Waist Wallet vs. Neck Wallet: What’s Best for International Travel?

Waist Wallet vs. Neck Wallet: What’s Best for International Travel?

Deciding Between a Waist Wallet vs. Neck Wallet for International Travel

As more nations reopen their borders, travelers are once again taking to the skies in search of adventure. Because of the pandemic, many aspects of travel have changed — some countries require vaccination or testing records, and many have special entry forms. But one thing remains the same — the need to keep all of your travel documents safe and secure, whether you’re darting through the airport or hiking at Machu Picchu. Which type of compartment is best for your next trip abroad — a waist wallet or a neck wallet? Let us help you decide. 

Waist Wallet vs. Neck Wallet: Pros and Cons 

First and foremost, you should research the quality and construction of the wallet. Good-quality materials are important because you’ll likely wear them for the entire day, both moving and sitting, so you’ll need a wallet that’s comfortable and robust. A wallet with moisture-resistant material will protect your documents, phone, and other sensitive items from weather and sweat. Something bounce-proof will increase comfort and security. A stylish design that you enjoy wearing certainly won’t hurt, either. Both types of wallets can work in this regard, so what’s the difference?

Waist Wallet Pros

  • Discrete
  • Secure
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile

A waist belt travel wallet is essentially a pouch attached to an adjustable strap that you secure around your waist. Several styles offer additional pockets and compartments to allow space for a phone, passport, money, and more. Sports belts, with their water-resistant materials and sleek design, have become increasingly popular for travel.

Benefits of Waist Wallets 

  • When worn under clothing, a waist wallet can be discrete, discouraging theft. 
  • A belt is secure against the body, which also helps protect against pickpockets.
  • Because it’s worn around your waist, a belt is comfortable for prolonged use.
  • Fitletic offers several styles and sizes to fit your needs, and are large enough to carry essentials such as a passport, wallet, and phone 
  • Add-ons are available to increase capacity for water bottles, hand sanitizer, snacks, and more.

Things to Keep in Mind Wearing Waist Wallets Internationally

  • When worn over clothing, a waist wallet may give off a signal that you’re a tourist. However, reflective striping will increase your personal safety when walking through a city at night.
  • Accessing a waist wallet under your clothing can be difficult. 

Neck Wallet Pros

  • Can be worn like a necklace
  • Larger than a waist wallet in most cases

A neck travel wallet is a pouch that hangs loosely from a strap or chain around your neck. Some styles may offer pockets for specific items such as a passport or phone. These types of wallets also have their benefits and drawbacks. 

Benefits of Neck Wallets 

  • Can be discreetly worn under clothing. 
  • Easier to access than a waist wallet if worn like a necklace. 
  • Typically has a larger pouch than a waist wallet. 

Things to Keep in Mind Wearing Neck Wallets Internationally

  • The larger pouch often means it is heavier than a waist wallet, which can pull against your neck and become uncomfortable.
  • Wearing it across your shoulders improves security but makes it more difficult to access, especially when worn under clothing. 
  • Storing more items in a neck wallet can make it bulky, causing bunching and often becoming uncomfortable. 
  • When worn like a necklace, a neck wallet is susceptible to theft.

Find the Perfect Fitletic Wallet for Your Trip

For your next international trip, Fitletic offers sleek and stylish waist wallet options that are sure to work with your travel wardrobe. Fitletic also offers larger daypacks for a fun, sporty style with more storage capacity when traveling. 

Essential Running Gear for Beginners

Essential Running Gear for Beginners

“Running is one of the simplest sports in the world. All you need is a pair of shoes!”

While this is technically true, the right gear can make the world of a difference to run comfortably and efficiently. Here are seven pieces of essential running gear for beginners:

Essential Running Gear for Beginners: Fitletic’s Top Picks

  • Hydration solutions 
  • The right kind of running shoes 
  • High quality running socks 
  • Shirt 
  • Shorts or leggings 
  • Supportive undergarments
  • Jacket 

Hydration

Staying hydrated plays a crucial role in performance and comfort when running. Your hydration needs will vary depending on how long you plan on running. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • Volume. Short runs rarely need more than 16-ounces of fluid, making the Hydra Pocket Hydration Band an excellent option for short to medium-length runs. It has an adjustable strap to ensure a good fit and a quick-flow cap for easy drinking.  
  • Customization. Fitletic makes it easy to bring as much or as little water as you need on your runs. With the Extra Mile Holster Add-On, you can bring more water when you need it, or leave it at home if you don’t plan to run very far! 
  • Essentials. Carrying ID, a key, gels, and even a phone is vital in today’s world. Choosing a hydration belt, such as the Hydra 12 Hydration Belt, lets you have everything you need in a way that is both comfortable and stylish. 

Running Shoes

Running shoes protect your feet and joints with each strike on the path. While all running shoes are meant to do the same thing, the same shoe that is perfect for one person, might not be the best for another. 

With so many determining factors, how can you choose the right shoe for your needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Type of Shoe. Where you run will determine which type of shoe you need. Trail running requires a shoe structured for the rugged terrain, whereas a lighter shoe can improve performance on the treadmill or road.
  • Your Gait. Although finding your gait (a manner of walking, stepping, or running) can be daunting, this guide helps you understand pronation and which type of shoe will work best for your unique gait.
  • Do Your Research. Running technology is continuously evolving. Sites such as Runners World and Sole Review provide valuable insight and reviews of the latest running shoes for beginners.
  • Shop In-Person. When it comes to running shoes, it’s all about the fit. Buying running shoes in person gives insight from knowledgeable sales staff who can help you find the right shoe and ensure you get the proper fit.  

Breathable Socks

Socks are easy to take for granted, but the reality is that runners put a lot of pressure on their feet. These tips will help new runners find their favorite type of running sock: 

  • Right Material. Most socks are cotton, which absorbs sweat and moisture – a recipe for blisters. Instead, look for socks made of polyester or nylon, both of which are breathable and help wick the sweat away. 
  • Ideal Features. Look for socks that have extra cushioning at the ball, toe, and heel. You may also want to opt for compression socks, seamless construction, or arch support. 
  • Quality. The pressure running puts on socks can cause them to wear them out quickly. High-quality socks will cost more than what you’ll find in a drugstore, but they are more comfortable, last longer, and are worth it in the long run.  

Check out some reviews of the top running socks at Gear Junkie, Wired, and Business Insider.

Comfortable Shirt for Running 

Wearing the wrong shirt can cause unexpected problems like chafing and discomfort. When shopping for the ideal running shirt, look for the following: 

  • Wicking Material. Opt for a shirt that is breathable by avoiding fabrics that hold moisture. This means staying away from cotton and choosing fabrics such as nylon, polyester, bamboo rayon, and merino wool. 
  • Construction. Fitted designs and compression shirts are less likely to cause chafing, plus they help provide support to your core and can improve blood flow without using extra energy.
  • Smooth Seams. Raised seams also cause chafing. Look for shirts with flat seam construction that are less likely to irritate the skin.
  • Reflective Features. Reflective gear features let drivers see you and keep you safer when running in the early morning or evening

Runners World, Running Warehouse, and Road Runner Sports all have reviews of the best running shirts on the market. 

Shorts and Tights

The wrong pair of running shorts can cause several problems and even delay your training. Here’s what you need to know about finding the best shorts for your next run: 

  • Proper Fit. Wearing shorts or tights designed for runners goes a long way toward maintaining your comfort while running. Bottoms that are too large or bunch up will ride up, cause chafing, and wreak havoc on your thighs and groin area.
  • Design. Look for features that will give you the performance you want. Some shorts have built-in liners to prevent bunching, while compression tights can help increase blood flow and help prevent injury.
  • Fabric. Stick with a blend of wicking materials like polyester, elastane, spandex, and nylon. The higher the percentage of nylon, the faster moisture will wick.  

Check out the recommendations from Runners World and Men’s Health.

Undergarments for Runners

The importance of high-quality undergarments for runners can not be overstated. Traditional undergarments are not designed for higher impact activities, so it’s important to choose a sports bra or underwear that fits well, keeps you dry, and reduces chafing. 

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend opting for breathable, wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon instead of cotton. Consider these additional tips when choosing the best undergarments for a beginning runner:

Sports Bras

  • Compression and Encapsulation. Since the “right” sports bra may vary from person to person, it may take a few “test runs” to figure out what works best for you. Many beginning runners find sports bras with individual cups that keep the breasts close to the chest are the most comfortable.  
  • Straps. Racerback straps will typically provide the most support for higher impact activities, like running. Many beginning runners discover that they prefer a sports bra with adjustable straps to get the right tightness without digging into your shoulders. 

Sports Underwear 

  • Moisture wicking fabric. We’ve already mentioned that cotton is generally a poor choice for runner’s underwear – but we want to say it again. A wicking fabric is a superior choice as it draws moisture from the skin, and helps to keep sensitive areas dryer and healthier. 
  • Stretchy materials. Stretchy materials stay in place. The last thing a beginning runner needs is their underwear bunching up and causing irritation. 

Running Jacket

Running outside means you’ll have to deal with the elements at some point. Having the right can keep you comfortable even in any weather. Features to look for in a running jacket include:

  • Waterproofing. Stay dry in the rain by choosing a jacket with a water-resistant coating. Some have more than others making them more suitable for heavy rain while still being breathable, so decide based on the weather you anticipate.
  • Insulation. Running jackets come with either down or synthetic fiber insulation. The level of insulation will vary depending on the temps in which you are running. Just remember that you’ll get warmer as you run, so choose according to your preference.
  • Vents. Jackets with mesh ventilation or zipped areas in the armpits can help improve the jacket’s overall breathability, reducing the chances of chafing. 

Here are Runners World’s and Wired Runner’s recommendations on which running jacket you need.

Find essential running gear for beginners at Fitletic

Ultimately, you want to make sure all of your running gear fits appropriately and is designed for comfort and performance. Fitletic has everything you need when it comes to running belts, hydration belts, armbands, and other running accessories to make your run as enjoyable as possible. Check out which Fitletic belts runners love today! 

In the Spirit of Freedom

In the Spirit of Freedom

We are proudly headquartered in the United States and have been designing and shipping our gear from Miami, FL since we started in 2008. Like many small businesses in the US, Fitletic started in our home: our first warehouse and office in our bedroom, until we eventually upgraded to our garage (and then an actual real warehouse and offices!).  

Before entering running stores or e-commerce, we’d take booths at marathon expos. At the time, we just had one product: the Mini Sport Belt. Meeting runners at the expos, it was amazing to see how many people had the exact same problem we did: they couldn’t find a comfortable way to run with their phone, keys and other essentials.  

       
From a simple table set up, to displays that really showcased our growing product line

The reaction to our small (but mighty!) Mini Sport Belt was amazing, and soon we started getting suggestions from fellow runners for other products and features they needed. Over time, we expanded our line, developing best sellers like the Hydra 16 hydration belt and the Blitz sports and travel belt 

   
Our Hydra16 belt, then vs. now

Without you, we could not continue to innovate new products today. The US running community gave us the platform to learn, create and grow, eventually taking us overseas to South America, Europe, and throughout Asia. It continues to be our pleasure to develop solutions for anyone leading a fit, active lifestyle in the US and beyond.  

Thank you for giving us the freedom to continue creating and innovating gear that allows anyone to be active, comfortably. We hope that this Independence Day, you celebrate the freedoms you have in life and the people that support them. Have a safe and fun holiday weekend, America! 

Love, 

The Fitletic Family 

 

 

Trail Running Hydration Pack vs. Running Belt

Trail Running Hydration Pack vs. Running Belt

Summer is the season to soak up sunshine and scenery by hitting the trails. But along with adventure, trail running also brings different challenges and variables you’ll need to consider. For example, what gear will you need? Should you carry a hydration pack or running belt? Here are five important questions to ask yourself when planning your run.

Hydration Pack vs. Running Belt: Things to Consider 

  • Length of your trail run 
  • The weather 
  • Your energy and hydration needs 
  • Additional items like keys, wallet, or phone 
  • Goals for your trail run 

How long will your run take?

Road running is usually a matter of simple math. You multiply your goal pace and distance to determine the length of your run. Trail running, on the other hand, has more variables. Hills and obstacles such as roots or mud can make it challenging to keep a steady pace. If you’ve never traveled the trail or don’t know what you’ll encounter, a good rule of thumb is to multiply your typical road-running pace by 1.5. Often you’ll be moving faster than this, but adding a cushion of extra time is important for preparedness. 

What is the weather forecast?

The amount of gear and water you need to carry will depend on the length of your run and weather conditions. Is there a chance of rain? You should plan on taking a rain jacket and gloves to ward off the potential for hypothermia. Will it be hot? You’ll want to carry at least a bit more water than you think you’ll need. Will you be running into the evening? Even if you don’t think it will become dark during your run, carry a headlamp just in case. Trails are often more remote with fewer amenities than roads and pedestrian paths. It’s important to factor in safety contingencies in the event of an unforeseen incident such as injury or a sudden change in the weather.

What are your hydration and energy needs?

This of course, will depend heavily on individual preferences and weather. Usually, it’s better to carry some extra weight than it is to become dehydrated or bonked during a run. In general, plan for 12-16 ounces of fluid per hour in mild temperatures and more if it’s hot. Most people perform best with about 150-200 calories per hour of snacks, gels, or energy drink powder. Energy needs will increase on especially strenuous trails or in cold weather. But if you are out for fewer than 45 minutes, most runners do not require extra calories.

What other items will you need?

You may want to carry medications such as painkillers, inhalers, electrolyte tablets, or allergy medicine. Bug repellent, sunscreen, and lip balm can also be useful.

What are your goals?

Runners aiming for a personal best or training specifically for a race will be motivated to streamline their pack or belt and carry only the bare necessities. If you’re heading out for a more relaxed run, a larger pack will allow you a few more comfort items to boost enjoyment and security during your adventure. So, now that you’ve determined the supplies you’ll need on your run, which hydration belt or pack will best meet your needs?

Running Belt or Hydration Pack: What’s Best for My Run?  

Running Belts for Trail Runs 

For trail runs of 90 minutes or less, the Fully Loaded and Hydra hydration belts will accommodate 12-16 ounces of water and a few emergency essentials such as phones, gels or credit cards. You can increase your water-carrying capacity without a pack by combining an Ultimate II Running Pouch with hand-held water-bottle holders such as the Hydrapalm Bottle Hand Holder. Include a smart case to protect your phone or an arm band to use your phone to listen to tunes.

Hydration packs for Trail Runs 

The Journey Backpack is a versatile pack for longer trail runs and even all-day hikes in mild conditions. Its ergonomic design supports 11 liters of carrying capacity, including a 2-liter hydration bladder, along with convenient organizing pockets, two waist belt pouches, a safety whistle and LED light loop.

Getting the Most out of a Fitletic Running Belt or Hydration Pack 

Whichever you choose, here are some tips for gaining the optimal amount of comfort and security from your Fitletic hydration pack or running belt:

  • Try out your pack or belt to make sure it fits correctly.
  • Build up the added weight in increments if you can.
  • Use lube on possible pressure points to prevent chafing.
  • Make an organization strategy for the various compartments so you can access everything quickly and easily, even when you are tired.
  • Empty your pack after each run. We’ve all had that one ancient gel that we carried without using for weeks. It’s also easy to forget an important item that you presumed was in your pack.

Happy trails! 

How to Prepare for Running Your First 5K Race

How to Prepare for Running Your First 5K Race

For many runners, setting a goal is the best way to motivate and thrive in training. Finishing a race is a fantastic goal for any runner, and 5Ks are the most accessible place to start. The 3.1-mile events aren’t as long as a half-marathon and don’t require an excessive amount of training to get ready. The popular distance is the most common type of race offered in the United States, so it’s not difficult to find a race that works best for you. A 5K also is a fun way to run with a group of friends, set a personal goal, or compete for shirts, medals, and other swag. Here are five ways to have the best experience possible at your first 5K.

How to Prepare for Running Your First 5K Race

  • Make a practical training plan for running your first race
  • Choose the right race for your ability
  • Get the right running gear
  • Stay positive
  • Enjoy race day!

1. Make a training plan.

Whether you’re a “couch to 5K” novice or a recreational runner preparing for your first race, the exact amount of training you’ll need will depend on your personal fitness level. Most new runners will need at least six to eight weeks to build the endurance necessary to finish a 5K. A quick online search will produce a number of training plans, adaptable to any schedule. Your plan should include a mix of running, cross-training, and rest days.

 For example, plan to run three to four days each week, and include one longer run. For off days, dedicate one to two days per week for cross-training. Effective cross-training exercises include strength training, swimming, walking, or cycling. Be sure to schedule one to two recovery days. If you’re a brand new runner, you’ll likely want to incorporate interval training while building endurance. For example, try running for eight minutes and walking for two, then repeat three times. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend running every week.

2. Choose the right race.

There are so many 5K events to choose from, and it can be difficult to decide which one to run. It’s important to consider your personal priorities. Are you a fan of crowds? If not, look for a smaller local race. Do you want to travel? Races at theme parks and other popular destinations usually sell out, so make sure to sign up for a race first and then plan your trip. Are you looking to have a good time more than push for a personal best? For that, you may enjoy quirky events that incorporate fun elements such as colorful foam, mud, or chasing zombies. Do you want to run with your training group? You’ll need to coordinate location and timing to make sure everyone can participate. Do you want to pursue a challenge without all of the logistics? If so, a virtual race may fit your needs.

3. Get the right running gear.

You don’t need a lot of specialized equipment to start running, but that doesn’t mean that gear isn’t important. Here are a few items to consider:

  • Buy a good pair of shoes that are specifically designed for running. Running in worn-out shoes or non-running sneakers can lead to injuries. Expensive shoes aren’t required, but it’s worth taking the time to research and making an investment in shoes that work for you.
  • Clothing is equally specific to the individual, but the wrong wardrobe can also ruin your day. Some runners prefer a T-shirt and sweatpants, but cotton material can soak up sweat and cause chafing. Clothing made of wicking material, such as performance T-shirts and shorts, will help move sweat away from your skin and keep you cooler. Runners who have breasts will need a good sports bra to minimize bounce and reduce discomfort. It’s also important to find a fitted pair of socks made from wicking material to help prevent blisters.
  • Make sure to bring water. It’s vital to hydrate as you go; don’t wait until you get home, as dehydration reduces performance and prolongs recovery. The right hydration belt can help you carry enough water without becoming bogged down with too much weight. A running belt provides a comfortable container for your essentials so you don’t have to lug a heavy backpack.
  • Bring some tunes. Music, audiobooks, or podcasts are excellent sources of motivation. Choose a good pair of wireless headphones, and be sure the volume is low enough to remain aware of your surroundings while wearing them.

4. Keep a positive attitude.

The quickest way to unravel your progress is to commit to an unrealistic or unhealthy training schedule.

  • When starting, make a realistic assessment of your fitness level and adapt your training from that starting point.
  • Training takes time; increasing speed or distance too quickly will result in injury or burnout. If you feel pain, dizziness, or nausea during training, immediately stop and take a break. If the pain persists, take a rest day.
  • Focus on your breathing by using the Rated Perceived Exertion scale. If you can’t maintain a level 3 or 4 while running, slow down. As your body becomes stronger, you’ll naturally increase your speed.
  • Setbacks are almost inevitable. This doesn’t mean you failed. When you have a less-than-great training session, acknowledge what went wrong, then remind yourself it’s part of the learning process. It’s okay to feel frustrated, but don’t let these feelings overpower your training. Start your next run with a clean slate.

5. Enjoy race day.

  • You may want to set a personal goal. It’s important to keep your goal challenging but realistic. Just finishing a race is a worthy accomplishment. You can also commit to finishing the race without walking or try to set a consistent pace without slowing in the second half.
  • Eat wisely. The week before the race, stick to a balanced diet of lean protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Don’t try new foods close to race day, as this may upset your digestive system.
  • There’s no need to “carbo-load.” Filling up on pasta helps store energy for longer races such as marathons. For shorter races, too many carbohydrates are likely to leave you feeling bogged down.
  • Remember to warm up before the race.
  • Don’t sprint out of the gate. For the first mile, run about 5-10 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace. For the second, boost yourself to goal pace. During the final mile — and only the final mile — aim to run faster than your goal pace, or at least try to stay at the same speed.
  • Don’t stress out. This is supposed to be fun!

 

Proper preparation will set you up for a fantastic first 5K. It’s a fun and accessible challenge that can serve as an excellent springboard to a rewarding running career. The right gear will help maximize comfort and performance for every training session and race day. Now get started! 

How COVID Has Changed Everything – Including the Way We Run

How COVID Has Changed Everything – Including the Way We Run

Just over a year ago, runners’ lives (and the lives of everybody else) were thrown into disarray when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world. Businesses closed, gyms shuttered, and social distancing mandates forced most runners to adjust their routines. One year later, life is slowly returning to normal. But most of us still live with the repercussions of the pandemic.

How COVID Has Changed the Way We Run

While some of these changes will disappear as states ease restrictions and gyms reopen, others may stick around for a long time. Here’s a look at how the pandemic has changed the way we run:

  • Running has become a solo activity
  • Cross-training is more complex
  • Running with masks is commonplace
  • We stopped officially racing during COVID
  • Gyms closed, and everyone started running

Running became a solo activity.

Before the pandemic, many of us joined group runs or teamed up with friends to boost motivation. Then social distancing mandates complicated gatherings. Even those who felt comfortable running with other people still had to cope with six-foot distance requirements, limits on group size, and making space for others on narrow trails. While many runners enjoy solitude, these mandates were more challenging for those who thrive on support and encouragement. Fortunately, online fitness communities offer camaraderie and help boost motivation.

Cross-training became more complicated.

For avid runners, cross-training is a crucial part of staying in top shape. Weight-lifting, swimming, and yoga are some of the best forms of cross-training, but many require a gym membership or access to classes and expensive equipment. When gyms closed, runners needed to find new options. Fortunately, anyone can search online and find a plethora of yoga, barre, and pilates classes. Some runners turned to at-home training with smart equipment. Many lifestyle activities also engage the right muscles: walking the dog, playing with kids, gardening, and home improvement. Some have found they prefer these activities and may choose not to renew their gym memberships.

We started wearing masks.

Most states added mandates that required people to wear a mask outdoors whenever they couldn’t maintain 6 feet of distance from others. For runners on crowded city streets and trails, this meant wearing a mask much of the time, which brought new challenges:

  • A feeling of restricted breathing and reduced airflow.
  • Managing condensation.
  • Skin irritation and acne.
  • Feeling overheated and sweating more profusely.

It’s safe to say nobody enjoys wearing a mask, but some people feel safer knowing others are wearing them. As mandates remain in place, it’s courteous to keep a mask or buff on hand, even on mountain trails and other areas with fewer people. But as transmission rates drop and state restrictions end, most runners will likely be grateful to leave their masks at home.

Races were canceled.

For many runners, the loss of races had a devastating emotional impact. Throughout 2020, spring, summer, and fall events were slashed from the calendar. Many runners felt lost without a goal to focus their training and reward their hard work. The pandemic was even harder on race organizers, who faced financial hardships and drawn-out uncertainties. Both runners and organizers were able to fill some of the gaps with “go at your own pace” virtual races. Still, many people found it difficult to perform at their highest level without the camaraderie and support of an in-person event. Now, as restrictions ease, in-person races are slowly returning. Runners must still navigate their own comfort levels with groups and traveling. It may be years before racing returns to pre-pandemic levels. But there is hope on the horizon as fall races open for registration. And the boom of virtual racing provides another avenue for novice runners who may feel that traditional races are intimidating, unwelcoming, or uncomfortable.

Running became more popular.

Studies have shown that more people started working out during the pandemic as non-exercisers committed to healthier lifestyles. When office employees started working remotely, reduced commute times and more flexible schedules gave occasional runners more time to train. And as gyms closed, some fitness buffs took up running for the first time. Fewer social commitments gave avid runners more time and energy to focus on training. Running remains one of the most accessible physical activities because it doesn’t require special equipment or skills. All you need are a good pair of shoes. There are even free apps for virtual group runs and training plans to guide runners on their chosen path.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone, but runners persevered. We had to find new ways to cross-train. Coped with running while wearing a mask. Trained alone and competed in virtual races. Fortunately, this difficult period also brought more people to the sport. The community as a whole will see ongoing benefits from this influx of new runners.

Whether you are an experienced runner who took your running to a new level, or someone who started running during the pandemic, the right running gear can help you maximize your performance. 

How to Start Running with Your Dog

How to Start Running with Your Dog

With gyms closed and social distancing still in place, running is a great way to get your exercise in and enjoy the outdoors. You and your dog have probably gotten much closer during this time, though, and it’s hard to leave Fido behind! So why not start running with your dog? Dogs make the ultimate running partners because they love the outdoors and need exercise, too. If your furry companion is still a puppy or has never been on a run, learn how to start running with your dog with these tips. 

How to Start Running with Your Dog

  • Check to see your dog is a candidate to be a good running partner
  • Walk before you run – practice on  leash first
  • Start slowly
  • Take hydration and weather into consideration on running days
  • Always warm up and cool down

Check your dog’s breed, age, and health

Not all dogs are genetically equipped with the ability to run long distances — and some not much at all. Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, like shih tzus, Frenchies, bulldogs, and pugs are not able to run long distances. Even though Greyhounds appear to be fit, they are only suited for sprinting.  

A dog also must be physically mature enough to take up running. A puppy’s bones will not be developed enough to sustain running and are more susceptible to injury. Wait until your dog is between 18 months and two years old before attempting to hit the pavement with them.

Also, check with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy enough to begin running. Your vet will be the best resource to inform you on your pooch’s health.

Practice loose-leash walking first

Just like you need to learn how to start running with your dog, your dog also needs to start learning to run with you. To become a successful running duo, make sure your dog knows to stay by your side. Your dog needs to be able to walk to heel before they start running with you.

If your companion sprints after neat distractions like sticks and squirrels, it will make running together difficult and potentially dangerous. Scraped hands and knees are just a few minor injuries that could occur if a leashed dog takes off with you in tow.

To ensure both your safety, a dog’s nose should be parallel with your knees while walking or running. This can best be accomplished with a leash that is four to six feet long. You should also pick a side of your body for your dog to be on – right or left, it doesn’t matter – and stick with it. Reward your dog with treats on the side of your body that you choose.

After some time, start incorporating verbal cues. “Let’s go” lets your dog know it is time to start moving, and a “hold up” can help them know to stop at intersections or when it’s time for a water break. Rewards reinforce these cues as your dog is learning.

Start off slowly

You wouldn’t want to wake up one morning to the news that you must run a marathon that day. The same goes for your dog. He or she needs time to build up to running long distances. Remember, you are not breaking any records while running with your dog.

Once your dog has mastered sticking by your side during a walk, you can begin to incorporate some slow jogging. After a good warm-up of walking, use a verbal cue to pick up the pace to a slow jog. Only jog for about 10 minutes. After a week or so, your dog will be ready to add more time to the jogging portion of your walks.

Gradually, you and your dog will add more time and speed to your jogs. During this time, you will also learn each other’s rhythms and become accustomed with one another as running partners. After several weeks, your dog should be ready for some longer distances.

Hydration and weather

Dogs do not sweat, so hydration is key to ensuring your dog’s safety during runs. Carry water in a hydration belt and take periodic breaks. Your pooch will appreciate you for quenching their thirst (and for the break, too).

Rain, snow, and extreme heat likely do not deter you from running, if you are dedicated to your craft. However, dogs cannot run in extreme weather conditions. Pay attention to how your dog is acting. If they seem exhausted from the heat, then they likely are. Also keep in mind where you run, as icy trails or scorching asphalt can injure your puppy’s paws severely. 

The warm-up and cool-down

Even if your dog is able to run long distances with you, you still need to take care of your dog’s body. A warm-up and cool-down of several minutes are essential to make sure your dog does not stress joints and muscles. You can achieve this by playing for a few minutes before a run, going for a slower run before picking up speed, and slowing down to a walk as you get close to home.

After each run, your dog will be thirsty and hungry. Make sure your dog gets enough time to settle down after a run before eating or drinking a ton. This can cause stomach problems in certain breeds, and can lead to vomiting in many.

It is also important to check your dog’s paw pads after each run. Your dog may get scrapes and cuts on their pads, and those will need time to heal.  

How to start running with your dog and stay hydrated

Now that you know how to start running with your dog, you’re ready to hit the pavement! The big thing to remember – stay hydrated! Don’t forget to take breaks to use the bathroom (bring doggy bags!) and to drink. 

The Fitletic Journey Backpack Hydration System holds two liters of water, perfect for carrying enough water for you and your pooch. You can also explore Fitletic’s line of running gear, designed to keep you and your furry friend running safely, with everything you need.

 

 

How to Get Out of a Running Rut

How to Get Out of a Running Rut

Falling into a running rut can be extremely frustrating for athletes. Losing interest in something you love that also makes you feel good isn’t fun for anyone. But how do you get out of a running rut and start feeling like yourself again? We’re sharing our best tips to reignite your motivation and get you moving again.

How to Get Out of a Running Rut

  • Explore why you’re in a running rut
  • Run a different route than normal
  • Run without your watch
  • Take a short break from running
  • Run with your kids
  • Save your favorite podcast or music only for running
  • Run to a destination
  • Treat yourself to new running gear

Why you might be in a running rut

First things first, it’s important to remember that getting into a running rut is completely normal. After all, we’re only human, and sometimes things are happening around us beyond our control. As a result, they can have a significant impact on our day-to-day habits and routines.

One of the most common reasons? Winter. It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s icy, and it’s less than ideal conditions to run in. If the winter weather has contributed to your running rut, you’re certainly not alone.

Another reason many runners have fallen into a rut lately has to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The contagious virus — along with state and local restrictions — has made it hard to do, well, anything. And if you were used to working out at the gym or with a running buddy, it’s hard to have that taken away all of a sudden. Finally, many races and marathons have been canceled to combat the spread of COVID, so if you were training for a 5K or marathon, it’s hard to stay motivated if that goal is no longer there.

Run somewhere else 

Running the same route every day can start to feel mundane, prompting you to lose interest. Try choosing a different place to run — like a neighborhood, running trail, or park you haven’t explored before. Changing up your scenery can help make running feel new and exciting again and introduce some new challenges along the way!

Leave your watch at home 

But don’t I need a watch to track my timing and pacing? Not always! Oftentimes, we fall into a running rut because it feels more like a chore or a must-do instead of something you do for your health and wellness. Leaving your watch at home keeps you from watching the clock and counting down the seconds until you’re done. Instead, you can have a distraction-free run to help remind you why you do it in the first place and bring some enjoyment back to the sport.

Not convinced? You can still turn on your timer as you head out the door, and turn it off when you get home to see your run time.

Do something else 

Sometimes, the best thing we can do to get ourselves out of a running rut — or any rut — is to simply move our bodies. Try changing up your workout by hiking, biking, walking, dancing…anything but running. Mixing up your routine can add some excitement back into your workouts and be just enough to make you want to run again.

Run with your kids 

While you may not be able to run with your usual running buddy or training group, you can still run with those inside your immediate social circle — like your kids! Running can be a great activity for the entire family, and it’s another opportunity to spend some time together. And, depending on their age, your kids might have enough energy to wear you out!

Switch up your running routine 

One thing runners tend to forget is that not all runs have to be the same. If you’re used to running the same route at the same pace for the same distance every day, it’s only natural to feel like you’re in a rut. So, don’t be afraid to switch things up! Try going for faster, shorter runs, or longer, slower runs. Or, if you simply don’t feel like running, take a rest! Sometimes it’s what our bodies need most.

Save your favorite podcast just for runs 

Do you have a favorite podcast you listen to in the mornings or on your way to work? Try saving them for your runs! It will give you something to look forward to and help motivate you to get moving. You can also use certain apps for guided runs or motivation.

Start getting dressed for your run 

Sometimes the best motivation for doing something is to be like Nike and just do it. When you wake up in the morning, get dressed for your run! That way, you’re already halfway there. All you have to do now is head out the door.

Stop competing 

Forget about running times and beating your best time. Races are canceled anyway, so use this time to actually enjoy running. Just get out there and run because it makes you feel good — not because you have to.

Run to a destination

If you don’t want to run your usual route or check out a new trail, try running to a destination! Want a good cup of coffee? Need a few items from the grocery store? Want to order takeout for dinner? Run to a nearby shop or store, then walk back with your items! It’s a great way to get moving and reward yourself!

Bonus tip: Get some new running gear! 

Nothing is more motivating than testing out something new! Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a bold outfit, or a sleek running belt, sometimes you just need a little refresh of your running wardrobe. Sound like you? Explore all of our Fitletic running gear to snag some new accessories and finally get out of your running rut!

 

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