Category Archive: Series News


Jordan Chester of Allendale, Michigan and Colin Mickow of Naperville, Illinois claimed victory for female and male Half Marathon categories, respectively

CHICAGO, May 19—More than 8,000 runners took to Chicago streets on Sunday in the 11thannual Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, produced by Life Time. The race celebrates the city’s emergence from winter hibernation and the unofficial start of the 2019 endurance running season. 

In addition to a sellout race, the top-three male Half Marathon finishers set new course records, including Colin Mickow with a time of 01:06:29:54, Christopher May with 01:06:58:58; and Dylan Lafond at 01:08:30:68. The top female finishers included Jordan Chester with 01:19:59:31; Maria Lindberg with 01:21:40:57; and Laura Hillard at 01:21:57:09.

Top 10K finishers included: Kati Snyder, 00:38:12:17; Vanessa Righeimer, 00:39:00:62; and Tere Zacher, 00:39:02:84 for female racers; and Dan Kremske, 00:31:44:04; Ryan Rutherford, 00:32:40:73; and Jay Welp, 00:32:56:15 for male finishers.

The race delivered an intimate urban setting along a gorgeous lakefront course to 8,000 participants from 25 countries and 45 states. The course took runners up and down Columbus Drive and through a combination of closed streets and Lakefront Path giving way to sweeping views of Chicago’s famed skyline, Lake Michigan and historic Chicago sites like Soldier Field, Navy Pier and more.

Afterwards, runners celebrated at the Spring Market Finish Festival with a gourmet catered hot-breakfast buffet, do-it-yourself flower station, Begyle Brewing beer garden, live music and local vendors.

“Despite the threat of storms, runners made the most of today’s event and brought some great energy to the streets of Chicago,” says Senior Life Time Run Brand Manager Dan Lakin. “Congratulations to all participants on a great race, and many thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, city officials, local companies and staff that made today possible.”

In addition to the Spring Market Finish Festival, participants received a finisher medal; gourmet breakfast buffet in the Spring Market Finish Festival along with Begyle Beer, Live Music and more. 

The race, which also supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), raised $250,000 for MDA Care Centers at the nation’s top medical institutions for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases. Title Sponsor, Byline Bank issued a $5,000 donation to MDA’s efforts.

The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon/10K is the first of two races produced by Life Time in the 2019 Chicagoland Half Marathon Series, which also includes the HOKA ONE ONE Chicago Half Marathon on September 29. Participants who compete in both half marathon distances earn a custom, 26.2 Challenge finisher medal at the final event. Currently, more than 2,000 athletes are registered for the Series.

With a record number of runners, this year’s race sold out for the second time in a row – 2020 registration will open at noon on Tuesday at

The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half is owned and produced by Life Time, the premier healthy lifestyle brand. It is among more than 30 premier athletic events owned and produced by the company across the nation, which also operates 10 athletic resort and spas in Chicagoland. Life Time strives to produce exceptional event experiences for both participants and spectators as an extension of its Healthy Way of Life philosophy.

About Life Time® – Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 143 destinations in 39 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s premier healthy lifestyle brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. More info is available

Ignited by Athlinks – Live Tracking and more!


The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K has partnered with Athlinks to add to your race day experience and allow for your friends and family to share in your experience.

Athlinks brings you enhanced real time Athlete tracking using on-course timing data and more. Download the Athlinks App from the App Store or Google Play and share your race day.


Keep up to date with all the latest info on the official event feed

  1. Select the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K from the DISCOVER tab
  2. Select FEED tab in the navigation bar
  3. To receive push notifications, tap the FOLLOW button


  1. Select the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K from the DISCOVER tab
  2. Select TRACKING tab in the navigation bar
  3. Search for athlete by name or bib number
  4. Tap + button. Repeat steps 3-4 for more athletes if you wish
  5. Tap DETAILS to see athlete’s time as they cross timing mats along the course.


  1. Select Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K from the DISCOVER tab
  2. Select RESULTS tab in the navigation bar
  3. Search for result by name or bib number. Select a result.
  4. Tap SHARE to share to Facebook!

Have questions? Contact Athlinks support at

2019 Athlete Guide Now Available

Welcome to Race Week of the 11th Annual Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K produced by Life Time.

While you’ve been putting in the training miles, our production team has been making preparations to make this year’s race the best one ever!

Whether you’ll be running the half marathon or the 10K distance, we can’t wait for you to take part in this truly Chicago race experience race; not to mention the Spring Market Finish Festival in gorgeous Maggie Daley Park.

Check out the Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, packet pick-up dates and times, course information and more!

> View the 2019 Athlete Guide here

Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and emails for any additional updates before the race. We’ll see you at the Start line!

3 Ways to Strengthen Your Core

Not getting the results you want from traditional ab exercises? Try this multilayered approach to building a strong, functional core.

Man doing renegade rows


Sit-ups and crunches have been the longtime go-tos for building core strength. But for many people, these and other moves that involve arching and rounding the spine are uncomfortable, painful, or simply out of reach because of physical limitations.

Despite their popularity, there’s nothing inherently magical about these moves — and in fact, they’re nearly useless if you can’t do them properly, says veteran trainer Tony Gentilcore, CSCS. There are dozens of other ways to train the core, which includes the visible outer layer of muscles we colloquially refer to as “six-pack abs,” as well as the deep-core muscles nestled within our torsos and the muscles in the back, chest, shoulders, hips, and glutes.

The key to crunch-free core training, says Mikey Mueller, NASM-CPT, USAW, Alpha coach at Life Time, is to stop thinking about moves to build core strength and start thinking about “anti”-moves. That’s because the core muscles are unusual in that their primary function is not to power movement but to prevent it. These muscles are built for this braking action — and they often brake without your realizing it. Walk on uneven surfaces and the core keeps your torso from twisting. Carry a heavy suitcase in one hand, and your core holds you upright.

The main work of the core, then, is resistance in one of three major forms:

  • Anti-extension moves that help you resist bending backward.
  • Anti-rotation moves that keep you from twisting.
  • Anti-lateral-flexion moves that prevent side bending.

To build your functional core strength so you can handle these three anti-movement types, Gentilcore and Mueller suggest the following six exercises — plus challenging variations. As you strengthen your core and improve stability, you can add weight or progress to the tougher versions.

The Workout

Each time you exercise, says Mueller, focus on one of the three core anti-movement categories. If you work out three times a week, you’ll cover all three categories in one week.

Whatever your schedule, perform your movements after your other exercises: “You don’t want to tire out the core before your big lifts,” says Gentilcore.

On all six moves, start with the beginner’s reps or time and sets listed, and work up to the advanced recommendations over three to four weeks.

Anti-Extension Moves


  • Assume a pushup position on your elbows and forearms with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of your feet on the floor, and body straight, from heels to the top of your head.
  • Hold this position without moving for 15 seconds for two to three sets.

Work up to: Hold for up to 60 seconds for two or three sets.

Make it harder: From the starting position, slide your elbows forward, keeping your feet stationary on the floor, until your upper arms are at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. Work up to a 60-second hold.

Dead Bug

  • Lie on your back with your lower back flat on the floor, keeping it there throughout the move.
  • Raise your arms toward the sky and bend your legs and hips 90 degrees, with your lower legs parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Extend your right leg out 6 inches from the ground and your left arm overhead as you complete a full exhale through the mouth. Allow a one- or two-second count to hover above the ground.
  • Return to the starting position as you inhale through the nose.
  • Repeat the movement with your left leg and right arm.
  • Perform 10 reps per side for one to two sets.

Work up to: 15 reps per side for two or three sets.

Make it harder: Hold a stability ball between your hands and knees.

Anti-Rotation Moves

Kneeling Pallof Press

  • While kneeling on the floor, anchor a resistance band (or a “D” handle if using a cable machine) at shoulder height, and stand with your left shoulder pointed toward the anchor point.
  • Grasp the band with both hands at chest level and find a kneeling position far enough from the anchor point to create light tension on the band.
  • Brace your core and squeeze your glutes, then press the band straight away from your chest until your arms are fully extended. With control, return the band to your chest.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then perform the same exercise with the right shoulder facing the anchor.
  • Perform 10 reps per side for one or two sets.

Work up to: 15 reps per side for two or three sets.

Renegade Row

  • Assume a pushup position with your hands gripping two light dumbbells.
  • Maintaining the pushup position, lift the dumbbell in one hand off the floor as high as possible while keeping that elbow close to your chest.
  • Lower the dumbbell to the floor and repeat with your other hand.
  • Repeat the movement, alternating sides.
  • Perform five reps for one or two sets.

Work up to: Eight reps for two or three sets.

Make it harder: Perform a pushup between reps.

Anti-Lateral-Flexion Moves

Farmer’s Carry

  • Holding two heavy dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides, draw your shoulder blades back.
  • Walk 25 yards for one or two sets.

Work up to: 50 yards for two or three sets.

Make it harder: Carry a single weight by your side; carry one or two weights at shoulder level; carry one or two weights with arms locked out overhead.

Offset-Glute-Bridge Dumbbell Press

  • Sit on the floor, holding a medium-heavy dumbbell in your left hand, with your back braced against the end of a low weight bench.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor in front of you, shoulder width apart.
  • Lift the dumbbell to shoulder height.
  • Push your feet into the floor and lift your hips upward so that your body forms a straight line from your knees to the top of your head. This is your starting position.
  • Extend your right hand directly out to the side and make a fist.
  • Keeping your core and glutes tight, press the dumbbell in your left hand upward until your arm is vertical.
  • Slowly reverse the move, keeping your elbow close to your side.
    Perform five reps per side for two sets.

Work up to: Five or six reps per side for three sets.

Make it harder: Increase the weight of the dumbbell without sacrificing form.

This originally appeared as “Core Training” in the April 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

Andrew Heffernan is an Experience Life contributing editor.

Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark

Full article can be found on Experience Life

The 10-Minute Office Workout

Yes, you’re at work. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find time for fitness.


At the Office

The longer your workdays, the more crucial it becomes that you squeeze in breaks for movement. The value of little movements adds up fast: You can build fitness while keeping your energy high, your mood positive, and your focus strong.

Not sure how to make those breaks happen? Start by avoiding the elevator whenever possible. Don’t sit when you can stand or pace, and don’t call or email when you can walk to a colleague’s office.

Additionally, consider adopting an intermittent strength-training routine that you can perform over the course of the day, turning out a series of distinct body-weight exercises whenever you have a one- or two-minute break. Or, schedule two 10-minute activity breaks into your day, taking advantage of those low-energy moments when you tend to get distracted and lose steam (or feel tempted to hit the vending machines).

Try this 10-minute routine that builds strength without producing too much sweat. Some of the moves require a resistance band, which is a relatively inexpensive and portable piece of equipment for the office.

The Moves

Chair pose: Stand with your feet 6 inches apart. Bend your knees slightly and push your rear backward, as if you were sitting back into a chair. Lift your arms as high as possible. Keep your body weight over your heels. Hold for 30 seconds.

Bridge: Lying on your back, place your arms at your sides next to your torso, palms down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Lift your hips as high as possible. Hold for 15 seconds. Release and repeat four times.

Plank: Lie on your stomach. Place your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor. Lift your body off the ground so you are balanced on the balls of your feet and forearms. Hold 30 seconds. Lower and repeat one time.

Back extension: Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides. Squeeze your legs together as you lift your head, upper back, and arms. Keep your feet on the floor. Lower and repeat 15 times, holding the last repetition for 15 seconds.

High lunge: Stand and step forward into a lunge, sinking down until your forward thigh is parallel to the floor. Raise your arms overhead. Reach back through your rear heel and forward through your front knee. Hold 30 seconds.

Negative pushup: Starting from a high plank position with hands directly under your shoulders, slowly lower your body toward the floor. Try to take 15 seconds to reach the floor.

Squat: Stand on a resistance band, holding one end in each hand. Bend your elbows and lift your hands to shoulder height while squatting until knees are bent 90 degrees. Rise and repeat.

Chest press: Lie on your back on a resistance band and bend your knees. Get a good grip on the band with each hand. Starting with your elbows bent, press your hands upward until your arms are extended. Lower and repeat several times.

Seated row: Sit on a chair with your legs extended and heels on the floor. Place a resistance band under your feet, holding an end in each hand. Pull your elbows back as if you were rowing a boat, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Release and repeat several times.

Lateral raise: Stand with your feet on the middle of a resistance band. Grasp an end of the band in each hand, placing your arms at your sides. Raise your arms outward to shoulder height. Slowly lower and repeat several times.

Triceps extension: Hold one end of a resistance band with your right hand and raise that arm overhead. With your left hand, grab the other end of the band behind your back, near your waist. Extend your right arm, then lower. Repeat several times with each arm.

Overhead press: Stand with your feet on a resistance band and grasp a handle in each hand. With hands at shoulder height, press your arms upward, extending them overhead. Slowly lower and repeat.

Alisa Bowman is a journalist and author who covers health, relationships, psychology, and parenting.

Full Article can be found on Experience Life!

How to Increase Your Running Speed

Running coaches share their tips on building speed for both short and long distances.

Speed is key to running — and not just when it comes to your morning jog or sprinting for the bus when you’re late for work.

“It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a great runner or just include running as part of your fitness,” says coach Pete Magill, author of SpeedRunner. “Speed is at the crux of every distance, whether you’re training for a 5K or a marathon.”

That’s because legs that move swiftly and efficiently are legs that have endured speed training. Sprinting has been shown to build muscle, improve ankle strength, and boost bone density. It balances blood-sugar and hormone profiles, burns fat, and increases aerobic capacity for long, slow efforts of endurance sports.

Moreover, running faster can help you avoid injury because you are moving more efficiently, says Magill. It can also help you set a new personal record, which isn’t a fitness requirement but can motivate many runners.

The idea of speed workouts often intimidates those who worry about injuries or prefer to remain in their running comfort zone. But Magill argues that we ought to rethink our attitude about speed.

“The word ‘speed’ scares people,” Magill says. “But what we’re really talking about is just varied-pace work.” He asserts that it’s beneficial for all runners to train at a variety of speeds regardless of their goals or expertise.

“For beginners, the first goal should be just to complete the distance,” explains Rebekah Mayer, Life Time Run national program manager. “But even from the beginning, interval training can be very helpful.”

Magill and Mayer share their advice for building speed safely and efficiently.


Build a Strong Foundation

To get speedy, you first need a strong, stable base. Magill recommends that runners with no speed background follow a resistance-training program once or twice a week for three weeks before attempting challenging running work-outs, such as hill repeats and sprints.

“If you can strengthen your muscles and connective tissue before you put them to work, you’re way ahead of the game,” he says.

For resistance training, focus on lower-body and core exercises, such as squats, step-ups, single-leg deadlifts, Nordic hamstring curls, eccentric heel drops, and plank variations. (See Resistance-Training Exercises below for step-by-step instructions for these exercises.)

Improve Your Stride

Half of the power from every stride comes from elastic energy, stored in connective tissue when you land and released when your foot leaves the ground, Magill explains. So, it’s important not only to strengthen muscles through traditional resistance training, but also to train your connective tissue — including tendons, ligaments, and fascia — and nervous system.

Exercises and drills that involve a plyometric component, such as bounding, jumping, and skipping (see drill 2 below), help your muscles and nervous system optimize this elastic recoil when you run.

Respect Recovery

Once you incorporate speed training into your routine, it’s doubly important to prioritize recovery. Mayer recommends alternating between all-out interval sessions and long, slow efforts — with high-intensity work making up about 20 percent of your training and low-intensity runs composing the remaining 80 percent.

This approach is called “polarized training” and will not only help you make improvements but also give your muscles and nervous system time to recover.

She recommends two sessions a week dedicated to varied-pace or speed training, with at least 48 hours of recovery between workouts.

Recovery is a two-phase process, adds Magill. “First, you’re rebuilding and restoring tissue that was damaged. Then comes supercompensation, a phase in which you’re not just back to baseline, but at a level above where you were before the initial workout.”


Drill 1: Straights and Curves

Run this drill on an outdoor, quarter-mile track. Beginners can start with two to four laps; more advanced runners can work their way up to two miles (eight laps).

  • Warm up with a mile of easy running.
  • Then, starting at one corner of the track, sprint the length of the first straight or long part of the track.
  • When you come to the first curve, jog or walk if necessary. Continue alternating between running the straights and walking the curves.

Drill 2: Skipping and Strides

Do this drill in an open space where you can run in a straight line for at least 20 yards. More advanced runners can work up to 50 to 70 yards.

  • Skip to your endpoint.
  • Jog back to the starting point.
  • Run with varied strides to the endpoint: Take off with a short, quick stride and gradually lengthen your stride to increase your speed until you’re running at a controlled fast pace. Gradually slow down as you reach your endpoint.
  • Walk slowly to return to the starting point.
  • Repeat this drill with high skipping (aiming to get higher off the ground with each skip) and then with long skipping (aiming to cover as much distance as possible with each skip).

This originally appeared as “No Speed Limit” in the March 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

 is a personal trainer in River Forest, Ill.

Full Issue can be found on Experience Life Magazine.

2018 Athlete Guide Now Available

Get ready for the 2018 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K taking place Sunday, May 20! We’ve been making preparations to make this year’s race the best one ever!

Whether you’ll be running the half marathon or the 10K distance, we can’t wait for you to celebrate the 10th running of this special race and experience race weekend; not to mention the Spring Market Finish Festival venue out of gorgeous Maggie Daley Park.

Check out the Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, packet pick-up dates and times, course information and more!

> View the 2018 Athlete Guide here

Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and emails for any additional updates before the race. We’ll see you at the Start line!

Made In Chicago – Champions!


10K and Half Marathon State Championships Coming to Chicago

Chicago, IL  (March 22) — The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, and Chicago Half Marathon & 5K produced by Life Time® Healthy Way of Life, are partnering with the USA Track & Field (USATF) – Illinois Association to host state champioinships. Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment brand, USATF – Illinois will be a driving force in providing a premier race experience for local developing athletes.

Set for Sunday, May 20, the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K will host this years’ USATF – Illinois 10K Championship. While on Sunday, September 23, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K will host the USATF – Illinois Half Marathon Championship.

“Life Time has grown the interest and demand for a quality race experience using an athlete first approach and including participants of all abilities” said Gregory Evans, Long Distance Running Chair for USATF – Illinois Association. “USATF Illinois is proud to bring the national governing body to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and Chicago Half Marathon, adding another level of benefits to the participants and other race partners.”

“Partnering with USATF – Illinois is the next step as we continue to build on providing quality, premier race experiences for our athletes.” said Life Time Run Brand Manager, Dan Lakin, says of the USATF – Illinois partnership,  “Life Time is dedicated to improving our local communities, and providing events that are best-in-class. Whether an elite athlete or a beginner,  Life Time and USATF provide a vehicle to foster athletes at every level along their healthy way of life journey. We’re excited to to welcome the State Championships to Chicago at this years’ event and for years to come.”

An estimated 8,000 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and another 13,000 are expected to take on the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K this September.  In addition to age group and masters awards; each race will offer a prize purse to the top 3 men and women:

10K Championship Half Marathon Championship
1st Place $500 $1,000
2nd Place $250 $500
3rd Place $250 $500

To place in a championship race, registered participants must be a current member of USATF at the time of the race. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at

About the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K

The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, in its 10th year, benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participants will run either 13.1 miles or 10K (6.1 miles) starting along famed Grant Park traversing South along Columbus Drive, and run through Museum Campus and along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront before finishing in Maggie Daley Park. In its inaugural year, 1900 people signed up for the race, today it is one of the most in-demand racecs in Chicago selling out at just over 8,000 participants.
More information is available at

About the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K
The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, in it’s 22nd year, highlights Chicago’s south shore. Stepping off from historic Jackson Park, participants traverse through Hyde Park before navigating along a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive. The Chicago Half Marathon is a flat and fast course offering up stunning views of Chicago’s famed skyline and a triumphant finish at the foot of the “Golden Lady” (Statue of the Republic).
More information at

Both races are part of the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series which includes the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K (May 20) and the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K (September 23) and awards participants for completing 2 half marathons within the same year. 

About Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 131 destinations in 37 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit 

About USATF – Illinois

USATF – Illinois seeks to promote the sport and its local athletes across the state, and is one of 57 USATF Associations across the country. Visit for more information.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at

Hills, Hills, Hills


Now that we are entering the holiday season, some of us will be looking forward to some well deserved respite. For others, you will be looking for something different, maybe some cross training or different workouts to get you through the season. One favorite workout to keep you in running shape and shake things up a bit are: Hills!

I know what you’re thinking, unlike the lush green lands of Munnar in South India, there isn’t much hill action in Chicago but there are some locations around the city (see below) that will get you the elevation that you need! But if all else fails, we’ve included a remixed version of our workout that can be easily completed on a treadmill. Sorry, not sorry – no excuses. Hill workouts are beneficial to runners as an opportunity to strengthen and flex your muscles as well as building endurance and practicing your form. Other benefits to hill workouts include:

  • Increasing Speed
  • Improving Cadence
  • Activating Lower Body Muscles
  • Decreasing Risk of Injury
  • Building Power & Strength in Legs
  • Improving Stamina

Let’s get to it! Below you will find a good intermediate level hill work out with its treadmill alternative as well. You can also check out this video for basic form tips for both uphill and downhill running!


Hill Work Out

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 4 hill repeats (up and down the hill with a 80-90% effort)
  • 1/4  mile easy jog/recovery
  • 4 backwards up hill (run down as usual)
  • 1/4 mile easy jog/recovery
  • 4 hill repeats
  • 1/4 mile easy jog/recovery
  • 2 walking lunges up hill (run down as usual)
  • 1/2 mile cool down


Hill Work Out (Treadmill)

The treadmill should be set at a 1.0 incline to simulate flat running.

  • 10 min warm up (1.0 incline)
  • 2 min  small incline (3.0)
  • 2 min easy recovery (1.0 incline)
  • 1 min incline 5.0
  • 2 min easy jog (1.0 incline)
  • 1 min incline 6.0
  • 2 min easy jog (1.0 incline)
  • 1 min incline 7.0
  • 3 min recovery (1 min at 0.5 incline, 2 min at 1.0 incline)
  • Repeat x1
  • 5-10 minute cool down

Tip: Too easy? Use the first minute of the “easy recovery” to add 0.5 mph to your speed.


Chicago: Hill Finds

Want to find some hills to use on your own during the week? In the Chicago area, we can vouch a few locations:

  • Cricket Hill at Montrose Beach
  • Soldier Field sledding hill (behind Soldier Field but before McCormick Place; right on the running path)
  • Small knoll leading up to Oglesby Monument by Diversey Harbor
  • 18th Street Pedestrian Bridge to Soldier Field
  • Waterfall Glen in Darrien
  • Morton Arboretum
  • Palos Park (off Rte. 83 and South LaGrange Rd)
  • “Mt. Trashmore” at James Park in Evanston
  • Sledding hill at Warren Park
  • Sledding hill at Marvin S. Weiss Community Center/Woodland Trails in Propsect Heights
  • Parking Garages

As always, these hill work outs should be a part of general training program; even if it is in-between regular weekly runs. Optimum performance will come from these as opposed to one offs!

The Right Fuel for You

One important facet of training, nutrition, is just as tedious to add to your routine as all the other elements. In the same manner in which we diligently select our training shoes, gear and schedule; we should be applying to our nutrition.

Today we will focus on nutritional supplements. In this day and age, there isn’t an hour that passes that you are not reminded of the awesomeness of X product or the earth-shattering results of Y product.

Let’s face it, sometimes we need that extra kick to get us through the day. Not all supplements are created equal. There are powders, drinks, gels, energy chews and bars. Whether you feel like you need a boost during a long run or are curious to train with a product that will appear on course, here you will fund a guide to what’s best for you and your training plan:

Sports Drinks

Examples: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water

Ideal intake: 110 mg of sodium / 6-8% carbohydrates per 8 ounce serving

Sports drinks are primarily a mix of carbohydrates and water which quickly and easily fuel your body with an energy boost while keeping you hydrated. The sodium in these drinks help to retain fluids and nutrients which leave the body through sweat. Adding protein to the mix could elevate your endurance and has been found to help an individual perform better than a non-protein drink. The proper balance of these elements is essential. Read your labels before buying. These energy drinks should only be consumed when training as they are heavy in sugar and have little nutritional value.

Energy Gels

Example: GU, CLIF Shot, Gatorade Energy Chews

Ideal Intake: 25 -30 grams of carbohydrates / 50 mg of sodium

Energy gels have the same function as energy drinks – quick energy – in a super concentrated form. Generally supplied as on course supplements during long runs, gels are easy to consume and fast acting. Be wary of caffeinated items as they will help you last longer but bring with it an equally egregious crash. We recommend that you train with gels as they highly body specific and what may work on most may not work on you. All gel intake should be accompanied, at minimum, by 16 ounces of water.

Energy Bars

Example: CLIF Bar, Powerbar

Ideal Intake: 200-250 calories / 5 grams of fat & fiber / 10 grams of protein

These are great nutritional supplements as they are filled with carbohydrates and protein but are more filling and able to satisfy hunger best during long runs. Energy bars are the most diverse and nutritious of the list as bars are often filled with good grains and fiber. When shopping for the ideal bar, it is best to picture when you would be eating the bar – prior, during, post – a run. The rule of thumb weighs in on lighter fiber, heavier carbs with plenty of water for during and heavier, protein based bards for pre or post runs.