Runner’s Hack: How To Properly Avoid Muscle Tension

Jeff Galloway, running, dehydration, proper stretching

 

Time and again you’ve heard trainers and running mates poetically wax and wane that stretching before and after runs significantly reduces the risk of injury. This longstanding notion is not entirely true, and now that you’re committed to running farther, it’s even more important to get proper information for improved performance. With that, let’s go ahead and introduce two tried and true ways to ease the tensions in your tendons. 

 

Jeff Galloway, running, dehydration, proper stretching

 

Stretching

Most runners think they should stretch just before running. You see them everywhere, legs on benches, leaning against buildings, getting ready to run. I don’t recommend this. Just before running, the muscles are tight and may pull or strain easily. You are particularly at risk early in the morning when you’re cold and blood flow is minimal. Pushing a cold muscle, tendon or joint often leads to injury.

Stretching right after running is also a risky proposition. The muscles don’t simply stop all activity when you stop running. They are still “revved up” and ready to respond for about 30 minutes; stretching may cause them to spasm. When they are working hard like this, a stretch often activates the stretch reflex, leaving you tighter than before.

When, then? The best time to stretch is after the body is warmed up, relaxed and when the blood is moving. Since many runners do stretch incorrectly, it’s best to wait and stretch after warming up. Don’t stretch to warm the muscles up; it won’t work. Stretch in the evening, for example, or throughout the day as you have time. Many of my friends use stretching as a nice way to prepare for sleep.

 

Jeff Galloway, running, dehydration, proper stretching

 

Hydration

Let’s face it—it’s hot out there, and we’re still weeks away from approaching autumn’s relief. With that being said, let’s talk about proper H2O intake and its impact on your body. As you’re probably well aware, dehydration can cause severe medical conditions, muscle soreness and increase your recovery time after long runs. Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way, keep the water flowing before, during and after your runs by following these simple guidelines. 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it’s crucial to drink early and regularly during a long outing, consuming 20-40 ounces of fluid per hour. This is a lot less than many of our runners are drinking, however, it averages to be about 4-7 ounces per mile for most runners. At the end of long runs, and for hours afterward, even if you are very thirsty, don’t drink more than 8 ounces of water about every 20 minutes. It is better to drink an electrolyte beverage, like Accelerade, which will help slow down the absorption of water. This regimen is also helpful in avoiding hyponatremia, or water intoxification, and can be read more in-depth here.

Although the aforementioned tips aren’t necessarily myth busters, I do hope they provide a new perspective on ways to maximize your muscle tolerance so you can run healthier.

 

*select excerpts provided by JeffGalloway.com

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The Running List: What To Pack When Traveling Abroad

Welcome back everyone! I hope all of your summers are going swell, your runs strong, and your naps mighty and long.

Summertime is a great time to relax, unwind and travel to new, exciting destinations. I was fortunate enough to travel to Southeast Asia this past June. The trip was conveniently planned five days after the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for a few different reasons; the main one being that if I had an awful race, I would be out of the country and hopefully everyone would forget to ask me about it by the time I returned.

Luckily I didn’t have to worry about dodging any marathon-related questions, as it was actually one of the best races I had run (woohoo!). In fact, it was so good that I did not want to lose my mojo and was afraid that the next two weeks of traveling would eliminate everything that I had worked so hard to obtain in terms of physical fitness. While numerous studies have shown that it is nearly impossible to lose one’s endurance in two weeks, I am neurotic, stubborn and believe what I want. With that, I knew that even though it would be difficult to run in the countries we were exploring, I was destined to make it happen.

The amazing thing about running and, quite honestly, one of the biggest reasons why I like it is because you can do it just about anywhere. At the bare minimum, all that is required is a good pair of running shoes and socks. (Though running in the nude is often shunned or heavily frowned upon in most places, so I don’t recommend it.)

(This picture was taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia after one of my runs. This proves that with a semi-decent sense of direction anyone can run in foreign country — even when all directions are written in Khmer.)

When I travel, I take comfort in the fact of knowing that as long as I have my running shoes and two pairs of workout clothes (socks included) anything is possible. I tend to take at least two pairs of workout clothes so as to rotate them and allow the inevitable sweat to dry. This is my attempt to make them feel as new and non-gross as possible when I’m ready to wear again. If extra suitcase space permits, I will take another pair of clothes; however, it is an inescapable fact that when traveling a person will reuse their workout clothes without getting to launder them. Sure, by the time I return home I may have accumulated an extra set of houseflies, but getting that run in was so worth it!

The below items are a few of my favorites to take with me while I travel as they are lightweight, dry rather quickly, and do not take up much space in my suitcase.

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  1. Lucy Workout Racerback 
  2. adidas TECHFIT™ Bra
  3. Nike Dri-FIT™ Venom Tempo Shorts

running, workout, training, marathon, travel, adidas, nike, lucy, trina turk, moving comfort, brooks, new balance

  1. Trina Turk Laser Cut Tank Top
  2. Moving Fiona Comfort
  3. Brooks Racey 7" Shorts

running, workout, training, marathon, travel, adidas, nike, lucy, trina turk, moving comfort, brooks, new balance

  1. New Balance Heathered Jersey Tank Top 
  2. Nike Dri-FIT™ Pro Classic Giraffe Bra
  3. adidas TECHFIT™ Capri Tights - Vibration Print
     

Until next time, happy trails, roads and any other unchartered terrains!

-Chelsea

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New Brand Spotlight: SKORA

SKORA, SKORA Shoes, SKORA running shoes, running shoes, SKORA footwear, natural-inspired running shoes,

SKORA believes in manufacturing running footwear with an approach that is practical, honest, and realistic to a runner’s needs. For this reason, the entire SKORA shoe line is designed for real runners in the real world.

After a blown IT band, 18 months of physical therapy, and an exorbitant amount of money spent on orthotics and shoes, founder and CEO David Sypniewski came to the realization that if he wanted a running shoe that allowed him to both run and enjoy running, he would have to make one himself.

In a search to be pain free, Sypniewski discovered the benefits of barefoot running. He found that when his foot was able to strike the ground naturally, striking at the mid-foot instead of the heel, he was able to run longer with less pain and a greater sense of natural stability. As a result of this pursuit, SKORA running shoes became a labor of love, culminating in 12 years of working endlessly to craft better running footwear.

Each SKORA shoe is built with the principle of combining the benefits of natural-inspired running with the best, and necessary, enhancements that technology has to offer. Instead of continually seeking out new features and technologies to add, SKORA looks for unnecessary features to remove. The driving belief behind the brand is that the best running shoe is one that complements the body, without hindering its natural performance.

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The New Balance Fresh Foam

Technology is amazing. It has the power to transform everything from the ground up. Literally. When New Balance designed their Fresh Foam 980 line, they started with the idea of intelligent geometry. Using computer software to create the geometries that make up the innovative single-piece midsole, Fresh Foam is a lightweight running shoe that is truly unlike any other.

Providing the runner with a lower, more natural underfoot feel that’s like floating on air, the Fresh Foam delivers a soft yet stable, smooth ride every time.

See for yourself what the science of soft is all about and take the New Balance Fresh Foam out for a nice, long run this summer!

New Balance, New Balance Running Shoes, New Balance Fresh Foam, running, running shoes, Fresh Foam 980, New Balance footwear, running footwear, lightweight running shoes,

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Elevate Your Run: Salomon CITYTRAIL

Life’s too short to restrict your runs to the treadmill! Why not embrace the spirit of discovery and exploration of trail running while experiencing your city (or a city you’re visiting) in a whole new way?

That’s exactly what Salomon is aiming to inspire with their CITYTRAIL™ collection.

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1) Salomon X-Scream Men’s

2) Salomon XR Mission Men’s

Discover new running routes, points of interest and roads less traveled through running. In 14 cities across the country (and more being added all the time), the CITYTRAIL mobile app provides routes and points of interest that allow you to leave the mundane and add some excitement and breathe new life into your running routine!

This summer, Elevate Your Run with CITYTRAIL™ by Salomon!

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adidas Springblade Drive

adidas, adidas running, adidas running footwear, adidas running shoes, adidas Springblade, adidas Springblade drive

Explosive Energy. That’s what adidas delivers with its revolutionary Springblade Drive. Springblade is the first-ever technology in running footwear designed to move you forward. Its radical design is the product of six years of development by the adidas innovation team.

Each of the 16 super elastic nylon springs are individually tuned to the needs of the runner throughout the gait cycle, harnessing energy and releasing more back to you with every stride.

The rear outside blades are tuned to absorb energy while the inside front blades are tuned to propel you forward, providing Explosive Energy. Designed for the runner looking for speed, the adidas Springblade is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There is absolutely no traditional midsole foam between you and the blades, creating a never-felt-before ride that’s as fluid as it is fast.

To provide superb breathability, the adidas Springblade features a 3-dimensional engineered mesh upper with zones that provide air flow and other zones that provide support for that great adidas fit.

Add some speed to your fitness and running routine with the revolutionary adidas Springblade!

adidas, adidas running, adidas running footwear, adidas running shoes, adidas Springblade, adidas Springblade drive

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The Running List: Cold-Weather Gear

post by: Chelsea B.

It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I have a scheduled five-mile midweek run before I head into the office. Two months ago, jumping out of bed and hitting the pavement was no problem at all. That was when it was warm, bright, and birds were singing. 

I have to admit that as much as I love running, I hate running in cold weather. I was born and raised in Las Vegas where anything below 65 degrees is grounds for a “hard freeze warning.”

Now, despite my strong distaste and overall inability to function in cold weather, I absolutely hate running anything over two miles on a treadmill. Unless a volcano is erupting, there is a sharknado warning, or a pack of wild dingoes is on the loose, I will always choose to run outside.

With that, I know that I must suck it up and start layering up. Like any normal, slightly OCD runner, I like to have my gear laid out and ready to go the night before so all I have to do is literally roll out of bed and put them on. While getting ready for a run this time of year is a little more labor intensive than the good ol’ days of throwing on shorts and a tank, the good news is that there are tons of amazing cold-weather running products available to help stave off the frigid air that winter brings Woohoo!

From your oh-so important feet to the top of your head, Zappos Running has you covered (literally) so you can get those miles in through the coldest of days.

Below are some of my favorites in cold-weather running clothing & gear:

 Cold-Weather Gear for Running

1. Under Armour UA Qualifier Knit Pants

2. Under Armour Coldgear® Infrared Leggings

3. adidas Techfit Cold Weather Long Tights

4. Mountain Hardwear Momentum Running Gloves

5. Moving Comfort Fiona Sports Bra

6. Nike Running Elite Hyper-Lite No-Show Socks

7. ASICS Favorite Long-sleeve Top

8. New Balance Accelerate Long-sleeve Top

9. Brooks Essential Long-sleeve Half Zip Top

10. Salomon Active Beanie

11. Brooks Utopia Thermal Hoodie III

Until next time, happy trails, roads and other unchartered terrain!

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The Running List: 4 Rules for Finding Your Perfect Running Shoes

I have a distinct memory of my first pair of running shoes, mostly because up until six years ago I am pretty sure running shoes in my size only came in three colors: blue, black and/or white. Having a shoe size of 11 female makes finding any shoes, let alone running shoes, rather challenging. So when I found my very first pair of pink, black and lime green Nike running shoes, I was beside myself.

These were the first pair of running shoes that made me feel like a badass. They were sporty, and super stylish…but unbeknownst to me, they were NOT at all what I needed in a running shoe. During a training run with my old running team in Reno (shout out to NSET!) , one of my teammates spotted my spiffy kicks and told me I really needed new running shoes that supported my overpronation. My heart was broken. I somehow managed to pull myself out of my mild depression and face the cold, hard truth that my adorable running shoes were just not right for me. With that, I had to start from square one and find a new pair of running shoes.

I did, however, find a compromise by wearing my Nikes on weight training days – score!

Finding a good running shoe may seem like a simple task, but with so many options available, it can become quite daunting. Have no fear my dear friends; I have created this simple how-to guide to help you find the best running shoe for you!

Rule #1: Always remember that your feet are like snowflakes – no two are the same. I always welcome recommendations, but just because someone absolutely loves their own shoes, that doesn’t mean it’s a good match for you. This leads me to my next rule…

Rule #2: Before purchasing any shoe, it’s worth your while to have a qualified professional look at your stride. This can easily be conducted at your local running store, OR just watch the video below where one of our running buyers shows you how to determine your stride!:

Rule #3: Do not purchase a shoe based solely on aesthetic features. Sure, the pink and neon yellow, double laced, light-up sneakers with the glitter sole appear to be heaven sent; but beware, just because they look amazing does not mean they are functional or practical for YOUR feet.

Rule #4: Just like cars, go ahead and take your shoes for a test drive. It is important to try on several different shoes and walk around the house with them to see what works best for you. Remember, with Zappos' free and easy returns, you can order as many as you’d like and return the ones that don’t make the cut!

Be sure to stay tuned for my next "The Running List" post, where I will break down the best running shoes for those that need a little support, neutral runners, track athletes and trail blazers.

Until next time, happy trails, roads, and other unchartered terrains!

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