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      Blog — Fitness

      Candice Huffine and Project Start

      Candice Huffine and Project Start

      We were thrilled when we were perusing Allure's website and read an article about model Candice Huffine and her running journey. Candice has long talked about body positivity and body positivity in fashion, and is a great encourager of runners of all skills and sizes through her initiative, Project Start. Color us even more surprised to see this:

      "Running with breasts—there's a lot to contend with there to figure out what's going to work and keep things in place. I’ve tried a lot and I have to shout from the rooftops, Enell bras are made for bigger chested women. They’re a godsend. When you run as a curvy woman, there are things that are touching each other, skin-on-skin, and you can hurt yourself."

      Pardon us while we fangirl!

      We appreciate Candice giving us a shout-out, and are so glad to hear the ENELL SPORT bra is helping her achieve her running goals. Next up for Candice is the Boston Marathon!

      Oh, but first, she has to be on the cover of Vogue Mexico's Beauty Edition:

      To learn more about Candice, her thoughts on body diversity and more about her running life, you can listen to this podcast from Ali on the Run. Follow Candice on Instagram at @candicehuffine.

      This Notorious RBG Workout Takes Only 12 Minutes

      This Notorious RBG Workout Takes Only 12 Minutes

      he most pint-sized yet fiercest Supreme Court justice on the bench happens to be an 83-year-old woman who works out daily. The New York Times recently reported that Ruth Bader Ginsburg owned up to a completely doable workout that keeps her in dissenting shape.

      Each morning she completes 20 push-ups and 30 seconds of planks.

      “I do 10, and then I breathe, and then I do 10 more,” she said.

      No wonder she doesn’t feel like retiring, and includes things like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and water skiing as favorite leisure activities.

      She’s also known to be a proponent of the Royal Canadian Air Force workout, which debuted in 1961. It was originally developed for men, of course, to help their pilots get in flying shape. That plan was called 5BX (Five Basic Exercises).

      Then a corresponding plan, called XBX (Ten Basic Exercises), was developed for women. Who’s surprised women got assigned twice as much work?

      Regardless of gender, the idea is that the workout quickly and efficiently works out major muscle groups in a short period of time. Liken it to today’s wildly popular HIIT and interval training workouts. The Canadian workout that Ginsburg likes includes a combination of knee raises, arm circles, push-ups, sit-ups, chest raises, leg raises, running, and hopping.

      The workout doesn’t require any equipment, just enough space to complete the motions. Dame Helen Mirren is a vocal fan of the regimen as well, and notes that it only takes her about 12 minutes to complete.

      Notorious RBG may not need an Enell, but plenty of revolutionaries like her will want to strap into our Sport Bra before any hopping ensues!

      Fitness Trends to Watch for 2017

      Fitness Trends to Watch for 2017

      As technology, medical knowledge, and social media have grown, they’ve taken the fitness world to new levels. With access to a slew of fitness trackers and medical advice, 2017 fitness trends will be tailored to people’s individual needs.

      Some workout methods may seem unconventional, but regularly changing your routine saves you from boredom and keeps your body in better shape. Get ahead of the game and add some of these trends to your fitness schedule.

      • Fitness trackers. They’ve been around for awhile now, but their convenience and accuracy continues to improve, making new gadget releases as anticipated as smartphone upgrades. Many of them will measure your distance, heart rate, and allow you to track your health habits. These added workout insights coupled with interchangeable bands for any occasion make them an attractive trend.
      • Interval training. Long-gone are the days of the monotonous, long jog. Raising your heart rate is everyone’s new goal as they strive to enter the ideal zone for fat burning. Whether it’s sprints on the track or boxing in the gym, quick bursts of intense effort will take your workout to the next level.
      • Body-weight only. Expensive gym memberships and busy schedules have many turning to at-home fitness routines. With none or minimal equipment required, it becomes much cheaper and more time-efficient to pull up a yoga video at home. Losing the weights provides a better alternative for those easily injured or intimidated by a stack of dumbbells.
      • From land to water. Water aerobics and cycling classes are popping up utilizing resistance in unique ways to work more muscles. Hopping in the water will provide variation for land-only exercisers, challenging their strength in a new way. Additionally, water allows for minimal impact, meaning your knees and ankles will thank you.
      • Movement is key. Forget shakily attempting to hold plank position for obscene lengths of time. The bear crawl is the newest trend to rid us of planking in favor of motion. Remaining static may be challenging, but throwing some movement into old workout favorites gets your heart pumping and adds an element of flexibility and balance that will ultimately make you stronger.

      Gifts That Give to Your Fit and Healthy Lifestyle

      Gifts That Give to Your Fit and Healthy Lifestyle

      Treat this as a wishlist for yourself, or use it to find some inspired gift ideas for the fit friends on your nice list. We’ve gathered some of our favorite things that support a fit, healthy, balanced lifestyle.

      Quad Lock Case

      This may be the most secure way to make a smartphone part of your active lifestyle. Whether on your arm or the handlebars on a bike, your phone safely runs, rides, and climbs where you do!

      MoBot

      It’s a water bottle… and a foam roller! And it’s the only one like it in the world. Several sizes and designs of this eco-friendly water bottle are available, each wrapped in a mini, mobile foam roller.

      Gingerbread Running Team Tank

      The FitBottomedGirls have designed some super cute tanks and tees to accent your sassy gym life. This one is a holiday fave, but Kiss My Asana and woMAN UP would look good at a workout, too.

      AcaciaTV Membership

      The gift of time is priceless, and that’s exactly what you share with a membership to AcaciaTV. Your recipients can log-in from their computer or devices to expert trainer-led workouts from yoga to strength training anytime they want.

      Mio Liquid Yoga Bath Soak

      Screaming, aching muscles are crying out for this stuff! A little drizzle of this magic green elixir in your bath will give your body therapeutic relief. A sensational scent with zen-like results is made from essential oils, mineral salts and herbs.

      Bombas Socks

      If for nothing else, the blister tab make these socks a game changer for any athlete on their feet. Bombas socks will reduce sweat, maximize comfort, and donate a pair every time you buys a pair.

      Candi Factory Underwear

      Imagine panties that don’t ride up your butt -- whether just trying to live your life or while squatting, lunging, and riding. At Candi Factor, it’s a thing! This snug, comfortable, super-soft undies come in super sassy designs and keep everything in place on your behind.

      Enell Sports Bra

      Socks… undies… and bras! Of course we had to include our Enell Sport and Enell Lite on this must-have fitness fiend gift list. Treat yourself or treat the well-endowed girls you love to the sports bra made to support those in a C cup or higher. Not sure what size to get your friends or family? Go for the gift card option!

      Race or Conference Fees

      If you’d rather give experiences more than just stuff, then this is the gift for you! Take care of the race fees for their upcoming marathon or triathlon, or send them to a fitness or wellness conference where they can work to better themselves.

      5 Equine Yoga Poses You Can Do on a Horse

      5 Equine Yoga Poses You Can Do on a Horse

      Uniting two ancient arts, equine yoga has emerged to show that even some of the oldest art forms can be refreshed with a new twist. Horseback riders have known for a while that yoga is an excellent tool to aid their flexibility, core strength, and balance. However, equestrians have been moving poses from the mat to the saddle, and it could even be improving their relationships with their horses.

       

      "What if you could easily tune into your pet's healing, comforting, and constant love, and in doing so, tap into a universal calm and a more enlightened way of being in the world? This is precisely what the animal method allows you to do,” asks Pamela Robins of Meditating With Animals.

      Besides adding new challenges to a yoga routine, equine yoga can provide a bonding experience between you and your horse, fostering trust and love. While some poses could be dangerous to attempt on horseback, a few are well-suited for the task.

      Try a few of these poses next time you’re with your horse, regardless of your experience level. There’s a #neighmaste pose for everyone!

      5 yoga poses on your horse

      Beginner

      • Saddle Twist. Twist your torso backwards while sitting in your saddle, turning your chest outward and using your hands to balance yourself by gripping the side of the saddle with one hand and the back of the saddle with the other.
      • Saddle Camel. Prepare your posture for a ride by putting your hands behind you, grabbing the edge of the saddle, and pushing to raise your chest upward. Your back will arch and you can feel free to tip your head back and soak in a beautiful sky view.

      Intermediate

      • Upward Bow Pose. Lie on your horse with your knees bent and your heels drawn close to your buttocks. Place your palms overhead and bend your elbows, keeping your forearms parallel and your head on your horse with your fingers pointing toward your feet. Lift your body higher, drawing your head off the floor and arching your back.
      • Downward Dog. Starting on your hands and knees, stretch out your arms and lift your knees off the horse, bringing your body into an arrow shape that points upward. Slowly straighten out your legs without locking your knees and spread your fingers out for balance.

      Expert 

      • Crow pose. Squat on your horse facing backwards and place your hands in front of you and between your legs with your knees pointing outward and wide. Slowly shift your weight forward, sliding your knees onto your triceps while bending your elbows, but keep your toes on the horse for balance. Pull your thighs against the sides of your torso, look forward, and lift one foot after the other, straightening out your arms.

      You won’t be alone in this new yoga practice. Instagram is teeming with people pairing equestrian athleticism with their yoga practice. #HorseYoga and  #PastureYoga are a couple of places to find these enthusiasts getting real connected with nature. And be sure to follow accounts like @Horse_Yoga_Girl and @Yoga.Horse.

      If a horse isn’t enough, Equinox Farms is hosting a Llama’ste event in partnership with Pamela Robins @MeditatingWithAnimals.

      It’s Time to Treat Exercise as Medicine

      It’s Time to Treat Exercise as Medicine

      In an appearance-obsessed culture, exercise has become the chisel we use to carve ourselves a body we can be proud of. Unfortunately, the reality is that exercise alone isn’t an ideal way to lose weight. But before you toss out your new yoga pants, understand that while exercise may not be the key to weight loss, it is a miracle cure for dozens of health problems.

      In TIME Magazine’s September cover story, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky reveals his mission to show people why they should value exercise as a mechanism that almost instantly leads to slower aging, improved mood, less chronic pain, stronger vision, and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

      Studies by Tarnopolsky and other researchers have shown that exercise affects our bodies on both genetic and cellular levels. In 2011, Tarnopolsky’s team studied two groups of mice with a genetic condition that made them age prematurely. For five months, one group was sedentary and the other ran three times a week on a treadmill. At the study’s conclusion, the sedentary mice were worn and near death, but the active mice were almost identical to healthy mice without a genetic condition.

      Currently, 80.2 million Americans over age six are completely inactive and childhood-obesity rates have consistently increased since 1999. Exercise physiologist Marcas Bamman claims that if people view exercise as a disease cure, then the medical field could change dramatically. Doctor visits could end with exercise being prescribed the same way that drugs are. Chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease are the ideal candidates for vigorous exercise to cure. Even people who suffered from strokes rehabilitated much faster when they exercised in recovery.

      Exercise can add five years to your lifespan, help you grow new brain cells, and improve bone density, but many refrain from physical activity, claiming they don’t have the time to invest. But research has found that exercising in short, rigorous bursts for 10 minutes can have the same benefits as a 50-minute workout. These high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts will improve your heart function and blood-sugar management despite their short duration.

      If you want to maximize your body’s profit from working out, you have to do aerobic and strength training exercises. While almost half of Americans meet the aerobic physical activity recommendations, only 20% meet the strength training requirements.

      Using exercise as a cure and health boost can look like consistently running and adding some yoga or Pilates for anaerobic exercise. However, even everyday things like climbing stairs, doing yard work, and going bowling can be the first steps toward using exercise as medicine.

      Resistance Band Workouts Can Replace Your Weights

      Resistance Band Workouts Can Replace Your Weights

      It should be no secret that strength training is essential for women. It has nothing to do with bulking up, and everything to do with optimizing your health.

      The laundry list of reasons women benefit so greatly from strength training includes stamina, flexibility, more functional movement, an optimized shift in hormones, and management or prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Plus, it comes with an added benefit of helping you tone up and trim down. What’s not to love about hitting the weight room?

      Well, therein lies one of the biggest reasons women don’t lift. Women are terrified to enter the gym. They lack confidence and familiarity and aren’t comfortable crossing into a man’s world. Just as large breasts keep women out of the gym, and the fear of a bad hair day keeps them from working out, we can now add weight room woes to the list of reasons we aren’t taking care of ourselves.

      Stop resisting. And start resisting!

      “Resistance bands are as effective as hand weights,” asserts Fred Devito, a personal trainer who is a big proponent of band workouts, as demonstrated in his Exhale workouts at AcaciaTV. “The value of resistance bands is that they build strength over range of motion, which is the most efficient way to build strength.”

      Resistance Band Workouts Can Replace Your WeightsResistance bands can provide a premium, effective strength workout that you can do just about anywhere! Your bedroom, office, hotel room, backyard, or park can all become your own personal weight room. Another benefit, reports LiveStrong, is that “you can build a lot of strength and speed without increasing muscle mass,” which should quell those typical female fears that weights = bulk. And the varied tensions that the resistance bands come in allow you to really grow and progress your strength program the way you would through three-, five-, or ten-pound weights.

      With resistance bands, there’s no counting reps or sets. “You’re finished when you can’t do anymore,” explained Devito. He says to do as many reps as the muscle can withstand.

      This functional fitness approach is even ideal for those recovering from an injury. Devito says resistance bands are the equipment of choice for therapists in post-injury rehab.

        The Most Powerful Moments for Women at the Olympics

        The Most Powerful Moments for Women at the Olympics

        The Rio 2016 Olympic Games concluded after a two-week battle between more than 10,000 athletes for medals, records, and personal bests. Both men and women performed amazing feats, breaking 27 world records in Rio.

        However, several articles pointed out how the media praised male Olympians for their athletic prowess and highlighted female Olympians for their relationships, families, and age. Regardless of their personal lives and marital status, women in the Olympics accomplished incredible, empowering triumphs.

        Here are some of the Rio 2016 moments that make us celebrate how strong women can be!

        • U.S. gymnast Simone Biles was an unstoppable force, winning gold in the women’s all-around gymnastics competition. Bringing her teammate, Aly Raisman, to celebrate their victories on the Olympic pedestal elicited tears and applause.
        • U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel made history when she became the first black woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual swimming event. Manuel tied with Canadian Penny Oleksiak in the 100 meter freestyle.
        • Sarah Robles won the bronze and earned the U.S. their first Olympic medal since 2000 in weightlifting in the women’s over-75-kilogram category.
        • Katie Ledecky dominated the pool for the U.S., blowing everyone’s minds with her world record-setting 800-meter freestyle race. She won her fourth gold medal of the Rio games and glided past her competition with an impressive 11-second lead.
        • The International Olympic Committee only introduced women’s wrestling 12 years ago in 2004. Helen Maroulis snatched the U.S.A.’s first Olympic gold medal, clutching her hands in joy when seeing her victory.
        • Reflecting the growing culture of acceptance, Ibtihaj Muhammad boldly became the first woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics wearing a hijab.
        • Monica Puig became Puerto Rico’s hero, winning their first Olympic gold medal by defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany in women’s singles tennis.
        • Kristin Armstrong showed just how far a woman’s body can be pushed. After riding through rain and enduring a nose bleed in the midst of her gold medal-winning cycling race, she collapsed past the finish line. Armstrong’s 5-year-old son ran into her embrace to celebrate her win.

        Cardio That Doesn’t Feel Like Cardio

        Cardio That Doesn’t Feel Like Cardio

        While we all love the concept of getting fit, the word ‘cardio’ elicits horrible flashbacks of the time we tried running and quit after the first mile, covered in sweat, and lungs ablaze.

        Don't put me down for cardio.

        However, these heart-pounding workouts are an essential part of life that does great things from strengthening your heart to boosting your immune system.

        Looking at cardio as torture or a chore sets you up for failure, but there’s hope when you can transform exercise into a therapeutic activity that you actually look forward to. Incorporate one or more of these eight cardio workouts into your weekly routine and kiss the days of boring running schedules goodbye.

        • Swimming. Hate sweating? Hop into a cold pool for an hour of cardio that will work muscles all over your body. You burn calories just by sitting in chilly water, so laps and interval training add even more. Swimming’s low-impact nature also makes it the perfect sport for beginners with weak joints.
        • Hiking. Lace up your boots, pull out a map, and pick a destination for your next adventure. Hiking combats the boredom of other cardio workouts with stunning views and engaging navigation.
        • Horseback riding. If you’re sick of tackling exercises alone, head to the stables where you can find a horse companion. Similarly to walking, a leisurely stroll on a horse won’t push your heart rate into the aerobic zone, but a trot or gallop with turns and obstacles certainly will.
        • One-on-one chase tag. Embrace your inner kid with a friend and feel the burn with this classic schoolyard game. It doesn’t feel like running when you make a game out of it and throw in some obstacles for an added challenge.
        • Circuit training. Pick several exercises you like, whether it’s fast walking or squats, and do them for 60 seconds a piece with little rest in between. Circuit training diversifies your cardio and lets you customize a fitness plan that works best for your body and skill level.
        • Climbing. By limiting your rest time between routes, climbing can easily become your new favorite aerobic exercise. Figuring out how to traverse handholds is a workout for your body and your mind, and there’s nothing more motivational than finishing a new route.
        • Dancing. YouTube is littered with dance videos where you can learn a new dance and get your workout in. We’ve all seen our favorite music videos and thought ‘I can do that, how hard could it be?’. The truth is it’s wildly difficult but also incredibly fun to learn a new dance routine, making it an excellent aerobic goal.

        5 Summer Games That Require a Stronger Sports Bra

        5 Summer Games That Require a Stronger Sports Bra

        A sports bra is an essential tool that should be found in every woman’s gym bag. Not only do these sweat-wicking miracle devices keep your date-night bras sweat and stain free, they also make exercising more comfortable and reduce breast trauma and sag.

        When left to their own devices, your twin peaks are supported by skin and Coopers’ ligaments, which are like little inelastic strings. When breasts bounce, these ligaments pull causing irreversible stretching that will cause your breasts to lose their perkiness. No wonder it is so important to wear a properly fitting sports bra!

        With the 2016 summer games upon us, we’ve had fun identifying some of the sports that could spice up our own workout routines. These just happen to be sports where we think the female athletes could use the best sports bra possible for maximum protection and comfort.

        Beach Volleyball

        All of the jumping, squatting, and diving required in this game is sure to have your glutes screaming. This total body exercise will work your upper body too, just check out the guns on three-time gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. Wearing a well-fitted bra while you play will ensure that your breasts stay in place while the ball goes flying.

        Tennis

        The intensity of this game can be adjusted for athletes of all skill levels, making it perfect for those just starting a fitness journey. Tennis is a great mix of cardio and isolated muscle movements that require tactical thinking that can generate new connections between nerve endings.

        Trampoline Gymnastics

        While you probably won’t be pulling triple tuck-back handsprings, trampolining is a great cardiovascular workout that increases circulation and tones muscles. Bouncing can be a fun alternative to running, putting up to 80% less strain on joints. It does come with some inherent risks, so be careful out there.

        Triathlon

        Triathlons are a challenging combination of a 1,500 meter swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run. This complete cardiovascular workout is great for toning leg muscles and building strong glutes; just check out the legs on the top-ranked woman in the ITU World Triathlon Series, Gwen Jorgensen. Running without any bra causes the average woman's breasts to move up and down 8.5 cm, while wearing a sports bra decreases this range of motion by 52%.

        Boxing

        Quick jabs and twinkle toes make boxing a fierce way to build and tone upper body muscles while letting out some aggression. Not to mention gaining a little street cred! A challenging game of speed, skill, endurance, and strategy, boxing is filled with female badasses like Clarissa Shields who give us major biceps squad goals.  

        Don’t Mock the Walkers! Run Walk Run Should be Embraced

        Don’t Mock the Walkers! Run Walk Run Should be Embraced

        To see a runner take a walk may seem like some sort of failure. Not only are they beating up themselves for not being able to hang in there, but you may be giving them side-eye from the street wondering why they couldn’t hang.

        Everyone, stop it!

        walk run

        Taking walk breaks during a run is actually one of the most effective methods for runners. The notion of giving runners of any level — beginners or veterans — a break on their route was first introduced by Jeff Galloway, one of the foremost authorities on running in the U.S. Known as America’s Coach, Jeff has trained more than a million runners through his 1:1 training or through his books, retreats, schools, and other access points. He’s kind of a living legend for runners!

        When he started training beginner runners in the 1970s, he noticed that his trainees were going to need to take breaks to walk. It wasn’t a bad thing! He discovered the “huff and puff” rule, where if you hear huffing and puffing, you should take more walk breaks and slow your pace. Together, this method has become known as Run Walk Run and it is highly embraced by the running and fitness communities.

        For those following Galloway’s training style, aches, pains, and injuries are reduced to a near zero! As well, his runners are stronger and faster.

        Still think taking a walk mid-run is for the weak? Not hardly!

        There is some strategy to these built-in walk breaks, and when used effectively, not only will they improve your ability as a runner, but also give “you control over your attitude as you feel the positive results,” says the Jeff Galloway website. They even claim that the Run Walk Run method can help you gain 7 minutes in a 13.1-mile half marathon.

        As well, the method is key for energy conservation, too. “Most if not all ultrarunners use a run-walk strategy for training and racing,” reported Coach Jenny Hadfield at Runner’s World. “Only they go by the terrain – they walk the hills and climbs and run the flats and downhills. This strategy helps them conserve energy to run stronger for longer.”

        BENEFITS OF RUN WALK RUN

        • Energy conservation
        • Faster finish times
        • Reduced injuries
        • Reduced aches and pains
        • Faster recovery
        • Reduced core body temperature
        • More likely to find the “runner’s high”

        HOW TO RUN WALK RUN

        Run Walk Run is considered interval training, in which you alternate between two activities for different speeds, exertion rates, and lengths of time. In this case, you speed up and go hard for the runs and give yourself a break with a slower pace for the walks. The results pay off! Active.com suggests the following for executing a run-walk program:

        • Commit one week for each of the 13 stages.
        • Pay attention to pain and allow days off to recover; move to a previous stage if needed.
        • Start with a 3 minute walk/1 minute run in stage one, then a 2 minute walk/1 minute run, and two-two by stage 3.
        • Concentrate on steady paces, keeping the arms moving.
        • Increase distance as you progress through the stages.
        • In stages 4-8 you’ll spend more time running than walking, progressing from a 4-minute run with a 1-minute walk to a 9-minute run with 1-minute walk.
        • In stages 9-11 you’ll increase run intervals from 7 to 9 minutes, each with only a 45-second walk.
        • Stages 12 and 13 are final preparations for a distance race. If you’re looking at, say, a 7:30 mile, intervals will look something like a 15-minute run with 1-minute walk.

        APPS FOR RUN WALK RUN

        If you’re ready to try this approach to running, there are a few apps that can help you manage the intervals so that you can concentrate on form and pace.

        • Easy 5K with Jeff Galloway
        • C25K
        • RunKeeper
        • MapMyRun
        • MapMyFitness

        Which Running Race is Ideal for Your Style?

        Which Running Race is Ideal for Your Style?

        The sport of running has been on a steady incline for the past decade. Thanks to fun and themed races, the sport has become more appealing to a broader audience of people than ever before. Dangle a carrot like cool medals, rockin’ music, and costumes in front of people who may not otherwise be inclined to seek out a starting line and the result is something trendy that’s actually really good for us.

        In a report from Running USA, “fun” is one of the primary motivators for runners, as is health and stress relief. And that’s the key to any workout, really. Choose an exercise you love and you’ll never workout a day in your life… is a pretty fair interpretation of Confucius’ philosophy. The sport can be as fun, challenging, or intense as you want it to be, and fortunately, there are many, many outlets for you to explore.

        running

        Races are kind of the crowning achievement for runners, but no runner ever started with a marathon. Find the race that’s right for your style, speed, and goals and use that to keep you motivated and focused on the days you love it least.

        letter F

        One-Mile Fun Run

        This is exactly what it sounds like — a one mile race that’s usually more fun than it is competitive. These races tend to open or close bigger event races so that everyone feels welcome, including kids and strollers. These one-milers are ideal for newbies, families, run-walkers, non-competitives, or those who like the souvenir shirt with the least amount of effort!

        5k

        5K

        This is a 3.1-mile race that has become the gold standard for training new runners, thanks to theCouch to 5K (C25K) and similar programs. Three miles is an achievable distance and starts to give you a taste of what all of that finish line excitement is about! This race is ideal for newer runners ready for their first race or who are working on pace. Also, “those with a need for speed and those prefer a shorter race distance with less training time,” advises Coach Alison Heilig, a runner, triathlete, and all-around fitness enthusiast at AcaciaTV.

        10k

        10K

        This is a 6.2-mile race where you’ll start to feel like a “real” runner. This is a popular distance for bigger race events that are focused on time and competition, as it can help weed out newer or slower runners. These races make great practice runs for anyone with half-marathon plans. This race is ideal for “Those who’ve run a few shorter races and are ready to take it up a notch but not yet ready for a longer-term training commitment,” said Heilig.

        letter h

        Half Marathon

        As the name implies, this race is half the distance of a full marathon. Just 13.1 miles of pavement lie between you and a finish line medal. At this distance, cross training and nutrition become just as important as pace and form.This race is ideal for seasoned runners who’ve properly trained for at least 12 weeks. Heilig picks this race because “This is the most popular race distance now and is perfect for those with a little more experience running who are looking for a challenge and love the idea of putting in the work for a memorable finish down the road.”

        letter m

        Full Marathon

        A full marathon is a distance of 26.2 miles, a storied length with roots in Ancient Greece and the 1908 London Olympics. Running in these races can be an all-consuming “hobby,” one that is competitive and intense. Training schedules and nutrition plans rule your days for the 12-20 weeks of training ahead of you. This race is ideal for the most experienced runners, which Heilig describes as “Those who’ve run a few half marathons and are now ready to make a bigger time commitment to training and are prepared to make sacrifices to get the training in.” She warns that improper training doesn’t just result in a miserable race, but can be very dangerous for the runner.

        letter u

        Ultra Marathons

        Any distance longer than the standardized 26.2 miles is considered an ultra. At this stage, you’re no longer running for “fun,” running is your life and your body is a machine. You should also have a penchant for adventure, as ultras tend to take place over a lot of trails, too. Save these races for the die-hard veteran, well-seasoned runners. Heileg saves ultras for  “Those who’ve completed several marathons without injury and recovered well, those with substantial trail running experience, those who prefer endurance over speed, those looking to experience something life-changing, and those with a good amount of time to train on the weekends.”

        letter t

        Triathlon

        For the multi-talented runner, a triathlon is another badge of sporting honor. The race distances vary based on the type of tri you may be competing in, like a sprint or Olympic triathlon. However, the standard is the International-Distance Triathlon which includes a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run. Ideal for experienced athletes with proper training across the three disciplines.

        letter i

        Ironman

        What a half-marathon is to a full, a triathlon is almost to an Ironman. This intense event may be the most physically demanding of them all. While a Half Ironman exists, the full requires athletes to complete a 3.86-kilometer swim, 180.25-kilometer bike ride, and 42.4-kilometer run (that’s a full marathon after a 112-mile bike ride, in case you’re keeping track!). Ideal for experienced athletes who want the ultimate endurance test.

        What’s your favorite type of race?