Paula Smith Fitness in Raleigh Logo

Latest Articles

Stretches for Tight Hip Flexors

Tight hip flexors are a common complaint among those of us who spend a lot of the day sitting at a desk. When you spend a lot of time in a seated position, the hip flexors remain in a shortened position. Over time, the shortened muscles become tight which leads to back pain, poor core […]

Running in the Heat!

Paula Smith running in the summer

Summer is here and it’s important that you plan and prep appropriately when exercising in the hot and humid conditions. Failing to plan and prepare for exercise in the heat can be detrimental to your health and performance and may even result in heat related illness, which can be very serious and possibly life threatening. […]

 |    Running

Why Do I Race? Because the Goal is the Journey

What I have learned throughout my years of racing in marathons and triathlons has impacted me in profound ways. The impact it has on me extends way beyond the physical.  It’s an amazing and transformative journey that takes place throughout the training and I’ve listed here my top reasons for continuing my journey as an […]

 |    Running

Run-Walk-Run Method

As a running coach, I often assign beginner runners to a run-walk-run training program to help build endurance, confidence, improve their chances of success, and decrease the risk of injuries. However, some experienced runners also use run-walk-run as a strategy for increasing their overall mileage, completing endurance races, recover from hard workouts, return from injury […]

 |    Running

The Dynamic Warm-Up Every Runner Should Try

General warm-ups (walk before jog, jog before run) have long been accepted as beneficial, not only for injury prevention, but for performance enhancement as well. Increases in core temperature, blood flow, oxygen uptake, improvements in neuromuscular efficiency, and mental preparedness and focus are all aspects that can provide both short- and long-term benefits. Dynamic flexibility […]

 |    Running

The Fitness Court- Fit More Fun in Your Fitness!

I recently visited San Francisco and while out on my morning run I literally ran into this amazing fitness structure called the “FITNESS COURT”.  I think I might have heard angels singing! It was like an adult playground!  I stopped running for a moment and watched as a few men & women used their own […]

 |    Fitness

4 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

 Want to become a stronger, faster, efficient, injury-proof runner?  Strength training is one of the single most important non-running aspects of training that can help you become a better runner. Add these 4 running specific strength training exercises to your running routine.   1) Bulgarian Split Squats Working muscles: Quads, glutes, core and calves. Progression: […]

Yoga Poses to Improve Your Running and Prevent Injuries

In the past I have suffered from knee pain (due to IT Band tightness) and low back pain (from tight hamstrings) after my long runs.  I have found that performing yoga stretches 10 minutes before and after runs can be a great way to make your muscles loose and flexible.  If you don’t stretch before […]

Get Heart Healthy with Running

February is Heart Health Awareness Month and running is incredibly effective at making your heart healthier in a number of ways. 1. Improve Cardio Health Running is a fantastic way to improve your heart strength.  As you run, your need for oxygen and blood flow increases, therefore making your heart pump harder and more frequently […]

 |    Running

Choosing the Right Running Shoe

How do you know which running shoes are right for you? A lot goes into finding the best running shoe for YOU and not just because you think they’re cool, you like the color, your friend has them, or they’re on sale.  Running in the wrong pair could lead to injuries so, here are some […]