Tips for Running in the Snow!

2016-01-20 20.46.20It’s that time of the year, cold and snowy conditions hitting many parts of the United States. As conditions start to get colder and snowy it’s super important to start thinking about how you can run safely outside and avoid the treadmill as much as possible. Below I’ve provided you guys with some helpful tips for running outside in snowy/icy conditions to help keep you safe through this Winter’s wintry mix.

Choose Warm Socks
Keeping your feet warm during colder/snowy conditions is super important. It’s not about the thickest pair of socks but more about the circulation and insulation that the sock provides. Most thicker socks actually cut down your circulation and end up making your feet colder so go for a thinner, more insulated sock that will fit into your current shoe. Some great cold gear running socks include: SmartWhool PDH, Drymax Cold Weather Crew, Mizuno Breath Thermo, and Feetures Cold Running Socks.

Warm Gloves:
Cold hands are never fun during short or long runs in the Winter, that’s why choosing the perfect pair of running gloves is key. For temperatures that are above 32 degrees I would suggest using a mid to thick layered glove that will keep your hands warm while not overheating them. If the wind is blowing I would suggest going with a thicker, warmer glove that will keep your hands warmer while moving back and forth during your run. If there is no wind I would suggest going with a medium thickness so that your hands don’t overheat or get to hot during your run. For runs that are under freezing conditions I would strongly suggest layering gloves together. Start with a simple base layer glove, something with wool liner followed by a heavier shell glove that will block the wind and moisture away from your hands. This will help keep you warm and dry at the same time. For those who have circulation issues I would suggest adding a hand warmer in your gloves to help keep you warm and dray.

Shorten Your Stride:
Running in snowy/icy conditions can be tough to navigate so start with shortening your stride. Focus on shortening your stride when starting your run to help with learning the conditions of the road or trials so that you find the perfect balance and traction. Once you are able to learn your balance on the snowy roads/trails you may then start to extend your stride to a normal length however please keep focused on the conditions and your balance, you don’t want to find yourself getting into the groove and then bam falling on the ground due to being to confident. Also, if the conditions are super slippery you may want to add running spikes to the bottom of your shoes to help with traction and support. This support should really only be used for extreme conditions and if you are running in none scrapped areas or trails.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate
It’s super easy in the colder temperatures to forget to stay hydrated before and after runs but it’s crucial that runners continue to stay hydrated. Even though your body isn’t hot like in the Summer it’s even more important to stay hydrated during the Winter months due to your body doing more work and sweating more often during your Winter runs. It’s key to continue to hydrate hours before and after any run with either Nuun Hydration, Powerade, Gaterode, or any other electrolyte drink.

Shoes:
This may sound stupid but wearing the right running shoes will do wonders. Staying upright during your snowy/icy run is key and to do this you must have amazing traction on your shoes. I would highly suggest making sure you wear new or relatively new shoes that still have good traction on the soles. If you find that your shoes are losing traction or don’t have much of any I would highly suggest you not run in them due to slipping and falling. If you don’t want to purchase new shoes you may purchase traction devices that can go over your current shoes. Anything that will slip over to add traction will do wonders to your run while keeping you save.

Don’t Count Miles, Count Time:
Most of us do it, we run for a certain distance and not for certain time but running in snowy/icy conditions changes things for your body. Running in these conditions engages different muscles compared to running on the dry ground. Don’t expect to just jump into running the same distance as every other day of training, instead take it easy and switch it up to a time run and not a distance run. This will help get your muscles in shape for these new snowy/icy conditions while keeping you safe and off your butt. As someone once told me, count your snowy/icy runs as double due to the impact and muscle work that happens.

I hope these tips help you prepare for your next Winter run while keeping you comfortable, safe, and warm. For more tips or questions about running in snowy/icy conditions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at travis.smith@irunfitandhealthy.com or at @iRunFitDC, I’m more than welcome to assist. Happy running peeps!

Tips for Running in the Snow!

SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K

2015-11-26 08.22.39This Thanksgiving I ran my 2nd SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in Washington, DC. This fast, flat course takes place at Freedom Plaza running along the National Mall with many out and backs. This year I’m super thankful for my many running accomplishments including my Chicago Marathon PR at 2:53, being accepted for the 2016 Boston Marathon, and continuing to stay injury free.

Prior to racing this morning, I ran a 20 minute shakeout run to help loosen-up the legs while incorporating 15 second strides throughout to help prepare me for the race. This shakeout run was a slow pace averaging 7:45 for the 2 miles that I ran. Leading up to the start of the race I continued to do some hip stretches, high knees, and butt kicks to keep my legs loosened while I waited for the start. Since this was my second SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K I was mentally prepared for the course and where I needed to be for the start.

Mile 1: 5:23
As I’ve always said, the first mile is always the hardest mile for me. Mentally it takes me a few minutes to get into my groove and settle down with my pace. Since I’m very familiar with this course I was able to line myself at the front of the pack so I didn’t have to run through slower runners while finding my pace. The first 1/2 mile was super fast, running around 4:43 while trying to get out of the pack and getting into my groove and finding the right group to follow. Once I was able to relax and settle down my legs started to feel great and my breathing was down.

Mile 2: 5:28
During the second mile I fell into my groove while mentally feeling relaxed and sticking to my pace. It was during this mile that there were 2 out and backs which slowed my pace down a little however, didn’t stress me out like previous races. I was able to stay focused and take these turns wider than most so that my pace wouldn’t slow down as bad. It was also during this mile that I was able to catch-up to some of the other runners who passed me at the beginning and start picking them off one-by-one. This really helped me mentally and kept me focused on keeping on pace and remembering my ultimate goal, a sub-17 minute 5K.

Mile 3: 5:20
The final mile was my strongest mile with a 5:20 pace. There was a slight downhill section that helped increase my pace and catch another pack of runners in front of me. It was during this mile that I felt my strongest with my legs feeling great while my breathing was on point and staying relaxed. I continued to stay focused on my pace and time while still being able to decrease my time and pass the final runners.

Final Push
During the final push I really focused on the person in front of me and sticking with him. This individual had a really good pace going and was decreasing his time during his final push so I felt comfortable sticking with him and continuing to push myself. It was also at this point that the crowd support started to pick back up, which is always a huge support for me. I was able to complete this year’s SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K in 16:49 with a 7th overall place which is a Personal Record (PR) for me. I owe a lot of my success to my Run Coach, Personal Trainer, and Physical Therapist who continue to improve my running. 2015-11-26 10.26.06

Overall, I am very pleased with today’s race outcome and look forward to many more
smaller races and my 2016 Boston Marathon in April. You can continue to follow me through my progress on Twitter at @iRunFitDC or my blog. If you ever have questions or want to run together in DC please don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a run.

SOME DC Trot for Hunger 5K

Crystal City Twilighter 5K

The Summer is a great time to get out, explore the outdoors, train for any upcoming Fall races, and have fun with community runs. With temperatures pretty reasonable in the mornings and evenings I have found that Summer has become one of my favorite sessions to run, train, and get faster.

As I continue to train for my upcoming 3rd Chicago Marathon I’ve started to truly enjoy the shorter, faster races including the 5K’s and 10K’s that local running companies put on each Summer. These shorter, faster races allow for me to focus on speed and form so that I can continue to decrease my overall half and full marathon times. With these short runs I’m able to just focus on running and giving 110% during the race knowing that it will be short and sweet. This Summer I’ve done a few 5K’s including the DC Pride Run, FullMoon 5K, and the Crystal City Twilighter 5K to name few. By incorporating these smaller races into my Chicago Marathon training I have decreased my overall 5K time to my best yet at the Crystal City Twilighter 5K.

This Saturday evening Twilighter race is put on by Pacers’ Running Company in Crystal City, VA with a flat, fast course with tons of fast runners from all over the DMV. With the race taking place in the evening the weather was cooler without the humidity or sun beaming down on runners. Due to these great conditions I was able to complete the Crystal City Twilighter 5K in a Personal Record (PR) time of 17:11 coming in 34 out of 1,700 runners, 34 in my gender, and 13 in my age group. I owe a lot of my success to my Potomac River Running (PRR) Team, ENERGYBits, and Herbalife24. These coaches, teammates and products have truly made my running take off and have helped make my running so successful today.

If you are looking for a fun, energy backed, family friendly race I would highly encourage any of the Pacers’ Running Company races. They typically host race series throughout the year in different parts of NoVA and DC. For more information on their races please visit their website to learn more. If you are interested in learning more about iRun.Fit or our Training Programs please contact me, Travis Smith 🙂

Crystal City Twilighter 5K

Third Times A Charm!

Another year another race. This year I started my half marathon session with the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon in Washington, DC. As a new runner to half marathons this was my third half in my running journey and I couldn’t be anymore excited and happy about starting 2015 with this Washington, DC race. Melissa_iRunFit

Going into the race I didn’t feel as prepared as I had times before, only running up to 10 miles during my training session but still staying dedicated to running 4-5 times a week to maintain my running base. Due to time, travel, and many other issues I wasn’t able to do my research on the course, elevation, and water stops. Previously I was able to take the time to review the course, learn where the elevation areas were along the course, and prepare my body for certain water stops. Even with these little setbacks and unclear route information I kept a positive outlook on the run and stayed excited about running in Washington, DC and not trying to set a PR (Personal Record).

Race morning wasn’t the best with colder weather and rain, something I had not trained in once again due to living in NC. Due to the weather I wore a few extra layers to stay dry and warm along with starting at a pace that was comfortable while focusing on my music, yes I listen to music and love every second of every song. While staying focused and determined I was able to continue my pace along the first 6 miles and reminding myself that whatever goes up must come down at some point. If you aren’t aware, mile 6 of the Rock ‘n’ Roll course has a huge hill and when I say huge, I mean people stopping to walk but not me! I stayed focused and knew this was the only major hill in the race and that no matter what I could complete it, even if I had to slow down a little. With the great bands, crowd support, and cheerleaders I was able to conquer the big hill and continue at my starting pace realizing I was already at mile 10 and nicely starting to coast downhill towards the finish line. It wasn’t until about mile 11-12 that my body began to get tired and I was mentally starting to lose it so I popped a GU, Peanut Butter/Chocolate the best one out there to help give me that extra boost of energy to finish the race.2015-03-23 18.34.43

Coming down to the end I kept telling myself to keep going, push even harder, and never give-up. These little reminders along with the great crowd support during the last half mile kept me pushing towards my fastest pace of the race. Once crossing the finish line I was drained by impressed with my time and even more excited that the race was over. Even though this wasn’t my fastest half marathon I did complete the race in 1:55 and would highly suggest this race to anyone who is either just getting into half marathons or looking for new race series, I would even run it again 🙂  I look forward to running more half marathons this year with iRun.Fit.

– Melissa Smith
iRun.Fit Teammate
@MelissaSmith22

 

Third Times A Charm!

Run into Spring 5-Miler!

Jump-start your Spring by joining iRun.Fit and VIDAFitness at City Vista for our “Run into Spring 5-Miler” on Sunday, April 19th at 10AM! Members and non-members are welcome along with all paces. For more information and to RSVP please visit out EventBright page!

Spring Flyer

Run into Spring 5-Miler!

Why I Run!

One week ago from today I completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC marathon here in Washington, DC and yes it was miserable. Between the cold and rainy weather along with the unexpected hills I would say this was one of my toughest marathons I’ve completed. With that said, this marathon was the race that brought me back to my roots, reminded me of why I run and train so hard for marathons.

2015-03-16 09.26.45If you aren’t aware, I run not for myself but for the millions of individuals who have or are battling blood cancer. For this I partner with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society each year to help raise awareness and funds for blood cancer research. This year and this race was even more important to me due to a dear friend’s 10th year anniversary of being a leukemia survivor! Not only is this a huge accomplishment for him but a celebration of life, a celebration that this individual beat cancer, it don’t beat him. As he would say, “I had Cancer, Cancer never had me!”

So to celebrate his 10 years of being a survivor I dedicated my Rock ‘n’ Roll DC marathon to 2015-03-14 08.56.43him, to his accomplishment of beating cancer! Running 26.2 miles in the cold and rain is nothing compared to what he’s battled, to the treatments he’s gone through, and the many restless nights he had while staying in the hospital. You see, running is what I do, it’s how I show my support to those who have battled something much bigger than me, it’s how I give back while doing something I love and this race was one of the proudest race I’ve accomplished. Yes it was miserable and tough, but even during the roughest parts I always reminded myself of why I was running, why I was running this race for my friend, and how important it is as a runner to find your why. It was this race that brought me back to my roots and for that I’m thankful.

RnRDCI look forward to running many more marathons and races for those who have or are currently battling blood cancer, those individuals are the ones that keep me running, keep me inspired!

Stay connect with my routes, training, and races on Instagram and Twitter at iRunFitDC or on Strava!

 

Why I Run!