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The Future of Running?

5 Dec

Although running will never become a major sport such as basketball or football, it is still growing at a decent pace. There are more marathons, half-marathons, 5k races and all of the other distance races than there were ten years ago. Will there be 5x the amount of races now in ten years?

Some runners are also starting to go with a more minimalist feel. It is thought that running with minimal shoes may help prevent injuries and could help make your feet stronger. What will happen in ten years? Will we all be running barefoot like the caveman use to?

70% of runners I see by themselves are listening to some kind of music playing device. Years ago, you would see almost no one wearing these devices and just listening to nature. Will 100% of people be listening to music while running in 2020?

You get what I am trying to bring up here… running is changing. In fact, in case you didn’t notice, everything in the world is changing. No one is certain what running as a sport and running as a hobby will provide us with in the next 10…20…25 years.

  • National Running Series The National Running Series could be a group of races that partner with each other and provide a sum of money to the winners of certain races. The majority of races in this moment of time are standing independently. If you could combine some races together (it could be marathons, 5k races or anything else), it could go a long way in making running more popular.
  • Vibram Five Fingers If you don’t know what these shoes are, you are missing out. (Here they are). The thought process with these shoes are that they mimic running barefoot, but also protect your foot with a covering. Once everyone starts hearing that barefoot running is good for your legs, they will want to go after it. They also want to protect their feet and these shoes are good. And who knows what advancements will happen in years to come…
  • Less Injuries Because of more barefoot and minimalist running, these techniques may help cause LESS injuries to the feet, ankles and knees. Medical technology is also improving at a crazy rate and will help cure injuries caused to the average runner. I think (knock on wood) that running injuries reached their peak a couple years ago.
  • 100% iPod users iPods have grown over the past couple years thanks to their creator, Apple. People want to listen to music while they run and what is better than a nice and trusty iPod. iPods also have apps in which you can track your running distance and speed and that promises to grow within years.

The next ten years in the running community will be very important. Either they can make some amazing breakthroughs… or fall down.

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Strong Abs for Strong Runners

4 Dec

It’s simple, the better abs you have, the better runner you have a chance of being. You may not have the abs that professional athletes have, but your abs can still be strong. Abs support your whole torso and will help prevent back injuries. These abs of yours will also help out with your posture and your hip movement.

It may sound daunting at first, but starting off small is the first thing that everyone does. This includes not just running, but also school work and other sports. There are a great amount of ab workouts that you CAN and SHOULD do if you want to be a quality runner.

  • Sit-ups  Probably the most generic ab workout in the country. When you think of strong abs and how to get them, sit-ups may come first to your mind. It’s a pretty simple exercise: lie down on the ground (get a partner to hold down your feet), bend your knees, cross your arms across your chest (not back of you head, as that will cause stress to neck) and try to elevate your body up to your knees.
  • Planks This is the ab exercise that I find most useful and it is one that can strengthen both your main abs and your side abs. Planks help your abs more than sit-ups and they will also help improve back strength. Lie face down, then elevate yourself on your forearms and hold that position as long as possible. For side planks, lie down on your side and elevate yourself using your forearm that is touching the ground.
  • Bicycle The bicycle exercise will improve both your ab muscles and your hip muscles. This is a pretty simple one to do as you lie down on your back and “pedal” like a bike. Don’t move your legs in a circle while pedaling. Instead, move them forward and back to feel like the real exercise working out your abs.

Other exercises you can do to work out your abs include…

Vertical sit-ups, captains chair, leg lift hold and much more

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon; Las Vegas

3 Dec

Las Vegas will be holding the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon this Sunday, December 4th. This marathon (and half-marathon) takes runners in and out of Las Vegas. Along the way, you would be able to see casinos, neighborhoods, restaurants and and much more. It is one of the oldest marathons in the USA as it was established in 1967.

The Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series owned by the Competitor Group. There are 27 marathons that are part of this series. The marathon in Las Vegas will be experimenting with a new course that they have never done before.

The marathon may also be good for the economy as the impact may be near millions of dollars, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The expected registration is in the 40,000’s and with the price being charged on all these runners, no wonder Las Vegas wants to bring it back year after year.

Could this be a start to marathons becoming a economic competition in the USA? If revenue keeps reaching these marks, then it is very possible.

 

Mass Dash Relay; Experience Worth Everything

29 Nov

You make think running a 5k is hard. It is. You may think running a half marathon is hard. Very Hard. You may think running a marathon is hard. You better believe it. Why don’t you try to run 200 miles and tell us what that is like?

Well, not 200 miles ALL by yourself.

The Mash Dash is an event where 2-12 runners combine and run 200 miles from the western area of Massachusetts all the way towards the Boston area. The starting point to this race is Mount Greylock and finishers stop near the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.  It is a relay race with 36 points in which runners can switch off with teammates. Along the way, there are great sights such as ponds and lakes, mountains and rivers. While running (or waiting to run), you pass the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. There are many other places where you can stop and grab something to eat or grab something to drink.

With two vans operating at one time, the running is continuous. Even when dark hits, you are still running and the vans are still following. Want to run in the complete dark except for a head light and reflective vest? Well, then this could fit what you want.

The proceeds of the race go towards the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of Neal Webber who fought cancer for four years and sadly past away in 2008. The Mass Dash has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the JF and DF and hope of curing cancer. 1000 dollars (team entry) goes directly towards helping these charities.

About the Mass Dash Relay:

People per team: 2-12

Where: MASSACHSUSETTS…all of it!

When: July 14-15, 2012

Charity: Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Team Cost: $1000 (if you raise $3000, your team fee is waived)

For more on the Mass Dash, visit their homepage.

Poll #3, What is your favorite type of running?

26 Nov

Blind Teen Running Cross Country? Totally!

25 Nov

Usually, training and running cross country is hard enough. But, now try to close your eyes and avoid roots and bumps while running. Well, this is what Ohio runner, Sami Stoner, has to deal with day in and day out.

The 16 year old and junior at Lexington High School is legally blind and is believed to be the first blind runner to run cross country with a guide dog in the state of Ohio. Her golden retriever also guides her around school during the day. The dog, Chloe, helps her move around roots and bumps and Sami has to feel how the dog is moving to tell where she should move.

Her personal record (as of October) is a time of 29:53. She also has to start 20-30 seconds behind all the other runners so she does not get spiked by runners in front of her. Along the race course, she is known to pass some other runners.

So next time you run, just be grateful for what you can see.

Cross-Training Actually Helps

25 Nov

A great amount of runners of dealt with shin splints, runner’s knee and plenty of other injuries. When these injuries first start happening to beginner runners, a common thought is ‘There goes my fitness level’. You may be training for a race and give up once your injury occurs to you because you think that the injury will stop you from training. Well, that can be wrong…

It may not be able to cross-train with major injuries, but you can still train with smaller running injuries such as shin splints and runner’s knee. Different exercises will work different parts of you body and will be put less pressure on parts of the body than running does. You can also cross-train if your not injured and that can help your overall time. There is a long list of cross-training exercises that you can do if injuries may be slowing you down or you just want to get a good exercise in to change up the routine.

Biking is one of the most popular things for injured runners to pick up if they want to cross-train. If you bike enough, your aerobic endurance will either stay where it is or even expand greater. You are using a great effort to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean that you shin splints will start killing you. Biking is a non-impact sport as you don’t put nearly as much pressure when your biking as you do when you are pounding our feet on the ground while running. This will help keep your fitness up while keeping the pressure off of your specific injury. Biking is also a fantastic workout for your quads when you bike up hills and that will transfer to the running races when your quads are getting tired and you need more muscle.

Swimming is also a big exercise that goes along with all cross-training methods that runners will use if injured… or even if healthy. A common misinterpretation is that gaining upper-body strength will slow you down greatly. While many of the top runners in the world may be lean, some great runners and overall athletes have good upper-body strength and swimming helps you with that. If your arms and shoulders generally tire out when you are running, then swimming is good for you to cross-train. Like biking, it is also going to give you a good workout in terms of the aerobic and  cardiovascular area. Your shins and many other leg bones and muscles with thank you because it puts a very limited amount of stress on it.

Pool Running is a not known among runners as much as biking and swimming is. It is pretty self-explanatory… running in the pool. While it may take a while to work your lungs, you are working your leg muscles without having much pressure on your legs. Again, your legs are going to thank you if they are injured because they will work, but they will not be hurting as much as if you are running on pavement.

Other cross-training exercises: Rowing, Calisthenics, Skating, Yoga (flexibility)

Cross-training is not only for runners who may be injured but can also be beneficial to the runner who wants a day or two break from running, but wants to keep up their physical fitness level that they had while they were running and training for a race or event.