Running

Training for a race? Tips for getting stronger, faster… and maybe even a new PR!

Believe me, I’m no elite and not the guru of all things racing. BUT… I have PRed a lot over the years and more recently, my hubby has started KILLING it at road races! So we pulled some thoughts together – nothing you probably haven’t read before – and wanted to share a few tips that have worked for us.

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Finish line celebration at this year’s M3S Sports Cap City Half – Deedra (second from left) pulled out a new personal record and her first sub 2 hour finish! 

1) Make time for speed training. 

From my first to my second half marathon, the only thing I changed was adding in speed work ~ and a pinch of confidence knowing I could go the whole distance ~ which resulted in a 10+ minute PR! I broke the two hour barrier on that second attempt and have made that my goal for most half marathons since. Speed training will benefit you and your body in SO many ways including shredding body fat, building your endurance and more. Read one of our older posts on speed training HERE.

We do a lot of speed work at Shred 415 Sawmill, but also hit up the track on occasion, do outdoor tempo runs and when we’re feeling really ambitious, meet for hill repeats out on the Dublin trails!

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2) Find the right training plan.

Many of us are training for the fall Columbus half marathon. We posted some of our favorite half marathon training plans back in January 2018, some of which we still love. Our Living Fit runners all like Hal Higdon’s plans and we typically use them as a template, then modify based on where we are in “life.” The one we are using this fall is a mix of his intermediate and advanced plans with 4+ days of running per week including hills & speed sessions.

We also like the Shred 415 Half Marathon Training Program. It’s perfect for the minimalist runner that only wants 3-4 runs per week and a lot of cross & strength training! We have been LOVING Shred 415 Sawmill this past year ~ see why HERE ~ and were excited to find a plan geared towards us distance junkies.

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Other plans – the Hanson method for instance – will have you running a LOT more mileage. Find what works for you, your body, your schedule… and remember to always be flexible when life comes your way!

3) Summon your inner rock star & engage your mental toughness. 

You hear this a lot in the running world… “Running is 90% mental.” Agree! You have to be willing to push your body, even when your mind is telling you “this is hard, quit, walk” etc.

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My husband is much better at ‘pushing through’ during a run than I am. When it gets hard for me, I want to slow down… or even walk (and pending the run, sometimes I do!) When it gets hard for him, he turns his music up a bit louder and somehow just pushes forward, often faster. He says he visualizes the finish line and also tries REALLY hard to not let anyone pass him.

“You have to be able to push through pain and adversity in many aspects of life… it’s no different when you’re running. You can’t give up.” -thoughts by Joey Gellenbeck  🙂

Blog post Sep 2019 Joey cap city

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Joey had huge PRs this year at the M3S Sports Cap City Half (finish time of 1:35) and the Emerald City Quarter (finish time of 41:33) – attributing it to consistent training, regular long runs and speed+strength sessions at SHRED 415 Sawmill!  

 

Regardless of all of the tips above, some times your performance just comes down to race day. In spite of all the training, there are so many variables, some races just may not go your way.

But sometimes, all the stars align. The weather is perfect. The course is ideal. You settle into your pace – perhaps a bit uncomfortably – but your training pays off. Some may call it “race day magic.” Others just call it kicking a*s. Either way, you cross the finish line, look at the clock, and smile.

Blog post Sep 2019

-Kara Goucher 

 

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Tour of Columbus // Shred 415 Sawmill

Tour of Columbus // Shred 415 Sawmill, Dublin, Ohio  

[by t gellenbeck]

My friend and fellow runner Amanda invited me to my first Shred 415 Sawmill class this past winter, shortly after their grand opening. It also came highly recommended by some friends at Harbor Yoga and I’ve always enjoyed group fitness classes that utilize a treadmill… so I was happy to check it out. I didn’t realize at the time it would become one of my favorite studios in Columbus and I would soon end up joining the #ShredFam!  

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The Tour:

My favorite studios are the ones that have someone greeting you at the front door. Not just sitting there… but actually saying hello, making you feel welcome and happy that you signed up! At Shred Sawmill you will likely always encounter a friendly face, welcoming you to your sweat session. Off to the left of the front desk is the Shred Kids area – yep you can bring your littles with you! This is definitely a perk and I’ve been bringing my kids in quite often! 

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They provide towels and have a fully stocked refreshment area including water, NOOMA and other goodies, should you need a pre or post workout treat. You can also get some Shred gear from their quaint apparel area. 

The studio itself is equipped with Woodway treadmills – the best thing you’ll likely EVER run on – and a floor that includes a variety of free weights, BOSU balls, bands and more. The room is just dark enough that you don’t have to worry about the amount of sweat you’re about to shed… no one will see it anyhow! 

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Another perk? A large, clean locker room with showers! This is a huge benefit if you want to shred before work or before a night on the town. 

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The Workout:

Shred classes alternate between four 15 minute intervals on both the treadmills and the floor, a HIIT workout that according to Shred experts, incorporates both cardio bursts and strength training. If you need a break from the treads, you can sign up to “double deck” and hit the floor for the full 60 minutes. Coaches vary classes by changing up the workouts to include a variety of speed work, hill work (eek!), free weights, bands, BOSU and medicine balls and more. 

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The instructors will guide you though the workout, often demonstrating what exactly to do on the floor (super helpful!), motivating you to give it your all and high-fiving you at the end. I’ve loved all the instructors so far and hope to do interviews of several, including updating this previous fitness spotlight on Caren Leslie, who now coaches at Shred Sawmill!

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Coach Laurie giving instructions to her Shred class

The Sawmill location has four owners; Chad Hemminger, Sara Wortman, Katie Blickhan and Scott Blickhan.

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Co-owner, Chad Hemminger, is also an instructor/coach and can commonly be found either leading class or taking class with you!

I’ve had the opportunity to meet three of them and they are all spectacularly friendly and always willing to chat about fitness, Columbus, running, anything goes! I asked them a few questions and here is what they had to say… 

Why did you decide on Shred 415 when your entrepreneurial adventure began?

After College, Katie and Scott lived in Chicago until moving to Columbus in 2010. In 2011, just shortly after they moved, Shred415 opened the first Chicago studio in Lincoln Park. Although, Scott and Katie now lived in Columbus, their Chicago friends became dedicated Shredders and shared their love for the studio. So, Katie visited her friends, took class and was instantly hooked. Although Katie – as well as Chad and Sara – belonged to numerous other fitness studios in Columbus, nothing compared to the experience with Shred415. 

Fast forward to 2017 and Katie learned that Shred415 had grown to 10 studios and was looking to franchise and expand further. Katie reached out to Sara (who have been friends since 7th grade!) and Chad (who, coincidentally, was actively looking for an investment opportunity) and said – “Remember that workout I am obsessed with in Chicago? Well, they are franchising!” We all bought plane tickets to Chicago and met the entire Shred415 family… yes, we even met founders, Bonnie & Tracy. After spending a few days with the ShredFam, it didn’t take much convincing – we were bringing Shred415 to Columbus!

 

Although we are a fitness and wellness blog, we are distance runners at heart! What benefits does Shred offer to runners?

 

Ha, have we mentioned the Woodway treadmills yet? The belt technology sets them apart from all other treadmills. They truly are the best treadmills in the industry! 

We also had a Shred team for the CapCity Half & Quarter Marathon in April. We probably had more than a dozen members come up to us after the race to tell us that they broke PRs and were attributing it to Shred415. We cannot replace the long runs – and you have to log some miles on the pavement – but Shred415 focuses on both inclines and speed while combining the cardio workouts with core exercises and strength training. It makes a HUGE difference in race performance and protects against injuries.

In addition to our regular classes, Shred415 Sawmill is also starting to offer Shred for Distance and Shred 4 Endurance classes. These classes will focus on improving both speed and endurance.  

Plus, runners are tough. We pride ourselves on dealing with the elements, but there is something to be said about the reliability of Shred415. We’re open 364 days a year with 36 classes a week (and counting) and childcare – we try to eliminate any and all “roadblocks” for runners.  We LOVE our runners and start classes super early at 5 AM on Monday through Friday!

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Overall I have LOVED this studio, the workout, the people… which is why I keep going back. You never know exactly what you’ll get, but you can count on bumping beats and a killer sweat! It is an AH-MAZING workout and I always leave feeling exhausted, but totally inspired to both challenge and conquer my fitness goals. I hope to get into the studio 1-3 times per week this summer/fall to help with training for the Columbus Half Marathon in October. You should join us!

Not only will you LOVE Shred, but one last bonus… your first class is always FREE! 

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Summer running and beating the heat!

According to our very scientific Instagram story question last week, most of you would rather run in cold than heat. So what do you do when temps creep into the 80s, 90s, even 100s? Yes, you could hit up a treadmill or a local gym or running studio (we are loving Shred 415 Sawmill lately) – or some of you may even be tempted to skip it all together. Don’t skip your run! Running outside in the summer is still a doable task! Below are some tips – mostly common sense, but maybe you need a reminder – on how to beat the heat of summer and still lace up those shoes for an outdoor run!

1. SLOW down. If the temps are scorching, don’t worry about pace and take rest or walk breaks – or maybe even some #stopdropandyoga breaks – as needed. I’m typically a 9ish minute conversational pace runner, but when the sun is beating down and the humidity is creeping up, I’ll slow down and be a 10ish minute pace with no shame. It’s ok to postpone your speed work when the thermometer is registering 95 degrees!

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Stopped for a yoga/stretch break along our hike+trail run adventure 

2. Hydrate. Duh! But seriously, in colder temps you likely don’t bring water on your run (unless you’re marathon training), but perhaps you need some mid-run liquids in hotter weather. Design a route that goes by a local park with a water fountain, bring along a water bottle or invest in a hydration belt. Check out some favs by Runner’s World. Water is great, but an electrolyte replenisher would work wonders if you’re doing a long run. If temps are unbearable, you could even give yourself a quick water break every mile or hey, even more often! Last week in Florida, I turned a 5 mile run into 10 x 800s to give myself a hydration (and mental) break every 1/2 mile!

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Wearing my FuelBelt – usually one filled with water and one filled with an electrolyte beverage – for “hot” runs over 5-6 miles. 

3. Dress like you’re HOT! Because you are! 

  • This should be a no-brainer, but wearing shorts or a running skirt can really cool you down. I don’t typically do shorts, (due to, uh-hum, chafing issues) but when the real feel is 103 in the humidity of Florida, I’ll make an exception & lather up with some Body Glide! 🙂
  • Wearing a running hat can keep the sun out of your eyes, as well as keeping your head cool. According to On-running.com, “By design, a running hat draws perspiration away from the head helping keep you cool through evaporating sweat. At the same time, the best running hats also let air in through their fabric to further cool a runner down and provide a level of breathability for the head.”  Bonus, find a cute one & you’ll be stylin’ too!
  • This won’t help with heat… but be sure to lather up with a sweat-friendly sunscreen! Your skin with thank you.

4. Location, location, location. Plan a route that has shade, water stops and if you’re lucky, perhaps even a coastal breeze. There are some trails here in Cbus that are much shadier than others, for instance, I tend to avoid the Heritage Trail in Hilliard and stay on bike paths in Dublin that provide more shade.

5. Go early or late & avoid mid-day heat. I’m NOT a morning person, but I’ll do AM workouts when needed as you definitely get better temps by getting it done early. Today there was a 15 degree difference b/w early morning and mid afternoon! Sunset is also an amazing time to not only get some cooler temps, but see some amazing views.

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Short sunset jog – not only is it much cooler, but THOSE VIEWS!!! 

Well, those are five tips for staying cool on your summer runs. Hope you keep logging those miles and hope to see you on the trails (or maybe the beach!)

[t gellenbeck]

 

RACE WEEK!! Cap City’s 15th anniversary party is right around the corner!

This Saturday is RACE DAY! Anyone else excited (but anxious) for the Cap City Half Marathon? We have a fun week filled with a short group run, a 15th anniversary VIP reception, a visit to the expotique at The Vue Columbus, the race (duh) and of course, the after-party in the Cbus Commons! Many local companies will be present or represented this year, my favorites including Homage, Land Grant Brewery & Cameron Mitchell.

We have had a loooooong winter with too many cold runs. We have fought through wind, rain, snow and sub-zero temps. Some of us have dealt with injury. First timers and those trying to PR may be trying to control anxiety. Many ran & trained on vacations and business trips across the United States (and maybe beyond!) As you reflect back on your training and look forward to Saturday morning, remind yourself of all the hard work you’ve done and be proud of yourself, no matter what happens.

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Many of you are tried & true veterans, but a lot of you are first timers! Here are some tips that have helped us prep for “race week” and the big day you’ve been working so hard towards…  {revamped a little from our previous 2014 Cap City blog post}

Five Things To Keep In Mind During Race Week
1.  Stay hydrated and eat
 healthy.

  • Hydrate all week!  I’ve learned to hydrate Mon-Fri, but then cut back a bit at Friday’s bedtime and into race morning. I prefer not to have to stop for a pee break along the course!
  • The few days leading up to the race, try to consume only “normal” foods that your body is used to. This is not the time to try something new that may give you stomach issues. Eat clean so you feel great!
  • Pre-race dinner // Something you’ve tried before and know it works. Think lean protein, small serving of carbs and lots of vegetables. Nothing too heavy or spicy. One glass of wine may help you sleep, but a bottle will dehydrate you… so find some balance. 🙂
  • Race morning breakfast // your standard, pre-long-run breakfast ~ don’t try anything new! For shorter races I just have a banana with peanut butter, but for longer races (halfs and fulls) I’ll throw in a piece of bread or half a bagel. Eat early enough that you can hopefully make a potty stop before the gun shot start. I’m usually a ball of nerves and not at all hungry, so I have to force this. Heck, I’m nervous just writing this post and *thinking* about race morning!
  • Race day fuel // again, use only what you’ve tried previously. Some are okay on just water and/or a Gatorade type beverage along the course. I usually do some light fueling (a few HoneyStinger gummies) somewhere along the half way mark and a swig of water towards the end. This year, Cap City is offering a Carb Boom! Energy Gel station around the 6.5 mile marker.

2.  Try your best to get some quality sleep.  They say that its the “night before the night before” race day that you have a chance of getting some rest… and I’d agree. So for a Saturday race, you may not sleep well Friday night (pre-race jitters, early morning rise & run), but try to get a good night’s sleep on Thursday night. Some bed-time yoga may help you fall asleep!

3.  Make arrangements to get your packet at the expo. Don’t forget this important detail! This can be a challenge if you’re doing an out of town race and the expo ends at say, 7PM the night before, so plan accordingly. Many races will allow a friend to pick up your packet for you, but know the requirements.

4.  Plan out race morning & all the details.

  • Have your clothes, socks, shoes, race bib, safety pins, Garmin/iWatch, race fuel, music playlist, poncho, throw aways ~ anything you need ~ ready the night before. It’s also best if you’ve done a (long) run in your race day attire.
  • Figure out where you will park, what time you need to leave and where you will meet up with loved ones or spectators. We like to be down in the area around an hour before the gun start. You may also want to hit up the good ol’ porta pot!
  • Run through your finish line goals! I always recommend having more than one… that way you don’t feel defeated. I’m not going for a PR this race and ideally I’ll be able to hang with the two hour pace group… but any finish is an accomplishment, so that is always the main goal!

5.  RELAX!!!!!!  You have done the hard work! You have likely logged a training run somewhere close to your race distance [we got in a 12 miler]. Some like to do a yoga session or short, easy walk/run the day before to relieve some jitters. Some will do a SHORT “shake out” jog the morning of. Get some rest, show up on time, start your power play list (I usually save mine for mile 10 and try for a strong 5K finish) and be ready to take some fabulous pictures at the finish line! YOU GOT THIS! 

Cheers to another 13.1 or whatever your distance! See you at the finish line party Columbus!

Still got time? Check out some of our training memories from this year’s road to Cap City!

 

 

Gearing up for Cap City (Year 4!)

This year is the 15th anniversary of the Cap City Half Marathon and will be my fourth time at the event. I really love this race and was honored when asked to be an ambassador and “Voice of Cap City” for 2018’s event.  Since I knew I’d be running the race anyhow, why not include some blog & IG posts along the way?

David Babner, Cap City race director, refers to this race as “the best tour of Columbus on two feet” and I would agree. What better way to view our city than a two hour jog through the streets! I have made a lot of great memories and met some amazing people along the miles of the Cap City events…

Year #1 – Cap City Half 2008 – Lifetime Fitness Run Club // Coached a few runners and helped them finish under 2 hours! Also ran 5 miles before the race, as I was training for my first full marathon in Cleveland later that spring… this was my longest run to date, 18.1 miles total! The race was fun and we had a blast at the finish line. Do I look 10 years younger in this pic? Wait, don’t answer that…

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Cap City Half 2008

Year #2 – Cap City Half 2014 – Living Fit Columbus Run Crew // I took a few years off from Columbus races as I was traveling around, conquering various states. After having my first baby in 2013, traveling the country became less feasible so I circled back to my roots. My BFF Katie ran this with me as her first half marathon, along with several other friends and my mom, who managed to carry a packH2O for 13.1 miles. Great race, even better after party.  See our full image gallery HERE.  Speaking of images, crazy how the iPhone camera quality has gotten so much better over the years!

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Cap City Half 2014

Year #3 – Cap City Quarter 2017 – Living Fit Run Crew // My hubby & bff’s hubby helped me chase down a new PR! We “weathered the storm” and finished the quarter before the race got called and were enjoying our VIP privileges as the storm rolled in. Check out our full recap and media gallery HERE.

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Cap City Quarter 2017

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Year #4 –> Cap City 2018! // There are so many amazing people and groups of runners training for this race.  Below are just a few, jump in and join them for a group run!

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Cap City Ambassador event 2018

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Cap City kickoff run+social with Rocky Fork Run Club at Land Grant Brewery

I’m so excited for this race, but even more so, the after party. 🙂 I originally was training to run the half & break two hours with a couple friends and I’m hoping that is still feasible. As I work through a glute/hip injury… we shall see! If I can just get to the finish line, I’ll be happy… that VIP experience is top notch!

Today is the last day to sign up before the next price hike… so get registered if you haven’t already! I can promise you a great sweat, a fun event & a memorable experience. Use our code 18VOCLivingFit for $10 off and we’ll see you at the after-party!

 

Tour of Columbus // RISE Fitness Community

Tour of Columbus – RISE Fitness Community, Upper Arlington, Ohio 

[by t gellenbeck]

We have toured a LOT of fitness places around Columbus. Some are “okay” and we are glad we made the visit to check it out. Some are so good we blog about them and include on our Tour of Columbus recaps and visit now and then.

And rarely, we fall in LOVE and will continue going back time and time again.

This has only happened with a handful of places in Cbus since the onset of this blog four years ago. You probably already know that we are obsessed with VPower Yoga, Harbor Yoga and Orange Theory Fitness. Well, add another studio to that short list!

I started attending RISE Fitness Community for their December challenge last month and absolutely fell in love! This is a runner’s dream and the perfect combination of running, speed work, cross training (variety of options including HIIT classes and runner specific strength training in run club classes) and knowledgable coaches that are all runners themselves.

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Although there are a wide variety of run classes and HIIT classes, my work and family schedule has only allowed me to try two different types so far, Rise Run Club (RRC) Power and RRC Precision. As a distance runner, I’m (typically) good about getting in the mileage & the long runs with friends… but I’m always looking to add strength training and speed work to my routine. RISE offers the perfect combination!

RRC Precision is an hour long class where you rotate in 10 minute intervals between the treadmill and your yoga mat, doing runner-specific strength training and floor exercise intervals. RRC Power is very similar, but you do the 30 minute treadmill portion first, then hit the yoga mat for the second 20-30 minutes.  Both classes include a warm up and cool down. Get there a tad early and you can likely get in some additional time on the treadmill as you warm up!  I can almost always count on getting in 3.5 – 4 miles or more.

All of the RRC classes have the option to utilize heart-rate based training. Strap that bad boy on and push yourself into the four different zones throughout your workout! Your trainer will guide you through the session and like any good run coach, will also motivate you, believe in you… and PUSH you! I seriously feel like I could go conquer a marathon after I’ve finished a workout here.  Although I don’t plan to any time in the future. 🙂

I’m excited to check out other classes, especially RISE & RENEW – you start on the treadmill, and then end with a yoga session. Seriously?  My two favorite things! This is the best combination since peanut butter and jelly!!

There are also HIIT classes that take place in the front studio and do not include treadmill running. I haven’t taken this class, but we did a few workouts in the front area…

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When I told the owners, Michelle Flemming & Jessica Kopp, that I wanted to rave about RISE in a blog post, they were willing to answer a few questions for me. I love including things from the owner’s perspective!  Here are a few tidbits from co-owner, Michelle…

Why did you start RISE?

“We started RISE to help more people find health. We believe that each person is on Earth for a purpose and if they are healthy, they can do it with zeal. The world is a better place when people are doing what they are meant to do. Thomas Jefferson said, “Exercise and recreation are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary, because health is worth more than learning.” The root of everything is having a healthy body, mind and soul. RISE is working towards that every day.

From a business perspective, we wanted to be the first to open a running studio in Columbus so that we could expand our love of running to our programming. Running studios are popping up around the country just like cycling did ten years ago. We love being a part of this action-packed opportunity.”

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Me with co-owner, Michelle Flemming

What is your experience as a runner and how does that help make RISE specifically beneficial for runners?

“Both Jess and myself have been runners for a long time. We were athletes growing up in sports that required at least 5 miles per game. After our sport specific days came to an end, we both desired a physical challenge, to feel strong again and of course a little competition (even if it just with ourselves). We ran for exercise and for mental health, but when RISE Run Club came about, we discovered another level of training. We are healthier and stronger athletes than we were ever before, and the best part is that our RISE athletes are actually in better shape than us! Although it is a pride check to get out run by one of our athletes, it is the exact reason that we do what we do: to bring out the best in people.”

Can you give us a quick rundown of the classes and programs you offer to benefit runners?

“We offer RISE Run Club and HIIT IT classes all day, every day of the week and our athletes reach their goals using any combination of the two. In addition to these large group exercise programs, twice annually we offer a half & full marathon training program (July & February). We love helping our athletes set a lofty goal, overcome obstacles, and cross that start line. The finish line is just some extra icing, and it is only after our runners do it that they realize the journey was just as sweet as the glorious finish.”

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Both owners and all the instructors we’ve met so far are kind, genuine and super motivational. They want you to work hard towards your goals, whether its getting into running, training for your first 5K or trying to qualify for Boston. That last one’s not on my personal bucket list, but I’m only half crazy!!

If you want to check it out, they offer first class free and have ongoing specials, challenges & more.  Tomorrow is FRIEND FRIDAY so bring a new training buddy to sweat it out with you and you’ll both receive a free class added to your account!

I really can’t say enough good things about this studio, the workout(s) and the people. I will be a long-term athlete here and can’t wait to have them help me cross many finish lines over the coming years… starting with th

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Left to right // Jen (new member!), Jessica (co-owner), & me in the obnoxious neon 🙂

Are you afraid of the dark? Tips for runner safety

Tips for runner safety before sunrise & beyond the sunset

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Running at sunrise or sunset can bring beautiful scenery and can be a great way to start or end your day.  With daylight savings, however, its dark EARLY.  Like way too early.  Look outside, it’s not even 5PM and the sky is already going black! The days of sunset runs at 8:30PM are long gone and many of us must get our runs done in the morning before the sun is up or in the evening after the sun has set.  Here are some quick tips our runners have discussed during these dark winter months.

1.Wear bright and/or reflective clothing and gear. Why not add a cute white puffer vest to your collection? If you don’t own white or bright outer layers or want to add advanced visibility, consider products like headlamps or lights & reflective apparel from noxgear.  Bonus, they are local, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio! If all else fails, use your trusty iPhone flashlight app.

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2. Stay on sidewalks as much as possible.  We admit, we prefer blacktop paths and will sometimes run in the road if the only other option is a hard, possibly uneven, sidewalk.  But when its dark, cars are less likely to see you (duh) so keep off the roads as best you can. Your knees can handle a few sidewalk runs, here and there. Even better, head to the track for some speed work – then you don’t have to worry about tripping over un-level concrete (believe us, we’ve had our fair share of slips & falls!)

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3. Run with a buddy… or maybe a group!  There is safety in numbers. Check out local running groups to find training partners that may be nearby and within your ideal pace. Columbus has many resources to connect you including MRTT Columbus and Columbus Running Co’s Facebook pages & groups.

4. Carry safety items with you including phone and perhaps even a whistle (we have one by GracedByGrit) or mace. Better safe than sorry.

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5. If you can’t manage to run outside – perhaps check out a new studio (maybe you’ll make a new friend or find a new ‘fitness’ home!) or hit up the dreadmill treadmill for a few months. Many local Cbus studios offer early AM classes, including OTF’s 5AMer.  We dare you to set your alarm for 4:30AM and check it out! 🙂

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Are YOU afraid of the dark? Send us your tips, favorite products & more! 

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart

With WORLD HEART DAY right around the corner – tomorrow, Friday, Sep 29th – we figured this was an appropriate time for a guest post about exercises for a healthier heart!  Sara is building her “blogger portfolio” and we welcomed her post…

Guest Post // Five Exercises for a Healthier Heart 

Your heart is an extremely strong organ, but even this grows weak if you do not take good care of it through a nutritious diet and regular exercise! Here is a list of some of the most “heart friendly exercises” for a healthier blood pump.

Yoga

Yoga requires you to exercise using your own body weight and practice stretching to gain more flexibility in your movement. Yoga ranges from requiring very easy and basic movements like in Hatha Yoga, to demanding great flexibility and perfect posture like in Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. Along with providing you with physical benefits, yoga can also be helpful in clearing the mind and keeping you stress-free. Remaining stress-free is also a really good way to keep your heart healthy and relaxed.

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Aerobics

Aerobics are basically cardio-exercise. They can be anything that can make your heart rate go up and have the sweat running in minutes. Aerobics are not a good option for people who have fragile hearts since it makes the heart put in a lot of effort. Even so, if you believe that your heart is healthy now and you want it to stay that way, you should get into the habit of doing aerobics regularly. You can make it even more fun by practicing fast dance moves or joining a class with a group of friends.

Running and Walking

For people who have never really had much physical exercise to begin with, they should start off with walking. Walking briskly 30-60 minutes every day can prove to be a very useful exercise. Even if it does not show immediate effect, you can see some major improvements in your long-term health. When you find that walking briskly is getting easier and easier, you should get the pace up to a jog and then start jogging or running. Running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and make your heart really healthy.

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Strength Training

Strength training includes exercises that require lifting weights and doing exercises like push-ups. Be cautious of lifting weights that are beyond your capacity, this may seriously damage your muscles. Instead, take weights that you can use comfortably and do a series of relatively easy weights, working your way up.

Massages

Okay so massages are not exactly exercises, but they do make your body go through some physical toning which is basically what exercise does.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.” So get yourself a top quality massage chair!

Author Bio: Sara is a psychologist by profession and she loves massage therapies. She enjoys home-based work and traveling. She is obsessed with massage chair therapies and other relaxing techniques. She regularly posts at https://mymassagechairs.com.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, only fitness enthusiasts!  Please consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise routine. 

Three reasons to take on a #Runstreak

Have you gone streaking?  Run streaking that is.  With clothes on.

I participated in a run streak challenge last year, but didn’t quite meet my original goal of 30 days.  I believe I made it to day 21 and although that was the longest consecutive streak I’d accomplished to date, it fell a bit short.

This year, I attempted to streak from June 4th to July 4th… and I did!  I just finished 31 days of streaking, running a minimum of one mile per day.  I ran in several states (Florida, Georgia and Ohio), different terrains (beach, road, trail, track, treadmill) and all different times of day. Somedays were easy rest days and I only ran the one (slow) mile.  Other days were more challenging and I did long runs or speed work.  Some runs were solo and many were with running buddies or family (my little guy tagged along for several!)   Regardless of the details, I always ran at least one mile.  And most days, I enjoyed it!  I talked myself into an “I GET to run today” mentality and embraced the task.

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I really enjoyed the challenge and thought of a few reasons you should consider taking one on for yourself.

  1. It helps make running habit forming.  And I’m not talking about that 21 day myth thing.  I just mean getting out there, everyday… it gets you into a daily routine.  It forces you to make time for running.  Time for yourself.
  2. One is rarely enough.  One mile that is.  Most days, even if I was tired and had told myself, “I’ll just go run one slow mile,”  I would end up running more than one.  Its like, you get dressed, you get your playlist going, you get out the door… and then adrenaline & endorphins kick in, leaving you running for 20-30+ minutes instead of the “one slow mile” you’d talked yourself into.
  3. Be a part of the awesomeness of the streaking community.  I loved checking the #runstreak and #RWrunstreak hashtags and seeing what others were up to.  I felt good about taking on a new fitness challenge. And now, of course, I have run streak bragging rights… if that kind of thing is impressive.  We runners are a strange breed.  If you are one, you get it.  If you aren’t… well, you’re probably not reading this anyhow!

This year I missed the Runner’s World challenge start date of Memorial Day, but hopefully I’ll hop on one of theirs someday.  Popular streaks I’ve heard of are Thanksgiving to New Years, Memorial Day to July 4th and then the longer one of Memorial Day to Labor Day.  I’ll surely partake in one in the future!

I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the #RWRunStreak Instagram posts by @RunnersWorldMag.  “Everyday is a good day when you run.” Its true.  So I had 31 good days in a row.  Don’t you want to say the same?

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Summer Racing… and a one year RUN challenge

Racing Cbus and beyond 

Races are what some of us train for.  What keeps us going.  Maybe you are doing it for fun, to raise money or awareness for a charity or perhaps you’re chasing that next PR.  Maybe you like to travel and running/racing is a fun way to see a new city. Whatever your reasons, we understand them. And support them!

Personally, I have several race goals, including a half marathon in half the states and a new run goal this year, participating in at least one race (or at least an organized running event) per month for a year.  I didn’t start until April so I’ll be chasing this challenge into March of 2018. 🙂   Here is what I have on the books so far…

April 2017Run the Bluegrass Half (recap)Cap City Quarter (recap) 

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MayDuchenne Dash (Team Austin 5K) | FORE! Miler (hometown favorite, recap below)

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JuneFind Me Where the Wild Things Are – one hour night run (my first!)

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JulyLiving Fit Columbus Independence Family Fun Run/Walk 

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AugustEmerald City Half or Quarter | Rocky Fork Run Club Racing Series | SuperHero Bull Run and/or Irish Festival 5K (still pending)

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SeptemberScioto River Run Half Marathon

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October – Still pending, perhaps the Cbus Half?

NovemberHot Chocolate 15K

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I haven’t thought past that so if you have any favorites for December – March, send them my way!  Hoping hubby will let us go somewhere warm in the winter months!

So what are you waiting for?  Go sign up for a race!  Maybe by yourself with your race face on.  Or maybe with your kids to help them finish their first one.  Heck, you could even start your own race for a cause!  Just go do it.  You’ll be happy you did.  🙂

 


FORE! Miler 2017

I’ve been super busy and traveling and baaaaaad about blogging… but here is a quick recap from this year’s FORE! Miler.  This is our third year since the race began in 2015 and I hope to do it for years to come.

Race day was ANOTHER rainy Columbus day.  Almost all of my races this year have had rain, so it was nothing new to me!  Some bailed, most showed up.  Some had ponchos and rain jackets, some braved it in tanks.  This was another “run for fun” race for me personally, we were just out there to get in some miles, take some pics and enjoy the after party.  We all huddled under the Golden Bear Club until the race started, attempting to stay dry until it was time.

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My husband and his buddy wore their bathing suits.  We thought this was hilarious, but they thought it was perfectly normal…. if its going to be raining, why not? 🙂  I didn’t realize until now looking at this pic that I think they are both due for some new running shoes.

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It is a nice four mile course through my hometown of Dublin, Ohio.  The rain came and went, but it actually kept the heat at bay (the last two years it was HOT!!!) so it was actually a welcome change.

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I ran with my friend Jen and there were Living Fit crew that finished ahead of us and behind us.  We carried on conversation during the run, finished with a respectable time, grabbed our bling and then headed to what M3S is known for… their after party!

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Another great race and a fit happy hour with friends.  We will be back next year!


 

Well, I spent more time on this post than I’d planned.  Time to go conquer the day.  Make it a great week!  Hope you get to enjoy International Yoga day tomorrow!