The February Challenge

Happy February Challengers!

Time flies when you’re moving and coloring the world! It’s been fun to see all your creative juices flowing this month, and to see all the posts of beautiful Australian and New Zealand destinations.

We’ve got another fun month ahead. As we continue to exercise 30 minutes or more most days of the week for the Grand Prix, we’re also adding a new Challenge this month. Keep reading and you’ll find all the details for the February Challenge and our Healthy Habits focus.

Giddy up!

This month’s Challenge is all about living strong. Regular strengthening exercises have been shown to increase metabolism, muscle, tendon and joint stability, improve running and walking form, and aid in weight loss.

The #BeStrong Challenge is to weave in strength training 2-3 times per week. If you’re new to strength training, start with 15-20 minutes of 4-6 single set exercises. If you regularly get in strength, try a new strength mode, or bump up your effort with time or intensity.Here are a few ways to get in strength training:

  • Take a yoga or pilates class, or download or stream a class here.
  • Perform my Runner’s Strength Workout on the Pear Sports app, or by following the exercises posted here.
  • Take a strength class at your gym, stream a class online, or follow a DVD.

The good news is a little goes a long way with strength training. The great news is you can expect to start feeling results in just 3-4 weeks, and seeing results in 5-6 weeks if you get in strength at least twice per week.

Post in the Facebook group using the hashtag #BeStrong!

H The February Healthy Habit Focus is #NEAT!
The definition of a habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly until it becomes almost involuntary (like brushing your teeth).Health happens slowly over time, and with repeated healthy behavior. The purpose of the Healthy Habit Challenge of the Month is to focus on key areas of health and wellness, focus on choosing one small habit, and slowly create healthy change.

It’s also important to mention that what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. I’ve learned in my coaching career that some folks do well on an all-or-nothing approach (ie. Sugar Detox), while others do best to make changes in moderation (ie. remove the sugar from my coffee).

You won’t find a specific habit you’ll follow each month. Instead, you’ll find a healthy habit focus of the month and a few ideas to get your juices flowing to identify a habit that works for you.

This month’s Healthy Habit focus is all about boosting your NEAT Factor. More specifically, this is your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. By boosting your NEAT Factor, you’ll burn more calories daily, boost metabolism, more easily maintain your weight, and reduce the negative effects of long stretches of sitting and inactivity during the day.

Small, frequent moves make a significant impact on your overall daily activity. Your homework, should you choose to accept this challenge, is to identify one or two small habits to boost your NEAT Factor this month, and then hit the repeat button.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Track your steps with an activity tracker like a Fitbit, and aim to get in 10K steps daily. Or, boost your steps from where you are and aim to get in more steps per day.
  • Take a walk break at work, or during your day. Use apps like Time Out on your computer, set a timer, or schedule it in your calendar to remind you to take your NEAT break.
  • Join a NEAT buddy and remind each other to take buddy walk breaks during the day. Plan out a route to get in 500-ish steps on your break.
  • Park farther away from the entrance.
  • Stand up and pace when on the phone.
  • Sit on a balance ball at your desk.
POST IT: Use the Hashtag #NEAT all month in the Challenge Facebook Group or on Twitter! Post a #Selfie – or your view of your NEAT activity.
Ready, set, move!

Winner, Winner – Chicken Dinner!

For all the Challengers who participate this month, a winner will be randomly drawn for a $50 Gift Certificate from the good folks at One More Mile.


Congratulations to Challenger Michelle Job
for making significantly healthy habits in January
and sticking to them!

Michele’s habit was to #WalkBeforeWine. She made it a goal to walk after work instead of indulging in wine and it paid off with weight loss and creating #EatingWell habits.

Way to go Michelle. Your success is inspiring!

My mission to is help coach you to your best running year ever. One of the ways I aim to do this is to answer as many of your training questions as possible in the Facebook group. I may not get to all of them, but I am sure going to try.To make your questions convenient to find and answer, I ask that you post coaching specific questions in the facebook group in the comments section of the pinned post. You can find the pinned post at the top of all the posts in the group. Simply post your question in the feed, and tag me if you can. I will respond and answer and everyone can follow and learn together.

Please note, there may be times when I’m off the grid and unable to answer efficiently. In these times, I will get to them when I return.

Every month I’ll be chatting with Badassador Andi Fairbanks about all things running, fitness, health, and answering your questions.

Give us a listen. We’re every day mortals talking about how to run your best life this year in an easy to listen to format (with a little singing too).

You can listen on Soundcloud, iTunes or stream Episode 3 right here.

Listen to the Podcast Now

Step 3. Honor the Group Etiquette Rules and Challenger Code
The Facebook Group is like our living room. It’s where we share, where we care, and where we connect with one another. Our mission is to keep this group inspiring, fun, informational and supportive. We’ve set a few ground rules for the Challenge Group Etiquette in order to keep this community a pleasant one to be a part of and to retain the value the members feel it provides. Please read the rules of proper posting etiquette below.
In this group PLEASE DO:

  • Introduce yourself to the group.
  • Post your goals and workouts.
  • Support other Challengers with positive comments and likes.
  • Join in the discussions if you want.
  • Be helpful. If you can help someone asking for some advice, please do so. It’s part of what makes this community so good, but please keep it to personal experience rather than providing coaching or medical advice.
  • Share running, walking and activity experiences and pictures.
  • Have fun and create active friendships.

In this group PLEASE DO NOT:

  • Spam the group with promotions for events, challenges, programs, training, religious or political posts.
  • Post blogs promoting personal or professional benefit. Articles and blogs that are related to health and fitness are okay.
  • Refrain from soliciting medical advice and from providing coaching advice. It is fine to share your experience, but please avoid giving advice.
  • Troll the group, message group members with spam or personal messages or add members into your personal group or page unless you have approval with them to do so.
  • Sell outside services or products. We’re not here for that.
  • Solicit donations or anything else for your fundraiser, social profiles, programs.

This may sound harsh, but it’s all about keeping the flow of communication fun, easy and inspiring. We hate banning people, but spammers and chronic rule-breakers will be banned. Again, welcome to the group. We look forward to connecting with you.