Tips for Marathon Runners on Race Day

Gary Rixson currently works as a business development consultant based out of Kansas City, Missouri. In his free time, Gary Rixson likes to stay active by running. He ran the 2012 Chicago Marathon and the 2013 Tough Mudder obstacle race.

Training for a marathon can take several weeks or months for an experienced runner, and even longer for a person competing in their first distance-running event. In addition to the long-term preparation that goes into marathon running, a runner can take some actions to improve the likelihood of a successful race on the same day as the event.

A simple tip, for example, involves visualizing success. This can be done any morning or night, but it is particularly helpful on the morning of the race. The most common example of visualizing success involves imagining one’s self crossing the finish line. Some of the world’s most successful runners admit that positive thinking before and during the race is critical to running a good marathon and can help overcome physical difficulties mid-race.

Of course, athletes must also avoid getting too caught up in the activities of race day and remember to follow their typical routine, including warm-up stretches. Calf, quad, and hamstring stretches, as well as neck rolls and knee raises, can be especially beneficial when it comes to loosening the muscles and preventing injury during the race.


Study Examines Childhood Dietary Habits

Gary Rixson joined Lockton Companies as a benefit communication insourcing consultant in 2013. In this role, he works with businesses to reduce HR workload and improve employee satisfaction. In his free time, Gary Rixson enjoys tending to his vegetable garden and supporting healthy initiatives through the American Heart Association.

Recently, a study published in American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, showed that poor diet can be an indicator of declining heart health as early as childhood. Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine conducted a study of nearly 9,000 children aged two to 11, tracking heart-health indicators such as BMI, diet, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Within this sample, less than 1 in 10 children consumed the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, yet 9 out of 10 consumed more than the recommended amount of sodium. Additionally, more than half of children consumed more than the recommended amount sugar calories. Whole grains fared the worst among all food categories, with 3 percent of boys and 2.4 percent of girls meeting recommended requirements.

Although researchers note that further data on activity levels are required to draw any conclusions, the study is one of the first examining the day-to-day dietary habits of children in the U.S. These findings join a growing body of research linking unhealthy lifestyles in early childhood to an increased risk of several long-term conditions, including bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and obesity in adulthood. According to CDC estimates from 2012, more than one-third of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese.

The Most Desired Employee Benefits

An accomplished business development and marketing professional, Gary Rixson currently serves as a consultant for Lockton Companies’ Benefit Communication Insourcing team. In this capacity, Gary Rixson designs and implements unique strategies for large organizations to assist HR with employee benefit communication.

Surveys have found that close to 90 percent of employees consider their benefits to be as important as their salary. Employees also rate health insurance as among their most desired benefit. However surveys have shown that 40 percent of employees do not understand their benefits. If they do not understand their benefits how can they make educated decisions about them or truly appreciate them?

In 2002, Lockton developed Benefit Communication Insourcing (BCI) to specifically address these challenges for its clients. BCI significantly reduces workload within HR and dramatically improves employee benefit education, engagement and appreciation. BCI works closely with your HR team to hire, train and deploy full-time, dedicated Benefit Communication Specialists (BCS) to act as an extension of your team and provide accurate and consistent benefit education and communication to your employees year round. At no cost, BCI addresses corporate communication / financial objectives and dramatically improves employee understanding of all benefits. In fact, 94% of employees supported by Lockton BCI specialists rate their benefit education as good or excellent.

Our client’s say it best: