I have been working on a project for a long time and it is finally becoming real. On Sunday, November 5th the 1st annual Rocket City Adventure Race will be coming to downtown Huntsville!
Myself and Girls On The Run (a local non-profit) will be putting on the event. The race will start at 2pm and it is a partner race. This is a race for all ages and for all fitness levels. If you want to walk the whole thing, go for it! The main goal is to have fun and support a great cause.
The race is FREE but we are taking donations for Girls On The Run. Girls On The Run is an activity-based character development program for girls throughout North Alabama. It is a great organization and 100% of the proceeds will go to them.
There will be physical as well as mental challenges along the 2.7 mile long course. Some activities you will encounter are: putt putt golf, riddles, fitness station, and even a selfie station. This will be the most unique race you will experience this year and it won't cost a thing.
Find your partner now! The race is less than a month away. You can sign up here ----> Rocket City Adventure Race
I will give you more updates as we get closer, but feel free to reach out with any questions you might have. It's going to be awesome!
In honor of the Color Run being tomorrow morning, I wanted to offer up a few tips for running 5Ks. The great thing about the Color Run is it that attracts lots of people for their first 5K. If that is you, these tips will be very helpful. But even if you are a seasoned runner, you can still find benefit with these 3 slightly odd tips.
1. Don't be like Raquel Welch
Have you ever seen the sprinters in the Olympics? These are the fastest people on Earth and they have huge upper body muscles. Why is that? Fast arms, make fast feet. If you run with your arms motionless and in by your side like Racquel Welch dancing on Seinfeld, you are not going as fast as you can. And if you missed the Seinfeld era, my sympathies.
Try following these cues: arms bent at 60-90 degrees, keep your hands loose (don't clench your fists), let your hands swing from cheek to hip (not across your body), and think about driving your elbows back as opposed to pushing your hands forward. These things take a little practice, but can really help make you a faster, more efficient runner.
2. Jedi mind trick
One of the most important parts of running is the mental game. It can be really overwhelming to think about going 3 mile in your first race. Treat it like you would eat an elephant- one bite at a time.
Tell yourself to make it one step further, get to the next light pole, get past that building up ahead. Keep setting mini goals that propel you forward and don't let the big picture discourage you.
3. Get up on the good foot and blow out the candles
You're out running, your legs feel great, breathing is on point, and then someone stabs you in the side with a knife. The dirty side stitch cramp. They are awful and can really cramp your running style. Let the hilarity sink in.
A simple way to prevent these side stitches from occurring is to breath out when your left foot hits the ground. These side stitches are basically spasms of the diaphragm that running can cause because it makes the organs attached to the diaphragm jump up and down. You put a much larger strain on the organs attached to the diaphragm when you breathe out when your right foot hits. The organs on the left side are much smaller, so there is less strain. If you do get one, the best way to fight through them is to slow down and breathe out with pursed lips (like you are blowing out a birthday candle).
Hope these help!
Today’s post is dedicated to all my running friends and those who might one day become runners. One of the biggest reasons people quit running is because it hurts!
That could be because they went too far too soon, muscle imbalances, improper technique, etc… That is why we have done running workshops in the past with physical therapist Dr. Nancy Harden, to give people the tips and tools to use to run pain free.
Today I have three things for you to add into your daily routine that will take you 5 minutes to do, but can make a huge difference for you.
This stretch, made famous by Kelly Starrett, can be a lifesaver for people who have tight hips. And since the majority of us sit too much, the majority of us have tight hips.
This video shows a man with some fancy shoes demonstrating how it is done:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSfjqLFKR1A
Lacrosse ball in the glutes
This is a step up from using a foam roller. It is a step up in effectiveness as well as how much it hurts. But tight glutes can lead to tight IT bands, tight IT bands can lead to knee pain, and then knee pain will make you quit running.
So here is another video that is not me:
I couldn’t do the two videos above without crying on camera, so I outsourced them.
Pinch of salt
If you are running long distances in the heat, you know you need to drink more water. But what’s the deal when you are drinking water all day, you’re peeing clear like they say you should, but you still feel thirsty? That probably means you are not absorbing the water you are drinking.
A simple fix to that is adding a pinch of salt to your plain water. You do not need to add salt with any water you are drinking with meals, just the times during the day when you are chugging water. You will feel more hydrated and cuts down on the bathroom trips too.
I was speaking to a group not too long ago and I came to the potentially dangerous "Are there any questions?" part of the talk. I have had some blush inducing moments there, so I always get a little nervous.
But this time, it was not blush inducing. It was more anger/frustration inducing. A guy stood up and said he didn't have a question, more of a comment.
He said "Well what you are talking about is all well and good, but we can't all be successful."
What??? It drives me crazy when people say stuff like that!
You may not be able to have 6 pack abs when you are 60 years old or run a 5k in 15 minutes, but you can do better than you are now. If you start with a negative attitude, then I guess you are right. You won't be successful, walking around with a self defeatist attitude all the time.
Things are not that bad! My wife is a nurse and she deals with a lot of older patients. She met a patient one time that had let herself go to the point that she probably be bed ridden for the rest of her life. This person is not that old, but she is facing what I would consider a nightmare because she neglected her health for so long.
Don't you think she would trade anything she has to be in a body that could move? A body where she can take care of herself? I'm sure she wishes she would have taken a few more walks and made better food choices, while she still had it in her to do so.
Don't let that be you.
Are you healthy enough to move? Then you can be successful and you can reach your goal.
Someone in a hospital bed is wishing they could do the things that you take for granted. Stop doubting yourself and start helping yourself.
Here is your action step. Do one thing today that gets you closer to your goals. Whether it is big or small, do something to move towards your goals. Repeat this process every day and imagine where you could be in a month, a year, ten years.
One of my biggest takeaways from running the half marathon is how important the mental aspect of running is. To be honest with you, I really wanted to stop at 2 miles in. Only 11 miles to go!
My right hip was hurting, I was freezing, I had to use the bathroom, I was tired, I was asking myself why I agreed to run 13 miles when I had only ran 3 times to get ready, etc... I thought I would share a few of the mental tricks I used to take my mind off things and get through the rest of the race.
1. Just get THERE
This was the number one thing I used. I would tell myself to just make it to the next light pole, the next water station, the next hill. I did that the entire way. When I thought about how far I had to go I got discouraged, but breaking it up into mini goals kept me going.
2. Pick out an item and start counting it
You can pick out something like a white hat, red shorts, knee brace, etc... and start keeping count. Since I was wearing half sleeves, I counted those. I saw 84 people wearing them if you are curious.
3. Think about your plans after the race
How good it will feel to cross that finish line. Or maybe you have something cool planned for later in the day. Kind of like going to your happy place. Since our race finished at the 50 yard line in Neyland Stadium, I kept picturing myself running through that tunnel, crossing that sweet finish line, and seeing my son cheering me on.
Plus I was really looking forward to a nap.
4. The invisible rope trick
Pick out someone who is ahead of you, picture that you lassoed them with a rope like Wonder Woman, and then picture they are pulling you up to where they are. Sounds crazy I know, but it works.
My wife and I used a slightly different version. There was a guy with a ponytail ahead of us on a hill and we pictured that ponytail dragging us up. This was mile 11, I thought it was hilarious and it did help. I was fairly delirious at the time.
5. Do things as a team
Pick out a runner who is ahead of you and decide to overtake them. I call this one the Lion vs gazelle technique because I always pick out someone who is limping a little. I'm almost certain other people did this to me.
While I don't necessarily recommend doing a half marathon without running, I do recommend finding something outside of your comfort zone to challenge yourself with. The main reason I didn't run a lot to get read was my concern that my knees couldn't take the pounding of all the training mileage. I did learn some alternative methods (besides running) to really increase my endurance though, so all in all it was an awesome experience.
Since on paper I only work 3-4 hours a day, since I teach 3-4 fitness classes a day. So I get asked all the time "What do you do all day?"
I do several legitimate things to grow my business like work on marketing and advertising, do networking, learn about the latest research in health and fitness, etc... But there are days when things get a little outside of the box.
On Tuesday I found myself in the fitting room of a children's theater getting a giant rabbit's tail safety pinned to my glutes.
Read that sentence one more time. College did not prepare me for this.
You may have several questions right now and that is understandable. Just know that it is all for the kids.
I am the co-race director for the Fantasy Playhouse Children's Theater's fundraising race they have coming up on March 14th. The theme of the race is the tortoise and the hare. My fellow race director has more common sense and got someone to be the tortoise for him. I'm not that quick.
It's going to be a fun day and I would encourage you to come out and bring your family to the race. There will races for the half mile, 1 mile, 2 mile, and a 5k so kids of all ages can take part in the race.
There will also be a costume contest for racers and families, along with bounce-houses, kids’ activities, photo opportunities, and door prizes. Plus, I hear the emcee will be a grown man in gold pants dressed as the hare...
If you would like to register, you can download the registration form here: http://letthemagicbegin.org/Race_reg_trifold_2015.pdf
The late registration deadline has been extended until March 9th. So you can still get registered for the usual price until then. You can also call 256-539-6829 to get registered.
Let me know you have any questions, it's going to be awesome!
The Wall Street Journal published an article in May that suggested that extreme running may be more detrimental to your health than eating cheeseburgers.
You can read the study ---->HERE
Personally I am a big believer in eating cheeseburgers, but that's just me…
The article has research that shows the health effects from running start to diminish when you run over 30 miles per week.
I found this quote to be the most interesting part of the article.
"Heart disease comes from inflammation and if you're constantly, chronically inflaming yourself, never letting your body heal, why wouldn't there be a relationship between over exercise and heart disease?"
-said John Mandrola, a cardiac electrophysiologist and columnist for TheHeart.org.
The key from that quote is the "never letting your body heal" part. With any kind of exercise, you have to let yourself recover properly.
If you are running strictly for weight loss, I would recommend changing to shorter, more intense workouts like we do at boot camp. I also do these type of workouts myself.
These workouts will get you toned up and feeling great in less time per day. You can get a full body workout in with a 20 minute workout.
Pick out 5 exercises (Legs, Shoulders, Chest, Back, and Core is a good template to use), then do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise.
Go through the list 4 times total. You will strengthen your body and burn tons of calories. You can have endless options for exercises to plug into a workout that style.
PS- If you are running because that is what you love to do and you are following proper recovery protocols, keep it up! I will never discourage someone from being active.
01. Don't be like Racquel Welch Have you ever seen the sprinters in the Olympics? These are the fastest people on Earth and they have huge upper body muscles. Why is that? Fast arms, make fast feet. If you run with your arms motionless and in by your side like Racquel Welch dancing on Seinfeld, you are not going as fast as you can. And if you missed the Seinfeld era, my sympathies. Try following these cues: arms bent at 45 degrees, keep your hands loose (don't clench your fists), let your arms swing back and forth (not across your body), and think about driving your elbows back as opposed to pushing your hands forward. These things take a little practice, but can really help.
Drenched Huntsville Article A few highlights from the article if you don't have time to read it right now: -The race ends with a 100 foot Slip 'N Slide -Awesome quote from the race organizer "This isn't a competitive run or a race by any means. Come out to be a kid again and not take yourself too seriously." -The race benefits United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Huntsville & Tennessee Valley, Inc. -The price goes up tomorrow (August 22) but you can use coupon code DRENCHKIDS to get $10 off. Join a team to get another $5 off. (We have a team Adventure Boot Camp if you are looking for one) -Packet pick-up is a pool party at the Huntsville Marriot 1 - 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Huntsville Marriott, and the run's finish line features a water balloon fight. -You can register for the race HERE Also, you get a free boot camp class from Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp! They asked us to do a boot camp class from 8-845am the day of the race to get people "extra sweaty". We feel ready for that task, so I hope you can join us!