“My race is almost here!!! Help me Coach Pete!”



I hear this all the time as people act like they are confessing their sins as they tell me they are totally unprepared for their upcoming event. It’s usually a half or full marathon. Life gets in the way of our best training plans sometimes. It’s okay! We are human. The good news is under training often leads to better race times than over training. Running is very mental so stop thinking you are signed up to fail! There are some things you can do in the 1-2 weeks before the big day to ensure a more successful event. Follow these steps towards your race or event and toe the starting line feeling race ready:


1. Core core core. Plank variations like the up down planks, shoulder taps, renegade rows, stability ball walk outs, and other great dynamic (movement) functional exercises like bridges are really important here. Stop reading and so some for 30 seconds to 3 minutes right now!!!! Seriously. Now repeat as often as possible. I mean 2-5 times a day. Now before you think I’m crazy I’m literally talking 30 seconds minimum here so I mean 2.5 to 15 minutes TOTAL of core work a day. The trick is to do them as often as possible thinking “activation” and not “extreme workout”. In the morning before your shower, while on the phone at the office, while you are cooking, during commercials. As long as you start this practice at least 5 days out from your event it will work to dramatically improve how you will look and feel through the last half of your race. Focus on deep breathing while you do these movements!

2. Get LOTS of sleep in these days leading up to the race. Try waking up early like you will on race day and going for a short run of 1.5 to 4 mile run. Keep the intensity and pace at a very comfortable level as in being able to speak in full sentences BUT keep you leg speed quick, actively pushing off the ground at about 175-182 steps a minute. Running with a slower cadence that focuses on your feet landing instead of pushing means you are training outside the parameters of your sport and this is not when you want to be wasting your time. Even though it’s early be sure to run with a slight smile on your face! Sounds silly? Well don’t act like a 5 year old saying “CHEESE”, the slightest hint of a smile will go a long way to helping you breathe more effortlessly and subconsciously it will tell your brain you are feeling good. This habit will pay off big on race day! Running drills like the carioca, high knee skips, side shuffles, and but kickers with correct form (foot comes up under you not just swinging back from the knee) should be done before your runs to activate and after to help recovery and instilling that fast poppy cadence in your muscle memory. Getting good sleep and getting used to the morning run will condition you to have energy and be less of a cranky jerk on race morning.

3. Even though they are short with moderate to low intensities, if you know what sports drinks and snacks you will be having before and during your race bring a small amount with you on your runs and be sure to sip and nibble. It will prepare you to perform with less surprises on race day. Light running at a comfortable fast cadence is the goal here.

4. Add a little more cardio and activate recovery after your runs by getting on a bicycle, spin bike, bike rollers, or Elliptigo for 15-40 minutes after your run. The runs should be easy enough that you feel like you can do 2 in one day and if you want to that is great but keep one shorter than the other and don’t do a double run day in the 2 days before the event. Bike again later in the day or evening instead of logging too many miles on your feet after not running as regularly as you should have leading up to your event. While on the bike think about ACTIVATING your muscles and energy systems and don’t feel like you need to wear yourself out and feel exhausted when you are done. Keeping it short and light enough that you feel like you could have dome more is key here.

5. Swim a few times a week. If you haven’t been swimming remember the first time back in the lap pool is always a little bit hard and frustrating. It’s not an olympic workout but nice comfortable swimming 4-20 pool lengths at a time without stopping and repeating 2 or 3 times. Go ahead and throw a pinch of intensity in there for 15 seconds here and there. Just don’t go all out and do something that will take more than a day or two to recover from. This great cardio will have very low impact on your joints. The circulation will work wonders for your muscle recovery. Every time you make it to the pool during this time period will increase the efficiency of the oxygen transfer into your bloodstream and your breathing will feel better and better while you run. Running really is just moving and breathing so don’t underestimate the impact of even simple breathing exercises like abdominal lifts and flicks you can see demonstrated HERE.

6. Don’t let your nutrition slip during this important time period. Stay away from processed foods and preservatives as much as possible. Plan nutrition dense meals and snacks. Remember that alkalizing foods, and simple lemon water, will help muscles to fully recover and remove acidic waste and debris from your muscles. Anti inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric root, and beets should be included in every meal possible. Research lists of anti inflammatory foods and make them a bigger part of your diet in general. Avoid fast food and sugary snacks that can have negative affects on how you feel for a couple days after you eat them. Make sure you are getting lots of magnesium in your diet or take supplements. Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body and a deficiency can lead to muscle spasms. Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, AVOCADOS, whole grains (brown rice), bananas, and DARK chocolate should be in heavt rotation during this time period. Getting enough magnesium helps you sleep deeply which is a catalyst for muscle recovery and growth. Read more about it HERE.

7. You don’t really want a total “Rest Day” before the race. No running 2 days out from the race if you feel you need the recovery might be a good idea but I suggest still doing some light swimming or cycling for at least 15-40 minutes even on this rest (from running) day. When you are 2 or 3 days out from the event is important to keep activating your muscles and energy systems but if you over do it on these 2 specific days it could lead to you being on the wrong part of your natural stress adaptation curve on race day. Always run the day before the race if only for a short quick activation. I find this really helps me feel ready and not over rested when the race is starting.

8. Check out the course map and elevation information if it is provided. This will help you mentally prepare for how you want to pace yourself through the event. Be familiar with cross streets and landmarks around certain mile markers or notable elevation changes. Be familiar but don’t obsess with a mile by mile plan. It’ll actually wear you out mentally in the day or two before the race and you can never really plan for crowds and how your body will feel on the big day.

9. Try wearing exactly what you will wear for the race an a couple of your morning runs. I like to wear a cycling jersey with a headband to cover my ears, arm warmers, light gloves, shorts, compression sleeves. As I warm up I can easily and comfortable stow them in the back pockets of my jersey. On race day it is a good idea to wear an old long sleeve shirt or light sweater over your outfit you plan to race in. It’s usually cool in the morning before the race and then you can toss that old top at the start or an aid station. These clothes are often donated to the needy after. Don’t forget sunglasses and headphones. Make a special playlist with some very mellow music for the first part of the race and increase the intensity as you play through the list!

10. Plan to get to the event at least an hour before the start. Even if you are a little late you should still have enough time to walk around, jog for 10-15 minutes, do some running drills, wait on a porta potty line, and scope out the starting line. Are they lining people up according to pace? Have the start times been delayed? The frantic feeling you get when you might be cutting it close on time will take a lot out of your race. Wake up. and get there early.


Follow these 10 steps to last minute success and message me with your race report and questions anytime!!!!!!


Be well-

Coach Pete

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Training

Understanding the phenomenon of pain to help you pursue your human potential.

sprint finish

Ever get that random itch on your skin somewhere that makes you slap yourself and think “Wow what was that!”. Sometimes I get a mental image of a microscopic insect digging it’s hairy fangs into my skin. You rub the area of your skin thinking you must have killed something even though nothing is there.  I’m not here to talk about hygiene on a microscopic level. I’m here to talk about pain. The next time you feel a crazy itch laugh at it. Sound silly? “Ha!” out loud really helps as you tell yourself “This is just another feeling I am in no danger”.  See how long you can go before you have to attack that itch with your fingers. Once you get good at this you can often avoid the usually swift reaction. Athletes have a very interesting relationship with pain. Sometimes performing at their greatest effort levels when they should be the most fatigued and in the most pain. Athletes with sore, sprained, and even broken bones have persevered to beat their technically healthier opponents. Athletes who chemically have their pain blocked start out by performing at greater levels but quickly drop to a sub par performance. Even when they feel the same exact pain that everyone else does they are able to endure it for longer periods of time, and at higher levels. Knowing how much longer you have to go also affects how hard your effort FEELS, an effect known as teleoanticipation.

Ever rent a car and go for the upgrade to the Mustang or sports car just to have some fun and enjoy your vacation a little but more. Planning on keeping up with the fast drivers on the California freeway you leave the rental place and hit the road. You push the gas pedal and accelerate so quick and smoothly up to 75mph and then….nothing.  Just then you remember hearing that rental cars have a governor on them and you feel like you overpaid. Well our brains do the same thing to us and they are set to be very over dramatic and sensitive. They are set to slow us down to protect our heart, lungs, and vital organs. If tired muscles and depleted energy stores are what slow you down how are you often able to speed up so dramatically towards the finish line when you should be the most tired and depleted? It’s all in your brain function.

Increasing your tolerance to pain through repeated exposure is part of an athlete’s regular training. In your training, if you don’t understand you need to push through some level of discomfort, you may never be able to get much closer to your true physiological maximum.  So the next time you feel that horrible itch say “Ha! You are just another emotion”, and try to ignore it. When you are running up that never ending hill tell yourself “I’m okay, this is just what uphill feels like”. On race day you will reap the rewards of this mind over matter, the spirit is stronger than the brain is intelligent. Learn the art of deep breathing, and tap into your inner strength. Train smarter…..and harder.

-Pete Smith-

Smith Haus Wellness

Some interesting articles full of pain information and research:




Think it’s too cold to run? Layer up and get out there!!!


Put the tip of your tongue against the back of your top front teeth. Your tongue will warm the air as is shoots towards your trachea. Tongues are tough. They handle it well. Dress in layers like arm warmers,, ear warmers, hat scarf etc. After the first 10 minutes you should still get so warm that you start taking things off. I like to wear cycling jerseys because it’s easy and comfortable to put my phone and these extra layers in those back pockets. And if running in the cold is really not your thing, try swinging a heavy kettle bell explosively driving your hips forward for 2-10 minutes taking a break and repeating 3-10 times. Use a weight that challenges you. This will greatly reduce injuries, improve muscle balance, and help you run stronger, faster and longer. Don’t get discouraged. These tough days just make the good training days that much better.

Click the link below for some great kettlebell basics.


Functional Body Conditioning- New Program for Private + Small Group Training

FBC Wrdl

Functional Body Construction

Breathe, Move, Lift, Swing

Become a stronger version of yourself as you learn to use and challenge your strength from the inside out. Feel better, look better, and avoid injury and illness as you work toward your physical goals.



FBC Goals:


  • Restoring and maintaining a naturally effective breathing pattern to minimize energy loss/ maximize oxygen transfer into bloodstream.
  • Myofascial Release to promote tensegrity and healthier movement through a full range of motion.
  • Whole body strength and conditioning, starting with the deepest core muscles, with a focus on proper function through the kinetic chain.
  • Combining strength, resistance cardio training, and high intensity intervals to challenge whole body coordination with force production in functional positions to improve the neural connectivity between the mind and the muscle while stimulating multiple muscles to fire sequentially.



 Peter Smith



N.P.T.I. Graduate

N.A.S.M. Kettlebell Certified


If you don’t breathe you don’t move/ force=mass x acceleration/Power=the ability of the body to produce force quickly/ “The doctor of the future will give no medicine; instead he will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, nutrition and the cause and prevention of disease.”- Thomas Edison

References/ testimonials found on blog @ http://www.smithhaustraining.wordpress.com

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Training

Successful Day for Smith Haus Training

Bankd Brave Run 5/18/13

Banks Brave Run 5/18/13

Some well earned success for Smith Haus Training today as the menacing rain clouds parted just in time at the Banks Linear Trail Brave Run! Tanner, age 11 was running to better his 23 minute time from last year and defend his title as first kid across the finish line. I predicted a time of around 21 minutes for him and he came in somewhere around 21:40, learning that he could have started his final dash for the line much earlier. He was 5 overall, 3rd overall male, and once again the first kid across the finish line! 10 spots ahead of the next youth 12 and under runner! Congratulations Tanner on all of your consistent hard work and dedication. I heard people everywhere I walked talking about how impressed they were when you came flying around the track towards the finish line.

I paced myself very well through the first half of the 10k race. there was a guy about 75 yards ahead of me looking like he was pushing hard and I was surprised when he hit the 5k turnaround and came back towards me. We encouraged each other with a wave and a thumbs up and suddenly I was leading the 10k race. When I hit the 10k turnaround I saw that I did have a few hungry looking runners about 100 yards behind me but I was prepared to run faster and faster towards the finish. I started to have some cramping in my right side as I tried to sustain a faster pace. I am usually pretty good at breathing them out of my system but this one wouldn’t go away. Knowing I had some room to slow down I did so once or twice and tried all my tricks to get rid of it. It didn’t go away but subsided just enough to keep a nice lead and finish with a medium fast kick around the track. I averaged 6:31 for the 6.2 miles. I was hoping to average closer to 6 minute miles, if not just under, but not a bad start to a long season of running, cycling, and triathlons! You never know how you are going to feel when you get out there and test yourself. All you can do is just KEEP TRYING!

The event was really well organized and all the proceeds go directly towards funding technology needs at the local Banks Elementary School. It’s easy to overlook these small events as the big Rock n Roll this and mud run that comes through town. These local races have low entry fees, their for a good cause, they are great fun, and an excellent opportunity to test yourself and see where your fitness is at. Keep your eyes open for the next one near you and make it a point to do a couple a year if you can. You won’t be sorry!

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Run

Who should lift weight for fitness? Everyone. YES WOMEN even you!!!!

Lift Weight Lose Fat: Why Women Need to Strength Train – By Allison Moyer <—Click link to article*

It happens ALL THE TIME. Around the facility I work at I am known at the triathlete and “Running Guru” and it’s pretty obvious with my “Run Oregon” socks and compression sleeves on while I stand at the fitness department desk. People, especially women both young and not so young, will come up to me and say “I want to increase my strength”,  or “I’m a recreational runner and I want to incorporate some strength training into my exercise”. And I say “Great let me show you a few things”. I take them through my favorite core exercises involving plank and bridge variations, both static and dynamic (with and without movement), and usually some single leg bodyweight deadlift type movements that also have some variations which is always challenging and a little fun as they wobble and learn to balance and they feel how challenging it is.

Then I walk them over to the weights and start demonstrating a basic deadlift and power clean with a barbell and their face and body language changes. As if we just turned down a dark alley they thought they would never enter. This “scary tool” is a simple straight bar with a couple tiny weights or wood circles that get the bar off the ground just enough so you can sneak your toes under it. They look around to see who is watching and start shallow breathing. Finally it blurts out of their lips:

  • I don’t want to lift. I want to tone up.
  • I don’t want to lift because I don’t want to be bulky.
  • I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.
  • I just want to feel better when I run.
  • I’d just like to be more athletic.

The truth is I believed some of these popular misconceptions in the past myself. I thought all my running and cycling up hills was all the strength training I really needed. Core strength was the focus and the rest was built up through different degrees of resistance in my cardio heavy training. While studying exercise science I was introduced to all of these weight training moves I neglected for so long. I now feel stronger, more athletic, more confident, more injury resistant, and haven’t felt this well balanced in my entire life! Kettlebells are my favorite tool to help people gain lean muscle and functional strength and they are versatile through different stages of training (stability, strength, power, speed).

The “I don’t want to lift because I don’t want to be bulky” comment is a widely accepted mentality that is ruining the health of women all over the world! Those women body builders look that way BY INTENT. Their look is achieved through very extreme measures, usually including hormone therapy (steroids) along with strength and conditioning programs designed to make you look as muscular as possible with no desire to actually improve physical performance.  They are usually not actually worried about becoming stronger, or better conditioned, or even remaining healthy. They are a totally different monster that you will not magically transform into unless you really adopt very specific body building methods that 98% of people wouldn’t even enjoy if they tried it.

Cardio does have it’s benefits and depending on your goals it may or may not be appropriate for people with lower levels of stability. If you are trying to lose weight the whole calories in calories out approach is a very small percentage of your fitness equation. The biggest percentage being eating clean healthy unprocessed FOOD. Eat the right kinds of carbs, lean proteins, and healthy FATS! Learn to support your activity without promoting the storage of body fat. Your workout should include challenging weights, high intensity movements, even short hard sprints. Reduce or eliminate refined sugars completely. Eenjoy life outside of that shitty sweat stinking gym and look like a healthy, beautiful, athletic Human.


Muscle weighs more than fat! Losing fat and gaining muscle can be confusing. You can lose  inches on your waist and gain a few numbers when you step on the scale. Don’t get hung up on the numbers. Get hung up on how you look and feel. Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to or longer than 36 hours post workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting ans watching tv you’re burning 70. While you may think, “Big deal- 10 extra calories”, when you multiply this by 36 hours, 3,500 calories, you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half. When you figure out that on a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular participation in a weight lifting session will really increase your calorie burning and thus fat burning capacity. Stay consistent with your training and reap the rewards! Small consistent efforts are more beneficial that one long hard workout every several days. One client of mine works in the medical field and there is a scale in every room so she ends up weighing herself all the time. Now instead of getting on the scale she does 20-40 seconds of core activation and a few squat jumps. It’s a whole new world full of accomplishment and activity instead of disappointment and despair. Guess how she is feeling!?!?!

With cardio training, you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced session, and this will depend upon the exact intensity and duration of the workout. And boy does that cardio make you HUNGRY! How many calories and what quality of food are you going to eat after that session that will contribute to your health and support a positive outcome from the calories in calories out approach?

Are you seeing how this works? It sounds cheesy but I love the saying “Exercise makes you look good in your clothes. Working out makes you look good naked”. And everyone that knows me has heard me say “Excuses make you weaker, challenges make you stronger”. And that is why the Smith Haus Training motto is:

“Eat clean, strengthen your core, challenge your strength”.

Be well,


Tanner. 11 Year Old Middle Distance Runner. Smith Haus Client.

Tanner is one of my favorite clients to work with. 11 year old middle distance runner, he is training to defend his title at his local 5k (3.1 mile road race) in May. Last year he ran it in 23 minutes and he was 10 years old. I’m excited for him to have a great experience training and racing this year. Part of his experience is getting to know about some of the top runners in the country. Watch their races and look at their form. He really likes a couple of the form drills Lauren Fleshmen does in a recent post I did you can find in the scroll bar on my blog page. Tanner reminds me of a young Dathan Ritzenhein. His form is looking great and his attitude is going to get him to the starting line feeling prepared mentally and physically. I love working with young athletes. It’s never too early to encourage a healthy attitude towards fitness and teach them that anything worth doing takes hard work and perseverance. I can modify workouts to be fun and effective at any age. Message me or call for current rate specials and information.

Interesting Running Alalysis

Okay I might just be a little bit more into running form analysis than the average person but this is a really interesting video with some cool explanations. Let’s do a video analysis of your running form and see if I can make you faster using the same amount, or less energy, just by running more efficiently. Call or message me for details.

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Training

Eat Like An Animal- by Summer Bock<— Click link to article

If you live in the Pacific NW you really need to Take advantage of Summer’s workshops. There’s a list of them through this link. She is the person speaking in the Creating a Thriving Intestinal Ecology video you can find on the scroll bar on the top of my blog. I have met her a couple times and plan to learn from her any chance I get. Read this article and learn more at http://www.summerbock.com. Look for her OlyKraut at select New Seasons and other stores listed on her site.

SUMMER BOCK is an Herbalist, Fermentationist and founder of OlyKraut. She runs her own practice as a Health Coach & Herbalist where she educates nutrition nerds around the world to create a thriving body and unstoppable life! Learn to resolve your health concerns by accessing your own internal healer to get rid of toxins, build natural energy levels, rebuild native intestinal ecology, and boost immune function to ultimately access your super human powers and extend your life. Visit SummerBock.com to get geeky about nutrition.

She is the creator of the Nutrition Geek Detox, Gut Rebuilding, and Gut Check: The World’s First Fermentationist Certification Program. She is a sought-after teacher and speaker on fermentation, herbalism, gut ecology, emotional detox, and cleansing.

Thriving Body + Unstoppable Life
PO BOX 1131
Olympia, Washington 98507

Most people now realize they should avoid the cheap juices because they contain high amounts of fructose that if taken in large quantities can cause very serious health problems. Now we know there can be rather dangerous chemicals in the juices you drink in the morning before your workout or put in your kids sippy cup. Read this article to learn where it comes from on our farmland, and naturally in some drinking water, and how to avoid it.

Read This Article <—Click Link

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Nutrition

Thoracic Spine Mobility

According to the kinetic chain it is important to have stability in our lower back and mobility above it in the area call the thoracic spine. I learned how important this is and remember a couple things about it but hardly see people actually working on it in the gym even with their trainers. It’s something that doesn’t come up and get talked about too often. Well I found a group of people that LOVE to talk about core strength and thoracic spine mobility… GOLFERS. Which makes sense considering the obvious needs of their sport to be as stable as they can in joints meant for stability, and as mobile as possible in mobility based joints. I really like a few of the stability ball moves they do here in Part 2 of their 3 part series. In part one they mention how simply sitting on the ball (with good posture) and bouncing a little bit helps warm up your core, pumping the vertebrae, and inducing blood flow through the discs. It’s also very therapeutic. Get your ball out and try some of the stretches and exercises in this video. You’ll be glad you did!

Thoracic_vertebrae_backThoracic Spine

By Smith Haus Training Posted in Training

The facts about our current food system.

Learn some of the basic facts about our current food system. What are you eating, how was it grown, where did it come from? Get informed about your nutrition. Paying for better quality food now means paying hospitals less later. Watch this fun video and dip your toes in the water of understanding our current food system.