How Treadmill Running Compares To Outdoor Running

If you think about it, treadmill running and outdoor running appear to be two similar exercises. On the surface, these two have the same cardio benefits, same body mechanism, same movement. They even use the same muscles! But on a closer comparison, you can set a clearer picture. In this article, we compare treadmill running and outdoor running side by side, taking factors like weather, safety, benefits, etc. into consideration. Here’s a breakdown:

Weather
Treadmill: Rain or shine, windy or snowy, anytime of the day, you can hop on and run on your treadmill.
Outdoor: The weather is your number one consideration. Although, wind resistance intensifies your run so, why not?

Injury
Treadmill: Most treadmills have a one-touch incline feature that allows effective cardio workout at a lower speed and it minimizes the heel-strike impact. Repetitive runs of the same time and pace can strain the same muscles and joints everyday though.
Outdoor: Running outside decreases chances of hip flexor strain but increases your heel-strike impact. Elements like hills, grass or steps shifts the body movement so it creates variation on your run.

Safety
Treadmill: You can watch over your kids/family and stay at the comfort of your own home. You can also just zone out.
Outdoor: Dark, rocky or slippery routes can cause accidents. You can’t zone out at all. You need to stay focused because the roads are busy and constantly changing.

Competitive Running
Treadmill: Recommended for warming up and speed enhancement. The “consistency” sets your body to a different expectation when you actually race on the road.
Outdoor: It gives you the actual feel of the race. It prepares your body for similar conditions.

Shoes
Treadmill: You can wear the same shoes every day.
Outdoor: Most runners wear the same pair of shoes indoor or outdoor. Specialty shoes might be necessary on some circumstances, like rocky roads or icy trails. Check out our online store for specialty train running shoes: Men’s | Women’s

Results
Treadmill: Mostly targets your quads because you don’t have to push forward when your foundation is moving by itself.
Outdoor: Stimulates your hamstrings as well as your quads because you have to push forward and propel to move.

Benefits
Treadmill: You can monitor your heart rate, calories burned, distance and other fitness metrics in a quick glance. You don’t have to miss out on your favorite TV shows.
Outdoor: Fresh air and beautiful sceneries await you. A great way to get away from your busy life and from your gadgets. It’s just you, nature, and maybe a few friends.

Extra umph!
Treadmill: The convenience of having your bottle holder anytime on hot days. Treadmills do cost a lot of money. Knowing that helps in motivating yourself to exercise so your money gets its worth. Since the treadmill is all about convenience, it gives you NO excuse at all to skip a session.
Outdoor: Exposing your skin to the sunlight is the most natural way to get vitamin D, which helps absorbs calcium and phosphorus (just remember sun protection!). Running outside saves you money from actually buying a treadmill and the extra electricity cost it’ll yield. Why should you buy something you can do for free?

What kind or runner are you? And why?


Source: Women’s Running

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8 Reasons Why You Wanna Travel with ASTRAL Shoes

Summer is finally here! And with it comes a slew of outdoor activities on land, on water, in the air… so you need shoes that are just as versatile as you.

  1. They are very lightweight shoes; light in my pack or on my feet.
  2. They don’t get stinky, because ASTRAL uses nylon instead of polyester (nylon doesn’t hold stink).
  3. They dry out overnight – quick dry fabrics are smart design.
  4. The grip is amazing, ASTRAL’s G®Rubber is the stickiest compound available today.
  5. They are compact and fit in to small spaces, so I can pack and travel light.
  6. They are washable in a river, a hostel sink, or a washing machine.
  7. I can wear them in many different travel settings, from the embassy to a jungle trek – no worries.
  8. They’re naturally balanced in their geometry for healthy posture and comfortable walking across all types of terrain.

– Chris Hobson

Support local business, shop Astral shoes online and in stores!

Dog-Friendly Hikes in the DC Area

Our nation’s capitol has no shortage of awesome hikes that are perfect to explore with your pooch. Whether hiking through the backcountry in surrounding cities or exploring historic trails through the city, DC treats doggies as valuable members of the family. Washington DC’s rich history and monumental landmarks aren’t the only things that doggies love about the capitol. Read below for the top 10 hikes to take your dog on in DC. And don’t forget to stop by any of our stores or shop online for some pet accessories!

Rock Creek Park
With over 32 miles of trails at Rock Creek Park, you and your pooch have wonderful hiking opportunities ahead! Rock Creek Park is a fantastic place for a walk, run or bike ride with your furry friend. The beautiful green landscape and endless trails through the woods make this hike impossible not to love.

3545 Williamsburg Ln NW Washington, DC, US 20008
Hours: Open during daylight hours
Website

Capital Crescent Trail
The Capital Crescent Trail is a beautiful trail that runs along the picturesque Potomac River. Pooches and their owners love walking, running or hiking the wide, paved trail that runs from Bethesda to Georgetown. From bikers and hikers to stroller pushers and dog walkers, everyone is welcome to enjoy the beautiful views from the Capital Crescent Trail.

3500 K St NW Washington, DC 20007
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website

Theodore Roosevelt Island
The Theodore Roosevelt Island Hike is a perfect get-away for people and their pups from the hustle and bustle of downtown Washington, DC. The trail is surrounded by forests, parks, and waterfront views. Whether in the mood to take a leisurely stroll, run or hike with your doggy, Theodore Roosevelt Island is a great place to spend time with your pooch, observing all kinds of wildlife such as ducks, fish, frogs, turtle, cranes and bugs!

George Washington Pkwy Arlington, VA 22216
Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Website

Great Falls: Billy Goat Trail
If you’re looking for more than just a hike and want to embrace the true experience of mother nature, look no further than the Great Falls Billy Goat Trail. Not only will this hike push your body to the limits (especially your legs), but you’ll see some local residents on the trails too. From snakes to geese, be sure to keep a close eye on Fido during this beautiful hike.

Please note: Dogs are allowed on Trails B and C, but are not allowed on Trail A.

11710 Macarthur Blvd Potomac, MD 20854
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
If you’re seeking a light walk for you and your canine, Scott’s Run Nature preserve is an easy way to enjoy the beautiful color of the season with a little bit of exercise. Scott’s Run Waterfall is situated right along the hiking trail and it’s a great place for your pooch to have a blast! Your pup will love playing in the swimming holes, cooling off during the summer and playing with other dogs. The trail leads to the Potomac River, a rewarding view for you and your pup after the hike.

7400 Georgetown Pike McLean, VA 22102
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website

Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park
Deemed the skinniest park in Virginia, The Washington and Old Dominican Regional Park is also one of the longest parks, with 45 miles of paved trails and 32 miles of gravel trail for hiking with Fido. If you’re feeling adventurous, the paved trails are great for rollerblading! With beautiful scenery in the urban heartland of the countryside of Northern Virginia, it’s hard not to love this hiking trail.

S Four Mile Run Dr and S Shirlington Rd Arlington, VA 22206
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Website

Winkler Botanical Preserve
If you’re looking for a short but scenic hike with Fido, look no further than Winkler Botanical Preserve. The 1.4 mile loop is perfect for a morning stroll or an intense cardio workout! The property is complete with lush plants surrounding a small pond in the center of the park. The park also serves as a local resource for schools in the area to teach schoolchildren about ecology and the environment.

5400 Roanoke Ave Alexandria, VA 22311
Wesbite

Dyke Marsh
Dyke Marsh is a hidden gem located right near Washington DC The beautiful trail leads to a renovated boardwalk where you’ll see panoramic views of a beautiful bridge and the National Harbor. You and your pooch will love being surrounded by marsh and plenty of wildlife. Don’t be surprised to see a few beaver dams, ducks, migratory birds and bald eagles! Dyke Marsh is one of the most peaceful places you can be with your pup!

Boat Launch Rd Alexandria, VA 22307
Hours: Open year-round from 6 am to 10 pm.
Website

Kingman and Heritage Islands Park
Kingman and Heritage Islands Park is a long, narrow island in the Anacostia River. The park is complete with trails, trees and a diversity of birds and bugs. Locals, visitors and furry friends enjoy the bluegrass festival which is held here each year.

575 Oklahoma Ave NE (at N Benning Rd) Washington, DC 20002
Summer Hours: (April through October) Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*
Winter Hours (November through March) Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – Dusk*, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM – Dusk*
Website

Mount Vernon Trail
The Mount Vernon Trail is a multi-use trail that’s a great place to walk Fido in Washington DC! The trail is a truly unique way for you and your pup to see parts of DC/Alexandria/and Mount Vernon from a different vantage point. There are plenty of places to stop and stare at the beautiful scenery, including Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. The trail itself is very well maintained which makes it an easier hike for you and your pup.

The Mount Vernon Trail parallels the parkway between Theodore Roosevelt Island and Mount Vernon.
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Website


 

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.16.02 PMNeed a new leash and collar before you take your pooch on that hike? Our Wolfgang selection features some of the coolest-looking designs we’ve seen. AND, all leash and collars are on sale at all our stores and online, click here to shop!


Source: Dogvacay.com

Mountain Biking 101

Looking to go off road for the first time? Here are tips and advice you need to make your introduction to mountain biking fun and successful.

  • The Basics: Mountain Bike Skills You Need to Know
    While only lots of riding, great fitness and endless bailouts into the bushes will make you the hottest rider on the block, here are some basic skills that every aspiring mountain biker should know.
  • 10 Ways to Improve Your Mountain Biking
    Whether you want to smoothly descend near-vertical downhill sections or just ride your local trails without crashing, these tips will having you rolling with confidence.

Think you’re ready to go? Come join us and Fuji Bikes this Sunday, August 24 at Schaeffer Farm Mountain Bike Park. Demo their latest mountain offering, ask all your questions and learn from our Outfitters and the Fuji demo staff. You not only get free Fuji swag, but you get to ride the trails!

FujiFFL

Click here to join us!


Articles from “Beginner’s Guide to Mountain Biking” on Active.com

 

Know Your Cycling Etiquette

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert cyclist, here are a few basic rules of the road:

Be Predictable

Nobody feels safe around the car that’s swerving, not using signals, and stopping suddenly. Ride as you would drive—as if you were trying to pass a driver’s-license test.

 

 

 

 

Stick to the Law

In most states, bikes are considered vehicles. When riding in the road, always signal, make complete stops at signs, and wait for red lights for your turn to ride through.

 

 

 

 

Ride to the Right

If there’s no shoulder on a two-way street, it’s always safer to stay a couple of feet out into the road. You’ll be visible and force cars behind you to move into the oncoming lane to pass you.

 

 

 

 

… Except When Turning Left

For this move, you’ll want to move from the right to the middle of the lane or merge into the left-turn lane if there is one. Check over your left shoulder for oncoming traffic and signal left before moving over.

 

 

 

 

Stay off Sidewalks

Lousy sight lines and people entering or exiting doorways and driveways make riding on sidewalks an accident waiting to happen. If you have to, and the city permits it, ride no faster than 6 to 8 mph—the speed most people jog.

 

 
Published in July 2014 issue of Bicycling magazine.

Keep Your Cool

8 Easy Tips

Summer’s here and with it comes a lack of outdoor runners. The summer sun and hot temps send people straight to the air-conditioned gym! But you may want to reconsider. Here are couple tips we’ve come across from July’s issue of Women’s Running Magazine, and thought we’d share the useful information:

When you run in hot temps, your body learns to use oxygen and muscle glycogen more efficiently while improving your ability to regulate body temperature. Training outdoors when the mercury rises doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience!

1. Acclimate gradually. “You can’t beat the heat, but you can slowly acclimate to it and manage it as best as possible,” says Nashville-based masters runner Sonja Freiend-Uhl. A typical heat acclimation protocol comprises 10 consecutive daily exposures of running in a hot environment. These runs should be performed at your easiest pace possible, with walk breaks whenever needed.

2. Be realistic. The sun and heat can take a lot out of you, even once you’re acclimated. Adjust your pace accordingly, and don’t beat yourself up for going slow. “You’re working just as hard or harder than you would be at a faster pace on cool day,” says Amy Marsh, a four-time Ironman champion who trains in Austin, Texas. Professional distance runner Amy Cole agrees: “Have confidence that you are building fitness and will be able to run faster in cooler temperatures.”

3. Set your alarm clock. If you want to battle the heat, you’ve got to beat the sun. Cole begins most of her summer runs before 5 a.m. Have an addiction to the snooze button? Read on…

4. Call in reinforcements. Find training partners who will tackle the temps with you! The buddy system offers great accountability–you’re less likely to skip a run if you know someone is counting on you to show up.

5. Strip down. Summer is no time for modesty. Sweaty clothes can cause chafing, add extra weight and prevent additional sweat from evaporating. “Wear as little clothing as possible,” says Marsh, “so long as it’s legal!” Or if you’re more modest, go for loose, breathable tops in light colors and accessorize with a visor to block the sun.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!Check out HTO’s selection of Camelbak bottles to help you hydrate your runs

7. Map your run. Try to find shady places to avoid direct sunlight during your workout. If you haven’t tried trail running yet, summer is a great time to start. Forested areas can provide a respite from the brutal summer sun. Also, consider routes where you can refill your water bottles at public water fountains, gas stations or local run shops. You’ll be happy to have an oasis.

8. Chill, girl! “Don’t psych yourself out!” Cole stresses. “Prepare for the heat but don’t obsessively check the temperature before your run.” Don’t ignore your instincts either. If your gut is telling you it’s too hot, listen to it–and hit the gym instead.

How hot is too hot?


By Susan Lacke
July 2014, Women’s Running Magazine, pg 36-37

Solo Thru-Hike the AT!

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One of HTO’s own Outfitters, Neha Khurana, from Fairfax is starting her solo thru-hike of the AT on April 1! She began as the youngest employee in the company and shares our enthusiasm and passion for adventure and travel. Neha tries to get outside as much as she can and loves to hike, rock climb, and kayak. As a frequent world traveler, she will soon be majoring in Adventure Education.

Neha became entranced by the idea of thru-hiking when she read an article about the Appalachian Trail a couple years ago.

“I loved the idea of completely immersing myself in nature and living authentically. I didn’t want to put off such a valuable opportunity, so I decided to graduate school early and hike northbound this year.”

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This young lady is heading places and we are so proud to have her be a part of the HTO family! And did we mention she is just 17 years old?! Impressive!

What are you doing this summer? Ever wondered what it would be like to hike the Appalachian Trail alone? Here’s top 6 reasons why you should do it, as said by Zach Davis at AppalachianTrials.com:

1. Absolute Freedom

If you hike the trail by yourself, no one will be breathing down your neck. You will be able to escape and truly be free. I remember feeling so happy and free only to turn my phone on and have it blow up with messages from my parents asking me where I was and if I was okay. Although I knew they sent those messages out of love, it was nice to have my phone off and live without people on my case all the time. I couldn’t even imagine how awful the trail would’ve been if someone I started hiking with depended on me and had to always know where I was.

2. No one wanted to do it with me

Would I have started the trail with a friend if he or she wanted to hike with me? Definitely. However, in my case, no one I knew wanted to hike with me and I didn’t even try to find someone to thru-hike with.

3. I only had take care of myself

Trust me, on the trail this is a very difficult task. Thankfully, no one else on the trail depended on me to keep them alive. Looking out for myself was a big enough task, but if your hike is anything like mine, you’ll meet people who you want to watch out for and vice versa.

4. I made friends anyway

It’s very easy to meet incredible people on the trail. It was nice for me to have friends on the trail that were separate from my friends in “real life.” I think if I started out with “real life” friends, I would not have tried as hard to create relationships with other hikers.

5. I do what I want

The Appalachian Trail taught me that I can wake up every morning and do whatever I want to do. This is something that has stuck with my way past my thru-hike. Every morning when I wake up, I do what I want to do. Most of what I want to do is what I know will make me happy. With this philosophy I have picked up from the trail, I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.  If I were hiking with a group for the majority of my hike, I might not have developed such a significant lifestyle change.

6. Greater sense of accomplishment

I believe my summit of Katahdin was very different in significance than those hiking in a group for the whole trail. Although I did hike with other people along the way, I finished the trail exactly how I started it; alone and on my own terms. If I had hiked the trail entirely with someone else, or a group, I feel like my sense of achievement on Katahdin would be different. A lot of times on the trail, I had no one to help me through the hardest parts and had to overcome adversity on my own. I get that sharing achievements is a wonderful thing; however, I’m glad I got through the majority of trail because of my own abilities and not having to rely on others.

We will be keeping tabs on Neha’s progress this summer, so stay tuned for more updates! She will be back at our Fairfax store in September, so she will be a great resource for all future Appalachian Trail travelers. We wish her all the best!