3 Simple Steps to Complete a 1/2 Marathon

runningThe journey of 21.2K begins with the first step. Training isn’t hard. The hard part is deciding to do it. Once you’ve laced up your tennis shoes and stepped outside all you have to do is take the first step. Whether it’s the scorching heat, the brisk cold air, hail, rain or shine get out there and give it a try – even if you don’t feel like it.  You may surprise yourself and find that you enjoy it. Hate running outside? No problem! That’s what treadmills are for. No excuses if you want it, right?

Do you have a goal to finish a full or 1/2 marathon? You can do it! Find how to complete one with these 3 simple steps!

1.) Consistency, consistency, consistency is key. Get out there and do it! Any effort is one step towards achieving your fitness goals – even a 1K run. Don’t give up. Keep on training. You don’t have to train every day. A consistent effort of 1-3 times per week is a great start as you slowly build your mileage. Check out these free training plans! Here. I don’t live in the gym and neither should you – unless you want to. Most people don’t run a marathon without training. Nor do you get results instantly.  I slowly built up my mileage over a period of time. You can gradually chip away at any goal you choose with consistent effort. A sculpture is slowly crafted by the gradual chipping away of a stone. Every effort you make is a win because you are working towards your personal goal. Giving up isn’t an option if you truly want it. You will get there.

2.) Eat to compete. You don’t need to be a health nut. Nourish yourself with healthy, satisfying and delicious food. Some great runner’s power foods are hard-boiled eggs, whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, quinoa, chicken breast, almonds, lentils, fruits and vegetables… I could go on. The list is long. Running a race isn’t license to binge eat and unfortunately fatty foods are not a runner’s friend.  I remember eating a double portion of fettucine alfredo the night before my first 1/2 marathon and being sick the next day.  Simple carbs are best as they are the body’s preferred source of fuel.  Check out my pre-race smoothie recipe Here. That being said there’s no harm in enjoying treats too!  Food should be enjoyed. My favorites on a very long list of guilty pleasures include chocolate, potato chips and the occasional glass of red. Find out more about the health benefits of wine Here! I also recommend eating jelly beans throughout the race to keep your glucose levels up.

3.) Stretch it out. In my opinion a running program isn’t complete without a stretching regime. Pair up yoga with running to ensure your muscles get a good stretch and toxins, such as lactic acid are released. Yoga, Pilates or any stretching regime of your choice is really helpful in preventing injuries and getting rid of muscle tightness. I like to do yoga at least once per week. If you don’t have time its easy to find a quick 10-15 min yoga session on YouTube. Make time for yourself.

Now that you are armed with some tips for completing your first race go out there and do it!  Frequently I wonder why I’m crazy enough to do a race, especially when I have to get out of bed in cold pitch darkness but there’s something enticing about crossing that finish line.  I feel like I can accomplish anything. What a great way to start the day! Our nomadic ancestors walked on average 40K per day! I think I can do a 20K every now and then and so can you! Go out there a rock it!

Sincerely Nutritiongal

AADP Certified Health Coach – Sign up for your free nutrition consultation Here

10,000 Steps to Success! Nutritiongal Volume 18

Recently I entered a fitness challenge with my coworkers to walk the highest amount of steps per day.  Our team members were given pedometers to wear during an 8-week period in which steps were to be counted.  The baseline for fitness and health is 10,000 steps per day or approximately 5 miles (8K).  Since most people work in sedentary desk jobs how feasible is it to log at least 10,000 steps per day or more without going to too much effort?  In order to win the fitness challenge we would have to go the extra mile to win.

Lets take a look at the facts.  Our hunter gatherer ancestors walked approximately 20 miles (33K), yes 20 miles (33K), foraging for food and performing basic survival techniques every day.  They were a strong, hearty and muscular people with fitness levels modern Olympians struggle to attain.  With the birth of modern technology and the conveniences of today it has become a challenge to log  a quarter of what our genes were designed for us to do.  How do we overcome this hurtle within the constraints of time?  Let’s use technology to our advantage.  Grab a pedometer and let’s go!

Why is it important to walk approximately 5 miles (8K) per day to maintain fitness and where did this arbitrary number come from? 10,000 steps per day is equivalent to approximately 30 minutes of aerobic activity, recommended by most physicians for individuals to maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure.  You don’t have to workout for 30 minutes per day to attain a decent level of fitness if you are making it your personal goal to log at least 10,000 steps per day.  Steps can accumulate throughout the day by doing the following : walking over to a coworker rather than sending an e-mail, printing something from a printer that is further away, making sure to get up and walk at least once per hour, walking to the kitchen to refill your water, parking further from your usual spot, getting off one or two stations earlier if you take public transit, cleaning your house, taking a Zumba class or even window shopping!  Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or regimented.  As long as you make sure to keep a steady stride where you get your heart rate up you can be creative about it.

If you have the right pedometer then you are set to go. Most decent pedometers will cost approximately $20-50. I use the SW500. It works quite well as I have tested my steps and stride length and it is pretty much on point.


Find a pedometer that is well made and easy to use like the SW500

Another good one is the SW200, available on Amazon.com.


Pedometers measure the amount of steps you take by recording the movement of your hip bones. That is why it is important to wear a pedometer near your waist to record the most accurate amount of steps. Be sure to test your stride length to ensure your steps are recorded correctly. People with longer legs will have longer stride lengths.  Pedometers can also be a huge motivation for individuals. Studies have shown that individuals using a pedometer take an average of 2,500 more steps per day than their non pedometer wearing counterparts.


Here’s a chart of the amount of steps per day that the average people take and what it means for their fitness levels. Check out the below source for more information.


Steps Per Day
Activity Level
5,000 – 7,499
low active
7,500 – 9,999
somewhat active
highly active

Instead of fretting over whether you are taking the right amount of steps I recommend wearing a pedometer to see for yourself. Not only will it give you a baseline for your regular activity level but it will also motivate you to walk that extra mile. Who knows?  It may even save your life!


The Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

Visit www.nutritiongal.com and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

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PUMP IT UP! : Nutritiongal Volume 5

Hello and welcome to Volume 5 of Nutritiongal’s Newsletter and we’re here to PUMP YOU UP!
Swimsuit season may be coming to an end for many of you who don’t reside in the tropics but that’s no excuse to put away the sneakers and gym shorts. You don’t need any fancy equipment, a lot of time or even a gym membership to be in tip top shape. All you need is a little sweat and a routine you enjoy!
Have you ever heard of the exercise energy paradox? You want to exercise to have more energy but you can’t exercise because you have no energy. Well now it’s time to jump over that hurdle.  Exercise is like the momentum of a swinging pendulum – you know… like the one in physics class?  Once you get going with a routine, it can easily be incorporated into your daily schedule and you keep going and going.
If anyone tells you “No pain, no gain.”, tell them to take their time machine back to the 80’s. Exercise doesn’t have to be unpleasant or take up a great deal of time – unless you’re going for an Olympic medal or are a professional athlete of course!!!
So why exercise?  Can’t you eat right and be healthy without breaking a sweat?  Who wants to have messy hair and add more dirty clothes to the laundry pile?  What about people who are thin and don’t exercise? Are they really as healthy as they look?
1.  Going back to the origin of our modern human species, the homosapian, approx 200 thousand years ago, our ancestors walked 20 miles per day on average in search of food and shelter.  We developed the fight or flight response (stress response), in which the hormone, cortisol, was released, causing the body to react quickly to environmental stresses. Ergo, when earlier homosapians were hunting for food (stress), cortisol enabled them to act quickly to seize their prey or run away if they were another species’ dinner.
Fast forward to present day and you have a similar physiological stress response to work, bills and traffic, to name a few, but no physical activity. The average American walks approx 1 mile per day or less.  That’s a far cry from 20 miles!  Its no wonder we are plagued by heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  Throw exercise into the mix and you have your basic paleolithic remedy to the diseases we are now combating.
2.  Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, increasing your immunity.  It also increases body temperature temporarily to help fight infections and increases blood flow throughout the body.
3.  Exercise also results in a more aesthetically pleasing physique. Check out all the “HOT” benefits of working your body in different ways.
Think you can’t muster up the the energy to do CARDIO or hate exercising? Consider some alternative forms of cardiovascular exercise and the average number of calories burned.
Brisk Walking – 236-345 cal per hour
Power Yoga – 350-570 cal per hour
Jogging or running 5 mph – 472-690 cal per hour
Thai Chi – 236-345 cal per hour
Window Shopping – 148-216 cal per hour
Darts – 148-216 cal per hour
Check out this extensive chart on calories burned per hour based on activity type and weight.
Break the exercise energy paradox barrier today!  Check out Joel Harper’s excuse busting, no gym equipment workout and break a sweat in under 20 min!!!
Take the exercise challenge today! All you need is a little motivation and you can be fit in as short as 20-40 min 3-4 times per week. Don’t let limitations define you.  Find the exercise that works for your body and reap the benefits!
Asta la vista Baby
“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”
Visit http://www.nutritiongal.com and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!
The Nutritiongal
Find your bliss. Find your balance