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Category Archives: Sports

Tips for New Runners

Invest in a proper pair of running shoes

This may seem obvious, but I cannot overstate how much trouble you can save yourself by taking 30 minutes to work with an associate at your local running store. They will review your running stride and many times record it so you can see the mechanics of your feet as you run. Who knew that some people’s feet naturally roll outward when the foot lands (Supination) and other’s roll inward (pronation). I certainly did not. After a few minutes with an experienced runner, they were able to recommend the appropriate type of shoe for my natural running stride. They were also able to help me decide on how much support I needed versus how much cushioning the shoe provided.

After being fitted with a proper shoe, the aches in my knees and lower legs (shins and calves) were greatly reduced.

Of all the tips for new runners, this is, without a doubt, the most valuable. If you are making a true lifestyle change then this is a non-negotiable tip.

Less is More

This may sound counter-intuitive, but I assure you that trying to do too much too fast will HURT! Running as with any other exercise requires periods of exertion and recovery in order for the body to adapt and become stronger. Well unlike other activities running requires longer periods of recovery. While sorting through the multitude of plans and advice available on the web as well as through trial and error, the 80/20 rule is the best place to start. 80 percent of all your running should be at a low or very low intensity. Best advice is if you plan on incorporating running into your life, build up your base and DO NOT OVERTRAIN.

Walking is perfectly fine

If you are just getting into or recently started running, then you already know that it takes a while to build up the endurance to run for more than a short distance. (When I started, I could not run a 1/4 of a mile). While you are building up that endurance there is absolutely nothing wrong with incorporating walking breaks into your training. In fact, it is one of the best ways to help build your endurance as a new runner. Provided the walking is at a brisk pace, your heart rate and breathing will be accelerated and therefore, your body will be actively improving its aerobic conditioning. I am not sure where I first heard it, but it rings very true;

“You go just as far running a 5-minute mile as you do running a 15-minute mile.”- Unknown

Improve The Playoff System In College Football

1) Each of the conference winners in the power five conference would be granted an automatic bid in the playoff.

2) At least one member of a group of five conference must be given an automatic bid which can be determined by the playoff committee.

3) The remaining two bids would be at-large bids which can be given to any team, including Notre Dame. These two bids would also be determined by the playoff committee.

4) The playoff committee will decide seeding from one to eight. The top four seeds would host the first round game at their site and then the normal format of neutral venues in the current playoff system would apply from the semifinal round onward.

5) The lowest seed remaining would face the highest seed remaining in one game in the semifinal round with the other two seeds facing off in the other round.

Light Up Your Backyard Basketball Court

Building codes

There are specific building codes such as height restrictions, proximity to the border, foot candle limitations, etc. The building code may set a limit on the height of the light pole.

Light Spillage

This is when light spills to areas such as your neighbor’s premises and causes a disturbance to them. Light spillage can be controlled by limiting the foot candles of your light.

Cost

This is also an important factor to be considered while the installation of lights for the court. The various expenses involved are the cost of the fixture, installation cost, maintenance expenses, and operating costs. It is vital to choose the lighting from a reliable supplier so that you can reduce your operating and maintenance expenses.

Let me explain how to plan the lighting:

• Sport lighting standards are measured in “foot candles” which implies the illumination per square foot. A backyard basketball court is 30’*35′ in dimensions. For this size of the court, the lighting required is 10-19 foot candles.
• The lighting requirements for an outdoor court are different from that of an indoor court.
• The lighting required is also dependent on the audience watching. Obviously, a backyard court will have a limited audience. So you can install a lower intensity of light.
• The lighting required by the basketball court also depends on the size of the court.
• Lighting should also be sufficient for the sidelines as well.

After this, we come to the choice of lights.

Options for lighting used for a backyard basketball court:

Luminaires: They are made of cast aluminum and use the lighting technology Pulse Start Metal Halide(PSMH) which ensures a long life and low energy consumption.

LED lighting: LED lighting has become more prevalent now. This type of lighting has a high initial cost but proves economical in the long run. This is because of low power consumption and long life.

How to Run a Faster 5K

The 5k race is a distance which could possibly slip by you very fast, but aiming for the finish line unprepared, you could be facing unnecessary exhaustion and tiredness in the second half of the race. Having said that, the next obvious thing is having a training plan in place which is designed to address the exact demand – in this case, increasing your speed at a 5k race.

How to Run a Faster 5K- The 5K PR Plan

Reaching your personal best is THE GOAL! In order to accomplish a successful PR in a 5K, there are a few different types of workouts you should be inculcating into your training plan. You will be required to go a step beyond just your general aerobic runs, which will keep up your general fitness levels, but not your speed limits in a 5K. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ training program and you are going to want to tweak the workouts a bit to suit your needs. What a 5K training plan will do is develop the following areas in a gradual but consistent manner:

Endurance
Strength
Speed
Tapering

5K Speed Training Plan:

As is rightly said, ‘Train hard and go in rested’ is a good policy to follow. How to run a faster 5K is possible only through a dedicated training plan. Below we have taken into account some 5k specific workouts to incorporate into your 5k speed training plan to achieve that PR!!

1. Interval Runs:

Interval runs are used to up the runner’s anaerobic threshold levels, endurance levels and build muscle strength.

One minute intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with one minute of hard running, and one minute of recovery – repeat 8 sets of the same. Relax by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.

Two-minute intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with two minutes of hard but with controlled effort running, and one minute of walking and one minute of jogging for recovery – repeat 6 sets of the same. Cool by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.

1-2-3 Intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Then repeat the following steps three times –

One minute of hard running but with controlled effort and one minute of an easy walk or jog for recovery.

Two minutes of hard running and one minute of jogging and one minute of walking for recovery.

Three minutes of hard running and one minute of walking and two minutes of jogging for recovery.

2. Tempo Runs:

Tempo pace is completing a workout at speeds approaching 5K pace and maintaining it for a significant period of time. A tempo race is typically three to seven miles of distance to cover at a pace that is 30 -45 seconds slower than your 5K race pace. This workout is intended to be a hard effort, but not an all-out effort, which means that at no point in time should you be in oxygen-depleted stage whilst at tempo pace.

3. Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are a workout which will improve your efficiency by coaching a proper stride during fatigued legs. The concept is to run up an adequately steep hill for 40 to 60 yards, walk back down to the base of the hill and recover by waiting it out for two to three minutes before going at it again. Once a week, head for a hill repeat, taking in at least eight to ten sets each time.

4. Taper:

Tapering refers to the reduction in your intensity and mileage before your race. In the case of a short race like the 5K, your taper would also require being short.

Useful Items of Running Gear

Fitness tracker

For those runners that like wearable tech, the fitness tracker or heart rate monitor is a great solution to monitor the running and training. Most come with an easy to read display that can include features like calories burned, pace, distance, elevation and heart rate. In order for features like pace and elevation to give accurate readings, it is necessary for the device to include GPS technology. Other features include adjustable straps to easily fit any wearer and the ability to withstand the effects of rain and sweat.

Waist bag

A centrally placed waist bag gives complete comfort to run with keys, phone, ID or other essentials. Most are large enough to easily accept the latest smart phones or other electrical gadgets you may wish to travel with. The preferred type of waist bag is made with a water-resistant material and includes an adjustable strap for the safe and convenient fit.

Socks

To avoid many of the common foot problems from running long distances it benefits to wear the right socks. Running in the exercise specific socks makes it possible to avoid issues related to toenail damage and blisters. By combining the running socks with a well-fitting pair of shoes the feet are kept healthy. Many of these socks are made in a merino wool and nylon material with no seams which can start to irritate the feet after a long run.

Proper Running Shoes

Protection

A well made pair of shoes includes extra protection to avoid issues of discomfort or pain while the feet are under more stress. A midsole section helps to give protection against hard surfaces or objects that are run over. The softer the midsole the greater protection and cushioning it can provide. But, the soft midsole is not the most durable and means it is necessary to replace the running shoes more often.

Controls overpronation

Overpronation relates to rolling the foot too far inwards while running, which also flattens the arch of the foot. It helps to avoid this foot position because it can jar the knee and tilts the leg inward. The risk of running in this fashion can lead to foot problems like bunions, plantar fasciitis and shin splints. There are plenty of running shoes that are made to fix this specific type of problem. Most of these shoes include a stronger piece of material on the inside edge of the midsole which prevents the foot from rolling.

Fixes supination

A high-quality pair of running shoes is also used for fixing issues related to supination which is when the foot rolls outward when running. A downside of running like this is the extra stress put on the bones and ligaments on the outer side of the foot. The best shoes to give protection for supination include those with cushioning in the front and heel, as well as the soft midsole.

Arch support

Proper arch support is beneficial for the athletes with flat feet and certain to make an exercise like running more enjoyable and comfortable. Even though the flat-footed person will get the most benefit from this type of support, it can also help the runners with high arches.

About Dynamic Stretches For Runners

Russian walks

To do this exercise, you need to walk in a straight line and bring your knee up high on every step. This exercise will really loosen up the hip joint that plays a crucial role in your run.

Walking bum kicks

Walk forward using an extended back swing so that your heel makes contact with your glutes with every step.

Lateral lunges

Step outwards with one foot and bring your buttocks down towards the floor and then bring your other foot across using a lunging motion. Make sure to do both sides.

Standing side on, step outwards with one foot and bring your bum down towards the floor and bring the second foot across to meet the first one in a lunging movement. Make sure to do both sides.

Single leg deadlift walk

Bend your standing knee slightly and bring your head down towards the floor. At the same time, bring your back leg up towards the ceiling. You need to work this exercise on both sides.

Stiff leg swing

You need to stretch your hands outwards and then swing your leg up to touch the opposite hand and then repeat for the other side. The more repetitions and the more straight your leg while swinging, the better.

Arm circles

You need to outstretch your arms and make big circles using them. Start slowly and then increase your intensity.

Back lunges and high knees

You start this exercise in a standing position and then you drop one knee backwards to the floor and then raise that same knee up high in front of you. Repeat the same motion with your other knee.

Benefits Football Sport for Men

Heart Health

On average, a player runs for at least 5 miles throughout the game. So, the constant running, jogging and walking boosts the heart rate of the players. In other words, football is good for your health as it prevents the accumulation of plaque in the coronary arteries.

Muscle Tone and Body Fat

If you want to burn fat, it is one of the most appropriate sports for you. The reason is that it works your heart and muscles in more ways than one. Apart from this, the game helps you burn fat and build muscle mass.

Muscle Strength

During football, you don’t need much body strength for kicking, twisting, jumping and turning. Due to these activities, you develop muscle strength.

Bone Strength

As a general rule, as you get older, the density of your bones comes down. During a match, the repeated loads on your whole body make your bones stronger. So, if you want to keep the strength of your bones, make sure you play it on a regular basis.

Coordination

Coordination is a must for success because of the shifts between sprinting, running, and walking over and over again. Complex movements, such as passing, turning and dribbling also help you improve your coordination during the game.

Sharing and Teamwork

Although fitness goals are personal, all of us can benefit from football. As a matter of fact, your ability to work with other players to achieve a common goal goes a long way.

Brain Function

Since football is a fast-paced game, it helps you improve your self-discipline, persistence, and concentration skills. Even if the tempo slows down, you are after territorial advantages. You position yourself to get a pass or defend a certain area from the opponents.

Self-Esteem and Confidence

If you develop your endurance and physical strength, you can develop your confidence as well. With a higher self-esteem and confidence, you can perform well in friendships, family life, career and school.

Common Running Shoe Buying Mistakes

Don’t simply buy for looks

Many first time runners get too concerned with fashion and forget about the most important issues like proper support, fit and comfort. Don’t let the color or the style of the footwear influence the decision-making process. If the running shoes don’t give the desired support, they will soon leave the feet feeling irritated and sore.

Shoes are too tight

Wearing a pair of running shoes that are too tight can soon lead to black toenails, blisters, or similar issues. Many runners prefer to wear close-fitting shoes for their normal everyday activities, but this same rule shouldn’t apply when engaged in physical activity. The preferred option is to have a little extra space in the forefoot to avoid squashing the feet. Try to leave a space of about half an inch in this area for the most comfortable fit.

Don’t wear shoes for too long

On average, a decent pair of running shoes should last in the region of 300 to 500 miles. It is not practical to wear this type of footwear unit they are completely worn out. A good indicator of when it is necessary to replace the footwear is when aches and pains start to become a common issue. Other indicators of the worn out footwear include lumpy foam inside which leads to the uneven sole and smooth grooves on the bottom.

Shop at the right time of day

The preferred time to buy footwear is later in the day. Our feet will continue to sweet throughout the day and this can continue until about 4 PM. So, it makes sense to wait until the evening to try on the running shoes to increase the chance of finding the most comfortable fit.

Running During Summer Time

  • Run at the coolest time. One of the hacks you can do to avoid the summer heat is run during the coolest point of the day. Good thing, free software and some apps can show the temperature highs and lows for the day or even for the week so you can schedule your run accordingly. Usually, sunrise and sunset are the coolest times. Midday is the hottest. But since weather changes can be abrupt, it’s best you check an app.

  • Look for a shady alternate route. Every runner has that favorite route. But when it comes to extreme weather conditions, you may need an alternative route to keep you safer from the elements. During summer, choose less open routes. Settle for more shades, like areas with more buildings and trees. Nowadays, there are apps which can calculate the distance of the route using GPS. They also show visuals. Use the app to get the distance. That way, you still get the same distance you run in your usual route.

  • Wear sweat wicking clothes. Even by regular standards, sweatpants and baggy clothes are a no-no. You don’t want them flapping around, then heavy and sweat-soaked in several minutes. Luckily, sweat-wicking clothes are now available in stores. Brands like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour have running apparel which takes sweat from your body and lets it evaporate inform of your clothes. This way, you are cooled off, feel more comfortable and lessen your risk of being exposed to bacteria build up. Most of these clothes are lightweight and trendy, adding more appeal to the technological benefits they already provide.