Support Your Girls: The Importance of Sports Bras

7 07 2015

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Ladies, listen up. Aside from your shoes, a sports bra is one of the most important pieces of gear to have for running and walking. You want to be comfortable and confident on your runs to make them more enjoyable and fun.

So, how do you pick the right sports bra? Here are a few things to consider:

COMFORT

A good sports bra should feel comfortable, stay in place, and not chafe. The straps should not dig into the shoulders, and the band should be comfortably snug to offer support but not feel restrictive. Do jumping jacks, run in place, or swing your arms side-to-side to make sure the sports bra is comfortable and supportive when you’re in motion.

SUPPORT

If you’re a small- or medium-breasted woman (A to C cup), a compression bra will offer support and comfort. Or, if you prefer, you can choose a bra that offers encapsulation for shaping as well as support. If you’re a larger-breasted woman (C to DD cup), encapsulating styles that separate and support your breasts are more comfortable and more supportive than compression bras. Choose a sports bra that does both for maximum support.

MOISTURE CONTROL AND BREATHABILITY

A good sports bra will wick sweat away from the skin, dry quickly, and be breathable, allowing perspiration and excess heat to pass through. A good sports bra will keep you cooler and drier when it’s hot, and drier and warmer when it’s cold.

So, when do you know it’s time to replace your bra? Here are the five reasons you should break up with your sports bra.

1) The bottom band starts chafing. Over time the elasticity will wear out, and the slack will create friction on your body.

2) You can’t read the tags anymore. If the tags are faded to where you can’t read the size anymore, it’s time to look for another sports bra.

3) It’s too big or too small. Your bra size is constantly changing, which is why 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong size bra. A supportive sports bra relies on a perfect fit.

4) You need more than one. If you need to wear more than one sports bra at a time, you’re not getting what you need. We can help you find a more supportive style or brand.

5) You need new shoes. Just like your shoes need to be replaced with wear, your sports bra should also be replaced every 6-12 months. Consider replacing them together.

FUN FACTS

• 80% of women wear the wrong bra size.

• Replace your sports bra when you replace your shoes.

• Women should be fit for a bra at least once a year.

• The average life span of a sports bra is 6-12 months.

• Not all bras are created equal.

Stop in and let any of the ladies on staff fit you for the perfect bra. Trust us, the girls will thank you.





Inspiring Story: Katie French

6 07 2015

This month’s runner feature is of Fleet Feet Supporter Katie French.photo

A lifelong athlete, Katie has always been a passionate runner. From her first impressive 5k in 18:36 to her first full marathon, she loved running and was an avid racer. However, health complications forced her to take a 6-year hiatus from the sport, and she is just now getting back into her number one hobby.

Katie was pregnant with her daughter in 2008 when they found a cyst on her brain and had to do a c-section right away. She started seeing a neurologist, and found out the cyst was benign. However, running was now out of the picture. The heat, the jarring motion– it all irritated the cyst. Katie soon discovered kettlebell workouts and found a love for them as well as enjoyed walking.

She later became pregnant in 2011 with a baby boy, but when she went in for a routine ultrasound at 19 weeks, she learned he had no heartbeat and was stillborn. In 2013 she became pregnant with another baby boy, who again was stillborn at 24 weeks.  In 2014, Katie had to have a hysterectomy, from which she had a lot of complications. However, by February of 2015, she was able to get off her cyst medications because her hormones had changed, and by March 2015, she was back to running.

Katie’s journey has been filled with heartbreak, devastation and pain, but she has been able to find light at the end of the tunnel. After 6 years of no running, she is happy to be back on the pavement and has realized how precious both life and the ability to run are. Katie and her husband are enjoying getting back to distance running, and she recently won 3rd place in her age group at the Civitan 5k. She also plans to run the Greenline Half Marathon in October, which will be her first half marathon.

If you see Katie during the race, she’ll have her sons names on the back of her shirt– Cooper and Eli– and her goal is to finish the race in 2:00:00. Never before has running meant so much to Katie, and she hopes her story can inspire others who are going through tough times.

Good luck, Katie, and may you run like the wind!





To Get Fast, You Have to Run Fast

1 07 2015

94Sounds simple, right? In a sense, it is. By running faster at a higher intensity, your overall, average pace will improve. But not every run should be at your fastest pace. And not every run should be at a hard effort. Consider doing one or two hard workouts or intervals each week to get the most bang for your buck.

From elite athletes to beginners, every runner can benefit from interval training or track workouts. Shorter, intense workouts are easier to fit in a busy schedule—such as during your lunch break or during a week when work is slammed. High intensity workouts can also help burn fat more quickly—the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyper drive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24-hour period following a high intensity workout than you do after an easier, steady-pace run. Plus, high intensity intervals increase your metabolism!

Intervals Explained

Although most interval training is done on a track, with a watch or smartphone to monitor your distance and pace, you can do interval training just about anywhere– including the treadmill!

So, what exactly are intervals? Intervals are repetitions of high-speed/intensity running followed by periods of rest or recovery. For example:

8×400 (one lap around a track) with 200 meters of recovery

In this case, you would run 400 meters at a high intensity pace, jog or walk for 200 meters, and then repeat 8 times.

If you don’t want to think about it in terms of yards or laps around a track, consider doing 2 minutes of hard effort, followed by 1 minute of rest and repeat 8 times.

“Well, what pace should I run?”

While the length of the intervals is important, it’s equally as critical to train at the appropriate pace. There are many calculators you can use to determine pace based on a recent race time or time trial, including the widely-popular McMillan Running Pace Calculator (mcmillanrunning.com).

Intervals are an excellent way to add excitement to your training routine and enjoy the benefits of becoming a healthier, more efficient runner.

Sidebar: Interested in doing track workouts? Join Fleet Feet’s Thursday Night Run Club weekly at 6pm. The group is free and meets at Fleet Feet Sports every Thursday at 6pm. The workouts are geared toward runners who are racing distances from 5k to marathon. Weekly workouts are provided and led by store manager, Feb.

 





Forrest Spence 5k 2015

30 06 2015

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One of our favorite local charity races is coming up next month– The Forrest Spence 5k!

The 8th Annual Forrest Spence 5k will be held on August 29th at Overton Park. The 5k begins at 8:00 am with the 100 yard dash for kids 8 & under at 9:00 and 1 Mile Fun Run for kids 12 & under at 9:05 am. There will be games, bounce houses, slides, food, awards, door prizes and more. Bring the entire family for a fun filled morning at Overton Park.

Sign up here.

About the Forrest Spence Fund:

The story of the Forrest Spence Fund begins in 2007 with the birth of Robert Forrest Spence in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after his birth, Forrest developed complications from an infection, and was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital where he eventually passed away after a 55-day battle. The outpouring of love the Spences received during Forrest’s life forever changed them, and upon his death they founded the Forrest Spence Fund to give back to their community and the hospital that fought so valiantly for their son. The Forrest Spence Fund, a 501c3 non-profit organization, exists to assist with the non-medical needs of families and children dealing with critical or chronic illness across the Mid-South.





Farewell to an Awesome Pacer: Katie L

4 06 2015
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– When did you start running and why?
Throughout high school and college I would force myself to go run a few miles because I knew it was good exercise but I never enjoyed it. Then one day about four years ago I went for a run on the Wolf River Greenway and surprised myself by running 5 miles! Shortly after that I met Adrianne and she told me about the Fleet Feet training groups. I signed up for the Greenline half marathon training program, and the rest is history!
– What’s your motivation?
I love that feeling during a long run when you’re just in the moment and lose track of time! I always find it amazing when my body can run for several hours, remembering those experiences help motivate me to train for races.
– Do you prefer running in a group or alone?
Definitely a group! When I first started group running it was more difficult than running alone because everyone would talk and it was hard for me to keep a conversation going. Now I can’t imagine ever being able to run more than 2 or 3 miles alone–group runs are my savior! It makes the time go by faster and is much more enjoyable.
What’s your bucket list race?
No specific race but I love traveling to new cities for races. My bucket list would be racing in each state!
– What’s your favorite race to date?
Memphis St. Jude! I’ve ran it twice and hands down it is better than any other half marathon I’ve run. Crowd support is amazing, the music is great, and who doesn’t love running all over downtown Memphis?
What’s your go-to running gear?
My Garmin watch! Good socks and my visor.
What’s your best advice for a new runner?
You can do it! I remember how overwhelming the idea of running a half marathon was when I first started training. Following a good training plan makes it so easy by adding a little more distance every time. And don’t compare yourself to other runners– your goals are all your own!
– Do you listen to music when you run? If so, what’s your favorite song?
Now that I mostly run in a group I often skip the music. If I do listen to something it’s just in one ear and the volume is turned down so I can just hear the beat– I definitely need a good beat. “Pop and Hip Hop Power” Pandora station is my go to.
Thanks for everything you’ve done for our training programs, Katie, and happy trails in Portland!




Summer Hydration Tips

2 06 2015

108Although we’ve had a mild start to the summer months here in Memphis, the temperatures will be climbing soon. Especially in the humid South, you need to keep your hydration in check as it gets warmer. Here are a few of our best hydration tips for summer:

– Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day. For someone 150 pounds, that means getting in at least 75 ounces of water per day. When you’re properly hydrated, your urine should be light yellow or clear in color. The darker it is, the more water you need to consume.

– Consume about 4-6 ounces of water 20 minutes before your run or workout. Much like watering a plant, you don’t want to drown your system in water right before a run, or you’ll be making several bathroom stops. Instead, hydrate daily and top off your water intake just before a run or workout.

– During your run or workout, take in about 4 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water– this means you’re already likely becoming dehydrated. Instead stick to a hydration schedule. Fleet Feet stocks a number of options for carrying your hydration such as handheld water bottles, water belts, camelbacks and more.

– Don’t forget your electrolytes. As you sweat more in the summer, you need to consider replacing your electrolytes. There are a number of sport drink options available, but we prefer Skratch or Nuun. Nuun is sugar-free with just 5 calories and only contains what you need to replenish your electrolytes. Skratch is an all natural hydration solution that has 40 calories per serving for those needing a bit more substance to their hydration plan.

Have questions about hydration? Stop by and ask anyone on staff! We’re happy to help.





Just for ladies? Nope! Everyone Can Benefit From Yoga

13 05 2015

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Cross training is a great supplement to a running routine, and with small studios popping up, and with gyms and even churches adding classes to their schedule, yoga is quickly earning its place at the top of supplemental fitness options.

Yoga is not just a “stretching” class.  Its goal is to create an integrated, balanced body.  Running is a repetitive motion sport of forward movement that uses the same sets of muscles over and over.  Over time, this repetition creates crowding at joint sites, overuse injuries, and nagging “conversations” in the runner’s legs that just don’t go away.  The concepts of strength and stretch help the runner overcome these issues, and a regular yoga practice accomplishes this brilliantly.

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Yoga is no trend.  It’s been around for a few thousand years.  But the approach to its teaching has modernized and evolved into something that runners can relate to.  The strength and flexibility gained from several yoga poses help the runner find space around those beautiful quad muscles and allow them to use their full potential.  Range of motion is increased.  Hamstrings become flexible. Lateral hips gain strength.  Posture is improved.  When these things happen, the runner may find balance and speed.

Much of the practice of yoga is in breathing.  Deeply breathing.  Breath is energy, and learning to access a deeper breath increases capillary exchange which is a major benefit for any runner.

As runners, though, we have goal-driven and competitive minds.  We have busy lifestyles that always say “go.”  Yoga trains the brain to stay mindful and present.  This wherewithal can be the runner’s secret weapon of focus in any event – one more mile, one more hill, one more breath.

Just for the ladies?  Oh no!  Many pro sport teams travel with yoga instructors and talk about it being part of their training.  Watch the guys warm up before many games – those are yoga poses!

So, runners, race to your nearest class and make yoga part of your well-rounded – and balanced – training.

Happy yogi?  Happy runner!

 Lisa Warmuth

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Lisa grew up doing ballet and soccer and is a runner of distances from 5k to ultramarathons.  Her yoga practice is born out of her own discovery of the benefits that yoga brought to her running.  She can be found teaching classes at Pike Yoga and Hot Yoga Plus in Germantown, and she teaches two, free runner-centric classes each month at Fleet Feet Sports here in Sunny Memphis.








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