Marathons are willfully the most vicious long distance races, and yet runners tend not to take marathon training seriously. It is probably one of the sports where participants make a lot of mistakes during preparation. Starting early in the morning, for a marathon with a lot of enthusiasm, only to collapse in the middle is something more than half of the runners go through. And after effects including fatigue, spasms, illness or body pains last longer.
Hence, we at ReTiSense have got together to give you a cheat sheet of five brilliant and easy tricks for a happy marathon running.
1. Eat healthy; Breathe easy; Move a lot :
“Exercising Regularly” – is easier said than done. We are all stuck at a job which requires us to sit on a desk for 8 hours a day staring at spreadsheets and computer screens; but make sure you take time out to exercise in your busy schedule. You need to be disciplined and organized to keep your body sharp. Do lunges and stretches during bathroom breaks, go for long walks in the afternoon, eat small meals at regular intervals etc., to keep you fit always.
2. Pay attention to what your body is telling you :
Crucial part of running a marathon is training your body to run at a desired speed for a long distance. You will get better results when you let your body tell you what you have to do. Your body instinctively knows what is better for you and when. Always keep a note of the workout which is tiring your body and try to avoid it. To analyze your training better, use running insoles. You can connect them to your phone via Bluetooth and get real-time updates on your stride length, stride rate, pace, feet dynamics and various other parameters. It also alerts you of the stress levels on your Feet & Knees.
3. Always have a training companion
A training buddy will prompt you to work out regularly. It is ideal to choose a running companion who is faster than you are, to help you increase your speed, pace and stamina. Your pet dog can act as a perfect training buddy.
4. Choose your running shoes wisely
Right shoes, that fit you perfectly, not only determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your running, but also build foot strength, calf muscles. Unfit and wrong shoes will lead to various foot injuries.
Choosing the perfect shoes is a mighty task depending on the kind of path you are running on, your pace, distance etc. It is necessary that your shoes provide the appropriate mechanics which allow dynamic movement of your feet and proper alignment. Stridalyzer Marathon smart runner insoles serve all your marathon needs. You can get real-time insights and alerts or you can check your performance after the marathon.
5. Enjoy your marathon training
Learn to have fun while your training for a marathon. It is very easy to lose hope or get tired, and give up on your workout regimen. Constantly remind yourself of your motive towards the training and maintain an optimistic attitude.
These 5 tricks will be helpful in the long term, only when followed regularly. Keep in mind that fitness is the ultimate tool for marathon running. Follow these rules for a good 2 weeks before you run a marathon.
This winter, don’t let the dropping temperature, wind or snow stop you from training & running your best. Let’s take a look at how runners can deal with the major setbacks experienced during the colder months.
- Stay motivated
Find a running companion and make your runs safe & social. They are a constant motivational source and it is safer to run in numbers. Running with others is a great way to beat the winter doldrums.
- Dress accordingly.
It is necessary you dress according to the temperature outside so that you are not under-dressed or over-dressed. Not dressing properly can have serious effects on your body and especially your lungs. It is recommended you wear layers of clothes and cover all exposed skin.
Wear jackets, gloves, tights, and a hat or a headband to cover your head.
- Choose your shoes wisely
Add spikes or ice grips over the soles of your shoes to avoid any snow/ice related accidents. Running long distances during winter can make your muscles sore and increase stress-levels on your feet hence it is very necessary to invest in a good pair of shoe and upgrade it according to weather conditions.
- Stay Hydrated
Do not forget to consume ample amount of liquids during your run. Measure your water intake depending on the temperature, humidity, your body type and the intensity of your training. Usually the baseline fluid requires 3-4 litres a day.
- Warm up properly
Before heading out for a run, move around inside to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. It helps to warm up your body and doesn’t expose you to sudden cold.
It is very important to keep your lips, face and other exposed parts moisturized during running. This helps to avoid any irritation that may be caused by extreme dryness.
- Be aware of Hypothermia
If you notice symptoms akin to slurred speech, poor co-ordination, clumsy fingers etc., go to a warm place and seek medical help. These are some of the initial symptoms of Hypothermia.
- Track to stay away from injuries
Take help of gadgets like Stridalyzer to constantly monitor and check for injuries that might be caused due to inappropriate stride length & rates. Proper tracking & real time alerts can definitely help you ward off these worries.
Keep these tips in mind and rock the upcoming winter runs.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.
According to the study presented by American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in 2011, just 2 weeks of high intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. Researchers have found the low volume, high intensity approach of HIIT training can boost your speed and fitness.
Balance intensity and volume:
Volume is basically how much or how long you train and intensity is how hard you train yourself during the training. When anyone begins any sort of training their bodies will not be able to handle much work and hence the volume is rightly kept low. At later stages when they gain fitness and strength, gradually extra work is added little by little everyday.
The bigger problems associated with increased intensity are heavily increased injuries. Happily, there is a way around in which you can increase your volume and decrease your intensity. In other words, you can run longer and more often, but you’ll need to slow down to do it. Recent studies reveal that covering greater distances in very low or moderate running speed can reduce the risk of injury.
Also choosing the right footwear can help you to avoid injuries. Retisense offers you Stridalyzer Smart Insoles which can help you to improve your running form and stay injury free. The insoles are studded with sensors that detect the vitals through the app and help you concentrate on your running form.
The following are two simple high intensity sessions that could be followed to get better results
On a track
Warm up with five laps at an easy pace and gradually speed up so that you end up running briskly. Then do 200m at maximal sprint effort followed by 400m gentle jog. Repeat six times.
On a treadmill
Set the incline to one per cent. Warm up by running gently, gradually building speed, for 10 minutes. On an effort scale of one to 10, you should be at five to six by the end. Run 30 seconds at close to maximal speed (which is at least 18km/h on the treadmill for most people); jog gently for three minutes. Repeat four to six times.
Bring on the intensity:
Take your HIIT to the next level by increasing the intensity. Instead of just sprinting and jogging, start at 50 percent effort and gradually increase your speed and effort by 10 percent. Then, when you reach 90 percent intensity at 5 minutes, drop the intensity back to 60 percent and repeat the process.
For a runner, training for a marathon is probably not the most efficient way to get fit and lose weight, High Intensity Interval Training could also help runners achieve maximum efficiently if practiced properly.
Any runner would prefer to build a body that is a resource for his running life. Supplementing running with strengthening exercises will not only reduce the risk of injury but will also make you stronger, faster and a more efficient runner.
Just as weightlifters target on muscle groups, runners target on individual components of their running body. Some running components such as muscles, nerves, hormones and the circulatory system are easy to identify while some are more elusive, like mental toughness and pace efficiency.
Build your running muscles:
There are specific exercises that help you build your running body, which may just take 30 minutes and complete and can be done twice in a week. Few are listed below:
Exercise #1: Towel crunch
Lay a small towel out on a tile floor. By sitting in a chair with your toes just over the edge of the towel, pull the towel toward you using your toes. When you can no longer pull more towel under your toes, spread the towel out again and repeat. Once the towel crunch gets too easy, just add some weight (a food can or small book) to the end of the towel for more resistance. This exercise will strengthen your feet as they balance 2-3 times of your body weight when you run.
Exercise #2: Bench press
This exercise will develop your chest and shoulders. Lie on your back and hold the bar at chest level. Now without locking your elbows extend your arms fully. Slowly lower the weight back to starting position.
Exercise #3: Bicep curls
Extend your arms. Bring the weight toward your shoulders by flexing your elbow. Now slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Remember not to rock the body or move the elbows back and forth to accomplish the exercise.
Exercise #4: Rotational Shoulder Press
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, your palms facing each other. Press the dumbbells overhead as you rotate to your left. Lower the dumbbells as you rotate back to the center, then rotate to the right as you press the weights upward again. That’s one repetition.
Exercise #5: Stability Ball Jackknife
Instead of placing your feet on the floor during pushup position, rest your shins on a stability ball. Pull the stability ball toward your chest by raising your hips and rounding your back as you roll the ball forward with your feet.
Exercise #6: Squat
With your feet spread shoulder-width apart, stand as tall as you can. By pushing your hips back and bending your knees lower your back as much as you can. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.
Exercise #7: Lunge
Stand with your feet staggered, your right foot forward. Squat down so that your left knee is lowered toward, but not touching, the floor. Lower down to a count of tow, and rise back up to a count of two. Repeat on the other leg.
Exercise #8: Bridge
With your knees bent, arms out, and palms down, lie on your back. Draw your belly button in, and lift your hips up by pressing your feet into the ground. Contract your core, your glutes, and then your hamstrings in this position. Hold for three to five seconds.
Exercise #9: Plank
Bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can shift your weight from your hands to your forearms. Your body should form a straight line, starting at the top of a pushup position. Contract your hold your abdominals for 60 seconds. If not 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute.
Exercise #10: Mountain Climbers
Get into a push up position. Bring your right knee in, then extend it back. Do the same for your left knee also. Alternate legs and move as fast as you can while maintaining good form.
Body building for a runner is absolutely necessary and it helps them to increase their efficiency in running. Following these few methods of exercise can help you maintain a well toned athletic body efficientl
Running is a popular and convenient sport but the incidence of injuries is very high in running. The injury rate in serious runners (who run more than 20miles a week) is between 70- 80% in a given year. Despite extensive research for the last two decades, there has been no decrease in the incidence of running related injuries. It is thought that excessive training volume is the key factor, associated with 60- 70% of the development of Running Injuries. Other contributing factors are the lack of adequate muscular strength and poor running technique.
Photo credits: www.coolrunning.com
Who is at risk of running injuries?
- Certain groups of runners have a higher chance of becoming injured. These include.
- Beginners (runners with less than one year experience).
- Runners with recent injuries.
- Runners who regularly run more than 40 miles (65 km) a week.
- Sudden increase in speed or distance of running.
- Runners with poor technique such as over-stride and excessive bounce.
How to decrease risk of running related injuries?
Every runner is different, but these general recommendations can help to reduce injury risk in most runners.
If you are a beginner runner, start slowly and increase running time and distance gradually. Choose soft surfaces (eg. Treadmill, track) which are better than hard surfaces (eg. Concrete, asphalt).
Avoid running more than 5 days a week. Have two ‘rest’ days where you are not involved in running or other intense exercises.
Cross train with low impact exercises like cycling, swimming regularly to reduce the load on your joints and tendons.
Include strength training as part of weekly training routine to reduce injury risk and improve running efficiency. A recent systematic review done by Lauersen (2014) of over 26,610 clients in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that strength training can reduce up to 50% of overuse injuries in athletes.
Lastly, but not the least, don’t ignore your running form. Running is a skill and it is important that you are aware of your technique and it can be improved with regular feed-back. Regular use of Stridalyzer can help you to understand and correct abnormal loading on your joints. Remember, you can prevent injuries before they happen.
If you have pain while running that lasts for more than a few days or is severe enough to make you stop running, seek help of a health professional involved in management of running injuries. Most important, Avoid pushing through the pain.
Benoy Mathew, Specialist Physiotherapist – UK
(Benoy Mathew, MSc, MCSP, a UK Chartered Physiotherapist specializing in lower limb injuries, has worked extensively in hospital, private practice and sporting settings within Asia, Middle East and the UK. A master’s graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, he’s currently working as an extended scope practitioner in the NHS, as well in private practice in London. Majority of his private caseload is made up of recreational runners and overuse lower limb injuries.)
For most people, the idea of running brings to mind a physical education class in school, or maybe a skinny guy in shorts, or better yet, Usain Bolt. Basically, it is thought of as an activity that all others but themselves often pursue for the sake of fun.
But this is changing. Runners are making themselves popular on Facebook groups, and even on Instagram, where they have carved a fitness niche for themselves. Running has been given a new face, redefining a layman’s image of what the sport looks and feels like. Distance running, in particular, has popularised itself in the last decade with marathons being held every other month in prominent cities.
Why are people going the distance?
While short distance is generally preferred by beginner runners, it is actually quite a strenuous activity in comparison. This is because it requires the runner to push himself, to run as fast and hard as he can. Long distance, on the other hand, is about endurance. It is about focus on smooth running, rather than speed running. Long distance running also helps the runners maintain their stamina and breathe evenly throughout their run.
There are do’s and don’ts to every activity. So, if you’re stepping on to the track that extends longer than you’ve ever imagined, here are 5 things to know about what you’re in for:
Run slower: Don’t run slowly, just run slower than you do during a hard 5-mile run. Slow miles find their places in marathon training programmes. If you’re training for your first 5K or 10K, most of your long runs during training should be done at one or two minutes slower per mile than you’re capable of running that distance on that day. Any faster, and you’re simply asking for a serious injury.
Injury-proof your stride: Take more steps and lower the stress on your legs. This is a habit that is practised by the best marathoners in the world. If you looked at their cadence (the rate at which they take strides), you would find it to be 180 steps a minute. That puts them at 30 steps above the amateur runners. So why do they follow this technique? Because, taking swift, shorter steps means your foot spends less time in contact with the ground, reducing the impact on your feet. But how do you measure how many steps you’re taking during a run? How do you measure what is known as the Stride Rate, Ground Contact Time and Stride Length? Here’s where a fitness gadget like Stridalyzer comes in handy.
Alternate workouts: A lot of people do slow runs for a prolonged period of time and become a marathoner. This way, your body learns to run efficiently and builds endurance. However, if you’re planning on running for more than the satisfaction of running far, harder workouts are necessary. Speedwork and threshold training are great workouts that add intensity to your training.
Fuel while you run: Failing to fuel properly can sabotage your runs. Prior to your run, take in a fair amount of carbohydrates, and a little bit of protein. A good carb to protein ration is 3:1. Avoid fat and fiber as they increase the probability of stomach issues. During your run, three or four cups of water in an hour should suffice, and will keep you perfectly hydrated. After a run, make sure you have a good-sized meal of a carbohydrate and protein mixture, in the ration of 5:1.
Let there be an ebb and flow: Long runs ought not to be back-to-back. Just because you can run long distances, doesn’t mean you have to run only long distances. Alternate your runs just like you do your workouts. Go for a long run on one weekend, and a short one the next. This gives your body more time to recover from a series of long runs.
The key is to remain healthy after a long distance run. It is always better to toe the line so that you don’t end up feeling fatigued or tired after cramming long runs into small sessions. Remember that your training programme is always a work in progress until you’re a professional marathoner, and that long distance running needs some time to fit into your running rhythm.
Running is a simple sport, but people have started looking for ways and means in which to get the best out of it. That’ where fitness gadgets come into play. Today, the market is flooded with a plethora of running wearables, all promising the same thing: to help you run better. But how many gadgets stay true to their promises?
The answer is evident in the number of complaints the gadget manufacturers receive, regarding performance, accuracy and the inability of the wearable to prevent even minor injuries while running. Stridalyzer, on the other hand, is packed with features that pin-point very specific developments in a runner’s routine.
Strdialyzer’s Stress Maps
As you run, your feet and knees tend to experience a lot of stress in specific points. While sharp jabs are almost unavoidable if you’re running on rough, gravelly terrain, where stones and rocky material tend to trip you up, the same jabs can also result from poor running form on a smooth surface.
Here is where the Stress Maps can help you out. Stridalyzer populates real-time maps of your feet and knees stress points. These maps follow a heat spectrum ranging from blue to red. While the blue part is indicative of normal to relatively low pressure, red indicates extreme pressure applied in the highlighted area. You will then get an alert on the app, helping you pause and rectify the way you are striding.
Another noteworthy feature that Stridalyzer is packed with, is its real-time monitoring of your pronation. Pronation is the inward roll of the foot while running or walking, and sometimes, runners over-pronate or under-pronate, both of which hurt their legs. In the event of either, Stridalyzer sends out an alert, so that you can avoid any potential injuries due to excessive pronation.
When you run, the weight of entire body falls on your feet. More precisely, on the balls of your feet, and your heels. These areas are extremely sensitive. They are easily prone to injury, especially if your foot strike patterns are not up to the mark. Beginner runners, in particular, fall pretty to the pitfalls of running on rough terrain. So, using Stridalyzer will help a great deal. It guides you every step of the way by sending out real-time alerts that can be adjusted to a runner’s preference. It shows you how much your knees suffer because of the way your heel landed on the ground, and the resulting strain that gets pushed up your leg. You can analyse these during and after your run, which is not a feature that every running gadget boasts of. The alerts are also available to you at a single glance, so you do not have to pause, search for the relevant stats and then continue with your run. Thus, you can perfect your running form and keep a continuous tab on it without any interruptions in your routine.
This way, Stridalyzer insoles properly monitor your running and give you guidance. What makes it a worthy investment in your fitness is that it can be personalised as well. You can choose not to be alerted to everything at once – the option of picking specific alerts is open to you. With injury-prevention features built into it, Stridalyzer can help you become a better runner. The insoles gives a holistic view of your Running Form, Body Balance during the run, Uniformity of run and consistency, to make running not just a routine, but a way of life.
Whether it’s gear, or training, or technique, a beginner runner will have several burning questions that need answering lest they should fall prey to common running injuries. Many runners head out with ambitious goals, but find themselves under an astounding amount of pressure as their new activity progresses.
So, here are 5 tips that every new runner would do well to bear in mind:
Find the perfect fit: Many running stores these days provide you vital information about gait analysis and foot strike patterns. Knowing these will help you gain a better understanding of whether or not you overpronate or supinate. This in turn will help you find the perfect shoes. Be sure not to invest in a shoes that’s too soft. Instead, opt for running insoles or light, moisture-wicking wearables that let your feet breathe while running. Too much cushioning can be a bad thing.
Get a fitness gadget: After you’ve got your running shorts, shoes and socks, it’s time to get fitted with a reliable fitness gadget. Available in the fitness market today, are tech wearables that help you track your running activity and help you understand HOW you are running. Running as a new activity can trip you up unexpectedly, and you might suffer injuries, but specific fitness gadgets will alert you to possible stress and strain, preventing an injury before it happens.
Join a Group: Solo runs are a great way to get some alone time, but joining a running group is strongly advocated. There are many benefits to it, including finding the motivation to climb out of bed every morning, just to join someone who’s counting on you to show up! A running group or even a partner can keep you from slacking or even cutting short a run.
Build mileage slowly: As a beginner, no one expects miracles of you, especially when it comes to your mileage covered. While adding an extra mile every day is very enticing, it is near impossible. That’s why a gradual increase is advised. Mix it up – take your speed down a notch to give yourself the energy to run farther; take walk breaks; run long every other day instead of every day. This way you’ll be adding more miles to your routine, without your even noticing.
Set achievable goals: Never shoot for the fence at the outset. Breaking down your running goals into daily, weekly and monthly goals is the right way to go about achieving your targets. Mini goals are nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, they’re the perfect way to get started!
Finding your fitness through running can be a tiring process, but when done right, it can be highly rewarding. That is why it will serve you well to remember these 5 tips before you step out the door and onto the track. Keep it simple, keep it light and keep in mind that while you have miles and miles to cover, you do have the power to start with that important first step.
Being a running enthusiast has its unparalleled perks of increased stamina, high endurance levels and of course, the pure joy and peace of running but without care and precaution, it can pose terrifying risks to the feet and knees, leading to temporary and sometimes permanent damage.
We recently caught up with Sandeep Janardhan who talks about his journey as a runner. Sandeep has been running since the past 8 years and has successfully completed 6 marathons in the last 3 years, earning him a spot on our list of ‘experienced runners’.
Most runners start running as a means to maintain health and fitness, much like the beginning to Sandeep’s running journey. As he got better, he started to get passionate about running and began to focus on setting new personal bests with every race.
With a fresh found fervour for running, priorities often become to increase speed, and time; runners often tend to forget the importance of a very fundamental aspect – running form. Although there is no single ‘right way’ to run for everyone, there is an innate and natural flow to how each body runs. It is key to take the time to understand your body’s natural running style and form.
Sandeep shares with us an incident, where he admits to having pushed himself too far too soon, using incorrect running form. Although being a passionate runner, he was unaware of the significance of a person’s running form. His knee was hurt to the point where he had to take a break for 6 months to avoid exerting his knee.
Now, after learning the hard way, Sandeep advises fellow runners to pay careful attention to aches, however faint, “Do not dismiss any pain, thinking it will go away. Strength training must also be focussed on, along with being aware of your running form to become a more efficient runner.” says Sandeep.
Wearable tech, is a blooming industry in today’s rapidly growing tech scenario, there are now a few devices meant for the sports industry too. Having tried out wearable tech devices meant for atheletes and sports enthusiasts, Sandeep acknowledges and appreciates how they help track time, distance, speed and splits especially in the fag end of the training run.
However, as helpful as the existing products are, Sandeep does admit the ugly truth that most runners have experienced, “Towards the end of the training run, fatigue sets in, and the focus is mostly on finishing the run somehow. This is usually when running form goes awry, or when specific pain starts setting in – when the body starts getting into strain mode. It would really help, if there were a device that could detect and record what the points of strain are, when they set in and also possibly suggest exercises that the runner can do to build up strength in the affected muscles.”
We wish Sandeep an injury-free running for years to come, and thank him for sharing his expertise with us.