Wednesday, September 23, 2020

TrueEnergy Sock Review

Back in the spring, TrueEnergy sent me a pair of their low cut socks to test out. With the pandemic in full force and my fitness studio shut down by the state, my mind was a bit distracted. The other day, I realized I had not posted my experience with the socks. I've been wearing them on just about all of my runs since I received them in early May. 

At first it was for the sole purpose of testing them out for a review, but then I realized they were becoming my go-to socks for my runs, everyday wear too.

Why? Well, bottom line they are comfortable. I like the way they contour my foot. They are snug and don't move around, but without feeling like the circulation's being cut off. The snug fit actually helps with circulation and keeping blisters at bay.

Now, the "special" thing about these socks is that they are "powered" by infrared nano-particles blended into the yarn. Your body's heat is captured by the nano-particles to produce infrared energy. Infrared energy expands your capillaries which improves circulation, stimulates cellular recovery and accelerates metabolism." This is suppose to help with recovery, reduce swelling, relax tight muscles, etc. 

Now I'm no scientist. I really can't tell you if all that techie stuff is working, but I can tell you they wear good, feel good, and I'm wearing them because I want too, not because I got them for free.

The other great thing is that they are affordable. I've often paid $15 or more a pair for running socks. The TrueEnergy low cut socks I tested are $19.99 for 3 pair! Three pair! The TreeEnergy socks come in low cut, crew, and over-the-calf. The low cut and crew are 3 pair for $19.99 and over-the-calf are 2 pair for $19.99. That's AWESOME!

Check them out and order a pack at https://trueenergysocks.com/

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #20

Need a full-body workout to do at home with limited equipment? Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #20 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, Workouts 1-19).upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #20, all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #19

Need a full-body workout to do at home with limited equipment? Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #19 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-18).

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #19, all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells and an exercise step.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #18

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be here!)challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #18 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-18)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #18, all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #17

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a here!)challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #17 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-17

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #17, all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells and a chair.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #16


With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #16 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-16 here!)


The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #16, all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #15

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #15 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-15 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #15, all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells, and a chair.

Friday, July 3, 2020

RunnerDude's Full=Body At-Home Workout #14

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #14 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-13 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which each cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness.

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #14, all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

Monday, June 29, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #13

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #13 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-12 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon jugs filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #13,  all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #12

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #12 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-11 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #12,  all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Ask the Coach: What's the Best Fuel?

As a running coach, one of the most asked questions I get (especially among my race trainees) is, "What's the best fuel, fat or carbs?"

I learned along time ago, that like politics, food can be a very emotional topic for people. So, I'm not here to say one fuel is bad and one fuel is good. I can share from personal experience and from the research which tends to be better for a runner. As an individual, you an decide what's best for you. And as always, consult with your physician and/or registered dietitian when making any dietary changes, especially if you have specific dietary needs or a physical condition dependent on a specific diet.

In my race training plans I provide my runners with basic fueling guidelines to support their pre-, during-, and post run fueling and refueling. These guidelines provide basic carbohydrate, protein, and fat recommendations based on my education from RRCA, ASCM, and NPTI. From my running coach's perspective, carbohydrates are a runners main source of fuel.

A lot of recent popular diet programs use a fat-for-fuel approach. A big draw to these programs is initial quick weight loss. Most of the fat-based diets severely restrict carb to as little as 10% while increasing fat up to 75% of calories. The bases for his shift is that this type of diet for the athlete will prevent bonking or crashing. This type of diet is supposed to provide a bigger reserve of energy sustaining activity for longer periods of time. Research has been done showing that ultra marathoners and Ironman triathletes who had a high fat diet of 70% fat and 10% carbs for 9-36 months burned fat at much greater rates during an 180-min run than those who followed a lower fat diet of 25% fat, 59% carbs. This outcome seems pretty good.

More research, however, shows that for sports where you need to kick it up a notch at times, a high-fat diet, isn't going to provide that umph you're looking for. Why? Well, as your body learns to burn fat more efficiently, it impairs your body's ability to burn carbohydrates. Your body uses fewer chemical reactions to convert carbs to energy. So, with a proper carb store and your body being able to quickly convert carbs to energy, you can get that boost you need to charge that hill, or pull out of a fatigue slump, or change gears  as you near that finish line. With conversion of fat to fuel, your body is more like, "Oh okay, you want to go faster. Wait, hang on. I'm working on it."

Idea Fitness Journal (April 2018) shares that in a review of 61 studies, the vast majority showed that diets relying on more calories from carbs than fats were optimal for athletic performance (Stellingwerff & Cox 2014). None of the studies showed that a carb-rich diet hurt performance. Most research shows that decreasing carbs in favor of fat isn't likely to get you to the finish line faster. (Burke et at. 2017; Havemann et al. 2006; Urban et al. 2017; Zinn et al. 2017).

Another thing to keep in mind if you desire to go to a high fat/low carb diet is that it takes weeks to adapt to. I do not recommend a runner who wants to try a high fat diet switch to it while at the same time starting a race training program. Start the transition several months prior to starting race training. Why? When switching to a high fat diet one can expect to experience fatigue, constipation, and mood swings none of which would be great to experience while starting up a race training plan.

Personally, I'm a proponent of eating a well balanced diet. I'm a strong believer in a good mix of complex carbs (including whole grains, fruits and veggies), healthy fats, and protein is key. Then when kicking in race training, I believe slightly increasing healthy complex carbohydrates is key in supporting your workouts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #11

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #11 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-10 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #11,  all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #10

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #10 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout Workouts 1-9 here!)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #10,  all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells, and a towel

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Return to Reading


It took me a long while before I read on my own for pleasure. As a youngster, I could read, but it took me (as compared to others) a lot longer to read the same amount. I later learned, that's because I devour each word. 

In my early 20s after college, when I was reading for me and not under time constraints of others, I became a voracious reader. I read mystery, suspense, Southern fiction, non-fiction, running books, historical fiction and more. 10 years ago, when I started RunnerDude's Fitness, my reading for me pretty much came to a halt. 14-hour days left no time. When I did have time, as soon as I was still for more than 5 minutes, I'd be in a coma. So my reading waned. 

One good thing to come out of the Covid-19 stay-at-home, is that I've had some time to pick up a book again. I'm old school. I like holding a hardback or paperback book in my hands. It's not pretty. When I read a book, the pages get crinkled, there might be a coffee stain or two, and yes (gasp), I dog-ear the pages to mark where I've stopped.  I have the Kindle app, heck my own book, Full-Body Fitness for Runners is on Kindle, but there's something for me about holding a real book that adds to the experience. 

After, I've finished a book, I have to keep it. I think that goes back to when I was a teenager and finished reading my first own-my-own novel. It was a huge accomplishment. I had invested a week of my life with that book. It was a part of me. I couldn't just give it away. As a result, our house (as an adult) was chock full of books. Over the years, being a family of 5 and living in a 1500 sq ft house, I've learned to part with books, but it still isn't easy. 

One of my favorite fiction writers is Brad Meltzer. I have all of his books, even though I haven't been able read many of them the past several years since opening RunnerDude's Fitness. So, now with the time handed to me, I'm catching up. Nothing better than a cool breeze on your face, your feet warmed by the sun, a cup of Starbucks by your side, and a good book in your hand.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #9

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #9 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1Workout #2Workout #3Workout #4 , Workout #5Workout #6Workout #7, Workout #8

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #9,  all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells, and an exercise step (the bottom step of a set of stairs will do too).

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #8

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #8 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1Workout #2Workout #3Workout #4 , Workout #5Workout #6, and Workout #7.

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #8,  all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells, and a chair or exercise step (or regular step).

Thursday, May 14, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #7

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #7 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1Workout #2Workout #3Workout #4 , Workout #5, and Workout #6)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #7,a ll you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells.

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #6

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #6 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1Workout #2, Workout #3, Workout #4 and Workout #5)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo http://venmo.com/RunnerDude or Paypal https://www.paypal.me/runnerdudesfitness. Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #6, all you need is a mat, a light to medium pair of dumbbells (or soup cans will do!), and an exercise cone (or a roll of paper towels will do!).

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #5

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #5 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1Workout #2Workout #3, and Workout #4)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

For this workout, I'm using a backpack filled with "stuff" and a broomstick or mop handle. Fill a backpack with whatever and then weight it to get the particular weight you're shooting for, 10 lbs, 15lbs, 20lbs, etc. For some exercises, you'll slide that broomstick through the backpack straps creating a barbell. Don't worry if you don't have a backpack handy, you can still do the workout with a pair of dumbbells.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo (Runnerdude) or Paypal (runnerdude@runnerdudesfintess.com) Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #5,  all you need is a mat, a backpack filled with "stuff", and a broomstick (or a pair of dumbbells will do!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ask The Coach: Why Is a Cool Down Important After a Run?

"Why is a cool-down important after a run?" It's a question I'm often asked. Nobody seems to mind the warm-up, but when I say, "Ok, get your cool-down in?" I often hear moans and groans. Once you finish that last repeat, you're done, right? Well, technically you're done with the repeats, but not quite yet with the workout. 

A cool-down run aids the body in several ways, but here are three that I'm keen on.

  1. Faster recovery
  2. More effective results from your workout
  3. Helps your body return to a state of rest 

Faster Recovery: The easy slow jog after your workout, continues to supply your muscles with oxygenated blood. This helps jump start the recovery process and also avoid sore muscles. Also, during intense speed workouts, the body produces lactic acid and other energy production waste products. The cool-down jog helps your body more quickly flush out these waste products also aiding in a quicker recovery.

More Effective Results: If you're body begins the recovery and rebuilding process quicker, then you're going to see better results from your workouts and quicker. You'll also be better prepared for you next run or workout instead of still feeling sluggish or sore from the previous workout.

Helps Your Body Return to State of Rest: Doing a cool-down jog after a speed workout allows your heart rate to come down slowly, allowing your body systems such as blood pressure to return to normal gradually. This also helps to avoid blood pooling in the legs after a hard workout. Ever felt dizzy after a speed workout? Improper hydration and/or fueling can be the culprit, but blood pooling in the legs is often the cause. A simple cool-down jog can help avoid this. That same cool-down jog can also let your body's cooling system wind down gradually. Have you ever finished a speed workout and as soon as you stopped, if feels like a faucet turned on in your body and suddenly your drenched in sweat? That's because during your workout, your body is working hard to keep you cool. When you land that last step of your speed workout, your body doesn't automatically shut down it's cooling plant. It's still going full force. A cool-down jog gives your brain time to realize that you are winding down and no longer need as much cooling-off support. As your heart rate comes down, that faucet will start to turn to the off position.

The more intense the workout, the more important the cool-down. Most experts recommend a 5- to 10-min cool-down. I usually tell my runners to do a half to a full mile for their cool-down. Remember, the cool down pace should be your easy run pace or slightly slower to be effective. If you're newer to speed workouts and you feel like you just have nothing left for a cool-down jog after your workout, try doing a 5- to 10-min cool-down walk.  Also, keep in mind that short-and-fast is hard and long-and-slow is hard. I've found it very beneficial to do a 5 to 10-min cool-down walk after a long run. It provides the same benefits as that cool-down jog after that speed workout.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

RunnerDude's At-Home Full-Body Workout #4

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #4 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Be sure to checkout  Workout #1, Workout #2, and Workout #3)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles. I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. If you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights.

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo (Runnerdude) or Paypal (runnerdude@runnerdudesfintess.com) Give the workout a try and let me know what you think. Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

For RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #4, all you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells (or soup cans will do!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #3

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #3 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Click Here for Workout #1 and Click Here for Workout #2)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles.

I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. I you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights. 

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo (Runnerdude) or Paypal (runnerdude@runnerdudesfintess.com)

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think.  Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #3
All you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells (or soup cans will do!)

RunnerDude Full-Body Workout #3 from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.

Monday, April 6, 2020

RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #2

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is the RunnerDude Full-Body At Home Workout #2 that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises. (Click Here for Workout #1)

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles.

I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. I you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights. 

The workout is free, but if you'd like to make a donation for the workout in support of RunnerDude's Fitness during Covid-19, donations can be made via Venmo (Runnerdude) or Paypal (runnerdude@runnerdudesfintess.com)

Give the workout a try and let me know what you think.  Post some pics of you doing the workout and staying motivated!

RunnerDude's Full-Body At-Home Workout #2
All you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells (or soup cans will do!)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Don't Give In to The Wall

If you're a distance runner, then you know what "hitting the wall" is all about. Usually it's around
mile 20 in a marathon. Most of the time it's due to improper fueling, hydration, or both. Sometimes, it's due to going out too fast too soon. And sometimes, it just happens with no explanation.

There are other walls we encounter that don't involve marathons. Walls we can't control. Right now, Covid-19 is a huge wall for everyone affecting our daily lives. For runners, it means no group runs, social distancing when we do run with others. For many, it's meant canceled races for which they've spent months training. Sickness and injury are similar walls out of our control.

Then there are self-imposed walls that keep us from achieving our goals. One of the biggest self-imposed walls is lack of confidence. We are often our own worst enemy. Something I often hear early on in marathon training is, "I can't run 26.2 miles." My response usually is, "You're right. Right at this moment, you can't run a marathon. But if you follow the training and take it one day at a time, and believe in yourself, you can run a marathon." We often look at the end result and get overwhelmed. A runner has months to prepare for those 26.2 miles. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be challenging? Yes. Will there be bumps along the way? Yes. But you can do it.

For most individuals it's pretty common for self-doubt to creep in when they dip their toes into the unknown. The initial response for many is, "I Can't!" But here's the thing. You can. You have to just flick-it! Flick that self doubt to the curb! Don't give into the Wall. Easier said than done, right?

A big step in achieving this is clearing your mind of "Can't." Just remove it from your vocabulary. Next step is to be "Real." It's going to be hard. Marathon training is one of the hardest things you'll ever do. But it will also be one of the most rewarding and life-changing things you'll do! Training for a marathon causes you to dig deep and find a you that you may never even knew existed. Once you find this new you, you'll be amazed how much you pull on the new you in other areas of your life.

If you follow my Instagram or Facebook page, you're probably aware that I've been dealing with an Achilles and Hamstring issue in my right leg. Because of the stay-at-home order, I've been able to get more rest and focus on my running. I've been doing 5-6 miles with 7 being my longest run of recent. I've been dealing with these issues since the end of August, so this is major progress. 

On today's run, I felt good. My goal was 6 miles. During the 3rd mile, my brain kept telling me, "When you reach 4 miles, you can stop, rest and stretch." I quickly recognized this as a self-imposed WALL.  At mile 4, I said, "No!" and kept going. But my brain kicked in again at mile 5, telling me to stop, rest, and stretch. I did not SUCCUMB to the WALL! I did the full 6 miles. That may not sound like a big deal, but I needed to show my brain and my body, that 6 miles is good with no stopping, and it was. Clear your mind of Can't!

Another self-imposed wall is the "I'll do it later syndrome." For many, they'll grab the first excuse that pops up as a means of putting off what we know may be difficult. Whether, it's too cold, too hot, raining, work, family, whatever, don't let excuses be your wall. Yes, there will be times, when you can't get in a run, that's life. But, if you schedule your workouts and make them a part of your daily/weekly routine, then you're much less likely to shove them aside. Schedule your workouts into your calendar just like you would a meeting and treat them with the same importance. Consistency is huge and often the key to successful running.

Walls don't just occur in marathon training. They occur in beginning running, training for a 5K, 10K, Half marathon. They occur in our everyday non-running life with that new job, new friend, new baby, job loss, financial issues, and more. Running is often a metaphor for life and rules for how to best succeed in running can be applied to everyday life events too. Running is so much more than running.

The next few weeks may be scary. Most stay-at-home orders allow for daily outside exercise with proper social distancing. So, unless the orders in your area restrict you to staying completely at home, get out and get in the daily walk or run. Not only will you not succumb to the Wall, you'll relieve a lot of stress too. 

Trust. Believe. Conquer!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Benefits of Morning Running


Fellow runner and blogger (Runners Blueprint), David Dack contacted me about sharing a post on the benefits of morning running. Some good stuff here. Check it out!

The Morning Run
There’s a long list of good reasons for running first in the morning. You’ll kick off the day doing something healthy. You’ll have more energy throughout the day. You’ll be more consistent.

I could go on and on, but by now you should be familiar with some of the perks of catching a run when the rest of the world is still asleep.

Want to make your morning workouts work out for you?

Here are my best tips and practical steps to make the morning exercise part and parcel of your life.

Sound great? Let’s get started.

The Benefits Of Morning Workouts
Before we get into the strategies you need to make morning exercise a reality, let’s first look at some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by doing so.
  • Increase productivity. Pounding the pavement first thing in the morning will help you feel uplifted and energized for the rest of the day. This, in turn, can do wonders for your productivity and the way you deal with everything else in your life.
  • Be more consistent. Heading out for a run when the rest of the world is still asleep makes it more likely to stick to your routine since you got fewer things and obligations to worry about first thing in the morning — no more interference from a demanding job or making lunch for hungry kids.
  • Good for weight loss. Are you looking to shed the pounds? Running in a fasted state may help. Research shows that not only working out before breakfast burns a lot of fat but it also revs up your metabolism for the rest of the day, resulting in a higher calorie burn, even at rest.
  • Improve your mood. Running triggers the release of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, which can enhance your mood and help kick the day off on a positive note. Running also lowers stress like nothing else, keeping it at bay for the remainder of the day.
  • Less traffic. If you live in an urban area, this will come in handy. Braving the roads before everyone commutes to work means fresher air and less pollution during your run. Just remember to stay visible to oncoming vehicles.
  • Faster races. Since the majority of race events take place in the morning, pounding the pavements at that time helps you simulate real race conditions, thus, makes it more likely for you to achieve peak performance on the big day.

Strategies:
Get Enough Sleep. Not only will you feel energized after a good night of sleep, you’ll also find it easier to get going when the alarm goes off.

Instead of binge-watching some stupid show or scrolling through Instagram before bed, avoid all electronics an hour before bed. Using such a device before going to bed negatively affects your sleep quality.

As a rule, shoot for at least eight to nine hours of non-interrupted sleep during the nighttime. Sure, there’s no such thing as the magical number that works for everyone, but that range is the recommended baseline for optimal sleep.

Prepare in Advance. Build the habit of preparing everything you need for your morning runs the night before. This helps you avoid the struggle of finding everything when you’re half asleep.

You don’t have to think about what gear to use when you’re half asleep, having all of your essentials ready to go makes it easier to be be out of the door running without having to waste precious time nervously looking around for your gear.

Trying to get ready for your morning workout within the short window you have means that you already have lost the battle. You’re more likely to forget something you need in the fog of waking up.

What will more likely happen is, you’ll roll back over and revert to your pillow instead of workout gear.

Things to prepare include: 
Your...
  • Phone
  • Music playlist
  • Water bottle
  • Pre-run snack
  • Running clothes
  • Running shoes
  • Running buds
  • Running socks
In other words, everything you need for your workout. This is what’s going to help you set your environment for success. The rest is just details.

Have A Hearty breakfast. Eating breakfast is a fantastic way to give you the energy boost you need, especially if you’re depleted of energy first thing in the morning.

That’s why I highly urge you to eat something light before you head out. A small bite will ensure that you have enough fuel in the tank to keep going, especially if you’re about to run for an extended period and/or are not used to exercising on an empty stomach.

Remember to plan out your pre-workout and healthy breakfast before going to bed. 

Some of my favorite options include:
  • Banana
  • Dried fruits
  • Two hard-boiled eggs
  • Toast and peanut butter
  • An energy bar.

Stick To Your Schedule. Commit to a specific time of the week—typically a Sunday—and jot down when and how you plan to carry out your exercise routine.

Doing this makes you more likely that you don’t let life get in the way of your runs, and eventually help ingrain the exercise habit for life.

Once you decide on a schedule, cast in in-store and stick to it. Never deviate. Treat your sessions the same way you’d a work meeting or doctor’s appointment.

Make sure your workout routine is the priority—maybe as urgent as or more so than going to work in the morning or participating in family events — the more urgent, the better.

There you have it! 
The above guidelines are all you need to turn your running habit into a part of your morning routine. Now it’s up to you to put into action what you have just learned. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below. I can’t wait to hear from you.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

About the author:
David Dack
David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.

RunnerDude Full-Body At-Home Workout #1

With most gyms and fitness studios closed due to Covid-19, getting in you weekly workouts can be a challenge. Below is a full-body workout that takes a little over 40 mins. The workout includes lower-body, upper-body, and core exercises.

The workout is a modified Tabata format. There are 9 rounds. Each round has 6 cycles of 30 sec work/10 sec rest. After all 6 cycles are complete, you get 1-min of rest before moving to the next round of 6 cycles. Each round either has one exercise for which cycle cycle you switch sides (i.e. lunges on your left side, then lunges on your right side), or there are two different exercises that you'll rotate between for the 6 cycles.

I know you may have limited equipment at home, so the workout uses only a light-medium set of dumbbells. If you don't have dumbbells, try holding canned vegetables, or half or full-gallon just filled with water. You could also hold books or hold light ankle weights. I you don't have any weights or alternative weights, you can still do the movements without weights. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

RunnerDude's Full-Body Workout #1
All you need is a mat and a light to medium pair of dumbbells (or soup cans will do!)


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Right Clothes

A few weeks ago porfessional decathlete and Olympic 2021 hopeful, Chris Helwick reached out to see if he couple provide me with a guest post for RunnerDude's Blog. My reply? "Sure!" Chris writes a blog about his experiences in athletics, and it can all be found on his website ChrisHelwick.com. Below is his post on "The Right Clothes—for better habits, mindset, and performances."
To check out some of RunnerDude's interviews with various Olympians and other great runners click here.




The Right Clothes
— for better habits, mindsets, and performances

My high school soccer team always had the best-looking uniforms. It wasn’t that we had a particularly large budget for such things; rather, it was that my coach had a firm belief that the way our team dressed, both in practice and in competition, had a significant impact on how we performed. His motto was simple:

“When you look good, you feel good”

Most people recognize that the way they dress — no matter their style — sends a message to the outside world about who they are and what they’re all about. But what isn’t as obvious, or well-understood, is how our clothing shapes the opinions and beliefs we have about ourselves.

See, my coach didn’t care what the other team thought about our uniforms, he cared what we thought about them. Or more accurately, he cared what we thought about ourselves when we put them on. His motto — when you look good, you feel good — was all about instilling confidence and belief, knowing that such qualities were the cornerstones of high performance.

High Performance Starts with Better Habits

“We are what we repeatedly do; therefore, excellence is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

If Aristotle were with us today, he’d probably say something we’ve all heard many times before — If you want to perform at a higher level, you have to train at a higher level.

To become a better athlete, or to achieve the next goal you’ve set for yourself, you must be consistent in your training. No one heroic workout is going to advance your abilities in any meaningful way. So how do you become the type of athlete who has better habits?

The Connection Between Our Clothes and Our Habits

Wearing the right clothes can be an excellent primer for creating better habits. For one, your clothes are highly visual and always right in front of you. That influence is abundant and inescapable — so whatever message you happen to be sending to yourself with your clothes, remember that you’re getting a constant dose of it all day long.

Second, clothes serve as a form of self-expression and are linked to our identities. They are the costumes of real life. In the same way that a good, convincing costume helps an actor get into character, we can use our own clothes to prime ourselves to think and feel like the athlete’s we wish to become. We can literally shape our identities with the clothes we choose to wear.

James Clear, a renowned expert on habits, explains that forming better habits is largely
about changing one’s sense of identity. When we change our beliefs about who we are, we naturally find it easier to change our behavior in a way that aligns with those beliefs. For example, if someone in the habit of staying up late can learn to identify with a statement like — I’m the type of person who goes to bed at 10pm — it will be much easier to change the habit of staying up late. On the other hand, if that same person identifies with a statement like — I’m such a night owl. I hardly ever fall asleep before midnight — then it will be difficult to make any lasting changes to bedtime.

Granted, retooling your athletic wardrobe is not going to turn you into Rocky Balboa overnight. There is always hard work to be done in building better habits and bettering one’s performances. But important insights can be gained from understanding how your clothes impact your sense of self and your duly taken actions.

According to one study from the Journal of SocialPsychological and Personality Science, participants scored much higher in creative and organizational tasks when wearing formal attire opposed to casual attire. The participants wearing formal attire also reported feeling more confident and focused during these tests, indicating their clothes had a significant impact on both their belief in their ability to perform well and their actual performance.

The Right Clothes — Not Necessarily the Most Popular Clothes

The right clothes for you, the ones that make you feel like the athlete you’d ideally like to be, day-in and day-out, aren’t necessarily going to be the most fashionable or luxurious options. They certainly might be — but wearing a set of clothes merely because they’re popular isn’t going to make you feel the way you want to feel. So forget about how your outfit appears to others, and think about how it is impacting your self-image instead.

At the same time, don’t just assume that all of the well-worn clothes in your closet are working against you. Any older garments that you have a positive association with can be extremely valuable. If the tattered and frayed race t-shirt you got six years ago reminds you of the time that, in the face of persistent pain, you charged the last 5k of your half-marathon without ever slowing down — then that old t-shirt is the one for you. Just be careful that the “classics” in your closet aren’t holding you back. While some older clothes have the power to lift you up in ways no others can, some have the potential to lead you back around to a former, worn-out state of mind.

Clothes are an Investment

The most common objection to investing further into one’s wardrobe is — I already have plenty of workout clothes. I really shouldn’t be buying any more.

I get it. You probably feel like you have too many clothes in general. Most people do. Plus many of those clothes are probably perfectly adequate in terms of function.

But in the same way that you invest your time and energy into your sport or activity, it's equally as valid to invest your money into a mindfully constructed wardrobe.

Ask yourself this — How are my clothes affecting the way I see myself as an athlete?

Along with keeping you warm, dry, and protected from the sun, shouldn’t your clothes be helping you feel strong, confident, and determined, too?

How to Get Started

First, give the following questions a generous ponder:

What’s the image of my ideal athletic self?

What habits do I need to form in order to become the athlete I ultimately want to be?

Then come up with 3-4 descriptive words that capture the essence of your answers. As a professional decathlete and pole vault coach, I spend about 4-5 hours each day training, coaching, and writing workouts. To do all of it well (or even decently), I must be able to think in both a long-term and short-term way.

When it’s time to train, I have to narrow my focus and be completely in the moment. When it’s time to write workouts, I have to envision a long-term plan and act strategically. One of my biggest day-to-day challenges is letting go of the long-term, strategic thinking when it’s time to be in the moment of a workout. With that in mind, I’ve landed on the following descriptors that, for me, embody the type of mentally agile athlete-coach I want to be day-in and day-out:

Present
Persistent
Thorough
Objective

Your descriptors may be completely different. In fact, I’m sure they will be! So here are some more descriptive words that many athletes, regardless of sport or skill-level, might use:

Patient
Grateful
Joyful
Supportive
Encouraging
Healthy
Driven
Strong
Determined
Prepared
Tactful
Fearless
Trusting

Once you have a sense of how you want to feel in your clothes, donate each of the items in your closet that fall short of getting you to that place. Then start filling in the gaps with carefully considered pieces that will anchor your thoughts to your chosen descriptors.

Now is the perfect time to make a change like this. It’s the perfect time to pause and reflect on how your athletic wardrobe has been holding you back or lifting you up for the past few months or years. It’s the perfect time to put words to the type of athlete you ultimately like to become. And in a few weeks (God willing), when retail stores all across the country reopen their doors and hold massive sales to jump-start their businesses, it will be the perfect time to find some great deals on the clothes that are going to help you work towards better habits, mindsets, and performances.