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    Back Pain When Running: Causes and 12 Exercises to Treat It

    When you head out for a run, you expect to have tired legs, burning lungs, and general exhaustion — what you don’t often expect to have is lower or upper back pain during or after running.But surprisingly enough, back pain amongst runners is a very common thing, particularly in less experienced runners, those with improper running technique, or weak back and glute muscles (which is most of us!).So if you’ve ever experienced back pain when running, you know just how annoying and painful it can be.Important:Back pain is common and can have other complex causes unrelated to running (such as stress). Even though it’s often not serious, it’s smart to be cautious. Consult your doctor — especially if you feel unwell and pain spreads to the leg (numbness/tingling) or does not improve with rest. When in doubt, check it out!In the following article we’ll answer your most common questions:Why do we get back pain while running, anyway?If you think about it, your back has an enormous role to play when it comes to running. When you run, you have to hold your body upright — sometimes for a very long time. In order to do this, your back has to work with the rest of your body to keep you moving and upright. If your muscles are not up to the task, you may get upper or lower back pain.Why does my lower back hurt when running?When it comes to your lower back, leg and core strength, flexibility, and coordination all play an important role:Your core muscles have to work hard to support your spine and lower back.When running, your core, hips, glutes, and hamstrings have to join forces to keep you stable.What happens when one muscle or a group of muscles become fatigued?Your lower back has to work harder to keep you upright and on your feet, which can cause pain, or worst case scenario — injury.Why does my upper back hurt when running? If you’re experiencing more pain in your upper back instead of your lower back, it’s often a result of your head position:A lot of upper back pain is a result of having your head leading your body — jutting out in front of your body — causing unnecessary tension and stress on the upper back. Another likely culprit of upper back pain is your arms. If you’re holding your arms up too tight or maybe even too high, or tensing your shoulders up towards your ears (which is common when the body is fatigued), it can cause strain on your upper back.What can you do to prevent back pain when running? To prevent back pain when running, the best thing you can do is to work on your strength and flexibility.This is why cross-training — incorporating strengthening movements into your running routine — is so important! If you want to run for a long time, you have to protect your body by strengthening the muscles that keep your body moving and upright — it’s as simple as that. What are the best bodyweight exercises to prevent back pain during and after running? Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the stress on your back and make running a little more comfortable — well, unless you ask your legs, of course. As long as you are experiencing back discomfort, stick with easy, comfortable runs.If you’re asking yourself “how do I get rid of back pain when running,” try the following 12 bodyweight exercises:1. Superman[embedded content]2. Beetle[embedded content]3. Single Leg Balance & Reach (Shin) L/R)[embedded content]Challenging? Start with Single Leg Balance L/R!4. High Plank Leg Lifts[embedded content]5. Single Leg Bridge L/R[embedded content]6. Mod. Low Side Plank Lifts L/R[embedded content]7. Quadruped Limb Raises[embedded content]8. Superman Pull[embedded content]For upper back tension try Wall Lateral Pull-Downs, too.9. Single Leg Deadlift L/R[embedded content]10. High Plank Limb Raises[embedded content]11. V Ups[embedded content]If you’re struggling to control your form, try Single Leg V-Ups.12. Single Leg Jump Squats L/R(When outdoors, give Forward Jump Squats a try instead!)How to train:Exercises are sorted from basic to more challenging. Start from the top. Pick the first 4 exercises that you can do slowly without pain, and maintain proper form/technique. Do 3 sets and aim for 8-12 reps.Good to know:Some exercises might seem easy at first, but make sure to check coaching cues before moving on. Gradually build up to more reps and switch to harder exercises while maintaining good form.3 Bonus Exercises:Give these 3 flexibility exercises a try. If one or more makes your back feel better, do them before the above-mentioned strength training, after a run, or in your free time. Be gentle with yourself and repeat as often as you like – even every day.14. Cat Cow15. Lying Figure 4 Stretch L/R16. Supine Twist L/R*** More

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    Tired After Running: 5 Tips to Recover From Running Fatigue

    You laced up your running shoes, were full of motivation, and finished a fantastic run. But suddenly, fatigue sets in, and you feel totally exhausted. Have you ever experienced this? You might have been hit by running fatigue.What is Running Fatigue?Running fatigue is a physical state of exhaustion that occurs when someone runs (too) hard or runs long distances regularly. When constant exhaustion occurs, the body can’t recover fully. Thus, the fatigue is carried over to the next training session. Why? Because it takes time for your body to eliminate waste products from your tissues and muscles and to repair the muscle fibers.These five tips are guaranteed to help you prevent tiredness and recover quickly after a run.5 Tips to Overcome Running Fatigue1. Fuel up Before Your RunHave a snack rich in carbohydrates 30 to 60 minutes before you head out for a run. After all, your body can’t feel good after training if you haven’t given it enough fuel before the run. So, grab a banana, eat a low-fiber granola bar, or a slice of toast with jam.Also, don’t forget to hydrate. Although a glass of water before working out can help get you going, start hydrating long before your run. Drinking too much water right before working out can cause discomfort in your stomach; it takes time to digest water.2. Listen to Your Body (And Do Some Cool-Down Stretches) Do you get side stitches during your run? Are you dizzy? Do your legs feel weak? Listen to what your body is telling you! If you need a break during training, take it. Reduce your pace a bit or even walk for a while.Tip for beginning runners:Make sure you don’t increase your pace and intensity too fast. Overtraining symptoms can develop. Your body needs time to get used to the increased effort. By ramping up your running in a slow and controlled manner, you can improve your performance and avoid being tired after running.The ideal time to cool down and do some stretching is post-run:3. Refuel After a RunTo overcome fatigue after running, you should have a small meal of complex carbohydrates and protein at least an hour after your run. This gives you more energy and also helps your muscles recover. Ideas for your post-workout meal:A smoothie with coconut water, Greek yogurt, fruit, and chia seeds Oats with milk and dried fruit A veggie omelet with a slice of whole grain breadH3: 4. Take Time to RecoverA good night’s sleep is essential for your health and recovery, and it’s just as important as your actual running training. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but certainly doesn’t get enough attention. When you sleep, your body has time to regenerate, repair microscopic damage done by working out, and build muscle.If you need to rest, but also feel like moving your body a bit, you can do a short yoga-inspired session in the adidas Training app, mild stretching, or foam rolling.Good to know:Recovery starts before you go for a run. Plan rest days and stretching sessions as regular elements of your training routine.5. Monitor Your Mental HealthInstead of feeling energized after running, you feel somewhat depressed, tired, or grouchy? You might be mentally exhausted.Sports is a great way to reduce stress, but you should always feel good about the activity you choose – it should not stress you out! If you don’t enjoy the sports type (anymore), take a break from it and try something different: switch running to yoga, walking, or swimming.Always listen to your body and give yourself the time you need to recover and feel great!*** More

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    Vegan Athlete Diet ᐅ All About Protein, Vitamin B12 & Iron

    “You’re vegan? But where do you get your protein?” People who have decided to follow a vegan diet have certainly heard that often enough. Athletes need even more protein than non-athletes, but they also have to keep an eye on the other essential nutrients. If you work out regularly and eat a plant-based diet, you have to really take a close look at what you eat. This is the only way to be certain that your body will get everything it needs to be able to perform at its best and recover quickly. Anyone who is wondering whether veganism and sports are compatible should take a look at vegan athletes like Patrik Baboumian, Venus Williams, and Brandon Brazier. We’ll tell you how to do it right and show you which nutrients are especially important to ensure a balanced vegan athlete’s diet. The following questions will be answered in this article:1. What does “vegan” mean and what are the benefits?Veganism is a special form of the vegetarian diet. Vegans don’t eat any animal products at all, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or honey.A plant-based diet……is associated with a lot of health benefits, because plant-based foods are very nutrient-dense. They are rich in fiber, folate, vitamin C, and other vitamins. Vegans also consume more unsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fats.(1)Athletes can really benefit from the high density of nutrients, as they need more vitamins and minerals during an intense workout. The abundance of antioxidants prevents oxidative stress and protects the immune system. A vegan athelte’s diet is also high in carbohydrates. This macronutrient is the most important source of energy, especially during workouts.Tip:Studies show that vegans have a lower energy intake than people who eat animal products.(2) More energy is required if the activity level is high. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and oils should be a regular part of the vegan diet. Frequent smaller meals can also be an easy way to boost the energy intake.2. What are the most important nutrients in a vegan athlete’s diet?In order to maximize performance and prevent deficiencies, athletes who follow a plant-based diet should make sure there is variety in their meals. Particular focus should be on these nutrients:A) Macronutrients CarbohydratesAthletes aren’t the only ones who need carbohydrates. A vegan diet is rich in this macronutrient, which means fiber, antioxidant, and phytochemical intake is strong, too. The high level of micronutrients is one of the biggest benefits of plant-based foods. Exercise can produce free radicals and lead to oxidative stress. Vegan sports nutrition can counter that and support recovery after training.(3) The high intake of fiber from whole-grain products, beans, and lentils may cause gastrointestinal problems. In some situations (before a race) it makes sense to substitute these with low-fiber carbs:ricewhite pastawhite breadIf you’re working out, you should eat a snack rich in carbohydrates before and after training to keep your performance strong. It can be helpful to eat some carbs during your workout if it is a long one. Most supplements (e.g. gels) are vegan, so you can take them without any worries. ProteinMany people think that it’s difficult to get enough protein when you follow a vegan diet. However, if you eat a wide variety of foods and increase the energy intake, this is not an issue. Athletes require more of this macronutrient than inactive people.Calculate your protein requirement:Vegan athletes generally eat less protein than athletes who consume animal products.(4) The challenge is focusing on quantity and quality. Plant-based protein sources often lack some essential amino acids, especially BCAAs or branched chain amino acids. Are you concerned about getting enough high quality protein as a vegan athlete? The best route is to eat many different sources of plant-based protein each day: nutsseedsbeanslentilstofuquinoagrainsThis ensures that you meet your daily requirements for protein and essential amino acids. If you can’t get what you need from natural foods (due to long workouts), it pays off to use vegan supplements (from soy, peas, rice, or hemp seeds). Pay attention to the quality of the supplements. The Kölner Liste® has a large database of products.  FatVegans usually consume less fat, saturated fat in particular, than those who eat animal products. This reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.(5) Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, play a critical role in healthy (sports) nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to prevent inflammation in the muscles and joints.(6) Let’s take a closer look at fatty acids:Omega-6 fatty acids:Plant-based diets provide plenty of omega-6 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid. These can be found in wheat germ oil, thistle oil, and hemp oil.Omega-3 fatty acids:Vegans often lack omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. These include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and rapeseed oil.The body produces two other fatty acids from alpha-linolenic acid: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, only a small percentage of alpha-linolenic acid is converted into EPA and DHA. The main sources are cold-water fish, shellfish, and algae. In order to avoid a deficiency, vegans are advised to supplement these fatty acids. This doesn’t have to be fish oil – by now there is a variety of plant-based nutritional supplements produced from algae.It’s important to consider both the quantity and quality when it comes to fat. About 30% of your daily calories should come from fat. High-quality plant-based sources for vegan athletes are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados.B) Micronutrients Vitamin B12Since no animal products are consumed in a strict vegan diet, there is a risk of developing a B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is produced from microorganisms in the gut flora of plant-eaters. The micronutrient can only be found in meat and dairy products. A B12 deficiency leads to problems like:fatigueanemiapoor concentrationmuscle weaknessnerve damageVitamin B12 can also be found in fortified plant-based milk or breakfast cereals, but it is not yet clear how much of this is actually absorbed by the body. Vegans have to supplement their diet with B12. At least 6 mcg should be consumed daily.(7)IronAccording to the U.S. Department of Health, men should consume 8 mg of iron per day and women 18 mg. Plant-based foods like grains, legumes, seeds, and green vegetables provide iron, many of them even more than meat. The degree to which our body can absorb iron depends on the form of the iron in the food. Readily available heme iron is found in meat, while plant sources contain only non-heme iron. The rate of absorption of nonheme iron is only about 1 to 15%.(8)The good news:You can enhance the absorption of nonheme iron with your diet. If plant-based sources rich in iron are consumed in combination with vitamin C, the iron is absorbed better.Try the following iron-rich foods: oatmeal with raspberries hummus with bell pepper colorful millet salad with orangesTip:Fermented vegetables and sprouts also increase iron absorption. Be careful with how much coffee and tea you drink – they inhibit iron absorption.Female vegan athletes are especially affected by low iron levels. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by low consumption or poor absorption of iron and leads to symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakened athletic performance. Do you struggle with these symptoms? Consult your doctor; a blood test can give you a clearer picture.ZincZinc is important for cell growth, regeneration, and protein metabolism. That’s why athletes require more in their diet. Zinc has a positive effect on athletic performance.(9) Like iron, plant-based zinc is not absorbed as well as from animal sources. This is why vegans have to pay special attention to getting enough trace elements. The recommended daily intake is between 7 (women) and 10 mg (men). Vegans should consume even more than that.Zinc can be found in oats, beans, nuts, seeds, and nutritional yeast. CalciumCalcium is an essential mineral – in volume it’s even the most important in our body. Almost 100% of the calcium in our body is in our bones and teeth. This micronutrient is also an important factor in blood coagulation.Calcium:…can only do its job in the body if there is sufficient vitamin D available. This vitamin promotes the absorption of calcium from the gut into the blood, regulates the calcium metabolism, and is needed for bone growth. That’s why it’s particularly important for vegan athletes to spend enough time outdoors in fresh air and sunshine. Vitamin D should be supplemented in the wintertime.The recommended daily calcium allowance for adults is 1000 mg. If you do not get enough in your diet long-term, you will experience bone loss, which can result in fractures. What foods should vegan athletes include in their diet to get enough calcium? Plant-based sources are: kidney beansbroccolibok choikalealmondssesamefortified soy milk fortified fruit juice Important: spinach and arugula provide a lot of calcium, but they also contain oxalic acid, which decreases absorption. IodineOne study looked at the dietary intake of vegans in Germany. Researchers found that along with calcium and vitamin B12, there is too little iodine included in the diet (only 40% of the recommended allowance). This trace element is used by the body to produce two thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The hormones control many processes in the body, such as growth, bone replacement, brain development, and the metabolism. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily allowance of 200 mcg per day.Seaweed is a good plant source for iodine. The micronutrient can also be found in potatoes, cranberries, and iodized salt.3. What foods are essential in vegan nutrition?A vegan athlete’s diet should be colorful and diverse in order to include all the essential nutrients. Make sure you’re eating regularly and consuming enough calories. We’ve put together a list of the best vegan foods for you below:Nutrients | FoodsProtein: legumes, grains, tofu, quinoa, nuts, seeds, vegetablesOmega 3 fatty acids: flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, seaweedVitamin B12: nutritional yeastIron: legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, green vegetablesZinc: beans, nuts, seeds, oats, nutritional yeastCalcium: kale, broccoli, bok choi, beans, almonds, sesame seeds,fortified plant-based milk and juicesIodine: seaweed, potatoes, white beans, cranberries, iodized salt*** More

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    Everything You Need to Know About What to Eat After a Run at Night

    Many runners wonder if they should eat carbs after a run at night. On one hand, carbs help your muscles recover so you can consistently hit your workout goals. On the other hand, eating after a run at night could disrupt your sleep, which compromises recovery. On top of this, sugar is carbohydrate, which can keep you from feeling sleepy despite having just gone for a run at night. To answer the question of what to eat after a run at night, keep reading to understand how your body processes the macronutrients (macros for short) of carbohydrates, fat, and proteins is necessary.Your body requires carbs to provide it with energy and it is good at using them efficiently. Fat, on the other hand, always requires plenty of oxygen. Plus, it takes twice as long for fat to provide the same amount of energy as carbohydrates. That is why we have to reduce our pace to burn fat while running, so that our body can keep up with the oxidation process and doesn’t get exhausted. You’ll notice that you’re in the fat-burning zone when your breathing slows down. If your breathing is fast and shallow, you’re body is not burning the fat it could. This is also when it starts to hurt. You might catch yourself thinking that the couch looks awful comfy right now. Or the question “What the hell am I doing?” keeps popping into your head. But once you have conquered these mental hurdles, things will start to get easier.Your body stores carbs in the form of glycogen in your liver and muscles. They are important energy reserves — especially for ambitious runners. The more glycogen you have stored in your muscles, the better and longer they can perform.In general, the following nutrient ratio is recommended for endurance athletes:Carbohydrates: 55-65%Protein: 10-15%Fat: 25-30% The Role of Carbs After A RunCarbs are your muscles’ fuel. The macronutrient is very important for runners looking to enhance their performance (for instance, for a marathon) – not only before workouts, but also after you finish running. If you refill your glycogen stores right after a run, your body will recover faster. This helps your body adapt better to a new or harder workout and builds up your immune system faster again after your training. The more often or intensely you train, the more important a diet rich in carbohydrates is for your recovery.ActivityCarb intakeLight< 1 hour/day3-5 g kg/dayModerate  > 1 hour/day5-7 g kg/dayHigh1-3 hour/day7-10 g kg/dayVery high > 4-5 hour/day10-12 g kg/dayWhen and How Many Carbs to Eat After a RunThe best time for your body to replenish its glycogen stores is within the first 30 minutes after your workout. Consume about 0.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. For a 65 kg woman this should be about 30 g of carbohydrates.30 g of carbohydrates can be in the form of: one medium banana5 dates1 slice of bread with jam40 g of granola with 200 ml of cow’s milkThese carbohydrates (simple carbs) are easy to digest, and the body absorbs them quickly. After 30 minutes, the window starts to gradually close, and your body is no longer able to absorb carbs as efficiently and quickly.Keep in mind:You don’t need to eat carbohydrates after a short run (5 to 10 km), because the glycogen stores have not been depleted.What to Eat After a Run at NightAn hour after your run, you should eat a full meal with carbs, protein and fat. To be more exact, your meal should contain a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. Carbs are still important at this point, but your body also needs protein to build muscles. Too much of this macronutrient, however, can interfere with efficient absorption of carbohydrates and disturb your body’s fluid balance.A good post-run meal is loaded sweet potato skins.What to Eat After a Run at Night if You Want to Lose WeightRunners whose top priority is to lose weight should try to avoid eating too many carbs. This applies particularly to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs are necessary as part of a balanced diet, as we shall see below. Short endurance runs (like 5K runs) do not deplete our glycogen stores – so you don’t need to replenish them during your run (for example, with isotonic sports drinks) or right after the run. The best thing to drink after short runs is water. Eat a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, as described above one to two hours after your run. But at the end of the day, if you are looking to lose weight, what matters is a negative energy balance (approx. 500 calories/day). This means you should burn more calories than you consume.Eat Complex Carbs After a Run at NightRunners looking to lose weight need to pay attention to what they eat, as well as their training. The best thing for you to eat is complex carbohydrates (along with high quality protein and healthy fats). These not only keep you feeling full longer, but they provide you with plenty of additional important minerals and vitamins for your metabolism and immune system. Complex carbohydrates are found, for instance, in whole-grain products (like pasta and bread) and brown rice. Whole-grain foods include all the original parts (bran, germ, and endosperm) as well as all their nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are obtained by removing the outside and only keeping the endosperm. Other foods containing complex carbohydrates are potatoes with the skin on them, legumes, and vegetables.Where are different types of carbohydrates found?Complex Carbs to Refuel After a Run at NightComplex Carbs take longer to digest and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fiber that boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system:Whole grains and products incl. pasta, bread, and rollsPotatoes with the skin on themBrown riceBeans, lentils and peasVegetables, 100% vegetable juiceFruitAvoid Simple Carbs After a Run at Nightare a quick source of energy because they are digested rapidly. They cause your blood sugar and your insulin levels to rise:pastry flour and products, cakes, cookies, bread, and rollswhite pastasoft drinkssugar and sweetsalcoholDo You Need Carbs After a Run at Night?Yes and no. A high-carb snack will refill empty glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after a long run (over 10 km). The ideal ratio of carbs to protein in a post-run meal is 3:1 for optimal recovery.The bottom line: eat carbs after night runs to prioritize recovery. Minimize eating carbs after runs at night if that is part of your weight loss strategy.*** More

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    Filson x Ten Thousand Collection Is the Workhorse of Workout Apparel

    For duds that endure the wear and tear of wilderness excursions, Filson is a mainstay. For workout apparel that withstands grueling lifting sessions, Ten Thousand is a stalwart. Separately they shine, but together they can single-handedly replace your training kit with high-performance workout apparel.

    The two brands have joined forces to drop a limited-edition collection of workout clothes designed to meet the training needs of first responders and wildland firefighters.
    “Having FiIson ask us to help them make this collection is an incredible honor,” says Keith Nowak, founder and CEO of Ten Thousand. While Filson was born in the woods and Ten Thousand was born in the gym, we both share a spirit that’s been forged from hard work, grit and the will to become better than we were yesterday. And this collection encompasses that perfectly.”

    Courtesy ImageThe Filson x Ten Thousand Collection features three pieces—all made in Filson’s signature Marsh Olive colorway: Versatile Shirt, crafted from breathable, sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and abrasion-resistant fabric; the lined Tactical Short, cut from durable yet featherweight four-way stretch ripstop fabric; and Training Sock, which features cooling mesh panels, functional cushioning, and anatomical arch support.
    They all have a permanent silver ion treatment that will last through use and washing.

    Courtesy Image“Filson and Ten Thousand users share similar values and lifestyles,” says Alex Carleton, chief creative officer at Filson. “Both are smart, tough and prepared. The collaboration between the two brands resulted in a collection perfect for our everyday heroes… The design behind the collection was led by the athletes and heroes it was made for, like frogman combat veteran and backcountry hunter, Alex Fitchler, who helped put the collection through its paces.”
    Courtesy ImageThe standout among the pieces has to the be the swim-ready shorts, which were made to conform to the needs of military fitness standards by being durable, breathable, and lightweight. But they also had to be easy to wash, odor-resistant, comfortable, and feature multiple pockets. The Tactical Short shines in the last aspect, as they have stash spots, inside and out, that offer secure storage for items like cash, keys, smartphone, ID, and energy chews.
    The Filson x Ten Thousand Collection will be available from and beginning Friday, October 29, 2021. Prices start at $16.
    Get it

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    Running Off-Road: These 5 Trail Running Tips Will Get You Started

    If you think trail running only happens in the mountains, you’re mistaken.Running off-road is about leaving the streets and running on a natural surface. We’ll give you 5 tips to make it easier to ditch tar for off-road running. 1. Look for the right trail running routeYou don’t necessarily have to go into the wild for your next trail run. Look for a route that takes you through parks, on gravel paths, or across fields. You’ll find new areas away from where you usually run and get an introduction to running off-road. If you’re not that familiar with your surroundings, take a look at the map and get an idea of where you might find some trails. Expert Tip:Be free and run without a plan. Decide where you want to go according to how you feel; be spontaneous and try different running surfaces. Trail running is not necessarily about setting a PR; it’s also about experiencing your environment. 2. Train for new conditions The biggest challenge you have in trail running is the different terrain you run on. It’s a good idea to develop your leg muscles if you want to run trails. Exercises to improve stability and balance help prevent injuries. You should also strengthen your ankles so you don’t end up twisting or spraining them.  Where does trail running happen? In trail running, only 20% of the route should be on paved surfaces like asphalt and cobblestones. The rest is run on rougher terrain. The different parts of the route can be on gravel paths, trails in the woods, and single-track trails. Are you ready for a bit of competition? Lace up your trail running shoes and compete against Gaia, a wild mountain lion, in this year’s Run Wild challenge!3. Prepare for off-road running with bodyweight exercisesWhen you’re ready to prepare for your first trail run, try the following bodyweight exercises:Stability and balance exercises: Plank: This full-body workout is a great way to strengthen your core. Single-Leg Stand: Stand on one leg and slowly come up onto your toes. As soon as you feel confident enough, you can try this exercise on an uneven surface.Single-Leg Deadlift: Stand on one leg and bend forward at the hips. Lift your other leg and stretch it out behind you until it’s at a 90° angle to the leg you are standing on.  Exercises to increase jump strength:Jump Lunges: Switch sides as you jump into these lunges. Single-Leg Jump: Stand on one leg and jump up and down or move forward as you jump. Speed Skater: Jump sideways from one leg to the other quickly like a speed skater. Box Jumps: Jump up onto a raised surface with both legs. (Want to become a box jump pro? Check out our box jump blog post.)4. Start slowly Since trail running usually involves a lot of uneven surfaces, your legs will get stronger than running on the road. Your body has to burn more energy to deal with the constant changes in conditions and surfaces. Take it easy on your first trail runs and keep it slow, so you aren’t gasping for breath right away. Over time you can start playing with different speeds on a variety of terrain (like fartlek). 5. Choose the right trail running shoesThe running shoes you wear for the road are fine for flat surfaces. But as soon as you start running steeper trails, you should think about getting shoes with good grip. Remember:Don’t tie your shoes too tight but snug enough so that you don’t slide around in them. Tuck the big loops of your laces into the lacing, so they don’t catch on branches. There is a variety of trail running gear available to make your experience more enjoyable. You can store drinks or energy bars in special running packs, in case you are out for a longer run. Caution — eyes on the ground! Unlike when you run on the road, trails are full of hazards: roots, loose stones, or the wet, slippery forest floor make it essential to watch where you’re going when you run.Would you like to learn more about trail running? We have the Top 3 Beginner Tips from the Pros for you.*** More

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    How Can a Running Warm-Up Help Optimize Performance?

    It’s no secret that a running warm-up[1] is important if it’s a race or the usual weekly run. But many runners don’t know why (or what to watch out for).We’ve compiled a short list of the benefits of running warm-ups, tips on how to warm up properly and go-to running warm-up routines.Find out below how running warm-ups improve your running performance. Check out the go-to warm-up routines at the bottom of the article!1. Running warm-ups raise your body temperatureDynamic warm-up exercises raise your body temperature by heating up your muscles. They also boost your metabolism and accelerate the supply of energy to your muscles.2. Running warm-ups enhance muscle performance [2] As your muscle temperature rises, your muscle viscosity (or resistance) decreases. This results in faster muscle contraction and relaxation, which enhances your performance.3. Running warm-ups boost heart functionYour heart also benefits from warming up. The exercises increase your cardiac output and respiratory minute volume (RMV), thus expanding your VO2 max.4. Running warm-ups improve the load distribution in your jointsContrary to previous belief, new research has shown that even short-term exercise like warming up can help build joint cartilage. The thicker layer of cartilage increases the load-bearing surface and distributes loads more evenly.5. Running warm-ups help prevent injuriesWarming up properly has been proven to minimize the risk of injury. It increases tissue and muscle flexibility and prepares your body to perform fast and explosive movements. Plus, you are less likely to pull or tear a muscle.As an added advantage, warming up improves your mental focus and speeds up your reaction time.Useful Running warm-up tips:Focus on those muscles that will do most of the work.The warm-up effect is short-lived, so keep warming up until the beginning of your race/run. Research has shown that your body temperature remains elevated for only about 10 minutes after you warm up and that after 45 minutes, all traces of your warm-up are gone.It may seem counterintuitive, but if you are warming up for a race, the shorter the race is, the longer your warm-up should be.Never start off with sprints or explosive movements. You should gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up. Your warm-up should never cross your anaerobic threshold.In addition, there are several factors to consider when deciding on how long and how hard to warm up: the distance of the race/run, the time of day, the weather, your age and your physical fitness. Most warm-up routines last somewhere between 10 and 45 minutes (for a race). Unfortunately, there is no one-plan-fits-all approach to warming up. Try the suggested running warm-up routines below and see if they work for you:[embedded content]*** More

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    4 Tips for Running on Vacation • How to Stay Fit and Have fun

    ​​Summer is in full swing and your vacation is just around the corner. For many people, running is an active way to relax and recharge: therefore, many runners can’t imagine not running while on holiday. That being said, here are 4 tips for running on vacation so you can stay fit and enjoy your time off: 1. Mix up your routine with cross-trainingRunners who have a race scheduled after their vacation might want to use the time to take their training up a notch. However, you shouldn’t forget that your break is supposed to provide you with some much-needed recovery time from your normal busy life. Be careful that your running doesn’t add additional stress. You should decide before you leave if you want to do a training camp or focus on rest and relaxation.Of course, it’s a good idea to use running as an active way to relax and relieve daily stress. But on vacation, just try not to focus on distance, pace, and intensity. Take a short break from your training plan and do some cross-training like swimming or cycling. Try some bodyweight training workouts for runners when you wake up in the morning. The change can actually help improve your performance in the long run.Sometimes, less is more:Vacation means rest. Don’t force yourself to work out if your body needs a break.2. Don’t forget about your travel companionsIf you want to run on vacation, you need to balance this with the needs of your significant other, family or friends. There is nothing more annoying for your fellow travelers than constantly having to organize their day around your training plan.Timing: The best times to go running are early in the morning or late in the evening. Plus, it is a good idea to let your loved ones participate in your running experience: have your significant other, children or friends run along with you – together we are stronger!3. Embrace the new opportunitiesRunning on vacation shouldn’t be goal-oriented. Your mind would also benefit from some variety from your usual running routine. Aim to discover new things: marvel at the scenery, discover new routes, and use the time to explore your surroundings. Why not try trail running for a change? This knowledge of the area can come in handy later on day trips and you get to see places off the normal tourist track.Tip:Before setting out, make sure your GPS is functioning and that you have a map of the area downloaded to your phone. That way you don’t have to worry about finding your way back.4. Get used to the new conditionsPay attention to the new conditions of your vacation location and don’t underestimate the effort needed to adjust: differences in climate, time zone, or running surface (sand or rock) can have a big impact on your body. Also, the intensity of the sun should not be underestimated during the summer months. A light wind or a cool breeze might make it difficult to tell the temperature or how much UV radiation your body is being exposed to. Plus, many runners are not accustomed to the extra effort of running in mountain air.Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. You should also give your body ample opportunities to recover from the extra stress of the new conditions. Remember, staying fit on vacation is not only about exercise. Rest and relaxation is a big part of staying healthy; a holistic approach will give you better results in the long run.TakeawayThere are lots of benefits to running on vacation: you add to your holiday experience and can work off some of the stress of your normal busy life. Vacation is a perfect time to recharge your batteries and a great opportunity to try a digital detox.These tips for running on vacation should help keep you on track with your fitness, but more importantly – help you prioritize during this well-earned break. Try to free your mind of any thoughts about races and training plans.*** More