I don’t know about you, but I am SO over 2020. I am craving connection and motivation now more than ever. And what’s more?… The Holidays are officially upon us. It’s a time of chaos- regardless of how cheerful- when we can lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the season, leaving us with an empty tank and a laundry list of new resolutions. Let’s approach things differently this year. Our friends and family deserve the best of us and as runners, we know we are the best versions of ourselves when we get miles in. We deserve to start a new year on more than just fumes- we need a solid warm-up. Welcome to the brand new Run Fit Stoked Get Through The Holidays 8-Week Challenge (don’t worry- you won’t have to hashtag all of that). Rather than a traditional holiday run streak, this challenge will provide you with the wiggle room for the occasional day off- should you need or want it. If you choose to join me in this challenge, you may find yourself less stressed during this holiday season and come out a stronger runner on the other side. Here is what you’ll get for 8-weeks:
The Commitment: Commit to run/ walk 80 miles in 8 weeks -OR- set your own mileage goal. You want to run 100 miles in each month? Do it! You want to streak? Then, baby, you streak! Printable mileage logs for all of these options will be included in your welcome email.
The Perks: Discounts on RFS swag, an invitation to our private Challenge Facebook accountability group, tips for creating good habits to improve overall health & performance, prize raffles, and happy hours (virtual or otherwise).
The Charity: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team in Training.
Step 1) Venmo $25 to @runfitstoked (anything extra will be donated in full to LLS). Alternate methods of payment can be arranged- just reach out!
Step 2) Complete the form below:
Step 3: Share this link with a friend! The more, the merrier. ‘Tis the season to be merry… (finish the line).
Step 4) Wait for your welcome email, which will come within a week. Please sign the waiver form linked in the email before actively participating in the challenge!
Step 5) Hit the ground running! If you want to take & post photos, please do so! Tag me (Erica Coviello, @runnercov) and use the hashtag #rfsHolidayChallenge. Be sure to check in with the FB group, emails, and my Instagram posts/ stories for updates and inspiration!
I am SO STOKED for you to start crushing this challenge! See you out there.
Running coach, Oiselle athlete, PickyBars founder, and former pro-runner, Lauren Fleshman wrote an article in Runner’s World years ago that stuck with me. In it, she made her case about why the 5K race distance was “Freaking Awesome.” I’d love for you to join me in this 5K series with the goal of competing with your-own-badass-self. #5Kforthewin
Base Plan includes:
3 x Virtual 5K Races
1st 5K on Day 1 as a time trial for baseline data
2nd 5K at 4 weeks as a tune up/ check in
3rd 5K after week 8 as a true test of fitness. Your goal is to beat your 1st time!
Bib download for each virtual race
Finisher Certificate at the completion of the series
8 weeks of the following:
Private FB group for encouragement and accountability
One speed workout per week for 8 weeks designed to push your pace (delivered via FB group).
You are free to choose how often/far you go during the rest of the week (though I recommend a few slow, easy runs plus a long run on the weekend IF you are already comfortable with the 5K distance. If it is new to you, build up to it gradually).
I also recommend 1-2 days of cross training plus 1-2 days of rest.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to FLAG, which supports local restaurants and provides food to front line workers (shout out to Gina McGuire from Madison High School for creating the non-profit that went viral!).
Pro plan includes everything from Base PLUS a Run Fit Stoked shirt (choice of tank or T-shirt)*
*You must be able to pick up shirts in Belmar or please add $4 for shipping.
RUN (or walk) at least one mile every day from Memorial Day to 4th of July. Then log your miles.
Watch on social media for raffle winners.
When you join the challenge, you’ll be invited to join a private Facebook group where you are welcome to share photos, successes, gripes, etc. When you post pics on social media, be sure to tag @runnercov and use #rfsrunstreak. Sharing is caring! Hope to see you out there…
As the weather turns (or will it?! NJ, you’re killin’ me!), you may be looking for ways to get yourself and your family moving outdoors. While it is still important to stay safe, maintain distance and comply with whatever orders are currently in effect where you live, physical activity is of the upmost importance. Most experts agree that exercise helps maintain a healthy immune system and increases endorphines, which are important for improving mental health. Here is my Top Ten list of ways for you and your family to safely stay active this summer:
Take a hike. Almost everywhere in New Jersey is within a 20 minute ride to some parks or trails. Get out there and explore! It’s best to head out to less popular trails or during low-traffic times. Follow the guidelines on your state/county/ municipal park systems websites. Remember to wear your high socks, bug repellant, and check for ticks before you head back home.
Ride a bike. With or without your family. Go long or short, fast or slow. If you have young children, let them learn and practice in the driveway or in your neighborhood. Need a balance bike for your toddler? We love this one!
Go for a run. Inside on a treadmill if you’ve got one (and won’t hate your life doing it), or outside on a safe path, trail, boardwalk, etc. If you head outside, don’t forget your shades and be mindful of others. Off peak hours are still best for avoiding crowds. If you’re looking for a training plan to get some good base miles in, give a shout!
Scavenger hunts. Create your own list (or find one on Pinterest) of things to search for in your house or neighborhood.
Backyard (or driveway, in our case) bootcamp. Use what you come across in your own environment and turn it into fitness equipment. Got a bench or stairs? Do some step-ups or box jumps, incline push-ups, tricep dips, practice your pistol squats. Got a jug- milk, water, laundry detergent? Turn it into a kettlebell! Bodyweight, dumbbells, miniband workouts. Do them all.
Yoga. Online/ YouTube/ local studio’s Zoom classes, etc. Got kids? Google kids yoga videos. They’ll love it.
Freestyle Dance Party. Go all out solo or with roommates. Indoors or outside. Costumes optional, smiles mandatory.
Take a fitness challenge. Bring Sally Up, Cha-Cha Slide plank challenge, Roxanne burpee challenge, Thunderstruck by AC/DC hollow rock-to superman challenge. They might hurt tomorrow, but they’ll occupy your time, add something fresh to your fitness routine, and can be fun! Check some of them out with a YouTube search!
Family Stand-Up Paddle. Take advantage of insanely low pricing on some private one-family-at-a-time sessions on the water offered locally on the L Street Beach in Belmar. Check out www.endlesssupcompany.com to learn how they’re keeping you (and their staff) safe. Registration details coming soon.
Look for shells and sea glass. Most NJ beaches are open- take a walk down by the water searching for tiny treasures to bring home. Just make sure to check the town website for your beach of choice to see what the rules are regarding badges, parking, and social distancing measures. Please be courteous and respectful to the people around you, the beachfront staff, lifeguards, and those of us who live here.
What are some ways YOU are staying active that didn’t make my list? Share in the comments. And don’t forget to wash your hands.
Cancelled races and stay-at-home orders got ya down? Don’t let it curb your enthusaism for running! Instead of binge watching Tiger King, lace up, get out your door, and bring your phone to snap a few pics along the way. Check these items off as you go along and follow the rules below to be entered in a randomly -drawn raffle for a small prize! Happy hunting!!!
1. All items must be seen while on a RUN.
2. Credit for each item is only awarded with photographic evidence (posted to social media and tagged with @runnercov and #runfitstoked OR sent via one email to firstname.lastname@example.org with attachments/shared google folder).
3. All photos must be your own.
4. Social distancing and typical rules of the road apply. Please remember to be safe and protect yourself and those around you.
5. Completed lists must be in by 11:59 pm on Friday, April 20, 2020.
Gyms are closed. Studios are closed. Races are cancelled or postponed. Group fitness and running clubs have been cancelled or are enforcing strict guidelines re: social distancing, being sure to keep 6 feet apart (at least while posing for social media pics). How do you maintain fitness when your fitness world (never mind real life) is crashing down around you?! And do you even find the motivation to do so?
The answer? Virtual accountability. Some people have the drive to create and successfully execute a plan without making excuses. Many people, however, need the external motivation and guidance to keep training, keep moving, keep making good choices. In the current state of our world, online training is having a BIG moment.
What does that look like? That depends on your situation.
There are tons of free workouts listed all over the internet: blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram posts and stories, Pinterest, etc. I’ve posted some myself to get you started. You could screen shot/ save/ download a bunch of images and lists and patchwork them together to write yourself a plan. But if that is overwhelming to you or if you don’t have enough experience to know what is safe and/or effective in helping you meet your goals, perhaps you need a bit more.
Enter online trainers and coaches. They have the credentials and experience to help you set goals, program workouts, and more often than not, their online classes/apps/websites- however they choose to do business- keep you accountable to get your tush in gear. This morning, a bunch of “regulars” from my classes at the gym worked out with me live at 6am- from their own homes- via Zoom video conferencing. My runners received their workouts via text and/or email, ran the workouts on their own, and their data was automatically synced to an app I use to analyze it. No gym, no problem. Some paid apps (often with free trials) let you pick and choose workouts based on what you want to do that day or what equipment you have available. The possibilities are endless.
How do you choose what type of “distance workout” is best for you? The short answer is that only YOU can determine that. You know yourself better than anyone and know in your gut what your behavior regarding fitness is really like. If you need someone to hash it out with, talk to some friends and see what they’re doing. Or reach out to me and I will talk you through it to help you arrive at the best option.
If you are interested in a few free live classes (mostly at 6am), shoot me an email. If you’d like to talk virtual personal training, shoot me an email. If you’re looking to be a badass runner and run your first or fastest race, shoot me an email. In the meantime, here’s a workout you can all do at home! Keep moving forward.
An open letter to my Run Fit Stoked Team… but really runners everywhere.
Well, this really threw a wrench in our plans, didn’t it!? Before I address the current pickle we are all in, let me start by saying that I value each and every one of you. Together, you have have shown strength, progress, resilience, and perseverance- many of you in the toughest of situations. We are a relatively small team, but we’ve got teammates at every stage of a runner’s journey from beginner to experienced veteran. Our athletes run all different paces from run-walkers to age group placers. We have teachers, military personnel running long distances on a ship at sea, business owners with limited time as they travel across the country every week, parents of young kids (need I say more?). Some of you are dealing with new and/or serious (non-coronavirus) health conditions, family crises, injuries, surgeries, crappy work situations, and other stressors that weigh us down in “normal” times. Yet, you’ve broken through walls in your training and in your goal races. Collectively, you’ve run distances you’d never run before, you’ve run faster than you’d ever run before, you’ve trudged through worst-case scenario conditions with the the same gusto you run in ideal weather. You are all better runners and hopefully better people having come this far on your running journey. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it- you inspire me!
This is why I know we will get through this unprecedented time like champs. You are runners- you know how to overcome. You were built for this- or at least have trained for it! Running (or any moderate or vigorous exercise) is an important part of maintaining a healthy immune system. You can do it alone or in small groups, without any equipment, without the need to touch or be too near other people. You can breathe safe, fresh air and increase those endorphins, decreasing stress and anxiety, at least for a little while. I hope that you will continue to run through this period of social distancing and do so safely for as long as we are allowed to. While I do not intend to give into the panic and hysteria, I do recognize the severity of the situation for vulnerable populations, such as my parents. Attached, you will find important hints on how to keep yourself and those around you safe from infection while running (and here’s an official RRCA link with more advice). Feel free to share this info with others!
Now, what to do if your event has been cancelled…Don’t panic! You’ve got options. If you are working with me through this training cycle, I know firsthand how much hard work you’ve already done. Please know that all miles are miles in the bank and are NEVER wasted, regardless of what happens with a race. That being said, please check your race organizer’s website to see what they are offering in the event of a cancellation. Here are some of my recommendations:
Follow the directions for keeping your entry in the postponed/rescheduled event date. -OR- Follow directions for your refund (if offered).
Run virtually! Some events have gone completely virtual. If they have NOT and you still want to run your goal distance on the weekend the race was originally scheduled for, do it! I’ll even run some miles with you if you’re local. Just post a pic of your data on social media and tag me (or text/ email it to me) and I will send you a custom finisher certificate! (Ashley, congrats on that virtual NYC half marathon yesterday! I’ll be sending your certificate this week.)
Find another race this spring. There are a handful of smaller races (mostly trail) that are still currently on as scheduled. Check in with them and if they are still accepting applicants, go for it. This is a tricky option because the CDC has recommended guidelines for gatherings and anything that is pushed back should be done so for 8 weeks. If the race is at least 8 weeks out from today, go for it! Otherwise, if you still want to run, I’d opt for the virtual run.
Taper safely and follow a maintenance plan. Maybe turn to your eyes to some shorter, faster races that happen in the summer months.
Whatever you choose to do with your running during this time of chaos and uncertainty, it will be the right decision for you- I am sure of it! There is no wrong answer here, as long as you are staying safe and healthy and it makes you happy. I will, of course, be here to guide you in any way that I can. In the meantime, I will continue to program workouts for current athletes as if these races are happening and you will be ready to tackle those goals you set months ago! A microscopic virus can’t hold us down. We’re runners.