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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

Olympian Mindset

26 Feb

In spirit of the winter olympics, I’d like to talk about the olympian mindset and what makes these athletes the best of the best. Some people like to think that olympians are genetically gifted. Perhaps some of them do have a perfect genetic makeup for their sport, but what separates one olympian from another?  These athletes are the best of the best, there isn’t much difference among them, especially the top 3 in each sport. When the top 3 show up to compete, the athlete that wins by a tenth of a tenth of a second proves that the mindset is even more important.

These principles are from books and interviews with the world’s best olympians. These are principles you can use to be your best self. Even one change can bring you closer to creating the life of your dreams.

1. Build habits for success. Michael Phelp’s swimming coach has him swim without goggles on occasion so that if they got knocked off in a race, he would be fine. When you are in a tough decision, how do you respond? At 3:00 when you get hungry, do you eat unhealthy snacks from the vending machine? If so, change that habit and bring a stick of cheese and apple and stay away from the vending machine.

2. Eat to fuel your workout and keep it consistent. In my studies of many olympians diets, you will see many more vegetables than sweets, but you won’t see many named diets like Zone, Atkins, gluten-free, etc. Every meal is about giving them energy to perform at their top level. They choose foods that keep them mentally and physically strong. Often times they eat the same thing at the same time each day, even when they travel. How does your food fuel your performance? Do you eat at the same time each day? Are you aware of what you eat? Trying keeping a 3 day food log, then review it and determine whether your foods are fueling your performance.

3. Do 1 more. A friend of mine who was a basketball coach told me he had a nickname for one of his players that he brought to the olympics. He called him “mr. one more” because whenever the coach asked him to do a drill, he always gave him one more. Instead of doing 10 four hundreds, he did 11. The next time you are planning to do 20 minutes of cardio, why not do 21? If we all put a little more effort in, imagine how much faster we’d achieve our goals?

4. Don’t let injuries keep you down. Last winter Lindsey Vonn ran into trouble that culminated with a painful crash at the world championships in Austria. While landing a jump in the super-G event there, Vonn blew out her knee, requiring reconstructive surgery. She worked really hard to rehabilitate her knee and is focusing on competing again. What do you do when you are injured? Do you give up or focus on getting yourself stronger?

5. Surround yourself with people who are better than you or at your level. Many olympians train together and they use their peers to motivate them and challenge them to be better. It’s always interesting to me when I see two friends competing against each other in the olympics. Think about the people you surround yourself with. Do they inspire you to be better or do they slow you down?

6. Hire an expert to create a plan. Every olympian has a coach that creates a training plan for their athlete to ensure they are competition ready. Having run 20 marathons, I achieve my best times when I have a running coach and a 3-4 month plan to follow. Hire a trainer, swim coach, tri coach, or other expert to help you create a plan to achieve your goals.

7. Don’t get distracted. Olympians stay focused on the goal and to be the best, there is no other option. There will always be distractions, but you cannot let them impede your progress. I’ve had to spend less time with my party friends at certain times because I know a night of partying would prevent me from performing well the next day. Losing one long run in a marathon season can derail all of your efforts. 

8. Build a support system. Many olympians are married or in partnerships with other athletes or care takers because they understand and accept the lifestyle. This is a really important concept. If your spouse or partner doesn’t support your hours in the gym, eating habits, or sleep schedule, it becomes a challenge. I hear this complaint from many of my clients and it will create a lot of stress that will affect your results.

9. Be good to yourself. Olympians train like beasts but they also sleep 8 hours a night, get massages, take ice baths and treat their bodies well. It’s about balance and if you are training a lot, your body needs sleep and massages. Try to incorporate an additional 30 minutes of rest, join a monthly massage program, or spend some time on the roller each night. This part of the process is just as important as the training.

10. Stay positive. Shalene Flanagan is one of the most accomplished American runners in history and absolutely adorable in person. She had an absolutely horrific race where she just felt like walking off the course, but she didn’t. She didn’t place in the top 3 in that race, but she did win the next marathon she did. You’re not going to feel like a rockstar every day, so instead of letting the obstacles get you down, use them to make you stronger.

Your mind is your strongest muscle and the key to your success. I hope you can create a mindset that will help you succeed at whatever you choose to do. You have one life so go ahead, get started!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

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