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Software to help you live longer

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  • Friday, January 14 2011 @ 11:04 PM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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I read an article today that says "it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary." It goes on to say that people like me who sit in front of computers all day are doomed to an early death (ok, I'm exaggerating a little here). But the real takeaway for me was the idea that running 10 miles on Sunday or 30 miles per week may not make up for the fact that I sit in an office chair all day, 5 days a week.

I have found that there are some software tools which might help combat the sedentary work environment. Originally developed to reduce Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI), Workrave software can be used to remind us to get off our butts. Stand up every so often, walk to the water cooler, do some light stretching, walk the stairs, do jumping jacks, push-ups, or whatever your office environment permits.

A standing treadmill workstation may not be an option for all of us, but integrating some non-sitting activity during the workday is probably possible for many people. Workrave or other similar software (there are many alternatives) can help with this.

Workrave is currently available for Windows and Linux. It's even in the Ubuntu Linux repositories.

Merrell Trail Glove may be minimalist shoe perfection

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  • Wednesday, January 05 2011 @ 05:22 PM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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Jason Robillard writes that "no shoe has come closer to minimalist perfection" than the Merrell Trail Glove in his review posted at Barefoot Running University.

The full review: http://barefootrunninguniversity.com/2011/01/04/merrell-trail-glove-review/

A shoe like the Vibram FiveFingers without the toe pockets sounds really great to me.

[image source: merrell.com]

Ryan Hall plyometrics video

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  • Tuesday, January 04 2011 @ 04:31 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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Ryan Hall, Josh Cox and Terrence Mahon demonstrate some plyometric exercises that they use to build speed and power:

six months of running

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  • Wednesday, December 01 2010 @ 01:28 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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After 6 months of running, I am feeling pretty good. I lost 20 pounds and have avoided developing any serious running injuries. I totaled over 400 miles. I finished a half marathon. I have successfully converted my running stride so that I land with a midfoot strike rather than a heel strike. I believe that this conversion has made a huge difference in my long distance running capability.

I am now generally running 15 - 35 miles per week which includes at least one long run if possible (10 - 15 miles). I can only manage to squeeze in 3 or 4 runs per week due to busy family schedules.

Thanks to dailymile, I can show you a nice graph of my weekly mileage totals:


In Search of the Perfect Running Shoe

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  • Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 07:13 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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The worst thing about trying to choose new running shoes is that it is almost impossible to know how they will perform without testing them in the wild on a few runs (or 10 - 20 miles).

Six months ago I decided that I was going to start running regularly again (after about an 8-year hiatus) so I could drop some pounds and maybe even feel fit again. Over this past half-year I have tried running in a variety of shoes and running in no shoes at all. After a false start with "marshmallow" shoes, I was introduced to Barefoot Running and minimalist shoes. Thus began my journey away from the heel striking towards a more natural midfoot strike. I agree with the notion that the human foot, at least for most of us, is not defective by default. I choose to run in the least amount of shoe possible.

I omitted a picture of my bare feet, but just to compare with the shoes mentioned below, I have run 88 miles barefoot out of a total 390+ miles. Barefoot running is great and I feel very strongly that it has helped improve my technique and form. I already wrote about my early Barefoot Running experiences. However, there are times when I want to be able to run in a shoe. It is getting colder. This time of year the trails are "crunchy" with pointy tree debris. I frequently have to run after dark, especially during the work week. I live in a college town and for some reason when school is in session my favorite sidewalk running routes become littered with broken beer bottles.

It is the first week of November, 2010. All of the exciting new minimalist running shoes from New Balance, Altra Running, Skora Running, Merrell, and others will not be available until February or March of 2011. Until then, these are the shoes that I have tried over the last 6 months in the search of the "perfect" running shoe (aka: a shoe that helps keep me injury-free so I am able to run more miles):

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