endurance

The Three Types Of Fitness

When we talk about fitness, we have a tendency to use the word as a catch-all. Just fitness. While that’s useful – and we can all generally agree on the difference between being fit and not being so – it’s also a little too vague for anyone who is serious about getting their body into shape. If you want to get a beach body and then sustain it, you need to dig a little deeper into fitness.

While fitness can be broken down into many different sections if you wish to be pedantic about it, the main focus should be on three distinct areas. If you want to achieve the most from your routine and get yourself feeling as good as possible, then you need to be able to tick the boxes for all three of them.

Fitness Category #1: Endurance

Endurance is the cardio fitness that most of us focus on. It’s what makes us able to stay on the treadmill for longer, pedal up another hill, or do anything for a sustained length of time.

Endurance is important, but it’s also probably the most problematic. It takes a long time, more so than any of the other categories. It’s about doing a little bit at a time, on a daily basis, which you can then increase. Over time, it all builds up.

You should always aim to push yourself further to work on your endurance. If you usually just run for 20 minutes or do 100 laps, that’s not pushing your endurance. Week by week, you need to increase: 22 minutes, 102 laps – onwards and upwards is the ongoing trend.

Fitness Category #2: Strength

Most of us associate the idea of strength training and muscle building with the idea of becoming “ripped” – and that’s not everyone’s goal when it comes to exercise. However, getting good muscle tone is not just about the aesthetic indulgence – it’s also a form of fitness in and of itself.

You don’t need to be looking to build muscles to the point of bulging, but a good core strength will help your endurance and keep you as healthy as possible. Get into the habit of doing weights work a couple of times per week, supplementing your efforts with the likes of FitnessDeadline.com to make the most of it. Over time, you’ll feel the effects of this improvement – and you might look better too!

Fitness Category #3: Suppleness

The idea of suppleness being a factor in fitness is a relatively new one, but as we understand more and more about how the body works, it becomes more important. Endurance and strength are necessary for general life and movement, to help keep you comfortable throughout your life – but suppleness is something you have to add in there.

The simple fact is that we lose our natural, in-built suppleness throughout our life. It’s one of the major causes of disability in old age. However, if you nip it in the bud early and keep yourself as supple as possible, then you’re more likely to actually be able to enjoy your retirement.

Yoga and pilates are the standard when it comes to increasing your ability to flex and be supple. Start gently with videos from YouTube.com even if you are otherwise physically fit – if you’ve never done it before, you might be surprised at just how demanding it can be!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Non-Running Exercises That’ll Make You Run Faster

A lot of amateur runners think that if they just run further or more often that they will improve their mile time. Unfortunately, they eventually hit a plateau, and no matter how hard they train, they can’t break through it and continue improving. The problem with this state of affairs is that it can sap motivation and lead to despair.

The good news is that you can improve your mile time. You just need to stop running and try something else. Here are some non-running exercises that’ll help you run faster.

Up Your Game With Rowing

To get better, our bodies need to be challenged in new and unusual ways. The problem for most runners is that they don’t challenge their cardiovascular system and instead run at the same pace during all their training sessions.

One way to mix up cardiovascular training is to try something different. According to https://bodygearguide.com/best-rowing-machine-reviews/ rowing machines are a great way to prepare for a triathlon. Why? Because they help to tax the cardiovascular system in different ways to regular jogging. While your body is trained to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your legs, it’s less used to providing the same level of service to your back muscles and arms. Forcing your body to adapt to rowing will help when you next go out for a run. Don’t be surprised if you find your mile time coming down.

Single-Leg Squat

When you think about it, running is actually a series of single-legged jumps, one after the other. These jumps put tremendous strain on your knee joints and leg muscles. But despite this, many runners never bother to train their legs. In so doing, they put themselves at risk of injury and cause themselves to have slower mile times.

Single-legged squats are a great way to train for running says http://www.runnersworld.com. Not only do they improve the strength of the knee joint and leg muscles, but they also help the body balance itself biomechanically. Runners who aren’t biomechanically balanced or strong enough often run in a sub-optimal way to compensate. Strengthening the legs can help  prevent suboptimal gaits and make your mile times faster.

Foam Roller Pectoral Stretch

The upper body is one of the most overlooked regions of the body for runners. But it turns out that the trunk region, as well as the upper chest, are critical when stabilizing a runner in motion.

The upper body is important for another reason too: breathing. A stiff upper body that lacks strength can lead to reduced muscle function, low lung capacity and slouching. All these issues can then result in further running issues down the road.

Doing a pectoral stretch on the foam roller can help to reverse these problems and expand the chest area. Opening up the chest helps to stretch out the chest muscle, reducing the amount of rounding in the upper back.

Stretching out the thoracic is helpful too. To do this, lie with your back on the floor and put the foam roller under your lower back. You’ll notice a stretch in your core muscles.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Healthy Sleep During Training is More Important than Getting Some Shut-Eye the Night Before Race Day

Do you really need a good night’s rest the night before a big run? The short answer is yes and no.

Of course getting adequate hours of sleep the night before a race is bound to make you feel ready to take on the world in the morning. And not getting enough sleep is bound to make you feel sluggish. But how much does healthy sleep or the lack of it really affect athletic performance?

A Single Night of Zero/Poor Sleep Has Little to No Effect on Physical Performance

Yep, you read that right. Getting healthy sleep the night before a big race isn’t actually that important for physiological endurance.

While it sounds crazy, it’s also backed by several scientific studies.

In one Dutch study, a control group of men who had healthy sleep and another group of men who had zero sleep the previous night were pitted against each other in 20-minute cycling time trials.

The healthy-sleep group clocked in an average of 7.68km during their trial. And while the researchers expected considerably lower results from the sleep-deprived group, they clocked in a near-identical average of 7.62km. Other physical measurements during the trial, particularly their average heart rate, also came out near-identical.

In another study in 2007, experts from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences analyzed a variety of existing studies on how sleep affects physical performance.

Much to their surprise, the experts found that even a few days of poor sleep translated to stable physiological markers of endurance. But while leg strength, oxygen demand at various speeds, and fatigue resistance were all unaffected by a single night of poor sleep, it was mental cognition that suffered.

And it wasn’t the first time that lack of sleep resulted in poorer mental performance.

The Brain is More Dependent on Sleep than the Rest of the Body

In a 2009 study, European researchers found evidence of decreased endurance in athletes who ran after staying awake for 30 hours. However, they also found that the 30-hour lack of sleep had a very limited effect on the test subjects’ actual cardiorespiratory/thermoregulatory function and pacing. Rather, the lowered performance was a result of their altered perception of effort.

The 11 men who were involved in this study completed 2 running trials. The first trial was after they had normal sleep. The second trial happened 7 days later, and after they were kept awake for 30 hours.

While the test subjects ran farther during the first trial, they reported feeling like they ran the same distance during the second trial. This led researchers to conclude that the decreased endurance was psychological and based mostly on their altered perception of effort (especially since they found evidence that a single night of sleep deprivation had limited effects on indicators of actual physical endurance).

Several past studies also indicate that short-term sleep deprivation can result in poorer memory, longer reaction time, and an unstable mood.

You’re certainly bound to not feel good and ready if you haven’t had enough sleep the night before a big race, but don’t let that feeling fool you. While your brain is telling you that you need sleep, your body could very well be as ready as ever to perform during race day.

If you’ve been training regularly and getting adequate sleep (at least for the past week), getting little to zero sleep the night before race day is unlikely to affect your actual physical performance and endurance.

More Sleep in General is More Important than How You Slept the Previous Night

Instead of the single night before your race, what you should really be concerned about is how you sleep on a regular basis.

In a 2011 study on Stanford basketball players, researchers found that extending sleep to 10 hours per night (for 5 to 7 weeks) resulted in increased performance metrics. They also found similar increases when the study was repeated in other sports like tennis, football, and swimming.

As Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory researcher (and study author) Cheri Mah explains, it’s not just about how you slept for one or two nights. Rather, it’s about “prioritizing sleep over the whole season.

While one night without sleep can be slightly detrimental to your endurance, there are some athletes who say that it makes no difference at all. One of these athletes is American long-distance runner Bobby Curtis, who won the NCAA title for 5,000 meters during his senior year on a somewhat irregular sleep schedule.

Curtis says that while not sleeping a few nights before the race didn’t affect his performance when he won the title, his training did suffer when he didn’t get enough sleep over the last couple weeks.

As Stanford’s Cheri Mah rightly suggests, it’s important for athletes to maintain a consistent sleep schedule that ensures they get adequate sleep.

So instead of worrying about how you’ll be too excited to sleep the night before your big race, focus on getting enough sleep during training. That’s when sleep really counts.

What You Need to Know About Pre-Workout Supplements

One thing that many wonder about when they start getting serious about their training, it’s supplements. Pre-workout, post-workout, metabolism boosters, lean muscle builders, etc., etc., etc. It can quickly become overwhelming, and although I don’t use supplements to help with training, I thought I’d clarify some of the misinformation out there about them to help you decide if they’re right for you. Here the rundown on what you need to know about pre-workout supplements.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

5 Tips to Build Up Your Stamina

Recently I’ve been trying to build my stamina back up, and so far… it’s been pretty easy. A challenge of course, but compared to past years of returning post-injury, it hasn’t been as hard. Before it was a lot of trial and error, but I’ve finally figured out what works best for me. Which translates to clocking better times than I ever have; granted, I promised myself not to be concerned with the numbers, but it’s a great tool to gauge how training is going. Here are my five tips to build stamina.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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