Pre-Race Preparation

It is almost time for all of your hard work and training to be put to the test! In less than one week you will officially be able to cross 13.1 miles off your bucket list…and believe me, it’s a great feeling! The week before a big race is an important time to focus on preparing for the big day. Diet, rest, and shorter runs are vital in order for you to do your best on Saturday. Below I have included a few links that I think are very helpful for the last week of training. They provide information on how you should be training this week, what you should be eating, and much more. Look them over so you can be ready to go Saturday morning! Good luck in your last week and I will see you all on race day!

The Ultimate Pre-Race Checklist:

10 Last Minute Tips:

Pre-Race Nutrition:


5 Mental Skills You Need to Get Through Any Workout


When you’re dripping sweat, your heart is pounding, and your legs are on fire, finishing a workout is tough. Whether it’s trucking through that last mile, squeezing in that last rep, or staying in that yoga pose for 10 more seconds, we’ve all been there.

Sometimes you feel like you’re running on empty because you are. Go through a pragmatic checklist: Are you dehydrated, hungry, injured, or sleep-deprived? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions, listen to your body and consider giving yourself a break. But if not, it’s time to switch up your mentality and finish your workout strong. Ready? Try these tips:

Pump Up the Jams
Having one go-to anthem to amp you up is key, says Chris Bergland, author of The Athlete’s Way: Sweat and the Biology of Bliss and an endurance expert. (He’s the Guinness World Record holder for longest treadmill run: a whopping 24 hours and 153.76 miles!) Research shows that music motivates you to work out harder and for longer—so having “Happy” by Pharrell at the ready might be just what you need to bust out that last set of burpees. Plan ahead by making an “Emergency Playlist” full of get-pumped tunes that you can turn on when you’re about to call it quits.

Have a Fitness Mantra
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Ghandi quote or a Snoop Dogg lyric—pick a phrase to tell yourself when you feel like giving up, says Leah Lagos, Psy.D., a clinical and sports psychologist in New York City. “Different words create resonance in the body for different people,” she says. So use a phrase with a personal connection that you know will light a fire under your butt. For example, Meb Keflezighi said that the mantra he used towards the end of the Boston Marathon was, “Boston Strong, Boston Strong,” according to the Associated Press. Need help finding a mantra that works for you? Check out these 10 quotes for instant fitspiration.

Negotiate With Yourself
Make a deal with yourself that when you finish your workout, you can have a reward, says Bergland. “You have to dangle a treat in front of yourself.” Visualizing that post-workout prize helps you take yourself out of the present tense for a moment and makes that last rep or mile seem worth it, he says. To really take this tip to the next level, Bergland says he talks to himself in the third-person because it sounds like a coach giving direction. For example: “[Your name here], if you finish this workout, you can watch an episode of Real Housewives.” Sounds reasonable to us!

Remember the Good Times
When you feel like you’re ready to quit, tell yourself, “I’ve been through this before, and I’ve overcome it before,” says Bergland. If you’re running a race, think back to your long training runs and say, “Last time I had trouble on the fourth mile, but I pushed through it, and I was so glad I did.” The philosophy is simple: Complete a workout once, then use that success as motivation for your next one. Then eventually you can say, “I’ve dealt with this before, and I’ve always gotten through it.” Maintaining a positive attitude through the end of your workout will help you want to come back for more, says Lagos.

See Your Results
Lagos says imagining yourself accomplishing your goal can help you push through a mental roadblock. A 2011 study in Strength and Conditioning Journal found that exercisers who focused on the outcome of each exercise were able to complete more reps than those who focused on the individual movements required to complete the exercise. For example, let’s say you’re struggling to finish your last chin-up. Imagine getting your head above the bar rather than flexing and extending your biceps—you’ll be able to pump out more than you think. When you’re stuck at mile three, visualize how you’ll look after mile six. “You have to be able to see it in order to be able to do it,” says Lagos.



30 Days of Yoga

This past weekend at Rec{h} Retreat the lovely Leah Waites led us all in a yoga sequence. As we were practicing yoga Leah mentioned that she learned a lot of her moves and techniques from a YouTube channel called Yoga with Adriene. I tried one of her videos when we got back and she is so great! She has a great sense of humor and explains each move in a way even I understand. If you go through her channel you will see that she has a set of 30 videos for 30 Days of Yoga. Her intention is for you to start with day 1, which has more simple, beginner moves and progress throughout the month. She has an introduction video to her plan that you can watch here:

Yoga is such a great form of exercise to help you destress, relax, tone, stretch, and work on balance. I especially recommend yoga for runners. It is a great addition to help you stretch further and prevent injuries. For all of you training for the half marathon, try and fit yoga into your workouts! I am going to begin the 30 Days of Yoga tomorrow and I encourage you all to try the program as well! I believe that Leah Waites has gone through it so I am sure she would be open to any questions you may have! Just click on the above link and follow the videos for each day. You won’t regret it!

7 Day Ab Challenge


Summer is just around the corner which means bathing suit season! Do you need a routine to get your abs ready?? Take this 7 day ab challenge to work those muscles! Once the week is over challenge yourself and do it again! I’ll be doing it too!

If you want something a little less demanding and time consuming try the 30 Day Plank Challenge! Build up time to eventually hit 4 minutes and 30 seconds of planking!


*Click on image to enlarge


20 Must-Read Fitness, Health, and Happiness Books


Looking for a good read over spring break? Look no further! This website gives you a list of the top 20 must-read fitness, health, and happiness books of 2014. Ranging from The Body Book by Cameron Diaz, Foodist, yoga books, and cookbooks, this list has you covered! “Below are the titles released in the last year that we found inspirational, profound, informative, and straight-up fun.”

Popsicle Stick Workout Jar


If you are always searching for a new workout to keep you interested, look no further! This popsicle stick workout jar is the perfect way to mix up your routine and keep you engaged in each time you are ready to workout. How does it work? First, get together 48 popsicle sticks and paint them 6 different colors. The different colors represent cardio, core, legs, arms, back, and chest. You don’t have to paint the popsicle sticks, but doing so prevents you from performing 4 arm exercises in a row, 5 leg exercises in a row, etc. You should have 8 popsicle sticks for each category. Then write an exercise on each popsicle stick that fits that category. Here are some examples of what you can write:


  • 25 Butt Kicks (not too bad)
  • 30 seconds Jumprope (if I had to ACTUALLY jumprope for 30 seconds I’d die, but I can manage the rope free imitation)
  • 15 Mountain Climbers (eek)
  • 25 Skaters (meh, do-able)
  • 60 seconds jog (no prob)
  • 25 High Knees (wait a sec, does that say 25?)
  • 10 Burpees (throwing this one away (not really, but so tempted))
  • 20 Jumping Jacks (kill me now-actually thanks to Jillian I can sort of manage 20 if there is less jump than jack)

Upper Body: 

  • 12 Hammer Curls
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 12 Chest Press
  • 12 Triceps Extensions (each side)
  • 12 Biceps Curls (each side)
  • 12 Front Shoulder Raises
  • 12 Lateral Shoulder Raises
  • 12 Standing Rows
  • 12 Triceps Kickbacks
  • 12 Chest Flys
  • U Pick Upper

Lower Body:

  • Wall Sit-Max Time
  • 15 Abductor (each side Standing, lying, w/wo resis.)
  • 15 Adductor (each side Standing, lying, w/wo resis.)
  • 20 Hamstring curls
  • 15 Lunges (each side)
  • 15 Calf Raises
  • 20 Leg Extensions (each side)
  • 20 Squats
  • 15 Lateral Lunges (each side)
  • 20 Sumo Squats (I got this one already and those KILL)
  • U Pick Lower


  • 20 Reverse Crunches
  • 20 Oblique Crunches (each side)
  • 20 Supermans
  • 20 Dumbbell Side Bends (each side)
  • 25 Crunches
  • Plank-max time


Now that your popsicle sticks are ready you have a full body workout available at all times! Simply pull out one of each color and repeat until you have gone through all the exercises. If you want to do a more targeted workout, you can pull all the popsicle sticks of a certain color and add some cardio. The best part about this workout is that you never know what you’re going to get so you won’t be bored! So spend a few minutes getting this together and give it a try! I know you will love it!