Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


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Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


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Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


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Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

  ·  3 min

Learn The Lingo: An Introduction To Running Terms

Nearly 20 million people completed a running race in the year 2013—that’s more people than populate Belgium, Chile or Switzerland! Considering runners could band together to occupy an entire country, it is no surprise we’ve developed our own language of jargon and lingo only a fellow runner would understand.Below we’ve selected and defined some of the most puzzling running terms. So whether you’re new to the running scene, a non-runner trying to make sense of your significant other’s running rambling or simply need a refresher, keep on reading for a crash course in running lingo, jargon and abbreviations.Bonk: a sudden drain in energy and feeling of intense fatigue during a race or hard run. Scientifically, bonking is caused by a depletion of glycogen in the muscles and liver. Mentally, it feels like you got hit by a bus.C25K: Stands for ‘Couch to 5K’ a common training plan for new runners looking to complete their first 5K race.DNS / DNF: Abbreviation for when a runner ‘Did Not Start’ or ‘Did Not Finish’ a planned race.DOMS: ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ is muscle soreness that plagues a runner 12 – 48 hours after a race or particularly hard workout. Quick tip—avoid stairs during this period!Dreadmill: The dreaded treadmill. Get it?Fartlek: A Swedish term for ‘speed play,’ this is an unstructured speed workout. During the workout a runner can choose random distances or time periods to increase the pace—think of it as an interval workout gone rogue.Hardware: A race medal! Often worn all day after a race and then proudly hung in one’s home.Hitting The Wall: (see bonk)Intervals: A structured speed workout often run on a track. A runner alternates high intensity running with periods of recovery running. Yasso 800s are a popular and simple interval workout.Junk Miles: Easy or recovery miles. Don’t be deceived though, despite the negative-sounding term, ‘junk miles’ are an essential part of training.LSD: No, no that’s not the elusive runner’s high everyone talks about! An abbreviation for ‘long slow distance’ this is a run that focuses on getting in high mileage rather than worrying about pace.Naked Run: To run without technology—gasp! Once in a while ditch the GPS watch and heart-rate monitor, but please, keep your clothes on.Negative Splits: To run faster the second half of a race or workout.Runner’s High: A moment of complete and utter bliss during a run.RunRocker: People who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. People who know right song at the right time can help them run faster, longer and stronger because of how the music affects them.Streaker: A person who, for an extended period of time, runs every single day. Once again, please keep your clothes on!Taper: A period of days or weeks before a race in which a runner begins to significantly dial down the mileage, in order to be physically rested and fresh for race day. Be careful, tapering runners are prone to mood-swings, anxiety and intense hunger.There you have it, the most perplexing running terms defined. Got all that? Have any other terms you’d like defined? Let us know in the comments!


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


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