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Too hot to run outdoors? Mark Levine, Personal Trainer from Midtown Athletic Club in Bannockburn, IL, takes over the blog to share some ways to turn an indoor run on the treadmill into an exciting workout.
Does this sound familiar?
You wake up early, excited for your morning run. You put on your running gear and shoes, grab your water bottle, and step outside.
And it feels like someone hit you in the face with a shovel and you can barely breathe.
Welcome to summer!
You immediately head back inside, grab your car keys, and head to the gym for an air-conditioned run on the functional, but often boring, treadmill.
Running on the treadmill, or “dreadmill,” doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration.
All you need to do is play around with the speed and incline. Running or walking on a treadmill set with a 2% incline is equivalent to running on the street, and running without any incline makes you feel as if you’re running slightly downhill.
So, don’t be afraid to increase the incline significantly.
Here is a sample workout that will turn the dreadmill into a fun run. Feel free to adjust the intensity of this workout based on your capabilities and fitness level.
|Time (In Minutes)||Speed||Incline|
|23-25||3.0-3.5 (Cool down)||2.0|
This is only a 25-minute run, during which you’re warming up for five minutes, and cooling down for two minutes.
However, given the speed and incline adjustments, it’s a fantastic workout that will leave you feeling great once completed.
Ahhhh, summer. The extended daylight hours beckon runners onto the open roads, but soaring heat and humidity can take their toll on your running mojo.
Here are 6 tips to beat the heat while running this summer.
1. Run Prepared
Summer running might mean you’ll require fewer articles of clothing, but don’t skimp on gearing up. Apply non-drip sunscreen to protect your skin before you head out. Grab a pair of sport sunglasses with nose grips to help with sun glare and to give you a better view of oncoming motorists.
When going on long trail runs on runs in less populated areas, always make sure to tell someone your route and when to expect you back, or run with a cell phone. Stash some cash in case you become overheated and need to stop for a drink or to use for cab fare home.
2. Run Early or Run Late
Experienced runners like to say that the best time to run is when your shadow is longer than you are. In other words, avoid running between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s intensity is at its greatest. If you suffer from respiratory problems, remember that air quality is usually better in the morning than it is later in the day. Plus, early morning runs mean fewer cars and less traffic noise.
If you must run when the sun is up, pick a shady course. Think tree-lined streets over winding country roads. And if you’re running at night, remember your reflective vest.
If you’re running in the heat for more than a couple miles, you will need hydration mid-run. Invest in a hydration pack (found at any running shop), or drive your route in advance and strategically hide partially frozen water bottles along the way (don’t forget to drive back to collect them when you’re done!).
You could also plan a one or two mile route around a focal point, such as your home or Midtown. Run laps of this same route, stopping for a drink each time you pass. Having extra water to pour on your head and neck is a huge psychological bonus, so don’t be afraid to run through a sprinkler when passing!
One of the worst things you can do to your body is dehydrate it. When you overheat, your recovery time will be much longer as your body will need time to heal.
4. Dress for Success
Your old cotton tshirt isn’t the best choice for running in the heat. Technical fibers will move moisture away from your skin, producing a cooling effect. Many of the newer fabrics also have the bonus of built-in UV protection. Don’t underestimate the importance of moisture-wicking socks, either. Keeping your feet cool and dry will prevent blisters.
On long runs in the heat, you need to remember your important friends: sodium and potassium. These and other electrolytes keep your digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems functioning properly. The more you sweat, the more electrolytes you’ll lose. If you’re running long, consider refueling with sports drinks such as Gatorade or Accelerade during the run, and post-run as well. Recent research, however, suggests that sports drinks, which are often high in sugar, might not be the best post-workout drink, so you might opt for milk, coconut water, or a piece of fruit to replenish electrolytes.
6. Know the Warning Signs
Don’t try to be a superhero. There is a clear line between proving mental toughness and putting your health in jeopardy, and unfortunately many runners allow themselves to cross it. You are not weak for rescheduling a run on a hot day or for stopping early; rather, you are smart.
Don’t expect your pace to be the same as you manage on brisk, mild days. Watch for symptoms of heat disease: intense heat build up, headache, nausea, clammy skim, muscle cramps, and feeling faint. If any of these symptoms strike, stop immediately and head for a drink in the shade.
Enjoy the summer weather and the myriad psychological and physical benefits of running outdoors. Stay safe, smart, and cool and you’ll reap the benefits of running all year long.
Member blogger Kathleen Bush talks with Jen Whiteside, who recently ran her first 5K after completing Midtown’s Running Program with Certified Running Coach Missy Witte.
Jen Whiteside, one of the first graduates of Midtown’s Running Program, never thought she could run.
Although active in myriad other fitness activities at the club, she felt her “bad knee” would prevent her from participating in impact sports.
Many miles and her first 5k race later, Jen is happy to say that she was mistaken. Thanks to the guidance of Certified Running Coach Missy Witte and her new running program, Jen is running 3-to-6 miles at a time, multiple days a week.
Shortly after beginning to train Jen, Missy recognized that Jen’s “knee problem” was actually the result of an overly tight IT band, which Jen and Missy were able to correct using specific stretches, yoga, and strengthening exercises.
“Through this program, I was able to identify my problems and what I needed to do to fix them,” said Jen.
Jen had such good things to say about Missy’s program that two of her friends signed up, and they have also been thrilled with the results, and she’s has nothing but wonderful experiences to share about training with Missy.
Jen calls Missy “a little dog with a big bite.” She credits Missy with not only being a friend but also knowing how to generate results. Jen points out the benefits of Missy’s bubbly personality. “She was a great distraction during our first sessions,” Jen said. “Because she talks a lot, I thought more about the conversation than the fact I was running.”
Missy provides individualized attention all week long, and not just during training sessions. “It’s nice to have constant communication,” said Jen. “If you text her a question, she gets right back to you. Sometimes I text her at 10pm, and I always receive a response first thing the next morning. When you’re unsure about something, she always sends you something positive.” After telling me this, Jen’s phone beeps, and she smiles as it is yet another message from Missy.
Her First Race
After training for several months with Missy, Jen was able to run a phenomenal time in her first road race, a 5k in Tampa, Florida. Despite the hot and muggy conditions, Jen kept a great pace and felt elated on crossing the finish line. She then took on the challenge of a longer race when she ran the Lilac 10k in May.
“My husband says he can see the difference in me” Jen says. Jen, mother of two young children, is fit, toned, and looks great. She loves the change and variety that running has added to her workouts.
Just Do It
If you’re on the fence about signing up for Missy’s Running Program, or if you’re nervous you don’t have what it takes to reach a running goal, Jen has this advice: “You need to go for it. Missy is awesome and she will help you identify where and what it is you want to do with the program, so it’s structured and geared specifically for you, and not anybody else.”
Jen has taken off running and never looked back.
For more information on Missy’s Running Program, which can help you start running, train for your first race, or PR your 50th, contact her at email@example.com or 461-2300, ext. 324.
“Welcome to Heat,” Vinny tells the members who are furiously pulling back on the rowing machines as the sweat hits the floor.“We’re breaking barriers here!”
MXT (Midtown Xtreme Training), the brainchild of personal trainer Vinny Mogavero, is one of the most popular classes at the club, so much so that the Saturday class had to be moved from the Group Ex Studio to the gym to accommodate it’s impressive number of participants (60 people regularly attend this MXT session). In the warmer months, the class is held on the Great Lawn on Saturdays. Watch the class in action here.
Its popularity has its roots in Vinny’s motivational style. As one who regularly takes the class, offered three times a week on Mondays at 7pm, Wednesdays at 12:15pm, and Saturday’s at 12:30, I can tell you that he makes each member feel like he or she is receiving an individual personal training session with his ability to be seemingly everywhere at once, dispensing motivation by the gallon.
Vinny recognized the need for a smaller, more intimate MXT experience, and so in February, he teamed up with trainer Dina Smock to create MXT Heat. Trainer Justin Bradt is often on hand to help too. Based on the MXT principles of high-intensity intervals, MXT Heat is limited to a maximum of 15 people, and utilizes different areas of the club, including the weight room floor, Kinesis studio, and cardio machines (similar to the areas used during a private personal training session).
The class I observe is broken up into three small groups of five members each. Each trainer is running his or her own “station.” Justin has a circuit set up on the weight room floor, Vinny mans the cardio machines, and Dina is in charge of the Kinesis studio (Kinesis is a training tool that engages muscles and movement at the same time via resistance cables). Each group moves in rotation several times among all the stations, under the watchful eye of a trainer, therefore making the class a very personal experience. I observe Justin stepping in to correct form, Vinny monitoring the numbers on each member’s cardio machine, and Dina jumping into an exercise right alongside a participant.
Despite tackling fatiguing repetitions, members are able to walk to each new station with a renewed sense of vigor. It’s obvious that MXT Heat combines the best of both worlds: You have the benefit of individual attention and focus, yet the momentum of a small group to push you forward and keep you competitive.
Make no mistake, though. This class is tough. I overhear the group members’ conversation (between heavy breaths) as they rotate from the treadmills to the Kinesis studio, congratulating each other on a job well done. One member says with a laugh, “Man, I hate Vinny!”
This is a sentiment shared by both his clients and his MXT family, and Vinny embraces it. He believes if you aren’t hating him, he’s not doing his job. “Hate me now, love me later!” is something he always tells his classes. And as the class ends with 15 exhausted members, trust me. The Vinny-love is not running over.
But later on, I overhear class members singing his praises. They are reaching new heights of fitness they never would have achieved on their own.
Vinny’s gift is in dispensing motivation, and in MXT Heat he has the ability to direct it to class members individually. As each participant is outfitted with a heart rate monitor, he is able to monitor their effort level and encourage them to step it up a notch, while confidently assuring them that they can do it.
Dina is equally motivational. She reassures the group entering the Kinesis studio rotation that “I’m not as mean as Vinny!” Maybe so, but I notice her energy level is certainly as high. She sprints through the rotation, demonstrating each unique exercise, which is performed during a one-minute interval, and immediately gets the class moving. Then she is everywhere – bouncing from person to person on each Kinesis “module,” hopping in with them, and encouraging them. “You’re out of here in 30 seconds!” she yells out, and participants kick up their effort a notch higher.
Justin Bradt, whose strength is inspiring, has a full-body weight circuit set up at his station. He keeps a careful eye on form as they perform different exercises with the kettlebells, medicine balls, and battle ropes. “This is your halfway point!” he yells to the tired group, before correcting a member’s kettlebell swing.
Between Vinny’s cardio, Justin’s weights, and Dina’s Kinesis and core work, class members are getting an amazing, calorie- blasting workout.
Science backs up the principles on which MXT is based. High-intensity interval training quickly produces noticeable results, and is proven to be one of the most beneficial forms of training and exercise. Heat participants are pushing beyond their comfort zones, exceeding personal limits, and transforming their bodies. This kind of change does not come easily, and it is very hard to achieve by yourself.
As the participants are sprinting on an incline on their treadmills, Vinny begins his infamous”countdown,” meaning he has you working at your maximum, but then demands you push it even further past that point for the final ten seconds. Thinking you were at your absolute limit and then “discovering” that secret reserve deep inside of you for a final push does wonders for your confidence and strength.
At the end of the hour session, the class gathers in the Kinesis studio for a quick cool down and stretch. The air is charged with positive energy and satisfaction. The Heat participants were an even mix of men and women, ages 20 to 50, and all told me they are already hooked on the class. In just a few short weeks, they have seen results and they are hungry for more. They are able to emerge with a badge of honor by having pushed their limits and come out on the other side.
MXT Heat takes place on Fridays, from 12-1pm. The cost is $26/class, and you can register by calling Vinny at 461-2301, ext. 272 or Dina at ext. 125.
And starting next week, the club is adding two more days of MXT Heat: Wednesdays from 7-8pm and Saturdays from 8:30-9:30am.
Have you tried MXT Heat? Please leave a comment and share your experience with us.
Member Blogger Kathleen Bush sits down with Certified Running Coach and Cycling Instructor Extraordinaire Missy Witte to talk about her new running program, yoga, and how she stays motivated to set and reach her fitness goals.
Randy Pausch, motivational speaker and author of “The Last Lecture,” once said, “You have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.”
This quote, a favorite of Midtown Cycling Instructor and Running Coach Missy Witte, an obvious “Tigger,” has served as both her mantra and approach to life.
If Missy’s energy came in a bottle, everyone would want to drink it. As a role model for a healthy lifestyle for both her clients and her three active, young children, Missy’s genuine desire to help others achieve their fitness goals is obvious by both her work and positive demeanor.
Although perhaps best known for her invigorating cycle interval workouts, cycling is not Missy’s first workout of choice.
“Running is my true love,” she explains. “I have a good base, a good background. I have run eleven marathons to date. I’m definitely looking for more.” Missy is so passionate about running that she obtained her running coach certification. Her new running program launches this week.
Training New Runners and Seasoned Race Veterans
Missy’s putting her Certified Running Coach credentials to work in getting the club’s running program off the ground.
“There are three ways to work with me. For private or group training, you’ll run with me and/or a group of other Midtown runners of similar ability. You’ll also have one hour per week of endurance and/or strength training with me, in addition to training tips or support.”
Members who have enrolled in the running program communicate with Missy at least three times a week, and on Sunday, each person receives a personalized training plan for the upcoming week.
There is also coach-only training, with all the benefits of the private or group options, minus the hour-long training sessions.
The program is for runners at all levels, and for those who want to begin running. “Anyone can do this,” Missy explains. “It is a very open, friendly program. Whether you just want to be able to run a mile, or run your first race, or you are a veteran chasing a PR – this program can help you.”
This is Not Your Cookie-Cutter Program
“I’ve had a ton of success with one-on-one tailored programs,” Missy says. “The new running program I’ve created is not a cookie-cutter program you could find on the Internet. Following one of these doesn’t make sense. It’s like ripping a fad diet out of a magazine. It won’t work.”
Pointing out the benefits of training with a coach, she says, “I get feedback from my runners about their bodies and progress and I adapt it to meet their needs. It is very much about what works for you, and not what your friend is doing.”
Best of all? Accountability. “If I’m not hearing from you, you’re hearing from me,” says Missy.
Missy has always set goals and worked to achieve them. “I do a ton of visualizing,” she explains. “As I approach 40, I don’t want to give up doing what I love.” To those trying to stick with a fitness commitment, she offers this piece of advice: “The hardest part is making the decision to just go. Then the rest takes care of itself.”
How a Runner Became a Yogi
To help rehab a potentially debilitating muscle tear, Missy turned to yoga. “If you can find time to do one extra thing, make it yoga,” she says. “Before I started yoga, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s not for me. I need adrenaline. I need to sweat.’ But trust me, you will sweat. What a workout. I haven’t had to go back to the weight room since.” Her orthopedic doctor, also a marathon runner, was blown away by Missy’s increased flexibility and her rehabilitation after she began practicing yoga. She acknowledges, “If I can extend my running into my 70s, this is how I will be able to do it.”
What’s In Missy’s Kitchen?
Missy is quick to share her top foods. “Greek yogurt. My kids like it too – they say ‘Mom, this tastes like ice cream!’ Also I love Kashi cereal. I mix it in yogurt for texture.”
She also adds that she has a stash of dark chocolate hidden away, and a supply of fresh strawberries and blueberries are always in her fridge. She and her family also eat a lot of chicken for protein.
Some might be surprised to learn that Missy had a lucrative pharmaceutical sales job, which she left after the birth of her first son in order to obtain her certifications and pursue a fitness career. “I moved toward something that I really, really loved.”
And she never looked back.
For more information on Missy’s running program, which can help you start running, train for your first race, or PR your 50th, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 461-2300, ext. 324.
We all have holiday traditions, from Aunt Linda’s green bean casserole to fireside carols to the annual donning of the matching sweaters.
However, a lot of our traditions around the holidays focus on heavy, fat-laden foods. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Traditions are important, and the holidays are a good time to indulge as long as we do not indulge to excess.
Still, it is a good time to assess whether your family has any healthy holiday traditions, namely involving physical activity. If not, then why not consider starting one?
Growing up, we watched my father every Thanksgiving morning amble through a Turkey Trot 5k. A former college basketball star measuring 6’8″ in height, he was by no means a runner and it was often humorous to watch him lurching down the final stretch. Nevertheless, he loved how running that race (which was, in fact, the only race he ever ran each year) made him feel on Thanksgiving Day.
As soon as we were old enough, us kids joined him, engaging in a friendly competiton with eachother for place and time. There was something special about knowing no matter the weather — and we had our share of unseasonably warm days as well as days with a foot of snow — we knew where we would be Thanksgiving morning. After an endorphin high of running a race like a Turkey Trot in a huge crowd of like-minded runners, the rest of the day was gravy (pun intended).
There are, in fact, many different ideas for holiday traditions involving fitness, with new opportunities forming each year. It’s not important what you do as long as you do your best to mix the holiday, family and friends (or even pets) with fitness. Here are some ideas for healthy traditions you may not yet have tried:
1. Run a Turkey Trot Next Year
Did you know that the first “Turkey Trot” was started right near us in Buffalo during Thanksgiving of 1896? Back then it had only six runners, but today that same Buffalo race regularly has over 10,000 participants. Now there are Turkey Trots all over the country, of differing lengths and terrains. If running bores you, look for a Turkey Day challenge obstacle-like race. The feeling of having accomplished something will make the food taste that much better.
2. Backyard Touch Football
This is a fun, special tradition that many families have already incorporated into their holidays for generations. Instead of sitting on the couch in a food-induced coma, head out for your own friendly-family or neighborhood competition. Children especially will cherish watching adults take part in a fun family game with them.
3. Take a Holiday Walk
There’s no sweeter image to me on holidays than when I see entire generations of a family out walking down the road in a big pack. The sight of an elderly grandmother pushing a stroller, uncles and aunts engaging in jesting banter, and mixed-age children running ahead just seems to be one of the best ways to unite as a family. Even if it is only you and your dog celebrating this year, take a special walk -perhaps on a nature trail- and enjoy the time to reflect on the holiday and giving thanks.
4. Engage in a Seasonal Activity
The holidays are a great time to let your inner child run free. Whether there are young ones with you or not, there’s no reason you can’t go tobogganing, ice skating, or build a large snowman. All of these activities will have you sweating off enough calories for that pumpkin pie you ate.
Holiday traditions don’t have to be focused only on sugar cookies and stuffing. Embrace a tradition involving physical activity and your holiday will combat stress, lift your mood, and make the time richer and brighter. More importantly, you may not end the holiday season five pounds heavier and feeling like a sloth. It is never too late to start a new tradition!
Does your family have a healthy holiday tradition or story?
With 17 marathons (including 10 Bostons) under his belt, and 15 years of personal training experience, Bruce Hedlund, the Rochester club’s resident running expert, is the trainer you want to work with if you’re preparing for a race.
He graduated from SUNY Cortland with a B.S. in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Bruce also works as Penfield High School’s Strength and Conditioning coach, and did the same for the Rochester Americans for the 2009-2010 season.MORE
A discussion on our Facebook page last week resulted in some interesting member feedback. I asked what kind of information you would like to see featured. Among other suggestions, many members mentioned healthy eating tips and recipes, staff profiles, and member success stories.
The club puts a high value on input from members, and as a result, you’ll soon see many of your suggestions included in our daily social media output.MORE
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