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Conquering a Triathlon, Relay-Style

Written on July 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm , by

Molly and I all smiles post-race. Bring on the full next year!

Swim, bike, run…they’re all amazing workouts when you do them alone. But putting them all together? Now that’s a good time. If you’re a triathlete, you know that already. But if you’re not, putting all three sports together for one epic day of racing can be quite intimidating. Add in over 3,000 athletes, the Hudson River and a bunch of mileage—one mile of swimming, 25 miles of biking and 6.2 miles of running—and you’ve got the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon, which looks downright terrifying.

Luckily, Aquaphor allowed me to dip my toes into the world of triathlon without diving in head first. Instead of tackling all three sports myself, I rounded up two more FITNESS friends—both with more swimming and biking experience than I—and signed up to tri, relay-style!

Despite an obnoxiously-early wakeup call (hello, 3:00am), Emily, Molly and I had the time of our lives out on the course. For Emily, she was courageous enough to swim in the scary waters of the Hudson River. The girl sliced through the water with ease, and before we knew it, she was handing off the timing chip to Molly, our hard-core biker! Here’s what she has to say about riding on the West Side Highway:

After a few anxious hours of waiting for the race to start, the excited buzz in transition was contagious! I grabbed my bike and started jogging toward the exit with a million worries on my mind (Will I get a flat? Do I have enough hydration? What if I crash? Will I make all the hairpin turns?). But as soon as I crossed the mounting line and clipped in, every thought disappeared. It was just me and my bike, like any other day, and I was ready to race! The course was bumpier than I expected—Despite tight cages, I lost my first water bottle at mile 4 and the second at mile 19—and the hills were tough, so I took my time climbing. Since my legs were fresh and I didn’t have to save up energy for the run, I tried to cheer on others along the course. Prepping my tush and upper thighs with Aquaphor seriously saved me from painful saddle sores post-race. Before I knew it, I was already making the last turn back into transition to pass the chip (and my biker’s-high encouragement) to Samantha for the last leg.

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Fit Blogger We Love: Running Bun

Written on December 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm , by

Ashley dominated her Ragnar Relay miles without losing that infectious smile.

The first time we found Ashley at Running Bun and clicked over to her “About Me” page, we fell in love. When a girl lists “spandex” as the first item in a list of favorite things, we’ve found a girl after our own hearts. From her inner monologue during races to the detailed class reviews she shares, we can’t get enough of the witty runner. And the fact that she figured out the perfect solution for girls with super long and thick hair? Genius.

Read on to find out what else she can’t live without and which mantra she sweats by – it’s OK, we added it to our motivational boards, too.

5 things I can’t live without: My dogs, leggings, coffee, Bruce Springsteen concerts and vegetables.

Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to: I don’t think it’s embarrassing, but others have suggested it be deleted off of my iPod: “Can’t Be Tamed,” by Miley Cyrus.

My “I Did It” moment: Finishing 33 miles at the Ragnar Adirondacks Relay in September 2012. I had just come back from a foot injury, and finishing that type of distance gave me the confidence to pick up and continue to train for my fall marathon! After the NYC Marathon was cancelled, I ran the Richmond Marathon a week later and ended up with a new PR (personal record)!

My fitness mantra: “The body achieves what the mind believes!” A great friend told me this and I will never stop repeating it to myself when I am having a hard time getting through a workout or a run!

My motivation comes from: Wanting to run faster. There is nothing like training and racing your a** off. I feel so accomplished when I reach a goal and am able to set and work toward a new one!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email blog@fitnessmagazine.com

Race Car Driver Danica Patrick Talks Home Fitness Favorites and the Cause Close to Her Heart

Written on February 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm , by

Patrick will hit the track next weekend in Daytona. (Photo courtesy of DRIVE4COPD.com)

After Danica Patrick’s grandma struggled with emphysema, she knew she wanted to do more than simply focus on preventing more lung disease in her family. So for the past two years, the race car driver has worked with DRIVE4COPD to spread the word that COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the only leading cause of death that’s increasing in prevalence.

We spoke with Patrick about her health crusade, how she stays in shape and how she’s feeling leading up to the big race coming up at Daytona on February 26.

Lung health has played a large role in your life. What do you do to keep yours in top shape?

I work out a lot. I lift weights to stay strong for my job. My routine includes a lot of functional training, like squats and lunges with an upper body move, for core stabilization. Cardio is also important, and it feels good to work my lungs and breathe deep. I think of taking care of my body from the inside out, especially as I’m getting older, and eat foods because they’re healthy. And not smoking is a big factor.

It sounds like you’re quite active! Do you have any favorite ways to stay fit?

I’ve been exercising since I was 14 and will be 30 next month, so I know that I have to change it up to make it fun. I enjoy DVD workouts—Beachbody does a great job with P90X and Insanity. They’re very difficult, and I’ve found it’s fun to add jumping and shake up my routine. My goal this year is to stick with yoga more. I used to skip it during the season since it would take away from my strength training time, but I know that flexibility is important.

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