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On Your Mark... Get Set for the 5K and Marathon Season

Fitness Together® Experts Offer Advice on How to Get in Shape for the Running Season


Highlands Ranch, Colo. (April 22, 2015) -- The first signs of spring are popping up along roadsides, trails and nature paths. Walkers and runners are out in growing numbers getting ready for the marathon and 5K running season. To help prepare athletes and avoid injury, the personal trainers at Fitness Together®, one of nation's largest one-on-one and small group personal physical fitness training franchises, are offering the best tips on conditioning and nutrition.

               "Running is great, but if you are only running, it's bad for you body," says Erin Mellinger, owner of four Fitness Together locations in Ohio. "Weight training and cardio, along with gradual conditioning will help you avoid injury, exhaustion and fatigue."

               Fitness Together trainers get lots of clients this time of year who want to get in shape for a marathon or 5K race. For some, who are already runners, it's to take them to the next level in speed and endurance. For others, it's the realization of a goal to run their first long distance race.

               Depending on the level of fitness, the trainers recommend that runners start training at least eight to 12 weeks before a race progressively increasing their workout and then tapering back their runs as they get closer to a race. Resistance training using weights and bands is important to balance the body. Running is one forward movement, so it is necessary to keep the body dynamic, strengthening all of the body's muscle groups, particularly the back and rear muscles which aren't as strong as the front.

               "Cardio shouldn't just be about running fast and long distance," adds Mellinger. "You want to shake things up, incorporating lighter runs and interval training, where you run hard for a minute and then walk for a minute. Biking and swimming are also good cardio workouts when you are in training."

               Warm-ups before a race are also important. Stacy Adams owns a Fitness Together studio in Central Georgetown. She recommends dynamic movement before a race.

               "You don't want be static in your warm ups," says Adams. "Hip flexes and extensions, jumping jacks, along with lateral swings, toe touches, squats and walking quad and hamstring stretches are all good for getting adequate blood flow to your major muscle groups five to 10 minutes before a race."

               Mellinger also sees a lot of runners foam rolling these days, using the foam roller to loosen muscles as a form of massage.  She encourages runners to take five to 10 minutes after a race to stretch out the muscles and to rest one to two days after the race to help those sore muscles recover.

               Nutrition and plenty of hydration is also critical to training for a race. Adams advocates fueling activity with 50 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat.           

               "You want to eat whole grains, brown rice and quinoa for carbs, along with lean meats, fish and egg whites. Avocados, nuts and olive oil are healthy fats to include in your diet."

               In the weeks leading up to a race, runners should be drinking water that is half their body weight in ounces. Hydration keeps athletes from experiencing fluid loss, helps them maintain performance and reduces heat stress and cramping. Water is great for shorter races, but for longer races, like a marathon, runners may want to consider sports drinks during the run. And, according to Mellinger, chocolate milk is great for your muscles after a race.

               "Chocolate milk after a race has become increasingly popular because the fast and slow digesting proteins in milk help sore muscles recover faster."  

               The key takeaways from fitness trainers is proper conditioning and diet when preparing for a race. A personal trainer can help educate and motivate athletes based on their individual goals. but it is not imperative.  With the right training and nutrition, however, athletes can avoid and at the very least, limit the risk for injury and improve their chances of making it the finish line.


WellBiz Brands, Inc. is headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and is one of the largest health and wellness companies in the United States.  The company owns three separate franchise entities: Fitness Together Franchise Corporation, which franchises one-on-one and small group personal fitness training studios, Elements Therapeutic Massage, Inc., which franchises massage studios, providing custom therapeutic massage to meet clients’ individual needs, and Fit 36, Inc., which franchises high intensity interval training studios, with workouts done as a group.

Fitness Together Franchise Corporation began franchising in 1996 and has approximately 175 Fitness Together® locations across the United States. Elements Therapeutic Massage, Inc. began franchising in 2006 and has approximately 200 Elements Massage™ locations in 32 states. Fit 36, Inc. began franchising in 2014 and has a single FIT36™ location in downtown Denver, Colorado.

For more information about Fitness Together®, visit For more information about Elements Massage™, visit For more information on FIT36™ visit

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