NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Are You Ready to Race a Triathlon?

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Topics: exercise running swimming triathlon race competition biking

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

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

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

NIFS 25th Anniversary: Charter Member Dean Behrmann

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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

Triathlon Training: It’s Your Time to TRI!

Why do people fear the triathlon, or the TRI, as triathletes call it? Most of us grew up swimming, we ran around all the time, and most of us remember our first bike and the joy of having freedom. As we have grown older, we may be less active, but we surely remember these activities. A triathlon may seem intimidating, but it’s just as simple as having fun with those childhood activities.

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NIFS Triathlon Training Programs

Swim one day of the week, bike on another, and run on a third is the best way to describe the simplicity of triathlon training. Of course, there is a little bit more to training than that, but that is why NIFS offers triathlon training programs. Each program will get you ready for your first TRI!

  • Ready to Tri? is a co-ed, six-week triathlon training program beginning May 7. We meet Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:30 to 6:30pm.
  • The Go Girl Triathlon Training program is the oldest triathlon training program in Indianapolis, and it was started to help participants prepare for the the first Go Girl Triathlon in 2007. This is an all-female, 11-week training program beginning June 18 that meets on Tuesday evenings.

Both NIFS triathlon training programs are geared to new triathletes. We cover it all! All sessions are led by a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. We go over the do’s the don’ts, and the how’s and why’s. You will get to the starting line prepared and will have the smile of great accomplishment at the finish.

Triathlon Training Equipment

Training requirements are the following:

  • A good pair of swim goggles
  • Bathing suit
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Good running shoes
  • Most importantly, the spirit to TRI

Be sure to join Kris and Stephanie for triathlon training this summer! Click here to find out more  and get registered!

This blog was written by Kris Simpson, USA Triathlon Certified Coach; ACSM Certified NIFS Personal Trainer with a B.S. in Nutrition Sciences.

Topics: NIFS running swimming triathlon cycling race

NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program

It’s that time of year again. The NIFS Mini-Marathon Training Program has officially begun!

Each year NIFS hosts a Mini-Marathon Training Program for NIFS members and non-members. The program consists of 14 weeks of in-depth, hands-on fun and memorable training that prepares runners and walkers to complete the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May. Because there are different pace groups that individuals can join, the training
program is perfect for runners and walkers of all levels.NIFS Mini Marathon Training

The program takes place on Wednesday evenings at 6pm at the NIFS location in downtown Indianapolis and at Cherry Tree Elementary School in Carmel.

Wednesday, January 23, was the official orientation and kick-off for the Mini-Marathon Training Program. Participants at both locations were able to enjoy a race expo with plenty of booths and samples to go around. Some of the booth sponsors were Mudathlon, Whole Foods, Geist Half Marathon and 5K, and Runners Forum. Goodies, samples, shirts, and information packets were distributed to everyone who attended.

After the participants gathered their information and samples, the Runners Forum hosted an educational discussion about proper footwear and appropriate dress when running in colder weather.

The representative from Runners Forum made it clear that all of his employees are very knowledgeable about running and leading an active lifestyle. He encouraged everyone to stop into Runners Forum for all of their running needs because the staff would be able to answer any questions about gear, plus they have a wide variety of items to prepare runners when training for endurance sports. He also mentioned that they are offering a 10% discount to all NIFS members!

Saturday, January 26, Runners Forum hosted a NIFS night from 2 to 4pm at the downtown location across from City Market, and from 6 to 8pm at the Runners Forum Carmel location. This event is exclusive for NIFS members, allowing shoppers to have the undivided attention of the Runners Forum staff members and receive special discounts.

If you have any questions, reach out to Stephanie Greer at sgreer@nifs.org or 317.274.3432.

Written by Tara Deal, NIFS Group Fitness Instructor and author of Treble in the Kitchen.

 

 

Topics: NIFS exercise fitness goal setting running walking marathon training mini marathon half marathon race