Marriott Rewards is now the official Hotel Partner for Spartan Race and has an exclusive offer to people who join their loyalty program – 20% off races, free VIP bag check and $5 off Spartan gear at the races. Once  enrolled, points are earned when you stay at any 4,500 participating hotels around the world. All the info is here:

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Joe De Sena is a man of vision. In his new book, Spartan Fit (Houghton Miflin, 2016), the founder of the Spartan obstacle course race series lays out that vision, giving his readers not just an effective guide to improving strength and fitness, but also a view on how to live a more adventurous and healthful life.

De Sena takes his philosophy from the ancient Spartans, recommending a stripped down exercise and eating regiment that avoids fancy equipment and processed foods. His 30-day training program, based on principles that I agree with and advocate in my own books, is designed to build endurance, strength, and athleticism without requiring readers to join a gym or buy expensive equipment, and his eating suggestions and included recipes favor a varied plant-based diet that nourishes the body without sacrificing taste.

But De Sena provides more than just a program. Spartan Fit also include inspiring stories of people who overcame challenges to achieve a measure of greatness, from an adventure racer battling horrific race day conditions, to a woman who overcame two crippling car accidents to find her way back to a meaningful life. These stories, as well as a recounting of the way of life practiced by the ancient Spartans, leave the reader not only with the tools to get stronger and healthier, but with the inspiration to lead a more adventurous, meaningful life. It’s a book worth reading.

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Here’s a new company offering a product that I find intriguing. TrainGo is a mobile app that allows consumers to search, book and buy services from gyms, studios and fitness professionals in their area while offering a pay as you go option – making booking on-demand easy without needing to commit to a membership.

You’ll find the website below. They’re also currently running a promotion at offers 20% OFF users first workout using promo code FITDC at checkout.

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From The New York Times:

Lower Back Ache? Be Active and Wait It Out, New Guidelines Say

A national physicians’ group says back pain is treated best by exercise, massage therapy or yoga and over-the-counter pain relievers, not medications like opioids.

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Coming to Baton Rouge in January for a marathon, you expect two things: a flat, scenic course, and lots of great food. The Louisiana Marathon over-delivered on both of these. But the thing that stands out most isn’t just the course or the post-race festival; it’s what founder and marketing director Danny Bourgeois promised: a home-town, community atmosphere that made a big race feel like a small-town event.

Race weekend began with packet pick-up at the River Center, nearby to the race start. For those who, like myself, opted to experience the “Deja Vu” event, we picked up numbers for two races – the marathon on Sunday, and also a 5K shake-out race beforehand on Saturday. Runners who completed both events would receive a race-branded crawfish platter for their efforts.

On race morning I awoke to discover an email form the race director wishing me good luck. Nice touch! Earlier emails had kept me apprised of the expected warm weather, so I was prepared for hot and humid conditions when I toed the starting line. After completing the short out-and-back course, I received a beautiful finishers medal (unusual for a 5k, at least for old-timers like me) and enjoyed a full post race festival, complete with plenty of beer options and stands offering standard Louisiana fare, including gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp etouffe. As previews go, this was very encouraging.

Marathon morning brought fog, but it couldn’t hide the highlights of the course, which included views of the towering state capitol, the Governor’s mansion, a tour through the Louisiana State University campus and its enormous Tiger Stadium, and a waterfront run on Lakeshore Drive. As promised, it was a flat, fast course. Aid stations offered a variety of Stinger gels starting at 8 miles, and on crossing the finish line, I knew what to expect from the post race festival. Several servers at the food stands actually remembered me from the day before, and asked how my race had gone. I felt like I was among friends.

So how was my race? Not my fastest time, but surely one of my most enjoyable ones. I give this event a big thumbs up.

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Get out of the cold and run in Baton Rouge with me next weekend. I’ll be running the Deja Vu challenge – a 5K on Saturday, and the marathon on Sunday. Come join me. Sign up at, and use the code RUNWITHJEFF for a 15% discount.

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As many of you know, I consider myself primarily a runner. Over the years, however, I’ve enjoyed taking up other challenges as well. For this coming year, I’m planning to add an obstacles course race. There are a number of different organizations to choose from, and I’ve settled on the Spartan Race Series. Here’s why.

Spartan races offer distances ranging form short course to the Ultra Beast long course, with a variety of new, challenging obstacles along the way. They offer races throughout the US, and in 2017 they’ll be adding a new type of event: 8 stadium races. In case I get bit by the Spartan Race bug, they’ll also be offering three different pass packages in 2017: an Elite pass, an Open pass & a Trifecta pass.

I haven’t yet decided on which race to do, but I’m open to suggestions. In the meantime, check them out at

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