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. 

10 Benefits of a Hydration Running Belt

10 Benefits of a Hydration Running Belt

Running is so much more than investing in a good pair of shoes. For most, it’s also about good running gear, good music, and — of course, a good hydration belt. But if you don’t think the latter is for you, we’re here to change your mind with our top reasons for investing in a hydration running belt.

10 Reasons You Need a Hydration Running Belt

  • Staying hydrated
  • Keeps you on track
  • Doesn’t get in the way
  • Rain resistant
  • Carry more things than water
  • Safe for the nighttime
  • Customizable

You can stay hydrated while you run

Okay, so this one is a bit obvious, but it’s worth overstating. If you don’t get enough (or any) hydration while you run, you’re more susceptible to dehydration and heat injuries. Runner’s World recommends drinking 5 to 12 oz. of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during a run. If you’re running for less than an hour, you’ll be fine drinking just water. But if you’re running for more than an hour, we suggest filling up one of your flasks with a sports drink to replenish your body with electrolytes lost through sweat.

It won’t slow you down

When you invest in a running hydration belt, you’ll no longer have to stop at water stands and waste precious seconds during a race. But that’s just the beginning. With a running hydration belt, your run won’t be disrupted by fumbling around for your water bottle. Our quick-draw holsters are designed for single-handed access. Not to mention, all of our BPA-free water bottles are easy to grip and come with a quick-flow cap to let you sip and run without worrying about water splashing all over you.

It doesn’t get in the way

The last thing any runner needs is their hydration belts and water bottles bouncing around. Not only is that incredibly distracting while you run, but it can also cause uncomfortable chafing. That’s why Fitletic puts extra time and detail into the design of our hydration belts for runners. Each has silicone grippers to eliminate bounce while you run, and they’re also designed with Dura-Comfort Technology to make sure they don’t ride up or chafe while you run. 

It’s water-resistant

Sweating is bound to happen during a run — there’s no doubt about that. But if you happen to also carry things like your phone, cash, or cards with you, that’s when sweating becomes a problem. At Fitletic, our running hydration belts are made with neoprene, a water-resistant fabric that helps protect your things from sweat and moisture (including light rain showers, because we know runners aren’t immune to the elements!). 

You can carry more than just water

If you want to run with your phone, the size of the pouch is crucial. An enlarged pouch is needed to hold any smartphone, especially larger phones like any iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Plus. If you carry other items like energy bars, gels, and inhalers, make sure the pouch is large enough to hold all of them. Pro tip: If you need a running hydrating belt that holds all of the above, check out our Fully Loaded Water and Gel Belt.

It’s safe for nighttime running

We understand that not everyone likes to run at night. That’s why our hydration belts are also made with reflective accents to keep you safe during nighttime running.

It’s customizable

For optimal comfort (and style, of course), all Fitletic hydration running belts come in different sizes so you can order the best fit for you. They also have adjustable straps to ensure it’s nice and snug during each run. As for additional flair? Lots of our belts come in several different color options, so you can find one that’s unique to you!

Stay hydrated with Fitletic hydration running belts

At Fitletic, we design all of our hydration belts with runners in mind. That’s because we know that choosing the right one is crucial for a successful run (or any outdoor activity for that matter). So, if you’re looking for a hydration belt that’s actually hydrating, hands-free, and worry-free, look no further than Fitletic running belts. Explore our entire line now!

How to Keep Fitness Goals in the New Year

How to Keep Fitness Goals in the New Year

Congrats on making it through another year! After a tough 2020, a lot of us are setting goals for “back to normal.” However, after a rocky start to 2021 – it might feel tempting to push those goals back for when things really feel back on track. Not surprisingly, one of the number one resolutions is exercising and/or losing weight. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to set and keep your fitness goals, use these tips to hit the ground running in 2021! 

How to Keep Fitness Goals in the New Year

  • Set specific goals
  • Keep goals positive
  • Break up goals into milestones
  • Set time limits
  • Find reasons for your goals
  • Have someone hold you accountable
  • Invest in your goals
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Do something!

Set specific, measurable goals 

When your goals are measurable, it’s much easier to track progress. If you want to get in shape – define what that means. If your goal is to lose weight, determine how much weight you want to lose. Once you’ve got the specifics down, it will be much easier to determine where you are in proximity to your goal. 

Below are some examples of a measurable goal compared to a vague goal.

  • Vague goal: Get more exercise in 2021 
  • Measurable goal: Complete a 5K by April 2021

Keep goals positive 

A positive mindset is crucial to accomplishing your goals. According to Psychology Today, it’s much easier to “focus on how good it feels to accomplish something rather than how difficult it is to get there.” Phrasing your goals in terms of things you’ll start doing, as opposed to what you’ll stop doing puts you in a better position to succeed.  

  • Positive goal: Run 15 miles a week 
  • Negative goal: Stop being lazy

Break large goals up into milestones 

Setting one challenging goal might simply feel overwhelming. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, actionable milestones makes the bigger picture feel achievable. Remember to celebrate your milestones as you hit them!

  • Overwhelming goal: Run a half marathon in 2021
  • Achievable milestones
    • Run a 5K by January 31 
    • Run a 10K by February 28 
    • Run 10 miles by March 31 
    • Run 13 miles by April 30

Set time limits for goal achievement 

Notice how the tip above included dates? Setting time limits is essential for goal achievement. When you have a schedule, it’s much easier to assess where you are in relation to your fitness goals.

Determine a reason for your goal 

Ask yourself why you’re setting this particular goal for yourself. If your goal is weight loss – why? Have you recently gained weight? Did your doctor advise you to lose weight? How will your life be better once the weight is gone? Remind yourself of the reason behind your goals when you face setbacks.

Find someone or something to hold you accountable 

Accountability is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your fitness goals. In pre-COVID days, accountability was as simple as signing up for a class or finding a workout buddy. These days accountability might be a bit trickier. If you have kids, ask them to help hold you accountable (and they will!). If you have to document your progress on social media, do that. Just make sure to share your goals with someone other than yourself.

Spend money  

If you’re the type of person who struggles to achieve goals, even after you shouted them from the rooftops, try and “trick” yourself by spending some money. Hire a personal trainer, buy some fitness equipment, or even invest in an online training program. No matter what you do, be sure to spend an amount of money that stings just a bit, so you feel it if you realize you’re not capitalizing on your investment. 

Eliminate distractions 

If you’re prone to distraction, get rid of it. If your kids like to “visit” during your online yoga practice, schedule your session when you know they’re busy. If you can’t resist checking your phone, turn it on airplane mode. If carrying your phone while jogging is a distraction, invest in a running belt to keep you hands-free! 

Just do SOMETHING

Promise yourself right now that you will not beat yourself up over setbacks. But do try and do something on those setback days – even if it’s just a walk around the block. This way, you can look back and think, “I may not have accomplished today’s goal, but at least I did something,” and then move on to tomorrow. 

Let Fitletic Help

Need some more fitness motivation in your life? Make sure to follow Fitletic on Facebook and Instagram!

The Wonderful Benefits of Juicing and What It Can Do For You

The Wonderful Benefits of Juicing and What It Can Do For You

Mac and cheese, cookies and warm milk, cheesy chili and so many more delicious comfort meals to keep us warm in the winter! Don’t get me wrong, if we want to indulge, winter is the perfect excuse to do it. We do have to keep in mind that when we do indulge, we don’t get all the nutrients we need to stay energized and healthy. We need fruits and vegetables to help fuel our body! Let’s take a look on what exactly juicing is.

Juicing is a process that involves extracting the nutritious juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants naturally present in the whole fruit or veggie.

Why and How to Start Juicing

  • You obtain nutrients quickly
  • It’s not used to ‘detox’ your body
  • Make sure to wash your fruit correctly

In general, many of us don’t obtain enough nutrients from our diets alone. This is one of the main reasons people juice; it is a great method to obtain a lot of nutrients quickly. So, what do these nutrients do exactly in our body? These nutrients can help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, valuable compounds called flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in many fruits and vegetables that help protect against oxidative cellular damage. This cellular damage can cause diabetes, inflammatory conditions, high blood pressure and more!

It is important to remember that too much of a good thing can also be an issue and juicing is no exception. Using it as a way to “detox” your body or doing a “juicing cleanse” can have harmful effects. Drinking only juice can lead to digestive problems due to a lack of fiber. Fruit and vegetable juice don’t carry enough fiber to help us properly digest. By including pulp in your juice, that can help you get more of that needed fiber.

Washing your fruits and vegetables is also key to preventing any adverse reactions. The CDC and FDA recommends rinsing your produce in cold water and even adding a little vinegar for additional protection. A study published in the “Journal of Food Protection” found that washing apples with vinegar and water reduced bacteria significantly than washing it just with water. Spray white vinegar on your produce and rinse!

For whatever reason you decide to start juicing, make sure that your overall goal is just to add good nutrients to your body to keep it healthy!

We are sharing here one of our favorite juice recipes and we hope you enjoy it. This juice is great to fight inflammation and help the digestive system.

The Early Riser Juice
INGREDIENTS
1 beet, peeled
2 carrots, roughly peeled
1 cup pineapple including the skin (YES… the skin)
1 lemon/lime
An inch of turmeric root

 

Hi-Vis Options for When the Clocks Go Back

Hi-Vis Options for When the Clocks Go Back

It’s official – the clocks are going back and winter is that little bit closer! With the time change comes darker evenings (you should expect sun set about 1 hour earlier than before), although for a time mornings will be lighter. Life – and your training – doesn’t stop though, so safety is as important as ever!

Hi-Vis Options for When the Clocks Go Back

  • Make sure you can see
  • Make sure you can be seen
  • Bring your phone
  • Stay warm
  • Stay hydrated
    (more…)
In Preparation: the 90-minute Hot Yoga Class

In Preparation: the 90-minute Hot Yoga Class

A 90-minute Hot Yoga class isn’t necessarily as effortless as it may seem — actually, it can be really tough! Proper preparation helps ensure that you’ll have the best possible experience in those challenging 90 minutes. But what does proper preparation really mean? Eliminating distractions with the right gear, getting in the right mindset, eating with enough time to digest….and oh yea, hydrating. We’re talking hydrating before, during, and after class. Did we mention hydrating?  In all seriousness, all of these factors play an important role in making your yoga class the best it can be!

How long you last standing in class before doing the unthinkable, sitting down (or worse, walking out of the room), has a lot to do with how much water you drink before class. I know I said it before, but I’m gonna say it one more time: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If it wasn’t one of your go-to mantras before, it should definitely be one now. Why, you ask? Weigh yourself before and after a hot yoga class and the answer is on the scale. You lose a lot of liquids in a hot yoga class, so bringing water to class with you, along with drinking before and after, can make all the difference.

Fitletic Products to Use for a 90-Minute Hot Yoga Class

I highly recommend the Fitletic HydraPocket or Hydra Palm to accompany you to all your classes! The HydraPocket is a hydration handheld that acts as both a lightweight pouch to store essentials and offers a leak free bottle with an easy flow spout (it’s also a BPA free and dishwasher safe bottle).  The Hydra Palm is also a hydration handheld, but it has a unique inner pocket to fit your ID, credit card, and your smartphone. In addition, the Hydra Palm is designed with water resistant neoprene materials. You don’t even need to fill your bottle with water! Actually, drinking coconut water has made a huge difference in my hot yoga experience because I get all the electrolytes I need after a 90 minute class.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” then you know how important it is to give your body the right kind of fuel before a workout. Eating an hour or two ahead of time is usually the rule of thumb so you don’t get queasy in that standing forward fold. In conjunction with staying hydrated, making sure you’re eating clean, healthy foods not only helps with dieting and weight management, but can be the difference between a good workout and a great workout. You won’t just feel better, you also won’t be distracted by an uneasy stomach.

Focus on you-time and eliminate any distractions by storing your essentials in one place. Instead of throwing your stuff into an unlocked locker that isn’t secure, or keeping your phone hidden under a towel in class, wear the Fitletic Blitz. The Blitz is a unisex waistband with a single pouch; the motto is zip, clip, and go! It has a soft Dual-Adjust waist belt with a convenient earphone port, and it fits your smartphone of course. You can even stick the Fitletic Hydration Add-on on your Blitz belt for optimal use.

If you have long hair, or just want to spice up your yoga getup, a Fitletic headband is a great way to keep your hair out of your face and look good doing it! Ever had your hair fall into your face during a pose like toe stand when you need full concentration? It’s no fun. My personal favorite solution is the Marble headband — it matches perfectly with white or black leggings and a crop top/bra.

Listening to your favorite playlist pre-yoga class can really get you in the right mood. It’s great for achieving a balanced, ready, and prepared-for-anything mental state, especially if you’re taking a 90-minute Hot Yoga class where there is little or no music played. Silence for an hour and a half during a tough workout is asking a lot. Listening to music beforehand can help out with motivation in the long run.

These elements are key to what proper preparation really means: showing up hydrated and adequately fed with minimal distractions, feeling together mentally and physically, and being totally motivated to namaslay. Arriving to class ready gives you that much more incentive to turn your already great yoga routine into something significantly greater. Fitletic is here to serve you and meet your needs to be prepared for any sweaty workout. We’re proud to be your most reliable fitness partner when it comes to feeling ready for any challenge that comes your way.​

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