Friday, July 22, 2016

Yoga for Runners

Maybe you’re inspired to run to raise awareness for a cause that’s close to your heart, or perhaps it’s all about the personal challenge. Whatever your motivation for running a marathon is, one thing is certain— it’s a monumental, life-changing experience.
Training for a marathon is intense, taking place over the course of months or even years. From building base mileage to speed work, you will constantly be challenging and pushing your body to its limits.
It’s no surprise that many runners training for a marathon implement yoga into their cross training regimens. Yoga aids runners by increasing blood flow to overworked joints and muscles, promoting healing and making the most out of rest days. Yoga also stretches and strengthens the muscles of the legs, core and spine. Perhaps most surprisingly, yoga is a workout for the mind and helps instill a sense of determination that will definitely be crucial come race day.
Here are a few of our favorite yoga poses for runners. Try focusing on these postures next time you’re in a yoga class, and feel free to ask your instructor for pointers to nail them. Good luck snagging a PR at your next race!
Read the original post on CPY’s site here, Yoga for Runners by Core Power Yoga
Warrior III
·       Stretches hamstrings and thighs
·       Expands chest and lungs
·       Improves balance and posture
Chair Pose
·       Strengthens thighs and ankles
·       Stretches Achilles tendons and shins
Crescent Lunge Twist
·       Stretches the legs and hips
·       Opens the chest, shoulders and arms
·       Improves balance and energy
·       Detoxes internal organs
Pyramid Pose
·       Strengthens and stretches hamstrings and shoulders
·       Builds balance and coordination
·       Therapeutic for flat feet
Forward Fold
·       Stretches hamstrings, calves and hips
·       Strengthens thighs and knees
Squat & Curl
·       Opens up vertebrae
·       Flushes out front of torso
High Plank
·       Improves core strength
·       Strengthens the arms and spine
Supine Figure Four
·       Stretches the hamstrings and quadriceps
·       Opens the hips
Half Splits
·       Stretches the hips, hamstrings, calves and low back
·       Strengthens the hamstrings

Friday, July 15, 2016

Brooks Running Shoes: the Definitive Guide 2016

Brooks Sports was founded in Philadelphia in 1914 and started producing and marketing sports shoes in the 1930s. More recently, Brooks has been focusing on running.

In 2015, Brooks was rated 1st for ethical manufactured sports shoes by German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest. The overall rating was made up of company policy, manufacturing, sole production, components and transparency.

Brooks has created quite a few franchise styles in the past decade or so – think Adrenaline,Ghost, Glycerin – but do you know which Brooks running shoe is the right one for you?
As it happens to most brands, once their collection starts to get filled with shoes, it gets harder for runners to understand what each shoe is supposed to be. Let us clear this up for you!
Brooks is moving away from using degrees of stability as the key differentiation for models in their range. Other brands are moving in this direction, with Nike being the largest example at this time.
“Run Happy” is Brooks motto and their running shoe philosophy is that there is no right or wrong way to run. That a running shoe is not intrinsically right or wrong for you, but that each runner should choose the shoe they want based on their individual preference and the experience they want to get out of a run.
They therefore split their running shoe collection into 4 “silos” that reflect 4 different kind of runs (Brooks calls them “experiences”):
  • Cushion: Soft and protective to cushion your every step.
  • Energize: Responsive and springy to add extra lift to your stride.
  • Connect: Lightweight and flexible to naturally feel your run.
  • Speed: Fast and streamlined to propel you through your run.
Let’s have a closer look at these silos/experiences, but first let us introduce you to Brooks running shoe technologies. Understanding a few of these key terms will help you better understand the shoes.

Brooks sole technologies

Brooks BioMoGo

Launched in 2008, BioMoGo is the material found in virtually all Brooks midsoles. Due to its formulation, BioMoGo is completely bio-degradable. While a standard EVA foam will take approximately 1,000 years to fully degrade in a landfill, BioMoGo can biodegrade in roughly 20 years when placed in the same environment.
What makes this technology incredible to me is that Brooks decided not to patent it, but to offer it as a “open source” innovation for any other shoe producer to use. Way to go!

Brooks DNA

Launched in 2010, DNA is a cushioning technology that is also present in most of Brooks’ running shoes.
Brooks claims that DNA is the first cushioning technology that dynamically adapts with each foot strike to the ever-changing amount of force placed on the foot during the run. No matter what the age, weight, gender, gait… DNA adapts itself to deliver the right amount of cushioning.
How’s that possible? DNA is a non-Newtonian compound.
Isaac Newton is the 17th century English scientists that brought to us the laws of motion, universal gravitation and coincidentally is the name of a competing running shoe company.
A non-Newtonian material is a material that behaves very differently from what we expect, based on the impact applied to it. Although it sounds crazy at first, it is a real thing! Please watch the video below. It’s from Brooks, it’s quite cheesy, but the demonstration give it justice more than I could by writing about it.

Brooks Super-DNA

Super-DNA is the latest version of DNA and we can expect in the near future most of Brooks’ running shoes to be featuring this new compound. Still based on the same principle of the DNA, a non-newtonian based material offers different amount of cushioning based on the force of the impact applied.
This new version adds 25% cushioning to the previous BioMoGo DNA material while preserving all the other specs, including the bio-degradability.

Segmented Crash-Pad

Shaped like a caterpillar, the Segmented Crash Pad is a midsole made up of independent, yet fully integrated shock absorbers.
As your foot strikes the ground, the segments work together to customize your individual lay down to provide the right amount of cushion and seamless heel-to-toe transition for you – making the most of all that effort you put into each stride.

Guide Rails

Guide Rails are the latest introduction in Brooks technology and like all the others, it seems to veer in the direction of “we don’t correct your stride, we let your body define how to run”. This latest is about providing some stability without traditional stability technology (ie. dual posts).
Guide Rails are specialized plates built into the midsole that allow your hips, knees and joints to move along their unique motion path while you run – all without any traditional posts. What they do is to wrap around the edge of your foot in order to keep it aligned. The illustration below, from the Brooks website, might help clarify what they are.

A closer look at the Brooks running shoe lineup

Now that we shed some light on the most important Brooks technologies, let’s have a look at each one of the 4 main categories and which shoes belong to those.


Don’t let the name “Cushion” fool you into thinking these are Brooks neutral shoes. The Beast and the Adrenaline – two of Brooks most popular stability running shoes – sit in this category.
Cushion is about the feel the shoe has during the run. The emphasis is on delivering a soft landing of the foot to protect each step.
Here are the shoes that make up this category, and for clarity I am breaking them down in “Neutral” and “Support”.

Cushion – Neutral

Neutral shoes in the Cushion category are meant to deliver a plush, soft landing for extended comfort during long miles.

Brooks Glycerin 14

The Glycerin is the most cushioned of Brooks running shoes thanks to the generous use of SuperDNA. Suited mostly for runners with medium to high arches who are looking to log a lot of miles.

Brooks Ghost 9

The Ghost is another of Brooks best selling shoes, being a great balanced neutral trainer. What our testers liked the most about the Ghost is the balanced ride whatever the style of running. Soft landing under the heel for heel strikers and good heel-to-toe transition. The Ghost is a shoe we would easily recommend to many many runners, especially beginners.

Cushion – Support

These are the shoes that deliver great cushioning and soft landing, while still providing an ample level of support for the over-pronators.

Brooks Transcend 3

The Transcend is quite an unique shoe that combines max cushioning with support without resorting to the standard stability solution of medial posts of harder foam. Instead, the Transcend achieves its stability through a very wide platform and the use of 'Guide Rails' around the foot. Cushioning is soft thanks to the use of SuperDNA, Brooks' latest cushioning tech.
The Adrenaline is Brooks' best selling shoe and it's a staple in the stability landscape. Over-pronators can count on a sensible amount of stability while still enjoy a cushioned, soft run.

Beast 14

The Beast is Brooks' most stable and supportive shoe. Quite heavy at almost 14 ounces it's indicated for larger runners. It has a very flat footbed therefore recommended for those flat footed runners who seriously over-pronate.The Beast is Brooks' most stable and supportive shoe. Quite heavy at almost 14 ounces it's indicated for larger runners. It has a very flat footbed therefore recommended for those flat footed runners who seriously over-pronate.


“Energize” shoes are characterized by a more responsive cushioning and higher energy return compared to the “cushion” shoes.
They place an emphasis on speed and fast foot turnaround and are generally more lightweight than their counterparts in the “cushion” category. They are meant for faster training or racing.

Brooks Launch 3

The Launch is a neutral trainer that focuses on smooth heel-to-toe transition and responsiveness at toe off. This shoe can double as daily trainer and road racer.


Running shoes in the “Connect” category are the lightest and most flexible shoes in the Brooks range.
Look into these shoes if you are looking for a natural feeling or to perfect your running technique.

Brooks PureCadence 5

The Pure line is a collection of lightweight, flexible and breathable running shoes and recommended for technique drills or for runners that are looking for a natural feeling during their run and direct contact with the ground. The PureCadence adds a touch of stability for mild overpronators to a shoe with 4mm drop.

Brooks PureFlow 5

The PureFlow is a 4mm drop, lightweight running shoe designed to enhance the feel with the ground and the natural motion of the foot.


As the name suggests, “Speed” are the racing shoes. Here are the options:

Brooks Racer ST5

The ST5 is a road racing shoe for the over-pronator. With DNA in the heel and 12 mm drop it rides quite traditionally but the light weight. We recommend this shoe to over pronators who want a shoe for fast workouts, tempo runs and race day.


by Ruggero Loda ( running shoes guru )

Friday, July 8, 2016


A reality check: Few of us have enough time to do everything we need to in any given day, and still train optimally. We would be professional runners (and would not have to read this) if we could run twice a day, stretch, lift weights and maybe even fit in a massage every day.
The majority of us are lucky to squeeze in a short workout during our lunch hour or before or after work. Demands on what little free time we have are one of the harsh realities of having a job (or school), family and trying to have some resemblance of a life. Free, unfettered, guilt-free time is a precious commodity and yet, it is important we find time to run.
If this sounds a little like you, here are six 45-minute workouts that will help keep you in running shape. Certainly, you’ll have to do longer, more time-consuming runs at some point if you’re preparing for a half marathon or marathon, but these can get you through a busy week.
Try to begin each of the following workouts with an easy warm-up jog (3-5 minutes) followed by strides, lunges or butt kicks. After the workout, plan on another few minutes of easy running as your cool down.
Sample workouts:
1. Hill repeats. Find a moderately tough hill that is 400-600 meters long. After your warm-up, pick up the pace for about five minutes of fast-paced running that—ideally—should bring you to the base of the hill. For each of the climbs up the hill, you should plan to run between three and four minutes of actual climbing. Try to work the hill by maintaining a strong forward leg drive and fluid arm motion that powers you up. Don’t over stride. A shorter stride is better. Following each climb, jog down the hill very slowly, making sure you don’t bounce or skip down. Aim to complete at least three or four climbs up the hills. If the hills are longer than a three or four-minute climb, one or two repeats should suffice. Follow the hills with 10-15 minutes of easy running.
2. Tempo run. One of the most time efficient workouts to get you in race shape is a solid tempo run. It also is terrific for improving your speed endurance—i.e., holding onto a race pace. After warming up, increase your speed to somewhere between your 10-K and 15-K race pace (if you don’t know what that is, make sure it’s at least faster than your half-marathon speed) and maintain that speed for 10 to 20 minutes. Try to do your tempo run on a stretch of road or trail on which you won’t have to stop or are slowed by traffic. Follow the tempo with at least 10 minutes of slow running. A tempo run can look like this: 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with three to five minutes jogging in between. Or 2 x 15 minutes with five to seven minutes of jogging. The longer the tempo, the longer the jog recovery.
3. Fast-paced running. A fast-paced workout is faster than a tempo run, but slower than an interval workout. After 10 minutes of warming up, speed up to either 5-K race pace and hold onto that speed for 5-10 minutes. The speed should be hard and fast. If you can converse easily while doing it, you aren’t running fast enough. Aim to complete 2-3 runs at this race pace. Don’t worry about distance covered as much as maintaining the proper pace. In between each one, allow a short recovery (keep running slowly) of three minutes. You can do this on a track, grass field or road.
4. Warp speed. These are short bursts of flat-out speed that are designed to increase the rapidity of your leg turnover. After 10 minutes of slow running to warm up, do a series of two-minute runs at your max speed. Push the pace with everything you have. Try to do between three and five bursts of speed with a two-minute recovery jog in between each one. Follow the warp-speed runs with a 10-minute cool down jog. These are tough and fast so make sure your legs are fresh when you do this workout. A track is often the best place for these.
5. Fartlek. A fartlek workout is an unstructured, go-as-you-feel speed session that can be based on time, topography or just how fast you want to run on that particular day. You are only limited by your imagination. Run fast for as long as you want or with whatever intensity that feels right for an undetermined distance. For example, pick up the pace as you run to the top of a hill, certain stretches of trail or to a landmark. Or, run fast between every road sign, phone pole or traffic light. Or, just run the uphills hard and coast the flats. Whatever suits your fancy. Vary your speed, but keep it fast and interesting.
6. One minute on/one-minute off. This is a productive workout for honing your speed for an impending race in a day or two. It’s simple. After warming up, go for a 20-30 minute run. During the run, accelerate to race speed for one minute (the pace for whichever race is coming up) and then back off for another minute to recover. Repeat. That way, you should get at least 10 minutes of race-pace running in. This is ideal for simulating race conditions.
As you progress in your training, try to include one or all of these workouts into your limited training time. By adding any of these workouts, you can still reap the benefits of increased speed and improved strength and power, which will help you in the long run.

By blog mizuno

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