Tag Archives: Marathon

Success Story: The couple that runs together, stays together!

After creating more than 20 apps in the last 5 years, we’ve witnessed the progress of thousands towards a more healthy and active lifestyle! Nothing motivates us more than hearing from runners whose lives have changed thanks to one of our apps. And we know it also helps you get your butt in gear!

A few days ago, we got an email with not just one success story, but two! Tammy and GT, a couple from Arizona, started running together 3 years ago and have already a few half-marathons under their belts! Whoever said that couples who sweat together, stay together forgot to say “And accomplish big!”.

Here’s the email we received from Tammy:

Tammy ang GT at Las Vegas Rock N' Roll 2014

Tammy ang GT at Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll 2014

“One month before my husband and I started using your “Ease into 5k” app (October 2012) I had someone ask me if I ran since I spent so much time at the gym lifting weights and working out on the Elliptical. My response, “there are only 2 reasons to run, if I am being chased by a perpetrator or a predator”.

Fast forward a month, my husband wanted a way to get fit without going to the gym. I had read several posts about couch-to-5k programs and said I’d do it with him. We found your app, and it really worked. We were both astounded by the success, us 2 who hated running based on gym class experiences.

Three years later we have both placed in the top 3 of our age brackets for various 5ks. I have completed 6 half-marathons and am training for my first full marathon (will run it in January). My husband has completed 3 half-marathons and will be completing his 4th, in January as well. We have found a great community of people, learned much about ourselves as a couple and as individuals. Your apps have made this possible. Thank you!

Running requires us to show up and try, perfection is not part of the equation. There will be rough runs, exhausting runs, runs that make us question why we run. Keep at it, it is in those rough moments that the greatest growth as a runner and as a person become possible!”

Thank you Tammy and GT! You’ve just made our day!

Do you want to share your success story with us and this awesome community of runners? Email us at angela@bluefinapps.com or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Your story could be featured on our blog and social media!

Success Story: from Couch Potato to Marathoner


A few days ago, we came across a new inspiring story from the other side of the world. Lerie, from Singapore, shared a picture of her first 10K on Instagram, done almost 3 years ago. Since she started running, she crossed 12 finish lines, including half and full marathons with the help of our apps!

Lerie is living proof that, regardless your fitness level, you always can challenge yourself and accomplish big! Read her full interview and get off the couch and into your sneaks!

– Share a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Lerie and I am 29 years old. I was a teacher but I am now a stay-at-home mom to my 20 month old son. I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand but have been living in the lovely clean, green, runner-friendly city of Singapore for the last 7 years.

– Why did you start running?

I started running because my then 25 year old self was sick and tired of being so unfit that I could barely even walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath. Running seemed like the simplest sport/workout to start off with.

– What challenges did you face when you began?

It wasn’t easy when I started because I hadn’t been active for so many years. On my first few runs I felt sick and exhausted. I felt like I would never get the hang of running. I had to fight every excuse and take the first step out the door each time. It was just so much “easier” to just sit on my couch and let time pass by.

– What was your first Bluefin app? How did you find it?

My first Bluefin app was Ease into 5K. I randomly read an article online about the best apps to use for health and fitness and they mentioned this app. Back then it was first called Couch to 5K and I was totally drawn to it because I feltl like a couch potato who wanted to run. So I checked out the app and the rest is history. I loved how the app/program was not overwhelming or scary in the sense that running 3 times a week and reaching my goal in 8 weeks sounded pretty realistic. The description clearly states that it was made for people who had never run before (me!) plus knowing that I could walk while training made it less intimidating. I enjoyed knowing the exact time, distance, pace and route and sharing my achievements/progress with friends and family on Facebook. The journal part was also fun for me because I was able to see how I improved. I can sincerely say I wouldn’t be where I am now in running if it weren’t for discovering Bluefin apps.

– Tell us about your progress: What made you go from couch potato to marathon racer? How many races do you have under your belt so far?

Well, as I continued to follow the Ease into 5K program I actually saw and felt progress! I could actually run further and longer than I thought I could each time and I loved having the record and seeing the stats of my run. I was ecstatic when I could actually run 3 minutes straight without stopping! I couldn’t believe myself when I actually ran 3km so you can imagine my happiness when I actually reached 5km. After that I wanted more. I wanted to challenge myself. If I could come this far I could go further right? Since the Ease into 5K worked so well for me I moved to the Bridge to 10K app. Needless to say, I reached my goal and achieved something I never even thought of dreaming which was running a 10K. I told myself if I couldn’t even climb up a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath but now I could run a 10K that means I could go even further right? So I trained and ran for my first half marathon and since I didn’t want to be half crazy I trained and ran my first full marathon too! For both, I used Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Half Marathon and Novice 1 Marathon app.
I loved how these apps were catered to a newbie runner like me. I am just so glad I found what worked for me. I didn’t dare to dream or imagine how far I could go but I kept surprising myself. My first run to my full marathon all happened in a span of less than a year and a half. Here in Singapore, races are quite costly so I haven’t joined as many races as I would like to but I currently hold 12 medals.

– What has changed since you started running?

Physically I did lose some weight, but I also gained confidence from running that carried out to my work and relationships. A huge difference I felt was my energy. I had the energy and the enthusiasm to do things that normally tired me out or made me cranky. I felt like a new person and everything in life just seemed more positive and meaningful. There was no looking back. I never wanted to be that unfit person again. Even after having my first child, I dragged myself out to run again because I didn’t want that to be an excuse. Running has made me love life and health more. I didn’t realize how much I would love running, how much of an impact it would have on my life and how important it would be to me. It has changed my life so much that I even started a blog focusing on my running and healthy lifestyle journey: iactuallyrun.com.

– Any big motivators during your workouts that have helped you to keep running?

I would remind myself to compare myself to the person I was yesterday. To not forget how far I have come. I became even more motivated because friends and family actually were inspired by what I had achieved in running. Lately, it has been my son and having a family and wanting to stay healthy for my family that keeps me running. My dream is passing on the joy of running to my son and future children and us running together in races.

– What advice would you like to give to newbie runners?

Challenge yourself, give yourself the chance to look back and see how far you have come. Every run will be a miracle because it was something you never knew or imagined you were able to do. If an ordinary person like me can do something beyond what I ever imagined doing, you can do it too. Patience and starting bit by bit will get you somewhere.
You will be amazed at what you and your body can accomplish if you just set your mind to it!

Do you want to share your success story with us and this awesome community of runners? Email us at angela@bluefinapps.com or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Your story could be featured on our blog and social media!

How long should you rest after a marathon?


Did you race a marathon recently? Congratulations!

Whether you crushed your goal or struggled to walk to the finish, you might be feeling that post-race high that motivates you to keep on training… but your muscles, tendons and ligaments are begging you to stop.

For a marathon runner who spent four to five months logging miles, physically and mentally training for a 26.2 mile race, taking a few days off (or worse, a few weeks off) seems counter-intuitive. After a great race all you want is to capitalize on your fitness and continue to set new personal bests. Likewise, after disappointing results, the last thing on your mind is resting.

Some runners even believe that missing a few days of training will diminish their hard-earned fitness. This common belief couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, not taking enough time to fully recover after a marathon can cause injuries, which will definitely compromise your fitness and future training plans.

But how long should you allow your body to rest until you can run or train again?

Usually, it takes a minimum of two to three weeks for a full physical and mental recovery from the strain of running a marathon. Some experts suggest resting one day for every mile you run, thus 26 days of no hard running or racing! Others recommend one day of rest for each kilometer raced, or 42 days of rest!

The truth is that there is no exact formula to follow for recovery after a marathon. No matter what your plan is, you should always listen to your body and make sure you’re recovered before you resume your race training routine. The good news is that light fitness activity actually helps you recover faster because it promotes good circulation, which delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to muscles and, therefore, aids healing and recovery.

On his Post-Marathon Training Guide, Hal Higdon suggests that “the training you do in the three weeks following a marathon should be a near mirror of what you did the last three weeks before: in other words, an upward, or reverse, taper.” That means you should take at least three days completely off running after a marathon and gradually return to a more active routine, starting by incorporating cross-training, then 2 – 3 miles running and ending what he calls “Zero Week” by logging 6 – 8 miles with some marathon friends.

The four weeks following Zero Week should still be part of your post-marathon recovery. These 4 weeks are a good time to decide what you want to do next. Setting a new goal and planning your training is a great way to use your time during recovery.

So, have you decided what’s your next running goal? Share it in the comments below!

What to Eat 5 Days Before Your Marathon


It’s race week! It’s time you put your weeks of training to work and tackle the big 26.2!

Besides mental and physical training, fueling is key to any successful race. What you decide to put in your body can help you run at your best and help in post-race recovery.

If you have a race coming up, you should be thinking about what to eat and what to avoid in the days before your marathon. Below, you’ll find our tips for marathon fueling up to 5 days out from your big race.

4 to 5 days from the race

During several weeks of intense marathon training, your muscles never have a chance to fully reload with glycogen. To build up your energy reserves for race day, you will need to back off on training for a few days, so that muscle enzymes responsible for restocking glycogen will gradually begin to store more carbohydrate.

In addition, boost your total carbohydrate intake to 3.5 to 4 grams for every pound of your body weight by adding in more pastas and starches to your diet throughout the week. If you notice you are gaining too much weight, back off on fat and protein and reduce carb intake until your weight balances out.

Good choices are: Pastas, brown rice, sweet potatoes and baked potatoes.

2 days before the race

You should eat your last big meal two nights before the race. It will give your body enough time to fully digest anything you eat and avoid feeling stuffed and lethargic when you reach the starting line, lowers the risk of stomach problems and can even help you sleep more soundly.

During the two days before the race, also consider limiting high-fiber foods such as large amounts of vegetables, whole grains and bran cereals. Studies conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport show that eating lower fiber foods can help lighten the weight of material in the intestines. This can actually help you run faster, as it reduces your body weight and decreases the chance of a mid-race pit stop that would otherwise add time to your race.

Good choices: Pasta is still often considered one of the best pre-race meals.

24h before the race

Ideally, you should allow your body to rest the two days before the race, so you may feel full very quickly. Try to eat balanced meals like you would normally do on any training day, but make sure your main meals are still in the form of low glycemic to medium glycemic index foods. If you’re not sure about what foods have a low or medium glycemic index, you can check Harvard Health’s Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods  or WebMD’s Guide How to Use the Glycemic Index for a more in depth picture of what glycemic index foods do for the body.

Fluids are just as important as food, so it is mandatory to hydrate properly all day long. Opt for sports drinks or other beverages containing electrolytes and nutrients, along with water. To remind yourself to drink, always carry a water bottle with you throughout the day or set a reminder for every other hour.

Good choices are: Sweet potatoes, pastas, baked potatoes, brown rice

2 to 4 hours out

Not only is it important what you choose to eat the day of the race, but also the time you eat. In the two to four hours before the race, eat a small breakfast containing protein, simple carbs and fluids. Aim for 0.5 to one gram of carbs for every pound of body weight and keep protein to about 15 grams or fewer. Avoid high fiber, fatty and new foods, which can take longer to digest and cause stomach problems.

Instead of trying to get all your fluids down by chugging your water bottle the hour prior to the race, you should drink small, regular sized amounts. Opt for room temperature water – which is absorbed quicker than warm or cold water – and drink approximately 6 oz. every hour to get hydrated before the gun goes off.

Good choices are: bread, bagels, cereal, fruit, and small amounts of peanut or almond butter, low-fat cheese, low-fat milk or a fruit smoothie.

Now it is up to you! We wish you a very successful (and fun) race day!

What you should know before running your first marathon

After the New Year’s contest we hosted on Facebook, we realized most of you are thinking about running a 26.2-mile race this year! Congratulations!

For some of you, this year’s marathon will not be your first and you’re already training for the big day. But if you’re a beginner there are probably a lot of questions on your mind right now.

We want to give you a head start by sharing what you need to know before training for, and running your first marathon.

1. Becoming marathon ready takes time and commitment

Training for a Marathon

Training for a full marathon takes time and is very demanding. Depending on your fitness level, your marathon training plan can last more than 18 weeks and suggests that you run up to 5 times a week. Take our App Bundle 5k to Marathon Progression Pack as an example. If you have no running experience, you’ll begin at a slower pace with a 5K training program and gradually move up to a more challenging running routine, until you’re marathon ready. This will take 44 weeks!

Your training plan will include weekends and long runs, which can be very tedious after a few repetitions. So the time commitment and mental challenge is something you should be prepared for if you want to start training for a marathon.

2. You don’t have to lace up every day

Even if you’re excited with your progress and can’t resist to get out there, you should never do more running than prescribed in your plan. Doing too much can lead to injury and overall burnout. Rest days are an important component of any training program, as they allow your muscles to regenerate and get stronger.

You can also build strength, fitness and prevent injury with cross-training, which is any other form of aerobic exercise that supplements your running, by allowing you to use slightly different muscles. Swimming, spinning, aqua jogging, yoga and Pilates are excellent cross-training activities you could combine with your running routine.

3. You might gain weight

While some people lose weight when marathon training, some actually gain weight! How is this even possible with all of the running you’re doing? The answer is obvious: your body needs food to fuel such a challenging fitness activity. But taking control of your cravings isn’t easy and you might find yourself eating more than you’re burning off.

If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, try to figure out how many calories you need and focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet.

4. You can get injured

Injured runner

You’ll spend a lot of hours training to become marathon ready, so there’s a chance that you will get injured along the way. Acknowledging this possibility will actually help you to be more aware of injury warning signs. Runners who think they won’t get injured during the training period end up making injuries far worse, by ignoring their body’s signs and pushing through pain.

5. You’ll have to train outside

The treadmill might be your best ally when the weather conditions make it impossible to run outside. But doing all your marathon training indoors may actually sabotage all your efforts.

Since the race is done outdoors and you never know what kind of weather you’ll get on marathon day, you should do some of your runs outside and in less than ideal conditions. The more prepared you are, the better, and this includes running in the cold, heat and rain.

6. You’ll have to buy your running apparel in advance

Don’t buy new running clothes, shoes or gear to wear for the first time on race day. You never know if your new running gear is going to make you feel uncomfortable.

We advise you to stick with your tried favorites and to do a two- or three-mile marathon-pace run in your marathon outfit and shoes, four or five days before the race. This will give you time to adjust your gear just in time for the full 26.2.

This advice applies even if you’re running to support a cause. In this case, stay away from the cotton T-shirts (that usually have the charity logo on it) and choose running clothes made out of a synthetic material that wicks sweat from your body.

7. You won’t forget it

Running a Marathon

Last, but not least, you should know that, despite all the inhuman efforts you’ll make, running your first marathon is a life-changing experience that makes you realize you CAN do anything!

Are you racing this year? What will be your first marathon?

How to achieve your New Year’s running goals

The arrival of a New Year inspires most of us to dream big. Many of New Year’s resolutions are related to health, weight loss, fitness and, if you’re reading this article, running.

But from past experiences, we all know dreaming big isn’t enough to accomplish New Year’s goals. Turn your running resolutions into reality with these simple strategies:

1. Choose realistic and manageable goals

New Year's Resolutions

Despite all the quotes we read that tell us we’re capable of fulfilling all our dreams, that’s not exactly the truth. Unfortunately, setting New Year’s goals that are not realistic for you is just setting yourself up for failure.

But those motivational quotes aren’t wrong either. In fact, your chances of achieving your objectives are much higher if you choose more manageable, realistic goals.

This also means you shouldn’t try to change many different things at once. To avoid exhaustion, focus on your key goals and the path you need to follow to accomplish them.

2. Set small and attainable milestones

Running a Marathon

If your goal for 2015 is a really ambitious one, like running your first marathon, set smaller and attainable milestones. For example, try running a 10K and a half marathon before your 26.2.

This method will help you track your progress and keep you motivated as you achieve other great accomplishments along the way.

3. Get organized

With your busy schedule, it’s much easier to find an excuse when you don’t have your workouts planned ahead. Look at your weekly schedule and decide when you’re most likely to have the time to do the activities that are going to help you accomplish your goals.

And when you get out there, make sure you track your runs and write down all the information you think is important in a journal. It will help you stay motivated and hold you accountable. You can use a simple notebook or save your runs from your mobile phone, with our running apps.

4. Share your Goals

Share Resolutions

Some of us like to keep our New Year’s resolutions to ourselves. There’s no problem with that. But did you know that sharing your goals can actually help you achieve them? Telling your friends and family members about your goals will make them seem more real and you’ll get their support along the way.

You can also join a running group in your area and meet with them for regular runs. But if you can’t find one, try to get a friend or family member to be your running partner. You can set similar goals and even run your first marathon together in 2015!

5. Reward Yourself

If you’ve achieved a milestone, reward yourself with something special that will benefit your running. You can opt for a professional massage, new running shoes or gear. Just stay away from unhealthy food or activities, that can damage your progress.

What are your running goals for 2015? If you want to race or just stay fit, check our apps!

How to become a Marathon Runner in 2015

At this time of year we all look back at our victories and fails of 2014 and set new goals that we hope to accomplish in 2015. If running a Marathon is on your bucket list, we want to help you cross it off in 2015!

That’s why we’ve just launched 5k to Marathon Progression Pack, an app bundle that contains the best training plan progression that will help you get to the starting line, even if you’ve never run before.

This bundle includes four apps already used by thousand to accomplish their workout goals: Ease into 5K, Bridge to 10K, Half Marathon Novice 1 and Marathon Novice 1.

5k to Marathon Progression Pack

After finishing these four training plans, you would have ran over 700 miles, spent 44 weeks training and you will be Marathon Ready.

Here’s how we’re planning to help you achieve your running goals in 2015:

Ease into 5K: from beginner to 5K racer.

Let’s be realistic. At this point, with no running experience, you’re not ready to race. You first need to build mobility and stability, while learning how to run without injuring yourself.

The best way to do this is with a run/walk interval program, such as Ease Into 5K. With our app you’ll start at a slower pace, but you will be running a full 5k without walking in just eight weeks.

This training program is excellent if you’re trying to adjust your busy schedule to a running routine. All you need is 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week to complete this training program.

Bridge to 10K: time to double your miles

Now that you can race a whole 5K, you’re ready to focus on increasing your running distance. Let’s make it 10K!

Bridge to 10K training program alternates between walking and running and is specifically designed for Ease into 5K app graduates. This training program demands a little more of your time – 3 times a week, from 53 to 70 minutes – but it will take you just 6 weeks of training to be able to complete a full 10K with no walking.

Half Marathon Novice 1: crushing your first 13.1

Running 13.1 miles is challenging. Before starting to train for a half marathon, you need to possess a basic fitness level which shouldn’t be a problem after the previous 14 weeks of training.

Based on Hal Higdon’s training plans, Half Marathon Novice 1 will get you ready to complete a half marathon in 12 weeks. To accomplish your running goal, you should run three days a week, cross train two days a week and allow your body to rest when scheduled. During this training program, you will be running two regular runs and one long run – 4 to 10 miles – each week.

The Half Marathon day is also the last day of this plan. After 14 weeks of training you’ll be able to get to the starting line with confidence, which will give you a feeling of great accomplishment.

Marathon Novice 1: you’re a marathoner

Completing a Half Marathon will really give you an idea of what you’re capable of and motivate you to keep going further. That’s exactly what you need at this stage because now it’s time to prepare for the big 26.2.

With Marathon Novice 1, you’ll train to reach this running goal in 18 weeks with the help of Hal Higdon’s running advice.

Of all four plans this is the most demanding. You’ll need to run four days a week and complete two regular runs and one long run, that ranges from 6 to 20 miles. The plan finishes with the Marathon race day and a goal crossed off from the 2015’s bucket list!


Download 5k to Marathon Progression Pack and get started today! Good luck with your training.

If you already own some of the the apps in the bundle, you just have to pay the difference to complete the bundle.