No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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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No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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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No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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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No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

  ·  4 min

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again!

You have probably heard somebody utter the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” at some point throughout your life, and there are a few instances when this statement most certainly applies. It just so happens that these scenarios have nothing at all to do with running.Let me first start by setting the tone for this post. There is a difference between “burning” and “hurting.”  Most people certainly understand this; they just tend to use the phrase completely wrong. The burn that you get from doing an exercise the right way is totally normal. In fact, many people don’t feel like they’ve done enough until they feel that burn.  Maybe they need to run a little further or sprint up that hill instead of jogging. Regardless, the “burn” you get from a good run is completely normal.Now, back to the topic at hand: PAIN.  If you are hurting or feeling pain there is generally one of three explanations as to why.  You are either A) doing the exercise (running, stretching, etc.) incorrectly B) doing too much of it or C) suffering from an injury.  Here is my very simple way to determine whether you are a victim of any of these:*Doing the exercise incorrectly:  You will be in pain for a couple of days AFTER your run or exercise.  Even if you are an avid weight lifter, runner, etc., you will still be in pain after doing an exercise incorrectly.  It could be something as simple as holding a stretch too long or something more serious like an issue with your landing/takeoff. Typically, something like this will go away after a few days (given it is not a major issue), but the pain will be very annoying while it’s around.*Doing too much: This is one that applies to almost every runner I’ve ever met. It’s certainly true that in order to get in shape or prepare for an upcoming race you will have to put in the miles and work. There is no getting around that. But, there is also a fine line between preparing and going overboard. This is a subjective issue, as some people are better equipped to handle a high volume of training. If you start to feel sluggish during your training runs, or your performance starts to suffer for no apparent reason, then it might be because you are doing too much. Shut it down for a day or so. Let your body rest and recover. It’s more important than you think.*Suffering from an injury: Injuries are usually a direct result of either one of or both of the two previous points. Doing and exercise incorrectly, or doing too much of something will almost always lead to injury. Injuries are usually easy to detect – they hurt both BEFORE and AFTER exercise.  It will take much longer to get warmed up, if at all.  You might also suffer from limited range of motion with this joint or muscle.  This pain will last much longer than if you simply have a sore muscle.So, back to this whole “No Pain, No Gain” thing.  I’ll be honest with you; I’m not taking advice from some fool who tells me I need to push through pain.  The only thing that leads to is, you guessed it, MORE PAIN.  You don’t ride a bike with a broken chain.  You don’t drive a car with a busted radiator.  It just doesn’t work.  So why would you do anything different with the most important piece of technology there is: YOUR BODY!!!  Now, if it’s just that muscle burn, and you’re trying to push through it…  Suck it up and keep going!!!!  But, you must know your body, and know the difference between the pain and the burn.So what’s the point of my rambling here???If you’re feeling pain, take a moment to evaluate what you are actually doing.  On the road: Am I striding too long? Should I switch my landing? Quicker steps to eliminate ground time? In the gym: Is my form good on my squats/lunges? Am I using the right weight? If you can modify your form and eliminate the pain, by all means do so.  If it continues to hurt, it’s no longer simply a muscle burn. This is the point when you need to shut it down. The only thing that trying to push through it will get you is more pain. While this may go against the traditional “suck it up” type of mindset, it will keep you on the road and off the couch.Be safe. Be smart. Be awesome.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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


The Mental Approach to Running

  ·  4 min

The Mental Approach to Running

Growing up as a basketball and baseball player, I never considered myself a runner. I always considered myself simply an athlete. If I was running at all, it was because I had to, and I was sprinting.  I loathed the idea of running for any set period of time.  I viewed running like most young athletes: It was a form of punishment, and it sucked, plain and simple.Fast forward a few years and couple thousand conditioning drills later, to when my college basketball days were over.  At this point, I really had no reason to sprint every single day, but the challenge of physical activity still appealed to me.  Since I had been doing the same thing for years, I wanted to take this opportunity to change things up a bit.  So I began working out and running with the focus of an endurance athlete as opposed to the sprint lifestyle that I was accustomed to.Let me tell you, it was challenging at first.  My leg strength was good, especially on my shorter runs.  But my stamina, as you could guess, was a bit shaky.  But, I love a good challenge.  The trainer in me loves reaching a goal or accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.  So I stuck with it.  Slowly but surely, I started to get better at this endurance thing.  Sure, my body was adapting physically, but that wasn’t what kept me going.  The tool that helped me improve more than anything was the new mental approach I took to running.  Without a change in my thought process, I would never have seen a change in my performance.So, I want to share with you the mental aspects of my training that help me get through my more difficult workouts and training programs.Be Thankful.  Whether it’s the beginning of a long race, a hard workout on the treadmill, or a simple 3- or 4-miler at the end of the day, be thankful that you are able to do what you love.  Not everybody is capable of going out and running whenever they want to.  You are fortunate.  Remind yourself of this next time you don’t feel like doing what you need to.Embrace the Pain.  The only way you’re going to be able to push through your limits and improve is if you persevere through some pain.  I tell my clients on a regular basis: Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true.  In order to improve, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  The more “comfortable” you are with this, the more likely you are to actually reach that point.Tackle the Obstacles.  It’s cold outside.  Wear a jacket.  It’s windy, maybe raining or snowing.  Wear a different jacket.  Your favorite treadmill is taken.  Find another one.  There is a huge hill coming up.  Lower your head and drive those legs.  If you’re having difficulty overcoming some of the obstacles you are inevitably going to encounter, then look at it like this: It could ALWAYS be worse.Change Your Focus.  Way too often people focus on how far they have left to go.  Five more miles.  20 more minutes.  10 more sprints.  Rather than focus on how far you have left to go, try to focus on how far you’ve gone.  Concentrating on what you’ve already accomplished is much easier than worrying about what you’ve got left to do.Slow Down.  Take time every once in a while to appreciate the little things you encounter along the way.  Enjoy the sunset on your evening run.  Bring a buddy on a long, slow run, and talk about nothing in particular.  Get lost in the silence of an old country back road.  There are so many things to enjoy about running, you sometimes have to simply stop and remind yourself of what they are.Applaud Yourself.  Give yourself a break.  Everybody needs positive reinforcement every once in a while.  Be proud of that 5-miler you ran earlier this week, or that sprint workout you just crushed.  All too often we’re left thinking about what we did wrong or could have done better.  Every now and then, you need to quit all that nonsense and give yourself some credit for the good things you’re doing.There are plenty of other mental cues out there that can improve your running.  These, however, are some that I try to remember on a daily basis.  They help me out tremendously and my hope is that they will do the same for you.  Now lace up those shoes and get out on the road!!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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


How to Beat the Heat

  ·  3 min

How to Beat the Heat

Summer is in full swing and the days of single digit weather are long gone. If you’re like me and live below the Mason-Dixon Line then you’re experiencing a lot of heat and humidity, and no wind or rain. That’s the gist of summer weather where I’m from. I know, not necessarily the ideal running conditions, right? Well, there’s not really much we can do about the weather, so we might as well deal with it. Here are seven tips that will help you stay active and on track with your running workouts throughout the summer.RISE AND SHINE. Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re not a morning person. You hate being up before the sun. Well, my guess is that you’re also not a heat stroke person, either. The best way to avoid the heat in the summer time is simple: get going before it does.STAY UP LATE. If you absolutely refuse to get up before the sun, then your best bet is to wait until it goes down. Although it is generally stick hot and muggy during the summer evenings, it beats having the sun beaming down on you. It will save you 10-15 degrees, and one huge headache.STAY HYDRATED. This could possibly be the most important of all, regardless of the time of year or time of day. Hydration is vital no matter when or where you are running. But, when we add severe temperatures into the mix, it becomes even more important. Drink plenty of water before, during (if possible), and after your run.RUN INDOORS. If you absolutely refuse to run early or late, then try taking it indoors. Trust me, I hate running on an indoor track as much as the next guy. Let’s be honest, they flat out suck. But, 70 degrees in the air conditioning is quite appealing when it feels like the surface of the sun outside.RUN SLOWER. If you insist on running outside, start off at a slower speed. There is nothing more detrimental when running in the heat than going out too fast. This will get your heart rate and body temperature elevated faster than you think. While this is certainly not uncommon, it is something you want to try and avoid as much as you can.RUN SHORTER. Allow yourself time to get acclimatized to the warmer weather. Instead of running 5 miles at high noon, opt for a 5k instead. Let your body, and mind, get used to the drastic change in temperature.SWAP YOUR HEADGEAR. During the winter months, I always wear a hat or beanie. This keeps all the warmth from my big ole’ head close to my body. In the summertime, you want to do just the opposite. Swap the hat out for a lightweight visor. It’s a good way to let off some extra body heat while still keeping the sun out of your eyes.There you have it folks. Next to sitting next to the air conditioner, these tips are your best bet for staying cool in the summer months. Do you have any ideas that have helped you while running outside? If so, leave them below in the comment section.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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


Going All In

  ·  3 min

Going All In

When training for an upcoming race or competition I try to follow one rule above all else. That rule is to always “leave a little something in the tank” at the end of my workouts.  This does not mean that I am not training hard for whatever is coming up, rather I am training smart.  I am very meticulous when it comes to designing my own training sessions, and most of them result in about 70-90 percent of my maximal effort.  I’ve found that this type of structure has not only made my training more effective, but my performance has improved as well.With that said, however, I’m not against working at maximal capacity.  These are what I like to call my “All In” workouts.  These are the workouts that you dread beforehand, and hurt for a few days after—you know what I’m talking about.  The purpose of this type of training is just as much mental as it is physical.  Yes, you are pushing your body to its limits and making different energy systems adapt to training.  But, more importantly, you’re training your mind to realize what you are physically capable of doing.Here are three of my favorite “All In” workouts:HILLSFind a hill that has a good incline, one that will take about 30-45 seconds to sprint to the top.  The workout is pretty simple.  Sprint to the top.  Jog back to the bottom.  Repeat as many times as you can, until you can no longer truly sprint up the hill.  Then do one more set!  Remember, this is an all-out sprint, no slacking.REPEATSI like to start with half-mile sprints here.  Run at your 5k pace or faster.  You’re only running half a mile, so crank the speed up.  Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat, trying to match or better your time.  When you can no longer maintain this time, drop down to quarter-mile sprints.  Go through the same process – sprint, rest, repeat.  Keep going as long as you can maintain the same pace.  Once you cannot match your speed/time, your workout is done.SPEED DISTANCEThis one is the killer workout, one that can humble even the most seasoned runner.  The workout is simple.  Choose a distance that you would consider long for you.  Maybe it’s three miles, maybe it’s 10, I’ll leave that to you.  Here’s the catch: Each mile you run has to be faster than the previous mile.  By the time you reach your final mile – however many that may be – you should be running faster than you have throughout any of the workout.  Doing this will ensure that you have “emptied the tank” by the time you’re finished.  Thank me later for this one.Workouts like this definitely have their time and place.  I wouldn’t recommend doing these on a daily or even weekly basis.  For one, they’re mentally taxing.  Second, and probably more important for training purposes, your body needs some time to recover.  The physical demand – and sometime damage – placed on the body by these workouts warrants a day or two of rest.  With that said, their purpose, as mentioned, shouldn’t be underestimated.  Not only will they improve your physical condition, but your mental strength as well.  Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!Do you have a favorite “All In” workout?  If so, share it with us in the comment section!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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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.


The Realities of Running

  ·  4 min

The Realities of Running

One of the only concrete things about running is the surface that you’re on. Some people are distance runners, while others prefer sprinting.  Treadmills are great for certain people, yet some of us prefer the outdoor run.  Everybody is unique in their own way.  With that being said, there are many things that can hold true for almost all runners, regardless of their situation.  Here are 6 of my “Realities of Running.”1. You Will Hate RunningI know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t really sound like something you should put in a post about running.  Well, the reality is that this is true, and almost all of you can relate to it.  There has been a time, at some point or another, when you have hated running.  Maybe burnout has set in, the weather has made for awful conditions, or you have simply had a streak of bad workouts.  Whatever the reason, there has been a point for all of us where we have despised the sport of running.2. You Will Love RunningThis one is more like it, right?  Just like we’ve hated it at times, the reason we keep going is because we ultimately love (or at least have an interest in) running.  Whether it’s the euphoric feeling you get after a hard run, the accomplishment of setting a new PR, or simply the ability to get lost in a long run, you’ve learned to love this sport.  It has become a part of you, almost to the point where you feel bad if you miss a day.  Know what I’m talking about?  Yeah, I thought so.3. Injuries Are InevitableThis is where the old “too much of a good thing” proverb comes into play.  There’s a solid chance that if you run long enough, something is going to start hurting at some point or another.  It could be something simple like a pair of aching knees or something more complicated like a muscle strain.  You could, of course, be one of those who can run 50 miles a week and be fine. But for most of us, the chance of something happening along the way is, unfortunately, fairly high.4. You Will Become CompetitiveDon’t get too excited here.  This isn’t competitive in the sense of winning races, getting endorsements, or making a ton of money.  The competitiveness I am talking about is with yourself and – if you have them – your peers.  It won’t take long, either.  Before you know it you will be trying to beat your fastest time or improve your longest run.  You’ll try to beat your running partner’s time in a certain distance.  Not only will this add a little excitement to your workouts, but it will force you to work harder and ultimately become a better runner.5. It Will Cost MoneyJust like anything else on this planet, if you want to enjoy running, you’re going to have to invest not just your time and effort, but your finances as well.  Just like you have to have the right equipment to do your job 40 hours a week, you have to have the right equipment if you want to get the most out of running.  Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, some cold weather gear, or the races that you want to cross off your list, you’re going to have to open up the checkbook.  Look at it like this:  You’re not simply paying to wear nice clothes or run a certain race, you’re buying an experience. You’re paying for something that is bigger than yourself, and something that those who don’t participate in won’t always understand.6. It Will Be Worth ItAfter all the pain and suffering, the time and financial input, the good races and bad, at the end of the day it is all worth it.  Running is something that, for almost all of us, is a part of us. To the point that if we don’t do it, we feel like something is missing.  The truth is, as I’ve mentioned, people who don’t run simply don’t understand what we get out of running.  Yeah, it’s not always great and we have bad days.  But, there’s always that good day right around the corner.  The day will come when you feel like you’re Forrest Gump and can “run clear to the ocean.”  The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction are things that keep most of us coming back for more.Can you relate to any of these?  What are some of your “realities of running?” 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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