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How to Prevent Bonking Your Run

Running Rewards and Risks

Runners, in general, dedicate months of preparation and training in order to join and survive a running event, especially a marathon.

When the big day comes, runners usually avoid getting injuries while running so that they can complete the run they’ve prepared for. Aside from sustaining physical injuries, there’s another undesirable incident runners try to avoid: bonking.

Bonking, also known as hitting the wall, happens when a runner reaches extreme exhaustion while running. The level of exhaustion is so severe that, it’s not only your body that’s incapable of running anymore; your mind and drive are affected as well that you no longer have the motivation to complete your run and finish it within an acceptable time.

Many runners, even experienced ones, encounter bonking even after years of knowledge and skill in running.

It is believed that bonking happens when your body’s glycogen levels are drained and fats are being burned. Your body starts to feel extreme fatigue combined with muscle cramps and loss of will to run. However, there is some research which revealed that encountering bonking during running has many causes, not only glycogen depletion. Factors such as levels of blood glucose, muscle fatigue or damage, plus mental stress affect the possibility of experiencing bonking while you run.

Luckily, many experts have found ways to prevent runners from bonking. Here are some of the practices you can do in preparation for your runs so you won’t hit the wall:

Since your body needs to store adequate glycogen to be able to fuel the muscles and complete a run, carb loading would be extremely beneficial. Carb loading should be started four days before your race. Vegetables, pasta, oats, and rice are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Increase your carbohydrate intake by 70 to 90 per cent.

Eating after every run will also help a great deal. After running, your body would need to refuel to be able to recover sooner. Eat within 20 to 30 minutes after running to help your body restore the energy you’ve used.

Though it is important to train your body to run faster for months before the race, it’s equally imperative to give it enough rest to avoid too much stress that may cause bonking as well. During the last two to four weeks of your running training, you must start tapering. Tapering is the practice of running with decreased intensity or mileage with the aim to reduce exhaustion days before the race.

During the day of the actual race, you must eat breakfast, about four hours before you begin your race.

You must also plan ahead on how you would manage refuelling while running. Refuelling is even more crucial while you’re actually running. Refuel with a sports drink or gel every 40 or 30 minutes. Hydrating is critical as well. Bring water to rehydrate yourself and replenish the water your body consumed.

Since The Bonk is also caused by mental pressure, you must also learn to condition your mind into thinking positively. You mind should be in a happy mood when you run. If you run with your mind having negative thoughts, it’s possible that it will affect your body into thinking it is experiencing tiredness, triggering The Bonk to happen.

Countless runners experience bonking from time to time, but with the help of proper mental and physical preparation, you can stop this from happening and avoid all the efforts you’ve put into training from being wasted.

15 Jun 2016

The Different Types Of Running Belt

runningbelt

We all have that same problem, where do we put our phones and other accessories when we go for a run? We have all tried just putting our phones into our pockets only for them to fall out and hopefully not break! Even when our pockets have zips they don’t really get the job done as the phone will still swing about creating a rather uncomfortable run.

There weren’t many options apart from just to leave our belonging at home until the invention of running belts. The running belt market is certainly a competitive one with new designs coming out all the time which have led to running belts changing quite a bit over the years to suit a number of different purposes from the more trendy and fashionable runner to the more serious athlete.

We would recommend reading over a number of running belt reviews to find the best running belt for you. However, the most popular running belts amongst running enthusiasts come in 3 stand out designs:-

1) Tubular

The tubular design can be seen in the consumer favourite the Flipbelt. What makes this style of belt stand out is that it doesn’t have pockets in the traditional sense rather than the storage compartment stretches throughout the entire belt as it wraps around your body. Due to its simplistic design it gives the belt a much sleeker look and feel. The belt is typically able to do this by being made out of a stretchy, elastic material that provides ample storage whilst still fitting perfectly and staying in place. More and more brands are adopting this style and we will be sure to see future innovations and improvements on this design.

2) Compartmentalized

The SPIBelt is probably the best example of what we mean by a compartmentalized belt. A compartmentalized belt is more closely resembles a more traditional belt that relies on zippers and buckles in order to attach around your body and keep your valuables safe. In the past this type of belt was usually guilty of not fitting correctly especially during the stress of running and moving about. However, with the introduction of more modern belts they have been able to tweak the design to minimize the movement of the belt when running.

3) Running Pouch

The running pouch is a unique design created by the Running Buddy. It varies greatly from the other designs in that it is not actually a belt as it doesn’t wrap around your body. The running pouch actually attaches on to another belt or item of clothing using magnets to stay in place. Belts using this design tend to provide more storage space than the other kinds of belts however they do tend to sacrifice a bit of comfort for this extra space.

We would personally recommend either a tubular belt or compartmentalized belt from which the Flipbelt and SPIbelt are the stand out products respectively. There is a good article comparing the features and benefits of both belts here.

18 May 2016

Should You Run While You Are Sick?

How to Deal with Post-Running Pains

Runners preparing for competitions undergo intensive training for months. This training usually follows a strict schedule which runners adhere to. Still, even runners aren’t invincible; everyone is at risk of getting sick anytime. It’s understandable why some runners insist on practicing or running in preparation for competitions even when they’re not feeling well—they don’t want to miss a day’s practice or miss an opportunity to run because it may affect their overall progress.

However, is it really safe to run while you’re feeling sick? Will missing a day or two in running really impact your running performance?

Some runners follow the ‘neck rule’ in deciding whether or not to run when they’re ill. The ‘neck rule’ dictates that if your sickness is only affecting body parts above your neck—when you’re just experiencing headaches, stuffy or runny nose, then it shouldn’t stop you from running. On the other hand, when you’re experiencing pains below your neck (severe sore throat, chest pains, muscle aches, etc.), you should skip running. This rule is also followed by David Nieman, Ph.D., head of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University. Dr. Nieman is an experienced runner himself, and has joined 58 marathons and ultra marathons. Moreover, a research led by Tom Weidner, Ph.D., director of Athletic Training Research at Ball State University, found out that running does not worsen the condition of people with colds, as long as runners with colds don’t push themselves beyond their limits. Additionally, running when you’re suffering from colds can actually make you feel better because the exercise helps clear out nasal passages due to the adrenaline released when running.

However, you should always be cautious when you opt to run while sick. Don’t expect your performance to be as great as it was when you’re feeling well. Be extra aware of how your body feels and decide carefully if you really can run despite your illness.

If you have a fever, it is wiser to skip running. Take as many days off as you need to recover. Running with high fever may lead to complications and will just delay your body’s recovery. A day or two without training won’t hurt your running performance, and if recovery takes longer than that, you can always work on getting your performance back. A study conducted by Elizabeth Ready and Arthur Quinney proposes that for it won’t take long for athletes or runners to get back to their initial fitness.

Once you get enough rest and feel an improvement on how you feel, it’s normal that one of your priorities would be to get back to running. Take it easy and give your body time to adjust. You may start running at a moderate pace with short distances.

Getting sick is normal for both runners and non-runners. Sure, you want to take care of your progress in running—just don’t forget to protect yourself as well.

23 Apr 2016

How to Run Faster

how to run faster

Many runners want to run faster, even those who don’t have plans on joining marathons. Winning marathons is not the only good thing runners can get from running faster than others; running fast also burns calories and help get rid of guts quicker.

Running regularly can be a challenge itself, and turning it a notch higher by wanting to run faster may not only be physically beneficial but mentally rewarding as well. If you believe you’re ready to run faster, here are some tips you can use to boost your running speed:

Figure out your current speed. Before planning to run faster, it’s only logical to find out what your current running speed is so you know what you need to surpass.

Running faster requires strength. You need to have a stronger body to be able to increase your speed. Simply put–hit the gym. Follow a strength-training program to improve your strength.

Eat right; avoid sweets and greasy foods. Sweets and greasy foods generate fats, and fats will slow you down while running. Remember to stay hydrated at all times. Drinking water as well as energy drinks (or even fruit smoothies) can greatly help you get fueled and avoid dehydration. Make sure you drink fluids before running.

Practice resisted sprints. Run on upward slopes or hills repeatedly. This will result on faster running speed when you run on flat surfaces.

Make sure that you are well rested. Athletes and runners who have adequate sleep tend to give better performance, studies reveal.

Proper gear and clothing will also help a lot during actual running. The lighter your clothing is, the lighter you are. Take off any excessive and unnecessary piece of clothing. Also, choose a light pair of running shoes that just feels right for you.

In contrary to the popular belief that you should not drink coffee prior to running, coffee can actually boost your running speed. A study published by Todd Astorino and other researchers at California State University state that caffeine improves speed by 4-24 seconds. Drink a cup of coffee an hour before running. This can be useful to runners, especially those who plan to join marathons.#
Learn how to manage your breathing. Fast runners are also fast breathers. Use both your nose and mouth when breathing to get the maximum oxygen you can while running.

Focus on the road. Every second matters in running—and every second used looking at your shoes or someplace else, other than the path you’re taking, is a second wasted.

Try interval training. Interval training is switching or alternating between fast running and slow jogging. Speed and endurance can be developed with interval training.
Stretch before you stride. Stretching your muscles prior to running can help you become more flexible for longer, better strides.

These are just some of the steps that can be taken to increase running speed. It sure seems like a lot of work–but with dedication, determination, focus and discipline, all this hard work will pay off once you see and experience the change in your own running speed.

28 Aug 2015