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The Performance Life

Mark Verstegen and a team of experts and writers provide useful strategies to perform great, while talking about their own goals and challenges as they practice the Core Performance tenets in their daily lives.

The Performance Life

The Power Boost Playlist

Even before I step out onto the gym floor, I make sure I have my headphones blaring. It puts me in the right mindset from the start, and helps me finish strong in the end.

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Tags: Focus, Power, Attitude, Resistance Training

The Performance Life

Mark Martin's Longevity Roadmap

Jerry Markland / Getty Images

With young NASCAR drivers like Joey Logano rising fast, it’s easy to underestimate experience. Or fitness, for that matter. But at age 50, when most drivers have handed over the wheel, Mark Martin is still racing strong. At just 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, he’s among the smallest drivers and attributes his longevity to a conditioning program he adopted more than 20 years ago after purchasing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.

For years, he tried to keep his conditioning a secret, not wanting his competitors to find out what was giving him the strength and endurance to thrive on long Sunday afternoons of racing in temperatures that average 130 degrees in the car.

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Tags: Attitude, Sports Performance, Motivation, Longevity, Stress, Pressure

The Performance Life

Movements with Mark: Physioball

Glute Bridge Wwith Physioball

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Tags: Physioball

The Performance Life

Breakfast Smoothie on a Budget

iStock / Thinkstock

I like smoothies for breakfast because I can’t eat a whole lot in the morning and they're an easy way to get some quality nutrients. Problem is, the ingredients aren't exactly in a student budget.

Last week I decided to treat myself and came up with this exotic, healthy and tasty smoothie recipe:

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Tags: Beverages, Snacks, College, Cooking

The Performance Life

There's Always a Way to Train

ndanger / flickr

After two weeks of finals, I had arrived at my winter break location in Tucson, Arizona and I felt ready to start preparing for the Boston Marathon. So I got out my new running shoes, an early Christmas present to myself, and decided to try them out.

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Tags: College, Mountain Biking, Race, Attitude, Leisure Time

The Performance Life

Best Moves for Mountain Bikers

Peter Macdonald Photo / flickr

As the rest of the country is under snow, I’m absolutely envious but just wanted to share what I’m up to from the southwest. One of my passions is mountain biking and I just rode in this morning on my bike (that's it, pictured below). I had an unbelievable ride, I’m feeling great, and just loving the fact that I can mountain bike year round.

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Tags: Training, Sports Performance, Mountain Biking

The Performance Life

Tiki Barber's New Workout Plan

Two years ago, Tiki Barber walked away from the NFL at the top of his game, still one of the league’s best running backs at the age of 31. He left the balance of a lucrative contract on the table, stepping away one year before the Giants won the Super Bowl.

Barber had prepared himself well for his next career, spending his off days for seven seasons working in a variety of media endeavors. As a result, there was a bidding war for his services the moment he retired.

These days, he works for NBC in a variety of roles. He contributes to the network’s NFL coverage, but spends more of his time working for The Today Show, Dateline, and MSNBC on political and feature stories. Along with his twin brother, Ronde Barber of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’s co-authored five children’s books and even recently released his own fitness book, Tiki Barber’s Pure Hard Workout.

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Tags: Focus, Goals, Attitude, Planning

The Performance Life

Coping With a Stress Fracture

This week, I received some bad news: I have a stress fracture in my tibia. So much for keeping up with my running plan. Also, not paying the utmost attention to Prehab, Movement Prep, and, most importantly, regeneration while adapting to long distance running has backfired big time.

I had to come up with some solutions to make the best out of this situation. While I won’t be able to run a certain mileage or do interval work or tempo runs, I can still work on my endurance in other ways. Here's how I plan to adapt my program:

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Tags: Injury, College, Elliptical, Running, Goals

The Performance Life

Racing for Youth Sports

Stewart Dawson / flickr

The other week I had one of those awful days that turned around by simply not allowing myself to miss a run. Well, Karma is bound to come back around.

When looking at potential marathons in the spring, the Boston Marathon popped up as the only major marathon on the East Coast. Now, as some of you may know, there is a qualification requirement for this particular marathon. I was ready to give up on my dream of debuting at a big marathon until I heard from a friend that if you make a commitment to fundraise for certain organizations, they would give you a starting spot in return. I checked back on the marathon website, and she was right.

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Tags: College, Running, Race, Youth Fitness

The Performance Life

When You Just Don't Want to Train

stuart pilbrow / flickr

Earlier this week, I had one of those days.

Finishing up homework until the early morning hours the night before, I woke up after only about two and a half hours of sleep. My schedule didn’t cut me a break either: Classes all morning, a three-hour seminar in the afternoon, and a lecture in the evening. I’m sure you all know what kind of day it was going to be.

But on top of that, my training calendar informed me that I was supposed to run eight miles as well, the longest run so far. I was about ready to turn around and call it a day.

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Tags: College, Running, Race, Motivation



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Try these dynamic stretches to prepare for a better workout.

Live Better

Feeling Uninspired? Take a Walk

When you feel your creativity lacking, taking a walk can help you find inspiration, according to a small study from Stanford University researchers.


Q&A: Supplements for Vegetarian Bodybuilders

Three things to know if you train hard and don't eat meat.

Well at Work

Survey: American Employees Skipping Vacation Days for Work

A new survey found that only 25 percent of employees with paid time off took advantage of it in 2013.

The Performance Life

5 Tips to Build Teamwork and Fun Through Obstacle Racing

Here's what you need to know about using obstacle races to build teamwork at work.