Category Archives: Runners

Vibram Five Finger Shoes: Which One Suits You Best?

Today’s runners have been introduced to the astounding advantages of barefoot running. It is no wonder that the ultra lightweight Vibram Spyridon Five Finger Shoes as well as its V-Run line and other barefoot running essentials are creeping into the marketplace continually causing a rave among running enthusiasts who want to be free of their vulnerability to injuries. Ingeniously built, each of the Vibram five finger shoes are crafted to improve body mechanics, providing a more enhanced balance, grip, and agility.

Though it is incredibly responsive and espouses a sense of sure-footedness never before imagined in traditional footwear, finding the right one can be quite tricky. So, we’ve come up with this review of the two Vibram five finger shoes to give you a more informed knowledge before buying.

Top 2 Vibram Five Finger Shoes

Here are the two five-finger shoes from Vibram that’s rocking various running communities across the globe.

  • 1. Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe

The Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe is the ideal choice for those transitioning from traditional footwear to minimalist shoes intended for barefoot running. Offering soft and perforated upper, it epitomizes comfort and breathability that allow the feet to relax even when under pressure. It boasts of Eva midsole for cushioning and protection sans the added weight, patented XS run outsole for maximum stable hardness that can withstand extreme temperature ranges but a certain kind of softness for expansive ground contact as well as grip on highly diversified lug surfaces. Lacing on the V-Run also provides snug comfort and secure fit.

Add to that the anti-microbial Drilex sock liner and you got just the best footwear to run with. No wonder many injury-prone runners are now embracing the Vibram barefoot running phenomenon as per reviews hailing it as “the perfect running shoe” and “definitely recommended”. To buy, check out various color choices ( black/yellow, blue/yellow, grey/blue/yellow, or yellow/blue/teal) discounts and shipping perks on Amazon. Also, order one size down from normal VFF shoe for a more secure fit.

For a more rigorous running experience..

  • 2. Vibram Spyridon Five Finger Shoes Elite

For die-hard mud runners, the Vibram Spyridon Five Finger Shoes is love. Made with extra durable soles with unparalleled grip on both wet and dry surfaces, it espouses rugged longevity, optimal stability, and flexibility to adapt to diverse grounds. Technically designed as an off-road shoe, the Spyridon is so lightweight even when made with Vibrio mega outsole and Cocoon 3D Protection midsole. The Velcro cuff also helps keep the mud out with added ankle support. The fabric is also water resistant and comes with moisture-wicking technology. For the wet, the shoes instep brace also secures the foot doubly.

A great choice for rigorous runners who had tried other barefoot running before, the Vibram Spyridon Five Finger Shoes are truly the element of sure-footedness regardless the condition. No wonder experienced runners continually review it as a must-have. With colors black/yellow or forest camouflage, you can also buy it at a discount in Amazon.

Full Scale Minimalist Running

With more and more fun runs and competitive running being organized all over the globe, the popularity of Vibram five finger shoes has also been soaring over the years. Be reminded though that “barefoot” running can take some time to grow into your system. Start transitioning with the Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe as you learn the ropes and to familiarize your feet. As you improve and reach for more elite and rigorous running, shift to a Vibram Spyridon Five Finger Shoes. With these options at hand, you can finally bring your running element to a whole new level.

3 Bestselling Trail Running Shoes Reviewed

If you think your good old running shoes will fare on everything, think again. For a mudder like you, having the right trail running shoes will spell not just comfort and style. Trail or cross-country running will expose you to various environmental aspects way tougher than those encountered in normal runs. This means you will need a more rigid form of foot protection, traction, stability, weight and sensitivity on top of plain comfort and aesthetics. But with the number of trail running shoes being presented to the market, finding the perfect pair can be overwhelming. To jumpstart your search, we have compiled three of the bestselling brands in the market with no-nonsense review and links on where to buy them for a discount.

Trail Running Shoes At A Glance

Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe• durable but lightweight
• mud and snow Contragrip technology
• Sensifit and Quicklace system
• water-resistant
• anti-debris upper mesh
• black/silver metallic, light onix/black, cobalt blue/black, camouflage, methylene blue, red/blue, tomato red, deep blue, radiant red, real green, and corona yellow
New Balance Men's MT610V5 Trail Running Shoe• highly durable construction
• rubber-tread sole and outsole
• breathable mesh upper
• padded collar
• Lace-up feature
• in grey/orange, black/gold rush, cyclone/black, pacific/blue, embers/outer space, thunder/bolt
Merrell Men's All Out Terra Trail Trail Running Shoe• rubber soles
• upper made of mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane
• TrailProtect pad
• extra lightweight
• removable footbed
• reflective detailing for high-visibility
• built in sock liner
• diamond pattern lugs
• in bright yellow/castle rock, black/orange, bright green, orange, dragonfly, and yellow/black

Let’s get into the details..

1. Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe

First pair on the heaping list is the Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe. A common favorite among many “mudders”, this features comfort, traction and grip, and protection in its anti-debris upper mesh complimented with durably appointed synthetic outsole tread for a fully water-resistant protection. Featuring Sensifit technology, it fits the fit comfortably and precisely while the Quicklace system allows locking your feet in place. Add to that its unique mud and snow Contragrip optimized for specific sports as well as surface conditions. This combined systems allow one to run fast even on soft grounds.

A pair of is definitely “worth every penny” and comes “highly recommended” according to reviews by tough mudders. With plenty of designs and color combos to choose from -- black/silver metallic, light onix/black, cobalt blue/black, camouflage, methylene blue, red/blue, tomato red, deep blue, radiant red, real green, and corona yellow—finding one to suit your taste and style will definitely be easy.


2. New Balance Men's MT610V5 Trail Running Shoe

Next in line is the world-renown New Balance Men's MT610V5 Trail Running Shoes. Made with rugged rubber-tread sole and outsole with synthetic breathable mesh upper and padded collar, it is built to withstand heavy beating on water, snow, mud, and pavement. Padded collar provides comfort and stability. Lace-up feature ensures a perfect fit no matter the circumstances.

With various color combos such as grey/orange, black/gold rush, cyclone/black, pacific/blue, embers/outer space, thunder/bolt, the New Balance Men's MT610V5 Trail Running Shoes is one stylish trail running shoes for the occasion mudder. No wonder reviews hailed it as one of the best.

Last but not least..

3. Merrell Men's All Out Terra Trail Trail Running Shoe

The Merrell Men's All Out Terra Trail Running Shoe is one tough mudder to wear when on a trail or cross-country run. Used by many to traverse steep, slippery and muddy trails, it is a hiking boots slash running shoe in one. Rubber soles are made like that of Vibram complemented with a mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane upper, this train running uses scream durability at its most lightweight state. It also featuers removable footbed, reflective detailing for increased visibility, TrailProtect pad for foot protection, built in sock liner, and diamond pattern lugs.

If it’s 360-degree protection one wants, reviews from actual trail runners will tell you that the Merrell Men's All Out Terra Trail Running Shoe is one great choice. in bright yellow/castle rock, black/orange, bright green, orange, dragonfly, and yellow/black—you have more choices to suit your style while enjoying its perks.

So what are the right trail running shoes for you? It all depends on your activities to pursue and your budget. Whichever you choose from these reviewed pairs will help give not just comfort but also the protection, stability and traction you need. In everything else, buy from Amazon for discounts and shipping perks.

Strength and Conditioning Workouts: A Beginners Guide

So, you are ready to tone those abs, glutes, biceps, and triceps. Or perhaps, you are in the loop of improving your movement and overall strength in a way that simple aerobics or cardio exercises do not satisfy. The problem is that you have no idea on what strength and conditioning workouts. You may even have difficulty differentiating a kettlebell from a cowbell, and so on. But that’s okay. There is always room for a first time in a world where fitness is more profound.

Here, strength and conditioning workouts for beginner are built upon the foundation of developing stability, mobility, endurance, and power. As beginners, these workouts are kept as simple as possible to help ease you to more in-depth workout routines as you progress.

What You’ll Need

Strength and conditioning workouts are no easy feat. It may look easy looking at someone doing push-ups or deadlifts but the underlying force exerted requires huge efforts. If you are in for the long haul ahead, you will need the following:

  • a disciplined body
  • an attentive and proactive mind
  • a foam roller
  • good pair of training shoes with flat soles
  • 8kg and 12kg kettlebells
  • dumbbells
  • barbell
  • dowel
  • ample space to do training

Strength and Conditioning Workouts For Newbies

Designed to be performed thrice a week, preferable on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it aims to improve coordination, build strength, develop flexibility, and enhance anaerobic endurance. Unlike other workout regimen, strength and conditioning workout repetitions and sets generally decreases as the program progresses. Basically, beginner workouts like this one is meant as a transition phase from strength/endurance to a more focused pure strength program later on.

Now, let’s get it on..

1. Passive Warm Up

Like everything else, a passive warm up is essential to help jumpstart those sinewy muscles. Incorporate form rollers to the workout to essentially break-up adhesions and bring oxygen to the muscles. To warm up, do the following:

  • Cross Crawl – 10x on each side
  • Rocking – 10x ; 2reps
  • Easy Rolls – 10x, 2reps

2. Activation

Once, the body is fully warmed up, you are now ready to do some serious activation. Here, you need to do Crocodile Breathing 10x and Creeping X-lift practice (preferably with a ball on the back). These two drills help fire-up the vestibular system and improve control and coordination.

3. Intensify

Then, here comes the more intense workout. Here, the workout will be focused on the core drills that promote the body’s tension via short but intense bursts of action. The temperature of one’s core will rise marking your readiness for skill-building. Here, you will do 10x with 3reps of Farmer Hold using kettlebells (or dumbbells) and 10x with 2 reps of Rotational Stability Plank.

4. Build Your Skills

The will mark the main strength session of the workout. Here, the quality of the repetitions is being marked rather than quantity. Divide skill-building exercises listed below into 2 groups with 3 exercises in each group performed in a circuit. Rotate according to the number of sets prescribed. Move on to the next group of three exercises before proceeding to the next workout session.

  • Exercises: pushup, kettebell deadlift, kettlebell goblet squat, dumbbell bent-over row, 10x 1.2 kneeling hip flexor stretch with dowel, and side-lying windmill on foam roller.
  • Schedule: Monday 2 by 15reps on each exercise / Friday 3 by 10 reps on each exercise

5. Metabolic Conditioning

This high intensity interval session done for at least 5 minutes aims to improve a beginner’s anaerobic fitness levels. As you progress, the work and rest ratios will be made more challenging. Here is the desired schedule:

Monday: speed squats at 15x 4 rounds with 30sec rest
Wednesday: 20-minute walk or jog at 7/10 intensity level
Friday: speed squats at 15x 5 rounds with 30sec rest

6. Cool Down

Like all other exercises, a cool down is essential to prevent injuries. This will mimic the “activation” process but serving as a way to “reset” the total body by bringing down the heart rate gradually and re-circulating the blood. You will do the following:

  • Cross-crawls – 10x
  • Segmental rolls – 3x
  • Rocking – 10x
  • Foam roll (as needed)

7. Recovery

After all the stretching and rolling, bending and lifting, you will feel famished. Make sure to it something that will support your workout. Chug on protein-rich food within 30 minutes to help accelerate your muscle’s recovery. Go for protein-rich smoothies, if there’s any.

Some Serious Considerations

Starting strength and conditioning workouts, as stated, is no work in the park. It is important to carefully assess your current health and certain risks before you get into the game. If you have recurring back pains, hip or knee problems, and other health issues, you might want to consider consulting a fitness expert or a doctor to ensure that it will not worsen over time.

5 Effective Hamstring Exercises for Runners

Novice runners often get into injuries due to one thing—the forgotten hamstrings. Yes, in a world where quad exercises are being promoted as the all-in-one need for runners, it is easy for hamstring training to be lost and forgotten. Experienced and experts however, continually persist in introducing hamstring exercises for runners to prevent such risks of imbalance and catastrophic injuries as well as in improving performance.

It is important to note that hamstrings perform crucial functions on every run. Not only do these sinewy muscles help extend your hips to push them forward, tilt your pelvis to allow it to roll back, and bend your knees as you run, they also help strengthen the hip extensor to improve acceleration and speed. Hamstrings are also known to control and stabilize the body when doing opposing motions as in a glide when you run.

So, it is only fitting to think of ways that will make these muscle groups strong and more flexible. To give you jumpstart, here are some of the most common hamstring exercises used by runners.

1. Standing Hamstring Curls
A favorite rehab program in injury clinics, the standing hamstring curls allow strengthening the back of your legs thereby preventing injury. This can be done easily even when in an office or when waiting for the meals to be cooked in your kitchen.

How-to. Simply stand up ramrod straight and move feet closer to each other. Rest your arms on a chair or by the wall. Slowly lift your right (or left, whichever you prefer) foot into your rear while pointing the toes down. Slowly lift it higher into your butt area just stopping where your heel feels it. Then, lower it slowly again towards the original position. Repeat until 15 takes. Feel free also to wear ankle weights to intensify strengthening.

2. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

If you want to improve your running posture and gait, it is imperative that you strengthen your hamstrings. When it is weak, a runner can easily place too much weight and pressure on the heels on every footfall. This somehow adds excessive stress on the knees, ankles and hips. With the use of a stability ball in hamstring exercises for runners, you can finally strengthen those weak muscles.

How-To. Lie supine on the floor and place the stability just right under your calves and fee with the toes pointed upward. Rest both hands flat on the ground just right next to your hips. Slowly lift the body forming a straight line with the shoulders and knees while maintaining the feet and calves control of the stability ball as it rolls toward the legs’ back. Extend your body further by leaving the sole flat on the stability ball. Repeat until 15 repetitions.

3. Running High Knees.

Plyometrics exercises such as the running high knees are often left in the backburner by some. This type of exercise helps improve flexibility and strength of the hamstrings’ fast-twitch fibers responsible for those sprint movements as you run.

How-To. Stay on the balls of your feet when standing up straight. Form a 90-degree angle with your elbows. Lift your knees high by leaning back a little as you lift. Run in place using that position for a few seconds. Lift it as high as you can—gradually to prevent straining the muscles. Complete 15 lifts on both sides.

4. Romanian Deadlifts

Consider hitting your hamstrings and glutes with Romanian deadlifts or RDLs. This move focused on your posterios muscle groups to promote hip extensor and properly functioning posterior.

How-To. Stand straight while holding a bar or two barbells at hip level. Hands should be pronated or facing down when on a grip. Now, lower the bar by slowly moving the butt backward as far as you can reach. Then, return to starting position by driving forward the hips to stand up tall and straight again. Repetition: 6 to 8. Try increasing the weights as you progress.

5. Eccentric Glute-Hamstring Raises
Some runners tend to decelerate their lower leg to stop it from extending. By engaging in eccentric glute-hamstring raises, this helps improve its strength. Though many prefer using an immovable bar, having a partner can also be more fun.

How-To. Assume proper kneeling position with the back straight and looking tall. Have your partner hold your ankles for stability. Lean forward with the torso and things moving in unison slowly lowering your body to the floor. Focus on contraction of the hamstrings as you control your bodyweight. Catch yourself using both hands, falm-pacing the floor. Push yourself lightly as you lift yourself back up in a vertical position still using your hamstrings and underlying momentum. Repetitions: 6 then, gradually increasing as you progress.

Without a doubt, exercising those hamstrings can be hard at first. These hamstring exercises for runners can be mixed and matched according to your training needs. Try to choose 3 exercises from the list. Do at least 3 sets with 18 to 20 repetitions. To ensure running stability, however, consider adding quadriceps training to fully enjoy a balanced injury-free running form.

5 Upper Body Workout For Runners

Without a doubt you must have memorized by now the importance of developing your gams for that great run. Your quads and your calves are the very muscle group which you believe will propel you to that yellow line. Yes, those strong legs must be built to withstand the long haul ahead. But do you know that upper body workout for runners are specifically designed to also perk up you running?

The arms may sound like an off topic when it comes to running form. However, science will tell you that the simple swinging back-and-forth of those upper limbs can actually affect your running cadence and pace as well as energy source. To help you in the quest of keeping the best full-body running form, here are upper body workout exercises intended for runners.

1. Renegade Row

One of the most common upper body workout for runners is the renegade row. This variation in push-up exercise combines the usual chest staple with rowing movement. This helps to engage the core and build strength to a runner’s upper back.

You will need two light dumbbells to do this exercise. The key is to use one arm at a time while allowing the midsection to work overtime by preventing excessive motion. Simply place a dumbbell on each hand and place them shoulder’s apart on the floor. Assume push up position with your feet and upper torso run parallel to the ground. Keep one hand on the ground as you pull the other dumbbell up via a smooth rowing motion. Here, the shoulder blades are squeezed while the other hand take hold of the ground to prevent the torso from rotating excessively.

2. Lunge Stance Single Arm Shoulder Press

Your legs and arms do contralateral motion when running. This means your right arm and leg (or vice-versa) move forward when you run. You need an exercise that will help develop motion reversal while improving the body’s flexibility. Additionally, a lunge also helps strengthening the hips to ensure a firmer foundation on every footfall when running.

To do this, simply grab a dumbbell and place it on your right hand. Hold it at shoulder height with a neutral grip. Stand in a lunge position (or simply standing position, whichever you prefer) with the right foot on forward position. As you exhale, simply press the dumbbell overhead while you keep the midsection tight. This helps to avoid putting too much pressure on the lower back.

3. Anti-Rotation Press

Pelvic stability is essential when it comes to maintaining a topnotch running form. As you run, the pelvis rotates either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Two of the most common injuries in running are due to overstriding and misalignment. This is where the anti-rotation press is required. This helps prevent unnecessary twisting motion while building static core strength. With less wasted rotation, you can amp your performance sans the injuries while pounding the pavement.

To do this, stand next to a cable machine while holding a tight grip on its handle attachment just right at the area of the breastbone. Stand with your feet wide apart and face forward with the cable at your right side. Grab it with two hands and try to extend the arms in front of you. While doing so, pull your stomach in and maintain a tall posture. Try to hold for at least 20 seconds then, repeat on the other side.

4. Chest Press

Improve your running efficiency by doing traditional chest press. Though it may often escape runner’s attention, the swinging motion of the shoulders and strong arm pumping helps one to run faster and with minimal efforts.

To do this, simply lie down on a flat surface, preferably a bench, with a dumbbell on each hand. Place feet on the air with the knees pulled at a 90-degree angle. Raise each dumbbell above the chest as you exhale. Slowly let the weights touch each other. Slowly spread the weights apart as you inhale. Perform for at least 15 repetitions.

5. Single Arm Bodyweight Row

Do not limit your running due to shoulder posture problems. By doing pulling exercises such as the single arm bodyweight row, you can even out the chest and maintain square posture on the core and upper body.

Simply set a bar or TRX on the breastbone height. Grab its handle with a single hand via neutral grip. March forward in such a way that your body will come almost parallel to the ground when you pull your shoulder back. Maintain a straight line when doing so and even when pulling the chest back to the bar. Repeat at least 15 times on both sides.

warm-up-with-5 to-10 minutes
The movement of your arms complements your running cadence. With every foot strike and fall, your arms are doing critical muscle control to allow the body to run as fast and as efficiently as possible. To ensure this, consider performing this upper body workout for runners two to three times per week. Do warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio prior to the workout and then, cool down with some 5 to 10 minutes of stretching thereafter. When choosing dumbbells, go for ones that are heavy enough to make you feel a burning sensation during repetitions. Most importantly, don’t forget to put focus on your breathing and good form.