If you’ve read the Fit Stop for more than 30 seconds, you know that here at FITNESS, we are quasi-obsessed with all things Dancing with the Stars. So when we heard that Season 13 winner J.R. Martinez would be running the 2012 ING NYC Marathon this year on behalf of Timex, we had to catch up with him. Read on to see how training is going with a newborn, his goal time and how you can train with him in your city!
This is your first marathon, but have you ever done any type of distance race before?
Never! I am definitely outside of my comfort zone here, but I’m so excited. This announcement comes at the perfect time, because 10 years ago I was sworn into the U.S. Army, and now 10 years later, I’m committing to something else. I am especially stoked to be doing this with Timex, because I get to test out the Ironman GPS, which is a big help for me since I’m always traveling for speaking commitments. On the road it’s hard to figure out how far you’re running, but I love that I can track my heart rate, distance and calories no matter where I am. I’m also excited to do this to help raise money for the New York Road Runners Youth Program. I’ll be starting dead last the day of the marathon, and for every person I pass Timex will donate $1 to the organization.
What’s your training been like so far?
I’’m very lucky because I have a running coach who helps me plan out my weeks. Right now I’m running five days a week, with Sundays being my long run days. Every week I up it another mile, so right now I’m at 11 miles. On the other days I mix it up–I’ll do 45-minute slower jogs or 5-10 minutes of jogging followed by five, 60-second sprints with a 1-minute recovery. On top of that I do a lot of planks to strengthen my core as well as strength training for my legs and calves. And I’ve recently discovered the foam roller when stretching, that thing feels so good! Read more
Ali Feller, the amazing running and fundraising superstar in our April I Did It! section (“I Conquered Crohn’s”), crossed her first endurance event finish line with the help of Team Challenge. In fact, she enjoyed the experience so much, she later became a Team Challenge mentor to help others rock their races too.
If you’re new to participating in triathlons, half or full marathons or cycling races, organizations like Team Challenge can be beneficial not only for the accountability factor (teammates are waiting for you at the track each week), but also for the educational clinics about sports nutrition, injury prevention and hydration. And since you’re raising money for a good cause at the same time, in this case, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, you’ll be able to chalk up one more reason why you shouldn’t quit—during training or during the race.
Interested in trying out Team Challenge? They are currently “recruiting” participants for the following events:
- June 2: Virginia Wine Country Half-Marathon, Loudoun, Virginia
- June 24: Centurion Cycling, Lake George, New York
- June 24: Kona Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K, Big Island, Hawaii
- July 15: Wine Country Half-Marathon Napa to Sonoma, Sonoma, California
- September 9: Trirock San Diego, San Diego, California
To learn more about Team Challenge and these races, click here.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Now tell us: Have you participated in any team training events or charity races? Fill us in about them in the comments.
Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon—was it a one-and-done thing or will I do this crazy 26.2 mile race again? Crossing that finish line I told whoever would listen, “Never again! I’m sticking with triathlons!” but, now a few days later, as my sore legs are starting to feel normal again, I find myself thinking, well maybe I’ll do it just one more time. As my editor in chief told me, “If only one percent of the population have done just one marathon, imagine doing two? That means you’re a fraction of the population—how inspiring!” Before the race, I laughed at this thought (being just one person of that one percent is pretty damn good!), but now I’m thinking, is a marathoner a marathoner after doing just one, or do you need to rack up more to give yourself this esteemed title?
This entire marathon experience has been an incredible journey from the start. Since day one four months ago pounding the pavement trying to get mileage up, to the moment I stepped over that finish line, has been a roller coaster of emotions and a lifetime of memories that I’ll always cherish. Having watched my first NYC Marathon just a year ago, I never thought I’d be one of those 47,000-plus runners out there. Only a few years ago, I had never run more than six miles, and my first half-marathon was a spontaneous thing. But marathons were for everybody else, not me, so I always told myself. Maybe NYC is a place that makes you want do extraordinary things, but watching people put their bodies through this mental and physical challenge made me want to feel what they were experiencing. And as I watched the runners in 2010 finish their feat, I knew that 2011 was my year to tackle this goal.
I had a year to mentally prepare and tell myself that I was doing this and I had four months of intense running—not to mention incredible time management to fit in all the training—to get through everything I needed to do to be prepared. I was fortunate enough to run on the Asics team with my friends in the fitness magazine industry (yes, although some of us work for competing magazines, we’re still friends!) and have Andrew Kastor (husband of Olympic marathoner, Deena Kastor) as my coach.
As the days to the marathon quickly approached, I was more than ready to finally do this. As Coach Kastor said, “You’re halfway there.” The day of the marathon would be the rest of the journey. And luckily, Sunday was an unbelievably beautiful day here in New York City and we had perfect 60-degree weather. All 47,000-plus runners left their homes before the sun was even up and we huddled together on Staten Island as we geared up for the start of the race. Although starting the race more than four hours after I’d woken up isn’t ideal, it was definitely nice to have some bonding time with the people I’d be running alongside with.
The race is only beginning! Keep reading to hear about Jenna’s seven favorite things about the marathon. Bonus: One reader will win a prize in honor of her big race!
The streets of New York City will become a runway for Christy Turlington Burns this Sunday, as she’s preparing to slip on her shoes (sneakers, not stilettos) to tackle a marathon. Turlington Burns and several of her friends and colleagues will be teaming up during the race to raise money to support Every Mother Counts, the group she founded to bring attention to maternal health-related causes. Between her training sessions, she found time to create a short film, Every Mother Counts: Obsetric Fistula, which she recently premiered, about a dangerous complication that can occur to moms after childbirth.
After her film debuted at LUNAFEST film festival, Turlington Burns filled us in about her race training, the cause that’s close to her heart and how we can help.
You’re running the ING New York City Marathon to support maternal health. How did you train for the event?
When the opportunity to run in the New York City Marathon came up, I was a three to five-mile jogger. I started increasing my mileage in early August and have done so steadily through my first 21 mile run a few weeks ago.
Do you have a goal in mind for the race?
To finish! Well, I fully expect to finish, but hope to feel good on the other side too. I am hoping to come in under 4:30. I feel strong and ready. What a perfect way to highlight one of the biggest barriers for women accessing health care in a timely manner, which is distance and the lack of transport when emergencies do arise.
What other fit activities do you enjoy?
I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and it remains my favorite “exercise” even through it is so much more. In recent years, I have tried a few other fitness trends such as Physique 57 and Tracy Anderson.
Turlington Burns recently premiered an important short film at LUNAFEST in New York City. Keep reading to learn more about it and why the topic is so important to her.
This is it! Last week before my very first marathon. I’m a bunch of nerves, butterflies and excitement right now—besides wanting to make it through the 26.2 miles, I’m pumped up to see the crowds, run through the boroughs and be part of this “marathon club.” I’m totally psyched and can’t wait to do this! I’ve got our last marathon playlist here for you (we’re in such a tune-filled mood, we couldn’t help but share two lists today), with favorite songs from the FITNESS editors and many of our friends. We’ve clearly got a crush on Eminem and Kanye!
To anyone running the streets of New York City on Sunday, good luck and look for me out there! (Follow me on Twitter @FITNESSjenna to get updates about my experience.)
- “Lose Yourself,” Eminem
- “Dog Days are Over,” Florence + the Machine
- “Club Can’t Handle Me,” Flo Rida, featuring David Guetta
- “Fighter,” Christina Aguilera
- “‘Till I Collapse,” Eminem and Nate Dogg
- “O. . .Saya,” A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.
- “Bleeding Love,” Leona Lewis
- “Born This Way,” Lady Gaga
- “Alright 2010 (Original Mix),” Red Carpet
- “Only Girl (In the World),” Rihanna
- “Stronger,” Kanye West
- “Watch Me Shine,” Joanna Pacitti
- “Run the World (Girls),” Beyonce
- “Light Up the World,” Glee Cast
- “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” Kelly Clarkson
- “Call Your Girlfriend,” Robyn
- “You Make Me Feel,” Cobra Starship, featuring Sabi
- “Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys
- “What You Waiting For?” Gwen Stefani
- “Touch the Sky,” Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco
- “One Shot 2 Shot,” Eminem
- “The Edge of Glory,” Lady Gaga
- “Ace of Spades,” Motorhead
- “Loser Like Me,” Glee Cast
- “Lights,” Ellie Goulding
More from FITNESS: Click here for 100 more motivating tunes!
It’s crunch time! Or should we say, taper time? The 2011 ING NYC Marathon is a week away and already the city is bubbling with excitement and preparations. Among the list of notable celebs running this year are U.S. Olympian Apolo Ohno, model Christy Turlington, and on behalf of Timex, U.S. Olympian softball player Jennie Finch. Starting last, for every runner Finch passes Timex will donate $1 to the NYRR Youth Program. Below, we got the chance to chat with Finch on her unusual marathon training, and some tips she’s picked up along the way.
Belated congrats on your second child this past June! What was it like getting in shape for the marathon right after pregnancy?
It’s been very intense! I didn’t know what it would be like to get in shape for a marathon in general; it’s a whole different ball game than softball. It took about 12 weeks to really get myself back into the shape I was before I was pregnant. I did stay fairly active throughout my pregnancy, but your body just goes through a lot of changes. Another hurdle has been making the time to train, especially with a newborn and not getting much sleep!
How have you been training for the 2011 ING NYC Marathon?
I’ve been using the Timex Ironman Run Trainer with GPS and it’s basically been my coach on my wrist. My running coach Susanne Davis is in California, so we’ve been doing everything virtually. She wrote out my running plan for me so all I have to do is complete my workout and upload it from my watch so she can see everything from my heart rate, pace, and distance. It’s great because it makes me accountable for my runs since I know she’ll be able to see what I’m doing. My husband suggested I just ride around in a golf cart to get the mileage in, but that sneaky trick clearly wouldn’t work with her! Through my workouts we’ve also been able to create mini-goals. First it was just to finish the race, but now that my pace has been improving and my distance has been increasing I’m able to push it to the next level with her help.
What’s the best tip Davis has given you during your time training?
I finally got the chance to train in NYC the past weekend with Davis, and that was really great because she could check out my form to make any adjustments I needed. She’s talked a lot about my rhythm and keeping my strides constant with quick steps. This helps keep my pace up and is also a good distraction on long runs. Another great tip she’s given me is how to deal with hills. She’s always telling me to think about high knees when going uphill, and butt kicks going downhill.
Have you set a goal time to finish the race?
I didn’t until I ran with Davis a few weeks ago. She told me she’d like to see me finish in 4:10. It would be great to break 4:00, but we’ll have to see how everything plays out that day!
P.S. You could win a FREE VIP trip to next year’s ING New York City Marathon by guessing how many people Finch will pass this year after starting last. Click here to enter! Hint: Last year, former New York Giants player Amani Toomer finished in 4:13:45, passing 25,817 people. Think Jennie can beat him?
*Editor’s note: Jennie Finch did indeed beat Amani Toomer, finishing the marathon with an unofficial time of 4:05:26 and passing approximately 30,000 runners! Congrats, Jennie!
More from FITNESS: The 16-Week FITNESS Marathon Training Guide
This gold medal-winning Olympic speed skater, and a favorite among the Dancing With The Stars alum—not to mention the season four winner—is going for a run on November 6 around the boroughs of Manhattan in his first-ever marathon. I was lucky enough to score an invite to watch Apolo train at Chelsea Piers Sports Center in New York City, alongside buddy and 26-time Olympic winner, swimmer Michael Phelps, who was there to support his friend. (There was so much amazing talent in one place I wasn’t sure I could contain my excitement!)
“For 15 years I have trained to sprint for 10 seconds, rest, sprint for 10 seconds, rest,” Apolo told us. So I wondered why an 8-time Olympic gold medalist like Apolo, who is America’s most decorated winter Olympic athlete, would venture so far from the ice to the pavement? As a speed skater, endurance is certainly not Apolo’s cup of tea. But with the physique vastly different than a runner—big legs, tiny arms, comparing himself to that of “T-Rex”—Apolo is putting in the miles to support Subway’s campaign to promote health and fitness.
After meeting Jared Fogle—the man who rose to fame after America discovered he had dropped over 200 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches alone—Apolo claims he was inspired by Jared’s passion to lead a new lifestyle; and was put up to the challenge by Jared himself, who ran the 45,000 person marathon in 2010. “This is one of my favorite cities to visit, so to have the opportunity to run here, and have the city shut down once a year? That doesn’t happen, it’s amazing,” says Ohno seeming extremely giddy to be part of such a monumental event.
Did I ever think I’d witness a cross between athletic challenges, like speed skating and marathon running, in such a way? Not likely, but as as runner myself it was touching to see someone so inspirational take on a new challenge totally out of his comfort zone. Apolo’s Olympic training may not have prepared him for the 26.2 mileage, or all the mental work that goes into tackling that “wall,” however Apolo seemed like a man on a mission. Will I bump into Apolo on the race course in just less than three weeks? Who knows with the massive amount of runners I’ll be making my way through, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for him like Where’s Waldo.
More from FITNESS:
- What It Takes to Be an Olympic Athlete: 3 Sports Stars Fess Up
- Eat Like an Olympian
- That’s the Spirit: How Lindsey Vonn Stays Fit and Focused
I’m halfway through my first marathon training plan, and let’s just say I’m in love with the idea of crossing that coveted finish line (and super-psyched to be part of such a big “club” here in New York City), but how the heck am I really going to run for 26.2 miles?! These are the thoughts going through my head as I do my long runs on weekends, passing each mile marker and thinking about the many many more I have ahead. I should be thinking inspiring things to move me forward, like how this is a goal I always wanted to check off my list or that if those older than me and some physically disabled can do this, then why can’t I?
However, the unknown and nerves surrounding 26.2 miles is playing games with my head! They say the most challenging physical demands you ask your body to do for you—like marathons, triathlons and even Ironman races—are also challenges of the mind. The mental component to accomplishing a goal is the will or desire to want to achieve it. So like Nike says, “Just Do It.”
So that I will, but not before I try some of these 11 mental tips from New York Sports Club Master Trainer and Running Coach, Monica Vazquez. (She’s run over 25 races: five full marathons, a handful of 5ks and many many half-marathons! Check her out at fitnessbymonica.com.)
For the smartest tricks to make it through your next long run, Read more
Monday is notably the most dreaded day of the week for many people. It’s back to the grind, back to school and usually back to that perpetual “Monday I’ll start my diet” talk. However, I have a little secret up my sleeve that I’d like to share with you all. I always take a Monday evening spin class with my favorite instructor Rique Uresti at SoulCycle. His class always pushes me a lot harder than I would have wanted to work out—especially for a Monday. But then that’s why I love it. This class starts my week off on the right foot, with the right attitude about exercising and being healthy.
Since you all can’t be riding alongside with me, I wanted to share one of my favorite playlists from the man himself, which I use all week while training for my upcoming marathon. Thanks Rique!
- “Luminary Ones (Nause Remix),” Rebecca & Fiona
- “The Game We Play (Club Mix),” Raffa Ciello
- “So Many Times (Original Mix),” Gadjo
- “Club Thing (RAC Mix),” Yoav
- “Drake & Diane,” The White Panda
- “Acapella (Dave Aude Extended Mix),” Kelis
- “Sweet Apologize Revisited,” Fissunix
- “Gotta Fly (Steve Miller Band vs. Amerie),” DJ Lobsterdust
Now tell us: What motivates you to work up a sweat when you have a severe case of “the Mondays?”
Here at FITNESS, we believe in getting fit for good causes. In the That’s the Spirit! section of our April issue (on newsstands now), we feature runner Jamie Horn, who’s currently training for the Potomac River Run Marathon on May 1. She’s running 26.2 miles to raise money for the Andi Foundation, a nonprofit she started to honor her best friend Andi Parhamovich.
In January 2007, Andi was killed during a terrorist attack in Iraq while working on a democracy-building mission for a nonprofit. Jamie and Andi’s family and friends created the Andi Foundation to help young women pursue careers in politics, humanitarian work and media. Learn more about the Andi Foundation and donate at theandifoundation.org. We wish Jamie the best of luck on her upcoming race!
Want to get fit for a good cause? We put together this list of our favorite fitness charity events to help you find one near you. And if there’s a cause you strongly believe in and are involved with, tell us in the comments below!
Know someone who is sharing her love of fitness with others in a creative and charitable way? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.