Increasing Your Running Stride Rate=You Will Be Faster

On Sunday night I actually scheduled my workouts for the week, it is a miracle.  First workout of the week= 6 a.m. Monday pump class.  The class was tough and during a set of plie squats (after 20 minutes of other leg exercises) my legs were shaking so much it was funny and embarrassing and so I had to take a break.

I also noticed a little something else during my pump class.

HELLO sports bra chaffing.   How does a piece of cotton material rub my skin off?  I do not know.  I also decided to make a fish face while taking this photo to make things a little more interesting.

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In a recent post Meghan mentioned that she was eating a grapefruit.  I have issues and just reading the word grapefruit made me have to have it, I went and got some during my prep period.  35 cents a piece and they were delicious, no sugar needed.  Go get grapefruits, they are are perfect right now.

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Is it bad to make students in detention clean off the grapefruit juice that is all over my desk, chair and keyboard?

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I had an email the other day from a reader that is coaching a track team and was wondering about strides and how to increase your stride rate.  I have read a lot about stride and I try to mimic Billy because he has nailed it. I found another article that I really liked HERE all about Strides:  Speed is a numbers game.  Are you taking the appropriate steps?

We all want to get faster and we all want to prevent injuries and speeding up your stride can help you to accomplish both.

“To run faster, you need to minimize your time in one place.  That is, you need to move forward as effectively and efficiently as possible.  And the two determining factors for forward momentum in running are stride length and stride rate.

Your stride LENGTH changes when you go from an easy run to your race pace but your stride RATE (how frequent you take each step) should not change much.   “Stride patterns are hardwired into your natural biomechanics.”  But that doesn’t mean we can’t change our stride rate and make it FASTER.

If we are able to speed up our stride rate = less vertical bounce, lighter feet (less impact) and FASTER times.

180 strides per minute is said to be the perfect number after studying elite athletes.  During Ryan Hall’s incredible 59:43 half marathon in Houston he averaged a stride rate of 182 steps per minute…..his stride length also seems to be about 20 feet in my opinion.

Runners World had an awesome workout to help you increase your stride which I can’t wait to try out!

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Count your steps for 60 seconds on your next run after you have settled into your natural running groove and see where you are in terms of strides.

**** Awesome tip for improving your stride rate….PUMP YOUR ARMS FASTER and that will surely make your legs move faster.

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PS Billy and I got engaged 3 years ago today!! You can read how he proposed HERE.

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Ever chaffed where I did on my neck/shoulder?

Grapefruit lover/hater?  Have you had a good one recently?

-Too bad it is against the law to send my TAs (teacher assistants) to go get more grapefruits for me, silly liability;)

Can you do the fish face?  Can you go cross-eyed?  Any cool face things you can do?

What are you currently focusing on lately (or starting now) to improve your RUNNING?

-Strides…180 per minute, I will have you.

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69 comments

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I’m actually coaching a beginning group of half-marathoners right now, very slow and easy pace, and we checked our cadence for the first time this morning on our group run. None of them knew what number I was going to tell them was best, we just did baseline measurements. To my surprise, 2 in the group were at 178-181, and 2 in the group were 174-178. Very close, and at a slow pace. So I’d be surprised if you really have to do too much work to get to 180. Most runners, fast or slow, are already fairly close to that. It’s really that stride length thing that separates us from Meb…

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sports bra chafing is the worst!!! i want swedish fish every time i read your blog, why is that???

:) come run with me soon!!!!! haha.

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i LOVE grapefruit! i just got a bunch of them from my parents’ tree last weekend when we were visiting them in AZ. i’ve been loving them!

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I love grapefruit. $0.35 is amazing, I thought I was getting a deal when they were 10/$10 last week! I’ve chaffed in the same spot after a half marathon. But I’m sweaty and chafe whenever I don’t glide my entire body.

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I haven’t chaffed there before. When I’m training in the Houston summer (which is really 10 months out of the year) my butt usually caffes on it’s self (on the bottom where it meets my legs), and when I used to wear underware with my running tights, that would chaffe my crack (TMI? maybe).

I only like my grapefruit with tons of sugar, so I usually don’t eat it.

I can do the fish face and cross-eyes. I also have Soap Opera dramatic eyebrows (a la John Black from Days of Our Lives).

I’m really focusing on endurance with out injuries (nasty shin splints, I’m looking at you), and picking up my pace. I’ve learned that I can push harder, I just usually don’t <- that is not ok!

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I love grapefruit! I wish they were 39c -they are $1 each here!

I’ve got a pretty malleable face. I can do the fish face, cross my eyes, wiggle my nose and the thing that grosses people out: I can move each eye separately (i.e. cross one while I make the other one go off in the other direction). I can also fit my hand inside my mouth, but I am not so sure I should be proud of that.

Yes, I am SO attractive!

Still working on the running without hurting myself thing. Currently I am walking and not running at all, but I am hoping that doesn’t last much longer.

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180 strides per minute?!?!? That’s so amazingly fast! I chafe in between my thighs sometimes, and also down around my ribcage sometimes! I HATE chafing so I only wear capri running apparel just in case!

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Yes, I have been abused by the chaffing, no fun, especially in that first shower – ouch. I am not a lover of grapefruit but maybe I should give it another try… Trying to focus on loosing weight, should make it much easier to run around!

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Very cool info! I bet I have horrible stride length–I don’t like over running myself (if ya know what I mean), but I AM working on stride rate. GREAT post!

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Your posts ALWAYS make me want whatever foods you are talking about. I am a commercial’s best friend.
Guess what I found at the store today? Sour patch jelly beans, and they do not give you candy- tongue (technical term) as quickly as regular sour patch kids!

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I’m currently focusing on HILLS- mostly because I just got owned by one on my last race! It made me realize I need to incorporate them into my weekly routine if I really want to show them who’s boss next time :)

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I have never had chaffing on my shoulder.. But that looks painful! Bummer! I like grapefruits.. But it takes me forever to eat them because I have to peel every last little bit of skin and membrane off.. Its too bitter for me!

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WOAH! I used to get that chaffing from swim team but never sports bras. AHH-it just looks super painful, I cannot imagine. My stride is actually too fast (I get something around 210 turnover rate) and my coach has tried to get me to change it up but it has yet to happen. Lame.

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Currently focusing on… Hmmm…. I am increasing my running distance by running super slowly, but running straight for more miles. I don’t know if that makes sense. I also start speedwork tomorrow. I am very excited, but have a feeling I will be spending some quality time with my dear friend, DOMS, afterwards!

I have never chafed where you did, but I HAVE chafed on my back! It was right between my shoulder blades. I think my sports bra was too small and I was in denial because it was my favorite (admit it, we all have favorite sports bras!), and during a particularly rough BodyPump class, I discovered it had rubbed me raw! I forlornly threw it away when I got home. I haven’t ever recovered, emotionally.

Amanda

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Aww happy 3 years! ;) I love celebrating every date like that … first date, when we became “official,” when he proposed, etc. So fun! :)

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Grapefruit lover and they are delicious right now. Going to have one with dinner just cause now that you mentioned it now i cannot stop thinking about it. :)

What I am working on might be stride……..I refer to it in totally non-technical terms. It seemed like I was plodding too much and so I was sort of pounding, my new “stride” feels much lighter to my step and my frame. Make sense?

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I love that I inspired you to get your fruit on in grape form – I am actually bumming that I ate my last one this morning. I think on my walk to the post office tomorrow – I will stop and get some.

Can I inspire you to munch on Cheez Its as I am doing now?

I can do a fish face but can only cross my right eye! But I can flip my tongue all the way over!

I am focused on fixing my calf muscle!

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MEGHAN….you are going to kill my bank account…now you have me craving Cheez Its, I just want to eat whatever you are eating:)I think you need to get some more! GET THAT CALF FIXED ASAP!

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I know I am TERRIBLE! I am still munching – I mentioned your blog today in my post about Peter picking up grapefruit for me today. I hope you don’t mind!

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Ahhh I love grapefruits! I had one this morning! And I read somewhere that if you watch the time on the treadmill, you should take three steps every second, so at 1 second your left foot, then you step right, left, and then when your right foot hits the time should be 2 seconds.

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That’s so interesting–I’ve heard so much about the importance of stride length but have heard relatively little about stride rate! Thanks for sharing!

I am a grapefruit LOVER!! I’ve plowed through 2 seven count bags in the past two weeks. A grapefruit a day keeps the doctor away?

I’ve been focusing on strengthening my glutes, hips, and quads in an effort to prevent IT band pain..grrrr….

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35 cents for a grapefruit??? It’s almost $1 a piece here in NH! Super jealous! I LOVE grapefruit. Straight up, no sugar, no nothing! I love the juice, too. I only ate grapefruit in little segments until 2 years ago. A coworker peeled hers and ate it like an orange. Kind of messy but you to enjoy every last bit of it!

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Love your blog!!!

I am 7 weeks in to running and I love it. When I first started I could barely run 1 minute. Today I did 33 minutes and 2.35 miles. I am not fast right now but I’m not into it for the speed for the time being. I’m just proud of the progress that I’ve already made. (and 28 pounds I’ve lost!) I’m working on my form right now and stretching. I hate stretching. But I understand it’s important to prevent injury’s.

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HEY CHRISTY!!! Thank you so much for commenting! CONGRATS on the huge improvements that you have made in the last seven weeks, you are absolutely incredible. Please keep me updated on how you are doing. YES…do the stretching, it will help big time:) Have a great night!

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Uhh chaffing is the worst!
Yes allow your students to clean up for you, it’s good for them!
We are eating so much grapefruit too. There are huge groves down in south texas and farmers sell them on the side of the road for super cheap. Delish! It’s like natures candy.

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Sports bra chafing is my worst enemy. I hate it so much.

I haven’t had a grapefruit in years. I wonder if I would actually like them now.

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Grapefruit lover! And lover of all citrus!

Sports bra chaffing?!? Crazy!

Oh and my current thing to improve my running is my pace and distance! I am training for my first race further than 5k. I have a 10 mile race to be followed by a half marathon 6 weeks later. Both at Walt Disney World!! Eek! I don’t want to get swept!

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love, love your engagement story. hope you and Billy are doing something fun to celebrate!!

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Awwww! Happy engagement anniversary ! Mine was 2 weeks ago. :-) I try to count my strides once in a while to make sure I’m hitting this but need to do it more often. Did you know they also make songs you can download That increase your pace and stride?!

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loveee grapefruit!

what im doing to improve my running: NOT running. ugh, have a calf strain and have been biking/walking and thats it. i think it is healing though, but its one of those injuries where it has to be healed 110% before exercising or ill reinjure it! (its happened). have you ever had a calf injury?

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I’ve never chaffed there but I do have some tailbone chaffing from doing sit-ups on a hard mat in CrossFit. Awesome wound that I really want to take a picture of but I’m afraid that would be crossing some sort of line.
I am taking a break from race training for the next few months but will try to incorporate lengthening my stride into training.

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I had the opportunity to take a Body Pump class last summer for the first time. It really hurt my neck/top of shoulders to put the bar across them. I ended up getting some marks, but no chaffing. Bummer! Guess weight lifters need body glide too!

I haven’t had grapefruit in a long time, but I have never liked them. My hubby likes them but only bc he pours 10# of sugar on it first.

I can do the fish face, cross eyes, lift one brow, wiggle my nose, roll my tongue into a clover shape… haha! It’s all genetic, not talent.

Happy proposal anniversary!!! You two are so cute! I can tell there is lots of love in your house!

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Thanks, Janae!! I will give you a short update on my track-babies: We worked on strides this morning – its going to take a while. They have a hard time counting their strides and trying to keep on their pacing marks. I taught them HOW to stride and gave them a goal to work with. I will have to keep them working on it constantly. On the other hand, your advice with the pacing has been great. I think we are finally getting there :)
Next meet: Thursday – Relay Meet! I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all your help!!

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I normally chaffe under the boobs..it is killer with large girls

I don’t like grapefruit..$.35 for grapefruit is cheap

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Focusing on speedwork these days…want to get my half under 2 hours!

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You’ve totally got that Amy, I know it!! Keep up the awesome speed work!

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I haven’t had a grapefruit in forever! I picked up some oranges the other day that tasted like an orange and a grapefruit mixed.
So far I haven’t been chaffed by my sports bra yet! Thank goodness. :)

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I get sports bra chaffing under one armpit and it is so confusing. Is one armpit meatier than that other? Do I run unevenly?

LOVE grapefruit. I love a good grapefruit spoon that is skinny with the knife like sides. So handy and practical

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I just read http://www.amazon.com/Programmed-Run-Thomas-Miller/dp/0736037497, which talks about this a lot. Have you read it? He mentions that spinning/biking can help with leg turnover. You spin a lot. Do you think that’s true?

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I haven’t read that yet but I 100% agree that spinning and biking can help you with your leg turnover. My fastest race times happened when I was teaching spin 3 times a week! What do you think? Do you recommend the book?

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Yep, it’s a pretty good read–a lot more about the psychology of running than the specifics of training plans, etc. Might be up your alley. The writer also had a goal (which he achieved) of a sub-3 marathon.

Personally, I do drills (high knees, plyometrics), hill sprints, and short reps (200m or so) to work on form and turnover, as well as squats and deadlifts for explosive power. But I tend to totally neglect any cardio other than running, which I regretted when I had to take a little time off running when I was injured! So I think spin may be a good idea.

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I love grapefruits – I need some patience to eat them and must be able to wash my hands afterward! I’ve had chafing there from an old sports bra – it hurts – especially in the shower.

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Aquafor is the best thing for chaffing ever!
Grapefruit is the best thing ever, mess and all!

I’m trying to improve distance for marathon
Speed for 10K, I’m trying to place top 3 (female) in my hood’s little 10K

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Great idea with the Aquafor, I am going to have to try that!! WAHOOOO you are totally going to place top 3 in your 10k…I am thinking #1!!!!

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There was only 118 people last year. Hopefully none if those speedy track team kids run!

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I don’t like grapefruits. I just tried red grapefruit again a couple weeks ago after reading an article about them. The article said they were in season, good for you and the red are the sweetest. Way too tart for me!

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I llloovveee grapefruit!! I went through a phase when I was freshman (and living in a dorm with grapefruit galore) where I ate one every morning. I bet you I was very healthy then with all that vitamin C!

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Wow great info about strides! Im gonna start paying attention to that more often!

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I’ve been chaffing right above my boobs, where my bra is. PS I’ve read the 180 strides thing and it’s challenging to work on!

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Grapefruit = YUM! We planted a tree when we first moved into our house 3 year ago but it doesn’t seem to want to give us any…Good thing my Hub has 100’s at his job that they can spare a dozen here and there ;)

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I’m learning to like grapefruit. Not quite there yet, but I keep trying.

I chafe under my arms and on my lower back. It’s awful, especially when I get in the shower after a long run and my skin stings.

I’ve been focusing on HIIT workouts. They have helped improve my time and endurance.

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Holy fast- 180 strides per minute is impressive! My runs are mainly HIIT so I guess I’m working on speed! I always remember you when I start pumping my hands in the air (you had posted this tip ages ago)! Will try increasing my stride length tomorrow and let you know the result!

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true words and great tips HRG!! :) i tend to be an overstrider…gotta work on that!

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I have been reading a lot about stride length and count….never counted mine before…think I will try it out today. Thanks J….
Yes, I can make a fish face and I LOVE grapefruit but Im way too lazy to eat them.

xoxo from Trinidad

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Hey girl – Under Armour just came out with a line of sports bras that are supposed to be the be-all-end-all. They look and sound great – now if only I could win the lotto so I can afford to drop $60+ on one.

http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/en/armour-bra

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Sherri, you are awesome. Thank you so much for the link….time to start saving my money:)

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I just read your proposal story…very cute!! Thanks for the tips on getting faster! I think I better look into this :)

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Not the biggest fan of grapefruit, but my daughter is. I’m going to count my strides today. I’m tapering for my 4th half marathon this Saturday and I am aiming for a sub 2 hour finish……wish me luck! I have the same problem as one of your readers above, my butt crack chafes sometimes!! It’s HOT and HUMID here in Houston and I sweat a lot, I think that has a lot to do with it :)

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Hi Janae!
I have actually had chaffing under my sports bra where my HR monitor strap lays. Ouch! Not sure how that happened either and it only happened once.
I absolutely love grapefruits. I live in Florida and they are sooooo yummy right now. I pretty much eat 1 every day and an orange until I get an upset stomach (probably an ulcer) and I have to take a break. Milk fixes that by the way.
I can do the fish face but my cool thing that sort of grosses people out is blowing bubbles with my spit. Gross! I know. neat though. they just float off my tongue into the air and people are like, “where did that bubble come from?” I love it!
I ran my first half Sunday at Disney. I think I did well especially considering I was sick. 2:12:25 I’ve been reading about recovery which I should have done prior to the race because I have been so sore now for the past 3 days. I had already signed up for a 2nd half and its this Sunday. (I didnt know you were supposed to rest) This tip from today will help me this weekend for sure. I’m going to ride the bike and do a little yoga later to help stretch out my muscles. Hope it helps. Have a great day!

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HEY JESI!!! I have chaffed where my HR is too! I bet the grapefruits in Florida are incredible, I hope you get a good one today:) CONGRATS on your first half marathon on Sunday…that is a huge accomplishment and you absolutely rocked it especially for being SO sick wow!! Let me know how Sunday goes and make sure to take plenty of rest after:) GOOD LUCK!

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I love grapefruit! Super good and soooo good for you!
Happy getting engaged anniversary! <3

I'm not intentionally working on getting faster but I have noticed that I do run faster compared to last year. I love seeing the improvement!

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Wow so interesting thanks for sharing. It seems that Billy has really figured out the running thing really fast which is really cool and goes to show he has really done his research. Thanks so much for sharing this info!

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Had someone suggest running with a metronome (Seiko makes a little cheap clip-on one)…it definitely helps.

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I have never eaten a grapefruit!! I don’t know how to eat them so they aren’t so sour!

My focus now to improve my running is to be patient. I’m coming back from a stress fracture and have to slowly ease into running. Ack! Hardest thing ever!! So I’m focusing on patience. And on taking my vitamins so I don’t get another stress fracture!

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Don’t wear cotton! Cotton is going to hold moisture on your skin and create FRICTION and friction means blisters and chaffing. Same reason we don’t wear cotton socks… get a new bra that’s wicks moisture away–anything next to your skin should be moisture wicking!! :-)

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happy engagement anniversary!

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I chaffe on my collarbone…so random!

I am on a totaly grapefruit kick! They have been so sweet and juicy that I can peel them and eat them like an orange. Have you bought them at Costco yet??? They are fantastic!

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hi there! i meant to comment on this a couple days ago when i read it but i was on my phone and that’s just complicated :)

i love listening to songs with 170-190 beats per minute because it keeps my stride in check! there are some fun websites that will give you songs to match your stride rate, which have been super helpful! who would have though ricky martin livin la vida loca would be a good running song? turns out it has 176 beats per minute – perfect! i wrote a blog post about this a couple weeks ago too!

thanks for sharing the runner’s world workout too! i will have to try it out this weekend :)
have a good day :)

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$0.35 for a grapefruit?? Amazing!!

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