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Running Tips - Yasso 800's: Speed Workout For Marathoners

Runners are always looking for some magic formula to get faster and help them to run a good marathon. Well, there is no secret formula - you still need to get out there and put in the miles and the hard work. However, here is a workout that runners have been doing for years to help them reach their goal marathon time.

Yasso 800s are a great marathon workout. I have done them for years - I qualified for Boston using this speed workout. They are named after Bart Yasso from Runner's World Magazine who "invented" this workout. He realized that there was a correlation between 800 times and marathon finish times. People thought he was crazy at first, but then they tried the workout and realized that it does work.

Here is the Yasso 800 workout. First of all, you want to take our marathon goal and then convert it into minutes and seconds. For instance, if you want to do a 4:15 marathon, then that breaks down to 4 minutes and 15 seconds. That is your goal time for your 800 repeats.

Run 800 meters (about ½ mile) in your goal time - 4 minutes and 15 seconds. Then, do a recovery jog for the same amount of time (4 minutes and 15 seconds). Then, do another 800 meter run in your goal time followed by the recovery time. The first time you do this workout, try to do 4 repetitions. Then, each week add one more repetition until you can do 10 800's at your goal pace.

As with any running, make sure that you are doing a warm up before this work out and a cool down afterwards. Also, make sure that you stop doing about 2 weeks before your marathon to be rested and ready for race day. And, make sure that you doing your long run each week in addition to your speed work.

This workout is not a guarantee of your predicted race time - but I've used it many times in the past and it works out most of the time. Of course, weather conditions, course condition and your long runs will also figure into your finish time.

Yasso 800's are not easy to do - especially after you get to 8 or 9 in a workout. But, if you do them one day each week in addition to your long run, you will definitely be race ready when the big day comes.


Weslo Elliptical Review - Are They Really a Good Buy For You?

Thinking about a Weslo elliptical trainer? Wondering if it's the right buy for you? This Weslo elliptical review will give you a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of Weslo crosstrainers.

First of all some background...

Weslo is a fairly well-known name and has been around for years making everything from exercise bikes to treadmills to elliptical machines. They are a discount brand and can be found in many department stores as well as online.

Weslo is owned and manufactured through ICON Health and Fitness - one of the largest fitness equipment makers in the world. They own several other names as well including Epic, Proform, Image and Freemotion.

Advantages of Weslo Trainers:

#1 Cheap

Weslo machines come in at very low prices. They are known to be discount, starter models - priced around $200 - $500, depending on where you buy them. This has made them popular with those looking for a good deal or those on a budget.

#2 Compact

These ellipticals tend to be smaller than the higher end ellipticals so they are great for smaller home gyms, apartments or condos. They are also lighter - which makes them easier to move. You may even be able to transport one of these trainers home in your own car from the store.

#3 Built In Workouts

While you don't get a lot - you do get some built-in workouts to challenge yourself. These workouts adjust the resistance for you and can target everything from weight loss to performance goals.

#4 Upper Body Arms

Upper body arms can help you increase your calorie burning and get an overall total body workout. Upper body arm bars are available on pretty much all Weslo models.

Disadvantages of Weslo Crosstrainers:

#1 Cheap

While this is an advantage - it can also be a huge disadvantage. Because these are economy machines, the construction quality can be poor with plastic parts and very short warranties.

#2 Short Stride Lengths

The stride is the furthest distance between the elliptical pedals. A longer stride ensures you work your leg muscles fully and get an optimal, calorie-burning workout. It also feels more natural. A shorter stride however doesn't give your legs a full workout and can feel quite uncomfortable and bumpy.

Most Weslo ellipticals have very short stride lengths - around 12 - 14 inches. Just to give you an idea, a higher quality brand like NordicTrack for example offers strides around 18 - 22 inches. So you're really not getting an optimal workout with a shorter stride elliptical.

#3 Basic Features

These are very simple machines. While you may get some built-in workouts and even a heart rate monitor, you don't get much else. Consoles are small and sparse. Plus many console windows are not backlit - so it can be hard to read your workout stats.

#4 Short Warranties

The warranty usually tells you about the quality of construction on an elliptical. Unfortunately most Weslo trainers come with the minimum warranty - 90 days on parts and labor. This alone is a red flag.


Welso ellipticals do offer some advantages. They are affordable, compact and do offer you a few workout programs. However they are lacking in construction quality and, in my opinion, are not built to last you a very long time.

It might be a better investment to spend a bit more and buy a machine that will last you a few more years. If you are set on a Weslo machine however, make sure you read a lot of Weslo elliptical reviews before you buy to find the best model for you.


Upright Vs Recumbent Bikes - Which is Best For You?

If you're looking to buy an exercise bike, you're probably wondering whether you should buy an upright or a recumbent bike.

There are pros and cons to each one - and once you know these, you can decide which is best for you.

So here's a brief overview of the benefit of each type of exercise bike:

Upright Bike Benefits:

#1 More Similar to Outdoor Biking

If you're an avid outdoor cyclist, you may prefer the fit and feel of an upright bike. These bikes most closely mimic an outdoor bike in the design.

Plus, there's a newer kind of upright bike now - the indoor sports bike or indoor cycle. That's even more similar to an outdoor bike. Some of them have gear shifters, incline and decline, power output displays and more.

These kinds of indoor bikes can keep you in top cycling shape during the winter months when you can't get outdoors.

#2 More Compact

Upright bikes tend to be more compact than recumbent bikes. So if you have a smaller workout area or live in a condo or apartment, you may prefer an upright bike.

You can even get upright bikes that fold up now - although these don't tend to be very stable or sturdy. But if space is at a premium, you may want to consider it.

#3 Higher Calorie Burn

Some experts have said that you burn more calorie on an upright. This is because (in theory) you're also using more stabilizer muscles as well as leg muscles (vs sitting in a chair with back support).

I would debate this one - because really, you're going to burn the most calorie on the bike you feel most comfortable on (and therefore use for longer!).

Benefits of Recumbent Bikes

#1 More Comfortable

With the bucket-like seats on these bikes, they are much more comfortable than upright models. So, as stated above, you will probably stay on them longer and use the bike more.

This also makes them great for people with lower back issues since you can find some bikes with lumbar support to add even more comfort to your workout.

As you go up in price, seats tend to get even more comfortable. You'll find seats that adjust forward and back and even seats with tilt adjustment.

#2 Lower To The Ground

These bikes tend to be lower to the ground. So the risk of falling and injuring yourself is much less.

Older users or people recovering from injuries will also feel safer on these bikes as well, for this reason.

#3 More Toys

While this isn't always the case, recumbent exercise bikes do tend to have more "toys" like bright backlit consoles, weight loss workouts, iPod or even iPad jacks (where you can watch you iPad at eye level while you cycle).

So if you tend to get bored easily, these might be the right kind of bikes for you.

So those are some of the main differences between upright vs recumbent bikes. One last thing: new bike models tend to come out every 1 - 2 years. And the new models almost always have more than older models.

So if you want the most for your money, try to find a newer model on sale! Or for the latest bike reviews, visit the website below.


Tips On How To Buy Proper Ballet Shoes For Novices

As most beginners start ballet when they are very young, parents usually are tasked with finding them the right ballet shoes. Ballet is an enriching experience for both girls and boys, even if they do not grow up to do it professionally. Many ballet teachers will take all the guesswork out of it and supply the shoes as a part of the class. Other teachers might give specific instructions about what to get in the way of child ballet shoes, and where to get them. You may, however, have to do all the research and make all the decisions on your own.

The first thing to look for is excellent materials and workmanship. You may be able to find discount ballet shoes in this category, too. Watch out for cheap ballet shoes that are sloppily made of inferior materials. The best materials for ballet shoes are fine leather or suede. Ballet shoes are meant to be made of materials that allow the dancers to be aware of the contact they have with the floor. They should feel their feet touch the floor with every dance step they make. If they learn this early, it will be useful to them as they grow in their ballet studies. Workmanship is also important. Whether your child's ballet shoes are hand stitched or made in a factory, the stitching should be tight and secure.

Always look for beginner's ballet shoes with a sole that can be flexed. A child's foot moves best with the natural feel of a shoe that bends. There are shoes that are made with a strip of support in the sole, but they are not right for a child. Child's ballet shoes will suit them best if they can move, and therefore dance, without stiffness in the soles. If the ballet shoes are stiff, it will inhibit the children in their dancing and make them seem stiff as well. With flexible shoes, they can be more graceful and assured.

When you have found dance shoes that will meet your child's needs, it is time to try them on. Your child not only needs to be with you to make it work. Your child also needs to be wearing the same kind of tights they use for dancing. Only then can you be sure that the ballet shoes will work on the day of class, and more importantly, on the night of the ballet recital.

With the ballet shoes on your child's feet, put your finger around the top opening of the shoes. If there are any puckers or gaps, the shoe is much too big. It will not stay on at the crucial moments when your child is dancing. On the other hand, make sure that the ballet shoes do not cut into your child's feet or force the child's toes to bunch up. It is hard to dance freely when your feet are bound up so tightly. They do not have to be so tight to stay on because child's ballet shoes come with an elastic strap to hold them on. They just need to be a perfectly snug fit. Get your child a pair of ballet shoes that are comfortable, durable, and made for dancing, and you cannot go wrong.


Avoid A Wedding Dance Disaster

For almost every wedding, a very important part of the wedding reception is the first dance between the new bride and groom. This dance is used to cement the relationship between man and wife and is generally a very formal affair. For many individuals, this will be the first time that they have ever attempted a classical dance and may be unsure of the steps or timing that will be needed to make their first wedding dance with their new spouse a success.

This is the main reason why dance lessons prior to the wedding ceremony are so important. Scheduling lessons with a professional dance instructor can provide an individual with the instruction and practice that they need before their wedding to ensure that they will not embarrass themselves at their reception by not knowing how to perform the dance. A professional dance instructor will work with individuals at their own pace and teach them the dance that they desire in a way that is comfortable for them.

Many couples choose to take their wedding dance lessons together, not only to prepare for their wedding but to bond and have fun together as well. Some individuals describe their wedding dance lessons with their partner as more fun than they could have imagined and say that they learned many things about their partner during the lessons that they had not known previously.

Couples who choose to take dance lessons together feel more comfortable performing the dance at their wedding reception because they have already ironed out all of the difficult portions of the dance and can accommodate any weaknesses in each others dance technique, allowing the dance to be modified to the strengths of each individual and performed as properly as possible.

Professional dance instructors for wedding dance lessons have experience in teaching couples techniques that will make the dance that they have chosen easy for the couple to perform. Dance moves can be modified to allow for physical limitations, such as a height discrepancies or reduced flexibility, making it possible for any couple to have a beautiful wedding dance. In the vast majority of cases, no one other than the couple performing the wedding dance will ever realize that the moves have been modified.

There are several different types of dances that are commonly chosen for wedding dance lessons from a professional dance instructor. The most commonly chosen type of dance is the waltz, due to its classical look, easily learned steps, and slow pace. Other commonly chosen dances include the Salsa, the Rumba, and traditional ballroom dances.

Many couples first choose the song that they will perform their first dance to prior to deciding to take wedding dance lessons. In these cases, the professional dance instructor will choreograph a wedding dance for the couple that matches the music that they have chosen for their first dance. This way, the couple can have a beautiful wedding dance to a song that has great meaning for them.

There are many reasons why wedding dance lessons with a professional dance instructor are an important part of wedding planning. The first dance as a married couple is an important part of the wedding reception and will provide the couple with a memory that will last a lifetime. Professional dance lessons will make the experience even more memorable and special for the individuals involved.


Kids Dance Classes

Every parent is aware of the challenges that come with caring for young children, especially when they're out of school. Children have a lot of energy, and if not adequately occupied, they can easily get into mischief. One of the best ways to occupy their time is to enroll them for dance classes. Besides getting your child actively engaged, dance lessons have several other advantages including enhancing socialization, coordination, personal development, self-confidence, discipline and so on.

Dance classes excite kids even more than adults. Children are carefree and are not bothered much by making mistakes; once the beat starts playing, they will dance like there's no tomorrow. Learning dance is a proven way of boosting self-esteem in children. Most children who attend dance lessons at an early age develop a life-long passion for the art and even grow up to become professional dancers. Even those who do not carry it to adulthood still have lots of fun in the learning process.

Is it too early to Start?

If your children can walk; they can dance too! Generally, toddlers and preschoolers begin with creative movement classes. These can even be carried out when the children are seated. Some parents go as far as taking the initial dance lessons alongside their kids. This gives the children confidence to start, and soon they learn to attend the lessons on their own.

Kids between 4 and 5 years are well able to follow instructions from the teacher and execute some basic moves. Children's dance lessons are structured in such a way that kids do not have to strain. The dance moves are simple and fun.

Which Dance Style is best for my Children?

There are many different styles out there. Your kids may have a certain preference; but they're not able to communicate the same. The best way of finding out is exposing them to different dance genres. Most dance classes for children teach a bit of everything. As the children learn, they develop a distinct interest in a certain dance style or styles. From then on, the teachers can divide them into groups depending on who is interested in what. Common dance styles include jazz, ballet, tap dance, hip hop, lyrical, musical theatre and many others.

Selecting the best Dance Class

Before you entrust your child to a particular dance school, ensure that the facility is up to standard in every way. The instructors should be qualified and the environment should be safe for children. The distance is also an important factor to consider. Neighbourhood dance classes may be convenient in travel arrangements but may compromise quality. Weigh your goals carefully before you make your decision.

Dance should not come in the way of your child's studies. The two should complement each other and aid in the wholesome development of your child. Count the cost of the dance classes well before hand including the costumes and accessories to avoid budgetary inconveniences. At the end of the day, dance should be fun and relaxing offering your children the much needed break from their studies.


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