Running: a technique to make progress

There are many ways to set and measure progress and performance at running. Three parameters are involved: time, distance and speed which you could vary. Run a fixed distance and try to go as fast as you can by measuring your time. This is what competitive running is after all. Or run for a fixed time and try to cover as much distance as possible. This is simple – you go for a 30-minute run and just keep running without looking back until your time is up.

Other more advanced techniques to measure progress include a step counter, trying to minimise the number of steps while covering the same distance, heart rate monitor, calorie counter, oxygen monitor etc.

For most of us who don’t have an oxygen monitor or don’t want to use any gadgets while running outdoors, here is a simple technique to set yourself a benchmark and push yourself every time.

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How not to be bored at cardio

If you’ve read the previous post on choosing between weight-lifting and cardio work, you will have understood that you should really do both. If you’re like me, you will much prefer lifting weights than cycling on a stationary bike. So how do you stop yourself from getting bored with your cardio and stopping?

Enjoy it

Cardio work, although very often thought of as simply running or cycling on a stationary bike, is not limited to these boring repetitive activities. Cardio is also playing football, badminton, tennis, basketball, in fact, any long-lasting activity that will get you out of breath for a sustain period. Although heavy squats will certainly make you gasp for breath, they are not a sustained activity. So pick the sports you enjoy and you will most certainly stick to them in the long-term.

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Weight lifting vs cardio

Many people who thrive on building thick slabs of muscles hate cardio work and many cyclists and middle and long distance runners won’t be spending much time weight-lifting. There is this divide between weight lifting, an anaerobic exercise and cardio-vascular training, an aerobic form of exercising. So which one is the best type of training, weight-lifting or cardio?

Benefiting from each

In order to answer this question, you have to look at their benefits. Weight-lifting and aerobics each have their advantages and lack their counterpart’s advantages.

Aerobic exercises will

  • increase your body’s efficiency at burning oxygen;
  • lower your heart rate;
  • increase your endurance;
  • build more arteries in your muscles. Continue reading