Celebrity Runners and the Beat Oprah Effect

I've seen a number of people say they "just want to beat Oprah" for their first marathon. Every single time it makes me laugh because I wonder what is it about her specifically that they feel if they can't beat her time they are horrible runners.

She was quite fit at that point, age 40 in 1994, so if you are comparing her to the older woman she is today it's really not the same thing. Her Marine Corps Marathon time was 4:29 which is a respectable first marathon. Mine was,4:17,so I guess I win the beat Oprah prize.

It made me wonder how other celebrities stack up and why we don’t have the same “must beat them” attitude…why do you think that is??Celebrity marathon finishers - how do they stack up and why do we care about Oprahs time so muchNYC tends to be the time of year where we see a slew of celebrities pop up attempting their first marathon.  This is usually because they are raising money for a great cause and I love anything that helps introduce running to more people, so I’ll take it.

But we never hear about their training…so how do they end up doing?

I met Bill Ransic before NYC last year, so let's start there! Bill started at the back of the pack earning money for every runner he passed on his way to a finish time of 4:57. His previous marathon in 2001 in Chicago was 4:31

Last year Pamela Anderson also did a marathon for charity, but her longest run before the race was I believe 12 miles, yet she finished in 5:41 which goes to show the power of mind over body.

  • Katie Holmes 5:29
  • Al Gore 4:58 (while still VP)
  • P Diddy 4:14
  • Ryan Reynolds (hubba hubba) 3:50
  • Natalie Morales 3:31 
  • Bobby Flay 4:01
  • Drew Carey 4:37
  • Teri Hatcher 5:06
  • Tiki Barber 5:14
When I started training, I just started running every day, which you shouldn't do. I learned that lesson the hard way by getting a stress fracture. -- Actress Sophia Bush

I love the money they raise, but I hope in the future there is a little more prior to the race about their training to help everyone really understand what it takes to go 26.2.

I think what started as Oprah herself saying “if I can do it, anyone can do it” inspired many of her followers to begin running…then slowly began shifting in to a different mindset of “I just want to beat Oprah’s time.”

Some have that it’s because she was the first celebrity to shine a light on the marathon and prior to her the only standard runners had was that of a Boston Qualifying time. So instead, she became the every man/women time to beat.

“When the attitude simply becomes to finish, that attitude becomes pervasive,” says an old marathoner. “The marathon was once this incredible challenge, to finish it and to finish as fast as you can. I just think there’s a mind-set out there about the marathon, and it’s a different mind-set from 25 years ago.” -- from Salon

I meant to get this up yesterday for TOLT, but life goes on, so just something light for Friday!

What do think drives the beat Oprah mindset?

Any other celebrity marathon runners you followed?

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Running and Weightloss - What happens when it stops working

It seems that many of us started running not for the runner’s high, but for the option to eat another cookie guilt free. Today coach Patty Rivas is going to help answer the question “why isn’t it working any more” (besides that cookie)?

You want to lose weight, so you start running.

You lose weight, then hit a plateau.

So you run some more.

But for some reason the weight isn't budging. Why??

It's normal to hit a plateau when you start running more, or are training for a half marathon or marathon. Your body gets used to running long distances, and therefore becomes more efficient at doing so. That means you end up burning less calories.

Also, you run more which means you are hungry more which may lead to eating more! This also leads to a stall in weightloss or even weight gain. Come on, aren't we all guilty of, "I ran 10 miles today I can eat whatever I want!"

It is totally okay to continue running or training for a long distance event, but if you want to lose bodyfat then you're going to have to add in strength training to your routine. It may be a challenge to fit in two different types of workouts during the week, but it's well worth it.
Strength training tips for runners - how to fit it in and what mattersStrength training builds muscle, which in turn burns more calories and fat. Furthermore, you will be strengthening muscles that are so important for injury prevention, such as core, hips, glutes and hamstrings. Having strong muscle groups will mean faster running.

So how do you make the time to lift? Here are a few tips:

Strength train on your hard running days. Do you know you have track workouts on Tuesdays? Plan to hit the weight room afterwards. Lifting on your hard days gives your body the rest it needs on recovery days. If you did a track workout Tuesday, lifted Wednesday, then had a tempo run Thursday, your body would never fully recover. Keep easy days easy.

Something is better than nothing. Only have 10 minutes? Then do my 10 minute leg workout.Don't skimp on strength training because you don't have a full hour to dedicate to it. If you get home from a run and really don't feel like lifting, then just do 3 sets of bodyweight squats and 3 sets of lunges. Add in some core exercises if you have the extra time. Everything counts.

Strength train at least 2 times a week. While you're training for a distance event, try to dedicate two days a week to lifting. Have at least one quality session per week (that's not just 10 minutes). My favorite exercises include: barbell back squats, barbell deadlifts, step-ups, lunges, and pull-ups.

Hit every major muscle group. Do an exercise for every main muscle group: quads/glutes, hamstrings, back, chest, core. This makes for a great total body workout. Don't worry too much about small muscles like biceps and triceps. By doing exercises like pull-ups and bench presses you will certainly be working those small muscle groups.

Start with 3 sets of 10. If you can, try to use weights in your strength training. Bodyweight exercises are great, but using weights will help you build muscle and burn more calories. Start by doing exercises for 3 sets of 10, then when you feel that's not as challenging, increase the amount of weight you use and do 3 sets of 8. The last rep of every set should feel like you can barely complete it. If you breeze through it, increase your weight.

Running is awesome and a great way to increase your cardiovascular endurance, but strength training is what will help you get strong, stay injury free and avoid weightloss plateaus.

There are so many ways to switch things up with strength training in order to avoid plateaus. You can increase the number of sets you do, switch to body part split days (as opposed to total body), do less reps but increase weight, and more. Patty Rivas

Challenge yourself and start adding strength training to your routine.

You'll see, your running will improve too!

Patty blogs at Reach Your Peak, and regularly posts workouts, health tips, recipes, and her own training. She is currently training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon and plans on running her third marathon next fall. Connect with her on Twitter for updates!

Further reading:
Hip strengthening exercises for runners
Glute exercises for runners 
Fab Ab 50 workout (core burner!)

Do you strength train regularly?

What type of workout plan do you follow?

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Stocking Stuffers for Any Runner - Under $20

“Giving a gift is a universal way to show interest, appreciation, and gratitude, as well as strengthen bonds with others.”

I’ve talked about my preference for giving experiences over gifts, but the truth is we also NEED things as runners and sometimes it’s nice to get them from someone else as a sign that they support our lunacy. 17 Stocking Stuffers for Runners under 20YakTrax ($16.80) - We don’t earn our title of being “crazy runners” by avoiding the weather, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a little safer too. YakTrax fit easily over existing shoes to provide some traction in the winter weather.

Low cut compression socks ($6.99) - You’ve seen plenty of runners in colorful knee high compression socks, but sometimes all we need is something to hug our tired feet. I’ve fallen in love with low cut compression socks to wear during runs and with regular shoes.

SaltStick Electrolyte Capsules ($19.95) -  It doesn’t make my must have list every year for no reason! Cramps are the foe of every runner and I’ve seen these help many keep them at bay.

Throw Away Gloves ($9 for 6) - I know you are think, what the h$%*, but every runner has found themselves on a cold starting line wishing they had a pair of gloves…but not an expensive pair they’d need to hold on to for the duration of the race. Nope just a cheap pair they can toss when they warm up.

Motivational Book - I’ve got a list of 50 running books for you to pick from, but if you need just one I’d say checkout Finding Ultra by Rich Roll.

Runner Ornament ($13.98) - Of course you can decorate the tree with medals, but the rest of the family might prefer to continue seeing ornaments. These are super cute and come in male, female, blonde, brunette, African American.

Running Temporary Tattoo ($10) - Race day can always use a little extra a motivation and being able to put our names on our face or arm or wear 26.2 for the rest of the weekend is a great way to celebrate.

Forward is a Pace ($24.29)- Of course I have to do a shameless plug for these new shirts cause they are both hilarious and cute. Use code RUNTOTHEFINISH to get 10% any shirt which makes it the price listed.

Click for 10 more fitness stocking stuffer ideas (like a light for your shoe pictured above)

Are you asking for a running gift this year?

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Teenagers might just know it all

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Lions Gate. I received a book, products, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

I was positive I knew everything as a teenager…in fact I kind of wish I had that all knowing wisdom back these days because now I’m simply aware of all that I don’t know!!

At the moment however, I’m talking about teens and picking out amazing books…

Earlier this week I laid on you my top 50 running books of all time. Thus if you didn’t already know how much I love to read you probably got an idea, which is why this might surprise you…

I tend to shy away from uber popular books.

  • Harry Potter didn’t read it until the last book was out; then I devoured them within a few weeks.
  • Twilight nope didn’t read it until the first movie came out and I finally found myself sucked in to the books. 
  • Hunger Games well you see the pattern now…I didn’t read them because once again I just thought man the hype can’t live up to what they really are…seriously I need to just get with the program a little earlier because once again I was thrilled.

In fact, I listened to the entire Hunger Games series last summer during my long runs! I’ve talked about how a good book can keep you going and this one did it. It helped me get through 18 milers and 22 milers in the 90 degree temps because I had something to look forward to! I wouldn’t let myself listen to it during the week so the suspense drove me nuts. 
hunger games shirt

I think my new gauge for when to read a series is going to be if teens love it. Right?! They have to be the worlds toughest critics, everything is dumb or stupid and once they’ve decided a series of books is enough to go gaga over it must be a sign something good is there.

Maybe that’s why we all end up loving these books so much though, they aren’t a slice of life, but a complete departure from everything we know. It’s not news or work, it’s a complete and total escape.

It’s love stories that are simultaneously twisted and alluring.

It’s adventures that make us reconsider our own choices.

It’s family.

And at the same time it’s none of those! We can read it and forget it or read it and take some meaning away, it really doesn’t matter we will be entertained all the same.
Hunger Games Fans

Did you know the series was actually filmed in Georgia?! Things you learn on a long run with new people.

Anyhow the newest movie the Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1 is coming out and I can’t wait. How they bring to life the pageantry of the people in the Capitol to the crazy occurrences that come to life in the Hunger Games field are done so well by this team.

For those who haven’t yet read the series or seen the movies (do it you won’t regret it), I would definitely recommend watching the other movies first. You’ll surely catch on, but it’s so much more fun with the whole backstory! Inside Movies does a good job catching you up though.

Are you a fan of Hunger Games?

Do you get put off by things that are uber popular?

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Holiday Sweat Updates + Instagram Challenge + Nut Butter

Did someone say nut butter?!

Fastest way to get my attention…nut butter or chocolate…combine the two and I’m yours forever!

Hallelujah Once Again Nut Butter is providing prizes again for the Holiday Challenge and even better for next weeks Instagram Challenge to get everyone pumped up!

BUT FIRST a little note on why this challenge rocks my socks off…

A snippet from one of the amazing emails you’ll receive during the challenge -- Kimberly Brown is the founder and editor of Manifest Yourself, a lifestyle and wellness blog…

It’s the holiday season. The time of year where we all decide that we can hide the 5lbs that we gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas with chunky sweaters, Spanks, and/or bulky winter jackets.

BUT this year, you’ve decided to commit to the Holiday Sweat Challenge! That means you’ll be receiving all of the external motivation that you need in order to succeed in having a healthier holiday season, right? If you are like me, you may also need to find some internal reasons to stick to this challenge.

Throughout all of the health and fitness challenges that I have ever participated in, I have learned that there has to also be an internal source for you to stick to the plan. You have all of the tools since you are receiving this email - but what will motivate you to use them.

What is your reason for wanting to live a healthier lifestyle?

I’ve got 3 questions for you to ponder to determine your reason..yup you’ll have to sign up to get themHow to get comfortable in your own skinPrize updates
Wondering who is providing some of the goodies this year?? 

Timex GPS Watches             ProCompression Socks
Lorna Jane gift cards              Milestonesports Jewelry 
Amy’s Organics                      Once Again Nut Butters
Love Grown Foods Pack        GimMe Health Snacks 
SizzleFish                                WIN Detergent
Manitoba Harvest                     Awesome Bars
Gigabody                                  Runtastic Orbit 
Hydrapak                                  Pearls Olives to Go                

AHHHH and so much more!!!

Haven’t signed up and wondering what all this is about? Click to find out!

Let’s not wait until Nov 24 to start having fun and winning prizes!!

We’ve got Zico coconut water and as noted my favorite Once Again Nut Butter on hand…winners aren’t getting just one but a whole set from each!Every day, simply check out the #holidaysweat task for the day, snap a photo and share it on Instagram. Don’t have an Instagram account? No worries! Simply share your photo on Facebook/ Twitter and tag @thesweatguru (Facebook page: Sweat Guru) and @runtothefinish (Facebook page: Run to the Finish). 

Dates: November 17th - November 21st (5 day challenge)
Tags: @sweatguru @runtothefinish  #holidaysweat #sweatpink

**To be eligible to win you must:
1. Follow @sweatguru and @runtothefinish on Instagram and/or Facebook or Twitter (for those who don’t have an Instagram)
2. Look for the Daily Challenge Task which will be posted on our channels starting November 17th.
3. Complete the task and post your picture. Tag @sweatguru @runtothefinish  #holidaysweat #sweatpink

****BONUS entry: Click here to REGISTER for the Holiday Sweat Challenge! Already registered, we’ll give you a bonus each day you post!  6 weeks of fabulous workouts, delicious recipes, and motivation to stay on track with your fitness goals!

Remember, the challenge starts November 17th!  Let’s get ready for a rockin’ #HolidaySweat! OANBZico

Whoop, whoop who is ready to get their #holidaysweat on?!

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