Running Shoes for a Cause

Running is one sport that is almost entirely free to participate in for most people. We take for granted that a pair of running shoes can be bought for less than $50, depending on where you buy them.

But for some people in the world even that amount isn’t possible. Shoes for Africa was started after Mike Sandrock, a sports journalist, came back from a coaching and racing trip to Cameroon, West Africa. He noticed that a lot of the runners ran barefoot. And still beat him, by the way.

The Shoes for Africa project started with a group of runners in Boulder, Colorado, who began shipping new and nearly new running shoes to runners to needy children and athletes around the world.

The non profit has since become One World Running and continues to grow. They’ve also added tee shirts and running shorts to their packages. The group is now a 100% volunteer organization that has begun expanding globally to continue the mission Sandrock set out to accomplish years ago.

In 2001 the organization started putting on races to raise money for the charity. They continue to add more races every year with the money going to One World Running charities. They’ve also recently added soccer cleats and baseball equipment.

Most of the shoes come from donations from individuals and from running clubs and organizations such as the Girl Scouts. Many people have shoe drives to collect new and nearly new shoes for One World. Most of the shoes are in usable condition, and those are the ones shipped to Africa. But even the running shoes that are not in good condition can still be recycled. Those are shipped to NIKE to be ground up and made into running tracks and playgrounds. This is done through Boulder’s Eco-Cycle program and the Reuse-a-Shoe program.



Psychological Benefits of Running

As I was running through the hills near where I live I was thinking that it’s great just to take a break away from the office, away from the computer, and away from stress. Even if it’s just for a short time. There’s a lot to be said for tuning out the world for a while on a run and the psychological benefits of running.

Here’s another good article by Judy Mick that discusses that topic:

Most everyone knows that there are great physical benefits of running. It keeps you healthy and in super shape. But, many don’t know that running in great for you mentally as well. Here are some ways that running makes you stronger mentally as well as physically.

Running provides great stress relief. There are several ways that this happens. If you have a problem that you need to figure out how to handle, a long run gives you the time to sort it out in your mind. You’d be surprised how clearly you can sort through things during a 2 hour run.

Also, going for a long run can just clear your mind. If you’ve got many things going on in your life, a nice run can help to just get away from things. Many runners will take this time to be by themselves and just be out on the roads – themselves and nature.

Others will run with someone to have company and just forget about their problems.

Another way that runners deal with stress is just going out and blasting through a run. If it’s been an overly stressful day, you can go out and do some speed work. This will help to get all that stress out of you. Trust me, it feels great!

Running will improve your attitude. There are those that think “runner’s high” is a myth. But, there is something to be said about how good you feel after a run. The release of endorphins that accompanies running does make you feel better and keeps you a happier person. There are even some doctors that prescribe a running routine for their patients that are suffering with depression. For these runners, this also helps them to focus on something else rather than their problems.

A regular running program will also improve your confidence. This can happen in many ways. This confidence can come from goals that you set and accomplish. Many runners start running as a means to lose weight. As they reach this goal, they gain confidence to keep on running and it spills over into their everyday life, also. Runners also gain confidence from setting other goals, such as training for a specific race distance, tackling that big hill, getting faster, etc.

You know how running benefits you physically. Isn’t it great to know that running will also help you keep a good attitude and in a good mood? For many people, this may be even more important.

Running is a simple sport – but there are also many things that you need to know and be aware of. Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for advice to stay out on the roads and keep running for life.

Hill Running: Benefits and How to Run Properly

Being a hiker and a runner, hill running is a great way to combine the two. If I can’t get to the mountains to hike, hill running through the streets is the next best thing. Here is an article about how it benefits you as a runner and how to do it the right way:

Hill running is something that runners may not like to do, but know that it will make them a stronger runner. Hills are not easy, but they can get easier for you to maneuver. There are several benefits of running hills. Read on to find out how hills can benefit you as a runner – and the proper way to tackle hills.

Running hills will strengthen your calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes more so than running on flat surfaces. This will definitely make you a stronger runner and will make running seem easier on all surfaces. Strengthening these muscles will also help prevent injuries from running.

Hill running will also help you to get faster. Believe it or not, the same muscles that you use to run hills are the same ones that you use for speed work. So, when you come to a hill, just remember that it has many advantages for you. Running hills are something that many runners put into their schedule about once a week to make them a stronger runner.

To properly run hills, you want to maintain the effort that you were with when you started up the hill. Yes, you will run slower up the hill, but you make it up the hill without running out of breath when you reach the top. Your stride will shorten slightly as you go up the hill depending on the degree of incline. Then, you will lengthen it back out to normal as you reach the top of the hill.

You want to run up the hill with your back straight – or maybe leaning a little. Many runners make the mistake of hunching over as they run up a hill. This will hamper your breathing as you run up. Make sure that you are looking straight ahead – you don’t want to keep looking at your feet. Running with incorrect form will make hills seem a lot tougher than they are.

Your arm swing is important to getting up hills, also. Your arms should be moving forward and back as you normally do as you run. Also make sure that are not clenching your fists. This will make you overly tired and will also restrict blood flow through your arms as you are pumping them to run up the hill.

With knowing how hills benefit you and help you become a stronger runner, you may just learn to like running them. Especially if you are using correct form.

Running is a simple sport – but there are also many things that you need to know and be aware of. Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for advice to stay out on the roads and keep running for life.

National Running Day

If you see a lot more runners out today it’s probably because it’s National Running Day. The running industry has dubbed the first day in June a day when runners everywhere lace up their sneakers and hit the road, or trails, or the treadmill.

Cities and small towns across the country are planning running events to celebrate the fact that running is a free, easy… okay it’s free, way to work off stress.

So, grab a friend, two legged or four legged, and head out for a run to celebrate. To find out more go to:

Race Day for Beginning Runners

If you’re participating in your first marathon there are a few things beginning runners need to know before the big race day.

Here is some advice from Judy Mick, who is an expert at this and who hasn’t missed a day of running since 1985. Now, that’s what I call dedication!

You’ve signed up for your first road race. You’ve completed the training and now race day is finally here. There are some things that you want to make sure you do to make your race go smoothly.

First of all, you want to pick up your race packet the day before the race. Some of the larger races have an expo the day before the race. Make sure you check this out. You can pick up your packet and look through the cool stuff that they have for sale there. You want to have your race bib and timing chip the day before.

Choose what clothes you will be wearing. Check the local weather forecast and see what the weather is going to be at race time. There are also wonderful smart phone and tablet apps for the weather. With these, you can check the weather for the exact time period of the race. It’s great for helping you to decide on the proper clothing.

Also, the night before race day, I’ll pin my race number on my shirt and have it already done. Most races want the bib on the front of your shirt. Make sure you do this. The race officials will be able to see you and also, if they are taking race photos they will pick you up.

I’ll also get the timing chip fastened onto my shoe – OK, my hubby does that for me. Waiting until race morning to do all of this just causes undue stress on you – and you’ll know that it’s already done.

Make sure you eat something at least an hour before race time. Eat something that is high in carbs. But, stay away from fiber – not going into detail on this one – I’ll just say that you don’t want the fiber to kick in during your race! I usually eat a Power Bar. It has the carbs that I need and fills me up.

Get to the starting line early. My rule of thumb here is at least an hour before. You can park easily and find out where the port-a-potties are. If you wait to find them just a little before the race, you can risk being in line when the gun goes off.

Line up in your proper spot. If you are running 10+ minute miles, don’t line up in the front of the pack. This will just make the faster runners mad – and you may get trampled when the race starts. Many races have instructions marked where to line up for what pace you’ll be running.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the starting line! Now, wait for the starting gun and then run your best!

Running is such a great sport! Sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life for other tips and tricks that will help you in running.

Running Tips – Keeping a Running Journal

As a business owner I have to keep records of everything from taxes to inventory to distributors. But as a runner I’ve never kept a running journal. Maybe I should. Keeping track of things and actually writing it down on paper kind of forces you to remember and quantify what you’re doing.

If you want to improve you need to know where you started and far you’ve come. It also helps define what works and doesn’t work in your routine.

Here’s a great article from Judy Micks on the importance of keeping a running journal:

Running logs are great to have! And, they don’t have to be fancy. You can just use a plain old notebook if you want. The important thing is to get the information down.

Here are my top 5 reasons to keep a running log:

1. Keeps you motivated. A running journal can keep you focused on your goals. You can look back over your week and see the miles you’ve accomplished. It can get you excited for the next week and the next…

2. Future injury prevention. If you incur an injury – you can look back over your log and see where the problem may be. It could be running too many miles too soon, too many hard runs in a week, too many miles in a pair of shoes, etc. Knowing this information is important and can keep you from making the same mistakes again.

3. Confidence. Your running journal can give you the confidence and the positive attitude that you need to accomplish your running goal. If you are planning a big race, the week before can really mess with your mind. You can look back over your log and see the miles that you’ve put in and “know” that you can do it!

4. Planning future training. If you’ve trained successfully for a race – you ran a great time, felt good the whole race, finished strong, don’t you want to know how you did it? Your journal can show you how you prepared and then you can use that as a guideline to plan for your next race.

5. Personal running history. This is my personal favorite! I’ve kept a running journal for every year that I’ve been running. I love to go back and read through them. What was going on at that time, who I ran with, what I may have seen on the road, etc. It’s a great diary!

So, whether you’re a super serious runner and racer – or you strictly run for the fun of it, a running log is important to have.

Now, let’s see what you should include in your journal. Here are my top 7 things that I feel should be included:

1. The route you ran and the distance covered. I’ll include things like the terrain, if there was a lot of traffic that day, etc. Also, if it was a treadmill day.

2. Time it took to cover distance. I’m not too hung up on time, but I do like to keep track of it. The time is important if you are training to break a certain time for a race.

3. Weather conditions. I’ll record temperature when I started and when I finished. Also, if it was rainy, humid, foggy, windy, etc. Anything that may have affected the run, including the time of day (morning, afternoon, night).

4. What type of run it was. Was it an easy day, long run day, speed work, etc.

5. How you feel after the run.

6. What shoes worn during run. I like to do this so that I keep track of how many miles I have on a pair of shoes.

7. Anything that may have happened during the run. Sometimes this is my favorite part. Finding money along the road, people I may have run with, animals I may have seen – just anything that notable. It’s so much fun to go back and read old running journals!

Your running journal is your personal diary. There are no set rules on what you put in there. Make it your own. The important thing is to have one.

Visit Running Tips for other tips for staying out on the roads. You can also sign up for my Free weekly newsletter at Runner For Life.
This is a good list for runners to follow in regards to starting and keeping a running journal. It’s quick and easy and will keep you on track. Put it in a place where you’ll see it every day. It’ll remind you to keep improving on what you did the day or week before. Just get started!

Dehydration and Runners

Water is one of the most important things a runner can consume. About 60% of a runner’s total body weight is water. Water helps maintain body temperature, improve digestion, and helps with circulation and excretion of wastes.

If a runner doesn’t drink enough water, they won’t able to sweat adequately, and this is how body temperature is regulated. If they don’t drink enough water their body temperature will rise. This can negatively impact physical performance and will eventually cause dehydration. Even a very small amount of dehydration can impact a runner’s athletic performance. Thirst is not an indicator of dehydration. Dehydration can happen before an athlete even becomes thirsty.

The body will pull water from its reserves when it’s deprived of fluids to maintain a safe body temperature. If the body is chronically low on water, a variety of hormonal changes can occur. Extra water should be taken to avoid an imbalance if a runner is drinking alcohol or coffee.

The small intestine can absorb water at a rate of 8-10 ounces about every 20 minutes. Drinking cold water is better because it will enter the small intestine faster. Take small sips before, during, and after your workout to avoid dehydration. Make sure not to drink large amounts all at once. Spacing out your water is better for the body.

The only way for a runner to prevent dehydration is to make sure they are properly hydrated before, during, and after a training run. Make sure you have water readily available during training and make sure you drink enough water before and after a training run. Know what your sweat rate is. It can be different for different people. Know how much fluid you’ll need to replace. A good rule of thumb is to drink about 20 ounces of water for every pound of weight lost because of sweating.

Some runners think that water is just too plain and boring. If that’s you, try a good sports drink with your favorite flavor. The most important thing is to make sure you replace fluids and stay hydrated.

If you have signs of dehydration, like weakness, headache, thirst, dizziness or chills, not only is your running going to suffer, but you’re putting yourself in danger of a heat related problem. It’s better to avoid that in the first place by making sure you are drinking enough water.как продвигать сайт в социальных сетях

Running and Dehydration

Athletes will go to great lengths to shave seconds off of their running time, and that includes runners. So running and dehydration should be one of the first things to be aware of. As little as 2% dehydration could slow a runner down and have a negative impact on their performance. Studies show that you tend to slow down about 2% for each 1% loss in bodyweight because of dehydration.

When the body loses water content and essential body salts, dehydration can occur.

It’s easy for pros and beginners alike to underestimate how much water they need to drink to stay hydrated. Once they get to the point of being thirsty, dehydration is already setting in. 2% of your body weight can be lost before you actually feel thirsty.

Marathon trainers will tell you to start hydrating several days before you begin training. Drink more water more often than you normally do. Drink at least sixteen ounces of water or sports drink several hours before you go running and drink a few ounces of water or sports drink at least every fifteen minutes during your run. Drinking cold water will keep your body at a normal temperature.

Some of the symptoms of dehydration include:

Thirst, Fatigue, Confusion, Dizziness, Headaches, Dry skin, Skin flushing, Muscle weakness, Increased heart rate.

A good way to determine if you are drinking enough water is by checking urine color. It should be light or clear in color. The darker the urine color, the more dehydrated you are. This is a sign that you need to start drinking more water.

Running in the heat accelerates dehydration. That’s why you need to take precautions to avoid both dehydration and heat stroke. It can take up to two weeks of running in the heat to acclimate your body to the hot temperatures.

Water and electrolytes are lost through sweat and need to be replaced. Essential body salts, such as sodium, potassium, and phosphate need to be replaced. This can be done with a good electrolyte drink mix. It will also improve your performance since it will help to hydrate you better. Sodium replacement is essential for prolonged running.

Sodium helps the body to retain fluid and potassium is essential for muscle and nerve function. The body needs a balance of these to function properly. Too much or too little sodium can be devastating. Too much or too little potassium can seriously affect the nervous system. That’s why you need a good, balanced electrolyte drink.