Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

holly perkins

5 Reasons GU Energy Gels Rank as the Top Choice for Fueling Runners

Running is a learning process. I’m far from the runner I was two years ago, and unrecognizable from the one I was when I first started. There are so many mistakes to learn from and so many trials and errors to experience. It’s been six years since I put on my first pair of running shoes and began my journey. As I prepare for my long run this weekend, I can certainly say I learned one lesson the hard way: The issue of refueling during runs. This took a lot of trials and even more errors on my part. But today, my pantry is stocked with my fuel of choice and I hope my days of struggling with mid-run fuel is over.

Recently, NPR’s food blog “The Salt” reported on the issue of using real food as athletic fuel. That is, real food instead of the many popular gels, chews, and drink mixes. The title alone made me laugh at my former self. I recalled my early days in training for my first marathons. I was so convinced that I needed all natural foods. On long runs, I toted around the most cumbersome bags loaded with fresh fruit, honey, or even nuts. I was trying so hard to live up to this uber-natural standard I placed on myself. Furthermore, all awkwardness aside, these methods weren’t working. I wasn’t feeling any energy from my fuel and even worse, I was having such a hard time digesting these foods while on the run. Come marathon day, there was no way I could run a strong, fast race with these issues and a pantry in my shorts.
Read Full Post >

Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

The first time I heard the term ‘foam rolling,’ I thought it was some kind of tantric act practiced in far-off Eastern cultures. Come to find out, it’s a deep stretching method used by frequent runners. Hmm, guess I was way off. 

To channel my inner running addict and discover everything I need to know about this foam rolling practice, I’ve summoned the help of one of the fitness industry’s foremost running experts: ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, Holly Perkins.
Read Full Post >

The Pros and Cons of a Beach Workout

Swimsuit season is in full effect. Across the country people have been hitting the gym to make sure their body is ready for one-pieces, two-pieces and maybe even no-pieces. If you’re tired of the gym, and have access, consider a workout on the beach. Like any workout, there are advantages and disadvantages. So before you dig your heels in to the sand, be sure you know how to get the best and safest workout at the beach.

I talked to Holly Perkins, a renowned fitness expert and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, about the pros and cons of working out at the beach. She gave me a great list of benefits someone can get while working out at the beach.

Beach Workout Pros

Prairie Fire Marathon’s Local Joes Start Running with and Holly Perkins

Have you ever watched a marathon run past your house or followed the training of a pavement-pounding friend and thought these individuals are cut from a cloth very different than your own? We’re here to tell you they weren’t. At some point, they were just average joes hoping to get to the end of their first mile without croaking. Their gazelle-like pace as they chase one more finish line only came as the result of a lot of hard work and ignoring people who called them crazy.

We’re excited to turn four more average joes in to runners, to prove that with the right training, the right commitment, and the right support, just about anyone can go after a finish line. Today, we introduce the Prairie Fire Marathon Local Joes class of 2012.

Each year, the Prairie Fire Marathon, held in Wichita, Kansas in October, hosts a team of Local Joes, four non-runners who become so over a course of training that leads them to the starting line and well past the finish. This year, we’re proudly sponsoring this group of new runners, and excited to see their growth physically as much as mentally.

Our team is made of two men and two women who are already pretty active on Twitter and about to become pretty active IRL (in real life), too! Meet our Local Joes:
Read Full Post >

The Big Difference in Pre-Workout Snacks and Post-Workout Snacks

I cannot count the number of times I’ve pulled out of my city for a road trip with an empty tank of gas. That’s because it’s never happened. Aside from making sure I have everything I need in my luggage, and a stash of mostly healthy snacks, the first thing I do before turning on the GPS is fill up my gas tank. Otherwise, that’ll become a very short and probably expensive trip.

It’s a common metaphor to compare our bodies to gas tanks, but it couldn’t be more true. Our bodies need food for energy, for brain function, to get us from point A to point B in our workouts.

I want to explain which snacks are best for both sides of your workout and why snacking for each should be treated differently.

“The two snacks should be very different. First and foremost, the harder or longer your workout is, the more important each snack becomes,” Holly Perkins told us, a fitness expert and ambassador for New Balance.

She explained that a pre-workout snack has dual functionality. “One, to ensure immediate fuel from the very moment you begin your workout, and two to preemptively start the protein recovery process so that you’ll feel great for TOMORROW’S workout.”

Before a workout, you want to keep it simple with easily digested foods. Don’t eat a huge meal or anything that could cause stomach disruption, like hummus or beans. The purpose of this pre-workout snack is to prevent low blood sugar, increase muscle and liver carbohydrate stores, and prevent hunger throughout the duration of your workout, as well as provide the energy you need to power through.

Holly told us, “You want a combination of easily digestible protein paired with a moderately fast carbohydrate. You don’t want a super fast carbohydrate like sugar or a sports drink because this  kind of sugar enters the bloodstream very quickly. This means that it will also exit the bloodstream quickly, leaving you tired mid-workout.”
Read Full Post >