This article is written by BY NICK RIPATRAZONE for GQ
Running on dirt gives your body a workout that the treadmill can’t replicate.
Running is very good for you. It is also, to put it politely, a miserable chore: Treadmills are boring, the sidewalks are crowded, and the asphalt slowly turns your knees into warmed-over cauliflower. The only fleeting moments of excitement come when an aggressive taxi driver puts one or more of your limbs in mortal danger in the middle of a crosswalk.
One solution to this problem is running trails, an activity that offers a desperately needed respite from this mundanity. That’s not all, though: By taking your workout to the dirt, you’ll become a stronger, faster, and more agile runner—no matter what type of surface you choose to run on next time.
Wait, how is it different?Trail running is not an exercise in performative outdoorsiness—it's a great way for runners to gain strength, says Kim Davis, D.C. and founder of RunLab. Your body has to learn new ways to engage with the ground, she explains, as it encounters roots, gravel, leaves, rocks, branches, and puddles. These little surprises test your nervous and musculoskeletal systems in ways that the treadmill just can’t replicate: You are running, yes, but you’re also pivoting and jumping, which works oft-neglected stabilizing muscles in the process.
Many runners measure their output in miles and mile times, but this myopic focus on volume comes at a price: “Road runners stop seeing improvements in fitness, body composition, and speed when they stick to running the same route at the same intensity over and over again,” Davis explains. When your body is capable of only running the 4.7-mile loop you’ve been traversing for the past five years, are you really any better off?
No, you can’t blaze down a trail full of hills and rocks and trees quite as fast as you do out on the track. But that’s not a bad thing! Your steps have to be more precise and your strides shorter and more measured. If you still crave speed, save it for the track.
But won’t I get hurt?For many people, the idea of running on a trail sounds like an easy way to sprain an ankle on an errant rock. What they don’t know, Davis says, is that they’re missing a prime opportunity to strengthen those same tendons and muscles that they’re so worried about injuring. Each footfall is one step closer to more coordination and better control, which are the best defenses against injury.
I’ve been telling other runners this for years: As a middle-distance track athlete in college, I was sidelined by shin and knee injuries that wouldn’t quit until they forced me to do the same. But when I traded track sprints and long-distance runs for trail time, my injuries vanished.
Why? My road and track training was full of long, straight lines, which made me prone to the types of repetitive-stress problems that Davis often sees in runners. Lifting and strength training help, but trail running requires frontal and transverse plane movements—lateral and rotational movements, instead of simply going forward and backward—which makes runners less susceptible to nagging injuries. The key to losing your shin splints might be as simple as running somewhere else.
Run Fast and Smooth in the New Balance FuelCell ImpulseSpeed through training runs in formfitting comfort.BY AMY WOLFFJUL 5, 2018238
Weight: 8.0 oz (M), 6.4 oz (W)
The right shoe for: Anyone who wants a lightweight, thin-soled shoe to grip the ground for faster takeoff
Nitrogen occurs in every organism (and many explosives) but isn’t typically found in shoes. That’s what makes New Balance’s powerful FuelCell technology unique. The cushioning material is made up of a nitrogen-injected TPU foam. The goal in using this foam is to provide a snappy sensation and to help you get your feet off the ground faster. In the FuelCell Impulse, that responsive foam is surrounded by Revlite, an EVA-based foam used in speedy shoes like the 890 and 1400.
With its streamlined silhouette and chevron graphic weave, the FuelCell Impulse is also design-forward. The upper fabric has a bootie construction, offering both stability and breathability, with extra tightness around the ankle for support.
That sleek upper construction along with strategic use of rubber on the outsole makes this shoe check in lightweight, as tested at the Runner’s World Shoe Lab. Testers also found that it delivers comfort, stability, and performance. “This is my favorite shoe I have ever tested. The shoe fits like a glove with extreme comfort and flexibility.”
A Springy MidsoleNitrogen is infused into soft, rubberized TPU foam to create two thin inserts (6mm each) in the midsole. Previous FuelCell models used a full-length sheet, but this model is segmented for a more dynamic ride and smooth stride.
The majority of the midsole is made of New Balance’s Revlite for cushioning in the heel and a smooth transition. Thin foam increases responsiveness and speed but also allows for the foot to feel the road.
Lab tests show that the forefoot is quite stiff, but generous toe spring (the upward curve at the front of the shoe) allows it to roll smoothly and not feel so rigid underfoot.
A Light and Grippy OutsoleRubber is used in the heel and forefoot for durability but is stripped away from much of the bottom of the shoe to help keep it lightweight. A large chunk of the midfoot is made up of exposed Revlite foam, but the shoe performs fine, says our test team. “Traction on gravel surfaces was much appreciated for my miles logged with a jogging stroller,” said one tester. “The shoe provided good traction for a shoe with a light base.”
All the Stats You Need!Men’s
This article is from here https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/a22061400/new-balance-fuelcell-impulse-shoe-review/
Whether you're competing in a marathon or just going for a short jog after work, getting a cramp is always something runners hope to steer clear of.
From a side stitch in your abdominal area to a Charley horse in your calf, cramping up can force you to start walking, come to a screeching halt and just overall, ruin your run.
Although there isn't significant evidence-based research on how to avoid getting a cramp while running, experts do have plenty of recommendations on how to decrease your chances of cramping up.
Here are eight ways to help stop cramps from getting in between you and your next run or race.
Stay hydrated.From facilitating with weight loss to relieving headaches to improving athletic ability, drinking plenty of water throughout the day can do miraculous things for one's body.
Although past research hasn't proven that dehydration causes cramps, experts do believe that it may reduce the degree of pain to which a cramp causes a person.
A survey-based study in the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation found that most responders indicated that dehydration was among the reasons they suffered from exercise-associated muscle cramps.
They found that fluid replacement was successful for treating and preventing their cramping, the study said.
Replenish with electrolytes.If you're planning to take part in any kind of athletic activity, including running, you'll want to make sure you're consuming electrolytes in your diet.Electrolytes are ions in the body that conduct electricity and they're important for a wide range of body functions, including athletic performance. When your body isn't given enough electrolytes it can cause muscle weakness and excessive contraction and cramping of muscles, according to Medical Daily News.
The body's main electrolytes include potassium, sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Eating a diet rich in those nutrients, including bananas, pickles, kale, and yogurt, will help ensure a proper electrolyte balance.
Stretch before you run.Once a specific muscle starts cramping, light stretching can be a great way to alleviate your pain and discomfort. But you don't have to wait until you feel the twinge to act.Stretching before a run will help your body warm up and decrease your chances of experiencing cramps, muscle strains, and injuries during your run, according to Healthline.
Don't eat directly before a run.Eating a meal minutes before you plan to sit on the couch and watch a movie is a great idea. But doing the same minutes before a run is a different story.
Experts advise against drinking large amounts of water or eating within two hours of a run. A 2005 study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that runners who consumed a large amount of food relative to their body weight one to two hours before a race were more likely to develop symptoms exercise-related transient abdominal pain, also known as a side stitch.
Keep track of what you eat and see how it affects you.If you keep a food log for about a week, you can learn a lot about yourself and your body, including which foods make you bloated, why you feel more tired on certain days and what might be causing you to cramp up while running.
According to Active.com, runners should try to keep a log for a full weekthat details what you eat and drink, how long before a run you eat or drink and how you feel during your runs. This will help you determine which habits will work best for your exercise.
Pace yourself.If you have ever run competitively, you know that you should never start a run or a race out to fast. For starters, if you go out too fast you will most likely crash and burn. But you are also putting yourself in jeopardy of a muscle cramp.A 2010 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that runners who ran at a faster pace at the start of their race were more likely to develop exercise-associated muscle cramping.
To try and reduce your chances of getting a muscle cramp, start by running slowly and settle into your goal pace as you go.
Monitor your breathing.If you're struggling from an abdominal cramp or side stitch during a run, chances are it's related to your breathing.
William Roberts, a physician at the University of Minnesota St. John's Hospital, wrote in an article for Runner's World that most abdominal cramps subside when you start deep breathing with your diaphragm in order to fill your lungs full with oxygen.
"If you are not using your diaphragm, you will limit your oxygen supply, and this may be the cause of your cramping and your heavy legs," Roberts wrote in the article.
Practice some jumping drills. Repeatedly hitting the pavement and running more will surely make you a better runner, but so will adding some jumping and skipping drills known as plyometrics.
Plyometric drills are training exercises that are proven to help improve athletic performance, and they're also believed to delay muscle fatigue and therefore muscle cramping.
When you add some plyometric drills to your training — such as box jumping or jumping lunges — it will help relieve tight muscles, improve coordination between your muscles and nerves to avoid cramping and make your muscles stronger overall, according to Runner's World.