beer with some real food.

Eating real food can help you replenish your muscle fuel stores as well as slow down your drinking pace and fills you up.

Conclusion

Drinking a beer after running may increase your intake of carbs, some electrolytes, and water, but keep in mind that moderation is key.

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

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

David D.

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day & How Long Does It Take?

woman running

Thinking about running 5 miles a day? Then let me start by congratulating you on your decision.

Logging five miles a day is a worthy goal to pursue.

Although the habit has a lot to offer, forming a daily 5-miler is easier said than done.

In today’s article, I’ll explain both the advantages and downsides of running five miles a day and share tips for making the most out of this habit if you ever decide to start running 5 miles a day.

The Benefits Of Running 5 Miles A Day

Here are the pros of running 5 miles a day.

Expect To Improve

Practice makes perfect. That’s why running five miles, or around 8 kilometers,  every can help turn you into a better runner. To become a better runner, after all, you’ll need to run more.

Your cardiovascular power will improve, your running economy will improve, and your body will get more used to higher mileage. This will enable you to run further, faster, and with less fatigue.

Lose Weight

Alright, let’s talk weight loss, the real deal! You’ve probably heard that the secret sauce for trimming those extra pounds is to tip the calorie scale in your favor – burn more than you consume. Guess what? Running is your trusty sidekick in this mission.

So, what’s the calorie-burning scoop?

When you embark on a 5-mile run, you’re torching approximately 500 calories per session.

Imagine this: if you commit to these 5-mile daily runs for a month, you’re bidding farewell to a whopping 15,000 calories. That’s roughly four pounds of fat disappearing into thin air each month, all thanks to your newfound running routine.

Fast forward a year, and you could be celebrating more than 40 pounds of weight loss – now that’s an achievement worth chasing!

But here’s the catch – it’s not just about pounding the pavement. Your dietary habits come into play.

Running might be a calorie-burning beast, but it can’t undo the damage of an unhealthy diet. Picture this: weight loss is like a dynamic duo, with exercise covering 20% of the action and your diet reigning supreme at 80%..

Additional Resource – The benefits of running

Not Too Long

Don’t worry, we won’t be stealing your precious time. Running 5 miles a day won’t hold you hostage for hours. Depending on your fitness level and pace, you can conquer these 5 miles in a manageable 45 minutes to an hour.

Think about it – you can sneak in this energizing routine either bright and early in the morning or late at night after the kids have dozed off. There is no need to sacrifice your entire Sunday morning for a marathon.

Challenging but Doable

Running 5 miles daily is no walk in the park, but let’s put things in perspective. It’s not as demanding as committing to a daily marathon. You’ll need to summon some determination, for sure, but it’s a challenge well within your reach. This is especially the case if you’ve already been in the running world for while (more on this later).

Keep in mind that your body is an incredible machine capable of adapting to new routines. Within a few weeks, those 5 miles will feel like a breeze. However, a word of advice: before diving into this daily regimen, ensure you’ve already built a solid fitness foundation. Aim to have logged at least 10-15 miles each week for the past six months

Learn more about the impact of regular running by checking the following studies:

The Downsides Of Running Everyday

While running 5 miles a day has its merits, let’s not overlook its downsides.

First off, it can be a tad monotonous. Yes, some folks thrive on routine, but for others, the daily grind might start feeling like a chore.

After all, variety is the spice of life.

Moreover, the risk of injury looms, especially for beginners or those with a history of chronic injuries. If you’ve battled knee pain or ankle sprains before, be cautious about this rigorous routine. Pushing your body to cover 5 miles daily might not allow adequate recovery time between runs.

Should you feel any discomfort or pain, it’s wise to scale back or even take a break until you’re back in tip-top shape. Remember, your health and well-being always come first.

What’s more?

If you’re just like me and love to lift weights or jump in the pool, doing 5-milers every day might chip away at your ability—and time—to cross-train effectively.

In a perfect world, that means at least 3 to 4 days of running with 3 to 4 days of cross-training.

Additional resource – How to start running with your dog

How Long Does It Take To Run 5 Miles?

Answering this question is tricky because every runner is different.

But all in all, the average time for a 5-miler is 50 minutes—That’s about 10 minutes per mile, which is a reasonable speed for most beginner runners.

But if you have been running for a while, let’s you can keep a 7-minute per mile pace for more than 30 minutes, then the five miles will take only 35 minutes.

Here are more examples of pace and running times:

  • 5-minute pace: 25 minutes
  • 6-minute pace: 30 minutes
  • 7-minute pace: 35 minutes
  • 8-minute pace: 40 minutes
  • 9-minute pace: 45 minutes
  • 10-minute pace: 50 minutes
  • 11-minute pace: 55 minutes
  • 12-minute pace: 60 minutes
  • 13-minute pace: 65 minutes
  • 14-minute pace: 70 minutes

What’s more?

Most importantly, don’t worry about your times, especially if you’re a “slow” runner.

Running five miles a day is not a race (as we’re going to discuss later).

Running every day—even at the slowest speed—still makes you faster than anyone sitting on the couch the entire day.

I’d recommend that if your current mile time is longer than 10 minutes you start out with running 2 miles a day. Then, you can slowly progress from there.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to running three miles a day.

When Are You Ready for the 5-Mile Challenge?

So, how do you know if you’re ready to tackle the 5-mile-a-day challenge? Let’s break it down with a few questions:

When was the last time you ran 5 miles?

Have you completed a 10K run in the past month?

Do you currently run at least three times a week, covering a minimum of 15 miles weekly?

If your responses lean towards the negative side, you might want to hold off on this challenge for now.

Jumping into a daily 5-mile regimen without the right foundation can spell trouble. Your endurance and strength may not be up to par, making it difficult to handle the strain and stress that come with running five miles each day.

When Should You Avoid Running Five Miles A Day?

While running five miles a day can be a fantastic challenge, it’s not suitable for everyone.

If any of the following scenarios sound like you, it might be best to hold off:

  • Beginner Runner: If you’re just starting out and have only been running for a few weeks or months, diving into a daily 5-mile routine might be too much too soon.
  • History of Injury: If you have a track record of injuries, especially issues like knee pain, shin splints, ankle sprains, or stress fractures, you should proceed with caution.
  • Age Over 60: Running five miles daily can be quite demanding, especially as we age. If you’re over 60, consider your body’s limitations and consult with a healthcare professional before starting.
  • Overweight or Clinically Obese: Carrying excess weight can put added stress on your joints and cardiovascular system. If you’re overweight or clinically obese, take a more gradual approach to avoid potential strain.

Additional resource – How to start running at 50

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day?

Taking on the challenge of running five miles daily is admirable, but it’s essential to approach it wisely to avoid burnout or injury. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Begin Gradually: If you’re not accustomed to daily running, don’t jump straight into five miles. Start with two to three miles a day to acclimate your body to the routine.
  • Interval Training: Consider incorporating interval training into your routine. For example, run for 15 minutes, walk for five minutes, and repeat until you cover the full 5-mile distance. This method can help you build endurance while reducing the strain on your body.
  • Use a Running App: Track your progress and monitor your distance with a reliable running app. This can provide motivation and help you stay on target.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to the increased mileage. If you experience pain, fatigue, or persistent discomfort, don’t hesitate to scale back or take a rest day.
  • Proper Footwear: Invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning to reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Warm-Up and Cool Down: Prior to your runs, warm up with dynamic stretches and finish with static stretches to prevent muscle tightness.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for endurance running. Drink water before, during, and after your runs.
  • Rest and Recovery: Ensure you get enough rest and prioritize recovery. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injuries.

Additional resource – How To Run An 8-Minute Mile?

How Fast Should You Run The Five Miles?

Running five miles a day isn’t just about covering the distance; it’s also crucial to maintain an appropriate pace to prevent exhaustion and injury. Here’s how to find the right pace for your daily runs:

Comfortable Pace:

The key to successful daily running is to choose a comfortable pace. This is often referred to as the “conversational pace.” It means you should be able to maintain a conversation while running without feeling completely out of breath.

The Talk Test:

To gauge if you’re running at a sustainable pace, perform the talk test. Try reciting the pledge of allegiance or having a brief conversation with yourself. If you’re struggling to speak without huffing and puffing, you might be pushing too hard.

Avoid Overexertion:

Panting heavily during your entire run is a sign that you’re running too fast. Overexertion can lead to fatigue, muscle strain, and potential injury. Scale back your pace to find that comfortable, conversational rhythm.

Progressive Improvement:

As your fitness improves over time, your pace may naturally increase. However, always prioritize running at a pace where you can maintain proper form and finish each run feeling energized rather than depleted.

Variability:

It’s okay to have variations in your pace. Some days, you might naturally run faster, while others may be slower due to factors like weather, terrain, or how you’re feeling that day. Embrace these variations and focus on consistency in your routine.

Additional resource – How to become a morning runner

Running 5 Miles A Day – The Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re about to start running 5 miles a day, then this post should set you off on the right foot. The rest is really up to you.

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

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

The Ultimate Guide to Hydration Running Vests: Benefits and Features Unveiled

Let’s talk about running vests and why they’ve become all the rage lately, especially in the thrilling world of trail running.

Whether you’re a seasoned trail runner or just dipping your toes into the world of long-distance running, choosing the right vest is crucial. It’s like finding the perfect running buddy who will support you every step of the way.

But fear not! I’ve got your back. When it comes to finding the ultimate running hydration vest that suits your needs, there are a few key factors to consider: notable features, comfort, style, and, of course, your budget.

Curious to know more? Well, my friend, you’re in luck because I’ve got a bunch of valuable insights lined up just for you.

So, keep reading and let’s dive into the exciting world of hydration running vests!

What is a Running Vest?

A running vest is like having your own portable oasis strapped to your back. It allows you to effortlessly carry not only water but also all those essential items you need on your adventure, whether it’s energy gels, a snack, your phone, or even a lightweight jacket.

With a hydration vest, you can stay well-hydrated without the hassle of constantly stopping to quench your thirst. Talk about a game-changer!

But let’s dive deeper into the magic of these ingenious inventions. Picture yourself as a cargo ship captain, sailing through the rough seas of your run. Your hydration vest acts as a sturdy vessel, keeping your precious cargo secure and stable as you power through each stride. No more annoying bouncing or jostling of your gear to distract you from your run. The design of these vests is specifically tailored to runners, ensuring a snug fit and minimal movement, so you can focus solely on conquering those miles.

Now, here’s a fascinating tidbit for you: running hydration vests aren’t just limited to the running realm. Oh no, my friend! There are other vests out there, each meticulously crafted to cater to the unique needs of different sports and activities. We’re talking about dirt biking, mountain hiking, kayaking, and so much more.

But before you rush off to get your hands on one of these nifty accessories, it’s important to note that choosing the right running hydration vest requires a bit of know-how. You see, not all vests are created equal. Studies and research papers have delved into the intricate details of these gear companions, analyzing factors like breathability, storage capacity, adjustability, and weight distribution.

Do I Need a Running Vest?

Alright, my fellow running enthusiast, let’s get down to business and talk about why you should ditch those generic hydration packs and opt for one specifically designed for runners.

Picture this: you’re out on a hot and sweaty run, pushing yourself to the limits. The sun is beating down on you, and beads of sweat are forming on your forehead. In moments like these, the material of your gear can make all the difference. That’s where the beauty of running hydration vests comes into play. These babies are crafted with lightweight materials that not only keep you dry and comfortable but also wick away that pesky sweat.

But wait, there’s more! These running vests have a secret weapon against bulkiness. They’re designed to be sleek and streamlined, minimizing unnecessary weight and bulk while you conquer the trails. It’s like having a trusty sidekick that stays out of your way, allowing you to move freely and effortlessly

Now, here’s the juicy part: straps. These straps are the unsung heroes of the running vest world. They are specifically engineered to tackle that annoying movement and bouncing issue you might encounter while logging those miles. Think of them as the loyal companions that keep your gear in check, preventing any unwanted distractions along the way.

No more awkward readjustments or annoying jostling—just pure, uninterrupted running bliss.

But let me share some exciting news with you. The popularity of running vests has skyrocketed in recent years, and it’s not without good reason.

The market is booming, my friend, which means more options for you to choose from. And here’s the best part: these vests have evolved to be more functional and comfortable than ever before. It’s like witnessing a revolution in the world of running gear.

Now, let’s break it down to the essentials. When it comes to picking the perfect running hydration vest for you, three key elements come into play: fluid capacity, pack capacity, and fit. These factors are the holy trinity of vest selection, ensuring that you have enough hydration, ample space for your essentials, and a snug fit that feels like a second skin. Trust me, finding that sweet spot is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Fluid Capacity Vs. Pack Capacity

Let’s dive into the exciting world of fluid capacity versus pack capacity. These two factors are the yin and yang of the running hydration vest universe, and understanding their significance is key to finding your perfect match.

First up, we have fluid capacity. Imagine this: you’re out on an epic trail run, the sun blazing overhead, and you’re in dire need of hydration to keep those energy levels up. Fluid capacity is all about the amount of liquid your vest can carry, whether it’s water, sports drinks, or any other refreshing concoction you fancy. Research papers and studies have delved into the optimal fluid intake during exercise, and finding the right balance is crucial for your performance and well-being.

Now, let’s talk numbers. Fluid capacity can vary significantly, ranging from a modest 20 ounces to a whopping two liters. It’s like choosing between a small water bottle and a hydration reservoir that can keep you going for miles on end. Some vests even offer a combination of both bottles and reservoirs, giving you the freedom to customize your hydration experience.

But hold on, my friend, we’re not done yet. While staying hydrated is undoubtedly vital, let’s not forget about the cargo you’ll need on those long, adventurous runs. We’re talking about nutrition products, jackets for unpredictable weather, your trusty phone for capturing stunning trail views, energy gels to power you up, sunglasses to shield your eyes from the elements, a headlamp for those dusky trails, and hey, even some pepper spray for that extra peace of mind. The list goes on and on! Pack capacity is all about how much storage space your vest provides to accommodate all these essentials.

When it comes to pack capacity, size matters. Some vests offer small, compact compartments for those minimalist runners who prefer to travel light. Others boast spacious storage options, allowing you to pack for a long-haul adventure. It’s like choosing between a sleek sports car that glides effortlessly or a mighty SUV that can carry all your gear for a rugged expedition. The choice is yours!

So What’ The Rule?

Now, here’s the golden rule: your choice of running vest capacity depends on the distance and time you plan to conquer. Think of it as a puzzle where the pieces are your miles and the clock ticking away.

The longer you plan to run, the more liquid, food, and extra “gear” you’ll need to keep yourself fueled and prepared for any surprises along the way.

Let’s break it down even further. As a general guideline, your hydration pack should have enough space to accommodate water, food for those energy boosts, and an extra layer of clothing for those unpredictable weather changes.

Now, here’s a secret from the research papers and studies: it’s always better to have more than you think you’ll need while still being a savvy minimalist. You want to be prepared for anything that comes your way, but you also want to avoid the burden of excess weight dragging you down.

So, let’s get practical and talk recommendations. Based on the size of the vest and the length of your runs, here’s a handy guide to help you navigate the capacity dilemma:

  • Runs lasting one hour or less: In most cases, you won’t need a hydration vest for these shorter runs unless circumstances absolutely demand it. It’s like a quick sprint where you can rely on your own thirst-quenching powers.
  • Runs for 1-2 hours: As you venture into the 1-2 hour range, you’ll want a vest with a capacity of about two liters. It’s like having a trusty sidekick that carries enough liquid and fuel to keep you going for a significant stretch.
  • Runs for 2-3 hours: Here’s where things get a bit more exciting. For runs lasting 2-3 hours, you’ll want a vest with a capacity ranging from two to four liters. It’s like upgrading to a spacious cabin that can hold all your necessary supplies, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the extra miles.
  • Runs over 3 hours: Buckle up, my friend, because these runs are for the true endurance warriors. If you plan to conquer the roads and trails for over 3 hours, you’ll want a vest with a capacity ranging from four to ten liters. It’s like strapping on a superpowered exoskeleton that carries all your essentials, making you unstoppable as you tackle the miles ahead.
  • Ultra runs: Ah, the pinnacle of running challenges. For those ultra runs, where distance becomes a true test of mental and physical strength, you’ll want to aim for a vest with a capacity of at least eight liters, or even go for the largest capacity that suits your personal needs. It’s like having a running companion that doubles as your portable basecamp, ensuring you have everything you need to conquer the seemingly impossible.

How Should a Running Vest Fit

Let’s talk about the one factor that can make or break your running vest experience: fit. It’s like finding the perfect pair of running shoes that make you feel like you’re gliding on clouds. Get it right, and you’ll have a harmonious symbiosis between your body and your vest. Get it wrong, and it can feel like a relentless battle of chafing, discomfort, and soreness.

Now, let’s dive into the intriguing world of fit. Just like any other gear, the fit of your hydration pack depends on you and your unique body shape. It’s worth taking the time to compare a few options before settling on your ideal pack. Think of it as going on a shopping spree for the perfect outfit—you want to find that piece that accentuates your best features and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Some running vests come in universal sizing, which can be manually customized to suit your body shape. It’s like having a tailor at your service, ready to adjust the vest to your specific needs. This flexibility allows you to find that sweet spot where the vest feels like a second skin.

But here’s the golden rule: a proper hydration vest should hug your body snugly without suffocating you or hindering your arm movement. It’s like a warm embrace from a supportive friend, providing stability and comfort as you conquer the miles. When the pack is loaded with your gear, it should fit snugly, leaving no room for bouncing or unnecessary movement that can throw off your rhythm.

Pay close attention to the straps as well. You want to avoid any space between the straps and your shoulders, as this can encourage bouncing and unwanted distractions.

Now, if you’re a woman, here’s an extra tip for you. Consider getting a vest with adjustable chest and torso straps. These little gems of customization allow you to tailor the fit above or below your chest, accommodating your unique body shape and providing that extra level of comfort.

Additional Resource – Your guide to weighted vests for running.

Pockets

A running vest with well-designed pockets is your best friend in this scenario. Research papers and studies have shown that organized gear leads to improved performance and reduced stress levels, so don’t underestimate the power of a well-placed pocket.

But here’s the beauty of it: the choice is yours! If your vest features plenty of stash pockets, it’s like having your own personal treasure map. You get to decide which items find their cozy spot in each pocket.

Pole Holders

Are you planning to conquer the trails with the aid of trusty trekking poles? Then you’ll want a running vest that caters to this need. Look for a vest that features a specific spot for securing your poles, ensuring they’re easily accessible whenever you need them. It’s like having a designated parking spot for your pole companions, keeping them safe and within arm’s reach.

Some running vests even offer the option of using a pole quiver that attaches to the bag. It’s like having a magical wand holster, ready to unleash the power of your poles whenever the terrain calls for it. This versatility gives you the freedom to choose the setup that works best for you and your trail conquering ambitions.

Hydration Running Vests – The Conclusion

Now, my fellow gear enthusiasts, we’ve reached the end of our running vest adventure. I hope this comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed purchase. Remember, being well-educated before making any gear decision is key. You’re like a seasoned detective, gathering clues and information to crack the case of the perfect running vest.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you might have. Drop your comments and queries in the section below, and let’s keep the conversation going. In the meantime, thank you for joining me on this gear-packed journey. Keep training strong, embrace the power of pockets and pole holders, and conquer the trails with confidence. Until next time!

Happy trails,

David D.