7 Winter Running Tips

Spring races are hard to get ready for when winter weather impacts your training, but implementing some of these tips can help bridge the gap:

1. Use Layers Intuitively – When you layer up for colder weather, do so based on what you intend to remove once you get too warm (i.e. wear a long sleeved t-shirt over your windbreaker jacket, so once removed you still have protection.). This will keep you from the frustration of needing to slow your pace to take off, then put back on the necessary layers you need for protection, etc.

2. Eat Real Food – Eating a gel packet in freezing temperatures is not the most palatable, so winter is a great time of year to try real food running boosts like dehydrated fruit. In addition, cave dwelling during the colder months is an excellent time to brush up on your lifestyle cooking skills to fuel your runs by a solid whole foods diet void of processed foods.

Image Source: bostonmagazine.com

3. Think about Traction – Slipping on slick terrain can inspire indoor treadmill running quickly, but outdoor solutions do exist. Purchase some traction devices that best fit your style and pace of running to keep you motivated and safe during winter.

4. Keep Feet Warm – Contrary to popular belief, keeping the feet warm is less about shoes, more about socks. Go for brands specifically designed to wick moisture away and avoid cotton. Use a running shoe that allows for the foot to be fully relaxed in the toe box so circulation does not impair proper blood flow to the feet.

5. Head, Hands, and Neck – Yes, the number one place for heat loss is your head, followed closely by your hands, but the neck also needs to be covered to keep your body warm. Try a neck gaiter or turtleneck.

6. Stay Motivated – Sign up for an early spring event helps to stay motivated to get out the door on blustery winter mornings.

7. Have a Plan B – Unexpected weather, alarm clocks mysteriously not going off, and failures in the buddy system all happen during winter a bit more than in the warmer months. Having backup workouts, even cross-training (or running on the dreaded treadmill at times) can keep you on track to meet your running goals.

For more on marathon running and related tips, please visit Steven Rindner‘s homepage.

Startup success: Tips on development and marketing

At the onset, building a startup seems simple: take a great idea, put it into practice, and wait for investors. But complications, arising from an economic climate or internal problems, are bound to show up. Before the tech bubble burst, lazy development strategies passed muster, but investors today are smarter and wiser.

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Image Source: personaltrainerguru.com

According to research by Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, three out of four startups fail. A possible reason for this is a lack of strategy: entrepreneurs are too focused on building their product and neglect building a strategy to grow and market their business.

It’s important to create an incisive business development strategy in order to raise a startup’s chances of success.

The following are some practices that entrepreneurs can incorporate into their business development plans:

Cut costs, not quality

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Image Source: fundinggates.com

Entrepreneurs should forgo the corner office with a view until they could actually afford it. Rent, for a small startup, is an unnecessary cost: a home office will do until needs cry for expansion.

Entrepreneurs should also consider other ways to cut costs without compromising quality. For example, instead of having full-time employees for non-essential tasks, entrepreneurs should consider outsourcing them to freelance workers.

Startups should consider a “release early, release often” approach. Minimum Viable Products (MVP) have only the necessary features needed to earn money and get constructive feedback from early adopters. This is more cost-effective and less time-consuming than creating a product with the maximum number of features on it and hoping it appeals to customers.

Create a marketing plan

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Image Source: businessmarketingblog.org

A good marketing plan will build awareness, create and reinforce the company’s image, and develop a solid customer base. It also differentiates a startup from the competition and provides reasons for potential customers to choose its products or services.

The above two tips are just the tip of the iceberg: there are many other things that entrepreneurs need to incorporate into the business, marketing, and financial sides of their business plan. Beginners to the world of business will benefit greatly from the guidance of an experienced business development leader.

Steven Rindner is a business and corporate development executive with experience in several industries. For discussions on business growth strategies, follow this Twitter account.

Learn to Run with Proper Form

Perhaps you are new to running or a seasoned runner fighting injury. Learning the proper form and posture of running is imperative to having longevity and happiness in the sport. The purpose of this article is to teach runners a proven, effective, and safe way to run to avoid injury and improve performance with effortless technique (one in alignment with the body’s natural physiology).

Image Source: npr.org

The Basics of Proper Running Form:

• The proper body position is upright with a slight forward (but balanced) lean from the ankles.

• The core should be engaged with good posture and a straight back.

• The chest should push forward slightly as the arms pump backward and the hips and knees extend.

• Hands should stay near the chest with a short, compact, arm swing. Pump the arms back and let them recover or relax forward.

• To help the legs drive straight and the foot to land aligned underneath a bent knee, the arms should go forward and back with as little side to side motion as possible.

• The elbows should not come forward past the torso unless running at very high speeds.

• The upper body should carry over the foot leaving the feet to lift off quickly and extend behind the center of gravity.

• The feet should strike the ground under a bent knee as the leg begins to swing back under the body. Although the foot will contact the ground slightly in front of the body, it should feel as though it is directly underneath. Generally speaking, the full foot should contact the ground at the same time (a mid-foot strike). However, depending on genetics, the type of footwear being worn, and the running surface, the feet may contact with a slight forefoot landing or very slight heel landing.

• The foot strike should be light and quick and have about a 180-step-per-minute cadence.

 

Tip: Running barefoot for short distances can aid in helping you to feel, understand, and master proper running form.

 

For more on marathon running and related tips, please visit Steven Rindner‘s homepage.