How to Feel Confident While Running

How to Feel Confident While Running

Here’s a secret that seasoned runners rarely talk about: Nobody feels like a “runner” the first time they hit the pavement. And yet everybody has to start somewhere. When tackling a new challenge, it’s normal to feel self-conscious or uncertain. Is everyone looking at me? Am I doing it right? Am I going to get hurt? A few simple tips can help novice runners build confidence and feel more comfortable in their own shoes.

How to feel confident while running

  • First of all, invest in quality clothing that feels comfortable on the go. If you look great in your clothes, all the better! It’s worth buying athletic gear that you enjoy using, but make sure it’s also practical for working out. Synthetic, quick-drying materials that are well-fitted to your body — but not too tight — are a great choice.
  • Recruit a friend to run with you. It can help if your running partner has more experience, so you can ask questions or seek advice. But you can also benefit from running with another novice runner, boosting each other as you tackle your shared challenge. 
  • Avoid overly critical or negative self-talk. Sometimes when our bodies are tired, our minds drift toward negativity. You can cut off these thoughts by pushing back with positive affirmations. It helps to think of a few mantras before you head out. Repeat them out loud. You’d be surprised how much a simple “You’re doing great!” can boost morale. 
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people or worry about what they think. Their situation is different than yours, and you can feel confident that you’re the best you on the run. 
  • Focus on the positives of running, such as the benefits to your physical and mental health. Think about why you started running, and remind yourself that you’re this much closer to your goals.

How to avoid frustration and injury

  • Build up gradually to let body and mind adapt. It can be challenging to decide where exactly to begin. One rule of thumb is to start with a pace that feels natural, where your breathing is steady but not difficult, and hold this pace for ten minutes. From there, you can continue to build both distance and speed in steady intervals. Search online for beginner training plans, such as Couch to 5K, which are a great way to establish healthy progression.
  • Create a goal with progressive steps to keep you motivated. Many runners enjoy training for a race such as 5K. Follow a training plan and then relish in the results. 
  • Don’t overreach. Injury risk is highest when you increase your mileage or pace too quickly, overtaxing muscles and joints that haven’t fully adapted to higher impact. Trying too much too soon is also more likely to lead to feelings of failure, which will make it more challenging to stick with your goals.
  • Use high-quality, well-fitting running shoes for the best results. Track the mileage on your shoes, and buy new ones when they become worn out — usually 300 to 400 miles for most shoes. 

How to feel safer

  • Run during daylight hours if possible. If you must run early or late, wear brightly colored clothing, a reflective vest, and a bright headlamp. If you’re wearing a hydration belt, clip a red flashing light to the strap across your back so drivers can see you from behind.
  • Run-on sidewalks, pedestrian paths, or road shoulders if possible. If spaces away from traffic are not available, run on the “opposite” side of the road while facing oncoming vehicles. This way, drivers will see your face, and you will be able to move out of the way if a vehicle is approaching too close. 
  • Obey all traffic rules and always yield to vehicles at intersections. 
  • Stick to familiar neighborhoods and areas known to be safe.
  • Dress for the weather. Layering is best, especially if the forecast calls for cold or rain. It’s better to remove a jacket and stash it away — or even tie it around your waist — than not to have a jacket when you need one. 
  • Pack safety items such as your phone, a safety whistle if you need to signal for help, and extra clothing layers, water, and food. Having a few additional items on hand will boost your confidence to go further or longer because you can handle an emergency if it arises. Fitletic running belts are a comfortable, convenient way to carry everything you need on your run. 

Here at Fitletic, we understand that starting your running journey can be hard, but with these helpful tips, you can help yourself become a confident runner in no time! Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out our blog page

Best Gift Ideas for Runners in 2021

Best Gift Ideas for Runners in 2021

It’s that time of the year again! And if you are like so many others, the holiday shopping season went by in a flash! 

If you’re running short on time and need some quick ideas for the runner in your life, check out our list of the best gift ideas for runners in 2021. 

Whether the runner in your life is into clothes, gear, or gadgets – Fitletic has an idea for you! 

Check out Fitletic’s list of the best gift ideas for runners in 2021! 

  • Reflective vest 
  • Wicking base layers 
  • Women’s ponytail hat 
  • Running jacket 
  • Runderwear 
  • Headlamp 
  • Crampons 
  • Foot massager 
  • Hand warmers 
  • Sport sunglasses 
  • Running belt 
  • Runscreen
  • Cookbook 

Reflective Running Vest 

Glo Reflective Safety Vest is perfect for runners who plan their outdoor workouts before sunrise or after sunset. This ultra-soft vest easily fits over a winter running jacket, but is lightweight enough for runs during the hot summer months.  

The Glo Reflective Safety Vest is visible at distances up to 600 feet and features a back zippered pocket for essentials, front and back loops to clip on a L.E.D. lights, and fully adjustable elastic side straps. 

Base Layers for Runners 

Regardless of your friend’s sleeve preference, the Adidas Terrex Drynamo base layer is a winner. Available in long-sleeve, sleeveless, or short-sleeve, this t-shirt is made with lightweight material and ventilation zones that help runners regulate their body temperatures in cold and hot seasons. 

Wicking Running Shirt for Men  

Runners can wear this fitting workout shirt during cold and hot seasons. It wicks moisture and releases heat to keep the runner comfortable for their entire workout. The attached face mask and hoodie blocks cold and offers extra winter comfort . The TSLA men’s long-sleeved shirt features a durable and elastic fabric material. It protects the skin from harmful UV rays, offering 99% protection. 

Women’s Winter Ponytail Hat 

TrailHeads ponytail hat comes with ear warmers, therefore perfect for running during windy and cold seasons. Thanks to the ponytail hole, women runners can keep their hair out of the way or hold it up when they wish. It’s incredibly soft and feels great on the skin! 

This fantastic hat is made using 55% polyester and 45% wool. It remains intact even after a machine wash. 

Women’s Hooded Running Jacket

The Nike essential running jacket is reasonably priced and comes with a hood to keep harsh weather elements off the runner’s face. The hood stays on when running and can be adjusted to fit perfectly. Plus, it features a ventilation design to prevent overheating.

Men’s Short-Sleeve Tech Tee 

This short-sleeve tech tee features a 100% polyester material interlock, ensuring runners remain cool and dry. It’s uniquely designed to provide comfort and function. A tech t-shirt looks incredible when matched with everyday athletic bottoms. It’s available in multiple colors. 

Runderwear 

Runderwear – also known as runners’ underwear! One of our favorite choices for men is the ExOfficio boxer, equipped with a lightweight, breathable fabric that allows adequate airflow to keep the runner cool. It features an antimicrobial treatment that makes it odor resistant. The waistband is secure and durable plus a diamond knit that stretches for a perfect fit. 

Headlamp

This sleek Ray Headlamp features a comfortable fit and works both with gloves and sweaty hands! The headband offers maximum support and comfort, while preventing bouncing while running in the dark. This ultra bright headlamp is super light, comfy and even rechargeable – you won’t find a better running headlamp out there. 

Micro Crampons 

Winter trail race micro crampons are incredibly lightweight. The hi-tech elastomer ensures the crampons bond fully to the runners’ shoes. 

Nortec micro crampons have steel plates, thus ideal for hard snow and ice surfaces and muddy, wet or dry grassland. 

Foot Massager 

Nekteck foot massager comes with 18 rotating nodes and six massage nodes. It eases tension, regulates blood flow, and relaxes leg muscles. 

Every runner needs this massager to improve foot wellness. They can operate this device using the toe. It comes with a handle for easy movement from home to office or any other convenient location. 

Hand Warmers 

HotHands hand warmers are handy when running outdoors during cold seasons. They provide approximately 10 hours of heat. 

These air-activated warming products include five packages, each with two warmers. They fit inside the pockets and gloves to generate gentle and quick heat. They are the perfect gift for runners who love running in winter, but whose hands get cold quickly. 

Sport Sunglasses

Knockaround sunglasses are not only functional but also stylish. They stay secure on the face even when running, all thanks to their rubberized nose and sturdy construction. 

Knockaround unisex sunglasses have polarized lenses that enhance visibility and reduce glare. They also offer UV protection. If you are looking for a durable item that can withstand scrapes and drops, don’t hesitate to purchase these shades! 

Running Belt

An absolute essential for any runner! Fitletic offers a LOT of running belts. Whether the runner in your life is training for their first 5K, or just completed their 10th marathon, Fitletic has something for them. If you’re not sure what kind of running belt to choose, check out this guide

Sunscreen for Runners

Serious runners need sunscreen that’s a bit more intense than what you’ll find at the drugstore. One of our favorites is Skinnies Sungel, which dries two minutes after application and forms a thin layer of protection. It’s more concentrated than ordinary sunscreen – a little really goes a long way. Best of all, it won’t sweat off! 

The Runner’s World Vegetarian Cookbook 

This vegetarian cookbook contains 150 healthy recipes for runners. Whether or not the runner in your life is vegetarian, they’ll love all the recipes in this book.  

 Conclusion 

Regardless of the type of runner on your gift-giving list, you can’t go wrong with any of the items in this guide. 

You can also check out more holiday gifts, including hydration packs, running belts, and armbands at Fitletic. For more holiday ideas, check out our gift guides from 2019, and 2020! Happy running! 

 

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! 

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!

 

An Expert Shares 6 Breathing Tips for Running

An Expert Shares 6 Breathing Tips for Running

In addition to the right shoes, gear, and hydration belt, there’s another essential every runner needs — and that doesn’t require any extra gear. What is it? Proper breathing. 

Expert Breathing Tips for Running

  • Start slow and take breaks
  • Breathe into your belly
  • Try postural breathing
  • Follow a breathing pattern
  • Try a neck gaiter instead of a mask

Why are breathing techniques so important for running?

We all breathe involuntarily, but specific breathing techniques while running can:

  • Help get oxygen deep into your lungs and pushed into your bloodstream. 
  • Better oxygenate blood and get more oxygen to the muscles, keeping your energy and endurance up. 
  • Expand capacity. As you continue to run or train for a big race, you’ll need more and more oxygen to sustain an active lifestyle. 

Whether you’re brand new to running or an experienced marathoner, we’re sharing breathing techniques for running below so you feel great and have endurance for all your running goals.

Start slow

Starting slow is one of the best ways to learn how to breathe while running. If you’re a new runner, don’t hesitate to take frequent walking breaks or stop to catch your breath. And the same can be said for an experienced runner trying to increase their pace or training for a marathon. Taking breaks or slowing down can help you re-focus on your breathing so you can continue building stamina for future runs and races.

Breathe through your mouth and into your belly

Breathing through your nose is generally fine for shorter or slower runs, but it can ultimately prevent you from getting enough air. By breathing through your mouth, you’re allowing your lungs to get the oxygen they need to power you through more intense runs and help keep you going. 

To improve your oxygen flow even more, use belly breathing — also called diaphragmatic breathing — instead of using your chest. Belly breathing forces you to use your entire lung capacity, helping air travel down to the lower portion of your lungs. As a result, your oxygen uptake increases, and your body creates more energy to improve your short- and long-term stamina.

Postural breathing can help

Another pro tip for improving your breathing while running? Good posture. When your shoulder blades are back and down, your chest is open and allows for better oxygen flow. But if you are hunched or slouched over while you run, your shoulder blades will pull forward, forcing you to use your chest for breathing instead of your diaphragm.

Pro tip: If you’re experiencing lower-body pains while running, they could also be related to bad posture. Jay Dicharry, the author of Running Rewired, says that upper-body mobility issues can cause lower-body issues. In other words: Better posture = better running.

Develop a breathing pattern  

Breathing patterns can be helpful for runners who are focused on their pace. The idea here is that you inhale and exhale based on your foot strikes. For example, if you’re following a 3:3 pattern, you would inhale for three foot strikes and exhale for three. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:

  • Low-intensity runs: 3:3 pattern
  • Medium-intensity runs: 2:2 pattern
  • High-intensity runs: 1:1 pattern

It’s important to note that developing a breathing pattern can be difficult for runners and feel complicated. So if you don’t pick it up right away — no sweat! Just do what feels comfortable while running, even if it means doing away with a breathing pattern and simply focusing on other breathing tips.

Invest in a neck gaiter (for running with a mask)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced runners (and all athletes) to exercise with a face mask or covering. While they’re necessary to combat the spread of the virus, masks can also impact runners’ breathing techniques. Our advice? Invest in a neck gaiter. The lightweight fabric won’t disrupt your breathing, and they’re easy to pull up and down when you can’t maintain six feet of social distancing.

Pro tip: If you really want to step up your face mask game, check out our Multi-Scarf Headwear. You can use it as a headband, scarf, and face-covering to stay warm and protected during any adventure.

Breathing Tips for Running: Breathe easy with Fitletic! 

At the end of the day, applying new breathing tips while running takes a lot of practice. While it may feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first, it will only help improve your stamina and techniques in the long run. Before you take off, don’t forget to arm yourself with Fitletic running gear. From hydration running belts to running accessories, we’ve got you covered. Explore our best running essentials now!

 

5 Top Tips For Choosing a Running Belt

5 Top Tips For Choosing a Running Belt

If you type “running belt” into Google, you are faced with thousands of brands, thousands of models, and thousands of features. Amazon.com shows over 42,000 different models! Yet, choosing a good runners belt is just as important as good running shoes. Where do you start in the hunt for an ideal belt?

5 Tips for Choosing a Running Belt

Looking for a new running belt may seem like an easy enough task, but one quick search can quickly become overwhelming. With thousands upon thousands of running belts to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you? What features should you look for? 

  • Find the right running belt fit
  • Look for hydration capabilities
  • Be mindful of pouch size
  • Pay attention to material type
  • Spring for necessary extras

Below, we go into more detail on how to choose the best running belt for you and your goals. 

1. Find the right running belt fit

The ideal position for your running belt is with the pouch in front, positioned low and at the widest part of your hips. Make sure you measure your hips beforehand to make sure you find the right-sized belt. And if the running belt has adjustable straps — even better! That’s because you want to be able to adjust it so it’s nice and snug against your body and won’t bounce around while you run.

Another feature to look for? Silicone grippers. All Fitletic running belts are designed with these to prevent your running belt from bouncing and will help prevent chafing. Finally, look to see that the belt’s design is evenly distributed, so there is minimal interference while you run.

Our choice: Bolt Fit Running Pouch

2. Look for hydration capabilities

Staying hydrated while you run or train for a big race is crucial. It helps reduce your chances of fatigue, heatstroke, and dehydration. Depending on your hydration needs (and how long you plan to run), you may need more or less space for bottles on your running belt. At Fitletic, we offer different types of hydration running belts to fit every runner’s needs:

  • A fully loaded sports belt with 1 or 2 (12 or 16 oz.) bottles
  • A simple water pouch with 1 bottle
  • A sports belt with a holster for your own bottle (up to 20 oz.)

Whichever you choose, make sure that the bottles are easy to use, single-handed, and come with a quick-flow spout and silicone mouthpiece. Sliding the bottle in and out of the holsters should be smooth so you’re not slowed down or spill water on yourself while hydrating.

Our choice: Hydra 12 Hydration Belt

3. Be mindful of pouch size

No run would be complete without a smartphone on-hand for music and fitness apps. And if you’re training for a 5K or simply want to carry a bit more, you may also want a larger pouch to hold additional fuel like protein bars, cards, and cash. When it comes to running belts, there are a few different choices for securing your phone and other goods:

No matter which you choose, consider whether you’ll be operating your phone often while you run. If that’s the case, you might opt for a band or belt with a clear touchscreen window so you can use your phone without taking it in and out of the pouch. Pro tip: If you use corded headphones, make sure your belt has easy access to your phone’s headphone port.

Our choice: Swipe Running Belt with a Window

4. Pay attention to material type

It’s important to check which materials are used for running belts since some are more effective at regulating heat and preventing sweat from seeping through. At Fitletic, our running belts are made with Neoprene fabric, which is lightweight, elastic, and less bulky than other options.

Another reason you need quality materials? If you are running in rainy conditions, the fabric also needs to be water-resistant to protect your valuables. 

Our choice: Neo I Fitness Running Belt

5. Spring for necessary extras

Some running belts are incorporated with added extras to fit your running needs. Consider additional features like:

Our choice: Fully Loaded Water and Gel Belt

Find your best running belt with Fitletic

At the end of the day, choosing the best running belt comes down to your personal preferences. However, we recommend sticking with expert-made running belts by those who have been in your shoes. At Fitletic, we design everything with you in mind, ensuring the best quality materials, features, and fit to make every run your best one yet. 

Explore all of our running belts and hydration running belts to find the right fit for you!

 

Winter Running Gear Must-Haves

Winter Running Gear Must-Haves

2021 is just around the corner – we’re almost there! And for many runners, not only is there a new year to look forward to, it’s also the start of the cold-weather running season. To non-runners, winter running might seem like something that’s just not done, but a poll from Runner’s World reveals that not only do many runners like the cold – they prefer it!  But before lacing up and hitting the chilly pavement, runners MUST prepare for the weather. Cold weather running basics include layering up and staying far, far away from cotton. Beyond that, here is Fitletic’s list of the top winter running gear must-haves.  

Winter Running Gear Must-Haves 

  • Good shoes
  • Layering pieces
  • Hats, earbands, or running hood
  • Running belt

For Your Feet 

Winter poses two challenges for runners’ feet – cold and ice. 

Merino wool is a great natural choice for running socks, as it’s lightweight, warm, and wicking. Synthetic materials such as nylon and lycra are often blended with merino wool to provide strength, support and help socks keep their shape. Whatever you do – stay away from cotton. 

Running in the snow can be tricky, as a patch of black ice can creep up out of nowhere. Be extra cautious, even if it hasn’t snowed for a few days. We also recommend wearing shoes with additional traction, such as trail running shoes. Crampons or cleats can also help, but we always urge you to pay attention to your surroundings to prevent injury. 

Layer Up 

We highly recommend layering up for a winter run. Though it might feel cold at first, you’ll start to feel like it’s 10-20 degrees warmer once you’re a mile or two into your run. If you get too hot, remove a layer. If you get too cold, put it back on! Not only that, multiple layers help keep you warmer than one bulky article of clothing. 

  • Layer 1: Start by keeping your core warm with a wool or polyblend base layer. 
  • Layer 2: Next comes your insulating layer (which in some cases might be a second base layer). We recommend investing in both light and heavy-duty running shirts to account for various temperatures. 
  • Layer 3: Last will be your outer layer. Aim for a lightweight, breathable, windproof, and water-resistant jacket. 

Protect Your Noggin 

Though the myth about most of your body heat escaping from the head has been debunked, you do need to keep your head warm during your winter runs. Depending on the temperature and even your hairstyle, there are a few options. 

  • Hats: There are numerous running caps styles, but when choosing one for winter runs, keep fit and moisture control in mind. Avoid loose-fitting caps; select a hat with wicking or breathable material to keep your head dry and warm. 
  • Earband: A headband or earband is a popular option for warmer days and people who wear their hair in a ponytail or bun. Bonus: earbands help keep your earbuds in place! 
  • Running hood or balaclava: Full head coverings are generally best saved for the coldest of winter days. Since your mouth will be covered, choosing a moisture wicking fabric is essential. 

For Your Stuff 

  • Phone, Keys, Wallet: Running belts, when worn close to the body, under your clothes, can help keep your phone from freezing up in the cold. This zipperless belt makes it easier to access your phone with gloves on. 
  • Hydration: It’s easy to ditch the water when it’s cold, but since winter air is typically drier, hydration is even more essential. This handheld hydration band makes it easy to access water when you’re bundled up! 

Temperature Rules of Thumb 

Once you’ve been running for about 20 minutes, you’ll start to feel like it’s much warmer outside. Avoid overdressing for a run, as it’s possible to overheat! 

    • 50s – Long or short sleeve tech shirt, shorts, or running tights 
    • 40s – Long sleeve tech shirt, shorts, or tights 
    • 30s – Long sleeve tech shirt, running tights, hand & head protection 
    • 20s – Double layer, running tights, hand & head protection 
    • 10s – Double layer, windbreaker, heavier duty tights or pants, hand, and head protection 
    • Single digits – Double layer, windbreaker/jacket, pants, hand protection, head protection, face protection 

Pro-tip: Try doing a vigorous warmup near your home or car, shed a layer, and then start your run!

Winter Running Gear by Fitletic

Fitletic fitness belts make it easier to run, walk, hike, or simply run errands around town this winter. Learn more about which Fitletic product fits your lifestyle best. Join the Fitletic community today!

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