Body composition methods – how can benefit?

The scale doesn’t tell everything. What do you need to know about body composition methods? Are they reliable? Who can benefit them and who not? There are several different ways to measure your body composition. They all tell us much more than just a scale number.

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Interview: sports massage therapist Juha Hautakorpi

I have a great opportunity to get an interview with Juha Hautakorpi, sports massage therapist. Who also do endurance sports. He provided a lot of information about massage therapy and when it’s good for us and what to take into account when timing the visit.

CAN YOU TELL SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BACKGROUND? WHY massage therapy?

I’m Juha Hautakorpi sports masseuse and VoiceWell therapist.
I graduated as a masseur in 2015 and a year later I attended a sports masseur course. I graduated as a Voicewell therapist in 2019.
Immediately after graduating from massage school, I started my own business, since that this is being my full-time job. Formerly, I’m a professional electrician, but that jobs were never my own thing. It was very difficult for the electricians to jump on the school bench. But the decision was right and I have not regretted it for a day!
Well-being, as well as exercise, have always been of interest and you could easily access this world through massage. The possibilities for further education are also completely limitless.

What is a sports massage and who can benefit from it?

The slightly outdated idea is that sports massages are always better and harder than traditional classical massages. However, they do not differ in their massage technique in any way.
The professionalism of a sports masseur comes more through the right technique, strengths and various mobilizations that are adapted to the client’s possible sport.
For example, completely different treatment must be performed if the client has a marathon the next day or if he has run it the day before.

What are the benefits of sports massage?

The greatest significance of massage is the improved recovery from exercise. Which in itself reduces the risk of injury and it also has a great effect on the psyche and general endurance. With a massage, you can also get rid of small jams quickly before they become big problems.

How often people should have a massage?

In massage, the frequency of visits is influenced by many things. It is difficult to say any rule suitable for everyone. In general, I recommend to everyone that you should visit for a massage as needed, but regularly! The more and harder you training, the more important body care becomes.

Can I go to a workout right after the massage? Is it worth scheduling a massage visit?

Training directly after a massage is rarely recommended. Unless the massage is done specifically as a pre-exercise.
Massage can be considered a kind of exercise for the muscles and nervous system, which, like training, requires its own recovery time. The stronger and deeper the treatment, the longer it is recommended to take a break from training.
In general, the next day training is okay, as long as you remember to do a good warm-up. Ideally, massages should be scheduled for a week that does not have maximum performance and is generally a lighter week. So that there are no technically demanding performances on the same or the next day. Because massage can momentarily interfere with muscle nerve.

How can the benefits of massage be maximized?

After the massage, it is good to keep the small movement and a light walk is an excellent option. On the same day, it is also good to do light static as well as dynamic stretches at least an area that has been treated. Stretching after a massage allows the muscle to be better stretched to its own maximum muscle length, but no deep stretching should be done on the same day as it is often too hard a strain on the nerve in the muscle.

“Sports massage hurts, I don’t want/dare to go…” “Massage should hurt or it doesn’t work…” How is this really?

It’s a slightly old idea that sports massage is always more intense and it should hurt. There may be unpleasant moments during a massage, but pain alone is not the right measure of successful treatment. Communication between the client and the masseur is vital. However, pain is a personal thing for everyone and everyone experiences it differently.
Sometimes a hard massage is even worse than a lighter treatment, after a hard massage recovery takes longer through the micro-rupture of the muscles and the next performance is not as effective as after a lighter treatment.

What would you say to a person who has never been to a masseuse (fear, shyness…) but would like to?

I would say there is no reason to miss a massage, many have uncertainties about their own body and the idea of one criticizing is very understandable. When it comes to a professional, it doesn’t matter what your appearance is, or how poor condition you are. It may be that you are the masseuse’s seventh client on the same day, and she/he is not at work judging anyone but helping in the best way possible.

Why do masseurs always tell you to drink lots of water?

This question is encountered almost daily, I also advised to drink plenty of water at the end of each massage.
The general argument I hear is “massage removes toxins from the body,” but I have not found any justification for this. The muscles do not accumulate “waste” which the massage release and remove from the body.
During treatment, muscle tension is reduced, blood circulation is improved, fluid metabolism is accelerated which moves fluid from the muscles towards the kidneys and thereby dries out the body. For this reason, you can often visit the toilet immediately after the massage.
So it is important to get plenty of fluids back into the body, which will also ease the post-massage headaches that many experience.

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Training intensity distribution – how to make it?

Training intensity distribution (TID) can seem confusing, as there is a couple of different styles. People often speak about the 80:20 division, where 80% of training will be performed easy level and 20% of training are speed training. It’s a good start, but at the same time, it does not give many details. We consider three different TID styles in this post.

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Training, but stuck on the same fitness level?

Are you spending hours after hours on the road and gym, but you are still stuck on the fitness level? Maybe first your progress was fast and everything went well, but now nothing happens. This happens to many of us and there can many reasons behind this scene, which we going through in this post.

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Runners foot and ankle mobility for better performance

Runners tend to look after their legs and train them to stronger, but foot and ankle mobility is often overlooked and forgot. Poor foot and ankle mobility can cause injuries that can appear upper legs. It also affects the running technique and speed. Foot and ankle absorb the shock when we run, the force is transmitted all the up in the back. Poor shock absorption make ankles stiff and cause calf and shin stiffness and other problems.

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What is endurance and how to improve it?

Endurance is maybe the main factor for distance runners. What is good endurance, depends on where to focus. People often think that you are really good shape if you are a marathon runner, but downplay shorter distance like 5km or 10km. You might have heard someone say “I’m ONLY running 10 km”. Well, it’s not only 10 km, as it needs way different speed endurance capacity than a marathon, also it’s often difficult pace compared to a marathon.

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Let’s talk about sports psychology with Janica Järvenpää

I have an amazing opportunity to get an interview with Janica Järvenpää, a licensed psychologist and sports psychology student. She provided a lot of information for everyone how our mind affects us and of course what we can do.

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How much your beliefs affect you?

Our beliefs, values and attitudes are formed over time, through the different influences (family, friends, society…). Sometimes our beliefs can help us and they are positive, but often they can also slow us down. These affect all aspect of our lives, but this post considers sport and training.

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Starting a new hobby – Starting the right order

Maybe you made a new year resolution or you are otherwise new to running and training. You are excited about a new hobby or pick up an old hobby again and have a new goal. It’s easy to do many things “wrong”, and learn “wrong” habits and some point slow down or stop progress.

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Should women train differently than men?

In a physical perspective, there is some difference between women and men. Women are often described slower and weaker, because of the physical factors, but that’s not necessarily the thing. Women can be stronger and faster than men, like the same way some men are stronger and faster than other men. It depends on the training background and many other things. But in the scientific perspective, there are many differences between men and women. So should they train the same way?

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Sweet dreams… How sleep affects us?

We all know that nothing is better than good night sleep and how important they are. Unfortunately, nowadays many suffer insomnia and other sleeping problems. Sleeping affects us in many ways. This post does not only consider how it affects us but also evening training and sleeping relationship.

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Goodbye 2020, Welcome 2021

The year 2020 is almost over, finally! Who would have guessed what this year will bring? Not me! It’s difficult to even describe this year, every plan turned around as the whole world turned upside down. But still, I believe there are some good things also, as I want to believe that everything happens in reason.

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Why have several pair of running shoes?

We all know that good running shoes are essential, and you should not use one pair year after year. But why have several different shoes, when you have found a good pair and want to use them? The shoes can affect the running speed, biomechanics and economy, and also injuries.

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Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S)

Relative energy deficiency (RED-S) is a result of prolonged insufficient energy intake. It’s common in female sports, repeated weight loss and an eating disorder. But also men can experience RED-S.

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Hamstring movements for runners

In the case of runners, there is often talk of little tension, which is expected to improve economic running and thus performance. The mobility and flexibility of the core and lower limbs are in a special position. The tension of the core, which limits the rotation and thus the rotation of the leg from the hip, improves economic running. Similarly, lower back, hip, and ankle tensions shift running biomechanics in a more economical direction. So, while a certain degree of tension may be beneficial from a running performance perspective, consideration must be given to how to determine the appropriate tension.

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Interview: registered dietitian Holley Samuel

I have a great opportunity to get an interview with Holley Samuel RD, LDN, CPT. She provided a lot of tips and shared her free guide, so continue for reading. You can find her social media and website end of the interview.

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I wish I’d known these before the first marathon…

We all have been there, the race which wasn’t going as it was planned. Some point every runner experience the bad race, but they are good for learning. There are many things which, can be overwhelming especially for new runners. Many of us might run our first race, without much knowledge and preparation. I did that too, so here are some things which I wish I had known before the first marathon, and points which many runners had said.

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Chimpanzee products reviews

I got an opportunity to test Chimpanzee sports nutrition products. The company was totally new to me, and I don’t normally do a collaboration with sports nutrition products and supplements as the field is so wild and there are many things to consider. But Chimpanzee sounded a different kind of company and their products were interesting.

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Time-based vs distance-based training

There is a difference if the exercise is approached by the time versus the distance. It’s not only training factors that makes difference, but also psychological factors. Depending on the exercises time-based training can be either easier or harder than distance-based. Some runners favour more the other exercise style, but you should mix these both.

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The perfect recipe of running

We often speak certain factors and their importance for running performance. But as often we forget the amount of these factors. Some of the training factors are not as important as others, some provide only minimal benefits or not at all, and still, we use them more than we know.

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How your job affect your training?

How often you feel physically or mentally tired after work? Some people like to go running the end of the day, but can your occupation affect your training performance? Many factors affect our training performance, and people often forget their job until they feel drained or stress out.

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My coaching philosophy

You might have noticed that I love science and share a lot of tips and information here. For me, science is base to many things, but it’s not determine everything as we all are individual and that’s also my coaching philosophy.

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RUNNING ECONOMY FACTORS – which you can partly affect

Running economy (RE) means runners’ energy utilization when they are running at aerobic intensity. There are multiple factors, which plays the role of the running economy. The most direct method to measure the running economy is oxygen consumption. Runners who consume less oxygen while running at a given velocity have a better running economy.

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Running with narrow stride width or toe-out?

Each of us has individual running style and foot pattern, but sometimes they can cause more harm than good. Runners often observe their foot stride length and cadence but forget stride width or feet position. We have spoken cadence earlier, you can find it here. Are you running like a duck or like more hit the catwalk?

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Running challenges when races being cancelled

Running world turned upside down when Covid-19 hit to the world and all the spring races being cancelled. Now many race organizer also cancels the autumn marathon. That means some runners might not be able to race this year at all and might be lost their motivation as there is anything that to expect. Try to remember, that you should always train for yourself and races are just extra.

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Symptoms of overtraining syndrome

Overtraining syndrome can happen to everyone, you don’t need to be an elite athlete. There are many signs and symptoms which might indicate overtraining or overreaching syndrome. These symptoms are easy to ignore as we all sometimes feel tired and fatigue. So, when it’s the right time to stop and consider things again?

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Fasted vs non-fasted running

Breakfast before morning run or just after? Some of the runners like to eat something before hitting the road, at the same time others struggle with breakfast. Early morning run, often means even earlier breakfast. It is suitable to eat breakfast at least an hour before the run, which might mean very early wake-up.

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Mental training for runners

Long hours in the outside, sweating and discomfort. Runners know how to push their body to the limit, but do they know how to train their brain.
Mental training is not only for a professional athlete. Mental factors are seen as high self-esteem and confidence, but it’s much more.

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Periodization training cycle

How to build a training plan? What you should take account? What is periodization training cycle? This post will answer these questions and help to put your goals in the training plan.

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Importance of strength training for runners

I have written this topic a couple of times, you can find the earlier post here and here. But as the topic is important and there are still many people who feel lost at the gym and are not sure what to do. Here’s a little recap of why strength training is important and where to start.

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Do you need a cold shower after a workout?

We all have seen athletes using an ice bath or hear them speaking about a cold shower. After a workout in hot weather, you might want to take a cold shower to cool down. Or just refresh yourself. Is there really any benefit for it or can it be even harmful?

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OTHER: Sport psychology books must-read list

Hello, and welcome the year 2020! Last year we have a series of books from different topics that are excellent for getting more knowledge about training, coaching and nutrition. Now, here’s the last part, sport psychology. This post is good for any runner, as we all sometimes struggle with lack of motivation, low self-esteem and nerves.

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SCIENCE TALK: why nutrition matter?

How important proper nutrition is for you? There are roughly three types of people; eat what they like and don’t really care about nutrition, eat rich nutrient food and cares about nutrition and people between these groups.

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OTHER: training books must-read list

Let’s continue the must-read book list, now it’s the turn of training books. This category is so wide. There are biographies, guide book, different sports, etc.

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SCIENCE TALK: cool-down, do we need it?

I have written about warm-up earlier, you can find it here. It contained benefits and importance of warm-up, the excellent warm-up protocol to follow. Now, let’s talk about cool-down. How easy it’s just end your work-out doing nothing afterwards? You have just spend around an hour hard exercise you don’t have interest or energy for cool-down. Hands up, if you can recognise yourself?

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SCIENCE TALK: the truth about lactate and lactic acid

Everyone’s favourite subject lactate or lactic acid! The topic that rises up regularly, with plenty of mistakes and misunderstanding. You might have heard athletes, even coaches speak lactate soreness. Even you might have feel lactate after heavy exercise? Did you know that lactate or lactic acid doesn’t cause soreness? Nor fatigue? Not even pain? If not, keep reading…

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SCIENCE TALK: Neuromuscular training in runners

There is a post about weight training benefits for runners, you can find it here. That post considers why runners should add strength training in their program, energy system and different types of strength training such as strength, power and endurance.

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OTHER: coaching books, must-read list

Let’s continue the list of the must-read books list. We have previously list sports science and nutrition book, and it’s time for coaching books.

Why coaching books?

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SCIENCE TALK: stretching or not?

Most of us do some stretching regularly, or at least when they feel muscle soreness. Is it really necessary, or benefit at all?

Common reason why people stretch:

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