·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


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  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


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  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


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  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


  ·  6 min

What Does It Take To Complete An Ironman 70.3?

This past Sunday RockMyRun blog contributor, Brock (Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc.) completed his first Ironman 70.3 triathlon! Interested in doing a half or full Ironman one day? Keep on reading for a summary of the race and an inside look at what the sport entails!  The Swim  This is a picture of the swim start for the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta race. As you can see you walk out onto a floating dock directly underneath the bridge.  As with many other races, the waves went off every four minutes.  The cool thing here, though, was that you could jump in the water and get acclimated, or sit on the dock until the horn went off.  Most people jumped in to adjust to the cool water.  It was really a cool start though, not only because of the scenery, but because you could also see your whole swim directly in front of you.After the start, it takes a few minutes for the faster swimmers to separate themselves, and until they can, you’re stuck kicking and punching the rest of your competitors.  I was definitely on the receiving end of a few kicks and punches, but believe me, I handed out more than I got in return.I got in a really good rhythm in the water and was able to separate myself (along with a handful of others) from the majority of the group within a couple of minutes.  The swim was downstream, which helped, but I will say I had a good day in the water.  Going in a straight line, as opposed to pushing off a wall 80 times, or worrying about rounding multiple buoys, makes it much easier to concentrate on just swimming.  And that’s what I was able to do.I was off to a great start! The Bike  Being that my fiancé didn’t want to/couldn’t follow me for 56 miles (don’t blame her), this is the only photo of me on my bike.  After getting to the swim finish and getting out of the wetsuit, it was time to get a quick snack, some water, throw on the helmet and cycling shoes, and get to it.  As you can see, the sky was pretty overcast, which made for absolutely perfect weather for a long bike ride.It always takes me a few minutes to get into a good flow on the bike.  I’m not sure why, but the first couple of miles seem to be somewhat of a nuisance for me.  But, once I got settled in and into a solid speed, it was a great ride.There were a few people who I spoke with before the race that told me the bike ride would be a little hilly, saying there were some pretty solid rolling hills here and there throughout the course.  My initial reaction was that I’m from central Kentucky, where every single hill is very rolling and very long, but I didn’t want to be overconfident heading in.  I prepared myself accordingly, and planned to pace around 16-17 MPH.  I’m not sure if the course was flatter than what had been described to me, I psyched myself up too much for it, or I just felt good, but I had an awesome ride (It was probably a combination of the three).  My goal was to finish the 56-mile ride in 3:30, and I ended with a time of 2:59. The Run  Let me precede this part by noting how important it is to be fueled up before you get to this point in the race.  Water, electrolytes, and just some overall substance in your stomach cannot be stressed enough.  You’ve got anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 on the bike (depending on skill) to get some nutrition and hydration in you, and you have to take advantage.  I took advantage, but not nearly enough, as I would come to find out very quickly.This is a little before the mile 4 marker, and also one of the last times I was seen with a smile on my face until the race was over.  After getting back to the transition, hopping off the bike, grabbing a banana and some water, I was off on the run.  The first three miles felt fine.  I was in a pretty decent groove – albeit a slow one – and looking forward to the rest of the run.  Then mile five hit me like a ton of bricks.  This time it wasn’t the weather (I don’t think it got above 80 degrees) or the course (flat as an ironing board).  It was my nutrition, or lack thereof.  I could tell around the mile five point that I was beginning to get a bit dehydrated.  I have a pretty sensitive stomach during races, and didn’t really want to try anything new during the race, so I stuck with water and the occasional half banana.  But, it was simply too little too late.  Around the eight or nine mile point, the cramps started setting in.  I hate to admit, but this is when the run/walk method came into play.  I don’t like to walk during races, but honestly that’s the only way I was going to finish this race.  And there’s no way in hell I wasn’t finishing this race.  I’ve got too much pride for that.  I managed to finish the last 4 – 5 miles and cross the finish line with a time of 2:30 for the run.  It was much slower than my goal time, but, being a rookie in this event, I won’t complain.I have to say, after a little time to reflect, this was unlike anything I’ve been a part of.  By far, without any doubt at all, this was the hardest race I’ve done.  The three events individually, sure, they’d be very manageable.  But putting them all together and you’re looking at a whole new beast.  And when I say that I went through about every emotion possible, I’m not exaggerating.  Starting the race, I was feeling great.  I killed the swim and beat my goal on the bike.  But then it all came full circle on the run.  The course setup did me no favors either.  It was a loop course that we ran twice, and had plenty of turns throughout.  Those turns resulted in passing the finish line FOUR times before actually crossing.  Pairing that with the shutdown mode that my body was going into made for a lot of different emotions throughout the run.  This was the closest my body has ever come to physically failing – due to inadequate nutrition – but I was able to stay strong enough mentally to see it through to the end.  And let me tell you, nothing is more demoralizing that watching others finish, knowing you still have seven or eight miles left to go.  It tests your will and determination.  But that’s what an Ironman is all about!Overall, even with my struggles on the run, it was a great weekend.  I set a goal of 6:30 and, even with my struggle on the run, finished with a time of 6:10.  It was challenging, miserable, inspiring, fun, frustrating, and completely awesome all at the same time.  Immediately after the race I told myself I would stick to shorter distances for a while.  But, after a few bottles of Gatorade knocked some sense back into my brain, I know I’ll be back again for more. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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.


What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

  ·  3 min

What’s In a Runner? 6 Traits of Successful Runners

Many times I’m asked questions like “What makes somebody a good runner?” or “What can I do to become a good runner?” To be honest, it’s not really a simple, uniform answer. People are too different in their interests and abilities to have one answer to these questions. But, there are some things that many, if not all, good runners have in common. Here is a list that I’ve put together of what I think really makes someone a quality runner. 1. Good runners enjoy running. Kind of weird, isn’t it?? It sounds elementary, but usually in order to be really good at something, you have to enjoy doing it. There are the rare occasions where somebody is talented in an area and they don’t enjoy it. But for the most part, this holds true. Good runners aren’t out on the road because someone is making them do it. They aren’t pounding the pavement for any reason other than they genuinely love the sport. 2. Good runners value their rest time.Nobody likes a good sleep session more than me. I take every chance I can to knock out a solid nap during the day, and I’m usually asleep by 11 PM – and that’s a Friday night. Good runners know the value of putting your body through challenging workouts as well as letting it rest in between. Our bodies recover best when we get plenty of sleep. 3. Good runners don’t diet.In order to be able to perform on the road, you have to take care of business in the kitchen as well. It’s like filling up your gas tank before taking a road trip. You can’t get there without the proper fuel. Good runners know that a balanced diet will help them perform better and stay healthy throughout their race seasons. 4. Good runners don’t push it.This may sound a little backwards to you, because most good runners do in fact push themselves very hard. I’m referring specifically to injuries here. Good, smart runners know when to dial it down a little bit. Whether it’s a serious issue, or just something that’s been nagging them for a while, they know when and when not to push through. 5. Good runners stay in good company.It’s just a natural thing for people to surround themselves with others who share the same interests. So, people who run consistently are more than likely going to gravitate towards other runners. You’ll generally see these people out in the wee hours of the morning, but instead of stumbling home from the bar, they’re lacing up their running shoes in order to get a head start on the day to come. 6. Good runners are not perfectionists.Everyone out there is going to have good and bad days. What separates the good from the rest is the ability to forget about the bad days. It’s just the way things work. Some days your body isn’t going to function as well as others. Good runners have the ability and determination to get past those bad workouts and on to the next one. 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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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 4 Race Training Mistakes

  ·  5 min

Top 4 Race Training Mistakes

Whether training for a 5k or an ultramarathon, every runner has the intention of becoming the best that he or she can be. Our running arsenals have just about every tool that we need to become a solid runner, and contain everything from energy gels and sports drinks, to GPS watches and the latest zero-drop running shoes. But what we sometimes leave out of our goody bag is the most simple, yet effective, tool of all: the mind.What do I mean by this? Well, as bluntly as I can put it, some of us simply don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to putting a training program together (I’ve been there myself plenty of times). We just go out and run, and don’t really have a plan. What’s the goal of training? What’s the plan of action? How am I going to get from where I am to where I want to be? There are all sorts of thought processes that get ignored when preparing for a race. Here, I want to present some of those, and how to quickly fix them before it’s too late.1. STARTING TOO FASTThis is a pretty easy mistake to make. Whether it’s a race or a run, many people can come out of the gate on fire. This is seen even more during interval and speed workouts. The problem here is that you end up training the wrong muscles, prompting earlier fatigue, and many times sabotaging the workout’s intended benefits.This is an easy fix, and one that I try to use during my own workouts. Focus on the negative here (in numbers only, of course). Try to slow your first mile down enough that it is your slowest mile of the run. Take your time down with each successive mile. Your speed/time change is up to you, but remember, you should be running fastest at the end of the run.2. MONOTONYThere is a tendency for a lot of runners out there to stick to the “medium” run during training, not going too short, but not going very far either. The medium run provides some benefits in that it allows you to run at a pretty solid pace for a longer time than a short run would provide. Getting stuck in that rut, however, can sabotage your training. Shorter, faster runs will provide stronger, faster leg muscles. Longer, slower runs will allow for improved endurance.Follow the “ditch the default” mentality during your next training program. Schedule all three types of runs as opposed to simply lacing up the shoes and running. Implement speed days where you are running much shorter (even intervals, maybe) at a much faster pace. Add in days where the intensity is much lower, but the time spent on your feet is much higher. Putting in different types of training sessions like this will improve your overall running, and allow for some variety in the training program.3. ALL YOU CAN EAT WORKOUTThere’s nothing I like more than seeing the words “All You Can Eat” in front of me. The one situation I don’t usually indulge in this, however, is when it comes to my workouts. You hear it all the time: more reps are better, 15 miles is better than 10, if it doesn’t hurt it doesn’t help. The fact is our bodies aren’t well-equipped to handle “all-out” workouts very well. Sometimes it can take 10-14 days to fully recover from a brutal workout like these. There is certainly a time and place for them, but you have to be careful of when to implement them.The solution is simple: Don’t eat the whole pie. You don’t really need to do 400m sprints for 20 reps. You don’t need to run 20 miles every other day. Sure, once in a while may not hurt you, but training all-out on a consistent basis isn’t necessary.   The best way to be ready on race day is to be recovered and fresh. So leave the buffet workout at home.4. INSUFFICIENT RECOVERYIf you’re one of those people who feels like taking a day off is only hurting you, then you’re not alone. I fight this battle constantly. In fact, I have to actually reward or trick myself into taking off days occasionally. Training is great for improving condition, obviously, but it takes a toll on the body. It damages muscle fibers, connective tissues, and joints. If we don’t rest, it can lead to injuryWhen putting together a program, implement off days just like you would training days. Once a week or three days out of every two weeks, you need to completely shut it down. Let your body rest and heal. Doing this will allow for the body to repair the damage that has been done and start fresh after the recovery day. Your body will thank you, believe me.With that said, there are plenty of other mistakes that runners make on a consistent basis. I know because I have made them all myself, multiple times. These are simply a few of the mistakes I see from other runners pretty consistently. In an effort to improve your training program, and results, the next time you’re planning things out, make sure to put on your thinking cap before your running shoes. It’ll be a wise decision.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


Avoiding the Upset Stomach

  ·  3 min

Avoiding the Upset Stomach

If there is one thing runners want to avoid during a race it’s an upset stomach. Every person that I’ve run with or even talked about running with has their own method of avoiding what I like to call the “Runner’s Gut.” I’ll let you figure out on your own what the Runner’s Gut really entails. Personally, I’ve been defeated by this on multiple occasions. Whether it’s been too much in my stomach before or during a race, or recharging with the wrong things after, it can make your day VERY unpleasant. Here I want to give you a few tips on how to avoid the Runner’s Gut.TAKE A POTTY BREAK.This may sound a little obvious, but it can’t be understated. While you want to have energy in your body to sustain your workout, you also want to get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be in there. Get up a few minutes early, or start to move around a little while before your race. This will get your digestive tract up and going, which will get your food moving through as well. It’s much better to make that bathroom trip before as opposed to during your run. Just take my word for it.AVOID TRIGGER FOODS.Everybody has those certain foods that they just don’t get along with. One of my favorite recovery drinks is chocolate milk. Some people can’t handle chocolate milk. Unfortunately finding your trigger foods may take some trial and error. But, once you find what works for you, and more importantly, doesn’t work for you, go from thereREPLACE CARBS FIRST.You want to get a mixture of carbohydrates and protein following a run of any kind. They don’t have to come at the same time, however. It is optimal to get them both simultaneously, but it is often much easier to get carbohydrates in first. They’re much easier to carry and store than protein sources, so sometimes that may be all that’s available. Carbohydrate sources are usually easier on the stomach, as well. A quick fix here would be a banana or a high-sugar drink like Powerade or Gatorade.WAIT A WHILE.There’s nothing wrong with waiting a little while to get some food in your stomach. I personally don’t eat a large meal for a few hours after I run. My stomach likes chocolate milk and bananas after a run or race, and nothing else. I’ve learned the hard way to listen to it, so I avoid most foods immediately following. There is no harm in that. Trust me, you don’t want to become prisoner to the bathroom because you couldn’t wait an hour to down that extra-large pizza.The physical pounding on the pavement takes enough of a toll on the stomach during a run. Sometimes this alone can lead to a queasy or upset stomach. So you really don’t want to exacerbate any problems. Keep your diet simple during runs and don’t try anything new on race day. Do that and you should be just fine.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

  ·  4 min

5 Strength Training Myths Runners Should Avoid

Let’s be honest, there are some weird and quirky runners out there. Just like any health and fitness group, there are runners with their very own weird, unique, and bold opinions regarding our sport. I am no exception to this as I have many of my own unique beliefs on running. One belief, however, seems to stick out amongst the rest. That idea is that runners don’t need to strength train to become better. Quite honestly, that is a very flawed idea, and one that needs to be done away with. The fact of the matter is this: Strength training can GREATLY improve your skills as a runner in terms of both endurance and speed.I have done a couple of strength training posts before, but I want to change it up a bit here. I’ve listed a few of the more prominent myths – and truths – regarding running and strength training.MYTH 1: Runners should lift on off or easy days to balance the effort of difficult training runs.TRUTH: It is actually best to pair strength training with a short and efficient tempo run. The idea here is that your strength training will actually compliment your tempo run when done on the same day, giving you a complete off or easy day for recovery. When you use an off day for strength training, your body really has no recovery time. Try this: Quick tempo run in the early morning followed by a 30-40 minute strength training session in the afternoon or evening. Rest on the following dayMYTH 2: You must strength train several times a week to see any added benefits.TRUTH: If you’re looking for maximum efficiency from something, you’ll be happy to hear that just one or two strength training sessions per week is enough to stimulate noticeable improvements. With the amount of time put in running, there is no need to place a huge amount of added stress on the body. More is not always better when it comes to weights. Try this: A weekly total of no more than 90 minutes of strength training. Break it down to either three 20-30 minute workouts or two 30-40 minute sessions.MYTH 3: Body-weight exercises are more appropriate than weights.TRUTH: Resistance is resistance, and your body cannot differentiate where it comes from. It could be your natural body weight, a couple of dumbbells or a backpack full of brinks, and your muscles won’t be able to tell the difference. The issue here isn’t the type of weight, but rather the amount. For example, some experts say pushups are better for beginners rather than bench press. Well, what about individuals who aren’t strong enough to do a correct pushup? Should they not use a machine that offers multiple resistances such as a bench press? The “appropriateness” of an exercise is relative to the individual, not the exercise. Try this: Focus on the amount of weight needed for effectiveness rather than the type of weight. If bodyweight lunges are too easy, grab some dumbbells. If pushups are too hard, grab some smaller weights to use on the bench press.MYTH 4: You need to lift with quick movements to improve power and speed.TRUTH: The purpose of lifting weights for most runners is to improve strength as opposed to power. Runners (with the exception of competitive sprinters and middle distance runners) don’t generally need much power. When it comes to improving strength, slow and controlled is the name of the game. A concept that most people simply don’t know about is “time under tension.” Essentially, the longer your muscles are under constant tension, the more strength you will develop. On top of this, any time you increase your speed in the weight room, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of injury. See Crossfit for example (sorry to any Crossfitters reading this, but it’s true). Try this: Don’t rush through your lifts. Tell yourself over and over “slow and control.” Especially on the lowering portion of the movement, you want to be under control to get the most out of the exercise.MYTH 5: Work on the core; running takes care of the rest.TRUTH: Running doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus in the lower or upper body to result in muscular strength. Concentrating on one specific area, such as the core, will result in muscular imbalance throughout the body. This is a leading cause of many nagging injuries for runners. You want to be as balanced as possible when it comes to muscular strength. Try this: Complete full body workouts that focus on major muscle groups.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.


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