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RUNNER’S GUIDE: 8 Tips for Road Runners

While one of my pet peeves is when a walker walks in the middle of the road, when there is a nice sidewalk right there, I have to admit I like running on asphalt over concrete. As I was running yesterday, I wondered if running on asphalt was actually softer and better for you. I decided to do some research when I got back home.

Asphalt vs Concrete

road runners tipsAfter doing some digging, I couldn’t really find any firm evidence asphalt is better for your body (there were mixed reviews and conflicts in opinions on the topic), however, I did find evidence it is indeed softer. According to my research, concrete is approximately 10 times harder than asphalt. These surfaces are measured by pounds per square inch (psi). Asphalt can be around 400-600psi and concrete can be anywhere from 3,000-4000psi for sidewalks to 8000-10000 for airport runways. Even though I found mix reviews on the impact these surfaces have on the body, I personally believe softer is better – and if nothing else, it’s more comfortable for me to run on them.

The next issue is how to run on the asphalt safely, without irritating drivers or getting run over. If you are like me, you’ve probably complained about people on the road. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Steve say “there’s a sidewalk right there you moron”. What he really means is “I almost hit you and you scared me to death and I really wish you’d use the sidewalk so you will be safe”. However, after the guy flips you off for coming too close to him when he was running in front of the sunrise, in a blind spot, wearing all black and taking up his half of the road, “what a moron” comes out of his mouth first.

So, here are a few tips to keep you running safe, and keep everyone’s middle finger in control.

8 Safety Tips for Road Runners

sidewalk1. Know that you are SUPPOSED to run on the sidewalk. Even if you choose not too, please know it is the law (at least it is here). While Florida law prohibits running on the road if there is a sidewalk nearby, I haven’t heard of anyone getting a ticket for that (YET). However, there are also laws for pedestrians to follow when sidewalks are not available. It would be smart for runners to follow these laws (since they are made for our own safety and were probably pretty well thought out) so you are as safe as possible if you choose to not run on the sidewalk. Tips #2 & #3 address those laws.

Running Tips & Laws2. Run on the RIGHT side of the shoulder (to the right of traffic). The law says the first choice (if there are no sidewalks) is to run on the RIGHT of the SHOULDER. (Note, I don’t believe an extra 4 inches of asphalt constitutes a shoulder. The Federal Highway Administration defines a shoulder as “the portion of the roadway contiguous with the traveled way for accommodation of stopped vehicles for emergency use”. This means a true shoulder should be big enough to pull over safely on. I would have to ask an officer if we should run on a 6 inch piece of asphalt to really know, however, if my body can’t fit on the shoulder without crossing the line, I doubt very seriously they want you on it.) Please realize this is NOT saying to run on the right side of the road. Pedestrians should travel on the the FAR RIGHT of the shoulder OFF the road and not in the lane at all. Run to RIGHT of cars, to the RIGHT of the white line and the RIGHT of the shoulder. Got it? Good!

running facing traffic3. Run on the LEFT side of the road (facing traffic). If there is no shoulder, like in most cases around my neighborhood, then pedestrians should run on the LEFT side of the road. So, if you are running in a neighborhood, a country two-lane road or on a long drive, you should always be on the LEFT side of the LEFT lane going against traffic. Don’t think pedestrians have the right-of-way. They DON’T. The ONLY time you have the right-of-way is when you are using a crosswalk. And if a car comes close to you, don’t glare at them like they are the idiot. You are the one that is not where you are supposed to be. Waive politely for being in their way, thankful they didn’t run over you. If nothing else, they won’t drive by thinking fit people are dumb AND mean!

4. Move out of the way. It is polite to move to the outer edge of the road or even off the road when you see a car coming. This acknowledges that you see the car coming, and you know they have the right-of-way. Plus it’s just plain safe!

running at night5. Be visible. It KILLS ME to see people running at dusk, dawn or even at night wearing black AND running on the road. Do you know how many times Steve or I have almost hit someone running on the road on the way to or from work, simply because they were not visible? Way too many times. Although you may not want to wear a dorky reflective vest, you can avoid wearing black, you can wear light and bright colored clothing, and you can even buy reflective clothing that is both stylish and safe. If you run during these times, you should invest in the proper gear. If you aren’t visible, then it would be better for your health to run on the sidewalk than trying to protect your joints but end up getting hit by a car. Just sayin’.

Running with headphones6. Turn your headphones down. I always have my headphones on when I run, but I keep them at a level where I could still hear screeching tires, a horn, siren or even someone yelling at me. If you can’t hear warning signs, you are risking unnecessary danger. If you are running at night, you may choose to not wear headphones at all so you can hear footprints if you feel you are at risk for anyone from sneaking up on you. The best way to stay safe is to increase awareness of what is going on around you at all times. If you block out noises, you just limited one of your most powerful senses.

running on shoulder7. Move off the road when you can’t see oncoming traffic. If you are walking around a corner or up a hill, realize oncoming traffic has no clue you are right around the corner. Your advantage is you can hear them coming. They have no advantage. You are in a blind spot and even their mere reaction to seeing you suddenly could cause them to overreact, panic or even swerve. Many people only think of what THEY can see, and not what drivers see. Just because you see someone coming doesn’t mean they see you.

crazy runner8. Be nice. Seriously people. I hate to say this, but don’t be a grumpy running snob with your 4 water bottles, compression socks and competition outfit acting like you are racing for a million dollars. You are a walking (or should I say running) advertisement for fitness so be a good one! No one wants to hit a happy smiling runner. Noooo! They slow down, move over and wave a nice happy wave to that runner. If you want to get hit, have a mean scowl on your face and act like your poo don’t stink. Even if someone doesn’t choose to hit you, they may throw something at you just because they don’t like the way you look.

Share any of your own running tips or pet peeves below! I’d love to hear them!

More tips & laws for walkers and runners

answers.com logoWant to learn more? Read my recent blog for Answers.com, Walking and Running: 7 Rules to Stay Safe and Legal, for 4 more laws you need to know.

5 Gift Ideas for Runners

Do your Power Walks Lack Power? by Bonnie Pfiester, Answers.com

10 Tips to Buying Running Shoes by Bonnie Pfiester, Answers.com

Preparation Tips for Hiking by Bonnie Pfiester, Answers.com

Top 10 Running Surfaces by Runner’s World

Running on Cement, Asphalt & Grass by Livestrong

Run After Your Dreams (literally)

chase your dreamsSeriously, this is SO ME!  As I lay in bed, I think of all the things I should have done and need to do the next day. I think of what I will do better and what I will quit doing. I reflect on both my failures and my successes. Since snacking at night is always a struggle, many nights I think “I blew it”. Sometimes it’s me fussing over 100 extra calories, sometimes it’s 500! Either way, as I lay there, I begin to imagine me burning them off.

I imagine waking up more motivated, strong and disciplined. Honestly, if I could run at night (Yes, technically I can run at night, but I don’t like running in the dark, and it IS bedtime, etc. Just humor me here!)… If I could run at night, I would bolt out of the house like lightening. (Of course this is just my imagination. I’m sure it wouldn’t look like I picture it in my head. Needless to say, I fall asleep thinking I will make it all better in the morning. My pulse even increases. I get excited. I get motivated. I picture myself extra determined and really disciplined. I remember how great it feels to run and how awesome I feel when I stay disciplined. I decide right then that I will start my day off right and I will erase those dang calories tomorrow! Yessss!!!

Now that I have a solid plan in place, I can rest. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Then I wake up. Ut Oh! Where did that girl go!? Where’s the girl that was ready to leap out of bed right into her running shoes? Yes, that girl! Where is she? Have you seen her? Maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee and give her some time to show up. Still no where to be found? OK, maybe I’ll have another cup of coffee. Hmmmmm. Maybe she’s waiting for me outside.

Time to put my running shoes on and go find her. Yes, I must search for her. She is out there somewhere. I can’t wait on her to show up. My results can’t depend on her. I must find her. I will go. I will chase her down. And, every morning I will search for her. Eventually I will find her. Eventually she will show. But until then, I’m running – with or without her!!

BIG SALE: Reebok Nano 2.0s (& Shoe Tips for Pain-Free Workouts)

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

crossfit nano 2.0Out of all my Reebok shoes, the Nano 2.0s are still some of my favorite kicks of all time. The way the look, the way they feel, the way they perform – nothing compares. They are one of the few pair of tennis shoes that look great in the gym, but also look awesome with jeans, shorts and even capris.

I have so many people ask me about my nanos, but one of the common responses is they are never on sale. So I made a pact to tell you when they ARE!!

Today only, you can get your own pair of Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 in Nacho Orange (V51721) for just $55! These exact shoes are the last Nanos I purchased myself and I paid full price I might add! 

crossfit nano 2.0I should warn you. This item is limited in stock, and the sale only lasts one day, May 29th, so be sure to hurry and grab yours! Have fun shopping!!!

  ► Use Promo Code: NANO55

What’s a Nano? Nanos are not a running shoe, they are a cross-training shoe that are awesome for lifting, doing plyos, short sprints (or shorter runs), rope climbing and body weight exercises. These shoes ROCK!

Are Your Shoes Hurting You?

running painDid you know getting the wrong shoes can cause all kinds of odd body pain?

You can have knee issues, calf issues, painful ankles, hip pain and foot pain – all because you bought the wrong shoe for you OR you are wearing the right shoe for the wrong exercise! If you experience muscle or joint pain, the first thing you should try to try another pair of shoes. Whether they are old, or they just aren’t the right type of shoe for you (or the exercise), some pains can be eliminated simply by changing shoes!

Check out my latest article on Answers.com:
► 10 tips to shopping for tennis shoes

MORE FIT TIPS FOR RUNNERS & SHOE BUYERS:

► The Shoe Buyer’s Guide (HINT: it’s all about the sole!)
► A Simple Fix for Knee Pain
► Kick Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
How to Read Your Shoes

Be sure to subscribe if you want to learn more about killer fitness deals, helpful tips & fitness motivation!

Reebok ZQuick Winner!

Chris Narbone

Congratulations to Chris Narbone, for being the lucky guy to get a FREE PAIR of Reebok ZQuick running shoes!!

I just checked out your website Chris (AmplifyToday.com) and was so excited to see your passion for running! These shoes couldn’t have gone to a better contestant! You do great reviews and offer awesome info for runners!!  CONGRATS!

Follow Chris Online: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amplifytoday
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amplifytoday
Blog: http://amplifytoday.com

Here are the shoes he won. CLICK HERE to learn more or shop!

Reebok ZQuick

Best Armband for the iPhone 5

PureMove Armband

The PureMove Armband is the best armband I’ve found made for the iPhone 5S/5. I got the opportunity to try it out this weekend on our group run with some of our bikini boot campers and members. Here’s why I was so excited about this armband!

One of my pet peeves is not being able to access my phone easily while running or working out at the gym. First, you have that stupid thick plastic barrier that not only holds your phone but it makes it extremely difficult to actually use the phone. Second, if you want to get the phone out of the case, it’s a challenge to get it out – especially if you are in a hurry. Lastly, once you get it OUT of the case, it’s a total pain to put it back IN the case without taking the whole armband off your arm.

With the PureMove Armband, I can easily navigate the touch screen – SOOO NICE! I was able to easily start and pause my RunKeeper app when I needed too (which was always a hassle). Not only was I able to navigate the touch screen better without the plastic barrier, but I didn’t have that annoying glare the additional plastic layer always gave my phone. The same tasks that took a minute or two to complete, now took me only 5-10 seconds. Less time struggling means more time sweating!!

vero beachSince I’m a picture-taking fool, I also enjoyed the ease of popping my phone right out of the case to take a quick snap shot of fun things along the way. Whether I want to take a pic of the sunset, scenery, funny sites or a pictures of gym members and friends, I don’t want anything to slow down my run. The PureMove Armband allowed me that freedom.

Have you seen Yes Man? That is SO me! hahaha :) I never go anywhere without a camera – and of course the iPhone is my camera when I’m on runs and I just love knowing I can capture the moment, even on my run!

Here are some of the photos I’ve taken on some of my runs. Burning calories is great, but making memories makes it even better! And now it’s even easier to do with the PureMove Armband.

 

Reebok Z-Rated Shoes & Workout

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok. 

Sometimes it’s not enough to just be fast. You need to be able to move quick. If your daily run is never running in a straight line, this shoe is your kind of shoe. Check it out!

reebok zquickReebok just came out with a really cool high-traction running shoe that’s made to move quick. If you like the natural feel of a super light shoe that gives you just enough cushion without losing the feel of the road, this shoe is for you! What I love most about this shoe (besides how light it is) is definitely the traction. Traction is out of control. The outer sole is designed for maximum ground contact so your foot really grabs the ground for quick switches, turns, jumps and stops. Not only is this great for running (especially when your route includes navigating around traffic, puddles, people, dogs and uneven sidewalks) I’m super excited about using these shoes on my functional training days. These shoes are going to crush sprints, box jumps, heismansShuffle Touches, and other exercises that require more traction.

Inspired by hi-performance, Z-Rated tires, the Reebok Z Run running shoe are like sports car tires on your feet. The Z-Rated technology delivers control, traction and speed – just like my Corvette!

reebok zquickHere are the things I like most about the shoe:

  • Super Light
  • Smooth No-Sew upper
  • Low-cut for mobility
  • Roomy toe box
  • Awesome tread for killer control, traction and speed
  • Super flexible midsole

Here’s a cool video on the technology of the shoe:

“These shoes will make you UNNATURALLY QUICK!” So set your timer and get ready to crush this workout!! Click on the workout name to see video demonstration of each exercise.

Today’s Z-Rated Workout:

Set your timer!!!
1/4 mile sprint

 SSS – Cardio, Conditioning, Lower Body

  1. 20 Skaters
  2. 20 Butt-Kicks
  3. 20 Squat Front Kicks (alternating legs)
  4. 20 Butt-Kicks
  5. 20 Shuffle Touches (quick switch)
  6. 20 Butt-Kicks

Complete 3 rounds

1/4 mile sprint

Dead Legs – Legs, Glutes, Hamstrings

  1. 20 Prisoner Squats
  2. 20 Mary Catherines
  3. 20 X-Squats
  4. 20 Crisscross Squats
  5. 20 Bridges
  6. 1-Minute Wall Sits

Complete 3 rounds

1/4 mile sprint and record your time.

How long did it take you to get through it?

Can You Go the Distance?

second windWikipedia explains the Second Wind as “a phenomenon in distance running, such as marathons or road running (as well as other sports), whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. The feeling may be similar to that of a “runner’s high“, the most obvious difference being that the runner’s high occurs after the race is over. Some scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. Others claim second winds are due to endorphin production, while still others believe it to be purely psychological.” 

It really doesn’t matter where our second wind comes from, what matters is knowing it will come. Whether we are talking about fitness or life, sadly, many people never get to experience the second wind because they give up too soon. No one ever said weight loss would be easy. No one says that life is easy, so why are we so surprised when things get tough? If we plan to run a marathon, we know it’s going to be a long grueling haul. Weight loss is a marathon of sorts. So is marriage, our career, raising kids, and maintaining friendships. They all require a certain intense level of commitment – a commitment to the finish.

finish lineIf you plan to do a race, you plan to finish. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, the goal is to cross the finish line. Sadly, many people give up on their goals, hopes and dreams as soon as things get tough. I want to encourage you today, you WILL get a second wind – but you don’t get a second wind before the pain sets in. You don’t get a second wind before you run out of breath, or before your body shuts down. No! You get a second wind AFTER you begin to feel defeated. AFTER you’ve been on a plateau for too long. AFTER you’ve cried and started to doubt if you could “do this”. AFTER your mind starts turning on you. The second wind DOES come, but it doesn’t come when things are going smooth. It comes right when you need it the most …in the very last possible hour.

Test Yourself. Don’t miss your second wind because you choose not run long enough in your first one. Train hard. The more you reach the point of needing a second wind, the less doubt you will have that the second wind will come because you’ve experienced it before. However, if you quit every time something gets hard, you won’t have the past experiences to encourage you in your next race.

Never Give Up.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Are You On the Right Track?

On the Right Track

In fitness, you don’t just want to stay on track, you want to keep moving ahead! Sadly, there are a lot of people that get on track, make a little progress, and then just stop, for no apparent reason, before they ever reach their goal.

That’s like showing up for a race, running half of it and then just sitting down on the side of the road. Who does that? Well, pretty much everyone at some point in time on their fitness journey. No one in their right mind would do that in a marathon, unless they were injured. But, when it comes to working out, dieting, etc., people do it all the time.

girl-at-side-of-the-road1The difference in those last 10-20lbs of fat is just where the person stops on the course. Many times a person thinks “I did great, I lost XWZ pounds and I feel so much better” and they basically go sit down at the 20 mile mark. BUT, if they just kept on going, and wasn’t just satisfied was feeling “better”, they could do amazing and become their BEST.  Better is always good, but why stop short from experiencing your best?

Have you become comfortable where you are right now with your routine, weight or diet? Or are you ready to see this thing all the way through and finish this things like a champ?! The same work that you did to get where you are now will keep working to get you where you want to be – as long as you don’t slow down or quit. So, get back on track and get back to moving forward! #livewithfire

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Even the Slowest & Weakest Can Still Finish: 4 Steps to Success

slow, small, weak still finishI think we’d be in a much better place if we didn’t focus on where we were but, instead, focused on where were are going. We tend to obsess over what we are NOT, and forget who we ARE, and who we are BECOMING.

I’m not a fast runner, but I run. I am not super strong, but I lift. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Unfortunately, most of us are very impatient. We want to get the the “finish lines” of life in one big step, but that is unrealistic. We rarely get anywhere in life in one step. Everything great takes time. But, what separates the success stories from the failures is not really how strong or fast someone is, but whether they persevere.

runningAlthough I am not suggesting you become complacent and not care about your overall performance, what I am suggesting is that you don’t focus so much on your performance that you forget your accomplishments. Each run you complete, each day you show up to the gym, every calorie you count, and every ounce you lose is an accomplishment.

Whatever you are working toward, You Can Finish This!

Think of where you were once, at your worst. Now think of where you are now. Lastly, think about where you are headed if you continue to press on toward your goals. THAT’s who you are – who you are, is who you are becoming.

finish

Your Finish Line

Here are 4 steps to reaching your finish line.

1. Choose Your Race: Someone who has never run before rarely signs up for a marathon. Most people don’t just “show up” without a little planning. With fitness, “choosing your race” means choosing your goal. This can also mean choosing a gym, a class, a diet or trainer. Before you even take your first step, you have to make some important choices first.

2. Map Your Route: Before a runner starts, they have to know where to go – and so do you. Make sure you know the route to your finish line very well so you can stay on course. Choose some friends to “run with”. Having a workout partner, trainer or a group of people at work working on the same goals can help you from straying or losing focus.

3. Check Points: Create a few small goals and a few moderate goals to help encourage you, as well as make sure you stay on track.  Check points can be small weight loss goals, performance based goals, or health improvements like improved resting heart rate or cholesterol levels.

4. Finish Line: Make sure you have main goal, or set of goals, and post them where you can see them every day. Can you imagine running a race with no visible finish line? Make sure your “black and white checkered flag” can be easily seen every moment along your journey. Out of site, means out of mind.

 

Is Your Walking is Working?

walkingThere’s a big difference between exercise and activity. While walking to increase activity is healthy, it is not as beneficial to your health as exercise.

Activity simply refers to movement, like cleaning the house, walking the dog or throwing the Frisbee. Exercise is purposeful and planned activity designed to obtain health benefits. Exercise includes power-walking, running, aerobics and weight training.

Though you may run while playing Frisbee, or lift heavy objects while working in the yard, the difference between the two activities is the level of intensity. A short burst of running to catch a Frisbee is light effort compared to running at the same pace for three miles straight.

Unfortunately, many people spend a lot of time walking, and very little time exercising. If you want to make sure your walks are exercise, here are 5 Tips to make your workouts more powerful from my latest article, “Do Your Power Walks Lack Power” at Answers.com

Answers.com

Bonnie Pfiester is the Exercise Expert for Answers.com

CLICK HERE for the whole article

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