Categories
Training

Best Calf Exercises & Stretches Before A Run

The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, also known as the calf muscles, are hand in hand, responsible for acceleration, deceleration and power when on a run. For instance, running up a hill and slowing down a decent, would require the use of these strong muscles to ensure you don’t fall on your face on the way down.

On the other hand, weak calf muscles can cause tight muscles, hamstring injuries, hip problems, strains, tendon tears and can also affect other parts of your body as well. Therefore, in order to be in proper form and fitness, your calves require some regular stretching exercises to strengthen them. Also, it is always best practice to see your doctor when performing new fitness exercises due to any intense pain or discomfort experienced.

Wearing high heels that are confined and running shoes with a rigid under-foot may not allow your feet to roll downwards or upwards, thereby restricting movement and forming tight muscles. After a heavy workout than usual or a longer run, the body may, as result be sore and ultimately form swellings that restrict muscle movement and cause tight calf muscles. In this case, if you were moving down a decent, it may result in you falling on your face.

The different techniques used, vary with what requirements need to be met. Stretching can be a good source of temporary relief, and when done regularly, may lead to long-term solutions. There are two categories of stretches: –

 

1. Static stretches.

These are stretches that are held in one position with no vector-direction and help to loosen up muscle filaments.

a) The technical calf raise (heel drop) stretch.

Heel-drop
Heel-drop

This technique is meant to stretch and strengthen the calf muscles: –

  • Stand on a step (or the edge of a treadmill) with your heels hanging off the edge.
  • Hold on to rails or other relevant surface for balance.
  • Rise on your toes for 10 seconds.
  • Very slowly drop your heels below the level of the step.
  • Push up and back down repeatedly.
  • Do 15 sets of this 3 times daily.

To make this a dynamic stretch, slowly pedal your heels back and forth.

b) The seated calf stretch.

seated-calf-stretch
seated-calf-stretch
  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front.
  • Lean forward and grab the arches of your feet.
  • Pull your toes toward your body until a stretch is felt in your calf muscles
  • Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

c)The runner’s lunging calf.

The-runners-lunging-calf
The-runners-lunging-calf
  • Stand one foot away from a wall and face it (you can also just do this with your hands akimbo).
  • Put one leg at the back of the other and keep it straight, ensuring both feet lie flat on the ground.
  • Extend your arms toward the wall for support.
  • If you’re doing this without a wall, lean your upper body forwards as if you’re reaching out for something.
  • You should begin to feel some stress in the calf muscle of the rear leg the more you extend your arms.
  • Hold for not less than ten seconds.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

The wider apart your feet are, the deeper the calf stretch will be. You can keep changing the position of your rear-foot to figure out the position of your tightest calf muscle. It has been noted that, depending on a person’s movement patterns, lifestyle choices and shoes, different parts of your calf will feel tighter than others.

d) The seated resistance-band calf stretch

resistance-band-calf-stretch
resistance-band-calf-stretch

You can also use a yoga strap or a towel: –

  • Obtain a resistance band or a strapping cloth.
  • Extend your legs out in front while sitting on a ground surface.
  • Bundle up the strap-band around one foot.
  • Slowly and lightly pull the strap-band such that your toes are pointing at you.
  • Remain on this position for not less than fifteen seconds.
  • Repeat this technique with the other leg.

e) The downward dog

The-downward-dog
The-downward-dog

The key to getting a calf stretch out of this classic yoga pose is to press your heels toward the ground.

  • Start in a high plank with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Pressing through your fingers and palms, shift your weight back to bring your butt to the ceiling, so your body’s in an inverted V shape.
  • Press your heels toward the ground—the closer they get to the floor, the deeper the calf stretch will be.
  • To stretch the lower part of your calves, bend your knees slightly while you continue to press your heels toward the ground.

f) The standing bent-over calf stretch.

standing-bent-over-calf-stretch
standing-bent-over-calf-stretch

This stretch technique helps you work on your hamstrings and ankles. According to recent study, one muscle group has an effect on the next immediate muscle group and so on, thereby causing a muscle chain. Therefore, this workout helps the entire chain get in shape.

  • Stand with your feet staggered.
  • Bend your back knee and keep your front knee straight as you fold forward.
  • Grab your front foot beneath the toes.
  • Pull up gently on your toes. Here, you will feel the stretch in your calf.
  • Repeat on the other foot.

 

2. Dynamic calf stretches

These stretches involve some activity and vector-direction that help improve flexibility and mobility.

a) The farmer’s walk on toes.

farmers-walk-on-toes
farmers-walk-on-toes

This technique is used to build and strengthen the calf muscles: –

  • Stand upright and tall.
  • Hold a pair of heavy dumbbells by your sides.
  • Standing upright, rise on your toes and walk forward for one minute without stopping for a break.
  • Do this technique three times a day.

b) The explosive jump squat.

explosive-jump-squat
explosive-jump-squat

The squats build calf muscles and helps to generate power: –

  • Stand upright with your feet slightly wider than the width between your shoulders and toes turned a little outward.
  • Fold your hands in front of the chest.
  • Send your hips backward and bend the knees while keeping your chest lifted.
  • As you rise up standing, jump explosively and land softly.
  • Do three 3 times a day with a set of 15 each.

You can use dumbbells by your sides as well. This helps to strengthen the calf muscles.

 

 

Categories
Nutrition Training

Best Breakfast Before A Run – What Should You Fuel Up On?

Running helps to keep the body healthy and in check, hence building a stronger immune system. A runner’s meal pick before a workout is very important and usually baffles mostly new runners. Every runner has a specific breakfast preference in the morning, typically depending on the type of distance they intend to cover running. Packing your system with calories tremendously increases resilience during workouts while enhancing energy boost.

It’s imperative to kick start your workouts at least by taking breakfast to put something in your system. Healthy morning breakfast must always be nutritious to maximize energy boost. 

It’s essential for runners especially regular or professional athletes to always stick to a specified nutritious breakfast to help them keep up during intense workout sessions.

Eating foods containing fats before a workout routine is highly discouraged by a nutritionist in the sense that it causes digestion problems that may be a hindrance to maximizing the full impact of the entire workout.

 

Type of Breakfast Choice Before a Run

We tend to have a wider variety of healthy breakfast recommendations for new runners including eggs, from scrambled to boiled, to high-protein pancakes you name it. Although, a meal is considered healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for breakfast workout.

 

Breakfast with lots of Fiber, for instance, isn’t recommended for a workout as it is known to increase your defecation rate while causing digestive problems.

Runners should steer clear off that fiber-rich breakfast before you start your workout. 

Caffeine and diets having fats are to be avoided for three to six hours before a run to prevent diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic.  

Below is a list of pre-run breakfast choices for runners

  • Chicken 
  • Greek yogurt with berries or sliced bananas
  • Scrambled egg whites 
  • Energy and protein bars
  • Steamed potatoes
  • cheese
  • Protein muffins, or pancakes
  • Pita bread with hummus
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains 

Carbohydrates being the body’s primary energy source, consuming in bits during a workout  can enhance the workout session and the physical performance of a runner. It’s also worth noting that routine exercises reduce the chances of individuals dying from a stroke.

 A pre-run breakfast should be moderate in protein and rich in carbs. Long workouts, for instance, requires a different nutritional approach than normal workouts. 

Nutritionists usually state that the amount of protein or carbohydrates intake normally depends on the intensity of the workout. In most cases regular runner tend to need only 6o grams of carbohydrates while professional athletes need about 90 grams of carbohydrates during a workout.

Incase your uncomfortable eating before a workout, prepare carbohydrate shakes first.  Sports Medicine journal states that carbohydrates that are able to quickly be absorbed by the system, tend to enhance a runner’s performance more compared to a solid carbohydrate that are consumed before a morning workout.

 

Consuming carbohydrates especially in liquid for is believed to boost performance and endurance during a workout routine and is highly encouraged by health nutritionists. An effective workout routine is known to improve blood flow to all parts of the body.

Protein power breakfast

Choosing the best breakfast prior to a workout session can be challenging especially for new runners. The breakfast should nonetheless be packed with considerate quantities of protein. A Nutritionist published guide stated that runners that consumed huge chunks of proteins prior to a workout enhanced glycogen synthesis in their systems.

Protein intake is known to play a key role in the increase of muscle structure in the body. Also, proteins are highly recommended for a pre-workout meal in that, in order for it to properly digest, it required plenty of energy compared to carbohydrates or fats. This, in turn, will make the body to use more energy-burning more calories during both digestion and workout.

In case you’re on a weight-loss goal mission, then consume protein before a workout. Also, running triggers the brain to pump out two feel-good effects. Running has been found to help cure insomnia, studies have shown that running helps to improve sleep.

Breakfast Choice 

By now, your pre-workout breakfast choice has been narrowed down to the most convenient for your workout goal plan. Protein is essentially the main priority on your breakfast list in case your intention is to burn more calories. The runner’s workout goals, duration and workout routine intensity will also influence their food choices.

Some mornings before workouts runners may tend to have lost their appetites and during this situation, they are encouraged to at least take protein shakes to give them a kickstart.

Snacks containing protein are an excellent choice too. Runners should always avoid sugary snacks at all costs. A healthy snack is always rich in protein ingredients.

Whole grains also make a great breakfast choice for runners if consumed in moderation. Most grain high in fiber causes digestive problems before workouts.

Also not to forget, before, during and after a workout to always quench your thirst to avoid being dehydrated or encounter severe headaches, fatigue and other illnesses associated with dehydration.


In conclusion, a meal heavy on protein or protein juice consumed during breakfast prior to the early workouts is recommended by nutritionists because proteins are easily digestible and help to provide sufficient energy for a workout.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Nutrition Training

Benefits Of Fasted Cardio – Our Guide

Does doing cardio on an empty stomach come with any health benefits? In this article, we are going to find out if indeed fasted cardio is beneficial to your health.

What Is Fasted Cardio? Exactly?

Fasted cardio is cardiovascular training performed when a person is hungry or has not taken food before four to six hours, making the digestive system no longer processing food.

10 benefits of fasted cardio

  • Fat Loss

Fasted cardio most rewarding benefit is that it’s a mechanism for burning body fat. Fasted cardio usually works by tapping on the fat reserves for energy that thus fuel your workouts, instead of using energy from the food you have consumed.

  • Easier weight loss

Not only is fasted cardio a fat burner, but it is also a weight loss enhancer. Weight loss comes typically down to the calories your body takes against the calories your body burns during work out routines.

Weight loss is gained in that it burns more calories than it takes hence making it easier to lose weight if that’s your goal. Also, fasted cardio helps the body burn fat in regions like the stomach area that regular workouts find it challenging to do.

  • Improves cognitive health 

Fasted cardio plays a very fundamental role in your cognitive health in that; it reduces the state of degenerative brain tissue. The fasted cardio usually is intense. Hence, by the end of the day, the body often is exhausted and therefore needs to replenish itself and thus to make us sleep soundly, thus improving cognitive health.

  • Faster metabolism rate

Fasted cardio helps to boost the body’s metabolism rate, in the sense that you burn more calories faster and as a result, generate more energy. People with higher metabolism have more power and are more resilient during workouts. Gaining weight is also slow fat is lost naturally during an intense fasted cardio routine. In other words, it is said to maximize your fat-burning potential.

  • Stronger immune system

It has scientifically been proven that lack of exercise can weaken the immune system and make you susceptible to illness and diseases. Fasted cardio has been known to strengthen the immune system, so you become less vulnerable to infections. The fasted cardio activates the sympathetic nervous system, a pathway that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

When fasted cardio happens, hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood and activate a cellular reaction that suppresses cytokines, including TNF.

TNF is useful in that it boosts immune systems that, in turn, respond by killing harmful cells in the body.

  • Better physique 

Fasted cardio helps promote muscle tone, helping you to achieve a leaner, more ripped, and attractive, healthier body.

  • Stress reliever

Fasted cardio helps to increase endorphins, which are known as happy chemicals known to make us feel good. While under stress, you tend to have tense muscles or insomnia. The worry and discomfort are eliminated after a fasted cardio workout that calms the nerves typically.

  • Reduces blood sugar levels

Fasted cardio can cause low blood sugar, which leads to feelings of lightheadedness or lethargy. Because our body derives energy from a different source when we do fasted cardio, this energy can come from muscle; hence, some may experience muscle loss, especially among older individuals. However, it is always better to consult your doctor before doing a fasted cardio workout if you happen to have any metabolic health issues.

  • Performance endurance

Research published in one of the  Applied Physiology journals conducted a test that compared the same individuals working out fasted cardio against when they fed before their regular cardio session. It was later found out that over six weeks while training using the same intensity, those who worked out in fasted cardio showed more improvement in their endurance exercise performance compared to those who ate before training.

  • Improves heart muscle

The fasted cardio makes the heart stronger because the exercise is more intense and, the intenser the training, the better it is for the heart. At the most basic level, fasted cardio involves increasing your heart rate without eating a pre-workout meal or snack beforehand.

People who practice sporadically fasted cardio have a schedule that is more accommodating to fasted training since they’re restricting calorie intake for a few hours or don’t consume any food at all for a full day or longer, which is highly not recommended by nutritionists.

In conclusion, fasted cardio is the best workout if you want to remain healthy, except for those who have metabolic health issues like diabetes are allow encouraged to consult their doctors first. Always remember to make sure that you eat healthily after an intense fasted cardio workout. There are many post work out meal recipes that contain the right carbs and protein necessary to replenish the energy your body lost. Also, after an intense fasted cardio workout, individuals tend to have a tremendous appetite than those who do the regular cardio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Marathons

10k To Half Marathon Training Plan – The Most Efficient Way!

10k To Half Marathon Training Plan – The Most Efficient Way!

 

The half marathon is a long-distance activity, which requires one to  endure the stress that comes with the race. A build-up to the marathon will call for great discipline and regular exercising to achieve the goal. Getting to the right shape for running a marathon would not be done in a day, but over time, with different running sessions weekly for some time.

What distance should you cover in half marathon race?

 

Globally one needs to run for a distance of 21kilometers or 13.1 miles to be qualified as having run half marathon.

Why is a running plan necessary

A good training plan-which must entail the whole training period- is essential because it helps you put together all different sessions per week in an orderly manner. That way, you will be able to progressively build your body capacity well, and reduce the risk of injury. A successful plan also ensures that you do not do excessive or under training in between.

How long should I train for half marathon?

 

The training period for half marathon will depend on the time you have at your disposal; you can do it all year round if you like. However, it is suggested that it should be at least 12 to 16 weeks before the race day. Do not kill yourself. Just allow some good time for training for you to gain that speed and endurance capacity.

First things first

An excellent foundation to build on your training should be a 12-week plan. Run at least three times a week; a good policy should factor in gradual increases in distance and speed. For newbies, your target should not be the speed at first, but how to finish the range. And for seasoned runners, you could be looking at how to reduce that time to the finish line.

Stretch that run but go easy

During a marathon run, endurance turns out to be the most critical limiting aspect, especially for new runners. It is advisable to do 11 miles in every training session at least to make it during a half-marathon race. As you take that long run, do not go out too fast, run comfortable as you occasionally take walking breaks, this will be the best strategy to build the required endurance.

Try to spread out your session by alternating some tougher moves with lighter ones throughout the week. It also pays to chip in challenging fast paces in between the long runs. A common incremental rule is to add 10% of the miles done on every subsequent week.

If you know you will run in a hilly place, then it is essential to train for such terrain too. Choose a location with ups and downs, then start of with short climbing and descending turns for about 60 seconds initially. Later on once you feel comfortable, then seek longer hill runs at least once in a week.

Take breaks for the body to rest

The body adapts well to training when given time to rest. Overworking joints and muscles could result in injury easily. Alternatively, you can take on other exercises like cycling or swimming during the other break days.

Running wears out your muscles and causes raptures too, resting is crucial since it allows your body to recuperate and bounce back.

A few days to the real marathon, you should take rest and stop exercising, sleep early, and have a good breakfast before you hit the road.

Supply enough energy to your body

Running a marathon burns a lot of energy and loss of water from the body. Ensure your body’s performance is maximized by eating well throughout the day with plenty of water to replenish lost carbs and water.

Eating little but more often of the right food works well for runners. Proteins and carbohydrates make a good source of energy, avoid high-fat snacks and chocolates. After a long hard run always refuel with carbohydrates and proteins to replenish glycogen and repair muscles

Set clear goals

Excellent marathon training entails an excellent and constant pace, set a comfortable pace for yourself that will not see you bolt out in the beginning and burn out before getting to the finish point.

What happens when you miss some sessions

In case you happen to miss out on some training sessions, never try to add lots of miles to your schedule. The best thing to do is going back to where you left. In situations where you miss due to injury, it is advisable not to continue straining the injury. You can decide to cross-train with other activities that will not worsen the affected area like swimming, such activities will still help retain your fitness.

Does one need strength-training exercises on top of roadwork?

Definitely yes, muscles and joints benefit from such activities, which improves racing times without the risk of injury. Di Joseph, a coach at Peaks Coaching Group, recommends Kettle-bell exercises; according to him, the practice strengthens core muscles that are important for movement. Such conditioning workouts improve mobility, stability, and strength, which are critical for any marathon.

Does the shoe type matter?    

Before you start training, get the right type of shoe first. If you use the wrong running shoes or worn-out shoes, you run a risk of injuring yourself.

What if I feel daunted or frustrated

Some marathon trainees feel frustrated at some point by lack of tangible progress during the training period. If it happens to you, then stay calm; every single day you practice, believe me, it makes things better. After a series of such training, you will notice how better you have become since you started the program.

What about frustration during the real race? If you have an overwhelming feeling, what most coaches advise runners is, try to break up the race into chunks by focusing on some shorter milestones at a time. That way, you quickly cover the distance without a lot of anxiety over the range.

The D-day

After weeks of training, that time finally arrives for the challenge. Before you start the race, you should do some stretch ups and warm up first. Have your water with you if there are no designated water points before embarking on the marathon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Marathons

Average 5k Time By Age – What Should You Be Aiming For?

What Is The

Average Time People Run a 5k Marathon?

Are you planning to participate in a 5K marathon run? May be your city has organized a marathon race and you have plans to take part. It is pretty obvious then you are wondering what such marathon entails in terms of training and how long it will take you to finish the race?

If you are new don’t be anxious about it. For the old-timers just dig in like always and race.

Running 5K mostly organized as fun run is one of the best exercises for shedding off some weight.

Completing a 5K marathon is not a hard task. Most people will do it, and you can also be one of them. 5K is a 5 Kilometers (3.1 Miles) long race. The 5K is the short form of 5000 Meters which is equivalent to 5 Kilometers since 1000 Meters is 1 Kilometer (KM).  1 Mile being equal to 1.6 Km, 5Km is equivalent to 3.1 Miles

Many people starting out running get anxious about their first run. They will wonder about do’s and don’ts,  what kind of attire to wear, what to eat on the material day, how much water to take, how long it will take them to run the marathon so on and so forth.

But if you are a rookie into running don’t be anxious about it. Completing a 5K marathon is not a hard task. Most people will do it including you if you want to.

World Champions Runners

As at 2019 the current IAAF world records  holder for the outdoor 5K are:

  • Men’s category:                                               Julien Wanders, 13:29
  • Women’s category:                                         Sifan Hassan, 13:44

Average 5k Time By Age

The following data shows the average 5K time for age and sex.

Age Group          Men                      Women

0-15                 34:43                     37:55

  • 16-19                 29:39                     37:39
  • 20-24                29:27                     36:22
  • 25-29                31:09                     36:16
  • 30-34                31:27                    38:41
  • 35-39                 33:44                     37:21
  • 40-44                32:26                    38:26
  • 45-49                33:13                     39:19
  • 50-54                 34:30                    41:20
  • 55-59                 37:33                    45:18
  • 60-64                 40:33                     45:49
  • 65-99                 42:59                     50:13

You can also rate yourself with the below rages. If you run;

  • 12 to 14 minutes you are an Olympic athlete, best of the best.
  • 14 -17 Minutes you are very competitive and among the best runners in the world.
  • 17-21 Minutes you are fast and enough to enter in enter in to paid marathons
  • 21-25 Minutes You are an average runner
  • 25-30 Minutes you are fit to run
  • 30-35 Minutes Runs for fun
  • 35-50 Minutes not good or unfit
  • Above 50 Minutes trying to run

You want to throw your age in to a Calculator and see the suggested time you may take?

Age       Average Time

0 – 15  34:43

16 – 19  29:39

20 – 24  29:27

25 – 29 31:09

30 – 34 31:27

35 – 39 33:44

40 – 44 32:26

45 – 49 33:13

50 – 54 34:30

55 – 59 37:33

60 – 64 40:33

65 – 99 42:59

 

Average 5k Time For 40 Year Old

A 40 year old running a 5k marathon is also an achievable task. What is important is to put a daily schedule to prepare for the race. If you are a 40 year old and you want to participate in 5K race you need to be in good shape and then be mentally ready to do the run. If you are wondering the time to take in running a 5K distance to know that the average recorded for people of 40 years age is 35.26.

Average 5k Time For 40 Year Old Woman

Most of the female runners doing a 5k run will be doing 34 – 40 minutes. That’s an average figure for those physically fit.

Average 5k Time For 50 Year Old Female

For a 50 year old female a 5K race is still an achievable feat as long as she is reasonably fit and been training. Training can take 4 weeks and then include a pre-race fitness exercises such as swimming cycling etc. For this age you will be realistic to expect and average finish time of 34:30 for the 5K marathon.average 5k time for 50 year old male

For the obvious reasons an average guy of 50 years will complete the race much faster than a female counterpart of the same age. While a woman of such age will take 41:20, men take average time of 34:30 to complete the 5K marathon.

According to ACE fitness HYPERLINK “acefitness.org”organisation it is important to do exercises apart from running. Exercises like goblet squads, single-leg dead lifts, lateral lunges, help improve your lower body and strength to pace. These exercises are of important to a 50 year old who wants to run 5k marathon. Having done due preparations for the marathon a 50 year old male will be expected to spend an average of 34 minutes to complete the race.

Average 5k Time For 60 Year Old Male

At this age or beyond you need to set up a good fitness plan. This is important and should be incorporated within the training schedule. Light exercises such as swimming, walking, cycling, and elliptical training is good.  A 60 year old will spend approximately 40:33 minutes to complete 5K.

Average 5k Time For Beginners

For a total novice runner, 5K is not a hard feat to achieve. One important thing to note is whether you run and end up walking or you jog it all the way through, the most important part about a race is to complete it, don’t forget that. If you are new to running, or have just started running don’t compare yourself with others, doing that is being unrealistic. You should remember, everybody is unique and our bodies respond differently but to complete the race successfully what is needed is patience and practice.

 

Prior to the marathon D-day, it is important to do some preparations exercises if you have not been in to running before. This will prepare you physically and mentally for the big day of the marathon. It is good to prepare the body and mind before the big run and you can achieve this by doing some t test runs to build up resilient and endurance. New people into running can do training sessions of 5 minutes to 10 minutes, gradually increasing the training duration.

Here are also some more fitness exercises and practice to start doing before the marathon.

Now, after due preparations, it good to have some expectations of the time you will take to accomplish running a 5k race. As a new kid on the block the average time you expect having others done so is 32:45 minutes.  For a beginner to do anything below that is too ambitious to expect. But with harder training, exercises and time, you can achieve much better results than thisAverage 5k Time For Men

Normally men run faster than women. These are statistics showing men’s 5K run time.

You may want to know the average time your age group will take to run 5K marathon. Below is a recorded average 5K time for different age groups.

Tips To Get Faster

If you want to improve your speed and complete the race in less time than the average Joe you need to follow the following tips to achieve that goal;

  • Eating well, healthy food is key.
  • Train for endurance. Improve endurance by doing interval training and incorporate treadmill and hilly terrain training.
  • Morning test runs
  • Good sleep and resting are essential.
  • Work out to increase muscle mass.
  • Warm-up before the race. Do it 15 before the race.

If you want to get better results than the average following is a training schedule for a different category of runners.

 

Beginner         Intermediate Advanced
Week 1 Walk  Run

75      25

Walk     Run

50          50

Walk    Run

10         90

Week 2 60      40 30          70  10         90
Week 3 30      70 10          90  0           100
Week 4 10      90 0            100  0           100

Now you know your category is you are ready to go and race.

 

Categories
Clothing

Benefits Of Compression Clothing For Running – Our Guide

People running for sport or as a lifestyle choice have been seen wearing compression garments. It doesn’t matter the level or event, these articles of clothing come in all sorts of designs, colours and sizes. You wouldn’t be mistaken to think they are a fashionable trend.

These garments should not be confused with tight clothing like leggings and shape wear. Their purpose is to apply variable and considerable pressure to the skin. They can cover the whole body, upper body, lower body or partial parts of the body like feet or arms.

Compression clothing is popular among professional athletes and the average Joe. The ordinary tee shirt, sweats and baggy shorts have been replaced by sleek, tight and aerodynamic garments. Fitness buffs all over the world believe these garments give them an edge.

In this article, we will discuss where compression clothing came from and how they can benefit you as a runner.

History

Compression clothing came about in the medical field. Patients suffering problems in their lymphatic and vascular systems benefited from the use of compression garments. These were clinically designed with the patient in mind, for a purpose and worn under medical supervision.

Other clinical uses that have evolved include helping provide comfort for those on the autism spectrum or suffering anxiety disorders. They are also used in the treatment of sleep apnea and scars.

Benefits of wearing compression clothing

  • Increased stability
  • Increased circulation
  • Increased blood flow
  • More oxygen to the muscles
  • More nutrients delivery
  • Improved sensory feedback
  • Supports muscles
  • Reduced vibration from impact
  • Reduce muscle fatigue
  • Reduce pain and inflammation on previous injuries
  • Prevents lactic acid build-up
  • Promotes good movement patterns
  • Prevents deep vein thrombosis
  • Keeps warm in cold weather
  • Protects from exposure to sun’s UV rays
  • Aids in recovery and rehabilitation

Breaking it down to an easily digestible explanation, compression causes muscle relaxation. Blood vessels expand; arteries walls dilate increasing blood flow. The walls of the veins constrict. Oxygen increases and reduces any trauma after the physical activity.

Many studies have been conducted in the use of compression garments. No evidence has been found to support any physiological benefits. The conclusion is that they provide a perception of security. Director of Research at Penn State University’s Centre for Sports Medicine William Kraemer, PhD, says that “People feel good in them so they do better.”

Some studies state the effects of compression clothing include reducing amount of muscle oscillation and the bio mechanics of running resulting in the improvement of neuro-transmission and mechanical efficiency.

However, none of these studies can dispute that when used correctly compression clothing does not negatively impact performance.

People with loose skin also swear by the benefits of wearing compression clothing while running. The skin is secured tightly and does not jiggle around. Friction especially around the thighs is reduced and sometimes completely eliminated, providing comfort and allowing the runner to focus.

Types of compression clothing

There are many attractive designs and colours available. They are made to be form fitting and often from spandex like materials like Lycra. Some brands create blend materials of Lycra and natural fibres. The stretch is maintained while the cotton absorbs perspiration.

Other factors that differentiate the clothing are the fabric yarn counts, knit patterns, structures and elasticity levels.Other factors that differ are the fabric yarn counts, knit patterns, structures and elasticity levels.

For the lower body, shorts, pants and leggings will provide support for your butt, hips, knees, legs and thighs.

For your ankles and feet, full length stockings and socks will do the job.

The torso and arms can be covered by shirts and vests. The shirts can be sleeveless, short and long sleeved. There are also compression sleeves that work exclusively on the arms.

Innovation in the industry continues and there are new products being developed. Some garments exert pressure on muscle groups using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) membrane layers that are on the surface of the textile.

From taping qualities to compression clothing that increases pressure as the runner moves, manufacturers are clearly trying to improve the products and increase the benefits of their use.

Costs vary depending on the type of clothing and brand. Popular brands include Speedo, Under Amour, Nike, Adidas and Champion.

Recommendations

Wearing compression clothing is a personal choice.

Finding the right fit will depend on your needs. It is advisable to make sure you have no medical conditions that compression clothing would complicate like pregnancy and other physical ailments.

Take the following features into account when making a decision:

  • Construction
  • Fit
  • Size
  • Body shape
  • Mechanical properties of the material(s)
  • Length of running event

These garments can be worn while running and after running. Those with lower compression are best used post running because the heart rate and activity levels are lowered.

Use of these garments should be done sparingly. The body can get too dependent on them and this is not healthy.

British Triathlete Kimberley Morrison says that “Compression garments support the race, training stress and recovery in my day-to-day life. Performance is key each and every day when we strive to better our best. If we can perform optimally and reduce stress and increase rest, as athletes we’ll get stronger, fitter and faster.”

 

 

Categories
Training

Benefits Of Running In The Morning – Are There Any?

Benefits Of Running In The Morning-Are There Any?

Keeping fit by running has gained popularity over the years as one of the most effective way to exercise. People have different reasons as to why the run; some do it to prevent related metabolic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. Others do run to lose weight and keep away from obesity. Some run to just enhance self-confidence looks and many other reasons. But all agree to it that, it indeed improves an individuals well being as well as restore vitality.

So what time of the day is the best for running, morning?

Let us explore why running in the morning is considered the best time. Most fitness coaches claim that it all depends on individual preference as to what time of the day is best for running; neither has research also shown any evidence of some specific benefits accrued to exercising at particular times of the day. However, a large number of people prefer to hit the track during early hours. Are there any benefits reaped by running in the morning?

Morning schedule helps maintain regular running routine

Atypical working or school day is strenuous and very unpredictable. Whether one undertakes physical duties in the field or has a daily office workday, the activities drain the body’s energy leaving behind a physically and mentally exhausted body at the end of the day. Again, nobody likes to embark on anything straining when they are tired; what this means is that the chances of exercising while fatigued at the end of working day are slim.

Secondly, other unexpected commitments that crop up later in the day, for example, an impromptu meeting at work or a last minute decision to have dinner with a friend in the evening will keep you held up. All these events will definitely interrupt your training schedule. But once you pick on a morning running routine, it becomes easier to sustain the sessions and free up most of the days time for overtime work and evening social activities.

It is safer and convenient running in the morning

At dawn, the level of human activities are less; fewer cars and machinery are operational at this time of the day, hence less pollution from exhaust gases and noise. Running at such times also makes it safe in several ways; for those running by the road sides are unlikely to be hit by vehicles.

Besides, running at times of less polluted air reduces the amount of carbon monoxide and other exhaust fumes. Such pollutants are known to irreversibly combine with hemoglobin, and thus reduce the concentration of oxygen-carrying molecules in your blood. Furthermore, morning temperatures are low, that, coupled with proper oxygen levels in the blood increases exercise endurance which leads to the desired physical and health outcomes.

Running in the morning favors your body biorhythm

Naturally, bodies have a rhythm clock that helps initiate certain changes at different times of the day, known as the circadian cycle. What happens is; during early hours of the morning even before you wake up, some physiological processes are kicked up among them; increased heart rate and metabolism, which prepares you for the wake up time. Research has also shown that for men, levels of testosterone gets elevated in early hours of the day and drops as the day progresses. Therefore, running in the morning means you are exercising when your body is at its best physiological state.

Can you reduce more weight when you run in the morning

The international Journal of Obesity in its 2019 publication, indicated that effective weight regulation is related to the exercising time. People who exercised in the morning had better weight reduction as compared to those who did practice at later hours of the day. How is that possible? Come to think of it this way; 10 hours after you had your last meal, you are ideally fasting. You do not have any glucose circulating in your blood at all,  while sleeping(inactive state), your system has converted all the free blood-sugar into glycogen and stored it in the muscle cells. So, when you hit the track in the morning, you basically burn all the glycogen reserves. As you continue running on an empty stomach, the energy hungry body goes for the fatty acid reserves which are the body’s energy savings account. That is how you shade-off those extra pounds by running in the morning.

Generate those key hormones by running in the morning

What drives you? Living things are regulated mainly by chemical compounds. Your body relies on hormones, endorphins, and other neurochemicals to trigger several phenomena. Think of moods, alertness, flight-state in the face of adversity, excitement and even sadness. Running in the morning has been shown to elevate adrenaline and endorphin levels; these two hormones improve alertness and energize the body to capably face daily challenges.

Does your mental and psychological state improve when you run in the morning

When you awake up from a good night sleep, the mind is clear and fresh and everything else around usually quieter and tranquil. Exercising improves blood flow to all parts of the body, brains included. Therefore, jogging in the morning is the most conducive time to reflect and reorganize your thoughts and build positive mental energy since you are not overwhelmed by the bustles of life at the moment.

Run in the morning to improve your sleep quality

Running in the morning contributes to better long deep sleep at night. One study published in the Sleep Medicine Journal in 2017, showed that running in the morning greatly improved sleep in subjects who initially experienced difficulties falling asleep at night. These positive results can be attributed to the fact that, the body gets subjected to optimal activity at its peak in the morning and slowly calms down as the day progress perfectly matching the circadian pattern.

Now that you know benefits of running in the morning. What are you waiting for? plan to run in the morning and reap the benefits.

 

Categories
Training

Benefits Of Running 5k 3 Times A Week – Find Out Here

The phrase ‘Go big or go home’ has often been used to inspire people to break barriers especially when it comes to exercises. In the case of track, only the ones with sedentary lifestyles would choose to ‘Go home.’ Consistency, on the other hand, is often rewarding and the benefits that accrue from it start to show almost simultaneously!

So what if you’re new to the sport? Technically, everyone with a working set of legs has run at one point or twenty in time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started or you’re the athletic type. The results are arguably the same. However, if you’re just starting, don’t expect to break certain records any time soon. That said, here are some of the benefits of consistency in running 5K 3 Times a week.

  1. Runner’s High Is Not a Myth

Disclaimer; this is not a laid out scheme to get you to exercise more. It has been tested and proven. If you’re a junkie and are looking to quit, then running is the next best alternative.

According to reports based on a scientific study, running and other vigorous exercises compels the brain to pump out two feel-good chemicals. These are endorphins and endocannabinoids.

The latter is not so different from the THC found in pot that’s responsible for altering one’s mood. Most marathon runners have often experienced a burst of happiness and relaxation after running a 5k marathon.

If that’s just from running once, the possibility of doing it three times a week is limitless. It is highly likely that your mood and perception of life and everything, in general, will shift towards the positive.

  1. Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular diseases and several other ailments.

By now, you must have heard how daily exercise improves health and lifestyle. Running in itself is a dose for longevity and other health benefits.

For instance, some researchers from Holland discovered that running reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and the silent ischemia.They also found out, that continuous running also reduces the chances of individuals dying from a stroke.

Running 5K 3 times a week also reduces the chances of developing cancer and other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

If you’re one of those people who have to endure insomnia, studies have shown that running helps to improve sleep. In others, consistency has paid off in increased concentration during the day as well as an overall improved mood.

  1. Need help burning fat and calories? Try doing a 5K three times a week

Cardio is one of the fastest ways to burn calories – Just ask your gymnast! Before you ask, yes running 5K three times a week could help you lose a few extra pounds.

However, the trick is to do it smartly. For novices, a low-intensity run is proven to burn more fat and calories than a vigorous exercise. In doing so, you will be torching tons of calories as well.

Nonetheless, most runners don’t realize that hunger is a post-running after effect. As a result, their recovery food is mostly geared towards junk food.

Some sources even suggest that even with a healthy meal after running, some people often experience weight gain instead of a loss. This is either caused by an imbalance between the calories burnt and calorie intake.

In such cases, it is highly recommended to upscale your running with less flat terrain and hillier tracks. This way, you are likely to improve your weight loss journey.

  1. Running gets you toned fast.

Like all exercises, running also helps in building muscles. It’s a proven leg workout that works on your inner and outer thighs down to your calves.

The advantage of running over a regular gym workout is the evenness of muscle development.

As logic dictates, you require both feet to run and thereby subject them to the same intensity. All your leg muscles; including your gluteus maximus, quads and hamstrings will all receive the same exercise.

On the same note, your leg muscles aren’t the only part of your body that receives a workout. Deep muscles in your abdomen and core are also stimulated at the same time.

Forget about Naruto running, normal running invokes power in your core that transfers it to a rhythmic swinging of your arms. In no time, you should experience a leaner and more toned body.

  1. Running is a form of Meditation.

Tired of paying for Yoga classes? Why not put on your running sneakers and take a break from all life’s stresses by going on a jog? Forget about your costly therapist or personal trainer; running is free!

It lets you get in your own thoughts, fight depression and even anxiety.
Moreover, studies have shown that running jostles up the mind to bring out some very creative ideas as well as solutions to problems.

Others also find music very calming and therapeutic. Current technology comes bundled with smartwatches, fitness trackers and wireless earphones that could set you up in your world of thought.

What do I need to run 5K 3 times a week?

Supplies heaped with comfort are key here as the journey ahead is often treacherous with the risk of injury. You’ll need at least more than one pair of running shoes – preferably sneakers and socks.

Also, try doing it with light, sweat-resistant clothes like T-shirts or vests. You can check out some benefits from compression clothing here.

When should I start?

You can do it right now if you want to reap all the said benefits. However, experts recommend that the right time to do it early in the morning or late in the evening when the sun’s not too hot.

Also, a proper work-out diet plan is essential before embarking on track. Here is a list of our top picks on what you should eat before a run.

You do not want to pass out during your first run. Should you also experience some discomfort such as back pain, here are some known reasons and remedies. Remember, consistency is key for the best results.