Run Zooma Texas Half Marathon (or Relay, 10k, 5k) + Giveaway

On my unscientific, completely subjective yet always spot-on scale of race rating, ZOOMA Women’s Race Series ranks really, really high – a 10+! ZOOMA love isn’t mine alone – even Shape Magazine names it one of The Top 10 Women’s Races!  While ZOOMA puts on women-centric running events all around the country, but I must say to run ZOOMA Texas race (happening March 10, 2018 just outside of Austin) is near and dear to my heart. Mild Central Texas spring weather, gorgeous countryside (think pecan groves, bluebells and views of the Colorado river), and loads of Lone Star State hospitality fuel some of the fondness.Run Zooma Texas & Knix Wear Giveaway

After ZOOMA Texas being on hiatus for a couple years, it’s ZOOMA Texas is BACK ON at the Lost Pines Hyatt Resort and BETTER THAN EVER. To celebrate, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY for a free race registration to any distance race (Half, Half Relay, 10k or 5k) in ZOOMA Texas on March 10th AND some (literally) supportive swag from a sponsor – winner’s choice of bra and undies from Knix Wear. Read on to get more deets. Continue reading

Fruit & Veggies are Super Foods with Powerful Juice + Juicer Giveaway

This post and giveaway sponsored by Hamilton Beach. However, all opinions, ideas, recipes and enthusiasm remain my own.

So, it was National Drink Fresh Squeezed Juice Day yesterday and I missed it. But, really ANY day is a great day to add a small glass or shooter of fresh fruit or veggie juice to your diet. Especially this time of year, flu and cold season, when the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in certain juices, alone or in drink recipes, can help boost your immunity and overall well-being. And, oh YAY, I have a juicer giveaway for you.Jars of Fresh Juice -- Hamilton Beach Juice Extractor Giveaway

Read on to get recipes (including Hot Grapefruit Ginger Green Tea) and learn about the Premium Big Mouth®  2-speed Juice Extractor from Hamilton Beach. I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY for one of these bad boys.  Continue reading

Finds from The Running Event – Marathon Sports Nutrition Giveaway

Giveaway Alert! I recently attended The Running Event, a trade show for the running retail industry, and got a sneak peak into some of the emerging trends, gear and sports nutrition products for 2018. I’ll save shoe, sock and sports bra talk for later, today I want to get right to the sports nutrition giveaway a.k.a. free tasty stuff. Yeah, I said “tasty stuff,” – that’s because so many race fuels, hydration aids and other sports nutrition products taste as good as they work!Giveaway of Sports Nutrition products at The Running Event 2017

Today, I’m sharing some of my new finds and old favorites with you “12 Days of Christmas” style, except all twelve days at once! You don’t have to come back to the blog every day for 12 days (although I don’t mind if you do)! Read on to discover some new products to fuel your running, obstacle course racing, triathalon, ultramarathoning – or whatever you do!  And, enter the sports nutrition giveaway to win in all 78 things! Continue reading

“Still Running Strong” 50th Birthday Giveaway – $575 of Favorites

It happened, I turned 50 years old today! No biggie, in fact I embrace it – it took half a century to get this awesome (haha)! While my speed has slowed and my recovery time has doubled, I may be at the best place ever in my fitness journey. I’m not obsessed, I’m not a slave to my watch or training plan, I’m not trying to prove myself. I still strive to be the best I can, but I also focus more on balance, fun, rest and recovery so I can keep on doing all this for another 20, 30, 40 years! Still Running Strong Giveaway - thefitfork.com

In honor of my birthday, some of the great sponsors and brands I work with are letting me treat one lucky winner to the running/fitness things I can’t live without. This giveaway includes everything from running shoes and compression socks, to coaching and mobility gear – oh, and sports nutrition, wellness products and healthy snacks. Read on to find out more about this running giveaway and how to enter!   Continue reading

5 Tips to Improve Double Unders  + Giveaway Courtesey XShadyside Pittsburgh Gym

Jumping rope sounds like child’s play, but it’s a fierce workout that requires cardio-vascular endurance, coordination and razor focus. But, if turning the rope in a single rotation isn’t challenging enough, give your game new “ups” with double unders.5 Tips to Improve Double Unders - ideas to help your  jump rope skills take off for Crossfit and other workouts.

Read on to find tips that will help you up your Double Under game . . . and also enter my giveaway (sponsored by a Pittsburgh Gym I’ve partnered with) for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get new gear (like maybe a fancy jump rope). Continue reading

Five . . .err, Make that Fifteen for Friday!

I don’t usually do a “5 for Friday” shoutout, but this week has been full of so many interesting, fun, amazing things that I though I should. Then, I realized I had excessively more than 5 things to share – so, you’re getting “15 for Friday!”  I’m talking about everything from amazing eco-wellness products from Shiftcon, the lotions I put on my face, a really cool app-based, customized meal delivery service, my latest ambassadorships, the 3M Half Marathon, mystery excitement news, and more! You have to read on to find out all the deets!

Jennifer Fisher 3M Half Marathon Austin, Texas 2017

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Favorite Healthy Blender Recipes that aren’t Smoothies + Giveaway

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Hamilton Beach. However, all content, comments, recipes and enthusiasm are my own.

My engine is revving and I’m whirling with excitement to be sharing some of my favorite blender recipes today (including a special nut butter recipe) – you’ll notice there are no smoothies (it’s just too cold for me)! I’m also hosting a giveaway for a new Hamilton Beach ® Professional 1800 Watt Peak Power Blender (ARV $249), whoohoo! This versatile workhorse for your kitchen easily emulsifies oils into dressings, frapees fruit into frozen drinks, purees potatoes into porridge, chops veggies for your moire poux, and makes meat  . . .uh, well, minced meat It also makes child’s play of pulverizing the heartiest seeds and nuts into butter.

Sriracha Six Seed & Nut Butter delicious on wraps, as a dip, made into a sauce or by the spoon!

Check out my recipe for Smoky Sriracha Six Seed & Nut Butter featured today on Hamilton Beach’s Every Day Good Thinking blog. And then, come back to enter the blender giveaway and drool and pin my other favorite blender recipes.

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Get a Grip Workout + ‘Tis the Spartan Race Pass Season #Giveaway

Note: After you “get a grip” make sure you pop all the way down on this post to find out about 2017 Season Passes for Spartan Race (hurry, they are rumored to sell out soon) an also to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free Spartan Race registration. 

If you’re not training grip, you’re likely sabotaging any chance getting through a Spartan Race burpee free. Reflect back to your last race and count up the number of obstacles that require a strong and lasting grip. These grip-intensive obstacles include the rig, the monkey bars, the bucket carry, the rope climb, the Tyrolean traverse, Tarzan swing, wall jumps, and, lemme see, nearly everything . . . including shaking hands on the podium!

Grip Training for Spartan

By adding grip-training exercises to your workout a few times per week, you can achieve lower-arm and grip gains which will increase your strength to handle more weight and more reps  — or, basically hold on longer! The muscle guys in the gym swear by grip training maximize strength and size, but don’t worry girls – I work out my grip often and don’t have Popeye-sized forearms, pretty sure you have to be genetically predisposed or questionable supplement enhanced for that to happen.

There are three types of grip including. support grip (hanging and holding), crush grip (clenching and squeezing) and pinch grip (pinching). Training these different grips oven overlaps one another, but here are some basic categories of grip-strength exercises:

Hanging – Try to hang from any surface with shoulders fully extended, in the “deadhang” position until failure. Grab onto a variety of surfaces (safety first) including traditional pull-up bars, fat bars, the ends of towels or functional straps (like GripSling … use code thefitfork20 to save 20%) ropes, tree limbs, rafters, vertical pipes — each provides a different challenge to the grip.

Dead hang for grip strength.

Lifting – Grip is always involved in lifting, unless you are doing legs on a machine. The fatter the bar used in your lifts, the more difficult it will be on your grip. That’s why those chubby monkey bars at Spartan Race are harder than the garden variety playground version. A wider diameter bar redistributes stress from the joints and onto the muscles as the weight is transferred to a larger area of the hand.  If your gym has a fat bar, try it. Or, purchase special grips to slide on (check out Fat Gripz), or simply wrap a strap or towel around the bar.

Carrying – Practice carrying objects of different sizes and poundage, your body will have to adjust accommodate the varying loads. Of course, the whole body is involved in toting stuff around, a strong grip can help you hold more and go further. Carries to practice include farmer carry with plates, dumbbells, kettlebells or any other luggable item with a handle. For greater grip gains, try threading a towel through the handle and carry grasping onto the ends of the towel. Also, practice carrying non-handled, heavy objects such as sandbags, pancakes, loaded buckets from the base.

Farmer Carry with a towel for grip training.

Pinching – Improve your pinch grip, and hopefully maintain contact with the Z Wall or Horizontal Climb obstacles, by mastering exercises that require maintaining contact with an item placed between thumb and fingers while leaving palm open. Classic pinch grip exercises include the one hand pinch plate, two hand pinch plate and pinch plate curls.

Pinch Plates exercise for grip strenth.

Example: Pinch Plates

Farmer Carry with a towel for grip training.

Example: Plate Curls

Crushing – Maximize your crush grip strength by squeezing grippers, tennis balls or beer cans. I also think the mobility balls from ACUmobility work pretty well for gripping — save 20% with code AcumobFitFork Look at that grimace below, I’m having my crush grip strength measured.

jennifer-fisher-thefitfork-com-death-grip-fittest-fitfluential

Get a Grip Workout will strengthen your lower arms for better obstacle crushing in Spartan and other obstacle course races.

So, ready to give grip training a try? Work in any of the methods I’ve described above, or try this “Get a Grip Workout” I like to do every week.  Use the appropriate poundage for your strength and frame, and progress slowly – these exercises are way harder than they sound, and honestly, the first few sessions you may think nearly impossible (or at least I did).  For those who’ve crushed the workout, I’ve added challenge modifications – have fun!

Spartan Season Pass 2017

Also, before I slip away for my Spartan training, I wanted to tell y’all to HURRY and get your Spartan Race 2017 Season Passes ASAP, they are very likely to sell out quick. Thankfully, there are three Season Pass options – Trifecta Pass, Open Pass and Elite Pass – so one should suit your level of crazy. I opted to get my husband and I each the Trifecta Season Pass – it’s good for three races in any division (elite, competitive and open) and comes with additional perks. It can be used for Beast, Super and Sprint – but the fine print actually says you do any three distances of your choosing, even if all the same.  The Open and Elite Passes are more expensive, but your get #ALLTHESPARTANALLTHETIME

So, head over and get your Spartan Race Season Pass today – it also makes a great holiday gift for the obstacle course fan in your life. Meanwhile, enter my giveaway for a code for FREE entry into a Spartan Race of your choice (U.S. Open Division only). But, don’t let entering stop you from getting the Season Pass – if you win, you can use it to encourage a significant other, one of your children or a buddy to try his or her first race!

Disclaimer: Giveaway and promotion of Season Pass sponsored by Spartan Race, however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.
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