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Best squats to build speed

APR 27, 2022

Minute 1: Boost your energy without relying on caffeine

If you’re looking for liveliness without the lattes, there are ways to get an energy boost without the jitters of caffeine. Herbal teas are a good option, especially the ones listed in “8 Energizing Herbal Teas That Will Wake You Right Up—Without a Speck of Caffeine.” Rather than providing a stimulant effect, teas that contain peppermint, ginger, and lemon balm pack all kinds of cognitive boosters to help you feel focused and alert. Ginger increases circulation in your body, giving your brain the oxygen it needs. That’s especially important for fighting fatigue, since poor circulation is known to deplete energy levels according to: “9 Ways to Improve Your Blood Circulation.” We’ve sorted out what to drink, but how about foods that provide an energy boost? The answer can be found in “What are the best foods to eat for energy?” A good way to get a quick and healthy jolt to your system is by eating fruit. They contain sugars which are quick to convert to energy. They’re balanced out with fiber, though, so there’s no rush and crash like you’d expect from snacks with processed sugars.

Minute 2: Squats build speed: Here are some moves to try

To get faster, you should try lowering the bar. We mean that literally, not as a figure of speech, because barbell squats and other variations are great for runners. So get ready to get down when we ask: “Do Squats Help You Run Faster?” First, let’s get one concern out of the way. Squatting isn’t going to bulk you up like crazy, not without a lot of time and heavy weight. Runners can perform bodyweight squats or low weight, high repetition sets to develop muscular endurance, rather than adding muscle mass. When it comes to the variation you perform, a good place to start is the classic squat, where you place your feet forward, roughly shoulder’s width apart, and bend at the knees while keeping your back tight. Aim to drop to about 90 degrees if you’re able, and then return to a standing position. The basic squat is great for building strength, but variations on single leg movements will target 1 leg at a time to develop your stability and balance. Take a look at “How To Master The Bulgarian Split Squat.” For this, you’ll need a raised surface to rest your leg on, allowing you to squat deeper, and with 1 leg at a time. It’s a bit trickier to perform than a basic squat, so we recommend watching “Bulgarian Split Squat...You're Doing It Wrong” to check your form. #DoYouKnowSquat

Minute 3: Long Covid is no joke for runners

We’re relieved to see Covid case numbers remaining low across the country these days. Finally, many of us are able to put our worries about the pandemic on the back burner and return to some degree of normalcy. Unfortunately for those experiencing long Covid, the fight may not be over yet, as symptoms can persist and are especially troublesome for runners. If you’re experiencing lingering issues, we recommend you “Take it slow when returning to running with long Covid.” Chest pain, shortness of breath, and elevated heart rate are common among runners with long Covid. The cause is still uncertain, but research has suggested Covid can impair cell function, disrupting the mitochondria, which are essential to our body’s energy production. If you’re starting to run again after a Covid infection, one doctor recommended the 50/30/30/10 rule. That means reducing your normal mileage by 50% in the first week, 30% in the second, and so on. If at any point you experience unusual difficulty, you should get an evaluation from your doctor. For more tips to help your transition back, read “3 Steps For Returning To Physical Activity After COVID-19.” It’s good to test the waters with a walk or slow 10-minute jog before attempting to match your performance pre-infection.

Minute 4: Making a plan for marathon recovery

Running a marathon burns energy like a Ford 150 burns gas. It’s far more than what most of our bodies are used to. As such, it’s important to spend plenty of time refueling yourself with foods and fluids to keep your recovery on track, according to this new story: “What should you eat or drink after a marathon?” During a marathon, or a long Sunday run for that matter, almost all of your body’s glycogen storage will be depleted, and the only fix for that is carbs. A bowl of pasta, whole grain bread, or rice can quickly restore some of that lost energy. It’s important to know just how much energy you’ll need to ingest, and to understand the factors at play. This story provides some guidance: “How Many Calories Are Burned During a Marathon?” What about a well-earned IPA to celebrate your finish? Well, having 1 or 2 drinks after a run is fine, and some beers even contain polyphenols which could aid recovery. However, alcohol impairs protein synthesis, according to: “Can Alcohol Impair Muscle Growth and Fitness Levels?” Your damaged muscles can’t be repaired until alcohol has been expelled from your system, so go easy on the victory beers if you want to mitigate excess soreness.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • CNN host John Berman got quite the scare during his run at the Boston Marathon. He felt pretty good through 24 miles, but suddenly experienced a health scare that forced him into an aid station at mile 25. The next thing he knew, he woke up in an emergency room with a fever of 104, low blood pressure, and a high heart rate. He experienced a condition called rhabdomyolysis in which damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. That can permanently damage your heart and kidneys, but luckily doctors diagnosed it quickly and responded in time. John is doing fine now after 3 days in the hospital, but his story reminds us to carefully monitor ourselves and our fellow runners on course. If Berman hadn’t checked himself into an aid station, the result could have been much worse. Read the details of his story in “‘You all probably saved my life’: CNN host John Berman details medical emergency suffered while running the Boston Marathon.”

  • Springtime isn’t just marathon season – it’s also the time to race to your local nursery and prep your vegetable gardens. Fresh air, physical labor, garden-to-table veggies – what’s not to love. In addition, gardening can cultivate a healthy mindset that grows your patience, rather than feeding your need for instant gratification. For tips on how to get started, read “How to Start a Garden: 7 Steps to Growing Your Own Vegetables” and to improve your patience, here are “7 Tips for Better Patience: Yes, You’ll Need to Practice!

  • There’s a fine line between “crazy fast” and “You're crazy, that’s too fast.” Unfortunately, we often don’t find the answer as to where that line is until it’s too late, and we’ve pushed ourselves too hard. That can lead to long recovery times, injury, and fatigue. Find the warning signs in “The Difference Between Pushing Yourself and Overtraining Syndrome.”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

They say that sometimes, you’ve got to take 1 step back to take 2 steps forward. If that’s true, then this week’s featured content creator must be gearing up for a monumental leap. @worlderunners shows one runner running backwards in what we imagine is a world record of speed. Either that, or we’ve fallen for a late April Fool’s joke and some clever editing. Whether or not the footage is altered, we’re impressed with the treadmill sprinting nonetheless, and it’s got us fired up to do a few sprints of our own this week.


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