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 🙂

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Crystal City Twilighter 5K

Third Times A Charm!

Another year another race. This year I started my half marathon session with the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon in Washington, DC. As a new runner to half marathons this was my third half in my running journey and I couldn’t be anymore excited and happy about starting 2015 with this Washington, DC race. Melissa_iRunFit

Going into the race I didn’t feel as prepared as I had times before, only running up to 10 miles during my training session but still staying dedicated to running 4-5 times a week to maintain my running base. Due to time, travel, and many other issues I wasn’t able to do my research on the course, elevation, and water stops. Previously I was able to take the time to review the course, learn where the elevation areas were along the course, and prepare my body for certain water stops. Even with these little setbacks and unclear route information I kept a positive outlook on the run and stayed excited about running in Washington, DC and not trying to set a PR (Personal Record).

Race morning wasn’t the best with colder weather and rain, something I had not trained in once again due to living in NC. Due to the weather I wore a few extra layers to stay dry and warm along with starting at a pace that was comfortable while focusing on my music, yes I listen to music and love every second of every song. While staying focused and determined I was able to continue my pace along the first 6 miles and reminding myself that whatever goes up must come down at some point. If you aren’t aware, mile 6 of the Rock ‘n’ Roll course has a huge hill and when I say huge, I mean people stopping to walk but not me! I stayed focused and knew this was the only major hill in the race and that no matter what I could complete it, even if I had to slow down a little. With the great bands, crowd support, and cheerleaders I was able to conquer the big hill and continue at my starting pace realizing I was already at mile 10 and nicely starting to coast downhill towards the finish line. It wasn’t until about mile 11-12 that my body began to get tired and I was mentally starting to lose it so I popped a GU, Peanut Butter/Chocolate the best one out there to help give me that extra boost of energy to finish the race.2015-03-23 18.34.43

Coming down to the end I kept telling myself to keep going, push even harder, and never give-up. These little reminders along with the great crowd support during the last half mile kept me pushing towards my fastest pace of the race. Once crossing the finish line I was drained by impressed with my time and even more excited that the race was over. Even though this wasn’t my fastest half marathon I did complete the race in 1:55 and would highly suggest this race to anyone who is either just getting into half marathons or looking for new race series, I would even run it again 🙂  I look forward to running more half marathons this year with iRun.Fit.

– Melissa Smith
iRun.Fit Teammate
@MelissaSmith22

 

Third Times A Charm!

Run into Spring 5-Miler!

Jump-start your Spring by joining iRun.Fit and VIDAFitness at City Vista for our “Run into Spring 5-Miler” on Sunday, April 19th at 10AM! Members and non-members are welcome along with all paces. For more information and to RSVP please visit out EventBright page!

Spring Flyer

Run into Spring 5-Miler!

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Tips

There’s only 3 days left until the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Series overtakes the Nation’s Capital, are Rock 'n' Roll Medalsyou ready? You’ve come this far with your training, short runs, long runs, days you wanted to give-up and days you felt like you could run further, so take these few days leading up to Saturday to hydrate, relax, and prepare for race-day logistics. There is no point to start stressing or to get in those extra miles that you weren’t able to log during your training session, your body is ready. Below I’ve listed a few things I personally do to prepare for race day, including hydration, shake-out runs, pre-race logistics, and refueling post race.

Hydrate:
It’s time to get serious and start hydrating! That means not only drinking a lot of water but also getting plenty of electrolytes and vitamins into your body leading up to race day. Some great hydration supplements that I’ve used include; Nuun tablets, Isagenix Replenish mix, and Herbalife 24 Hydrate mix. All of which have great electrolytes and vitamins that help keep your body hydrated and replenished during and after runs. 

Shake-Out Run:
Now I know this sounds crazy, a run before a long run but I would highly suggest that you plan an easy, short shake-out run the day before the race. I personally use this time to reflect on my training session, my accomplishments, prepare my body one last time for the big race, and relax. These runs should not include speed work or long distances, better yet just a short easy 3-5 miles to loosen your legs and muscles for the next day.

**I will be planning a 4-mile shake-out run on Friday, March 13th at 7AM at VIDA City Vista for anyone who is interested in joining**

Race Day Logistics:
Today’s the day, the big day that you’ve been waiting for ever since you started your training journey. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Series has provided all runners with bag check information, pre-race information, and post-race information. I personally would suggest skipping bag check and just donating your clothes when the race starts. This year’s bag check once again is organized by LAST NAME and not Bib Numbers so it makes it a little more challenging. If you are determined to check a bag I would highly suggest that you get to the race site an hour before the race starts to make sure everything is completed.

As for the right attire, please plan to dress accordingly. As of right now it looks like it might rain with temperatures starting in the 40’s and increasing throughout the race. I would highly suggest that runners please prepare to take off any extra clothing along the race so your body doesn’t overheat or get weighted down with extra wet gear.

Post-Race:
You did it, you accomplished what you were set out to do. I’m sure after completing your half or full marathon you will have all tons of emotions, excitement, and of course being tired. This is the perfect time to start restoring your body from the electrolytes, nutrients, and vitamins that you lost during the race. I would encourage you to start slow, don’t just chug water and slam food into your mouth. Start with hydrating yourself with one of the hydration mixes I listed above followed by a protein shake to help increase your electrolytes and nutrients in your body. Some protein shakes I would suggest include Isagenix Pro or Herbalife 24 Rebuild Endurance or Strength. Following the race I would encourage you to wait 1-2 hours afterwards to sit down for a full meal. This will give your body the time it needs to recovery from the race, hydrate, and refuel from the protein shake.

I look forward to seeing you out on the course and running together for this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Series! For questions regarding any of the tips or to join my shake-out run please contact Travis Smith, Travis.Smith@irunfitandhealthy.com

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Tips

Strava Tracking!

Strava-LogoJoin the community, the Strava community! Strava is a free community based app and website that allows athletes from all over the world to come together as one by connecting cyclists and runners through their online website and app. Athletes are able to create a profile online and then download the app to their Smart Phone to help track their rides and runs through built-in GPS tracking. Once athletes have created a profile they are able to follow individuals from all over the world, track and analyze their rides and runs, publish recent activities to their online Social Media outlets, and challenge other athletes to monthly challenges.

Along with using Strava’s built-in GPS tracking system, athletes are also able to connect their tracking devices including, Garmin, Suunto, Timex, TomTom, and Soleus to name a few. Athletes can connect these devices to the Strava interface to help sync everything together and continue to monitor their progress. While being able to track rides and runs athletes are also able to create or find local runs in the community that other athletes have created or published. This is a great way to help explore the city or town, find new and different trials, meet new athletes in the community, and create community runs through their online route planning tool.

Review: 

Recently I made the change from MapMyRun to Strava due to recent issues and have fallen in love with the sleek, modern Strava app and website design. Unlike other online tracking interfaces Strava has mastered the sleek, slimline, no clutter interface that allows athletes to login and track their rides and runs seamlessly without cluttered tool bars, multiple advertisements, and other bulky buttons. Some of the amazing features I love are the route tracking tool, route planning tool, and being able to connect outside devices such as my Garmin and Suunto watches.

Since I do manage multiple community fun runs this app and website makes it easy for me to create and export upcoming runs to my community members while publishing them online via my Social Media outlets. It also makes it super easy for other runners to download my route to their Smart Phone app to guide them along our community runs and track their own progress.

For me the best feature I believe is the ability to connect outside devices to the app and website, it’s truly amazing! As an elite runner I track all my races and runs on either my Garmin 620 or Suunto Ambit Sport 3 watch everyday and then sync each run to their individual apps, but now have the ability to sync everything to one device to monitor my runs and progress. This makes tracking my runs that much smoother while being able to analyze each run to see my strong points, weak points and where I over ran during races and runs.

For those couple of features I would highly encourage runners to make the change from other tracking devices to Strava. It’s super easy, seamless and functional that any runner, new or old could benefit from the different features and technology. If anything you can download the free app to see who is in your community, look for new and different runs, and help challenge yourself by analyzing previous runs to see how you are doing overtime.

Make sure to follow me, Travis Smith on Strava to see where I run, run with me, or to just have a fun running buddy online!

Strava Tracking!

Navy-Air Force Half Marathon Ambassador

NavyAirForceBadgeThis year I have the honor of being selected as an Ambassador for the 2015 Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in Washington, DC. This year’s race will take place on Sunday, September 20th on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

As a runner that has ran this race in the past I would highly encourage anyone looking to run a fun and flat course to register for this year’s half marathon. Not only are you running in Washington, DC but also at one of the most noticeable locations, the National Mall. Running past many of the Nation’s Memorials including the Washington Monument, Martin Luther King Jr, World War I and II, and Abe Lincoln. This year’s race is once again open to the public to anyone over the age of 10 years old by race day and that can complete the course by 10:45AM when the roads will open back up. If you aren’t able to race this year but would like to get involved there are many volunteer opportunities including race day volunteers, expo & packet pick-up volunteers, and course volunteers.

For more information or to register visit, navyhalf.com or contact me at Travis.Smith@irunfitandhealthy.com for my Ambassador code to be entered into our drawing for free t-shirts, race entry’s and more! I look forward to seeing you on the course and running together.

Navy-Air Force Half Marathon Ambassador

First Run: Under Armour SpeedFoam Gemini

Like many companies, Under Armour has recently started to make the shift into the running community by designing new and improved running shoes. Their latest design, SpeedFoam Gemini, hit the market earlier this year with more cushion and response from their earlier brand, SpeedFoam Apollo. Like the SpeedFoam Apollo, Gemini has a foot-wrapping, open mesh body with a sewn-in foot bed that creates a seamless insole and snug connectivity. With the new adaptive cushioning technology, the Gemini has a soft large cushion heel with a slight downward drop as you move towards the toe.UA Shoes

Review:

Recently I had the opportunity to run in the new Under Armour SpeedFoam Gemini. Like many of the reviews, the shoe was very cushioned with a upper body foot-wrapping technology that snugged my foot to help with foot movement, but at times felt very tight. Due to the heel cup and additional cushioning in the heel I felt that the shoe was a little heel heavy and made my stride not as seamless as many other running shoes. I did very much appreciate the seamless sewn-in foot bed and sole due to no rubbing against my ankle or inside sole. I also appreciated the fact that you could almost wear the shoe without socks if running a quick run or walking around the City. I have not ran any super long distances in the shoe however, Under Armour does claim the new Gemini shoe is great for longer runs due to the new adaptive cushioning technology.

As an elite runner who has ran in multiple running shoes recently including the new Adidas Boost, Brooks T7 Racers and PureCadence’s I feel that the Under Armour shoe is still very heel heavy along with additional cushioning that could be eliminated. Also, due to the new adaptive cushioning, the slight drop towards the toe makes my running less heel striking and more mid-foot, which makes it seem as though I’m running downhill even on a flat surface. I think the shoe is a great starting point for the company and can see the progress they are making in their running designs, but believe with a lighter shoe with less heel support and more neutral support I would appreciate the Gemini better. Overall I would encourage individuals to try the new SpeedFoam Gemini running shoe, but also keep in mind that due to the seamless sewn-in sole it’s much harder to insert your own sole designed for your foot.

First Run: Under Armour SpeedFoam Gemini