Category Archives: Running

5 Essential Stretches Every Runner Should Do

Stretching is an important component of any fitness routine. Although it can be tempting to skip warm-up (especially if you’re on the clock), you should know better. Running with muscles that are not properly stretched can result in injury that keeps you off the road or trail for days, weeks or even months.

According to Nikki Kimball, from Runner’s World, dynamic stretching has many benefits: “loosens up muscles and increases heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow to help you run more efficiently.”

Begin each running workout with a 5 to 10 minute jog followed by these five essential dynamic stretches and your legs will totally return the favor the next time you step out the door.

1. Walking Lunges

Walking-Lunges-Runners

Why are they good for you: walking lunges open up the quads and hip flexors, which are the major muscle groups you’ll be using during your run. Plus, they simulate the forward motion of running, making them a runner-friendly warm-up stretch!

How to do them: Stand with your feet together and take a step forward with your right foot using a long stride, keeping the front knee over or just behind your toes. Bend the front knee to 90 degrees and lower your body by dropping your back knee toward the ground. Maintain an upright posture and keep your abdominal muscles tight. Then, rise up and take a big step forward with your left knee to get the stretch on your left side.

2. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretches

Hip-Flexor-Stretches-Runners

Why are they good for you: this is a very important stretch, especially for those runners who work at a desk all day. If you do, you probably have tight hip flexors, because they’re constantly in a state of flexion.

How to do them: Start in a lunge position (see above how to do it) with your front knee at 90 degrees and aligned over your toes. Straighten your back leg, until you feel a stretch along the front of your back thigh. Raise your arms up over your head and hold for a few seconds, then release.

3. Hip Circles

Hip-Circles-Runners

Why are they good for you: along with the kneeling hip flexor stretches, hip circles help you warm up the hips, which is key to a runner’s performance. In fact, the hips is where the hip flexors, psoas, and quads and hamstrings come in together, so opening up the joints and muscles of that area before hitting the pavement can help prevent injury.

How to do them: standing with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart, rotate your hips in circles in a clockwise and then counterclockwise pattern, 6 to 10 rotations each direction.

4. Calf Raises

calf-raises-runners

Why are they good for you: calf muscles are responsible for every single step you take on your run. When your foot leaves the ground during a run, your calf muscles contract to make that happen. To avoid soreness or – even worse – an injury, give them some pre-run love by doing a simple set of calf raises.

How to do them: stand on a step with your toes on the edge and your heels hanging off. Push up with both feet into a calf raise, then slowly lower your heels so that they come below the stair and you feel a stretch through your calf muscle.

5. Side Stretches

Side-Stretches-Runners

Why are they good for you: although the cause of side stitches is unclear, some fitness experts say you can help prevent them by stretching your torso before running.

How to do them: bring your arms up over your head and, keeping your abdominals tight, lean to the right and then to the left, bending at the waist. Do this movement dynamically, holding for one or two breaths on each side to warm up the muscles of the midsection.

If you need help incorporating stretching into your running routine, try our 5-Minute Stretch for iOS! This app takes the guess-work out of stretching and makes it fun and enjoyable.

5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight

You started running months ago, yet every time you hop on the scale, you feel frustrated with the numbers! Sounds familiar?

Running is a great way to stay in shape and increase your fitness levels. But running and weight loss don’t always go hand-in-hand. So, you might be wondering: what am I doing wrong?

Start by avoiding these common mistakes that can sabotage your efforts to drop a few pounds. There might be a few things on this list that surprise you!

Setting Unrealistic Goals

Running-Weight-Loss

People often think that a significant weight loss is a consequence of training. Take “The Biggest Loser” as an example: even though the show inspires people to lose weight, it also sets them up for very unrealistic weight loss expectations.

Set a pound to two pounds per week as a realistic goal. But avoid getting too preoccupied with singular scale readouts. Instead, watch for progress over the long haul, and remember to have ways other than the number on the scale to measure your progress, such as how your clothes are fitting or the number of inches you’ve lost.

Overestimating the Calories Burned

It’s true that running burns more calories than nearly any other activity! But you can easily overspend your calorie deficit with a post-run snack.

By understanding about how many calories you burn during your runs, you’ll have a better idea of how to approach that post-run hunger. Very generally, the average man burns 124 calories per mile and the average woman burns 105, which means that a five-miler can burn 525 to 620 calories. If you want a more accurate approach, try using a heart rate monitor, during your runs.

Sports Fuel Overdose

Running-Weight-Loss2

Some runners assume that because they’re running, they’re supposed to refuel before the training is over. Sports drinks, gels and bars might be important tools in a runner’s training arsenal, but when overused they might compromise your weight loss efforts. Not only are they high in calories, but they also have very little nutritional benefit and they won’t keep you full.

Just water should be fine, if you’re running for less than 60 minutes. Go longer and you should consume 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise.

Not Fueling Postrun

After longer or tougher workouts, your muscles are hungry, but you might not be. This could help your weight loss, but it actually works the other way around: when your body settles in and realizes its glycogen stores are low, you’ll feel much hungrier.

Even if you don’t have enough appetite after a tougher run, try to refuel within an hour after completing your workout. Keep this snack to fewer than 200 calories.

Not Readjusting Calorie Needs

Running-Weight-Loss3

The lower your weight, the less calories you will need to maintain it. So if you keep consuming the same amount of calories, you’ll probably hit a weight loss plateau.

To continue on losing weight, you have to gradually reduce your calorie intake. First, determine how many calories you need each day with a daily caloric expenditure calculator. Then, create a deficit of approximately 500 calories per day, if your goal is to lose a pound a week.

5 Must Follow Running Blogs

Having no running partner is no longer an excuse to skip your workouts. In today’s world, the internet keeps us from ever being without a supporting community of runners.

In fact, some of the most successful running bloggers have started their writing careers out of the necessity of connecting and sharing their journeys with others.

Whether you’re just a beginner looking for motivation or a veteran runner looking for advanced advice, you should add these 5 blogs to your RSS feed.

We know that too many great running blogs were left out of this list, so please be sure to add your favorites in the comments section.

Mile Posts

Photo: Mile Posts

Photo: Mile Posts

We love Dorothy’s story! In college, she was on a path to obesity and inactivity, but running became a way for Dorothy to lose weight, quit bad habits, fight anxiety and gain confidence. In 2003, she crossed her first marathon’s finish line and something changed. She now describes herself as a “runner, who loves all things running, with a soft spot for the marathon”.

In 2009, she launched Mile Posts, where she helps others to become better runners, by sharing her story, race reports and inspirational messages.

RunBlogger

Photo: RunBlogger

Photo: RunBlogger

Aside from having a stellar professional background in biology, Pete Larson is also an avid runner. Since 2007, he has completed nine marathons (including Boston), one ultramarathon, and numerous shorter distance races.

Launched in 2009, RunBlogger has everything! It offers tons of advice, including detailed shoe reviews, posts on biomechanics and training.

Carrots’n’Cake

Tina lives by the motto “it’s all about eating your carrots and savoring your cupcakes, too.” And if you don’t believe you can eat “bad” foods and still have a well balanced and healthy diet, you must visit Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

It started as a personal food and fitness journal to help Tina get ready for her wedding. It has now grown to become a great food, fitness and running blog, that was turned into a book, in 2011.

The Hungry Runner Girl

Janae Jacobs started The Hungry Runner Girl after getting injured running the Boston Marathon in 2010. “If I’m not running, I might as well talk about running,” she said.

But saying that she only writes about running is not exactly accurate. The Hungry Runner Girl is a blog about food, family, travel, running gear and Janae’s personal stories of her day-to-day life. Along with her positive attitude, her personal content is what drives people to her blog!

Run to the Finish

Amanda has always had a passion for an active lifestyle. But, according to her, “it wasn’t always a love affair with running or vegetables!” Sounds familiar? Of course it does! In fact, anyone who loves running will relate to the content posted on Run to the Finish.

Addressing everything from running tips to runner-friendly recipes, this certified personal trainer’s posts are fun to read and filled with the motivation beginners or veteran runners need to focus and accomplish their goals!

7 Healthy Snacks for (Hungry) Runners

If you can’t get through the day without a snack, you’re not alone! For us runners, it’s very hard to stick with the three square meals plan without having midnight or mid-afternoon cravings.

Don’t be tempted to grab a bag of sweets or a cake on the way home from work, though. Runners need to fuel their bodies with healthy, nutritious foods before, during and after their runs. This nutrition strategy not only silences your grumbling stomach, but also improves your performance, boosts recovery and aids in weight loss.

From peaches to popcorn, we’ve got 7 runner-friendly snacks that can be eaten whenever hunger comes knocking:

Bananas

snack-bananas

Bananas are a favorite among runners. They are a great source of good carbs, vitamin B6 and potassium. The simple sugars and low amount of fiber make bananas especially easy to digest, which means they are a good snack before, during, or after workout.

Peaches

This juicy fruit contains several key nutrients for the everyday runner. Peaches are rich in fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene, a heart-protective antioxidant. They also provide a good amount of potassium, a mineral critical for regulating fluid and electrolyte levels, which makes them the perfect snack for rehydrating after a warm run.

Carrots

snack-carrots

Carrots are low-calorie but filling and contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and strong immune function. Not only are they good for your health, but they also help you lose weight! Eat them before dinner, so you can satisfy your hunger pangs and avoid overindulging during dinner.

Smoothies

Smoothies can be a nutritious and refreshing summer treat, that runners can have for breakfast, before a run, or as a refreshing, reenergizing, post-run drink.
Mix fruit, juice or soy milk for a healthful dose of fiber, vitamins C and A, plus potassium, fiber, and calcium.

Fruit Yogurt

snack-yogurt

Low in fat and fairly high in carbohydrates, yogurt is also a great source of protein, potassium and calcium. Its live and active cultures are good for the digestive system and makes yogurt a highly digestible pre-race snack.

Chocolate Milk

Cold chocolate milk tastes pretty refreshing after a summer run. It also provides protein, carbohydrates, B vitamins and calcium, making it a great recovery drink – for stronger muscles and bones.

Popcorn

snack-popcorn

Popcorn can be a healthy snack when you crave a salty food, as long as it’s not loaded with butter, oil, sugar, or loads of salt. Popcorn has very similar nutritional benefits to brown rice or whole wheat bread and since it is rich in fiber it will help you feel fuller longer.

5 Key Core Exercises to Make you a Stronger Runner

We all know that to improve our running, we have to do much more than just run. Having strong legs is crucial, but to become a more resilient runner, making sure you have a strong core is key.

Core muscles include the postural muscles, which includes the muscles of the back, stomach, and hips. By adding a series of core exercises to your training plan, you’ll be building your strength, stabilizing your body while running, and improving your form when you get tired.

There are lots of core exercises out there, but some of them are definitely better for runners than others. Here are five effective core strengthening exercises that you can do without stepping foot in a gym – all you need is a little floor space!

Basic Plank

Basic-Plank

Lie on your stomach and prop your weight on your toes and forearms. Place your toes about hip distance apart with your elbows resting on the floor right under your shoulders. Keep a straight line from your head to your feet and be sure that your abdominal muscles are engaged.

Hold this position for 30 seconds. Increase the number of repetitions and the length of time you hold the pose as your core strength increases.

Side Plank

side-plank

Lying on your right side, lift your body and balance on your right elbow and outer edge of your right foot. There should be a straight diagonal line from your feet up to your head.

As an advanced form of the exercise, you can do lateral leg raises, by slowly lifting your left leg to a 45-degree angle and lowering it back down to the start position.

Glute Bridge

glute-bridge

Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips until there is a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Extend one leg straight out, knees together, and hold for a few seconds. Return to the initial position and repeat on the other side. During the exercise, make sure you don’t drop your hips.

Russian Twists

russian-twists

With a five to fifteen pound weight on the floor next to you, sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, making sure to keep the spine straight and not rounded and you feel your abs engage. For a greater challenge, lift your feet ever-so-slightly off the floor. Slowly rotate round to the right and pick up your weight. Holding the weight, slowly rotate all the way round to the left as far behind as you can.

The Superman Pose

superman-stretch

Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Start by lifting your right arm with the left leg, then alternate sides. You can practice variations of this move by only lifting the arms or only lifting the legs. The most advanced version of this exercise is holding both arms and legs off the ground at one time. Hold each of these poses for 20 to 30 seconds.

Tips for Running in the Heat

What’s your favorite season for outdoor running? If you picked summer, you are not alone! We love the bright blue skies, the smell of grass in the morning, more daylight before and after work, and not to have to dress in layers! This could be the perfect running scenery if it wasn’t for extreme heat and humidity!

Running in such harsh conditions can put you at risk for dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.

To help you optimize your hot-weather workouts – and because we are summer fans ourselves – we put together some proven to work running tips:

Run Early

run-early

Morning is the coolest time of the day to run. Before sunrise or right after it, the roads are still cool from the night’s lower temperatures.
If you can’t train during those hours, try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s intensity is at its greatest, or seek shade and grass, since asphalt and concrete retain more heat.

Drink Often

Hydration is one of the most important elements to staying cool and performing your best in warmer temperatures. This means you should drink fluids before, during and after your runs.

When it comes to staying hydrated, sports drinks beat water. Why? They contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate and replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat.

In training, drink 16 ounces of a sport drink an hour before you head out and prepare yourself to toss down five to eight ounces of a sport drink about every 20 minutes while working out.

Dress Light

dress-light

Wear light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight apparel that will help your body breathe and cool itself down naturally. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices because they will wick moisture away from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur.

For your head opt for a visor instead of a hat – it is too constrictive and traps heat. Don’t forget your shades and to protect your skin with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Adjust your Paces

As you probably already know, performance suffers in the heat and humidity. In fact, every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. So don’t push it!

Slow down, take walking breaks, and save your hard efforts for cooler weather. After all, this hot and humid season is not the time to try to push your pace and try to achieve a race PR.

What’s your trick to dealing with the heat? Share it in the comment section!

4 Simple Tips for Proper Running Form

There’s a lot more to running than simply lacing up your shoes, hitting the road and doing what feels natural. Improving your running form can help you run faster, more efficiently, and with less stress on your body and reduced injury risk.

From foot strikes and stride turnover to posture and body tension, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to running form.

Follow these tips to work on perfecting your running form:

Perfect your stride

Perfect-your-stride

One of the most common mistakes new runners make is reaching out with their foot to take a longer stride. Overstriding creates an aggressive, heel-smashing foot strike, which not only wastes more energy, but also leads to injury issues such as runner’s knee and shin splints.

Your strides shouldn’t be too short either. This is just as inefficient as overstriding. When it comes to proper running form, you should find a stride length that is comfortable, almost effortless.

Ideally your knee should be above your foot and your shin vertical as your foot makes contact with the ground. This running form will put your foot down underneath your hips, preventing your leg from stretching in front of your body.

Land midfoot

One of the biggest concerns among new runners is how their foot strikes the ground. Heel strikers tend to land with their heel first and roll to the ball of the foot, while for toe runners, landing on their toes comes naturally.

Even though, the reality is that most average runners are either heel strikers or toe runners, these two foot strikes can truly damage your performance. If you land on your toes, your calves will get tight or fatigued quickly and you may develop shin pain. Landing on your heels wastes energy and may cause injury.

A mid-foot strike, in contrast to a heel or a forefoot strike, provides greater shock absorption, decreases strain on the calves and Achilles tendon, and may help prevent shin splints. Heading to a track and leaving your shoes behind is a great way to practice avoiding a huge heel or toe strike.

Check your posture

check-your-posture

Just as you should maintain good posture when standing or sitting, maintaining a straight and erect posture while running is essential. Just by keeping a good posture, you will help release tension and reduce strain in the neck and shoulders and prevent muscle fatigue.

Next time you get out for a run, follow these proper posture principles that will help you to reinforce a tall, straight back with no slouching:

  • Hold your head high, centered between your shoulders, and your back straight.
  • Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 10 to 20 feet ahead of you.
  • Keep your shoulders under your ears and maintain a neutral pelvis.
  • Avoid side-to-side arm swinging. To help you remember, imagine a vertical line splitting your body in half – your hands should not cross it.
  • When you’re feeling sluggish, poke your chest out for an extra boost of confidence.

Stay relaxed

Whether is it caused by lack of experience or by trying too hard, the truth is many runners have way too much tension in their bodies. But putting this extra pressure on yourself isn’t doing you any favors.

In fact, anywhere you’re holding extra tension is using up energy that should be spent elsewhere. It’s important to know your tension spots and check to make sure you’re not clenching when you should be relaxed:

  • Be aware of jaw tension and squinting. Unclench your jaw by opening your mouth and taking a deep breath; to reduce squinting, use a hat with a brim that puts your eyes in shade, or by wearing sunglasses.
  • Keep your arms relaxed and hands as loosed as possible. You can hold your hands as if you are holding drumsticks or as if you have a fragile egg in each hand. Don’t clench your fists because it can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders, and neck.
  • Keep your wrists loose. This will help you maintain a good hand and shoulder position.

5 Strategies to Become a Faster Runner

You’re a very committed runner. You never skip a workout, you fuel properly and even rest when all you wanted was to log some miles. But, even so, you never seem to improve your race times. You’re not alone.

In fact, this is one of the biggest issues that strike runners who are focused in increasing their speed, along with their mileage.

To help you become faster, we have put together five tips to change things up in training and stimulate better results:

Sprinting intervals

sprinting-intervals

You can’t become a faster runner without practicing running fast. Short sprinting bursts are a great exercise for improving your personal best, along with building your strength and endurance. And because they last only a short amount of time, they are easy to incorporate into your running plan.

There are many different ways of incorporating short repeats into your training. Whether you choose to time your intervals or use the terrain to your advantage, it’s important you don’t push yourself too much, too soon. Keep in mind that a fast pace doesn’t mean an all-out sprint, but a faster pace than your usual.

Tempo runs

Tempo runs are similar to high-intensity intervals, but instead of doing short sprinting bursts, you have to run slightly faster than your normal pace for a longer time period. A tempo run should challenge your body, but not as much as a sprint: if you’re able to hold a conversation, you’re going too slow, but if you can easily answer short questions, it means you’re at the right pace.

These types of runs will push your physical threshold, which will help you improve your endurance and speed. If you have never done a tempo run, start out with 10 minutes, and build up to 40 minutes, every 7 to 10 days.

Negative splits

negative-splits

This strategy involves running the second half of a run at a faster pace than the first half. This is a very simple way to make every run a good run and, despite what you may think, it actually helps to improve your PR.

To incorporate negative splits into one of your runs, start at a good, steady pace. After the first half of the run, your body is properly warmed up and it should be easy to increase your pace on the second half of the workout, so you end up with a faster overall time. Out-and-back runs are a great way to inspire negative splits: run at a comfortable pace to a destination, and increase your speed once you head back home.

Run hills

The next time you get out for a run, make sure an incline is part of your route. Running up hills is the perfect way to make you a faster runner: it strengthens the same muscles you use for sprinting and builds your body’s endurance, which can be useful when you’re fatigued and struggling to pick up the pace.

Whether you choose to run on the treadmill or outside, you can either opt for short and fast reps (8 x 20 seconds) to build strength and power, or longer reps (8 x 1 minute) to build speed and endurance.

Run on different surfaces

different-terrain

If you’re used to running on flat terrain, get yourself to a soft-surface trail to challenge your muscles in different ways.

Running on undulating routes and on different types of pavement avoids repetition and forces your body to engage muscles that normally go unused while you run a consistent road or track gait.

 

4 Essential Strength Training Exercises for Runners

All runners share a common goal: to be better runners. It doesn’t matter if you started Ease Into 5K last week or if you already have a few races under your belt; you want to become faster, more efficient and more injury resistant.

But just running isn’t going to be enough. It is important to incorporate strength training into your workout plans. Not only do these exercises help you build muscle power, but they also fire up your metabolism and strengthen your bones against age-related deterioration.

To become a stronger, faster, more complete runner, make sure you add these four running specific strength training exercises to your running routine:

Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight-Squats

If we had to pick just one strength training exercise for runners it would be squats. They strengthen the entire lower body, by targeting running-specific muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, hip flexors, and glutes. Squats can even help you strengthen your knees and prevent knee pain and injury.

Begin this exercise by standing with your feet hip distance apart, with your toes facing forward. Slowly lower your body and sit back like you are sitting in a chair behind you. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes when your glutes, quads and hamstrings are engaged. Straighten legs and come back up to standing to complete one rep.

Bodyweight squats can easily be added to your post-run routine and, even though they don’t require any equipment, you can always try modified versions that combine the squats’ movement with dumbbells, a band or a swiss ball.

Push ups

push-ups

The upper body is often neglected by runners when they train. Strong arms, chest, shoulders, as well as a strong core are essential for overall fitness and powerful, faster runs.

Push-ups are great for the upper body. They help strengthen the chest, core, biceps, triceps and back in just one move and without any type of equipment.

The exercise is very simple: in a plank position, with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, bend elbows and descend down until the chest nearly touches the ground. Push yourself all the way up to plank position for one rep.

If you are a beginner, you can start with your knees on floor or even opt for a wall push instead. Depending on your fitness level or where your train takes places, there are several variations of the traditional push-up position, that you can easily incorporate to your training plan.

Planks

Plank

Most runners are probably tired of hearing about how they should strengthen their core. But there’s a reason! A strong core – your abs, obliques, lower back and hips – is essential for improving stride, form, breathing and speed.

The plank is the perfect exercise for strengthening every muscle in your core. Begin in a push-up position, with your arms straight (palms below shoulders) and weight balanced evenly between hands and toes. Align the body straight from the top of the head through the heels. Tighten up the abs while lifting through the chest to create as much space as possible in between the chest and the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and work up to 1-3 minutes.

You can progress by alternate lifting each leg or using a balance board as support for your hands.

Lateral lunges

lateral-lunges

As a runner, all you want is to keep on moving forward. But this repetitive, unidirectional movement, along with muscle weakness, can be the cause for the most common injuries among runners. That’s why it’s so important to train your body through other planes of movement, like backwards or sideways.

Lateral lunges help you train often-neglected muscles like the hip flexors, quads, calves, core, hamstrings and glutes, helping increase stability at your joints, improve your balance, and prevent injury.

To perform a lateral lunge, begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Then, step three to four feet out to the right with one foot while sending the hips back and squatting to a 90 degree angle at the right knee. Try to sit down with your butt, keeping your back as upright as possible, your abs tight and chest up. When coming back to standing, engage the glute to power off the ground. After finishing all reps on this side, repeat on left side to complete one set.

What strength training exercise best works for you? Tells us all about it in the comments below.

5 Tips for Busy Running Moms

Finding time and motivation to run is hard for all of us. For busy moms, it’s even tougher. With your full time job, small children that require your full attention, and a household to manage, you still manage to find time for date night and your friends every now and then. How can running fit in such a hectic schedule?

We put together some simple tips and tricks that will help you balance training and motherhood.

Wake up early to run

Morning-runs

The hardest thing about being a mother runner is finding time to workout without hurting the family schedule. Early mornings are usually the best time slots to fit a run. At this time of the day there aren’t any interruptions, and there’s no need to arrange babysitting because everyone is still asleep. But motivation can be hard to find when you would rather stay in bed instead of lacing up. It can be really helpful and motivating if you prep everything you need – clothes, running shoes, pre-run meal and water – the night before. When the alarm goes off, you won’t have any more excuses to skip the workout. Just say to yourself, “Don’t think, just go.”

Make every minute count

If mornings are not a good time to squeeze in a workout, and evenings are too crowded to log a few miles, you should start making every minute count.

Many runners plan their workouts around their children’s naps; others run laps around the soccer or baseball field when their kids are at practice; and putting your kids in a day care a few miles away from home can do wonders for your weekly mileage.

The most important thing of being a busy mom runner, is to pick the most convenient time to work out and learn to be flexible – a 4-mile run may turn into 8 miles if your child is behaving in the running stroller, or a longer run might get compromised if your kid would rather be at home.

Choose the right training plan

training-plan-moms

If you have just decided to have a more active lifestyle, you should begin with a minimum time per day and minimum number of days per week goal.

How about 30 minutes per day, three days per week? You can easily fit in a workout in your busy mom’s schedule with a run/walk interval program, such as Ease Into 5K.

Interval workouts alternate high-intensity levels with lower-intensity effort, which helps you see greater results in less time. Studies have shown that interval training burns three times as much fat as running twice as long at a moderately hard, steady pace. But the benefits don’t end there – recovery from interval training forces the body to continue burning fat for energy.

Work out alone

Although working out with a running partner can help you stay motivated, coordinating schedules can be a daunting task.

Working out alone allows you to manage your own schedule, fitting in a run whenever possible and focusing on a more targeted workout that will you give you quicker results.

But if you already have a running buddy that holds you accountable, you can both benefit a lot more from this partnership. Next time you go out for a run, bring your kids along and swap the duties back and forth – have your running partner watch the children while you run, then switch when you get back.

Cherish your solo runs

solo-run

When you run alone, make that workout about you. You need that time to recharge yourself, away from the chaos of your busy mom life.

When you run, try to focus completely on running and don’t let thoughts of your children or other worries distract you. It will be hard at first; but when you get back from your work out, your kids will have your complete attention and you will feel physically and mentally reinvigorated and ready to give your best to all those around you.