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How to Run Faster With Strides 

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We were packed like sardines in the start corral for the Soldier Field 10-Miler in Chicago, as a group of five racers whizzed back and forth before joining the herd. The woman in front of me looked on skeptically.

“Um, why are those runners running before they’re going to run?”

It was a fair question. After all, we were gearing up for a 10-miler—why the heck would you want to add more time on your feet?

Turns out, those runners were doing strides, which are quick and super-short accelerated runs. Often, strides are a key part of a warm-up routine. “These warm-ups are vital for preventing injury to muscles, tendons and joints, and prepare the body to run at a faster pace,” says Nicole Gainacopulos, C.S.C.S., a certified strength and conditioning specialist, marathon runner and owner and founder of Momentum of Milwaukee. “It’s preparing the body for the hard work that’s about to occur without shocking the body,” she says.

RELATED: The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

Doing strides specifically helps to elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow to your legs. And doing a high intensity warm-up like this has been shown to boost race performance, according to one study. Tack them onto a training run, and they also provide an opportunity to work on your form, add speed work and boost variety to keep your workout fresh, adds Gainacopulos.

For those reasons, all runners—both newbies and vets—can benefit. So no you don’t have to be in the elite start corral or a member of your high school cross-country team to do them.

RELATED3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

Stride Right: The Basics

When it comes to strides, it’s not as simple as getting out there and sprinting your heart out. Follow these five golden rules from Gainacopulos and you’ll see the payoff at the finish line.

How long? Each stride should be a distance of 60-100 meters.

How fast? Start out slow and build speed during the stride. Form is important, so if you are breaking form, you may be going too fast.

How much rest? It’s best for your body to fully recover after each stride, which can take as long as one to two minutes.

How many? For those new to strides, Gainacopulos suggests building up slowly. Start with 3-4 strides your first time with a goal of hitting 8-10.

How often? Newbies should aim for 1-2 rounds of strides per week. As your body adapts, you can do them more often. Experienced runners should add them in 4-6 times per week.

RELATED: 50 Running Resources for Speed, Strength and Nutrition

When Strides Matter Most

Whether you’re on a one- or six-day-a-week running schedule, there’s a time and a place to hit your stride. Here are the three instances Gainacopulos recommends her runners do strides.

During a Workout
Why: Strides prep your body to transition to more intense exercise.
How: Complete a normal warm-up. (Gainacopulos suggests running one mile at an easy pace, followed by dynamic stretches.) Then follow up with strides. You’re ready for your planned run now.

After an Easy Run
Why: “This will increase your range of motion, improve form and improve muscle recovery,” says Gainacopulos.
How: When you’ve finished your run, don’t just head straight for the showers. On a day that you’re not crunched for time, take a couple extra minutes to end your workout with a few strides to shake out your legs.

RELATED: 5 Expert Tips for Proper Running Form

Before a Race
Why: Like doing strides before a workout, you’ll get your body ready to work, and it will also sharpen mental focus so you can go after that PR, says Gainacopulos. Just don’t do them for the first time before a race! Give your body the opportunity to adjust by first incorporating them into a workout.
How: Just like with a workout, run one mile at an easy pace and finish with a round of dynamic stretches. Line up to the start—and go get ‘em!

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com. 

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East Coast Bike Path Will Cover 3,000 Miles From Florida to Maine

The East Coast Greenway has been in development since 1991. Twenty-five years may seem like a long time to wait for a project, but some things are worth taking your time for.

When finished, the mega-project will connect all of the Eastern seaboard from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. Serious bikers will be able to take the whole thing 3,000 miles from North to South.

RELATED: Where to Go Pumpkin Picking in Long Island

Currently, 850 miles of trail—about 30%—are already completed. But the project recently gained steam due to a blitz of media attention and increased funding. The Eastern Coast Greenway Association’s budget has doubled over the past six years and now by 2020, officials hope to add another 200 miles to the path.

The ECGA will rely on local governments’ support for much of the project. A lot of the Greenway will be made of already-existent bike routes. The project will link them all together and, when completed, it will pass through 450 towns in 15 different states.

RELATED: The 12 Best Place to See Fall Foliage in Vermont

Once it’s ready, it will be possible to complete the entire path in one month by biking 100 miles per day. However, that’s not the intent, according to its founders. The project hopes to encourage people to slow down and experience all that the Eastern seaboard has to offer by stopping to visit some of the sites and cities along the way.

“It’s about seeing America at the right speed, where you can take in all of the culture around you,” Dennis Markatos-Soriano, the executive director of ECGA, told City Lab.“And you don’t have a windshield between yourself and the community.”

RELATED: The Very Best Pumpkin Beers for Fall

Nobody’s quite certain when all 3,000 miles of the project will be ready, although officials theorize that the entire Greenway will be traffic-free by the 2030s. Those eager to get started can already bike large portions of the path and follow its progress on an interactive map.

This article originally appeared on TravelandLeisure.com.

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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.

It’s no surprise that an active lifestyle may protect against a variety of health problems. But exactly how much and what type of activity is best is still up for debate, say the authors of the new study.

So they looked at the results from 174 previous studies that examined the association between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases: breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In these cases, physical activity meant all forms of movement—including exercise, housework and gardening, and active transportation like walking and cycling.

As suspected, they found that people who got the most total weekly physical activity were the least likely to develop all five of these conditions.

RELATED: Sit All Day? An Hour of Exercise Can Cancel Out the Health Risks

But while the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends a minimum of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different “domains” of daily life, the study found that the most significant risk reductions occurred at levels much higher—around 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week.

Yes, that’s a big difference. But don’t freak out just yet, the authors say. MET minutes aren’t equivalent to actual minutes; it’s a calculation that takes into account the intensity of the activity you’re doing. Jogging has a MET value of 7, for example, while walking the dog has a value of 3. A half hour of jogging, therefore, is equal to 210 MET minutes (7 x 30), while a half hour stroll with Fido (30 x 3) is only about 90.

So getting 3,000 MET minutes a week is easier than it sounds, especially if you incorporate different types of activity into your routine. For example, a typical day might include climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.

In other words, move for an hour or two each day and you’ll be well on your way. “Getting 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week may seem like quite a bit, but it is achievable when you focus on total activity across all domains of life,” says study co-author Hmwe Kyu, PhD, acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington. “If you are just more active by doing housework, taking the stairs, gardening, taking active transportation—these are things that are doable for most people, even if you can’t do intense exercise or go to the gym.”

RELATED: If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut the Cancer Death Rate in Half

The study looked at observational results, which means it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between physical activity and better health. And because it only considered total MET minutes, it wasn’t able to tell whether there were specific advantages to shorter, more intense workouts or longer, more moderate activity.

But the findings still have several important implications, according to the authors. First, the WHO’s recommendation for physical activity needs to be several times higher than it is currently, in order to see larger reductions in these five common diseases.

And second, they say, future research should pay more attention to total weekly activity—and not just leisure-time exercise, as many studies have done—to provide a better picture of how people can meet healthy activity goals in real-life settings. 

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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.

It’s no surprise that an active lifestyle may protect against a variety of health problems. But exactly how much and what type of activity is best is still up for debate, say the authors of the new study.

So they looked at the results from 174 previous studies that examined the association between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases: breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In these cases, physical activity meant all forms of movement—including exercise, housework and gardening, and active transportation like walking and cycling.

As suspected, they found that people who got the most total weekly physical activity were the least likely to develop all five of these conditions.

RELATED: Sit All Day? An Hour of Exercise Can Cancel Out the Health Risks

But while the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends a minimum of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different “domains” of daily life, the study found that the most significant risk reductions occurred at levels much higher—around 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week.

Yes, that’s a big difference. But don’t freak out just yet, the authors say. MET minutes aren’t equivalent to actual minutes; it’s a calculation that takes into account the intensity of the activity you’re doing. Jogging has a MET value of 7, for example, while walking the dog has a value of 3. A half hour of jogging, therefore, is equal to 210 MET minutes (7 x 30), while a half hour stroll with Fido (30 x 3) is only about 90.

So getting 3,000 MET minutes a week is easier than it sounds, especially if you incorporate different types of activity into your routine. For example, a typical day might include climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.

In other words, move for an hour or two each day and you’ll be well on your way. “Getting 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week may seem like quite a bit, but it is achievable when you focus on total activity across all domains of life,” says study co-author Hmwe Kyu, PhD, acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington. “If you are just more active by doing housework, taking the stairs, gardening, taking active transportation—these are things that are doable for most people, even if you can’t do intense exercise or go to the gym.”

RELATED: If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut the Cancer Death Rate in Half

The study looked at observational results, which means it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between physical activity and better health. And because it only considered total MET minutes, it wasn’t able to tell whether there were specific advantages to shorter, more intense workouts or longer, more moderate activity.

But the findings still have several important implications, according to the authors. First, the WHO’s recommendation for physical activity needs to be several times higher than it is currently, in order to see larger reductions in these five common diseases.

And second, they say, future research should pay more attention to total weekly activity—and not just leisure-time exercise, as many studies have done—to provide a better picture of how people can meet healthy activity goals in real-life settings. 

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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.

It’s no surprise that an active lifestyle may protect against a variety of health problems. But exactly how much and what type of activity is best is still up for debate, say the authors of the new study.

So they looked at the results from 174 previous studies that examined the association between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases: breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In these cases, physical activity meant all forms of movement—including exercise, housework and gardening, and active transportation like walking and cycling.

As suspected, they found that people who got the most total weekly physical activity were the least likely to develop all five of these conditions.

RELATED: Sit All Day? An Hour of Exercise Can Cancel Out the Health Risks

But while the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends a minimum of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different “domains” of daily life, the study found that the most significant risk reductions occurred at levels much higher—around 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week.

Yes, that’s a big difference. But don’t freak out just yet, the authors say. MET minutes aren’t equivalent to actual minutes; it’s a calculation that takes into account the intensity of the activity you’re doing. Jogging has a MET value of 7, for example, while walking the dog has a value of 3. A half hour of jogging, therefore, is equal to 210 MET minutes (7 x 30), while a half hour stroll with Fido (30 x 3) is only about 90.

So getting 3,000 MET minutes a week is easier than it sounds, especially if you incorporate different types of activity into your routine. For example, a typical day might include climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.

In other words, move for an hour or two each day and you’ll be well on your way. “Getting 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week may seem like quite a bit, but it is achievable when you focus on total activity across all domains of life,” says study co-author Hmwe Kyu, PhD, acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington. “If you are just more active by doing housework, taking the stairs, gardening, taking active transportation—these are things that are doable for most people, even if you can’t do intense exercise or go to the gym.”

RELATED: If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut the Cancer Death Rate in Half

The study looked at observational results, which means it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between physical activity and better health. And because it only considered total MET minutes, it wasn’t able to tell whether there were specific advantages to shorter, more intense workouts or longer, more moderate activity.

But the findings still have several important implications, according to the authors. First, the WHO’s recommendation for physical activity needs to be several times higher than it is currently, in order to see larger reductions in these five common diseases.

And second, they say, future research should pay more attention to total weekly activity—and not just leisure-time exercise, as many studies have done—to provide a better picture of how people can meet healthy activity goals in real-life settings. 

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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.

It’s no surprise that an active lifestyle may protect against a variety of health problems. But exactly how much and what type of activity is best is still up for debate, say the authors of the new study.

So they looked at the results from 174 previous studies that examined the association between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases: breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In these cases, physical activity meant all forms of movement—including exercise, housework and gardening, and active transportation like walking and cycling.

As suspected, they found that people who got the most total weekly physical activity were the least likely to develop all five of these conditions.

RELATED: Sit All Day? An Hour of Exercise Can Cancel Out the Health Risks

But while the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends a minimum of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different “domains” of daily life, the study found that the most significant risk reductions occurred at levels much higher—around 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week.

Yes, that’s a big difference. But don’t freak out just yet, the authors say. MET minutes aren’t equivalent to actual minutes; it’s a calculation that takes into account the intensity of the activity you’re doing. Jogging has a MET value of 7, for example, while walking the dog has a value of 3. A half hour of jogging, therefore, is equal to 210 MET minutes (7 x 30), while a half hour stroll with Fido (30 x 3) is only about 90.

So getting 3,000 MET minutes a week is easier than it sounds, especially if you incorporate different types of activity into your routine. For example, a typical day might include climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.

In other words, move for an hour or two each day and you’ll be well on your way. “Getting 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week may seem like quite a bit, but it is achievable when you focus on total activity across all domains of life,” says study co-author Hmwe Kyu, PhD, acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington. “If you are just more active by doing housework, taking the stairs, gardening, taking active transportation—these are things that are doable for most people, even if you can’t do intense exercise or go to the gym.”

RELATED: If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut the Cancer Death Rate in Half

The study looked at observational results, which means it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between physical activity and better health. And because it only considered total MET minutes, it wasn’t able to tell whether there were specific advantages to shorter, more intense workouts or longer, more moderate activity.

But the findings still have several important implications, according to the authors. First, the WHO’s recommendation for physical activity needs to be several times higher than it is currently, in order to see larger reductions in these five common diseases.

And second, they say, future research should pay more attention to total weekly activity—and not just leisure-time exercise, as many studies have done—to provide a better picture of how people can meet healthy activity goals in real-life settings. 

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How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

There’s a strong connection between physical activity and the risk of five common diseases, according to a study published today in The BMJ. The catch? To really reap the benefits, we need to move much more than global health experts currently recommend.

It’s no surprise that an active lifestyle may protect against a variety of health problems. But exactly how much and what type of activity is best is still up for debate, say the authors of the new study.

So they looked at the results from 174 previous studies that examined the association between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases: breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In these cases, physical activity meant all forms of movement—including exercise, housework and gardening, and active transportation like walking and cycling.

As suspected, they found that people who got the most total weekly physical activity were the least likely to develop all five of these conditions.

RELATED: Sit All Day? An Hour of Exercise Can Cancel Out the Health Risks

But while the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends a minimum of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different “domains” of daily life, the study found that the most significant risk reductions occurred at levels much higher—around 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week.

Yes, that’s a big difference. But don’t freak out just yet, the authors say. MET minutes aren’t equivalent to actual minutes; it’s a calculation that takes into account the intensity of the activity you’re doing. Jogging has a MET value of 7, for example, while walking the dog has a value of 3. A half hour of jogging, therefore, is equal to 210 MET minutes (7 x 30), while a half hour stroll with Fido (30 x 3) is only about 90.

So getting 3,000 MET minutes a week is easier than it sounds, especially if you incorporate different types of activity into your routine. For example, a typical day might include climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.

In other words, move for an hour or two each day and you’ll be well on your way. “Getting 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week may seem like quite a bit, but it is achievable when you focus on total activity across all domains of life,” says study co-author Hmwe Kyu, PhD, acting assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington. “If you are just more active by doing housework, taking the stairs, gardening, taking active transportation—these are things that are doable for most people, even if you can’t do intense exercise or go to the gym.”

RELATED: If We All Did These 4 Things, It Would Cut the Cancer Death Rate in Half

The study looked at observational results, which means it cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between physical activity and better health. And because it only considered total MET minutes, it wasn’t able to tell whether there were specific advantages to shorter, more intense workouts or longer, more moderate activity.

But the findings still have several important implications, according to the authors. First, the WHO’s recommendation for physical activity needs to be several times higher than it is currently, in order to see larger reductions in these five common diseases.

And second, they say, future research should pay more attention to total weekly activity—and not just leisure-time exercise, as many studies have done—to provide a better picture of how people can meet healthy activity goals in real-life settings. 

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What Is Cupping, and Why Are Olympians Doing It?

At the summer games in Rio, Olympians are decorating themselves with medals, Swarovski crystals, and … circular bruises? Yep, those round purple marks on the bodies of many competitors (including swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Alex Naddour) are the result of cupping therapy, an ancient Eastern medicine practice that’s used to treat all sorts of ailments, from muscle soreness to blood diseases and arthritis.

The large dots are created by heated glass cups placed on the skin, usually on the back, says Rachel Vreeman, MD, director of research at the Indiana University Center for Global Health and co-author of a series of books on medical myths (most recently, Don’t Put That in There! And 69 Other Sex Myths Debunked). "As the air trapped between the heated glass and the skin begins to cool, it creates suction against the skin,“ she explains. The sucking causes small blood vessels under the skin to break, and a cup-shaped bruise to form.

The therapy can also be done using a mechanical device to create suction between the skin and the cup, Dr. Vreeman adds. Cupping may sound painful, but it’s not really, she says. "Basically, it feels like getting a hickey.”

RELATED10 Bogus Health Trends That Waste Your Time

While athletes use cupping as a recovery tool (the therapy is thought to stimulate blood flow), Dr. Vreeman points out that there’s little research behind it: "There are no health benefits to cupping documented in the scientific literature,“ she says. "The only study I have seen … with any impact related to cupping is one that rigorously examined various therapies for back pain, and suggested that any impact from cupping was likely related to a placebo effect.”

That placebo effect could help explain why Olympians swear by the practice, says Dr. Vreeman. (Naddour called the DIY cupping kit he bought on Amazon his “secret” to staying healthy: “It’s been better than any money I’ve spent on anything else.”) Our brains are very powerful, Dr. Vreeman explains. "If we think that something is going to work, it may help us focus or compete better.“

The marks cupping leaves behind may play a role as well: "I would guess that [they] provide a tangible reminder to the athlete of this therapy, reinforcing the placebo effect.”

Curious about giving the treatment a try? Before you make an appointment, you should know it’s not entirely risk-free. "Cupping usually does not cause any harm beyond the temporary bruising, but occasionally it can cause a skin ulceration when done repeatedly,“ Dr. Vreeman warns. 

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How Lululemon's High-Tech Lab Designs Olympic Uniforms for Rio

As bicycle lanes weave past Kitsilano Beach and yoga studios in Vancouver, B.C., those lanes also flow right past the headquarters of Lululemon and the highly restricted laboratory dubbed Whitespace.

In March, the Canadian apparel company allowed Sports Illustrated into the 10,000-square-foot research lab to see the high-tech process that creates fit-focused apparel for consumers and elite athletes—Lululemon has Olympians and NHL players, to name a few, on its “ambassador” list. 

“Our job is to turn five to 10 years of research—and some pretty complex stuff—into a very succinct package of information,” says Dr. Tom Waller, senior vice president, Whitespace. “The toys, the tools we have, most of them exist somewhere in the world. What we’ve done uniquely is bring them all together.”

Opened in April 2014, Waller and his team of about 35 researchers and scientists—with a total of eight PhDs—have partnered with labs and facilities around the world. Every detail in the Vancouver headquarters is purposeful. The space starts with a materials laboratory that has a near-limitless array of experimental fibers, yarns and fabrics, with a microscope to allow examination down to the smallest level. Waller says testing how surfaces interact with each other and learning about the design of fibers gives the team information about the impact on humans before selecting a fabric.

RELATED: Ryan Lochte Has New Attitude, Routine Ahead of Rio 2016

​To explore materials further, a chamber mimics human skin to inform about evaporation and fit. A dynamic body scanner that takes new images every 1.5 milliseconds puts athletes in motion while capturing images for “more and more about how the body moves and deforms and how it makes you feel” while immersed in activity. A simple motion camera is also available, along with a pool with cameras under the water. And medical-grade monitors can watch muscle and brain activity while an athlete tests product, giving information on how fit perception defines performance.

Waller says his team designs for feel. “How the body and brain communicate with pressure and texture on the body is what we have found people are looking for,” he says. “It is a shift in perspective. What is it you like to do and how do you like to feel? We can understand the entire sensory response to a situation. It is refined in clothing. Fit is critical and we are nuancing at the material level to create an accuracy of fit.”

Defining fit allows the Whitespace team to create new fabrics based on user sensations. They can continue to test those new fabrics with an in-ground treadmill for use with bikes and wheelchairs, a 3D laser scanner to view fit while engaged in activity and a climate chamber, which can recreate any climate in the world, from -30 degrees Celsius to +50 and with humidity extremes, changing air flow rates and increasing altitude.

Whitespace has full-time prototypers for 3D printing and injection molding and the ability for any type of cutting, sewing, bonding and welding. “We can engineer into anything we need based on research,” Waller says. “The more iterations, the faster the design process.”

All the best equipment in the world helps Waller and his team understand fabrics, materials and motion, but having elite athletes puts it all together. “Working with elite athletes allows you to test to the extreme,” he says. “The smallest things you do, you get to see those transfer massively. I’ve always enjoyed working with elite athletes because they are super sensors. What we are able to learn about product and what they need from product. You get the best problems to solve.”

Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Lululemon and the Whitespace lab have partnered with Canada’s Olympic beach volleyball team. The company designs for multiple international beach volleyball players, but for the Olympics it has put an extra focus on the Canadian women, designing their uniform for the sand of Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach.

The process began by working with athletes to understand their desires. “It has to be comfortable, it has to be beautiful and it has to work,” Waller says. “They are spending an awful lot of time in this product and you have to be sensitive to all of those eyes on them. They have requests on how they want to look, how they want to feel.”

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Clare Robertson, Lululemon design director for swim, intimates, and tops, says the needs of aesthetics can’t distract from performance. She designed tops with bonded straps so they don’t shift during a match, a process that required Lululemon to create a new machine to execute the design exactly how they wanted. “Throughout the tournament, normally they hike (the top) back up,” she says. “Now it doesn’t move and sits flat.”

RELATED: Former All-American Sprinter Shares Her Tips to Ward Off Shin Splints

Whitespace came into play as Lululemon used the body scanner to customize garments to each individual and infrared motion standards to inform the design of the new inner stabilizer to reduce breast movement. They also simulated the temperature of Rio in the climate chamber to ensure a desired fit.

Another Olympic item defined by Whitespace was the beach volleyball kit’s Aquelu fabric—a sweat-wicking, four-way stretch Italian nylon lycra made from post-consumer waste nylon and with a UPF of 50+. They added a vertical warp knit—not horizontal—to create more density. “Warp knit overcomes the desire to stretch out,” Waller says, “especially when wet.”

Robertson says she wanted to eliminate raised areas on the tops and bottoms to limit areas where Copacabana sand could accumulate or find a way in.

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For the design, Lululemon played heavy on red, white and black—and kept branding subtle, with a small logo tucked away—and offered some surprises by placing the phrase, “Be in this moment. It’s yours,” inside the uniform. A graphic print was meant to capture the power and movement of the game within the Canadian color scheme.

While coated in Canadian colors, the story behind a seemingly simple beach volleyball kit was born in Whitespace research, a high-tech mecca of fit.

This article originally appeared on SI Edge. 

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6 Mental Tricks to Get You Through The Last Mile of a Run

The last mile of a run is tough. You’re exhausted, at the end of your playlist, and probably have other things on your mind (read: post-run brunch). Even the pros sometimes struggle to get through that final stretch: "I know I’m getting close to the finish line, but it also takes a tremendous amount of energy to sustain my pace for what seems like an eternity,“ says ultra-marathoner Stephanie Howe. But whether you’re training for an upcoming race or just completing your mileage for the day, that last mile is an important one. Here, the best mental tricks from runners, running coaches, and Health editors to help you stay motivated until the finish line.

Focus on the ‘after’

"I picture myself finishing, then enjoying whatever I’m going to be doing right after. Having something to drink, a snack, or seeing my family. Visualizing the ‘after’ seems to make the ‘just before’ less painful.”

Beth Lipton, Health food director and avid runner

Use your secret weapon

“My strategy for getting through the last mile is twofold: First, I keep a positive attitude and tell myself what a great job I’m doing. Seriously. Sometimes I even say those words out loud: ‘Stephanie, you are doing your very best right now. Great job!’ or, ‘Come on little legs, only a few more minutes and then you get a long break.’ I really believe in the power of self-talk and keeping a positive attitude. Secondly, I make sure to keep fueling. Many runners totally forget that they need to keep fueling so they have enough energy to make it to the finish line. My secret weapon is CLIF Shot Energy Gel in Double Espresso ($24 for 24-count, amazon.com). It’s in a platinum package for a reason. Throughout the race, I alternate between CLIF Bloks Energy Chews and Clif Organic Energy Food, but I save my platinum package until the end. The energy I get from it not only gets me to the finish line, but I usually arrive with a smile as well.”

—Stephanie Howe

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Try the 10-minute trick

“One mental thing I always use when things are hard is telling myself, ‘You can handle anything for 10 minutes.’ I think about how short 10 minutes is in the grand scheme of things, and I’m able to go the extra mile (literally!).”

MaryAnn Barone, Health social media editor and avid runner

Remember your goals

“I tell myself a few different things (and I say some of these in my class during the last pushes, too). The first one is from one of my favorite cyclists, Jens Voigt: ‘Shut up legs, do what I tell you!’ I’ll also think, ‘How would giving up now look on social media!?’, ‘You’ve made it this far. Just. One. More. Mile!’ and ‘Wait, this race is point-to-point? Have to get to the finish to get my bag anyway…’ It’s easy to say, ‘Remember why you came.’ But for some runners, that doesn’t mean much when they’ve gotten so wrapped up in what hurts, how far is left to go, etc.—that they do, in fact, lose sight of what their goal is. Cold, dark, and alone—that’s what carried me through 68 miles at the East River track in the middle of winter. Find your ‘why’. Find your breath. Let it carry you home.”

Vinnie Miliano-Mile, a coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City

RELATED: What’s the Difference Between LISS and HIIT Workouts?

Get competitive

“For me, it’s all about distraction. I usually spend my runs as tuned-in to my body as I can be—making sure I’m breathing well, that I’m staying on top of my cadence, and that I don’t get hit by a car… But that last mile is when I let it all go and ’empty the tank’. I like to pick a person running near me and secretly ‘race’ them—that takes my mind off the final mile!”

—Alison Mango, Health editorial producer and avid runner

Trust your training

“Here are a few tips I use and give to my athletes: Trust your training. It will carry you. Tell yourself that you are stronger than you realize. Focus on the task at hand—that stride, that breath, that mile, that form. And remember, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.”

Elizabeth “Corky” Corkum, a coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City

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