Friday, December 21, 2012

Have You Lost That Running Feeling?

It's that time of year again.  New Year's Resolutions (many of which will never come to fruition) are made, gym memberships are bought, and people get excited about getting fit and changing their lives.  Only two problems... First of all, January is really cold!  Not the best motivator.  Second, and most importantly, it is hard to get in shape when you haven't been working out.  It 's tough to figure out where to start and what to do, and even once you determine that, your body is going to be tired and sore while it's adjusting, and that can take a few weeks!  So how do you get that runner's high everyone is always talking about?

Even as someone who has run competitively for years, now that I am no longer on a team that has set practices and consequences for not running, I really struggle to train consistently.  The best thing you can do to stay injury free and enjoy your running is to join a training group (like ours - they're free!) or get an accountability partner to train with.  The only way to experience enjoyment of running is to do it consistently enough that your muscles strengthen, you build endurance, and your body adjusts.  This is tough to do without something motivating you to run consistently for a few consecutive days and weeks.  Grab a friend or two, or 180-something in the case of our running groups, and your runs will pass by so much faster while you talk, laugh, and complain your way through the miles together.  And once you get those first few weeks in, you'll really be able to enjoy your runs!

The other critical aspect of running enjoyment is staying injury free.  As you all know, getting fitted for shoes (hopefully at Tri-State Running Company) is the first step in preventing pain and injury.  Additionally, though, you need to do some strength training, stretch to improve flexibility, and practice efficient running form.  If you watch the above video, you can see a small sampling of some common running form issues (exaggerated for your enjoyment, of course).  To make sure you aren't "that awkward runner", sign up for one of our free form clinics or yoga for runners classes on under the Events - Health/Injury Clinics tab.  Here you will also find information on our free injury screens if you are already experiencing some type of injury.

Once you have your running buddies and you're strengthening your core and focusing on your form, you should be able to "get back that running feeling" (or maybe experience it for the first time ever!).  Just make sure you increase your mileage slowly and train conservatively.  Happy running... hope to see you out on the roads and trails!

Please feel free to comment if you have any wisdom to share about how to enjoy running!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Give the Gift of Peace of Mind: Road ID

All week, frenzied shoppers have been coming into the store searching for the perfect gift for the runner on their list.  They have no idea what they are looking for, so they are just aimlessly wandering around the store looking for something to jump out at them and proclaim itself the perfect thing.  I have good news on two fronts.  First of all, we have accounts for anyone who has ever shopped in the store, so we can look up sizing information and previous purchases to ensure you get something they will love.  Second, in addition to store gift cards (always a safe option), we now carry Road ID gift cards.

Road IDs are small bracelets or shoe clip-ons with contact information, medical information, and anything else your heart desires.  They are, quite literally, life savers.  These make perfect stocking stuffers, and EVERYONE who runs, walks, or cycles outdoors needs to have one.  While you're at it, it probably makes sense to get one for yourself!

I was writing this article and doing my research to provide you with all of the great information you could ever want to know about Road ID when I came across the excellent little list below on their website.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to share it... Thanks, Road ID! :)

Here are just few reasons you (and the athlete on your list) should make Road ID part of your gear:
1. If you can't speak for yourself, Road ID will speak for you.
2. Road ID enables First Responders to immediately contact family members and friends.
3. Road ID enables family members to provide additional details about your health or give consent for potentially life saving procedures.
4. Road ID enables hospital staff to locate vital medical records.
5. Road ID can communicate medical conditions or allergy information to medical staff.
6. Road ID can prevent serious delays in treatment by saving crucial time during the "golden hour" of medical treatment.
7. It's far better to have Road ID and not need it than to need Road ID and not have it. It's not just a piece of gear, it's peace of mind.
8. Accidents happen far more than you think they do. Each year approximately 450,000 of us are taken to hospitals unconscious and without identification.
9. Road ID looks good on and makes a statement about your athletic lifestyle – not to mention that studies would probably prove that people that wear Road ID are considerably smarter than those that don't.
10. Road ID can save your Life. Period.

Please stop in the store or visit Road ID's website above to learn more and get yourself and your friends/family set up with a Road ID for as little as $19.99!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Makes Running Specialty Stores Special

This video says it all!  At Tri-State Running Company, we truly love helping the people that come into our store, not just helping them find some item.  We get so excited (more than you know!) when you come into our specialty running store and ask us for training tips.  Or you need to know the best local places to run.  Or you want advice on a nagging injury you can't seem to kick.  Or you just need someone to be super stoked for you when your hard work pays off and you meet a goal of yours, whether that is finishing your first 5K, running a new best time, or being on your feet all day pain free!  This is why we do what we do.

We want to meet you and get to know you, so each time you come in we can give you the personalized service you deserve and need.  Running and walking are true passions of ours, so we love to share that with others and help you enjoy the sport as much as possible.  Working out can be tough on the body without the right equipment, knowledge, and resources.  Each employee at our store has a unique background and knowledge base, from collegiate athletes to triathletes to ultra marathoners.  But we also remember what it is like when you are first starting out in the sport, and you are totally overwhelmed.  We hope you'll stop by the store so we can help you figure out how to enjoy the gift of running for a long time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shin Splints... An Unneccesary Evil

Whenever we speak with our non-runner friends, we are often met with squinty-eyed looks of confusion and annoyance at our love of such a horrible activity.  As it turns out, many people think running just hurts and there is no way around it.  FALSE!  Unfortunately, many of us were forced to run as conditioning for other sports when we were younger and may not have had proper equipment or training, which lead to discomfort.  So, you avoided the sport for years until your lightning quick adolescent metabolism ran out and you realized you were going to have to exercise more to maintain your physique.

When people start an exercise routine as adults, running or walking is almost always a part of that routine.  Why?  Because it's FREE and you don't need 20 people and two teams to participate!  The problem comes when running still hurts like crazy.  (I see you nodding right now.)  One of the most common running injuries is shin splints, which is pain in, you guessed it, your shins.  Below is an excellent video to help both explain this injury in more detail and to give you tips to get rid of them so running doesn't hurt anymore!  As you watch, you will see that proper equipment (read: shoes) can make a big difference in preventing shin splints.  We can help with that!

Inside the Doctor's Office: Keep Shinsplints Away | Runner's World & Running Times

However, runners are also notorious for being inflexible and weak. There are some great tips in the video for exercises you can do to minimize shin pain. Regardless of whether or not you have pain (yet), you should be looking into incorporating strength training, stretching, and cross training of some kind into your regular routine. You need to take care of your body by limiting impact, using as many muscle groups on a regular basis as possible, and generally making sure that you have the core, hip, and glute strength needed to keep you healthy.

Shin splints are a common injury, but they don't have to be!  See your doctor if you believe you might have a stress fracture, tone down your training to heal if you are currently experiencing pain, and then take the necessary steps to make sure you can enjoy your runs pain-free from now on.  If you have experienced shin splints and have questions or, better yet, suggestions that worked for you to get rid of them, please leave a comment below!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Come Jingle With Us!

Welcome to the Tri-State Running Company blog!  We hope to dazzle you with witty and informative posts each week to help keep you abreast of local running/walking events, stay up-to-date on the newest gear, and generally bring you relevant and interesting information about the latest and greatest in health and fitness news.  Please feel free to let us know if there is anything in particular you would like to hear about, and we will be happy to oblige!

This week, we hope you'll join us at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K on Saturday, December 8th at 10:00 AM.  The popular local event starts at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and is sure to become a family tradition if you've never done it before.   Awards are given not only for the top finishers in each age group, but for the best costumes of the day.  Participants show up with bells tied to their shoes and hilarious costumes ranging from last winner's winner, a male version of the "A Christmas Story" leg lamp to Mr. and Mrs. Claus, elves, the Grinch, and more.

In addition to the fun costumes, kids are invited to compete in a kids fun run at 10:05 AM.  Tri-State Running Company will have a tent at the race again this year (Don't worry- the pre-race expo is inside and out of the cold!).  For the first time, we will have Santa Claus visiting our tent to take pictures with old and young competitors alike!  Make sure you don't miss this opportunity to tell the big guy what you want before it's too late.  Karen Minzner Photography will be at the event capturing your photos to purchase for only $5!  We are looking forward to having some fun with the jolly old elf.  We will also be giving out free coffee for spectators who want to stay warm on this December morning!

The Jingle Bell Run is a race that has been around for years, and it won't be going away anytime soon.  We hope you'll come jingle with us on Saturday and see what all the hype is about!