The Secrets in Obstacle Course Racing

12 Sep

So many people think I’ve turned into an Obstacle Course Racing addict because I am doing a race practically every weekend, but I am having so much fun! Just take a look at the pictures and you might just want to join me sometime. Let me tell you why I’m having so much fun and then I’ll share with you all my secrets.

I have raced in 3 Spartan races in the last month and the teams I have raced on have been so much fun that I’d hang out with these people anytime. Training for these races has even been more fun because the coaches are so cool and the people I am training with make me smile. It has enabled me to meet so many different people and develop great friendships. Each race I am getting more confident and my times are also improving. I am getting better on the obstacles and making a lot of progress.

Here are my secrets for having fun and making progress.

I train with a Spartan Pro, David Magida, who happens to be on the elite team for Spartan and the person behind a new gym that will be opening in the DC area, Elevate Interval Fitness. Unlike many gym programs, David trains us by simulating race conditions. He’s trained our team on the proper technique for carrying a 65 pound bucket, throwing a spear, he’s made us run hills till we had enough, run up hills with sandbags, and do so many burpees, that we’d rather run. One class he had us do a bunch of rolling as if we were rolling under barbed wire. I hated it while I was doing it, but I was happy I did it before the race because it helped me shave off time and protect my knees in the NJ Super Spartan. Our training crew is so fun that I have been getting substitutes for my own classes to train with them. You can find out more about his training at http://www.elevateintervalfitness.com

In the Spartan races unlike others, you have to successfully complete an obstacle or do 30 burpees, so it’s worth trying to do each obstacle. To ensure success for challenging obstacles like climbing the rope and throwing the Spear, you must understand the technique. I learned the proper rope climbing technique called the J hook whcih is mostly lower body at the Great Falls Obstacle Course. Doing so enabled me to successfully complete the rope climb at both the Wintergreen Super Spartan and the NJ Super Spartan. I highly recommend spending a day there to learn the technique for tackling common obstacles. Tim heads up the training which is Sunday mornings. To find out more, check out the Great Falls Obstacle Course on Facebook, or email Tim at getresultstrainers@gmail.com

CrossFit North Vienna is where I spend an hour Monday-Friday working on my strength. I had a much easier time on this last Super Spartan because I am getting stronger. The pullups and various olympic moves helped me pass many guys on the course in addition to making me leaner. If you’d like my special rate at CrossFit North Vienna, send me an email at madelinedolente@gmail.com. Every Saturday they a class for people who have never done CrossFit before.

Trail runs with the DC Capital Striders have helped me run faster because all of the Spartan races I have completed have pretty challenging trails. It’s a great group of people with various levels of experience. We run every Wednesday at 6pm. You can join our trail run by going to http://www.meetup.com/dccapitalstriders-NOVA/events/206628782/

I have changed by diet and make sure by food is with me so I don’t pick up junk on the road. These meals have been key to helping my muscles recover and ensure I have energy for intense workouts. More importantly, they also help me burn body fat instead of muscle. Most people forget that if they are not getting the proper nutrition, they can actually start to cannabolize muscle which results in a lower metabolic rate. I use http://www.customfitmeals.com and my discount code is MD10.They taste great and the bars are awesome too. If your diet isn’t where it should be, give it a shot.

Bring Gu and electrolyte tabs to your races. Electrolyte tabs are important for very hot and humid days and I try to take a Gu every hour. My favorite is vanilla with caffeine. It can make a big difference when you are feeling weak.

Dress smart and make it fun. I also wear my Reebok OCR shoes because they are great on trails and in the mud and a high pair of socks to protect my shins. I wish I could get away with knee pads because my knees always wind up scratched and bruised, but knee pads would totally ruin my outfit and is not the image I’m going for. My next outfit may very well be a Superhero. Stay posted. If you are looking for shoes or clothing options, I listed my favorites on http://www.Reebok.com/madfitness

Also if you are looking for a local VA race, RunningDirty.com is this Saturday and you can get a discount with RA44. I’m off to run the Civilian Miltary Combine (CMC) this weekend! The first picture shows me with the CMC founder, Sean Rodgers and TV Star, Kenny Santucchi, my racing buddies for the NJ Super Spartan last weekend. I am gathering up teams for upcoming races so if you are interested, send me an email at Madeline@madfitness.com and don’t forget to watch the Spartan Race on NBC Sports 2pm Sunday!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline

spartan blog pics

Event at the Reebok Fithub

4 Sep

reebok circuit classLast night I did my infamous Circuit Challenge at the Reebok Fitbhub in Georgetown for the DC Capital Striders. There were over 50 RSVPS and more on the wait list. I had no idea of what the crowd would be like, how many people would show or what their athletic levels would be. I used a rowing machine, tubing, gliding discs, jumpropes, kettle bells, 35 pound plates, boxes, wall balls, medicine balls, heavy weights, and devised 19 stations throughout the store. I developed stations with the goals of working their entire body, utilizing every plane and taxing different systems. Many of the stations were designed to be functional in nature so they worked the entire body and required the participants to use their abdominals for balance. Each station had 2 exercises so each team of 2 started as a station and once I played the music, they went to work. The workout was tough, but this group had their game face on and was ready for the challenge!

There were several differences among the group in age, training background, flexibility, and strength but what united them all was an intense desire to give their all and get the most out of this workout. They were dripping sweat and probably pretty tired at points, but they didn’t give up. They motivated their each other, they helped each other out, and no one quit. I felt honored to teach this group and inspired by their efforts!

So many people don’t do things because they are worried about how they are going to appear. Several of the people in this group had no idea of what to expect or how hard the workout would be. They were new to many of the exercises, but that didn’t stop them from trying. If they had a question, they asked me. When they felt like quitting, they didn’t. I truly believe this group will be successful in whatever they do because results are driven by a certain mindset. The mindset they exhibited is the mindset of a winner. If you think you can, you will.

So the next time you think about doing something outside your comfort zone, don’t hesitate, just do it. Life is too short to question yourself and be negative. Look at these folks and use this picture to motivate you to give more, be more, and get outside your comfort zone. Why? Because you deserve an amazing life!

Last night I also passed out deals for some of my favorite companies and everyone got to try the Best Bar Ever. You can check it out at http://www.bestbarever.com

Train for Obstacle races with Pro racer at David Magida at http://www.trainatelevate.com
30% off pre-opening special and free classes in Meridian Hill Park

Clean up your diet with fresh meals delivered twice a week that affordable at http://www.customfitmeals.com and get 10% off with my discount code MD10

Do a local mud run. Go to http://www.runningdirty.com and use code RA44 for 45% savings.

Tell me what challenge you will take on in the next few months and you could win one of many prizes! Why not come join me for the Spartan Super in NJ this weekend or the Spartan Sprint in Philadelphia?

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

September Events & Deals

3 Sep

blog 5 photosI love September because it always feel like I am back in school and I feel motivated to do more and achieve more. With 4 months left in the year, there is still plenty of time to crate changes that will make a difference. Today I’d like to provide you with a ton of ways to finish off 2014 living the life of your dreams!

Monday I competed in the Team Crossfit Series on Team Crossfit North Vienna Spartans. This is by far my FAVORITE CrossFit box and the coaches are awesome so if you are ready to try something new, come any Saturday and try an introductory workout. I’ll be hosting a Crossfit for Runners workout there at the beginning of October as well. I would have never thought I’d be competing in a sport that I just started and YES, I loved every minute of it! The address of CrossFit North Vienna is 434 Mill St NE, Vienna, VA.

Runs on Mondays, every Monday we run at 6pm at the Ice Breaker store in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s a great group with 3-7 mile options. Sign up on Meetup at http://www.meetup.com/dccapitalstriders/events/203857002/?gj=wc1d.2_e&a=wc1d.2_gnl&rv=wc1d.2_e&_af_eid=203857002&_af=event

I LOVE obstacle racing and Spartan races are my favorite. I did 2 Spartan races last month and will be doing the NJ Super Spartan this Sunday and the Philly Spartan Sprint on Sept.20th. Want to do a Spartan Race? Here is a special discount code: SPARTANBLOGGER

Interested in doing any other obstacle races this year? Tomorrow’s blog will have discount codes for many of the races and training information. Be sure to check it out! Even better, you can win a free Spartan getaway by entering here http://bit.ly/spartancruisegiveaway

I’ve made changes to my food plan so that I can perform better and get leaner and I am loving customfitmeals.com. They deliver fresh meals each week that are delicious and nutritious. I have a discount code for you. It’s MAD10 which will give you 10% off your first order. Their bars are the BEST BAR EVER and yeah, that’s what they are called. Want to taste them? Come to one of my fitness events and I’ll be sampling them there. They are YUMMY, fresh, and can be delivered to your home. It doesn’t get better than that!

Want some extra motivation? Come workout with me at one of the events below:

*Wednesday, September 3rd at 7pm, Circuit Class at the Reebok Fithub

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reebok-presents-circuit-class-with-madeline-dolente-equinox-tickets-12689736343

Saturday, September 13th at 10:00 am, 5 Mile Training Run & Private Shopping Event for for Fall Running at Reebok Fithub

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reebok-presents-5-mile-training-run-15-discount-for-the-newest-running-gear-to-get-your-ready-for-tickets-12706759259

Thursday September 25th at 7:00pm at Equinox, Functional Fitness Training to challenge your core and improve your running performance in Tyson’s Corner, Vienna, VA
RSVP to Kaitlyn.Wozniak@Equinox.com

Feel your best and look your best with some fresh new gear! See my favorites and get the best deals at https://www.reebokone.com/Madfitness?m=favorite-gear

Would love to see you achieve your goals this year! Join me for the fun and get outside your comfort zone!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

Sacrifice

20 Aug

Did you watch the Spartan race last night? I was inspired by the tenacity, perseverance and relentlessness of the athletes as they climbed the hills. One athlete talked about how important mental strength is. When your body is tired, the only thing that gets you through an intense challenge is desire. The female winner in last night’s race was Amelia Boone. She is known for her amazing capacity to endure. In one of her blogs she said that she may not be the fastest or the strongest, but she is really good at suffering. She is so good that she has been called the Michael Jordan of obstacle racing. The female runner up got mangled in the barbwire, but she didn’t stop to see if she was hurt. What good would it have done to stop and look at her cuts, scrapes and blood. It could have cost her a place. The most successful people endure temporary pain to achieve their goals. What do you sacrifice to achieve your goals? The life of your dreams will most definitely require sacrifice.

Email me at madeline@madfitness.com or comment here as to what you will sacrifice to achieve your goal. The most inspiring answer will receive a shipment of KIND bars. I look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to register for your chance to win a cruise at Spartan Cruise
Check out the the 2014 Spartan Race World Championship Race in Killington Vermont on September 20th at http://www.spartanrace.com

In Health and Happiness.

Madeline Dolente

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Obstacle Race on NBC Sports & Cruise Giveaway

19 Aug

It’s hard to conceptualize an obstacle race unless you’ve done one or seen in action because my first experience was completely different from what I expected.  I did my first obstacle race 4 years ago when obstacle racing was still very new. A month before a bunch of my friends did the Warrior Dash. The pictures made it look like a 5K party on the trails where everyone wore fun costumes. I thought a 5K would be too easy for me so I signed up for the 15K.

I got a costume that made me feel like one of the characters on the The Incredibles, the Disney movie from 2004.  I had the cape, long dress, arm gear, and the eye mask. I remember putting it all on and stepping into my elevator at 2pm that Sunday and the guy in the elevator looking at me as if I was on crack. Even worse, he was hot and I tried to explain to him that I was running a race. A race on a Sunday afternoon in a costume that came to be know as Flash. When I got to the race, I was the only one in a costume. I remember really feeling like an idiot, but everyone was super cool and gave me props on my costume. On a side note, I looked up the website and there were awards for costumes, but at 3pm it was 95 degrees and I think everyone decided against it for the longer distance.

I get to my first obstacle which was a really high barrel of hay. I start running and leap onto the barrel and fall completely off. It took three tries before I realized that I wasn’t a superhero and that I needed to figure out a new technique. The rest was history. I had never learned how to do any of the obstacles but somehow I just did them. It’s like life. You don’t know what life will throw your way, but you have to be prepared. It’s how you respond to the challenges that dictate how your life will turn out.

Obstacle races are much different today. Rather than read about it, watch it in action, TONIGHT on NBC Sports. Below is the schedule and don’t forget to register to win a trip for 2 on the Spartan Cruise in the Bahamas. Airfare included and US Residents only. Here is the link http://bit.ly/spartancruisegiveaway

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline DolenteNBC Sports

The 411 on Obstacle Course Racing

18 Aug

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Obstacle Course Races are growing faster than any other sport. According to the Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2014, there was a 30 percent increase in registration for obstacle races over the past 3 years, with 2.21 million racers in 2013. Racers include every nationality, every body type and people of all ages. You can find a race any given weekend in cities throughout the US. In fact, the most popular obstacle course races known as the Spartan race, signed a deal with NBC Sports. If you thought American Ninja Warrior was hot, you’ll definitely want to watch the Spartan races on NBC Sports.

Many of you have probably heard about mud runs, warrior dashes, Tough Mudder, Spartan race, or the zombie runs from a friend or the Internet. Each race differs but mud, running, and obstacles is often the common theme in each of these races. The races vary in length. Some races are as short as a 5k while other races go as long as 26 miles. Some races are now beginning to offer cash awards which has attracted competitors from all over the world!

For beginners, I recommend starting with a Spartan Sprint which can be anywhere from 3-5 miles with 15-20 obstacles. For every obstacle you can’t successfully complete, you have to do 30 burpees so it’s smart to practice and train before doing a race. If you’ve completed a Sprint or several obstacle races, a Spartan Super is a great option. The difficulty depends on the location. The races that are on ski slopes are often more challenging than those in stadiums.

So you’ve probably heard about the controversial electric shock therapy and this is unique to the Tough Mudder races so you won’t see this in other obstacles races. Some obstacle races may also have water which may require some swimming skills. If you are not a swimmer, check the website for the race to see if swimming will be part of the race. There are also tons of obstacle racing groups on Facebook that serve as a good resource on information for each race.

Training for races can make you much more successful and this week’s blog will include several resources in your area and online. So make sure to check back tomorrow. In the meantime, I have some fun stuff to announce:

Every day this week, one person will be awarded a prize! The prizes include KIND bars, an obstacle training workout, a fitness DVD, a fitness CD, nutritional counseling, one free Spartan race, and even more exciting,

ONE of my readers can win a getaway Spartan Race Cruise for 2 out of Miami to the Bahamas and free airfare by entering at
Spartan cruise

So what are you waiting for, go ahead and enter to win your trip for 2 including airfare and a cruise out of Miami! If you win and need someone to join you, just send me an email. My bags are packed and ready!

And because you are all winners, sign up to do a Spartan with my discount code: SPARTANBLOGGER

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente
Www.Madfitness.com

Core Power

29 Jul

This weekend my team and I ran the Washington DC Spartan race in Maryland. There were two things that kept me from falling in the mud, my Reebok OCR shoes and a strong core. One less fall in the mud meant one less injury and one less scratch.

Here is a picture of the shoes and a link to my favorite core exercise. If you do any trail running or racing, you can get the shoes at http://www.reebok.com/madfitness and if you want to be a better athlete or prevent yourself from falling, watch this video and do the option most suitable for you. There are 3 options. Option 3 is definitely the hardest and try not to let your feet touch the floor.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

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What Makes You Happy?

15 Jul

This morning I woke up to read an article listing the top 20 habits that happy people have but never talk about. It was so motivating that I posted it on Facebook. I am a big fan about creating your own happiness now, rather than waiting for someone or something to happen. The 20th habit mentioned in this article was that happy people live a life they actually want to live. Rather than letting the world dictate what you should be doing or how you should live, think about what makes you happy.

Today I’ll talk about the things that make me happy.

I wake up every day and thank God for the wonderful people in my life and everything I have. Gratitude is a big part of my life. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and achieving, but if you can step back and look at all of the wonderful things you have in your life, you will realize you are truly blessed. When I write down the things I am thankful for, I realize I have an awesome life and some pretty amazing opportunities.

Recently I had the opportunity to become an Ambassador for ReebokONE and not only was I excited about having the coolest fitness clothes ever, but I was honored to meet such an amazing group of people. These Reebok Ambassadors were all passionate about fitness and making a difference in people’s lives. It’s the people who your surround yourself with that affect how you view your life. Spend your time with successful people who care about others and you will too!

Recharge. Recently I went to South Beach to spend some time with a friend of mine, relax on the beach and eat good food and dance. We spend so much time doing for others, that we must take time for ourselves. It reminded me that I need to take short trips more often.

Get excited! Growing up my Mom always made a big deal about birthdays, holidays, and anything she could celebrate so I tend to do the same. I love to celebrate people and events, why not? I had a boyfriend once who hid notes and cards for my marathons and always made me feel special. Doesn’t everyone want to feel special to someone?

Make time for the relationships and things that are important to you. Call or spend time with a friend, significant other or family member each week. We are all busy but spending time with loved ones will make your heart happy. Let someone know you are thinking about them.

If you’d like to read the article I mentioned above, here is the link
http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/07/13/20-habits-happy-people-have-but-never-talk-about/#more-763

Reebok summit happy

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
http://www.Madfitness.com

A Mother Who Inspired Me, Sandi Toth

11 May

I met her after the Nike San Francisco marathon. We were both trying to find our way back to the Team In Training tent to let them know we made it. We had successfully finished our races, yet we had to walk another mile to the tent to check in. Sandi and I bumped into each other and started talking. We instantly became friends.

I looked over at the Nike booth and was upset that I didn’t have my credit card with me. Sandi treated me to a few things from Nike, and I offered to repay her with a check. Afterwards, we walked back toward the buses. It was during that long walk that I learned so much about this amazing woman. It was at that time that it really made me proud to have raise $3000 and run 26.2 miles for lymphoma and leukemia. It made this marathon so much more special to me. I would have run just for her so please let me tell you her story.

Sandi’s journey with Team in Training began with a post card in the mail. She thought she received it because she was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s disease. Her body was very weak following radiation and an emergency appendectomy. She could barely get up the stairs. She felt like she was barely holding onto dear life.
After she called the number on the postcard, she realized that it was a fundraising organization. How on earth would she raise $2900 when she could barely get up the stairs?

She attended the informational meeting at REI and knew at that point there was no looking back. From the inspirational video to the testimonials of others to discussion of fundraising for a cure – it was all just too much for Sandi to take in. Then, a mentor stood up and shared her story. Sandi and others began to cry for this mentor, Beth Knorr, gave her hope. Sandi realized that she belonged with this group of capable, healthy, strong individuals choosing to exercise and fundraise for a cause, her cause – these were individuals she needed in her life.

Shortly after her training began, her cancer returned. Chemotherapy was her next step. Sandi scheduled her weekly infusions on Wednesdays so the side effects would be over by Saturday and she could be ready to work out with the team. She didn’t miss a single practice that first season. Many, many days she cried on the trails because she didn’t think she had the energy to make it for even a 40 minute walk, she cried because of the uncertainty of her future, and she cried out of guilt that she was able to be here walking while others struggled with their disease. But, the team gave Sandi the strength to press on. Her new mantra of hope has become “Let’s Outrun Cancer.”

Little did Sandi know that she was my inspiration throughout my marathon training this winter. How could I complain about the snow and ice, when she was running in ten below freezing temperatures in Alaska and dealing with cancer? Every Sunday morning at 5 when I felt like going back to bed, I thought about Sandi and the strength she gave to fight cancer and fight the cold.

When Sandi came to Washington, DC to run the Nike Half marathon, I had the opportunity to meet her for brunch and it was lovely. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and I wanted to dedicate this blog to her. Happy Mother’s Day Sandi! You are amazing!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
Www.Madfitness.com

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Motivating Your Loved Ones

4 May

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dentist. I had doctors and lawyers in my family, so becoming a dentist seemed like a natural fit. That was my plan until I looked into my dentist’s glasses one morning as she was looking into my mouth. I remember thinking as a little kid that I would never want to look into gross people’s mouths. What turned me off more was that every time I went to my dentist, she lectured me. I was smart enough to know the importance of brushing my teeth and I got lectured enough at home, so I didn’t need it from her. I started missing appointments because I didn’t feel like being ridiculed.

Years later when I was in highschool, my dentist was out on maternity leave and a male dentist took her place. Every time I came in, he’d look at my hand to see what club I had went to and ask about it. At that point I started to enjoy my visits because I enjoyed talking with him.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently have had conversations with clients and friends about their loved ones being lazy and gaining weight. My clients care so much about their loved ones’ health that they wind up lecturing them and get overly frustrated with their lack of enthusiasm for working out.

I understand their frustrations because laziness is irritating but getting frustrated with a loved one will not not motivate them. It will do the opposite. Instead, think of a way to make physical activity fun. My running buddy recently got her son to do treadmill challenges while she and her daughter did different workouts in the living room. She then posted it on Facebook to inspire others. If your loved ones or friends are being lazy, make it fun instead of lecturing them. Reward them for their performance and when they slack off, be slow to lash out on them.

If you make experiences enjoyable, your friends and family will be more likely to join you. Isn’t that the goal after all? Let me know how you make it fun! Below are 10 ideas to get your loved ones active.

1. Invite them to a class you think they will be successful at. Perhaps they have tried it before or have wanted to try it.

2. Let them experience the activity on their own unless they ask you for advice. Don’t be the nervous Nelly that corrects their every move. If you are worried about their form, talk to the instructor before class.

3. Go to a class with fun music and a fun instructor. You can invite your friends to any of my classes. Just send me an email at Madeline@madfitness.com

4. Prepare them. Tell them what kind of clothes to wear and what they will need. If you are taking them to a cycling class, tell them to wear capris or tight fitting shorts. Make sure they have a bottle of water.

5. Plan something fun for afterwards. My friends and I often get healthy salads or a healthy cocktail afterwards. There is always a reason to celebrate.

6. Do not compare yourself to them. Chances are you have probably been doing the activity for a longer period of time and if they are new, they may not be as good as you. Focus on their effort not their performance.

7. Boost their confidence by complimenting what they did successfully. What may be easy for you, may be challenging for another person, so focus on their effort.

8. Make it a regular date. My friend and I planned to lift three times a week together so we can motivate each other. My other girlfriend an I meet up for bikram yoga once a week. I run with other friends.

9. If they fail, motivate them with encouragement and don’t show them that you are disappointed.

10. You can only control yourself so encourage your loved ones with soothing words and positive reinforcement.

We all have a duty to inspire others in our life to live a healthy lifestyle. The only way to ensure they do that is to make it fun. I love fitness and some people think I’m crazy but if I can inspire others to have fun while they work out, I know I am fulfilling my purpose. Go ahead inspire someone to workout and have fun and email me at madeline@madfitness.com to let me know what you did or if you need more ideas….

Heading out for a run to listen to some new jams!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline
Www.Madfitness.com

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