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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program Participant: Judi Border

NAME: Judi Border, 14-Minute-Mile GroupBorderPhoto

SHARE YOUR “STORY” OR A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES:

Born and raised in Cincinnati, moved here in 1992 for work. Since then I’ve been happily married for 20 years this July. We have a beautiful 17-year-old daughter and two cats. I work at WFYI as the Television Art Director and Motion Artist. About two years ago I realized I needed to make some life changes due to lack of personal challenges, weight gain, and the loss of two young friends to cancer. I started going to my local community center three days a week using a treadmill for 30 minutes. At the same time I started following a blog called the Happy Herbivore and became vegetarian. After a year I had lost weight, felt much better about myself, and added a yoga class.

Every year for as long as I can remember, a co-worker friend of mine registers for the Mini and always asks if everyone has signed up, too. This got me thinking, secretly I’ve always wanted to walk the Mini, just experience it, but I always had some excuse not to! This year I couldn’t seem to find a reason not to, so in January I took a deep breath and signed up.

NIFS PROGRAMS YOU PARTICIPATED IN:

NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program

WHY DID YOU JOIN THIS PROGRAM?

I’ve never been much of an athlete, but I’ve always enjoyed walking. Luckily I work with several friends who have experienced the Mini and it was their advice that I should check out the NIFS Training Program. I knew I would need to join something because I had no idea how to prepare for the Mini. My greatest fear was being picked up by the bus and not completing the marathon. I couldn’t find anyone who would walk with me; all my friends and co-workers were runners. NIFS has been a great supporter of WFYI over the years and I knew of them from that. It seemed like an obvious choice.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE ENJOYED:

I have really enjoyed this whole experience, which I credited to NIFS. It is a great feeling being surrounded by a group of enthusiastic people with a common goal. The group training is new to me and I have really enjoyed it. I found myself looking forward to Wednesdays.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE LEARNED OR SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU:

I guess I surprised me. I’ve never been much for exercising, but I find that I really enjoy it. I like the fitness schedule NIFS has put me on for the Mini Training Program and hope to continue it. I believe I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in; it is very renewing.

FAVORITE RUNNING ROUTE FROM ONE OF THE RUNS?

The route to Fountain Square. You spend time in Downtown, drive through it, but how often do you actually walk through it? It was a nice tour.

WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE YOU ACHIEVED DURING YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE MINI?

Every Wednesday night was an accomplishment for me because almost every Wednesday I was pushed to walk farther than I had ever walked at a 14-minute-mile pace. Then ultimately I completed the Mini Marathon, something I have wanted to accomplish for almost 15 years.

TIPS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?

Where do I begin? I’ve learned about the importance of stretching, cross training, what to eat/drink before and after training, what are the best types of clothes to wear when exercising, what it feels like to wear proper-fitting gym shoes, how to drink water out of a cup while walking. My favorite thing to learn was the importance of letting your body rest. Who knew?

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?

First, I would have to say NIFS and my Wednesday Night Group, they kept me motivated. Having an additional support group outside of NIFS helped a great deal, in my husband, Terry, and my co-worker friends. But I would also say that my daughter has been a big motivation for me as well. As a parent it is amazing what we expect our children to do, while we sit by and watch. My daughter recently received her Black Belt and it was during her final preparation for the test that she had to run three miles at a 7-minute-mile pace. That motivated me to step up my exercising. She still motivates me in her continued fitness goal to stay healthy and fit.

ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU WISH TO SHARE: 

If you have ever wanted to participate in the Mini Marathon, this is the best way to prepare for it. NIFS brings all the right elements together, the Runners Forum helps you with shoes, the onsite physical therapist works with you and any muscle pains that might occur during the training, and the group leaders guide you and answer all your questions. It is a wonderful way to get moving during the winter and really has been a great experience for me. I loved it.

NIFS new Fall Marathon Training Program begins July 9th-October 25th. Get Registered Today! Early Bird pricing before May 31—Members: $65 Non-Members: $80

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This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: goal setting marathon training group fitness group training mini marathon half marathon

4 Questions to Determine If You’re Ready for Your First Marathon

Has completing a marathon always been on your bucket list? Are you looking for a new challenge and to step up your commitment to fitness this year? You may be ready to try your first marathon! Here are 4 questions to ask yourself to determine whether you are ready:

1. Have You Run a Few Half-Marathons? marathon-1

Yes: Great! You are already halfway there! You mentally know what it takes to complete long-distance runs and a training program, and you have experienced that race atmosphere and everything that goes with it. Along with this, you know the ins and outs of how to fuel, hydrate, and recover from the high-mileage training properly.

No: That is okay! Starting with a half-marathon is a great first step to getting to that first marathon. This will get your body and mind up to speed with more ease than jumping into a full marathon

2. Do You Have the Time to Dedicate to Training?

Yes…I think: Training for a marathon requires more time and energy than training for a half-marathon. To prepare to have the most successful race that you can come race day, you will need to complete some long training runs that go up to 20 or 22 miles! Depending on the speed that you are going, this can take you between 2 and 5.5 hours. Be sure that you have a day during the week that you will be able to dedicate toward this kind of training. Along with this, you will need to complete two or three additional runs or walks throughout the week, as well as complete some cross-training sessions.

No: Training for a marathon may not be in the cards for you right now. If you have a lot going on as it is and hardly find time to squeeze in a short 3- or 4-mile run or walk, completing a marathon successfully should wait until your schedule calms down.

3. Are You Motivated to Complete 26.2 Miles?

Yes: Good! This will carry you through those long runs mentally. Having the desire to get out there and train to complete the race is key to having a successful training program.

Not really: You should keep that in mind before starting to train and signing up for your first race. If you are not completely sure that you are motivated to do the race, hold off on signing up. I suggest completing a few weeks of a marathon training program to see if your motivation grows as the distances get longer. If you find yourself becoming less motivated right away, reconsider your goal and maybe stick with a half-marathon again.

4. Are You Running/Walking Consistently and with Few Injury Issues?

Yes: That is a huge plus! If you are already consistently going out for runs or walks and are not having any pains or injuries, it is safe to start ramping up your mileage slowly to prepare for the marathon.

No: Get consistent and healthy first! If you are not consistently walking or running, that is the first thing that you should do. Consider following a scaled-back training plan and start by making sure to complete 3 or 4 days of walking/running for at least a month. If this seems to be going well and you are not running into any injuries, you can start to reconsider.fall-marathon

If you said yes to all of these questions, it is pretty safe to say you are ready to get started on a marathon training program! If you answered a few with “no,” no worries. A marathon is still not too far out of reach. Just address the obstacles that you have and work toward resolving those!

If you are looking for a marathon training program for this fall, consider joining the NIFS Fall Marathon Training Program. It is geared toward preparing individuals to complete the Monumental Marathon on November 1 in Indianapolis.

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Fitness Center Manager and Health Fitness Specialist. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS motivation goal setting running marathon training half marathon NIFS programs race training injuries

7 Tips for Safe Outdoor Workouts

The weather is finally warming up here in the Midwest, which means we are all anxious and ready to spend more time outdoors. Taking my workouts outside is an easy way to soak up the benefits of the sun and switch up my normal gym routine. That being said, I understand that exercising outdoors isn’t exactly the same as exercising inside, and there are some necessary precautions I always take into consideration when completing my outdoor workout.

1. Map My Route Ahead of Time

I am probably the worst person to ask for directions. The GPS was invented for people like me, and I am so thankful to have one with me at all times (thanks to my phone!). Whether I am going for a jog, bike ride, or walk, or completing an outdoor circuit workout, I always make sure to plan my route ahead of time (so I don’t get lost) and show someone else the route I will be taking. This way, if I do get lost or injured, or am not home when I expected to be, someone knows where to find me.

2. Bring My Cell PhoneSprigs_Wrist_Band

Yes, it’s cumbersome and I would prefer to feel “free” and not have it with me while running outdoors, but I know that if I were to fall, or get lost, or for some reason I wasn’t able to make it back home, I could give someone a call to help me. I keep it in my Sprigs Banjee Wrist Wallet so I can listen to music or a podcast, or I keep it in my SPIbelt. Either way, it allows me to keep my hands free. I also have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in my phone. I have heard that emergency professionals are trained to look for an ICE number in cell phones to notify a loved one in an emergency situation.

3. Carry an ID

I always carry an ID with me, but that doesn’t mean I always bring my driver’s license along. My Road ID bracelet is the perfect running accessory that contains my name, my husband and parents’ names and contact information, and my age—all important things “just in case” there is an emergency. I love that it is on my RoadIDwrist and I often forget I am wearing it because it is so lightweight and comfortable.

4. Beware of Dogs

Recently, a coworker and fellow NIFS employee who is a runner informed me that one of her friends was attacked by a dog while running. Hearing her story really got me thinking, because luckily I have not come into a negative encounter with a dog while running. Here are some canine safety tips I keep in mind when running and exercising outdoors:

  • Do not run from the dog; this can stimulate the animal.
  • Stand perfectly still with hands and fists close to the body.
  • Don't yell or say anything.
  • Don't look the dog in the eye; this can be threatening.
  • Do not use mace on an animal; it is not strong enough and will upset it more.

5. Wear Reflective Gear

When running in the evening or in the early morning while the sun is rising, I always make sure to wear some sort of reflective gear. I prefer to choose clothing that has the reflective gear “built in,” but you can easily purchase reflective vests to wear over your clothes. Wearing reflective gear makes it easier for cars and bicyclists to see me when I am coming their way, which makes me safer while getting my outdoor workout on.

6. Check the Weather

The weather often dictates whether I take my exercise outside or keep it indoors. If it’s raining, chilly, or super hot, I will opt for an indoor workout. That is, unless I am training for a race. Often when I am training for a race I will head outside to train in less than ideal conditions. Exercising in the elements may seem intimidating, but when I am dressed properly I can go out in all kinds of weather! When dressing for cooler weather, I always layer my clothing. This helps trap the heat in and gives me the option to get rid of some clothing articles if I get too warm. That being said, if the roads are dangerously icy, if a rain storm brings thunder and lightning, or if there is a heat warning I will always pick safety first and move my run to the indoor track or treadmill.

7. I Don’t Blast My MusicTara_ipod

I love listening to music and podcasts while I run and exercise because they really help me enjoy the workout even more than I already do. While I love listening to my music and podcasts, I make sure not to blast the music so I can hear oncoming cars, people, bikers, and anything else that I may not be expecting to come my way. I know how easy it is for me to “get in the zone,” but I try to stay as alert as possible when exercising outdoors, especially if I am not with a buddy.

What are some of your tips for staying safe during your outdoor workouts? Share them here.

Fall Marathon Training Program runs July 9th-October 25th. Get Registered Today! Early Bird pricing before May 31—Members: $65 Non-Members: $80

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This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: running walking equipment cycling half marathon injury prevention circuit workout outdoors safety

10 Ways to Survive Your Long Run During Half Marathon Training

It’s Mini-Marathon training time, which means thousands of people are logging miles to prepare for the big day. The NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program is holding strong as we meet together each Wednesday night to complete the long run scheduled for the week.

If you have trained for a half marathon, you know that sometimes simply logging the miles can bemarathon training a hefty task. If this is your first time training for a half marathon, and the thought of running 10-plus miles seems a bit daunting, you are not alone.

Distance running is difficult, but it is not impossible. I have compiled a list of 10 things that keep me going when I am logging the miles, which will hopefully make your long run successful, too.

  1. Plan. Put this long run into your schedule and set yourself up for success. If you know that your long run is tomorrow, do what you need to do to enjoy the run the following day. Things like going to bed early and drinking lots of water may be helpful, while going out and partying with your friends may not be quite as helpful.
  2. Run somewhere you LIKE to run. I get it, running 10 miles can seem a bit monotonous at times. Some days I prefer to do my long runs through town so I can look in all the shop windows and be around a lot of people. But other times I choose to run in areas with much more beautiful, natural scenery. It doesn’t matter where, just pick a place that you will enjoy for a couple of hours at a time.
  3. Recruit a friend or have a friend meet you midway for a few miles.mini marathon training Sometimes when I am running by myself, a little voice inside my head starts to doubt that I can finish the long run I set out to complete. When I bring a friend along with me, she encourages me the entire way…even if she doesn't know it! Sometimes, just knowing someone else is running with me really helps me push through.
  4. Imagine your post-race or post-run reward. Is it a massage? A manicure? A shopping trip? Frozen yogurt? (Frozen yogurt is often a favorite reward of mine!) A really yummy dinner? Whatever it is, imagine that reward and I promise it will make your feet and legs push to the distance you set out to complete.
  5. Create a special running playlist. Music moves and motivates me, and it always seems that the perfect song starts blaring into my headphones as I reach a really steep hill at mile seven, or when I feel like giving up. It also helps me get lost and kind of forget what I am doing, which takes some of the pain away from my legs and feet! I am so serious about my music that I created a special running playlist and listen to it only while running. That way, the songs stay special and never get old.
  6. Think of a motivational mantra to keep you going. When the going gets tough, I always tell myself that this is all mental. Another mantra that keeps me going is, “You are stronger than you think you are.” Find something that works for you to keep in mind while training for your race.
  7. Mentally break up the run. If I am running 12 miles, I think of it as three 4-mile runs to make the distance seem much more achievable. Another trick I do is plan an out and back. If I am running a 10-mile run, breaking it down to 5 miles out and then 5 miles home really helps me push through.
  8. Compare the time you are running to something else you do for that same amount of time. This is probably one of my favorite things to do to help me get through a long run. I absolutely love group fitness, so I think of an hour-and-a-half run as a BODYPUMP class and a CXWORX class. It really helps me realize that the running time is totally doable.
  9. Imagine yourself on race day. Racing is emotional, at least for me it is. There is nothing that beats the feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment that I feel when I cross the finish line. For me, simply imagining that feeling is enough motivation to keep pushing through, even when the running gets tough.
  10. Think about something different each mile. This one takes a little preparation, but it can really do the trick and totally take your mind off of the distance of the run. Before you run, simply decide on the number of miles you are running, and on a piece of paper make a list of things to think about. For instance, you could write down five people you are thankful for if you are running five miles, all the things that are currently on your mind if you are running 26 miles, and the options are endless. Then place the piece of paper in a pocket or easily accessible area (maybe even in a plastic bag if you get sweaty!) and you have something to pull out if you need to take your mind off the run.

I hope you are able to use at least one of these tactics to log those miles as you train for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, or any other race you have in the future. Good luck with your training!

Written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager, Group Fitness Instructor, and author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our NIFS Bloggers.

Topics: NIFS exercise fitness running mini marathon half marathon NIFS programs race endurance training mental focus

Half Marathon Training and VO2 Max

It has taken a bit of time to get used to calling myself a “runner,” but I enjoy running races and incorporating running into my weekly workout routine. So, even if I still have vivid memories of quitting the middle school cross country team after one practice, where I walked the entire time…I am still a runner.

Although I’m not an elite runner, and I don’t plan on winning any races anytime soon I do have a slightly competitive mindset and I enjoy seeing improvements in my fitness level. When I signed up to complete my fifth half marathon this November, I knew that I needed a new goal. I have had small personal goals each time I completed a half marathon to help get me through training:

  • Finish the half marathon without walking.
  • Finish the half marathon in under two hours.
  • This half marathon was only weeks after my second half marathon, so I just wanted to finish feeling good!
  • Beat my previous best time of 1:56:53.

The next goal: complete a half marathon in 1:45:00. This will mean shaving a significant amount of time off of my mile, but I know that with hard work and dedication I can do it. Because I am not an “experienced” runner, I thought I would use some of my resources at NIFS and ask the more experienced staff for advice in decreasing my running time.VO2 max test

Steph, one of our Health and Fitness Specialists and an experienced runner, suggested completing a VO2 max test to find out my lactic threshold. She explained that a VO2 max test is used to measure how much oxygen your body processes at a maximal effort during exercise. This would determine how my aerobic fitness compared with other women my age. The test also would determine what my lactate threshold point is, which tells me how intense my training sessions could be and what my “tempo” or lactic threshold pace should be.

You may have heard of a “tempo” run, which is simply a run completed at the heart rate just below your lactate threshold, designed to help you improve your lactate threshold level and stamina. Lactic threshold is the point of intensity during exercise when lactate starts to accumulate in the blood.

I was excited to complete this test, but I was also very nervous! I had heard horror stories of participants getting sick at the end of the test, and the contraption/face mask looks pretty intimidating, too. That being said, I knew that this would be valuable and helpful information for me, so I completed the test willingly.

What Was the VO2 Max Like?VO2 Max test

It was a bit uncomfortable running with the face mask on and at such a steep incline, but overall the test was not bad at all! All of my previous fears were unnecessary. I started running on a treadmill at a comfortable pace of around 8:30min/mile. Steph slowly began to increase the incline as the machine calculated my heart rate and how efficiently my body was using oxygen. I was shocked at how quickly I began to feel the burn in my legs—but I guess that was the point of the test!

Looking back, I probably could have gone slightly longer, but for fear of flying off of the steep and quick-moving treadmill I asked Steph to turn off the test as soon as I felt I was at my edge.

Once the test was complete, Steph went over the results with me to explain my target heart rate for my training runs, my lactic threshold, and what my VO2 max was. She also completed a training plan for me based on this information and my goal of running a half marathon in 1:45:00.

I was not sure if I would reach my goal of 1:45:00 this time around because of the short 8 week training window, but I still had my heart set on achieving that time. Race day came, and I was feeling as ready as ever to run the fastest I have ever run such a long distance. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins and Steph’s excellent training program gave me the confidence I needed to know I COULD achieve my goal time…and I did! I ended up completing the race with a pace of 7:57 and a time of 1:44:04 and I could not believe it! (I still can’t!) 

Now that I have achieved my long-time running goal, I want to see how much faster I can actually get and the VO2 max test will allow me to do just that. It will allow me to see how much energy I still have left in my tank and Steph can create a new training plan for my next race. I can’t wait to see how this new to me training will positively affect my race time as I lead a training group for the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program.

How Can You Schedule Your VO2 Max Test?

All you have to do is e-mail Tony Maloney, Fitness Center Manager, at tmaloney@nifs.org, to ask about pricing and schedule your assessment.

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS running marathon training mini marathon half marathon assessments

Make 2014 Your Year to Complete Your First Half-Marathon!

In the past decade, the half-marathon distance has grown at an extraordinary rate, almost tripling in the number of participants across the country. Although in the past few years the growth has began to slow some from the preceding rapid rate, it is the most popular road race distance for runners and walkers to complete, with 43 half-marathon distance races consuming the top 100 largest races in the country in 2012. Included in that list as the highest attended half-marathon for 2012, the Indianapolis OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon continues to be a go-to event for runners and walkers of all abilities.marathon

A few reasons that I believe so many people set a goal of training and completing a half-marathon is that the idea of running a half-marathon is a manageable health and fitness goal from a time commitment and physical capability standpoint. Along with this, it is an excellent challenge for those looking to improve fitness, manage weight, or just accomplish something out of their ordinary routine.

Tips for Running Your First Half-Marathon

Here are a few tips that I suggest for first-time half-marathon participants:

  • Find a beginner's training plan! Starting with no base can still result in success when you follow a plan. First-time half-marathon runners should be sure to start out with lower mileage and gradually work into longer runs. This will help with confidence level initially and help prevent injuries that can occur if you start running too much too soon.
  • Visit a store that can fit you for the proper pair of shoes to run in before you begin the training program. Figuring out the right pair of shoes is very important and should be done before you start a training program.
  • Eat and hydrate appropriately prior to and following each training session. This will have a great impact on how you feel during all of your runs throughout the week.
  • Finally, have fun with training for the race! If you are motivated and feed off of others, find a group of people you enjoy being around to train with.

Join the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Programmini marathon training

Now is the time to check the half-marathon off of your bucket list and join the hundreds of thousands of people who complete half-marathons every year! The NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program was created to offer NIFS members and local residents a training program geared toward completing the spring half-marathons. Program participants are given a training plan to follow, which prepares them to complete the Mini, the Geist Half Marathon, the Carmel Half Marathon, or a combination of the races for those looking to complete multiple races in the spring.

Each Wednesday night for the duration of the 14-week program, runners and walkers of all abilities meet with their designated pace group to complete their long run for the week. Volunteer group leaders ensure that the participants are staying on pace and are completing the designated distance for the night. The distance of the long run progresses as the weeks go on, capping out at a 12-mile long run two training sessions prior to the Mini, which leaves participants prepared to conquer the 13.1. Following each training session, recovery snacks are provided to the participants.

Click here to register for the 2014 NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. Starting from scratch and not sure if you are ready to complete a half-marathon? Try our 4-week training program to build your base!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist and co-coordinator of the NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program. Meet our bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center running group training mini marathon half marathon race challenge

2013 NIFS Programs: A Look Back at Our Year

It is hard to believe that we are wrapping up another year at NIFS! As instructors looking back over the last year, we like to think that the variety of fitness opportunities that we have offered has provided individuals with the tools needed to move forward toward reaching and surpassing their health and fitness goals. Along with the variety of group fitness classes, personal training, group training opportunities, and fitness assessments and personalized exercise programs, we offer additional special programming throughout the year to keep our members on track and motivated!

Mini-Marathon Training ProgramMini Marathon 2014

Every year, One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and other spring half-marathon participants look to NIFS for their training program. NIFS offers a unique program providing pace group leaders for each training group, ranging from a 7-minute run pace, to a run-walk group, to the 16-minute walk group. You will find a group of individuals ready to train for the same goal as you within your group each Wednesday night of the program when you meet for the long run. Participants also receive a snack after they finish their run. With nearly 325 participants and leaders last year, the program proved to be a success and resulted in many happy participants crossing the finish line reaching their goals in the 2013 spring half-marathons.

Slim It logoSlim-It-To-Win-It

Kicking off at the right time, just after the New Year’s resolution rush has worn off and the thick of winter has settled in, NIFS rolls out the Slim-It-To-Win-It 10-week fat-loss team training program, which has proved to be a great motivator for the members to stay on track with their weight-loss goals. This year proved to be a tight competition, with 11 different teams competing for the team title. The aBENger’s claimed the title, losing an average of 2.35% body fat!


Triathlon Training Program
Tri Training logo

As the only program in the city that has been training for the Go Girl Triathlon since the very first race, NIFS spent much of the summer training women of varying abilities to complete the sprint triathlon in August at Eagle Creek Park. Twenty-five very happy women completed the race that day! The program met at NIFS, the IU Natatorium, and Eagle Creek Park on Tuesday nights to complete a weekly group workout with coaches and concluded with a post-workout snack thanks to program sponsor First Watch Daytime Cafe.

Summer Showdown

Always promising to be an excellent fitness challenge, Summer Showdown never disappoints as a challenging test for those looking for an extra push to beat the heat in the height of summer. This past year, participants completed a partner 100 workout at the beginning of the program. After 6 weeks of training two days a week with a team and coach with workouts geared toward improving performance of the challenge, the partners completed the same workout to conclude the program.

Staff Rowing Challenge

A little friendly competition never hurts anyone; it also proves to be very motivating when looking at fitness! That is how we view the annual staff rowing challenge. From November 25 to December 24, members row as many meters as they can for their team. The team that rows the most meters and the team that rows the most meters per person gets bragging rights as team champions. We are currently wrapping up this program, but it has proven to be successful as a motivating fitness competition again this year.

Maintain Not GainMaintainGainLogo

Also currently occurring as a holiday incentive program, Maintain Not Gain proves to be a popular program year in and year out as it encourages fitness and weight maintenance throughout the holiday season. The program includes weekly motivational emails, group workouts, and incentive prizes for those who maintain or lose weight upon completion of the program. With 208 participants completing the 2012–2013 programs, the group lost a total of 208 pounds over the holidays!

Les Mills Launches

Over the past year, the Les Mills classes have become increasingly popular in the fitness center. In January, April, July, and October, Les Mills launches took place in the fitness center to introduce new releases with the goal of injecting energy in the facility and to pump up the members!

NIFS Barbell Club

New this year, Josh Jones headed up the NIFS barbell club in October. The program is great for anyone who is serious about wanting to improve their power-lifting abilities. This session focused on the clean and the snatch. Participants learned the correct way to complete the exercises and saw drastic improvements in their ability to lift like the pros!

Start 2014 off right by getting involved in one of NIFS specialized programs! Mini Marathon training starts Jan 22nd! Get Registered today!

This blog was written by Stephanie Kaiser, Health Fitness Specialist at NIFS. Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS fitness center goal setting weight loss group fitness group training mini marathon half marathon NIFS programs challenge Summer Showdown weight management Les Mills

NIFS 25th Anniversary: Charter Member Dean Behrmann

screenshot dean 5

Charter member Dean Behrmann talks about why he started coming to NIFS and what has kept him
coming back for 25 years. Watch his video.

Dean was also featured in a NIFS video back in 2009. Click here to watch.

Topics: NIFS cardio running marathon training mini marathon half marathon nifs staff anniversary race

NIFS 25th Anniversary: Charter Member Candy Lander

screenshot candy 2

Charter member Candy Lander talks about her favorite things about NIFS. Watch Video.

Topics: NIFS fitness fitness center running marathon training mini marathon half marathon accountability nifs staff anniversary

Spotlight: NIFS Member Ana Traversa on Mini Marathon Training

As the annual NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program comes to a close, the staff at NIFS have come to a conclusion: The runners who participate in this 14-week program are pretty amazing! They work hard in their short runs on their own, and then they come to each group long run ready to run and support each other to the finish. We think they all deserve a little bit of attention, which is why we decided to showcase one of our participants turned group leader in this blog post.

We are showcasing Ana Traversa, who joined NIFS just a short four months ago when she moved to Indy from New Jersey. She immediately joined the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program and soon after volunteered to be a running group leader. We hope you enjoy reading about her experiences with the NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program and get some inspiration from this running machine!

NAME: Ana Traversa

SHARE YOUR “STORY” OR A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES:Mini 500 Ana T

I’m basically a diehard runner. I ran my first race at 11. I was a 100m, 200m, and relay runner from 11 to 16 (ran a mean 13-second 100m), and then at 17 my gym teacher in school switched me to the mile. It took a whole year to train for what then seemed like an impossibly long distance to run.

Then life got in the way big time most of my life. I tried to keep up jogging through college and full-time jobs, but had trouble finding the time or the energy. I recovered my running in my late 30s and this time kept up a good, steady routine that included a lot of racing for a couple of years or so. Then life got in the way an even bigger time for a very destructive five-year period. It took nearly another five years to heal. And now it’s all back with a vengeance, and this time I’m NOT letting go.

NIFS PROGRAMS YOU PARTICIPATED IN (NIFS Mini Marathon Training Program):

This is my only NIFS program so far (I became a member only four months ago, when I moved to Indy from Jersey). I went from participant to co-lead a couple of weeks into the program.

WHY DID YOU JOIN THIS PROGRAM?

After a lot of 3, 4, 5, and 6-mile races and only a 10-mile race in the Bronx, I ran my first Half in Atlantic City last October. I was pretty satisfied with my performance at the time but needed to cut back on my training over the following two months in preparation for the move. In January I needed to retrace part of my training, and this time I decided to take a risk with group running—I didn’t think I could adjust to a steady, predictable pace.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE ENJOYED:

The promise of the shared run has paid off. It’s also been good to be responsible for the group’s run. If I had been only a participant rather than a co-lead, some Wednesdays I would have stayed home.

SOMETHING YOU HAVE LEARNED OR SOMETHING THAT SURPRISED YOU:

The slow pace (2+ minutes/mile slower than my race pace) was also the right pace for my long runs. On my own, I’m primed for speed and wouldn’t have had the patience to sustain the much slower pace, especially early in the season. Now I can adjust my pace rather easily.

FAVORITE RUNNING ROUTE FROM ONE OF THE RUNS?

Up and down the canal. I really like it downtown. And I’m not bored by any repetitive running or exercise routine (except the treadmill), so if I had to run a full marathon just by running up and down the canal, I would. Heck, if I had to run a full marathon around the NIFS track, I think I would too. In fact, in the middle of the summer heat I probably will…

mini trophies

WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE YOU ACHIEVED DURING YOUR TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE MINI?

I PR’ed in Carmel, and then again at the Mini last Saturday. I went from 2:14 in Atlantic City last October to 2:09 in Carmel to 2:05 at the Mini. And that’s not all—I just PR’ed in the 5K, the 10K, and the 15K as well. And I’ve just turned 50. AND my application to run the New York marathon next November has just been accepted, so I’m literally walking (read running) on air.

I believe it’s the combined result of (1) consistency, (2) the slower long runs on Wednesdays that built my endurance over time, and (3) the personalized runner-specific strength training routine that Adam Heavrin set up for me a couple of months ago. Adam will say it’s my accomplishment and he just does his job like anyone else would, but I could write a whole page on how this component (his expert guidance AND his support) has made a huge difference in every possible way—physically and psychologically.

WHAT STRUGGLES HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED? TIPS YOU HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?

I can’t overemphasize the value of learning as much as possible about physiology, about running, and about nutrition. I haven’t encountered struggles this year—I’ve been on this path for over two years now. But one of the greatest struggles is fighting peer pressure. The non-runner has lots of difficulty understanding the passion for the activity, especially if it comes from a woman, especially if she is middle-age, especially if it means you need to keep a diet and a discipline that interferes with typically socializing behavior, etc., etc. Again, I could write volumes about how one needs to build strong arguments to fight the many stereotypes that surround this kind of activity. Indy is not that unfriendly in that regard—hey, over 1,100 of the Mini runners were women between 50 and 54. But in Jersey I had more trouble.

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?

Ongoing fun and consistent progress at the physical activity that I’m most passionate about have provided all the motivation I need, and more.

I can say the same about my diet, which consists of only healthy foods with little to no cooking and next to no “dressing”—no empty calories there. My body doesn’t need any offending stuff anymore, and certainly no sugar for sugar’s sake. Even the healthy Wednesday Mini training snacks were sometimes a no-no. All the motivation I need to stay away from my old habits (three years ago I was 50 pounds heavier and couldn’t go up a flight of steps without panting) is the knowledge that my current diet is what allows me to continue running. And the mood, attitude, and confidence boost that I get from it all is golden.

ANY OTHER THOUGHTS YOU WISH TO SHARE: 

  • Kudos to Steph and Angi as organizers!
  • Now we need a full marathon training program!

Now is the time to sign up for next years Mini Marathon Training program at NIFS! Take advantage of our Early Bird special and save $ on this program by registering before June 30th! Learn More.

Topics: NIFS nutrition motivation marathon training group training mini marathon half marathon