was successfully added to your cart.

Five Hamstring Stretches To Keep Your Legs Loose

By | Articles | No Comments

Increase your lower-body mobility with these simple stretches. If you’re a regular runner or cyclist, or indeed someone who does any sport involving running, hamstring stretches should be part of your weekly routine. If you’re an active person who ignores this kind of mobility work you raise your risk of injury, and judging by the pain on the faces of footballers on TV who twang their hammies during a match, you really don’t want a hamstring injury. To help you avoid that unpleasant fate, or just to stretch out your legs after a long day sitting at a desk, try these five hamstring stretches from Josh Cooper, head coach at fitness studio UN1T. Split reach Sit on the floor with your legs forming a V-shape in front of you. Reach and lean towards one side at a time to feel a stretch in the hamstring in that side. You can turn this into a great mobility drill by reaching to one side and then moving your hands from foot to foot by walking your fingers along the floor in an arc. Dynamic hamstring reach Stand tall with one foot slightly further forwards than the other. Keep your front leg straight…

Read More

Do You Know Your Mountain Trivia?

By | Articles | No Comments

Size isn’t everything in a mountain. Neither is topographic prominence, or isolation, or vertical rise, or geologic age, or symmetry, or wildness. The best mountains, of course, are those that get lodged in your heart so that you feel them even when you’re far away, and lodged in your subconscious so that you dream about them. Maybe it’s the Grand Teton or Denali; maybe it’s that anonymous desert butte or that glorified hillock you keep coming back to—a personal sacred summit, “stats” be damned. That said, stats serve a useful (and sometimes entertaining) purpose. Whether you’re seeking applicable knowledge about specific peaks, or just hoping to be a human repository of ‘did you know’ facts among your climbing and hiking buddies, this hodgepodge of mountain trivia should help. From the fundamentals, like highest and most prominent, to the obscure little tidbits and other random stuff in between, here’s a brief breakdown of some of America’s best mountains (for one reason or another). The Highest: Elevation Revelations Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. Christoph Strässler Drawing from this Summitpost ranking of the highest summits in North America with…

Read More

How Much Marathon Training Do You Need To Do To Hit Your Goal Time? Strava Knows

By | Articles | No Comments

Get crowd-sourced advice on the weekly mileage and number of runs you should do to smash your marathon goal. There is no perfect way to train for a marathon. Different runners can succeed with different approaches, and often the amount and type of training you do will be dictated by your own individual circumstances. That said, it’s certainly no bad thing to check out what other runners are doing, especially those that have achieved a time target you are aiming for. Fitness tracking app Strava is one of the best sources for this kind of information. You can browse the training logs of millions of other runners, including pro athletes, to see what they’ve been doing. And when you put all that data together, you get a pretty clear picture of the approach successful marathon runners tend to take with their training. Strava has accumulated the data of male and female marathon runners who have hit times ranging from sub-three to five-plus hours and looked at how they trained in the 12 weeks leading up to the race. The data is broken down by weekly mileage, the number of runs per week, and the average pace of those runs. It’s…

Read More

What It’s Really Like to Complete the World’s Toughest Endurance Race

By | Articles | No Comments

It’s nearly dark when Kathleen Hamrick jogs into the jungle camp. She’s exhausted, overheated, soaked to the bone with river water, sweat, and grime. She has been running through the Amazon for five days now—through swamps that swallow you up to the waist in mud, along poorly marked village trails, up and down punishing hills, and across deep water river crossings. There will be no sleep tonight. This stage of the course involves racing through the darkness, and there are two days still to go before the finish line. But Hamrick lays down her pack and immediately begins the nightly ritual: shoes off, dry your feet, get in your hammock, and rest while you still can. A few minutes later another runner stumbles in, and Hamrick’s brother, William, part of the medical team, walks over to him. “Hey man, what’s going on?” he says. “You need me to take a look at your feet?” The guy nods his head and peels off his shoes, and William steps back. “The whole bottom of his foot was coming off,” says Hamrick. “Jungle rot.” This is the near-legendary Jungle Marathon, dubbed “The World’s Toughest Endurance Race” by CNN. The race covers 157 self-supported…

Read More

Everything You Need To Know To Start Trail Running

By | Articles | No Comments

Grab your (trail appropriate) shoes and get ready to off-road. Whoever you are, you owe it to yourself to embrace the great outdoors. In a 2015 study, Stanford University researchers found that volunteers who exercised in a natural setting – as opposed to an urban one – not only reported decreased anxiety and depressive thoughts, but actually showed decreased neural activity in areas of the brain associated by mental illness. Researchers theorise that natural settings feel less threatening and turn off our evolved stress response, but there might be more to it than that. “The ground beneath your feet demands 100% of your attention,” says running coach George Anderson. “It’s the perfect mindfulness practice. Every step needs careful consideration.” And, of course, your body will also reap the benefits, adjusting to the demands for core and hip stabilisation that come from running on uneven terrain. In short: it’s the season to hit the trail. But don’t just throw on your most beaten-up trainers and head out to the nearest wilderness – that’s the path to injury. We’ve assembled an everyman’s guide to getting outside your comfort zone, from taking your first (tiny) steps to competing in your first race. Thank…

Read More

4 Rookie Mistakes Made by First-Time Backpackers

By | Articles | No Comments

“Where is it? It has to be here somewhere.” I was standing in a parking lot in Yellowstone National Park staring at a mess of gear strewn across the pavement. “Where’s the rainfly for the tent?” One thousand miles away in my apartment in Dana Point, Calif., that’s where it was. Because I didn’t double-check all of my gear before I departed for Wyoming, I didn’t realize the rainfly was in a stuff sack in my closet. So, during a 70-mile journey through the soaking Yellowstone backcountry, I struggled each evening to fold and shape a rectangular blue tarp into a dome-shaped fly. The word “origami” comes to mind. That wasn’t my first backpacking trip, but my failure to thoroughly check my gear was the type of mistake novice backpackers make all the time. And they don’t make mistakes because they’re dumb or careless. It’s because you can easily mess up when you’re doing something for the first time. Plus, it’s simply not easy to organize all the possessions you’ll need to leave civilization and explore unknown territory. If you’re new to backpacking, do yourself a favor and take heed of the following rookie mistakes. With a little knowledge, you’ll…

Read More

10 Amazing (and Attainable) Thru-Hikes Across the Country

By | Articles | No Comments

Weekend backpacking trips are one of the greatest gifts of the summer. You can get so much in just two to three days: a breathtaking vista, a serene mountain lake, a secluded old-growth forest. The only problem is that all too soon you’re back at the trailhead, preparing for the long drive home and wondering how you’ll get through five more days before your next big adventure. Usually, this is when hikers start to google “Appalachian Trail Town Guide” or “PCT Gear Checklist,” but if you aren’t quite ready to quit your job and sell your house, there are other long trail options, ones that can be squeezed in alongside life’s many other responsibilities. And since these trails don’t get the same press as the jewels of the triple crown, the odds of getting a week of breathtaking vistas all to yourself are even better. 1. Benton-Mackaye Trail A 270-foot suspension bridge crossing the Toccoa River on the Benton MacKaye Trail in North Georgia. Richard States: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee Season: Year round Duration: 2-4 weeks Learn more: BMTA.org The Appalachian Trail is widely considered one of the most social trails in America, and no wonder as thousands of hikers…

Read More

Tips for Hikers on Preventing and Treating Blisters

By | Articles | No Comments

What’s a hiker’s worst and most common enemy? Bears? Weather? No! It’s the common, but painful, blister. Even a short day hike can seem like a death march when you have blisters, but there are ways to prevent this suffering, or at least reduce the pain. The key is to know potential pressure points where a blister can form, and to know how to recognize when one might be forming. Plus, you can take certain precautions before hitting the trail. Now, that’s not to say that you can reliably prevent all blisters from forming. But, you can definitely minimize the risk, pain, and possible infection with just a little pre-hike prep. What Causes a Blister? First, we need to know what causes blisters in the first place. There are many things that can cause a flare-up, including sunburn, mosquito and bug bites, and allergies. But the most common cause is friction. Friction can be produced in a number of ways. When your skin is wet or damp it becomes very soft, and even the normal rubbing of your socks against the skin damages cells to a greater or lesser degree. If you have a simple wrinkle in your sock or…

Read More

Seven Essential Care Products For Your Trainers

By | Articles | No Comments

Keep your footwear looking and smelling box-fresh as the weather turns. Forget the weatherman. Forget your iPhone’s forecasting app. And absolutely forget your quick peek out the window and hapless attempts at predicting what the elements might throw at you today. There is a far more accurate and clearer method of predicting whether or not summer’s finally come to an end – your feet. Yep, taking a quick look at your trainers after a stomp around outside will tell you exactly how far we’ve fallen from the sunny season. Gone are the days of nonchalantly throwing on your pristine white Stan Smiths and returning them back to their home beside the door in the same box-fresh condition. Now, with autumn upon us and winter looming up behind it, you and your smart-casual kicks, running shoes and trendy trainers have wind, rain, mud mines and sludge puddles to look out for when stepping out of your front door. And we’re sorry to say, the odds are not stacked in your favour. But there are ways to level the playing field. Seven ways, in fact. Scroll down and discover our seven favourite trainer care products, all ready to extend the life of…

Read More

The 20 Best Hikes in the United States

By | Articles | No Comments

From the Smokies to the Rockies, and the Everglades to the highest point in Maine—and everywhere in between—the United States is full of world-class hikes. Whether you’re a hardcore peak bagger, out for an ambitious day hike, or are obsessed with the panoramic views for your Instagram feed, there’s always something thrilling to lace your hiking boots up for. Here, we tapped RootsRated editors for intel on some of the best hikes in the United States. Use them as inspiration for your next outing—or as a reason to plan a trip. Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming The Teton Crest Trail epitomizes the splendor of the West. John Strother There are a lot of really great hikes on this list, but Wyoming’s Teton Crest Trail might just take the cake as being the most epic. For 35-45 miles (depending on your route), this slender singletrack path cuts a dwarfed, serpentine figure as it slices through the heart of one of America’s most stunning mountain ranges, linking together its very best features along the way. Over the course of two to five days, hikers will pass through wildflower-filled meadows, over airy mountain passes, past glacially-fed tarns, and across expansive basins that swallow up…

Read More