How to Survive Summer Running

June 21, 2013
Nathan Waterbottle 010

When people say two these two words, summer running, in the same sentence, I can’t help but cringe. Of course, I absolutely love running and feel blessed to be able to be able to do it day after day, but summer running is very challenging for me. Here are a few ways that I survive running in the summer.

Cut yourself some slack

So many of us are slaves to our Garmins. We watch our pace at every mile, and can become quickly discouraged if we don’t see the ideal pace on the screen. Here is a tip – don’t worry about your pace. Your body will be operating at a slower pace during the summer. The heat causes muscle fatigue much quicker, which in turn, slows down your running considerably. Give yourself a break, and just get out for a run, with no goal pace. Just running is a big accomplishment in the summer heat, regardless of how fast you are going.

Garmin 11 mile run

Get out before the sun

Waking up early and starting your run before the temperatures are at their peak is key. Unfortunately, for those of us that live in Florida, its already 80 degrees before the sun comes up. But even so, 80 degrees is much more tolerable than 90+, with pavement that has been being baked all day. Just the heat radiating from the ground can make a huge difference in how long you are able to last.

Marcus triathlon sunrise

Bring hydration

I was never one to bring water with me on the run – that is, until I trained for the Chicago Marathon in the summer. I found my performance was drastically different on the days I had my Nuun with me, versus the days I did not. I found the Nathan water bottle is best for me, but there are tons of options out there if you don’t like this one. Don’t forget – not only should you bring hydration with you on the run, but also when you are just hanging around. Your body loses a lot of water in the summer trying to keep you cool, running or not.

Nathan Waterbottle 010

Wear loose fitting clothes

I still tend to see people running in heavy cotton tees and gym shorts, and it boggles my mind. If you invest in a few technical workout tops, and some running shorts, you will be shocked how much cooler it keeps you. Cotton keeps in moisture – synthetic fibers wick it away. I am in love with my Under Armour top for running in the heat. It doesn’t stick to my skin, and I really feel a difference when I wear it compared to my tight tank tops. The same goes for your socks. Invest in a few pair of thin running socks. It will keep your feet so much cooler, and in turn, help you to get in a few more miles.

under armour

Dabble in other sports

There will be days when you just do not have the motivation to get out and pound the pavement. Guess what?? That is OK! Don’t run that day. Mental rest is just as important as physical rest from running. Biking and swimming are wonderful summer exercising alternatives, and they actually help your running. Every once in a while, hang up your running shoes for a pair of cycling shoes or a bathing suit. Your body will thank you!

How do you survive running in the summer?

National Guard Soldier of Steel™ Workouts

June 19, 2013

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™.

As I mentioned last week, we are all looking to vary up our exercise routines. You just can not do the same exercises, day after day, and continue to get good results. Luckily, National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan is the perfect remedy for those needing some workout inspiration.

Physical fitness is an essential trait for every Soldier. National Guard Soldiers are trained to be ready for anything. Just as Clark Kent transforms into the MAN OF STEEL™ (now playing in theaters) when needed, National Guard CitizenSoldiers transform when their communities call. Mark Twight, Hollywood fitness trainer pushed cast and Soldiers with a unique workout plan, helping them to transform for their respective roles.

Motivated to begin your transformation and train like a Soldier of Steel™? Go to SOLDIEROFSTEEL where you can:

    • Download a one-month training routine developed by celebrity trainer Mark Twight
    • Learn how Mark transformed Henry Cavill into the MAN OF STEEL™
    • Watch fitness training webisodes
    • Receive training tutorials on 23 different exercises

Being a personal trainer, I love having access to fun and different workouts. My favorite aspect of the National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan is there is plenty of explanation as to how to do each exercise. You don’t just read what you are doing – you get to see it. This is extremely helpful for those just starting a new routine, or even those who are looking to just refine their form.

Fitness Training Soldier of Steel


I had never heard of Mark Twight before looking more into the National Guard’s Soldier of Steel™ workout plan. The more I have learned about him, the more I am extremely impressed (and really want to do his workouts!) Here is a quick bio on him:

Mark Twight is the founder of Gym Jones, a strength and conditioning facility where he and his wife, Lisa, train fighters, football players and endurance athletes. Gym Jones is noted for its work training the cast and stunt crew of the movie “300” (2007), “Repo Men” (2010), “MAN OF STEEL™” (2013) and “300: Rise of an Empire” (2013).

One of America’s leading alpinists at the turn of the 21st century, Twight was the first to solo the “Czech Route” on Peak Communism and the fastest to climb “Slipstream,” a three thousand-foot-high waterfall in the Canadian Rockies (in two hours and four minutes; most parties take twelve hours).

Twight aided in the development of the Protective Combat Uniform (PCU) cold weather clothing system, which is currently issued to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) personnel. He teaches climbing, nutrition and fitness to SOCOM operators.

If you are interested to learn more, or  if you have a fitness question for Mark Twight, then you can join the Twitter chat on Thursday, June 20th.  Mark Twight will answer fan questions on the @NationalGuard Twitter handle. Follow the conversation from 3PM EST – 4PM EST at #TwightTakeover.

Have you ever done a military style workout?

I’ve done multiple bootcamps, but that’s really the extent of it for me!

5 Tips to Keep Your Workout Challenging

June 14, 2013

How many times have you headed to the gym to do weights with really no goal in mind? You just hop from machine to machine, and leave feeling like you just had a so-so workout. This has definitely happened to me in the past, so I am going to share a few tips on how to keep your gym workouts interesting!

Come in with a plan

Ok, so this is kind of obvious, but so many of us walk into the gym blind. No plan, no time commitment – aka, not the best idea. Do some research before you go and write down what you want to do before you get there. You will find that you are able to complete a lot more exercises in a shorter amount of time since there isn’t much thought needed once you are actually working out. For a few idea, check out here, here, here, and here.

Workout Collage

Throw in some variation

I love completing a superset, and then hopping on a cardio machine for about 3 minutes of high intensity exercise. It helps to spike your heart rate and really makes a difference in the effort you put towards the workout. Think about it – if you have an hour to workout, add 3 minutes of cardio at the end of a couple of exercises – you end up having about 25 minutes of total cardio during your strength workout. That is a solid calorie blast right there!

Recruit some help

Personal trainers are at the gym for a reason. If you are unsure of how to use the machines or even how you should really strength train, hire a trainer for a few sessions to help you. Our jobs are to show you how to work out effectively, which includes varied routines and injury free sessions. It is a great investment if you really don’t know where to start, or if you are just looking to change it up a bit.

Change the plane

Exercising on a different plane than you are used to can really change the exercise you are doing. Going from a more stable plane (the floor), to a less stable plane (a foam pad, bosu ball, etc.), can really make you engage your muscles in a different, more effective way. I tend to do most of my exercise on a bosu ball to keep my core engaged the whole time. This makes my mid section much stronger, reduces low back injuries, and cuts down on the ab-isolating exercises I do in a workout session. Seems like a win-win to me!

Stability and Medicine Balls

Exercise with a friend

Have a friend that loves hitting the gym? Tag along with them next time. Just seeing how someone else travels through a workout can give you some more ideas of different and challenging exercises to do. Oh, and it is a lot of fun to chat through sets with someone – it makes the time fly!


What are some ways you vary up your workout routine?

Running with Jeff Galloway

June 12, 2013

As runnerds runners, there are certain names that we all know and love – Shalane Flanagan, Bart Yasso, Kara Goucher, and of course, Jeff Galloway. I had the chance to meet the legend on Monday night! FITniche hosted a run for Tampa residents to gather and learn more about Jeff’s Run-Walk-Run approach, go for a run with the Olympian, and just have a great time!

I got there a little bit before the start, and I had to chuckle as I saw many groups of runners, all heading towards the store. Everyone looked like they were on a mission!

Jeff Galloway FITniche 6

We all gathered as Jeff was introduced, and he was given quite the recognition as he began to speak. I found out through this event that there is a large Galloway group up in Carrollwood, about 25 minutes north of Tampa. It seemed as if they all came out to meet the man behind their training plans!

Jeff Galloway FITniche 2

Around 80 people showed up in total – it was a great showing! It was great to see so many people of so many different running abilities loving the sport. For the group run, most of the participants went ahead and completed the 3 miles with 30 seconds of running followed by 30 seconds of walking – aka, the Galloway method.

Jeff Galloway FITniche 3

It was a hot and humid night for a 5k, but it was great to be out with such an excited group of runners. The clouds were definitely building as we ran, and when I turned around and saw less than ideal dark clouds, I made sure to pick up the pace a bit and head back to the store.

Jeff Galloway FITniche 4

I opted to just run the entire 5k, rather than using the Galloway method. I see that it works for a whole lot of people, but it just isn’t for me. I would much rather run the whole way then break it up by walking. Here is the explanation behind the Galloway method, directly from the site:

“By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources. When a muscle group, such as your calf, is used continuously step by step, it fatigues relatively soon. The weak areas get overused and force you to slow down later or scream at you in pain afterward. By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. For veteran marathoners, this is often the difference between achieving a time goal or not.

Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.

Jeff Galloway FITniche 5 Once I got back to the store, I stayed to chat for a few minutes with some other runners, but had to head out before Jeff gave his presentation and answered more questions. I heard it was an amazing hour of interaction and all things Jeff Galloway! Thanks for taking the time to come to Tampa, Jeff! I know everyone really enjoyed spending time with you!

Jeff Galloway FITniche 1


Since I am on the topic of amazing running opportunities, how many of you saw this all over Twitter yesterday?



The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series and WESTIN hotels have teamed up to make the coolest job ever – the RunWESTIN concierge. The person chosen for the job will travel to 10 different races in the next 6 months, and be the liaison between the runners, the race, and the hotel. You only travel Thursday-Sunday, so it can easily be fit in to my schedule. So yes, of course I applied! It would be such a fun opportunity and I would be beyond excited to even be contacted for an interview. It is quite the rigorous interview process, which makes the position stand out even more.

RunWestin 2


Good luck to everyone else applying too! It is very exciting to see companies creating jobs to support this amazing sport. If someone would have said 5 years ago that this job would be out there today, I never would have believed them!

Do you use the Galloway Method, or do any sort of run-walk-run when you complete your miles? Have you ever seen a job like the RunWESTIN concierge?

Good Form Running Clinic

June 10, 2013

With my new business endeavor, I am working on growing my running coaching and personal training as much as possible. Included in growing my business is increasing my knowledge  as well. To do this, I decided to get a part-time job over at my local running store, FitNiche!

FitNiche is a specialty running store that gives knowledge as a gift to everyone who walks through the door. I think it is going to be the perfect fit for me, and I can not wait to learn anything and everything running shoes and gear! One of my new roles at FitNiche will be leading a running form workshop each month. I went ahead and attended one last week so I could see the way FitNiche teaches running form, so I can be consistent as possible.

Lee, the store manager, started off the class by showing a short video on good form, and walked us through it, step my step. He spoke about ankle position, mid foot strike, the placement of arms, and cadence – all which are essential to work together for good form.

FitNicheAfter he finished the video, all of the participants went outside to go ahead and run a few steps, so that Lee could critique their form, and see where they excel and where they need improvement.

FitNicheThe great thing about the running clinic, is the participants can also do a gait analysis right after the clinic if they think they are in the wrong shoe, or running incorrectly in the current shoe they are in. One of the participants took advantage of this perk, and hopped on the treadmill for her analysis.


She ended up getting a lot of the workshop and the gait analysis, as she walked away with a new pair of running shoes, perfect for her stride and the way her feet hit the ground pretty heavy.


If you are looking to critique your running form, there is a clinic at the Hyde Park store on the first Wednesday of every month from 6-7pm. I am going to be leading these soon, and can’t wait to put my own spin on the workshop, including different running drills to help your form.

Have you ever been to a running form workshop? What kind of shoe do you run in – neutral, light stability, stability?