Category Archives: Running
Make the most of winter, by training indoors for your triathlon
Training for a triathlon is hard work, and regardless of whether you’ve just completed your first race or have dozens of competitions under your belt, you’ll know the determination it takes to succeed. With the three core skills of swimming, cycling and running essential to being able to complete a triathlon successfully, it’s vital that every one of these disciplines is finely tuned. The winter months can be depressing, particularly if you’re a fan of training outdoors. However, there are many activities you can enjoy in an LA Fitness London gym to maintain your enthusiasm and keep your body in peak condition.
The start of the winter months officially end the triathlon season, and you might find yourself wondering what to do. It’s the perfect opportunity to take some time out and recover, both physically and mentally. You won’t be actively training for a particular event, so as long as a good base fitness level is maintained, you can afford to spend time with friends and family, reduce your exercise and even indulge in a few festive treats.
At this time of year, you can do a large range of activities to build core fitness. These don’t necessarily have to be race-specific, and you can dabble in areas such as Pilates and weight lifting, or enjoy different levels of spin classes which are offered at LA Fitness gym locations. Activities, such as rock climbing, are also a fun way to stay fit whilst building core strength, and there’s a great climbing centre in Mile End so you don’t even need to travel outside London to enjoy this hobby.
As you take time away from race-specific activities, it’s still a good idea to run, swim and cycle at least once a week. This ensures your conditioning for these disciplines remains at a comfortable level so that when you start commence triathlon training in the spring, you’re not starting from scratch. Both running and cycling are great activities to get the heart racing and keep you warm, so there’s no reason to abandon outdoor training altogether. London has a large variety of parks, and Green Park, Regents Park and Hampstead Heath are ideal locations to train on days when the weather’s good.
Whilst you can relax your training a little during the winter months, it’s still a good idea to aim for at least five or six days of exercise every week. Your workout sessions don’t have to be long; under an hour a day in most cases. You might like to space out your swimming, running and cycling on alternate days, filling the gaps with weight sessions, yoga exercises for flexibility and spin classes. Winter is also an ideal time to allow a little fluidity into your training regime. For example, if you have an hour’s run scheduled but you’re invited on a weekend away to do some hiking, take the opportunity to get away from London and indulge in something new.
You might be daunted by the months of downtime ahead, and without a clear race date, it can be hard to keep your motivation going. However, if you get into the right mindset and use these coming few months as a time to plan 2014 and keep a nice base fitness level, you’ll find that next year’s training is much easier. There are plenty of outside locations in London to run and cycle, whilst you can use an LA Fitness London gym to access pools, spin classes and weights to keep you in peak condition for 2014.
How To Pick The Right Running Shoes
The vast majority of running related injuries in endurance athletes can be attributed to poor footwear. Trainers that are not the correct type, are not fit for purpose or are not properly fitted are virtually inviting injury and can put training plans back weeks or months if not replaced. Follow these top tips to help pick the right shoes for you as well as ways to protect yourself from running related injuries
Pick the Correct Shoe Type
Many people are unaware that trainers come in several different types. Support trainers are made specially for people who have collapsed arches or flat feet and seek to prevent the foot from tilting inwards or pronating whilst running. “Control” running shoes seek to prevent the foot from rolling outward on impact and are suitable for people with high arches. Lastly, neutral running shoes are made for people with a normal running gait that means they need no additional pronation support or control.
Although at first glance most trainers may appear to look essentially the same, beneath the hood they are sophisticated and technologically advanced beasts that can make or break a running career.
If you don’t know what shoes are correct for your running style and gait then the best thing to do is to head to your local specialist running store for a fitting. The staff at the store will more than likely make you run on a treadmill in order to analyze your stride. Following your consultation they will recommend a few pairs of shoes that are suited to your style and most will even allow you to take the shoes back to the store if you have problems during your first few weeks
If you have collapsed arches but already have a pair of trainers then there is good news. Instead of rushing out and buying a brand new pair of top of the range shoes you can simply place some good insoles into your current pair of specialist running trainers. Flat feet insoles provide support for collapsed arches, meaning you can help prevent running injuries without having to spend a fortune. For insoles and fallen arches treatment see the simplyfeet.co.uk website
Take Care Of Your Trainers
Trainer care is important. If you are a serious distance runner then chances are that you are running four to six days a week and sometimes twice a day. It is not uncommon for marathon runners to clock up in excess of 50 miles a week in training runs and it is this distance that can place your body and your trainers under exponential stress.
The cushioning in your shoes is compressed every time that your foot strikes the ground as it soaks up the vibrations and impact that running causes. If you don’t give your trainers time to rest between runs then the cushioning doesn’t have adequate time to re-inflate. This can lead to poor shock absorption on subsequent runs, leading to higher amounts of vibrations passing into your body and a higher risk of injury.
To reduce the risk if injury from overworked trainers it is a good idea to have a backup pair of trainers that you can cycle between during your week. If this is not an option then another trick is to try and run on less impact generating surfaces such as grass and trails instead of concrete and roads.
What are Orthotic Gel Insoles?
Orthotic insoles come in many different forms and can be placed inside footwear to provide extra comfort and support. These insoles are often used by individuals suffering from foot pain or foot conditions such as overpronation, flat feet or plantar fasciitis.
These insoles differ from the slim, simple inserts that are often included in footwear when first bought; those inserts provide little in terms of support and comfort and should ideally be replaced, particularly if you already suffer from pain or discomfort in your feet.
While many different types of insoles are available, gel insoles are a particularly popular choice. These insoles provide cushioning and also occasionally offer a massaging effect for tired feet. Gel insoles are particularly beneficial for those whose days involve spending a lot of time on their feet. The cushioning effect puts less strain or pressure on the feet and can help stop blisters from developing. If you are looking to buy insoles to relieve the discomfort that occurs from spending a large portion of the day on your feet, simple foam or gel insoles are usually the best choice.
One of the main goals of orthotic insoles is to improve pressure distribution while walking or running. Good-quality insoles provide a high level of shock absorption, minimizing the impact of walking on hard surfaces. Without appropriate insoles, when our shoes come into contact with hard surfaces, the heel and ball of the foot take most of that impact. This can not only cause pain in the feet, but in other areas of the body such as the ankles, knees and back. Orthotic insoles provide firmer support, distributing pressure equally throughout the entire foot.
Due to the fact that orthotic insoles realign foot posture and redistribute pressure, they can be of help in correcting problems such as overpronation and relieving any pain or discomfort usually felt when walking. Insoles designed to prevent overpronation typically lift and support the arch of the foot and discourage the ankles from unnecessarily turning inwards.
If you are looking to purchase insoles to help with an existing condition such as plantar fasciitis, your doctor will be able to provide recommendations regarding the type of insole that will be best suited to your needs. Custom-made insoles are sometimes recommended to individuals with more severe foot conditions, but unless recommended otherwise by a doctor, most people can opt for pre-manufactured insoles, as they typically provide sufficient support for a much lower price.
Orthotic inserts are available in many differing lengths. While most choose a full-length insole, these can be inadequate for some footwear due to the shoes’ design or amount of internal space. If your shoes would feel too cramped with a full-length insole, a variety of shorter-length or slimmer inserts could be purchased instead. Heel cups, which cover only the heel, could also be considered as they take up less space and are less visible, but don’t provide the same level of support as standard insoles.
There are also plenty of specialised types of insoles available to buy, many of which are designed to help with a specific foot condition, or simply provide extra unique features. Athletes may want to look into purchasing insoles that are designed with their sport in mind; specialist inserts for use in rugby, tennis and other sports are available, which are better equipped to manage pressure and impact caused by running, jumping and other activities involved in any particular sport. Magnetic insoles are equipped with magnets and offer the extra benefit of improving blood circulation, which is particularly beneficial if you often suffer from cold or numb feet.
Child-sized insoles can also be purchased by any parent concerned about their child’s posture; kids’ orthotic insoles can be used to help correct problems with walking or flat feet from an early age. While some choose to purchase adult insoles and trim them down to a more appropriate size, insoles that are specially designed for children generally eliminate the need for this, thereby avoiding having to waste money if you accidentally alter the insoles too much.
Insoles do need to be replaced after some use, typically around every 12 months. However, this depends on how often they are used, so they can sometimes last longer. Most insoles can also be removed and gently washed by hand to remove any built-up dirt or odour.
The range of choice available with orthotic insoles is ever-expanding; this article covers just a small selection. If you experience any kind of pain or discomfort when walking, you will almost certainly be able to find insoles that perfectly fit your needs.
Your First Triathlon
A triathlon can be a hugely enjoyable activity and it is fair to say that it’s one where you need to ensure you enter into it in the right frame of mind and be as fit as you possibly can. Even if you are not overly concerned about getting the best time or performing as competitively as possible, there is a lot to take on board to ensure you get through the event safely and successfully. There are many different components to a triathlon and there is equipment that can help you at every point.
The swimming part of the event is the hardest for many people and for a number of reasons. The most important reason is that we are not naturally found in the water. This can provide plenty of problems in itself but if you are looking to complete this element safely and as quickly as possible, there are a number of things you may need. Even at the most basic level, a pair of goggles and a wetsuit will be required for this part of the race. Some people decide that a wetsuit offers them more support and there are pieces of equipment which can help you to get out of the water quicker or which can improve your training in water. Equipment like a kickboard, paddles or even a pull buoy can push your training to a higher level.
A bike is an obvious piece of equipment for the triathlon
When it comes to the cycling event, it is obvious that you need a bike. In reality, any sort of bike will do but you may want to get a bike that is approved for the distance and terrain you are travelling. There are fitness bikes available which have a cross bar in place of the more standard curved handle bar but there are also mountain bikes which can provide you with added confidence when going over rougher terrain (if this is part of your event). There are road bikes, which are available at an affordable price. You may also want to think about the pedals for your bike – there are standard pedals, clip less pedals or cages. The clip less pedals can provide benefits with respect to time, which may be crucial.
It is also important to ensure that you have proper running shoes. You should have your feet analysed by a proper running store and this is where the team at Tony Pryce can make all the difference when it comes to finding the right style of running shoe. The wrong style of running shoe for your foot may cause injury and other problems, so it is best to ensure that you take some time to find the shoe that is perfect for your needs.
There is a lot of hard work and training required to be put in before undertaking a triathlon. The right sort of equipment can make an awful big difference when it comes to enjoying the event or racing competitively.