We talk a lot to the athletes in this blog. But what about the people who motivate them to put one foot in front of the other? We're looking at you, spectators. Not that you aren't athletes. Many of you probably are. And, like us, at one time or another you've found yourself in a position of supporting someone you care about: Your parents, a sibling, a good friend or a significant other. But one does not simply "be" a spectator. There are rules. There are tricks. There are tips. There is tried and true advice.
As they say: If you don't know, now you know.
How To Be A Good Spectator
1. Make Time for Arts and Crafts
Meaning: Make a sign! A little personalized love for all to see is one of the greatest motivators. Doesn't have to be fancy. A simple "We're proud of you _______!" is all it takes for a runner to go from dragging their feet to lifting their knees again. This will also make it easy for your athlete to pot you in the crowd. Especially if there aren't many points on the course you can feasibly get to, you don't want the opportunity to go to waste! The longer the course, the more your racer (and all the other racers) will appreciate you breaking up the monotony with a clever sign or two. Google "Spectator Race Signs." Trust us, you'll be inspired AND get a good laugh.
Thanks to Active for sharing this hilarious image!
2. Have a Game Plan
"I'll be at the beginning, middle, and end" does not count. Map out the course beforehand. Choose street corners, landmarks, and mile markers where your athlete should expect to see you. Many races these days have a Spectator Plan on their website~ utilize it! Our tip? Avoid setting up shop by an aid station. No need to distract your athlete while they're going for some much needed hydration (cough cough, INVIGORADE) and trust us, those little cups go flying out of racers hands and the last place you want them to end up is in your hair. Or splashed on your camera.
3. Never Say:
"Just around the corner!"
"You'll be done before you know it!"
"You have X miles to go!"
These phrases set racers up for disappointment. "Just around the corner" for you may mean 5 grueling miles of hills for them, so unless you know the course inside out or are at a mile marker, don't mess with the athlete's heads.
4. Tech exists. Use it.
So many races these days come with their own tracking app. Simply download it to your phone or have the website ready to go beforehand, know your racers bib number/name, and boom: You can track your racer's every move and even take split times for them!
5. YOU are the aid station
Yes we know, aid stations are scattered throughout the course. But what if your racer needs a new hair tie? A band aid? An extra sip of INVIGORADE because that dang water in those little cups just didn't do the trick? Be ready to yell, encourage, high five, swap clothes, handle water bottles, distribute gels . . . all within 15 seconds or less. Yes, it'll be hectic. But by the end of race day, "The Juggler" will be your middle name.
Like we said, you've probably been a racer, a spectator, or both. What are the best tips you have for each other? Share them in the comments below!
Now get out there and encourage your athlete to #KeepItUp!
It is officially June, this means summer is on its way! Some of you may have started bringing out your sun chairs, summer dresses and flip flops. It is time to start playing sports in the backyard, heading to the beach for some ultimate frisbee and of course, mixing margaritas.
Today, the INVIGORADE team brings you a few of our favorite ways to mix up an afternoon drink.
West Coast Runner
2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Vodka, cranberry
1 part INVIGORADE Tropical Punch
1 part Orange Juice
1 part Sprite
1 wedge Lime
Mix with ice, serve in a pitcher and share with friends after your Sunday group jog!
The Triathlete's Best Friend
The perfect mix to celebrate your performance!
3 parts pineapple juice
1 part white rum
1 part INVIGORADE Coconut
1 Slice of pineapple
Mix together and garnish with the slice of pineapple. Enjoy as a victory drink after your first triathlon.
The Heavy Lifter
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
1 orange sliced
1 ½ cups white rum
1 bottle INVIGORADE Orange Mango
1 cup orange juice
Mix fruit in with all other ingredients and add sugar to taste. Drink during sunset to recover from your PR deadlift session.
Enjoy these summer treats and #KeepItUp!
You all know what this article is about. You hear a fitness tip, your friend swears by it, you read an article in a magazine saying it is the new holy grail and you believe it! The fitness world is full of half truths and right out LIES. Don’t worry, we will set you straight. Some of these fitness myths are harmless, but some of them can be really damaging.
1. Running on a treadmill is better for your knees than pavement. Myth! Running is great. Don’t get us wrong, but running can stress your knees regardless if you do it on pavement or a treadmill. Make sure to mix up your cardio activities so that you reduce the stress on your joints AND you will be able to run longer in life.
2. Crunches will blast belly fat! Right? Wrong! Your abs exist no matter how strong you are, they are probably just hiding under a layer of fat. Getting abs means having very low body fat percentage. You can’t pick and choose the places on your body where you lose fat, you need to have a workout regimen that promotes weight loss all over your body and that includes your belly!
3. Yoga can help with back pain. Nope. At least not necessarily. If your back pain (or any pain really) is muscle related, yoga is great! It helps stretch the muscles and work out tension. It also helps strengthen the core, which can really help with low back pain especially. However, if your back pain is skeletal, or you’ve ruptured a disk you may actually irritate the problem more by doing yoga. So the right answer is go to your doctor and see what they recommend before self diagnosing and potentially injuring your self.
4. If you aren’t working up a sweat, you aren’t doing it right. Nu-uh. Sweating simply means you are activating your body's self cooling system, it’s like turning on the AC on a hot day. It does indicate your body is working! But there are lots of exercises that don’t involve heavy sweating, like going for a walk, light weight training, or yoga (see above).
5. Working out with a machine is the safest way to get a workout. *Fog Horn Sound* Not a chance! Machines always do their job the way the humans program them, the machine might be doing exactly what you want it to do, but in reality you are the problem. Human error means some people don’t know how much is too much weight, or how far is too far. If you have a personal trainer helping you out, you should feel more comfortable, but don’t work out alone and if you don’t know how to use a machine, just ask!
6. NO PAIN NO GAIN. This is probably the biggest misconception about working out, and also the most harmful. You should for sure be sore after a work out for a few days, but if you are in pain during the workout then you are doing something wrong or you are injured and need to see a doctor. Don’t work through the pain, if it hurts, stop and see if the pain goes away, if it doesn’t you need to see a doctor.
7. Drinking INVIGORADE won’t give you superpowers. This one is obviously false. We can prove it, try and see for yourself!
You may have noticed. But getting abs is hard. Like really hard. Like, really really hard. There are countless supplements, ‘Belly Blasting’ workouts and fad diets that supposedly will give you abs. Don’t listen to them! They are all scams. The INVIGORADE team is here to give you solid advice on how to get abs and maintain them!
“Abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym.” You may have heard it a thousand times, but unfortunately, its true. Getting abs and maintaining a certain physique requires a healthy diet. This means, lots of fruits and veggies, and most importantly, lean protein. Out of all the macronutrients lean protein has the highest thermogenic effect on the body.
But as we said last week, remember to carb up after workouts! (Oh and drink some INVIGORADE while you are at it, it's good for you.)
And finally on the diet frontier, eat fats! We are caught up in such a culture of ‘low fat’ or ‘no fat’, that masquerades as ‘healthy’. Everything in moderation, but don’t be afraid to include healthy fats like oils and nuts into your diet, these will keep up your insulin levels and help with fat reduction.
Stop doing crunches. Stop it. Like right now.
Crunches are a very misleading workout. Since they only focus on an isolated part of your body, not in relation to the rest of you, they don’t really work that well. Compound, multi-joint, total body movements will promote more total fat loss and promote a much bigger muscle building response than crunches and sit-ups ever will. Make sure you work abs, but not too much. Here are a few exercises that will help give you real results:
Close-Grip Bench Press
Don’t forget cardio!
This is important. You have probably heard that running is the best way to burn fat. But you may not have heard that running long distances actually burns muscle. This is the last thing you want if you are hoping to build up your abs. When you do cardio (Run, Bike, Swim etc.) , try and do intervals of cardio and some of the workouts we listed above. Swim two laps and then get out and do 10 pushups, or run a mile and then do a few mountain climbers and then run another mile!
So there you have it. Abs for days, just remember to eat healthy, do more than just crunches and do interval cardio workouts. #KeepItUp, warriors!
Traveling is great isn’t it? You get to see new places, try new food, lounge about near bodies of water, try new booze, explore different cities, try new food, attempt to speak a different language, try new food…
There is a pattern here.
Traveling is awesome, but we tend to indulge in all of our favorite vices when we travel. Is it because we are in the vacation mindset? Because we are like a kid in a candy store when it comes to new things? Or just because we get out of our routines and never find time to work out?
It could be all of the above, it could be something else entirely! Whatever it is, working out is hard to do when you are on the go.
But it doesn’t have to be!
Here are some fun and easy ways to get a good workout in, and still have time to try some brand new street food.
Take a hike! This is a great one because, hey, two birds one stone right? Hiking is a really popular touristy thing anyway, so ask around and see if you can get to the top of that volcano in one day yeah?
Don’t neglect opportunities to work out. If you are staying at a hotel with a gym, take advantage of that! Get up a few minutes earlier and do 30 minutes on the treadmill. Its the most expensive gym membership you will ever pay, so take advantage of it!
Don’t be lazy. Or do, but make sure the laziness is paired with some strenuous activities as well. The lounging at the pool or tanning by the beach can feel that much better when you’ve just swam 25 laps, or made it to the buoy and back.
When all else fails, do the burpee challenge. 10 burpees before you get into the shower, 10 burpees right as you get out of bed, burpees just for fun when you are getting ready to leave the hotel. Burpees for everyone!
Regardless of where you are, or what you are doing, you should be able to get some exercise throughout the day. Take advantage of the natural resources around you, go skiing, take a surfing lesson, go dancing at the club with friends or take that complimentary at-dawn yoga class. Enjoy your vacation, and enjoy the time to reconnect with your body, both physically and mentally.
We all know that listening to music can help boost your workout routine, get the right beat and that 10 mile run seems like it’s already over. Find the perfect heavy metal song and the WOD doesn’t seem so bad right? Right.
The only problem is finding that perfect playlist, and in our experience, it’s different for every workout. So today we put our heads together to figure out what kind of music goes with what kind of workout! As well as some suggestions for specific playlists out there!
Yoga/Stretching: If your goal is to stretch your sore muscles and rejuvenate your mind, we recommend something relaxed. Let your mind go and focus on your breath right? So try something with little to no vocals and maybe a some medium tempo drumming to get you through Warrior Three.
Check out some of our favorite playlists here.
Running/Cardio: What's a run without a playlist?! Each runner can have their specific tastes and needs, and runs can vary in their difficulty. A super hilly run needs a little bit more dubstep than a flat beach run, but a long slow uphill requires focus and a steady beat that keeps you engaged and pumped up for the top of the hill, hip-hop or pop is pretty ideal for this. If you decided to do some hill sprints, some heavy metal can give you that extra boost.
If you are running a marathon, we recommend you plot out the course and give yourself a playlist that reflects the run. When you know you are about to hit ‘the wall’ maybe start playing some Eye of The Tiger to get you through it. (No joke, it works!)
Need a place to start? Check out this playlist: Half-Marathon Playlist
Lifting/WOD: Starting out slow, adding more and more weight, sweat dripping down the side of your face, just keep going, one more, and then another, and another. Lifting is hard work. You need sustained energy and power to #keepitup throughout your workout. For music, you want to start out the same way, something that builds on itself. Start with a slower beat and build up to heavier beats, more aggressive vocals and even some death metal to get you through that last rep.
Don’t have a playlist you like? Heres a good start: Motivational Workout Music
What music helps you produce the best gains? Let us know if you’ve got a favorite playlist by tweeting at us @INVIGORADE with the hashtag #MyKeepItUpPlaylist, we might just use it in our next workout!
It’s summer time right? Right. This means you have almost no excuse when it comes to bike commuting. And if you do, we are about to give you 5 reasons to make bike commuting part of your everyday routine.
Commuter Jeans: They are a thing. Yeah. Comfortable, durable, stylish and practical. You can get them through Levis, Betabrand, and Osloh all make some great commuter clothes and jeans for both men and women. No more sweaty uncomfortable spandex that you change out of in the company bathroom, commuter jeans will change your life.
Waterproof Pannier bags: Backpacks are a thing of the past, they pull on your shoulders and cause even more back pain (because sitting at a desk all day doesn’t hurt enough). So incomes the Pannier bags, all you need is a handy dandy bike rack, and the world on pannier bags is open to you. Thule, Arkel, Ortlieb and Nashbar all make some really good products. And don’t pretend you can’t fit everything you need into your new bags, these suckers can hold up to 40 litres each, totaling 80 litres of storage. That can definitely fit your laptop, school books, lunch and gym clothes.
Topeak iPhone holder: No more getting lost in an unfamiliar part of town, no more forgetting to start your Strava before a ride. The Topeak iPhone holder is awesome. It comes with an iPhone case that you can put on your phone, and a mount for between your handlebars. The mount turns so you can view the screen in portrait mode or landscape. Make sure you never forget to track your bike ride again!
Stylish Clipless Shoes: Bike commuting is made easier with clipless shoes. You can take those hills faster, the straight aways don’t take as much energy and in general your biking is more efficient. But regular biking shoes can be uh. . . less than stylish for the casual rider. And then you have to carry around an extra pair of (stinky) shoes all day long. Fear not! The world has come out with plenty of stylish bike commuter shoes. Chrome is the most popular and affordable, but there are many other options; Fiveten, Quoc Pham, and DZR all make good shoes as well.
It is so much better for you, obviously. Biking to work saves money on gas, gets you some cardio in every single day, it is better for the environment, you will miss out on traffic, you can get tax benefits from biking to work, you are more alert during the day, happier because of all those endorphins you release, never have to stress over parking spaces again, the list could go on and on and on! Biking to work makes sense, so start today! Oh and remember to pick up some INVIGORADE on your way out of the house to give you that extra boost on your way to work.
Rock Climbing. This high adventure sport is both physically and mentally demanding. The risks you run in this sport can vary from minor scrapes and bruises to a few thousand foot drop, which typically leads to death. This risky sport means you have to have absolute control over your muscles as well as your mind, but the rewards can be spectacular.
There are a few different types of climbing you should be aware of if you are interested in getting into this sport.
1. Aid Climbing
Aid climbing is the ‘old school’ way of climbing. It is still very popular today, but is less common than other types of climbing. With Aid climbing, you use two ladder like pieces of gear which you secure into the rock and then climb up. Aid climbing is very dependent on the climber knowing how to place gear in the rocks so that each step is secure. It sounds easy, but remember, you are 2,000 feet in the air when you do this!
2. Sport Climbing/Trad Climbing
Sport Climbing is probably the most common form of climbing. You hook yourself to the rock you are climbing as you reach the top through ‘quickdraws’. Quick draws are two carabiners connected through a section of nylon webbing that allow the climber to secure the rope to the wall without much effort. There is a belayer at the bottom of the rope making sure there is enough slack, and when they get to the top, they place an anchor and climb up. With sport climbing, there are bolts drilled into the rock already, all the climbers have to do is make it to the next bolt and clip in!
Trad climbing is very similar. It refers to ‘Traditional’ climbing, where there are no bolts drilled into the rock. Climbers must use ‘cams’ to place gear in the cracks in rocks and trust that if they fall, the gear will catch them!
Bouldering is probably one of the cheapest forms of climbing (next to free soloing, but we’ll get to that) because all you need is chalk, shoes, and a crash pad in case you fall. (And of course some INVIGORADE) Bouldering is typically closer to the ground than Sport, Trad or Aid climbing. The climbs are between 8-20 feet tall. With bouldering it is you, the rock and a short fall. This form of rock climbing is focused on short powerful moves or extremely technical ones. Bouldering will definitely get you pumped up!
5. Free Soloing
Free soloing is most definitely the cheapest type of climbing out there. It's also the highest risk. Free soloing takes all of the physically challenging elements of bouldering and mixes it with the mental aspect of big wall climbing. Free soloing is climbing without any gear. Climbers who free solo bring a bag of chalk and their climbing shoes to the rocks and can climb anywhere from 200-3,000 feet up! See free solo extraordinaire Alex Honnald below doing what he does best in Yosemite.
Rock climbing is a very rewarding sport, but make sure that you start small and work your way up. It has been gaining more and more popularity in the recent years and local indoor gyms are everywhere now a days. So grab yourself a pair of climbing shoes, a little chalk and some INVIGORADE for support and go climb a rock this Summer!
Are you a parent? Then you probably seek out healthy activities that your children can enjoy with you! But those aren't always easy to come by, and we know that with everything else on your mind imagining new family-friendly activities weekly is easier said than done.
As usual, our Endurance Blog is here to help :)
Keep these following family fitness ideas in a safe place and pull out next time you want to involve the whole Brady Bunch in exercise that is sure to keep everyone happy, healthy, and united!
Kids not old enough to bike? Invest in a bicycle trailer or toddler carrier so that no one is left out! An easy way to feel the breeze and explore local neighborhood parks and points of interest along the way. Why not bike to brunch and then burn off the eggs and toast with a bike back home --the long way?
3. Tag, You're It!
You're likely not the only family you know who is interested in family fitness. Gather your neighborhood families for a game of tag at the local park or across the front lawns of your homes! (Live by the beach? Head down to the sand with picnic foods and make a day of it!)
4. Apple Picking
Or veggie picking, or strawberry picking...you get the idea. Research local farms or orchards and get out in the sun and stretch those arms while educating your children on the benefits of the fruits or veggies you're collecting. Bonus: The week's lunch and dinner menu just got easier by using all the fresh ingredients you just gathered! Wash them down with a cold INVIGORADE to refuel after a day out in the sun.
5. Create an Outdoor Obstacle Course
Obstacles could be anything! Cones, the sandbox, or even just physical activities like hopscotching to the next obstacle or a three legged race sprinkled in-between. Have each member of the family create an obstacle and before you know it, you've got yourself a course. We love this idea of tying ropes or string across tree trunks to create a unique obstacle! Thanks to the blog "Under The Sycamore" for sharing!
6. Video Games
No, not the kind that involve sitting or starring blankly at the screen as you collect coins for Mario (or whatever it is the kids play these days ;)
Play instead an interactive game like Kickboxing, Just Dance, or even bowling. These types of games are perfect for getting the heart rate up and even better for a rainy day or impromptu fitness hour after a family dinner.
What is your favorite exercise to do with your family?
We all have families of different sizes and ages, and we'd love to hear what has worked for yours. Share with us in the comments! From the INVIGORADE family to yours: #KeepItUp!
“Run Forrest Run!”
How many of you are sick of hearing that on your long days? Although it’s a minor annoyance, it’s not the only one when it comes to running.
Here are 5 really great ways to take care of yourself after a run! It is just as important as the run itself.
Protein, Carbs, INVIGORADE. The three major food groups. Make sure that you give your body those much needed vitamins! You are burning a lot of energy during your run, and you want to minimize stiffness and fatigue. Having food about 30 minutes after a run can make all the difference.
Your muscles are all warmed up from running, it is the perfect time to stretch them out. But do it gently! You don’t want to over stretch and create micro tears in the muscles of your legs. Stretching is the perfect way to make sure that when you wake up the next day, stepping out of bed feels great, instead of limping out of bed...
Ice Ice Baby
Ice. We can not emphasize this enough. Ice. If you notice that there is a place on your body that needs special attention today, maybe the up hills were harder on your calves, or the downhills made your knees feel weak, put an ice pack on it. Ice helps reduce swelling and can prevent injuries! So ice!
It’s ok to take a day off running and go for a bike ride too. If you are sore, biking, core work, weight lifting, or even just squats can really improve your running over all. Your body will thank you for giving your joints a rest for a day!
The most fun part about working out is how amazing the massages feel afterwards. Take of those stinky running shoes, enjoy that shower, and then massage out the muscles in your feet. Or if you have a foam roller, go gently over your thighs, and calves. Gently though! The foam roller can be intense for first timers, don’t be discouraged by the intensity of the massage.
So go out there! Do that half marathon you’ve been training for, and remember to take care of yourself after. Self care is an important part of any work out. #KeepItUp