Monday, December 30, 2013


Resolve: Make your Resolution to Run Last

Let's face it: simply making a resolution to board the 'Running Train' for the new year can be a bit lofty without having the right tools. Everyone can be gung-ho in their ambitions for a week or two, but here's some ideas to help make your running resolutions feel more like the routine you're hoping to adopt:

First, take a solid look at your goal. Is it realistic? It's important to strive for something you can truly visualize yourself doing. You're much more likely to stick to a goal that is attainable than an impossible one, especially in running where overly-zealous training can put you at risk for injury. Example: If you've never run before, and you'd like to start, best not resolve to run every single day in 2014.

Next question you should be asking yourself: Is it specific enough that I will be able to recognize my own compliance to my resolution? Quantify your goal in mileage, or attendance at group runs, or days per week, rather than making 'soft' resolutions like, "I want to run more." Run more than what?

Excellent. Now that you've got your goal, write it down. Somewhere you can see it all the time.

Next, talk about it. Tell strangers, neighbors, and especially the people who care about you who will supportively follow your progress. A lot of people keep their dreams to themselves because they're afraid of how people will see them if they don't succeed. Take the "What If's" out by making it real, putting it out there, and bask in the social circle of support that you've created for yourself on the way to victory.

Here's where we come in: Good Gear and Good People. Not only is proper gear practical for injury prevention and weather protection in cold winter months, it's motivating! Ask even the best of runners, they'll tell you a new pair of shoes, running jacket, heck, even some new socks can help get you pumped to head out the door!

If new socks aren't enough to tear you out of your warm comfy bed for a run, try adding the extra element of a social commitment. When you've got awesome people waiting on you, it's much tougher to hit snooze and roll over. Check out our Calendar of FREE Group Runs HERE if you're seeking said awesome people, and bring your friends to join the fun!

Granted, everyone may have a day where life happens, and the run you intended to do just doesn't happen. No need to beat yourself up over it or call it quits- just be intentional about blocking time for running into your life in the future, rather than trying to fit running in around life.

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Avoid the Treadmill this Winter

Winter doesn't have to ruin running. Here are 5 tips to for a fun and frost-bite free season of training outdoors!

1. If it touches your skin, it should wick. Half the battle of winter running isn't staying warm, it's staying dry. Wearing a moisture-wicking base layer on every surface or your body is the first line of defense against
Father Winter.

2. Invest in at least one serious 'element-proof' jacket. A good wind-proof and water-repellent jacket is worth its weight in gold when it comes to those blustery days with chances of 'wintery precipitation'.

3. Accessorize. Your head, hands, and feet may account for a very small percentage of your overall body surface, but you'll still be turning back early from a run if any of these get too cold. A proper hat that covers the ears, a mask or balaclava for your face, wind-blocking gloves or mittens, and thick moisture-wicking socks are all musts. A bit of Dermatone on the cheeks and nose can help prevent frostbite and windburn. And for men, add wind-briefs to that list of essential accessories.

4. Take action- choose traction. Slippery conditions are not only frustrating, they can be dangerous too. Fight back with traction aids, such as Yaktrax, or check out a good pair of trail shoes to get some extra grip out there. Plus trail shoes provide a little extra warmth.

5. Respect your environment. A healthy attitude towards winter running can take you a long way. Be smart about where and when you run, light your path and wear proper visibility gear in low-light conditions. Also remember that uneven footing and all those extra layers of clothing will decrease your pace, but not your effort. Don't force it, think of it as strength-building!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thoughts on the Trots...Turkey Trots that is!

~ Written by Elizabeth Yetzer
Crossing the Ford Bridge this morning on my run I noticed the beautiful fall leaves have mostly fallen off the trees, the air was crisp, and I realized we are quickly approaching the season of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year; I love the opportunity to spend time with the people I love and of course eat some delicious food! Thanks to the addition of Jeff (Bekah’s husband and co-owner of Mill City) to our family, running a Turkey Trot has become a family tradition. Although I tend to think of Thanksgiving as a day of relaxing and eating, I have found starting the day with a Turkey Trot is incredibly energizing, rewarding, and an amazing chance to reflect on all that God has blessed me with.
The alarm clock goes off at 6:30 AM. I could dismiss it and decide to sleep in- after all, it is a day off.  Instead, I remind myself that I am waking to an “Opportunity Clock” and that I am healthy enough to race a 5K with my family and friends. Until I arrive, I am not completely convinced that I made the right decision, especially when I realize it is below freezing. Once I arrive I am engulfed with an indescribable energy from the crowds of people that have decided to start their Thanksgiving in a similar manner. There is a story for each athlete that steps to the line- some come to the line with an intensity and drive to reach a Personal Best, some come to share an opportunity with family and friends that starts their day in a healthy manner, and some come with the goal of completing their first race.
I have had a variety of Turkey Trot experiences. I hate to admit it, but one of my fastest 5K’s has been in a Turkey Trot- I tend to thrive in low key race environments. On the opposite spectrum, I have also walk/run a 5K with a family friend striving to complete her first 5K. She had recently recovered from Breast Cancer and was determined to start exercising and try to take better care of her body. The last 100 meters of that race are steps that I will never forget. There was such a sense of pride and celebration of life that effused from her, that you couldn’t help but be nearly paralyzed with gratitude. It is a memory I will never forget!
Upon completing any Turkey Trot race the community celebrates each individual’s achievement and leaves with a sense of gratitude that may not be felt if one had stayed in bed. I cannot encourage you more to sign up with family or a friend. There are Turkey Trots throughout the Twin Cities. Below I have a few links to Turkey Trots in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Additionally, there are many throughout the metro and you can search the last link for a race near you. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness, find a healthy way to start your Thanksgiving, or help raise money for a charity, I am sure running a Turkey trot will deepen your sense of gratitude on this day devoted to giving thanks!
·         Life Time Fitness Turkey Trot 5K- Downtown Minneapolis-
·         St. Paul Turkey Trot- 8 AM- 5k and 10K- Upper Landing Park (by Science museum)
·         Beast to Feast 5K run and walk- 9AM –Lake Calhoun -
·         Drumstick Dash- 10k or 1 mile- Lake Harriet -
·         Turkey Day Trail Trot- Battle Creek Trail, St. Paul -
·         Thanksgiving Day Giving Thanks 5K- Como Lake-
·         Other races in the Metro-

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fall, show thyself!

In my utopia each season is three months long. 

Winter: December-February.  Spring: March-May. Summer: June-August. Fall: September-November.  Each season perfectly timed to leave you wanting more, yet ready to move on to the next.

The reality of living in Minnesota comes crashing down on me.   

Winter lasts nearly 5 months (2013 I’m looking at you).  Spring comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, sometimes all within the span of a few weeks.  We live for summer with the lakes, bonfires, and bike rides.  Yet, it’s the arrival of the season that follows that has me waiting impatiently.

At the root of it, I’m eagerly thinking of those spectacular fall runs we've all experienced at some point.  Everyone seems to have favorite fall running memory.  Twin Cities Marathon?  Sundays on the LRT Trail in Minnetonka? A Saturday morning run around the Lakes followed by a snack from Great Harvest or Mel-o-Glaze? 

To me, nothing will ever compare to the long runs I shared with my college cross country teammates at Afton State Park.  Each run seemed to start out with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, by the time we reached the hour mark it the sun began to burn off the fog of the nearby St. Croix.  Running through the highlands and open prairies allowed you to warm up.

While down in the valleys the temperature would drop 10 degrees and frost clung to the grass.  These mornings always concluded with a stop at Bruegger’s in Woodbury.  No bagel has ever tasted so good as the warm cinnamon-sugar bagel after two hard hours of running.

So as I sit her soaked in sweat after an easy 35 minutes of running I find myself begging for those *slightly* chilly mornings (but only those that invariably give way to 75 degree afternoons).  After all, there are more fall memories to be made.

Ok and I’m a sucker for fall colors and pumpkin spice lattes.

What’s your favorite fall running memory?