Training Tips from Jennifer Van Allen of @RunnersWorld (Part 2) #runchat #sweatybetties 1

Brooklyn Fit Chick Special Interview!

Jennifer Van Allen

Special Projects Editor of Runner’s World and author of Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training


Runner's World August 2013

Runner’s World August 2013

Hey Gang!

Today I am featuring the second part of my interview with Jennifer Van Allen (Special Projects Editor) of Runner’s World where she talks about her favorite training tips for runners. Please know that you should plan to run frequently for at least a year before planning your first marathon.


Jennifer Van Allen/Runner’s World

Jennifer Van Allen/Special Projects Editor of Runner's World

Jennifer Van Allen/Special Projects Editor of Runner’s World


Completing a marathon is an amazing, life-changing experience. Covering 26.2 miles (a distance most people hate to even drive!) on foot helps you discover just how strong you are, how much more powerful you are than you could have ever possibly imagined. And once you make those discoveries on the road, that new sense of power, and self-confidence spills over into other corners of your life – your friendships, your career, your love life, etc.   Every finish line is just the start of a whole new adventure.

However, we typically recommend that you have at least one year of experience running regularly (3 to 5 times per week), then follow at least a 16-week training program to prepare for the event. (Runner’s World offers over a dozen marathon training plans, for people of all abilities and level of fitness at

We also offer the Runner’s World Challenge, an online coaching service for folks training for marathons and half-marathons.

For half-marathons, it’s best if you have at least six months to a year of experience running regularly, and follow a 10 to 14-week training program. (RW has over a dozen of those plans too at runners

Why bother with a training plan?

A plan helps you gradually build up the fitness you need to cover 13.1 or 26.2 miles feeling strong without getting hurt. One of the biggest challenges of training for a long-distance race is getting to the starting line injury free. Many runners run too many miles too fast, before their bodies are ready, or without giving them enough opportunity to recover, and they develop overuse injuries, like shin splints, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, etc. That’s because the musculoskeletal system (bones, ligaments, joints) take much longer to adapt to running than the cardiovascular system (the heart and the lungs.)

So, with a training plan you gradually build your mileage, starting with 20 to 30 miles per week with a 10-mile long run, and peaking with a 50 to 60-mile week with a 20-mile long run. Most plans also have a built in taper, a period of reduced mileage in the weeks before the race, to give your body a chance to recover from the work it’s endured, and rest up for the race effort ahead. Most importantly, the plan will feature longer two to three-hour runs to prepare your feet, lungs, legs, heart, and head for the challenge of covering the race distance.

Those long runs are “race rehearsals,” so in addition to getting accustomed to spending hours on your feet, as you’ll have to do on race day, you’ll also get an opportunity to try out different type of gear, shoes, apparel, and fueling. There are so many different products on the market. There’s no one product that’s best for everyone. So you have to find out what product is best for you.

One of the key aspects of training is learning how to eat on the run. When you’re on the road for more than 75 minutes at a time, you’ll need to refuel with 30 to 60 grams of carbs/hour on the road. This helps keep your energy levels stable all the way to the finish, so you avoid hitting the fabled “wall.” Many people use products like energy gels, sports drinks, chews, and even real food to do this. It’s important to start regularly fueling about 30 minutes into the long run or race, and keep refueling at regular intervals all the way to the finish. If you wait until you’re tired or hungry, it’s too tough to catch up.

A lot of the race day advice boils down to “do what’s worked for you during training.” Each person is different in terms of the types of foods they can tolerate while they’re on the road. So it takes time to test out different products to figure out what works for you.

Thank you again Jennifer!!!!

Ox Ox,


Brooklyn Fit Chick

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What Did We Learn This Month? @BicyclingMag @MandFHers @PreventionMag #fitbloggin 5

What Did We Learn This Month?

Recaps of Bicycling, Muscle & Fitness Hers and Prevention

Hey there! Hi there! Ho there!

My magazine stacks are getting sky high but I am determined to get these out to you people so hang on to your knickers everyone and let’s get to it!

 Bicyling Mag June 2013 001

Bicycling: June 2013

  • “Eat to Ride” Bicycling editors offer tips on how to survive all of those summer rides by fueling properly.
  • “Aprés Ride” French for ‘after’ ride and this page is all full of fun items for guys and gals after a day on the road.
  • “Feed Your Thirst” Foods that are “water-rich” and will help you stay hydrated all day.
  • “City Guide: Washington DC” Oooh, I have had a yen to travel to our nation’s capital lately and this guide made me all kinds of curious about riding there.
  • “Senseless” I feel very strongly about everyone wearing their helmets wherever they ride (even on grass!) but I was not aware of the fact they do not protect you from concussions. Ruh oh! Get on that safer helmet makers!!
  • “Lift Off” Have you heard about biking trips where they take you up a mountain and you basically live the high life the whole time? Anyone want to take me along? I will be a quiet roommate—I promise!
  • “Up to Me” As an instructor I am all about getting my students to climb and strength train on the bike and this article reminds me why I love heading up the hills outside the classroom as well.
  • “The Gold Standard” The eight “Extraordinary Bikes” of the year as chosen by the editors of Bicycling.

Check out Bicycling online here:

Muscle and Fitness Hers

Muscle & Fitness Hers: May/June 2013

  • “Must-Try Move… Strong, Beautiful Back” Advice on how to make your back sex-ay and strong from Alicia Harris Ross (IFBB Figure Pro,) Dana Linn Bailey (IFBB Physique Pro) and Jelena Abbou (IFBB Figure Pro.)
  • “Pear-Shaped Peril” Being pear-shaped can be dangerous to your health if you do not watch what you eat. (Check out page 34 for more information.)
  • Yeshaira Robles: Here we get a day-in-the-life of the IFBB Bikini Competitor who has an adorable daughter and a boyfriend with guns the size of watermelons.
  • “The Secret to a Killer Core” IFBB Bikini Pro Jessica Plaxson is the star of the pull-out workout for your abs and back. (She is also on the cover suckas!)
  • “Ridiculously Healthy Burgers” These recipes made me go ‘nom nom’ out loud.
  • “Hello Gorgeous Glutes” You want to raise your booty a little higher? Try out these moves from IFBB Figure Pro Larissa Reis.
  • Drita D-Avanzo: Thank you Muscle & Fitness Magazine Hers for featuring my favorite “Mob Wife” in your publication. She is a shoe-throwing badass and I love her!

Check out Muscle & Fitness Hers online here:

 Prevention 001

Prevention: May 2013

  • “The Unexpected Face of Depression” Men’s depression can be misdiagnosed as an anger management issue. The signs of depression to look for with the men in your life.
  • “In Her Right Mind” Holy sh*t! This article about a Harvard scientist who came back from an almost completely debilitating stroke. A must read!
  • “New Ways to Beat Osteoperosis” It takes more than calcium to make strong bones—check out this feature to find out what you need to do to stay healthy and strong in your bones.
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Skin Care” Advice on how to keep your skin safe in the summer season.
  • “Your Transformation Challenge” Prevention gives you a 4-week (28-day) plan to get you as healthy as possible with trainer Chris Freytag as their resident expert.
  • “Is This What is Eating You?” The South Beach Diet creator Dr. Arthur Agaston talks about gluten intolerance and the “hidden danger of grains.” (His newest book is called The South Beach Diet: Gluten Solution)
  • “Get Moving, Get Better” When your joints are aching it can be easy to tell yourself to slow down and not work out so hard. However, experts are finding out that your ailing knees could benefit from a tough workout.

Check out Prevention online

So that is all I have for today folks. Have you read of these magazines this month? What did you think? Let me know!

Until next time!

Ox ox,

Brooklyn Fit Chick


Follow me on Twitter: @BrooklynFitChik (note the spelling!)

Friend Me on Facebook: “Brooklyn FitChick”

Instagram: “margodono”

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