February 28, 2008 - All it takes is sunshine, good footing, no wind...

Yo run gang,

All it takes is sunshine, good footing, no wind and temps above 25 to make Michigan a great place to run the other 300 or so days of the year are to make us tough, arghhh!

Join me this Saturday, March 1st, at high noon in Hell, Michigan for a very stupid, very fun run. (No fee!) A traditional 4 mile slog, jog through the woods with a few hundred runners and no wimps in sight! Actually the run will start at 12:45 after the legendary Dances With Dirt Team Relay sign up. You dont have to sign up for DWD to join this run, BUT WHY NOT TRY! Seriously, for those of you who have not ran on a DWD team, I can guarantee it to be one of the most fun and memorable events of your running life. The actual event is September 6th but it will sell out this Saturday. Go to www.danceswithdirt.com, click on Hell, then scratch your head in wonder!

Last week I yanked my Achilles pretty good while running an ice covered trail. I limped around all day thinking, this might be trouble. I rubbed on some topical Ibuprofen cream several times over the next couple days and have been running pain free ever since. Anyway, Im the biggest skeptic when it comes to snake oil but I think this stuff actually might work. I didnt even mean to make this a shameless plug but if you want more info on this product check out this weeks Product of the Week.

Speaking of sell outs, Traverse City, Bayshore Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend has hit its entry limit and there are few spots remaining in the Full Marathon. Running is alive and well in Michigan and I believe its a positive sign that our economy can recover, heck, runners are smart, dynamic people that can turn it around and make it happen! Lets get to work!

Run, work, eat, sleep, repeat,
Randy Step

For more Run Reading, click here: Is Running Healthy?

February 20, 2008 - There is no magic when it comes to getting out the door.

Yo run gang,

There is no magic when it comes to getting out the door, plenty of tricks to help but alas, no magic. Once out the door, the magic happens, so get past the door!

I came across Peter Neilsons fitness show on the radio yesterday. Peter has had huge success as a trainer, health club owner and media fitness guru. Truly a body built in a gym kind of guy coming at fitness 180 degrees from the way a runner arrives at it. I often joke about the fact that as a runner, Ive never had to exercise, how cool is that!

On the show he answers a question on cardio equipment and what was the best work out. He answers by rattling off a bunch of numbers such as time on and calories burned and suggests the elliptical machine as the best. As a runner and closet triathlete, I can torture myself onto a treadmill or bike trainer if its my only option to getting outside but the idea of getting on some abstract machine that has no benefit to making me better at my sport (other than some aerobic conditioning) is painful to think about. Sport specific training is where it is at, that is, using the muscles in the way they are used in your sport. Welcome to the sport of elliptical! What?

Eat, sleep, work, run, live,
Randy, an obsessed outside runner

P.S. Got kids running track? Consider setting up a track night at Running Fit for their team. Its great for team spirit and for the track night well provide posters, fun give away items and additional discounts above the normal student athlete discount, including a coachs gift. Coaches are often overworked, underpaid and short on time so most of our track nights are coordinated by a parent whose responsibility is to make a flyer to get the time and date out to the team and coach. Shoot me an email and say, hey, I want to do this for my kids team, lets pick a date and time! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Well reward your effort with an additional gift card to get your kid some fun running stuff!

For more Run Reading, click here: Running Fast: Form, The Last Frontier.

February 13, 2008 - This winter action is getting old.

Yo run gang,

This winter action is getting old, getting out the door calls for every trick in the book. Todays trick: Get online and sign up for an event and follow a schedule that will get you there in the shape you want to be in. OK, Ill help. We have 7 weeks from Saturday to get ready for the Martian Invasion of Races, 10K on Saturday April 5th and Half and Full Marathon on April 6th. I have written schedules for you starting THIS SATURDAY! No lame excuses (Yes I have a 10K schedule starting at one mile and the half marathon schedule starts with a long run of 8 miles this weekend!). Next, go to www.martianmarathon.com and sign up. Knowing you are committed will make all the difference when you are waffling on getting out the door!

Click here for my training schedules.

Yikes, you are doing this!

Head Goat and Obsessed Runner
Randy Step

For more Run Reading, click here: Tricks to Motivate You Out The Door For a Run!

February 6, 2008 - My favorite running book.

Yo run gang,

I run, I read, I write. Im a big fan of novels that have a running theme as part of or the entire story; unfortunately, they are few and far between. I also like a good psycho book and never pass up a new Steven King, go figure. Anyway, my favorite book of all time was Once a Runner by John L. Parker. Parkers novel captured the essence of training and racing like no other.

All of a sudden everyone thinks this is the greatest running book ever. For proof, Google Once a Runner and see if you can buy a tattered copy of this out of print book for under $300, you cant! You can try the library but Ive checked several and all copies of this valuable book have been stolen. The reason for this new found fan club is the recent release of my new favorite running book of all time, the sequel to Once a Runner, Parkers new book Return to Carthage.

Not to sound like Im giving you a stock tip but may I suggest you grab a hard cover copy of this first edition while they exist, weve ordered in several at Running Fit and they disappear fast. The truth is, you should keep and cherish this book even if it becomes valuable! Before reading it I suggest you get a hold of a copy of Once a runner and read that first. The rumor is a new printing will soon be out, Im sure that is true now that the demand is stupid high.

Anyone interested in buying some beanie babies?

Get out and run!
Randy Step

For more Run Reading, click here: Once a Runner (Randy Steps Edition)

January 30, 2008 - The rule: Never let the weather affect your planned run.

Yo run gang,

Im sure you can relate I put off the Monday morning run at 20 degrees opting for the day end run with a predicted high of 40. The morning was still, clear and the sun rise was beautiful. I ran that night in the dark, pouring rain and perhaps mid 30s. Each foot fall was a cold wet shock, you get the picture. The rule: Never let the weather affect your planned run, when race day dawns, you have no choice in the matter and you better be ready and know how to dress and run in all conditions. Not to mention, there are a ton of things that will come along to thwart the days run, weather should never be one of them. If the rain had been in the AM, I should still have headed out. Didnt I just say that?

No excuses, last years Super Bowl 5K was held in 5 degree weather with a stiff wind. In 06, race morning dawned with about a foot of new snow, memorable stuff, dont miss this year! Im coming for the finishers pint glass and post race hot wings and not just because theyre being served by the Hooters girls! 5K not long enough? Run a second loop with me, by then youll know the course! Enter at www.runsuperbowl.com.

A trick to get past the midwinter slump almost like magic is a trip to Running Fit for new shoes. At this time of year, the stores are slow and you can take your time trying on everything with our lonely staff members who are excited to talk about your running. Best yet, the 08 spring shoes just came in, new models like the Kayano 14, Nike Structure Triax 10 and Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8. Shameless plug? Well maybe, but Ill soften it up, bring this email in for $10 off any new shoes and fire up the magic!

Get out and run!
Randy Step

For more Run Reading, click here: Running Adventure!

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