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  • The Advantages of Group Training

    By Jenna Novotny, Brand Ambassador

    It seems like common knowledge that training, typically for any athletic endeavor, is easier and more effective in groups. I mean, that’s why so many triathlon clubs, running clubs, cycling clubs, masters swimming groups and the like now exist and continue to pop up, right? But I recently realized that I wasn’t the only person who claimed and believed, “I train better solo.” Up until about three months ago I was a “solo trainer” and I had a whole list of reasons of why I thought ditching the pack was more effective for me.

    - I’m limited on time so I fit workouts in when I can, which means they are usually spur of the moment. - I don’t want to have to plan my day that far out in advance. Do I want to do a 50 mile bike ride at 7am a week from Wednesday? I don’t know!!?? - I hate wasting the time commuting to the group meeting point. - I don’t like talking while I work out. - What if people are slower than me and bring down my pace rather than up.

    And I’m sure on some level (OK I’ll admit it on a definite level) I was intimidated. I was especially nervous joining in on group rides due to my lack of experience on the road. Until recently, most of my bike training was on a trainer and the HUGE herds of seemingly professional bikers on HWY 101 scared the $@#% out of me! I just knew I was going to fall or crash, cut someone off, or make a fool of myself. Fortunately, a friend wouldn’t give up on me and bugged me until I joined him on group track session.

    After some speed work that left me feeling like a snail, I realized my limited solo training was lacking in more areas than one. Before I delve into my solo training shortcomings, let me say that I officially joined that training team, Breakaway Training, and now train with them about four days a week. I have become such good friends with many of the athletes in this group that we often end up hanging out outside of training. In addition to meeting some great new friends with common interests, I highly recommend getting over the group fear and joining a training team because:

    - No matter how many Bostons, Tours, or Konas you’ve run or won you will never know EVERYTHING about your sport. Hearing the mistakes or successes other athletes have made will help you make fewer mistakes and discover great training secrets earlier. - You can discover new products and tools and learn which ones on the market are best. Which GPS watch should you buy? Best running shoes? Ask around in your group. - Training with a group of fellow athletes can be close to having a doctor, therapist, and coach video-tapping you all in one. They get to know your pace and progress and can provide positive reinforcement—or on some days can tell that you’re dragging and check in with you, asking “Hey you’re looking a little drained, what’s going on?” - You can discover new routes. I have found so many great new running and biking routes from joining others in my training group. - SAVE MONEY! Now that I am in the running group, when I pick an out of town race I usually have someone else doing the same race. Can you say “travel buddy?” Carpool to the event + share a hotel room = spending less money! - No one likes being alone on race day! I hate those early morning races when you don’t have a race buddy to help ease any pre-race nerves. And what’s even better than having someone with you before the race…having someone there at the finish line with you!

    Oh and in case you were wondering, I have had a few close calls on my first bike rides on the road that I’m sure drew some attention, but I haven’t eaten pavement yet!

    Jenna

  • My first official race back to competitive running...

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    By Milena Glusac

    Decision is made! My first official race back to competitive running will be the Hollywood Half Marathon on April the 7th. Yep at 6am I will tow the line with thousands of other runners to run with the stars in the city of cinematic legend. I am so excited! I have waited seven years to be able to make my return to racing and with the help of Vitalyte, the official drink sponsor of the race, I have been able to train and get my body healthy. The next nine months is going to be fun, hectic and be filled with many busy days as I juggle training, working and coaching.

    You can follow my progress up to the race and even join me in my training for this inaugural event. I will be posting my workouts and give training tips so feel free to message me with any questions.

    Training thus far is going great and I know this time around my racing is going to be much more enjoyable because now running is just a beautiful piece in a wonderful life-it’s not the entire picture.

  • I'm Milena Glusac & I'm Back in Action

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    In about an hour I will head out for my run. Simple, average maybe even boring statement...until you know the backstory. See it’s been five months since I have been able to run and prior to that it’s been a decade of illness, personal strife and clawing myself back into the light. Between the several years of spending most of my days bedridden due to a genetic disease, financial hardship due to my health condition, a failed business and the demise of my family unit, life was challenging to say the least. Ironically, it was my belief that one day I would get healthy and be able to return to competitive athletics that kept me from wallowing in a well of depression and self-pity that I could have easily fallen victim to. I had once been one of the top-ranked distance runners in the world and I was determined to step back on the podium again!

    So here I am and yep my BFF has been the eliptical trainer at World Gym in Pacific Beach, CA. We’ve had our ups and downs just as any relationship does. You know how it goes, “I’m so dedicated to you I will be here faithfully,” and of course the explanations “Well it was a holiday weekend so I had to take a little time away,” and who can leave out the “A little time apart will do us some good.” But all in all I spent an average of four days a week with my cross-training partner. Just 30 minutes a time to maintain my fitness (ummm....really my sanity because honestly who the hell can stand looking at those little flashing lights 27:12, 27:11, 27:10 for more than a half hour at a time before cocktail hour can’t come fast enough and you are using all your strength to prevent yourself from bludgeoning the guy next to you who insists on blurting out loud every word to Lady GaGa’s Born This Way!)

    Yes I am VERY happy to be back on the roads!

    I was, to say the least, a little sore the day after my first run. Yep walking down stairs was amusing but I thought things would be a little more trying than they were. I attribute my mini-victory to two things...

    1) I used the five months to gather myself in all aspects of my life-emotional, physical, mental, financial...yep I cleaned house and over-hauled. Anything that wasn’t serving my higher good went out the window and I made room for the good things that were already in my life but were being suffocated by the lack of space.

    2) Vitalyte-I faithfully used my electrolytes replacement drink, Tri-Phase endurance before my workouts and during and when it came time to hit the ground running again I had maintained my fitness and my body had a chance to recover. Honestly, those first few days back would’ve been a nightmare of epic proportion if it hadn’t been for Tri-Phase...I wasn’t crying or up pacing in the night due to lactic acid overload and muscle fatigue.

    So as I get ready to head out down Harbor Drive for a little 40 minute run I think about how far I have come, in just a week and a half I am up to a 5.5 mile run. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this recovery thing after all. My mind, body and emotional self are less attached to what I can do physically and my priority lies on my entire self. It’s a lifestyle.

    Follow my journey back to competitive running and join me in creating a healthy lifestyle. It’s what Vitalyte is all about, it’s what I’m all about and it’s about what’s best for you.

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