Sunday, August 27, 2006

3 Great Tips to Help you Improve your Running!

I've just collated these 3 tips to help you towards your goals.

My first tip of advice is aimed towards the beginners out there, but can also be applied to more experienced runners. Set yourself realistic and achievable goals, both long term and short, write these goals down, for short term goals, plan how many miles you would like to do that week, if your an experienced runner, it may be as high as 60/70 miles including 2 runs on one day. Whereas for a beginner, it may just be a gentle 2 mile jog 3 times a week. For long term goals, for more advanced runners, pick a race that you'd like to enter in a few months time and set a realistic target time e.g. 34 minutes in a 10km race. For beginners, it may just be to complete the race. I advise you keep a diary of your runs, this allows you to analyze how you have improved over the past months of training and you will find it helps keep you motivated and gives you pleasure as you see your improvements!
If you set yourself realistic goals in the short term and the long term, it will help you keep motivated and will lead to success, the secret is slowly building up, if you set yourself goals that are far fetched, and increase's intensity and distance too quickly, and then you're on a fast track for injury!
In conclusion, set yourself realistic goals, this gives you motivation and also allows you to keep a record of your improvement as you achieve your goals and continue to set higher and higher goals till you reach your pinnacle!
My second tip is to reduce the stress in your life and so perform to your full potential. It has been reported that over 50% of sick days off work are due to stress, it is a pretty established fact that it really isn't good for you, and leads to several health problems. Firstly, stress leads to high blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease, it also encourages strokes! Furthermore all young men should be aware that high stress can lead to impotence, as well as leading to depression, lethargy as well as stomach ulcers and indigestion!
So this is my second top tip, everyday, set about an hour of your time at least to de-stress, everybody releases stress in different ways, and exercise is an obvious choice at it helps you keep fit while reducing endorphins! Other methods could include hitting a punch bag, listening to music, having a relaxing bath, also perhaps just getting a few hours extra sleep a night; not getting enough sleep contributes to this!
By unwinding daily, you are likely to suffer less heart related problems later in life, as well as feeling much more energetic and improving your bodies capabilities for recovery, as well as making you much more productive at work!
My third tip is specifically aimed at the runners out there, rather than just running and running every week, do a new activity as an alternative e.g. biking/swimming. This is known as cross training, for example replace one run a week by an alternative exercise. This reduces boredom of doing the same old routines, encourages you to learn and develop new skills and hobbies. This allows muscle groups and certain body parts (e.g. knees) to be rested which usually get pounded when running and work other muscle groups that are usually ignored, this leads to improved overall conditioning! Furthermore as your usual muscles for running are being rested, it reduces the chance of injury as it gives those muscles much needed recovery time!
Follow these three tips to a happier and healthier life! Happy Running!

Other useful resources: and

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Running for Beginners: Running Tips, A to Z by Kely Braswell

Here's a Running Tip from for each letter of the alphabet!
Follow these, and you'll be a wiser runner!
Ask questions.
Never stop learning. There are no stupid questions. Contact us at
Running is not all there is to life. Keep family, friends, and faith!
Carry a bandana!
Fold it over your waistband. Good for wiping sweat, and wiping other places in the event of a detour into the woods in the event of a sudden attack of Runner's Trots.
Diet wisdom!
60% carbohydrates, 25% fat, 15% protein. A high fat diet will destroy your ability to run.
Exercise your right to run!
There is freedom in covering ground under your own power. Appreciate it!
That's what being an Ordinary Runner is all about!
Go racing!
Getting ready for a race is one of the most motivating aspects of running.
Drink, drink, drink. Your body is mostly water! Keep it that way!
Increase mileage slowly.
When you're adding mileage, never increase more than 10% a week. This helps to avoid injury.
Just keep moving!
This is the theme song of the Ordinary Runner. We may not be the fastest or sleekest, but we keep moving forward.
Keep a journal.
You'll be amazed what you'll learn about yourself, and how quickly you learn what works and what doesn't work... just by writing it down.
Limping is bad.
If something is hurting bad enough to make you change your stride, you need to rest. Remember RICE for injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Make friends!
Some of your best friends will be people you meet at races or training groups.
Notice the world around you.
Don't develop the bad habit of simply watching the ground in front of your shoes. Don't forget to look around and see the world while you're running!
Only for running!
Only wear your running shoes to run in, not to wear around during the day. You've got to keep those midsoles springy! This avoids injury.
Watch the pounds come off! If you just keep moving and stay consistent in your running, you WILL lose weight!
Quilt frequently.
Just seeing if you're still paying attention. (I bet you think I don't know a running tip that starts with a "Q"!)
Rotate shoes.
Use 2 pairs of shoes to keep the midsoles fresh. Use the shoe with lower miles for longer runs, and the high mileage shoe for shorter ones. This avoids injuries.
They are your MOST IMPORTANT piece of equipment. Buy quality, and take care of them. I can't stress this enough. Quality shoes are a must!
Trim your toenails.
Long toenails are a surefire way to get "black toe." (That's when your toenail turns solid black from pounding on the end of your shoe!)
Use a heart rate monitor.
Not only will you learn quickly about your heart rate info, but you'll have a lot of fun. A great piece of technology!
Yes, you need a vacation occasionally, even from running. A week long break once a year will do wonders for your muscles AND your mind.
Wicking materials!
Especially your socks! Keeping sweat away from your feet avoids blisters and Athlete's Foot. Keeping it away from your torso avoids getting too hot in summer, and too cold in winter.
X-Ray it!
If an injury keeps you from running, and persists, see a doctor! You don't want to develop a stress fracture!
Yikes! Don't run from dogs.
Face a dog, make yourself as big as you can, use a big voice. Back away slowly until he loses interest. If he doesn't lose interest, zig when he zags!
Zero calories in liquids.
If you're trying to lose weight in general, or training for a race, this is one of the quickest ways to lose it! Don't drink anything that has calories!
And that's the Running Tip, from A to Z!
About the Author
Kely Braswell has been a runner for 27 years. He's not the fastest... just an Ordinary Runner. But he's in great shape, and he knows a LOT about running! Beginning runners can look at, simple advice on running for beginners and mere mortals! He developed his site using SiteSell technology. Check it out at

I saw this article, and thought it was a really neat way of teaching the basics to beginners, it has all the basic points that you need to know in a crisp and easy to understand format going through the letters of the alphabet. Of course there is more to running than what lies above, a lot more! To get some of the more hidden information then have a cruise through some of the past posts, there is loads of information burried in there! Another site to check for any information is

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Running Cramps, Leg Cramps & Hydrating During The Race by Paul Newland

Leg Cramps & Hydrating During The Race There are 2 factors that determine how well you are able to get fluid to where it's needed during a race - Gastric Emptying (how quickly the fluid leaves the stomach) and Intestinal Absorption (how well the small intestine is able to absorb fluid). Studies have shown that a larger volume of fluid in the stomach as well as the presence of carbohydrate and electrolytes improves the uptake of fluid. In regard to carbohydrate concentration, the optimal amount is around 2.5g per litre of water (about 4-5% glucose). Higher concentrations tend to slow the process down, however for endurance athletes the benefits of higher energy replacement may be more preferable. Interestingly, fructose (sugar from fruits) tends to absorb more slowly and may slow down the uptake of water. If you can calculate your rate of loss of fluid per hour then you can easily assess your fluid requirements. To do this you should try to simulate your race conditions when you exercise and weigh yourself before and immediately after you complete your training - and with no clothes as they tend to absorb sweat. Knowing exactly how much fluid you're going to need will help you understand your body more and improve your overall performance. The problem then comes down to organising your equipment and the race plan so you can get the fluid you need. A lot of runners are using running belts with small 100ml bottles - however while this may be OK for training or cross-country or ultra distance events, it can hamper you during a race over a shorter distance. For this you will have to weight up a risk versus gain strategy and take the time to get the fluid you need. A 'slow down' in a couple of sections to take on more fluid and electrolytes may pay big dividends in terms of completing the race at your best as opposed to slowing down with running cramps. Note: Thirst is not a good indicator of your level of hydration - by the time you a thirsty your body is signalling a state of dehydration and if you are in a prolonged event, chances are you will not be able to get back 'in front' of your hydration levels. Your chances of suffering a muscle cramp and fatigue will increase. As an example, I would call myself a recreational runner who occasionally competes in half and full marathons a couple of times per year. When I do this I get much better results when I plan a hydration/carbohydrate strategy. I know I need about 900 ml per hour and a 4% glucose solution (with natural saccharides as well as protein) sports drink with plenty of electrolytes gives me enough sustained energy to maintain an 80% pace for the whole race. Overall, I would always recommend a well formulated carbohydrate/electrolyte drink that will increase hydration and reduce the likelihood of leg cramps and muscle cramps caused by exercising over a continuous period in a hot , humid environment. For more strategies and informaton on how to effectively prevent, treat and completely eliminate running cramps, leg cramps and muscle cramps of all types, check out the Ultimate Cramp Busting Guide - and with over 128 pages and comprehensive information from 6 medical and complimentary health care specialists, we guarantee 100% that we can make your cramps a thing of the past. Copyright - About the Author Paul Newland Bsc.(Hons) is a sports nutritionist, health writer, health & fitness consultant, certified workplace trainer & assessor, & martial arts instructor. He has a working background as an EMT, rescue helicopter pilot & rescue crew trainer & has been involved in physical training, conditioning & fitness training for over 22 years. Web - Running Cramp
Being an experienced runner, and having run in mountain marathons, I know the true feeling of severe cramp, and you can take my word, it is something to be avoided at all costs. Follow the advice in the article, and you should find yourself on the way to the end of a successful race. For more health and fitness advice/tips/articles please visit:

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Getting the Most Out of Your Treadmill Workout by Fred Waters

You know what makes exercising on a treadmill so effective in losing weight and getting in shape - the ability to adjust the incline. With the push of a button you can adjust the intensity level of your workout to any degree.
If you live in a flatlander state like Illinois and you run or walk outside, you're stuck at one level. With a treadmill you can simulate running or walk on hills or mountains, and that is where you start getting the heart beating and the calories burning.
Breaking Out of the Exercise Rut
For those of us who exercise regularly, we tend to get into a rut. And once you get stuck in a rut you reach a plateau. You find that you are not losing any more weight, and you are not getting in better shape. By changing up your routine and the intensity of your workout you can reach new highs in your personal fitness. That is why hill and interval training are such popular programs on the treadmill. In fact, one of the hottest trends in exercising and weigh loss is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This new form of aerobic exercising manages to get the maximum results in less time. And for us who struggle to find the time to exercise, this type of workout is very attractive.
Treadmill Are Ideal for Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training requires exercising at high intensity levels for 1-3 minutes, and follow-up with a recovery period that is approximately 2 to 3 times longer. HIIT can apply whether you run or walk. It just is a matter of raising the incline level and getting the heart beating faster. Treadmills are ideal for aerobic workouts like High Intensity Interval Training. You crank the treadmill up to a high incline for several minutes then reduce the level and slow down to a walk or slow jog. You can either use existing hill or interval programs on the treadmill (most at least have hill training), or you can manually control the workout to a level you feel comfortable with.
The important point is get out of the rut. Experiment with different speeds and incline levels. As you start getting comfortable at a certain level for a certain period, increase both the incline and the period of time. The benefits of breaking out of the rut is burning more calories, getting in better shape and breaking up the boredom of your exercise routine.
If you plan to increase your level of exercising, make sure you are physically in shape to handle the intensity. You may want to check with your physician first, particularly if you are just starting back into a fitness routine.
About the Author
Fred Waters worked in the treadmill industry for a number of year and is author of the Treadmill Ratings and Reviews site. Check out the latest reviews on over 75 of the most popular treadmills, and get important buying tips from the Treadmill Buyer's Guide.


Personally, I'm not a big fan of treadmills, mainly due to the fact that I live in the glorious countryside, surrounded by beautiful hills. Others are not so lucky, and running indoors on a treadmill is the best environment they can have, this may be due to many reasons, high pollution levels in the city, extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, and a complete lack of hills to run up. The treadmill combats all of these issues, so for those people who have to run on treadmills, you need to know how to use one effectively, through this article, I hope you have been slightly enlightened. Remember fellow runners, no pain, no gain.
For other, general health and fitness advice check out

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using High Intensity Interval Training, Especially If You Want To Get Really Lean!" by by Kyle Battis CSCS, ATC, NSCA-C

I am a big fan of being lean and helping other people get lean. I have helped hundreds of people shed fat from their body to reveal a leaner, stronger, more empowering physique. One of the most powerful tools that I have used in creating lean bodies is called HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. Have you heard of it before? Well, I think you are crazy if you have not been working this powerful tool into your training program. Below you will find 7 compelling reasons why should be using HIIT in your exercise program.
Reason # 1. Research has compared hour-long, boring cardio workouts to 4-minute HIIT workouts and they found improvements in VO2 Max by about 14% and Imporvements in your anaerobic capacity increased by a remarkable 28%! In only 4 minutes!
Reason #2. HIIT does not chew up your muscle mass like excessive endurance exercise does. Have you ever seen a jacked marathon runner? Me either... Long slow cardio does force your body to get rid of metabolically-expensive muscle mass. That's a real problem if you want to stay lean and attractive.
Reason #3. So you can lose more subcutaneous fat than the standard long slow cardio exercise
Reason #4. Lose NINE TIMES MORE FAT for every calorie burned during exercise!
Reason #5. HIIT causes your body to burn more calories and fat AFTER the workout is completed. This means that after you finish your workout, hit the showers, and are on your way back to your home your body is burning fat stores right off of your body!
Reason # 6. Sprint intervals can be more beneficial than traditional cardio especially for middle-age and older adults. Due to the tremendous increases in growth hormone which is suspected to be a strong factor in fat loss
Reason #7. Save you time! A complete high intensity interval training workout session can be completed in only 4 minutes! Compare that to doing an hour of cardio. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to fit in a thorough warm-up, weight training workout, an hour of cardio, a cool down and stretching.
If you want better fat loss results, faster then you should incorporate these intervals into your training program. They will help to add some much-needed variety to your training program, they will allow you to get more done in less time, and they will train your cardiovascular system in new ways that will spark renewed progress.
About the Author
Kyle Battis is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength Coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His mission is to help people enrich their lives by embracing better health and fitness! To learn more about the time-saving benefits of interval training and to learn 20 sample HIIT workouts then visit:

Personally, I think that to really boost your speed, high intensity interval training is an absolute must. Not only does it boost your leg speed, it also significantly builds your VO2 max and burns fat. The even better part is that you can do it in a short period of time, so if you have a busy work shedule, it is much easier to fit in rather than your standard 40 minute run! If your not already doing high intensity interval training, I advise you give it a try, I'm sure you'll see results! For other more general health and fitness tips, why don't you check out

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Boost Your Running With Cross Training - Mountain Biking

Cross training is a great way to give your tired overworked muscles a slight rest, and work other muscles that are not used to the same extent when running, as well as giving your knees and ankles time to recover! This is a great way to improve your all round fitness, and your running. Here is a quick introduction to Mountain Biking, on of my favourite cross training methods.

Mountain Biking Tips by Greg Culver

Mountain biking, the name alone is enough to describe it. It is a great outdoor game that introduces you with the nature and helps you stay fit and in shape. It's real fun to race down the mountain even if it's a bit dangerous if you are not an expert biker. Many people enjoy the downhill ride with their family but with caution.
There are various styles in which the mountain biking could be done such as cross country, downhill and free riding. Different type of mountain biking requires different type of skills for various bikes.
You can find the best locations for mountain biking in many areas of the North America. The best known locations have unpaved surface specifically designed for mountain biking. You should confirm the routes, rules and regulations with your local park before you go on a mountain terrain.
There are many different competitions organized by various mountain bike groups. You can search for such groups in the newspaper or on the internet to find that perfect buddy for you.
If you want to become a good biker then you must have the stamina and enough endurance to cross the terrain with expertise and win over others. You will have to do hard work and practice to achieve this milestone. Be ready for all the bruises and wounds that you will get when you will fall from the bike during training.
The other important point is to select the best bike for your self. The selection of bike completely depends on the type of mountain riding you are doing and your dream for a bike. It is not easy to select the bike of your choice as there are many bikes of several colors and different styles. You may take the help of cyberspace to search for the bike of your choice. You can find the best deal on the internet websites but it is very important to compare prices of one or more websites. It's better to take a trial ride before purchasing the bike to check the level of comfort and its mechanism suits you or not.
Most important point is the safety while riding to ensure happy and joyful ride always. We all know that mountain biking on unpaved roads is very dangerous therefore you should always wear helmet, knee caps and elbow caps for your safety. It's good to wear a good pair of goggles so that nothing could fall in your eyes with wind hindering your sight. So, remember all these safety tips and enjoy the ride in the mountains.
About the Author
Greg Culver is the owner of For information and articles on recreation and travel go to:

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Obesity, the Dangers of Gluttonous Habits

With the rise of fast food over the last decade or so, western civilisation is under siege from a problem that has never plagued the world in its history. This problem is obesity. Despite the increasing research and facts emerging about fatty foods, and its affects to people's bodies and health, a vast amount of the western world still choose to ignore these facts and binge on fast foods, and do little exercise. It was reported that 35%of British men have not done any exercise within the last year, and over half are classed as over-weight or obese, while the proportion of people spending money on fatty foods and alcohol has risen. Will the coming generation be known as the obese generation, we can only hope not. Not only could this have disastrous economic affects in the UK as the strain will be felt by the health system as the generation ages, but on a personal level, being obese has huge (pardon the pun) health hazards!

The Health Hazards of being Obese

There are many health hazards associated with obesity, here I will inform you of the main ones, and hopefully in doing so, give you several reasons to either lose weight if you are currently obese, or keep you away from joining the increasingly large, infamous club, that is obesity, obesity is a club to be avoided if you value your health and your life. So here it is:
Firstly, cardiovascular disease, people who are overweight or obese are increasingly susceptible to cardiovascular disease, this is because of the affects that obesity has on lipid levels of the blood. Being overweight tends to result in having high levels LDL also known as 'bad cholesterol' which builds up on the inside of the arteries and result in the narrowing of the arteries, and in some cases blocking, a blood clot is a possibility, along with a heart attack!
Lethargy and daytime tiredness, obese people have been found to increasingly suffer from tiredness during the day and as a result, are more prone to be involved in road accidents. Further more it is likely that obese people will live as productive lives due to this lethargy and tiredness; as a result, it also makes losing weight even harder as they struggle to find the energy to go out and exercise.
Type-2 diabetes, it has been reported that up to 90% of type-2 diabetes sufferers are either overweight or obese, and as a result obesity has been found to be the major contributing factor to influencing whether or not somebody will suffer from type-2 diabetes. Diabetes in obese people is also more difficult to treat.
High Blood Pressure, it has long been known now that obesity can lead to high blood pressure, as blood pressure tends to rise with weight. Although the full reasons why obesity leads to high blood pressure is not fully known, one theory is that it is because the blood needs to be under greater pressure to get round a larger body. Although the heart can withstand high blood pressure for a long period of time, after a period of time, it may enlarge, this being a significant factor in heart failure and as a result you may die. Blocking of vessels to the brain (due to weakening of the blood vessels due to high blood pressure) may lead to a stroke, which can also be fatal. Heart attacks and kidney failure are two other possible consequences of having a high blood pressure.
There are many other diseases, illnesses and handicaps that occur due to obesity, these include arthritis, several forms of cancer, bodily pain, liver disease, and gout…the list goes on!

Being obese is risking your life, and endangering your health; you should try to correct this while you still have the chance, otherwise one day before your time, it shall be you last, and you may not even know it!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Get Motivated - Motivation Ideas

Okay, so there's something you want to do, whether it's losing weight, getting fit, quitting smoking or alcohol, or just to work harder, there will always be times when you start to struggle and need that extra motivation! This may be when on your campaign to get fit, when its cold and raining, and the last thing you feel like doing is going for a run, or when your giving up smoking and your in a bad mood and stressed and you are getting increasingly tempted to have a cigarette, through this article I will offer a few ideas to help give you that extra little bit of motivation to keep going!

Firstly, you need to remember that for every day that you stick to your goals, you are a day nearer to succeeding, if you can keep this in mind at all times then this will give you the extra spark to keep going.
You should take heart from any progress that you see, losing just a pound in weight is a start, from these small successes you should build, lose another pound in weight, seeing as progress is such a great motivator, and motivates you to continue and progress further. If you keep a diary, it will provide you with a quick and easy way of being able to see how you've improved, it will spur you on to keep going.
When times are tough, think to yourself how keeping going is going to change your life, whether it will make you more attractive, healthier and add years to your life expectancy, realising how these tough times are just part of the process on the way to your success will help remove any temptations to give in and go back to your old ways.
Don’t try to do reach your goals in a single leap and do everything at once, for example don’t try and lose 2 stone overnight, it just doesn’t work that way, its like revising for exams, rather than trying to do it all at once, it is far more effective if you do it in small amounts, little and often as they say, and slowly but surely you will see progress. Before you know it, these small steps will be the equivalent of a large step, and rather than struggling, it will be far more manageable.
Let as many of your friends as possible know what you are doing, whether it's quitting smoking or taking up a new fitness regime, it doesn't matter. By telling your friends you will feel obliged to continue with it, as there will be a sense of embarrassment and you will feel almost as if you have let your friends down if you give up. It will also give you something to be proud of, and a sense of accomplishment, as well as something to talk about!
Join a club or an association with like minded people trying to seek the same goal as you, you may find yourself new friends, as well as support in times of needs, and who better to get advice off, than those who have been in the exact situation!

So there are a few ideas to help you through those tough times, just always keep your mind focused on the final goal, and the rewards that will come with it e.g. extra years to your life or a great figure and use this to keep you focused. If you believe in yourself then you will succeed. Even if you relapse and have a binge, or skip an exercise session, remember, it's never too late to carry on towards your goal!

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