Race It: Dunkel Dash 5k

Looking for something to do on Thursday evening? Consider racing the 2nd annual Dunkel Dash 5k!


This timed race kicks off Milwaukee Oktoberfest with a course that runs around the city’s scenic lakefront.


Here are the details you need to know:

When: Thursday, Oct. 13 @6pm

Where: Veteran’s Park, Milwaukee

Cost: $35 for adults; $20 for kids

All participants receive a long-sleeve race t-shirt, an official Milwaukee Oktoberfest glass beer stein, a post-race Sprecher beer or soda and a post-race brat from the Milwaukee Brat House. After the race, participants can stick around and enjoy music by the Austrian Express.


Packet pickup will be held at Performance Running Outfitters in Shorewood on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 5-7pm. Race-day packet pickup will be held in Veteran’s Park from 4-5:30pm.

To learn more about the race or to register, visit the race website.


Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!


Get Stronger With PRO

Love it or hate it, you know it’s coming …


Instead of slogging through chilly, wet, slippery miles by yourself this winter, come join Performance Running Outfitters for its new Strength + Run Class. The class will focus on improving strength and building a great base so you’re ready to roll when spring arrives.

Here are the details:

Brookfield Location (2205 N Calhoun Road): Wednesday nights at 6pm starting on December 7

Shorewood Location (4533 N Oakland Avenue): Tuesday nights at 6pm starting on December 6


6:00-6:25pm: Body weight strength training focused on runners (core, hips, legs, and arms)

6:25-6:30pm: Get your winter gear on

6:30pm: GO OUT & RUN!  Choose your route: 2 Miles or 4 Miles


Cost: $80/Person

What you get when you sign up:

  • Weekly workout focusing on strength + endurance
  • Group accountability and focus
  • Smartwool Socks
  • Winter Beanie


To learn more or to register, contact Nicole at Nicole@performancerunning.com

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Fuel Up! Nutrition Tips For Your Next Run

Ever find yourself running on fumes at the end of long run? Or maybe you’ve felt sluggish during miles that you normally have a bit more spring in your step.

Although there are several reasons a run can turn into a ride on the struggle bus, one culprit may be nutrition. Below, Nicole Kerneen RD,CD,CSSD, with Froedtert’s Runners’ Clinic, helps us understand the role nutrition plays in training and how you can fuel better your next run.

How can eating right help improve a person’s running?

For any sport, eating right helps with performance and recovery, and sometimes performance even lies within the recovery. Athletes in general don’t realize how important good rest and proper recovery nutrition are for their overall gains and performance. Nutrition is everything. It helps to decrease inflammation that’s built up from running, which in turn helps decrease muscle breakdown. It helps to decrease stress hormone, which is elevated while running, and therefore helps a person recover in a more timely manner, especially with two-a-day workouts and quick turnovers between runs.

What are some common mistakes you see runners making when it comes to nutrition? How might these mistakes be corrected?

Improper recovery and hydration. I tell all my athletes, recovery starts at breakfast. Recovery starts immediately. Going into your run strong helps you come out of it even stronger with less tissue damage and therefore less damage control. Meal timing and proper planning is crucial.

What are some common myths about running and nutrition? What’s the truth behind the myths?

A common myth is if I’m smaller, I run faster. This is not true. Your speed, stamina, endurance and agility are all determined by training your body physically and eating to support that training.

Another myth is that carbs are bad, fat is better. This is also not true. Your body responds to how you train it. If you force it to rely on fat for energy, then eventually it will respond well by this, but switching over takes time and many people don’t feel well during the process. Depending on the type of activity, level and training, this form of eating can create a lot of stress on the body. There is a time and a place for all types of intake. It’s important to work with someone trained in all areas of nutrition to help you understand what would be best for your particular body and body type.

What does a good diet look like for runners in training? What types of foods should runners include in their diets? Are there any foods that should be limited or avoided?

A good diet is going to vary from one person to the next depending on their likes, dislikes, lifestyle, running demands and other training schedules. For the most part, a focus on good quality carbohydrates spread throughout the day, in addition to lean proteins, some healthy fats and a focus on anti-inflammatory choices from any of those categories.

I recommend eating fish whenever possible, as well as lean meats such as pork and poultry. Eggs are powerful to include in any diet as they are loaded with such great choline and some vitamin D and clean burn proteins. And let’s not forget about greens!!! My clients get sick of me talking about greens, but they are everyone’s best friend. They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium – all of which are phenomenal for muscle and tissue health in addition to good skin and healthy bones. Greens help neutralize the acids in our diet, which help to maintain good bone health. On top of the foods mentioned above, berries, apples, bananas and mangos are loaded with antioxidants, incredible doses of potassium and are rich in slow-burn carbohydrates, which is the preferred energy source of the body.


There’s so much hype around limiting carbohydrates, but study after study, still shows how efficient carbs are for a runner. They create the less stress for the body to convert to energy and on top of that, they carry all those stress fighting B vitamins that help the body manage the stress of working out, enhancing recovery and keeping brain chemistry balanced as well. They also aid in identifying true hunger cues.

Anti-inflammatory fats such as avocados, nuts and nut butter (just make sure they are dry roasted and not laden with inflammatory oils), olive oil, small amounts of coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, etc. are also crucial for good joint and heart health. The key to these is having them a couple hours before and after a workout. Fats can inhibit proper recovery as they slow down the re-uptake of carbs and protein into the muscle.

Let’s talk about pre- and post-workout nutrition. When is it appropriate to eat a pre-workout snack and what are some good options? When is it appropriate to eat a post-workout snack and what are some good options?

Eating a pre-workout snack depends on the intensity and length of your workout in addition to your last meal. If it’s been three hours since you’ve eaten and dinner is still another three hours away, then it’s absolutely necessary for you to have a pre-workout snack, anywhere between 30-60min before you start the workout. It’s important to have the right kind of carbs –typically something that has a combination of carbs so you have a faster release blended with a moderate and slow release. This helps you have a steady and powerful energy throughout the workout. It’s also good to have a small amount of protein going into a workout to release some amino acid in the blood stream and aid in less tissue breakdown.

Depending on likes and dislikes, workouts, etc., a few snack recommendations include:

  • A Clif bar – It offers a 3:1 carb to protein ratio with a nice blend of the different types of carbs.
  • A regular, fruited yogurt – This snack is most excellent for magnesium and potassium and offers at least a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. However, most are a solid 3:1 ratio.
  • A peanut butter sandwich with a piece of fruit
  • A “GORP” type snack mix with dried fruit/pretzels or Goldfish crackers and your favorite Chex-like cereal. This mix provides you with different carbs, sodium and potassium….all easy-burn carbs so they don’t upset your stomach.


Protein isn’t always necessary before a workout, but depending on timing and amounts – I’m talking about 10 grams – it can be a nice enhancement. This is why you see people taking in amino acids of BCAA’s before a workout. However, this isn’t necessary – a piece of string cheese or an ounce of chicken, tuna or turkey with a piece of bread or crackers and fruit is great!

Post-workout snacks are also critical. When I work with someone, I use their amount of lean mass to help determine their carb needs post workout. It’s the muscle we are fueling and refueling, so knowing one’s muscle mass is really important. A post-workout snack can consist of anywhere between 45 and 110grams of carbs – it all depends on the muscle mass for the individual. Without knowing specific numbers, I always suggest at least 45grams.

Similar to a pre-workout snack, an immediate post-workout snack also needs a 3-4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. This is why chocolate milk has been touted as one of the best and most effective post-workout drinks. It has fast and slower burning carbs to keep the recovery going until the next meal (preferably no longer than two hours post workout) and it has just enough protein. Post workout protein needs vary between 12-20 grams. Studies have shown that anything more than 20 grams is overkill.

A few post-workout snack examples include:

  • 12-16oz of chocolate milk
  • Regular yogurt + fruit or cereal
  • Clif bar

Smoothies or shakes are also great after a run because they also help with rehydration. Here’s a basic recipe to make a post-run smoothie:


1 scoop of protein powder – 10ish grams worth OR 1 cup of regular yogurt or ½ cup of Greek yogurt

1 cup of fruit

1 Tbsp of honey

¼ – ½ cup of oatmeal


What types of Performance Nutrition services are offered through the Runners’ Clinic?

  • Performance Nutrition Assessment – During this assessment, the athlete tells me about their current situation and I ask a few more questions so I can provide immediate feedback. No plan is created and a body comp read is optional unless I find it necessary based on our conversation.
  • Performance Nutrition Consult – This consult and the assessment can go hand in hand. At a full consult, we identify goals and trouble areas. I do a complete intake of one’s diet/training and lifestyle. In addition, we always take a body fat read so I can better create a program based on their present and desired state. A plan is also developed during the session and the client goes home with information based on their body.
  • Grocery Store Performance – I meet the athlete at their favorite grocery store and we walk the aisles. I educate and also help them put together meals and snacks based on their needs.
  • Pantry Performance – This is where I come to the athlete’s home or they take a picture of what they currently have in their pantry. I give them ideas and recipes to help them obtain a pantry built for performance.
  • Performance Nutrition Overhaul – This includes several sessions – all of the sessions listed above with some additional follow-up. This is a real hands-on program, offering tailored plans and lots of education!

How can all runners – experienced and beginners, competitive and non-competitive – benefit from Performance Nutrition services?

Everyone can benefit from working with a Board-Certified Sports Dietitian. We are trained in all areas of physiology and dietetics in addition to the emphasis on sports and exercise. Some, like myself, are also trained in eating disorders and disordered eating and have a wealth of experience working with different behaviors and changes through the life cycle a.k.a hormonal and endocrine changes. Anyone who wants to make sure that they are giving themselves the nutrition they need can benefit from getting a review of their current intake. A lot can be learned with just one session! The body is an intricate piece of work. Not everyone is the same so it’s important that health past and present be used to determine what the individual needs today!

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Nicole! To learn more about the Runners’ Clinic and Performance Nutrition services, visit http://www.froedtert.com/sports-medicine/performance-enhancement/nutrition

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Developing A Race Kick

When watching the track events during the Rio Olympic Games, you likely noticed many of the races came down to who could finish the fastest during the latter stage of the race. During some races, the drive to the finish began after the halfway point but in others the real racing didn’t begin until the bell lap. And from there, whoever could close the fastest emerged as the medal winners.

This type of race is all about developing a wicked kick and being able to quickly shift into another gear at the right time while battling end-of-race fatigue. Even for everyday runners, it’s a good tactic to learn – whether you’re racing the clock or a fellow runner, a blazing fast finish is a great way to achieve your goal.

Below, Coach Matt Thull from ThunderDome Running provides tips to help you kick in your next race.

Can you start off by explaining what a race kick is and what purpose it serves?

In a way it is hard to define since a race kick might start after the first 1/3 of the race (a longer extended/faster surge) or it might not start until the last 1/3 or even the last 1-2 minutes of a race. It’s usually a negative split attempt or a final push in to the finish. I consider the race kick an individual effort – one that allows you to sleep soundly at night knowing you left it all out there on race day.

What are the different types of kick a runner might use?

It’s interesting how many different ways runners can use a push-to-the-line kick. If you look at any distance racing record from the mile up to the marathon, they were set with a negative split and that leads right into using every different kind of kick available. It can start midway through the race after a relaxed start or a final quarter-mile kick or final minute kick after pushing the redline throughout the race.

What are the benefits of having a strong race kick?

A strong kick is what can help you achieve a negative split, a PR or a good old-fashioned race to the finish with someone in your age group. If you are actually thinking about a race kick, that means you probably did not run too fast in the early stages of the race. It’s also a lot more fun since you have momentum on your side, and you are getting to think about a race kick/running faster when you are most tired.

What are some running workouts a runner can do to develop a better race kick?

There are a lot of great options runners can use to help their race kick. Those pieces of training might be strength/gym/plyometric-based or might include actual running workouts. For running workouts, hills are great for developing a kick. Surges and speed ups within your runs help as well as ending all your hard workouts with some type of “FINAL” interval. A runner might choose to do a faster finish ¼ mile or ½ mile after their real workout. In a way that final interval is a bonus for the day—just like a kick is in a race.

Tell us more about strength training and plyometric workouts – how might these workouts help improve a runner’s kick?

Way too many runners “just run” and do not focus enough on the lower leg strength work that plyometrics, squats or even yoga bring out. The push comes from your core, hips and glutes in running. When you are more tired but wanting to kick—wouldn’t it be nice to rely on a strong lower half? So it’s totally worth it to do the gym work. Your turnover/cadence gets pretty slow and loafing if you don’t have strong glutes and lower legs.

How much of a strong race kick is mental? How can runners work at gathering themselves for that final push during a race?

With coaching high school runners I see this a lot, the big time SHOW of a final last 30-second mad dash into the finish line when the crowd is around happens all the time. Honestly, in a way that shows perhaps the runners did not push themselves hard enough in the middle of the race.

But maybe you went hard from the middle to the last part of the race used your race kick earlier than others – and that is also okay. That runner might not have as fast of kick but used the strong/long push to the finish line earlier in the race.

Often the big kick is a bonus because you have used up so much getting yourself to that last ¼ mile or last 30 seconds of the race. That race kick for anyone is the perfect mixture of mental and physical toughness since you have already raced hard but are now asking your legs/body to run harder—that is the ultimate kick & produces the most satisfaction. If you can think of the finish kick as very small parts of 30 seconds or 60 seconds you can ALWAYS push or sprint. So I recommend looking at your watch for those small running windows instead of thinking about how far it is to the finish line.

Do you have any other comments or tips?

It really helps to race under/shorter your focus race distance to work on your kick/speed. If you are a 10k runner, race some 5ks or mile races to work on your race kick/speed. If you are a half marathon or marathon runner, get out of your comfort zone/pace a bit and race some shorter distance races so half marathon/marathon pace feels easier. That way you will have a better chance to find that long extended kick in your distance races.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Coach Thull! To learn more about ThunderDome Running and coaching services, visit ThunderDomeRunning.com.

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k

For those of you not already signed up for this year’s Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, consider running the inaugural Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k! Whether you want to test your speed in a shorter distance or want to get in a few miles while waiting for family and friends running the marathon to cross the finish line, this is a great race to add to your fall calendar.

What: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k

When: Sunday, October 2 @8:30am

Where: Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee


Runners start in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum and follow a course that goes around Lakeshore Park before winding through Veterans Park for a loop around the lagoon before crossing the same finish line as the marathon runners.

Chip timing is available for the race and there is a 60-minute cutoff time. Awards will be given to the Top 3 Overall Male and Female winners as well as the Male and Female Overall Masters winners. Age group prizes will also be awarded.

Participants who register before September 21 are guaranteed a race t-shirt. All participants will enjoy snacks and free beer from MKE brewing after the race.

All proceeds will be donated to the Milwaukee Police Department Endurance Club for use in purchasing updated recreational equipment for the MPD.

To learn more and to register for the race, visit the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 5k website: https://www.zapevent.com/reg/event/11365

Will we see you on Oct. 2?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Milwaukee Running Group OMG Beer Mile

Think you’ve got what it takes to run four laps and drink four beers in less than 30 minutes?

Milwaukee Running Group OMG – for those of you not in the know, OMG stands for Original Milwaukee Group – is hosting its third annual Beer Mile this Saturday. It’s an event you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re running or spectating, it’s sure to be a great time!

Below, OMG organizer Patrick Bieser, tells us more about this year’s event.

12019847_10153321566218411_8437101920989204456_nAll photos from the the Milwaukee Running Group – OMG Facebook Page

When is this year’s Beer Mile and where will it be run?

The third annual Beer Mile OMG will be run on Saturday, August 20th starting at 5pm at the Rugby Field at the Lakefront. The event is free. We will be attempting to break the Group World Record for the Beer Mile established last year.

Who can participate and how can people register?

Anyone who can run four laps on a 400-meter track while drinking four beers can attend. In past years, a few Beer Mile pros completed the challenge in less than 7 minutes, but most people take 10-20 minutes. Registration, race details and a map to the rugby field can be found on the Milwaukee Running Group website – www.milwaukee-running-group.com.

How did the OMG Beer Mile get its start?

We first heard of the Beer Mile a few years ago from a member and knew immediately this would become our signature event. OMG has more than 600 members, and the Beer Mile is our only official race. With so many excellent local races hosted by Badgerland Striders, we didn’t see a need for more. But a race with beer as the main challenge? That was a clear and present community need, and a perfect fit for OMG.

We wanted our Beer Mile to be a group event and encourage those who have not yet developed a love for beer to participate. To accomplish this, we designed the race to be less about individual times and more about having fun and giving back. We encourage costumes and a charity donation. We allow relay teams. We throw in an after party and an outdoor movie for good measure. This will be our third year hosting the Group Beer Mile and participation has doubled each year.


Can you explain how the event works? What rules do participants need to follow?

The official “Group Beer Mile” rules were established by OMG and were adapted from the rules for individuals posted at Beermile.com.

The Group Beer Mile consists of four beers over a 1-mile course. For smaller groups, this is done on a standard 400-meter track. One beer per lap, four laps. The records are set for the most people completing the Beer Mile in less than 30 minutes.

There is only one major rule changes for groups. The Group must raise money for a local charity with some sort of link to running.

  1. Each individual will drink four cans of beer and runs four laps on a track (Start – beer, lap, beer, lap, beer, lap, beer, lap – Finish).
  2. The group world records are established by 1) counting the number of group members who cross the finish line in under 30 minutes and 2) recording the amount of money raised for charity.
  3. Any group member can drop out at any time without penalty, but the “group” record is set based on the number of people who finish, including penalty laps.
  4. Relay teams of 2×2 and 4×1 are allowed. Times for relay teams are recorded separately.
  5. Beer must be consumed before the lap is begun.
  6. Competitors can drink canned or bottled beer and the cans/bottles should not be less than 355ml (the standard can volume) or 12oz (the imperial equivalent).
  7. No specialized cans or bottles may be used that give an advantage by allowing the beer to pour at a faster rate. i.e. “super mega mouth cans” or “wide mouth bottles” are prohibited.
  8. Beer cans must not be tampered with in any manner, i.e. no shotgunning or puncturing of the can except for opening the can by the tab at the top. The same applies with bottles – no straws or other aids are allowed in order to aid in the speed of pouring.
  9. Beer must be a minimum of 4.5% alcohol by volume (this allows for Pabst, the official OMG beer). No hard ciders and or lemonades.
  10. Each beer can must not be opened until the competitor enters the transition zone on each lap.
  11. Competitors who vomit before they finish the race must complete one penalty lap at the end of the race (immediately after the completion of their 4th lap). Note: Vomiting more than once during the race still requires only one penalty lap at the end.
  12. If attempting official records, runners should tip the empty beer can or bottle over their head at the end of a chug to verify an empty vessel.

Is this an event people can train for? And if so, what do you recommend?

Training is recommended if you’re serious about your race time. The hardest part is drinking fast and running with an overload of carbonation. One way to train is to try to finish a beer while watching a political ad on TV. The timing is right, and the alcohol blunts the messaging.

Can you tell us more about the world record aspect of the event? How many participants do you need this year to break the record?

Two years ago Milwaukee set the Group World Record for the Beer Mile at 26 people running, and last year we smashed it with 42 running. We are on track to break the record again this year. Beermile.com does not record or even mention Group World Records, but since Milwaukee is the beer capital of the world it is only proper and fitting that a local running group take up the mantle and establish the Group World Record.


What have been the winning times for men and women? Any contenders for the win this year?

The men’s winning time last year was 6:46 set by James Burke. The women’s winning time was 9:48 set by Christina Lundberg. Local Beer Mile hero Tim Cigelske didn’t run last year, but he is signed up this year and could challenge the record. We hear that he’s been training.

Has anything crazy or unexpected happened during previous years?

Like spectators at auto races waiting for a crash, spectators at the Beer Mile wait for someone to vomit. Fingers point and bets are made and lots of loud burps can be heard, but thankfully vomiting only occurs about as often as Kanye and Taylor Swift go on a date.

Last year several people showed up in jeans and street shoes and decided to run. Several members of a bachelor party dropped by to spectate and decided to run. The energy at the event is infectious. Lots of people wearing costumes, fake mustaches, a stay puff marshmallow woman, wigs and team t-shirts.

Are spectators welcome?

Yes. It’s as much fun to watch as it is to run. Attendance is half runners and half spectators.

What are some of the other activities around the event?

After the run, our alcohol addled brains tell us it’s time to watch a classic movie. This year it’s the Blue Brothers! We took a poll and half the people asked (the millennial half) have never seen this important piece of American history. In the spirit of patriotism in this election year, we felt a movie about two men on a mission to save an orphanage, with some beer and music thrown in, was as American as we could get.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Patrick! If you’re up for giving the Beer Mile a try this weekend, learn more and register at www.milwaukee-running-group.com.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Lake Michigan Marathon

The fall race season is just a few weeks away. To kick things off, the Lake Michigan Marathon (and 50k, half marathon and 20-mile training run) provides a perfect opportunity to see where you’re at going into the season while taking in some of Milwaukee’s most picturesque sights along the way.

Below, Race Director Chris Ponteri tells us more about this year’s race, which takes place on Sunday, September 4.


An urban trail marathon is super unique – how did you get the idea for the race and how did you select the location?

One day I was running on the Oak Leaf Trail behind Warnimont Park and saw all of these dirt trails connecting to the Oak Leaf so I decided to go exploring. When I saw the vast trail system that the folks at County Parks had built back there, the light bulb went off and I decided to start a race there.

Is there anything else that sets this race apart from others in the area?

I like to call it a “boutique race” in that we intentionally keep it small so we can give our runners a high level of attention. With the hot temperature last year, that became more of a challenge since we had to make special accommodations to ensure safety.

Is there anything new or different happening at this year’s race?

No, it’s mostly the same thing as last year. We are only in our third year so we haven’t needed to freshen things up yet.

What is the course like?

The course is mostly a combination of paved and dirt trails, but there is even some road, grass, wood chips, wooden bridges, stones and concrete steps. I would not call it very technical since most areas are wide and well-marked. How much is paved vs. unpaved depends on the distance you are running, but in general about two-thirds is paved.


Where are the major hills on the course?

There are no major hills. The course is mostly flat. The biggest hill is on the Oak Leaf Trail through Bay View Park, but it’s not much of an incline/decline.

What are the most scenic spots on the course? Any landmarks along the way that runners should watch for?

There are many locations with stunning views of Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee. This truly is Milwaukee’s “lakefront marathon” since the entire course is within a few hundred yards of the lake. The course goes through several of Milwaukee County’s most scenic parks including Grant, Warnimont, South Shore, Sheridan and Bay View.

ScreenHunter_93 Aug. 09 16.25

Tell us about the aid stations – what will be available and where are they located?

We have five aid stations and each will be used multiple times since the course is a combination of out-and-backs and loops. They will have water, Clif Shots and Sword, which is an up-and-coming and very effective sports drink. If it’s a warm day, we will have sponges and buckets of cold water.

Who were last year’s overall winners for the 50k, marathon and half marathon? Are any of them back to contend for the win again this year?

Last year we had a very strong field. Winners were Cory Harris and Kirsten Kolb in the Marathon, Mark Caballero and Eliza Weaver in the Half Marathon, and Michael Miller and Mary Flaws in the 50k. I am not sure if any will be back this year to defend their titles, but I hope so. I know Nick Seiske is signed up for the 50k and will be a strong favorite to win that race.

Any other comments?

We have had a nearly 40% increase in registrations so far this year. That is remarkable considering this has been another down year for most marathons and half marathons. We are excited about that!!

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Chris! There’s still time to sign up for this year’s Lake Michigan Marathon. To get in on the fun, register here: https://raceroster.com/events/2016/7926/lake-michigan-marathon

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!