Fitness / Running

3 Quick Running Drills That Can Help You Be a Better Runner

3 Quick Running Drills That Can Help You Be a Better Runner

As you go through the tests, pay attention to the following elements. Once you’re finished, jot down your findings on each to compare.1. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE)RPE is a numeric value on a scale of 0 to 10 that’s used to rate how hard you feel you’re working. It starts at zero (when you’re sitting on your couch) and caps off at 10 (when you’re at your absolute max). These tests will likely fall in the moderate-to-hard range—the easiest shouldn’t be much below a 5—and it’s important to recognize there’s no “right” level of RPE to reach. Instead, you’re mainly comparing your relative RPEs to see which drills feel more difficult than the others. It’s perfectly normal if these feel difficult, especially if you’re not used to specific speed or endurance workouts!2. Breath Consider how you feel breath-wise during these routines. Can you do these workouts while maintaining a controlled breath pattern? Or do you feel like you are gasping for air? You can also consider the talk test: Can you talk easily in full sentences, only get out a few words, or barely speak at all? These tests will likely leave you out of breath at some point. When that happens, pay attention to how hard it is for you to recover a steady breathing pattern.  3. Heart rateIf you have a fitness tracker that measures heart rate during your workouts, fire it up to measure throughout the entire duration of the test and afterward. Your average heart rate during your test is a good indicator of how hard you’re working. Also look at it during specific times; in addition to what your heart rate registers at the end of your workout, pay attention to both its peak and how long it takes to recover after intervals. Heart rate recovery refers to how much your heart rate drops after you stop peak exercise, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For most people, it’s usually between 15-25 beats per minute.If you don’t have a heart rate monitor or fitness watch, no worries! Just skip this one.4. Your mental state Your feelings contribute to performance—and how likely you are to want to lace up again. Check in with yourself at the beginning, middle, and end of each drill. Write down two to three words that describe how you felt going into the drill, completing the exercise, and how you feel about it overall. You might feel “determined” and “joyful” or “exhausted” and “annoyed.” 5. Recovery Recovery refers to how you feel 12 to 24 hours after you complete the test. “Some people may be able to recover faster from a short distance or middle distance, but they may take longer to recover from a long distance or vice versa,” says Peralta. On the day after the test, jot down your resting heart rate, your level of fatigue, and if any muscles ache.When you’ve completed your final running drill, you should have a better understanding of how your body and mind react to different types of running. For instance, if a certain type of running is your strength, you’ll generally see it in the metrics you jotted down above—say, a lower RPE, fewer comments about losing your breath, better recovery, and maybe less colorful adjectives describing your in-workout struggle.Test #1: SpeedThis drill is all about fast repeats, or a set time or distance that you repeat for a certain number of reps with rest in between. Your sprint should leave you out of breath at 30 seconds, but you should not be so tired that you can’t do another round.

The 21 Best Running Shorts for Cooler, Comfier Runs

The 21 Best Running Shorts for Cooler, Comfier Runs

As we ease into summer, you’re going to want to stock your closet full of running gear to stay motivated and active during the hottest days. The best running shorts for women are comfortable to wear and won’t distract you during your run. There are a lot of important pieces of running gear worth investing in if you’re spending a considerable amount of time training: Running shoes and sports bras are up there, but one of the most important elements to staying comfortable and cool during warm-weather runs is high-quality shorts. Running shorts come in a variety of styles, from minimalist split shorts to bike-short-style spandex. It all comes down to personal preferences, but there are a few things to take into account. How to shop for running shorts:Inseam length: A standard measurement that dictates the short’s length. Short inseams (like three-inch and less) will provide the ultimate range of motion and breathability, while longer inseams will provide more coverage and modesty. If you’re not comfortable with super short shorts, four- to five-inch inseams are a sweet spot where you can reap the benefits of both.Split Shorts versus Regular Shorts: The split in the side seam of shorts enhances the freedom of movement at the expense of coverage. Split length can vary, from full split to the waistband to a minimal half-inch partial split.Classic Shorts versus Compression Shorts: Loose-fitting classic running shorts are great for moisture-wicking and breathability, but spandex-style compression shorts help you achieve a secure fit and chafing prevention. However, some runners find compression shorts to fit too tightly and cause discomfort while running. If you’re prone to stomach problems while running, we recommend looser-fitting shorts.Features: Your running style will dictate the types of features you look for in running shorts. Do you want to run hands-free and carry your phone in your pockets? Or are you trail running with a hydration pack and want to prioritize minimalism and a barely-there feel? Do you frequently run at night and need the visibility of reflective detailing?Whether you’re looking for lightweight shorts for your morning jogs, running shorts that don’t ride up, or lightweight shorts that will prevent chafing during your marathon training, read on to find some of the best running shorts available now. All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The 11 Best Running Tights and Leggings for All Seasons

The 11 Best Running Tights and Leggings for All Seasons

Looking to up your running gear with some of the best running tights? A good pair of leggings has a way of making it to the top of your gym clothes pile week after week after week. There’s no substitute for ones that don’t fall down mid-workout, keep their shape, and wick sweat when needed. Bonus points if they have pockets.Sure, you want to look cute and feel good in your skin while you’re running, but when you’re suiting up for a no-holds-barred kind of workout, functional apparel is just as important if not more. To help you find the best of both worlds and get running no matter the weather, we’ve collected this list of top-notch leggings that either come with shining recommendations from seasoned runners or we’ve put through the wringer ourselves. Below take a look at top-rated items from Amazon, Lululemon, the North Face, and more. After shopping the best running tights for women be sure to check out our other expert-recommended apparel like the best running shoes and best earbuds for running.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

15 Pieces of Running Gear for When It’s Rainy and Gross Outside

15 Pieces of Running Gear for When It’s Rainy and Gross Outside

When the clouds start to roll in, could you opt to stay home and not run outside that day? Of course. And sometimes that’s the best option. (You can file that under: Things I’ve Learned the Hard Way). If the conditions are thunder and lightning, heavy winds, or anything that falls under a weather advisory, there’s not enough gear to make that safe for you. It’s better to miss one run than putting yourself in an unsafe situation—things get slippery, and visibility really falters—and risk having to miss many future runs.As for regular old rain, though, if you have the right gear, you don’t need to let the weather dictate your plans. (Just make sure you get out of your wet clothes as soon as you get home to guard against getting the chills!) I’ve run in tropical rain, cold rain, sorta rain, and oops-I-didn’t-know-it-was-going-to-rain rain. Here are some of the running rain gear pieces I swear by (plus some other similar products!) to help me get out and clear my head even when the weather is anything but.I start with solid basics that work for most weather.My closest-to-the-skin layers for when it rains aren’t actually different from my normal-running base gear. That’s because, well, for one, I sweat a lot so being drenched in my own sweat is not that different from being drenched in rain. I know, gross, but also just incredibly real!I need all the wicking, whether it’s hot and humid or dreary and dewy. I also have a pretty low tolerance for cold (that’s the Cali girl showing out), so I also tend to have long sleeves and light jackets as part of my everyday wear, running or not. I start with super solid, quality basics as my first layer—and sometimes my second!—no matter what the weather, and then I build on those basics for rainy days. The advantage of this is that using what I already have keeps me from having to buy entirely different gear for every possible weather combination.1. Nike Dri-FIT ADV Aura TankDick’s Sporting GoodsNike Dri-FIT ADV Aura TankI love tank tops for many reasons, the greatest of them all being that they do not limit my shoulder movement. I particularly love racerbacks for outdoor training in the summer months because, quite honestly, it keeps my tan lines from being all over the place. (Side note, wear sunscreen!) This Nike option is one of my favorite tanks because it is wicking, soft, doesn’t chafe—and I can easily wear it on its own or under a whole bunch of other layers (say, when I need a rain jacket over it). This is my top choice as it is also durable enough not to get soggy with a lot of sweat or sweat/rain combo, even wash after wash!2. Lululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback TankLululemonLululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback TankThis is another great option for a soft, wicking tank that can serve as a baselayer, and sometimes I’ll reach for this one based on its tons of color options!3. Athleta Momentum TankAthletaAthleta Momentum TankI also have a few of these Athleta tanks which are soft, seamless, wicking, and breathable. I found this one doesn’t keep its shape quite as well as the others after getting drenched, but it’s a great option for lighter-rain days!4. Nike Epic Lux LeggingNikeNike Epic Lux LeggingI am a huge leggings fan, even when it’s hot out. In fact, it’s usually not until the temperature hits 75 degrees or so that I feel the need to run in shorts. I’ve worn these leggings in 70-degree, rainy weather. I love that they have a good thickness to them that offers great wicking for both sweat and rain, and they have some great pocket options too for keys and ID. As an all-weather (but super helpful in the rain) bonus tip: I wrap my keys and cards in a small Ziploc bag before sliding them into a pocket.5. Athleta Ultra Light Run Cap 3.0AthletaAthleta Ultra Light Run Cap 3.0I always wear a brimmed hat when running to keep the sun off my face and my ponytail from bouncing all over the place. The only time this ever changes is if it’s cold (by my California standards) and I need to wear a beanie or headband that covers my ears. When you run in the rain, a brimmed hat also acts as a bit of a mini umbrella for your face. So I really make sure the hat is made of wicking material—this Athleta one I love is made of ripstop nylon—to keep the water from pooling in the material. Makes it beat any old baseball hat!6. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38NikeNike Air Zoom Pegasus 38Every runner has shoes they swear by, usually for very specific, very personal reasons. The same pair of shoes one runner loves, another will hate. The Nike Pegasus, which release a new version each year, are by far my favorite for my feet. I need stability, cushion, space for my orthotics—and I don’t mind that they come in lots of color combos! I’ve been wearing Pegasus versions for years. A solid pair of shoes will serve you in light rain, but see below for heavier rain options.7. Tavi Parker Thin Sport Socks SocksTaviTavi Parker Thin Sport Socks SocksHaving running socks that don’t slide around becomes increasingly important when sweat or water get involved. These are the socks that I wear for most of my runs. They stay put, handle sweat pretty well, and they are durable—meaning, they don’t develop holes after only a few runs and washes.Then I keep some key pieces at the ready for light rain, or when I’m not sure if it’s going to rain.Watching the weather super closely is your first line of defense for any kind of rainy conditions. I keep my eye on my iPhone’s weather app leading up to my run, and will generally try to time it for the least rainy moments of the day if at all possible. That means that sometimes the weather on my run might be on the verge of raining, sprinkling a bit, or raining lightly. It might also be a mix of all of those. Plus, I often run in San Francisco where the fog can be so dense that it feels almost like light rain. So in these conditions, I look for some slightly more specialized gear from my norm.8. Nike Dri-FIT ADV Running HoodieNikeNike Dri-FIT ADV Running HoodieLike I mentioned, I almost always wear or bring a long sleeve option even when it’s not gloomy out. I prefer to start warm and shed layers as needed. But when it is gloomy, I like to use a long sleeve with a hood. I also think thumbholes are a necessity in long-sleeved tops—but that’s probably my long arms talking. I like my sleeves to cover as much as possible, which is extra important in the rain. This long sleeve—yes, I’ve been a Nike fan lately—is my new favorite because it has thumbholes and a slit to check your watch without having to roll up your sleeves.9. Brooks Run Visible Carbonite Long Sleeve T-ShirtDick’s Sporting GoodsBrooks Run Visible Carbonite Long Sleeve T-ShirtWhile I do mostly prefer hoodies in the rain, if it’s only precipitating lightly, this long sleeve T-shirt with thumbholes is another great option—especially if you have a jacket with a hood you’re going to layer over it, or a hat with a brim and don’t mind getting a few drops on the back of your neck!10. Athleta Momentum Half-ZipAthletaAthleta Momentum Half-ZipIf a half-zip is more your style, this is a great option from Athleta—and it has thumbholes, too! Personally, I like as few zippers as possible, but I know some people LOVE to be able to ventilate part way instead of having to completely remove the top to allow some air in.11. Brooks Carbonite JacketREIBrooks Carbonite JacketIn light rain, I love a light jacket, and this one from Brooks really fits the bill. It’s also very packable if you don’t actually need it (tie it around your waist, or if you run with a fanny pack or hydration pack, you can stuff it in there). Plus, it has some great reflective tabs on it for extra visibility when the skies get dark and gloomy, and the hood stays put even over a brimmed hat. For those of you who don’t like to be too hot, this is really breathable.I swear by these pieces for heavy or cold rain.This is where the right gear is game-changing. For one, safety first. The skies are usually darker in these conditions and maintaining your visibility is incredibly important. I opt for reflectivity and brighter colors so cars can see me. Then, doing whatever you can to stay dry will allow you to feel more comfortable despite what’s happening around you. These rain-specific options help me make the most of my super-rainy runs.12. Nike Dri-FIT Run Division Fast LeggingsNike Nike Dri-FIT Run Division Fast LeggingsWhen it’s really rainy, I make sure to wear reflective leggings. These leggings are very similar to my regular pair above, but they are highly reflective—meaning, I stay visible—for when it gets darker outside. They’re still moisture-wicking but are slightly less thick. Still, I would sacrifice a bit of fabric thickness for safety any day.13. Nike Gore-Tex Infinium Trail Running JacketNikeNike Gore-Tex Infinium Trail Running JacketFull transparency, my favorite jacket for heavy or cold rain is a jacket I bought out of desperation while in Iceland. It’s not meant for running at all! But this weather-resistant option from Nike is: I like the poncho style, which allows it to go over other layers or a hydration pack. Buy a size up for extra room!14. Tavi Chase Sport SocksTaviTavi Chase Sport SocksWhen it’s cold, really rainy, or both, I choose socks that go higher up on my legs, which spares my ankles from the cold and my feet from getting extra drips sliding in from the bottom of my pants. These are the longer version of the socks I use as my basics. Bonus, they work great for running in sand too!15. Nike Pegasus Trail 3NikeNike Pegasus Trail 3OK, in conditions like these, this is when special shoes come in handy, especially if you’re running on trails. Trail shoes in general already give you better grip on uneven ground, which is super helpful in rainy, muddy conditions. Because I love the Pegasus so much, I do the trail version of the same shoe. (If I’m running on the road in really rainy weather, I choose the Shield version, which has weatherized uppers and solid traction.) If you have another preferred shoe, see if it has a trail running counterpart that you can keep on deck. Dry feet make all the difference in the world; it’s what makes the puddle splashing fun and free like when you were a kid rather than utter misery.So as I mentioned above, in some conditions—storming, downpouring, or any other weather advisories—shelving your run is going to be the best bet. But in less extreme rainy conditions, as long as there’s no safety threat to you, running in the rain really can be fun. And if you’re not into running at all, in any kind of weather? Even just going for a walk in the rain can be enjoyable. Again, it’s all about preparation (you have the benefit of an umbrella if you’re walking) and mindset. There is something equally childlike and badass about being out in the rain if that’s your thing and that’s what you’re feeling for that particular situation—but also, no one will judge you if you just run to your couch and get under some blankets instead.Related:

Want to Start Running With Your Dog? Here’s What You’ll Need

Want to Start Running With Your Dog? Here’s What You’ll Need

Enjoying the great outdoors with your dog is a fantastic way to bond with them—and running, with the right dog running gear, of course, will not only let you both get some fresh air but some healthy exercise, to boot. Dog harnesses, hydration essentials, and leash attachments to keep treats and poop bags handy, will all level up your standard dog walking setup to make running feel like a breeze. But, before you lace up (and leash up), here’s what you need to know about running with your four-legged friend.Is your dog ready to run?Samuel Franklin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR says it’s important to consider your pup’s breed, activity level, and overall health before taking them out on a run—these factors will help you better understand what they’re capable of. For example, if you have a mid-size hound or golden retriever in good health, you can expect them to be an eager running companion. But if you have a lower-energy dog, like an English bulldog or Great Dane; a dog with known health concerns (say, orthopedic problems); or a pup that doesn’t exercise regularly, they might not be well-suited to running for any real distance or intensity. “The duration, intensity, and type of runs one can start with their dog will vary widely depending upon the breed and current fitness status,” Dr. Franklin says.If you want to know more about your dog’s ability to run, get in touch with your vet—or even a veterinarian who specializes in canine sports medicine. If you’re worried about your dog’s orthopedic health or notice them limping, Dr. Franklin says it’s immensely helpful to show their doctor a video of the concerning issues.How can you start running with your dog?Overall, it’s wise to ease into a running routine with your dog (you can even start by taking progressively longer walks, then working your way up to light jogging). Dr. Franklin recommends starting with runs on the shorter side and tracking how much time you’re spending out there. (Luckily, there are plenty of excellent running apps that will help log your time and distance.) He also notes that you will need to set the pace: “Dogs do not know how to ‘warm up’ appropriately for exercise. They often want to go 100 mph right out of the gate. Try and warm your dog up by keeping your dog on a leash and running with you for at least 5 to 10 minutes to ease them into running if you are then going to let them off-leash.”From there, you can start to gradually ramp up into longer runs. Again, you can make this process as slow as you want: “If you want to be very safe, increase your mileage by only about 10% per week, although some dogs can increase more quickly,” Dr. Franklin explains.Where should you run with your dog?In the same way that road running feels very different from trail running for you, your dog’s experience will vary too, and you should prepare accordingly. On one hand, Dr. Franklin notes that mountain trails are usually rocky and uneven, which could hurt the digits of your dog’s paws. On the other, he adds, running on pavement could be harder on their joints. “My preference would be to run on dirt or grass trails but few of us have access to such trails consistently,” Dr. Franklin says. “It is important for owners to be cognizant of what surface they are on and try to modify the chosen activity accordingly.”How will the weather affect your runs?Running in the dead of winter or the height of summer can be unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) for us humans, so it’s natural that extreme temperatures and weather will have an impact on your dog too. When it comes to cold weather, Dr. Franklin says most dogs should be able to run safely without risking hypothermia. “The concern with cold weather is actually the footing and their paws and pads,” he says, explaining that running on icy pavement or hard, frozen ground can lead to paw injuries. Dog boots aren’t a must-have for running, Dr. Franklin says, but they can help protect your dog’s feet from the ice if you’re worried.Paw injuries, specifically burning them on hot pavement, are also a major concern with warmer temperatures. On top of that, Dr. Franklin says overheating and heatstroke, which can be life-threatening, are very real risks because dogs can’t regulate their body temperature as effectively as we can: “People perspire to help cool off while dogs cannot perspire. Consequently, you have to be far more cautious about running dogs in hot weather than in cold weather.” He says you should never try to push your dog to run when it’s hot out, and if they seem to be struggling or slowing down, stop running and head back inside.When should your dog stay home?Extreme heat, poor health, low activity, and injuries are the major deciding factors in whether you should run with or without your dog—they’ll be more than happy to greet you (and lick your sweaty face) when you return. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of the best dog running gear to pick up before you hit the trails with your trusty sidekick, from hands-free leashes to water bottles to waist belts. (And don’t forget to grab some new running shoes and running gear for yourself too!)

The 11 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women, According to Trail Runners

The 11 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women, According to Trail Runners

Trail running combines the best parts of road running and hiking into one exhilarating sport, but the combination poses a challenge for footwear. The best trail running shoes should provide the springy cushion and minimal weight of a running shoe, but with the traction and stability of a hiking boot. And while trail running shoes come in many different styles with a variety of features, they’re all meant for going fast on trails. What that looks like exactly can differ, they’ll all have deeper lugs (the bit on the bottom of the shoe like a tire) on the outsole to grip different types of terrain. To help navigate this new realm of trail running, we talked to different trail runners with hundreds of miles under their belts. We got their top tips for what to look for and recommendations for their favorite shoes.Before getting into the details of finding the ideal trail running shoe, we should mention this: if you’re brand new to trail running and just want to give it a shot without spending extra cash, you can use your regular running shoes to get started. With runs under an hour on easy trails (and you want to start on easy trails), beginners don’t necessarily need fancy trail running shoes. Trail Sisters group leader in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ambassador for Gazelle Sports, Sammie Bennett says, “if you’re just testing it out, and you’re not certain this is for you, you don’t need to have the fancy-fancy shoes, though something with a little bit more grip is always helpful.” When you’re ready to set out on longer, harder trails or you notice yourself slipping or feeling unstable on the trails, it’s time to look at what’s on your feet. However, if you search for trail running shoes, you’ll find tons of options out there. Plus, they’ll probably use weird technical terms like “lugs”, “gusseted tongue”, or “Gore-Tex lining.” Below we dive into the best tips when it comes to shopping for the best trailing shoes for women.What to Look for When Buying Trail Running ShoesThe main things you want to consider is the shoe fit and the trails you’ll be running on. “The most important thing to consider is the fit for your activity,” says Bekah Broe, director of performance footwear at HOKA. “Some models will have a tighter, sleeker fit great for speedy, technical trail runs while others provide a more accommodating fit for endurance efforts.”If you prefer a more cushioned, cloud-like running experience, look at shoes with more padding. If you want to feel the trail more and keep your feet light and quick, a more minimalist shoe would be a better choice. If you can, we highly recommend going to a running or outdoor-specific store in person and trying on a variety of different shoes to see what shape works best for your foot.Another aspect to consider is water resistance. If you’re only getting one shoe for all your trail runs and you’ll be running in many different conditions, you probably don’t want a fully waterproof shoe like something with a Gore-Tex lining because the shoe won’t be as breathable (plus sweaty feet on a run is the opposite of what you want). However, if the majority of your runs will be in extra wet conditions or in the snow, then a waterproof lining is something to look for.Whether you’re getting your very first trail shoe or you just need to replace your last pair, these women’s trail running shoes are the top options out there. You’ll find top shoe brands like Salomon, Hoka, The North Face and more from retailers like REI, Amazon, and Nike.

The 17 Best Sweatshirts and Hoodies for Running

The 17 Best Sweatshirts and Hoodies for Running

Once you’ve compiled your basic running gear, you’ll want to start preparing for more varying conditions like cold or rainy weather. When looking for the best running sweatshirts for women, you’ll find an array of options in different materials, so it helps to narrow down what type you want so you’re ready to get outside. Similar to running shoes, running shorts, and sports bras, these garments should be functional for fitness but also carry your wardrobe through the seasons. And while a running sweatshirt should be practical for runners and athletes, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be stylish. The best type of clothing pieces are the ones you can add as a wardrobe staple for everyday life, and these hoodies and sweatshirts for women are sure to please. From lightweight layers to water-resistant pullovers to lofty winter-friendly attire, we’ve include some bestsellers from running brands like Saucony, Lululemon, Adidas, and Smartwool, and retailers like REI and Amazon. Looking for tips on becoming a better runner or training for your first 5K? Check out our SELF Guide to Running.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Start Running Today With the #SELFto5K Challenge!

Start Running Today With the #SELFto5K Challenge!

If you’ve thought about running before, but have felt a little intimidated to begin, we’ve got news: The #SELFto5K Challenge will help you start running and build the endurance and confidence you need to cross the finish line of your first 3.1-mile race. We’re all starting together on April 25, which means that you’ll be crossing the finish line of your virtual 5K during the first week of June—just in time for Global Running Day.Here’s how it works. First: SIGN UP HERE. Signing up means that you’ll receive one newsletter from us each week for six weeks (bright and early every Monday morning!) that outlines exactly what your workouts will be for the week. That way, there’s no guesswork about what to do when. All of the workouts will also be posted on SELF. Now, keep reading to get all the details about what you can expect during this training program.SELF partnered with running coach Knox Robinson to create a beginner-friendly, six-week running program that culminates with a virtual 5K. (The “virtual” part means there’s no pressure to get to a certain location or lace up by a specific time! You can run your race when it works best for you.) The goal of the free program is to progressively build your endurance as the weeks go on. You’ll do this through a combination of several types of workouts: walk-run workouts and steady-state runs, low-impact cross-training days, strength training routines, and of course: rest days.During your 5K program, you’ll be given three running-related workouts per week, including one weekly longer effort. (Even your longer days are no more than 45 minutes though, so all of your workouts will be well under the hour mark!) Walk-run workouts are one of the cornerstones of this program: They help your body acclimate to longer and longer periods of time on your feet, which helps prepare your muscles, joints, and bones for the impact of running. Plus, there’s a mental benefit, too: Walk-run intervals allow you to take on the sport of running in a way that seems less daunting than diving right into an extended distance. Then, as your body (and your mind) get used to these running intervals, you’ll gradually begin to take on longer steady-state efforts. At the end of six weeks, you can feel confident to take on the entire 5K distance.Your weekly schedule will also include one cross-training day and one strength-training day. In this program, cross-training is broadly defined as a non-running workout that helps you get in some low-impact movement while giving your body a break from the force of running. Many people have their own favorite forms of cross-training—maybe it’s riding your bike, hitting the elliptical, jumping in the pool, or unrolling your yoga mat—and it’s perfectly fine to choose what works for you and slot it into that day. But if you’re not quite sure how you want to spend your cross-training days, we have you covered with options to try, too.

The 14 Best Running Shoes, According to Expert Runners

The 14 Best Running Shoes, According to Expert Runners

Warmer temperatures mean ditching the treadmill and finally feeling the sun on your face, and for runners, it also means ensuring you have the best running shoes for women in your closet ready to go. If you switched from running gear to skiing gear over the winter months and are digging out last year’s running shoes as the snow melts, those old shoes might be ready for a replacement. Pounding pavement or trails is in fact, pounding, and doing that on worn-out shoes puts more strain on your body (your knees especially) and forces your soft tissues to absorb more of that surface impact. Instead, you want a quality shoe that’s supportive, fits well, feels good on your feet, and isn’t completely falling apart at the seams. That being said, there are a lot of shoes that check those boxes. Short of going into multiple running shoe shops and spending hours trying on every single shoe, it can be hard to know which running shoe is best for you. If you can hit up your local running shop, we definitely recommend trying on a few pairs to see what feels good on your feet. However, if you can’t make it in person or just want to start your search on the right foot (pun intended), we’ve gathered a handful of top-notch running shoes for women, from our own dependable favorites to new innovations and recommendations from other long-term expert runners and trainers. Shop the best running shoes from Nike, Hoka, On, and more.Whether you’re a long-time runner or a soon-to-be runner your running shoes will be ready to keep up with the extra miles. And if you’re looking for tips on becoming a better runner, joining a runner’s club, or training for your first 5K, check out our SELF Guide to Running.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The 11 Best Jogging Strollers for a Smooth, Reliable Ride

The 11 Best Jogging Strollers for a Smooth, Reliable Ride

Gearing up to run with your baby means finding the right stroller for them to ride along with you—and the best jogging strollers are more than just getting you and your little one from point A to point B. A high-quality stroller will glide with you over pavement, nimbly turn with the bends in your path, and ensure a stable ride over rough terrain. Jogging strollers, which the Mayo Clinic recommends for six-month-olds or older, might look a little different from your average full-size or umbrella stroller, but that’s because they’re designed with mobility and maneuverability in mind.“The shocks and large tires [on running strollers] make the ride smoother for you and the kids when running on different terrains, and they’re lightweight so it’s not like you’re pushing a sled while running,” Lanette Gardiner, FIT4MOM San Diego instructor, tells SELF, adding that their three-wheel design, with a front-wheel that can swivel, makes it easier to steer through crowds (even if you only have one hand on the handlebar).Jenna Allerson, owner of Apple Valley and Farmington Moms on the Run in Minnesota, recommends shoppers look for a model that isn’t too bulky and comes with an adjustable handlebar so that runners of varying heights can enjoy using it. And, she adds, if it can easily fold up and pack away in your car, all the better.In addition to adjustability and a swivel front wheel, Gardiner also shouts out storage space as another key feature on any baby stroller worth running with. A roomy storage basket can hold blankets, a diaper bag, snacks, and anything else you may need on a longer run. For extra points, Gardiner suggests getting a child tray or console that can attach to the stroller’s handle, so all your essentials (like your phone, keys, and water) are easily accessible.Overall, both Gardiner and Allerson emphasize the importance of choosing a jogging stroller that provides a smooth ride for your baby, while remaining lightweight and easy to control for you. But it can be difficult to find a stroller that strikes that balance, which is why we’ve highlighted the very best jogging strollers on the market, including Gardiner and Allerson’s own favorites, right here. Read on to find the best stroller for you, your baby, and all your running needs.

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