Fitizen’s Spring Strip 2015

Fitizen’s Spring Strip 2015 was a huge success and a great workout for an even greater cause. Spring Strip was a 5k fitness run that took place in Bluemont Park in Arlington, VA. Prepped with fitness stations along its 5k route, runners enjoyed intense workouts while doing their part to help their community. During the 5k run, participants also dropped off articles of clothing at clothing drop stations around the course. The collected clothes were then to be donated to the Salvation Army.

While a 5k run may seem like a short distance from the perspective of experienced runners, they too must admit that there is certainly a “trick” to mastering the 5k. To perform well in a 5k, which can last around 30 minutes, there are two components worth paying attention to. The first is your speed endurance, which is your ability to run at a certain pace, and hold it, throughout the course of the race or most of it. The second is your aerobic capabilities. As many runners know, oxygen is critical when it comes to running fast.

On top of those two components for a successful 5k, consider that the runners for Fitizen’s Spring Strip also had workout stations set up between the starting and finish lines. This was certainly an intense 5k.


How could a runner be better prepared for a 5k run like the Spring Strip? Here are four important tips for your next or first 5k:

1. Incorporate speed training into your current routine

If you want to run a 5k faster, you have to train running faster. Start off with short sprints, as sprinting can be very hard on the body.

2. Tackle some short uphill runs

Hills require both speed and endurance. Adding this to your routine will help you with the endurance component of a successful 5k run as well.

3. Strength Training

Getting fast is important and strengthening your muscles helps. Squats, lunges, bent over rows, and calf raises are great at strengthening the muscles that you will need to run faster. It’s not all about speed training.

4. Learn the route

Being familiar with the route will boost your confidence, and if possible allow you to practice running it before the big run.

Mental Strength in Physical Fitness

Patrick Moran Mental Fitness

Whether you are training for the next triathlon,  a new 1 rep max on bench press, or just trying to cut a few pounds, the key to achieving long lasting success is mental toughness. Some find a momentary boost in energy, fueled by excitement, is enough to begin a new regimen, but how long does this really last?

Soon after the initial high fades, when you’re forced to wake up early the first time or sacrifice a night out with friends, you find yourself back where you started.

Here, mental toughness shines, and we are given the opportunity to embrace the grind. Rarely is there a concrete checkpoint or destination. Rather, it’s the process, a mindset, and a belief in self that continuously re-develops and reinforces the power to keep going.

Imagine yourself struggling to accept defeat in a race for which you’ve put in tiresome hours of workouts and training.

Does losing make you feel worse? Or does it change your perspective and refocus your efforts for the future.  Herein lies the difference between mental fitness and the untrained, weak mindset.

Mental fitness is so crucial to fostering physical fitness. Just as a healthy pulse returns to its resting rate after some time, a positive mindset stays positive when dealing with negativity or defeat. It’s what allows one to bounce back, stand up, and keep fighting.

The resilience derived from being mentally fit says more about the one’s perspective than anything else. It’s what enables us to visualize the end goal when no one else can. Sure, it’s unavoidable that distractions will arise that pull us away from our goals, but mental fitness, built upon resilience, commitment and focus, keeps us on track.  It keeps us focused on the task at hand, and filters out the negative and irrelevant thoughts that push us farther away from our goals.

Carrie Cheadle, Mental Skills Coach and author of On Top of Your Game – Mental Skills To Maximize Your Athletic Performance says “When you are mentally tough it means you can delay immediate gratification and make decisions in the moment that are in service to your ultimate goal.” Similarly, focus keeps us aware of the things we can control, and lets us be absolved of all that we cannot control. Through this freedom we can continue to hone our mental fitness.