Posted by: weightmania
Running is one of the best workouts you can do and our bodies are naturally designed to do it, but it's not easy getting started. Whether you're a beginner or trying to start again, here are eight suggested steps to begin.

1. Before and after any workout, you should take time to stretch out.
2. Start by walking or running a moderate one to three mile route. Try to run as much as you can, then walk the parts in between. Eventually you'll be able to run the entire route without stopping.
3. In the beginning, run for time not for distance. Try running for at least 20 minutes.
4. Select a good pace. When running, you should be able to pass the "talk test". This means if you can't talk, you're probably running to fast.
5. Try to run several times a week. It's better to do several short runs than one or two big runs every week.
6. Gradually increase the distances and difficulty of your runs. For example, you can run routes that include hills or increase the pace.
7. Be patient! It can take several weeks (or even months) to get in shape to run long distances.
8. Keep a log (like Weightmania Pro) and record your runs. Numerous studies show when you keep diary or journal, you're twice as likely to reach your goals, and it significantly reduces the time to reach them.

Note: Contrary to popular myth, running is not bad for your knees. While it's one of the first things people who don't run frequently say, recent results from longitudinal and cross-sectional studies tracking thousands of marathon runners over decades has proven otherwise.
Posted by: weightmania
Winter can be one of the toughest times to run outdoors, but it's much easier when you wear the right clothing. When running or power-walking outdoors, most people (usually beginners) tend to overdress. Clothing that seems appropriate when standing or walking slow, usually isn't when you start exercising. After training in New England for over 25 years, I would suggest the following.

1. If possible, everything should be non-cotton (like polyester or synthetics). When cotton gets wet (from sweat or rain), it stays wet for a long time and makes you colder.
2. Wear a thin wind-breaker (jacket) over a long sleeve non-cotton shirt; if it's below freezing you may want to add a thin, non-cotton layer.
3. Wear a thin, breathable hat designed for running. Most heat loss occurs through your head.
4. Wear gloves and socks specifically made for running.
5. Use wind pants, not sweat pants; I've always used unlined wind pants, but some people add additional layers.
Posted by: weightmania
Serious runners and walkers (people who do this multiple times a week) typically enjoy the basics like running socks, gloves and hats (specifically made for running), a breathable outdoor wind-breaker (shell) designed for running, wind-pants, or a nice running watch are always welcome.

However I personally don't recommend buying someone walking or running shoes. This is a personal item, different for every person, and need to be tried on and tested at the store. Also, avoid purchasing items like jackets, sweatshirts, and sweatpants made from cotton or not designed for running and walking.

A running journal, diary or logbook (all of which are in Weightmania) are also a good idea. They can be very motivational and really help when running and walking over long periods. Government studies also show keeping a journal makes you twice as likely to reach goals (like placing in a road race, losing weight, and improving times).
Posted by: weightmania
Running and spinning are both effective for weight loss, but there are some major, very important differences.

"Spinning" is just a modern name for "stationary exercise bike". A few years ago, the name was upgraded by gyms and fitness centers to better market and promote group classes. In recent years, studies have proven exercises where you stand up are generally more effective and beneficial for weight loss than those where you sit. This was mainly in reference to exercise bikes, but also applies to today's equipment for spinning.

If you talk to any cyclist (or someone who regularly spins), they're going to say spinning is better. But remember a bike in any form is a machine that converts and uses energy very efficiently. To match a simple run, you have to maintain a very high speed and high cadence (this is the number of revolutions of the crankset per minute). Otherwise (since you're using a machine), you have to cycle significantly longer than a typical run.

For example, a 175 pound person who runs 25 minutes at 7.5 miles per hour (a moderate 8 minute mile pace), burns 413 calories. However the same person would have to bike or spin at 16 to 19 miles per hour (very fast, racing pace) for 25 minutes just to burn 397 calories. This can be verified using any calorie calculator.

To match running, you have to spin faster and usually spin a lot longer. And to match the cardiovascular benefits of running, you have to pedal fast enough to increase your heart rate and breathing, otherwise (if you pedal too slow or apply too much tension), it will lean more toward an anaerobic exercise. You may have to do other outside exercises to ensure you work other body parts too.

A true cyclist on a real bike uses shoes attached to their pedals. These are known as "clipless pedals". They allow cyclists to maximize their pedaling and use the "full circle" (pulling up and pushing down), while keeping both feet positioned in perfect form. To maximize the benefits of spinning, I would strongly advise using these. Most fitness and athletic shoe stores now offer shoes compatible with spinning, but check with your gym first, to make sure you purchase the correct ones. Typically this is determined by a medal attachment near the mid-sole of the shoe.
Posted by: weightmania
Prior to any road race or competition, especially a cross country or track meet, it's critical to warm up first. This allows you to get a good start, perform at your best, and avoid injuries. Usually this means stretching, lightly jogging and even doing some short sprints. If possible, you want to warm up on the track or in the area where you will be racing. For short races on roads or in the woods, it's a good idea to run parts of the course in advance. On a track, you would typically run several slow laps.

I usually get to the location early and start about an hour before. Depending on the season and your climate, it also helps to keep wear sweat pants, wind pants (a shell with no lining) and a sweatshirt or windbreaker. Depending on the situation, for shorter races (like track meets) many athletes also warm up with standard training shoes, then switch to lighter "racing shoes" a few minutes before the start.

How long should you warm up? Ideally, studies have shown you're ready when you're "about to break a sweat". However if the race is delayed or you started too soon, you may have to maintain this state longer. Likewise at the end of workout, race or competition, it's also a good idea to warm down. I usually walk or lightly job for a few minutes.
Posted by: weightmania
I've been running and weight training for over 25 years. Before doing any intense cardio workout (like running or a road race), I believe you should start drinking water several hours in advance, but not immediately before. For example, start drinking water at least two to three hours ahead. Some of the best runners I know, drink water all day long, but stop an hour before their workout or race. You should be completely hydrated well before you start.

In the past, many popular guidelines suggested eight, ten or even more glasses of water per day, but modern studies show there was never much scientific evidence to support this. Today it's recommended that you simply drink when thirsty. However if you're thirsty, it can also mean you're already dehydrated. Before running, I usually drink water in advance, even it I'm not particularly thirsty.

Should you drink water during a workout? When weight training (which is largely anaerobic exercise) it's probably okay to drink some water during your workout, especially if you're sweating a lot and training for a long time. However when running short or middle distances like 3-5 miles (5-8 kilometers), I would advise not drinking any water until the workout or road race is complete. This is true for longer runs, like 10 miles (16 kilometers) too. In addition to possibly causing stomach problems (like cramps), it takes time for your body to process the water. Of course there are exceptions! For example, I can remember a couple college cross country meets where they passed out water during the race on an unusually hot, humid day in August. Another exception would be a marathon where you're running for several hours.
Posted by: weightmania
If you're running for the first time or you've used your previous running shoes for 300 to 500 miles, then you probably need new ones. One of the best times to buy running shoes is in the early spring and fall, when manufacturers tend to bring in new models. In regular stores, brand name running shoes retail between $70.00 and $200.00. As of 2013, you have to spend about $100 to get a good pair of shoes.

If money is an issue, shop at stores that sell last year's models to get quality shoes that have been marked down. Factory outlet stores are a good option too, but I would strongly recommend against purchasing shoes that are defective, irregular or not specifically designed for running (such as cross trainers or walking shoes). Also, unless you know the exact model and previously tried them on in a brick and mortar store, I would recommend against purchasing running shoes via mail order.

When buying running shoes, wear real running socks (or the same socks you typically wear when running). It's also a good idea to wear your old running shoes and walk a bit (or even jog) before entering the store. Trying on shoes with "cold" feet is different from when your body is warmed up because feet swell. Your old shoes are useful for comparison and can be extremely helpful to the salesperson to determine your running patterns. In a decent store, with knowledgeable staff, they will analyze the wear on the tread and things like cracking and stress lines in the cushioning above. I would also recommend asking if they can analyze you on a treadmill or watch you run in the store. Some places even let you run outside to do this.

The key is to determine whether you're a neutral runner (your feet strike the ground level, exactly as they should), whether you pronate (your feet angle inward, the arch tends to collapse, and the inner edge of the sole bears the body's weight) or supinate (your feet roll outwards, placing most of the weight onto the outside of the foot and raising the arc). Even if you were once a neutral runner in the past, you may not be now. This can change with age or if you have not run in a while. Not correcting these issues can lead to painful injuries. If you're not a completely neutral runner, then you need a shoe with more stability. Note, this does not necessarily mean padding. Also, some runners buy a stability shoe because when you get tired your form breaks down (even neutral runners may pronate at the end of a marathon).

The top brands of running shoes (offered at most running specialty stores) include Nike, Asics, Mizuno, Saucony, Adidas, Brooks and New Balance. All of these brands have been around for a long time, and every company generally offers shoes for neutral runners (these tend to be narrow in the middle), a stability model for runners who pronate or supinate (they keep you feet level when striking the ground), shoes with lots of support and padding (these are well suited for runners with flat feet or injuries), and a stripped-down, lightweight shoe for road races. Some even offer special shoes for trail running (this is an new category for Nike) which have a more aggressive tread and different kinds of materials on the bottom to grip rocks and prevent slipping.

Note the most expensive shoes (often covered in dust on the top shelf along the shoe wall) are not necessarily the best. They typically just offer improved styling (like multiple color tones) and have loads of extra padding. Ironically, new studies have shown shoes with lots of extra padding (or too much padding) can actually lead to more injuries and more problems. If in doubt, ask the the sales team what the serious runners (such as college cross country runners) are buying.

"Minimalistic" shoes and shoes that simulate "barefoot running" are very popular right now. It seems like everyone is buying them. The idea (developed through the 70s) that running shoes need have a large thick heal (because we're supposed to strike the ground heal first) is changing. When looking at naturally barefoot runners worldwide, many strike the ground mid-foot (in the center). If you opt for a barefoot running model (these sometimes separate the toes and allow the sole two twist and bend), you'll probably want to buy a second, traditional pair of shoes too.

Sometimes, when I can't decide between two brands, I buy them both. It's okay and even healthy to own and switch between two pairs of running shoes. If you plan on competing in road races, cross country races, and track meets, you'll need a light weight option for race day and a second for training. Of course when I tried to get some attention for this at the Nike Store, the manager said runners regularly buy as many as five pairs just in case the model is discontinued.

When I was growing up, the salesman always asked "do you want to wear these home?" That's because the minute you left the white tile and industrial carpet of the store, and walked outside, there was no way to return them. However every reputable running shoe store today lets you return shoes, provided you speak to a manager and have a real problem (like the shoe is causing blisters). Many even let you run outside to test the shoes before you buy them. They all know you could easily just order them online.

Keep in mind, most shoes will "break in" and mold themselves to you feet over time. Also, walking is different from running! You need to run in the shoes before you buy them, even if it means a quick test in the store. I recommend keeping the shoes on for at least ten minutes in the store to verify there are no problems. And finally, if one shoe doesn't feel right, ask them to bring out a new pair. Sometimes shoes have manufacturing defects.

If you use our fitness software (Weightmania Pro or Weightmania Pro Online) you can track mileage, use count and total time on your running shoes. Just add your shoes to the equipment manager under the main tools menu, then each time you record a running workout, select the shoes you wore (see the "More" button). Use the "Statistics Tool" under the Tools or Reports menu for detailed statistics and analysis.
Posted by: weightmania
Since runners tend to be outside more, if you run during daylight hours, you definitely need to wear sunscreen. However there is valid, real concern sunblock can interfere with your body's ability to sweat (and release heat) and may even block pores. It can also get in your eyes when you sweat, causing a lot of pain, especially for runners wearing contact lenses. And there is almost no way to fix this when running.

For these reasons, I choose not to wear any sunblock. Instead, I schedule my runs to avoid sun by going out early in the morning before sunrise, or in the evening close to after sunset. This saves time, eliminates concerns about trapping heat, it's usually much cooler, and there is typically less traffic and air pollution.

But if you do run outside in the sun, experts recommend SPF 30 or higher sunscreen for proper protection. Runners also need sunblock that is sweat resistant. This means the sunscreen is less likely to become diluted (and weaker) when exposed to sweat or water. Many runners I talk to use Neutrogena. They make an "active breathable sunblock" that works well for running.
Posted by: weightmania
I've been running over 25 years. This includes eight years of varsity track, cross country running and coaching. First, make sure you're in shape before you show up for the first day of practice. Otherwise the first two weeks will be very challenging. While it's expected everyone needs to train, most coaches will assume you ran all summer. When asked, everyone will say they did too (whether it's true or not). Since the first meet usually comes up very fast, this determines what the first workouts will be like.

At the college level, you would train 5-6 days a week then have one day off (usually Sunday or the day after a competition).  The day before a competition is also very light (in most cases that would be Friday). In practice, you typically run distances close to those in an average race.  For example, if races are 8K (about 5 miles), this would range from slightly less to about twice that distance (4 - 12 miles or 7- 19 kilometers). Traditionally, cross country gets it's name because you're training and competing on unpaved surfaces (like trails in the woods). However you will also run on tracks, paved surfaces, grass fields and dirt.

Nationwide, most cross country teams run an average of 40 to 45 miles (64 to 72 kilometers) per week.  It's also not uncommon to have two workouts in the same day (such as a morning and afternoon run) to break up training. In many cases, this is more effective than running the total distance all at once.

It's not always about how far you run. While some workouts focus on increasing your endurance through long runs, many are designed to increase your speed, build strength, and improve your ability to run hills.  When doing interval training (also referred to as "speed work") you'll run shorter distances but it's much harder. For example, you might only four miles, but run each mile separately at a very fast pace with a short rest in between. Later in the season, you often find the easiest workouts are basic long distance runs.

Finally, depending on your location, most workouts will include a mixture of hills and flat ground (like "rolling hills"). Downhill running is just as important as running uphill.  Many cross country teams do specific hill workouts once a week by finding and training on a steep hill (we use to use a closed ski area). By the middle of the season, both training and competition becomes a normal routine.
Posted by: weightmania
First, many experts believe you should breathe in through both your nose and mouth. Your muscles need lots of oxygen, so it makes sense to maximize your intake. Also, when you're running (especially at a faster pace or in a competition), I believe you should breathe out harder that you breathe in. That feeling of "not getting enough oxygen" may be caused by not getting rid of gases already in your lungs. During normal workouts, the general rule is that if you cannot talk, you're running too fast for your fitness level. This is known as the "talk test". Your breathing should also follow a natural rhythm that coincides with the swinging of your arms. And like most other aspects of long-distance running, it should be even and consistent.
Posted by: weightmania
In the beginning, you'll lose weight doing any regular, consistent cardiovascular exercise, especially if you haven't done it in a while, provided you walk or run at a pace that increases your heart rate, and maintain this for at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week.

Studies have shown treadmills are typically better for weight loss than machines where you sit, like exercise bikes. You can burn the same calories on a costly or inexpensive treadmill as long as your workouts are the same intensity and duration. However over time (as your body adapts), you will need to increase the intensity of your workouts (or mix them up) to continue losing weight or maintain it.

However there are big differences in quality and features among treadmills, which can impact your workouts. For example, more expensive machines offer more features to vary the speed and incline, you can run faster on them, and they're smoother (inexpensive machines often have excessive vibration). High-end treadmills also include a wide range of pre-defined workout programs to keep your workouts more interesting and engaging, and simulate real outdoor walking or running. Do not buy any machine that does not at least let you specify an incline.

While a treadmill is a good option for weight loss, especially when you're starting out, it's not a complete substitute for running and walking outdoors, or weight training. It's a machine and it's generally much easier than running outside. There is no wind, there are no uneven surfaces, no up or down hills, and no variation in the surface, and for some people, 20 minutes may seem like an hour. All of these factors impact your workout. Sometimes, due the unchanging consistency, you can also develop injuries.
Posted by: weightmania
Unfortunately, if you just did this for one workout on one day, you likely won't see any noticeable change in your weight. However if you can burn an extra 500 calories every day, then you should lose approximately one to two pounds a week.

Since a pound is generally equal to 3,500 stored calories, it can reasonably take up to two months to safely lose 10-16 pounds. Note, it can also take just as long to lose the weight as it does to put it on.

Rather than burning over a thousand calories in one workout, a less intense workout that you can regularly do several times a week, over a long period of time is typically better. You'll also need to vary your workout and routine, because as your body adapts (and gets better at doing the workout), the same workout will burn fewer calories.
Posted by: weightmania
Running a race is different from regular training where you can casually think of anything from work, to future goals or the scenery around you. In a road race, I completely focus on competitors in front and back, the best part of the road or trail to run on (like inside on a corner), wind, maintaining my pace, how much distance and time is left, when to speed up, when to pass someone, how well I still feel and more.

Each race requires a strategy. For example, you might wait (and watch for) the best opportunity to pass someone (like speeding up when going around a corner), focus on the back of a competitor in front to stay with someone who might be faster (which can significantly improve your time), or start the race faster if conditions make it hard to pass runners later.

Many famous runners have said they completely focus on the race with no distractions. Being able to do this (which can be very difficult) might also be what makes them so successful. They block out everything else, including personal problems, emotional events, crowds and sounds. Whether you're just trying to complete your first race, or trying to win, I think it's necessary to focus on the current race as much as possible.
Posted by: weightmania
This is a recurring question I have heard people ask for many years.

While I believe traditional cross training is very effective, in my opinion, it's better to separate cardiovascular workouts (like running) from strength training workouts (like heavy weight lifting). With the exception of a moderate warm-up run, it's usually best to avoid doing both during the same workout. Instead, space them out. For example, try doing one workout in the morning and the other at night.

Note, if your primary goal is building muscle mass (through weight lifting), you may want to minimize the distances that you run. Likewise, if you're training for a road race (or competition), try using lighter weight and doing more repetitions when weight training. This will prevent them from working against each other and improve your overall training.
Posted by: weightmania
Because one pound of fat is generally equivalent to 3,500 stored calories, you need to cut or burn at least 500 calories a day to lose one to two pounds a week. In general, experts agree the best way to do this is through a combination of diet and exercise. You also need to vary your workout and routine, because as your body adapts (and improves), the same workout will burn fewer calories. Note, it can take just as long to lose the weight as it did to put it on. For example, it can reasonably take up to two months to safely lose 10 pounds.
Posted by: weightmania
Most people are motivated to exercise when they achieve noticable goals (like losing weight and looking better in the mirror), when someone else compliments them (especially someone they don't know), or when they can visually see progress (like the changes since they started their exercise program). It helps to keep a journal too (like Weightmania Pro), track progress on a calendar, view it on a graph, and take regular progress photos. U.S. government studies have proven when you keep a journal, you're twice as likely to reach goals and typically reach them in less time.
Posted by: weightmania
In the best case scenario, I think exercise should regularly include all major body parts. Fortunately many types of exercise, such as running, already do this. However weight training and other related activities usually require more effort and planning.

For strength training, it's generally recommended you workout each muscle group at least once a week. Otherwise, as any body builder would tell you, you could develop your muscles (and muscle groups) unevenly. Exercising some body parts more often than others could also lead to injuries.

While you want to target every body part, you need to give each muscle group time to recover, and some take longer than others. This largely depends on the type of exercise and body part. For example some areas, such as your abdomen, can be exercised several times a week and some exercises (like pushups) can even be done several times a day. However most people would wait a few days between chest workouts involving weights (like chest press).
Posted by: weightmania
No matter when you exercise, it's almost always beneficial.

Provided you're getting enough sleep, feel good before and after your workouts, and have enough energy to perform at your best, anytime timeframe is fine. Having missed runs earlier in the day, I have gone running outdoors after midnight to make it up. On weekends, in the early morning hours (when subway service has stopped in my city) I frequently walk several miles home. I also weight train early in the morning or late at night depending on my schedule.

However training during off peak times (like overnight) limits the gyms you can use, restricts access to workout partners, trainers and coaches, and in some cases (especially if you're training outside) could pose a safety risk. Also, if you're training for competition, it might be better to train during times when they most frequently occur. For example, if they mostly take place in the early evening, you want to be used to exercising and condition your body to be at peak performance at that time. Elite marathon runners do this when they arrive in the city hosting the race days or weeks ahead of time to familiarize themselves with the course.

Regardless of the time you exercise, to be successful, I believe you have to find a time when you can consistently exercise several times a week. This is more important than working out during "normal hours" if you end up missing a lot of workouts. Also, studies have shown workout time does not have much impact on sleep schedules. For example, working out late at night will not prevent you from sleeping overnight.
Posted by: weightmania
Burning 250 calories cycling is equivalent to burning it running or doing any other activity. A calorie is defined as a "unit of energy". However it generally requires more effort to do this cycling because a bicycle is so much more efficient.

Also, to continue doing this, you would also need to vary the intensity and duration of your workouts, and your workout routine, because as your body adapts (and improves) the same workout will burn fewer calories. For example, a professional marathoner may burn fewer calories running a marathon than another person not in the same physical shape.
Posted by: weightmania
For long distance running, there are many good arguments for running in the morning and running in late afternoon, but one is not necessarily better than the other.

In the morning you tend to have more energy, the temperature is cooler (this can be a big factor in the summer), and the air quality (especially if you live in or near a city) is usually better. By late afternoon, local air pollution is typically much higher. Many people find their schedule fills up quickly too, so by afternoon there is no time for a run. Also if you get used to training in the morning, you will be prepared for road races since they often start early in the day.

The advantage to running in the afternoon is that your body has all day to effectively "warm up" (this can prevent injuries and improve performance), you have all day to properly hydrate yourself (I usually begin drinking water several hours before a run), and you have time to eat proper nutrition. When you wake up in the morning, most people probably have not eaten in 8-10 hours and may be dehydrated. Since it takes time to digest food and process water, it's difficult to correct these things right before you run.

If your time and schedule permits it, I would recommend running in the morning and afternoon by switching the time once in a while. When training, it helps to add variation to your workouts. Many serious runners often break their long runs into two parts, doing one in the morning and the other later in day.
Posted by: weightmania
If you're new to running, your first goal is to be able to finish the run. At the same time, it's also important to be able to run for a certain length time. When you have successfully accomplished both, you can begin working on running faster.

There are several things you can do to improve your times. You can start by changing (mixing up) your workouts. In addition to long runs, try running shorter distances at a faster pace. High school and college track teams often do "speed workouts" such as intervals, where you run fast for a specified distance or length of time, then slow down (and recover) for a specified distance or time, then repeat the process. The length of the recovery period is generally proportional to the length of each interval. In most cases, I would recommend using a stopwatch, but you can use other things too (like markers on a field, counting laps on a track, or even telephone poles). Most teams do this at least once a week.

There are many ways to do "speed work", but sometimes it's good find a controlled environment like a track. Note, these are only suggestions, and you must be in good physical condition to do them! For example, you might go to a local outdoor track, and try running four miles, but run each mile as fast as you can (or significantly faster than you're used to) with a short break or recovery period in between. Shorter intervals are OK too, but rather than stopping, you might simply slow your pace during the recovery period. When prescribing intervals, some coaches follow a pyramid where the distance and breaks in-between gradually increase until you reach a maximum, then begin to decrease.

Speed workouts are among the most difficult workouts anyone on a track team has to do. However it can condition your body, so you can eventually run with the same effort at a much faster pace.

Finally, I strongly recommend tracking your workouts with a tool like Weightmania Pro Online. Research has proven when you track your progress, you're twice as likely to reach your goals and reach them in less time. This means tracking things like distance, time, pace and speed after every workout.
Posted by: weightmania
For casual long distance runs, this is typically true, but not for a road race.

Although it depends on the total distance, for most competitions, it's often good to start fast (at least for the first few seconds or meters) to secure a good position. Studies have shown this initial burst will not impact your overall race. Even though you end up running the same pace as other runners, you'll be way ahead of them.

For the rest of the race, it's generally best to maintain an even, consistent pace slightly above what you're used to during training. If you do it correctly, you should not have much energy left at the end of the race. Some professional runners also speed up around turns to pass other runners. Note, sometimes it feels like you're running faster toward the end even though you're maintaining the same pace because you're tired.

This type of control can be achieved through proper training. In addition to building endurance, training should include timed intervals and speed work. Use a stop-watch, try to run outdoors whenever possible, and take advantage local tracks.
Posted by: weightmania
In my opinion, you should exercise daily. But this mainly depends on the type of exercise you do and how long it takes your body to recover.

When running or doing most cardiovascular activities, it's possible to safely do them every day, provided you're in good physical condition. In fact, it's generally recommended you do this at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time. Someone training for a marathon or road race might run six days a week and take only one day off (like Sunday). The same is true for most high school and college track teams.

Weight training and other related activities typically require more recovery time and more planning. When weight training, it is generally recommended you workout each muscle group at least once a week. Serious athletes will still go to the gym almost daily, but they typically workout only one or two body parts at a time, which allows other muscle groups to recover. For example, they might go the gym five days a week, but will generally not exercise the same major muscle group more than twice.

Some muscle groups take longer to recover than others. This largely depends on the type of exercise and body part. For example some areas, such as your abdomen, can be exercised several times a week and some exercises (like pushups) can even be done several times a day. However most people would wait a few days between chest workouts involving free weights (like bench press).
Posted by: weightmania
First, everyone should meet in the same place, stretch together and finish in the same location. Runners should be divided into two or three groups based on ability (for example a slow and competitive group). No matter who finishes first, runners should wait together until both groups complete the run.

It's best to choose a course where no one can get lost and everyone can still see each other (like around a lake). In Boston, many running clubs follow rectangular courses around the Charles River using two bridges that let you see the entire route at once.

Finally, I would recommend tracking everyone's workouts and progress using a group subscription to Weightmania Pro Online. This let's a coach or group leader track individual progress, overall group progress, and allows everyone to communicate and share information.
Posted by: weightmania
After many years of posting articles on other websites, we have created our own blog on It contains original content dedicated to fitness, exercise and nutrition.

These blog posts are written by Edward Greenwood, the founder and original developer of Weightmania Pro. Edward has been running for over 25 years and developing software for almost 30 years. This includes eight years of varsity level track and coaching. Some blog entires are excerpts from past articles published by Edward Greenwood.

Note, these blog entries are based solely on the opinions of Edward Greenwood and are not intended as replacement or substitute for any medical or professional advice. Please consult a physician before following any suggestions or guidelines in this blog. Any suggestions are intended for people in good physical condition.