More stories

  • in

    From Running on the Beach to a Running Track: What are the Best Surfaces to Run On?

    Most runs take us over a variety of surfaces. This adds variety to your training and makes it more effective by forcing your body to adjust to the changing terrain.But do you know how the different running surfaces affect your body? Learn about the most common surfaces and how to use them as an effective training tool.Top 7 Surfaces to Run On1. SandPros:When the sand is hard, running on the beach is easy on your joints. When it is soft, you have to pick up your knees, push off harder and apply more strength, which helps you improve your running technique and stamina.Cons: Running on the soft surface is very exhausting – therefore, you should incorporate regular breaks to avoid overuse injuries. On long runs, the slant of the beach can lead to pelvic obliquity. To avoid this, you should change directions regularly.Watch out for Achilles tendon problems:The rebound effect of the synthetic track puts a lot of stress on your calves and Achilles tendons. Switching to a cinder track can help with this problem.2. Synthetic trackPros:A running track is good for structured tempo and interval training. The springy surface of a synthetic track is also perfect for beginners or runners coming back from an injury.Cons:Runners are taught to run counterclockwise on the track. Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances. Therefore, it is a good idea to change direction once in a while.3. TreadmillPros:Running on the treadmill is easy on your tendons and ligaments. It is a good, low-impact way to start training again after an injury or a break from running. Plus, you can select the pace and the incline of the surface.Cons:Treadmill running is not the same as running outdoors. The ground is literally being pulled underneath your feet, so you achieve a much smaller training effect. Plus, most of the stress during the push-off is on your calves and Achilles tendons. This can lead to overuse injuries.4. AsphaltPros:Asphalt provides perfect conditions for tempo workouts because you don’t have to pay attention to the surface. Nearly every step is identical, and you can achieve maximum propulsion. Road running allows you to run at a fast pace.Cons:The hard surface means more orthopedic stress (so be careful if you have joint issues). Your choice of shoe is crucial here: make sure to choose a well-cushioned model.5. Forest TrailsPros:Soft woodland or nature trails have the best cushioning and are excellent for joint-friendly training. Plus, they are ideal for a flexible and reactive running technique.Cons:The soft surface can sap your strength and slow your pace. Therefore, trails are not well-suited for running at a specific pace – the intensity is high even at slower speeds.6. GrassPros:Grass is ideal for barefoot running. It strengthens your foot muscles and improves your running technique. Plus, well-maintained grass provides the best cushioning.Cons:You have to be careful when training barefoot to run on well-groomed grass free of rocks and broken glass.7. Mountain trailsPros:The constantly changing conditions make mountain trails challenging and lots of fun. Thus, they are good for training your foot strike and running technique to match the terrain. Plus, the effort of compensating for the uneven surfaces and the regular changes in direction work your supporting and stabilizing deep muscles.Cons:Be careful – it’s easy to turn an ankle. Therefore, you should only run on mountain trails when you are well rested.TakeawayEach surface has pros and cons for your running training. You should choose the surface that is best for you based on your training goal and try to switch things up from time to time to keep your training fresh and exciting.*** More

  • in

    Boost Cycling Fitness with Base Training and More

    Did you know that your leg muscles aren’t the only ones in play during cycling? Your gluteal, back, shoulder, arm and neck muscles are all activated by this versatile activity — so you really need to focus on total-body training. And don’t forget, base training is just as important if you want to improve your cycling fitness and performance. Set the wheels in motion with comprehensive training and get yourself ready for cycling season so you can enjoy the many benefits of this sport.Important for Beginners:You’re usually full of motivation right at the start. Ready to hit the road pedaling, you begin biking under the motto “the more the better”. Put the brakes on that mentality to avoid excessive strain on your back and your joints. Ease into a training routine, gradually increasing the intensity and frequency of your rides.Total-Body Toning with Strength Training If you want to boost your cycling fitness, the first thing you’ll think of is probably leg training. “Basically, you’re not wrong to think that. But make sure to remember that you’re going to do more than enough leg training while actually cycling,” explains extreme sports athlete Gerhard Gulewicz. “This means you should devote your prep time to total-body training. Try to dedicate only ¼ of your training time to leg strength and focus on your other muscles the rest of the time.Focus on FlexibilityIf you really want to be in good shape for cycling season, make sure to mix flexibility training into your routine. Our cycling expert recommends: “Take at least 10 minutes to stretch properly before every ride to actively support your recovery. Don’t forget: you’ll only see the benefits if you’re consistent and dedicated in your efforts.Train Your Coordination SkillsIf you want to venture into wide open spaces, your coordination skills will come into play. They will ensure you can master most tricky situations safely. “There are lots of different ways to train your coordination skills. You can take a class at your local fitness center or try these exercises to improve balance and stability.” Again, consistency is key is here.Note!Coordination training should always be done before strength or endurance training, and after you’ve completed a warm-up.  You can only train your coordination properly if your muscles aren’t already exhausted. Last, but not least: make time for endurance and base trainingDon’t underestimate the importance of endurance training during your cycling season prep. Be sure that you don’t overdo it in the beginning — no high-intensity training with unfamiliar levels of muscle strain! “Increase the intensity and volume of your training gradually over time to see slow, but steady improvement. And never forget to include sufficient recovery time – avoid making these mistakes on your rest days!”, says Gerhard Gulewicz.This approach has two major advantages:You reduce the risk of injury if you don’t overwork your musclesYou continuously improve, which keeps you motivated.Tips for Endurance Training:You should spend more than 80% of your total training time in Zone 1 or Zone 2 — this will help you boost your performance.  What are these zones? They are used to measure training intensity based on your max heart rate. Zone 1 is 60-70% of your max heart rate and Zone 2 is 70 – 80%. Let’s look even closer at the difference.How can you tell if you’re training in Zone 1 or Zone 2? Check your breathing:You’re training in Zone 1, if you are breathing easily. For example, if you can breath for 5 minutes only through your nose, you’re definitely training in Zone 1. You’re training in Zone 2, if you can easily hold a conversation with a training partner despite light to moderate exertion. Zone 1 Training InfoZone 2 Training Info:This is how you can really improve your carbohydrate metabolism. Simply, this means that your body will be able to more easily convert carbs into energy. During more intense training, your body will be better able to use carbs from your glycogen stores as fuel. This means you definitely need to replenish those stores after your training session.How long should an endurance training session last for beginners?Zone 1: 60 minutes or longer, but no longer than 2 hours in the initial training stages.    Zone 2: 30–60 minutes. For slightly more experienced cyclists, no more than 90 min.Don’t forget to do at least a 10-minute warm-up before your base training session, and follow up with 10–minute cool-down riding at a relaxed tempo.Summary:If you want to take up cycling in the future, make sure you don’t take on too much at once. Base training is an important part of cycling fitness, as well as strength training. Don’t forget coordination skills and recovery. “Even if you firmly believe that more is better when it comes to training, that definitely not the case with cycling. While you’re riding, your muscles are being stimulated, but the real improvement to your performance ability comes while your muscles are resting afterward,” concludes biking expert Gerhard Gulewicz.*** More

  • in

    Inside adidas Runners: How Rituals Help Runners Meet Their Goals

    From what we wear to what we eat, the mantras we repeat to ourselves, or how we tie our shoelaces on race day, running rituals give us a sense of control in a world filled with uncertainties. Studies show that practicing rituals before doing sports regulates the brain’s response to performance failure, which thereby reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mental toughness. (1) Rituals can help athletes focus their minds and calm their nerves, while also building trust within a running community when practiced in a group.What are running rituals and why do we use them? “A ritual is a predefined sequence of symbolic actions often characterized by formality and repetition that lacks direct instrumental purpose.”(2)What does this mean for runners? The knot in your stomach on race day loosens a bit if you lay out your race kit the night before. Worried about getting stomach cramps during a run? Always eat the same pre-run snack to prevent any surprises. For some, these are habits or traditions; often these actions have a ritual-like pattern to them. Since the dawn of our existence, human beings have used rituals to improve performance in many different areas. Today these can be competitive sports, public speaking, taking exams, or even first dates. Although rituals do not have a “direct instrumental purpose”, any situation that creates anxiety or stress can be managed better by using them.In a 2016 study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, researchers found that rituals consistently decreased anxiety across different performance tasks as assessed by subjective reporting from those participating in the study as well as physiological evidence: heart rate. Rituals are coping strategies that can have a powerful effect on performance. Using a common saying or action or a lucky charm has been shown to improve athletic performance and motor dexterity. (3) It’s not surprising that many runners use rituals to give themselves structure, boost their performance, and relieve pre-race anxiety.  What are your rituals?We asked adidas Runners (AR) members around the world to share their running rituals with us. Here are some of the highlights:Race Day Rituals in adidas RunnersCurious about how adidas Runners members handle race day jitters and how rituals help them reach their goal? Here’s what they said: Running Mantras for Mental ToughnessIf you’ve never tried adopting a mantra to help you achieve your goals, take a lesson from running legend Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon in 1967. Her mantra? “Be fearless, be free, be grateful.” AR runners know the power of mantras to help them maintain mental toughness when the pressure is on. Running CommunitiesThe examples above show how rituals can help individuals reach their goals. adidas Runners communities also find them helpful for groups, particularly if the running community is virtual. Reeti Sahai, Captain of AR Delhi, told us how thinking about her post-race Instagram pic is something that motivates her to keep going during a marathon. And she’s not the only one who gets motivated. Sharing achievements on social media networks inspires other runners to set new goals and strengthens the bond within the running community. Join an adidas Runners digital accountability group from March 29 on to keep you committed to your goals. Find everything you need to know about how to join on the AR Instagram account. Ready for a new challenge in April? Check out the Run with AR: Go for 30! challenge in the adidas Running app.Interested in more information about running rituals in the adidas Runners community? Listen to episode 1 of the adidas Runners mini-podcast series on mindset and movement here. TakeawayThere are many different ways to improve your running. Muscle growth and endurance training are only part of the equation. Focusing your mind and quelling any doubts you may have about achieving your goals is critical to success. What you wear, what you eat, how you talk to yourself – these are all examples of how rituals are used to give you the extra edge you need to set that PR or cross the finish line. The AR community is an empowering environment in which you can find motivation, inspiration, and support. The trust that is built within a running community like adidas Runners can carry you through when you doubt yourself. *** More

  • in

    adidas Runtastic Premium Membership: Top Features & Benefits

    Are you ready to build healthier habits and lead a fit lifestyle? No matter your goals, with the adidas Runtastic apps and Premium Membership, you’ll find tips from experts, loads of motivation, as well as unlimited individual training plans both in the adidas Training and Running app. Choose your ideal plan, get started, and reach your goals one step at a time!

    One membership – all the benefits:
    Everything is completely unlocked in our two apps for those who choose to upgrade to Premium.

    Reach Your Running Goals: Premium Benefits in the adidas Running App
    Run your first 5K, challenge yourself with a half marathon or marathon, lose weight or get fitter: no matter what your goal might be, there are unlimited training plans available in adidas Running.
    As an adidas Runtastic Premium member, you have access to all of our features in the adidas Running app, including:
    Training Plans
    Interval Training
    Story Runs
    Activity Detail
    Challenge an Activity
    Target Pace
    Workout Goal (Distance & Duration, Calories)
    History (Sorting by week/month/year/all)
    Advanced Statistics (Sort and compare by week/month/year/all)
    Detailed Goal Statistics
    Edit Heart Rate Zones
    Session Detail expanded Map (colored traces – pace/elevation/grade)
    Split table – segment by different distances/durations

    Get in Shape With Bodyweight Training: Premium Benefits in the adidas Training App
    Do you want to build muscle by working out at home, get strong, defined abs, or just stay fit? Then the adidas Training app for bodyweight training is ideal for you. 
    As an adidas Runtastic Premium member, you have access to all of our features in the adidas Training app, including:
    12-Week Body Transformation Training Plan
    6-Week Shape Up Training Plan
    Push Your Limits Training Plan
    Health & Nutrition Guide
    Bookmark Workouts           
    Access previous Featured Workouts 
    You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to transform your body, and we have the success stories to prove it!

    Do You Want to Enjoy More adidas Runtastic Premium Membership Features?
    As well as the Premium features in the adidas Runtastic apps, you also can enjoy the following benefits:
    Weekly fitness report via email
    Premium has helped ordinary people of all levels achieve their individual health and fitness goals over years. As a Premium Member, you’ll receive a weekly fitness report including an overview of your past week’s activities as well as a comparison with your stats from the week before. This way, you can see what you’ve accomplished and be motivated by your success.
    Exclusive Premium support
    With your Premium Membership, you can enjoy top-of-the-line support from our Customer Happiness Team.

    *** More

  • in

    Looking for a Running Alternative? How to Increase Stamina with Low Impact Cardio + 5 Tips

    If you want to increase your running endurance, there’s more than one way to do it. We’ve put together some suggestions for running alternatives, so you can boost your endurance and give your joints a break with low impact workouts. 
    3 Low Impact Cardio 
    The impact of running puts a lot of stress on your knees and hips. If you want to run farther and faster, you’ve got to improve your stamina. But how can you get there without pounding the pavement for hours? Here are three workouts to get you running better without running more. 
    1. Deep-Water Running
    If you’ve got access to a pool and a flotation belt, there’s nothing better than deep-water running to crank up your cardio and be kind to your joints. A study on the physiology of deep-water running shows that endurance athletes maintain their cardiovascular fitness level for up to 6 weeks with deep-water running workouts. (1)This is also an effective way to stay in shape after an injury and promote active recovery.  
    2. Dance Workouts

    Perhaps you’re missing a bit of fun in your life these days. Have you ever tried a dance workout? Dancing is an energizing way to combine a cardio workout and strength training, increase coordination, and work on your sense of rhythm. Studies have shown that dancing also has great benefits for older adults, improving balance and memory. (2)
    3. Cycling
    Hop on your bike for another great low impact workout. If you’re pedaling at the right intensity, you can get a solid cardio workout, explore the region you live in, and strengthen different muscles than those used for running.

    5 Tips to Maximize your Workouts
    Learn how to get the most out of your workouts with these 5 helpful tips:
    1. Shorten breaks in your strength workouts
    Bodyweight training will help you build strength and if you cut down on the length of your breaks and really push yourself to the limit, you can turn those workouts into a cardio booster, too. Try a workout in the adidas Training app and see if you can shave a few seconds of the breaks to get your heart rate up.
    2. Add variety
    Runners used to train for long races by running, running, and more running. Research on race performance has shown that adding variety to your training routine will not only reduce your risk of overuse injuries, but also prevent boredom. So try the workouts listed above and then try yoga for runners. Yoga’s not your thing? How about speed walking? Look around and see what interests you. Maybe it’s time to take up a new sport. 
    3. Adjust nutrition
    Don’t forget about your diet. To get your body in top form, you’ve got to give it the fuel it needs. The energy for endurance training – whatever form you choose – comes from macronutrients, especially carbohydrates. Cut down on your sugar intake and make sure you’re getting healthy fats and lean protein. Give your body what it needs, when it needs it.

    4. Improve your sleep
    Sleep health is an – often minimized – essential part of physical and mental health. You’ve probably heard the basics: no screens in the bedroom, don’t work out late in the evening, hit the sack before midnight. It’s important to prioritize sleep and change bad habits before you develop a chronic sleep disorder. Did you know that long-term sleep deprivation can put you at risk of diabetes melitus, obesity, and heart disease?(3)In addition to being important for our health and longevity, good sleep habits improve our wellbeing and increase our stamina when we exercise. 
    5. Steady state cardio
    Cardio workouts used to mainly be steady state: get on the treadmill, elliptical, or hit the road and maintain a moderate intensity for the duration of the workout. Then came HIIT, Tabata, and other interval training that can lead to more results in a shorter time. But does that mean you shouldn’t bother with steady state anymore? Not necessarily; it depends on what your goal is. Yes, there are certainly great benefits to high intensity workouts, such as high calorie burn. But if you’re looking to relieve stress and quiet the neverending spinning of your thoughts, steady state can add that meditative element to your exercise routine that helps calm your nerves and improves your sleep. 
    Running faster or longer is not the only way to improve your running performance. Low impact cardio workouts can really increase your stamina, especially if you combine these running alternatives with some of the adjustments listed above. So if you’re ready for some variety, give your knees a break and change gears for a long bike ride or hop in a pool and try deep-water running.
    *** More

  • in

    Sports and Your Libido: How Exercising (Together) Leads to Better Sex

    Are you looking for a way to boost your motivation to work out? How about this: couples who work out together not only have more, but better sex. Regular exercise also leads to a better sex life for single people. 
    Improve your self esteem and self awareness
    Exercise and sports are good for your body and your mind. If you feel like you’re in shape and are satisfied with your athletic performance, this satisfaction also affects other parts of your life. One study found that regular physical activities and a higher fitness level make people feel more attractive and energetic. Sports boost self esteem which makes people feel more desirable. This can have a positive effect on sexual performance.

    Boost your libido
    The benefits don’t stop at self esteem; exercise also increases our libido.
    Regular exercise intensifies sexual arousal and physical sensitivity. (1, 2) Sufficient blood flow to the genitals is an important part of sexual desire and the ability to reach an orgasm. Overall circulation improves with better cardiovascular fitness. Plus, when you run, your body releases some of the same hormones it does during sex. Endorphins, also known as “happy hormones,” help relieve pain, lower anxiety, and give you a euphoric feeling. And also not surprising, if you feel better about yourself in general, it improves your sex drive. Not only is the quality of the sex higher, but also the quantity – we become more sexually active. (3) 

    Good to know:
    In 2017 a study was published showing too much high-intensity endurance training can lead to a decline in libido for men. One possible reason behind this is overtraining.

    Strengthen your relationship and reignite passion
    Couples can enjoy all the benefits of exercise in their relationship and sex life. Working out together adds variety to your relationship and builds intimacy and trust. Working up a sweat together and celebrating success releases endorphins and brings you closer together. You get to know each other on a different level – both physically and emotionally. All in all, couples who share hobbies are happier long term, which has a positive influence on their sex lives. (4)

    Workouts for better sex
    From theory to practice – check out these workouts for every fitness level as well as fun partner workouts: 
    *** More

  • in

    Running Tips to Stay Healthy from Childhood to Old Age

    The beauty of running is that you can do it anywhere and throughout your life – as long as your joints cooperate. The list of reasons to run is always growing and this past year more than ever. With lockdowns around the world and people struggling to cope with stress and anxiety, a safe and easy option is to lace up your sneakers and go for a jog.  
    Whatever your reason is, we’ve got running tips to keep you healthy at any age and guidance on getting your kids into running. 
    How to Get Kids Running 
    Most children have the urge to run as soon as they have mastered walking and usually, it’s in the opposite direction of their parents. In fact, this may be one of the first times you do sports with your kids: chasing them down the sidewalk or through a park. 
    Being active with your kids is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. You’ll teach them to love what their bodies are capable of, which will keep them healthier throughout their lives.(1) The most important thing to remember here is to make it fun. If you’re a runner and you dream of running with your child in a few years, start with games like tag or kick a ball around. 
    Research shows that 15 minutes of running several times a week is a healthy way to improve fitness levels of primary school-aged children. Aerobic activity is just as healthy for kids as it is for adults as long as it is scaled to their level.

    5 Tips for Running with Kids
    Ready to get started? Here are 5 tips to get you out the door:
    1. Mix walking and running
    Don’t push kids too hard or they will quickly lose interest. Pay close attention to their 
    condition and take walking breaks for rest and variety.
    2. Add obstacles for fun
    Why not climb over a bench or hop-scotch your way across the crosswalk? 
    3. Ignore distance and time
    Don’t look at your watch for these runs. It’s now how far or how fast that matters, but whether your child will want to go with you again. 
    4. Look for Fun Runs
    If your child is interested, signing up for short kids’ races can be a great way to show him or her how much fun it is to run with other children.
    5.  Mix up the cardio with a scooter or bike
    Have your child ride or scoot alongside you when you run. This will keep them active, build their endurance and strengthen your bond with each other.  

    Did you know?
    Budhia Singh is considered the world’s youngest marathon runner. At the age of five he ran 48 marathons.

    From Adolescence to Middle Age
    Many people consider this period of time to be the prime running years. You have the energy and flexibility of youth on one end of the age range and the focus and dedication as you get older. It’s also a great time to start running if you haven’t yet. Setting specific goals helps keep you motivated. Why not get that six-pack you’ve always wanted?
    If you’ve got a solid running foundation and plenty of distance under your belt, you might consider running a marathon or two during this phase of your life. Marathon performance peaks for elite runners around the age of 35, while casual runners might not peak until they hit 50. (2)

    Running through old age
    Do yourself the favor of warming up and regular strength training. Your joints will thank you. As long as your health allows it, there is no reason why you can’t continue running as you age. You might have to adjust your expectations as an older runner, but staying active has been shown to improve cognitive and cardiovascular health. (3) It’s great for your health and also makes you feel younger and more energetic, which is great for your emotional health.
    5 Tips for Running at 50, 60, and Beyond
    It’s never too late to start. Keep these tips in mind to avoid injury:
    1. Check with your doctor
    Always wise to do this before you get started, just to make sure running is the right choice for you. 
    2. Start slowly
    This applies to anyone who is just starting out, but is particularly important when your older. Let your body adjust to the impact of running on your joints. Cross-train with swimming and biking to build up your cardiovascular without the pounding on your joints. 
    3. Take time to recover
    Your body won’t bounce back from hard workouts like you used to. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover. 
    4. Don’t skip strength training and stretching
    As we age the cartilage that once cushioned our joints starts to break down. If you want to stay active without pain, it’s important to build muscles to support your joints. And remember to stretch to encourage circulation and speed up recovery. 
    5. Be proud that you are still running
    It takes determination and courage to keep on running when younger athletes might be blowing by you with the confidence of youth. Be proud of yourself and enjoy the freedom that comes with running. 

    Did you know?
    The oldest person to complete a marathon was Fauja Singh, who ran his final marathon at the age of 101. 

    No matter how old you are, it’s never too late – or too early – to start running. Adjust your expectations and goals to your fitness level, try different types of cardio to build endurance, and work on muscle development to support your joints. You may just find that running becomes a trusted friend who stays with you throughout your life. 

    *** More

  • in

    Dance Your Way to Fitness >> Make Exercise Fun with this Effective Dance Workout (incl. workout video)

    Ready for something new and more variety in your workouts? Preferably a combination of cardio and strength? We’ve got just what you need! Dance workouts are all the rage on social media, TV, and even in magazines – and for a good reason. 
    What are Dance Workouts?
    Different. Captivating. Great for any fitness level and age. Dance workouts combine music and traditional bodyweight exercises with rhythm and dance moves. The goal of these fitness videos is to motivate you to improve your endurance, strength, and coordination through music and rhythm.  

    How are dance workouts created?
    There is no set structure to a dance workout. Some follow the standard warm-up, workout, cool-down program, while others simply combine different bodyweight exercises and dance moves.
    Either way, the individual exercises and moves are done for a few seconds each without a break between them. They can also be combined into a choreographed set and be repeated several times in a specific order. 
    The goal of a dance workout can vary. There are dance workouts focused on one muscle group and others that target the whole body. Some concentrate on improving endurance and coordination. Keep in mind, there are so many dance videos out there by now that you can even choose which kind of music you prefer. There is truly something for everyone. And if you find that you can’t keep up with a certain dance move or exercise, don’t worry. Do your best or run in place for those few seconds. The music makes it easy to always keep moving. 

    Aerobic Workout vs. Dance Workout
    You might be wondering how this is different from aerobic workouts. Aerobic workouts are designed with specific rhythmic steps and arm movements: up, down, right, left. The dance workouts that are so popular these days sometimes integrate this into the warm-up or cool-down, but the main workout is a combination of bodyweight exercises and dance moves. So what is the difference between a dance workout and aerobic dance? It is merely the name – the term “dance workout” is what this type of dance fitness is called today. 

    Top 7 Benefits of Dance Workouts:

    Combines endurance and strength training 
    High calorie burn through constant movement and rhythm change 
    Improves your mood and reduces stress (3, 4)
    No equipment necessary (but feel free to use weights or other objects like a hula hoop!) 
    Have a positive effect on long and short-term memory, attention, and brain plasticity in older adults (5, 6)
    Trainers guide you through the entire workout and motivate you 
    You can do it alone or with family and friends 

    Get up and Dance!
    Long story short – grab your workout clothes, let the music move you, and test your coordination and endurance with Lolu’s cool moves and positive energy: 

    [embedded content]

    *** More