Monday, May 2, 2016

First Run The Boro Run

As a way to get to better know all the awesome routes our wonderful city, Greensboro, has to offer runners, RunnerDude's Fitness will be hosting a series of 8 groups runs during the months of May and June. The first run will take place on Saturday, May 7th at 7:30am leaving from RunnerDude's Fitness (2309 W. Cone Blvd., Greensboro, NC). Arrive by 7:15am so you can get your cue sheet and meet the pacing guides. The starting point for each run will vary depending on the location of the run. Starting locations will be posted in advance here on the blog, at, and on the RunTheBoro Facebook group page.

The routes will vary in length from 6 to 10 miles. There will be pace group leaders to help guide runners through the course. Their job isn't to keep runners at pace like in a race, rather they're there to guide runners a given pace range through the course. We encourage runners of all paces to come out.

These runs aren't designed to be speed runs. On the contrary, they are designed for the runners to get to know their city and take in visually all it has to offer while exploring running routes they may otherwise have never experienced.

Runners will need to bring handheld water bottles or wear a hydration belt as water will not be provided on the run. There will be water and Gatorade for runners after the run.

The first run will be just a tad over 7 miles and will take in the southern tip of the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway, parts of the Kirkwood and Old Irving Park neighborhoods as well as the Latham Park Greenway

Cue sheets will be provided for runners each Saturday in addition to the pace group leaders. After each run the routes will also be posted, so if you'd like to run a route again, you'll be able to access it.

Discover a new running route. Make new running friends. Learn more about our city. Have some fun. RunTheBoro!!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Build Confidence. Don't Break It Down.

When I was in middle School in the late 70s, I was overweight and not athletic at all.  I never wore shorts. Actually didn't wear jeans either? Evidently back then the only thing clothiers thought kids my size wore was plaid. Just what the "fat Kid" needs, right? Plaid. 

Man I can't tell you the last
time I had a burger and fries.
I remember having to run the mile in Mr. Wade's 8th Grade PE class. Yes, I ran the mile in my plaid pants and my plastic/vinyl "athletic" shoes from Pic-n-Pay. Me and Danny Weidner were the last to finish. I think I ran that mile in 18 minutes and 20 seconds. Mr. Wade did not like me. His disdain for me and the other non-athletic kids was very obvious. He even met with my parents to let them know I was different and that they probably needed to do something about it. 

Yep, I was different. Those plaid pants, that "roll" around my middle, those plastic running shoes, and that 18-min mile made me who I am today. Ironically at 51 years old, I've run 15 marathons, 1 ultra-marathon, 20 half marathons and too many 5K and 10Ks to count. Oh yeah, and I'm RunnerDude, owner of a personal training studio and running coaching facility, founder and host of one the most popular running blogs in the country, and author of a running book.

What's up with the double
pictures? I think one of
me was plenty. LOL!
I'm a huge believer in things happen for a reason. I bet if I had been the fastest kid in the class, I would not be a running coach today. Now don't get me wrong. I think kids need to be active. But, each kid is different. Some kids are team sports players. My brother was. He played basketball, baseball, football, tennis and now golfs. I tried team sports. I played baseball 2 years and football 1 year, but did not enjoy it at all. I mainly played because my dad signed me up. It's what you did in 1974. If there were other options, I wasn't aware of them.

In middle school, I had a friend who was very fit and was into gymnastics. I always envied his ability to run and do flips in the air. He was strong, but because it was not football, basketball, or baseball, he was often teased too. During those middle school years, there was a sign-up day for gymnastics at the school gym. I actually got the nerve up to go. We lived in a small town on the North Carolina Coast. I rode my bike up to the gym. I was nervous as all get out. I had sweat stains the size of Montana under each arm. I walked in, climbed up the big built in bleachers and sat there watching the others register and try out. I sat. I did not have the confidence to try out. I was the fat kid. I couldn't do that. Really all I needed was someone to say, "Hey, come try." I stayed for about an hour then walked back down the bleachers, got on my bike and headed home. No one every knew I went to the tryouts that day. 

In that small coastal town in which I lived in, there was a man, Mr. Smith, one of my friend's dad, who used to run a big 10-mile loop around the town. He'd run with his big black dog. He always looked so content running with his dog. I admired his ability to run so effortlessly. Without him knowing it, Mr. Smith motivated me to try it. One day, not long after that gymnastics tryout day, I decided to try to run. Yep, in my plaid pants and plastic shoes. I didn't go far (probably a mile or two of Mr. Smith's route), but I did run and it felt good. I did it a few more times. Nobody ever knew. 

Later that summer, I decided to lose weight. My mom was doing Weight Watchers, so I just followed the same meal plan. I lost 40lbs that summer and started High School a new person. I ran the mile in 9th grade in under 8 minutes. My confidence boomed. I was still teased, because I wasn't a jock, but it didn't matter, because inside I had grown so much.

I didn't do too much running after that until my first year in college. I ran my first 10K in Raleigh, The Great Raleigh Road Race. That's when I discovered others ran too....all kinds of people. That's the day the seeds for RunnerDude were planted. I continued to run lots of 5K and 10K races and in the late 90s I got into running marathons. Plaid pants ditched long ago, I was feeling good about my accomplishments as a runner and all this confidence was helping me in other areas of life. Running reveals so much more about yourself than just your physical abilities. That's the message we need to instill in our kids. 

If you are the parent of a "plaid pants" kid, encourage them to explore different activities. Not all kids have to be in organized sports, but maybe you can do family walks, go hiking, or see if they're interested in running. What they are interested in is the key.  Maybe it's art, music, or dance. Get them involved in what they are interested in. Once they have gained some confidence, then they'll be more likely to put themselves out there to explore more.  

Lead by example. Kids shut out preaching, but if they see you leading a healthy lifestyle, they'll come around. It may take a few years, but it does work. My 24-year-old son, Duncan initially wanted nothing to do with running or fitness...and now he's working along side me at RunnerDude's Fitness as an awesome fitness trainer and running coach.

The great thing about running (as one of my runners, Brandon put it) "it's an individual sport that's made so much better by running with friends." You can start out on your own or with a similar-level group and build your confidence. You can compete with yourself or with others. You can run solo or with others. You can make it your own.

I guess in a way, I should thank Mr. Wade. Not because he was right. But, because I knew he was wrong.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Enter to Win a Free Pair of Saucony's!

If you're a neutral runner or an over-pronator, Saucony has two shoes just for you! The Saucony Triumph and Hurricane are not new shoes, but they been updated the past few year making them evern better than ever.

Check out the specs on both shoes below, then at the bottom of the post enter for a chance to win a free pair of Hurricanes or a free pair of Triumphs!

The Saucony Hurrican ISO2 with EverRun was recently named "Editor's Choice" by Runner's World in the 2016 Spring Shoe Guide. 

This is the second Runner’s World award for the brand’s flagship supportive running shoe: The inaugural Hurricane ISO was named “Best Update” in the Runner's World 2015 Summer Shoe Guide.

“The newest version of the Hurricane combines all of Saucony’s technologies to create a ride that is comfy, cushioned, responsive, and stable,” said the Runner’s World review of the shoe. Testers’ highest praise was reserved for the fit and comfort of the well-padded, two-layer upper that hugs the heel and midfoot while providing plenty of room up front for your toes. New for this version are layers of EVERUN material in the midsole-where it cradles your foot as it sinks in and then bounces back as you push off. The new triangle-lugged outsole design improves the shoe’s flexibility, while firmer material under the inside of the heel and arch controls inward rolling.

The all-new Triumph ISO 2 with EeveRun was named “Editor's Choice” in the Runner's World 2015 Winter Shoe Guide (December 2015 issue). This is the second Runner’s World “Editor’s Choice” Award in a row for the Triumph: The inaugural Triumph ISO was named “Editor's Choice” in the Runner's World 2015 Spring Shoe Guide.

The new Triumph ISO 2 is the brand’s super-plush neutral trainer, now featuring a full-length EVERUN Topsole and EVERUN Landing Zone, TRI-FLEX outsole and ISOFIT upper.

EverRun: Both shoes contain EverRun. EVERUN’s patent-pending Topsole construction process positions a 3mm layer of Saucony’s revolutionary EVERUN foam material closer to the foot, directly under the sockliner, instead of embedding it in the midsole below a layer of rigid cement. This construction process distributes propulsion force over more area, reducing local peak pressures while delivering a dramatically more lively and responsive ride.

The EVERUN Landing Zone and heel insert provide remarkable impact protection, maintaining cushioning properties three times longer than standard EVAs while returning 83% of the energy absorbed, according to research in the Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab.

(There are two separate entries below. The first entry is for the free pair of Triumphs. Scroll down to see the entry for the free Hurricanes. Drawing ends on Sunday, March 27th and the winners will be announced Monday, March 28 on the blog. Good Luck!)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sure Footing Is Key to a Good Relationship

You looked so good when we first met. All sleek and alluring. Mysterious. I'd heard things about you, but I was blinded by energetic appeal. It was great at first. You had such bounce in your step. You were fun and flashy.  But in the end you did everything to rub me wrong. I trusted you. I depended on you for support. I thought you were there for the long haul. I needed you and you weren't there. Then came the straw that broke the camel's back. That awful day when you completely let go. I fell to the ground sobbing. No response from you. Nothing. Where was the flash and shine? Where was the promise of support? Nothing. Crickets chirping. 

Ever felt like you and your running shoes need marriage counseling? If you're not wearing the right shoe for you, then you know the pain and discomfort it can cause. The problem is, that just like there is no formula for finding the perfect life partner, there is no sure fire formula for determining the perfect shoe for you. Trial and error is inevitable for a runner looking for the "perfect shoe."

Then just like sometimes in life you and your partner grow apart, so do you and your running shoes. Sometimes your feet change. Women often go up an 1/2 or whole shoe size after each pregnancy. The more you run, the more your feet will change too. And just like in life when you are suddenly dumped by a partner for no reason, a shoe company will "dump" you or discontinue a shoe (or tweak it too much) leaving you lost and befuddled.

So what's a runner to do? Here are a few tips to help you find the best shoe for you.

1. Find Out Your Foot Type: Have your gait evaluated by a running coach or at a running store with knowledgeable staff in gait evaluation. I always like it when doing this, that the evaluator has your actually run. As a running coach, I've seen over an over a gait evaluation based on watching a person just by walking. Many times a person's running gait is very different from their walking gait. Most walkers don't forefoot strike, but many runners do. Watching a person walk won't show their true running footstrike.

2. Try On Lots of Shoes: Once you know your foot type (over pronator, under pronator, or neutral), find a store that will allow you to try on several different makes and models of shoes that fit your foot type. All stability shoes are not alike. A neutral shoes are not alike. A great running store will be patient with you, allowing  you to try on as many shoes as needed. They'll also not push you into a specific shoe, they'll guide you, answer your questions, but allow you to make the final decision.

I'm often asked what's the best running shoe. I never recommend one particular brand of shoe, because what works for one runner may very well not work for another. There are some brands, I've never been able to wear. Nothing wrong with those brands, they just don't work with my feet. So, let your foot be the guide in picking the best shoe for you. The latest and greatest may or may not be what you need.

3. Check Out the Return Policy: Buy your shoes from a place with a good return policy. Most have a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy and some even have a 60-day return policy. Most don't do a cash refund, but instead give store credit which is still great. Often you really can't get a feel for a pair of shoes until you wear them on a few runs. In the store they may feel awesome. Out on the run, they may feel horrible.

4. Allow time for shoes to break in: It may take a week or two for a shoe to break-in and feel good. Keeping this in mind when race training, be sure to start wearing new shoes at least two weeks prior to race day in order to break them in properly.  If you're ever in true pain on a run due to your shoes, take them back immediately.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Five Ways to Stay Motivated During the Winter

(Guest Post by Joseph Havey and the Ninja Challenge)

It’s been a few weeks since New Year’s. The holidays are far behind us, and the summer is far ahead. If you feel like you’re in a “no-man’s-land” of motivation, you’re not alone.

Motivation to keep New Year’s resolutions often wanes after two weeks, and only eight percent of people actually accomplish their goals for the year, according to statistics. But there’s no reason you can’t be among those eight percent!

Listed below, are five ways that you can get back on track.

1. Surround yourself with the right crew:
You’re probably tired of the phrase “you’re the average of your five closest friends,” but it bears repeating because it’s so true. As science shows us, your friends have the largest impact on your actions, both negative and positive. Sometimes, they can impact your behavior more than your own spouse! We’re not telling you that you need to get rid of your “unmotivated” friends. Instead, try and find a new crew. Join a running club. Start a workout group at the office. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, try meeting a friend for a walk. As the science shows, it’s much easier to make a positive change when everyone around you is doing the same thing. We all have at least one friend that is basically a “walking pep talk.” Get to know him or her better today.

2. Focus on the positive. Not the negative:
Have you ever tried to swear off “bad food” and quickly realized that chocolate, candy, chips and soda suddenly consumed your entire thought process? Or maybe, you threatened yourself with some type of punishment as a way to motivate yourself to workout (“If I don’t go for a run, I’m going to pay my friend $5…”) As it turns out, this doesn’t motivate people at all. In fact, it’s demotivating.

Miss a workout? Binge on chocolate cake? Skip an entire week of dieting and heading to the gym? Don’t worry about it. The worst thing you can do is fret over the mistakes you’ve already made. Instead, focus on the chance to make today better than yesterday. Think about how much fun you’ll have with your new running group. Think about how good you’ll feel after taking that workout class. Or about how yummy those roasted vegetables are going to taste! Focusing on the positive results of your goals is always more motivating that worrying about avoiding the negative consequences.

3. Reduce the size of your goals:
If you’re struggling with motivation, it may be because you haven’t seen much progress toward your goals. That could be a sign that your goal is either too big, too vague, or too complicated. We’re hardwired to avoid pain and uncertainty, so a vague goal is scary to our survival instincts.

Instead of focusing on trying to lose a large amount of weight or radically altering your diet, break it down. Write down every single step it will take to get to your goal, and complete one at a time. For example, if your goal is to “Start Running,” write out a plan that starts includes walking 30 minutes a day during lunch, finding a running group, buying running shoes, finding a local race (like the Ninja Challenge!), forming a weekly workout plan, etc. Make the steps super specific and knock them out one by one! Don’t worry about the end goal. Instead, focus on accomplishing each small step along the way.

4. Write everything down. Both before and after.
Many of us have our goals in mind, but few of us have them on a piece of paper. Believe it or not, putting your goals in ink is one of the fastest ways to boost motivation. But don’t stop there. According to research, you also should track your progress.

If you wrote out your goals last month, that’s great! You’re a step ahead. Now, it’s up to you to track your progress. You can do it daily, or even weekly, but you need to keep checking back to see how you did. Otherwise, you’re left with a vague and uncertain task, which we’ve already said is actually demotivating.

5. Treat failure as part of the process toward success.
The science surrounding failure is a little bit new, but it’s incredibly fascinating. Some of the most successful people in the world think about failure differently than most of us. In fact, instead of avoiding failure, they actually treat it as part of the process toward success. And science is finding that they are definitely onto something.

Successful businessmen -- ranging from Steve Jobs to Bill Gates -- have often bragged about having failed on their way to success. And as studies have shown, failure actually makes you more productive in the long run. It’s little wonder, then, why you shouldn’t fear failure. Instead, you should pursue it! Stop trying to have the perfect day, perfect workout, perfect diet, or perfect plan. Take joy in knowing that if you messed up, you’re actually closer to your success than before.

If you’re struggling with the motivation to keep your New Year’s resolutions, we hope the tips above can help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you fell off the wagon -- we all do sometimes.

To get back on track you should start small, write everything down, find some motivating friends, and expect to fail a few more times. This process repeats itself over and over, and before you know it, you’re well on your way to success! 

About the Ninja Challenge: The Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K is designed to bring out your inner
ninja through obstacles that include climbing walls, throwing ninja stars, running on water, dodging ninjas, and more. This family-friendly event is held every year in Fuquay-Varina, and is locally-owned and supported. It’s perfect for first-time racers of all age ranges, and we often have competitors ranging from 8 to 80 years old. A portion of all proceeds benefit the Triangle Aquatic Center and the Triangle Red Cross to help promote drowning prevention and safety. The 2016 Ninja Challenge Obstacle 5K will be held in Raleigh, NC on May 21, 2016. To register, please visit

Complete the raffle below for a chance to win a free race entry to the Ninja Challenge, The raffle ends on Feb. 24th and the winner will be announced on the blog on Feb 25th.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Endorphin Warrior Prize Drawing!

If you know anything about me and my coaching style, I'm all about motivation. I encourage my runners to discover that inward motivation and inspiration to keep them on track and training hard. Sometimes, however, it's great to have an outward reminder,especially when things get tough or when you've hit a training slump or if you're out due to an injury. That's where Endorphin Warrior comes in handy. This awesome company makes unique motivational and inspirational jewelry (and now t-shirts, hats and key rings). I began my relationship with Endorphin Warrior in 2010 when I first opened RunnerDude's Fitness. They too were a new company having just started in 2009.

Endorphin Warrior is best known for its leather Warrior Training Bracelets. This unique bracelet is comprised of a nickel-plated metal tag riveted to a 5/8th"-wide natural-leather wristband. It has a snap closure for easy on and off. The minimal design is perfect for men and women. The metal plate is engraved with one word...a very powerful motivating word. You can select from several of these words and choose one that will motivate and inspire you the most--Persevere, Unbreakable, Strength, Believe, Relentless, Conquer, Unstoppable, Fearless, Focus, Transcend, Limitless, Positive, Courage, Consistency, Breathe, Warrior, 13.1, 26.2, Swim...Bike...Run, 70.3, 140.6, As I Run, As I Walk and As I Dance.

My favorite is Persevere. When thinks get tough, I remind myself to persevere. That's what I do...persevere. I think that's what all "Dudes" do...persevere.

The founder of the company Eric Jenican recently contacted me and offered to do a give away on the blog for one of the Warrior Training Bracelets and one of his awesome Warrior Training Rings. The rings are made of "warrior strong" stainless steel, perfect to wear anytime, anywhere to help you stay postive, strong-minded, and focused. Like the Warrior Training Bracelets, the Warrior Training Rings also are engraved with one motivating word.

Endorphin Warrior has quite a variety of motivating and inspiring sterling silver sports jewelry too. Be sure to check out all of their unique products at Eric has given me a speical discount code for my blog readers!! Use code: RunnerDude15 and save 15% off your purchase!! The code is good through 9/30/16.  

To enter for a chance to a Warrior Training Bracelet or Warrior Training Ring, be sure to complete the entry options below. The drawing will end on Feb 19th and the winner will be announced on the blog February 20th.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Gothenburg or Bust!

The Gothenburg Half Marathon is only 4 months away! It's suddenly becoming very real! For those
who do not know, I was invited by Volvo Trucks to run with their corporate team at the Gothenburg Half Marathon, the largest half marathon in the world. It has over 60,000 runners! I've been leading running group at Volvo's North American headquarters which just happens to be located in Greensboro, NC where I live. Mack Trucks and Volvo Financial Services are also owned by Volvo and they are also located here in Greensboro. I'm in my 5th year working with Volvo and have helped coach/train hundreds of their employees from all three companys. It's through this awesome relationship that I was asked to join their corporate team in the running of the Gothenburh Half.

This is not only an awesome opportunity to run with and represent Volvo, but also for RunnerDude's Fitness. I've alwasy felt that runners are one big family and it will be a great opportunity to meet and get to know some of the "family" on the other side of the pond.

In preparing for and saving for this monumental trip, some of my runners suggested setting up a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds needed to cover the expenses of the trip. After much thought, I decided to take their advice and the response has been overwhelming and has touched me greatly.

Any size donation is greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out the Gold, Silver, and Bronze donation levels. Each of these levels will enter you in a drawing for a chance to win either a $100, $75, or $50 REI gift card! I plan to document my experience here on RunnerDude's Blog so that everyone can have a virtual experience with me and the runners while in Gothenburg. I'll  announce the Gold, Silver, and Bronze lucky winners of the REI Gift Cards on the blog on May 21st, 2016, the day of the Gothenburg Half Marathon.  Individuals donating at the Gold level will also receive a copy of my book, Full-Body Fitness for Runners, which contains over 90 exercises for runners, nutrition info, and more!

Thanks so much to everyone who has already contributed!! I would not be able to run with the Volvo Corporate Team without your support. I've almost reached my goal due to your awesome support!