Archive for June, 2011

Trainer Tip (by Gary Ditsch): Using a run / walk strategy to train and race your Bluegrass 10k.

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011



The Bluegrass 10k is coming up in less than a month, which means there are hundreds of local runners thinking about how to get in shape to finish this great 4th of July event.  It also means that I am getting emails and phone calls from desperate individuals worried that they will not be ready to finish the 6.2 mile distance.  I have a couple reactions to these inquiries of desperation:

1. Change your expectations.  If you are just starting to train today, then maybe you can understand that setting personal bests or beating your habitually running co-worker just might not happen.

2. Remember what thoughts you are having today and next year, plan ahead to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to work up to a personal best.

With those parental commentaries aside, I do think that I can help most people prep for a race in the final weeks.  I have a key to success that many “runners” are afraid to try or admit they might benefit from – using a run / walk strategy.

You want to know a little secret?  Every runner I’ve ever worked with has benefited in one way or another from developing a run / walk strategy that is tailored to their ability and goals.  I also know that there are literally thousands of runners out there searching for answers on running “injury free” or “stronger” and find that run / walking an event works for them.

How do I know this, you ask?  Well the most successful article I’ve ever posted to my website (so since 2003) was my post titled “The Run / Walk to Better Training and Racing Discussion” and even more convincing is my podcast titled “010 – Run Walk Strategy for training and racing”.  That podcast has been listened to by thousands of listeners over on itunes and has received a high “popularity” rating ever since I published it.

Just this week I received a thank you through facebook from a lady that I’ve never met.  She’s a runner that I don’t coach either, but she was thankful for that very podcast, as she said it helped her get through a race that she didn’t think she’d be able to do.

This isn’t magic and it is not a secret, but it is a technique that many runners and 10k participants are unwilling to use.  I think participants don’t because “walking” seems so taboo for some of us ultra competitive souls.  But, I argue that crossing the finish line faster than you would have otherwise or even just crossing the finish line is worth giving this idea at least some consideration as you hurry your training for this coming 4th of July Bluegrass 10k.

So, go read the article or download the podcast to your ipod (and listen to it while working out!) and let me know what you think.

Gary Ditsch, Fitness Plus Lexington, KY

Here are the links to the podcast and article:

Personal Trainer Katie Dennison: Another Success Story

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

My name is Aristotle McDonald a first year college student who like most college students had a poor diet and terrible sleeping habits. I played sports in high school but that was it for my fitness routine.

My mother works out at Fitness Plus and she often recommended it for me but my sports were enough for me.

Eventually I proceeded to put on weight and became more and more fatigued. I noticed my social presence was winding down and I was finding myself less outgoing and fun. After much persistence my mother convinced me to train with her trainer Miss Katie Dennison.

Katie helped my mother get into shape; losing fat and gaining muscle, but like most nineteen year olds, a female trainer seemed, to me,  less than amazing.

When I arrived she greeted me with a smile and asked if I was ready; I answered with a “cocky” sounding, yes, but I wasn’t.

Katie put me through workouts using little to no weight and yet, I was exhausted.  Katie specializes in core strength; it is at the “core” of her fitness strategy.

Her approach really helped me. Like most people I slouch and never really work out my abs. but after two weeks I lost 3 % body fat and gained 4 pounds of muscle. I just recently left home for a summer job, and Katie graciously went through a step-by-step guide with me to help me train in places other than a gym. Katie has helped me better my appearance and more importantly my confidence.


Katie Dennison is a personal trainer with Fitness Plus, in Lexington, KY. To schedule a consultation with her, please call the Fitness Plus office at 859-269-9280


I am lucky to train with her and to call her my friend she was very encouraging and supportive even when I couldn’t do all the reps or took an extra long water break. Katie is a person who truly believes can’t is not a word, and you can do whatever you put your mind to. She is living proof that big things sometimes come in small packages.