[Comp.Sci.Dept, Utrecht] Note from archiver<at>cs.uu.nl: This page is part of a big collection of Usenet postings, archived here for your convenience. For matters concerning the content of this page, please contact its author(s); use the source, if all else fails. For matters concerning the archive as a whole, please refer to the archive description or contact the archiver.

Subject: rec.running FAQ, part 6 of 8

This article was archived around: 25 May 2006 04:23:49 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: running-faq
All FAQs posted in: rec.running
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: running-faq/part6 Last-modified: 10 Mar 2003 Posting-Frequency: 14 days
=========================================================== Shoes (Thomas Page page@ficus.cs.ucla.edu) Here is a summary of shoe reviews gleaned from various places including manufacturers' adds, Road Runner Sports catalog, Runner`s World, Running Times, rec.running postings, and my own experience. I will post and update occasionally. Guide to Categories ------------------- BASICS: A good quality shoe for a beginning through mid-mileage runner. LIGHTWEIGHT TRAINER/RACER: Typically under 10 ounces. Very light, very fast, biomechanically gifted runners can wear these shoes as daily trainers. Other runners may get away with using these as a second pair for racing in or for track workouts. These shoes usually have blown rubber soles for light weight so they wear out too quickly for an everyday training shoe for most of us. MC: (Motion Control) Made for over-pronators and heavier runners. STABILITY: For neutral runners and mild over-pronators. Offers some resistance to pronation and supination. RACING FLAT: Most people should race in their regular trainers or lightweight trainers. For people who can get away with it, racing flats might buy them a few seconds in a 10k. If that is the difference between 1st and 2nd, it is probably worth it. If it is the difference between 38:04 and 38:14 it is probably not worth the risk of injury. These shoes have very little stability, cushioning, or durability, but they tend to weigh 2-4 oz. less than a lightweight trainer. Construction ------------ If you remove the insole, you can tell the type of construction. Slip Lasted shoes have a sewn seam running the length of the shoe. Board lasted shoes have a cardboard board running the length of the shoe. Combination lasted shoes have cardboard in the rear half, and a seam up the front half. Slip lasted shoes are the most flexible. Board lasted shoes are the most stable and least flexible. Combination lasted shoes attempt to compromise giving a flexible forefoot and a stable rear. Orthotics wearers should stick to board or combination lasted shoes. True over-supinators (these are rare) should use flexible slip lasted shoes. Another way to look at it: if you have a rigid foot (tends to be high arched feet), favor flexible (slip laste) shoes. If you have a floppy foot (tends to have flatter feet and overpronate), favor combination or board construction. Last ---- The last is the form the shoe is made on. Lasts vary from curved, to semi-curved, to straight. Straight lasts are generally the most stable shoes, while curved lasted shoes tend to be the most flexible. You just have to see what last from what manufacturer fits your foot. Stores ------ A good running shoe store is essential. The sales people at the sporting goods chain stores and the mall shoe stores just don't know their products or how to fit runners, despite advertising to the contrary. A real runner's store should allow you to run in the shoe on the sidewalk outside the store, or at least on a tread mill in the store and watch you run. They should be able to tell you if you over-pronate in a particular shoe. The advice you get in a good store is worth the price (full retail) you pay. Don't be a jerk and pick the brains of a good running shoe store salesman and then buy at a discount place. If you value their advice, buy a pair of shoes from the specialty running store so they will still be in business the next time you need them. Then, if you liked the pair you bought, go ahead and buy it from a discount store or mail order place in the future; you don't owe the store your business forever. Remember though, that models change, and you will want to go back to the good store every few years. Notes: ------ Weight is typically listed for mens' size 9 as quoted by manufacturer and found either in Runners World, Running Times, or Road Runner Sports catalog. Different sources differ in the weight they report, often by as much as an ounce. I have not been consistent about which source I use here so you may find a discrepancy with a source you consult. M.C. stands for Motion Control (i.e. a shoe for over-pronators). ************** SHOE REVIEWS ************* Check out: http://www.runnersworld.com/ Runner's World Online! ============================================================= Active Isolated Stretching Aaron Mattes' book Active Isolated Stretching. See RW, Feb/94 The book is $30 (+ Postage/handling). You can reach Aaron at: 2932 Lexington St Sarasota, FL 34231-6118 941-924-0462 941-925-8530 Aaron has video tapes of the stretches. The father/son team which has marketed themselves very well, were trained by Aaron Mattes in Active Isolated Stretching. They videoed their tape at Aaron's. Anyway, go to the source and support those people who often aren't the marketing wizs yet share so much great information. Two great little books which would be of great help to you are from a fellow who has shared a lot of his wisdom on rec.running. You can reach Paul Blakey at TEEHI@sunshine.net His books are: The Muscle Book $10.99 Stretching Without Pain $14.99 I have used them over the past several years and know that you'll find them very helpful in learning what you need to know about your "thinking body." Tell them Ozzie sent you. I don't receive any financial compensation, just want to support people who, I believe, care about helping people learn to take care of themselves plus get some good info out to the world. ============================================================= Stretching (Shane P Esau spesau@acs.ucalgary.ca) (Rocky Essex rocky@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu) STRETCHING EXERCISES by Shane Esau, Edited by Rocky Essex OVERVIEW When stretching, stretch the muscle until your feel a slight tightness, then hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat, this time stretching the muscle a little more. Thus it should take 1-1.5 minutes/stretch (a total of 15-20 minutes) CHEST Place your hand on the wall, with the front of your elbow as well on the wall Now turn so that you can feel a stretch in your chest - try to keep your elbow on the wall - your hand should be shoulder height or higheer. HAMSTRING Stretch your hamstrings by lying on your back, with 1 knee bent. Then bring your other leg up to vertical, keeping your knee straight and your back against the floor. This is a much better stretch for your hamstrings than is the bent over stretch. QUADS Stand erect, grab one leg and pull your foot towards your but. Remember to keep your stomach tight - don't let your stomach relax - do this for both legs. Another quad stretch is to sit on your feet and bend (lean your upper torso) backwards, keeping your knees on the ground. ILLIOTIBIAL BAND (I.T. Band) Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart. Now take your left leg and put it behind your right leg and put your left foot about 12" to the right of your right foot. Now lean your torso so that is upright again (take your right hand and run it down your right leg until your feel the stretch). Repeat with the other leg. FREQUENCY Try to stretch 1/2 - 1 hour/day - this includes pre-training stretching, but at least 1 stretching session/day that is outside of training. TRICEPS Take your left hand, and put it behind your head, palm facing the same way as your face. Now, slide your hand down your spine, until you feel a stretch. Now take your right hand and grab your left elbow, and pull your left elbow towards your right hip (over and down). This should stretch the tricep. LATS First, sit on your feet, with your arms outstretched in front of you. Now, place your left hand on top of your right hand. Now, lean back and twist your body towards your right side (you want to try to put your right armpit on the ground). If this is not stretching, move your hands further out in front of you. UPPER BACK This is for your upper back and is easy to do - take your left elbow in your right hand, and pull it across the front of your chest - try pulling your left elbow all the way over to your right pec muscle - it may be easier if your put your left forearm in your right armpit. BICYCLE SITUP Lie on your back, and put your legs in the crunch position (90 deg bend in your legs and your hips) Now, pedal your legs from bent to almost straight, and at the same time bend at the waist bringing your elbows to your knees. It is a killer (mainly because of the co-ordination that it takes) It is like a leg lift on the starting part, then changes to a crunch situp from that point on. Fingers interlaced behind head and pedal while you are crunching. GLUTEOUS MAXIMUS --THE BUTT Sit down with your legs out in front of you. Now bend your left leg and put your left foot on the outside of your right leg, between your right cheek and your right knee- pull your left foot as close to your right cheek as possible. Now, pull your left knee in towards your chest. If you don't feel much, grab your left shin, and give your left leg a little twist (ie pull your shin closer to your chest). Your should feel this. Another one is to lie on your back, put both feet in the air, then bend your left leg again, but this time bring your left shin in front of your roght quad. Now pull your right leg towards your chest - you should feel this in your buttocks. If you don't, push your left knee away from your chest, while maintaining the distance between your right leg and your chest. ANKLES (Mike Dotseth miked@col.hp.com) Stand with feet in normal standing position. Place a hand on a wall or a railing for a little balance. Now, 'roll' your feet around on their 'outer edges'. Repeat 50 times. ('Rolling on the outer edges' means to tilt your feet as far outward and inward (supination and pronationtween rock forward on your the balls of your feet and back on your heels.) The major benefit is the stretching and strengthening on the muscles and tendons which keep your foot stable as you run. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about stretching and flexibility by Brad Appleton can be found on: Ftp-site: cs.huji.ac.il:/pub/doc/faq/rec/martial.arts WWW-URL: http://www.cs.huji.ac.il/papers/rma/stretching_toc.html ========================================== Sweat (Sam Henry shenry@cs.rice.edu) Question: I sweat more than I can replace during a long run, ride, or triathlon. What can I do about it? It's hard to say what to do without knowing what you do now. None of us can replace as much as we lose while we are losing it. The trick is to keep from going into deficit. Do you hydrate yourself every day, all day long? Min 2 qts/day. Do you hydrate yourself extra before the ride (like a qt an hour for 2 hrs or so before the start). Do you use sports drinks to help with trace element losses? I use Exceed at 25% solution for the 1st half of long rides, orange juice at 25% for med rides, and plain water for short rides. What is your consumption rate during rides? I start drinking 30 mins into the ride and drink a qt an hour whether I am thirsty or not. If you are thirsty, it is probably getting pretty close to too late. Do you eat while you ride? Things like bananas, oranges, and pears provide fuel *and* coolant, along with some nifty minerals and such that your body needs to make the cooling system work right. I eat fig newtons and such right as I start and eat every 20-30 mins after the first hour. Pears, particularly, are an easy-to-eat thirst slacker. What kind of hydration regimen do you use *afterwards*? I immediately start drinking at the end of a ride, starting with a quart of water followed by a quart of full-strength sports drink (Exceed for me). I also find something to eat that is high in complex carbohydrates. All this within the *first hour* after the workout. The eating and drinking are intertwined. Then I drink another quart of something that sounds appealing. Then I go back to my drinking all day long to get my "normal" two quarts. I might have thought I would slosh, but I never have. And most of my riding is done at temps above 80 degs and in high humidity. If you are urinating infrequently and the urine is a dark color, you are underhydrated, whether you have exercised or not. No matter how much you sweat. ============================================================ Treadmills--(contributed by Steve Pachuta, sjpachuta@mmm.com) The January, 1996 _Consumer Reports_ has a treadmill review which features both motorized and nonmotorized models, together with some useful criteria for evaluation. Why use a treadmill? There are many advantages to treadmills, including (1) The most obvious--weather is not a factor in your training schedule. (2) Training is possible any time of day--darkness is not a factor. (3) No danger of getting hit by a car or tripping on a curb. (4) No stoplights, no rabid dogs (presumably), no hecklers (presumably)! (5) Controlled hill workouts are possible with adjustable incline. (6) Precise interval training is possible. This is a big advantage; you just need to set your speed and stay on the treadmill to run your goal pace exactly. Is treadmill running the same as outdoor running? I think the consensus in the various posts in rec.running is that treadmill running is very similar to outdoor running. The physiological effects of a person moving relative to the ground vs. the ground moving relative to a person are not greatly different. Certainly there are some biomechanical issues involved, notably the tendency for the treadmill belt to slow down momentarily during each footstrike. Many treadmills have compensatory schemes to minimize this effect, including large flywheels and microsensors which constantly adjust the belt speed. Some differences between treadmill running and outdoor running are the absence of wind and visual motion cues on a treadmill. The lack of wind makes sweat generation a serious issue, and a strong fan blowing directly into your face is almost a necessity for serious training. The absence of a headwind also gives a slight speed advantage to treadmills, and it is often suggested that an incline of 1 to 2% on the treadmill will compensate for the lack of headwind. The lack of visual motion cues on a treadmill can be disconcerting initially, but this is something you get used to. It may contribute to the feeling that you are working harder at a given pace than you would outdoors. What features are important in a treadmill? Here are some things to consider: (1) Motorized vs. nonmotorized. If your goal is to bring your outdoor running indoors, then a motorized treadmill is what you want. Nonmotorized treadmills will certainly give you a workout, but they do not simulate true outdoor running since you are driving a belt as well as your body. Many nonmotorized treadmills only work at an incline, and pace is not constant as on a motorized treadmill (although in this respect they are similar to outdoor running). (2) Ruggedness. If you are really going to run on your treadmill, you need something more than the $299 specials you see at various discounters. Some things to look for: welded frame, large rollers (consider that some club models have rollers on the order of 8 inches in diameter), large motor (1.5 horsepower minimum, with 2.0 or up preferable). THE HEAVIER AND FASTER YOU ARE, AND THE LONGER YOUR WORKOUTS, THE MORE IMPORTANT THESE THINGS BECOME. Most treadmills are not built for people weighing more than 250 pounds. (3) WARRANTY AND QUALITY OF SERVICE ARE OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. I wouldn't settle for anything less than a full 1-year warranty. Treadmills are like cars; they will almost certainly need some work at some point. (4) Maximum speed of 10 mph or more. This is 6:00 mile pace, which will do for most people. There are treadmills which can achieve 12 mph (5:00 pace); I haven't heard of any which go faster, but they probably exist. Personally, the consequences of a misstep while running indoors at 5:00 pace scare the hell out of me! (5) Method of belt lubrication. Running belts can get quite warm and wear faster if not properly lubricated. Some models are self-lubricating; others require periodic lubrication/waxing. (6) Ability to simulate actual running. Various mechanisms have been developed to make treadmill running feel more natural. Without putting in a plug for any particular manufacturer, I would recommend trying out several different makes. It is surprising how a treadmill that feels so natural can suddenly feel terrible after you try a different one. (7) Manual vs. motorized height adjustment. I've used both, and I strongly recommend motorized. If you want to run courses that simulate real outdoor runs you don't want to be cranking a handle all the time, especially if you're running fast. (8) Noise level. This can vary considerably, but note that "quiet" does not necessarily mean "better." (9) Programmability. It should be a given that speed and incline are adjustable during a workout. It is also very desirable to be able to PROGRAM both speed and incline to create your own custom courses. Many manufacturers include their own preprogrammed courses in their electronics, but it is less common for them to give the user the ability to do this. (10) Low price? Realistically treadmills for serious runners are going to cost more than $1000, and they can be a lot more than this. (11) Incline range. Most treadmills have inclines ranging from 0 to 10%. There are some which can produce a decline (-2% for example). See below for conversion between % incline and degrees. (12) Board and belt type. Some treadmills have shock-absorbing boards and/or soft belts to provide a more forgiving workout than can be obtained on hard pavement. Any disadvantages or other considerations? The lack of wind is definitely a problem, and as mentioned above a fan is a necessity. Another problem with treadmills is boredom. I am always amazed at how much faster an hour passes when running outside than when running inside. I don't think you can expect to read while running on a treadmill, but you can watch television or listen to music. I generally prefer loud music over television, but this is obviously a matter of personal preference. Another thing to be aware of is the tendency to set the treadmill at a fixed speed and incline and run an entire workout at these settings. I would recommend varying both speed and incline to give your muscles some variety and minimize the possibility of injury. Some treadmills interfere with heart rate monitors and prevent their use, though there are treadmills which come with built-in heart rate monitors. Safety is of some concern, and many treadmills come with protective devices which stop the belt in case you slip or fall off. Treadmill manufacturers always recommend plenty of clearance between the treadmill and the walls of a room. Treadmills can draw a lot of electrical current, and 30-amp circuits are recommended for some heavy duty models. How do I convert between % incline and degrees? Remember your trigonometry. Grade (or incline) = rise/run, opposite/ adjacent, height/length, or whatever you want to call it. For percent grade, multiply this by 100. degrees = arctan((percent grade)/100) percent grade = tan(degrees) * 100 Thus, 1% incline is a mere .57 degrees, 5% incline is 2.9 degrees, 10% incline is 5.7 degrees, and 15% incline is 8.5 degrees. Where can I get more information on treadmills? Start with back issues of _Runner's World_, _Running Times_, etc. They usually have articles on treadmills as winter approaches. The December, 1993 _Runner's World_ contains a list of manufacturers, a chart to convert between treadmill running at various inclines and outdoor running, and some sample workouts. The January, 1996 _Runner's World_ contains brief evaluations of many different treadmills (mainly high-end models). =========================================================== Weather ("The Running Book" By the Editors of Consumer Guide) COLD-WEATHER Cold weather does not present any serious problems for you, especially if you are in reasonably good condition. If you have heart problems, consult a doctor first. High wind-chill factors are the greatest threats to you in cold weather, since you can suffer frostbite if you are not adequately protected from the wind. You must remember that when you run, your own motion against the wind increases the windchill factor and increases the risk of frostbite. Be sure all normally exposed areas of skin are covered: head, face, ears, and hands. The important thing to remember is that you must dress in layers in order to create your own insulation. When you run in cold weather, beware of ice on the road, and remember to taper off your run slowly so you will not catch a chill. When you arrive home, change out of your damp, sweaty clothes right away. HOT-WEATHER When you run in hot weather, your blood pressure can drop dangerously or you could suffer heat exhaustion. If you start feeling dizzy and dehydrated while jogging and your pulse and breathing grow very rpid, you could very well be on your way to heat exhaustion. Stop exercising immediately. Get out of the sun, drink fluids (tepid, not cold), and rest. Running in heat also slows down the blood circulation, placing a greater burden on your heart. And of course, you will sweat a lot more so your body loses more water that usual. To replace it, drink a full glass of water before you start and one every 15 or 20 minutes during your run. A few pinches of salt dissolved in the water will help. But if your stomach is empty, omit the salt or it will probably cause stomach cramps. An important thing to remember about heat is that it takes your body about two weeks to adjust. WIND If you run in a strong wind, you are going to be expending six percent more oxygen that you would under ordinary condtitions. So, if you are running in a stiff breeze slow down and you will get the same benefits as you would from a faster run. When you set out on a windy day, start with the wind in front of you at the beginning of your workout; then at the end, when you are more tired, you will have it at your back, helping to push you along. RAIN Rain need not be a deterrent unless you're afraid of melting, but you will need some protection. Wear waterproof outer clothes, of course, and as many layers as you need to keep warm. Don't linger in them after the run but get into dry things as soon as you get home. HIGH ALTITUDES High altitudes are a source of special problems. When you get to 5000 feet above sea level and beyond, it takes a lot more time for oxygen to be absorbed into your blood and travel throughout your body. So your heart has to work a lot harder at its job. Plan on taking at least four to six weeks to get adjusted to a new high altitude, and adapt your jogging routine accordingly. Most runners recommend cutting your program by about 50% at the beginning. Running on cold, rainy days (Brendan Leitch bleitch@bcarh407.bnr.ca) TWO RULES: 1) Dress in layers 2) Keep DRY, this is done by putting the wicking layers closest to the SKIN. What works for us: (us = the running club I belong to) Top: 1st LIFA or some similar 'wicking' material against skin 2nd turtle neck or long sleeve t-shirt(repeat if needed) 3rd Shell jacket, Goretex is best, but any layered Nylon one will do the job Bottom: 1st LIFA or some similar 'wicking' material against skin 2nd long tights 3rd wind pants(preferably goretex again, but nylon will do) Head: 1st Bella Clava(a thin hat that goes around head like old fashioned ski mask) 2nd Your shell jacket hat over the Bella-Clava Hands: 1st light thin wicking material gloves 2nd heavier glove Feet: your normal socks/shoes - just make sure your bottom clothes cover ankles etc. ========================================================== QUESTIONS (1) Is it better to run in the morning or evening? "The Running Book" By the Editors of Consumer Guide It's' important to establish a routine for yourself, geared to your own disposition and living habits. Some runners prefer to run early in the morning, some even before daybreak. They seem to like the solitude available at that hour, when the streets are still empty of traffic and people. Some runners are shrewd, enough to kill two birds with one stone. They get their exercise in while "commuting" to work. Issues to consider: Are showers available at work? How far is it to work? What kind of work do you do? Do you work outside or inside? People who do their running in the morning say that it sets them up for the day. They are more alert and less likely to become upset by the pressures and frustrations of their work, and at the end of the day they fell less fatigued. Other runners wait to run after work, put their jobs behind them, and headed home. A run at this time provides a nice transition for them, a time to work off some of the tensions that may have built during the day so that they don't carry them into family life. ...you should end your run at least an hour before you retire. Otherwise you may find it difficult to fall asleep. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (2) Should I run when I have a cold/fever? "The Running Book" By the Editors of Consumer Guide Recommended schedules should be followed as faithfully as possible, but not blindly. There are certain times when you have no business running. If, for example, you have the flu, a cold, or some other ailment, don't overexert yourself and possibly harm your body by trying to run. If you feel a cold coming on, however, running may help you get rid of it. But if you try this cure, follow Dr. Kostrubala's recommendations. He suggests that you dress warmly, take two aspirin in a glass of milk, and then go out for a run. Jog slowly and see how you feel. Continue jogging until your body grows warm, even hot, Then try to keep your temperature at that level. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (3) How often should I run? "The Running Book" By the Editors of Consumer Guide Most running programs, ask you to run three times a week as a minimum requirement. This helps reinforce the habit of running, but its main purpose is to develop cardiovascular conditioning through frequent running. But more is not necessarily better. Experts in physical fitness tend to agree that running days should alternate with days of rest, since rest for the body is as much a part of developing fitness as exercise. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (4) Which of the 8 lanes on a US track is actually the '1/4 mile' one? (Lori Moffitt lcm@med.unc.edu) writes: The long and short of it, pun intended, is that US 1/4 mile tracks are typically 400 meter tracks, and the runner needs to compensate for the difference by running a few yards extra, about 10 yards. The 400 meter distance seemed to be measured 12'' from the inside curb of the track. Opinions vary about this and the compensation distance. (Art Overholser overhoka@vuse.vanderbilt.edu) A perfect 400-m track, measured 12" from the inside curb as specified by TAC, is 437.4 US yards long, or 7'8'' shy of 440 yards. So you only need to run 8 feet (not 10 yards) extra to get the 1/4 mi. To get one mile out of 4 laps you have to add about 10 yards. If his figures are correct, to change this lap to a quarter mile, move out an additional 15 inches when going around the bends. (Sherwood Botsford sherwood@space.ualberta.ca) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (5) I have started running after having my baby and I am curious to know if any one has some stomach exercises? If you had your baby less than 6 weeks ago, it is likely that your uterus hasn't returned to its normal size, and this could cause the cramps. Remember, too, that your stomach muscles separated during pregnancy and it takes time for them to meld together again. The important thing to remember when returning to running after a layoff is to ease back into running, paying scrupulous attention to how it feels. The old adage, "listen to your body," applies here. If your stomach is cramping, slow down, ease up. STRETCHES (Paulette Leeper paulette.leeper@daytonOH.NCR.COM) To stretch your abdominals, lay on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Let your knees drop to one side, as you lay your arms toward the other...hold for about 30 seconds and gently switch sides. >From this same position, you can begin to strengthen your abdominals by pressing your lower back toward the floor...holding it for increasing increments of time. Your ability to hold your lower back to the floor will give you a good sense of what kind of shape your abdominals are in at this time. Many of the abdominal exercises recommended during pregnancy are good to begin with post-partum. One of my favorites is to sit up with knees bent and do a sort of "reverse sit-up." Instead of coming up from the floor, move your torso toward the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. ==========================================================