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The Running Journey of a Non-Runner: Non-Runner No More


If you read the first installment of my training diary for Nike’s Go More Get More Challenge, you may have had a chuckle at the complete meltdown I generally experience at the thought of anything over a hundred meters and faster than a brisk power-walk. I wouldn’t blame you if you had an even bigger, disbelieving chuckle hearing that the end game of the challenge is to run the half marathon at Run Melbourne later this year. Even I was sure I’d ultimately fall back on the shorter options available (there are five kilometer and 10 kilometer options on the day, so everyone can get involved in the amazing buzz of the event).

But, just a few months on and I can safely say that even a “non-runner” can be converted. I’m one of those all-or-nothing people who doesn’t like doing things gradually, so I’d say I was a bit premature in calling myself a non-runner simply because I couldn’t run a marathon straight away. Let’s be honest, I really hadn’t given running a chance to show me why it’s such a global phenomenon. But the past few months have really shown me that some things are best built up to slowly.

We’ve been so lucky to have a structured training program from Nike coach, Dave Ridley, but have also been relying heavily on the NRC App that has set us different distance challenges each month along the way. This month I’m aiming to get in at least 60 kilometers over the four weeks of May. Once upon a time that would have seemed impossible, but I’m already well on my way and ready for more!

Rather than my former method of increasing my distance dramatically, adopting the “wing-it-then-be-unable-to-walk-for-a-few-days-afterwards” model, the past few months have involved very slowly increasing each run and also combining straight runs for a certain amount of “time on feet” with lactic threshold tolerance interval sessions that are shorter (and more deathly), but which have produced noticeable results in speed and comfort in the longer runs afterwards.

My biggest learning has been to trust the process and give your body time to adapt to a new form of physical activity. If you’re like me and haven’t run much before, you won’t have muscle memory to fall back onto, so of course a new distance (or any distance) will feel quite uncomfortable when you first start. I never really understood what the “runner’s high” was because I’d never pushed through those first few less comfortable runs to actually get there. Now that I have, I am totally hooked and find nothing as refreshing and releasing than a good, sweaty run.

I started off with three kilometer runs a few months ago, which felt like a marathon at the time but slowly found my body adapted to that distance without any nasty shin splints or stress pains that come from doing it too fast. I then increased to five kilometers and went through that same process of adaptation. Seeing how good it feels when you do finally start to adapt to a new distance, I recently gave the 10 kilometers a crack and honestly enjoyed it so much! I find my body takes about a kilometer to find its rhythm, but then that rhythm takes over and I start to thoroughly enjoy the surroundings and environment. I’ve done a few 10 kilometer runs since then and am just about ready for the next one.

21 kilometers still feels a lifetime away, but if I have any advice at this point it’s that things take time, so give yourself enough of it. Also learn what you need at each stage and do it until you’re ready for what’s next. I really needed distraction for the first little while so listened to crime podcasts to distract myself from how long I’d been running. Now I can do it without any audio at all and simply enjoy the world around me. I’ve also learnt to pull back if my body isn’t feeling it, and to push further when I’m feeling good. Massages and stretching have also been really helpful as my body gets used to this new world.

I cannot wait to see what happens over the next little while. Who knew what the body is capable of when you give it a chance. There’s still plenty of time to join us if you’re keen, so let’s do this!

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Here’s How to Get 10% Off Natural Vegan Protein Powders Right Now

If you’re serious about losing weight and getting into better shape, you need to start supplementing your diet with protein. But which one? With all the protein powders, bars, diets, and other protein-enhanced items on the market, it’s hard to know which is right for you. Especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Developed with vegan athletes and trainers in mind, IdealRaw Organic Protein utilizes plant protein exclusively. It’s great for those who want a protein supplement but want to stay vegan. And right now, it’s on sale. Just use the code Raw10 at checkout to take 10 percent off anything, sitewide at IdealRaw.

Why Plant Protein?

As you probably know, protein is composed of amino acids. Of the 20 known amino acids, nine are considered “essential”—meaning, they are not produced in the body and must be supplied by the foods we eat. Protein sources that contain all nine essential amino acids are considered to be complete.

The most common complete protein food sources are animal proteins, like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. You can also get complete protein via whey protein powders. But for those living a vegan lifestyle for health, ethical, or medical reasons, animal protein sources and whey protein supplements are just not viable options.

Plant protein is a vegan-friendly option that can help those abstaining from animal products to reach their protein needs. Plant protein is more easily digested than other protein powders like whey. It can also help you meet your muscle-building needs.

But not all plant-based protein powders are created equal. Because most plant proteins aren’t considered a complete protein, multiple plant sources must be combined to make a complete protein. And that’s the main reason why protein powders look and taste different.

Are All Protein Powders the Same?

Hardly! When searching for a plant protein powder, you want something that contains the right blend of sources to provide a complete protein. It also has to taste good.

Sourced from seven different plant-based and vegan protein sources, IdealRaw Organic Protein contains all nine essential amino acids. It also contains a superfood blend providing added vitamins and minerals. And the IdealRaw team spent two and a half years formulating ingredients, adding superfoods, testing proteins, and conducting over 200 taste tests to get the flavor just right.


In addition to its good taste and outstanding nutritional profile, IdealRaw Protein is USDA certified organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and naturally sweetened. If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly plant-based protein, you’ve got to try IdealRaw.

But protein powders aren’t the only thing on sale at IdealRaw. Use the code Raw10 to get 10 percent off any purchase sitewide. Do it today!

GET IT: Use the code Raw10 to take 10% Off sitewide at IdealRaw

The post Here’s How to Get 10% Off Natural Vegan Protein Powders Right Now appeared first on Men's Journal.

Low Libido in Women: 4 Women Share How Not Having Sex Has Affected Their Lives

Whatever’s causes low sex drive in women, one thing is for sure: Not having sex can impact your life in some surprising ways. Here, four women share their stories.

Mental Illness Is Misunderstood—This Is What It Really Looks Like

For Mental Health Awareness month this May, we asked six women who live with mental illnesses about what it’s like.

The Top 10 Sports Nutrition & Protein Bars

Who doesn’t love a good protein bar? Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or just something to tide you over until mealtime, protein bars are a fantastic option that provide nutrients and energy with great taste—and usually very little (or even zero) sugar. But with so many on the market, it’s hard to know which one to pick. So we’ve rounded up some of the best and most popular protein bars for you.

No matter if you’re on a low-carb, high protein diet or just trying to lose weight, a protein bar is a great choice. They help keep you full between meals, and have vastly more nutritional value than a candy bar. They’re better for breakfast than cereal and pastries. They work awesome as a between-meal snack. And a lot of people substitute them for meals when altogether.

They’re also great for athletic recovery. After a hard session in the weight room or CrossFit arena, a protein bar can give your muscles and tissues a kickstart to recovery with a jolt of amino acids, to get you back in the game faster while keeping vital nutrients flowing.

Protein bars come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors. The most popular—LUNA bars, PureProtein, and ONE come to mind—have been around for years. But the new breed of protein bars like GoMacro, PowerCrunch, and thinkThin are taking the protein bar into previously uncharted territories, providing vegan, gluten-free, and kosher options. Even stalwart brands like Gatorade and SlimFast have gotten in on the protein bar action.

So quit snacking between meals, kickstart your recovery, and start enjoying healthy snacks today. There’s a flavor to suit every taste. And most come in a variety of flavors and package sizes, so experimenting until you find the one that’s right for you is a breeze. So try some of these bestselling protein bars, and take our health and fitness into your own hands.

1. Gatorade Whey Protein Bars

The perfect post-workout snack, it’s made with 20g whey and milk protein to help rebuild your muscles, so you come back strong. Available in Almod Butter, Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry, and Salted Caramel flavors.

GET IT: Pick up Gatorade Whey Protein Bars (from $18/box of 12) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


2. Pure Protein Bars Variety Pack

This delicious, gluten free, chewy chocolate chip bar has 20g of whey protein to help fuel your day. Comes with six each of Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Deluxe, and Chewy Chocolate Chip. Only about 200 calories each (depending on flavor). 

GET IT: Pick up the Pure Protein Bars Variety Pack ($19/box of 18) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


3. thinkThin High Protein Bars

With 20g of soy and whey based protein, this is a great multipurpose nutritional bar that can go from an energy boosting snack to a meal replacement when paired with a piece of fruit. With 0g sugar and no artificial sweeteners. Available in Crunchy or Creamy peanut butter, Chocolate Fudge, or brownie flavors.

GET IT: Pick up thinkThin High Protein Bars (from $12/box of 10) at Amazon 

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


4. LUNA Lemonzest Bar

8g of soy protein, it uses organic whole grain oats so it’s gluten free, and sweetened with sugar cane and brown rice syrups. While this is the top-rated flavor, it’s also available in Blueberry Bliss and Chocolate Coconut. 

GET IT: Pick up the LUNA Lemonzest Bar ($12/box of 15) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


5. RXBAR Real Food Protein Bar

RXBARs are whole food protein bars made with egg whites, dates, nuts, and 100 percent natural ingredients. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free with no artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. 12g protein, 5g fiber, 210 calories, 0g added sugars. Available in Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter & Berries, and Peanut Butter & Chocolate flavors.

GET IT: Pick up RXBAR Real Food Protein Bars (from $15/box of 12) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


6. ONE Protein Bars, Best Sellers Variety Pack

This is a great deal. These gluten-free bars are a perfect guilt-free snack when your energy is low. Variety pack includes Birthday Cake, Almond Bliss, and Maple Glazed Doughnut, and Peanut Butter Pie flavors. 20g of whey and milk protein, 1g of sugar, and zero regrets.

GET IT: Pick up ONE Protein Bars Best Sellers Variety Pack ($28/box of 12) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


7. Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps

Like the wafer cookies we loved as kids, these keto-friendly wafers are available in Vanilla wafers with Peanut Butter filling, or Chocolate wafers with Chocolate Mint filling. Either way, they have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, with just 11g of protein, 5g of fiber, 3g net carbs, and only 1g of sugar.

GET IT: Pick up Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps ($6/box of 5) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


8. GoMacro MacroBar

Using vegan chocolate and a combination of pea protein and brown rice protein, GoMacro bars are USDA certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, soy-free, and C.L.E.A.N. and R.A.W. certified. Available in 12 flavors, this Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip variety is the most popular.

GET IT: Pick up GoMacro MacroBars ($26/box of 12) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


9. SlimFast Keto Meal Bar

Take your keto to go. Each bar has 14g of fat, 7g of whey protein, coconut oil MCTs, and just 3g total sugars for just 3g net carbs. Plus, it’s free from gluten, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors and colors. Available in Triple Chocolate or Peanut Butter flavors.

GET IT: Pick up SlimFast Keto Meal Bars ($10/box of 5) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here


10. Power Crunch Protein Energy Bar

Get your power in nine tasty flavors. Power Crunch utilizes “high-dh hydrolyzed whey protein.” These di- and tripeptides and Micro Peptides harness the power of PEPT-1 transporters, which deliver rapid absorption and delivery of protein throughout the body. For serious fitness enthusiasts.

GET IT: Pick up Power Crunch Protein Energy Bars (starting at $16/box of 12) at Amazon

See All the Protein Bars at Amazon here

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers here.


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The post The Top 10 Sports Nutrition & Protein Bars appeared first on Men's Journal.

My Disability Is Not a Burden—But to Convince Potential Dates, I First Have to Convince Myself

My entire life, people have believed my disability means I’m not independent enough for a relationship—I realized I’d been believing it too.

Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley Sets New 50-Mile Record in HOKA ONE ONE 100K Challenge

The quest for a sub-2 hour marathon (and the shoes it spawned) has grabbed quite a few headlines, but that’s far from the only record pro runners are hustling to break. Last weekend, a group of American and Japanese ultrarunners gathered to attempt another impressive feat: smash the current men’s and women’s 100K records (roughly 62 miles). Although they weren’t able to crack those two records, one athlete, American ultrarunner Jim Walmsley, managed to break a different one. He set a new 50-mile record with a time of 4:50:08, shattering the previous benchmark by an incredible 43 seconds.

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jim walmsley
Jim Walmsley passes the 50-mile marker on Saturday’s course. Courtesy Image

Walmsley’s record-setting run was part of the Project Carbon X, a 100K record attempt sponsored by running shoe company HOKA ONE ONE. The event was staged to promote HOKA’s new Carbon X racing shoe, and all the participating athletes wore them while running. Walmsley, along with seven other runners, traversed a 100K road course from Folsom, California, to Sacramento on Saturday morning in their dash to set new records (the men’s time to beat is 6:09:14; the women’s is 6:33:11). Hideaki Yamauchi of Japan won Saturday’s race with a time of 6:19:54, and Walmsley finished with a time of 6:55:24—but by blazing through the first 50 miles of the race, he nabbed a different record.

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Walmsley already has a few FKTs under his belt. In 2018, he set course records at the Western States Endurance Run and the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. He’s also been named “Ultrarunner of the Year” by Ultrarunning Magazine three years in a row. But the Carbon X run was a little different than his usual races, since it took place entirely on the road.

“My passion and love of running is rooted in the trails; however, road ultras have a history that excites me,” Walmsley said in a press release.

Hoka One One Carbon X
Hoka One One Carbon X Courtesy Image

As for the Carbon X shoe, it’s HOKA’s answer to ultra-light racing shoes—like Reebok’s Floatride Run Fast Pro and Nike’s ZoomX Vaporfly, the latter of which Eliud Kipchoge wore in his record-breaking London Marathon finish in April. Although HOKA is known for well-cushioned shoes that err on the heavier side, the Carbon X combines the company’s signature plush ride in a lightweight (read: fast) package for runners looking to set new PRs—and possibly clock some new records along the way.

The new kicks go on sale on May 15 at and select retailers June 1.

The Best Trail Running Gear for Heading Out Into the Wild

The post Ultrarunner Jim Walmsley Sets New 50-Mile Record in HOKA ONE ONE 100K Challenge appeared first on Men's Journal.

These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss

Are you still trying to get into summer shape? The hardest part about any weight loss plan is, well, feeling hungry all the time. If you’re serious about losing your belly and trimming down in time for summer, the Boombod 28-day Achiever program can help you lose weight, fast.

Even if you’re crushing your daily HIIT workout, cutting calories, and avoiding desserts, losing weight is not easy, especially as we get older. We  find ourselves thinking about food, never feeling satisfied with our meals, and being constantly hungry. This can lead to snacking, over-indulging, and downright cheating on our diet. And it can completely counter all the hard work we put in at the gym.

Boombod is a simple, quick, and painless way to lose weight naturally without feeling hungry. Each 10 calorie shot contains a unique vitamin blend to help your body achieve its goals, and a natural fiber that works to reduce your appetite—and is clinically proven to aid weight loss.

What’s the Secret to Boombod?

The key is the natural fiber glucomannan. It’s the only active ingredient that’s been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in relation to weight loss. Each Boombod shot contains a quality source of Glucomannan, which works by leaving less room for food, reducing your appetite, and helping you eat less. Glucomannan also sweeps through the digestive tract collecting food particles and toxins, performing a thorough cleanse without laxative effects.

Combine the Boombod 28-day Achiever program with a steady workout and fitness regimen, and before long you’re creating a daily calorie deficit. That means you’re burning more calories than you take in. And that means you’re losing weight. Period.


There are three unique vitamin blends in each Boombod shot. The Morning Energizer has iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and  Glucomannan to boost your metabolism. It will get you going and keep you moving, without feeling hungry. The Afternoon Motivator shot provides zinc, vitamins B12, B6, and B1, as well as Glucomannan. It will reduce the tiredness and general fatigue we all feel after lunchtime, and help you avoid the dreaded 3 o’clock munchies. The Night Rejuvenator offers hair- and skin-rejuvenating biotin, selenium, vitamin D3 and Glucomannan. It will contribute to a healthier, more natural-looking you—and keep you from craving that late-night snack.

When Do I Take Boombod?

Take each shot about 30 minutes before meals in the morning, afternoon, and night. Boombod will keep you from feeling hungry and help your body prep for the fitness regimen and diet program you’ve set out for yourself. Within a month, Boombod will combine with your regimen to help get you slim, trim, and confident in time for beach season. Boombod comes in three Achiever plans: 7, 14, and 28 days. They all feature the same shots; your choice will depend on how much weight you want to lose.

And how much money you want to save. They’re all on sale right now. The 7-Day Achiever plan normally costs $40; it’s on sale right now for $32—that’s 20 percent off. The 14-Day Achiever plan ($60; regularly $80) is 25 percent off. The 28-Day Achiever is the best value. It’s regularly $160, but right now it’s just $112. That’s a 30 percent savings! And you get a free shaker bottle to boot.

So if you’re serious about losing your belly by summertime but are having trouble avoiding the temptations, try Boombod today. You’ll feel full and create that calorie deficit, so you’re burning calories rather than storing them. And you’ll have the confidence to whip that shirt off then the sea and sand come calling.

GET IT: Pick up the 28-Day Achiever plan at Boombod

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers here

See Also:

The 4-week Fat-burning Meal Plan

The 4-week Workout Plan to Lose Weight and Burn Away Belly Fat

The post These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss appeared first on Men's Journal.

The One Stretch Everyone With a Desk Job Should Be Doing

Michael K. Ryan, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama, tells us why the Jefferson curl is his favorite move for desk jockeys.

THE JEFFERSON CURL is the stretch with the highest return on investment, helping the most muscles in the least amount of time. It’s ideal for anyone who stands for long periods of time, or who have desk jobs—basically all of us.

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The curl addresses posterior chain issues, referring to the muscles that run from the base of the neck to the heels. Typing at a computer or cradling a phone on your shoulder lead to neck and shoulder tightness, which can pull up on the middle back, glutes, and hamstrings. Sitting stiffens calf muscles and glutes, pulling down on the mid-back and shoulders. Either way, your posterior chain needs TLC.



To do the curl, stand tall at the edge of a bench or plyo box, without a weight or holding a light kettlebell in both hands. Keeping legs straight, slowly bend over, starting with the head and neck, then progressing down one vertebra at a time. As you get to your lower back, keep knees locked out and fold over until kettlebell bottom goes past toes. Hold at the bottom, then tuck chin and draw chest toward thighs. Hold again, then slowly reverse, focusing on activating the core, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

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Do this pattern 4 or 5 times, ideally every day. The combination of forward and reverse means each muscle gets an eccentric and concentric stretch—or stretch and release. Not only does this curl target every major muscle group up and down your back and legs, it also stretches out the smaller muscles, ligaments, and joints that make up the spine, which helps you bend and move in all directions. Done properly, it’s one of the few stretches that can completely alleviate tight posterior chain muscles after a long day, week, or month.

The post The One Stretch Everyone With a Desk Job Should Be Doing appeared first on Men's Journal.

Thanks !

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