Posts tagged 5k

The Most FUN Race of the Year


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!




Atlanta was good to me. Taught me some lessons about traffic that I shared on Wednesday.

I also learned some lessons while getting lost.

If you have been following me for awhile yo might know that I am not real big on running. My wife loves to run. So guess what I do? I run.

Hate running, love my wife. That's just the way it works.

I had not been running since I ran a half marathon with her in Knoxville, TN earlier this year. Little tip for you- Knoxville is a Native American name that means City With Buttload of Hills.

We woke up early Saturday morning and before I could wake up good I realized I was out on a run. 20 minutes into the run I realized that I had no idea where we were or how to get back.

There is the obvious lesson of: Know where you are going, especially if you are going to make your wife run through some shady parts of town. But I also learned 3 things on this run that I think you might find interesting.


1. Take Your Mind Off the Pain

Have you ever been in the middle of a workout and all you can think of is how much it hurts? The result from that is more pain.

There are times in your workout where you have to go somewhere else in your mind. Go to your happy place, make grocery lists in your head, listen to music, etc...

I was so focused on trying to find our way back, wondering how I got us on the interstate, picturing how my wife was going to kill me that the run was easy.


2. Train For Any Situation

The last time I had run was 4 months ago at the half marathon. This run became much like that one. Hills everywhere. We had to do fancy footwork to run and jump over pieces of random metal, holes, trash, thorns, and other obstacles. There were times when we picked the pace way up when some seedy characters with glassy eyes were starting at us.

It ended up being an hour long run of hills, sprints, and agility work but I was not tired at all despite not running for months. I believe you should train the total package.

Work on strength, cardio, agility, core, balance, speed, and hit all of those in a variety of ways. They all work together as a compliment to one another and well balanced training helps you prevent many overuse injuries.

Those are the things we work on in boot camp. I sometimes get strange looks for some of the things I ask them to do in our sessions, but there is method along with madness. You should come see for yourself how we do things, it's pretty awesome.


3. Take Your Phone With You

Turns out those things have built in GPS and the ability to call people who can come pick you up. You heard it here first.

“We can’t all be successful”

images   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. He actually had a comment and he said "Well we can't all be successful." What? Why not? 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 that 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 mainly deals with older patients. She met a patient yesterday that has let herself go to the point that she will 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 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. If you need help coming up with your action step, please let me know how I can help.

Should you quit running?


This picture gets me every time

  When many people decide they want to lose weight and get in shape, running is one of the first things they turn to. I mean all you have to do is get out and run? You can do it anywhere, doesn't cost anything, and it's good for you right? Monetarily it might not cost much, but you will pay in other ways if you do it incorrectly. Running is actually an advanced exercise! It has been estimated that 80% of runners will become injured in a year's time. These aren't all major things that cause surgery, but can include painful things like: stress fractures, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, etc... It is the misnomer that anyone can run that gets people into trouble. There are several factors that play into why these injuries occur. -Improper foot wear -Poor running form -Overuse/Not progressing at a proper rate (trying to go too far, too soon) Those are all very viable options, but I truly believe most of the injuries are caused by a lack of strength. If you break down what running a mile actually is, you are basically  doing 1500 single leg plyometric exercises (think hopping on one leg). If a trainer made you do that, wouldn't you think he was crazy? An area that is commonly lacking in strength and causes injuries are the glutes. Those butt muscles we all love so much. A common sign of weak glutes muscles is when the knees "cave in" (move in towards each other) while squatting, jumping, and running. Imagine the strain you are putting on your knees to have them cave in thousands of times on your 2 mile run. Stand up right now and then squat down into your chair while watching your knees. id they cave in? Either way, you can check out this video and article about to Get a Better Butt. That will be the first place to start. What about the rest of your body? If you starting a strength training program today, I will give you the simplest way to get started. A well respected fitness professional named Paul Chek identified 7 movements that every human should be able to do efficiently to prevent injury. Those "Primal Movements" are: 1. Squatting 2. Lunging 3. Pushing 4. Pulling 5. Twisting 6. Bending 7. Locomotion (walking, jogging, sprinting) If you were going to build a strength program from scratch to improve your running, I would pick one exercise from each of the first 6 movement patterns. Some are easier to figure out than others. Here is an example of a bodyweight only strength training program for runners: 1. Bodyweight squat 2. Walking lunges 3. Pushups 4. Pullups, assisted pull-ups. If you are not strong enough to do full pull-ups, don't have anyone to assist you, then try getting on a box or step and hanging for as long as you can from the pull-up bar or even the monkey bars at a playground. 5. Anti-rotation exercise- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hands together at chest level, have someone push on the side of your hands. Do not let them move your hands. 6. Reaches- Stand up tall with feet together, while bending at the waist, reach both arms forward so your arms end up on the sides of your head. As you bend forward, your left leg will be planted in the ground, and your right leg will come off the ground and go behind you. The object is to get your body parallel to the ground   If you are constantly getting hurt when you start a running program, you may need to ditch the running for awhile and get stronger. Your running will be more efficient, your injuries will go down, and you get to go around flexing all the time. Wins all around.

Will you join our team?


Madison and Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp instructors at the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run

  Are you doing the Liz Hurley 5K this year? If so, I would one to have you join our team!   The 5K will take place on Saturday October 20th at Huntsville Middle School. The men's 5K is at 7:30am, women at 9:00am, and then a survivor's walk at 10:00am. I'm running in the women's 5K, so I can be with my people.   If you've never done this race, it really is an awesome day. Seeing all the people dedicating the race to loved ones, as well as doing the race in memory of someone who passed away is very powerful.   What if you're not a runner? What if you can't run 3.1 miles (the distance of a 5K)?   No big deal! You can walk, you can crawl, you can do it at your pace and level.   Breast cancer will touch every one of our lives, if it hasn't already. This is a great chance to do your part to help fight this.   Please join our team here ---> 5K Team Sign up   You can always make donations as well. Either way, thanks for taking the time to read this.   "It is our goal to make every breast cancer patient a survivor." -Taken from the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run web site

Every person should own this


The best and worst thing your IT bands will ever encounter

I am a huge proponent of using foam rollers. They are perfect for not only soothing sore muscles, but also for preventing injuries. In my opinion everybody should own one and use it daily. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel by spending 10 minutes a day rolling on a tube. The foam roller I use is from Perform Better. If you need one, I recommend the 3 foot long and 6 inches round one. They are currently $19.95, so the price is hard to beat. The thing will last forever too. Here is a link to Perform Better's foam roller. Perform Better Also, if you have a foam roller and are unsure exactly what to do. Here is a link to an exercise sheet to give you some ideas. Foam Roller Exercise sheet

Wounded Warrior 5K

Anyone that has come in contact with a Wounded Warrior will tell you how amazing they are. You would think there would be a bitter and angry attitude coming out of every one of these people.
Young people who have had their whole life changed, dreams shattered, and bodies wrecked serving their country with a horrible outlook on life.
That is absolutely not the case.
I have had the honor of training a few Wounded Warriors and their can-do attitude is infectious and inspiring. You have a chance coming up soon to help them and challenge yourself too.
Grissom's JROTC program is doing a 5K to raise money for their program as well as the Wounded Warrior Project. Never done a 5K? Why not try this one?
We had several from boot camp who did the race last year as their first ever 5K. You can do it too. Run some, walk some, just keep moving until you cross the finish line.
Here is a message I got from the race director not too long ago.
We hope you are training and getting ready for the 3rd Annual Grissom JROTC Wounded Warrior 5K!!  We have big plans on February 25, 2012 at 8:00 so plan to be at McGucken Park to see the Chinook and Apache helicopters land to kick of the festivities!!!  The Patriot Guard Riders and Vets with Vettes will return to help make this a morning of patriotic family fun!!!  The cannon will signal the race start and there will be many surprises along the route and at McGucken Park!!! Happy Training!!
Stefanie Payne Armstrong
Race Director
 Grissom Wounded Warrior 5K
  You can learn more and download the entry form HERE if you want to participate.

Who's doing the Warrior Dash in Tennessee?

How many of you have heard of the Warrior Dash? It is a 5K race with obstacles along the way such as cargo nets, ropes, and um... fire. If you want to learn a little more go to this link:
That particular one is in Tennesee and is only about 2 hours away. The reason I pass this on is that we have several boot campers and their families participating in this race, including your truly. I wanted to put it out there that there will be a group going if you want to try it out.
If you're already registered or have any interest in it let me know! Let's make this a party!Would it help if I told you you can get a helmet with horns on it? I bet that sealed the deal. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Running tips for 5Ks and beyond

Since jogging (I believe that is a soft J) is so popular and more and more people are doing 5Ks and more, I thought I would offer a few mental running tips.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Make little mini-bets with your running partner throughout the race. I bet you can't go a little faster, I bet you can't pass that guy up there. Breaks up the monotony.
5. Or you could 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.
6. Most importantly.  Do your best, be proud of yourself, and  have fun!

Wounded Warriors

Many people are familiar with the Wounded Warrior Project because it is such an awesome program. If you are not familiar, it is a program whose mission is "To honor and empower wounded warriors." These are the men and women who have have their lives completely changed by injuries suffered fighting for their country. I have had the honor of helping a few Wounded Warriors get back in shape and it was an awesome experience. They do not have any self pity, do not make excuses, and the ones I worked with did not regret getting hurt serving their country. These are people in the prime of their lives who have to face a reality they could have never predicted. This can be a confusing and scary time where they aren't sure what to do next. This is where the Wounded Warrior Project steps in. They help rebuild soldiers' bodies, minds, and psyches. You can do your part to help as well. This Saturday Feb 26 at McGucken Park in South Huntsville there is a 5K that sends a portion of the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project. You can register for the race by calling Stefanie Armstrong at 256-883-4735 or emailing her at If you don't want to run, but you still want to help go to and you can donate money. If you are planning on participating in the 5K, email me and let me know. We have a group going and you are more than welcome to join us.
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