Monthly Archives: September 2016

Ways to Become a Forefoot Runner

Sports is a profession that demands speed and action. It is a field where one races against time and mere fractions of a second can decide who’s the victor and loser of a game. In such a scenario, sportsmen may turn to using new techniques to put themselves in an advantageous position. Most people have a tendency to run and walk by touching their heel firmly on the ground. Gradually, the entire foot touches the ground, until it is lifted once again to complete the cycle of running. The whole process may seem simple and normal to a layman. This traditional and common way of running is called heel or mid-foot running. On the other hand, the forefoot running technique can increase a runner’s speed, but demands an intense effort from the runner to master it. Here is how one can become a forefoot runner.

Steps to Becoming a Forefoot Runner

I must say that forefoot running cannot be done subconsciously when you start practicing it. All beginners will need to take conscious efforts to make a transition in their running style from the natural ‘heel’ running to forefoot running. You will also need to train your mind to concentrate on the way you jog or run. I recommend all beginners to start off at a very slow pace. Most dedicated runners are able to adapt to forefoot running within a span of 30 to 45 days.

Buy Forefoot Running Shoes
One of the best ways to grasp this skill is to go and buy a pair of special forefoot running shoes of a renowned brand. These shoes are designed with a low heel while the forefoot area has extra cushioning for added foot comfort during forefoot running practice. Start practicing this running technique by wearing these shoes from day one.

Forefoot Running Practice
The following are some important guidelines that you need to follow for a fruitful practice session.

  • Remember to dedicate a few minutes for warm up before you start running. Start walking at a slow pace, then do some heel flicks, or forward lunges. The point is to make sure that you don’t break into a run without stretching your muscles, otherwise you may end up with injuries. Ideally a warm up may last for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If you are a beginner, then practicing in the evening is the most suitable time to do so. This is because, the muscles in our feet loosen up later in the day. It is easier to practice a new exercise or running technique when your muscles are most flexible.
  • Do not expect your feet to cope up with long distance jogs when you start out. Limit your jogs to a mere 2 miles for the first fortnight.
  • Start practicing by bending slightly forward. You might feel like bending your knees a little. Do it, as it will reduce some initial stress.
  • Listen to what your feet tell you and stop jogging if your feet signal discomfort while running.
  • Ideally, shuttle your jogs between heels and forefeet styles from time to time till you feel ready to stick to your new style.
  • Make sure to gently massage the balls of your feet at the end of every jogging session. You may bathe your feet with warm water and Epsom salt to relieve the stress.

Fake Jogging

This refers to a technique where one jogs at a single spot on a flat surface. This technique can be used at home or at work for practicing forefoot running. For those who wish to practice this technique, I suggest that you lean forward slightly and jog at a fixed pace. Ensure to land your feet at a point that is your center of gravity. Use of a treadmill is considered ideal for such practice as you can control your jogging speed effectively.

After consistent practice, your body will switchover to this technique in a certain period of time. You will notice a gradual decrease in muscle pain and stress as your feet get adjusted to receiving pressure and weight on the balls of your feet rather than the heels.

Health Benefits of Forefoot Running

  • Forefoot running will increase your running speed in the long run. Similarly, it offers many health benefits to the people practicing this art. Here is why you should switch to forefoot running.
  • Research shows that muscles in a runner’s feet strengthen when he practices forefoot running. This helps to reduce occurrence of muscle pain and injuries along with common athletic problems such as tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, and fractures.
  • Mid-foot and heel running is known to induce pressure on the arch of the foot. This can get stressful in the long run and can even cause a collapsed arch in the foot. Forefoot running on the other hand, can help to reduce this problem to a great scale.
  • People who opted to use this technique have reported a considerable reduction in calf muscle pain.
  • A normal method of running or jogging can put a lot of stress on the knees and hips of a person. This is because our knees and hips act like shock absorbers. On the other hand, forefoot running eliminates the passing of a shock or a jerk to the hips. This can considerably reduce problems of hip and back pain on account of running.
  • Forefoot running helps conserve energy levels of people who practice this technique.

This technique is considered as a key to success for athletes as well as those who love jogging as an exercise. If however, you experience unbearable pain in your feet then stop the practice immediately. Consult an expert in sports medicine to discuss methods of eliminating further problems.

Fitness Guide for Beginners

So you weigh yourself on the scales and realizethat you have to do something or you’re not going to be able to zip your jeans up soon. You want to start a fitness plan. These suggestions are valuable in beginning your fitness plan safely.

Seek the Advice of Your Doctor

Before you start any fitness plan, verify with your physician. Your physician knows what your overall health level is at and will tell you what workouts you can and shouldn’t do. Comply with your medical doctor’s guidance.

Begin Slowly

Professional athletes did not begin out that way. They started gradually and worked their way up to exactly where they are at nowadays. You are required to begin your new exercising routine gradually and work your way up as well. Practice to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries.

Invite a Friend

It is challenging to commit oneself to a fitness routine. Grab a buddy and you are going to be far more most likely to continue with your routine and stick it out. Your buddy can act as your accountability partner and you can act as your pals -partner. Working out with each other can each make it through.


When beginning your fitness routine one of the easiest techniques to begin is walking. Commence gradually as stated above and enhance your distance daily. Perhaps just around the block the initial few days, then go a block and a half. Continue adding in blocks until you reach a mile or two. As soon as you set your objective,work up to it. A pedometer is an incredible cheap working out tool that tracks your progress and keeps you motivated.Walking is a very good healthier exercising that most doctors recommend.

Eat Healthily

No fitness routine is comprehensive without a healthier diet. If you happen to be living on French fries and other fatty foods, you happen to be not undertaking your physique any favors. A once in a while treat is fine but ifyou happen to be dining on unhealthy foods consistently it really is time to drop those foods from your diet. Don’t forget, you’re operating on a fitness routine and you don’t need that fat weighing you down.

Develop A Routine

Use a routine to stay focused and do your workout. Perhaps you get up, make the bed, get the youngsters on the bus and then take a walk. What ever your routine, add fitness into it at the very same time daily to assist your physique adjust to it. Remain with it for at least 3 weeks and it will turn into an automatic part of your day.

Use Your Electronic Gadgets

If you have a tablet or a smartphone you can take advantage of many apps that will assist you track your progress in your new fitness strategy. A handful of of them even consist of a diet plan to adhere to, a calorie counter and a pedometer to count your steps.

Fitness need to be a portion of everyone’s daily life. Organizing fitness into your day is simple once you get into a routine and adhere to it daily. Fitness doesn’t have to be boring to work. Alter it up, change the route for a run, go with a buddy.

Finding Safety Tips for a Safe and Fun Run

Running or jogging makes for a great workout. Plus, it does not require any cost and can be done at any time of the day. Its benefits are numerous. It strengthens the bones and muscles, improves the functioning of body organs, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, keeps you active, and helps maintain a healthy weight. While running is beneficial in many ways, it is important to know the safety measures when doing it alone. There are potential risks pertaining to traffic on the way, the road and trail conditions, and potential attackers. Unknown people or even animals may pose a risk to your safety while running alone. Runners, especially females, should follow some smart tips so that the exercise becomes fun, beneficial, and safe too.

Here are the safety tips and precautions to take when running solo, so that your run is safe and fun!

Safety Tips

Take the roads you know

Avoid unknown, heavily wooded, poorly lit, or isolated roads. Always choose known and highly traveled routes like tracks in residential areas. This way, there will be someone available to help you if a problem occurs. Also, choose even surfaces for your runs and carry a map. Avoid running through trails during the night.

Run during the daytime
Running during the daylight hours is most likely to keep the attackers away.

Inform others about your route

Never leave the house without informing at least one person in the family. Tell them where you would be running and the approximate time to return. This way they will know where to look for you in case something happens.

Change your routes and timings
Try and alter your running routes. Taking the same route makes you too comfortable with it, and chances are that you stay less alert while running. Also, you become an easy target for attackers. Sticking to the same timing everyday as well as the route, makes it easier for the attackers to predict your schedule. So, alter your time of running.

Avoid high-traffic areas

If running on a road, prefer the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, keep safe distance from the vehicles and choose a timing when the traffic is less. Preferably, do not run in the direction of the traffic.

Avoid wearing headphones

Avoid using headphones or use them in one ear instead of both. Also, keep the volume of the music low. Any potential threat to your safety (people, animals, or traffic) might go unnoticed if you are listening to very loud music.

Keep a mace or pepper spray and a knife handy

Keep a mace or pepper spray with you or strap it to your wrist when running alone in a secluded area. These sprays may or may not be legal in your area. So check with the local authorities. Or carry a knife for self-defense.

Follow your instincts
You can sense if something is wrong if you pay attention to your instincts. Take notice of any strange behavior by anyone around and change your route if you sense something dangerous. If you feel that a certain area is not safe for running alone, avoid it.

Carry your identification

Carry a personal identification like a driver’s license or a runner’s ID tag while running solo. Keep an emergency contact number with you.

Carry a whistle

A whistle can be worn around your neck, wrist, or waist. In case you sense danger, it can be used to ask for help.

Water and food

Carry one or two energy bars with you. In case you feel fatigued in between the run, you may have one. Carry a bottle of water or juice, or a sports drink. Sip it in between the workout or when you feel tired. See that you do not start running immediately after eating. Do not eat anything heavy just before or during the run. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the workout.

Right clothing and gear

Wear bright-colored clothes. Also, you may wear reflective vests, headlamps, or running flashlights while running in low-lit or dark areas. Wear compression tights or compression socks to reduce chances of injuries to muscles or ligaments.

Carry your phone

Make sure that you have your cell phone with you while running alone. You should be able to call the emergency number or your family if required. Apps that can detect your location or send signals to chosen contacts can also be of help in case you are in a difficult situation.

Carry some cash
Keep a few dollars or a credit card in your pocket, shoe, or belt to be safe in case anything unexpected happens. You can buy something or pay for the cab if you lose your way or feel tired to get back home. Do not carry too much cash or jewelry.

Know the weather
See if the weather would be pleasant or appropriate for running. Check the weather forecast so that you can be prepared. You may not be able to run if it rains heavily or if there is snow. And it is not advisable to run on a very sunny day, as the heat will cause more sweating and exhaust you sooner.

Check your pace
Maintain a decent speed while running. Splash some cold water on your head and neck. It will help maintain your body temperature.

Wear good shoes

Shoes that have rugged soles are a better option as they can bear uneven or slippery surfaces. Also, the shoes should bend easily and have a shock-absorbing material. They should fit you well and you should feel comfortable running in them.

Seek medical advice
In case you hurt yourself when running, stop and call the doctor. Do the same in case of any other health problem (like feeling dizzy or extremely fatigued) that you may face while running.

Take your dog along

Dogs can serve to protect you from anything that threatens your safety. They can sense danger before you are able to. So, if jogging alone, it is a good idea to take your or your friend’s/neighbor’s pet dog with you.

In case an animal attacks
If you encounter an aggressive dog on the way, avoid turning and running. Instead, stand still and be calm until the dog leaves. In case you face a dog attack, divert its attention away from you. In case you are pulled down, curl and cover your face with the hands. Avoid screaming.
If these safety tips are followed, your run alone won’t be all that risky. Happy exercising.

Guide for Run Faster and Longer

Running doesn’t just form the basic of various outdoor sports, but is also considered one of the most important components of fitness training. Long-distance running and sprinting, both have their own benefits. Based on this, experts suggest that combining both can help you enhance your fitness. Easier said than done though!
To run fast continuously for a long time, you need to strike a balance between your speed and distance. You might cover a distance of 100 m in 12 seconds, but it won’t be possible for you to run at the same speed for 1000 m. If your goal is 1000 m, you will have to cut down on speed and preserve your stamina. The magic word here is ‘stamina’. If you have a good stamina, you will be able to cover 1000 m at a considerable speed; though not the speed at which you would cover 100 m, considerably fast nevertheless.

Tips to Run Faster and Longer

The most important thing to do before indulging in any sort of physical activity is to warm up. The easiest way to do this, is to start with simple jogging and follow it up with stretching exercises. This will ensure that you don’t suffer from any cramps or muscle tears.

Proper Running Technique

In your quest to run faster for a longer duration, the running technique you use and your body posture will play a crucial role by helping you conserve energy. The correct body posture while running includes keeping your head and torso straight and shoulders loose. The latter will facilitate free movement of arms.

You should also keep a track of the number of strides you take per minute. Just measure the number of times your right foot hits the ground and multiply it by two. Over the period, try to increase the number of strides. As you increase the number of strides, your confidence will also be bolstered and that, in turn, will take you a few ‘strides’ closer to your goal.

Some people are of the opinion that it is better to take longer strides, as it helps to cover more distance. The fact, however, is that longer strides do more harm than good. For instance, when you take a long stride, you hit the ground with your heel and that makes you vulnerable to injuries. If running has earned a bad repute, it is because of these injuries. Instead, you should lean your body forward while running; it will help you keep the strides small and prevent impact injuries.
If you can’t stop landing on your heels, you can give barefoot running (or barefoot-inspired footwear for that matter) a try. With no artificial cushioning, the ball of the foot will come in contact with the ground. This will provide a smooth, springy action and ensure that you don’t get injured.

Proper Breathing Technique

It’s not just important to master the right technique of running, but is also important to master the right technique of breathing. And the right technique is to breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Many runners prefer 3:2 ratio of breathing while running, wherein they inhale for three steps and exhale for the subsequent two.
After you cover a considerable distance at a high speed, your breathing pattern will automatically change to 2:1, wherein you will inhale for two steps and exhale for one step.

Some Training Tips

• The ability to run faster and longer will not develop overnight. You will have to put in a lot of hard work for the same. Regular training is the key if you want to improve your stamina. Once you get well-versed with this rule of the thumb, the task will become easy.
• Initially, you will find it difficult to cover a long distance when you are running fast. So, on the first day, make a note of the time you take to cover a specific distance and gradually try to better the same by increasing your speed and the distance to be covered. By resorting to this method, you will be able to increase your stamina as well as average speed.
• Ideally, you shouldn’t increase your speed by more than 10 percent a week. With time you can add variations to your training to increase your resistance level by either training on some incline or in sand.
• When you focus on speed and distance, you cannot afford to ignore your diet. You must have come across people who say that running on an empty stomach promotes weight loss, however, there is no concrete evidence to back that claim. A tried and tested method is to load yourself with carbs an hour before you set out. And if you intend to be on the road for more than an hour, do carry some carbs along.

If you want to make things more meaningful, you can start monitoring your speed and try to beat your own timing. Like we said in the beginning, there are no shortcuts to success. The only key to success is hard work; rigorous training to be precise.