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.

 

2011-08-03 - Born Free!

Yo run gang,

 

Pure Michigan! We are so lucky to live in state with so much natural beauty and a park system that makes it so accessible. The Kid rock music video "Born Free" inspired a recent trip to run trails in the UP in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park. It's as good as it gets if you have not been north in a while it's time for a road trip! The Vasa Trail in Traverse City is another gem, join us on the trails this fall at runvasa.com.

 

I just love the glitz, glamour and nonsense of the "Red Carpet Run". Get out that old suit or little black dress and join us for one of the most fun time you will ever have dressed to the 9's. Strut you stuff on the Red Carpet on August 11th and be ready to run 5K at 7PM, the champagne will flow as you cross the  

 

finish line with that little red purse tucked under your arm. Check out redcarpetrun.com  and you won't find an excuse not to be at the dress up running event of the year.

Look good, run great,

 

Randy Step, an obsessed runner who's thinking his new black Mizuno Elixirs will be the perfect shoes to wear with my tux!

   

 

PS: The Legend!

On Saturday August 6th, join us on the shaded trails at the Legend 5 mile, 10 mile and Half Marathon. (RunLegend.com )

 

 PS: Volunteers Needed!

  

 On top of all the "thanks" and "you rock" you will get throughout the day, you also get an awesome volunteer shirt, a $30 coupon toward any Running Fit event ( includes race shirt) and a great feeling for giving back to your sport!   

  

 The Legend! - Saturday August 6 - Sleepy Hollow State Park, Lansing, MI   

  •  We need volunteers to staff the aid stations and the finish line during the race. 

Click here for more information on the Running Fit volunteer program and the online registration link for The Legend or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Red Carpet Run - August 11 - West Bloomfield, MI 

Click here for more information on the Running Fit volunteer program and the online registration link for the Red Carpet Run or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

T-Rex Triathlon - August 17 - Brighton, MI

Click here for more information on the Running Fit volunteer program and the online registration link for the T-Rex Tri or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

PS: Running Form

Running myth: Your form is natural and can't be changed.  It's not that many coaches believe this but from our experience, not many coaches address form seriously. If you want to address form seriously check out www.runningfit.com/runningform

January 5, 2011 - Resolved: To Run!

Yo run gang,

Every run can be enjoyed with the right attitude but I'm surprised how often I have to remind myself that attitude is a choice.  An example, a cold windy run where I find myself under dressed can be seen as miserable ... or a great challenge. OK, a miserable but challenging run! (Shameless plug, new running gear always helps jumpstart an attitude adjustment!)

Just because the New Year has started, don't let your head trick you into the idea that because you missed making some positive changes to your life by a few days that it's too late to do so! Every day of the year is a good day to set goals and commit to positive changes and if you falter along the way, every day is a good day to start over and re-commit yourself! Nothing good comes easy, never ever give up hope; the rewards along the way will be worth all the effort.

For those of you starting off the year with an injury that is keeping you from your run, your goal is set for you! Continue to research and set a course of action to get healthy and take satisfaction in your commitment, no matter how slow the progress or even in case of a setback, you are on a mission of self discovery!

Enjoy the adventure,

Randy Step, an obsessed runner on and off the road to personal fulfillment.

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