Author Archives: Tanya

Chase the Sun

Join us this Holiday Season as we strive to stay healthy and motivated. Commit to working out 30 minutes a day from Thanksgiving to New Year 2013!

UPDATES PLEASE! Who’s still with me..

I know, the New Year still seems far away. With 22 days left till the ball drops, or maybe you’ve already dropped the ball on your commitment to CHASE THE SUN.  Either way, I wanted to say HANG in there! You can always recommit today.

Need extra motivation? Recruit someone to run with you. Check out our archived post on Some buddies are made, not born. 

Comment below if you are still hanging in there! Let’s continue to encourage each other. Continue reading

4 Tips to Stay Disaster Free this Holiday Season!

Yes, there are all kinds of disasters that can happen over the holidays. Such as, under baking the Turkey, running out of cranberry sauce and stuffing, and having your garbage disposal decide not to work (this has happened to my mom, what a mess). Putting all that aside, what I wanted to share is the disaster of overeating over the holidays and how you can avoid that so you don’t skip out on training.

Here are a 4 tips to help you tackle the holiday food fare, disaster free. Continue reading

Real Food: Hot, Healthy, and Homemade

As runners, we’ve all made a commitment to good health.  But to be as healthy as we can be (not to mention perform our best as athletes), we need to eat the right stuff, even for Thanksgiving. Real runners need real food.  

As we’re gearing up for the Holidays we should remember that our love for food should not supersede our love for running. Ever go out for a run after a big meal? Not the best feeling, huh. Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and friends, but it shouldn’t drain your running routine.

The recipe for this week, Butternut Squash Tomato Posole, comes from Eating Well, a great site for truly delicious meals that are healthy and tasty. This hearty stew will not only fill you up, but help boost your energy. Packed with 9 grams of protein,  335 calories per serving, and 100% guilt free yumminess. Continue reading

Success Stories: Mark Rucker

At Bluefin, nothing makes us happier than hearing from folks who have had success with our programs.  Our users have accomplished some amazing stuff and we’re always honored and humbled any time we hear that one of our apps had played a part in helping someone get healthy or take their running to the next level. Continue reading

Meet Bluefin’s 2012 Sponsored Athletes

One of the best parts of being in the fitness business is that you’re constantly getting to work with some of the most impressive, inspirational people you’ll ever meet. Through Bluefin, we’ve had the opportunity to see folks start out running only a few minutes at a time and build up to triathlons, marathons, and beyond. Continue Reading

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?

We’re going to keep this post short and sweet, not because the subject isn’t important, but because the subject is really important.

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Recognizing the danger and acting quickly to get help is the biggest factor in saving someone’s life in a heart-attack situation.

Here are the signs, courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Chest Discomfort

Think pressure, squeezing, a sensation of swelling, or just intense pain.  This might be constant or it might come and go over a period of time.

Discomfort Elsewhere

In addition to chest pain, a heart attack can trigger pain in the arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach.

Shortness of Breath

This is a big one.  As chest pain worsens, the victim may have difficulty breathing, ranging from mild to more extreme.

Other (less obvious) Symptoms

Along with the signs above, a person having a heart attack might become nauseous, lightheaded, or break out in a cold sweat.

The bottom line is that recognizing these symptoms as serious and getting medical help on the way as soon as possible can literally be the difference between life and death.  For more on heart attacks, check out the AMA’s Heart Attack Website, which has tons of great information about prevention, treatment, recovery, and more.

Breathe in, breathe out. (Repeat.)

Okay, so right now you’re breathing, yes?

Two seconds ago you probably weren’t really thinking about it, but if you focus your attention, you can become more aware as you inhale and exhale while you’re reading this.

The same thing can happen while you’re running.   Maybe you go a good long stretch with your breathing on complete autopilot, but at some point you might become suddenly (and sometimes uncomfortably) aware of your own huffing and puffing.

It can be a little frustrating, because what is ideally a mindless function turns into the only thing you can think about.  And like a lot of things, breathing is one of those activities that we tend to do best when we aren’t actively thinking it through.

So what’s the best way to breathe when you’re in the middle of a run?  Here are a few quick tips that can help you refocus, stay efficient, and get your mind back on other things (like the finish line). Continue Reading

New Look for a New Year

This is certainly resolution season, especially for the fitness-minded out there.  Well one of our resolutions for this year was to give this blog a fresh look.

You guys have been amazing with your feedback here and on Facebook and Twitter.  We wanted to make some changes that would not only improve the look and feel of the blog, but also make it easier for you to weigh in on the topics you care about. Continue Reading

Mark Rucker: Success Story

On July 4th, I ran a 5K.

For many people that is really no big deal. But for me, it was an achievement beyond compare and was the culmination of several months of hard work and dedication.

In February of this year, I weighed in at 365 pounds. Over the past 17 years since graduating from law school I had managed to slowly pack on 160 pounds through bad eating habits and lack of exercise. Yes. I said 160 pounds. Although I was 6’2” the weight was beginning to take its toll on me physically and mentally. I had developed sleep apnea, had high blood pressure (Stage II Hypertension), and was borderline diabetic. At the age of 42 I knew that if I didn’t do something to change my life then I would most likely not live to see 50 years. The knowledge of that fact depressed me beyond belief. So on February 7th, I decided that it was time to make a change. Continue reading

What shoes should I wear…

as a runner. You’ve left the couch, no turning back. Whether you plan on hitting the road, the treadmill or the elliptical machine, you just need the right shoe to be on your way. Still, finding the perfect pair can be a daunting task, especially as a beginner. There are, however, a few things that you can note:

1.     Old shoes are for gardening and mowing the lawn, not running

You might have had your favorite pair for years and consider them almost like family but old shoes are bad news. Your running shoes have a life expectancy of about 350 miles and then it’s time to upgrade them to memorabilia status (or to use them while doing outdoorsy work). If you run a total of 10K every week, you will need a new pair of shoes every year. As a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (June 2010) explains, “older shoes have previously been shown to be associated with increased injury risk.”[1] If you are worried about the costs of new equipment, just think of the hospital bills you might be avoiding: running shoes are worth the investment.

2.     Looks can be deceiving

Just because a shoe looks like the perfect running shoe, it doesn’t mean it was created with running in mind. Many shoes are meant as more of a fashion statement than running gear. They may look good but they sure wont feel good after a couple of miles. Ask questions before you purchase your shoes and find out what the best shoe is for your type of running. 

3.     The shape of your foot is not as relevant as you think

Whether you enter an actual shoe store or do your shopping online, you will find more shoes than you can choose from. If you ask a sales associate for help, you will notice that the shape of your foot is considered a key factor in selecting a pair. You will be asked (or even shown) whether you have high arches, flat feet or your type of pronation. You will leave the store thinking you found the perfect pair, until you take them out for a test drive.

As a study conducted with Marine Corps recruits in Basic Training showed, “assigning shoes based on the shape of the plantar foot surface had little influence on injuries even after considering other injury risk factors.”[2] The findings, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (June 2010), confirm similar studies conducted with recruits in Basic Training for the US Army and the Air Force.

Another study, conducted in Australia, targeting runners with high arches, showed that the location of the pain, the running style and the point of pressure were more significant than merely the foot shape.[3] Researchers point out that it is simplistic to think that just because two people have the same foot shape, they will need the same shoe. Your running style goes beyond the shape of your feet and will be a better determinant for what type of shoe you will need.

4.     Study your running pattern

How you run and where your foot hits the ground will have more impact on the type of shoe you need than the shape of your foot and will determine whether you need stability or motion control. As the previously mentioned researchers point out, athletes who hit the road with their heel first may be better protected in a shoe that reduces pressure in the back area, while runners who hit the pavement with the ball of their foot first would benefit from a shoe that most effectively decreases pressure in the front area.[4] Figure out where you put pressure when running, find a shoe that help reduce pressure in that area and voila! You may have just found your match. It is important to listen to your feet, they will tell you what fits them best when running.

5.     Comfort does not mean reduced pressure

The study mentioned above also found that the perceived comfort of the shoe did not show an actual reduced plantar pressure. Just because a shoe feels comfortable, it does not mean that it relieves pressure where it should. Make sure that you buy a shoe that is designed to reduce the pressure in certain areas even if you don’t feel it when you try it on. Your foot looks different when static than when in motion, so don’t just trust the comfort. Although it goes without saying that a shoe should not feel uncomfortable.

Don’t despair, your perfect pair of cool running(s) shoes is out there; just pay attention to how you run and where you put pressure: your feet will thank you! As you become a seasoned runner you will figure out what type of shoe works best for you and then you can start building a fabulous collection, just in case your favorite style gets discontinued.

If you’d like to skip the shoe-issue altogether, barefoot running is also an alternative option. By running barefoot, your body acts as the pressure reliever and it has been shown that your feet will do their own “correcting” while in motion. The way you run when you are barefoot is different than when wearing shoes; your body will be more sensitive to how you hit various surfaces because it is directly in contact with them. If you opt for that route, you can invest in a pair of five-finger shoes if you want some layer of protection or just go completely au natural.

[1] Joseph J. Knapik, Daniel W. Trone, et al., “Injury Reduction Effectiveness of Assigning Running Shoes Based on Plantar Shape in Marine Corps Basic Training,” Am J Sports Med, September 2010 38: 1759-1767; published online before print June 24, 2010.

[2] See note above.

[3] Caleb Wegener, Joshua Burns, and Stefania Penkala, “Effect of Neutral-Cushioned Running Shoes on Plantar Pressure Loading and Comfort in Athletes With Cavus Feet: A Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial,”

Am J Sports Med, November 2008 36: 2139-2146; published online before print June 24, 2008.

[4] See note above.