Saturday, September 21, 2013

Looking for a Personal Trainer or Running Coach in Greensboro, NC?

Are you ready to take the step? That step to a fitter you? Are you already pretty fit, but looking for something different that what you're doing now? How about running? Looking for a beginning running group? Or maybe you're ready for that first marathon or maybe you want to PR in your next race? Then RunnerDude's Fitness is just for you!

Our clients are the primary focus at RunnerDude's Fitness. We're not distracted with selling supplements or shakes. Your running and/or fitness goals are our goals. We are here to support you and guide you along your running and fitness journey. We want to know your goals and aspirations. We also want to know you as a person not just as a client. Fitness is a wonderful part of a full and healthy life, but it's not always easy, especially when you first start. RunnerDude's Fitness understands that and we're here for you and with you every step of the way.

Whether you choose one-on-one personal fitness training or small group personal training in the studio or one of group running programs, you'll receive personal attention and a customized training plan unique to your fitness needs and goals.

For fitness training in the studio, you won't find a lot of muscle-isolating weight machines at RunnerDude's Fitness. Instead, RunnerDude's Fitness focuses on functional, multi-joint exercises that support real movement. Strengthening the core and increasing balance are a primary focus in every workout at RunnerDude's Fitness. You'll be using free weights, exercise bands and resistance tubes, balance disks, BOSU ball, medicine balls, stability balls, TRX suspension training, battling ropes, agility ladders and a whole lot more!

We don't yell and we don't scream at our clients. Instead we educate and motivate you along the way. Our
trainers are highly qualified with personal training certifications from The American College of Sports Medicine, the National Personal Training Institute, the Road Runners Club of America, and the USA Track & Field Association.

Workouts in the studio are tough but fun. In addition to getting a good workout, you'll be learning about the exercises you're doing and why you're doing them as well as their benefit toward your fitness goals.

The RunnerDude's Fitness mantra is "Trust in your training. Believe in yourself. Conquer your goals!" and that's exactly what we'll help you do here at RunnerDude's Fitness.

Fitness Programs Offered:
  • One-on-One Personal Training
  • Small-Group Personal Training

Running Programs Offered:

  • Beginning Running
  • Intermediate Running
  • Group Race Training (5K to Marathon)
  • The RUNegades
  • Running Stride Video Analysis

Other Services:
  • Fitness Assessment
  • Nutrition Analysis
  • Free Consultation
Coporate Training:
RunnerDude's Fitness also provides group corporate training at prominent Triad companies such as Volvo Trucks and Volvo Financial Services. For over two years, RunnerDude's Fitness has worked with employees in fitness walking, beginning running, intermediate running, and race training groups.

"I love this program and am so excited by the employee success stories. Many of the nominees for the HFL award (most improved health) and  for the Culture of Health award (those that encourage others through their health success and just general encouragement and support of programming) have participated in your groups."
Mary Vintinner -- Program Coordinator (Volvo) StayWell Health Management

Be sure to check out our website at for more detailed information on all fitness and running programs and services we provide.

For client testimonials, click here.

About the Owner/Trainer:
Thad McLaurin (aka: RunnerDude), his wife Mitzi, and their three kids have lived in Greensboro, NC since 1998. He's come a long way since being "that overweight kid" as a youngster. After Weight Watchers® and a 40-pound weight loss in high school, he discovered running during college and has been passionate about running and fitness ever since. (Over 25 years!) It all started with the '84 Great Raleigh Road Race 10K. He wasn't fast, but he had a blast and was hooked.

13 years later, Thad caught the marathon bug. His marathon quest began with the '97 NYC Marathon. Twelve years later, he's run 11 marathons all over the country from NYC to Baltimore to Nashville to Honolulu, and then some.

A UNC Chapel Hill grad, Thad began his career as a 5th grade teacher before moving into the world of Educational publishing where he worked as a writer, editor, and book development manager for 13 years. Thad combines his love of writing with his love of running and fitness by hosting RunnerDude's Blog, one of the top-ranked running blogs in the country. He's a contributing writing for and he's also written articles for and Fitter U Fitness as well as being featured in the "Ask the Experts" section of the July 2010 Issue of Runner's World.

Thad's also active in the community and has been a member of the executive board for GOFAR, a nonprofit organization that prepares youngsters to run their first 5K! He also contributed to the GOFAR instructor curriculum manual.

Thad's biggest reward is helping others get hooked on running, fitness, and healthy living. He is well credentialed with his Personal Trainer and Nutrition Consultant diploma certifications from NPTI (National Personal Trainer Institute), his ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) personal trainer certification, his RRCA Running Coach certification, and his USA-Track & Field Level 1 Coaching certification. He's also current with his Red Cross adult CPR/AED and First Aid  training.

To learn more about Thad and his journey into the world of running and fitness, be sure to check out the article on RunnerDude in the February 2011 issue of Guideposts Magazine.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Getting Your Head In The Game

Not sure who said it first, but I've often heard that running is 90% mental and 10% physical. Whether the percentages are exactly correct or not, the overall message speaks a world of truth. No matter how physically prepared you are for a race, if your head isn't "in the game" then the outlook for the race is not going to be good.

There will be race days when everything possible that can go wrong will go wrong. But, if your head is in the game, you can still be unstoppable.

Case in point..... back in 2007,  I trained for the Chicago Marathon. My goal to qualify for Boston. This was when they had relaxed the qualifying times and before they toughened em back up again. Seems like I needed a 3:30:00

 If you recall, that was the first year the Chicago Marathon race date was moved to early October. It was also the year of the freakish heatwave. It was also the year that they ran out of water. And it was the year they shut down the race at 4 hours and bused-in all the remaining runners.

This was also the year that a Chicago taxi driver took me "for a ride." An expensive ride from the race back to the hotel that was twice the cost because of the scenic route I experienced. It was also the race where I experienced my first-ever post-race calf cramp where the muscle tied itself into a knot the size of a softball. It was also the race in which a goodhearted Chicago Samaritan heard my screams of pain and came to my rescue helping me hobble over to the massage tent where "Greta" and "Helga" worked some severe pain on me, but somehow managed to reduce the softball to a golf ball before leaving on my scenic taxi ride.

There was another goal associated with this Chicago race other than BQing. I had trained for Chicago back in 2000. Even went to the race. But I got sick while there and wasn't able to run. Two months later, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the cause of my sickness in Chicago. I wasn't going to let UC conquer me and Chicago was unresolved business. So 7 years later I found myself yet again in Chicago ready to resolve this unfinished business.

Back to 90% mental and 10% physical. A week before the race, all the Chicago participants received emails encouraging them not to come due to the predicted heat wave. 10,000 runners actually did heed the warning and didn't come. So, I already had in my mind that it was going to be a difficult race. But, living and training all summer in hot/humid North Carolina, I thought I'd be good to go.

I had my BQ goal. I knew my race pace. I knew my race strategy of starting conservative and building as the race progressed. But standing there in the start corral and noticing that I was already wiping beads of sweat from my brow and not from nerves but from the heat and  humidity I knew my original strategy was about to change.  I was a bit perplexed. This was the "Windy City", right? No wind. This is Chicago in October, right? Supposed to be chilly, right? Nope. I knew I needed to revisit my strategy. I stuck with my plan of starting conservative, but I put on hold whether or not I'd pick it up as the race went on.

The dew point was in the mid 70s and the temp was in the upper 80s. A recipe for disaster. Disaster it was. Even with 10,000 runners not showing up, they still ran out of water and sports drink. I was lucky enough to be fast enough to have had water the entire way, but I couldn't seem to get enough. Even with a conservative approach I still felt the wall at mile 20. I knew the BQ was not going to  happen that day, but I persevered and actually still managed a new PR. Not what I wanted, but I still felt good about the run.

You can train for 3-4 months, but it still comes down to race day. Anything can be thrown at you. The trick is to be able to evaluate the situation and get your head in the game. Sometimes that means altering your original plan of attack. And....that's okay.

More ways to get your head in the game when racing.
1. Visualize It: While racing, think about your training runs. I find this particularly helpful at mile 20. You have basically a 10K left. So, I visualize one of my 6-mile training routes. Instead of thinking "I've got to get from mile 20 to 26" I think, "Wow, I've just got my Lake Jeanette Rd Loop Route. I can do that!" Then, I actually mentally take myself through that route while running the last 6 miles of the marathon. It's a great distraction.
2. Chunk It: Instead of thinking of the race as 26.2 miles, break it into more manageable chunks. I like breaking mine into 6.5 mile chunks. That's a little more than 4 chunks. It's really helpful to tick off the chunks as I go. 
3. Absorb It: Distraction is a great tool when running an endurance race. You have to be careful though. You don't want the distraction to be so much of a distraction that you lose touch with your body and what it's telling you. Some research shows that runners that listen to music in marathon races, hit the wall earlier and more frequently than runners that do not listen to music. Researchers think these runners can become so into the music that they're not in touch with the signs the body might be trying to send them regarding fatigue or dehydration. Try using other external stimuli such as the cheering crowds, the landscape, the runners around you.
4. Keep It Up: Sometimes you can get too in tune with your body and that's not good either. If you're feeling every single ache and pain, that can be a downer. I've found that when I look straight down, I can become too inwardly focused. That's when the head games can start. Looking down also throws your posture out of balance. Your head is about the weight of a bowling ball (8lbs). Imagine running with an 8lbs dumbbell out in front of you. You'd probably tire pretty quickly. That's what happens when you look straight down. Holding that bowling ball head of yours down also rounds the shoulders, pulling on all the posterior muscles causing you to fatigue much quicker than if you had more upright posture. To avoid this, look up and out. You still need to survey the road ahead of you to avoid falling into a pothole, but try looking out/down about 20-30ft ahead of you. This keeps you safer, more in tune with your surroundings, and helps you keep better running posture.
5. Knock Em Off: One last strategy is to count "road kill." No, not dead opossums on the side of the road, but the fellow runners that you pass. Instead of using each mile marker as a bench mark, pick a runner ahead of you to catch up to and pass...."road kill." Mile markers can be deadly. When you begin to fatigue that mile between each mile marker can see like an eternity. Kind of like when you're driving and you have to pee. The sign you just passed says "Gas station 1-mile head." Seems like 10 miles before you ever reach it. When you have a moving target to catch, there is not expected distance. Your only goal is to catch up to that runner. You'll be amazed at how much time passes in getting to that runner. Then when you pass that runner, you'll be exhilarated and pumped with accomplishment. Be careful though. Be sure to select a runner that looks "catchable." You don't want to increase your pace beyond your planned race pace just to catch this runner. So, pick someone that looks attainable.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Your "Bun-Print" to Success

Sometimes you find evidence of your success in the most unlikely places. Sue who is in her fifties, joined one of my beginning running groups over a year ago. New to running, it was a challenge for Sue, at first. But man was she committed. She came to every group run ready to run. Sue lives near me and I'd see her out in the neighborhood getting in her solo homework runs too. She was bound and determined to get to the end of the program and be able to run 30-minutes straight with no walking. Boy did she accomplish that... and more. Not only did Sue finish that 30-minute run, she went on to do the group celebration 5K a few weeks after the group's last run. Sue was bitten. Bitten by the running bug. Sue is now a member of my RUNegades program which includes each week a group full-body circuit workout, one group easy run, and one group speed workout. She's running over 5-miles now.

But, I knew she was bound for success early on in the program. Each of our group runs finishes up a slight hill that leads out of an underpass tunnel near the RunnerDude's Fitness Studio. I have the group stop there to do stretches. The wall along the side of the the hill makes a perfect ledge for propping up feet for hamstring and hip flexor stretches. It's also a great place for the group members to sit after the run to chat about their run.

After one such chat, Sue stood up and looking down said, "Ew...a bun print!" She was mortified that she was sweaty enough to have left a bun print on the concrete wall. Without skipping a beat, however, she repeated the same comment, but this time with an heir of pride..."Ahh...a bun print!" She was suddenly filled with pride and accomplishment that she indeed had worked hard enough to produce a bun print.

So, what is a "Bun Print to Success"?  Steve, another previous beginning running client sums it up best, "Learn to celebrate the small gains." During stretching after a beginning running group, Steve ran up to me all excited. He was amazed that he just balanced on one foot while doing a quad stretch. Steve had not been able to balance on that ankle for several years due to a previous injury. Running had helped strengthen his ankle and he didn't realize it until that one-legged stretch. That made his day. Celebrate the small gains.

Whether it's a bun print, balancing on one foot, or finishing that 5-miler 10 seconds faster than the last time, learn to celebrate the small gains.  Small steady gains lead to huge success in time.