Why running is more than burning calories

I often joke that running allows me to indulge a little bit more than I should, and no doubt I appreciate that, but the reasons I run go far beyond food.

Running has fundamentally changed how I see the world and my body.

I feel stronger and more ready to conquer the world on given day.

Thanks to Class Pass for giving me a chance to slow down and reflect once again on the reasons that I continue to run as often as I can whether there is a race on the schedule or not!

Read the full story >>Run More

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Race Day Etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts

Does it exist? Not the ask miss manners white glove no snot rockets kind, but yes.

After months of training, everyone arrives at the start line a little amp’ed up, anixous and determined to achieve their goal. Maybe that means trying to get just a little closer to the front, maybe it means nerves that require a few more bathroom breaks…

It always means thousands of people focused on their own goals, but needing to flow together for optimal enjoyment and performance. RaceDayEtiquetteFor those fearful of lining up at their first and those whose britches have gotten too big from being a long time race, a few reminders to make everyone’s race better.

RACE SHIRT
DO feel free to wear it on race day for something like a Halloween run or a Pink event.
DON’T wear it for longer distances, it’s just an unspoken rule of “earning” the shirt.

DO wear the race shirt from the previous year if you ran to show off your veteran status.
DON’T wear race shirts from races you didn’t run.

BATHROOM BREAKS
DO use the provided porta potties
DON’T judge those who have to use a bush because lines are too long

DO bring your own TP to the start
DON’T well seriously just don’t leave the porta potty so gross even a desperate runner won’t use it

START LINE
DO get in your assigned corral. They have them to prevent people from getting run over and to prevent faster runners from being slowed down.
DON’T wear your bib on your back this is not a rodeo.
Start line tips and more race day etiquetteDO feed off the energy of those around you and line up with friends.
DON’T run 5 wide and make it impossible for anyone to pass your merry band.

FINISH LINE
DO run all the way across both mats to get your time and best photo
DON’T get cranky with the volunteers. You might be tired,but they are unpaid help making our enjoyment possible.
Be kind to race volunteers - click for more race etiquetteDO encourage any runner you are passing with a very simple “good job” or “we got this”
DON’T assume you know why someone is walking 

BANDIT
DO run a mile or so if a friend really needs you, unless the course is already super crowded.

DON’T hop in right after the start and hop off right before the finish. Race directors will tell you they plan support for a certain number of runners and of course most races benefit a charity, so you’re cheating them too.
Another funny race sign - race day etiquette tipsWATER STOPS
DO begin moving to the side of the water station when you see it coming up,to avoid the sprinting horizontal through traffic.
DON’T come to a complete stop, unless you like being shoved from behind.

DO slow down and walk if needed, just keep moving forward
DON’T take Gatorade at every stop (your stomach will thank you)

TRASH
DO toss your cup to the side
DON’T drop in the middle of the road for everyone else to run over (it becomes slippery).

DO look before you toss to avoid sloshing volunteers or other racers.
DON’T treat the street like a garbage can, Hold on to those gel wrappers until you see a trash area.waterFlickr photo JustinDC

WALK BREAKS
DO move to the side.
DON’T be afraid to take them, whether it’s your race plan or just a must stop now before I die feeling.

DO look behind you to avoid slamming into someone as you move to the side.
DON’T stop mid stride in the middle of the road.

Let’s all have a better race day with these race day etiquette tips from @runtothefinish

Any race day pet peeves you have?

Other tips you’d provide a new runner?

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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.

OPRAH EFFECT
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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Sports Nutrition – Who to work with and why

Calories in – calories out = weight loss

Right? That’s the standard formula we’ve all be using for years and a large part of what gets many people out the door for that very first run.

After a time, maybe we lose the weight or simply start to focus on other aspects of running. That’s when the real fun begins…what to eat before a run? How to prevent hitting the wall? What foods will help speed recovery? Can certain foods be causing your runners trots?

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet as it relates to athletic performance. It is concerned with the type and quantity of fluid and food taken by an athlete, and deals with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. – Wikipedia

Without a doubt the most frequent questions in my Inbox surround nutrition (and which shoes to buy!). Since I am absolutely not certified to answer these questions and am really only a study of one when it comes to learning what works, it’s time to bring in the big guns.

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing update and information from two Orlando based Sports Nutritionists. Let’s start with the basics today!
Understanding who is certified to provide sports nutrition guidanceWHAT DO ALL THOSE LETTERS MEAN?
Since there are many different certifications floating around, I thought it might be helpful to start from the beginning…how do you know who you are working with and what kind of training they have?

Let’s break down all those letters you might see after names to find out what they mean and how they can help you choose the right person for you. Following is the most important point:

Some RD’s may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The “RD” credential is a legal title that requires authorization by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Registered Dietitian (RD): Attended college to receive at minimum a bachelors degree in Nutrition & Dietetics. Has completed an accredited 900+ hour internship, and has taken the national exam to be credentialed as a dietitian.

LDN: An indicator that the RD has taken the appropriate exams to be licensed to practice in a given state.

Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian (CSSD): RD has at least 2 years experience working with athletes and has passed the board exam for certification.

Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS): This is what I have…which is to say I did a very short online course which provides the basics biology, digestion, metabolism and nutrients. You’ll see a variety of certifications out there, but none require the in depth knowledge, years of working with patients or government oversight that a certified RD does.
Note: Remember your personal trainer should not be giving you nutrition advice, other than how to read nutrition labels and general guidance on avoiding processed foods.

Whew are you feeling cross eyed yet?!

As far as athletes go you’ll get the most bang for your buck and results from working with a CSSD.

WHO I’M WORKING WITH?
For this series,  I’ll be connecting in person with the Diet Diva team. Let me introduce you to the busy, experienced ladies:

Tara Gidus better be taking her own advice with a schedule that includes hosting the national tv show Emotional Mojo, serving as Dietitian to the Orlando Magic, Nutritionist for UCF Athletic Department and runDisney, plus speaking engagements around the country!

Kristina LaRue is Tara’s partner in making all the above activities happen, along with seeing many one-on-one clients for sports nutrition, eating disorders and food intolerances. Not only is she passionate about getting clients on track, but she’s an avid triathlete and runner herself, so she fully understands the complexities of training, time management and finding a personalized plan. 

WHAT DOES A SPORTS DIETITIAN DO?
A sports dietitian provides athletes with customized advice for their body type, training cycle, lifestyle, performance and body goals.

  • Improved energy levels
  • Optimizing overall wellness
  • Decreasing body fat
  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Enhance workout recovery
  • Pre and post workout eating recommendations
  • Competition eating plans
  • Managing the mental side of food
  • Identifying food intolerances/allergies
  • Recommend appropriate supplements for your training {vitamins, minerals, etc}

Existing Sports Nutrition Articles:
Should we stop talking calories?
Fuel long runs with whole foods
Is your workout causing you to gain weight
10 ways to manage marathon training hunger 

Talk to us in the comments below!!
What questions do you have about sports nutrition?

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Want to run faster, farther and have more fun? 33 Essential Running Lessons

Is running the most important thing in life?

No. But it ranks right up there with water, oxygen and family as it’s absolutely become something that I can’t do without and has shaped my life in so many positive ways.

As a gift to myself this week {official birthday is Wednesday!}, I’m taking a moment to reflect on the last year with all it’s many grand experiences…the highs, the lows and the simply incredible.

All of that is a very long winded way of saying today is a round up of 33 of my favorite running tips because without a doubt running is one of the things which has allowed me to continue to feel great year after year.33 Key Articles to make you a better runnerI’ve had an insane amount of fun pulling together the information in these articles throughout the year. I hope you’ll do me a huge birthday present and share them with friends!

TRAINING AND RACING 
How to pick a marathon training plan
Avoiding runners trots

Half marathon race checklist
8 coaches on tackling your first half marathon
DNS, DNF and when to push through 
How to train for a VERY hilly marathon
How to pick the right running shoe 
Optimize race performance with treadmill runs
10 marathon training secrets every runner should know
How to select the best marathon for you
9 ways to manage race day nerves
How to avoid 6 race day mistakes

NUTRITION
Fuel your runs with whole food options 
Ultimate guide to managing marathon hunger   
Sports nutrition: Stop counting calories 

INJURY PREVENTION
Hip stability exercises to prevent IT Band Syndrome
 
Post race recovery plan
Discomfort vs Pain the runner’s dilemma
4 simple tips to improve running form
3 Dimensional exercises to correct tight hip flexors
The lure of the running streak and why I’m not
Could your pain be all in your head 
Preventing runner’s knee while cycling and PT 
Is your workout causing you to gain weight: adrenal fatigue
5 minute dynamic warm up routine

FUN/MOTIVATION
Why I don’t map out my runs 
Beach running benefits and tips
Do your best forget the rest
Top 9 podcasts for running
7 rules for a legendary relay race
9 reasons to embrace solo running
Benefits of thinking like an elite runner
5 running myths and reality

Do me a birthday week favor and your friends a solid by sharing this round up!

Ready to run faster, farther and have more fun?? @runtothefinish has you covered with 33 killer articles http://ctt.ec/a7FcP+ #RunChat {Click to Tweet It!}

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