performance

Get Ready To Improve Your Running Performance With A Bike

When it comes to running, whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, there are some plenty of tips that you didn’t even think you needed. We have touched on the most obvious of them in a previous article on runningsolegirl.com. For a start, a healthy runner, needs to pick the right attire, which means that you need to choose shoes that can absorb the shock and protect your knees and ankles from getting injured. When you run, you need to accept that you are investing in your health. Consequently, you have to be ready to pay the full price for a pair of shoes that will help you to prevent injuries. But naturally, embracing the running side of life doesn’t stop there. Your body goes through a lot, especially if you decide to run long distances. You need to adapt your diet to your workout requirements so that you can fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs to perform. There’s something else that can help you to improve your performance too: Taking on cycling can have a dramatic impact on your running performance. Want to see how? Read below.

Pick the Right Bike for Your Needs

Just like running requires the right equipment, cycling does too. However, the kind of bike you need will depend on your cycling abilities and preferences. Are you a road cyclist or are you an off-road enthusiast? If you fancy the idea of cycling along natural tracks in the countryside, you might need to studies some of the mountain bike reviews from mountainbikesreviewed.com to find out everything you need from brake power to suspension. As a rule of the thumb, runners need a light to a medium-light bike that is suitable for road and slightly out of the beaten track trails so that you can follow your usual running route. Stay away from heavy bikes, and pick instead bikes that offer a responsive, stable and smooth riding experience.

Bikes Offer a Friendly Training Option

Contrary to running, cycling offers a joint-friendly alternative, that is very helpful if you’re recovering from an injury or if you suffer from painful joints. In truth, cycling regularly can help your joints to become stronger and can gradually help you to prevent the development of long-term weaknesses such as arthritis. More importantly, it keeps your muscles active even through a recovery period, which makes it the ideal activity to maintain your strength without causing your body any further damage.

Bikes Can Develop Your Endurance

Last, but not least, cycling offers an ideal combination of strength and endurance, which can help you to improve your performance. Cycling long distances with periods of sprints is a preferred training method for runners who want to maximize their endurance, as it gradually develops your muscles to sustain a bigger effort. Additionally, there’s no denying that cycling helps your lung capacity to grow, which is exactly what you need when you are running long distances. You will find yourself feeling less out of breath and able to tackle more sizeable running challenges. As surprising as it might sound, one of the best training approaches for a marathon is to go cycling, a lot!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and 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.

Guest Post: Going to the next Level: How Fitness Clothes Can Improve Your Workout Routine

Everybody knows that saying “You are what you wear” but it’s commonly associated only with dressing for business meetings or going out while dressing for a workout seems to be neglected. It’s a messy activity anyway and you’ll just get sweaty, so why not just wear an old T-shirt and get it over with, right? Well, professional athletes’ and trainers’ experience says differently. Wearing proper fitness clothes goes far beyond wanting to look good for gym selfies, too – it’s a question of improving your workout results. Here’s how getting the right shorts or leggings can level up your fitness routine.

Dress to impress… yourself

When you wear a certain piece of clothing, your mind goes through a mental change scientists call enclothed condition. This was confirmed in a study that showed the importance of our association with certain pieces of garment meaning that when you put on your fitness wear, you become more eager to go the gym and get your workout done. It’s a matter of confidence, actually – if you know that you look good, chances are you’re going to act like that as well. That’s why psychologists and fitness experts suggest you should get dressed for a workout way ahead of time – to get yourself motivated.

In fact, with the rise of athleisure wear trend, fitness clothes are becoming an integral part of street style fashion. Now you can incorporate trendy bodybuilding shorts or fashionable leggings into your everyday outfits without worrying people will look at you funny. Activewear is getting more and more attention in the fashion world as well and it’s all good for promoting healthy lifestyles. Putting on some good-looking fitness clothes is the easiest way to give yourself a motivational boost, so don’t hesitate to take yourself shopping.

Say hello to better results and goodbye to injuries

Besides looking good, proper workout clothes are important for your safety as well. Improper fitness clothes are one of the main reasons people get injured, right after incorrect techniques, not stretching, and not warming up enough. Even if you’re a beginner who just goes jogging for a few minutes before work, wearing the wrong kind of shoes might get you in trouble and cause serious injuries. Purchasing the right shoes will depend on the type of physical activity you engage in, so make sure you give it some thought.

On the other hand, weather conditions also play a major role in your workout routine, especially if you like working out outside. If the sun is shining, you’ll need some kind of cap to protect your head and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn. Cold season demands long-sleeves, too – to protect your body from cold and the wind and keep your muscles warm. Ankles are the ones that suffer the most damage during any kind of workout that includes feet movement, so you’ll want to make sure they’re well protected with high-tops. Finally, your workout clothes must fit you well in order to improve freedom of movement and provide good support at the same time.

Go the extra mile with new technologies

A couple of years ago, wearable tech started to gain its momentum and that’s why, nowadays, we see more and more companies introducing smart watches, activity trackers, fitness apps, etc. Now the trend has expanded to workout clothes as well with the idea that you can get better performance by wearing smart clothes.

Compression garments, for example, have been used in the medical field for years and now they found their role in a workout. Namely, they can increase the blood flow thus supplying your muscles with much-needed oxygen and helping your athletic performance get better. This is beneficial for the recovery period as well. Heart rate monitors are now built in sports bras so you can go even further without the fear of pushing yourself too hard. They even came up with running shorts that improve your posture. All of these are a normal part of the professional athlete’s workout routine but now they’re available to enthusiasts, too. Of course, simply purchasing fancy equipment is not enough to get you in top form but it can surely help you improve your performance and get even better results.

Spending a fortune on workout gear isn’t a way to success but investing in a few high-quality pieces can surely get you going in the right direction. Look good, get yourself motivated, and make sure you’re well protected – and the results will come in no time.

Latest from Instagram

Copyright © 2017 · Theme by 17th Avenue