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Meet Kassandra Berry

Over our next couple blog posts we will be profiling some of the Your 26.2 athletes!
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Top 10 Tips To Avoid Injury

The other day, one of the athlete's I work with, emailed to let me know that her foot was sore when she got up for her run, so she rode the bike instead. It was such a brilliant move, I almost couldn't believe what I was reading.
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Let's Talk Sleep!

As athletes, most of us focus on how to work harder so that we can get stronger and faster. We want to run more miles, do more tempo runs, spend more time in the weight room (okay, maybe not), and make our long runs even longer and harder. I can relate, as I am one of these people! But very few focus, REALLY focus on the tools of recovery, which are just as important a piece of the puzzle as training.
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Holiday Gift Guide

If you are anything like me, you haven't finished up your holiday shopping yet (or even started, oops!). Here are some ideas for the runner in your life, or if you need to add a few items to your own list! Of course, don't forget the best gift of all, the gift of COACHING! Your 26.2 is still offering a discount on Annual Mission plans. Details here!
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C is for Critical Volume

Several weeks ago, my husband ran the Harrisburg Marathon.  It was his eleventh 26.2er and so, while I wouldn't say he is a VERY experienced marathoner, he has been around the block a time or two.  His PR is 2:59:12, which he set at this year's Boston Marathon.  

Going into Harrisburg, my husband aimed to run under 2:55.  But he also took on some new responsibilities (namely, coaching a high school cross country team) that limited the amount of time he could train.  Instead of the 60 mile per week that he put in for Boston, he averaged in the 40 mile per week range.  He made sure to get a good long run in each weekend, but slacked (his own words) on his weekday running, usually never getting above 5 or 6 miles on a given day.  As the fall progressed, he was starting to question the idea of a 2:55 and wondered if perhaps he should pursue a less aggressive goal.  But then a funny thing happened.  He ran two lead-up races, one 10K and one 5K, and he ran them both superbly.  In the 10K, he ran very close to what he thought was an untouchable PR and in the 5K he DID PR, by almost 15 seconds.  Perhaps he was in better shape than he thought!  Perhaps 2:55 WAS an appropriate goal.  2:55 or bust!

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We Are Runners

In my last blog post I wrote about my history as a runner. I'm not the only one in the QT2 Family that runs, however. We are ALL runners!
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On Running

Why did you go on your very first run?

To answer this question myself, I had to think back aways.  My very first run was a long time ago!  It was in the spring of 1991 and my older sister, who ran cross country and track on the high school team, let me tag along with her and her friend Amy.  I can't remember how far (not very) or fast (not at all!) we went, but I do remember it feeling very hard.  I was in 6th grade and I wanted to run on the middle school track team, the following year.  This seemed, to me, like an appropriate way to get prepared.

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Feeling fatigued during your runs? Perhaps your diet is telling you something.

Have you ever felt sluggish during your runs? Do you feel fatigued? It could be something as simple as not enough sleep but it could be something more. Could you be affected by a change in your diet? Well this Your26.2 client decided to find out if cutting gluten out of her diet might be the root cause.
I have been thinking about my diet and how it may affect my running. My thoughts usually mean I am considering making changes, because somehow this will make me run faster. This time, I am thinking about going gluten free. My friend went gluten free. She claims that she feels better and her running feels so much easier. I have been feeling fatigued and occasionally bloated. This leads me to believe, I may need to reconsider what I am eating. For many runners, pasta and simple carbohydrates are a staple in their diets. These types of “carbs” contain gluten. I personally haven’t eaten as many carbohydrates as I used to, but they are still a good portion of my diet.
As I did research on the idea, I realized this would be a bigger project than just cutting out my bread and crackers. Many foods such as soups, sauces, beer and even ice cream contain forms of gluten. A researcher from Duke Hospital, Dr. Leslie Quire states, “This isn’t the easiest diet to follow, you can’t just try it. You have to plan your grocery shopping and eating out.”
I found a list for people with Celiac’s Disease, which lists all gluten free food. http://www.celiac.com I found this list very helpful.
The article suggests that you take out a few foods at a time, in order to see what changes or in what way it influences how you feel.
I realize, that to find out if I really need to eat gluten free, I should have my doctor perform a blood test on me that confirms if I truly have Celiac’s Disease. However, I have also read in several places, that even though the test comes back negative, one can have a gluten-intolerance. If one has a gluten-intolerance, the symptoms are less pronounced, with the main ones being fatigue, bloating, and GI distress. A gluten-intolerance is a form of a food allergy, so I guess if my doctor rules out Celiac, I should have an allergy test performed to see if I have an intolerance or allergy to gluten.
Of course, there are many different opinions about whether this is going to be beneficial. I looked at websites and research papers that both supported and did not support going gluten free. I am going to try it out and make my own analysis, and of course, to see if it helps me run any faster!
While we at Your26.2 certainly appreciate this viewpoint we can’t stress enough that everyone is different and that if you’re dealing with gastro-intestinal issues in any way as a result of exercise that you speak with your physician first before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, etc.

Read Full Story

Foam Rolling As An Alternative to Massage

One of our Your262 clients sent us a blog post she thought might be worth sharing so we in turn have decided to pass it along.

You’ve seen the process. You go to the gym and there on the mats are men and women sprawled out rolling themselves back and forth across a foam roller. But does it do anything? Well, from this client, it’s a good alternative to an expensive hands-on massage:

Massages were starting to get too expensive. I decided to try the foam roller. My girlfriend swore by it. Ha, we’ll let me tell you, I swore AT it. The idea behind it is that you use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate direct pressure to help release the knots. It is one thing to have a massage therapist do this, you endure it, and you paid for it. Quite another to try and push through the pain when you are the one doing it to yourself. I gave it a week to see if it would make any kind of difference as I was quite skeptical that it would work.

I would do the foam roller at night before I went to bed. Some of the areas that I tried to focus on were my IT bands, hamstrings and quads. I would roll back and forth across my IT bands for about a minute with my top leg and foot on the ground on the floor. An especially sore spot I would stop and relax into it for about 10 or 15 seconds. I would then do some IT stretches when I was done. Then I would do the same for the quad and hamstring areas. My IT bands were by far the most painful area to roll on. By the end of the week it was less painful and stretching was becoming easier.

I decided to advance to the next level. When I rolled on my IT band I would lift both legs off the ground. This definitely added more pressure and pain but it was getting into deeper muscles. I started using the foam roller on my lower back. I could actually feel it loosening up as I rolled away on it. Although I love going for a massage, the foam roller is a great inexpensive alternative.

Read Full Story

Massage Therapy For Runners

One of our Your262 clients wrote us about her experience with massage and how it can be an important part of your overall health and marathon-training regimen. It reads as follows:


Last summer, a leisurely run that turned into a race with a friend left a band of excruciating tightness along my inner thigh. I rested and iced it for a few days, but the pain did not subside until my next massage. As painful as it was, the treatment eliminated the problem completely. Massage can be a wonderful treat after a hard week of training but can also be a beneficial tool to help you stay injury free long-term.


Massage contributes to flexibility and improves circulation. It also increases blood flow, which helps muscles and connective joints heal from running. I personally have found that regular massage reduces muscle pain due to the stress of running. Frequently, after a massage I sleep much better. It helps me relax and releases tension built up from the day.


In my opinion, the key is to find a massage therapist who specializes in working on runners. I simply asked my friends and received a few good references on therapists they use. Like a doctor, you want someone who is willing to listen and who is willing to work with you. Working deep into the muscles is great, but be careful that the therapist knows when to back off and not pound you into the table. You may feel sore and tired at first after a massage but bruising and injury should not be a by-product of time spent with a therapist.


The cost can be a factor of course, so when thinking about a massage, I look at my race schedule and fit in a massage when it is the most beneficial to me and my racing. I always try to get one after a race, as the elimination of lactic acid goes a long way to help recover from a race.


What is your preference and/or experience with massage? Do you use it regularly? Have you come to rely on it? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Read Full Story
Over our next couple blog posts we will be profiling some of the Your 26.2 athletes!
The other day, one of the athlete's I work with, emailed to let me know that her foot was sore when she got up for her run, so she rode the bike instead. It was such a brilliant move, I almost couldn't believe what I was reading.
As athletes, most of us focus on how to work harder so that we can get stronger and faster. We want to run more miles, do more tempo runs, spend more time in the weight room (okay, maybe not), and make our long runs even longer and harder. I can relate, as I am one of these people! But very few focus, REALLY focus on the tools of recovery, which are just as important a piece of the puzzle as training.
If you are anything like me, you haven't finished up your holiday shopping yet (or even started, oops!). Here are some ideas for the runner in your life, or if you need to add a few items to your own list! Of course, don't forget the best gift of all, the gift of COACHING! Your 26.2 is still offering a discount on Annual Mission plans. Details here!

Several weeks ago, my husband ran the Harrisburg Marathon.  It was his eleventh 26.2er and so, while I wouldn't say he is a VERY experienced marathoner, he has been around the block a time or two.  His PR is 2:59:12, which he set at this year's Boston Marathon.  

Going into Harrisburg, my husband aimed to run under 2:55.  But he also took on some new responsibilities (namely, coaching a high school cross country team) that limited the amount of time he could train.  Instead of the 60 mile per week that he put in for Boston, he averaged in the 40 mile per week range.  He made sure to get a good long run in each weekend, but slacked (his own words) on his weekday running, usually never getting above 5 or 6 miles on a given day.  As the fall progressed, he was starting to question the idea of a 2:55 and wondered if perhaps he should pursue a less aggressive goal.  But then a funny thing happened.  He ran two lead-up races, one 10K and one 5K, and he ran them both superbly.  In the 10K, he ran very close to what he thought was an untouchable PR and in the 5K he DID PR, by almost 15 seconds.  Perhaps he was in better shape than he thought!  Perhaps 2:55 WAS an appropriate goal.  2:55 or bust!

In my last blog post I wrote about my history as a runner. I'm not the only one in the QT2 Family that runs, however. We are ALL runners!

Why did you go on your very first run?

To answer this question myself, I had to think back aways.  My very first run was a long time ago!  It was in the spring of 1991 and my older sister, who ran cross country and track on the high school team, let me tag along with her and her friend Amy.  I can't remember how far (not very) or fast (not at all!) we went, but I do remember it feeling very hard.  I was in 6th grade and I wanted to run on the middle school track team, the following year.  This seemed, to me, like an appropriate way to get prepared.

Have you ever felt sluggish during your runs? Do you feel fatigued? It could be something as simple as not enough sleep but it could be something more. Could you be affected by a change in your diet? Well this Your26.2 client decided to find out if cutting gluten out of her diet might be the root cause.
I have been thinking about my diet and how it may affect my running. My thoughts usually mean I am considering making changes, because somehow this will make me run faster. This time, I am thinking about going gluten free. My friend went gluten free. She claims that she feels better and her running feels so much easier. I have been feeling fatigued and occasionally bloated. This leads me to believe, I may need to reconsider what I am eating. For many runners, pasta and simple carbohydrates are a staple in their diets. These types of “carbs” contain gluten. I personally haven’t eaten as many carbohydrates as I used to, but they are still a good portion of my diet.
As I did research on the idea, I realized this would be a bigger project than just cutting out my bread and crackers. Many foods such as soups, sauces, beer and even ice cream contain forms of gluten. A researcher from Duke Hospital, Dr. Leslie Quire states, “This isn’t the easiest diet to follow, you can’t just try it. You have to plan your grocery shopping and eating out.”
I found a list for people with Celiac’s Disease, which lists all gluten free food. http://www.celiac.com I found this list very helpful.
The article suggests that you take out a few foods at a time, in order to see what changes or in what way it influences how you feel.
I realize, that to find out if I really need to eat gluten free, I should have my doctor perform a blood test on me that confirms if I truly have Celiac’s Disease. However, I have also read in several places, that even though the test comes back negative, one can have a gluten-intolerance. If one has a gluten-intolerance, the symptoms are less pronounced, with the main ones being fatigue, bloating, and GI distress. A gluten-intolerance is a form of a food allergy, so I guess if my doctor rules out Celiac, I should have an allergy test performed to see if I have an intolerance or allergy to gluten.
Of course, there are many different opinions about whether this is going to be beneficial. I looked at websites and research papers that both supported and did not support going gluten free. I am going to try it out and make my own analysis, and of course, to see if it helps me run any faster!
While we at Your26.2 certainly appreciate this viewpoint we can’t stress enough that everyone is different and that if you’re dealing with gastro-intestinal issues in any way as a result of exercise that you speak with your physician first before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, etc.

One of our Your262 clients sent us a blog post she thought might be worth sharing so we in turn have decided to pass it along.

You’ve seen the process. You go to the gym and there on the mats are men and women sprawled out rolling themselves back and forth across a foam roller. But does it do anything? Well, from this client, it’s a good alternative to an expensive hands-on massage:

Massages were starting to get too expensive. I decided to try the foam roller. My girlfriend swore by it. Ha, we’ll let me tell you, I swore AT it. The idea behind it is that you use the roller against the muscle knots with your own body weight to generate direct pressure to help release the knots. It is one thing to have a massage therapist do this, you endure it, and you paid for it. Quite another to try and push through the pain when you are the one doing it to yourself. I gave it a week to see if it would make any kind of difference as I was quite skeptical that it would work.

I would do the foam roller at night before I went to bed. Some of the areas that I tried to focus on were my IT bands, hamstrings and quads. I would roll back and forth across my IT bands for about a minute with my top leg and foot on the ground on the floor. An especially sore spot I would stop and relax into it for about 10 or 15 seconds. I would then do some IT stretches when I was done. Then I would do the same for the quad and hamstring areas. My IT bands were by far the most painful area to roll on. By the end of the week it was less painful and stretching was becoming easier.

I decided to advance to the next level. When I rolled on my IT band I would lift both legs off the ground. This definitely added more pressure and pain but it was getting into deeper muscles. I started using the foam roller on my lower back. I could actually feel it loosening up as I rolled away on it. Although I love going for a massage, the foam roller is a great inexpensive alternative.

One of our Your262 clients wrote us about her experience with massage and how it can be an important part of your overall health and marathon-training regimen. It reads as follows:


Last summer, a leisurely run that turned into a race with a friend left a band of excruciating tightness along my inner thigh. I rested and iced it for a few days, but the pain did not subside until my next massage. As painful as it was, the treatment eliminated the problem completely. Massage can be a wonderful treat after a hard week of training but can also be a beneficial tool to help you stay injury free long-term.


Massage contributes to flexibility and improves circulation. It also increases blood flow, which helps muscles and connective joints heal from running. I personally have found that regular massage reduces muscle pain due to the stress of running. Frequently, after a massage I sleep much better. It helps me relax and releases tension built up from the day.


In my opinion, the key is to find a massage therapist who specializes in working on runners. I simply asked my friends and received a few good references on therapists they use. Like a doctor, you want someone who is willing to listen and who is willing to work with you. Working deep into the muscles is great, but be careful that the therapist knows when to back off and not pound you into the table. You may feel sore and tired at first after a massage but bruising and injury should not be a by-product of time spent with a therapist.


The cost can be a factor of course, so when thinking about a massage, I look at my race schedule and fit in a massage when it is the most beneficial to me and my racing. I always try to get one after a race, as the elimination of lactic acid goes a long way to help recover from a race.


What is your preference and/or experience with massage? Do you use it regularly? Have you come to rely on it? We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.