The Little Things That Make a Big Difference | Running Advice

Little things for runners that make a big difference

Nip Guards There is nothing more aggravating than being on a run and finding that your top is causing chafing and abrasions on the nipples. With Nip Guards safe medical adhesive it is applied directly to the base of the nipple, rather than the chest. This prevents sweat from affecting the adhesive, backed with Nip Guards guarantee not to fall off.

Body glide As mentioned above, chafing and abrasions can cause a lot of discomfort while running. This can occur at any point where friction can build up due to heat and moisture rubbing between two surfaces. With Bodyglide there are no oils in the product so it sinks into the skin for a longer lasting effect, it also allows the product to be sweat and water resistant. As a result of the product not containing oils it is also safe to use on wetsuits as the balm will not corrode the fabric. This has resulted in Body Glide being the official sport lubricant of the USA Triathlon team since 2001. Our current range consists of The Original Body Glide in a large (36.9G) and travel size (12.8g) version, recommended for the feet, thighs and upper body. Body Glide Sun and Sport (36.9g), containing SPF 25 for use across the whole body and Body Glide Warm FX designed for use across the whole body as an anti-chafing balm as well as for recovery. The heat properties allow a greater speed of recovery for over-exertion, backache, sprains, strains, cramps and bruises. The heat induces vasodilation of the blood vessels in the skin and this in turn increases the blood flow to the damaged area. This increase in circulation can also help numb the discomfort slightly.

Lace toggles/elastic laces It’s getting cold and your fingers aren’t working as well as you would like? You are taking part in Triathlons and you are looking to speed up your transition time? Or maybe you have a very wide foot and need the laces to stretch with your foot? Lace toggles and/or elastic laces can make it that bit easier for you. Pull the laces as tight as you like without the laces coming undone while you run.

Shoe Goo – Is an ideal adhesive and sealant for minor repairs to shoes and frayed laces. Shoe Goo has a strong traction and adhesion, has superior abrasion resistance and high flexibility resulting in a shoe that is nearly as good as new.

Race number belt There is nothing more annoying than turning up on a race day wearing your favourite technical running top, only to ruin it by pinning your race number to it. With a race number belt your top will remain intact while the number is secured to the body.

Sorboskin – Sometimes there is nothing worse than a sore blister! Perhaps your old shoes rub? Or you haven’t broken in your new shoes in time for your next event? Or maybe your socks have too a high cotton content and you start getting blisters on the feet? Whatever the reason Sorboskin can help, it is a blister plaster with a medical adhesive that holds the soft patch over the blister to stop any further aggravation; the plaster also contains Aloe Vera to sooth the aggravated area. With a variety of sizes to depend on the size of the blister there is plenty of choice to see you through your next event or to allow your feet the time they need to recover without compromising your training regime.

Foam roller Foam rollers are used to enhance balance, body awareness, muscle re-education and muscular flexibility and provide dynamic strengthening. Originally used to relieve muscular tension along the spine, hips, neck and shoulders, rollers are now widely used in Pilates and Physiotherapy to help to develop core stability through a range of exercises. Foam rollers can be used in conjunction with resistance bands and Swiss balls. Foam rollers are also excellent at helping speed up recovery post exercise and are now commonly used on the calves, hamstrings, quads, iliotibial band and the back.

Swiss ball/stability cushion The Swiss ball and Stability Cushion are ideal tools for improving core strength and aiding posture. With the Swiss Ball regularly used in Yoga and Pilates and both commonly used in Physiotherapy, they are ideal to start and maintain an exercise routine. The Swiss Ball also comes with a workout DVD to help you get started. Commonly people see core strength as working their abdominals but both can work the whole of your core including your internal and external obliques, your gluteus maximus and in some cases your latisimus dorsi and trapezius. All of these are essential to maintain a good posture and reduce the stress across the body.

Hot and cold packs – The reason the hot and cold pack is so useful is because the pack can be frozen and used to reduce pain and inflammation following a hard training session or race on any sore or injured areas, after the cold has started the healing process the pack can be heated in a microwave oven and the heat will continue the healing process. The cold should be applied within the first 48 hours of the injury (such as sprains and strains) occurring, after the 48 hour period cold is used primarily for reducing swelling and pain control. The cold causes the blood vessels and capillaries to vasoconstrict, reducing local metabolism and minimising enzyme activity which in turn reduces the tissues need for oxygen. All of this results in slower nerve conduction which is used in the reduction of pain and the cold reduces the inflammation at the injured site. This can be very effective when coupled with the heat from the pack. The heat from the pack can increase the circulation to the damaged/inflamed area, this increase in circulation causes vasodilation of the blood vessels and capillaries surrounding the area. By vasodilating the blood vessels there is more oxygen and nutrients being transported to the damaged site, helping speed up the recovery process by aiding in the repair of the damaged tissue cells.

Sunglasses  Many people feel that sunglasses should only be worn during the spring and summer months, however, it is during the winter that UV can be most effective and subsequently more damaging because people do not protect themselves. UV can have an effect on the eye’s surface tissue and the cornea. Short term effects of UV on the eyes are likely to be photokeratitis. This can cause an inflammation to the cornea, often referred to as ‘sunburn of the eye’. It usually occurs when combined with cold wind. The most common symptoms include red eyes, a gritty feeling in the eyes and excessive tears. This is usually a temporary effect, however long term damage from UV light has been proven to increase the chance of cataract formation as well as causing irreversible damage to the retina. All sunglasses have to have UV protected lenses, the additional features to sunglasses is very dependent on the brand. Another key feature of sunglasses is protection from foreign objects, such as flies grit, dust and stray tree branches! Any of these objects can turn a pleasant run into a tearful experience and potentially ruin a fast time that you may have been on track for. Feel free to pop into store to have a look at our current sunglass range and find out their individual benefits.

Hats/Caps  As shown in the ‘Sunglasses’ section, protection of the eyes is essential all year round. This can be achieved with a hat or a cap with a peak to protect the eyes from UV rays. During some months, however, it is just too cold to be wearing a cap. This is when a technical running hat or beanie can be of use. With technical running brands using Scotchlite (see high visibility page for more details) on their logos and trims of hats and beanies, there is always a reflective element while you are running in the dark. Brands will also use moisture wicking materials such as ‘dryLete’ from Saucony and ‘Thermalite’ from Ronhill to manage heat and moisture to stop you from getting too hot and sweaty without getting cold while you are out.

Superfeet  Superfeets philosophy is ‘Support the foot. Align the body’. The feet support the whole skeletal system and a misalignment can cause discomfort to occur throughout the body. This discomfort can occur in the arch or heel of the foot, the shins, knees, hips, back or even shoulders and the neck. Misalignment affects the kinetic chain of the body and causes you to compensate. The body needs a firm foundation to allow for proper alignment, with a Superfeet insole this is possible. The corrective wedging and shape of the supportive arch of the insole holds the foot in a better position than it would be in a basic insole; this in turn can sometimes align the body better. Why is this better than a gel insole? Because a gel insole will mask the discomfort you are suffering, they will initially seem comfortable, but this comfort will quickly subside and the discomfort will reoccur where as Superfeet’s ‘Encapsulating Stabilizer System’ uses podiatric medicine theory to help provide ideal biomechanical support. This allows for the foot to go through its normal range of motion.