Rule of 10 - What to Wear when Running in all Temperatures

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Rule of 10 - What to Wear when Running in all Temperatures

Loading up with gear is one of the best things about picking up running as a hobby. There are unlimited combinations of electronics, apparel, footwear and nutrition to help propel you in your running goals. You’re probably not alone if you’ve set out for a run feeling totally ready and equipped only to find yourself unbearably uncomfortable before you close the first mile.

Runner’s World has a great tool called What to Wear that helps take the guesswork out of what to put on when you head out. You simply fill in a short survey answering gender, temperature, conditions, wind, time of day, intensity of your workout and what it feels like outside and they’ll tell you how to gear up. Another site called DressMyRun does the same using temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, time of day and conditions (rain, snow, sleet, mist, fog). It even gives you nifty little Amazon links showing you examples of what you might need.

But, if you’re not able to access these sites for any reason, you need to know how to dress yourself without it. Read on for a few rules to guide you in determining how to dress for runs in any season. A key that you’ll see throughout...dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than it actually is to stay comfortable throughout. Think about how your body will feel, what temperature it will be halfway through your run, not just when you start.

Spring

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Springtime is always complex. It could be perpetually rainy, unseasonably warm or even snowing...or swing through all of these in a matter of days. The unpredictability of this season makes it difficult, but the key is versatility and layers. You want to pick pieces that are each light on their own, but provide a nice cover when combined. Also items that are easily removable and storable as your temperature rises (think a vest you can fold in on its own pouch and clip to your belt, gloves that can be clipped to other clothing or tucked into a waistline). For your base layer (what is closest to your skin) you should choose sweat-wicking materials and avoid cotton. For your feet, utilize water-repellent spray for your shoes and wool running socks that will keep your feet both dry and warm.

Summer

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In summer, it’s more about materials and self care when you dress. You should avoid anything cotton because it holds your sweat and takes forever to dry (and will cause chafing). Sweat-wicking is just about the only way to go. You may also want to look into some newer technology that provides UV protection as well. Keep your colors light and clothing loose. Always wear at least sunglasses and, ideally, a hat or visor. NEVER forget sunscreen (but choose a sweat or water resistant variety).

Fall

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Fall is just about the best season to run, in my opinion. It’s a fine balance to wear enough to keep you warm, but not enough to cause you to overheat. It’s a delicate balance like in spring. Again, you want to keep the base layer sweat-wicking and use a combination of clothing...longer pants with a sleeveless shirt or shorts with a long-sleeve shirt. Choose bright colors over darker colors because it starts to get dark a little earlier and you don’t want to blend in with your surroundings. If fall in your area is trending cooler, pay close attention to your extremities and utilize items that can be easily removed if you start to get too warm (gloves, headbands and vests...all good options in this season too).

Winter

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Stay inside. Just kidding...I hate running when it’s really cold and always tend to overdress. I’ll pile layer on layer and be miserably hot 10 minutes into my run, all for the sake of not being cold as I get warmed up. Don’t do this. If you do decide to train outside in the winter months, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of water-resistant shoes to keep your feet dry and good moisture-wicking wool socks to keep your feet warm (choose socks that come above the ankle or just below the knee). Keep the base layer moisture wicking in this season too, but use a long-sleeve shirt as the next layer. Invest in a few good pairs of warm running tights...gear designed or labeled specifically as cold-weather. Compression is great if you can get it. As your top layer, you’ll want to choose a fitted, wind-stopping softshell and gloves. You can add accessories like gloves and a neck warmer to help combat the winter air too. Don’t forget the sunscreen (even if it’s overcast) and Chapstick. Never forget your reflective gear because winter days are much shorter than summer ones.

Do you have tips to share to guide getting dressed for runs in any season? Please put them in the comments below!

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Get It In Gear

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Get It In Gear

One of the things I love most about running (and, be honest, probably one of the things you love most about running) is all the gear.

Retailers have really upped the game when it comes to outfitting athletes to hit the road. Whether you’re running for distance, speed, fun or fury, there is gear for you. Below is a round up of some great gear you need to get your hands on.

Shoes

There are as many running shoes available as there are feet on runners. The best thing to do when you decide you’re ready to really run, is to visit a local running store (not a large chain sporting goods store) and speak with an expert. They will likely have you walk a bit, check your gait and foot type and width and have you try on a couple dozen pairs of shoes. Make an afternoon of it because it’s totally worth it. Once you’ve found your shoe, it’s super easy to shop and replace. I keep about three pairs at all times and try to mentally track the mileage on them (some apps will help you do this). When they get to have about 300 running miles, I retire them to become regular everyday tennis or gym shoes. I try not to wear the same running shoes in back to back runs either. It’s good to let them rest.

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Socks

A good pair of compression socks is key to helping with recovery after a long run. Good moisture-wicking socks are great for every run. Experimenting with heights and weights is a good idea, too. As the seasons (and weather) change, so will your needs.

Visibility Belt

You won’t always be able to run mid-day or broad daylight. When the time changes, it gets dark almost immediately after work...or takes forever to get light in the morning. Even on overcast, rainy or foggy days, it’s a good idea to have some sort of reflective gear on. A lot of clothing options have reflective elements, but I say don’t mess around. Get yourself a BoldBrite running belt. It’s incredibly well made and super durable. It’s adjustable and even has a “waist extender” portion too. (Side note: we also sell a great headlamp to provide a little extra light to guide your run).

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Other Safety

The newest iphone update allows you to set up emergency contacts on your phone. To do so, you just go into health and add several emergency contacts. In settings, you turn on the feature and when your phone is locked, you can punch the side button several times to alert your emergency contacts. This is super convenient if you’re running with your phone in an armband, so some other cool products include TigerLady Self Defense Claw, which will literally turn you into Wolverine. Mace is another good option to carry, but anytime you try to mace someone, you are at risk of also macing yourself. An expandable baton is another option. Of course, the more self defense items your carry, the more weighted down you’ll be. The best idea is to run with a partner in a well-lit, well-trafficked area so that you’re likely to have help should danger befall you.

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Water Belt

There are a lot of options for water, waist belt or handheld. I have a Nathan two canister water belt. It has a small fanny pack in the middle to hold my keys and phone and some Gu tubes and chapstick. It also holds two 10 ounce water bottles. It’s adjustable and fits perfectly around my hips. Great for long practice runs, short runs on super hot days or half marathon races. If I plan well, I can fit all my nutrients into it and have water through most of the race, supplementing with race-given water.

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RunninGluv

This may seem like a strange one, but when I run, my nose runs (especially when it’s cold). My nose gets so raw when I’m constantly wiping it on my sleeve and then on my arm when I roll my sleeves up. RunningGluv is a glove (or wrist band) with a towel attached. There are some YouTube videos to show you how to actually wear it, but I have one and love it.

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Lace Replacement

A company called Hickies (minds out of the gutters, people) has come up with a way for you to forego fooling with your laces during races (or regular runs). They are rubberized elastic shoelace replacements designed to turn your shoe into a slip on that fits comfortably and snug. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and the website offers plenty of tutorials to show you how to fit them best for your foot.

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Of course, all of this is pretty basic gear. There are limitless possibilities to gear up for a run. As it’s easy to get caught up in all the latest trends and tech, I tend to take the advice of Coco Chanel when I dress for a run...remove one thing before leaving the house...to keep from weighing myself down or getting to distracted from the task at hand: hitting the road.

What is your favorite running gear? Share in the comments below.

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What exactly is a virtual race?

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What exactly is a virtual race?

No, we aren’t talking about some high-tech, virtual reality exercise. We mean choosing a race online from one of a number of outlets, registering just as you would for a live race, sometimes even electronically picking up a race bib and expo packet, but running it on a day and at a time of your choosing (within a certain time frame) and competing with people from across the country—who you may never see or meet.

According to Active.com, the early model of virtual racing began “years ago, before national championship meets, [when] high school runners mailed in their times to a national postal competition, and a champion was then selected and announced.”

It is kind of unclear when this method went “online” so to speak, but it has—in a big way.

Some more traditional and prominent road races have begun to allow runners to participate in this virtual way. Most notably, it was recently announced that New York Road Runners (NYRR)—the group responsible for putting on the New York City Marathon—is adding nine virtual races to its annual calendar, three of which are already open for registration (January and February 5ks and a March 10k). The rest should be posted as spring and summer approach. NYRR is also offering a virtual program called Virtual 6. According to the organization’s website, “Program participants that register for and complete six (6) NYRR virtual races at the NYRR Virtual 6 program rate before December 31, 2018 will be eligible to receive a non-complimentary entry” to the 2019 Popular Brooklyn Half and a virtual training program to aid in race preparation.

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The process is the same for most virtual races: select a race, a distance, sign up and pay registration fees. Then run your distance within the required time frame, post your time (and required evidence) where required and wait for your finisher’s medal to come in the mail.

If you’re interested in earning medals for distance, but not for races you haven’t actually run the true terrain for, try teaming up with a virtual running club.

Below are a few organizations that can help you get your feet wet:

●     Will Run For Bling

●     Virtual Running Club

●     Gone For A Run

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Each of these links will connect you to a group that designs great medals to reward you for the work you do on your own. Another group, Run The Edge, encourages you to pledge to run as many miles as the year (2017 in 2017,  2018 in 2018, etc.) and supplies you with incredible merch (all sold in incrementally increasingly package pricing).

So, what do you think? Is it fair for someone to earn race bling and swag from a race and a course they didn’t actually run or is it ok for race medals to be given as long as the distance is the same (even if the terrain isn’t)? Is virtual racing for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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How to Improve Your Running with Cross-Training

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How to Improve Your Running with Cross-Training

When I started my first run training (with Nike+ Run and a Couch to 5k app) to prepare for the Color Me Rad 5k in my hometown, I treated the suggested cross training days as rest days. Sometimes I’d meet with my personal trainer, sometimes I’d do yoga or barre, but mostly, I took that suggested “45 minutes of non-running activity” into rest time...channel surfing was as rigorous a non-running activity I could stand.

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9 Relay Races Perfect For Best Friends To Do Together

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9 Relay Races Perfect For Best Friends To Do Together

Running is more a solo sport than team, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve got a great group of runner pals, gather them and sign up for a relay race. The best thing about this type of race is that it gives runners, novice to experienced, to interact with and support one another while trying new or comfortable distances.

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Tips to Make Winter Running Less Miserable

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Tips to Make Winter Running Less Miserable

Daylight savings time can certainly be a training drain. You’ve gotten yourself into a groove as the weather finally starts to cool and you’re no longer slogging along in 100 percent humidity or scalding, sweat-inducing heat...but just as you settle in, daylight fades at 5 p.m. and the weather is consistently rainy and/or freezing. If you’re losing steam and it’s getting harder and harder to lace up those sneakers, read on for some tips to help you stay motivated (and moving) this winter.

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Bucket List: 12 Destination Mini Marathons

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Bucket List: 12 Destination Mini Marathons

We all have a bucket list, right? Things you want to challenge yourself to do, places you want to go to stretch out of your comfort zone...bucket list races are no different. Sure, it’s fun and comfortable to get in your car and drive a few miles to a race taking place on a trail you’ve run more times than you can count--but it can also be incredibly exhilarating to travel for a race.

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Ultimate Guide to Running Safely at Night

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Ultimate Guide to Running Safely at Night

We know that with busy work and life schedules sometimes the only opportunity for a run is during non-daylight hours.  Trying to squeeze runs in while the sun is up becomes especially difficult during the short days of the winter.  Whether you logging miles in the early mornings before dawn, or in the late nights after dusk, we’ve put together a few tips to help you stay safe.

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Increase Your Visibility - See and Be Seen

Wear bright and reflective clothing

It can be difficult for drivers to see runners in the dark, so don’t make it tougher on them.  Wear bright colors (such as white, yellow, orange) and reflective material so that you stand out and can be seen.  There are dozens of options including reflective vests, hats, jackets, shoes, headbands, armbands, pants, etc.

Wear lights to help you be seen

In addition to bright colors and reflective material, consider wearing a light as well.  There are a lot of options including LED armbands, LED belts, clip on strobe lights, blinking shoe clips, etc.  These additional lights will help ensure that drivers see you.

Wear or carry lights to help you see

Not only do we want to increase your visibility to drivers, but it is also important for you to see the road, trail or sidewalk as you run.  Potholes, branches, roots, uneven sidewalks, wire fences, and slippery leaves are all difficult to see.  Nothing can destroy a nice run or walk quicker than a turned ankle due to tripping or slipping on an unseen obstacle.  Consider running with a flashlight or headlamp to help you avoid hazards.

Run in well-lit or populated areas

Reconsider running on isolated trails at night.  While it can be serene and peaceful to have the woods to yourself, you set yourself up as an easy target.  Try to stick to the busier roads and well lit areas.  Oncoming cars can see you better and you’ll be able to see better in order to avoid potential hazards.

Prevention

Run with a partner (or three!) when you can

There’s safety in numbers and any potential attacker will be a lot less likely to cause any trouble if he’s outnumbered.  A partner can also help you stay aware of your surroundings.  If you’re running alone, let someone know the route you’ll be running and when you expect to be back.

Run with a dog

Not only is he a man’s best friend and will he love being outside and exercising you, but he will also help ward off any troublemakers.

 
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Vary your routes and running time

Potential attackers could be watching your routines to loom in a particularly dark or desolate area.  

Increase Awareness

Pay attention to your surroundings

No matter how many precautions you take, always pay attention to what’s around you.  Trust your instincts if something doesn’t seem right.  Better to be overly cautious than to face a dangerous situation.

Get rid of the music

Ditch the headphones altogether and immerse yourself fully in the sights and sounds around you.  Cutting off your sense of hearing leaves you at a disadvantage because you can’t hear oncoming cars, cyclists, dogs, or any other potential threat.  

Turn down the music

We know sometimes you just have to have that inspirational songto help you finish the last mile and running without music just isn’t an option for you!  Try turning down the music so that you can still be aware of your surroundings and hear trouble approaching.

Half the music

Maybe the motivational music just doesn’t have the same impact if it’s playing at a whisper.  Keep the volume full blast, but try only wearing one earbud so while one ear is jamming to the music the other one can be listening to your surroundings.

Carry Identification and Contact Information

Make ICE (In Case of Emergency) Information Available

If your phone has a Medical ID option available make sure it’s enabled.  The Medical ID feature can provide important personal health related information in the event of an emergency.  For instructions and to see if it’s available on your device, search on the internet for “Medical ID” combined with your phone’s model.

Carry ID

Whether it’s a driver’s license or an ID tag, it will help first responders identify you and contact loved ones in the event an accident happens.

 

Protect Yourself

Wear a billed clip and clear glasses

The bill of the cap cab protect you by hitting an unseen tree branch or another obstacle before it hits you in the head and clear glasses will protect your eyes from any bugs, thin branches, or other unseen obstacles.

Run against traffic

It’s easier to avoid traffic and far easier to jump out of the way of an oncoming car if you can see the car coming at you.  Avoid busy roads and those with no shoulders or sidewalks.

Carry a personal alarm

There are a variety of small, lightweight alarms that you can carry which sound an attention-grabbing siren for assistance in an emergency.

Pepper Spray

If it’s legal in your area, consider arming yourself with some pepper spray in a place that you can easily access, and learn how to use it correctly.  We’re not suggesting you lug it around with you every time you run, but if you know you are running in a secluded area that might contain wildlife or lone individuals better to take it along.

Look both ways before you cross the street

The age-old advice from your parents could save your life!  Don’t assume that cars see you.  Sometimes, crosswalks with stop signs can be the worst for runners as drivers pull out in front of the stop sign looking for cars, but fail to see the runner right in front of them.  Always make eye contact with the driver before you step off the curb.

Carry your phone

You’ll be able to contact policy or friends immediately if something happens to you or you notice something out of the ordinary.  Apps like “bsafe” let you push a button on your phone to send an emergency message or call to designated friends who can respond and receive your exact location.  Other apps (such as Road ID and Runkeeper) let you broadcast your run live while it is in progress to selected families and friends.

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