- This is a guest post by Erica Chapman -
SETBACKS HAPPEN. ALL THE MORE REASON FOR A COMEBACK!
Here’s a little-known law of the universe: even the most well-intentioned and disciplined runner is bound to hit an obstacle on the road to her running goals. Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes—an injury, boredom, a sudden move or change in your routine, or even that pesky little problem I like to call “winter.” Setbacks happen to the best of us, so don’t get down about them—use them as opportunities to change up your game! Even an injury can be a chance to bounce back stronger and more focused than before.
And of course, everyone knows the best way to jumpstart your motivation is a new addition to your workout wardrobe! To help bust me out of the winter treadmill blues, I injected some fresh new fashion into my routine in the form of new Nike LIVESTRONG Air Max+ shoes and Soffe Animal Print Run Shorts. Then I tested them out on a new kind of treadmill designed to give you a running experience unlike any you’ve ever had. Finally, some of the coolest running bloggers out there gave us their two cents on the best running fashion and how it can help you go the extra mile. If your routine is dragging, don’t despair! Whether you’re a first-timer or a marathoner, there’s always a way to get back on track (no pun intended).
TRADE IN LAST YEAR'S UNIFORM FOR SOMETHING FIERCE
It’s crazy but it’s true—nothing makes you want to hit the pavement more than a hot new piece of gear. I suited up with my new Nike Livestrong sneaks and Soffe Tiger Shorts (thanks to Charlie Sheen, Bengal is all the rage!) and headed to the gym with a spring in my step—literally. Even walking was like bouncing on a trampoline! The amount of cushioning in these shoes is incredible. But even better is the snug fit of the shoe; from the heel to the middle of my foot, it felt like I was wearing a big comfy sock, and I have a narrow foot so I laced it up tight. Towards the front of the shoe, things open up into a nice, roomy toe box with a mesh top. Let me tell you—you don’t realize how annoying it is to run in a shoe that mashes your toes into a sweaty mess until you run in this one and can literally feel the breeze on them. Add my awesome new lightweight running shorts that felt like I was wearing nothing and you have one comfy runner. Even on a treadmill, you couldn’t wipe the grin off this face! The Nike Livestrong Lunarhaze+ is another great option for women who prefer a flexible and lightweight run shoe (MizzFIT wears it).
THE ALTER-G HELPS YOU WORK THROUGH INJURY & RUN FASTER
Whether you’re coming back from an injury that requires rehab or you’re just looking to have one of the coolest running experiences around, the Alter-G treadmill is definitely worth a test drive. Once you zip your lower body into the airtight enclosure, you can adjust the pressurized environment so that you’re running at 70, 50, even 20% of your actual body weight. For injured runners getting back into their routine, the benefits are obvious—being able to work on your gait and your range of motion while not straining your joints with your full weight is invaluable, and can help speed your path to recovery and road running again.
But the Alter-G holds allure for the healthy runner as well. At Fusion Physical Therapy and Sports Wellness in Manhattan's Meatpacking district, I zipped into the Alter-G and quickly zoomed up to running 11.5 mph at 20% of my body weight! Ok, I’m no Usain Bolt, but that’s FAST. The speed allowed me to really open up my stride and work on my form, which I could sustain for much longer than a similar sprint, say, outdoors. And yes, running at 20% body weight is “easier” than a regular treadmill. But think of the benefits differently than you would a normal run: for instance, the next day I could really feel this workout in my core, since I was using my entire body to maintain the heightened pace. Also, the mental boost you get from the Alter-G can be just as important. If you’re gearing up to run your first marathon and you’re intimidated by the distance, hop on an Alter-G and do a 20-miler at 70% body weight. You’ll complete it feeling great, and knowing that you CAN finish those daunting long runs. Talk about jumpstarting your confidence again!
LISTEN TO THESE ROCKIN' RUNNING LADIES!
There are so many inspiring, fit ladies out there blogging about their running experiences, we thought it was time to ask them to weigh in on their favorite running gear. Danica of The Chic Runner, swears by her Lululemon crops as she trains for marathons:
They are made of a great material that isn't see-through when stretched, like a lot of capris are. I can't tell you how many women don't realize that their capris are see-through on race day. Not good. I also love the fit. They hug your body and make you feel awesome. I have recently started loving capris because they make me feel comfortable and allow me to enjoy running in the cooler weather.
I purchased all of the Sweaty Bands I own at various race expos. They sell them online, but I love finding the booths at the race expos and comparing all the different colors in person. I usually purchase the one that matches my running outfit for that race.
The bottom line when dealing with your own personal running setback is this: try to find something new and different to refresh your routine. New shoes, shorts, pants, headbands and even a new treadmill all work! Mix up your route, your playlist, or your companions. Whatever it takes to get you moving again, think outside the box and treat yourself! Your body will thank you.
ENTER MIZZFIT'S TIGRESS GIVEAWAY
Charlie Sheen has tiger's blood but does he have tiger passion? You could! Enter MizzFIT's Tigress Giveaway to win a pair of Soffe Tiger Print Run Shorts and start running again! No more excuses because you know you're capable of bouncing back. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below sharing an obstacle you face when it comes to running and how you plan on working through it. MizzFIT will pick 2 winners on April 6th 2011. Good luck!