Procrastinator’s Guide to OCR & Spartan Training

Soooo, you signed up for a Spartan race — or other obstacle event like Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder — and now race day is looming near. Your date with destiny is coming up as quick as those breakfast tacos scarfed down before running to the gym in a last-minute panic.  Whether you’ve put off training as a passive-aggressive act, life just got in the way, or you’re a newbie who’s now just been “filled in” by so-called friends, the down and dirty news about your procrastination isn’t so discouraging. While you might not win the race, there is still time to lock in some mental and physical training that will get you to the finish strong and having fun! The Procrastinator's Guide to Spartan Training

Check out The Procrastinator’s Guide to OCR & Spartan Training, for all my 11th hour advice!  Continue reading

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

Peak Week OCR Gym Workout + Spartan Strong Life Time Fitness

This post is sponsored by  Life Time Fitness, however all opinions, workout suggestions, and enthusiasm are strictly my own. 

In a perfect world, obstacle course racing training would happen in the great outdoors. What could be more magnificent (and challenging) than charging up a mountain, leaping across creeks and hauling around rocks and logs? But, let’s be real, for many of us, it’s hard to get to Mother Nature’s gym on a regular basis. Towel Pull Ups Life Time Fitness

Between work schedules, kid’s activities, inclement weather (cold and hot), and too many accidents running in the dark, I’ve redirected about 75% of my obstacle course training to the gym. I’ve been a member of Life Time Fitness for several months now and have never been at a loss for equipment to get a fierce solo workout accomplished, for a fun and motivating group fitness class to join, or for other amenities to keep me strong, adaptable and resilient for my upcoming Spartan World Championship in Lake Tahoe on Sept 30.  Read on to get my Peak Week Spartan Training Gym Workout and also find out about some ways that Life Time Fitness is helping me reach my athletic goals – and can you too! Continue reading

Wondering What Type of Race You Should Run?

It might take a couple months, a year or even half a lifetime, but eventually most folks who start running on a regular basis decide to take it one step further by signing up for a full-fledged race. Even for those who don’t consider themselves “competitive,” running in an organized race is a great way stay motivated, test current fitness levels, breaking a sweat and bask in personal post-race glory alongside hundreds, if not thousands, other runners on a like-minded mission.

what type of race should I run

But, if you’ve never touched toe to the start line of a race, the sheer variety of endurance events and unfamiliarity of the “scene” can make it overwhelming and even intimidating to click the “register me” button. The best advice is to seek suggestions from seasoned veterans, poke around to find out what local races friends and family have found to be newbie-friendly. Even then, the “type of race,” should suit your own unique personality and running preferences. Read on to get the high-level low down on some popular “types” of races: Continue reading

Making Muscles & Memories – Fitness & Food Recap 2016

Welcome to my end-of-year 2016 recap and thank you sincerely SO MUCH for taking the time to visit my blog today, this year, in years prior! If this is your first time to swing by, I hope you’ll make yourself at home, click around and discover a workout, recipe, nutrition tip or tutorial that will help you get further down the path on your fitness and healthy living journey. My passion is to create healthy but “real-life” recipes and inspire peeps of all ages and abilities to eat better, move more and try new things.

Jennifer Fisher - Run for the Water 2016

Continue reading

Endurance + Speed Marathon Workout and Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Review

jen-jumping-mizuoWhen something is so good that it’s been repeated through 20 seasons, that’s saying something special. In December, I’ll be reflecting on 20 years of celebrating Christmas as a mom or mom-to-be, two decades of my dad’s delicious holiday tenderloin and running my 20th marathon. Mizuno is also celebrating a special benchmark, it’s the 20th edition of their best-selling shoe, the Wave Rider 20!

Evolution of the Mizuno Wave Rider from Mizuno USA on Vimeo.

Admittedly, I haven’t worn all 20 iterations of this running shoe (although quite a few), it’s amazing that the basic concept has resonated with loyal fans through the ups and downs of running shoe design – and I say that quite literally in terms of all the cyclical changes in heel drop and rise! After nearly two decades of refinement, this latest version of the Wave Rider claims to “exceed all expectations.” Mizuno Wave Rider 20Does it, will it?! Only the miles will tell . . . . so I slipped into the Wave Rider 20 and logged a few! Lucky thing I had some running to do with the San Antonio Marathon right around the corner!  My workout today was this Endurance + Speed Run Workout — a challenging 10 mile running workout that takes you from a manageable marathon pace to a fast and furious 5k pace finish. This long speed workout will get you used to running with leg fatigue so that you will nail your next big race!

This Endurance + Speed 10 Mile Workout will get you strong and fast for a marathon.

Well, my feet were definitely happy after a long run – sometimes my high instep and arch makes shoes uncomfortable and sometimes even feel like they’re going numb. Nope, not in these. While I’m not a heel-striker, I still felt comfortable landing mid-foot despite the 12mm rise. I did appreciate that these were a “moderate: cushion shoe but only weight about 8 ounces, sometimes on longer runs my feet feel beat up in super “nothing” shoes – I need just a bit of cushion!

Guys and gals, you each have three color choices in these snazzy shoes – honestly, I liked some of the guy colors a lot and was a little jealous! They run about $119 full retail and debuted in mid October – pick up your pair at your local running store (and support Small Business Saturday) or online at Mizuno.com

Here are some official improvements on an immutably amazing running shoe, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20:

  • Cloudwave: The shoe’s new cloudwave geometry provides a softer, smoother, more gentle ride with improved cushion on initial heel impact & better guidance in the transition from heel to forefoot.
  • U4ic Midsole: You’ll feel “euphoric” (that’s how you pronounce U4ic) over the more responsive, softer feeling midsole that offers a longer-lasting ride.
  • Engineered Mesh: Not only does the running shoe look sleek and fast, the new engineered zone-specific mesh construction provides a seamless and light fit that goes almost unnoticed on the feet.

Are you a Wave Rider fan? How many have you had?  What race / event are you currently training for? What is your dream shoe color combo? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

How Exercise Boosts Brain Power + Week of Smart Workouts

Exercise is a smart choice for maintaining physical health and it also plays a role in promoting overall happiness and well-being. But, can exercise make a person more intelligent? Probably so say sports scientists from Finland who recently published some surprising findings on how the type and intensity of exercise may have a bearing on brain power?

Find out the best form of exercise for a brain boost. Yes, some workouts can make you not on stronger, but smarter!

The study compared pitted moderate-paced running, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting against each other to observe how these various forms physical exercise can increase hippocampal neurogenesis (e.g. the creation of new brain cells) in an already mature brain. The test subjects – rats! The running rodents were left to run on their cage wheels (a moderate jog, some up to several miles a day) with free will while the HIIT group was given a daily 15 minute regimen of repeated strenuous effort sprinting with jog recovery. And, the weight-lifting rodents climbed walls with little weights attached to their tails as a sedentary control group lounged around and watched. I laugh just thinking about this! mouse-lifting-weight

Whether mouse or man, it appears that the winning exercise for long-term brain health may simply be moderate running or “jogging” and, by my semi-educated extrapolation, other similar “aerobic and sustained” activities like biking, swimming and brisk walking.  It seems wheel-jogging rodents had the most vigorous rates of new brain cell growth, significantly higher than the sedentary, lay-around rats. The hightailing HIIT group had some brain cell growth, but not as much as the aerobic joggers, with researchers hypothesizing that physical stress impedes neurogenesis. Interestingly, the resistance-trained rats were no different brain-wise at the end of the study – which keeps the status-quo on “muscle head” jokes!

Exercise is not only great for your health, but can make you smarter! Find out what type and intensity of workout will give you the best brain boost!

Seriously though, all forms of exercise are beneficial for the body. Just like variety in diet is important for optimal health, so is mixing up the way you move. While jogging or easy running may boost brain cells, lifting weights strengthens muscles, bones and tendons, helping to improve every day work capacity.  And, both resistance training and HIIT up the body’s metabolism, one of the keys to keeping a lean silhouette.

I think trail running and obstacle course races like Spartan are a great way to add “extra” to simply running – a well-rounded athlete is a smart athlete, too!

Below are some of my favorite running, HIIT and other workouts — pick your favorites and get strong, get smart!

 

 

Here are a week of workouts to get stronger and smarter:

  1. 20 Minute Kickboxing Workout to Kick Monday in the Face
  2. You Got Mad “Ups” Body Weight Workout
  3. Boom! Med Ball Workout
  4. Trail Run Tabata
  5. Fun Faster 800m-Lover Workout
  6. Sayonara Sprint Partner Run Workout 
  7. Soccer Strong Workout – – also great for OCR Training

What is your favorite “type” of exercise to do? Do you mix it up, or single sport? Ever feel smarter after jogging (haha)?  Please share in the comments — XOXO, Jennifer

Why Consistency is the Best “Diet”

Get my thoughts on losing weight in along with the advice from 24 other nutrition, health and fitness professionals in a recent article hitting the internet –25 Weight Loss Experts Expose Diets that Work.

Why Consistency is the Best Diet

But, in a nutshell, the sub-title the author gave my opinion was “Never Take Time Off From Your Healthy Eating Plan.” Just reading the title as-is, that sounds a little strict, however . . I’m anything but rigid in my approach to eating for optimal health. I’d title it — “Why Consistency is the Diet that Works Best.”

running jennifer 20 years between

There is 20+ years between these pictures, my weight is the same!

Check out the story, and you’ll find that I believe the most successful strategy to losing weight and keeping it off for good is to not be on any one particular “diet” or the other, but to create a day-in and day-out lifestyle that balances exercise with eating mindfully! And, I’m not alone in that opinion.

 

 

 

A plate at least half-full full of colorful fruits and vegetables paired with lean protein and a moderate intake of whole grains is the balanced approach I suggest and take myself. Also, I think saying certain foods are absolute no-no’s is a set up for failure too, if you love chocolate or bread, then enjoy in small portions every now and then — just use common sense, and balance in light of your weekly food intake and exercise expenditures.

Studies have proven that successful “dieters” (I hate to use that word) create their own personal strategies to maintain a lean body mass and don’t veer off the path much – despite weekends, holidays, vacations, or even when they are happy with their current weight. In a nutshell, success means being flexible, but never take a hard break from a healthy eating routine.

Dona Jo Fit Wear - FITFORK20 for 20% discount

Also, off topic, but not really considering the importance of daily exercise and feeling good about what you’re wearing . . . I’ve got the cutest yoga shorts to tell you about from Dona Jo fit wear! This fun company makes adorable yoga clothes, running clothes, printed cycling clothing, CrossFit active wear, barre clothes and tennis skirts that make it more motivating to get up, get dressed and get moving!

dona jo 2I picked out the Caribbean Shorts, the new print (which reminds me of a tropical fish) just launched last week! The shorts come in 2 sizes – Size 1 (0 – 8) and Size 2 (10 – 16) – I wear a size 2 normally and these fit just fine, I was worried they’d be too big. While they don’t have that tight compression feeling, they are perfect for summer running and nailing new yoga poses –plus, the wide waistband is very flattering.  If you use discount code FITFORK20 when checking out at Dona Jo, you can save 20% on your active wear purchase!

What is your mindset about “dieting”? Do you follow a stricter diet like Paleo or Vegan? How do you like your yoga pants — bright or black? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer