Jody Stoops

About Jody Stoops

Jody Stoops is a personal trainer and a certified RRCA running coach with a passion for helping others achieve their goals, whether it’s running their first race, qualifying for the Boston Marathon or attaining a new healthy lifestyle through faith, fitness, motivation, and nutrition. You can follow her on Twitter @xmyheartfitness and check out http://www.crossmyheartfitness.com

The Five Most Memorable San Francisco Marathons

I have completed The San Francisco Marathon for the past 5 consecutive years.  Most people assume it is an extremely tough course with lots of hills, but that is just not the case!  The full marathon course is ½ flat, ¼ uphill and ¼ downhill.  Personally, I love the changes in elevation and scenery, which are just a few of the reasons it keeps calling me back year after year.  Each year holds special memories and I would like to share them with you.

My first year running The San Francisco Marathon was 2009, just a few weeks after my very first marathon and I was hooked.  My family joined me for this marathon and cheered me on.  This was the ONLY time my entire family had attended one of my marathons.  My mom, dad, husband, 2 sons, daughter, and aunt and uncle all were there cheering me on along the course, and at the finish line.  It means so much to see your family there for you! My dad still recalls how much fun it was cheering on the runners, coming up with cleaver ways to encourage perfect strangers to keep running.  My elderly aunt and uncle sat at a near by bus stop, the only area where there was seating, waiting for me to run by and catch a glimpse of me!   Since then, it is usually just my husband out there, meeting me every 7 miles to hand off a water bottle, take a photo and give words of encouragement.  The kids have decided they would rather sleep in!

In 2010 I ran my personal best at The San Francisco Marathon.  It was a perfect day, the weather was cool and overcast […]

By |May 19th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on The Five Most Memorable San Francisco Marathons

Practice Your Course

When training for a road race, you need to practice on the road. Don’t do all your training on the treadmill. You have to get out there and experience the pavement, the changes in level ground and elevation. Often we train on the same route or track, but in the event you may have to go up and down curbs, around corners, over dirt paths, concrete and asphalt. This can all effect your running form and if you haven’t practiced on it, may cause your shoe to rub a different way and lead to blisters.

By |May 5th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on Practice Your Course

A Few Tips Before You Run Your First Big Race

Practice during your long rung, simulate the race as much as possible.

Wear the outfit you plan on racing in so you can see if it causes chafing. Don’t wear the race shirt you get at the Expo unless you know the fit and know it won’t bother you.

Try out your new shoes and socks, believe it or not, socks can make a HUGE difference!

Wear a hat, scarf, visor? give them a try! You need to know if it fits too loose or tight. Don’t buy anything new at the Expo and expect it perform the way you want it to.

Use a fuel belt or hydration pack?? Better use it on your long run to make sure you like it. The marathon is not a place to try out a new one, especially a fuel belt. It could rub and cause chafing or worse, blisters on your back.

If running a marathon or anything longer than an hour, YOU MUST FUEL every 45 minutes, I prefer Huma Chia Energy Gels. You need to know which ones work for you and which ones cause tummy trouble. Don’t forget to practice running and eating since you will not want to stop during your race. Chase your Gels with water too.

Don’t forget your keys! If you have to drive yourself to the race, are you going to run with your keys? Better practice running with them.

Sunscreen, chapstick, etc. Try out new products before the race to make sure you aren’t sensitive to them.

Make sure your Garmin is charged the night before a race, the last thing you want is a dead Garmin during your run.

Fuel with extra carbs 48 hours before the race. It isn’t necessary to carb load […]

By |March 26th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on A Few Tips Before You Run Your First Big Race

Enjoy the Climb

Hills, you either love them or you hate them!  It really comes down to how you look at them.  Respect the hills, they train your body like nothing else.  Some refer to them as speed work in disguise.  I love them because I get to use my muscles in a different way, and the pay off is huge:

By |February 16th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on Enjoy the Climb

Gradually Adding Distance: 10 Tips for Runners

1. Start out slow.  Don’t feel like the first time out to run you have to run like you did as a kid, as fast as possible.   Remember, you are running for an extended amount of time, not just running to the kitchen!

2. Find a pace that is comfortable to maintain and you can still breath!  If necessary, slow it down.  You should be able to maintain a conversation while running at an easy pace.  If you can’t, then you need to slow down.

3. Get outside.  Many only run on the treadmill and that is great, but if the weather and running conditions allow, try to take it outside.  You get a better workout and you challenge your core muscles more by going through different terrain.

4. Start out easy, 15 to 20 minutes tops!  Don’t worry about how many miles you have traveled, just get your time in.  Once you can run for an hour, then calculate the distance.

5. Gradually add 5 minutes to your “long run” day each week.  Usually you run 3-4 days a week with a rest day or cross training day in between.  You never want to increase by more than 10% in distance each week.

6.  Work on speed. If you are feeling great, and can easily run for an hour or 5-6 miles then you can start adding in speed drills.  Try speeding up for a short burst of speed, then slowing down again.  Repeat this 3-5 times.

7.  Fix your stride. Try to land on your mid foot, not your toes and not your heels.  When you look down at your feet, they  should be facing forward and not turned out.  This will help on knee pain.  Also make […]

By |January 20th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on Gradually Adding Distance: 10 Tips for Runners