July 7, 2010 - Back Off!

Yo Run gang,
When running alone I would run through scenarios in my head of some idiot or lunatic assaulting me and how I would respond .. in these day dreams, me, a scrawny runner dude, would throw a sucker punch and the bad guys would run off ... sure.  As runners we all have stories, I've been yelled at and have had beer cans thrown at me from rednecks in trucks and I've had a confrontation with a guy on a mountain bike threatening to beat me up the next time I run on the trail in the same direction that he rides. In most cases I was smart and did not yell back ... but a couple times, when I knew the terrain well ... I've had to put the hammer down and make some quick moves to escape. Dumb.
I've considered taking a self defense class but the ones I've seen all seemed hokey, until I met this character Lee Shaykhet, a smart dude who once trained special forces in the former Soviet Union, a guy I would call the real deal. I met Lee in the store while he was in town teaching defensive moves to a local police department. Everything he said about self defense made sense in a way I have never heard before. Since, I have had a bit of training with Lee and I can tell you it gives instant confidence. When you encounter a situation, you will naturally respond the way you are trained. Lee's training is simple, smart and unbelievable effective,  the simple moves he demonstrated and the common sense suggestions on how to react will stick with me forever. It's a truly liberating feeling.
I'd call this a shameless plug but it's something I believe can change your confidence in a way you might not have imagined. Lee has agreed to give a group session on Thursday July 15th from 6:30 PM - 8PM at Running Fit at 5700 Jackson Rd. The class is limited to the first 20 to RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The introductory price for this training is $70, you can pay at the register on class night. I see it as a lifetime of confidence for about the price of a good sports massage. Make that 19 spots available, I just signed up my daughter! Did I mention, besides being deadly serious, this class is actually fun and entertaining!
Randy Step, a scrawny little obsessed runner, you don't want to mess with!

2012-02-15 - Tricks


RandyYo run gang

Even an obsessed runner needs tricks to get out the door...

I love running, but there are many days that I find it hard to get out the door, how can that be? It is because day to day life is an "almost" inescapable trap. The effort needed to step out beyond work, laundry, bills, cooking, cleaning, newspapers, shopping and the sludge of daily existence is huge. Throw in bad weather, colds and flu, pain and injury and even with my priorities in line, it gets even trickier. I have been running pretty much every day for 30 something years. I am often asked, "How do you find the time or motivation to do it?" It's not magic but let me pass along a few tricks I use.

#1. Keep a log. This can be the most important weapon in your athletic arsenal. Simple numbers in a log can be tremendous motivation. The log is essential for success.

#2. Lie to yourself.  On the days the numbers in the log don't stir your soul, this is the time to lie to your body. Promise it that you just want to go out for a 10 minute jog and that if it still wants to go home and lay on the couch after that you will let it. Once out the door, the run is licked!

#3. Visit a Running Store. This suggestion might sound like sales pitch ... Because it is! Stop by a running store at least once a month to pick up a new running magazine, book or some race applications. It helps to visit an environment that supports your effort

#4. Find a training partner. Knowing some poor soul is out there waiting for you at 6 AM will force you out of bed and out the door

#5. Read about running. Motivational Running books and magazines can also get you out the door. The trick, pick up a running magazine or book and after a few pages the guilt will set in, you will soon be back in the training mind set.

Run like you have to,

Randy Step, an admitted obsessed runner who is happy every time he runs, but not always happy to run. 

PS:  Registration is now open for the Canton Liberty Fest Run!
Celebrate our freedom at the Liberty Festival 5K, 10K and one mile on June 16, and be a part of something ... BIG!  More Info

PS: Volunteer Opportunities Abound!
Volunteer for any Running Fit event - get stuff!

Shamrocks & Shenanigans - March 11 - Volunteer Now! 

Martian Marathon - April 14 - Volunteer Now!

November 17, 2010 - Running, Naturally

Yo run Gang,

The focus of my midweek mail usually targets motivation but today I'm writing during my midday break at The Running Event in Austin, Texas, a conference for the specialty running store. We get together at as an industry and share what we are doing to bring back to you the best in products, training information and anything that might add to your running experience. Yes, we are here working hard for you but it's a labor of love ... not to mention it's a convention that starts each day with a group run (Where they give us all new shoes to try out) what's not to love!

So far, the key topics have been the natural running movement and compression apparel. Natural running focuses on form and lighter, neutral, minimalist footwear and even barefoot running. For years the industry has focused on putting runners in footwear based on foot type and the runners gait. The shift is to suggest better running form instead of putting the runner in controlling shoes to compensate for bad form. The most common form issue is over striding. A long stride results with striking the heel first, causing the runner to actually break their forward movement, causing impact that leads to many common running injuries. Cutting the stride in half cuts the impact and the motions of the joints to almost zero. By shortening stride and striking midfoot, the runner can run with lighter less controlling footwear. How to tell if you are over striding? If you wear your heels down you most likely over stride. A way to check is to count one arm swing during one minute of running, by getting this number to 80 or more, your stride will be about right. We will be offering form clinics to give you more tricks, stay tuned!

Compression apparel is hot, hot, hot! Wearing compression tights on a run can cut the perceived effort by 25%, it does this by reducing energy lost to muscle vibration and improving circulation. Compression has been used in the medical industry for years but has only recentlly has it become a staple product for sports. Take a look in the running publications and you will see compression socks  or calf sleeves on most world class runners, they would only use these products if they experienced the benefits. The most common use for compression is to wear it after the run, it promotes healing and faster recoveries. Today while talking to many top US distance runners at the conference, all agreed they wear compression calf sleeves or socks when traveling to and from events, making a huge difference in giving them fresh legs to race with!

Get out and run,

Randy Step, an obsessed runner who's finding new toys just for you! Hmmm ... new stuff always motivates me out the door, I gues my focus was motivation afterall! 

July 30, 2008 - Take the time to get a non fit neighbor out for an easy run or walk.

Yo Run Gang,

Those of us that live the running life may have a skewed view of the "average American" when it comes to fitness. For me, being in the running and event business only adds to my warped view. Sure, day to day life brings us in contact with plenty of people that are in horrible shape including some of our own friends and family but overall I'd guess we still get a false sense of what the true shape of America really is. It struck me this week while observing the crowd along a northern Michigan holiday parade route ... Yikes! The percentage of "large" people (I'm sure there is a politically correct word) and the number of people who still smoke was a bit of a shock. Perhaps it's always been this way and I am a poor observer but my gut feel is that the country is on a down slide.

Not that I have the answers; but getting out there and setting the example, talking positively with people about running and taking the time to get a non fit neighbor out for an easy run or walk would be a start.

Run, walk, share,
Randy Step, an obsessed runner

2013-01-02 - The same path

Yo run gang,
January 2, 2013

My favorite George Carlin line; "People that drive faster than us are maniacs and the ones that drive slower than us our idiots!". It's an insightful line into our human nature. Do we have similar thoughts about those who run faster or slower than us?

Or run more miles per week or less miles per week than us? Not that they are maniacs or idiots but do we feel perhaps inferior or superior when talking to other runners about their statistics? How about when talking about income, education or any other kinds social or physical measuring? I know I'm guilty of this at some level ... Dang, I resolve to work on this.

The reality is that our life circumstances and our bodies are so very different, a mile run for one person may be a greater accomplishment and bring more personal satisfaction than another person finishing a marathon. When we do something heroic or amazing, only we can know for sure that it was. What others observe, say or think about our accomplishments may boost or deflate our egos but it's up to us to be honest and true to ourselves and do what we think we can or should do in this life to be a more complete and better person. I believe our daily run and the races we enter help guide us through this life and give us insight on who we are and who we can be. I believe knowing our fellow runners are on the same path can make us more tolerant, caring and helpful.

Run, learn, grow,

Randy Step, an admitted obsessed runner who thinks everyone who runs is pretty darn cool.

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