Considering a Treadmill?

treadmillguyA treadmill is an investment. Prices range from $500 to over $3000. Before you buy one, ask yourself some questions first:

What is your budget? Set a budget. This will tell you how much treadmill you can purchase.

Where is it going to go? Measure the area where it will be placed for use. When not in use, do you need a folding version or will a flat deck fit? Do not find out it doesn’t fit, when you bring it home.

How often will you use it and what for? Will it be used few minutes for general exercise, or hours training for a marathon? The amount and type of use may depend on if a basic or higher end commercial model is best for you.

What features do you want? Incline? iPod doc? Built in fan? Some treadmills have programs where you can run simulated actual routes. Example: the Boston Marathon, complete with heartbreak hill.

How much maintenance are you willing to do yourself and/or pay for? Deck lube, belt maintenance, etc.

Other points worth considering:

Direct Current (DC) motors are quieter- if close to living spaces, noise may be a factor.

Buy the warranty. Ask anyone in treadmill sales, warranties do not generate income, they typically generate a loss. It is worth it.

The motor should be a minimum 1.5 horsepower. Typical range is 1.5-2.5hp. Look for a “continuous-duty” motor rating. This rates the horse power literally, for continuous duty over a 24 hour period. Be wary of other descriptions like “treadmill-duty”.

Try it out wearing the clothes and shoes you would wear while on a treadmill. Make sure the length fits your stride, handles are sturdy and far enough away not to interfere with your arms, and you can reach the display easily. Make sure motion is smooth, never jerky.

Write out a checklist with budget at the top followed by needs, then wants. Take the list with you shopping. You may have to cross off some wants to meet the needs, but in the end, you’ll have the best treadmill for you.

*this article can also be seen where originally published in Health Your Way Online Magazine:

http://www.healthyourwayonline.com/considering-a-treadmill-by-kristie-cranford/

I dare you. RIGHT NOW.

This is not your typical blog post one would expect. But at PRS FIT we have our motto “Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun”. This could fall into the “Have Fun” category. We are also a Lifestyle Company. That too would fit. Or even our motto our fearless leader Coach Jeff has coined for 2013 “Commitment to Consistency”.

I am daring anyone who reads this post to commit yourself to the consistency to have fun and turn this world from a “If it bleeds it leads” world to a “If it deeds it leads” world.

I want the “copycat killer” to not be the person who tries to kill more than the last to make the headlines; I want the “copycat do-gooder” to make headlines.

I want to see social media FLOODED with the positive, motivations, accolades, high fives, humor and praise. I want those moments shared, retweeted, reposted. I want to see everyone try to out good each other. Unselfishly.

I did this once in a former workplace years ago. For 1 week I dared my staff to pay it forward once a day. The good deeds were tiny in nature to huge. From filling all the printers before leaving for work so oddly no one ever ran out of paper mid print, to sneaking out and filling a coworker’s car with gas that just had an unexpected medical bill pop up. It became a game and ended up, normal. Habit. This group to this day still does these things. I am a proud mama bear that they carried this on (Dream Team you know who you are).

Seems simple really? Remember the movie “Pay it Forward”? It was filmed here in Las Vegas where I currently live. While it had a tragic ending (of course it did, that is what gets ratings), it had a simple message. Do good for the simple fact of doing good, good breeds, good.

I challenge everyone every day to commit yourself to the consistency of doing something good for someone for the unselfish reason of just, doing good. Think about it, if we all did it, would the world not be a better place?

The athletic community is the perfect community that I hope will embrace this. We inspire and motivate others to change their lives to healthy ones. At PRS FIT that is our mission, a lifestyle company. Being happy and having fun is one of the healthiest things a person can be.

I know this is a little dream world, and maybe a little preachy, but wouldn’t it be nice for all of us to live in our dream world?

I dare you. Do something randomly good…RIGHT NOW

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

*This post was originally published and can be found on the http://www.prsfit.com articles page

Resolve, to Evolve

nyrEvery year it is the same thing. I hear people state their New Year’s resolutions. Next year I am going to lose weight, I am going to quit drinking sodas, I am going to cut back on processed foods.

I ask you this question: Why wait? Why? Millions of people do it every year. Lofty intentions to ring in the New Year with “Resolutions”.

I challenge you, act now. You know what you want to do! Don’t give yourself an excuse to hold off what you know you need to do. Basically you are giving yourself an excuse not to exercise, drink more sodas, binge on processed foods. Respect yourself enough to make that change, change that habit, and evolve, now.

There are 5 stages in change: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, and Maintenance.

Precontemplation: A change may be passing through your mind, past failures holding you back from past changes that didn’t last. You have no intention of making a change any time soon even though you are thinking about it.

Contemplation: The need is there, you know you have to do it. You need a swift kick to get you going and to keep you committed. Typically you will make a change within 6 months.

Preparation: You know what you need to do and start putting a plan into place. Joining a gym, planning weekly meals….you are ready to get started, and soon. Typically when you are in the preparation stage you are ready to make a change in about a month.

Action: It is go time. You have started back at the gym, removed the sodas from your home, set up support to help you stick to your guns. You may even have little rewards planned along the way to celebrate your successes.

Maintenance: Congratulations. You have evolved. The change is now normal, your lifestyle. The maintenance stage should be consistent for at least 6 months to remain successful.

What is your New Year’s Resolution? I challenge you to evolve instead. I hereby am giving you a swift kick from stage 1 to 4. Time to take control of your life and take Action. I also challenge you that throughout the year, when you see you need to make a change, do it then. No more “I’ll start on Monday” or “I’ll wait until after the holiday”. Start Now.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

*This post can also be seen on the PRSFit Nation blog where it was originally published

Rock N Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon Race Recap- Part 2 of 2 – The Race

My office job’s busiest week of the year is always the week of the Rock N Roll Las Vegas race. The week is so busy and packed I never have time to think of anything but meeting deadlines, getting things updated. This year was no different.

My Coaching clients were also busy, some tapering for this race, others racing in other parts of the country, some training, all doing so well…kept busy keeping tabs on them. I’m a lucky Coach to have some pretty amazing athletes.

Bottom line what all that means is every year when Rock N Roll Las Vegas comes around, it sneaks up on me. I never have time to think about it, get nervous. It’s just…here. I was lucky enough to be able to work with my Coach and the great folks of Altra Zero Drop Footwear at the expo. I had a blast meeting and greeting people.

As a virtual Coach, sometimes you may never get to meet a client in person. I was lucky to meet one of mine, Lori, who flew in for the race. We have become fast friends and seeing her in person was a great plus to the whole weekend. It was nice to meet so many PRS Fit Teammates and IRC members who were in town for the race. Meeting everyone really added a lot of energy to the event.

team

Anyone who knows me knows I can talk to a fence post, at length. I know no stranger. However, on race day I completely change. I become a bit of a hermit. I try to avoid social media, don’t really talk to anyone, I just slip into a zone. I laid down for a nap, I slept, hard. I woke up with a start, to my house shaking. To say the winds were howling was an understatement. All that was missing was a crazy woman on a bike outside my window and a dog named Toto. I thought to myself, I survived the merge of 2011! I can run in this! Wonder if I could hook up a sail? No?

I dressed, putting on my game face. Downed my Generation UCAN and hopped in the truck. Having “connections” my husband was able to drop me right at the corrals. I am very lucky to be able to do this.

I hopped in what my son calls the “Runner’s Bathroom” and headed to the corrals. I had time to spare. I usually get a little, well, a lot twitchy at this point. I get very internal. I sit off to the side and just people watch. Walking toward the corral I saw, sitting on the curb a familiar neon shirt. I snuck up behind Lori and plopped down on the curb next to her. This kept the twitchiness away. I still was not nervous.

They called us to the corrals. I hugged Lori. We shared “good luck”. I saw off to the side the PF Chang’s Dragon entering the corral. Was so happy to see it, another client, Teri, was one of those carrying the dragon. I was able to give her a good luck high five before the start.

They started condensing the corrals and we moved forward for the anthem. Don’t know who was singing because I didn’t hear a word…not one. My heart went into my throat and started pounding in my ears. Nerves hit like nothing I have ever had before. I had had a sprained ankle, I had been sick as a dog, the winds were howling, how on earth was I going to pull this off???? In my head I heard my friends, the entire coaching staff of PRS scream at me: “SETTLE!” (inside story), and I did, just that….
I was in corral 2. In 2009 I started in corral 55 (if I remember correctly). I have come a long way. I had crib notes on my hand from talking to Coach times to meet in order to reach my goal. I looked at them one last time and took a deep breath. The gun went off and away we went.

The first three miles always are the worst. Always. I’m no spring chicken and it takes a while for me to warm up. At mile 3 I looked at my notes on my hand, 2 seconds ahead. Good to go. Mile 6, 30 seconds behind but feeling good and fluid.
Mile 7 my body said “ aaand we’re done here”. Excuse me??? I’m barely ½ ways there?! I don’t think so! I did a quick body check. Nothing sore, legs strong, body relaxed. I was tired, very tired. I was mentally prepared for this after being sick for so long. This is when the fight began. I argued with myself from that point on, yelling in my head to suck it up. I was nailing my times. Nailing them, even while stopping at each water station and walking a little at each, I was ahead of the game. I was struggling, but I was truckin’.

Somewhere around Mile 8 I heard my name yelled (confirmed later it was who I thought, thanks Joe!) that voice yelling my name gave me that extra energy to push through. Mile 10 I had a 5k to go, I was in the home stretch, I was going to do this! I turned the corner and slammed into the wall. Not that wall, but a wall that Mother Nature decided would be a fun one to throw into the mix. 30+ mph head winds.

I came to a dead stop. The wind pushed me and several other runners backwards. I looked in front of me for someone tall to draft behind…no one to be found. That’s usually pretty easy since I am 5 foot nothing.

Game change. My brain and I had a discussion. Don’t push through the wind, push between gusts. I tried running, but would literally get pushed backwards and/or sideways. My average pace was slipping, fast. I did a quick calculation; Goal 1 was out the window. Goal 2, a PR (personal record), was still doable. I would have to fight the winds, but I would do it, or die trying (figuratively speaking).

Mile 11. Ow. My body was crashing. Fighting fatigue and the wind was taking everything out of me. Mile 12. I was spent. I was walking, a lot, feverishly checking my pace and time. I would NOT lose a PR, I would NOT. I fought with myself to quit walking, the winds kicked up, I kept pushing. I have never fought this hard in a race, ever.

Then I saw it, the finish line. I looked at my watch…I had an iron clad PR, how much of one, was up to me. I kicked it up and gave it all I had left to the finish. I did it, with nothing left in the tank. A solid 4 minute PR. A medic grabbed me by the shoulders “You good?” she said. I smiled “I’m gold”.

I walked through the finish shoot, keeping moving so my body wouldn’t lock up. Refueled. Relaxed. I was reflecting on all the positive changes from the race from last year. It was a huge difference. In my opinion I saw no flaws this year. It went very smoothly.

Then I saw them. The tears started flowing. Since 2009 when I first started running this race, my husband and son have greeted me at the finish. For this, I am truly grateful. They were there….and yes I repeated “I’m gold”.

RNRFinish

Special thanks to:

Coach Jeff for helping me add yet another PR to my resume.

Coach Jeff, PRS Fit teammate Jorge, and Lori’s husband Anthony, who all fought the crowds and were there at the finish to support us.

My sponsor Coolibar. It has truly been an honor to be a Coolibar athlete this racing season.

PRS Fit Sponsors: Altra Zero Drop Footwear, Zensah, Raw Elements, Polar, DeSoto, 1BandID, Swim Spray, Generation UCAN, Rudy Project, injinji, KT Tape

Rock N Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon Race Recap – Part 1 of 2- Getting to the Start

Ever step off a step or a curb and realize there was no step?  No curb? All your bones go crashing into each other until your teeth rattle? 

I was walking with my son and did just that. We were looking for Halloween decorations.  I stepped off what I thought was a curb and all my bones just crashed into each other.  We both had a giggle and went along our way to a pumpkin patch. By the time we left the pumpkin patch my left foot just, hurt.  Had I stepped on something? 

The next morning I got up to run, I went 2 steps and my foot said…not on your life pal. WHAT?! My Coach brain kicked in…I got on the bike.  Play it safe.  Later in the day I had a talk with my Coach (Coach Jeff of PRS Fit Nation, who I also work for) and we both pretty much confirmed my suspicion…not only did my bones crash together, but I managed a minor ankle sprain.  That put me on the sidelines of running for two weeks.  It was the end of October.  Race day was quickly approaching Dec 2nd.

sprain

Rehabbed the ankle.  Came out of the gate strong.  Had a week of killer, and I mean, killer training runs.  Hit them out of the park.  I was on fire.  Until one day, it was my throat that was on fire.  A quick inspection and it was obvious I had strep.  Went to the doctor for him to not only confirm I had strep, but also to add that I had a double ear infection, and sinus infection.   Hard core antibiotics, decongestants and steroids were prescribed.   I was hit by a truck for a little over 2 weeks.   The medicine drained me, dehydrated me.  It was a struggle to get up every day.  I was tired, exhausted.  I slowly started feeling better.  Slowly, very slowly.

Bang, another strong week where I nailed workouts.  Tons of energy.  95% of my training is indoors on a treadmill.  I am testament that it can be done.  Being a Mom, if I didn’t have a treadmill…I wouldn’t be able to run, plain and simple.  I had a few flukes where my husband’s crazy schedule allowed for some outdoor runs.  They were great.  I was not just meeting them, but exceeding them….and it came, again…the sinus infection that would NOT go away.  Back on antibiotics I went…just a little over a week before race time.  Then I got this LOVELY stomach bug the weekend before the race where I spent more time hugging the porcelain god than my husband. I was SO sick.  Could NOT keep anything down, my diet became desperate.  The only thing I was able to keep down after 48 hours was saltine crackers, ginger ale, and chicken & stars broth. 

puke

There is nothing like having a sprained ankle and never ending sickness right before your “A” race? Right?

To be Continued-

The Five Parts of the Swim Stroke

There are 5 parts to the triathlon swim stroke known as the front crawl and/or freestyle stroke.

They are:

  • Entry
  • Reach
  • Catch
  • Pull
  • Recovery

Entry:

The entry is the point where the hand enters the water in front of the shoulder.  Wrist should be relaxed, hand flat, fingertips facing down with the thumb slightly downward.  Think of your hand as a paddle.

If you hold your arm up and relax your wrist, your hand will naturally fall into proper position.  Spread your fingers, your hand is now your paddle.

Reach:

Once the hand is in and under the water, the arm will extend out from the body.  Think of the fingertips putting a hole in the water that the hand, forearm, and elbow will follow through.  The head is kept still keeping the neck in line with the spine.

Catch:

Once the hand has reached forward as far as possible, the hand will grab a pocket of water thus calling it the “catch”.  The hand will catch the water as the wrist flexes (bends downward) slightly and the palm rotates outward. Both moves of the wrist and palm are small moves.  You don’t want to over exaggerate the moves thus losing the amount of water that can be caught.

Pull:

The “pull” part is what moves you forward through the water.  Pull back your arm toward your hip in a straight line.  The arm will move in an “S” shape in the water but in a straight line with the body due to the body’s rotation.  Keep the elbow higher than the wrist and pull the hand all the way back to the thigh.

Recovery:

The recovery is when the arm exits the water.  The elbow is high with the body rotating from the hip.  The elbow will point up to the sky the arm in the shape of a triangle.  The body will rotate and be on its side in recovery.

It is important to know this terminology for your training.  Your coach may use these terms as you are learning how to become more mechanically efficient and develop proper body position.

As always if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Be healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

*This post originally published and can be found on the PRSFit Nation blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protein Without the Powder

How much protein should an athlete should take in per day?  I get asked this question, a lot.  Rule of thumb for an adult endurance athlete is .6 to .7g per pound of body weight.  For example, an endurance athlete that is 150lbs would need approximately 90g to 105g of protein intake each day to allow the body to recover and become stronger.

Athletes reducing meat consumption and those with a vegetarian or vegan diet have a challenge in finding non-meat protein packed options.  Many resort to the abundance of protein supplement powders on the market.  Some athletes try to eat their nutrients in whole foods limiting and/or avoiding supplements.

Listed here are some protein packed Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables:

Soy: 19g per cup.

Artichoke:  4.2g per cup, cooked.

Beans:  Black-eyed, kidney, lima, navy, and pinto- 14g per cup

Black beans- 15.2g per cup.

Broccoli- 4.6g per cup, cooked.

Cauliflower- 3g per cup

Corn- 5g per cup

Spinach- 6g drained (frozen/canned), or 5.3g cooked, per cup

Sweet potato- 5g per potato, don’t remove the skin- that drops it to 3g

Fruits:  

Avocado:  4g  per cup

Banana:  3.89g

Coconut:  3.33g per cup

Concord grapes:  2g per cup

Going nutty trying to find protein?  Brazil nuts pack the most protein bang at 23.4g!  Walnuts 15.23g.

I hope these give you an idea for some other protein options.  Planning your meals ahead will help you to make sure you are getting the protein you need.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

Coach Kristie

*this post was originally published and can be found on the PRSFit Nation blog