Thursday, July 30, 2009

Biggest Loser Goes Endurance

They slogged it out in the gym for hours on end at the ranch. They had epic sweat sessions in their hometowns prepping for the finale. But now that life has gotten back to normal--minus that whole adjustment of eating right and maintaining the new weight--not every Biggest Loser competitor is slowing down the workout routine.

Even when it's not on the air, the Biggest Loser knows how to grab my attention. I was psyched on Friday when announced that Tara Costa, who finished third in the seventh season of The Biggest Loser, would be running the New York City Marathon this November. Go Tara! Here I am thinking that my guilty pleasure reading would only have one random fitness bit for the week--Valerie Bertinelli completing the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 19--and now I get to enjoy two running-related clips.

I sort of suspected that Tara might run a marathon one day, or at least hoped she would. I was the big dork who'd trade e-mails with Liz about the show or tell a friend after spin class that Tara has a runner in her and could--maybe even should--consider running the distance after the show. Not to mention all those endurance challenges that As the competition heated up in the last season of The Biggest Loser so did the training and challenges with competitors first cycling for 24 hours as a relay, then running a half marathon, and then the final four returning to the ranch before the final weigh-in to run a marathon. When I watched Tara finish the half marathon in 2:24 while tipping the scales at 200 pounds, I was impressed and knew if she lightened her load she could probably run even faster. Then when she ran the marathon in less than 5 hours, still striving to lose weight and only learning of the run a few weeks before, I was really impressed. I don't know what kind of training plan those four could follow in a short four weeks, roughly, to prepare for the 26.2 miles, but it probably could only have one long run at most before tapering, and I guessed that they weren't fully prepared for the distance.

Whatever the case, finishing the distance was pretty inspiring and even more convincing that with proper training, Tara could knock out a pretty good race. I'm just thrilled she wants to do it again and so soon. Now I have another person to track at the Nov. 1 race--my friend will be running her first marathon too. Not to put the pressure on, but I wonder who will finish first? Or will Tara be gunning for former Biggest Loser contestant and season 5 at-home winner Bernie Salazar's Chicago Marathon time (he ran 4:15:59 in 2008). Posted by Kate



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