Thursday, September 26, 2013

Running--The Sport That's Truly Addicting

Most people have a love-hate relationship with running. They dread, yet crave their morning or evening runs.  People do crazy things when it comes to running. Whether it’s waking up hours before sunrise, braving the snow and ice, enduring the downpour, or toughing out the heat, runners are truly addicted to running. But hey, if you’re going to be addicted to something, might as well be something that’s good for you! Right?

Running addicts run almost every day, sometimes twice a day. They don’t feel like themselves on off days. It is definitely something runners rely on.  Running is a great addiction to have; just don’t get hurt because running withdrawal is the absolute worst.

Many would vouch for this, being as running is a sport that is pretty hard on your joints and muscles, a lot of us have been hurt at least once or twice in our running careers. There are numerous injuries that can be caused by pounding the pavement every day. From knee pain, to back pain, or shin splints to plantar fasciitis, all of these injuries can keep a person from doing the only thing that keeps them sane.

Symptoms of running withdrawal include: grumpiness, anger, decreased appetite, increased eating, lack of energy, get the idea.

Now if you’re fortunate enough, some of the above symptoms can be reduced with cross training. Ellipticals, bikes, and pools are great for distracting you from the lack of running; however, these things can’t distract you for long. One can only climb and bike in place for so many days. Swimming is fine for a while, but it’s not like you can talk to anyone or listen to music while you’re in the water. Nothing compares to the feel of the pavement under your feet, fresh air on your face, and music (or conversation) in your ears.

So if you’re currently out of commission, know that we all feel for you. It sucks, but you’ll make it through and will be back to feeding your addiction in no time!

Ways to avoid running withdrawals:
  •  Stretch
  •   Strengthen your core
  •  Wear proper shoes
  •   Don’t overdo it
  •  Take a rest day (one is better than 30)
  •  Make smart decisions

Happy Running (or swimming, biking, etc.)!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Running in the Moonlight-Importance of Reflective Running Gear

With the days getting shorter, and our lives getting busier, most of us will have to run in the dark. Whether it's early in the morning or after sunset, safety should be on all of our minds. 

Did you know it takes a car that is traveling 60 mph at least 200 feet to stop? Cut that in half (which would be more realistic) and it would still take about 100 feet for a car to stop and avoid hitting you. Think about it, a driver must be able to see you at least 200 feet away, and that’s not going to happen wearing ordinary running clothes.

For example, this morning I was driving while it was still dark out and I saw a man running with a reflective vest on. I instantly slowed down and went around him. Like most drivers, I wasn't on the lookout for him; I was worrying about other cars, not runners and cyclists. As a runner myself, I know that’s probably a sin and I should be more aware, however, it just emphasizes how important it is to take precautions and put on reflective gear before going running in the dark.

According to Brooks, there are three common phases of lighting: Daylight, Dusk, and Darkness. Every year they have a NightLife clothing line. Each of the different features of their clothes is good for the different phases of light.

For instance, fluorescent colors of the clothes absorb energy and re-emit it as visible light, contrasting it to the natural environment. This contrast helps show body movement which increases visibility. The fluorescent colors are good to wear while running during the daylight or at dusk.

Another feature of their NightLife line is retro-reflective details that reflect light back to the source with minimal scattering for hits of brightness. The retro-reflective details are important while running at dusk and darkness.

Lastly, active lighting is also important. For example, blinking LED lights help you be seen in complete darkness.

Brooks isn't the only brand who make night running products. Reflective gear comes in all different shapes and sizes. There are wrist/armbands, flashing shoelaces, dog leashes, LED clip on lights, reflective compression socks, jackets, gloves, hats, etc.

There are a lot of options to choose from, so find out what works best for you and be seen!

Happy (Safe) Running!