On Friday morning, after a workout at the Grand Floridian’s little gym and a quick breakfast, I met up with the team from New Balance for a running and Disney-filled day!
New Balance sent us some gear to test out ahead of time and SkinnyRunner, Tina and I all agreed that the Heidi Klum Moto Pullover was our favorite item! With my crazy-long torso, I always gravitate toward apparel with extra length and this pullover is plenty long and very lightweight with a flattering cut. I love the kangaroo pocket and loose neckline.
Our morning began with the Disney’s Wine and Dine Weekend Health & Fitness Expo.
There was a lot to see and we wasted no time exploring and chatting with the various brands and companies in attendance. There was no shortage of booths to check out and I loved all of the Disney-themed gear. If you wanted to buy Minnie Mouse ears, sparkly polka-dot running skirts and fun high socks, the expo had everything you needed!
Over the course of the weekend, we learned a lot about the runDisney races and one thing that really stuck out to me as someone who is not competitive or crazy-fast is how welcoming they are to new runners and runners of all levels. (Fun fact: 70 percent of runners who complete the Disney Princess half marathon are first time half marathoners.)
At the expo, I loved discovering new-to-me items like the RooSport super-magnetic beltless gear pouch…
Once moistened with water, the towel instantly becomes 30 degrees cooler than a person’s average body temperature, making it a ridiculously refreshing way to wipe away sweat! I knew this towel would be a hit with my mom, so I bought one for both of us.
We also had the chance to check out the runDisney running shoe at the New Balance booth!
This shoe was created last year and at first only 1,000 were produced because New Balance wasn’t sure whether or not they would be a hit. They ended up selling out within one day and now there are plans to create a new shoe every year for Disney fans! The 2014 runDisney shoe will have customizable inserts that runners can purchase to correspond with the Disney race(s) they completed. I thought that was so creative!
I also made sure to snap a picture of all the runDisney race medals that were on display at the expo.
Disney medals are so colorful! I can see why Disney lovers go crazy over them.
After the expo, our group made our way out to Disney’s New Balance Track & Field Complex where we grabbed lunch and had the chance to meet the people behind New Balance marketing and runDisney races.
I loved learning that 67 percent of runners who participate in Disney races are female. Woop!
A highlight for me was listening to Jenny Barringer Simpson, a professional runner and New Balance athlete, speak about her training.
A few quick facts about Jenny’s accomplishments:
- She ran the fastest mile of any woman (4:19) in the United States this year
- She is a 2008 Olympian
- She is a four-time NCAA champion
- She holds 6 NCAA records (1500m, indoor mile, indoor 3K, indoor 5K, outdoor 5K, steeplechase)
- She is the American Record Holder in the Steeplechase (9:12)
Jenny told us all about her training and was kind enough to answer any questions we threw her way. She started running in third grade and really loves the “black and white” of running. Jenny views sleep, nutrition and her workouts as “compound interest” that add up to make her a successful athlete.
Jenny told us about her favorite running shoes, the New Balance 890 (the one she wore when she ran her 4:19 mile) and the 1400, which she called the “best shoe ever made” and went into detail about her training schedule when I asked her to tell us about her workouts.
Jenny explained that she runs, on average, 10 miles every day, with four “intentional” workout days a week (intervals, temp runs, etc.) and three recovery days every week, two of which are back-to-back. A recovery day for Jenny is usually running at a 7:10 pace for an hour or more. (Yes, she’s crazy fast!!!) She takes one day off every eight weeks and completes stretching and strength training primarily for injury prevention and to help her with explosive movement.
As for her diet, Jenny likes to drink tea or something with a little caffeine before a workout and her pre-workout food staples are oatmeal or cereal (Cheerios). Jenny also emphasized the importance of refueling post-workout and explained that she worked with a dietitian who told her that while the typical advice of eating within 20 minutes of a workout is fine, eating immediately after a workout is even better. Fueling ASAP after a workout was one of Jenny’s “must-dos” when it comes to her diet. Post-workout snacks for Jenny are typically a smoothie or yogurt or something with a 3:1 carb-to-protein ratio.
It was a very informative and interesting Q&A session and a fun day with New Balance and Disney!
Question of the Day
- Have you ever met a professional athlete?
- If you could be a professional athlete in any sport, which sport would you choose?