Category Archives: Fitness Exercise

How To Improve Running Stamina

Building running stamina requires time and practice, and the payoffs are worth the efforts. Good stamina is important if you want to run faster and further. For instance, if you can’t sustain running for more than 20 minutes, then you’re probably not benefiting from the training and may be actually wasting your time and energy.

Therefore, if you want to increase your stamina for running here are 3 ways that can help.

Build Stamina By Running Shorter Races

The fastest way to face difficulties with your running training is trying to rush the training by setting over-the border and unrealistic goals. Do not rush this, nor be over-excited to develop good stamina. If your goals are well beyond what you currently can do, you’ll only increase the likelihood of injury and burnouts. Instead, the way to go is to set challenging but realistic goals and build on that.

For instance, if you can run for 10K but it takes you considerable efforts ( you find yourself extremely exhausted and sore at the end of the workout), then you’re overdoing the exercise. The 10K isn’t a realistic goal for you. Instead, aim to run for 3 or 4 miles and gradually build your running distance. After a while, you’ll be able to run that 10K distance without much trouble.

Do Tempo Runs To Build Running Stamina

Adding distance is not enough, you need to make your training more intense. One of the best running training strategies is the tempo run. This type of running trains your body to run further and faster with less fatigue. Also known as lactate threshed training, tempo runs are key in developing metabolic fitness, this means that your body becomes more efficient at handling lactic acid from your working muscle,eventually leading to less fatigue.The more endurance level you have, the higher you push your lactate threshold.

A tempo run pace is 70-80% of your maximum cardio power. This is the point where you start building lactic acid in your legs and working muscles. Start your run with 5 minutes of slow jogging, then gradually increase the intensity and continue with 15-25 minutes of running at about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. If you’re not sure how a 10K pace should feel like, just run at a pace that feels comfortably hard, but not too much.

Do Interval Running to build Stamina

If you don’t have enough time for a tempo run, interval running is the way to go. Also referred to as High Intensity Training Interval (or HIIT), this type of training is ideal for shedding weight, increasing muscle mass, boosting running speed and performance, and enhancing overall fitness and health level.

Here is a beginner interval workout:

– Start with a 5 minute jog for warm-up ;

– Run at interval pace (80-90% of your maximum heart rate) for one full minute, then jog slowly for one minutes recovery interval

– Repeat the cycle 7-8 times :

– End the workout with 5 minutes jog as cool down. Breathe deeply and stretch afterwards.

The above program is just to give you an idea on how to proceed with an interval running workout. Don’t feel the need to follow it verbatim. Use some common sense and adjust it to your own needs and fitness level.

These 3 training guidelines can take your stamina levels beyond what thought possible. They are that powerful. Nevertheless, you need to practice the skill and put into action what you’ve just learned. Speed of implementation is key to success.

David DACK is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness.

If you want more free tips from David DACK, then go to http://runnersblueprint.com/weightlossrunning.html

Gym Exercises For Marathon Runners

If you want to add strength and power to your marathon running you need to add strength training to your regular running routine.  Strength training exercises focused running muscles can add speed and endurance to your running. One pro athlete who has benefited from adding gym work outs to his regular running is Mo Farah.

This is what Alberto Salazar said of Mo Farah immediately after Mo won 10,000 & 5000 gold at 2012 London Games;

When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Going to the gym for the runner is not about beefing up but about building strength. The following gym exercise will help you build strength without adding unnecessary muscle weight.

Gym Exercise to Build upper strength

Push Ups

press ups

If done properly push ups will add strength to your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs. Make sure your body is parallel to the surface. Connect your breath with your movements to make it easier. Inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso down, and exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your torso back to the starting position.

Sit ups

Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with doing the number you are comfortable with lets say 5 and then  add the number when you get stronger. If you can’t do them by yourself, ask someone to hold your feet.

Gym Exercise to Build upper strength

Squats

 

Squats or squads are good for increase strength. full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. This is one exercise that will involve all the leg muscles used during running. To add more strength you can hold a weight on your shoulders.

Calf raise

Finally I come to calf raise. This exercise can be done at your door step or on stair case. Calf raises will strengthen all the muscles of the lower leg.

The beauty of these exercises fro marathon runners is you don’t have to go to a gym you can do them from home.

Kinesio Tape Medical Benefits : Pain Relief : Relax Muscle

I noticed a lot of athletes at 2012 London games were wearing strips of brightly colored tape on the arms, legs, and torsos. The tape is called Kinesio tape. Many athletes believe it has medical benefits.

The tape was invented by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase in the 1970s.  The people behind Kinesio tape claim it can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, and help with rehabilitation as well as supporting muscles during a sporting event.

Do they work?

There is no scientific evidence that Kinesio tapes does what it promises but the fact that top athletes use it may be evidence this tapes have “Magical Effects”

WebMD has a good article on Kinesio Tapes and all experts interviewed ruled out any physical benefits. They agreed on one thing. Kinesio Tapes have mental benefit.

“I’m still struggling to come to terms with how tape that is placed on skin can have any real, major effect on performance, other than potentially, a psychological effect.”

Brewer says if athletes think the tape will help support their muscles, then that can boost their confidence. “I think if you can get somebody in the right frame of mind, then that can make a big difference on what they do.

Five Benefits of Kinesio Tape

In that webmd article they interviewed a physiotherapists who gave some details on how this tape works:-

  1. It allows free movement of lymphatic fluid.
  2. It reduces friction between the tissues in the skin.
  3. It also helps with the movement of blood and lactic acid. It takes the tension off certain muscles.
  4. Allows a little bit better circulation.
  5. Helps to tone muscles down, to take some of the tension out of the muscle, as well as in ways designed to stimulate affected areas.

Famous Athletes who say Kinesio tape works.

In the Euro 2012 Championship, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was sporting three tramlines of blue sticky tape on his back.

Mario Balotteli Kinesio Tape

And Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has had his elbow, knee and shoulders patched up with the same stuff.

Novak Djokovic Kinesio Tape

Buying Kinesio Tape online

This tapes are cheap and available online. Amazon is selling a roll at $10. You can choose the color you want. To buy Kinesio tape go to Amazon Shopping
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Alberto Salazar Talks About Training Work Out For Mo Farah

Alberto Salazar has been training Mo Forah since 2011. Alberto was the mastermind behind Mo Farah Olympic double of 5000 and 10,000 m at London 2012. Anyone who watched the two races must have noticed the incredible strength and energy Mo exhibited in the final lap.

In an interview with daily mail newspaper of UK. Alberto said the secret to turning Mo Farah from an average runner was working on building his strength.

Salazar said: ‘When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Gym Training For Long Distance Running.

If you are going to incorporate gym work into your running routine you need to focus on gym workouts that directly engage the muscles used by runners when running. Some good gym exercises for runners are squats, calf raises for legs, Pillate, swiss ball exercises to help your core. Working on these muscles will not only help the runner to improve his physical strength but will also help to prevent injuries.

Are Athletes Using Painkillers As Performance Enhancing Drugs

This week I have come across two articles that have cast a spot light on the use and abuse of pain medication in world of sports. The stories left me convinced painkillers in pro sports is a form of legal doping.

The first story is the tragic story of NHL player Derek Boogaard. The following intro from New York Times article is enough to shock you……

In his final three seasons playing in the National Hockey League, before dying last year at 28 of an accidental overdose of narcotic painkillers and alcohol, Derek Boogaard received more than 100 prescriptions for thousands of pills from more than a dozen team doctors Read the Rest of the story at NYT Times.

The story details how Derek sustained his short Career by relying on powerful painkillers and anti anxiety medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, xanax, Ambien and tramadol. The medications were prescribed to treat multiple injuries.

The next story was from BBC sports. FIFA is alarmed by rampant abuse of painkillers in soccer/football. Fifa’s chief medical officer has said the “abuse” of pain killers is putting the careers and long-term health of international footballers in jeopardy. The major factor in the growing use of painkillers in football is the pressure on team doctors to get injured players back on the pitch quickly.

Soccer players take pain killers as a preventive. They take them to prevent a pain which may occur, to be totally insensitive. The story also noted that n the United States, 12 former NFL players are now suing the league over the use of the powerful anti-inflammatory drug Toradol. They argue that the medication masked the pain of head injuries and led them to play on and suffer concussions as result.

As these stories show, the primary reason is to continue performing beyond your natural level. The smoking gun evidence that painkillers can be used to enhance performance was piece from BBC follow up article,

“It’s well known that Andreas Erm who won a bronze medal in the 50km walk in the 2003 world athletic championship in Paris received pain killers several times during the walk – can you tell me this is not performance enhancing?

“His body was not able to walk 50km on this day in such a speed but he won the bronze medal because he was treated with pain killing medications!” Read the rest of the story at BBC Science.

Novak Djokovic Secret Food Diet & Work Out For Endurance

It took Novak Djokovic 5 hours 53 minutes to beat Rafael Nadal at 2012 Australian open. Keep in mind two days earlier Novak went through an energy sapping encounter, beating Andy Murray in four hours and 50 minutes. The man took the term ENDURANCE to a new high level.

Djokovic’s feat has impressed and shocked many for his ability to produce two such marathon performances with minimal recovery time.

“It’s a phenomenal effort, a phenomenal aerobic and endurance performance,” said Craig Boyd of the Institute of Performance Research at Manchester Metropolitan University.

So what is the secret diet and work out that can explain this energizer bunny?

From independent newspaper of UK I found the following fascinating bits on Novak Diet and Work out

Novak Djokovic Gluten Free Diet

Diet is one area Mr Boyd and Dr Karl Cooke, the Lawn Tennis Association’s sports science manager, highlight in Djokovic’s relentless advance from contender to leader of the hungriest pack the sport has seen. In 2010 Djokovic sought the advice of Dr Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist who holds a diploma from the Indian Institute of Magnetotherapy in Delhi and has studied traditional Chinese medicine. Dr Cetojevic found that Djokovic suffered from Celiac disease and instructed him to cut gluten out of his diet. Since doing so Djokovic has won four Grand Slams.

Novak CVAC Pod

The most controversial part of Djokovic’s improvement has been his occasional use of a CVAC Pod. The £50,000 device resembles something from a Spinal Tap set and is supposed to aid an athlete by simulating high altitude and compressing muscles at rhythmic intervals. The World Anti-Doping Authority takes a dim view of such equipment, although it is not illegal. The scientific community is divided as to its effectiveness. “There is not always a lot of scientific evidence to back up what he is doing,” said Dr Cooke. “But he strikes me as someone who is constantly looking at any small thing that can help him last a bit longer or train harder or recover a little bit better.” Source: independent Newspaper UK.

Free CPR Training For Boston Marathon Runners

According to statistics 42 marathon runners have died after collapsing from cardiac arrest during marathons over the past decade. Boston Athletics Association, who are organisers of the popular Boston Marathon have announced, at least 1,000 runners and family members will be trained in CPR the weekend before this year’s Boston Marathon, after local researchers found that immediate use of the procedure could have saved many of the runners who have died from cardiac arrest during a marathon or half-marathon.

While the marathon has 28 medical stations along the 26.2-mile course, roving volunteers every half-mile with portable defibrillators, and two medical tents at the finish line, runners trained in CPR can help “bridge the gap between racers and various trained medical professionals.

The 30-minute training – to be administered in cooperation with the American Red Cross and American Heart Association – is enough to teach the basics so that people can perform CPR until medical help arrives, said Grilk, even though it won’t provide formal certification in CPR.

Source, courtesy of  Boston Globe.

Low Impact Running Ideas

Tired of running on tarmac? some low impact running ideas are swimming, running on treadmill, running under water and another unusual idea is using a run bike.

I checked run Bike website and I could not understand how this thing works? If you look at the guys feet, it seems he is on air?

From Run Bike Website:-

The RunBike was developed to enable more people to run more miles for more years in their lives. The basis of the objective lies in two accepted realities. The first is the myriad aches, pains, and injuries associated with conventional habitual running. The second is the burgeoning body of research pointing to the medical benefits of exercise.

“How had mankind missed this application of the wheel for so long?”

The guy behind it says, it is good for running, jogging, walking and highly recommended to those who want to run but suffer from joint, knee and weight problem.

Stretching Exercises Pictures & Photos

Stretching is an important part of any workout routine. It helps increase your flexibility and reduce your chances of injury. The following are pictures / photos of stretching exercises that you can do to improve your flexibility.

These stretching exercises are very easy to do, the only thing you need is a mat.

Do these stretches at the end of your workout, holding each for 15-30 seconds.  For best results, repeat each stretch 2-3 times.

Tibialis Anterior : Most Active Muscle When Running

The most active leg muscle during running is the tibialis anterior, a strip of sinew which runs down the shin to the inside edge of the foot and pulls the foot inward and upward.

The Tibialis Anterior

During running, the tibialis anterior contracts forcefully about twice as often as any of the other four muscles, so it is probably the muscle most prone to fatigue. As it becomes tired, the risk of shin splints and stress fractures is likely to rise, as does the amount of pronation occurring at the ankle joint (excessive pronation has been linked to a variety of running problems, including knee injuries).

Thus, it is critical for athletes to make their tibialis anterior muscles as strong and fatigue proof as possible.

Some of the ideas to make the tibialis anterior muscle stronger is,

  • Deeping the lower leg in ice bath after running
  • Soft massage
  • Stretching the lower leg
  • Doing squats and calf raises

Information courtesy of, brainmac post, lower leg injuries.