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marathon training

Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno Is Going For a Run!

Written on October 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm , by

Mary Wittenberg, President & CEO of the New York Road Runners, left, takes a loop with Phelps and Ohno. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for SUBWAY)

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!)

Phelps and Ohno take a breather and share a laugh over the swimmer's lack of running skills. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for SUBWAY)

“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.

I'm feeling honored to have met such an amazing athlete! (Photo by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for SUBWAY)

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:

Got the Marathon Training Blues?

Written on September 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm , by

Visualize yourself crossing the finish line during tough training runs. (Photo by John Herr)

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

Music Monday: Marathon Training Playlist

Written on September 5, 2011 at 11:38 am , by

TK (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

Me at Soul, loving the music, living the words. (Photo courtesy of SoulCycle)

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!

Now tell us: What motivates you to work up a sweat when you have a severe case of “the Mondays?”

Getting Fit for a Cause: Jamie Horn and the Andi Foundation

Written on March 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm , by

Jamie Horn training for the Andi Foundation, Photo by Kevin Coloton

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 spirit@fitnessmagazine.com.