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Business Observer Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010 12 years ago

CEO Fitness: Marathon Mom

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Kristen Horler wanted to complete the 2010 Sarasota Half Marathon injury free.

Age: 36
Title: CEO and founder
Company: Baby Boot Camp, Sarasota

Fitness goal: Kristen Horler wanted to complete the 2010 Sarasota Half Marathon injury free. She sustained an Achilles tendon injury after the Palm Beach Half Marathon in December 2007, where the pain was so bad she didn't think she would be able to do any distance running again. The Sarasota Half Marathon was scheduled for March 14.

Training regimen: In preparation for the half-marathon, Horler ran two days a week, with one short run and one long run. “I teach six to nine fitness classes each week so squeezing in my training runs was challenging,” she says. “I wanted to avoid running on back-to-back days and I always take Sundays off so I can recover.”

How she balances work and training: Horler discovered that training has helped her be better at her job. “When I'm training,” she says, “I think of food as fuel and sleep as recovery, so I take better care of my body.”

When she trains: On run days Horler hit the streets before 5:30 a.m. She gets going that early so she can get back home in time to see her kids off to school and her husband off to work. About 70% of her runs were on Siesta Key Beach, with the other 30% near downtown Sarasota and the personal training studio she operates, Karna Fitness.

Why she got into running: Horler hated running in high school. But in college, she was a strong biker and swimmer, so she decided to enter some triathlons, which forced her to run. When she moved to Florida in 2005 with her husband and two children, she got into jogging and walking on the local straight and flat roads.

Best training tool: A GymBoss Interval timer. “I don't know how I survived without [it],” says Horler. “I set the interval and it beeps when I need to change my pace. No more staring at my watch or losing track of time.”

Gear she can't do without: Horler says her CW-X Conditioning Wear running tights provide great support, even though it feels like it's a wetsuit. And her Zensah compression socks are great for circulation. “I am addicted to all the new technical apparel available to athletes,” says Horler. “The gear may not do wonders for my time, but it certainly feels great.”

Weakness: A gluten-free hamburger and gluten-free Toleration beer from Shakespeare's Pub in Sarasota is what gets Horler. “But,” she says, “there's no guilt here.”

Fuel: Before a run Horler will eat her first breakfast: A High Energy Electrolyte Drink (HEED) with 20 ounces of water and a cup of coffee. Her second breakfast, which she eats during a run or an early morning workout, is some GU Chomps Energy Chews. After that, it's breakfast number three: A protein smoothie or two eggs. Says Horler: “I'm behind my desk, teaching a class or training a client by 9 a.m.”

Fitness tip: Setting a fitness goal once a year, says Horler, which is different from a weight loss goal, can help maintain motivation. “Running is not for everyone,” she says. “Find a way to be active that works for you and your lifestyle.”

Inspiration: Her two young kids. “My children inspire me to be healthy and active,” says Horler. “Hopefully someday they will run with me.”
— Mark Gordon

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