Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


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Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


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Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


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Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


Tips for First Time Runners

  ·  6 min

Tips for First Time Runners

Trying something new can often be a daunting experience, and running can be one of the most difficult physical activities to start. Whether you’re already in Olympic shape, or haven’t exercised as much as you’ve been meaning to, we’ve all tried going for it without preparing and ended up half a block away from our starting point panting with our hands on our knees. That’s why we wanted to make it easy. This blog post will help you get started the right way so you can learn to love the sport and even become a tireless trekker of your own. How to get in the right mindframe to runA positive attitude: It’s cliche, but when starting out, you’re not going to be a world class runner or post a five-minute mile. It takes time. When you set out on your first run take it slow, and we mean really slow. If there’s a grandma on the street walking faster than you’re running, that’s okay! You should be starting off slow, it’s the best way to build up. As much as we’d all like to run a 7-minute mile our first time, these things take practice. Only through consistent practice can incremental gains be made. On your first run, wherever you end up, don’t be discouraged. Maybe you’ll run for 10 minutes without stopping or 30. Regardless of what happens, the most important thing is that you took your first step towards better physical fitness. Give yourself permission to run at your own pace. Once you make peace with that, you’ll make progress. With regular work, your endurance, lung capacity, and enjoyment can only increase. Remember, you’re not an Olympic marathoner. You’re doing this for you.  Deciding on the right Running GearFirst, we want to start by saying that you don’t need to buy all new running gear to be a successful runner. The difference between good runners and great runners isn’t what they’re wearing, it’s their dedication. That said, here are a few things you can look out for:  Running ShoesThis is the most important part of your running gear, but that doesn’t mean it has to set you back a couple of paychecks. If you’re just beginning to run, you won’t need a $200 pair of high-performance kicks -- shopping at the bargain bin can be just as impactful. You can find name brand shoes at your local bargain stores. I’ve seen Nikes at Kohl’s, Reeboks at Ross, Asics at TJ Maxx. Even Groupon has great deals on shoes! The list goes on, just be on the lookout.Given that this is the only item you 100 percent need to run, take your time with the purchase. Make sure everything fits properly as there’s nothing like an unwanted blister to deter you from your regular running schedule. The best running undergarments: There’s nothing worse than running and coming home chafed on some part of your body you preferred untouched by rash. For long-distance runners, this occurs almost regardless of what you wear, but for newcomers, chafing is easily-preventable. Any pair of compression shorts will do the trick to keep your upper thighs free of burn. Make sure that the compression shorts are long enough to reach the part of your thighs that no longer touch each other when you run, that way your bare skin won’t be exposed to any friction.  Best Running Headphones Not everyone likes to be alone with their thoughts for the better part of an hour. When beginning running, you’ll want something to occupy your mind while you’re exerting your body. That makes headphones a must! However, not all headphones were created equal. Bluetooth headphones are great because you won’t have to worry about cord tangling. Regular earbuds will also work fine, but you’ll need either a pocket with a zipper, a phone case that attaches to your arm, or a free hand to keep the music flowing.If you’re looking for really great headphones, AfterShokz are my personal favorite when running. They have a unique open-ear design, so you can remain aware of your surroundings while enjoying your favorite music.The lightweight and bud-free design makes them super comfortable, and they stay put while you run. They’re also sweatproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined on exceptionally difficult/sweaty runs!Check them out  here. Finding the Best Running MusicRunning music is important, it keeps you motivated which will help you make progress on each run. With technology in its current state, one can easily queue up their favorite song, multitask by listening to their favorite podcast during a run, or turn on a dedicated fitness app. If you want to use your regular music app, we recommend selecting something upbeat to keep you going. However, dedicated fitness apps make a huge difference since they were created to keep you motivated. RockMyRun, for example, is a mobile app that provides professionally curated music to runners. They take it a step further, literally, by basing the speed of the music on the runner's steps and heart rate. Users are also given the option to set the BPM manually or just pick a playlist and go. Check it out with a 14-day free trial!No matter what you choose, make sure that it motivates you to keep your legs churning out the steps even when they start to get heavy. Where and when should you run?Block out enough dedicated time depending on your goals and put those times into your smartphone as events with reminders set. Maybe you only want to run once a week or even four or five times. Any amount is fine, but once you put it on the calendar, stick to it. I run right when I get off work at night but just before dinner. This works for me because it’s still light outside, but cooler than midday. Furthermore, after running, I’m frequently hungry so I go straight from the bike path to the kitchen. Your running time should suit you, though -- early risers may want to get out during sunrise, while night owls may fit my schedule better. Regardless of when you run, make sure to pick a place that’s aesthetically pleasing like a local park if you love nature or through town if you’re a people watcher. If you’re a creature of convenience, stay close to home, no need to venture out just yet. You’ll be plenty occupied when you start and may not even notice your surroundings at first.  Now all you have to do is go for it!We hope these tips are helpful, but now the rest is up to you. When are you going to start? Today? Tomorrow? The more you put it off, the longer it will take you to set and beat your PRs. Go hit the track, we believe in you! Evan Ream  Written by Evan ReamEvan Ream is a reporter, columnist, and media professional based in Davis, Calif. His work has appeared in The Davis Enterprise, The Sacramento Bee, and MLSsoccer.com. For years, he hated running, until finding Rock My Run allowed him to shut out the outside world and just go. He now runs at least three times a week and has lost 35 pounds during the pandemic by doing so.https://www.evanream.com/


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


How to Run Your First Marathon

  ·  8 min

How to Run Your First Marathon

Running a marathon for the first time is not easy, but with the right guidance, you’ll be in the best position possible to achieve this awesome goal. This post will help you prepare for your first marathon, and future marathons if you fall in love with it like I have. Let’s make that leap into the unknown and scary together! Deciding which marathon is right for youAdditionally, you need to figure out when/where you are racing to determine some key components to your training. For a beginner, I would recommend up to 16 weeks of total training. A lot of great marathons are in the Fall or Spring, so make sure you are also aware of the type of weather you thrive best in and try to pick a race that will match your needs. Personally, I like cooler temperatures so marathons in November and December are typically my favorite.Commit to the goalThe first step to running a marathon is to commit to the goal. The training will be hard, and the commitment and dedication will at times feel overwhelming. But what is hard is not impossible. Embrace each challenge and know that in the end, it will all be worth it. Now that you’ve decided you really want to do this, I would pick a marathon and register. Put in on your calendar; it will help conceptualize the entire process, which will help make everything feel more real and will add a component of accountability to your training. Picking a marathon training planThere are many beginner training plans online so make sure you pick one that excites you and you think you can handle. A few training plans that I trust and recommend are: https://www.halhigdon.com/training-programs/marathon-training/novice-1-marathon/ (For a very novice runner who wants as much guidance as possible at no cost)https://runsmartproject.com/training-plans-old/ (For a beginner who is willing to pay for personalized workouts to match his/her training goals)http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/marathon-training/ (For a beginner who has been doing some running/walking in the past few weeks)Here’s what you can expect: Typically, each week you want to include a long run (which I will argue is the most important run of the week), a faster-paced interval run (a run that includes some speed and is broken up into different length intervals), and 2-3 easy runs. The long run is crucial because it will be what most simulates what your actual marathon will feel like. The idea of ‘time on feet’ is critical to remember because you want to train your body to be able to handle the cumulative load of being on your feet for many hours at a time. You also want to make sure you include two days a week of supplemental strengthening exercises, which I will get into more detail a bit later. As you progress, you can add more volume/intensity to your week, but I would start with 4-5 days of running and 1-2 days of rest or cross-training (any other form of exercise: i.e. biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.)What running shoes should I buy for a marathon?Before you start running, you want to make sure you have the right shoes. In this day and age, there are hundreds of different shoes to choose from, so I would advise going into your local running store and having them fit you for a pair. The shoe buying process can be overwhelming with all the options and opinions out there, but one general guideline to follow: if the shoe is comfortable and supportive on your foot, you should be fine. Additionally, make sure you practice running in the shoes you will be racing in and try to get a new pair every 300-400 miles. This will help to keep your lower half healthy and feeling fresh.RecoveryAnother key component of your training is RECOVERY!! Recovery is not the absence of training, it is training in itself. A lot of runners struggle with this aspect, but the only way to make real progress in training is to let your body rest and adapt to the training. Many athletes have the flawed mentality that the more they train, the more fit they will become. Ultimately, without recovery one will never improve. It is the rest period after a workout that allows one’s body to adapt to the stress you just put it through and come back stronger than before. Recovery does not just mean rest. It also means making sure to stretch/foam roll to keep your muscles and tendons loose and pliable, eating immediately or as soon as possible after a workout, as well as strengthening exercises to keep you strong and injury-free. It is imperative to make time in your training for stability/mobility exercises, as well as strength-training to improve running form and decrease your likelihood of injury. Sometimes we think that running an extra mile here or there is going to be the difference to our training, but I strongly believe that reducing a run by 5-10 minutes and using that extra time to do strengthening exercises will benefit you much more in the long run (pun intended ). Again, there are a plethora of good resources online for flexibility and strengthening exercises, so find one you like and stick with it. Personally, I have found that Jay Dicharry’s books, Anatomy for Runners and Running Rewired, are phenomenal guides for both flexibility and strengthening exercises. If you don’t want to purchase his books, a few key strength exercises to include in your program twice a week are: Squats (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps)Lunges (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts (2-3 sets of 8-10 reps each leg)Plank hold (3x30 sec)Calf raises (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each leg)This leads me to my next important topic, sleep and nutrition. Sleep and NutritionTo have sufficient energy to fuel your body for the training you will be doing, you must take sleep and nutrition into account. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night is ideal and you want to prioritize a sleep routine that keeps you feeling rested and feeling good. In regard to food, you need to think in terms of fueling your body. You want to make sure that you are giving your body the best possible nutrients to allow it to perform at its best. A lot of runners struggle with the nutrition component, but one of the best ways to think is to have the majority of your diet be comprised of whole foods (minimally processed foods that are close to nature, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.), whole-grains, and a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Also, the importance of protein for someone training for a marathon is essential. You are stressing your muscles to their limits and you want to replenish them with enough protein to help rebuild them. Lastly, you never want to go too long without eating and don’t tell yourself any food is off limits. Of course, you don’t want to eat an entire chocolate cake, but if you’re craving a piece, then eat one! By listening to your hunger cues and giving your body what it wants, you will be less likely to binge on something that you have told yourself is off limits.You will really want to practice eating before big training runs so you can get familiar with whatworks well for your body before race day. Typically, some great pre-race foods include bananas, toast with peanut butter and honey, and oatmeal. The night before your race you want to focus on eating a meal that has about 60% carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread), 30% protein, and 10% fat. Finally, you need to practice fueling DURING your training runs. There are now a wide array of energy gels out there to practice with, as well as some liquid carbohydrate based drinks that work great. Personally, I love the Maurten carbohydrate drink and the Gu energy gels. Just make sure you always practice your strategies and NEVER TRY ANYTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.The mental component of running a marathonThe last piece of the puzzle that I think is critical is the mental component. In endurance sports, the mind can play many tricks on the body and it is vital to remember that we are stronger than we think. A huge mantra that has helped me in my running career is to ‘control the controllables’. We don’t have control over the weather or how other people are doing, but we do have control over our attitude and our effort. Do your best to focus on the factors that will put you in the best position to reach your goal. Everything else is irrelevant.You can do this!I’ll just leave you with my favorite quote, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”Go out there and chase down your dreams my friends! Adriana started running competitively in 6th grade and competed at a Varsity level all throughout high school. Her junior year of college at Duke University, she decided to run her first marathon after spontaneously joining a friend for her 16 mile long run. She finished the Disney Marathon in January 2011 in a time of 3:17. Fast forward to now, Adriana has brought her marathon PR down to 2:44, and has run many marathons, most recently the 2018 and 2019 California International Marathon, 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, 2020 Aviation Marathon, and qualified and competed at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Georgia! She lives in in Winston-Salem, NC and works as a Career Services Specialist at Wake Forest University. 


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

  ·  2 min

RockMyRun User Feedback Survey Results

We’re always looking to improve our app, and wanted to make sure that we understood where our current opportunities were. So in May of 2020, we sent out a survey to our most active RockMyRun users. Primarily, we wanted to know how the app was doing, but we also geek out on data and wanted to see how people are using RockMyRun.Here are the results! How often do people use RockMyRun?We found that 32% of our users use RockMyRun 3-4 times a week. That’s a very high number, meaning that people use our app almost every day. That was exciting for us to see, and we were also impressed with our users dedication to fitness! What do people use RockMyRun For?Not surprisingly, most users (76%!) use RockMyRun for running, but people also like to use it for walking, cardio, erights, group fitness classes, cycling, and more!We also had some really interesting “Other” write-ins, such as cooking, mowing the lawn, cleaning, driving, and as background music for gatherings with friends. Who’s using the Tempo Changing Feature? One of the features that sets RockMyRun apart from other apps is the automatic tempo changing based on GPS, heart rate, etc. So we were curious: How many people are currently using this feature?We were glad that the majority were taking advantage of this feature, but only 63%!Here’s how people were using this feature:79% of users manually set their BPM, while only 35% connect it to their steps, and only 18% connect it to their heart rate.What new features did people request?Most responses said that integrating with speakers, such as Bose® or Sonos®, would be a valuable feature.Additionally, most people also said they’d love to have RockMyRun work on an AppleWatch without needing to have their device near. We also received feedback that we need to improve the music discovery process, which is something we are already working on!We hope you find these results as interesting as we do!Do you agree? Where do you stack up? We’d love to hear in the comments.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Top 10 Rules of the Road

  ·  3 min

Top 10 Rules of the Road

Looking for a few ways to make the most out of your running experience? Follow my Top 10 Rules of the Road for a more enjoyable, less stressful run.1. Be ThankfulIf you are fortunate enough to be able to run at your own discretion, be grateful for that gift.  Some people do not have that ability.  Embrace the gift, because it can be taken away in an instant.2. Just Do ItThe more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.  Don’t think.  Just do.3. Ditch the Jordan’sBaggy short are to running what oil is to water – they just don’t mix!  So get rid of the high tops shoes and wife beaters and pick up some running-specific gear.  Not only will you actually look like a runner, but you will feel and perform like one too.4. This Isn’t GymnasticsWe’re not on the pummel horse here, we’re on the pavement.  Nobody cares about your splits.  If somebody wants to know how fast your individual mile times are, they’ll ask.5. Shut Up and RunNobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.  If you wait for perfect conditions, your muscles to stop aching, or your schedule to open up, you’re not going to get very far.  Embrace the wind.  Learn to love 20 degree runs.6. FamiliarityWhether it’s a spoonful of butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a 20 ounce Mountain Dew, put the same foods in your body prior to your run.  Do not eat anything your body is unaccustomed to.  Trust me; I’ve learned this the hard way.  Your stomach and digestive system will thank you around mile 10.7. Pre-Game RitualAlways.  Always.  Always.  Make a visit to the restroom before a long run.  Just as with Rule 6, your stomach will be happy you did this.8. Mix It UpRun alone.  Run with people.  Run on the treadmill.  Run on the road.  Run intervals.  Run distance.  Specificity is important when training for a race or a certain distance.  But variety will limit boredom and give you different workouts to look forward to.9. We Are All EqualRunners are as varied as any group of people in the world.  Some of us are sprinters while others prefer distance.  Some of us like to listen to the pounding of feet against the pavement and some like the pounding of music in our headphones.  As different as we may be, we are also equal because we are runners.10. Enjoy it!This is why I run.  I make it a personal goal to enjoy every run, whether it’s a struggle or not.  So, take a break every once in a while and remember why you run.  Find what you enjoy about it and keep that close to you.As a holiday gift for you all, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite treadmill workouts.  I call this the High/Low Workout.  As the name indicates, you will alternate between high and low running speeds on the treadmill.  I usually set my intervals for 30 seconds at a high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Each set usually lasts for 5-6 minutes, with a 1 minute walk in between sets.To give you an idea of what the High/Low entails, here is what a typical workout looks like for me:Set 1: 8.0 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 2: 8.5 MPH/6.0 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 3: 9.0 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 4: 9.5 MPH/5.5 MPH – 5 MinutesSet 5: 10.0 MPH/5.0 MPH – 5 MinutesDo you have any of your own Rules of the Road?  Leave your favorite rule in the comment box below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

  ·  1 min

Music Synchronizes To Your Heartbeat With RockMyRun

Are you ready to love your run with all your heart? Then good news – we have just launched a lovely new feature on our iPhone app called myBeat™ Heart, which leverages your heartbeat to dictate the tempo of the music. You read that right—imagine Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Avicii or Bon Jovi singing along to the beat of your heart!So how exactly does it work?The RockMyRun app and myBeat™ Heart feature pairs with (almost) any Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitor. (Looking to buy a heart rate monitor? We’re fans of the brands Mio Global and Pear Sports) Once running, we’ll monitor when you switch heart rate zones and adjust the music’s beats per minute (BPM) to correlate. Don’t worry—once your heart rate hits max zones, we’ll level off the BPM/tempo to create a calming (as opposed to frantic) experience.Getting started with the myBeat™ Heart feature is simple, here’s how to do so:Fire up your Bluetooth or Ant+ heart rate monitorSelect your favorite downloaded RockMyRun mix from your MyMixesHit play and then select myBeat™ HeartGo through a one time setup to pair RockMyRun with your deviceStart rockin’!myBeatTM Heart will join our already popular myBeat feature suite, which includes myBeat™ Manual and myBeat™ Steps. As a reminder, myBeat™ Manual lets you manually set the music tempo to your goal cadence, while myBeat™ Steps enables you to let the tempo of any steady BPM mix automatically adjust so that the beat matches every step you take!Ready to start rocking in a whole new way? Download the app


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