5 Tips for Crushing Your Spring Running Goals

Want to take the leap and start your running journey? Or, perhaps you just want to improve! Regardless of where you are in your running journey, here are some of our top tips to getting after it during the Spring season.

Tip #1: Set Manageable Goals

A lot of people start running with the best of intentions but fade out quickly. While there are a lot of reasons this may happen, one of the most common is a lack of realistic goals from the outset.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting started, getting back into the swing of things, or are an avid runner, it can be crucial for continued participation and motivation to set goals and targets that are reachable and achievable.

Goals can be adjusted and developed as you continue through your running experience, but they should be unique to you. If you’re a beginner, simply graduating from walking your neighborhood to jogging it may be a huge milestone. If you’re an advanced runner, you may be looking to add a mile to your route or cover your circuit in less time, but the key is to break down larger goals like “lose weight” or “start running again” into smaller milestones you can chip away at and achieve incrementally.

Everyone’s targets and goals will be different so don’t worry about comparing yourself to someone else… just keep on running!

Tip #2: Plan, plan, plan!

Planning can be pivotal to success, especially when starting out. This planning can be varied, however the basis of it should be based around the days you aim to run along with the distance. This method offers accountability and allows you to prepare correctly prior to setting off.

Tip #3: Run With A Friend\Partner

Running with someone else can be beneficial for both running performance and social/mental health, as it can be seen as an opportunity to meet with friends while exercising. More so, it can be used as a competitive edge to push all parties involved to do better and continue their running journey.

Tip #4: Change Of Routine

Doing the same thing over and over again not only becomes predictable, but it can also create boredom, and running is no different. To avoid this type of rut (and the potential loss of motivation), changing up your runs can be very beneficial. This may be varying the distance, the route or even the terrain; these are just some ideas to keep you motivated and moving forward.

Tip #5: Correct Preparation

Warming up and wearing the correct sneakers can impact performance at all levels of participation. Warming-up is crucial to avoid injuries and allow your body to be prepared for exercise. Additionally, footwear can often be overlooked by beginners, however a correctly fitting pair of shoes for your running style can benefit you massively both in performance and comfort.

Bonus Tip: Run a Virtual Race

Whether you’re working your way up to a goal or could use a little extra motivation to get going, a virtual race is a great way to add some context to your runs. For example, you could use the Escape Zombie-Themed Virtual Run to jumpstart the first 60 miles of your running journey.

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There’s a government bunker 60 miles outside of town that’s taking in survivors, but the doors seal for good in 31 days. The roads are blocked so you’ll have to travel on foot. Will you make it in time?

What is Outbreak: Escape Virtual Race?

The Outbreak: Escape Virtual Race is a zombie virtual race you can run at any location, at your pace, outside or on a treadmill, alone or with a group of friends. Train and stay active, run for a good cause, and get an awesome medal and/or collectible race t-shirt.

Why a virtual race?

As with any of our Outbreak missions, it’s fun to switch up your workout routine and try something new. A change in mindset or environment (or both) can have a huge impact on how successful and energized exercise makes you feel. You’ll also have the satisfaction that comes with earning a limited race medal.

Who can do a virtual run?

As the name suggests, almost anyone can do a virtual race! It’s true, whether you’re a solo adventurer or a group of zombie enthusiasts, whether you’re in great shape or just getting started with a fitness routine – this zombie race is meant for any and everyone.

If you’re new to the virtual race scene, we’re also working to bring you an Outbreak community of fellow Outbreakers – a supportive and accepting group of high-stepping fools like yourself. Hey, it can be difficult to join a gym or even a social runners’ club because of the competitive mentality that can come with that membership. We wanted to do something a little different.

Whether you’re going it solo or with a group of family or friends, The Outbreak: Escape zombie virtual race is the perfect way to run (or walk) your way to your fitness goals. 60 miles in 30 days… can you escape?

START YOUR RACE
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What do zombies say on December 31st?

Happy New Fear! Did you get it?!

Okay – jokes might not be our specialty, but zombies mixed with health entertainment? That is our specialty. A specialty that we continue to improve upon year after year, and this year was no different. We brought you everything from a new and improved webstore to a slicker, more comprehensive Outbreak app. 

With 2021 right around the corner, we’d thought we’d use this blog post to share one particular product we’ve been hard at work on – a zombie-themed virtual race.

Say hello to The Outbreak: Escape!

The Outbreak: Escape virtual race is a new type of Outbreak mission, similar to any traditional running event, including races like 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and full marathons. What makes a virtual run different, however, is that you register online and complete the race on your own time, in your own way – all while dodging zombies, of course.

Unlike the Outbreak challenges you know and love, which are time-based (lasting 2-6 weeks), The Outbreak: Escape is a distance based race. Whether you play solo or on teams, you’ll have 31 days to cover 60 miles.

New to The Outbreak, debuting with The Outbreak: Escape, is that sweet, sweet swag you’ve been begging us for for years. Players who finish the virtual race will earn a physical medal, and even those who don’t finish will have the option to add on an Escape t-shirt, which you can choose to wear (or not) during your virtual run.

 

Once you’re done running, you can share your race results online to a Facebook community of fellow Outbreakers. Here, you can find inspiration, support, and friends with common interests. Head HERE to add our community on Facebook!

On top of all this, a portion of your registration fee for Escape will be donated to Doctors without Borders, an organization that cares for those affected by conflict and endemic disease impact in various parts of the world.  Pretty cool, right?

We can’t give too much away this year, but be on the lookout for more features and updates next year. In the meantime, head to https://store.astepaheadchallenge.com/ to set-up a challenge before the year ends! Use the code HOLIDAYSHUFFLE2021 at checkout to receive 21% off of the total purchase of any challenge! This offer is valid until Midnight on December 31, so go ahead and get the jump on 2021 – what are you waiting for?

As always, if you have any questions or comments, we’re here to help!

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Happy Thanksgiving from the team at FIX Health!

Thanksgiving is typically a time for fun, family, and food – arguably, a sporting event. Why have one pie when you can have seven? Why have a turkey when you can stuff a chicken inside a duck, and the duck inside a turkey? Why have one family over when you can invite the whole neighborhood?

This year though, it’s time to trim your guest list and pack up your holiday pants – you know the ones, the ones with the conveniently missing top button. Amidst the worst pandemic in a century, holiday gatherings in 2020 will have to cater to smaller guest lists and emphasize practicality, intimacy, simplicity, and gratitude. Honestly, a small sacrifice if it means protecting your loved one.

No one wants Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings to turn into superspreader events, so start with this simple advice: think small.

Sticking with this mindset – keep reading to check out a brief activity risk assessment, provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that will help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

Low-risk activity options include:

  • Dining only with people living in your home.
  • Hosting a virtual meal for extended family and friends.
  • Preparing traditional dishes to deliver safely to family and neighbors.
  • Shopping Black Friday sales online instead of at the mall.
  • Catching football games and parades at home.

Activities with moderate risk, according to the CDC, include:

  • Dining with a few people living outside of your home. *Lower the risk further by feasting outdoors like a cookout or plating people’s food to avoid multiple hands in serving bowls.
  • Attending sports events even with safety precautions in place.

Avoid high-risk activities like these:

  • Shopping in crowded stores.
  • Traveling through crowded airports or roadside rest stops.
  • Attending crowded sporting event or parades.
  • Going to large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household.

Listen- social isolation stinks. There’s no doubt about it. But, stay safe during Thanksgiving 2020 and we can guarantee that your family will be even more grateful for your traditions in the years to come.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, we’re here to help!

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This is the day we’ve all been waiting for!

After a lot of planning, designing, building, and polishing, we’re finally ready to release an improved version of The Outbreak.

These past couple of months, we’ve been hard at work to bring our Outbreak users a slicker, more comprehensive UX. Everything from in-app typeface to the end of challenge reporting has received their much needed facelift, but that’s just the beginning!

Onwards to more tidbits about what’s changes with this release:

New Additions:
– We’ve made connecting and managing your fitness tracker easier with an all-new setup wizard and settings panel.
– We’ve developed an all-new end-of-challenge interface with challenge summary, final leaderboard and stats that show your individual performance so you can revisit all the memories after your challenge ends.
– Remembering when steps and power have last synced got a bit tedious so now, when you tap your Step or Power bank you’ll get a little popup that tells you exactly the last time your health tracker synced with The Outbreak
– Times are strange to say the least, but to make things a bit easier – at least in The Outbreak – we’ve added “Chapter Info.” This handy feature tells users the Chapter and Day of the challenge that you’re in.
– We’ve added new shortcut buttons that will appear at the left or right of the screen to quick-snap you to The Horde and/or your team as you scroll around the game board.
– We’ve also added in-game app rating requests because we’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: we do better when we know better! Feedback from our users has fueled our changes, so we want to make sure we get a chance to hear from each and every one of you!

Fixes:
– The survivor interface has been tweaked and tightened, with a new (but familiar) look and loads of usability improvements.
– We’ve improved the action buttons for spending steps, battling obstacles and healing users.
– We’re all about team-building over at FIX Health, so of course we had to revamp The Outbreak chat. Now, new messages appear at the bottom… like they do in literally every other chat/messaging app on the planet.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, we’re here to help!

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Atlanta, GA— FIX Health, the leader in health entertainment, announced its induction into the Wellness Council of American’s (WELCOA) 2020 Premier Provider Network to expand its presence within the employee health and wellness sphere.

Through this strategic partnership, FIX Health and WELCOA will work together to help businesses and health professionals improve employee well-being and create healthier organizational cultures. WELCOA’s platform serves as a hub for high-quality, comprehensive resources that aid in building high-performing, healthy workplaces.

“We’re excited to partner with WELCOA — especially during a time when listening, understanding and anticipating employee needs are even more critical than ever” said Mike Tinney, CEO of FIX Health. “It’s clear that HR practitioners are looking for new and creative health-based solutions to not only engage employees, but to retain that engagement — especially since many companies are still working from home. We believe that the best way to reach and help more companies and their clients is via the WELCOA Premier Provider Network and we couldn’t be more honored to be part of this robust network of providers.”

About FIX Health
FIX Health is dedicated to defining the frontier of health entertainment. FIX revolutionized corporate wellness with the introduction of their zombie-themed walking challenge, “The Outbreak,” in 2017. Today, FIX leads the industry in health-based solutions for the corporate and consumer market. Their behavior first approach has awarded them a proven track record in delivering higher participation and customer satisfaction than traditional wellness programs.

For more information on FIX Health, please contact Kim Kerlegan at kim@fix-health.com or visit their website at http://fix-health.com/

About WELCOA
WELCOA (The Wellness Council of America) is the nation’s most-respected resources for building high-performing, healthy workplaces. Throughout its 30+ year history, WELCOA has perfected its patented Well Workplace protocol which is the key to developing, delivering, and sustaining a healthy corporate culture. Today, thousands of workplace wellness practitioners, human resources professionals, business leaders and consultants rely on WELCOA for tools, training and its Premier Provider Network (PPN) partners to move their wellness programs forward. Visit WELCOA online at www.welcoa.org

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Atlanta, GA | May 28, 2020 — The team at FIX Health is pleased to announced the 2020 “#TrainingforanOutbreak” social media contest — the competition is working in tandem with Global Running Day, which falls on Wednesday, June 3 this year. The social media competition, a first for FIX Health, is a way for the company to celebrate the joys of running and to encourage others to get moving. The winner of the contest will win a $50 Amazon gift card and an exclusive FIX Health water bottle.

Interested participants should take a photo or screenshot of their run on Wednesday, June 3 — date and distance must be visible. To qualify as an entry, the photo must be coupled with a caption that includes both “#TrainingforanOutbreak” and #globalrunningday,” and the photo must be posted on either Instagram or Facebook. Entrants must also follow FIX’s Instagram account: @fixhealth, as well as our Facebook account: @FitnessInteractiveExperience and our Twitter account: @FIX_Health_. The winner will be selected randomly from the submitted entries and will be announced at 1pm EST on Thursday, June 4.

The inaugural Global Running Day, formerly known as National Running Day, was held on June, 1, 2016. On this day, more than 2.5 million people from 177 countries pledged to run more than 9.2 million miles. The worldwide celebration reminds us of the mental and physical benefits of running and the power of the running community.

For more information on Global Running Day and how to register for virtual races, visit their website at https://globalrunningday.org/

For more information on FIX Health, please contact Kim Kerlegan at kim@fix-health.com or visit their website at http://fix-health.com/.

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FIX Health is dedicated to defining the frontier of health entertainment. FIX revolutionized corporate wellness with the introduction of their zombie-themed walking challenge, “The Outbreak,” in 2017. Today, FIX leads the industry in health-based solutions for the corporate and consumer market. Their behavior first approach has awarded them a proven track record in delivering higher participation and customer satisfaction than traditional wellness programs.

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FIX Health Named One of CIO Review’s 2020 Most Promising Gamification Providers

FIX Health is proud to be included in CIO Review’s Most Promising Gamification Solution Providers for 2020. View the full writeup on their website.

VIEW ON CIOREVIEW.COM
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Employee Wellness Company FIX Health Announces its Groundbreaking Employee Health Challenge, The Outbreak, has Increased User Retention to 93.9%

ATLANTA, GA. August 22, 2019  

FIX Health, makers of The Outbreak, the employee health challenge that is part game, part six-week fitness journey, announce that their continued attention to behavioral triggers, in-app affirmation moments, and application features have resulted in a 1.5% increase in user retention for their groundbreaking six-week program. The result is an increase in retention from 92.4% to 93.9%.

“You might not think of a 1.5% increase as a big number, but let me tell you, when you’re already in the 90th percentile, improvement is a game of inches,” said Mike Tinney, CEO and Founder of FIX Health. He goes on to add, “These are the goalposts. You don’t see a lot of companies talking about this key metric because most struggle to consistently engage and retain more than 60% of their users.”

FIX Health uses a core behavior method, where its programs focus on daily movement and an incremental increase in active minutes over time. Participants are chased by digital zombies in an app that features a storyline along with daily and weekly goals that require teamwork to complete.

“Our challenge participants use real world steps and activities,” adds Ali Thomason, FIX Health’s Chief Client Officer. “Their trackers (cell phones, or wearables) pick up their activities, our app validates the steps as having actually occurred, and then they spend those steps in the app to achieve milestones inside of the game.”

Global winemaker, Treasury Wine Estates, held a Spring Outbreak challenge as part of their wellness program. “We were blown away by the employee interest and participation,” said Jessica Lantieri, Senior Vice President, People & Capability. “It was fantastic to see our employees excited about working together to change their daily habits. Our completion rate ended up at 94%!”

The Outbreak has been steadily gaining ground in terms of user retention and engagement since its release in 2015. The program now has six different challenges, most of them with three difficulty levels. FIX Health delivers more content every quarter, as many of their customers use the program year-round.

FIX Health is a service mark of Fitness interactive Experience, Inc. A Georgia company. All Rights Reserved.

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by Mike Tinney

The first rule of cheating is simple: don’t get caught.

No one wants to play a game with a cheater. No one trusts a cheater. So if you’re going to cheat… better not get caught.

My name is Mike Tinney and my company FIX Health runs corporate walking challenges. Our flagship challenge, The Outbreak, is a simulated zombie apocalypse where participants must use their real-world steps to outrun the zombie horde, racing against other teams to reach each weekly safehouse. It inspires players to do a little better today than they did yesterday. In inspires teams to come together to face obstacles together and compete with their colleagues. And for a small minority of players, it inspires… cheating.

Preventing walking challenge cheatingWe deal with cheaters every day. Some cheaters are fairly clever, others mmmm… not so much. They open up their iPhone Health App and manually enter the number 50,000 as their step count for the day. Some do this at 10 AM. There’s roughly 2000 steps to a mile.

Sure, Roger, you walked 25 miles in the first 4 hours of your day.

Others are fairly clever. They “nudge” their counts up. 4,596 additional steps here, 1,102 more there, bringing their total above whatever they legitimately walked to something plausible, like 11,509. Much more believable, and until now, relatively difficult for a group health challenge like ours to detect.

Since most employers award prizes, benefits, perks, or recognition in association with one of these health programs, it’s important to minimize cheating as much as possible. Until now, that was easier said than done. And once one person starts cheating in one of these challenges, many follow. It’s like watching a dam break, and once it does it can really affect participants’ morale. But you don’t have to take my word for it. We send out a poll at the end of each challenge to get feedback. One of the questions is, “What could we do better?”

The answers usually fall into two categories: 1) “I don’t want this to end. Keep it going year ’round!” and 2)… well, I’ll paste some #2s below:

“I was on a very competitive team. We got up at 4 in the morning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to get in 5+ miles of steps. We encouraged each other throughout the day to keep moving and get the steps in. Some of us even engaged in 2-a-day run schedules plus boot camp workouts to make things happen, but when another team has multiple players with 63,000+ steps each, it gets very frustrating for those of us busting our tails to do it the right way! Those of us who know that 63K steps is approximately 31.5 miles at a 20 mile an hour pace and that if you are moving faster your strides are longer and you take fewer steps. Some of our team members wanted to cheat to keep up with the teams that were taking impossible numbers of steps. Other teammates wanted to give up!”

“There should be no option to manually enter steps. There was too much cheating (i.e. someone putting in 50k steps per day for 5 straight weeks), which was pretty demotivating to a lot of teams.”

“It seemed like a lot of the leading teams cheated – how on earth does an actual human person earn 70,000 steps by 7am in one day?!? I don’t know how you could do it, but the cheating needs to be stopped. I love a good competition if it’s fair. There is no way an honest group of people can beat a team that cheats constantly. It’s disheartening.”

While the vast majority of feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive, we’ve been getting notes like these for years, and it’s not just us. Every walking challenge struggles with this same issue. I can’t tell you how many times it’s come up in sales calls. “We’ve used challenge XYZ in the past, but there was so much cheating.” It’s a real pain point for everyone involved: the buyer, the participants, and us.

So we did something about it.

Last week we fixed this. We have a guy on staff who’s a genius. I’m not kidding. You ever read about one of those kids who was in college when his peers were in high school? We have one of those kids (now grown up, for the most part) leading our engineering. He’s gotten deep into the code of Apple Health and Google Fit (our two primary trackers) and he’s figured out how to differentiate the steps inputs in a way that is (so far) cheat proof.

Introducing TruStep™

TruStep™ Anti-Cheating for Walking Challenges

As a result, we are pleased to introduce a new component to The Outbreak and A Step Ahead programs called TruStep™.

TruStep™ intelligently separates step inputs into two categories: verified steps that are synced directly from a user’s fitness tracker, and manual user entries.

With TruStep™, we can now run 100% validated step challenges. We can verify when, and how rapidly the steps were taken, and limit (or rule out entirely) manually entered/typed-in steps. From now on, every Outbreak challenge can validate and count only steps that actually occurred, making the credibility of the program second to none.

Cheaters beware! The Outbreak has your number… and it’s not 50,000 before 10 a.m.

Until next time,

Mike

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