Category Archive: News

2016 Chicago Half Marathon Athlete Guide Now Available

We’re excited to bring you the 20th Annual Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday, September 25! We have an incredible event in store for you as we welcome nearly 15,000 runners from 49 states and 47 countries to the greatest sports city on earth on one of the flattest, most scenic road races around.

The Chicago Half Marathon course starts and finishes within Jackson Park, a historic 500 acre parkland located seven miles south of the downtown Loop. You all deserve tremendous credit for everything that has led up to this day. Remember to enjoy the moment and take it all in. It is an honor to have you at our race, and hope you all have a successful and safe weekend. Make sure you check out the 2016 Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, course information and more.

> 2016 Chicago Half Marathon Athlete Guide

Cheers to an amazing race weekend!

2016 Chicago Half Marathon Medal Reveal

We’re excited to present the 2016 Chicago Half Marathon medal celebrating our 20th year. Measuring 6 inches and weighing a full pound, you’ll want to rep this accomplishment everywhere you go! It’s not too late. Register today to get yours!

5-Ingredient Smoothie

Smart-Juicing-News-Postby Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS II

A smoothie is a quick way to get some calories in when short on time! I encourage my clients to consume a maximum of one protein shake per day and focus the rest of the day on getting protein from food sources. And by no means is a daily protein shake a requirement for endurance athletes.

When building a smoothie, be sure to have all macronutrients represented – a carbohydrate, a fat and a protein. This will help to keep blood sugar stable as well as energy levels. Here is one of my favorites:

  • 1 scoop whey or vegetarian protein powder (protein)
  • 1 banana (carbohydrate)
  • ½ avocado (fat)
  • 2 T chia seeds (fat)
  • 1-cup fresh spinach

 

Brooke Schohl, MS, RD, CSSD, METS Level II is a registered sports dietitian and the owner of Fuel to the Finish Endurance Nutrition Coaching in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is an avid triathlete, having completed many triathlons of all distances including three IRONMAN races. She integrates that personal experience and knowledge into developing customized, sport-specific, metabolically efficient fueling plans for her clients. For more information on services and offerings, visit her website at www.fueltothefinish.com.

Visit Our Booth at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Life Time Fitness joins the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in kicking off Chicago’s endurance season at the Shamrock Shuffle Health & Fitness Expo this weekend. Join us at McCormick Place, Hall F1 Friday, April 1 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m or Saturday, April 2 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Along with other healthy lifestyle vendors, Life Time will present the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, Michelob ULTRA Chicago Spring 13.1 & 10K, and the Gildan Esprit de She women’s race series.

In addition to exclusive on-site expo offerings you’ll have the opportunity to speak with local triathlon and run coaches to set up your race season or take on an additional personal challenge. Make plans to join us in booth #133 for one of our exclusive sessions lead by the best coaches in the business*: 

FRIDAY
11 a.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This, Life Time Tri
12 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Chicago Endurance Sports
1 p.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This, Life Time Tri
2 p.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Nic Ruley, Well-Fit Triathlon and Training
3 p.m. Beginners Guide to Training & Nutrition – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
4 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, You’re Next Challenge – Life Time Run
5 p.m. Take On Your First Triathlon – Live Grit Endurance Team
6 p.m. You Can Do This – Chicago Triathlon 101 – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
7 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge

SATURDAY
10 a.m. Chicago Triathlon 101 – You Can Do This – Chicago Endurance Sport
11 a.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Coach Lynn Flentye, Life Time Tri
12 p.m. Beginners Guide to Training & Nutrition – Coach Chris Navin, TriMonster
1 p.m. Take On Your First Triathlon – Coach Nic Ruley, Well Fit Triathlon
2 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Life Time Run
3 p.m. Chicago Triathon 101 – You Can Do This – Coach Nic Ruley, Well Fit Triathlon
4 p.m. Be Your Potential – Women’s Triathlon – Coach Lynn Flentye, Life Time Tri
5 p.m. 8K to Half Marathon, Your Next Challenge – Life Time Run

*Schedule is subject to change.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Runner

Valentines-Day-PromoShopping for your Valentine ends here! Give the ultimate gift of love and motivation this Valentine’s Day with a gift entry into the 2016 Chicago Half Marathon or the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon.

A limited number of gift entries are available into the following event distances:

  • Chicago Half Marathon – Half marathon or 5K distances
  • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon – Sprint or International distances*

To order, simply select your gift entry of choice when promoted during registration. Upon placing your order, a commemorative race entry card will be mailed to you, along with a ready-to-assemble gift box. Insert the card, wrap the box and watch the magic unfold.

> ORDER NOW

To ensure delivery prior to February 14, orders must be placed by Monday, February 8 at 12:00 p.m. CST. Orders will be sent via USPS Priority Mail to your address provided.

Note: The gift recipient must register with the promo code by the date indicated on card (Chicago Triathlon: August 8; Chicago Half Marathon: September 5). All event policies shall apply, including executing a standard event wavier. No refunds or deferrals are permitted outside of any purchased registration refund insurance. Cannot be combined with other offers.

*All Chicago Triathlon participants are required to secure a mandatory USA Triathlon one-day license, not included in the gift entry purchase.

For questions or inquiries, please contact info@chicagohalfmarathon.cominfo@chicagotriathlon.com or call 773-404-2281.

The program is limited to 500 total gift entries. Grab yours early to ensure to your athlete receives the perfect holiday surprise!

7 Ways to Eat More Mindfully

by Heidi Wachter

Strategies for learning how to eat with awareness.

Each of us makes more than 200 daily decisions about eating most of them unconsciously, according to behavior scientist Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating and Slim By Design. Clueing in to these decisions can help make them work for you rather than against you. Increase your mindfulness factor with these strategies:

Snack wisely before shopping. Grab an apple or some veggies before grocery shopping. Wansink found that healthy noshing primes you to buy healthy: Study participants bought 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who didn’t eat such a snack beforehand.

Don’t supersize it. Keep smaller dishes — like appetizer plates and juice glasses — front and center in your cupboard. Researchers discovered that diners at a Chinese buffet piled 52 percent more food onto large plates and ate 45 percent more than those who used smaller ones.

Make healthy food visible. Wansink’s research found that people who wrapped healthy leftovers in plastic wrap were more likely to see them and eat them than those who used foil. On the flip side, people ate 2.2 more pieces of candy a day out of a clear bowl than an opaque one.

Keep a clean kitchen. In a Cornell study, people ate 44 percent more snacks in a cluttered kitchen than they did in a clean one. “If your environment is out of control, you may feel that you don’t need to be in control of your eating either,” says Wansink.

Put food away. Researchers discovered that women who kept a box of cereal on the counter weighed 20 pounds more, on average, than those who put it in the cupboard. Keeping food out of immediate sight and reach helps reduce temptation triggers.

Plate it up. Even if you just want a snack, put it on a plate: Plating food increases your awareness of portion size. “Dishing out a ration makes you see exactly how much you are eating,” Wansink explains.

Minimize distraction. People who dine while watching TV, reading or working have a harder time keeping track of what they consume — and routinely eat more.

Distracted eating is a problem for two reasons: “First, you don’t pay attention to whether you’ve had 14 or 40 potato chips,” Wansink says. “Secondly, you often won’t stop eating until the end of the show, regardless of whether you’re full or not.” Such eating patterns become mutually reinforcing, meaning it becomes hard to watch TV without eating, he explains.

Heidi Wachter is the staff writer at Experience Life. This article originally appeared in Experience Life, the no gimmicks no-hype health and fitness magazine. Learn more at ExperienceLife.com

Build Better Habits

By Brian Johnson, Experience Life

Make the most of your finite willpower.

Science tells us that willpower is key to achieving everything we want in life. In fact, it’s a better predictor of academic performance than IQ — by a factor of two.

But our willpower is finite. It’s like a muscle that you can work only so much before it fatigues. That’s why the most successful among us have figured out how to use willpower to create habits that work for us so well that we practice them without ever having to exert our will.

Good habits are the key to success, because when you have them in place, you don’t need to negotiate with yourself all day long about whether you’ll work out or eat right.

The more I study, the more I find that all great teachers tell us to master our fundamental needs — our rest, nutrition, and exercise — before we strive for specific goals.

If you don’t have a strong foundation, you won’t be able to build up to reaching your potential.

These are a few of my favorite strategies for making sure your basic needs are met so you have easy access to the willpower you need for building solid habits.

  • Eat (healthy food) when you’re hungry. Your willpower is weaker when you’re hungry because you’re focusing on your hunger rather than your goals.
  • Breathe deeply. Taking a deep breath is one of the quickest ways to boost your willpower in any given moment. It helps move you out of a fight-or-flight mode into one of pause-and-plan.
  • Meditate. Meditation is like strength training for your brain. It helps build the gray matter in areas that regulate emotion and control decision-making — which all add up to stronger willpower.

Now that we’ve identified some top willpower boosters, let’s look at some key methods for constructing sturdy habits.

UNLOCK YOUR KEYSTONE HABIT
An arch has a keystone, which locks the arch in place and makes it strong. The same principle applies to your life. Your keystone habit is the one behavior that, once mastered, has the greatest impact on your life. Identify and master it — whether it’s daily exercise, adequate sleep, meditation, or a healthy breakfast — and you’ll have a strong foundation for making positive changes.

KNOW YOUR “WHY”
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that anyone who has a strong “why” can endure almost any “how.” Take time to make a list identifying the benefits of installing your keystone habit — that’s your “why.”

Once you know your “why,” you’ll endure the “how” — all the adversity, setbacks, and pain that come with establishing your keystone habit.

Remember the reasons why you’re making the change, and you’ll not only succeed but thrive.

MAKE A 100 PERCENT COMMITMENT
Once you identify your keystone habit and understand why you want to make your change, you need to make a 100 percent commitment to doing the work necessary to reach your potential. You can’t commit to 90 percent or even 99.9 percent. You’ve got to get rid of the whiny voice in your head that negotiates with you about all the reasons why you should take a day off. When you decide to do something, make it nonnegotiable.

PRACTICE DAILY
You can keep your commitment by creating momentum with daily practices. Skipping days is how habits fall apart. Don’t try to establish a habit by doing it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Doing it daily makes all the difference.

Track your progress on a calendar. When comedian Jerry Seinfeld wanted to master the art of comedy, he set a goal of writing jokes every day. When he accomplished this task, he marked the date on the calendar. It’s exciting to watch your winning streak grow, so monitoring how many days you’ve done something will help you rock it.

OK, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll miss a day, maybe because of an illness or emergency. We’re all human! If you miss a day, mark your practice on your calendar for the next day, and make it the most important thing on your schedule that day so you don’t miss two days. If you miss two days, you will lose momentum, and that makes it easier to continue missing days.

MAKE IT EASY
One of the best ways to make sure you practice your habit daily is to make it easy to win. Too often we tell ourselves something like “I want to meditate morning and night.” Great. But first note how many minutes you’re meditating now. If you’re doing zero minutes, setting a goal of meditating twice a day is not a realistic way to implement a habit because it may be too much to start with.

It’s easier to do a one-minute habit than a 60-minute habit. Make it easier by creating a series of incremental wins.

You can also make it easier by giving yourself permission to suck at what you’re learning to do. If you’re not in the mood to do something, do it anyway. It’s not important to be good at something all the time, but it’s essential to do it every day, even if you sometimes do it poorly.

EMBRACE THE PROCESS
You’ve already spent years creating a set of habits in your life, so installing a new one will also be a process. Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, has a great way of looking at this.

Elrod argues that it takes 30 days to establish a new habit. He says the process involves three phases. The first one will feel unbearable. The second will feel uncomfortable, but you’ll begin feeling the benefits. After the third phase, you’ll feel unstoppable. It’s in the last phase that you’ll feel on fire. People couldn’t pay you to stop practicing your new habit because it feels fun.

When your habits make you happy, you’ll be having fun and you won’t have to think about eating right, exercising, or meditating. And that will give you plenty of willpower for constructing new habits, facing new obstacles, and creating the life you want.

So go on! Get out there and rock those habits.

Brian Johnson loves helping people optimize their lives as he studies, embodies, and teaches the fundamentals of optimal living — integrating ancient wisdom, modern science, common sense, virtue, mastery, and fun. Learn more and optimize your life at brianjohnson.me.

Experience Life is the award-winning whole-life health and fitness magazine dedicated to empowering people to become their healthiest selves.

 

Announcing Our New Gift Entry Program

Gift Cards - Chicago Half MarathonYour holiday shopping ends here! Give the ultimate gift of motivation in the new year with a gift entry into the 2016 Chicago Half Marathon or the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon.

A limited number of gift entries are available into the following event distances:

  • Chicago Half Marathon – Half marathon or 5K distances
  • Transamerica Chicago Triathlon – Sprint or International distances*

 

To order, simply select your gift entry of choice when promoted during registration. Upon placing your order, a commemorative race entry card will be mailed to you, along with a ready-to-assemble gift box. Insert the card, wrap the box and watch the magic unfold.

> ORDER NOW

To ensure delivery prior to December 25, orders must be placed by Friday, December 18 at 12:00 p.m. CST. Orders will be sent via USPS Priority Mail to your address provided.

Note: The gift recipient must register with the promo code by the date indicated on card (Chicago Triathlon: August 8; Chicago Half Marathon: September 5). All event policies shall apply, including executing a standard event wavier. No refunds or deferrals are permitted outside of any purchased registration refund insurance. Cannot be combined with other offers.

*All Chicago Triathlon participants are required to secure a mandatory USA Triathlon one-day license, not included in the gift entry purchase.

For questions or inquiries, please contact info@chicagohalfmarathon.com, info@chicagotriathlon.com or call 773-404-2281.

The program is limited to 500 total gift entries. Grab yours early to ensure to your athlete receives the perfect holiday surprise!

Athlete Alert: Transportation

Due to new IDOT highway construction schedules, additional shuttle services and the potential for increased traffic congestion, 2015 Chicago Half Marathon participants and spectators are advised to carefully evaluate your traffic plans into Jackson Park.

I-90/94 CONSTRUCTION
All lanes of southbound/eastbound Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) will experience road closures between Ohio Street and Harrison Street early Sunday morning. All lanes will be closed just before the junction with the Eisenhower for 15-minute intervals between 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Visit the circleinterchange.org for more details.

Participants and spectators planning to drive into Jackson Park from the north are encouraged to utilize alternate routes, especially Lake Shore Drive. As a reminder, Lake Shore Drive will close to all traffic between 31st and 67th Streets at 6:00 a.m.

PARKING
Motorists who do not park at the Museum of Science & Industry garage must utilize adjacent street parking. There is no parking available within Jackson Park. Both free and metered street parking is available west of Stony Island along 59th Street, Midway Plaissance and 63rd Street. Drivers should plan to walk upwards of one mile (or more) to access the race venue. Please obey all parking signs/restrictions. The event is not responsible for ticketed or towed vehicles.

METRA RAIL
Participants are encouraged to ride METRA Rail from the Millennium Park Station at Randolph and Michigan Avenue – where $5 roundtrip tickets are available Sunday morning. Trains depart to 63rd Street at 5:00 a.m (#8303)., 5:45 a.m. (#MX01) and 6:30 a.m. (#8033, for 5K participants). Visit metrarail.com for details.

SHUTTLE BUS
To ensure timely transportation of all riders, we advise all shuttle bus ticket holders to arrive at their dedicated shuttle stop as early as possible. Shuttles will begin departing at 4:15 a.m. as they reach capacity. The final shuttles will now depart at 5 a.m. from both pickup locations. Shuttle buses will begin returning from Jackson Park beginning at 9:30 a.m.

WEATHER/EVENT ALERT SYSTEM UPDATE
The current forecast for race morning is 64 degrees, 86% humidity and mostly cloudy conditions with a high of 72 degrees by 12:00 p.m.. The Event Alert Level is currently Green. Please monitor EAS levels throughout the race and take appropriate action.

EAS

Participants are encouraged to properly hydrate in the days leading up to the race. Download the race app and watch our Facebook page for the most up-to-date alerts.

2015 Chicago Half Marathon Transportation Update

Due to incredible demand, the complimentary athlete shuttle service has reached maximum capacity. At this point, we are unable to accommodate any new ticketing. Only those with shuttle tickets or bib stickers will be permitted onboard.

To ensure timely transportation of all riders, we now advise everyone to arrive at their dedicated shuttle stop as early as possible. Shuttles will begin departing at 4:15 a.m. as they fill to capacity. The final shuttles will now depart at 5:00 a.m. from both pick-up locations.

As a reminder, start corrals close at 6:45 a.m. Due to City of Chicago road closure timelines, all half marathon participants must clear the start line by 7:10 a.m. Those who arrive after 7:10 a.m. will be forced to participate in the 5K race, which begins 7:45 a.m.

For those who need to secure race-day transportation, we recommend utilizing the METRA Rail service departing Millennium Station. Bike parking is available within the finish festival at the corner of Hayes and Cornell. Please visit the transportation section of the app, Athlete Guide or event website for details.