Monthly Archives: September 2011

Be A Racer. (Part I)

Have you ever wanted to run a road race, but been too nervous to register? Over the past 2 weekends, I have run 5Ks with two road race newcomers. Having run road races for as long as I can remember, I was excited to share this experience and hopefully get two new running buddies out of the deal. Running these races with first-timers reminded me of all of the little tricks I’ve learned over the years, so I figured I would share them with all of you! Today we’ll start with pre-race day tips.

1. Pick your race. Search local race calendars to determine what race you would like to do. Check out or to get started. Then figure out what time or year you want to race. Do you enjoy running in the heat or cold? I personally would recommend starting with an early spring or fall race to avoid major fluctuations in temperature. Also consider if you want someone else to run with you or if you want to go at it solo, how big of a race do you want to do for your first time, and how far you are willing to travel for the race.

2. Train appropriately. Pick your race early and then complete the appropriate training for it. If you are just starting out, the Couch to 5K program is great to get you started with running. If you are already running or training for a longer race, contact an experienced running couch to determine the best plan for you. Make sure your training program also includes stretching. And don’t forget, overtraining can be just as detrimental as undertraining.

3. Scope out the course. If the race you choose isn’t too far away, consider doing a dry run of the course so you are familiar with the terrain. If the course is too far away, print the course map and study it. Most races are well marked, but you don’t want to find out the hard way that you missed a turn. And don’t forget to look into the parking situation.

4. Prepare the night before. Check out the weather for race day then get everything out and ready. Most races start early in the morning, which means an early wake up call so the more prepared you are the better off you’ll be. Charge all of your electronics, make sure you have the right breakfast foods, and lay out your clothes.

5. Choose appropriate clothing.. A good rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 15 degrees warmer than the temperature is. But dress warmer, especially on cold mornings, and then de-layer just before the race. Make sure to pick out your clothes the night before. And don’t forget to think about chaffing if you are running a longer race.

Check back soon for more tips for race day!

Leave a comment: Are you a runner? What did you do to prepare for race day?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.

-Alicia and Nikki



Filed under Fitness

Be Changed.

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” -Confucius                 (feeling philosophical today) 

Perhaps you know that you don’t make the healthiest food choices, and maybe you sit down on the couch when you get home from a long day at work, feeling guilty that you “should” be exercising instead.  You may even have a diagnosed health condition or are carrying so much stress around that you can feel your shoulders touching your ears. When you think about changing these habits, potentially habits you’ve had your whole life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Being healthy is a lifestyle. Developing new healthy habits will require time and energy, probably lots of it. If it were quick and easy to make these changes, everyone would be at their optimal health.

So where do you start? Trying to make a bunch of changes all at once will likely set you up for failure. So start instead with small steps that will lead to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t bog yourself down by thinking you need to change everything, all at once, in one big life changing way. What is one small change that you can make today, right now, that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Pack a healthy lunch for tomorrow instead of eating out
  • Pre-chop a few vegetables for a quick, healthy snack
  • Go for a 20 minute walk in your neighborhood
  • Go to bed 10 minutes earlier
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Swap a can of soda for sparkling water
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Focus on that one change until it becomes a new, healthy habit then focus on your next habit. Every little bit counts and while no one can go back and change the beginning, everyone can start today and change the ending.
Leave a comment: What change are you going to focus on making first?
Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
-Alicia, Nikki and Meg

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Filed under Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness