Tips from PRO Compression on Staying Motivated for Your First 5K

Getting motivated, and staying motivated, can be perhaps one of the most difficult things that runners face. It’s okay to have days where you just aren’t “feeling it,” but you must work hard to keep your head up and your feet going more often than not. No matter what the reason is for your 5K participation, motivation is the biggest thing you’ll need to make it to the finish line. Despite how you feel at the beginning of a run, it will all be worth it once you get into the groove and get it done.

Congratulate Yourself

Getting out of the house and putting both feet to the pavement to begin your fitness program has already put you ahead of many others. Review your progress as often as you want and look back on your achievements.  Take the necessary moments to congratulate yourself with a pat on the back while continuing to cheer yourself on.

Set Realistic Goals
If you try to push for something you know may be very difficult for you to achieve right away, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. Having a realistic goal can make the biggest difference and will make your goals more fun because they are achievable. Once you achieve them, push yourself just a tad further without raising the bar too high.

Don’t Be Nervous
When training for your first 5K, be realistic in knowing that there will be people that finish before you and people that finish after you. No one is expecting you to be 100% perfect at your first 5K, and trust us, you’re certainly not the only person who feels this way. You’re not there to compete against the other runners, but you are there instead to push yourself toward reaching your own personal goals.

To add to your motivation, you will want to train and exercise with the maximum benefit of speed, comfort, and performance. With PRO Compression men’s and women’s compression socks, you can get all the support you need in many styles and designs. Visit our store for more information on purchasing our various athletic performance products.

PRO Compression Socks Help You Run In A Rainy Marathon

Marathons are held all over the country, and since the dates are set in such advance, it’s impossible to predict what the weather will be like. Even if past marathons were met with beautiful running weather on a certain day, it may not always be the case. Sometimes rain will pour, but that shouldn’t ruin your race, and all of the hard work you’ve put into your training. Here are some tips from PRO Compression on running your marathon during rainy weather.

1. Choose Your Clothing Wisely
You should always have several options of clothing picked out in preparation for any possible weather conditions. Cotton soaks up water quickly, so you should avoid cotton clothing for your marathon attire. Pick out layers of wicking materials and make sure you have one thin, waterproof layer on the top of all your clothes. If it’s warm outside even when it is raining, try and wear as little layers as possible. If it’s much colder out and there is rain, you should dress appropriately to protect your body.

2. Keep Dry At The Start
While you’re waiting at the starting line, it’s likely there won’t be any shelter overhead. Cover yourself with a large trash bag to keep yourself dry at the starting line, but do not run with the trash bag on you.

3. Prevent Blisters
Wet socks can quickly cause blisters on many parts of your feet. Before putting your socks on, tape up your toes and other parts of your feet where blisters can occur. Also bring extra band-aids or tape with you on the race.

4. Adjust To The Rain
Take shorter and quicker strides while your body adjusts to running in the rain. Once you become more comfortable with the conditions, your pace will become more consistent.

5. Avoid Chafing
When your clothing and running gear become moist, it will rub against your skin from the constant running and cause chafing. Use petroleum jelly and slather it all over your feet and between each toe, which will dramatically reduce the friction between your wet clothing and your skin. It is useful for men to also put it on their chest area as well.

In rain or shine, PRO Compression athletic performance socks should be a part of your marathon attire. For more information on how you can get the maximum benefit of improved performance and speed, PRO Compression can help. Visit our store for more information on running socks and other products that will assist you in your training.

Bring PRO Compression Running Socks with You on Vacation

If you’re motivated enough, running and training are activities you enjoy without them feeling like they are a chore. A vacation is supposed to be a time for relaxation, and an escape from reality. However, there’s nothing wrong with fitting a run into your day to maintain your fitness and training regimen. PRO Compression recommends following these tips when bringing your exercise routine into your getaway.

Complimentary Gym Access
Most cruise ships and resorts or hotels have a gym on their facilities that has at least one treadmill. If the weather at your destination isn’t ideal for running, hop on the treadmill for a few miles to keep up with your routine.

Research Running Routes
Do some research online for different running routes or hiking trails near your destination. This preparation will keep you confident about running in a new place.

Run Early
If you run as early as you can in the morning, you still have the entire day ahead of you to enjoy your vacation, without interfering with your fun. Not to mention there are plenty of places around the world you could be that have some beautiful sunrises to enjoy while out hitting the trails.

Cross-Training
When you’re on vacation you may be taking part in activities that you’re not used to, such as hiking, kayaking or swimming. Take advantage of the new terrain to complete some cross-training exercises through these activities.

If you don’t have the time to run, don’t be disappointed. Remember that you are on vacation. Whether you have time to continue your training, or are just taking part in other activities while taking a break from the real world, PRO Compression athletic performance socks are great for the maximum benefit of speed and performance. With any level of activity, proper footwear is important. Visit http://www.procompression.com/products/ to see more of our products.

Image via: www.honolulumagazine.com

Visit us at the 2013 Divas Half Marathon and 5K in Ontario, CA

This weekend we are thrilled to be a part of the excitement at the 2013 Divas Half Marathon and 5K in Ontario, CA. PRO Compression staff will be on site at the Health and Fitness Boutique on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7.   event attendees are invited to visit us and grab last minute gear for running and recovery.

Stop by our booth for special discounts on our most popular items, including true graduated compression socks for men and women, trainer low compression socks, compression calf sleeves, compression arm sleeves and more. PRO Compression products are specially designed to help elite and amateur athletes to improve their performance and recover faster.

The Divas Half Marathon & 5K in SoCal is in benefit of the Forever Young Foundation of Florida, Inc. as well as local and national charities that make a difference in women’s lives, such as the “1 in 9” charity. This race includes fun perks such as diva medals, post-race party, feather boa stations, tiara stops on the course, and much more.

Follow PRO Compression on Twitter or Facebook to learn more about the event and our athletic products.

Mix Up Your Running Routine: Run Backward

Backward running is also known as reverse running, retro running or retro locomotion’s. While it may sound somewhat dangerous and not fit for the clumsy, it actually has several health and fitness benefits and can also help you avoid or recover from common running injuries.

Running backward can improve your balance and your peripheral vision. It can even improve your hearing since running backward requires that you are more aware of what is happening around you.

Running backward allows you to still run while you are injured. There are many running injuries that can prevent you from training for weeks, sometimes even months. But even if you have an injury to your groin, hamstring, knee, or even your ankle, you can continue to run, so long as it’s backward. There isn’t as much stress on the injury as there is when you run forward, and it will also strengthen your calves, quads and shins to balance your muscular strength.

Running backward requires more effort than running forward since your legs are moving differently, and as a result you’re burning more calories when you run differently. This is not just great for quick weight loss, but it also beneficial for those who don’t have as much free time in their schedule for running and want to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

One of the goals of PRO Compression and our athletic running socks is to improve overall performance. When you run backward, your stamina is increased as well as your cardiovascular efficiency, which could improve your running times when you switch back to running forward.

When running forward, many runners get in the bad habit of slouching and leaning too far forward, especially if they are tired and don’t know the proper way to run. This can result in lower back pain and other injuries that could cause permanent damage. When you run backward you have to become more alert on what is behind and around you, so you will naturally keep your back straight as you’re running.

For more information on how you can get the maximum benefit of improved performance and speed, PRO Compression can help. Visit our store for more information on running socks and other products that will assist you in your training.

What Is Periodization Training?

Periodization training is a running program that is goal-oriented, the goal being to prepare runners for optimum performance in a race or marathon. It divides an athletic season (typically one year) into cycles, the last cycle usually being the event or marathon that you are training for, followed by a cycle of recovery. Each cycle has a specific and measureable set of training goals and targets, each one allowing balance between training loads to ensure that your goals are reached each time, providing you the opportunity to focus on the smaller objectives that lead you to your largest goal.

The largest of the cycles is called a “macrocycle.” This cycle is divided into months that lead up to the race, these smaller blocks being identified as “mesocycles.” Each mesocycle will focus on a different skill that is needed in your sport, such as speed, strength and endurance.

The exact construction and length of mesocycles will vary by runner based on their schedule and preference. Here is an example of a 6-month macrocycle for runners implementing periodization training into their routine:

Mesocycle 1 – Active Rest (3-4 weeks)
Right before the event, an active rest mesocycle is highly recommended to prevent exhaustion and overtraining. This first cycle usually takes place after your last race or a period of inactivity, and will encourage you to keep up movement while letting your running muscles recover. Light cycling or swimming and small amounts of jogging are great cross-training activities to practice. Even household chores can be incorporated into your routine. During this mesocycle you want to build and maintain a healthy cardiovascular base without exhausting your muscles before Mesocycle 2.

Mesocycle 2 – Endurance (8-12 weeks)
This is when the real training begins. Long, steady runs with volume are now your focus. Don’t focus on time too much, but it won’t hurt to incorporate tempo runs or slow intervals. In this cycle, your goal is to continue building an endurance base, but speed isn’t a factor in your training yet.

Mesocycle 3 – Strength (6-8 weeks)
Use hill runs during this cycle to increase strength in your muscles. Your focus during this cycle is increasing intensity with the same distance, so to increase your strength you should be setting faster intervals and more difficult tempo runs for yourself.

Mesocycle 4 – Speed (4-6 weeks)
Your tempo and interval runs should increase in intensity now, but decrease your distance. During speed training it is important to get sufficient rest to allow your muscles time to recover since you are starting to fully exert yourself in this cycle. By the end of this mesocycle, you should be able to increase your speed while decreasing your time.

Mesocycle 5 – Competition
The time has come – race season is here. The length of this cycle depends on how many races you plan on participating in, but will usually last from 4 to 6 weeks. You should now be able to fully exert yourself to give the race maximum effort.

(Cycle example via livestrongfitness.com)

Whether you’re training or racing, periodization training is different for every runner. When setting your periodization schedule and hitting your feet to the ground, don’t forget to look to PRO Compression running socks for the maximum benefit of speed and performance. Visit our store for more information on products that will provide you comfort before, during and after your periodization training.

Image via: chrisultra.blogspot.com

Making Time For Physical Activity at Home

Staying active is important for your health and well-being. But between work, errands, and time with family and friends, setting some time aside to exercise can be a difficult task. The key is to be flexible and make fitness a part of your daily routine. You don’t have to be a part of any formally structured exercise programs, but as long as you’re making some part of your day into a physical activity, it can come with many benefits.

- Spending time at home doesn’t have to mean you’re lounging around on the couch all day. While you’re watching TV, use hand weights, ride a stationary bike or do some stretches while you’re watching your favorite shows. Instead of using the remote from the couch, get up and walk to the TV to change the channel or turn up the volume.

- Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you normally would and use the extra time to walk on the treadmill or take a quick walk around the neighborhood.

- When you are doing chores, keep a pace that is fast enough to get your heart rate going. Whether it’s inside or outside, scrubbing the floors or mowing the lawn can be done in a way that can burn calories quickly.

- Involve your whole family by taking group walks after dinner or ride your bikes together. Not only will the activity keep you all healthy, it will create bonding time for you as well.

- Bring a dog along with you for your runs or walks. If you don’t have a dog, offer to walk a neighbor or family member’s dog. Having a dog walking ahead of you may help motivate you to keep up the pace.

With any level of activity, you should be sure that you are wearing proper footwear. PRO Compression socks are designed to give you the tools that enable you to perform at your best for longer periods of time. Visit our store today for more information on our products.

Manage Stress Through Fitness

Whether it’s running, golf, or any other kind of exercise activity, physical fitness can act as a stress reliever. Even when you’re too busy to make weekly trips to the gym or go on a run every morning, a quick yoga session or a brisk walk to the mailbox can calm your mind. Any amount of exercise acts as a stress reducer and can directly benefit you in several ways:

Endorphins
Physical activity helps increase the production of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters in your brain that help you feel better. Many people call this feeling a “runner’s high,” but it can happen during a nature hike or even a game of tennis to experience the same feeling.

Meditation
Once you have put all of your efforts into a game of tennis or have swum some laps in the pool, you’ll find that you are much less stressed and worried about the day’s troubles that were bothering you before. Movement and physical activity will help you gain energy and optimism, which well help you stay calm and clear in times of anxiety.

Mood Booster
Feeling a little blue? Regular exercise can improve your mood by enhancing self-confidence. It can lower the symptoms you may be experiencing as a result of mild depression or anxiety. Stress and anxiety can affect sleep, and exercise can also help improve the rest you’re getting at night, which in turn eases your stress levels and results in a better attitude and mood for yourself.

At PRO Compression, we want everyone to reap the health benefits of staying fit and active. Our goal is to give you the tools that enable you to perform at your best for longer durations of time. PRO Compression athletic performance socks can benefit runners of any age by delaying muscular breakdown and fatigue, and preventing injury that may result from long runs. Visit our store today so you can focus on your running goals and not the discomfort of your training.

Overuse Injuries and How To Prevent Them

When you take on too much physical activity too quickly, you can experience overuse injuries, which could result in your ability to be active for a time. To improve as a runner, running consistently over a long period of time is required. However, if you are pushing yourself too much to increase your logged miles, overuse injuries can occur.

An overuse injury is an injury to the bone, muscle, ligament or tendon that results from repetitive stress on the body without allowing time for it to heal. Shin splints are an example of an overuse injury.

The stages of overuse injuries are:
1. Pain in affected area after physical activity
2. Pain during physical activity that does not restrict performance
3. Pain during physical activity that restricts performance
4. Chronic, persistent pain, even when resting

Runners are exposed to a wide array of overuse injuries. Here are some strategies to help prevent them:

1. Run every other day. Allowing at least 48 hours between workouts gives your body time to recover from the previous run and minimize your injury risk. Wearing PRO Compression running socks will help improve blood flow, stability and comfort that will reduce recovery time so you can be well prepared for your next run without waiting too long.

2. Schedule your longest runs for every other week. Running long distances weekly may not give your body the time it needs before pushing it to it’s limits again.

3. Increase your distances by only 10 percent each week. Try and take “half-mileage” weeks every 3 or 4 weeks.

4. Build the intensity of your run gradually. Add one different quality element to your training at once instead of multiple ones (i.e. hills, speedwork, etc.). Vary between these at a good pace and time.

5. Wear well-maintained footwear that is not worn down. Improper shoes will give you improper support, resulting in improper form and injury. Replace your shoes every 300-500 miles, if you are keeping track of your mileage. Only wear them when working out, and not at any other time, as they can wear out faster.

6. Be sure to warm up, cool down and stretch before and after each workout. Doing so can make considerable improvement in your workout and prevent serious injury.

At PRO Compression, our goal is to give you the tools that enable you to perform at your best for longer durations of time. PRO Compression athletic performance socks can benefit runners of any age by delaying muscular breakdown and fatigue, and preventing injury that may result from long runs. Visit our store today so you can focus on your running goals and not the discomfort of your training.