Training, Uncategorized Comments Off on A 5 Minute Warm Up To Improve Running Performance |

A 5 Minute Warm Up To Improve Running Performance

Protima Tiwary takes you through a simple warm-up routine before you start running.

Getting out of bed early in the morning for a run seems like a huge task in itself, and adding a 20-minute warm-up routine before your run makes you want to crawl right back in. Yes, we understand how that feels, and while we know it is tempting to miss out on a warm-up, it can prove to be harmful, even dangerous in the long run. Warm-ups and stretches reduce the chances of injury and also improve performance during the run. They also help combat muscle soreness.

Here’s the good news- you don’t need to spend 20 minutes for a warm-up routine. We are here to show you a warm-up that will take you only 5 minutes and absolutely no equipment. Get out your pen and paper and take notes!

Jumping Jacks

This will help you warm up and get your heart pumping. Do 40 jumping jacks to kickstart your warm-up routine. If you want, you can also time yourself and see how many can you do in a minute.

  1. Stand with your feet wide apart.
  2. Open up your arms and have them extended to your sides
  3. Jump up and bring your feet together. Your arms move together in a “clap” over your head
  4. When you touch the group again, your arms and legs are in the extended position.

High Knees and butt kicks

This movement mimics those in running and will help open up the abdominal, leg and hip muscles. Do 25 each of these.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with arms at your sides.
  2. Now start running in place, but with your knees reaching up to your chest.
  3. After 25 high knees, take a break of 20 seconds
  4. Now start running in place again, but this time with your feet trying to touch your glutes.

Arm circles

This will help activate your chest muscles, deltoids and upper back. Do 10 for each hand.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Lift your arms to shoulder height, with the palms down
  3. Make small circles with your arms, making sure not to bend the elbow

Side stretch

This helps stretch your torso before your run and will help you combat side stitches during your run too.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Bring your arms over your head, and keeping your abdominal muscles tight, lean to the right. Hold for 10 counts.
  3. Now do the same for the left side.
  4. Make sure only the torso is leaning, with your feet grounded firmly.

Hip Rotation

This helps stretch the glutes and lower back. Do these 10 times each in a clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Make a circular motion with your hips. Make sure your feet stay grounded.

Spider Crawl stretch

This will help stretch the hips and leg muscles. Hold this position for 10 counts on each leg.

  1. Lie down in a forward plank pose
  2. Your legs should be shoulder width apart
  3. From the outside, bring your right foot next to your right hand (or till wherever your flexibility allows you to)
  4. Repeat with left leg after holding this for 10 seconds


This one is for your core, hamstrings and deltoids. Do this 10 times.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  2. Bend down to touch your toes
  3. Now walk your hands out to reach a plank position
  4. Hold for 5 seconds, then walk back with your hands to touch your toes.
  5. Stand up straight


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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Uncategorized Comments Off on Beat the Sugar habit |

Beat the Sugar habit

Beating the sugar habit, is tough in a world of processed foods, but a simple plan and a bit of commitment might just help, writes Nandini Reddy. 

Sugar is everywhere today. Even the most innocuous foods have sugar hidden in them. You don’t actually have to eat cookies and cakes to directly consume sugar. Your favourite hot sauce also is loaded with added sugars. The truth is that there is absolutely no health benefit from consuming added sugar. It damages all your diet efforts more than any other indulgence.

It might seem like a task to constantly monitor added sugars in everything that you eat but in the long run it really helps. Consider a few simple steps to remove sugar from your diet or reduce it to the levels that are good to satisfy your sweet tooth and not damage your diet.

Clean out the pantry and drawers

We all have stashed secret snacks in our office drawers and pantries. The first step is to clean out the stock of foods that are high in added sugars. Remember to check all bottled and packaged foods. Read your labels right and ensure that you get rid of the whole stock without exception.

Avoid adding sugar

Try a few days of avoiding sugar. A lot of things will taste bitter and unmanageable but it is a way to discover new tastes. Coffee and tea will be unbearable the first time but you might discover new flavours of tea that do not need sugar and unsweetened expresso might help you recover from tiredness a lot faster than a sugar binge.

Get rid of sugary drinks

Colas, packaged juice, iced teas, bottled frappes and energy drinks all are storehouses of added sugar. Most of the energy drinks and colas also have caffeine and the combination of a caffeine high and a jolt from sugar is comforting when you are stressed. But one moment of deliciousness is not worth year long health troubles.

Look for natural replacements 

There are several natural sweeteners that you can add to different food that might give you a more complex taste. Try adding vanilla extract into your coffee for that touch of sweetness. Avoid sauces in your salads and add caramelized onions instead. Salt tends to intensify the sweetness of pumpkins and fruit so sprinkle a little salt instead.

Kick refined grains

You need to eat carbs but they don’t have to be bleached white. Avoid white processed foods like breads, pastas , cookies and cakes. Your diet benefits from whole and unpolished grains. Get your starch from vegetables and pile on the protein from your beans and peas.

Being on a sugar high can feel wonderful. But breaking the grip of sugar can also be equally satisfying.



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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Training, Uncategorized Comments Off on Take a Hiatus from Running |

Take a Hiatus from Running

Taking a hiatus from running can seem tough but it might be the best thing you can do for yourself, writes Nandini Reddy. 

Runners tend to get consumed by their passion. The frustration from not reaching peak performance can cause a runner to train in an extreme manner that might lead to injury. Instead if you ever feel that you are slipping then it might make more sense to take a break from running. While this suggestion might sound counter-intuitive to a runner in training, it is probably the best thing you can do for yourself.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking a break from running.

When should you take a break? – Once racing season is done, plan at least a 4 week break. Your body needs to rest from the constant pounding it has received during the marathons. Also there is less guilt about missing a big race. Pick you racing season for the year and once it wraps up, ensure that you put away your running shoes. It is also a good idea to take a break when running becomes too monotonous for you. Running without enthusiasm won’t lift your spirits and the break will do more good for your mood than running would at that time.

How long should your hiatus last? – Remember that muscles tend to recover during the break period. You can stay fit by doing other activities like strength training and yoga which are beneficial to build muscle strength. Ensure you take a minimum of 4 weeks off. You can extend this to more if required but don’t reduce the amount to lesser than 3 weeks if you want to enjoy the full benefits of recovery.

Most runners feel that a break from training means they will run lesser miles or that it will affect their pace. But in reality a run after a period of recovery is stronger than one where there is no proper recovery for the body. A few of the benefits of taking a hiatus include:

  1. Injuries can be dealt with and given the right amount of rest and treatment
  2. It can cure a runners burnout
  3. Mentally you will be recharged and more excited to run again
  4. It will help you refocus your goals.
  5. Work out a training plan based on experience and with a clear mind

Once you are back in training, don’t stress on pace and mileage immediately. Build up to it and you will notice that you can reach your goals faster and with less fatigue.

By no means am I suggesting that taking a break would be a joyful experience for a runner, but if you want to keep running strong for many years then it is inevitable. When you take a break you come back with a stronger performance, a more fit body and higher enthusiasm.



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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News, Uncategorized Comments Off on 81-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Contemplates Running His 12th Marathon |

81-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Contemplates Running His 12th Marathon

An 81-year-old Holocaust survivor is considering running another marathon, which would be his 12th.
Nat Shaffir, a docent at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, runs 6 miles six days a week, rain or shine, and he didn’t start running until he was 65 years old.
This fall, he completed his eighth Marine Corps Marathon and he’s already thinking about his next one. He’s also run three other marathons.
Running gives him the chance to think, to contemplate and remember, even back to the fall of 1942.

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Training, Uncategorized Comments Off on How to avoid Running Injuries |

How to avoid Running Injuries

Injury doing any form of exercise is a possibility but with the right form,  consistent training and the right equipment can help prevent common running injuries, says Nandini Reddy. 

Running injuries generally tend to happen when you push yourself beyond your limits in an unsafe manner. It is always good to test your boundaries and increase your endurance limits but that should also be done with an understanding of what harm you can do to yourself if it is not done under proper guidance.

Some of the most common running injuries are Runner’s Knee, Stress Fracture, Shin splint, Achilles tendinitis, Muscle Pull, Sprains, Blisters and temperature related injuries. Here are a few things that you can do to avoid these injuries

Warm up

You should always start you run with a warm body in order to prevent injury. Warm up the body by walking or skipping or doing jumping jacks. After your body is a bit warm then start your stretches. Stretch your muscles especially focusing on the muscles in your legs and back.

Be aware and safe

When you are running be aware of your surrounding. Choose a flat surface to run on and avoid steep hills. Try and stay in well-lit areas and keep your cell-phone handy for emergencies.

Stay hydrated

Drink water before you start running. If you are running in humid climates then you might want to carry a bottle with you. After the run hydrate again. You can even add electrolytes to your post-run nutrition. This will help replenish the nutrients you have lost because of sweat.

Ice Treatment

Ice provides relief from sore muscles. So if you feel soreness for more than a day after your run then do a cold compressed treatment until it settles. Most initial injury treatments for sprains and soreness requires ice. If the pain doesn’t go away after this then it is best to consult with your coach or doctor to ascertain if its a more serious injury.

Prep your gear

Always test new shoes before going on long runs. Wear double layer socks and use bandages to prevent shoe bites if you doing a dry run with new shoes. Break them in slowly so that you can avoid getting blisters. If you are prone to getting blisters because of your shoes then apply petroleum jelly on those areas. If you are running with bottle carriers, sunglasses and hats, remember to do short runs with them to test for comfort and to ensure you do not blister at those areas. Do not try on new gear on the day of a big run.

Dress appropriately

It is important to wear the right clothes when you are running. The clothes should let you sweat easily and should also be made of material that isn’t harsh on your skin. These will help in reducing temperature related injuries like overheating. If you are running in hot weather ensure you are protected against sunburn and similarly in a cold climate dress to protect against hypothermia. If you have thigh burns then wear a pair of cycling tights below your shorts for comfort.

Listen to your body

It is very important to listen to your body. All runners experience a bit of soreness. As long as it subsides its okay. But if you feel like you are in constant pain that is preventing you from running itself then it is important to consult a doctor to ascertain the extent of your injury.

Rest, recovery, strength training and nutrition form the main pillars on which running injuries can be avoided so try you best to ensure that you have a schedule that takes care of your body while you enjoy your running.



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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Uncategorized Comments Off on Big field expected for 63rd Feilding Marathon |

Big field expected for 63rd Feilding Marathon

The long-running Feilding Marathon is expecting one of its biggest fields for a few years this weekend. Organiser Rob Dabb is hopeful of getting close to 400 entries for the 63rd year of the event on Saturday, which would make it the second biggest after they had about 500 three years ago.

Dabb said entries are up 25 per cent. They will still take entries up to 30 minutes before the race starts on Saturday morning. The Feilding Marathon has been going since 1955, making it the longest consecutive running in Australasia and 19th-longest in the world.



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