Are YOU on MY Trails?

One of my friends was complaining to me this week that she has barely enough room to run some days because of all these “summer warriors” who only run outside in the summer.  They take up all her trails and bring their dogs and walk, etc.  and get in her way…..  She asked me – “what should I do about these people”?  This is what I told her:
The summer can be a busy time on the trails and paths in parks, forests and protected areas.   People are suddenly wanting to get into shape and they flock to these places to walk, hike, road bike, etc.  What should people do so that they are not stuck in slow snaking lines in hot weather?
1)  Go to the trails at off hours.  Try to get there early when the park opens to beat the crowd and heat.  Try to get there after dinner before the park closes, although this would be the second option over morning.  If you get there at 10:00 AM on a Saturday, the whole world will be coming over the next few hours.
2)  Find trails less traveled in your ‘home’ park.  In most parks there are labeled trails with markers in color.  If you know from past experience that the yellow trail at a particular park is nice and wide but heavily traveled, go to the blue trail which may be narrower and less traveled.
3)  Find parks/trails that are further away.  Here in northern NJ, the parks closest to NYC are always busy in the summer.  As you go out further west and north, they get less crowded.  It may require some research and driving time, but you should be happier.
4)  Look at park calendars for events.  If there is some event going on such as a 5K or a food truck festival, odds are that there will be too many people and you can avoid those days (more people on the trails and less parking are not a good combo).  Every park usually has a calendar of events and you should consult it before you go.
5)  Think out of the box.  Some of the best trails are on old mansions or places that are not so obvious but are open to the public.  Again, do some research on this.
6)  If trails are too busy, find ‘roads less traveled’ – some small neighborhood streets may do the trick in a pinch…..
As you do go on trails, please be careful to bring enough fluids and be careful not to get lost.  Also, please obey the signs if the trail you are on is crossing private property.   Watch for roots and things that can get you hurt – a twisted ankle 5 miles away from the parking lot is not fun.   Above all, try not to go by yourself – for all the reasons mentioned it would be safer with a buddy or a small group.
Have fun out there and happy running.

Why Do You Run?

People ask me all the time why I like running.  While everyone has their own reasons, my main one is that I really like to do it….and with people!  I love to run with people – it is a social thing I like to do and I look forward to my runs, once I get started (I do admit that sometimes half the battle is getting out of bed!)  The relationships I have made are worth every mile.

Why do I run?  I love the feeling I get at the end of the run, especially if I finish strongly after a short or long run and the satisfaction of finishing.

Why do I run?  I like how I feel when I’m in good shape, especially after a few good weeks of running.

Why do I run?  It is cool to be able to help other people with running as a coach or a volunteer coach for the town XC team and as a volunteer coach for my church.

Why do I run?  I do feel good when people ask me how many marathons I run and I tell them 23…. and the response I usually get.  I do like how I then tell them how I met a 74 year old runner who had run well over 150 marathons.

Why do I run?  I love the hot shower after a cold frigid weather run.

Why do I run?  I enjoy the priceless moments when my teen daughter asks me to run with her.

Why do I run?  I like the feeling of getting new sneakers…   and donating the old ones…


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On Treadmills….

Treadmill running……or “dreadmill” running as people often call it.  You have the choice to run outside, but unfortunately, there is ice or subzero temperatures or you are in an unfamiliar location…..and back again you are on that treadmill again.

Ideas Can Help….

It doesn’t have to be so bad, everyone!   You can be outside and potentially can get injured with black ice.  Instead, you are in the comfort of your own home or gym with controlled weather conditions.   I agree with you – if you are merely staring at a wall or at yourself in a mirror, treadmill running can be extremely tedious and boring.   If that is all I did, I would have hung myself a long time ago in my basement….. not really, but you get the point.

Mix it Up….

Get a TV and put it in front of your treadmill and watch your favorite show – or a live sporting event – or an action movie – or anything on DVR.   This will definitely make a difference.  Something like Rocky or Die Hard keeps me going.  Music!  Anything that gets you excited – put it on. Or watch a concert on the TV of your favorite band and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.  Lastly, change the incline, change the speed and change the temperature (open windows in the winter, for example) for different experiences in the same exact place. Have you ever tried to talk to a friend who is also on a treadmill?

Some Basic Rules….

Don’t forget to keep the treadmill at least at 1% incline to mimic the lack of wind resistance.  Buy a treadmill for you – if you won’t use bells and whistles, don’t get them.  If you run only 50 miles a year inside, don’t get the best model.   I will go over my treadmill buying tips another day.

Treadmill running does not have to be painful – you can change your perceptions.  If you think glass half empty, you will not like it.  Maybe you can like it more now?? A little?treadmill

Happy Running!

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On Vacations……

Vacations…..a time to relax…hang out with your friends…go to the beach with the family.  Very tempting to take the whole week off and not run a single step.  It’s easy to sleep in….sleep…so many excuses.  Actually, there are no excuses – so we’ll go over them:

  1. I want to sleep in – Please do and run every other day.  There is no one telling you that you need to run all 6 days, etc. of your vacation.  Make it your cycle down week. Or make it your mandatory week off after a long training period.
  2. I don’t want to wake the kids – That is no excuse – just have your stuff ready to go in the hotel bathroom so that you go in, change and sneak out
  3. There is nowhere to run – Yea, sure…  at the very least, you have the treadmill.  But almost every hotel will give you preprinted directions for running loops.  Or use an online map app like MapMyRun….most of them have the trails marked out.
  4. I don’t want to get lost – Just go out and back….or follow a train line or something to lead you out and back
  5. I don’t want to run by myself– almost every county in the US and most major world cities have a running community – do a little research, find a local running club or meet-up group and contact them….you’ll find someone.  Or just be friendly at the resort or hotel; usually the other runners are also looking for company
  6. I’m on a boat – most ships have a running ‘track’ around the smokestack, or like on a Disney ship, one whole deck is marked for running from like 6AM-9AM
  7. I don’t want to bring too many things – really? All you need are your sneakers, socks, watch and 1 outfit.  Every day after you run you can hand wash it and let it dry overnight and you are good to go the next day
  8. I need to run 6 x 400m, etc. – Mark whatever distance out on the street or parking lot or nearby dead end road on MapMyRun or your GPS.  Then if you are a tad off, who cares?  It is your workout and your effort, so you can approximate

There are many more excuses and I encourage you to ask me for solutions, but it all comes down to planning effectively – if you are ready, you will run – anywhere.  Be safe and carry your cell phone in case of emergency; anything you should normally do at home.

Happy Running

#noexcuses #vacation #running #holiday #running @#runningtips






On Unique Runs…

What is your most unique run?  I have run in multiple US states, 3 counties in NJ, I even ran from the US to Canada & back …. but by far my most unique run was on Sept 17, 2005:

One of my goals in coming to Switzerland on a 3 month business assignment – more importantly Basel, was to use its proximity to Germany and France to create a unique run.   A tri-country loop – to be completed all in 1 running session.   I arrived in Switzerland on Sunday, Sept 11 for the first week of a 14-week short-term work assignment.  On Saturday, Sept. 17, I had the day to myself so I decided to try the loop.   Scanning the map, this seemed very doable, but I couldn’t tell how far I would be in France before getting into Germany.  To be safe in case it was further than what I or my work colleagues thought, I prepared for a 10-15 mile loop, bringing with me water and Gu.

The day was cool and cloudy – about 55 degrees.  I started by running across the Rhine River by the Novartis campus. I then basically ran on a road that splits the campus and within 12 minutes I was already in France.  Immediately all the signs were in French and I heard a couple of people walking speaking in French.  At about the 30 minute mark I saw a traffic circle with signs for ‘D’ – Deutschland (Germany) if I made a right.   That route led me over the Rhine River again and I was in Germany. After 8 or 9 minutes in Germany, I was back again into Switzerland.  They never stopped me at any border, but I had my passport with me just in case! The run took 56:17, so I estimate about 7 miles, so not far at all.   If anyone comes to Basel, they can definitely do it.   Now the goal is to try to find a place where 4 countries meet – any suggestions?

#running #uniquerun #funrun


Cold Weather Running – Tips & Tricks

This winter has gripped the entire country with cold temperatures and frequent storms.  Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But as always, make sure you have enough layers.  Bring enough water or fluids.  Even if it is 4 degrees, you are still sweating and need to replace as you go along.  Make sure your fluids are warm at the beginning as they can freeze fast.  I fill my water/electrolytes the night before and leave it near the heat until I go out.  Four days ago I was left holding a block of electrolyte ice the last 4 miles so obviously it wasn’t warm enough.  Friends and a cell phone are a must as you don’t want to be stranded in this cold.  Just 10 minutes with soaked sweaty clothes in frigid temperatures without moving can get you in trouble just as fast.  Finally, when you are done, get into the shower asap, or at least some dry clothes until you can get to a warm place.   Persevere – that is why we run in the first place – the warmer weather will come. #running #runningtips #runningcoach #coldweatherrunning

Cold Running

Mud Runs – Beginner Style

This was a funny article about mud runs for beginners.  It focuses on bigger events, but it is humorous and gives you an idea of what those can be like.  Your First Mud Run is much easier and less messy than the ones talked about in the article and a good one to try if one is unsure of trying one or not.