Natural Running

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What is Natural Running

When you walk, you land on your heels. When you sprint, you land on your toes. An optimal running gait falls somewhere in-between. Efficient running is about landing on your sweet spot. Not your heel, not your toes.

Run barefoot to discover your optimal running form. You’ll discover immediately that when you run barefoot, you’re not landing on your heels. Instead you are landing on your midfoot/forefoot.

Humans are naturally designed to run without the aid of highly cushioned, structured midsoles of modern running shoes.

Natural Running Technique

Newton running shoes are designed to promote natural running form.  If you follow these three simple steps you will improve your efficiency, reduce injury risk and get faster!!!

Keep your ankles and knees flexed, head up looking at the horizon. Lean slightly forward. Shorten your stride.

 LAND lightly with your fore foot under your body. This reduces braking action and shock.

As your midfoot/forefoot impacts the ground, the Action/ Reaction Technology™ is engaged. The membrane supporting the four external lugs absorbs shock and stores energy. As the foot LEVERS forward, the lugs stretch the membrane underneath, storing energy.

Instead of using excessive muscle power and pushing off to begin a new stride, simply LIFT your foot off the ground. The lugs will springout of the midsole chambers with a burst of energy that turns into forward propulsion.

Landing on your midfoot/forefoot is the most natural way to run. It is also the fastest and most efficient way to run. Newton Running shoes are the only shoes that were developed specifically for Natural Running.

Most top distance-running coaches utilize some form of barefoot running or barefoot strength and proprioception drills in small doses. Used properly these drills can improve balance, strengthen the small muscles in the feet and lower legs and maintain a runner’s form and, ultimately, individual running economy (oxygen cost at a given pace) to maximize race performance.

But if you’ve never done any kind of barefoot drills or running, it is important to transition into unshod exercising very slowly. Consider starting with barefoot lunges, barefoot squats or walking barefoot through sand with accentuated rolling from heel to mid-stance to toes. After a few weeks, you can start running easy acceleration strides or a few cool down laps on the soft grass infield after a long run or track workout.

The principle behind barefoot running makes sense, but even if you’ve got great mechanics and exceptional core strength, you should still run with shoes to keep your feet out of harm’s way and choose a lightweight, minimalist shoes with a low ramp angle to mimic the bare foot. Shoes will protect your feet from hazards like glass, gravel and debris, and they will provide thermal protection properties.

Injury Free Running

If you have been finding you are forever injured whilst running then running with natural form could be the answer.  Watch this video to find out more!

Wetsuit fitting

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B2P Sports Tip For Putting On A Wetsuit

 

Putting on your wetsuit is fairly self explanatory, but here are some pointers to help you.

Preparation

To start with, it is probably easiest to sit down to begin putting the suit on. When doing so be very careful not to sit on rough surfaces that can damage the suit. The body should be dry, not wet. Also, it is best to use some soft gloves to avoid cutting the neoprene with your nails.  It is advised to remove any watches or jewellery for the same reason and make sure that the clothes worn underneath are not crumpled and the zips are flat so they do not cause rubbing. Strange though it may seem, plastic bags on your feet and hands will make this task seem effortless!

FEET

The first step to putting on your wetsuit is the feet. Find a good place to sit and slip one leg in. Don’t force the foot through yet and make sure the suit is the correct way round i.e. the zipper is lined up to be on your back. Grab the suit on either side of your leg and point your toes, then push your foot through. Try to do this in one movement, as it puts less stress on the seams. Repeat these steps with your other foot.

LEGS

Now that you have your feet in the suit, stand up and pull up the waist of the wetsuit. The wetsuit will tend to stick to itself and your skin, so gently pull up the places that are stuck. You want to pull the legs of the suit up the body as high as you can without straining. Ensure there are no folds, no air pockets and no creases behind the back of the leg as this will cause chafing when kicking in the swim. The wetsuit should be 5-14cm above the anklebone for easier removal. Neoprene around the ankle inhibits flexibility when kicking. The suit will not be tight against your crotch yet, that comes in a later step.

ARMS

The next step to getting the suit on is moving onto the upper body. With the legs on, you should now be able to put your arms in the sleeves and pull the suit over your shoulders. To pull the wetsuit over your arm, close your hand or clench your fist and put one hand in at a time so as not to damage the inside of the suit with your nails or accidentally pull a finger back. Work the material up your arms until the suit covers both shoulders.

Pulling the suit over your shoulders should make it easier to get the suit tightly against your crotch. At this point you should swing your arms so the suit will evenly disperse over your whole body before you zip it up.

ZIPPING UP

While it is easier to have someone help you zip up the suit, it is recommended that you learn to do it yourself. It may take some practice, but it will be worth it when you are in a situation where no one is around to help. To make the zipper slide more easily, push your shoulder blades together, this will bring the material on your back closer together.  Do not put excessive force on the zipper. And make sure you always pull in the same line as the zip runs, while holding the base of the zipper with your spare hand.

How does it feel now?

At this point you are maybe sweating and uncomfortable because the suit is too hot. This is normal. The suits are especially hot out of the water, but they will naturally shift and cool slightly as soon as you get in the water.

Typically you should allow 10-20 minutes for the first time you do this and 10-15 minutes before an event. It could take you less, but you want to get the fit perfect and then concentrate on the swim rather than something rubbing during the race. 2XU body glide is an excellent lubricant that will help reduce the onset of sores caused by abrasion of the skin.

Tips from B2P –  swimming in a Triathlon wetsuit

Things you need to know about a Triathlon specific wetsuit –

1. You will often feel more buoyant in a triathlon wetsuit, so you may over roll when breathing. This is something you want to avoid. Forward motion is required not sideways resistance movement.

2. The wetsuit will help you glide by being more streamlined and buoyant so use this to your advantage by doing long slow strokes. A comparison would be cycling down a hill you can cycle in a harder gear.

3. When wearing a wetsuit, the recovery phase is often minimised due to less flexibility in the shoulders area. Concentrate on this, so you can recover fully ready for the next powerful stroke.

4. Wearing a Triathlon wetsuit will feel tight and almost claustrophobic to some people. On dry land you may get hot putting it on, but once in the water and after practise, you may not even notice you are wearing it.

3. Less kick is needed to keep you stay buoyant in a Triathlon wetsuit, so often shallow kicking is the best option.

4. A swim session in the pool wearing your wetsuit in familiar territory is advisable before your triathlon. You may need to get permission, as some swimming pools do not allow you to use wetsuits in a public session. The best option is to contact your local Tri club to find out when they train. Remember if you do practise in a swimming pool, wash out the suit thoroughly as the chlorine can destroy the seams.

5. Taking your wetsuit off should be easier than getting it on, especially when it is wet. Remove one arm at a time and peel the wetsuit away from your body. You should remove one foot at a time and step backwards as you pull your foot through each of the legs. This is something worth practising a few times before a race.
Finally enjoy your swim!

Wetsuite Care

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To get the most out of your wetsuit follow these simple steps in ensuring your suit remains in excellent condition.

  1. When putting your wetsuit on ensure you do not dig your nails into the neoprene as this can tear it.
  2. If possible get someone else to zip your wetsuit up.  This will reduce the risk of it splitting below the zip.
  3. If you find you get a wetsuit rash around your neck make sure you use a wetsuit specific lubricant such as Body Glide as petroleum jelly can damage the suit.
  4. After every use wash your wetsuit inside and out with cold fresh water.
  5. Do not leave it in the back of your car until your next swim!  Using a wide armed hanger, hanging your wetsuit inside out will allow it to dry quicker.
  6. Store your wetsuit out of direct sunlight.  Preferably inside out to avoid tearing the outer neoprene.

Wetsuit Repair

It is easy to tear your triathlon wetsuit, looking after it and putting it on carefully is the best way to avoid this but inevitably you will tear or knick it at some point.

The photo shows a typical fingernail tear.

You will need the following to repair your wetsuit:

  • Neoprene Glue (Black Witch £5 from B2P)
  • Cotton bud or something to spread the glue
  • Sticky tape

These instructions take you step by step through the wetsuit repair process.

If you find a bigger hole in your wetsuit then you will need to stitch it with a needle and thread before it is glued.  We are able to do this at B2P, or if it is beyond our expertise we can send your wetsuit to a specialist wetsuit repair company who are able to replace entire panels of the wetsuit that have worn out or are beyond repair.