What To Wear When Running In the Rain

When you run every day of the year, it is inevitable that there is going to be some running in the rain and in wet conditions involved. The question comes up, what should I wear when either:

  • It is already raining, or
  • It looks very likely that it is going to rain

What you wear in the rain is going to depend a great deal more on the temperature rather than the dampness, in my opinion. Speaking totally for myself, I pack my training bag with gear based on whether the day is likely to be warm, mild or cold.

Running In the Summer Rain

To be honest, in summer months I make no change to my running wardrobe. I still run in a singlet, shorts, socks and shoes. I don a running cap, but being bald that never changes. I guess, what I don’t include are my sunglasses.

Before You Put Clothes On…

The big necessity is to protect yourself from chafing. Here’s where there might be a slight difference of opinion depending on the products you’re used to applying. I’m a bit old-school so I use Vaseline but all the cool kids use Glide which is available in just about any running shop you might walk into.

A necessary addition that I make in wet weather is a liberal smearing of Vaseline in all of the important touch points around my body. Groin, nipples and underarms get a dose. It only takes one or two runs that end with a couple of red stains on the front of your singlet to convince you that the use of Vaseline when it’s wet is a very good idea.

When it all comes down to it, I really enjoy running in the summer rain.

Running In the Winter Rain

This is a whole different kettle of fish. Winter rain usually also means cold, windy and miserable conditions. Preparing for a moderate to long run in winter rain is a mental battle.

“I really need to get this run completed – but I’m not looking forward to it.”

You know it’s going to be unpleasant, you know you’re going to finish it soaked and there’s probably going to be unexpected parts of you rubbed raw with some type of chafing.

So, just like when you run in the summer rain, Vaseline (or Glide) is a necessity. That never changes.

Because I live in Sydney, Australia, the temperatures never really fall below freezing so I don’t have to dress for extreme temperatures. But that also means I’m a bit of a wimp when the mercury falls and what is quite pleasant for some people is icy cold for me.

So, when it rains in the winter I tend to layer up.

My preference is to wear a t-shirt with a singlet on over the top. As long as my chest is kept reasonably warm and protected I am pretty happy in the rain. I find that by putting the singlet on as the outer layer I am not troubled by a layer of material clinging to the skin. The outer layer will also provide some protection from the wind which can instantly chill you to the core when it blows on a wet t-shirt.

The Legs – Cover Them or Not?

The balance between adding more material that is going to get drenched and protecting yourself from becoming overly cold and damp can be a tricky one. Speaking personally, I save wearing my long tights for colder days. A wet day will also prompt me to put them on underneath my running shorts as extra insulation.

Socks

In theory, the socks you wear in the rain should be crucial. After all, if you get blisters your run – and the following few runs – is going to be quite painful.

But I can’t ever remember finishing a wet weather run with newly developed blisters.

I’ve got a few theories about why this may be:

  • I wear good quality running socks – Thurlo Experia padded socks
  • My socks get wet in dry weather from sweat
  • I’ve been running a long time (over 25 years, remember) and my feet have hardened up
  • My shoes are older and fit well meaning no movement which is a prime reason for blisters to develop

In short, I don’t think it is necessary to go out of your way to change the types of socks you wear just because it is raining. I’ve also heard of people trying to wrap their feet in plastic bags or taping up their socks to stop the rain getting in. Not recommended and not necessary in my opinion.

Running Jacket / Spray Jacket

Some people have a preference for running in a lightweight rain jacket. I’ve never worn one so I can’t exactly recommend them. A guy I regularly run with wears a wet weather jacket and swears by his. By the end of our runs he looks just as wet as me but I would concede that it probably takes longer for him to get wet and he is more protected from the elements.

The thing that makes me hesitate about buying and wearing a jacket lies in whether or not I would get overheated. I’ve never worn one in training so I wouldn’t wear one in a race.

Running Cap

I always wear a running cap no matter what the weather is. I am pretty much bald and my cap is essential sun protection for the top of my head.

In wet weather the cap is also a valuable item of clothing that helps to keep the rain out of my eyes. And while it’s not much, the thin layer of fabric on my head provides a bit of a buffer from the rain. With the peak jammed down low I can almost imagine I am not running in the rain…almost.

Gloves

If you are prone to becoming affected by the cold it will also pay to put on your running gloves. Sure, they’re going to get wet but they will also keep your fingers and hands warm and that ultimately means you’re going to feel a little warmer too.

I hate running with cold fingers and really appreciate wearing my running gloves, particularly if it’s wet and there is a cold wind blowing.

To be honest, my simple layering process with my shirt and singlet is my most reliable tactic when running in the rain. It gives me a seemingly crucial layer of insulation that ensures that I will get to the end of a wet running session feeling relatively comfortable.

That being said, the lure of a hot shower is a great incentive to get to the finish line.

So what is your crucial piece of equipment that you need to put on to get through a rainy run?

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Health Benefits of Running

We know that running is good for you (or at least, I hope that’s the case) but the question that we’re going to try to answer here is why is running good for you?

As a long distance runner who runs every day, I know that for my own mental health, running every day is good for me. It’s about de-stressing and feeling good within myself.

Physically, the toll that running every day has on the body has started to make itself known. My aging body is now over 50 years of age and there are noticeably more creaks and groans as I get myself moving in the morning.

Health Benefits of Running

There are many arguments in favour of running and the benefits to our health that it can provide. Getting out and moving is a far more desirable outcome than sitting in front of a screen, we all know that.

The well-known and oft-cited benefits include increased fitness, weight loss, stronger bones, better circulation, more energy and stronger mentally.

But there are also some unexpected benefits to our health that comes from running and other activities.

  • A University of Melbourne study into the health benefits of exercise (and this includes running, obviously) was released only this week. In this study it found that regular exercise can prevent memory loss and can fight dementia later in life.
  • Good news for those not so keen on running, a research review short bursts of running can increase the lifespan by three to six years longer than non-runners. The amount of running required is surprisingly small, only around six miles per week can provide great benefit. This particular review came from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
  • The final benefit I’m going to quote is one that I’ve personally experienced and that is that running strengthens your entire body. I know that during the times I haven’t been able to run I have developed little niggles and pains – particularly my back – that I don’t otherwise experience. Regular running helps me feel stronger and chases the pain away.

Benefits of Running Every Day

The body is a wonderfully adaptive organism. If I hadn’t experienced it myself I would scarcely have believed it.

In 2013 and 2014 I went for a run every day. I had been running for over 25 years but had always kept the number of days in a row to a minimum which meant I would average 4 or 5 runs per week. I fully subscribed to the complete rest day theory that is commonly accepted. That’s why, when I embarked on the challenge, I fully expected to quickly become exhausted in both mind and body.

But that’s not what happened at all. In fact, I think I became stronger. Not only was I running better, my body felt stronger in between runs and I found myself looking forward to my next run even more.

By 2016, not only was I running every day but I averaged over 11km per day. Compared to my previous regime of around 4-5 runs per week at an average distance per run of 7-8km (pre-2013), this is a significant increase.

I wouldn’t have thought I would be able to maintain the step up in workload.

But the body has quickly adapted. So much so that I actually look forward to my daily run, even though I am going further each day.

So, what benefits have I experienced?

  • I feel particularly energized – more so than at any other point in my running life.
  • I am definitely getting fitter again – no mean feat at 49 years of age.
  • My run gives me a scheduled “down-time” every day. It’s my stress release each day.
  • I’m able to engage in some friendly competition with my friends through my running

The bottom line is that running every day is not for everyone. You’ve got to know your body and listen to it.

Some people simply don’t have the body make-up to withstand the daily wear and tear that a significant run can place on it. I know that personally, 20 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

But I’ve been a regular runner for more than 30 years now. I’ve had a lifetime of strengthening go through my system. If running strengthens your bones then mine are well and truly properly prepared for a lot of running.

Other people may not be so lucky.

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Running Goals For 2016

We are already into February and the year is one-tenth of the way over. The running goals that I set myself at the start of the year are still in place.

Towards the end of 2015 I was finding it difficult to motivate myself for each run. Consequently I was struggling, not only to get out and run but I was also having difficulty regaining any semblance of past fitness.

Setting some running goals for 2016 was the key to putting that behind me. It’s a simple trick for the mind, just some tangible goals and suddenly there is far more meaning to get out and complete each run.

I do love a challenge and the three goals I came up with are both quite difficult but achievable if I commit to them.

A quick recap is in order, here are my 3 running goals for the year:

  1. Run every day for the year (minimum 2km per day)
  2. Aim to run 4,000km for 2016
  3. Complete a 10km run in under 40 minutes

 

Running Every Day

Part of the process of getting my fitness back to the point of being able to run a sub 4 minute per kilometre is to run every day. This is what I did back in 2013 which was the last time I was able to run at this pace.

As of today, my current streak of running every day has reached 76 days in a row.

I’ve got to say, it’s been pretty tough. Mainly due to how incredibly humid it has been in Sydney over the last 2 weeks. Energy-sapping humid.

It has only been over the last week or so that I can actually start to feel greater strength in my legs again.

As with the first time I ran every day for a year, I am constantly amazed at how well the body adapts. Apart from a brief period of tiredness, my body actually feels more energized 2 months in.

The opposite to what you might expect to happen is once again taking place. Rather than getting tired and lacking energy due to a heavier workload, I am actually feeling fresh and raring to go each day.

Running is once again becoming easier and I now feel I can knock off a 10k run without too much drama.

Run 4,000km In 2016

Where did this random goal come from?

Well, in 2013 I ran every day for the year and managed to complete 3,710 km for the year – an average of 10.1 km per day.

So the next logical step was to increase the daily average distance to 11km and this comes to a total distance of 4,026 km.

The Sub 4 Minutes Per Kilometre Mark

This has always been the mark that I have always considered to be the difference between jogging and running.

When I was a younger man the sub-4 minutes per km pace was where I ran most of my races. It marked the point where I could see that I was at the peak of my form.

I reached it again only 2 and a half years ago at 46 years of age, if only briefly. And it felt good.

I want to get there again one more time before I turn 50.

I have already nailed a single kilometre at sub-4 minute pace. The next stage is to smash out 2km, a feat that seemed beyond me at the start of the year. But right now I feel confident in the likelihood of doing it.

Speed Sessions

Part of the process of building up the body to achieve a specific pace is to incorporate a regular speed session into my training.

I’ve been around long enough to know that a serious speed session each week is incredibly effective in improving fitness. There area number of studies published that supports this.

I’ve also been around long enough to know that speed sessions, when done right, hurt.

So far, I have managed to complete a couple of interval sessions – also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – during January.

A few of us have been heading down to Rushcutter’s Bay Park (shown below) and slogged it around the oval in serious interval sessions.

Rushcutter's Bay Park

We have mixed things up a little from one session to the other, the first was a session consisting of 8 x 400m @ around 90 seconds per effort. The second session was 4 x 800m at around 3 minutes per effort.

The downside of both sessions was that they happened to fall on a couple of the warmest days of the summer so far. And we run at lunchtime, so the conditions were at close to the worst possible.

Mixing Things Up

I have found that one of the most important factors for consistent running is to mix things up to keep it interesting.

If I were to run every day over the same course I don’t think I would last very long.

Boredom would quickly conspire to derail my running plans.

So to mix things up I try to set off in a different direction every day.

I work in Sydney and there are many different destinations that are within reach of a lunchtime run.

If the Monday run is a waterfront run that follows the harbour from the Harbour Bridge to the Royal Botanic Gardens, then on Tuesday I will head west over to Glebe and Blackwattle Bay. This means Wednesday might take me north over the Harbour Bridge to North Sydney and Friday will head east to Double Bay or Bellevue Hill via Cooper Park.

Cooper Park Steps

Varying the course changes up the landscape and gives me something different to look at each time I run. It’s a very important part of staying fresh. It also ensures that I look forward to each day’s run, particularly if I can come up with a destination that I’ve never been to before.

To really mix things up, I have also added a public transport aspect to some runs.

On at least a couple of occasions I jumped on a ferry to get me to a different starting point. The first time I went to Balmain, ran around the suburb and then back to the city. The second was a trip to Watson’s Bay for the starting point of a run that took me through the exclusive Eastern Suburbs on my way back into the city.

On both occasions the ferry trip was a very scenic start to my run.

The train has also played a part in expanding my lunchtime running area. It meant I could start my run at Bondi Junction, run to the beach and then get back to work in a (slightly extended) lunch time.

Exploring Sydney on the run is becoming a very enjoyable part of my running routine.

It’s amazing how quickly the focus changes through the act of challenging yourself with a few simple goals.

I’ll be checking back often to discuss how successful my running goals have been throughout the year.

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Tips For Running In the Summer Rain

Two days ago I went for an early morning run to try to beat the heat. I finished soaking wet because it was such a hot and humid day.

Today I finished my lunch time run soaking wet again. But this time it was due to the steady rain that fell from the first step to the last.

Which do you prefer – running in the heat or the rain?

If you’re planning to run in a race and you expect to put a lot of effort into the training, it makes sense to do some of that training in the rain. I mean, what happens if you wake up on race morning and it’s raining? Surely you’re not going to bail!

Just as you need to prepare for the mileage you’re planning on running, you should also prepare just in case it rains and there’s no better preparation than to get out and get wet.

Admittedly, it’s summertime here in Sydney and running on a rainy day is more a blessing than a curse. The temperature was perfect or our wet weather run, the steady drizzly rain was just enough to keep us cool and refreshed.

Here are my handy-dandy…

Tips for Running in the Summer Rain

Embrace the wet weather. Look at it this way – it could be a stinking 35 degree day instead! The temperature is (usually) mild and the rain is little more than a natural refreshing shower.

Enjoy being the crazy guy running in the rain. You get the looks from underneath umbrellas. Enjoy it. I figure, I’m getting fit doing something I enjoy while everyone else feels miserable and resents getting wet.

Wear A Cap. This is a no-brainer for me because I wear a running cap to protect my hair challenged head anyway. But in wet weather it can be very useful to use a cap to keep the water out of the eyes.

Be Careful Cornering! Turning sharp corners or stopping suddenly in the wet can be a recipe for disaster. This is particularly the case if you happen to step on a manhole cover which turns into a deadly slippery spot on the ground.

Wear Older Running Shoes. This is really only possible if you’ve still got an old pair lying around. And the reason isn’t for fear that your new shoes might get dirty (who cares). I find that the soles of new shoes get great traction in the dry but perform particularly poorly when it’s wet. They obviously need to be scuffed to gain better traction.

Splash Your Running Partners. Call me immature if you like but I like to run straight through puddles when it’s raining. I figure I’m going to get wet anyway, might as well go the whole hog. No care or responsibility is taken if my running partners happen to get splashed as a stomp my way through these puddles.

Remove the insoles from your shoes after your run. I run at work during my lunch hour and tend to leave my shoes under my desk when they are not in use. This isn’t normally a problem. That is until it rains and I forget to remove the insoles from my shoes. Not only do the shoes fail to dry but they also reek the next day.

Have a second pair of shoes on standby. You really should be rotating your shoes anyway but you really do need a second pair of shoes ready to use the day after you’ve run in the rain just in case they are still damp. Why run in wet shoes on a dry day if you don’t have to?

Be Extra Careful of Traffic. We’re talking about cars and trucks as well as other pedestrians here. The risk of an accident is far more likely in the wet than in the dry. Running on or near roads is extremely dangerous with the stopping ability of cars greatly hampered. This is just the same when trying to dodge pedestrians. They’re under umbrellas and they just want to get out of the rain. They’re not going to be thinking about those annoying running creatures too.

There is a (sort of) agreed etiquette when running in traffic, both motorised and pedestrian. The folk at RunBritain have put together a simple guide to Road Running and Traffic.

Make Sure You’re Visible. A wet and rainy day means that the light is going to be dull and it’s going to be more difficult to spot the crazy runner. Wear your brightest clothes, preferably something with neon yellow, green or pink if you have it.

Layer Your Clothes to Avoid Chafing. With wet weather comes the almost impossible to avoid problem of chafing. A simple way to avoid chafing no matter whether it’s on the legs or the upper body is to layer your clothing. This may be uncomfortable in the summer because wet weather can still mean warm conditions but there are a few tricks that work. Put a pair of compression shorts on under your running shorts and you will completely avoid chafing in the delicate groin region.

Chafed nipples are a definite result of any length run in the wet and can be avoided by adding a singlet over the top of a t-shirt. Final protection can be achieved with a healthy smear of Vaseline or the application of Body Glide.

More Clothes Will Not Keep You Dry. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can beat the wet by putting extra clothes on. All that will happen is that more of your clothes are going to get wet, you’re potentially going to get too hot and have to carry the extra clothes for the back half of the run.

Wear A Running Rain Jacket. I know, it sounds as though I am contradicting myself having made the point that you are going to get wet no matter what you wear, but there is some merit in putting a lightweight running rain jacket on. These jackets will help repel a good proportion of the water for the early stages of the run. If it is a windy day, the jacket will also help protect you from the wind, which can actually make you quite cold if you are also soaked through.

Protect Your Electronics. Let’s face it, we can’t go for a run these days without our electrical equipment. Mobile phones, i-Pods, heart rate monitors. If the skies look threatening it would be a good idea to grab a small zip-loc bag to seal your electronic equipment in. They may as well stay dry even if you don’t.

Avoid Stormy Weather. One of the only times when I will absolutely not go out for a run when it is raining is when it is a stormy day and there is an electrical storm close by. This is just flat out dangerous and I will not take the risk.

The key is to enjoy your running no matter what the weather conditions. Certainly, the last thing you need to do is dread the fact that there is a little rain falling.

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Ticking Off A Sub-4 Minute KM

Well it didn’t take terribly long to achieve the first goal for 2016. In fact, I was able to do it a few days before the year started.

To recap, my first big goal for 2016 is run a sub-40 minute 10k. (I say “first big goal” because I’ve got some other goals in mind for the coming year).

Soldiers Rd Como

The sub goal was to run sub-4 minutes for 1k. A week ago it was looking very difficult because I couldn’t seem to get under 4:30 without experiencing tightness in the hammies.

All that changed yesterday and I was able to smash out a sub-4 minute k towards the end of an 12.5k run. The fact that the fast kilometre took place in the 10th kilometre of the run is probably indicative of how long it is taking for my muscles to warm up.

Sub 4 minute km

It wasn’t terribly long ago that running 4 minutes per kilometre was a breeze. But age is catching up on my muscles and my regular runs are slowing down to just over 5 minutes per km.

That’s fair enough for a regular training run but I still think I should be capable of smashing out a faster pace when going out for a high intensity training run.

Speed Sessions

From here the plan is to incorporate a speed session into each week.

My favourite speed sessions are intervals sessions. In the past the majority of my intervals sessions have been 8 x 400m. The thinking is, though, for 2016 the intervals sessions might have to be adjusted to be 800m efforts.

The thinking is twofold.

First, running longer efforts means that my pace is going to have to be slower and this places less stress on dodgy hamstrings.

Second, longer efforts will help build the stamina required to achieve a 10k pace of under 4 minutes per km.

My real problem when it comes to adding a speed session each week is fitting it in with all the other runs I have planned. Because I run with a core group most days, I either have to plan to run by myself or convince others in the group to incorporate a speed session in to their program.

Neither should be a real problem, it just takes a little co-ordination.

But I also like to do another type of speed session and that is a hills session. As they always point out, a hills session is actually a speed session in disguise.

It’s easier on the legs because you’re not pounding the road quite as dramatically but you’re still putting in a significant effort.

When I do a hills session I run out to my favourite climb which is a jog of around 3km – a good warm up.

The efforts part comprises a climb of around 250m which I do as quickly as I can while still trying to maintain some measure of good form. I then turn around and slowly jog down as a recovery. Then I repeat the climb.

A good session will comprise of 6 – 8 climbs with recoveries. Including the jog out and the jog home the whole session works out to be 9 – 10km.

Once A Week Speed Session

So that’s the plan to leverage off of the fitness that I have been building up through running every day.

I’ve now been running every day for 31 days in a row and I can definitely feel my fitness improving.

Adding a speed session once a week to the running schedule should not only increase my strength and stamina but should also add a bit of interest to the program.

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Training For a Sub 40 Minute 10k In 2016

At my peak I was a consistent sub-4 minute per km runner. Those days are well behind me now as time has moved on but I can still occasionally get myself to the point where sub-4 minute races are within reach.

The last time I got myself to that point was in 2013 which was also the year I challenged myself by running every day for that year.

As the year progressed my running times continued to improve and my fitness was noticeably getting much better. My ultimate race achievement was an 11km race in well under 44 minutes.

I can only put it down to the workload that I put my body under throughout the year. I thrived and my times improved.

For 2016 I want to get myself back to the point where I can run sub-4 minute kilometres again. This time it feels as though it is going to be a little harder. After all, I’m now 49 years old and my muscles are feeling just a little tighter.

The way I plan to do it is through a gradual build up from month to month.

I have already embarked on the same challenge from 2 years ago. From 30 November I have been running every day and I intend to complete 2016 by running at least 2k every day.

But throughout the year I want to nail the sub-4 minute pace over increasingly longer distances.

First, I want to get there over 1km.

After that I want to be able to sustain the pace over 2km. And so on.

All going well, I hope to be able to complete a 10km race in under 40 minutes.

At some time over the next couple of weeks I want to be able to display a kilometre split in part of my run that was completed in under 4 minutes.

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Is Running Good or Bad For You?

I always thought running was good for me. In fact, I still do.

But there seems to be constant scientific research reported in the media trying to tell us that running is harmful to the health.

Now, full disclosure here, I’m biased because I’ve been a dedicated runner for more than 30 years. I do it because I enjoy it.

Many people choose to take up running in the hope that they will “get healthy” or because they have embarked on a fitness regime and hope they will learn to enjoy running.

I’ve never had the problem that I run but I don’t really enjoy it. Running is one of those things I have always done from childhood and honestly enjoy the experience.

Running Every Day

These days I run every day. That’s – every day!

Now, there are studies and many articles warning people that they shouldn’t run every day because it will lead to all sorts of injuries and problems. That hasn’t happened to me.

Call it a quirk of my anatomical make up or put it down to the fact that I have spent many years building my body up to the point where it can take it, but the fact is that I get out and go for a run (minimum of 2km) every day and I still love it and look forward to the next run.

Is it for everyone? Absolutely not.

There are some people whose body’s are simply not capable of running every day. If you try you are almost assured of succumbing to injury.

Just as you should with all forms of exercise, you should listen to your body. If there are niggles or pain it’s a sure sign that your body is not coping with the workload.

The Changing Running Scene

Times have changed. And how!

When I first started running in my early teens, it was all pretty simple. I would put on my shorts and t-shirt, lace up my running shoes and meet my friends for a jog around the streets near my home.

Nothing could have been simpler or cheaper. What a great form of (almost) free exercise.

These days, with 30+ years under the belt, it takes a little longer to get myself ready before I head out the door.

I still wear running shorts, although they are specialized shorts with built in gusset and made from Dry-Fit material (or whatever other brands are calling it).

Most days I wear a running singlet that has been designed and constructed using state of the art material that has wicking properties and is designed to maximize air flow to keep me cool and comfortable.

My shoes are top of the line lightweight training shoes (currently I use Asics DS Trainer 2000 and Asics GT2000). They are part of a constantly changing selection that is on high rotation.

Asics DS Trainer 21 Shoes

Even my socks are geared specifically towards running. For the past year and a half I have been wearing Injinji Running Socks. These are the socks with individual toes for greater comfort and less chance of blisters or other complaints. I like them.

And on my head, due to a distinct lack of hair now that I’ve entered my 50th year, I always wear a running cap. That’s a specially designed lightweight well-vented running cap that keeps the sun off my head and face while also allowing air in to cool my head.

A new addition to my running clothing must-wears are my Skins. I now wear a pair of Skins A400 Half Tights every time I run. With dodgy hamstrings I reckon they’re just about holding my muscles together around the thigh area.

Now I Run Fully Accessorized

But it’s not just the running clothes that have dramatically changed. I also run with a whole raft of accessories.

Garmin 610 GPS WatchThe watch that I used to wear has been replaced by a GPS watch. I am currently using a Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS watch. I’ve been using it since the start of 2013 and while it has had its ups and downs, it has generally been a wonderful way to further enjoy my running experience.

When I run by myself, and particularly on longer runs, I also take my mobile phone with me. This is so I can listen to music while I run. I use the Spotify app and enjoy all my favourite songs while running. This is actually one of the big reasons why I enjoy my runs so much, I think.

To be honest, I still have a little way still to go if I want to be totally up with the modern times. I listen to my music through wired earbuds. How out dated is that?

My next purchase is going to have to be to pick up a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones. There are plenty of brands available to choose from and it could give me an added dimension of freedom.

I’ve got to say, there are some runs when I finish and find that the wire from the headphone has done a good job of rubbing one of my nipples raw.

When I get home I now download my run from my watch to my computer. Ahh, modern technology…don’t it warm the heart? My run downloads automatically to the Garmin Connect website. But I have also joined Strava where I can compare my run against other people. It’s sort of like a Facebook for runners – when of a number of similar sites.

There are lots of ways now that you can continue to enjoy your run after you have finished and Strava gives you the opportunity to connect with running friends as well as set yourself goals and challenges to try to beat.

A final piece of equipment that I use on only the rare occasion is my hydration belt. This is a belt that contains up to 4 water bottles plus small pockets where I can stash gels and emergency money. I only use the belt on rare occasions because I only really need it when I go on long trail runs or I’m going to be running routes where water stops are unlikely to be available.


Running Is Bad For You – Or So They Say

So, onto the point of this little missive.

According to what seems to be a growing number of scientific studies, running is bad for you. Obviously the media picks these up and publishes them because they are more sensational than writing that running is beneficial to your health.

But they seem to be growing in numbers and should be treated with a certain amount of caution.

Here are some of the dire warnings that have been given in just the last 12 months:

The UK’s The Telegraph reported in February 2015 that Fast Running Is As Deadly As Sitting On the Couch.

In essence, the report goes on to say that in a study of almost 1,100 runners the fastest runners were nine times more likely to die prematurely within 12 years than slower runners.

It sounds as though all fast runners had better stop what they’re doing immediately or suffer the consequence of imminent death.

Naturally, if you go on and keep reading you realise the spurious nature of the study and the irresponsible way in which it has been reported.

The report completely fails to acknowledge the fact that one person’s fast is another person’s slow.

In December New Scientist reported a study that states that Ultra-Marathon Running Shrinks the Brain.

Now, you’ve got to suppress the immediate urge to question the brain capacity of your average ultra-marathoner. That’s just immature.

If you just read the headline you would be forgiven for thinking that running long distances will damage your brain.

Now, the study covered people who were participating in the Trans Europe Foot Race which covers 4500 kilometres in 64 days. An extreme event if ever there was one and something that would do all sorts of things to the body. It would be surprising if there wasn’t some kind of slight shrinking of the brain following that type of effort.


Running Is Good – Or So I Say

My point in highlighting these articles is that there are a lot of studies about running and the way it affects the body. Many of them reach conflicting conclusions and some of them can be misleading.

My personal opinion is that if you enjoy it, keep doing it and don’t let some scientist, or a lazy reporter, persuade you to stop.

So, is running good or bad for you?

Running Cheaper Than Therapyenjoyingthecourse.com

For me, running is definitely a good thing.

  • It keeps me sane
  • It acts as a way to relieve the stress of a busy work day. I often run during my lunch break and I can get away for an hour for a run around the streets of the city or out into the nearby suburbs and unwind a little.
  • I have also found that running is keeping my body fresh.

That’s right, rather than breaking me down it seems to be building me up. I have persistent back pain and have done for quite a few years now. Just the act of bending over can result in back spasms and pain.

But when I’ve been for a run, and even while I’m out running, I can feel the muscles around the back start to warm up and relax. In the few hours immediately following my run I feel freer and far looser in my back.

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Basic Trail Camera Placement Tips

Although it sounds as though the use of a trail camera is as simple as picking a likely spot to hang it, set it out aimed along a well used path and wait for the great shots to come rolling in. Clearly, the reality is somewhat different and there are some pitfalls that you must think about and avoid in order to get the most out of your trail camera.

Clear the Area

For starters you will have to do some early season ground work to set up the shooting field. Clearing away overhanging or dense foliage that could get in the way of your shot will certainly help. Apart from making the area clearer to get the shot, you will be clearing travel lanes for the deer and this will give you more of a chance to create a preferred channel for the animals to move along.

The process of creating clear and defined traveling lanes will encourage the bucks to move into camera range more willingly. Deer prefer to move through paths of the least resistance and if you get out there early enough and create these easy paths you will be setting the location up for a feast of photo opportunities.

Down Trail v Cross Trail

Trail Camera Position Down TrailSetting up the camera on a trail is sometimes a little tricky. It is also necessary to give it some thought and possibly do something that is counter-intuitive.

Rather than set the camera so that it is aiming straight across the trail, you should try to set it up on an angle shooting down the trail slightly. This will give you a longer exposure to the deer as they move along the trail. You will be far more likely to capture the entire animal as it walks by rather than just the rear quarters. As can be seen by the photo displayed here, by aiming the camera slightly down the trail you get a shot that captures the entire deer in the frame.

Get the Trail Camera Back Far Enough

Setting up the trail camera so that the field of vision is as wide and as long as possible will give you a greater chance of capturing the entire animal in the photo. This will require a decent distance from the camera to the trail itself, say around 15 to 20 feet.

This will require some intimate knowledge about each camera’s detection range. Even though the advertised detection range is 60 or 70 feet, it is best that you do some testing to get a feel for the optimal range for your particular camera. A trail camera with a decent detection zone will provide you with the opportunity to move the camera off the trail while still be close enough to trigger as the deer move past.

Don’t Shoot Into the Sun

The position of the sun is going to affect the quality of the shot. When you position the camera you should be trying to place it to the south of the target area. It would be a shame to ruin the majority of the photos that are taken because the camera is pointing directly into the sun.

Get the Height Right

Trail camera positioning can vastly change your results and the height at which the camera is placed can be important for a couple of very different reasons.

The first revolves around the darker side of human nature. Theft is still a problem and there are a lot of people wandering around in the wilderness who think nothing of removing a trail camera from a tree if they see one. Part of the process of successful trail camera positioning, unfortunately, involves hiding your camera from human eyes.

The alternative is to buy additional equipment to lock your camera to the tree so that it can’t be removed. Some people will do this as a matter of course, others may decide that the cost of the camera doesn’t justify the expense of the lock boxes and cables required to keep it secure.

The bottom line is that if you want to ensure you will see your photos you are going to have to place your camera somewhere where it won’t be detected.

The other factor about the height of the camera placement centers around the quality of the photo or video that will result. The placement must be high enough off the ground that it is out of direct view of the deer but not so high that it has been taken out of the camera’s detection zone range.

As long as the location has been cleared of overhanging branches and there is a good view for a decent proportion of the area, a high placement for your camera is going to give you good results and will keep it out of the prying eyes of humans and animals alike.

There are many different factors to consider that are going to affect the results of your trail camera placement. Some will change the results only by degrees and may not be crucial to your success. But getting things as right as possible is sometimes only a matter of common sense.

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Infrared Flash vs Incandescent Flash Trail Cameras

One of the points of difference that a good number of hunters have when dealing with trail cameras is the question of whether the type of flash makes any difference. There are two main types of trail camera flashes available, incandescent and infrared.

The argument over whether the behaviour of deer is altered by the presence of a camera’s flash has been going on for some time. Some hunters swear that their white flash has had no effect on the deer that inhabit the trails. Others believe that the flash spooks the animals and they abandon trusted trails for new ones.

One of the other group may be right. Perhaps some animals in one part of the country respond differently to others.

Whitetail Taken With Infrared Flash

The result has been the introduction of a range of cameras that are equipped with infrared flashes. This allows photos to be taken at night using a flash that cannot be detected by the deer. Although the quality of the resultant photos are not as good as those taken with a flash, there is little doubt that the deer whose pictures are being taken are unaware of the fact.

Photo quality is not always the most important factor when scouting with a trail camera and the fact that the movements of a mature buck is being captured is often the most goal. This means that if a hunter is more comfortable about the fact that the camera is not going to alert an animal of its presence then that camera is going to be the preferred one.

Deer At Night Incandescent Flash

Some independent tests have been conducted where trail cameras have been set up in different areas, one of them an incandescent flash and one an infrared flash. The overwhelming results have shown that the number of photos being taken in the infrared flash area has grown over time as deer have gradually moved out of the area where the white flashes were taking place and into the other area.

There is a secondary advantage that has been featured for using a camera with an infrared flash. The battery power required for an infrared flash is far less than that required for the incandescent flash. Not only will this drain the batteries quicker but it will also slow down the trigger speed of the camera.

Ultimately your decision is going to come down to the quality of the photo that you require. If the top of your priority list is to take a high quality photo, you are going to have to choose a camera with an incandescent flash and be prepared for fewer photos. If you are merely scouting the movements of the animals with as little disruption to their patterns as possible, the cameras with an infrared flash are going to be the better option.

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Four New Moultrie Trail Cameras

The range of game cameras being produced by Moultrie continues to expand and the features that are being introduced are just as impressive. The company has all situations covered with a range of cameras that are getting smaller in stature while the features continue to grow.

Listed below are the cameras in the current range that include infrared models that come with No-Glow technology as well as panoramic view cameras that cover wider areas. The range also includes mini game cameras that make them even more difficult to spot when they are positioned in the field.

Moultrie Panoramic 150i Game CameraThe Panoramic 150i game camera takes the award winning technology of the original panoramic 150 camera and adds a no-glow infrared flash to give it significant night time capabilities. It has a long range and fast trigger speed and is capable of taking high quality pictures. This is a seriously cool camera that can take some amazing shots and the price that it has been set at reflects this.

Moultrie M-990i Mini CamThe mini camera range is becoming steadily more and more impressive and the release of the new 990i Mini Game Camera provides scouts with a high quality camera equipped with no-glow infrared flash that also produces outstanding quality color pictures. The range is particularly impressive and the fact that the camera can produce 720p HD video is an added bonus.

Moultrie A-8 Game CameraThe new A-8 Game Camera is another camera that features the low-glow infrared flash. This is the game camera that is more accessible to the wider majority of buyers with a price point under $100. The detection zone is a little smaller than other cameras at 40 feet and the trigger speed is slightly slower at 1.5 seconds. But this is still a very impressive little camera.

TMoultrie M-880c Game Camerahe M-880c Mini Game Camera has been introduced as a vital part of the company’s line up. The camera sports all of the features you get from the M-880 but has an additional feature of being able to take color photos both day and night. This is a white LED flash camera and the quality of the pictures, whether photos or HD 720p video is outstanding.

The four cameras that have been listed here are just some of the new models that have been introduced for the 2014 season by Moultrie. It is possible to check out the entire range by visiting the Moultrie website.

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