Setting Goals and Movin’ Forward


Now that we are only 3 days out MVP Fitness Trainer, Matt Kaminski, is giving advice on continuing your running journey! After all, crossing the finish line is the sweetest victory!

Matt Kaminski, NSCA-CPT Fitness Trainer, MVP Athletic Club

Matt Kaminski, NSCA-CPT
Fitness Trainer, MVP Athletic Club

Setting a goal to run any race from a 5K, (3.1 miles) all the way up to a marathon (26.2 miles) can be very difficult to visualize how to train, especially for those who are planning a race for the first time. The first step is to commit not only mentally, but also physically by signing up for the race so that you have made a mental and financial promise to yourself.  This can help someone motivate themselves through the training process.  Once mentally and physically committed, you’ll need to create a reasonable training program.

Building stamina and endurance is like building a house – you need to start by building your foundation, constructing your frame, putting the roof on, and finally fine tuning the house with the special touches that make a house a home.

            When it comes to building your foundation you must find your individual bottom line. In other words, start with what you know you can do. This may be an honest conversation you have with yourself to truly admit where your ability is, and by no means does this mean that if you have no real experience running that you can’t run the race you desire. This is simply motivation for you to set out to do something you’ve never done before, even if it may intimidate you.

This is where you’ll need to do research. There are many “Couch to 5K programs” programs, some reliable and some not-so-much to get you on the road. You’ll need to find one that works for you and you may want consult a certified professional about the subject.

Your program is your framework and should be constructed around your parameters and skill levels, such as your beginning ability, previous injuries, amount of time to train, and other aspects. Once you have your plan set up, the next step is to start training. This is where it’s up to you and your support system to keep true to your training and stick to the program designed for you. Following your program correctly, and hopefully without injury, you will be on your way to reaching that goal.

Why I Complete the Quest: Total Trek Quest

Tulip Time is excited to be partnering with Total Trek Quest for the 2014 Tulip Time Run! A program through Pathways of Michigan, Total trek Quest provides after school programming for young boys to promote healthy, active lifestyles as well as, substance abuse prevention education.

The TTQ program starts each semester with the goal of training for a 5K race. With over 250 participants, Tulip Time is thrilled to help these students meet their goal. To celebrate the coming race, three TTQ runners are excited to share some of their thoughts and experiences with the program!

Isaac Trap, Third Grade

Isaac Trap, Third Grade

My name is Isaac Trap.  TTQ is cool!  This is my first year on TTQ.  I am in the third grade at Great Lakes Elementary.  It is fun because we get to run down the halls of school and run outside for practice too.  I like all the fun games we play to help us run better.   I am excited about the Tulip Time race because its going to be so cool to run with my mom, dad, brother and all my new friends I made at TTQ.  This will be my first race and I hope I can run the entire 5K without walking.

Josiah Trap, Fifth Grade

Josiah Trap, Fifth Grade

Hi my name is Josiah Trap.  I am a 5th grader at Great Lakes Elementary School.  This is my first year doing TTQ.  I am happy I joined because I found out I love to run.  They play fun running games and I got to make some new friends.  I am excited about running the Tulip Time 5K.  It will be my first race and I hope to run super fast!

Aric Gamez, Age 9

Aric Gamez, Age 9

Hi my name is Aric Gamez. I’m 9 and have been in TTQ for 2 years. I joined TTQ because I wanted to try something new and just to see if it was fun. I tried for awhile and I really liked it. They make it super fun. Also, I didn’t know they did a 5K until the middle of it, that’s why I joined it this year. Also I joined because of running. I love to run. That’s why I joined TTQ.

Kicks, Trainers, Sneaks or Tennis Shoes- Which one do I choose?

How to choose the shoe that is best for you! MVP Fitness Trainer, Mitch Janicki, gives us the low down on how to select a shoe that will fit you and help you improve!


            When it comes time to purchase a pair of running shoes there are many things to consider, after all these are the shoes you will be potentially spending a lot of time and money on!!  First and foremost proper fit is essential, the age old “1 thumb rule” in the toe box can still be used today, however more importantly is how the shoe feels while in use.  Put the potential new shoes on and run around the store, or a lot of running stores now have treadmills to try shoes on.  Take full advantage of every option when buying your new shoes, remember a comfortable shoe means a more pleasant running experience!

            One thing to remember is to use the knowledge that the employee at the store has but do not let them talk you out of a comfortable shoe.  Each persons foot is different, some are flat, some have high arches.  Flat footed people tend to over pronate (letting the foot roll inward), while people with high arches tend to suppinate (or over contact with the outside of the foot).  The human foot was designed to work best with the initial strike happening at the fore foot somewhere behind the 2nd toe.  For a lot of people running form plays a huge factor but for others its shoe choice that can dictate this.  Buy a shoe that feels like it gives you support, keeps the foot in a neutral position, and fits properly in both size and width.

            Lastly, please do not fall victim to what I think is the most common mistake in running shoe choice………BUYING A SHOE BASED ON LOOKS!!!!  Fashionable shoes are not always comfortable shoes.  This happens a thousand times a week, people see the flashiest shoes or the “cutest” shoes and they immediately purchase them without trying them out or shopping around.  Try to avoid this, the shoe industry is at a point now where no matter what type of foot you have or what distance/discipline you are training for you can find a functional “attractive” shoe that will properly fit. Remember, running is a relatively simple form of exercise, don’t over complicate it with the thousands of shoe choices out there. Go buy a comfortable pair of shoes, we’ll see you at the start line in      18 days!

Dutch Marktplaats & Town Crier Coming Soon!


The festival is only a few weeks away and we are ready! I have had the chance to do a variety of things and help out with a few different events for the week of the festival. Dutch Marktplaats has been my focus and let me tell you, there will be a lot of fun things at the market. We will have many returning vendors plus a couple new ones who will provide a variety of Dutch products. They are definitely worth checking out during the week. This year at Marktplaats we are having our first ever Pig-in-the-Blanket competition. Anyone and everyone should submit their famous recipes for a chance to win some great prizes! In addition to the pig competition, we are also inviting our Town Criers to come and be involved with our market. They will be having a dress competition which is a must see. Many other activities will be going on throughout the week so everyone should come and check them out.

I have also had the privilege of working with our official Town Criers and planning their event that will happen at the end of the festival. Tulip Time is excited that we are able to host about fourteen criers who are coming from all over the world. Their main event will be the Official Town Crier Competition that will be held on Saturday, May 10 at 7:00pm. The event will be a ticketed event that includes appetizers and beverages and take place at the Windmill Island Gardens. This event only happens every four years so everyone should come and join in on the fun.

We are praying for the tulips to be up and in full bloom for the festival. It is going to be a great year with lots of fun events and activities. We hope to see you all in Holland!


The Value of Running in a Bunch!

Adrienne Chandler, NASM-CPT Fitness Trainer, MVP Athletic Club

Adrienne Chandler, NASM-CPT Fitness Trainer, MVP Athletic Club

The Tulip Time Run presented by MVP Athletic Club is a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring and kick off Tulip Time! We only 25 days away!  Guest blogger and MVP fitness trainer, Adrienne Chandler is sharing the value of running with a partner and in groups. You won’t believe the benefits of sharing the sidewalk with a friend!

Running in groups, large or small, organized or impromptu is a smart, fun, motivating way to train, from first-time-out-the-door beginners, to Olympic champions. One of the most important things a running group can do for you, and yes, Olympians need this too, is provide motivation.

We’re more likely to head out on a rainy, blustery, less-than-desirable day if we know our friends are waiting for us.  No one wants to be the one that calls it off!  There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment of a good run in challenging weather . . . with friends.

Many of us need to juggle our schedules to accommodate work and family, requiring us to get our run in before day light or after dark. Those times can be less inviting unless there are others waiting. Safety is definitely an advantage of running in groups.

A good group to become involved with is one where all participants run at a conversational pace. A good discussion can make the miles fly by.

Don’t be concerned if you feel as though your ability isn’t the same as others in the group. While running at a similar pace is important, one runner could be running an easy run, while others are doing time trials, creating a similar pace for the day. Additionally, many groups do workouts in relay form, on tracks, or in parks so runners of varying abilities can mix and match, each getting a good work out for themselves.

MVP Athletic Club offers a Saturday Morning Run Club, which is a great way to get coaching, meet new people and have fun with some friendly competition.

Running groups don’t have to be all about training. After run coffees or dinner, carpooling to races, meeting future best friends and possibly even future spouses are just some of the benefits of group runs. Give it a try!

Couch to Pavement: Let’s Do This!

Henry Meloche

Henry Meloche, NASM-CPT Fitness Trainer MVP Athletic Club

Our countdown continues (1 month from TODAY) and we are kicking up our training! MVP Fitness Trainer, Henry Meloche, is giving us a few tips to get up and out the door after this long winter!

What can possibly be better than the first signs of spring? We thought winter would never end, and our bodies are starved for a taste of the natural vitamin D only the sun can provide. Now that warmer weather is creeping back into our lives and blue sky and sunshine are in the weekly forecast, it’s time to get out and enjoy it. Go out and run, jog, walk, whatever you can to get your legs moving and be outside!

If you spent most of winter enjoying comfort foods and movie marathons on the couch, it’s time to start getting your body back in shape for our much anticipated summer. Running and jogging are both excellent ways to enjoy the spring weather and get a leaner body that’s ready to hit the beach this summer. Here are some great tips to start up running outdoors again if you have been either using treadmills all winter, or have just been in a reclined position for a few months.

1. First, take a look at your shoes. Are they years old and provide enough support to cushion your joints to keep you from experiencing pain and difficulty with your runs? Think of your shoes as the tires on your car; if they look worn and haven’t been replaced in years, odds are it’s time. Go check out a store that specializes in running shoes, the people there can even fit you for a specific style of shoe that fits the way you run.

2. Make sure to start out with some active stretching prior to starting your run. Just pulling the leg back to stretch the quads is not very beneficial in preventing an injury. Best exercises to warm up with would be some body weight squats, lunges and toe touches. These dynamic movements get the muscles prepared for the activity to come. Save the static stretches like hamstring and quad stretches for after your run.

3. Stay hydrated. Some great ways to make sure you have fluids to drink are to plan routes with drinking fountains in proximity to where you run. You can also bring a water bottle to leave at a pit stop or wear a Camel Back (portable water bladder) while you run. These are great ways to make sure you have fluids accessible and prevent dehydration.