endurance

Chasing Josh

The American record holder in the 50K sits down with PrayFit to chat faith, running JoshJosh Cox is one of the world's best at putting one foot in front of the other for unseemly distances. A native of San Diego (Calif), Cox set the American record in the 50K (31.05 miles) in 2011 with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 45 seconds, smashing his own previous U.S. record in the process. Over his career, he's encountered adversity both on and off the course, all of it setting him on the path the Lord had in store for him the entire time. Now, this father and husband -- he and his wife welcomed a son, Asher Legend, in 2011 -- dishes on what's made him so successful, both in running and in his walk.

“Jimmy and the PrayFit team embody the words Paul penned to Timothy, ‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.’ (1 Tim. 4:8) Their daily devotional feeds my spirit and inspires my sweat!” --Josh Cox, elite ultramarathoner, American record holder in the 50K

Josh Cox Height: 6'0" Weight: 147–156 Hometown: San Diego, CA Residence: Mammoth Lakes, CA Family: Wife, Carrie; Sons, Asher Legend, Joshua Tristan Armor Race Highlights: 2011: PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, 1st. 2010: Boston Athletic Association 5K, 1st; Comrades Marathon, 180th; Moeben Ultra 25K, 1st; Malibu Half Marathon, 1st; Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, 1st.

PRAYFIT: As one of the world's premier long distance runners, you spend a lot of time running solo. Where does your mind wander during a long run?

JOSH COX: Fortunately, I train with an amazing group, the Mammoth Track Club. I’ve heard it said that we become the average of our five closest friends, so I try to keep fast company! Having workout partners works wonders for accountability. Being surrounded by talented individuals who share a common vision and a common goal always reaps rewards. It’s like what Solomon said, “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

With that said, running is a solitary sport, even when training in a group. Growing up, I was a soccer player -- I loved the game but in order to really practice I needed others. With running, all I needed was an alarm clock and open road. I still love that about the sport. Running is my alone time, my thinking time, my praying time, my creative time, my time away from the calls, social networks, and the business of life. Running has always served as my daily reset button. You could say it’s my therapist. And by mile three I usually have amazing clarity.

PF: How has your faith played in to your life as an athlete? How has it affected your perspective?

JC: I’ve been blessed with longevity. I’m now in my 14th year in the sport. My perspective during that time has done a 180. When I qualified for my first Olympic Trials in ‘99 it was all about the teams, titles and records. Sure, I’d thank God after races and talk about Him in interviews but it was mainly words. Don’t get me wrong, I believed what I was saying but what was I really doing? Was giving interviews really God’s big commission for my life?

Then came 2005, a horrible year. If I live a thousand years it will be tough to top my terrible 2005. I experienced spiritual oppression beyond my worst nightmares, I was in a bad relationship, lost $60,000 in an investment...I could have been a case study for Murphy’s Law. As bad as that year was, when November came, things got worse. The doctor delivered the news: my dad had stage four cancer and seven months to live. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My dad and I didn’t have the best relationship; I knew I needed to be by his side.

A month later my brother and I were living in a hotel room next to my dad near MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston. Suddenly, running, and everything else in my life, didn’t seem as important as being there for my dad. Talk about a reset button.

My dad had it all: looks, charisma, made millions in business, had a big house, convertible Mercedes, the works. But in the end he had a mountain of regrets: putting work first, not spending more time with the family, failed relationships with his children and his divorce from my mom after 34 years of marriage. My dad opened up and our relationship was restored on this side of eternity. It’s tough to put an old head on young shoulders but those months with my dad did just that. I was holding his hand and looking in his eyes when he took his last breath that July. In the aftermath I did a lot of soul searching. Did running matter? Why was I spending my life trying to lower my time on a clock? What’s the end game? A medal? A contract? A record? A team?

I nearly retired from running and went to seminary full-time; I even took some classes. Being willing to give it up was where God wanted me all along, when I came back to sport in 2007, things were totally different. Sure, I still had the drive to win and set records but I knew their proper place. My performance was no longer the verdict on me. The reality is, titles are forgotten and records are on loan but when we use our platform to do God’s work we impact lives, outlive our life, and leave a lasting legacy. That’s winning.

PF: Lots of people run. Very few people run well. What's your best, most basic advice for achieving a proper stride on a long run?

JC: With regards to form, we want everything going forward and back -- any lateral movement is wasted energy. A midfoot strike is what we’re after because it keeps the body over the foot at impact and allows the knee to act as a shock absorber. Heel striking is braking –- it slows you down and beats the body up. But frankly, for most of us, the issue isn’t form, it’s about having the discipline to get the run in. The key is to lace up the shoes and get out the door. The first step is the best step -- it’s where intent meets action. Some folks workout when they feel like it. The key to success is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like it.

The first step is the best step -- it’s where intent meets action.

PF: Should distance runners only run steady paces for long distances, or is there some value in sprint intervals?

JC: Long slow distance makes long slow runners. If you want to run fast you need to run fast. Every good running program should have three key components each week:

• Intervals (400 meter sprints, with recovery in between): 3-8 miles • Tempo Runs (your goal race pace): 4-18 miles • Long Runs: 12-26 miles

The idea is to get efficient at goal race pace. Faster intervals will allow you to relax at this pace. The tempo run is when you run your goal race pace, and long runs give you the strength. All have their place in training. Run your hard days hard and easy days easy. "Stress + Rest" is the formula.

PF: With such a busy training schedule and a new baby, how do you find time to get into your bible?

JC: I’ve had loads of regrets in my life but I’ve never spent time in the Word or gone for a run and said, "That was a waste of time." It’s just like working out -- if you want to get it in you have to make it an important appointment worth keeping. I also download podcasts, books and sermons to my iPod and listen to them on my easy days.

PF: You do a ton of work for charities. Can you describe your involvement in charity and give us a bit about how people can help out?

JC: Faith is something to be lived, not sat around and talked about. I want my walk to back up my talk. I want my deeds to align with my creeds. I want to live out what I believe. Oftentimes, the church (meaning the believers in the church) is caught up in catering to others in their building, when being a Christian is so much more than going to Sunday School and Bible studies, it’s remembering the poor, remembering the oppressed, helping the widow, being the hands and feet of Christ, these are things we’re called to do.

Faith is something to be lived, not sat around and talked about. I want my walk to back up my talk. I want my deeds to align with my creeds.

Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” The way we be like Christ, the way we follow Christ, is to serve as He served. My goal in athletics, and life, is to pursue my passions and use my gifts to serve. Anyone can use a gift for personal gain; the key to success is making your gift valuable to someone else. Asking, "How can I help?" and delivering on that question will open dozens of doors. The more you serve others, the more impact you make. The most influential folks in history –- those with statues and streets bearing their names –- are those who used their gifts and passions to serve mankind. If you want to have long, lasting, real success, find a way to use your aptitudes to serve others. Help someone reach their potential; in helping them reach theirs, you'll reach your own.

I’ve partnered with Team World Vision for years. World Vision is one of the world’s largest NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) -- they empower the indigenous people and give them the tools and support to pull themselves out of extreme poverty. They’re giving folks a fishing pole rather than the fish. No one does more life changing work on the ground. This year we’re partnering with Lopez Lomong, a former Sudanese Lost Boy and U.S. Olympian to bring clean water to his homeland. Fifty dollars provides clean drinking water for one person...for a lifetime. Few things are as rewarding as bringing clean water to a child in need. Folks can get involved or donate here, no amount is too small: Click here to support Josh's efforts for South Sudan

This year I’m beginning a partnership with Stand Up To Cancer. This is passion of mine for obvious reasons. We hope to do some fundraising around an effort of mine in the fall.

>> For more on Josh Cox, visit his official website at www.joshcox.com. You can also join his social networks here: Twitter - JoshCoxRun Facebook - Josh Cox YouTube - JC

 

A Holy Climb

"Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea', and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." --Mark 11:23

Read: Mark 11

Hey everyone. After a week off, PrayFit is back online. Honestly, I probably need to write more than you need to read, but nonetheless, here we are in Jesus' name. If you happen to be new to PrayFit, we have a couple of common mountains we climb -- two objectives as we make our way up some pretty steep hills. For some, PrayFit is a place of encouragement to begin or continue an exercise program or sensible eating plan. Others don't need such nudging on the health side but have come to enjoy the fact that we're nestled in God's word and steeped in grace.

It's a holy climb, really. That's what we chat about each day as we scale. As one hand digs for its stronghold, we remind each other of our need of greater health in order to live abundant lives, serving and doing. And as we secure our grip with the other, we echo the truth that no amount of health or fitness, muscle or endurance is worth anything if God isn't behind each motive.

So, maybe you're like me. Maybe it's easy to imagine yourself clinging to the side of this cliff. For whatever reason, either by neglect or something that blindsided you, you're stalled physically. Or perhaps your fitness is just fine, but you're so focused on reaching the summit of health or even body image that you're missing the purpose of it all. Well, wherever you are on this hillside, I hope and pray you spend some time with us each day. It's my experience that the more we focus on Christ, the stronger we are to get over hurdles or to get over ourselves.

Make it a holy climb -- one you make only by reaching for His hand.

--Jimmy Peña

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: PrayFit has partnered with Lionsgate Entertainment to bring you two home-based workout DVDs -- the second more challenging than the first. Train along with founder Jimmy Peña as you work to become stronger, leaner and healthier, all from the comfort of your living room. Below is a sample of what you can expect with our newest video offering, the PrayFit 33-Day Body Toning System.

Run With Me

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." --Hebrews 12:1

Read: Hebrews 12

As you may have read on some of the posts, I love to run. And while I’m no elite runner, I simply enjoy competing against myself and always try to beat my best times. Before my last race (a half marathon), I told Jimmy, “Even if I beat it by one second I’ll be happy.” Well, on mile No. 9, I began to fatigue and I knew by my watch that I was at risk of not running my best race. At that moment, someone ran up beside me and asked me what time I was shooting for. I told him I wanted to beat 1:57. He said “Okay let’s do it. That's the pace I want to keep."

We pushed each other through miles 10, 11 and 12. At mile 13, I yelled to my new friend “Let’s go, we’re almost there!” As I crossed the finish, I heard Jimmy call my name and first thing I asked him was, “What was my time?” Jimmy was set up to receive texts alerts so he knew right away. He looked up at me and said with a smile, "1:56!" I was so happy. I beat my time, and yes, it was by one second! At that very moment, my new friend and running partner ran up to me and gave me a big, sweaty hug. He told me this was his first race ever, and he simply wanted to get under the two-hour mark. He was ecstatic that he was able to do it.

You know, I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. He picked me (of all the other runners) to help him in his first race. And in doing so, he helped me with mine. Maybe it's Jimmy rubbing off on me, but it was neat for a "run" to remind me of my "walk." In today’s verse it reads, “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  Well that’s my heart's desire. I hope in everything I say and do I’m running in such a way as to be like Christ, just in case someone wants to run with me.

–-Loretta Peña

Loretta is a graduate of California Lutheran University and lives in Woodland Hills with her husband -- PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña -- and their two pups, The Outlaw Ms. Josey Whales and Queen Madeline. She loves the Lord, enjoys running, watching her beloved New York Yankees, all things Disney and sings a mean karaoke. 

Josh-snow3 TIPS TO A BETTER STRIDE

Looking for a more efficient, pain-free stride as you pursue your own running goals in 2013? Run down this no-nonsense checklist to start logging better runs today and feel free to share your own running tips in the comments section below.

RELATED: PrayFit endorser and American 50k record holder Josh Cox talks about life, running and faith. Click here for more.

The Race with Grace

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." --Colossians 3:23-24

Read: Colossians 3

Her face says it all. Exhaustion meets joy and mission meets accomplishment. Now, I don't mean to over-dramatize the moment but I think Paul was on to something when he talked about the Christian life as a race -- a race that believers are called to run with endurance, never aimlessly. Over the last few years, we've written entries after marathons, many of which are among my favorites. But this picture, taken mere seconds before she saw me, pretty much sums it up. And with the week's race being almost over, I thought it appropriate for today.

For some of you, the week was steep. The phone never rang, the e-mail didn't arrive, or your health didn't cooperate. For others, everything was downhill, and you could do no wrong. Either way, I think our dear friend Sandie Powell said it best when she said, "The amazing thing is that He is as proud of our attempt (to run) as he is in our finish." And she's right. Did Loretta win the marathon? Well, maybe only in my eyes, but my eyes are the only ones that mattered. She wasn't the fastest, but she gave it all she had, and there was no doubt where she was headed.

I want to live like that, don't you? Everything we do and say, how we treat health and how we love others to show the world that we're on a road that leads to the only One that matters. From start to finish, we're in this race with grace. And after the uphills, the downhills and even the pitfalls, when mission meets accomplishment -- not ours, His -- our face will say it all.

--Jimmy Peña

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY! Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this free service already, simply go to our homepage and look for the box pictured here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive, you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

The Race with Grace

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." --Colossians 3:23-24

Read: Colossians 3

Her face says it all. Exhaustion meets joy and mission meets accomplishment. Now, I don't mean to over-dramatize the moment but I think Paul was on to something when he talked about the Christian life as a race -- a race that believers are called to run with endurance, never aimlessly. Over the last few years, we've written entries after marathons, many of which are among my favorites. But this picture, taken mere seconds before she saw me, pretty much sums it up. And with the week's race being almost over, I thought it appropriate for today.

For some of you, the week was steep. The phone never rang, the e-mail didn't arrive, or your health didn't cooperate. For others, everything was downhill, and you could do no wrong. Either way, I think our dear friend Sandie Powell said it best in the comment section yesterday when she said, "The amazing thing is that He is as proud of our attempt (to run) as he is in our finish." And she's right. Did Loretta win the marathon? Well, maybe only in my eyes, but my eyes are the only ones that mattered. She wasn't the fastest, but she gave it all she had, and there was no doubt where she was headed.

I want to live like that, don't you? I want everything I do and say, how I treat my health and how I love others to show the world that I'm on a road that leads to the only One that matters. From start to finish, I'm in this race with grace. And after the uphills, the downhills and even the pitfalls, when mission meets accomplishment -- not ours, His -- I want my face to say it all.

--Jimmy Peña

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY! Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this free service already, simply go to our homepage and look for the box pictured here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive, you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

High Gear

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." --Ephesians 2:10

Read: Ephesians 2

On a recent Saturday afternoon, my husband came home beaming with excitement. He had the rare opportunity to view a friend’s personal collection of 50 vintage cars. Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Model T’s, some first editions and even one-of-a-kind vehicles -- it was a car lover's dream. He went on and on about this car and that car and the rarity and value of some in the collection and I finally had to ask, “How in the world does he have time to drive them all?” I mean, 50? Really?!

“Oh, he never drives them,” my husband said, “They’re in storage, he doesn’t use them anymore.”

He doesn’t use them anymore?

My mind immediately went to the Faithful; countless believers, each one a unique, priceless, first edition that is now sidelined, unable to be used by God due to health issues. Like these cars, we were designed for high performance; our bodies are complex vehicles that carry our souls, minds...and potential. As the verse above states, each of us has good works that God prepared in advance for us to accomplish. It’s our purpose and why we were born. With our different upbringings, gifts, talents and personalities, there are things that only we can do. But we can’t do the things we are designed to do, nor be used by God to our fullest potential if we are sidelined by fatigue, addiction, and disease.

As PrayFit founder, Jimmy Pena says, “The goal is not a better pair of biceps, but a pursuit of the healthiest possible version of the body He gave us so that we can better fulfill our purpose, whatever the calling might be.” Friends, we have work to do, and we "live" in a showroom of divine craftsmanship. Let’s never again be content to sit idle.

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell, was one of the first five members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit contributing writer and Prayfit group leader in El Paso, Texas. You can visit her at www.catrinaishungry.com, join the hundreds of others that are following her on her Facebook page HUNGRY! and check out her PrayFit workout journal by clicking here. You can also check her out on Pinterest and Twitter.

TRAINING SESSION: REP MAX

Many of the weight-based programs you read here at PrayFit are based upon your ability to estimate your one-rep max, or 1RM, the amount of weight you can lift on an exercise one time.

The reason is because certain muscle fibers respond to a certain rep range. Fast-twitch muscle fibers, the ones most responsible for tone and speed respond to a certain weight or percentage of rep max (RM), while the fibers most responsible for endurance (slow-twitch) respond to another percentage of one’s RM. It’s important for people to know what weight causes failure from 1-20 reps so that they can gauge what weight to choose for a particular exercise as they pursue a specific goal.

Someone who is wanting to gain strength wouldn’t necessarily reach for weight that would allow them to do 20 reps when they should be concentrating on sticking with weight that causes them to reach failure -- the point at which you can no longer complete reps with good form -- around six reps, since the strength fibers respond to weight that causes failure from 1-6. Here's the quick guide:

Strength: 1-6 reps Size: 6-12 reps Endurance: 12-20 reps

But research shows that if you don’t know your 1RM, you can still estimate it with accuracy as long as you can determine at least your 5RM. So we’ve provided an equation of determining your 1RM through your 5RM. Since many of you might train alone, and the ability to test your 1RM might prove difficult, this could be your best way to go. To test yourself, choose a weight with which you can do five reps to failure. Then plug that 5RM weight (in pounds) into the following equations.

Upper body: (5RM x 1.1307) 0.6998 = 1RM

Lower body: (5RM x 1.0970) 14.2546 = 1RM

Be Healthy, Quietly

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” --Matthew 6:1

Read: Matthew 6

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the importance of our physical health as a means of praise, and if that has reached your heart, we’re so blessed. If the mere prospect of a new day is reason enough to praise God with smarter choices at the dinner table, then great. Because you’re right…it’s not about the body.

With that said, perhaps the challenge is to be healthy, quietly. In truth, if our health is praise, there’s no need for a declaration of independence from a sedentary lifestyle, and no need to sound the alarm against a less-than-stellar diet. No speeches, no “look at what I’m doing for God” announcements. Practice modesty. We’re called to take care of the body that carries the soul, period. So let’s allow the byproducts of our obedience do the talking.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Bolder Shoulders in 10

People’s motivations for exercise may vary but the desire for stronger, better looking or just plain healthier shoulders is pretty universal. This complex joint possesses of the most delicate and amazing musculature in the entire body, which is to our benefit because that allows for a variety of ways in which they can be trained. For this quickie shoulder routine, which will walks the line between strength and endurance, grab some light dumbbells or even a pair of soup cans. Trust us, this won’t take much weight. If you need a shoulder smash — a new challenge to set the foundation for a remade set of deltoids — then this week’s 10-minute workout is just for you.

A good warm-up is always important but it could be argued that it is most important on shoulder day. The wide range of motion with you shoulders is maintained by several small muscles that can injure easily if not properly prepared for the work ahead. For this, or any other shoulder routine, follow the prescribed warm-up as the bare minimum of your training prep.

Warm-up | Raise your arms out to your sides until they’re parallel with the floor. Make small circles with your arms for 1-2 minutes. Without rest, go right to into this routine. Rest as little as possible as you go from one exercise to the next.

Using your soup cans or light dumbbells: Lateral raises for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Front raises for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Bent-over lateral raises for 1 minutes Alternating straight punches for 1 minute Overhead presses for 1 minute Alternating straight punches for 1 minute

–To keep your alternating straight punches effective, simply focus on punching to full extension at eye level or just above.

>> DVD: have you committed to taking the 33-Day Total Body Challenge? Learn more by clicking here.

TRACKING NUMBERS

November 16, 2011 Read: Isaiah 43

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you." --Isaiah 43:1

Bib No. 18-164 wasn't tracking. Even though race officials, sponsors and loved ones knew bib No. 18-164 started the race, nobody knew where he was on the course. See, bib numbers have bar codes that tell everyone your pace, stage and whereabouts. Without a functioning bib, you might as well be invisible.

Can you relate? In the course of your day, have you ever felt as if nobody knows just exactly where you are? Oh sure, you're at your cubicle or at home with your kids. But is anyone really watching what you're going through, let alone loving you through it? Your hurt is real. Your pain is deep. And walking away would be much easier than running this rat race. But we're more than tracked, and our steps are better than traced. Hope isn't lost and neither are you. God finds us and loves us from start-to-finish.

And as far as bib No. 18-164, he officially finished in just over five hours. And while his time didn't warrant interviews or draw a crowd, he did receive his medal. But he wasn't alone in this achievement -- the prize went to anyone who accepted the invitation to finish the race. Friends, God invites us to accept Jesus into our hearts and lives. When we do, we join a race He's already won on our behalf. Our job is to trace His steps and help others do the same. See you at the finish.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION TIP: Apples for Size

"I commonly advise people to eat an apple preworkout," says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days." "Apples contain polyphenols that have been shown to increase muscle strength, endurance and fat loss."

A recent study affirms those benefits, showing that one of the polyphenols in apples, ursolic acid, also increases muscle growth and fat loss. For the scientific speak on the topic, click here.

>> PRAYFIT IN YOUR HOME: PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS, comes to your living room this December with the release of the "PrayFit: 33-Day Total Body Challenge" DVD. Learn more and reserve your copy today by clicking here.

 

PASSING THE FAITH ALONG

July 21, 2011Read: John 14

“You know the way to the place where I am going.” --John 14:4

Hope nobody’s tired of this week’s marathon theme, because I’m definitely not running out of topics (Ouch!). But I did see something at the race that made me tilt my head and squint my eyes just a bit; something that seemed out of place–a relay team.

I never thought of a marathon as a team sport, but as it turns out, you can run relay-style. Every few minutes or so, I’d see someone run by carrying a baton they’d received from their forerunner, and I realized they’re not in the race alone; for them to be running, there needed to be a hand off.

As believers, it’s neat to think that as we run, we’re collectively carrying a light that Jesus himself lit miles and miles ago. My forerunner was a sweet man named Henry Powell. Because of him, I’m in the race. And although I haven’t always kept pace, because of my ‘preacher man’, I know where I’ll be when I run out of road.

Who was your forerunner?

–J.P.

SO YOU WANNA RUN A MARATHON? (continued)

So if you have managed to stick to the site all week, you will have noticed a developing theme. First, we discussed how beginners should approach their training. Here, we'll speak to the intermediates and our more advanced runners who are looking to make a serious impression on the course.

INTERMEDIATE: If you regularly run 20 to 30 miles a week, and have done so for a year or more, you’re an intermediate. Intermediates also likely do a weekly long run of 8-10 miles and have some experience with tempo runs or intervals. They’ve run 10K races and maybe even finished a half marathon. The rare, elite category of intermediates may have already run a full marathon but are now ready to set more challenging goals for their race times.

>> The Plan: “Long runs are the basis of marathon training, but at this level it’s important to add some intensity to the program,” says anaerobic management coach John Sinclair (www.anaerobic.net). So, you’ll gradually increase the length of the weekly long run to adapt your mind and body to the rigors of running nonstop for several hours. But running 18 to 20 miles at a time isn’t all you need, so you’ll supplement these runs with some higher-effort running twice weekly, including sustained tempo runs at your half-marathon race pace. These promote aerobic strength and efficiency and will help you find that groove you’d like to be in when you run a longer race, according to Sinclair. You’ll also be doing a smattering of speed work. For more specific tips, visit www.runnersworld.com.

ADVANCED: Advanced runners are veterans — those who have been at it for at least three or four years that routinely log 35 to 40 miles a week, with a splash of interval training mixed in for good measure. Advanced runners have likely run the full gamut of races from the 5K up to the marathon. But even elite runners want to score that most prized runner’s achievement — the PR, the absolute fastest 26.2 miles you’re capable of. They may also have ideas of crossing the tape first in a given division.

>> The Plan: “You’ll have to be willing to hit 50 miles a week,” Sinclair says. “For an advanced marathon effort, inadequate miles just won’t cut it.” At this level, your goal is to learn how to maintain a strong, solid pace for several hours. So, along with the standard long runs, you’re going to spend two days a week developing stamina at half marathon, 10K, and 5K race paces. On Thursdays, you’ll be served a marathon goal pace/tempo/cruise combo platter — an extended effort that develops focus, strength, and the capacity to hold a strong pace as fatigue sets in. “Long runs and mileage get you to the finish line,” says Sinclair. “Intensity in your training will get you to the finish line faster.”

Source: Runner’s World

HEARD: “Not only is Jimmy Pena one of my best friends, but whenever I want to get dialed-in for a role or photo shoot, he’s my only call. And I love starting my day at PrayFit.com, building spiritual and physical muscle. A one-of-a-kind concept from the best in the business.”

Mario Lopez, host, EXTRA

>> To hear what others are saying about PrayFit, click here.

LET FRIDAY BEGIN

June 3, 2011Read: Psalm 121 “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” --Psalm 121:2

It’s Friday. The ninth inning. The fourth quarter. The last period.

When coaches encourage their players to “leave it all out on the field,” it’s not to sure-up a victory or avoid defeat, but more so to prevent regret either way.

Of all people, Jesus understood Friday. If anybody ever had cause to hesitate before Friday’s first step, He did. But He finished the game. He suited up and took on the best the world had to offer by offering himself for the world.

Let's finish the week stronger than we began it. In Jesus' name, we train.

--J.P.

NAVIGATION STATION Today, we highlight some of the most visited pages on the site. Find everything you need to live abundantly in just a few clicks.

NUTRITION: Recipes, healthy eating tips and more

FITNESS: Workouts, exercise descriptions and the latest fitness news

FORUMS: Enjoy fellowship and accountability with the PrayFit community

STARTER GUIDE: Hear from the founder and learn what you need to get started...TODAY

STORE: Gear up with shirts, hats and wristbands or shop for others at the PrayFit store

>> QUESTION OF THE DAY: Just finding the time to moving is the hard part. Once you're up and about, what is your favorite form of healthy activity? Share in the comments section below and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

AT THE CARWASH

January 5, 2011Read: Proverbs 26

"Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot." --Proverbs 26:23

If you've ever taken your car to the car wash, what's the first thing they clean? Do they start with a fresh coat of wax? Clean the windows? Polish the tires? No, before the body gets buffed, they head straight for the interior. And if you're like me, you actually help them by finding the hidden papers that have slipped through the cracks (or maybe had been shoved there on purpose...umm, hypothetically).

What we don't say is, "You know, go ahead and ignore the interior. Please leave the dirt and mess. Just clean the outside." That would be silly.

Imagine? Taking care of the body but ignoring what's inside? Wait, what are we talking about?

(Let's work together to tidy both in 2011.)

--J.P.

SPRINTING THE FAT OFF

Yesterday, we presented a basic introduction to HIIT -- high-intensity interval training. This cardio method alternates all-out bouts of sprinting with slower bouts of recovery, pushing your metabolism higher and for longer than traditional training. While there is still some value in your long, steady-paced runs -- namely in overall endurance -- HIIT may actually be your best choice for fat-burning, according to new research.

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario (London) found that subjects who performed 4-6, 30-second sprints three times per week burned twice as much fat as those who jogged for 30-60 minutes at a steady pace. Both groups gained an average of 1% lean mass. What's even more interesting is that the endurance markers -- time trials in 2000-meter run and VO2 max performance -- were similar with both groups.

The take home message is that high-intensity intervals can help you burn more fat, build more lean muscle and increase endurance -- usually in 1/3 or 1/2 of the time of your normal cardio session.

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: An introduction to high-intensity interval training

Source: PubMed.gov