Back in running action

This post is sponsored by Zappos.

Hi friends! Thank you so much for all of your amazing feedback on yesterday’s podcast episode. I’m so happy you enjoyed it, and I loved sharing some advice for creating a balanced fitness plan. I’ve been working on creating my own fitness plan now that we’re back in Tucson since I’m surrounded by great gyms + studio classes. My current routine consists of mostly Lean Machine strength workouts, classes (usually Orangetheory, dance cardio, or barre), HIIT, and reuniting with an old friend: running.

Back in the game

(Wearing: Array Long Sleeve Tee, Circuit 2 in 1 Short, Levitate 2 sneakers)

My relationship with more distance-style running tends to be on or off. (Sprints are almost always part of my fitness puzzle, but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve ventured out on consistent solo runs.) Something about being back in a familiar place with all of my favorite trails made me want to lace up my sneaks and hit the road, so I’ve been going for it.

Levitate 2 2

My friends at Zappos sent me a pair of Brooks’ new Levitate 2 sneakers to try out and they quickly became my favorite running shoes. I’m extremely picky about running shoes – I like a little bit of support, but I don’t want them to feel clunky or like they’re weighing me down – and these have everything I need for support and comfort plus a stylish, neutral design.

Levitate 2

The Levitate 2 has fascinating energy return technology called DNA AMP. It takes the amount of energy you push into the shoe, and pushes back, giving you the feeling like it’s propelling you forward. It’s AMAZING. I feel light and bouncy on the trails, even though it’s been quite a while since these legs have seen longer than a mile run. 


The DNA AMP cushioning system is revolutionary; Brooks is the first to create a system that gives each runner a push-off that corresponds to their unique gait and stride. I can already tell that these will be the running shoes I live in until it’s time for another pair. 

Brooks also sent me some of their running apparel to test out. The Array Long Sleeve Tee is going to be the perfect fall top. It’s super lightweight and has an open back for ventilation. Even though it was hot outside when we took these photos, I wasn’t sweating too much since the shirt is so lightweight.

Brooks apparel

I also chose the Circuit 3″ 2 in 1 short. While they’re designed for running – they’re a flattering longer inseam and are DriLayer to wick away sweat – I’ve been using them for strength training, too. The inner liner is perfect for squats and leg work since you don’t have to worry about your shorts riding up. 😉

Since I’m slowly getting back in the running game, I thought I’d share some of my tips for returning to a running routine after a hiatus.

(Friendly reminder: if you’re recovering from an injury or making any fitness changes, be sure to talk to your doctor first.)

– Don’t compare yesterday’s successes to today’s progress. I may not run a half marathon in the near future, and my during my last half marathon, I PR’ed. My first few miles back were SLOW, but I felt great. For now, I’m taking it day by day and focusing on adding mileage gradually, without a specific pace goal in mind. In the past, it was always about running faster and longer, and now, it’s more about running for mental clarity and enjoying the fresh air. It feels SO restorative to be outside, exploring new sights hearing the wind rustle or birds singing. 

– Start with walking and add in running intervals from there. My walking distance has been strong this entire time, so I started adding in 1 minute of jogging for every 3 minutes of walking. From there, I took it down to 1 minute of jogging every 2 minutes of walking. Then, 1 minute of each. After that, it felt good to jog the entire time. Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks when you need them, and avoid starting out too fast.

– STRETCH. I don’t recommend static stretching before running – instead, try foam rolling and dynamic stretches – but afterwards, it feels amazing. I especially take the time to stretch my hamstrings, quads, IT band, hips/glutes, and calves.


– Alternate running days with off days or cross training days. Strength training is an incredible complement to a running routine because it can help to increase performance while decreasing potential for injury. Recovery is critical for improvement, maintaining excitement for your routine, and preventing overtraining, so be sure to have at least 1-2 days off from formal exercise each day.

– Have an awesome playlist… or no playlist at all. 😉 I like to have a playlist or podcast ready to go, but wait to use it until I need a little pep in my step. Sometimes I get all the way back home and remember that I forgot to turn on my playlist. Every now and again, a silent run is everything I need to fill my energy cup.

So, tell me, friends: did you get back into an activity or sport after a hiatus? Anything you’re doing now that’s new in your routine?

Hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon!



Photos: Jacquelynn Buck

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  1. Stacey Racette on July 26, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for this! I saw Julies post @pbfingers about the shoes too but I wanted to read about them from someone who ran with them. I have a $50 gift card and I think I might spend it on these!!!

    • Fitnessista on July 31, 2018 at 1:14 am

      you will love them!

  2. Abby on July 26, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Do you have any advice for running in the desert? We just moved to Arizona and it feels almost impossible to get outside with how hot it is! Do you start really early or late?

    • Fitnessista on July 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      You either have to go early, at night, or on the treadmill! It’s soooo hot

  3. Lindsey on July 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I read your blog daily but I have to admit this post felt pretty disingenuous to me. You most much of your life on social media and we never see you running. Additionally, you are in Tuscon. It is unbearably hot right now. The long sleeve just seems silly. I feel like Brooks offered you something for free and you took it in exchange for the blog post, but it is hard to believe that you truly stand behind it. If it was a barre workout or OrangeTheory, heck ya I’d believe it. Sorry, just had to share.

    • Fitnessista on July 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Lindsey,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I genuinely appreciate it. I don’t take product from companies in exchange for posts, even though I receive hundreds of these types of requests each month. I only partner with brands I truly love and use, which is definitely the case with Zappos and brooks.
      I haven’t been showcasing as many of my run workouts lately because treadmill pics are boring! It’s way too hot to run outside now, but I was able to catch some early trail runs while the weather was nicer.
      The shirt is definitely too warm to wear right now, but I’ll be using it for fall runs and workouts.
      I share a very small piece of my life online. There’s a lot going on right now but I’m trying to juggle everything as well as I can.
      Thanks again for reading and sharing your thoughts

  4. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on July 26, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I struggle with sharing a lot of my life on social media because like you said it’s boring. I also think once you open up pandora’s box, people want more and more of you. It’s a fine balance and one I was always be working to figure out as I’m sure you are!

  5. Charlene on July 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I love the colour of that top! I agree it’s too hot to wear it now, but it does look perfect for fall. I am a long time reader and very infrequent commenter, but wanted to tell you I love the blog – it’s engaging and inspiring and I appreciate all the work you put into it.

    • Fitnessista on July 31, 2018 at 1:17 am

      thank you so much, charlene <3

  6. catherine doucette on July 27, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    This was so helpful for me to read. I go through phases with my fitness regimen and have recently been off with little exercise after running a marathon early in the year (I was pretty sick of running). With a new job and being in the lowest fitness level of my life, I have to remind myself to take care of my body and lean back into it slowly. I get discouraged, but your post’s suggestions were great for me. Can’t wait to get back into a routine (with moderation).

  7. Amanda on July 28, 2018 at 1:06 am

    I was really excited to read this post, because I recently got back into running via a Couch to 5k app, and so to hear that you, as amazingly active and fit as you are, started at 1 min on 1 min off just like I did was really nice!! I’m now in the 7th week and running 25 min at a time, which has felt like a huge accomplishment, even though in the scheme of things there’s a long way to go. Thanks for all the amazing content!!

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