Category Archive: News

Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k Joins Life Time Family of Athletic Events

Event represents third half marathon in Life Time events portfolio; Registration for 2014 event open Sept. 10

CHICAGO—(BUSINESS WIRE)–Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company (NYSE:LTM) announced today that it now owns and produces the iconic Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k. The event represents the third half marathon in Life Time’s lineup of more than 100 athletic events produced annually. Registration for the 2014 Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k opened Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The event has steadily grown since its inception in 2003 and draws thousands of participants from Chicago’s running community. September 8 marked the 17th running of the event, which hosted nearly 15,000 participants on its scenic 13.1 mile run that starts and finishes in Jackson Park and features the south lakefront and Jackson Park Golf Course and beautiful views of the Chicago skyline.

“We are proud to add the Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k to our events portfolio, particularly in a city that enjoys such a vibrant running and health conscious community,” said Eric Buss, Life Time executive vice president. “Over the years we have had tremendous generosity from the Chicago community and appreciate that they have opened up their doors and city to support our Chicago area athletic events including the Chicago Spring Half Marathon as well as the Chicago Triathlon in August and Turkey Day 5K in November. The historic Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k bring yet another world-class offering to our family of athletic events.”

“We have enjoyed our time as owners of the Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k and were able to build the event to one of the largest half marathons in the country,” said US Road Sports CEO and Managing Partner Greg Laird. “We are confident that Life Time will take the event to new heights.”

The 2014 Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k will take place on Sept. 7, 2014. Register online here.

More information about Life Time Athletic Events is available at EventsByLifeTime.com, on Twitter @lifetimefitness and the Life Time Athletic Events Facebook page.

About Life Time Fitness, Inc.
As The Healthy Way of Life Company, Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM) helps organizations, communities and individuals achieve their total health objectives, athletic aspirations and fitness goals by engaging in their areas of interest — or discovering new passions — both inside and outside of Life Time’s distinctive and large sports, professional fitness, family recreation and spa destinations, most of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Company’s Healthy Way of Life approach enables members to achieve this by providing the best programs, people and places of uncompromising quality and value. As of Sept. 13, 2013, the Company operated 106 centers under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information about Life Time centers, programs and services is available at lifetimefitness.com.

When Your Training & Racing Conditions Don’t Match

By Brooke Schohl, MS RD

Climate can pose some interesting challenges when it comes to racing. Whether you’re going from a hot, dry climate to a cool one or vice versa, you will need to make some adjustments to your fueling and hydration strategy. Help prepare your body with these tips.

1) Hydration is vitally important year round; however, heat and humidity require greater fluid intake than cooler climates as your sweat rate increases. Research the location of your race and prepare properly by increasing fluids if you are racing in heat/humidity. An excellent indicator of hydration status is urine color. If your urine is lemonade colored, you’re good. If it’s apple-juice colored, better drink up! A general rule of thumb is 16-24 ounces of fluid per hour. This number could go up or down depending on climate.

2) Electrolytes go hand-in-hand with fluid. If you’re increasing fluids consumed, electrolytes must be reciprocated. In heat, your sweat rate is increased and you are losing precious sodium via sweat faster than you can snap your fingers. Electrolytes must be replaced quickly to keep the body in check and muscles functioning efficiently. Be careful though — increasing salt intake drastically from one climate to the next can create GI distress and other unpleasant effects. Gradually increase electrolyte intake during training to match what you will require on race day. Electrolyte supplementation can be achieved in a variety of ways, through “real” food sources like bananas and pretzels, with sports drinks/powders, through Salt Stick or Hammer Endurolyte capsules, and via sports products like gels, chews and bars.  

3) Racing Fuel Type: The foods you train with in 45-degree January weather may or may not cut it in 90-degree March weather. The solution? Have alternatives. Try out many different fuel types during training — sports drinks, powders, sports gels/chews, bars and real food items. Don’t try new things on race day; reserve the experimentation for training.

Much of the fun and the frustration of race day is the unknown. Many things are out of your control, and let’s be honest, that’s part of what makes crossing that finish line so darn impressive. What you can manage is your fueling preparation and experimentation during training. Research your upcoming race — the average temperatures, the humidity, the types of fuel available on the course — and use that information as a starting point. This preparation points you toward a successful race day, regardless of conditions!

Should Non-Celiac Endurance Athletes Go Gluten Free?

By Brooke Schohl, MS RD

Should non-celiac athletes go gluten-free? The answer isn’t cut and dry. We go through the pros and cons of living with and without gluten.

“Gluten-free” used to be a diet followed exclusively by celiacs, people with an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that requires completely eliminating gluten from the diets. In 2012, www.celiac.com reported 1.8 million celiac Americans and 1.6 million individuals who follow a gluten free diet without a celiac diagnosis.

Today, many non-celiac endurance athletes have begun to adopt this eating style. Some say they remove gluten from their diet to control weight. Others follow the diet to reduce inflammation.

Regardless the reason, the question is: Should non-celiac athletes go gluten-free? The answer isn’t cut and dry. There are pros and cons. Consider both to know if a gluten-free diet is right for you.

The Pros

Shifts the Focus Back to Whole: Eliminating wheat, oats, barley and rye helps reduce processed food intake when done correctly. Wheat is found in foods such as bread, pasta, pastries, cereals, pancakes, pretzels, snack mixes and crackers. It’s also hiding in items like salad dressing, marinades, seasonings, soups and alcoholic beverages.

Although it’s important for endurance athletes to include adequate amounts of carbohydrate in their diets, consumption of gluten-filled grains is not required. There are plenty of non-gluten carbohydrate sources, including fruit, sweet potatoes, legumes, dairy products and grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and brown rice. Following a gluten-free diet can promote the consumption of more nutrient-dense, whole-food choices.

Reduces GI Distress, Reduces Inflammation: Gluten can trigger an inflammatory response in the body among celiacs and non-celiacs alike, according to The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Tummy troubles and training-induced inflammation are prevalent among endurance athletes. For many athletes, elimination of gluten products improves both issues and therefore leads to a boost in performance.

One theory behind the explosion of gluten intolerance in recent years is that we’re over-consuming wheat, oats, barley and rye. As a result, gluten resistance can become a possibility even for non-celiac individuals. At this time, these findings are mainly testimonial. The ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal recommends more research be conducted in this area.

Eliminates Intolerance Risk: There are varying degrees of gluten intolerance/sensitivity, and celiac.org states that 1 in 3 people are at least mildly gluten intolerant. They may have fewer side effects than a true celiac, but gluten protein still wreaks havoc on their bodies. Cutting gluten from the diet eliminates any health risks associated with gluten consumption among individuals who have sensitivities to the protein.

The Cons

Lack of Nutritional Value: Today’s grocery store shelves are lined with an array of gluten-free products—everything from pancake mixes and bagels to crackers and cookies. The problem is the flours used to manufacture these products result in calorie-dense, nutrient-lacking final products.

The most common wheat replacement ingredients include rice, corn, potato, cassava and soy, according to the International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition. The Journal of Cereal Science reports that the most common gluten-free flour made is (white) rice flour. All of these flours are inferior in nutrient composition to whole-wheat flour. Remember: The gluten-free stamp on food does not guarantee high nutritional value, according to Trends in Food Science & Technology.

Potential Weight Gain: Many gluten-free products are higher in calories than their gluten-containing counterparts due to the type of flours used. As a result, unwanted pounds can become a factor for athletes. For those opting to eat gluten free in order to lose weight, this is a double whammy.

Expense: Orowheat whole-wheat bread costs $2 compared to Udi’s gluten-free bread at $6. These foods add up quickly, especially for endurance athletes on a tight budget.

In Sum

Endurance athletes can benefit from gluten-free eating when the focus shifts away from glutinous packaged items and instead emphasizes high-quality, nutrient-dense whole food choices. And if you’re purchasing a packaged gluten-free food product, carefully read the label. Choose whole-grain, gluten-free foods or those containing brown rice rather than white rice.