Archive for August, 2009

Interval Training – Get Dramatic Results with Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to spice up a workout and get awesome results. Do you ever find that your cardiovascular workout routine is getting a little too repetitive, a little too boring? Boredom is a huge problem and one of the main reasons people give up on exercise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are so many different ways to challenge your body and your mind during your workouts that you should never feel bored.

The key is to always keep learning new things and to learn variations of the exercises and routines you are currently doing. One of these variations is aerobic interval training and that is what we are going to talk about today.

So what is aerobic interval training? Basically, it means working out by alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of light activity. This type of training can be done by anyone and with any aerobic activity. Let’s use walking as an example. If you’re already in pretty good shape and you’ve been walking for a while, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re more of a beginner, you might just alternate faster, harder walking with leisurely walking.

For example, if you are walking outside you could pick a landmark in the distance like a tree or a stop sign and pick up the intensity until you get to it. If you’re working out on a treadmill or elliptical machine, it is as easy as watching the timer on the machine and timing your light intensity and high intensity intervals.

There are many advantages to interval training. Perhaps the most popular is that interval training burns more calories without spending more time in the gym, who doesn’t like the sound of that? There are other benefits as well, like improving your aerobic capacity, which is great news for your workouts but more importantly it is great news for your heart and lungs. Interval training is also nice because it doesn’t require drastic changes to your routine or any kind of special equipment.

Whatever type of cardiovascular exercise you are doing now can be easily converted into interval training. This type of training will grow with you as you progress. Getting started is as easy as choosing the length and speed of your high intensity intervals. Obviously the length and speed can be altered depending of how you are feeling that day, it is all up to you.

Of course this does require you to be more disciplined during your workout. It is up to you to do your intervals at a level that will challenge you and only you can determine what that level is. Also, as with any exercise routine, it is important to warm up first. You want to make sure your body is warmed up before you go into your first interval.

If you are working out seriously to improve sports performance, this type of training is also a good choice for you. In this case, you may want to look at interval training a little more seriously. A personal trainer or other fitness expert can help you plan the intensity and duration of your intervals based on your target heart rate, aerobic capacity and other factors.

No matter what your fitness level, aerobic interval training is something you can use to boost your workout, relieve some boredom and challenge your body. Why not try it today?

Learn more about interval training and get inspired to challenge your body in new ways and get results.

Barry Lovelace is an internationally recognized personal trainer and fitness coach. Visit his website, barrylovelace.com, and get FREE health and fitness tips as well as the Ebook ‘How To Juggle Your Health and Fitness’.

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Posted by The Running Guy - August 29, 2009 at 12:39 am

Categories: Interval Training   Tags:

Swim Goggles, What Things Do I Want to Consider?

Everyone is looking for different types of swimming gear. Whether it is swimming gear for exercising, kids playing in the pool, scuba diving or any of the other activities that come with swimming everyone eventually is looking for some type of swimming gear. One of the most common types is swim goggles. This is a common piece of swimming gear that everyone wants to help protect their eyes while in the water. Children, youth and adults love them just the same and find the necessity of them. When you are buying swim goggles it can be difficult to decide what type of swim goggle you need. There are hundreds of choices and they can range for one dollar to hundreds of dollars.

Let’s take a few look at a few things that you might want to consider when deciding what type of swim goggle to purchase:

1. First thing, is what the use of the swim goggles will be used for. If they are for children for fun then you might want to go with an inexpensive pair. If they are for professional competition then you might want to go with a more expensive, high end pair of swim goggles.

2. Now that you have decided what the use is for you will want to get goggles that have a press on fit. Without the putting the strap over your head do the goggles stay on your eyes.

3. A comfortable fit. Nothing is worse than have goggles that aren’t comfortable.

4. Good Construction. Will they hold together for more than one swimming experience?

5. UV Protection. Will they safeguard your eyes when they are used outside in a pool?

These are just a few tips to consider when looking for swimming goggles to add to your swimming gear.

Visibility Unlimited – Just 4 Swim (http://www.just4swim.com/) is where you will find your full supply of swim products. Billings Farnsworth is a freelance writer.

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Posted by The Running Guy - August 15, 2009 at 1:01 am

Categories: Triathlon   Tags:

Trail Running For Your Health

If you are a looking for a great way to get in shape while enjoying the outdoors, trail running may be the perfect sport for you. Trail running is a lot like hiking, except instead of taking your time while enjoying the scenery, trail running pushes your physical limitations and has you including speed in your exercise. It is important to make sure that you are in good physical condition before heading out to the trails. If you have never hiked before, you may want to try that a few times before increasing your walking level to running. If you haven’t exercised in a long time or have any health problems, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning.

There are numerous benefits to trail running as opposed to running in the city or a residential town. The first benefit is the decreased pressure on your knees and your ankles. When you run on pavement or an equally hard surface, your joints absorb a great deal of shock. Running on a softer surface such as dirt or sand, is less harsh on your joints and will cause fewer problems over time. Another benefit that you won’t get from running in “civilization” is inhaling fewer toxins. When you run in areas that are highly polluted and congested from vehicles and buildings, you are more likely to breathe in potentially harmful substances. You breathe deeper when you exercise, so you would be inhaling more pollutants than during regular daily activities. Trails are generally set away from commercial or residential areas and have much less pollution in the air. You can breathe easier! Trail running also provides for a varied workout. As the trails are often made up of uneven terrain, your legs will get more exercise as they adapt to changing angles and surfaces. What you will still get from trail running (as opposed to regular track or street running) is the great cardiovascular benefits of running, the increased strength, stamina and flexibility.

You should be prepared if you are going to hit the trails. Know where you are going, bring a map or research the trail before hand. Running in the woods or in desert areas is not like running on streets with street signs. It is very easy to get lost and there are very few people that will be around to help you. You should have a backpack with water and a first aid kit in case you run into an emergency. The pack will also provide a bit of extra weight for your workout, increasing your strength as you go. Keep in mind though that if it is too heavy, you will get more easily fatigued and may not be able to run as far.

Having the proper shoes is also important. You should find shoes specifically made for trail running as they will offer support for your foot and will have special soles for increased traction.

Trail running is a fabulous way to get in shape while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike rack store.

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Posted by The Running Guy - August 8, 2009 at 6:48 am

Categories: Trail Running   Tags:

Run Fast – How to Increase Your Running Efficiency

Running workouts are usually aimed at increasing your condition (you’re never conditioned enough as a runner!) but spending some time in improving your form can actually help you run faster given the same level of condition. Or running as fast while feeling less fatigue.

A good, efficient running form is directly related to high stride rate. World-class runners run at 180 strides per minute during competitions and slightly less when training.

Usually runners increase stride length when they want to increase speed more than they do increase stride rate, but this is not optimal.

One study revealed that in order to DOUBLE your running speed, stride length increases by 85%, and stride rate only by 9%. For example, when speeding up from a ten minutes per mile pace to a 5 minutes per mile, the length of a step increases from 18 to 33 inches, while strides per minutes only increase from 83 to 90.

Therefore, working in improving your stride rate (which might feel innatural at first, you’ll feel like you’re doing baby steps) will give you better results than working on increasing your stride length.

As we read here, the physics behind running is straight-forward: when you stomp your foot on the ground you apply a force to the ground and according to Newton’s third law of dynamics, the ground responds with an equal and opposite force, pushing you up and forward. Time is a major component in power. The shorter the time your feet is in contact with the ground during the stride, the more poweful your step will be.

Further, there is a rebound component to this. If you land with your heel and your gait goes through all the surface of your foot, the resulting pronation will cushion and absorb part of the power you are applying. If you land on your midfoot or forefoot, your foot will “bounce” less and applying more power to the ground, therefore increasing the bounce back and the distance you cover.

The last way to increase your running efficiency is to try and move forward more than you do move up and down. All the energy you use in moving vertically is energy you are not using propelling yourself forward, which is the aim of running.

Running is and will always be a sport where conditioning is essential. Muscular, cardio-vascular and mental stamina are the keys for long distance running. But working on improving your form (after all, you are running anyway, why not doing it better?) and achieving a good efficiency will make you run faster at the same level of conditioning or fatigue less going at the same speed.

Want to read more articles about running gear and training? Running Shoes Guru is the best place to find running shoes reviews and running tips directly from industry insiders.

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Posted by The Running Guy - August 1, 2009 at 1:44 am

Categories: Race, Running Speed   Tags: