Tips Preparing for Your First Marathon

Running is a great form of exercise, but others step it up by joining marathons. For some, it’s a personal challenge to test their limits. For others, it’s just for the love of running. Perhaps you want to try your first marathon because it’s for charity, your friends talked you into it, or you simply want to start a new challenge for yourself? If so, there are preparations you need to do. In fact, others would even opt for speed training in Vernon Hills just to prepare themselves.

 So whether you are preparing on your own or with a personal trainer, here are some things to keep in mind:

 Know Your Limits

Running marathons is a huge undertaking and comes with higher risk than your routine morning runs. Thus, it is important to consult your doctor first to know if you are really fit for it. Also, start gradually. Don’t overwork yourself a week before the marathon date. If you could start running a base mileage months before the run, do so. One of the leading causes of injuries is running too fast and abruptly.

 Make a Plan

Create a plan that takes into consideration your abilities and limitations. Also, keep in mind your schedule. If you are to join a marathon, you should be able to run for 30 minutes straight, without interruption during your training. Also, include in your plan the mileage you will be running, cross training, and recovery exercises.

 Training Building Blocks

Build a weekly base mileage. Three to five runs per week is sufficient and should be done at a relaxed pace. When increasing your mileage per week, do not go over 10% that of the previous week. Then build a weekly long run – extending your run for about a mile or two each week. This should be done at least every seven to 10 days.

 Another aspect of your training is speed work. As mentioned earlier, some athletes go for speed training in Vernon Hills. While this is optional, speed work can enhance your aerobic capacity. Two ways to do this is through intervals and tempo runs. Interval is running a set of short distance at a faster pace than usual. Tempo run is the same as an interval but doing it for longer distances.

 Rest and Recovery

An essential part of your training is a time to rest and recover, and this means no running for the day. Injury is the number one enemy of any athlete, and rest and recovery are a great protection against it. If during your rest days you find it difficult to not do anything, do cross training instead. This may include other exercises, swimming, walking, yoga and other activities that are not as intensive as running.

 Stay Healthy

Probably one of the most neglected advice but is actually one of the most important is, “Stay healthy!” No matter how hard you train when your body is not healthy, you will surely end up injuring yourself. Take in enough carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Also, do not forget to hydrate. Buy a hydration belt or pack and carry it with you during your training so that you will get used to it. Try out energy bars, energy gels or chews and certain fruits when fueling during a run to know which works best for you. Never try something new during the marathon day itself.

Softball Safety Tips

Despite the name, a softball is not soft. A softball is about twelve inches in circumference – three inches larger than a baseball. Thousands of children in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for baseball and softball-related injuries. Softball injuries to the head are involved more than any other part of the body.

The following safety tips are designed to help children play safe and prevent injury on the baseball or softball fields.

Softball Equipment Safety:

Children should use always use proper safety gear when playing. This equipment includes catcher’s gear, athletic supporters and cups, protective eyewear, and proper footware (which may include cleats). Good quality, double-eared helmets should be worn to protect the ear and temple region against ball impact. Catchers should also wear a helmet with full face and throat protection.

Breakaway/quick release bases should be used instead of standard stationary bases to reduce the impact forces generated from of a sliding player.

Protective screening should be used to protect players in dugouts and on benches, and the playing fields and facilities should be well-maintained. The playing field and facilities should be free of garbage and debris, and there should be no sinkholes, stumps or rocks in the infield or outfield. Fences, walls and posts should be padded to help prevent injury if players run in to them when attempting to catch a ball.

All equipment should be inspected regularly to make sure it is in good condition.

Playing The Game:

Children should be taught how to play softball correctly, and they should play with other children of the same skill level, physical maturity and weight. Players should be taught to perform proper streaching and strenghtening techniques before playing.

Players should wear sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher. The sunscreen also should be sweat and water-resistant and reapplied every two to three hours.

The coach should be made away of the player’s medical conditions. A child should not play if he or she is experiencing persistent pain, a loss of motion, or any other abnormalities.

All players need to be kept hydrated. Water should be made available before, during and after all games and practices. Water is best, but sports drinks and juices can be decent alternatives. Avoid caffinated drinks, as caffine is a diuretic, which acts to dehydrate the body.

How To Skate For Skateboarding Newbies

Some people scoff at skateboarding, thinking, “Really, how tough can it be? Is there more than just standing? Is it true the board does all the work?” When you’re just starting, you may be thinking these questions. If you don’t already know, you’ll discover very quickly that there’s more to skating than merely standing on a moving board. You’ll need some skill, and you’ll need to practice to get it.

How much practice is needed?
A lot of practice will be needed. Hold-off on attempting the advanced tricks though, it’s important to work on the fundamentals first. Next up, some really important things you’ll want to know if you’re new to skateboarding.

It’ll take a bit of practice to discover the best foot in front and back. It really does not matter which hand you are, left or right. But it is important to know which leg is your dominant or stronger leg. So try and visualize how you go about approaching things. Think back – when you kick a ball, which side do you do it with? Which leg do you normally begin with when you go up some stairs? Which leg/foot do you always use to catch yourself if you ever start to fall? The foot/leg you use will go to the back of the skateboard. It’s not about which direction you prefer to face, and it’s much more about which leg is strongest.

What kind of skateboard should I get?
Start with an inexpensive but very durable skateboard. High quality, beautiful skateboards can be outrageously expensive. They’re so pricey you won’t want to get them dirty! That’s the reasoning behind getting a cheaper board for beginners. These are typically thicker boards on sturdier wheels. These boards will be able to take the pounding and abuse the beginner skater will give it. ABEC skateboards are the way to go because they’re more newbie friendly.

Stopping is actually pretty complicated. In the beginning, it might be better to just drag a foot to slow down. Or you can practice taking small steps with one of your feet to slow you down–think of it as a reverse push off. What this does is take small steps in the reverse direction.

This isn’t great for your feet but it should do the trick. When you’re better, you can stop yourself quite smoothly by dragging the tail-end of the board. Oh, and if you’re going fast, tail grinding is not recommended.

There’s much more to skateboarding than simply riding on a flat board. Believe it or not, skateboards are a legitimate way to travel and they provide you with hours of entertainment. You’ll learn better and faster if you’ll only open up your mind to learning skateboarding as a skill.