5 Tips For Better Running Form

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Whether you’re a seasoned runner or hopping on the tread for the first time, it’s important to focus on your running form. Proper form is the #1 way to reduce injury and of course get faster (and who doesn’t want that!) So, here’s 5 tips from our trainers to focus on during your next class…

 
 

Run Tall

 

The better your posture, the more efficient your running technique. Hold your head high, stare forward, keep your shoulders low and loose and your torso and back naturally straight. If you’re slumped over, your muscles work harder to hold your body upright.

 
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Watch Your Elbows + Relax Your Hands

 

Keep your hands loose, arms tight to your body, and elbows at a 90-degree angle. When you swing your arms, don’t cross the mid-line of your body – it throws off your symmetry + leads to quicker fatigue.

 
 
 

Keep Your Strides Short and Be Aware of Your Foot Strike

 

Keep your strides short, strike directly underneath your body and focus on pushing up and off behind you. If you’re landing in front of your hips, you’re over-striding, which can lead to hamstring and knee injuries.

 
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Breath Though Your Belly

 

Sound weird right! What we’re really saying is to breathe from your diaphragm, which allows your lungs to take in the most oxygen. When you only use your chest muscles, you take in less oxygen and fatigue quicker. Focus on inhaling and exhaling through both your nose and mouth, raising your belly as you inhale and lowering your belly as you exhale.

 

 
 

Don’t Hover the Tread

 

The more fluid your stride, the more efficient your stride. Give your legs the room to fully extend by staying in the middle of the treadmill. Besides, you don’t need to jump off – you’re an athlete!

 
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How To Prepare and Recover From Your Workout

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You’ve probably heard it a million times, but working out is only part of the equation. A Burn 60 workout is going to improve your endurance, strength, speed and increase your metabolism ONLY if you properly prepare and recover.

 
 

Be All About the H20

When you sweat, your body needs water and electrolytes to refuel. To get the most out of every BURN class, DRINK, DRINK, DRINK and stay hydrated..

Daily Intake: 3-4 Liters

Pre-Workout: Drink 1 cup of water 20 minutes before your workout

During Workout: Drink 1 cup every 15-30 minutes

Post-Workout: Drink 1 liter for every 1000 calories you burn

 

EAT RIGHT

 

Your diet plays a significant role in your body’s health, ability to perform and recover. Consuming a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats daily will prepare you for any challenge in class. But, to really cash in on the physical rewards of training, you need to optimize your pre + post workout meals.

Pre-Workout: Before class, you want to charge your body with glycogen. Glycogen is what makes your muscles go, and they create this fuel by converting carbohydrates.

Morning:

  • When: :30 before

  • What: 100-200 calories simple carb snack for a quick energy boost.

  • Examples: Greek yogurt, fruit, oatmeal.

 Afternoon/Night

  • When: 2-3 hours before

  • What: Balanced meal

  • If you’re feeling groggy: 100-200 calorie simple carb snack.

 

Post-Workout: After class, your muscles are in desperate need of glycogen and protein to start the recovery process. Protein repairs your torn muscle fibers and carbs energize your system.

  • When: 30 minutes to 1 hour after

  • What: Under 600 calorie meals loaded with complex carbs, healthy proteins and a dash of healthy fats

  • Healthy proteins: Chicken, fish, beans

  • Complex carbs: green veggies, starchy veggies, whole grains

  • Good Fats: avocados, olive oil, nuts

 

 Get Your Sleep

Try to get 8 hours of sleep and stay on a schedule. In the wee hours of the night, your body is working non-stop to repair itself. Lack of sleep makes you crave high carb foods, affects your perception of fatigue and worst of all, you start burning muscle for energy instead of fat.

 

 Roll Out

No, we’re not referring to the 2001 Ludacris anthem. We’re talking about self-myofascial release! Using a foam roller, which is available for you to use in the studio, reduces stiffness and prevents injury by breaking up muscle adhesions. Try it out before and after your next class!

 
 
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Why You Should Train with a Heart Rate Monitor

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The more information you gather during a Burn 60 workout, the easier it is to train efficiently and accelerate results.

But what does it mean to train efficiently? When it comes to running, there are 2 key factors to examine, effort vs. exertion:

  • Effort = Speed or distance (how hard you tried)
  • Exertion = Heartrate (the effects of effort on your body a.k.a. fatigue)

To increase your running efficiency, you must increase or hold a level of effort (speed or distance), while minimizing fatigue (exertion). For example, running your .25 pace with a lower heart rate or running a 11.0 sprint with a lower heart rate than your 10.0 sprint.

You’re probably asking yourself, “How do I measure this?” The easiest and best way to measure your running efficiency is to train with a Burn 60 heart rate monitor chest strap.

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When you’re crushing high intensity intervals, your goal should be to hit high running speeds and/or achieve long distances while staying in the aerobic zone. For Burn 60 athletes, that’s 80-90% max heartrate. Training in the aerobic zone has incredible benefits. It increases your fat burning capacity, endurance and strengthens your heart.

As soon as you hit around 93% max heart rate, you enter the anaerobic zone. In this zone, your body is forced to operate on lower oxygen levels, your decision-making skills are compromised, and your running form deteriorates. During an all-out sprint, you’ll end up in the anaerobic zone, and that’s not bad! But, always try to keep your heart rate as low as possible no matter what zone you are in by relaxing your upper body and focusing on your running form.

Everyone’s zones are different, your aerobic zones may be lower or anaerobic threshold higher. But, the first step to understanding your individual spectrum is to calculate your max heart rate (220- your age) and to be aware of your heart rate % during different running stages (jog-run-sprint).

The better your body can combat fatigue, the quicker you’ll see results, and decrease your chances of injury. So next time you sign up for class, purchase a Burn 60 heart rate strap from the front desk and start training smart!

How to Run Faster

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Do you have the need for speed? Who are we kidding, of course you do. If you’re ready to make your dream of hitting the ever-elusive 12.5 sprint a reality, you better settle in and get ready to soak up some knowledge. This is Burn 60 101: How to Run Faster.

 
 

What is Speed?

 

Speed isn’t just the little green number on the right side of your treadmill, it’s a mathematical equation.

Speed = Stride Length X Stride Frequency

Stride length: the distance covered between two consecutive placements of the same foot. So, the distance between your right foot step and your second right foot step.

Stride frequency: steps per minute. Also known as cadence.

Put simply, speed = the amount of ground you cover X steps per minute.

 

 

Getting Faster, the Efficient Way

Think about this. Speed = Stride Length X Stride Frequency. To get faster, you can increase your stride length or increase your stride frequency, right? Correctomundo.

BUT one is better than the other, take a guess… Stride length! Why? Our goal at Burn 60 is to turn you into an efficient runner. We want to increase your effort while lowering your exertion.

When you increase your stride frequency, you increase your effort a.k.a. your heart rate, which leads to quicker fatigue. And that’s BAD.  When you increase your stride length you cover more distance without increasing your effort – ding ding ding, EFFICIENT!

 

 How to Increase Your Stride Length

Before we cover this topic, let’s talk about a BIG NO-NO when it comes to increasing your stride length… You do not increase your stride length by stepping out further then your normal stride.

This produces heel-striking, which acts as a break AND It’s the #1 way to get injured while running.

To increase your stride length (ground covered when both your feet are off the ground), you need to maximize the amount of power you generate pre-take off, by striking the ground at the center of your mass. This increases force production and propels your further. 

This sounds like a pretty complex concept, so we’ll break it down for you. Focus on the following topics in your training and you’ll increase your stride length in no time…

 
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Tips for Increasing Your Stride Length

 

Take Shorter Steps

  • No, we’re not crazy! This sound counterintuitive, but by taking shorter, more compact steps you maximize takeoff force from your center of gravity. Remember, over striding leads to heel-striking, slower speeds and increases your chances of ankle, knee, hip and back injury. Focus on exploding up, not reaching out.

Strengthen your hips, core and glutes

  • Most of the power in your running stride comes from your hips. By focusing on core and lower body strength training you’ll increase your power and lengthen your stride. Running on an incline is also another great way to increase your power.

Take the Time to Stretch

  • By performing dynamic stretches (like walking lunges or squat jumps) before your runs, you increase your hip flexor and hamstring flexibility. Which, Increases the amount of power you generate at take-off and the fluidity of your stride.

Increase your Aerobic Capacity

  • By focusing on your running form and increasing your endurance, you train your body to better handle exertion. The better your body handles exertion, the more consistently you can generate power throughout your run. Checkout the article “Why Train with a HR Monitor" for more on this topic.

Want some good news? The Burn 60 workout is designed to increase your athletic performance! Every one of these tips is covered during our :45- :60 full body workouts. The more you Burn, the faster you’ll run. That said, it’s important to understand the mechanics of speed and to listen to your body. You’re not going to get faster by killing yourself. Focusing on form and stride execution is the key to faster speeds. See you on a treadmill and happy running!

 

Trivia Week Nutrition Questions

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This month for Trivia Week we're heading right into one of the fundamental stepping stones of fitness: nutrition. Test what you know; and use this quiz to take advantage of where you're slipping in what you eat everyday. Stepping up your nutrition game will bring you one step closer to hitting that next milestone!

 

1. How many grams of protein should you aim to eat in every meal?  

  • 15-20 grams 

  • 25-30 grams 

  • 30-35 grams 

  • 35+ grams 

2. True or False: All calories beyond what the body needs to survive is stored as fat  

  • True 

  • False 

3. Sulforaphane, a compound thought to protect against cancer is found in which food(s)?  

  • Kale 

  • Tea 

  • Yogurt 

  • Broccoli 

4. How many calories does it take to create one pound of fat?  

  • 785 

  • 1590 

  • 2000 

  • 3500

5. Which does not contain fiber? 

  • Broccoli 

  • Oatmeal 

  • Steak 

  • Baked beans

Nutrition Talk with Christian + Julie

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Christian and Julie have teamed up this week to share a bit of collaborative insight into nutrition! This is a great way to take the Burn 60 lifestyle home with you after class, integrating healthy eating into everything you do. Follow along - this will help you push harder and hit more milestones than you thought possible!

How far in advance of a Burn 60 class should I eat? If I’m running late, should I quickly eat something or just wait until after the class? 

Christian: 60-90 minutes before class is a good window of time to eat. The second part of the question is hard to say a definite answer. Some people will perform better if they eat something small, some will benefit from staying fasted. 

Julie: It depends on you --- some people like to eat a 100-200 calorie snack a half hour before a workout while others like to eat a well-balanced meal --- play with it and find what works for you. I always think something light like a piece of fruit is good but again everybody's different! 

What’s the best post-Burn 60 workout snack or meal? 

Christian: The best post workout meal contains two servings of complex carbs like brown rice and broccoli and one serving of protein like steak, fish or chicken. It also contains a healthy fat like an avocado. 

Julie: A combination of healthy, clean carbs, protein and fats is best. Preferably real food but a protein shake is great too. 

What kind of diet should I be on to lose weight while taking Burn 60 classes? 

Christian: I believe most people lose weight on a low carb moderate protein moderate fat diet. High nutrient dense foods and no processed foods. 

Julie: I’m not a big fan of diets – I prefer to make it a lifestyle of healthy eating.    EAT CLEAN!!! Think complex carbs, protein and healthy fats. Cut out alcohol, sugar, white flour, pasta. Maintain control with portions.  

Is ‘pre-workout’ safe or recommended before a Burn 60 class? 

Christian: Certain "pre-workouts" can make someone feel very uncomfortable. I recommend taking something that only has caffeine like matcha green tea powder. Or a cup of coffee. If it's an evening class I don't recommend caffeine at all because it can affect your sleep. 

Julie: Again, very bio-individual – but you want to choose foods that are easy to digest and timing is important as far as how much you eat. Here’s examples: 

  • 2-3 hours: egg omelet on Ezekiel toast and avocado spread 

  • within 2 hours: oatmeal with berries and almonds 

  • within 1 hour: banana, orange or apple 

If I’m training like an athlete in a Burn 60 class, does that mean I can eat like an athlete too? 

Christian: If you are training at burn 60 you are an athlete that means you MUST eat like an athlete to maintain optimal performance and you will feel and look amazing too. 

Julie: We are all athletes in our own way and athletes:  

  • eat a variety of nutrient dense foods 
  • incorporate high quality protein in every meal 
  • eat mindfully and intuitively 
  • listens to their body

Test you trivia knowledge this week in the studio with this week's trivia questions on trivia! 

'How To Set Up Your Heart Rate Profile' Guide

In order to get the most accurate calorie burn and heart rate data during a Burn 60 class, you must enter the following information into your Burn 60 profile:

  1. Your Age and Weight
  2. Your Maximum Heart Rate
  3. Your Studio Performance Board Screen Name

The following how-to guides below will help you accomplish these tasks...

1) HOW TO ENTER YOUR AGE & WEIGHT

 

2) HOW TO CALCULATE AND ENTER YOUR MAX HEART RATE

 

HOW TO ENTER YOUR PERFORMANCE BOARD SCREEN NAME + PRIVACY SETTINGS

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The Recovery Tool You Never Thought Of... Acupuncture

The second installment in our November Challenge Recovery Series comes from long time Burn FAM member Nell Smircina! As clinic manager of Emperor's College Acupuncture Clinic, shes a firm believer in the benefits of acupuncture as a recovery tool. Ready for some knowledge? Cause it's coming at ya....

An important aspect of training is recovery. It is often overlooked- we are constantly pushing ourselves in work, exercise and life in general and often forget to take a breather. When you’re looking to improve your level of fitness, whether for cardiovascular/strength training goals or for overall health, utilizing different resources for recovery is extremely important. The better you recover, the better your future progress will be. If you are pushing yourself to your limit in this awesome November Challenge, don’t forget to give your body the recovery it needs. A tool you may not have considered for athletic recovery: Acupuncture!

3 reasons acupuncture helps with athletic recovery:

 It affects sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Staying asleep? Or just not getting enough of it? Acupuncture helps regulate the endocrine system and has a tremendous effect on hormone regulation, so it can greatly benefit sleep. Sleep for athletic recovery is critical. The release of human growth hormone (important for muscle repair and recovery) is increased during sleep. Certain activities associated with digestion, cell repair, and growth are often greatest during sleep, which also speaks to its importance for muscle repair.  Poor sleep is also linked to an increase in cortisol which can affect blood sugar regulation in the body. So, if you aren’t having the length or quality of sleep your body needs, your overall recovery will be inhibited.

It boosts the immune system

As we push ourselves, our body expends energy and often can get to a point of feeling run down because the energy once used to protect us from pathogens is being burned off by activity. There is nothing wrong with pushing ourselves, but we need to make sure to keep our immune system strong in order to not be susceptible to disease. Studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in increasing T-cells, which help kill bacteria and viruses in the body. The healthier you stay, the more you can get out of your fitness goals.   

It aids in musculoskeletal recovery and helps with muscle soreness and pain

Acupuncture is a microtrauma, so when a small needle is placed in a specific area on the body, it calls the body’s attention to that area. Just like when you have a bruise, the body is told to send immune modulators to that area. When you’re looking to repair any breakdown that’s going on with your muscles, targeting these sore areas is important. Acupuncture helps increase circulation to those muscles- and more blood flow = a greater capacity to decrease the trauma and increase the capacity to heal and recover from vigorous exercise.

Consider adding acupuncture to your recovery regimen. It could be a game changer in your fitness journey! 


Ready to give acupuncture treatment a try? Nell has put together some amazing treatment discounts for Burn 60 clients... 

  • Purchase 5 sessions for $420 ($130 savings) 
  • Purchase 1 session for $150 and receive 20% off your returning visit.