With a background in Exercise Science, personal trainer and owner of On Your Mark Coaching & Training in Chicago, Emily Hutchins knows what it takes to help people reach their goals and become better, stronger, and faster.

We sat down with Hutchins to get her advice for runners racing in upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your career as a trainer and running coach?

EH: It’s rewarding to see my client’s hard work turn into results, but most importantly, into lifelong healthy habits. Whether my clients are striving to lose those last couple of pounds or completing their 100th marathon, the most important thing to me is that they're on track to a long life of great health.

Q: What are your tips for chasing your fitness goals?

EH: My philosophy is quite simple: train hard, but train smart. Your body is built on a foundation of four principles; function, endurance, athleticism, and recovery. With these four principals, you are building a lifetime of increased performance. I strive to create a place where people of all walks of life and abilities are able to achieve their goals through smart training and strong coaching.

Q: How do you recover after workouts and why is it key to your performance and success?

EH:  Throughout my career as a trainer I've learned that recovery, proper nutrition, and taking care of my body is crucial. This is something I pass on to all of my clients. What you give your body post-workout is a crucial piece of smart training, and gives you the strength to get up and train strong day after day. After a tough workout, chocolate milk is my go-to recovery beverage because it provides the ideal ratio of carbs to protein you need after a tough workout.

Q: Any tips on how to best recover after a long run?

EH: Long distance runners lose a lot of sweat and nutrients, which makes recovery even more important to help build muscle and stay physically strong. The 30 minutes right after exercise is the most important time for recovery. Lowfat chocolate milk is a simple option post-race. With the right mix of carbohydrates and high-quality protein, along with electrolytes like sodium and potassium, it's an effective way to replenish fluids and nutrients you lose when you’re sweating during a half or full marathon.

Q: What piece of advice would you give marathon runners on race day?

EH: Keep your goals and training in mind. You have trained long and hard for this, so when it comes down to those last few miles, remind yourself of the work you’ve put in. Remind yourself why you train and take care of your body – because with smart training, you can accomplish any goal you set out to do.

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