Sunday, October 18, 2015

Top three tips to kick your Monday (or any day) off right!

Monday's can be rough! They're the first morning of the week and set a tone for the next five days. Roll over on the right side of the bed and you'll be ready to take the world by storm... Fall over the wrong side, and who knows where you'll land.

So, how can you be ready to crush Monday? Everyone's different, but here are a few tips I use to start every day on the right foot.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Scrum, Running & the Beer Mile is Back!

Join us on September 30th at Urban Elements
for a FREE ChiRunning & Yoga for Runners
In this week's blog, we take a look at how "agile" project management principles can help your running plan, give details on an upcoming FREE ChiRunning workshop, and get you some info on the best damn Turkey Trot in the Burg!

First up, click here for details on the upcoming, FREE ChiRunning workshop and FREE Yoga for Runners class on September 30th!

Second, the Beer Mile! We're at it again. Last year a group of about 20 gathered at an undisclosed location on Thanksgiving morning to run a beer mile. We're planning to be back at it this year. If you're interested, shoot me an email. It's BYOB and anything goes...pony bottles, mimosas, soda...whatever!

Finally, on to this week's actual blog post (also posted at

Add Agility to your Training Plan!

During the day, when I'm at my "real-job," I spend most of my time managing software development projects and I freakin' love it! To most people though, "Project Management" means sitting down and developing long lists of requirements, tasks, risks, and resource allocations. They think of Gantt Charts, strict change management procedures, and a project plan that's printed in permanent ink!

In technology however, things change so rapidly that such a strict approach to project planning simply doesn't work. We need a system that is agile and able to respond to rapid change.

Enter "Scrum!" Scrum is a form of agile project management, centered around 5 core values (Focus, Courage, Openness, Commitment, Respect). These values allow teams to be more productive, stay motivated, and consistently deliver working solutions.

Just as I do at my day-job, when I'm working with teammates & athletes, I coach them to think about their training plan as a road map. It will provide a general direction, but we've got to be flexible enough to make course corrections along the way. Athletes should review their progress every week or two and assess what's working and what's not (in the Scrum world we call this process retrospective & planning, in running we call it a sure way to get faster).

Monday, August 31, 2015

Running on a Treadmill

It's inevitable, if you're a runner (especially a Pittsburgh Runner) at some point you're going to be on the treadmill. While its not always the most exciting way to get your training miles in, it can be a good way to build your aerobic base and focus on form. Here are a few pointers that you can use to get the most out of your next "dreadmill" workout.

  • Focus on Form -I get asked all the time, "Can I work on my ChiRunning while on the treadmill?" As a matter of fact, you can! The treadmill is a great place to work on keeping your posture aligned (Shoulders stay aligned over the hips and ankles). Try and feel a "hinge" at the ankle, allowing for a forward lean (use a slight incline to increase this sensation), and keeping your stride short. 
  • Work on Cadence -The best runners in the world keep a consistent cadence between 85 and 90 RPM... so, if you want to run great, do what great runners do and count your cadence. Find your natural rhythm. Do this by counting the number of times your left (or right) foot strikes the ground/treadmill over the course of 30 seconds. Multiply that number by 2 and you have your RPMs. If they fall below 85, slowly try to increase them by 1 or 2 RMP each week until your in the 85-90 range. 
  • Stay in the Middle -Try to keep your body positioned in the middle of the treadmill. If you're up too close to the bar, you'll have a hard time engaging your "lean." If you're too far back, you might fall off!  

On top of these three tips, here are a few other things you might want to consider to make the most of your treadmill run.

  • Use the Incline -When you're running outside, the wind & ground add more resistance to your run. You don't have this added resistance on the treadmill, so to simulate the outdoor intensity add a 1 or 2 percent grade to the incline. 
  • Trust in Your Body NOT the Display -The numbers on the treadmill lie! If you feel like you're going faster or farther than you normally do, the machine's calibration might be off. A treadmill is not the place to stress about running an exact distance or speed. Instead, set a goal for the number of minutes you'll run and the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) you'll want to keep during the run. This is a much better strategy than stressing about a distance or speed goal. 
  • Don't Worry How Fast the Guy Next to You Runs -We've all had someone jump onto the machine next to us and crank it up to 10mph, or bust out an Uptown Funk dance. Don't worry about him! You're on the treadmill to run your workout. Keep it at your goal PRE for the length of your run. This is the best way to be ready on race day. 

Do you have any other treadmill training tips? We'd love to hear them!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Finding the Right Multi-Vitamin

Swing by the vitamin section of your local pharmacy and you’ll literally feel like you’ve walked into a wall. From vitamin A to 12 forms of B, C, D2, D3, multivitamin packs, herbal supplements, oils and more, it's easy to get intimidated. How can you blast through all the fancy labels and find exactly what you’re looking for?

Well, I'm not a nutritional, but here are the three biggest things I was looking for in a vitamin. These three are what lead me to finally select "Pure Vitamin Club" (disclaimer, I am in NO WAY affiliated with this product...I won't get a single penny if you decide to try it yourself!).

First, I want a capsule, not a tablet. Here's why.

  • Tablets are packed togeather pretty hard. It wakes your body extra time to break them down and the amount of "fillers/additives" required to keep them togeather make this even tougher
  • Because tablets don't break down quick, many of the nutrients in them pass right thorough the body and make your pee look radioactive
  • Capsules digest quickly and easily
  • The machines used to produce tabs need to add different types of lube so the tabs can easily move through the production line, like Magnesium stearate (problem is this can interfere with the absorption rate of some nutrients)

Second, as mentioned above, I don't want any fillers or additives! This means wheat, corn, dairy, artificial colors (why do I need titanium dioxide in my vitamin...keep it in my sunscreen please), or other additives.

Third, it has to be affordable. I don't want to spend 3 billion dollars on supplements every year. There are a lot of really great products out there. Thorne, Klean Athlete, Dr. Mercola, and many more make some great products, but their pricey! Pure Vitamin club is about $10 per month. This is also one of the lowest price vitamins I've found that are NSF certified!

Finally, I can say from experience that I feel better when I'm taking this vitamin. Unlike several others I've had in the past, I can take these on a completely empty stomach without issue. I don't look like I'm peeing orange after taking them and their auto ship program makes it easy to always have them on hand.

Check out for more info!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Check out a class this Friday

Hey all!

Just a quick note to say I'm going to be subbing a class this Friday at Urban Elements & Cycology on the North Shore! If you can break away for a lunch time spin, I'd love to have you come take the class and check this place out. I've got a few passes for first timers that I can give you, just shoot me an email and let me know.

Their bikes are really cool, and move from side to side. If you've never been on a bike like this, you have to check it out. You'll improve your form and efficiency right away, making you a stronger rider when you go back to the standard, non-moving bike.

I'll also be doing my regular Wednesday class at the Rivers Club.

Hope to catch up with you soon!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 Race to Anyplace -Race Report

After months of waiting it’s finally here! Your 2015 Race to Anyplace, official race report!
This year was definitely one for the record books, both in terms of milage covered & the number of riders who didn’t show up (including yours truly). 

There were weather reports that Pittsburgh might have a rocky morning, but when the sun came, the roads were clear and there wasn’t a snowflake insight. 

As the team began to make their way to Heinz Field however that began to change. By the time things kicked off at 9 am, the city was in a white out! There were a few other last minute surprises, including our initial goal calculations being off target due to the different style bikes used. Because our teams road on the Kaiser bikes in 2014 (the same bikes we trained on at LA Fitness & the Rivers Club this year), we knew there would be some discrepancies with our numbers. Unfortunately they proved greater than we imagined which meant we couldn't hand out solid goals. I’ve saved the numbers though and we should have strong standings for next year if we ride on CycleOps bikes again.

Before getting into the rider details (as best as I remember Chris telling them to me), I’d like to give a big thank you to my friends at Urban Elements & Cyclology. Sharon, one of the studio’s co-creaters, also help in planning of the Race to Anyplace and hooked us up with a great spot for our bikes (right on the end, next to the bar!) I’m hoping to work with her and the race organizers next year to make the event even more successful…now, on to the race itself!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Class Schedules & the Race to Anyplace


It has been awhile since I've gotten a blog post up, and I wish I had some more time to spend getting articles out, but rest assured, there will be more on the way. I've got a slew of different topics I'm planning to cover in February, included Zone Training, ChiWalking, and the best multi-vitamin on the market for you.

Let me know if you have any thoughts for topics, or if you'd even like to contribute a post or two.

Class Schedules - I will begin posting the weekly class/workout schedule on the right side of this blog. Since I'm not instructing a large number of classes at this point, I don't want to blast you with an email every week to tell you I'm still instructing my one an only class on Wednesdays. If you do attend that class, check out the blog on Monday mornings. My plans for the week will be posted on the right hand side of the blog (see the example below...or just look on the right side of this blog!

The Race to Anyplace (Sign Up & Training!)
-Yes, the race is still on and the team is training to kick ass again!

If you are racing...

  1. Be sure to check out all the info here
  2. Get online and officially register with LLS by clicking here
  3. Train!
    • Join the training group at LA Fitness on Wednesday @ 5:45am
    • Join me at the Rivers Club on Wednesdays @ 12:15pm (email first)
    • Join the Facebook training group to stay up to date & motivated
If you are not racing...

  1. Please consider making a team donation...Leukemia sucks help knock it out
  2. Show up on race day to cheer the team on!
Training Schedule w/ the LA Fitness 5:45am group...
  • Jan 28: two 10 minutes sets.
  • Feb 4: two 12 minute sets.
  • Feb 11: FULL REHEARSAL. Two 15 minute sets.
  • Feb 18: none, rest week.