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Boost Your Brain Power

Mental training exercises that you need to add to your daily athletic routine, writes Protima Tiwary.

Ask any athlete what motivates him to wake up every morning and keeps him going through the day, and his answer will be “discipline” Self-motivated people will brave blood, sweat and tears to reach their goal, and none of this would work without discipline. So how does one learn discipline? Is it something we are born with? Is it something you can learn later in life? God forbid, is it too late to learn discipline in life?

Thankfully, discipline can be learnt, but do not accept results overnight. Just like the physical body takes week, months and sometimes even years to transform, the mind needs its time too. The mind imbibes so much on a daily basis, removing distractions to inculcate discipline seems like an intimidating task to many. With a little hard work, a few months is all you need to grow into a self-motivated, disciplined individual yourself.

How? It’s simple. All you need to do is exercise your mind. Yes, there are exercises that help train your mind into becoming stronger. Note these down carefully, because these exercises can be done at any given point of the day.

Start your day with Meditation

10 minutes before you start your day is all that you need to meditate successfully. Meditation is said to be the strongest of all the willpower workouts, and for good reason. With only 10 minutes a day, your brain will be able to focus better, and you will be less stressed and more energetic to deal with the day. To get started, sign up for some meditation podcasts or Youtube channels that will guide you through the process.

Remember, it will take you some time to train your mind to focus to meditate, but as it is with physical exercises, your mind too needs patience to build strength. Give it time.

Use your opposite hand

Your brain is wired to use your dominant hand. When you try using your opposite hand, your brain will spring into action since it is a completely new activity that it is not used to. You will find yourself to be more alert and focussed. This, using your opposite hand will require willpower.

To get started, sit down with a pen and notebook for 20-30 minutes during your workday.

Treat this as your me-time and you will find yourself looking forward to this experience daily!

Do Cross Lateral movements

The idea is to get your brain to be more alert. Lift your left knee and touch it with your left elbow 5 times, then do the same thing now with the right side. Then, lift your left knee and touch it with your right elbow 5 times, then switch sides again. When you do this, the left and right hemispheres of your brain are being worked together, causing your mind to be more alert.

Cross stimulate your senses

Keep your brain alert by engaging multiple senses like sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Doing so stimulates new neural activity throughout the brain. Some ways to do this would be to learn a musical instrument, learn to cook something new, read a new book, or even try a new exercise.

Correct your breathing

Inefficient breathing patterns not only affect your brain concentration power but also interfere in your exercises. Inefficient breathing limits oxygen to your brain. By correcting your breathing, you improve your concentration and focus, and even boost learning and IQ!

Here’s what you have to do – place one hand on your stomach, inhale slowly through your nose. You will notice that your abdomen expands while you inhale. Now exhale slowly (for around 5 seconds) and feel your abdominal muscles collapsing. Practice this for 5 minutes daily.

Other things that will contribute to a healthy mind include keeping a check on your savings and spending, keeping a food diary (food affects mood, and knowing what you’re putting into your body will help you decide how to train your mind to feel!) correcting your posture whenever you can (posture affects body language which in turn affects your emotional health) Carry around something tempting whenever you feel like testing yourself, see if you can resist it. This slowly contributes to mental strength too. Eat healthily, drink plenty of water. Also, take care of the vocabulary that you use (use positive words and avoid negative words and thoughts.) Last but not the least, learn to be grateful for what you have.

Whether you are running a marathon or lifting heavy or playing a sport, you need a strong mind to see you till the finish line. Without a strong mind, the body is nothing. Time to train your mind along with your body to be stronger, faster and more efficient. If you could build mental toughness that could help you overcome any obstacle and come out on the other side intact, you would have a positive outlook and a boatload of confidence in life, isn’t it?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An Army kid who wishes to travel the world one wellness vacation at a time, Protima Tiwary is a freelance content writer by day and Dumbbells and Drama, a fitness blogger by night. High on love and life, she is mildly obsessed about travelling and to-do lists and loves her long gym sessions like a fat kid loves cake.

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Skechers for me and New Balance for you

Deepthi Velkur compares the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 with the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V4 to see which she likes best.

Every runner knows that the foot hits the ground really hard when you run. When you run the feet and ankles feel the most pressure. The natural rolling of your foot depends on your running style as well as how your running shoe is built.

In order to minimize the impact, different brands have developed their own cushioning technologies. The choices are aplenty and finding the right shoe is quite daunting and confusing, but, we should focus our search down to 3 key areas:

  • Reducing the force during impact
  • Protecting the musculoskeletal system and
  • Conserving energy

In this article, I would like to focus on two models that have used different technologies aimed at offering a smooth run.

I’ll start with the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – which is a smooth riding lightweight running shoe that offers great cushioning and rebound. Also, the shoe has a breathable and comfortable knit upper that beats most in its class.

They are a slightly rockered shape which helps deliver a smooth transition from landing to toe-off. These are perfect every day running shoes and at 264 grams they feel good through the run.

On the other hand, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V4 – named after a beach in Greece, these shoes are a terrific all-around lightweight trainer that has the right balance of a soft cushioned ride and give you a fast-snappy responsive feeling. They are extremely versatile weighing in at 244 grams and can be used for racing 5Ks to marathon distances.

Let’s now do a little comparison between these two and hopefully, that will help you decide on what suits you best.

Fit and Ride

On the GoRun Ride 7, the fit is perfect and true to size. There is a nice mix of softness and bounce and they do equally well while running at an easy clip or speeding up. A word of caution though – it does feel a bit tight when using a sock-liner, so I would suggest buying half a size up in case you like some wiggle room.

The Zante V4 is a sleek, compact and well-designed shoe. It offers a snug fit similar to the Ride 7 and the only noticeable difference is the “No Sew” upper and Hyposkin wrap that locks your foot into the platform, quite well.

Upper

On the GoRun Ride 7, the upper is made up of Knit mesh, inner gusset, and synthetic overlays. It is a simple two-toned breathable upper with a single sew overlay that helps secure your foot. The knitted mesh upper is very comfortable, though it can get slightly warm in humid conditions.

The Zante 4 has a slim upper profile which is relatively pointed and made of engineered mesh, inner sleeve and fused synthetic. The No Sew upper along with the new Hyposkin wrap really holds your foot in place. However, be cautious as lacing up too tightly will cause your foot position to be a bit outward.

Midsole

The GoRun Ride 7 has been upgraded with the new Full-length Flight Gen foam and has a 6 mm heel-to-toe drop. It is light, responsive and mixed with the awesome M Strike (Midfoot Strike) technology which really makes the run smooth.

The midsole of the Zante V4 has a single density Fresh Foam 6 mm heel drop. The Fresh Foam is intended to give a soft yet snappy response but unfortunately, it can’t compete with other outstanding midsole technologies such as the FlightGen in Skechers Performance. The way the shoe is designed, Fresh Foam is holding it back from being a really superior fast trainer.

Outsole

The outsole on the GoRun Ride 7 is a combination of exposed Flight Gen and strategically placed rubber to provide traction and durability. This combination ensures that the shoe grips well on wet surfaces and stays durable.

On the Zante V4, blown rubber is used to provide solid traction and a smooth forefoot landing but unfortunately, without significant flex grooves in the outsole or midsole, the result is a stiff shoe.

Price and Recommendations

The GoRun Ride 7 is light enough, super cushioned for long days and recovery days, but still has some significant snap to it when you want to go fast. The fit is flawless and the shoe disappears on your feet when you run in it. At INR 6,499 (www.amazon.in), I highly recommend getting a pair of these shoes for your daily run.

The Zante V4 provides for an overall decent fit but unfortunately, the midsole Fresh Foam doesn’t offer as much feedback as you would like and that makes for an uncomfortable running experience. It is available on www.jabong.com for INR 6,599.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

 

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Do runners slow down with age?

Age seems to slow down many runners, Nandini Reddy explores if its just age or are their other factors.

Young runners seem to be faster. Some believe that it is because younger runners use their leg muscles differently. But is it only age that causes this change in gait and running speed? While most of us accept this logic that as we age our speed would diminish there is little to prove that this true. Today senior marathoners are flooding the marathon corrals. They even clock better timings than their younger counterparts, so what then what is it that slows us down?

A study states that muscles can be reinvigorated to perform at peak levels at any age if the person follows the right type of strength training. As we grow older our aerobic capacity decreases and with each passing decade it reduces by a further 10%. So while an octagenarian runner might have better aerobic capacity than a sedentary 40-year-old, there is still an amount of training that needs to be done to ensure that the body is in tune.

Strengthen the Muscles

So what is it that really slows us down as we age. With regular exercise, aerobic capacity can be improved or maintained – so that means you can keep up your pace. There is evidence that shows that muscles in the lower legs age earlier than others. That means that without adequate care the muscles will start losing strength and subsequently lead to injury. The two most important muscles that should be focussed on are the ankle and calf muscles. If these muscles are not strong enough then the chances of Achilles tendon and calf injuries tend to increase.

Weight

Another reason why we tend to run slower is our weight. As we grow older our metabolism slows down and the ability to lose weight reduces. Fit people who eat slowly, include protein and vegetables in their meals and watch their junk food intake will not have this issue. But if you don’t watch your food quality and quantity then maintaining a healthy weight becomes an issue. Running when you are overweight comes with its own range of injuries.

Motivation

One of the biggest reasons people slow down as runners when they grow older is actually the lack of motivation. One starts to become more conscious and careful to avoid injury and in the process, they stop doing the exercises which would help them avoid those injuries. Changing your mindset is the best way to stay active at any age.

Take the time to smell the roses but keep running because age doesn’t slow you down only your mind does.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

 

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The Right Running Support

Deepthi tries the Under Armour Eclipse Non-Wired Sports Bra to understand if it makes for comfortable running gear.

When it comes to running for women, there are two must-have pieces of gear that every woman must invest in – good running shoes and a sports bra. Now, I have covered running shoes in several of my previous articles, in this edition I would like to talk about sports bras.

So, is wearing a sports bra while running really important? The short answer, YES! Any form of physical activity makes your breasts bounce but a repetitive and continuous activity can result in pain, soreness and make your breasts sag. The breasts are supported by two weak structures – Cooper’s ligaments and the skin itself. They have no muscles and are not connected to any other part and move independently of the rest of the body.

It is important that every woman, no matter what size she is, should wear a sports bra while running. Sports Bras are designed to give you the added support, limit movement when exercising especially running and also to prevent breast pain.

Finding a right sports bra that provides plenty of support during a run isn’t only about comfort, but it can make or break your workout routine. A sports bra that has poor fitting leads to painful chafing and will not provide you with the high-level support you need while kicking it hard at the gym or on the road. Because sizing systems vary and everybody is different, finding a supportive and comfortable sports bra that fits requires some trial and error.

You need to choose a bra that works just as hard as you but at the same time looks good too. You also need to keep in mind the type of activity and your chest size before going ahead and buying a bra. This is where the Under Armour eclipse non-wired sports bra comes in to do the job beautifully.

This bra uses the compression technology that gives you a close, second-skin fit and medium-impact support that lets you focus on your running and not worry about hurting yourself.

Product Features

  • Fabric is made of Nylon and Elastane
  • The bra has pockets for removable padding that add modesty and shape
  • Super-breathable SpeedForm power mesh lining
  • Unique open back with criss-cross straps
  • Studio Lux fabric provides unyielding support with a super soft luxurious feel
  • Clean, bandeau-inspired front with soft, breathable cups for extra structure and coverage
  • The material used helps in wicking away sweat leaving you feeling dry and light
  • 100% Imported, 90 days product warranty against manufacturing defects
  • Available exclusively on Amazon

Price

This product is available in different sizes and colours and is priced anywhere between INR 2299 – INR 5386 depending on the size chosen.

It is definitely worth every penny and a must try for all women. It is of excellent quality, provides great support for high impact workouts, sweat resistant and breathable making you feel strong from the inside. The adjustable straps ensure that my shoulders don’t get dug in and ache on longer runs.

If you run without a bra, or just use a standard t-shirt bra you are more at risk of developing back and breast pain as a result of this. Sports bras are specially designed to support your breasts ALL the way around, making sure they are secure and allowing the skin to breathe.

No matter what type of exercise you do, buying a good quality sports bra is the same as buying good quality sneakers, it will support your body and enhance your workout routine!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Run to Finish

The right mental boost can get you across every finish line, writes Nandini Reddy.

Being in a corral full of enthusiastic runners with the announcer calling time and music blaring and flags swinging, it’s only natural that you get pumped up and rush right out at a faster pace than you planned earlier. The swift start can hold for a while but you will tire out and eventually miss your goal time or even give up before the finish line. So is there a more efficient way to run?

Yes, there is. Instead of bursting out of the gates you should run conservatively. Save your energy for the end and the last few miles will not seem as impossible as they do. So here is what you need to do in order to finish strong.

Set the Pace

The idea is to start at an easy pace and then speed up. As a rough guideline start at a pace that is 30 seconds slower than usual and then build up to your goal time. The longer the distance the more time you can reduce from your initial distance. As you slowly increase the speed your confidence builds. Going out too fast may cause you will hit fatigue fast as well.

Turn it Up

Break the distance into parts. Set a particular pace target for each part. The idea is the run the last few km at an even pace. Splitting the running distance is a great way to approach the course and finishing each section will boost your confidence level and take you across the final finish line with ease.

Push the Boundaries

Practice the splits during your training runs. You can always make up the lost seconds in the first few split parts towards the end. Gaining a couple of seconds in the last few km will put you back on track to finish in your goal timing. For example, if you are 25 seconds off during the first km then you need to make up by 2 seconds for every mile after to compensate.

Run Better

You should ideally be able to talk comfortably when you are running. That is the right pace you need to be running at. If you are running out of breath or unable to talk comfortably then your pace is all wrong.

Gradually build your confidence during the training runs and be more prudent about how you use your energy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Staying hydrated as you run!

Hydration doesn’t always mean water, Deepthi Velkur explores all your options for hydration during a run.

Staying hydrated during your runs is a critical element to a successful run – less so in a 5k, way more so in a marathon. How much hydration you need during a run depends on factors such as – age, gender, temperature, intensity, and distance.

Especially on hot and humid summer days, hydrating during your long run is of the utmost importance. As you are aware, any form of exercise leads to sweating and the more you sweat, your blood volume decreases further making your heart work harder than usual to supply the required oxygen to your working muscles.

It is important to hydrate yourself to reduce the negative effects of dehydration, but pay attention to what you should be drinking, how much and how frequently? At first, avoid overhydration – drinking more than what is required. Overhydration may lead to gastrointestinal distress or in extreme cases a condition called hyponatremia.

Secondly, drinking to offset sweating serves no purpose when it comes to boosting your performance or regulating body temperature versus drinking according to your thirst.

Dehydration kicks in only for runs longer than 90 minutes and the amount of hydration required depends on each individual as the sweat rate varies. Keeping sufficient reserves of palatable drinks accessible to you during your runs and drinking only when you feel thirsty optimizes your overall performance.

Here are some simple and most convenient on-the-go options to fuel your runs:

Sports Drinks: On very hot days, when you tend to sweat much more, just drinking plain water might not be sufficient and you might require a beverage which contains electrolytes and carbohydrates especially potassium and sodium. Sports drinks give you a blend of carbs which are easy and quick fueling options that instantly boost your energy and keeps you well hydrated. Drink two 236ml(8oz) every one hour to pump in a minimum of 30 grams of carbohydrate.

Energy Gels: They are the most popular on-the-go fuel source amongst runners. The energy gels are the best source of fast-acting carbohydrates as they are easily absorbed by the body to give you the instant boost of energy. Using one every 30-40 mins into your run works wonders and opt for gels that have 25-30g of carbs and 50g sodium. You can also pick gels that contain caffeine along with carbs. Most importantly, it is essential to consume water (avoid sports drink) after having your gel.

Bite-size chews give you that punch of energy and pack in the same amount of carbs found in gels and sports drinks. Drinking water is a must each time you pop one in your mouth to avoid the risk of choking.

Here are some organic options if you want to avoid artificial drinks :

Coconut water: This natural drink contains 9g of carb and plenty of potassium more than 20times that of a sports drink. Coconut water with a pinch of sea salt gives you the sodium you need to stay hydrated.

Orange Juice: Drinking citrus juices provide the required potassium and mixing it with water helps to dilute the juice to prevent stomach cramps. One portion of orange juice with one part water and a pinch of salt will do the trick.

Honey: It contains simple sugars like glucose and fructose which are also found in sports drinks. These sugars enter the bloodstream quickly giving you the sudden burst of energy. Try the honey packets or straws for a mess-free snack.

Watermelon: A juicy watermelon provides you with a refreshing feeling. It contains 11g of carbs and a bit of potassium. Sprinkle some sea salt to avoid the fruit from getting mushy and pre-freeze it.

Drinking 250ml of water every 15 minutes during the run along with the above options is recommended. Practice your hydration plan well before race day, and learn to trust it.

In conclusion, do not over-complicate your plan, keep it simple: “Drink when you are thirsty”.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Learning from Coach Pramod Deshpande

What can the chief coach and mentor of the largest running group in Bengaluru teach you about how to train and prepare for your next marathon? The short answer—absolutely everything! discovers Deepthi Velkur. 

In this interview, we’re going to pick the brain of Mr. Pramod Deshpande, a reputed coach and mentor for the Jayanagar Jaguars and a technology innovation head with a leading MNC who over the past 4 years has trained more than 2500 athletes complete Half-Marathons, Full-Marathons and Ultra-Marathons.

Apart from coaching, he has also managed multiple running events as Race Director notably the Oracle run and in his spare time addresses corporate forums in the city on motivation and staying competitive.

Pramod shares with us his running story and transition from sprinting into a marathon, and how a coach could help achieve your running goal.

To get us started, can you please share with us a little about your personal running background?

My early running life was that of a sprinter and not a long distance runner. I took to running in my school and college days back in Pune. I was a competitive athlete specializing in the 100m sprint in the 80’s all the way through to 1990. Post that until 1994-95, I did a fair share of coaching people for track and field events.

Later on, life happened and I went on to build the professional career that kept me away from competitive sport and coaching. It was in 2010 that I finally got back to running with Jayanagar Jaguars but this time moved on from sprint to covering longer distances – half, full and ultra-marathons.

When I started with Jayanagar Jaguars, it was more of a social running group of 8-10 people with no structured training in place. Fast forward 8 years and today we are a group of 700 runners located across 10 centres in the city all following a standard training program.

Sprinting to marathons – those are the extreme ends of the running spectrum. How did you make that transition?

I’m not a marathon runner per se. Even though my passion lay in sprinting, I had to make a call at some point. As you grow older, sprinting is not a sport you want to associate yourself with as your pace slows down drastically and it takes a significant toll on your mental and physical health. Also, there is only one sprinting event a year for veterans so continuity is a challenge.

In long-distance running, you can still maintain and manage your pace. Given the numerous races across a year, it helps you participate more and therefore be more consistent. From 2010 – 2014, I took part in several marathons being a podium finisher in 3 runs and also won the best debutant award in the city. Having won my fair share of accolades, I moved into full-time coaching in 2014.

When did you first decide to begin coaching?

I started coaching with Jayanagar Jaguars in the year 2014 on my own accord. When I started, we were only around 20-25 people. I was responsible for restructuring the club and putting in place a more formal and structured training program and the results are there for all to see. Today, we see more and more runners wanting to be a part of this club.

Our standardized model is now in place and followed across all our 10 locations in the city. Every individual is given an overall brief about the training program and the training schedule is shared with them right before they kick-start their workout. Additionally, we use our mobile app to handle all our communication around workout and training schedules.

What’s the hardest part about being a running coach?

Honestly, I do not find anything hard being a coach. I like what I do and enjoy the challenges that the job brings.

Your running club has people from a varied age group, different individual goals and varied levels of strength? How is your training plan built to cater to this?

The overall program is obviously customized keeping in mind certain parameters such as strength levels, amateur or seasoned runner as well as individual goals. We typically break down the runners into 7-8 categories (count could vary based on the program need) and we then allocate captains who have been directly trained under my guidance in the ratio of 30:1.

A senior group would typically have 30 members while slower groups are much larger (100 – 150 runners). Each category of runners will have a customized training schedule built for them. I am responsible for training the group captains who in turn will train their respective groups. I create a training schedule and communicate this to the group captains who implement the plan and follow the schedule.

Given the 2 styles of running are different – what elements from your sprinting days have you brought into the world of marathon running?

While sprinting and long distance running are two completely different styles of running, the one constant is how an athlete trains. Parameters such as off-season, on-season and types of workout changes but the overall structure remain the same for both.

The type of workout performed by a sprinter will, of course, vary to that of a marathon runner. A sprinter does not run more than a 5k and requires a little more strength training while a long distance runner is focused on distance and endurance.

Everyone talks about the importance of strength and weight training. What specific workouts do you think help improve marathon running?

There are a few elite runners who do not need strength training but this is few and far between. Majority of us are leisure runners and definitely need to go to a gym to do some strength training. Looking at off or on season as well as which part of the training schedule the runners are in, they will undergo 1-2 days of strength training at the gym.

Apart from the gym-based training, we conduct a twice a year on-ground strength training for runners program that lasts for 2 months. A typical training period will be 90 mins at the most considering time constraints that the most of the runners face. The training day routine will involve running exercises, strength training exercises such as Plyometrics as well as flexibility exercises.

Do you think it is important for a serious runner to have a coach? If yes, what are the benefits of having a coach?

The outside perspective is very important to your running life. Everybody needs a coach to take care of your workout and to build discipline. Look at leading sportsmen around the world, Roger Federer for instance – we all need a coach!

What’s your coaching philosophy?

Trying to get the best out of a person’s ability is what a coach must do. Apart from coaching someone to be the best runner there is, I also try to imbibe the spirit of being a good and responsible citizen.

I would like to take this opportunity to put to rest a misconception that the coach is everything – NO, a coach cannot be a nutritionist, a physiotherapist or a doctor. These are three distinct roles and every athlete needs to have access to them as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Making trail running easier

Deepthi Velkur reviews the Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated 2 Hydration Belt that is useful for trail runners.

The Marathon season is upon us now and it is always a good time to discuss the essential running gear that makes our long runs easier to deal with. An avid runner is quite familiar with the benefits and convenience of using running accessories, but, with the options flooding the market, it is important for us to review and determine what actually makes a difference to each one of us.

We all know that long-distance running is an endurance sport and like in all other endurance sports, hydration is key. It is a no-brainer that you need to have a constant supply of fluids with you if you want to survive and endure the amazing sport of running.

There are a number of ways you can hydrate yourself during a run like making pit stops at water stations, wearing a hydration belt or by using a hand-held water bottle. If your planning to run for an hour or more and want to run hands-free, a hydration belt is your go-to answer.

A hydration belt is an ingenious invention that holds not only your water bottle but can stash away your other essentials like the phone, sports gels, light snack, keys, and money leaving you to run free. There are a plethora of choices in the market for a running belt and to choose the right running belt depends on your individual running needs and also the type of runner you are such as a trail runner, long-distance runner, casual runner or a beginner. You also need to determine how much water you consume and the amount of storage space you need.

Features

Here is why I think you should consider the Nathan Trail Mix Plus Insulated Hydration pack –

  • SpeedFit holster with two 300ml Fire and Ice reflective and insulated flasks ensure quick one-handed access.
  • Zippered pocket with key ring clip and front stash pouch for gels, compatible with iPhone 6 Plus.
  • The ergo-shaped insulated belt is made from a soft monofilament material secures firmly around your hip and has a lightweight buckle closure which allows multi-directional stretching to give you a proper fit and eliminates bounce
  • Dual shock cords with one-pull tension lock for energy gels and glove storage
  • Double- wall flask construction keeps fluids cooler, 20% longer than other insulated flasks.
  • It is ultra-lightweight and comfortable providing an easy on the fly access to hydration and nutrition without slowing down your pace.
  • It weighs just 258g – so light and easy.

On long runs and I didn’t experience any problems like bouncing or bottles coming out of the holster. The balance and the location of the weight are excellent and with the pocket that is capable of holding a good amount of my running essentials, the TrailMix Plus is a perfect accompaniment to your running gear.

Price

The Nathan TrailMix Plus Insulated is available on www.amazon.in and costs INR 7423.

Final Word

Let’s face it – running or for that matter any aerobic exercise is tough. Hydration belts help us stay hydrated, focused and with this belt in, particular, it also removes the strain of carrying personal items thus making the run a better experience.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Making a comeback into running after a break

All set to make a comeback after a long break? How can you do that asks Deepthi Velkur

A significant number of runners are faced with this situation and in all likelihood, it has or could happen to you as well. You begin running, push yourself to train better and faster, set new PB’s with each run and you seemed to have gained the courage to dream of the impossible.

Then suddenly all breaks loose and one fine day you stop running. It could be due to an injury, major life changes, illness or just don’t feel up for it. All those years of consistent training, being fit, gains on your mileage and overall confidence just seem to have quickly vanished as they materialized. With no continuous activity, your body loses blood volume and your lactate threshold decreases after a point. It is always easier for runners who have been training long and hard to slip back into running as opposed to a novice runner.

The ease of getting back into running also depends on various aspects like the duration of your break, level of fitness before the break, severity of illness/injuries and some form of physical activity done during the break.

So, how do you get moving again after being sidelined for a while? Here are a few guidelines to follow that will help you ease back into running –

Start at your current level- Focus on not running too far and hard just yet as it might lead to injuries and pain. If you’re not going by any training schedule, ensure to track your mileage and keep your runs at a conservational pace for the initial 6-8 weeks. In the beginning, avoid running two days at a stretch and include a rest day or cross train in between runs and maintain your overall weekly mileage of 10% per week. Remember to run slower, reduce mileage, allowing rest and recovery days.

Here’s a brief about how you could get back to training and at what level of intensity –

1 week or less         – Start from where you left off

Up to 10 days          – Run at 70% of previous mileage

15 to 30 days           – Run at 60% of previous mileage

30 days to 3 months – Run at 50% of previous mileage

3 months                  – Start from scratch

Build Endurance – There is no fool-proof formula to know of how much conditioning you lost as everyone responds differently to training stimulus. The maximum aerobic capacity that you might have lost post your break is –

  • Up to 5 to 7 percent of VO2max after two weeks.
  • Up to 20 percent of VO2max after two months.
  • Up to 30 to 50 percent of VO2max after three months

Strength training will help you handle running longer distances if done properly and assists in building strength in your glutes and lower ab area. Include sitting and lying down exercises, add drills that mimic components of running such as Glute push-off drill, Midfoot strike with forward lean, and cadence drill. These drills help in building your overall endurance.

Identify and resolve your running glitches – Getting back to training is probably your best time to re-evaluate your previous training sessions and make the required amendments. Most importantly listen to your body and if you notice anything different, act on it immediately to get back on track.

Cross Train: Runners must incorporate activities like cycling, swimming, weight training, jogging, walking, Pilates, and yoga into their training schedule. It builds cardiovascular strength, fitness, promotes recovery and reduces wear and tear of the body.

Set small realistic goals: We must come to terms with the fact that it will take us time to get back to the performance level we were at. By putting pressure on yourself, you’re causing more harm to your body than good. By setting smaller goals and meeting them will only boost your confidence. It becomes easier if you have a goal like training for a specific event, else start off running a distance of 5k. As you go, you build endurance, speed, and intensity of running thereby making it more fun again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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