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Six Foods Runners Should Eat On A Regular Basis

August 16, 2016

Your body is an amazing machine capable of incredible feats of fitness, endurance, and strength. However, like almost all machines, it’s only as good as the fuel it is supplied with.

Like a car, if you put poor quality fuel into your body, it will not work properly and could even break down. If you want to avoid this problem, you need to consider your diet as much as you do your training plan.

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12 Tips For The Perfect Race Day

April 11, 2016

Finally, the weeks and months of training have reached their logical conclusion and you are ready to toe the line at a race! Races are great fun and provide an accessible competitive outlet but there is more to successful racing than simply turning up and running. Get the most from your racing experience by following these tips and guidelines.

In reality, your race day preparation started during the week leading up to the event as you tapered your training and addressed all the other little details associated with running in a race but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax just yet. As the saying goes, prior planning prevents poor performance so don’t leave everything to the last minute and end up panicking. Panicking uses energy that would be best used running a new PB!

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How And Why To Taper Your Training Before A Race Or Competition

March 31, 2016

There’s only a few weeks ago until the big day. You’ve trained hard and spent many an evening or a precious part of your weekend pounding the pavements in a bid to reach your peak of fitness. You’ve remained injury free and are so into the routine of putting in the miles and intensity that it would almost seem abnormal to stop or ease down. However, an effective tapering program can really make or break how you perform on race day.

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Choosing The Right Workout Shoes

March 28, 2016

Your shoes are arguably the most important part of your workout wardrobe. The right shoes will ensure your feet are supported and cushioned so you are free to focus on developing your fitness, strength or performance, whereas the wrong shoes can be uncomfortable, distracting, and may even cause injury.

Many exercisers make the mistake of assuming that one shoe fits the bill for all types of exercise and while you can “get by” wearing tennis shoes for running or running shoes for dance aerobics classes, the demands of these very different activities means that you’d be better off if you choose a shoe designed specifically for the job in hand. The default shoe for the vast majority of exercisers is running shoes but running shoes are not necessarily your best choice for all forms of exercise.

For best results, choose your exercise shoes according to your workout…


Whether you are an occasional plodder or are training for a marathon, there is a pair of running shoes available that will suit your running style and, hopefully, your budget. Shoes are built on patterns called lasts which vary according to the needs of the runner in question. Some runners need a very cushioned shoe while others need shoes that prevent excessive inward (pronation) or outward (supination) foot roll. Other runners need a shoe that offers a combination of these traits.

When choosing a running shoe, seek out expert advice from an experienced running shoe fitter – usually found at specialist running shoe shops. They can analyse your running style and recommend a range of modals and manufacturers for you to choose from. Make sure you replace your running shoes every 500-miles or so because support and shock absorbency deteriorate with use. Not using your running shoes for other activities will also extend their lifespan…

Group exercise classes

Workouts like step aerobics, Zumba, step, and Body Combat involve a combination of forward, backward and side-to-side movements as well as rapid changes in direction. Where some classes are low impact, others involve a lot of high impact moves.

Being well cushioned, a running shoe may seem like the ideal fit for this type of activity however most of the cushioning is located in the heel when, in these types of classes, you are more likely to be on the balls of your feet. Running shoes also offer very little in the way of lateral support which, combined with a thick out-sole, means ankle and foot stability may be compromised. At best, this means balance can be problematic and, at worst, you may end up turning an ankle.

The ideal shoes for group exercise classes have a low profile, cushioning in the forefoot and heel, may have ankle support, and will definitely be built with lateral movement in mind. They should also fit snugly so that the shoe moves with your foot and not independently of it. Racket sports shoes are a good choice for this type of workout.

Strength training

While shock absorbency is an important factor in many exercise shoes, if you are into your strength training, it’s probably the last thing you need. A running or similarly well-cushioned shoe will compress when loaded which is great for absorbing shock as you run but is the last thing you want when doing heavy squats, deadlifts, or other standing exercises. A shoe that compresses under load will rob you of stability which will reduce the amount of weight you can lift. “Real” weight training shoes have either wooden or non-compressing rubber soles and are also fitted with metatarsal straps to increase foot stability.

If you don’t want to buy a pair of weightlifting shoes, you can get a similarly stable effect by wearing minimalist running shoes which have no cushioning or heel, or low tech training shoes that have very little cushioning.


If you are stomping down hard on your pedals in an effort to ride your bike (spinning, mountain, road or otherwise) as fast as you can, the last thing you want to do is waste energy unnecessarily. As mentioned before, running shoes compress when heavily loaded and that makes them less than ideal for cycling. A good cycling shoe will offer support without much cushioning so that all of your energy is directed into your pedals and not soaked up in the spongy soles of your shoes. The soles should also be stiff to further minimize loss of pedalling energy.

Cycling shoes are normally used in conjunction with toe clips or straps or “clipless” which means they have a mechanism in the sole that will lock your feet onto your pedals to maximize pedalling efficiency. Although both types of shoe can take some getting used to, your perseverance will soon pay off as your peddling technique will become much more effective.


Of course, you can walk in running shoes but if you are serious about walking your way to fitness, you’d be much better served by a pair of specialist walking shoes or even boots. Walking and running are mechanically very different activities and the design of a walking shoe will reflect this; walking shoe out-soles tend to be more rugged, there is more support, and the shoes themselves are usually more hard-wearing to reflect that many people prefer to walk cross country rather on roads and paths.

Although you may feel buying a specialist pair of shoes or boots for walking is an unnecessary expense, as you can indeed walk in your running shoes, it’s worth remembering that a good pair of walking shoes can last years (my walking boots are over 20-years old!) and wearing walking shoes will save wear and tear on your probably expensive running shoes.

Racket sports

Like group exercise classes, racket sports involve multi-directional movement, often combined with a lot of impact. The rapid stop/start movements also mean that the ends of your toes can take a lot of punishment as they are rammed up against the inside of your shoes. Thankfully, racket sports shoes are designed specifically to offer lateral support, shock absorbency, and also cradle your foot to minimize movement within the shoe. The uppers of racket sports shoes are also usually strategically reinforced in key stress areas to minimize wear and tear and soles tend to me made of very grippy, non-marking rubber.

Owning more than one type of workout shoe might seem extravagant but the reality is your workouts will be more productive if you wear the right shoes for your chosen activity. Not only that, anything that potentially reduces your risk of injury is always going to be a smart investment.


How To Get Fit For Running Season

February 25, 2016

Winter is on the way out – hooray – and it’s time to start thinking about returning to exercising outdoors again as many of us, and rightly so, prefer to work out indoors in the cold and wet weather.

For a lot of exercisers, this means returning to running and, maybe, even entering some fun runs or more competitive running events such as half-marathons or even the full 26.2 marathon.

This article is not, however, about training for a marathon. It’s to help you transition from indoor exercise to running outdoors again after your winter hibernation. While you could just head out the door and run, you increase your risk of injury if you do not prepare yourself at least a little prior to returning to running. Following the advice in this article will make your return to running outdoors quicker, safer and easier.

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How To Choose The Best Walking And Running Route

October 31, 2015

Walking and running are arguably the most accessible, effective and efficient ways to exercise your heart, lungs and legs. And although you could just hop on a treadmill and exercise while mindlessly staring at a TV, you would be much better served if you head out into the great outdoors and enjoy an al fresco workout instead.

Ditching the treadmill and exercising outdoors means you won’t be inhaling second-hand air from air-conditioning units or other exercisers, will get some much needed vitamin D from the sun and propelling yourself forward using your muscles rather than essentially walking or running on the spot is a much better form of exercise.

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How To Dress For A Winter Workout

October 10, 2015

Cold, wet winters can test event the keenest exerciser’s resolve and many people turn to indoor workouts or even take time off exercise when the cold, wet winter arrives. However, if you are made of sterner stuff and want to maintain or even improve your fitness over the winter, you need to learn how to dress appropriately. The right clothing can make winter outdoor exercise much less of a chore!

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How To Get Pumped For Your Run

September 25, 2015

Even with the best of intentions and the spare time to do it, actually getting yourself up and out the door for your run can often require an extra boost of motivation. Whether it’s a short 5 mile run, or a full Marathon, that you have ahead of you, there are some basic steps you can take to help motivate you and get your body and mind pumped for your run.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Running

September 11, 2015

Running has been a popular activity since the dawn of mankind. Granted, when we were running 4 and a half million years ago, it was more of a necessity then for enjoyments sake. However there are still many valid health reasons today why you should consider including running as part of your weekly fitness routine.

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Choosing The Right Running Shoe

August 28, 2015

Choosing a running shoe can seem like a very complicated affair. There are shoes designed to provide varying degrees of support and cushioning, shoes that are designed for heel strikers and forefoot strikers, minimalist shoes, racing shoes, road shoes and off-road shoes and shoes that cost under $20.00 to over $250.00!

Obviously you CAN run in regular workout shoes but they are not really designed for the job.  If you want to run as well and be as comfortable as possible and reduce the chances of injury, it is best to invest in a good pair of running shoes.

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