Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Do you run with your dog? Do you want to share your favorite furry-faced running partner with the world, or at least my corner of the internet? I want to feature you and your puppy pacer!

I love to share the stories of runners and their favorite four-legged running partners! I am accepting guest posts that tell a unique story about running with your dog or you can be part of our furry feature and answer some questions about running with your dog, like this one.

I have some great features lined up for the next few weeks that I can't wait to share with you! Want to be featured next? Fill out this form to be considered. The new doggie features kick off in May. Learn more about why I'm requesting more dogs to feature than usual.

"This is my 'why didn't you apply yet' face?" - Ollie

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Life is changing fast. The first time I ever posted anything on this blog was in January 2009 and it was a recap of pictures of 2008. It's hard to believe it was nearly a decade ago that I first started a blog. A lot has changed over the last nine years. This blog has been through a few iterations and so have I.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no idea that blogging was bigger than me. I opened this free Blogger account and started writing. I didn't know anything about growing my readership, monetizing, list building, SEO, opt-ins, social media marketing, influencer agreements, brand partnerships, blogger networks, ad networks or anything else. But I learned it all along the way. One thing at a time.

Running came first. I started running to lose a few pounds. Then I started blogging about running and that is when things started to change for me. While pursuing my passions of running and writing I had incredible opportunities to run, travel and meet some amazing people. I couldn't have predicted the places this blog would take me.

It was the blogging world that opened my eyes to the possibility of pursuing professional fitness certifications. There are so many running bloggers, I wanted to stand apart. The professional certifications would add a touch of authority behind my writing. I wanted to write about running and fitness, but I mostly wanted to help people. I didn't want it to be a blog about (as much) my own fitness pursuits anymore and I knew it could potentially be irresponsible to dole out fitness advice, workouts and/or nutritional guidance without some education behind it.

It took me a long time to get my (excuse the language) shit together. I talked about becoming a personal trainer for years before I actually did it. When I did, I took on clients and started building a small business around my passions. This year I went part-time at my corporate job to allow more time to pursue my purpose.

Blogging is still my first love. I blog here and over on Lea Genders Fitness where I share workouts and fitness articles for runners. In the spring of 2016, I made a commitment to post three times a week on Lea Genders Fitness. I've been running two blogs consistently for two years. It takes up a lot of free time but I love every second of it. It is my passion and creative outlet.

Lea Genders Fitness

However, As my business is growing it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage two blogs. There is so much more time and effort required than simply writing blog posts (which in itself is time consuming). In an effort to streamline my blogging process, I've decided to keep Running with Ollie as a feature site, where I share the stories of four-legged runners and their humans in my Tuesday Tails Furry Feature. It is always the most popular post of the month anyway and the people who read this blog love to see all the furry faces.

It is easier for me to put together a feature post, then write a blog post from scratch every week.

I will move all my personal blog posts like my race recaps, information about the conventions I attend, my personal experiences at local fitness events and whatever else is on my mind over to a personal blog column on Lea Genders Fitness called Lea's Beans. This will allow me to pepper in more personal posts on my business fitness blog. Lea's Beans is launching April 23.

Lea's Beans


Running with Ollie will now be a feature site where I share the stories of runners and their favorite four-legged running partners like I've been doing on Tuesday Tails Furry Feature. Instead of once a month, I will feature a running dog once a week. Want to be featured next? Fill out this form to be considered. Given my new direction, I have a lot of openings. If you fill out the form and submit pictures of your dog, chances are you'll get a feature in the upcoming months.

Running with Ollie

Look for my "personal" blog posts now over on Lea Genders Fitness: Lea's Beans (launching April 23rd).

But, Why?

  • I've been confusing people with my blog name for years. People think my name is Ollie. Ollie gets so many emails. It's time to separate Lea Genders Fitness from Running with Ollie Blog.
  • This blog will be more focused and be all about running, dogs and of course, Ollie.
  • More focus towards my personal training/run coaching website will help me advance towards those goals. If I continue to split my focus something will continue to suffer.

How Can I Help?

Thanks for asking. If you run with your dog, apply to be featured in a future post on Running with Ollie. 

I started a new Instagram page for Lea Genders Fitness. Follow me over there.

Follow the Lea Genders Fitness strength & running blog for my fitness articles and now my personal blog posts too.

I think this is the right thing to do as I am working towards some short-term goals to build my business.

Please submit your applications to be featured...I need YOU and your favorite furry faces to keep this blog alive!

Ollie approves

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

My Head Exploded At IDEA Personal Trainer's Institute South Fitness Convention

This past weekend I went to the IDEA Personal Trainer's Institute South fitness convention. It's the first time IDEA had a convention in Texas and I was thrilled for the opportunity to learn and earn continuing education credits for my fitness certifications in Dallas. I travel to attend the big IDEA world convention every year and I loved the smaller, more intimate setting in my own backyard. But I won't even mention the outrageous parking fees at the hotel. Oops, I mentioned it. 


The convention kicked off on Thursday night with the energetic Todd Durkin. He is a studio owner, professional athlete trainer and motivational speaker from California. I met him last year at BlogFest and his energy is contagious.

This was my mantra for 2018 when I made the decision to go part-time at my corporate job to pursue my passions: You have to give up the good to get great. This spoke to me.

I felt like Todd was speaking to me directly with this slide. Seriously, how does he know I do all this?  Because literally, almost everyone does.

I left the conference after Todd's presentation fired up and ready to take on the weekend.


Friday was the first full day of the conference and I was excited to get started. The first presentation of the day was with the inspiring Trina Gray. She owns multiple studios, was an engaging presenter with a lot of fantastic ideas. Her overarching message was to make sure that as trainers that we are celebrating our clients and not making our social media presence all about us (or our abs haha). Our story is really the story of our clients. We pay fitness forward by showing potential clients on social media what is possible for them through our current clients. 


I was really excited about this presentation because Adam Feit is from Precision Nutrition and I am PN level 1 certified. His presentation was about structured meal plans, why they are not an effective strategy for most fat loss clients and how to help our clients plan their meals in a smarter, more sustainable manner that works in the real world. Good stuff. 


When I signed up for this class I didn't realize it was Adam teaching again. He is a funny and engaging presenter so I didn't mind sitting in two of his classes back to back. But in an ironic twist of events, between classes I was hungry so I bought a bag of trail mix that I intended to eat over the next two days, and instead ate the whole bag at once. I felt a little sick during this presentation about fat loss. 

He made us play an ice-breaker "game" (games are supposed to be fun) where we had to tell someone we didn't know one lie and one truth about ourselves. I honestly almost didn't go to the second presentation because I knew he did it in his first and would probably repeat it. I don't mind introducing myself to other people and I wanted to meet other fitness professionals, but I hate those silly games. Just tell me about yourself. I'm sure it's just me.

I ended skipping my last presentation of the day heading home early. Stupid trail mix and ice-breaker games.


Saturday morning, after a good night's sleep my stomach settled and I was ready to take on a new day. My first presentation of the morning was Trevor's Marketing Your Training Business presentation. He talked a little about online marketing strategies and we workshopped some ideas in each stage of the selling process. It was fun to work together with some of the other fit pros. 


I sat in marketing and nutrition classes so far, so I was excited about a fitness-focused seminar. This was a fun and engaging hands-on workshop, I even volunteered when he asked for a participant for a shoulder demonstration. I should have asked someone to take a picture. He walked us through some stability and mobility assessments we can do with our clients.


This was my favorite presentation of the weekend. Billy reviewed his assessment procedure for new clients and gave us his template to follow. He stressed how the assessment can set you apart from other trainers and offer individualized programs that will deliver the best results for our clients. I always do a quick NASM-style assessment with my clients, but his assessments are much more in-depth and comprehensive. I need to dig deeper but Billy opened up my mind and set the foundation for further research. I also learned during the assessments that I have a lot of work to do on my own body. Yikes.


This was my last presentation of the day on Saturday and I seriously considering skipping again and heading home early because the exhaustion was setting in. I'm glad I didn't. I knew of Vito La Fata from his Fitnesspreneur's Life podcast and I was looking forward to his talk. I've been a fitness blogger a lot longer than I've been a trainer, so I felt like I was a few steps ahead in the website department. However, after Vito's presentation and talking with him a bit, I realized I was missing an important piece of the puzzle on my site, which I am looking forward to implementing. He even offered to do a site review, so I am looking forward to chatting with him more about my site www.leagendersfitness.com


I had a BOSU seminar on my schedule because I have a BOSU ball in the Shred Shed that is severely underutilized, but by Sunday I was so exhausted from the weekend, I couldn't image a two-hour workshop that would require me to exercise (haha). I was physically too tired. Since I enjoyed Vito's talk from the night before, settling into a presentation about income streams with a large coffee seemed more inviting. 

Vito showed me I'm thinking too small. While I do have multiple income streams currently, he shared a lot of practical ideas to grow income in those areas and some I haven't considered yet. I have a lot of work to do and I had an epiphany about a hole in the market which both excites and scares me. More to come...


Sunday was a half day, so this was my last seminar on the last day. I'll admit my motivation for attending this conference was selfish, I hurt my lower back rowing at the gym and looking for solutions for myself. There were times the science was over my head (Chuck Wolf is a smart, experienced guy) but I walked away with a lot of practical solutions and insights. Of all the sessions I attended, this one gave a couple of the most useful tools that I can immediately start implementing with my clients. And I thought I was attending just for selfish reasons.  

Head. Exploded. In a good way. These kinds of conferences spark the fire of knowledge, but it's now my job to stoke the flames. If I sit in a conference and just collect my CEUs I won't get very far. If I take what I learned as a foundation and continue to build upon it with actions I'll get the most out of my experience. Thanks to all the great speakers for sharing their knowledge and expertise so we can all get better as an industry.

I have a lot of work to do. 

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Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday Tails Furry Feature: Elise & Stella

Hello, April! Is it just me or are the weeks and months flying by at an outrageous pace? It's already time for another Tuesday Tails Furry Feature when I introduce you to the cutest, furriest four-legged runners on the internet. This week I can't wait for you to meet Elise and Stella!

Hi, Elise. Tell us a little bit about your favorite running partner.

Stella is a 6-year-old Aussie/beagle mix. She was a rescue from Louisiana and I took her on a run on a whim and she ended up being an amazing runner! We have special commands that she follows during runs and she does a great job. Her one weakness is rabbits though.

Where is your favorite place to run with your pooch?

We run the streets of Madison.

Have you ever raced with your dog? 

Yes! I did my first 5k with her and we did awesomely! I could have done it without her!

Tell us about a running moment that made you proud! 

I ran my first 10k last summer and was so proud to finish strong!

What running (or life) lesson can we learn from our dogs?

To find the joy in everything...because it’s always there.

Do you want to tell us anything else about you or running with your dog?

I couldn’t have started loving running without her!

Do you want to be featured on this blog with your dog? Fill out this form to be considered. For now, this is a monthly post (12 times a year) but with enough new interest, I am considering expanding it to once a week (52 times a year) so there is plenty of opportunities to get in your feature submission. I'd love to hear from you!

Like this post? Please consider sharing.

Keep Running,


Does your running partner have four legs

Ways to (legally) stalk me:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


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