A great local race that’s just long and steep enough to make your rethink your decision, but so fun and rewarding that you’ll gladly sign-up again next year!
Ice, Ice, Baby! It's freezing outside, so let's talk about preparing for a run when the temperature drops.
Here's our Head-To-Toe Must Do Check List
Head/Neck: You must cover your head and neck. We recommend wearing at least a Buff, which is a fabric tube that is designed to cover both your head and neck in many different ways. Other options are a stocking cap or ear band.
Body: Layers! We tell our friends that you should dress as if it is 10-20 degrees warmer than the temperature that you will be running in. Therefore, if it is 20 degrees outside, dress as if it is 40 degrees (if your body is typically colder than your friends are) and dress as if it is 30 degrees outside (if your body is typically warmer than your friends are).
30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long sleeve wool or performance fabric base layer and a light jacket. 1 pair of tights/leggings.
10-20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. Add a thicker top layer along with your base layer. Go for two pairs of pants, or at least some taller socks.
Hands: Don’t let your fingers get cold, we repeat, don’t let your fingers get old! We recommend a pair of gloves or mittens. Many new running jackets and long sleeve shirts have mittens built in, which is a bonus. However, we still suggest having a separate pair of gloves for your hands. Mittens tend to be warmer, as your fingers are note separated.
Feet: If your piggies get cold, you will want to turn around ASAP. If it is at all slushy outside, we recommend shoes with a Gor-tex material or at the very least where shoes that do not have a large about of mesh or holes. Secondly, you will need socks that wick away moisture. Wool socks are excel at in cold temperature!
Safety Gear: If it is dark, which is common during the colder months, you should definitely run in a reflective vest and lights.
Warm-up: Before you go out in the cold, do some jumping jacks, jogging in place, or similar to get your blood flowing, but do not break a sweat. This way the cold, will not feel so cold!
Change: After your run, do not hang out in your sweaty clothes. Be sure to quickly change into something dry and comfy, because your body temperature will drop significantly when you are done running!
Bluestone Bike & Run and our downtown shop, Bluestone Running, have all the cold weather essentials you need. Swing by either location and we will be glad to help you out!
Guest post by: Dutch DeGay
So, you’re thinking about running your first 5k…well let’s make it official and hit a site like Active.com to find a race near you. Now you have a deadline (in as little as 6 weeks away) and now it’s time to tell everyone you know about your new goal. Why? You now have motivation AND accountability to get this race done. Not to mention, you’re going to reap the benefit of: weight loss (running a mile burns approximately 100 calories), a newfound joy of becoming a runner AND the mental strength of knowing you can make a decision, train to make it happen!
Remember, if you’re starting from zero…any steps you take on this adventure…are steps to a healthier and happier you. BUT…with a little planning and preparation there’s no reason why you can’t run, and comfortably, the entire 5k distance. Our goal is to build you up slowly to race day over 6 weeks. How you say? Easy just follow this plan of running as little as 3 times a week:
Week — Weekday 1, Weekday 2, Weekday 3
1 — 0.5 mile, .05 miles, 1 mile
2 — 1.5 miles, 1.5 miles, 2 miles
3 — 2 miles, 2 miles, 2.5 miles
4 — 2 miles, 2.5 miles, 3 miles
5 — 2.5 miles, 2.5 miles, 3 miles
6 — 2.5 miles, 2 miles, Race Day 3.1 miles
As you start out, run every other day. A few things to remember: this is new to your body so you want to take a few minutes to warm up before each run but more importantly AFTER each run. Tight, stiff muscles can affect your running gait over time and cause more issues down the road. Make sure you hydrate. Everyone sweats differently given their body and the type of weather they train in, but keeping those muscles hydrated is key! On the days between running, don’t forget that other training (i.e. yoga, strength training, spin class, bike riding, core exercises) will only add to your overall fitness and help you during this build up AND on race day.
On the days you do run, consider doing hill repeats and/or Fartleks. Hills build strength and make the flats feels fast. We’re not talking about running Mount Everest every week but throwing in a nice 1/4 mile hill or two on one of your training days will pay big dividends come race day. Fartleks get your legs and lungs accustomed to the hard pace of a fast 5K. Warm up, then run a 0.5 mile at your regular pace. Pick up the pace so you’re running hard (not leaving you breathless) for two minutes, then jog for two minutes. Repeat three times. Gradually shorten the recovery interval to one minute or increase the hard effort to four minutes.
So, now you’ve done all this training and you’re standing on the start line come race day…now what?! Well, first…breathe! You’ve put in all this training and you’re going to do great. No need to let stress or nerves ruin the fruits of all your labor. Stay warm and limber as that gun start approaches.
You want to position yourself near the first 1/3rd of the running field. This should allow you good space to get a nice, comfortable pace in the race after the gun goes off. Pick your line. Always have your head on a swivel. You want to be cognizant of those running around you and of the course. Stay to the right. That allows faster runners to get by you and allows you to focus on the task at hand instead of darting through the field. Remember, to focus on each mile marker. Use each as a gauge. Have your nerves kicked in and you’re running too fast and are short of breath? Then slow down. The first two miles go by and you feel like you’re not expending any effort? Then let’s pick up the pace! As that three-mile marker approaches, it’s time to relish all the hard work you’ve done and give it that final kick to the finish. As you cross the line you should be filled with pride with a grin on your face. You did it!
If you follow any of our social media accounts, you'll know that we are BIG, BIG fans of the Bluestone Trail. The Bluestone Trail is a multi-use trail that cuts right through our backyard, in Purcell Park. The trail is free from cars and safe for all skill levels of cyclist and runner/walker. Along the trail there are bridges to cross, baseball games to catch, playgrounds to explore, ducks to watch, and even a Starbucks for a quick coffee break.
Kyle and his family make a lap of the trail as frequently as possible and in this video he show's us his favorite loop. So watch the video and if you haven't made it out to enjoy this great city resource, please make plans to do so, soon!
Does this sound like something which has happened to you recently? You went to your local running store in search of a good, basic running shoe. Nothing fancy. You looked at all the shoes on the shoe wall and were amazed at the number of great shoes.
Soon, a store associate asked if you needed help, and when you said yes, you were probably asked to take off your shoes and socks and walk or jog either around the store or on a treadmill. Your stride was closely scrutinized by one of the experts on the shoe floor who pronounced that you are either a pronator or a supinator.
I’m a what?
For crying out loud, you just wanted to get some shoes so you can begin running and now, before you even bought a pair of shoes, it appears that you have some mysterious, unknown condition, requiring extra attention and special shoes.
Don’t fear. You’re just fine.
We’re here for you. And what we’ll do is explain this pronation/supination quandary in clear, simple terms and set you up in the perfect Mizuno shoe.
Before we even get started, let’s set the record straight: Pronation is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, pronation is actually good, and it’s perfectly natural. It occurs when the foot contacts the ground. After that, the arch then collapses—pronates—and acts as your body’s shock absorber. Being a pronator does not make you a bad person, it doesn’t even make you a bad runner!
Nearly everyone pronates to some extent. However, all people are different, and therefore some folks pronate much more or much less than others. If your feet didn’t pronate at all, your body wouldn’t be able to absorb the shock of walking, running or jumping.
The opposite of pronation is supination. You will hear some runners who claim to be supinators, but that’s a misnomer. Just like pronation, everyone supinates to some degree. You must supinate in order for your feet to push off and move into the next step.
Without getting too technical, when you supinate, the bones in the foot form a rigid lever which is necessary to push off into the next step in the running or walking stride.
When we walk or run, we land in a supinated position and then move to a more pronated position to absorb the shock of contacting the ground. From there, the foot then moves into a final supinated phase which leads to the foot pushing off into the next stride.
So pronation and supination are not only good, both are absolutely necessary. What is not so good is when the foot pronates too much–or too little.
First, too much pronation is termed overpronation. This occurs when the arch collapses either at too great an angle or it stays collapsed too long through the gait cycle. Overpronation is common enough though, occurring in more than half of the running population.
But overpronation–the distinctive inward collapse of the arch–is hard to see with the untrained, naked eye at full speed. On video it’s very apparent. It’s impossible for you to see it in yourself without video. That’s why it’s especially important to have your running gait analyzed by an expert at your favorite running shoe.
The problem is when overpronation is left unchecked, energy is lost and even worse, torque is placed on the lower part of the body and transmitted right up the legs. Uncontrolled overpronation is most often associated with all sorts of lower leg injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring strains and hip pain. That’s why if you overpronate and wear the wrong type of shoe (i.e., an unsupportive one), there’s a strong possibility of injury.
Don’t despair. Many of today’s modern running shoes are designed to reduce the rate of overpronation while still allowing the feet to pronate adequately and work as shock absorbers.
These types of shoes are labeled as either support, stability or motion control shoes. Though the terms are different, the end result is the same: These shoes will reduce the degree of overpronation and thus, minimize the injuries associated with it.
Most running brands offer shoes that reduce overpronation by using various devices. Most common is two-density midsole which incorporates a firmer section of midsole foam on the medial (inner) side to reduce overpronation. Brands also use external and internal heel devices to stabilize the rearfoot at heel strike as well as crash pads in the heel to slow the rate of pronation.
At Mizuno, we attack overpronation in a completely different way. Rather than use multi-density midsoles to reduce overpronation, all Mizuno running shoes use our exclusive Wave technology which cushions and stabilizes the foot. By using different Waves Plates (different sizes, shapes and materials), Mizuno running shoes are designed to accommodate different foot gaits, including overpronation, so the shoe adjusts to your specific foot and running style.
For example, our support shoes such as the Wave Inspire and Wave Paradox utilize a Wave plate—the Fan Wave–which stabilizes the foot and reduces the amount of overpronation to a safe, acceptable level.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from overpronation, is something which is typically called supination or oversupination. In actuality, this condition should be termed underpronation. This is when the foot is very rigid and stiff and doesn’t bend, flex or pronate enough.
Often, the runner who underpronates has a foot with a high arch (or no arch) which places more weight on the outer edge of the foot. Since the foot is often so rigid, it doesn’t absorb shock well. The runner tends to run on the outside edge of the foot (often on the midfoot or forefoot) and doesn’t roll inward enough (pronate) like a normal foot does to absorb shock. Injuries commonly associated with an underpronating foot are an exceptionally tight Achilles tendon, knee problems, ankle sprains, stress fractures and tight hip muscles.
True underpronation is much less common than overpronation (less than 10 percent of the running population). But getting the right shoe type is just as important. For a runner who underpronates, the shock absorption (i.e., cushioning) qualities of the shoe is critical since the foot doesn’t do a good enough job of absorbing that shock on its own.
The type of shoes that work best for this runner is often called a neutral, cushioned shoe. These shoes emphasize cushioning and flexibility without restricting the foot’s movement at all with external or internal devices. At Mizuno, our family of neutral shoes use the Parallel Wave which is an entirely different Wave shape than the support shoes. The Parallel Wave does add some inherent support, while encouraging natural foot movement.
Finally, the majority of runners have “normal” arches and pronate neither too much or too little. These runners are lucky because they can wear pretty much wear whatever shoe fits well and feels comfortable without any pronation concerns.
Are you an overpronator, underpronator or do you just have a normal foot type which pronates an acceptable amount? Unfortunately, there’s no reliable way for the average runner to determine this.
Contrary to popular belief, shoe wear is not a reliable indicator. The best way to determine your foot type/gait (and thus, the type of shoe you need) is to go to a specialty running store and have a shoe expert watch you run. Many stores offer a treadmill and will make a video of you while running. If you underpronate or overpronate or pronate normally, this will be immediately apparent (more so if a video is made) and the shoe expert will fit you in the proper type of shoe.
If you don’t know of a store, ask around! Most runners can easily recommend the best store with the top fitting experts that will get you on your way to safe and enjoyable running that is specific to you.
The key to determining your foot type is to go to a reputable running store with experts in fitting runners in the proper shoes. If you don’t know of a store, ask around. Most runners can easily recommend the best store with the top fit experts.
Maximum support with cushioning (overpronators) : Wave Paradox
Moderate support with cushioning (moderate overpronators) : Wave Inspire
Maximum cushioning (for underpronators needing extra cushion) : Wave Enigma, Wave Creation and Wave Prophecy
Moderate cushioning (for underpronators) : Wave Rider and Wave Sayonara
Lightweight with cushioning (for underpronators looking for a lighter option) : Wave Hitogami
Posted By: Mizuno USA