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Tips for Running in Humidity

June 24th, 2013

It’s tough to train hard when your body’s working overtime to pump out sweat. If you live in an area that’s plenty humid during the summer months, you have to take a few extra steps to make your mileage bearable. Here are a few of our top tips for surviving swampy workouts.

Train Before the Sun Rises

If you head out the door in the dawn hours, you’ll have a better chance at a more pleasant run. Although the air will likely still be moist, it certainly won’t be as hot as later in the day. Running in the evening is not as effective as running early, because even when the sun goes down, wetter air holds the heat longer.

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Herre…

When running in humid weather, try to wear as little as (legally) possible. If you’re running in heat and humidity, you’re going to sweat. The real kicker is that your sweat will still collect on even the most moisture-wicking shirts and shorts available. Technical fabrics have a hard time performing at their best in humid weather, because the wet air causes moisture to evaporate very slowly.

Hydrate

Even though your sweat doesn’t evaporate very quickly in humid weather, you’re still sweating, so it’s important to keep an eye on your hydration. Even if you’re only going on a short run and don’t want to tote hydration with you, hydrate well pre- and post-run to help reduce your chances of dehydration and heat exhaustion. Read more…

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The Power of Sport: Lelisa Desisa

June 24th, 2013

Sometimes running feels like a purely individual sport. Every morning when you lace up your trainers and head out the door, it’s just you and the rhythm of your stride. Your training revolves around your next race, your next PR, your next running goal. But sometimes things happen that remind us that running is not an individual sport. As runners we are part of a tremendous community of people young and old, from every corner of the earth. Even if you run solo, you are part of a team.

The events following this year’s Boston Marathon tragedy have shown us how runners stand strong together in the face of hardship. We’ve seen charity races to raise money for victims, running apparel supporting Boston, and an outpouring of volunteer support. Yesterday, Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa gave us even more reason to believe that running transcends the simple act of lacing up and logging miles. He returned his winner’s medal to Mayor Thomas Menino and said, “sport holds the power to unify and connect people all over the world.” Read the full article on HuffPo, and the next time you run, take a moment to remember the community to which you belong.

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The Skinny on Summer Shorts

June 21st, 2013

Who wears short shorts? Well, frankly, we do. Many of the ladies at the ‘House bust them out when the mercury crawls above about 80. But if you’re not a short short kind of girl, don’t fret – we have plenty of shorts with longer inseams for those who want to be a bit more modest. We’ve rounded up a few of our fave shorts to keep your gams happy all summer long.

Ideal for Sprints: Nike Women’s 2” Rival Short

Slip into your Nike Women’s 2” Rival Shorts when you’re heading to the track for your sprint workout. The incredibly soft and stretchy shell fabric moves with you, and a minimal inseam and side scallop make this short move with you as you find your stride. Slip your key or a credit card into the secure back zip pocket while you workout.

Ideal for Long Runs: Pearl Izumi Women’s Ultra Split Short

When it’s time for your long run, reach for your Pearl Izumi Ultra Split Shorts. Two anatomically placed hip pockets give you room to stash gels or bars for hours of fuel, and a secure back zip pocket provides additional storage room. A generous half split allows you to find your stride with ease, and a flat waistband sits smoothly against your hips without chafing.

Ideal for Tempo Runs: adidas Women’s Supernova Short Tight

The adidas Supernova Short Tight is short and sweet for your tempo runs. The bun-hugging fit moves with you seamlessly, and lower back mélange mesh enhances ventilation in a high sweat area. An internal envelope pocket provides a great place to stash your key when you head out the door. Reflective branding increases visibility in low-light settings to up your safety factor.

Ideal for Everyday Training: Saucony Women’s P.E. Shorts

Sometimes simple is just right, and Saucony made simple right with the Women’s P.E. Short. Lightweight fabric wicks moisture to keep you dry and comfortable as you crank up the intensity on your run, and a scalloped hem lets you move freely. Contrast color side stripes offer a pop of energy to help get you out the door for your daily workout.

Read more…

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Breathable Running Shoes

June 20th, 2013

It’s easy to find technical running apparel for the hotter temps of summer, but what about your feet? Running shoes with better breathability help keep your feet cooler and allow your sweat to evaporate more quickly, which can decrease your risk of blisters. Your body also loses a lot of heat through your feet, so wearing more breathable footwear can keep you cooler overall. Here are a few of our favorite breathable shoes for summer.

Asics Gel Noosa Tri 8

If you’re in the mood for some style in your breathable footwear, reach for the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 8. The upper of this shoe is constructed using a no-sew open mesh, which gives a highly breathable feel and sockless comfort.

Mizuno Rider 16

The Mizuno Rider 16 offers a close, performance fit, and the wide open mesh upper enhances ventilation. Actually, Mizuno offers several models with a more open mesh design, including the Wave Precision 13, Wave Ronin 5, and Evo Collection shoes.

Nike Breathe

Let your lungs – and your feet – breathe freely on your next run in the Nike Breathe pack shoes. The Air Pegasus+ 29, Free 5.0+ and LunarGlide+ 4 all got the Breathe treatment, which boast a highly breathable open mesh upper construction to keep your feet happier in hot weather.

Nike Flyknit Racer

The Nike Flyknit Racer is a champ when it comes to footwear breathability. The open knit of the upper allows for excellent ventilation. The seamless construction of the upper easily allows you to go sockless if you choose. This shoe also gives you a responsive ride and a hard-to-beat fit.

Saucony Cortana 2

The Saucony Cortana 2 is a premium shoe for the neutral runner who wants a low offset. The upper of this shoe boasts a generous amount of open mesh for optimum airflow around your foot while you run.

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How to Care for Your Sports Bras

June 19th, 2013

Your running sports bras take great care of you when you’re running hard, so make sure that you return the favor when you’re washing them. How exactly should you be caring for your sports bras? Just follow these simple steps:

Start with Three

Sports bra manufacturing superstar Moving Comfort recommends that you keep (at least) three sports bras in rotation at all times, so you can get the most life out of your bras. Here’s why: you should have one sports bra that you’re wearing for your workout, one in the wash, and one hanging to dry. You might need more than three if you frequently engage in different types of activities, because you might not want to wear your high-impact running sports bra for a gentle yoga session, for instance.

Sweat the Small Stuff

Sweat, sunscreen and bacteria aren’t great for your technical fabrics, so it’s a good idea to wash your sports bras every one to three wears, depending on the intensity of your workout. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to wash a bra, wash it. Keeping your sports bra fresh and clean will also help prevent your après-work sports bag from developing a funk.

Give Them a Hand

Read more…

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Top Picks in Men’s Split Shorts

June 17th, 2013

Summertime has arrived. ‘Tis the season to work on your tan and get maximum freedom in a great pair of split shorts. The split short is a basic piece of gear in any competitive runner’s arsenal, and summer is a great time to add a few more pairs to your lineup. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites for you to test drive on your long, hot runs this summer.

BOA 1” Elite Split Leg Short

The BOA 1” Elite Split Leg Short is…epic. Lightweight fabric and a sleek design with a full split let you focus on your stride: free and fast. And the prints available on this bad boy are, um, out of this world. Sorry, we couldn’t help it. But seriously, with prints this bold, there’s really no reason to go with a boring, solid color.

Mizuno Men’s Aero Split Short

Reach for your Mizuno Aero Split Shorts when you want an incredibly lightweight, breathable option. This half-split short has laser-cut perforations along the sides to enhance ventilation, and through these holes you can see the yellow liner, which gives an aggressive look on race day.

Nike Men’s 2” Tempo Split Short

The Nike Men’s 2” Tempo Split Short is a tried and true classic that will help you find your rhythm on your run. A generous half split provides excellent range of motion and bold colors pump up the energy. Slip your key into the internal key pocket for secure storage on the run. Read more…

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Wear Heels? How to Treat Your Runner’s Legs Right

June 15th, 2013

Not the Best Solution for Your Next Run

Many of you ladies wear high heels on a regular basis. Some studies say that up to 40% of you wear heels to work every day. While most of us at the RW offices sport a pair of running shoes on a typical workday, we get it. Heels have a certain something – they give you a little extra boost and show off those sculpted calves you’ve carved on the roads and trails.

But be careful, because constant heel use can cause foot and leg damage that can inhibit your running. Achilles tendon injuries are one of the most common problems experienced by runners who wear high heels frequently. Take our tips to treat your Achilles right and keep your training on track – don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to throw your fave heels away.

Pack a Pair

If you want to don a classy heel at the office, try wearing a more comfortable shoe for your to-and-from to give your feet and legs a break.  Stash a pair of flip-flops or flats in your purse to slip on during your commute. Wear your comfier shoes if you go out on your lunch break, too. Giving your feet a break from all-day heel wearing will help prevent permanent damage to your Achilles. Read more…

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Should You Take Ice Baths?

June 14th, 2013

Many coaches and athletes believe that ice baths can help your body recover from strenuous exercise, like a long run or a heavy sprint session. The idea is that the intensity of the cold water on your legs helps flush out lactic acid and other toxins, and the bath approach is able to treat a large area of muscle at once. Blood flow to your muscles also increases post-ice, which means more oxygenated blood to help your body recover more quickly.

Creating an ice bath is pretty darn simple: just fill a tub about halfway with cold water and then empty three bags of ice into it. This should bring the water to between 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s good to confirm the water temperature with a thermometer, and to start on the high side of this temperature range for your first few times in.

The hardest part is often convincing yourself to actually get in. Sit in the tub so that your legs are fully submerged, and grit your teeth until your time is up. Five to eight minutes should be plenty of time (and, sorry, might feel like a mini-eternity).

So would your training and performance benefit from adding in an ice bath routine? It depends. Below are some suggestions for different runner profiles.

If you log high mileage with lots of long runs

If you’re lacing up nearly every day for high mileage training, then ice baths could enhance your recovery and training. Many distance athletes will take an icy plunge for 5-15 minutes following their two longest runs of the week. Read more…

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Top Picks in Men’s Singlets

June 13th, 2013

Whether you’re looking for a fast shirt for your next race, or just looking for a way to get rid of the farmer’s tan you developed this spring, summertime is the perfect season to pick up a new singlet. The sleeveless construction also allows greater airflow to keep you cooler on warm days. Here are a few of our favorites for hot summer running:

For an Aggressive Aesthetic

When it’s race day, gear up in something that will get you psyched to go when the gun goes off. For an aggressive aesthetic, we like the Saucony Men’s Inferno Singlet. The bold graphic and contrast colors are ready for action on race day, or any day you want to feel like a boss on your run.

For Excellent Moisture Transfer

No one likes the slop of a sweat-soaked running shirt. When it heats up, reach for the BOA Men’s Basic Waffle Singlet. The woven structure of the fabric pulls moisture away from your skin quickly, helping to keep you dry and comfortable while you train.

For Intense Ventilation

Even in a running shirt without sleeves, there are still scorching days that make you wish for just a little extra ventilation. When it looks like it might be that kind of run, reach for your Mizuno Men’s Aero Singlet for optimal ventilation. Featherweight fabric and a burnout mesh pattern on the front and back increase airflow to keep you cooler and more comfortable. Read more…

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Stay Fit This Summer for XC Season

June 11th, 2013

If you’re a competitor with a cross-country season coming up in the fall, you can’t afford to neglect the training opportunities of the summer months. In many cases, if you just stay disciplined enough to run regularly all summer long, you’ll have an edge when the season starts. Here are a few tips on how you can get in some serious training without it becoming a chore.

Take a Break

You spend most of September through May training and competing, so it’s totally reasonable to bookend your summer training with a week or two off to let your mind and body recover. Though it might be hard, take an entire week (or maybe even two if you’ve been nursing injuries or mental fatigue) away from running or training. This is a great time to plan a vacation, because you won’t have to worry about juggling training and your other vacay activities.

Train Early

For most of us, summer brings at least a few weeks of pretty hot weather. Running early in the a.m. is a great way to beat the heat and reduce some of the dangers of running in hot weather. If you plan on hitting the pavement first thing in the morning, make sure to hydrate effectively the day before, so your body is equipped for your training session. If you’re a real early bird who’s out before the sun rises, make sure you have adequate reflective gear so motorists can see you.

Run with Friends

Round up a group of fellow runners or teammates and train together over the summer. It certainly doesn’t hurt if a few of these friends are faster than you are – that’s how you’ll get better. You can turn it into a social event by sharing a weekly run and then taking turns hosting a post-run BBQ. It’s a triple win: training run, bonding time and good eats.

Take an Active Vacation

Instead of trying to fit running into your vacation, plan a vacation around your runs. Choose a city or wilderness area you want to check out, and travel there with the intent of exploring on foot. If you’re a trail runner, try camping in a new spot, and kick off each day with a run to explore the nearby trails. If you prefer roads, head to a city and see what’s going on each morning when you run. It’s easy to note the places you’d like to check out again later in the day.

Play

Who says games are only for kids? Pick up games like ultimate Frisbee and tag can be a great way to get in a little extra movement and socialize at the same time. Gather up a group of friends and pick a time and place to meet each week. Activities like these will help you relax and keep mental fatigue at bay so that you’re ready for more challenging workouts.

More Tips

In addition to the suggestions we mention above, check out these training tips in the Runner’s World forum for some other perspectives on summer run workouts that can help you prepare for XC season.

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