Tips for Running in the Snow!

2016-01-20 20.46.20It’s that time of the year, cold and snowy conditions hitting many parts of the United States. As conditions start to get colder and snowy it’s super important to start thinking about how you can run safely outside and avoid the treadmill as much as possible. Below I’ve provided you guys with some helpful tips for running outside in snowy/icy conditions to help keep you safe through this Winter’s wintry mix.

Choose Warm Socks
Keeping your feet warm during colder/snowy conditions is super important. It’s not about the thickest pair of socks but more about the circulation and insulation that the sock provides. Most thicker socks actually cut down your circulation and end up making your feet colder so go for a thinner, more insulated sock that will fit into your current shoe. Some great cold gear running socks include: SmartWhool PDH, Drymax Cold Weather Crew, Mizuno Breath Thermo, and Feetures Cold Running Socks.

Warm Gloves:
Cold hands are never fun during short or long runs in the Winter, that’s why choosing the perfect pair of running gloves is key. For temperatures that are above 32 degrees I would suggest using a mid to thick layered glove that will keep your hands warm while not overheating them. If the wind is blowing I would suggest going with a thicker, warmer glove that will keep your hands warmer while moving back and forth during your run. If there is no wind I would suggest going with a medium thickness so that your hands don’t overheat or get to hot during your run. For runs that are under freezing conditions I would strongly suggest layering gloves together. Start with a simple base layer glove, something with wool liner followed by a heavier shell glove that will block the wind and moisture away from your hands. This will help keep you warm and dry at the same time. For those who have circulation issues I would suggest adding a hand warmer in your gloves to help keep you warm and dray.

Shorten Your Stride:
Running in snowy/icy conditions can be tough to navigate so start with shortening your stride. Focus on shortening your stride when starting your run to help with learning the conditions of the road or trials so that you find the perfect balance and traction. Once you are able to learn your balance on the snowy roads/trails you may then start to extend your stride to a normal length however please keep focused on the conditions and your balance, you don’t want to find yourself getting into the groove and then bam falling on the ground due to being to confident. Also, if the conditions are super slippery you may want to add running spikes to the bottom of your shoes to help with traction and support. This support should really only be used for extreme conditions and if you are running in none scrapped areas or trails.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate
It’s super easy in the colder temperatures to forget to stay hydrated before and after runs but it’s crucial that runners continue to stay hydrated. Even though your body isn’t hot like in the Summer it’s even more important to stay hydrated during the Winter months due to your body doing more work and sweating more often during your Winter runs. It’s key to continue to hydrate hours before and after any run with either Nuun Hydration, Powerade, Gaterode, or any other electrolyte drink.

Shoes:
This may sound stupid but wearing the right running shoes will do wonders. Staying upright during your snowy/icy run is key and to do this you must have amazing traction on your shoes. I would highly suggest making sure you wear new or relatively new shoes that still have good traction on the soles. If you find that your shoes are losing traction or don’t have much of any I would highly suggest you not run in them due to slipping and falling. If you don’t want to purchase new shoes you may purchase traction devices that can go over your current shoes. Anything that will slip over to add traction will do wonders to your run while keeping you save.

Don’t Count Miles, Count Time:
Most of us do it, we run for a certain distance and not for certain time but running in snowy/icy conditions changes things for your body. Running in these conditions engages different muscles compared to running on the dry ground. Don’t expect to just jump into running the same distance as every other day of training, instead take it easy and switch it up to a time run and not a distance run. This will help get your muscles in shape for these new snowy/icy conditions while keeping you safe and off your butt. As someone once told me, count your snowy/icy runs as double due to the impact and muscle work that happens.

I hope these tips help you prepare for your next Winter run while keeping you comfortable, safe, and warm. For more tips or questions about running in snowy/icy conditions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at travis.smith@irunfitandhealthy.com or at @iRunFitDC, I’m more than welcome to assist. Happy running peeps!

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Tips for Running in the Snow!

Solidcore DC

As a Coach and Runner I’m always looking for the next best workout that engages not only strength training but core training. As a runner our core is one of the strongest assets that keep us running strong, helping hold our posture during long runs, and giving us the stability to keep going when our body wants to quit. Now lets all be honest, core training is not fun, it hurts, and the next couple of days are always the worst BUT I’ve found a studio that makes core training fun, energetic, and wanting athletes, runners, and everyday individuals coming back week after week for more training.

solidcore-Minneapolis-studioA couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to join a few friends for a Solidcore class in Washington, DC. Solidcore is a 50-minute full body workout that includes core training and strength training through slow and controlled movements. Each class can hold up to 13 individuals on their mega reformer beds that move back and forth with weighted springs making your full body exercise burn deeper than any other workout, so deep that your muscles work to failure. Each 50-minute class can host up to multiple different moves, poses, and workouts so no class is ever the same and no routine is ever followed.

Review:

In the past I’ve done a lot of exercises, strength training, and personal training to get where I am today in my running career but nothing, I mean nothing compares to Solidcore. As a very active athlete and runner in the DC area I thought my body was prepared and strong enough for my first Solidcore class however that was proven wrong during the first 15 minutes of class. Within the first 15 minutes of class we had held planks, did military crawls on a moving bed, and engaged our core so much that my body was already failing. Did I mention this was a 50-minute class? As we continued through the class we continued to engage our core through lunges, leg and glut workouts, and of course more planks and military crawls. As the class continued we started working on our upper body through slow and controlled push-ups, butterfly chest workouts with the attached bands, and moving planks.

Through the whole class my body was sweating like it’s never sweated before, dripping withsolidcore-noma-coming-soon.0 sweat as my muscles started to fail and my body wanting to quit. It was in these tough times that the instructor was able to motivate me to continue, to push through my limits and give everything I had to end the class on a strong note. Along with the amazing instructor and music, the individuals around me helped keep me accountable and making sure I didn’t give up and quit. Don’t get me wrong, the class was fun but it was also the most challenging workout I’ve ever experienced, even more challenging than my first marathon.

At the end I truly enjoyed the first class, so much that I’ve purchased more sessions and have continued to train with Solidcore once a week for my 2016 Boston Marathon training. Overall I would highly suggest individuals try a class, see what it’s like to push your body to the breaking point and watch it rebuild as you continue to grow and get stronger. I’ve learned through the classes that I’ve taken each week that you can push your body to do anything as long as your mind doesn’t get in the way. So start the New Year STRONG and try something outside of your comfort zone to see how far you can push your bodies limits. To learn more or to register for your first Solidcore class visit, www.solidcore.co.

Solidcore DC

SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K

2015-11-26 08.22.39This Thanksgiving I ran my 2nd SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in Washington, DC. This fast, flat course takes place at Freedom Plaza running along the National Mall with many out and backs. This year I’m super thankful for my many running accomplishments including my Chicago Marathon PR at 2:53, being accepted for the 2016 Boston Marathon, and continuing to stay injury free.

Prior to racing this morning, I ran a 20 minute shakeout run to help loosen-up the legs while incorporating 15 second strides throughout to help prepare me for the race. This shakeout run was a slow pace averaging 7:45 for the 2 miles that I ran. Leading up to the start of the race I continued to do some hip stretches, high knees, and butt kicks to keep my legs loosened while I waited for the start. Since this was my second SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K I was mentally prepared for the course and where I needed to be for the start.

Mile 1: 5:23
As I’ve always said, the first mile is always the hardest mile for me. Mentally it takes me a few minutes to get into my groove and settle down with my pace. Since I’m very familiar with this course I was able to line myself at the front of the pack so I didn’t have to run through slower runners while finding my pace. The first 1/2 mile was super fast, running around 4:43 while trying to get out of the pack and getting into my groove and finding the right group to follow. Once I was able to relax and settle down my legs started to feel great and my breathing was down.

Mile 2: 5:28
During the second mile I fell into my groove while mentally feeling relaxed and sticking to my pace. It was during this mile that there were 2 out and backs which slowed my pace down a little however, didn’t stress me out like previous races. I was able to stay focused and take these turns wider than most so that my pace wouldn’t slow down as bad. It was also during this mile that I was able to catch-up to some of the other runners who passed me at the beginning and start picking them off one-by-one. This really helped me mentally and kept me focused on keeping on pace and remembering my ultimate goal, a sub-17 minute 5K.

Mile 3: 5:20
The final mile was my strongest mile with a 5:20 pace. There was a slight downhill section that helped increase my pace and catch another pack of runners in front of me. It was during this mile that I felt my strongest with my legs feeling great while my breathing was on point and staying relaxed. I continued to stay focused on my pace and time while still being able to decrease my time and pass the final runners.

Final Push
During the final push I really focused on the person in front of me and sticking with him. This individual had a really good pace going and was decreasing his time during his final push so I felt comfortable sticking with him and continuing to push myself. It was also at this point that the crowd support started to pick back up, which is always a huge support for me. I was able to complete this year’s SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in 16:49 with a 7th overall place which is a Personal Record (PR) for me. I owe a lot of my success to my Run Coach, Personal Trainer, and Physical Therapist who continue to improve my running. 2015-11-26 10.26.06

Overall, I am very pleased with today’s race outcome and look forward to many more
smaller races and my 2016 Boston Marathon in April. You can continue to follow me through my progress on Twitter at @iRunFitDC or my blog. If you ever have questions or want to run together in DC please don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a run.

SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K

Crystal City Twilighter 5K

The Summer is a great time to get out, explore the outdoors, train for any upcoming Fall races, and have fun with community runs. With temperatures pretty reasonable in the mornings and evenings I have found that Summer has become one of my favorite sessions to run, train, and get faster.

As I continue to train for my upcoming 3rd Chicago Marathon I’ve started to truly enjoy the shorter, faster races including the 5K’s and 10K’s that local running companies put on each Summer. These shorter, faster races allow for me to focus on speed and form so that I can continue to decrease my overall half and full marathon times. With these short runs I’m able to just focus on running and giving 110% during the race knowing that it will be short and sweet. This Summer I’ve done a few 5K’s including the DC Pride Run, FullMoon 5K, and the Crystal City Twilighter 5K to name few. By incorporating these smaller races into my Chicago Marathon training I have decreased my overall 5K time to my best yet at the Crystal City Twilighter 5K.

This Saturday evening Twilighter race is put on by Pacers’ Running Company in Crystal City, VA with a flat, fast course with tons of fast runners from all over the DMV. With the race taking place in the evening the weather was cooler without the humidity or sun beaming down on runners. Due to these great conditions I was able to complete the Crystal City Twilighter 5K in a Personal Record (PR) time of 17:11 coming in 34 out of 1,700 runners, 34 in my gender, and 13 in my age group. I owe a lot of my success to my Potomac River Running (PRR) Team, ENERGYBits, and Herbalife24. These coaches, teammates and products have truly made my running take off and have helped make my running so successful today.

If you are looking for a fun, energy backed, family friendly race I would highly encourage any of the Pacers’ Running Company races. They typically host race series throughout the year in different parts of NoVA and DC. For more information on their races please visit their website to learn more. If you are interested in learning more about iRun.Fit or our Training Programs please contact me, Travis Smith 🙂

Crystal City Twilighter 5K

PureRyde Spin

It’s one of the most popular fitness trends happening today, Spin! With classes ranging from high-intensity to low-intensity, to bikes that moving back and forth, to people jumping up and down, and a combination of Spin and Pilates there is a Spin class for everyone… well, most everyone. As a fitness enthusiast, Personal Trainer, and Running Coach I’m always looking for new ways to get individuals into working out or expand their fitness routines through trying new fitness trends, classes, and workout. PureRyde

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to join a PureRyde spin class in Bethesda, MD. PureRyde is where luxury and innovative equipment meets an upbeat instructor that provides a unique, high energy, total body workout. These studio’s operate both Spin and Pilates Reformer class options to participants along with locker-rooms, gear shops, and towels for before and after workouts. With multiple studio’s in the U.S. along with multiple class pricing option including single class pass, multiple class passes, and monthly class passes these boutique studio’s have the flexibility for anyone who is looking to get a hard workout in while having a good time.

Review:

I’ve taken a lot of Spin classes over the year’s, including classes at local gyms, SoulCycle, Zango, RideDC, and many more and I will have to say the PureRyde bikes are one of the most challenging do to using RealRider bikes. If you aren’t familiar with RealRider bikes, these are bikes that move side-to-side and include light weights for some arm workouts. Do to this, these bikes move back and forth super easily and require participants to really engage their core to help control the movement and focus on spinning. With classes lasting 50-minutes participants get a wide range of moves including jumps, seated climbs, rocking (moving the bike back and forth), sprints, stability rides, and the use of light weights to help work the core while keeping a high-intensity workout.

Since this was my first time on a RealRider bike I will say it was very challenging trying to keep the bike stable while using my core. By no means was this a turnoff, it actually motivated me to focus more on my core, keeping the bike still and not just bouncing around while spinning. It engaged my core in ways that I’ve never had it engaged, in ways that made me really feel like I was getting a workout and not just spinning, plus there were some pretty good jams happening and wet mint towels after the class. This 50-minute class rocked my world, taught me something new about spinning, and showed me that spin isn’t just about how far or fast you can go, but how much fun you can have while engaging your whole body, moving side-to-side, and sweating like crazy.

Overall I would highly suggest this style of Spin Class to individuals looking to expand their fitness workouts and try something new. Not only are you working your legs but also engaging your core for a full body workout that will make you want to come back, try it for yourself.  🙂 To learn more or to register for a class visit, www.pureryde.com.

PureRyde Spin

South Block Co. Review

2015-05-10 19.56.38Run, juice, repeat with South Block Co. juices and smoothies. This Arlington based juicery and cafe has been around Northern Virginia energizing, educating, and inspiring thousands through their cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and aci bowls on living a healthy and fit lifestyle through healthy drinking and eating. With over 15 different cold-pressed juices, this Clarendon based company offers a wide range of juices for anyone. Along with their famous juices, South Block Co offers a wide range of amazing smoothies and aci bowels to help fuel your body post run or workout. So amazing that they’ve won DC’s City Paper Best Smoothie cafe for the past 2 years.

As Summer approaches and my Chicago Marathon training session kicks into full swing I love finding myself planning my long runs from my DC apartment to South Block Co Clarendon store to reward myself one some of my favorite juices. These include: Activate, Cure, Renew, Hydrate (Seasonal Juice), Greens, Cold Brew Mylk, and many more. These refreshing juices along with my regular Herbalife24 routine help keep my body in tip-top shape for marathon session. Not only am I replenishing my body with the right nutrients from the cold-pressed juices but I’m also getting in the right nutrients from the right vegetables to help rebuild my muscles, increase my overall speed, and of course live a happier and healthier life. As mentioned in a previous post, since drinking cold-pressed juices on a weekly basis I’ve found myself living a happier and healthier lifestyle through monthly cleanses, not craving junk food, and increasing my nutrients and veggie intake. 2015-05-18 11.23.27

Outside of the great juices, smoothies, and aci bowls the next best thing I love about South Block Co is their community involvement. As an individual who loves working and volunteering with companies that give back to their community I have found that South Block Co continues to amaze me by giving back to the Northern Virginia community through partnering with local retail stores and fitness facilities. These partnerships show that South Block Co is devoted to expanding individuals fit and healthy lifestyle by introducing them to juices and smoothies that can help increase their overall exercise routine. Some of the partnerships include Clarendon’s LuLuLemon weekly fun runs, Revolve cycle rides, and Downward Dog Yoga events which I would encourage you to look into and join.

Run, juice, repeat with South Block Co. That’s what I do and you should join me. If you are ever in the DC area and are interested in getting in a long run followed by some great juices contact me so we can run to South Block Co in Clarendon, VA. For more information please visit, www.southblockco.com or follow them on Twitter @SouthBlockCo.

South Block Co. Review