A Gift for Every Runner on Your List

Holiday shopping for the runner in your life can be a stressful, energy-zapping task. But this year, Performance Running Outfitters made things easy by providing gift ideas for every runner on your list – so you can spend more time running and less time shopping!

All items listed below can be found at Performance Running Outfitters!

Running Buddy:

Our running buddies make every mile go by a little bit faster. Say “thank you” with one of these great gifts, like the Believe or Compete Training Journal, with 52 weeks of space to detail workouts, or an insulated Hydroflask (keeps hot drinks hot up to 6 hours, cold drinks up to 24 hours). Even the most positive runner could use a little motivation, which is why we love Momentum wraps, with sayings like “Make It Happen” and “Run and Be Happy.” If you prefer running buddies of the four-legged variety, go hands-free with the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner leash! And keep your buddy’s noggin nice and warm with a cute, fleecy pom beanie from Salomon!

New Runner:

Whether there’s a new runner on your list, or one coming back from a layoff, most runners could use some updated gear. Stay warm, dry, and visible with the Sugoi Zap jacket, with 360 degrees of visibility (available for men and women). Store the essentials with the Nathan Zipster belt, with two dry zippered pockets that can accommodate phones, keys, and more. Every runner needs socks, and we’ve got plenty! (Plus, all Feetures and Balega socks are Buy 3, Get 1 Free until 12/31/17!) There’s no need to worry about hydration on the run with an Amphipod handheld bottle, and we’ve got plenty of sizes to choose from. Have a racing fanatic on your list? Give them the gift of no more pin holes with Race Dots, the magnetic bib positioning system. And finally, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is the perfect watch for new and veteran runners alike, with built-in GPS for running, cycling, swimming and more!

Stylish Runner:

Running gear isn’t exclusively for running anymore! Give the gift of style with some of our newest picks, including the New Balance Heat Route jacket (women’s only, but don’t worry, we’ve got some awesome jackets for men, too!) and Saucony Freedom Runner shoes (a lifestyle shoe with a running shoe midsole, so it’s soft and supportive). The Oiselle Lux Runfinity scarf is cute and warm, with soft buttery fabric that she’ll love! We also have a fresh crop of Stance Run socks for men and women, including the new tie-dye crew (pictured). And of course, no outfit is complete without a pair of Goodr polarized, non-slip sunglasses, with so many amazing color combinations that will make any runner happy!

Winter Weather Warrior:

Sub-zero temperatures don’t scare our Wisconsin winter warriors! Help your favorite runner stay warm, dry, and running all winter long with our favorites, including the Feetures Elite Merino crew-height socks, with just enough cushion and a whole lot of warmth. Every winter runner needs a good selection of do-it-all accessories, and that’s why we recommend the Craft hybrid glove, which can convert from gloves (with an e-tip) to mittens in a snap, and the Buff polar fleece neckwarmer, which can be converted from neckwarmer, to balaclava, to headband, to hat… you get the idea! Yaktrax Run traction devices will turn any regular running shoe into a grippy powerhouse, with a carbide spike plate and metal springs to provide traction. And of course, it’s all about the clothes! Stay warm with the Salomon Drifter jacket, made with Primaloft Eco Insulation (available for both men and women). This jacket is light enough to layer under a shell, but warm enough to tackle colder temperatures with ease. Winter runners will also love the Sugoi Sub-Zero Zap tight, with 360 degrees of reflectivity, phone-ready pockets, and a soft fleecy lining (available for men and women).

Thanks to Jess and Team at Performance Running Outfitters for all the great gift ideas!

Tell us: What’s on your wish list this year?

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!

Try It: AlterG Treadmill Training

If you follow the training of professional runners, you may notice that many of them utilize an AlterG® at some point or another to either add volume without additional stress on the body or to maintain fitness while recovering from an injury.

Even though the great majority of us are not training to compete at the highest level, we can still take advantage of this technology. Locally, you can run on an AlterG® at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic.

Below, Sara Ziegele, DPT with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic tells us more about how runners can benefit from this training tool.

Can you start off by telling us a bit about how an AlterG® treadmill works?

The AlterG® is a specialized treadmill that allows an individual to run or walk at partial body weight. For example, an individual weighing 150 pounds can set the treadmill to 50 percent and have only 75 pounds impact the treadmill. The runner wears a specifically designed pair of shorts that zip into a waist-height “tent” around the treadmill. The “tent” inflates with air to place an upward force on the lower body and reduce the weight.


What are the benefits of using an AlterG® treadmill?

Runners can maintain cardiovascular conditioning while minimizing stress on the lower body, reduce compensations and habits that develop from running with pain and return to running sooner than on the ground.

Can you tell us more about the degree of lift? How is the degree of lift determined for each participant?

The AlterG® can be set between 20 percent and 100 percent of body weight. That translates to more than 80 percent of your weight being held up by the air. The degree of lift will be individually determined by the Runners’ Clinic staff. Usually, runners recovering from impact injuries are set between 50-75 percent. Uninjured runners are set between 75- 95 percent.

Can you tell us more about how an AlterG® treadmill benefits each of the following groups?

  • Injured or recovering runners: Allows the runner to return to training sooner while unloading the injured region
  • Runners looking for a performance boost: Allows the runner to maximize cardiovascular training while reducing lower extremity stress
  • Runners just getting into running/exercise: Allows the runner to gradually increase the training load

How do you recommend runners incorporate AlterG® treadmill running into their training?

Training strategies on the AlterG® are very similar to any other surface. A runner should build up gradually to avoid overtraining. The higher percentage of body weight, the more natural the mechanics.

What’s the procedure for using the AlterG® treadmill at the Runners’ Clinic? Can people use the treadmill even if they are not a current Runners’ Clinic patient?

The AlterG® is available at the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic for patients and uninjured runners. Runners currently completing physical therapy (PT) can incorporate the treadmill into their rehabilitation program. To use the AlterG outside of PT, fees range from $15 (single, 30-minute sessions) to $175 (12-60 minute sessions across the course of a month), with additional options available.

Thanks for chatting with us, Dr. Ziegele! To learn more about Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Runners’ Clinic, visit their website or call 414.805.7114.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Try It: Froedtert Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation

Last fall, we announced a new partnership with the Froedtert Runners’ Clinic – a fantastic resource for MKE runners. The clinic offers everything from physical therapy to recovery tools to performance enhancement programs.


Today, we’re focusing on the Clinic’s Running Evaluations. You might be thinking, ‘I don’t need one of those – I’m not injured!’ The truth is, all runners can benefit from a Running Evaluation. Getting one just might prevent an injury down the road. At the very least, you’ll gain insight into your running form and things you can do to become more efficient.

Below, Dr. Andrea McCarthy with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Center tells us more about the value of getting a Running Evaluation – whether you’re a beginner or have been running for years.

Why is the start of a training cycle a great time to get a Running Evaluation?
By getting a Running Evaluation early, a runner will gain insight into his or her gait mechanics and techniques to improve his or her running form. It is helpful to put these tips to use when you are starting out and your mileage is low. Often times, adjusting your running form requires increased use of different muscles than those you currently rely on. It is best to make this transition with lower mileage to give your body time to adapt and avoid causing overuse injuries.

The start of a training cycle is the time where a runner creates a routine. The Running Evaluation can provide insight into your areas of weakness and allow you to incorporate new exercises into your routine to optimize performance and minimize the likelihood of injuries.

Why is a Running Evaluation beneficial for all runners – whether they are beginners or have been running for years?
Unless you are running in front of a mirror or have a way to record yourself, how we think we run and how we actually run can be two very different things. While I know all the little nuances of my husband’s running gait, I am always surprised how I look when someone captures a picture of me mid race (I pictured myself looking so much more graceful). By recording a runner, we have the ability to slow down images of his or her gait and analyze the fine details that may otherwise go unnoticed. Experienced runners can gain as much insight as novice runners because everyone has at least one or two things that can be improved upon. It’s important to realize that running form can change over the years as a result of things such as injuries, training partners and running terrain.

Even if a runner isn’t currently injured, why a Running Evaluation be a good idea?
The Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation is actually best suited for non-injured runners. A Running Evaluation is a great way to learn about weaknesses and imbalances that leave a runner prone to certain injuries. By understanding the runner’s strengths and weaknesses, we can establish a program that helps prevent injuries from occurring.

What happens during a typical Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation?
First, the physical therapist will take the runner’s subjective history including past or present injuries, training regimen and goals. Next, the therapist conducts a brief assessment of the runner’s strength, range of motion and balance. Lastly, the runners gait is recorded on a treadmill for about five to 10 minutes. The therapist will review the recording and analyze the findings with the runner. The therapist relies on information from all three portions of the evaluation to prepare an individualized plan and exercise program for the runner. Each runner should expect several tips to improve his or her running form as well as a few exercises to improve or prevent injuries.

How long does a typical Running Evaluation take? Does the runner need to do anything to prepare?
The evaluation lasts approximately one hour. We ask that you arrive a few minutes early to fill out an intake form. Please wear running clothes and your normal running shoes. We encourage runners to dress based on their comfort levels, but prefer a running outfit that lets us see the most of a runner’s gait. Ideally, we like to see runners in shorts that give a full view of the knee and a tank top or T-shirt that is a different color from the bottoms to allow for us to see hip motion.

What information do runners gain from doing a Running Evaluation?
By reviewing the video with the therapist, the runner will receive information on all aspects of his or her running form. The information will include cadence (how many steps taken per minute), foot strike position, trunk position and knee mechanics, just to name a few. The runner will gain an understanding of weak areas that he or she can strengthen or stretch to avoid injuries or altered mechanics.

Are there follow-up steps after a Running Evaluation?
We provide each runner with several exercises and running tips that can be implemented right away in his or her routine. We offer a 30-minute follow-up session that is included in the cost of the Running Evaluation. The follow-up session can be scheduled several weeks after the initial evaluation. This session allows the runner to check that he or she is performing the exercises correctly and ask the therapist any additional questions or exercise progressions.

Any other comments or info about the Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluations?
The Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation is best suited for non-injured runners. If a runner has an injury, we recommend going through the steps to obtain a prescription for physical therapy. This can be done by contacting your primary care provider or a sports medicine physician.

At Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, Craig Young, MD, is available to assess your running injuries. Upon receiving a physical therapy script, the runner can call our clinic and schedule a physical therapy evaluation. Please mention that you are a runner and would like to be placed with one of the Runners’ Clinic physical therapists. This will allow us to treat your injury fully over the course of several sessions or weeks. We will complete a Running Evaluation as part of your physical therapy. Unlike the Runners’ Clinic Running Evaluation, the physical therapy can be billed to your insurance.

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Dr. McCarthy! To learn more about the Froedtert Runners’ Clinic, visit http://www.froedtert.com/sports-medicine/runners.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Race It: Running League

Let’s see a quick show of hands:

Who likes running?

Who likes running with friends?

Who likes celebrating after a race with friends and beer?

If you raised your hand to any of the questions, you might want to check out Running League – a newer series of local races geared toward bringing people of all running abilities together for race – and post-race – fun.

Read on to learn more about the league, the courses and the awards!

For race specifics, view our Featured Races page.


Can you start off by telling us a bit about what makes this race unique in the MKE area?
There are bowling leagues, volleyball, softball, etc … but no running league. We started the very first running league that we know of and it’s a hit. We love the head-to-head matches each week where teams of all abilities can match up against each other because everyone has an average.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the league? How long has it been held in this area and why was it started?
It all started in November 2014 at the Pettit Ice Center. That night after an hour run and a couple beers, Scott turned to Mike and said “we should start a running league.” Mike owns a bowling alley where he coordinates bowling leagues so a running league only made sense. Over the course of the next six months, after more hour runs and beers, they put together a website, Facebook page, talked with other race coordinators, set up a registration account on Active and advertised on Running in the USA. They aimed for May as their start date and now it’s into July, starting Round 3.

What was behind the decision to make this more of a team-oriented event?
The idea of a team-oriented league was really important to us. We loved the idea of runners putting together a team of friends and competing. We loved the idea of the “back of the pack” runners being able to talk trash to the “front of the pack” runners because everyone is on an even playing field. The goal is to run the fastest under your team average so that really benefits the runners who are improving each week.


Do people need to sign up with a team or can they also sign up as individuals?
Everyone should sign up individually and then let us know if you have a team. If you are a single runner we will create or find a team for you.

How many teams are signed up to date?
The first round we had 6 teams of 3; 2nd round was 8 teams of 3; and it looks like 8 teams are signed up so far for round 3.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about signing up to encourage them to participate?
Free beer afterwards! Oh, and it’s only $9 per race.


Can you tell us how the awards work for this race?
Each week the team that is the most under their team average wins $45 to split. Awards at the end of round 2 – 1st place overall received $60 to split and the traveling trophy, 2nd – $30, 3rd – $21, 4th – $15.

What are the courses like? How did you select Frame Park and the travel date courses? And do you have any tips for runners hoping to crank out fast times?
Frame Park works great because we start and finish at Mike’s bowling alley – Fracaro’s Lanes. The course is flat and uses most of the same course that other Waukesha 5k races use. Scott is an expert trail marker. He found a great one that starts and finishes at Stubby’s Pub and Grub on Humboldt. That course is little hilly and part trail. Minooka Park is a staple in a lot of Waukesha runners’ workouts. Scott marked a tough but great trail run that starts and finishes at a site we rented. All of these courses fit nicely with the extremely fun after-race party we have.

What are some of the participant perks?
Did we mention free beer? Also, the unbelievably great running leaguers put together a food sign-up online each week for after-race fueling and sustenance to soak up the beer.

In the upcoming seasons/years – do you anticipate the league growing to include other locations in MKE?
One of our dreams for Running League is to have several locations. For example – Running League Waukesha, RL Milwaukee, RL Tosa, RL Brookfield, RL New Berlin, etc., and then have a SE Wisconsin state tournament in which all the RL’s will battle each other to be Running League champions.

Any other info/comments?
We are looking for energetic people to help manage these other RL’s, specifically a league secretary/manager who can keep the energy level very high and the atmosphere exciting. Running League night is our favorite night of the week and we strive to make that the same for everyone else.

Thanks for all the great info from Running League! The first race of round 3 is Thursday. If you’re interested in learning more and/or signing up to run, here’s how you can connect:

Website: http://www.runningleaguewi.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/runningleaguewi

We’re halfway through the week! Or, depending on how you look at it, halfway to our weekend long runs 😉

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

RRCA Coaching Certification + Running’s RAD

Local runner, Richard Dodd, has a long running resume. He’s competed as an elite runner and currently is the Head Boys & Girls Cross Country Coach & Assistant Track Coach at Hartford High School as well as the Race Director of the Adrenaline Marathon in West Bend, the Adrenaline Half, Quarter and 5K; and Adrenaline Triathlon in Random Lake. Now he adds RRCA Certified Running Coach to the list.

Read on to learn more about RRCA certification process as well as Coach Dodd’s new coaching business, Running’s RAD!


Can you start off by telling us what it means to have an RRCA Coaching Certification?
It means that I’ve taken the two-day RRCA Certification Course (18 class hours total) and passed the exam as well as received certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED Training. I’m one of only 19 currently such-certified coaches in Wisconsin as of today!

What was the coaching course like and what did you learn?
It was a very intense weekend with 9-hours of class (in South Carolina) both Saturday & Sunday, and some “homework.” One thing that was encouraging to me was that a lot of what I’ve gleaned over a 42-year running career and 19-year coaching career was reinforced in class, meaning I’ve been doing a lot of things correctly for some time! I had been “weaned” on Arthur Lydiard, Joe Vigil, Jack Daniels, etc., so it was a little like “old home” weekend for me!

What was the testing process like? What requirements did you need to meet to receive the certification?
The 100-question, multiple-choice, online test afterward was actually quite daunting with the knowledge if more than 15 answers were wrong you failed the test – with no refunds. Even though it was open book(s), there was a lot of material covered – It took me some 10 hours to complete! Once you hit “submit” your test was scored, with no recourse. After that I had to pay for and take a course in Waukesha for my First Aid/CPR/AED Training, all within a month’s time of taking the RRCA Course.

Do you feel it was worth it to get a Coaching Certification? Why should people interested in coaching get certified?
I honestly think that the RRCA Coaching Course was well worth it. The class-manual and Jack Daniels’ book and the in-class learning justify the time and cost. I believe that if you’re going to coach other individuals that you need to know what you’re doing as well as basic first-aid procedures & CPR. A course has just been posted for Milwaukee in October – hurry, they fill up FAST!

Had you done any coaching previously? What made you decide to get RRCA Coaching Certification?
I have been a high school cross country and track coach for boys & girls for 19 years now (over 1,000 athletes) – 16 years at my alma-mater Whitnall HS and the past 3 years at Hartford Union HS. I was named Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel “Coach Of The Year” in 2004. The high schools sports that I coach are “no-cut”- meaning that I coach boys and girls of all abilities.

In addition, I’ve coached a number of adults gratis; most notably Matt Kruger (2:39 Marathon) and Jessica (Davida) Hoepner (owner of Performance Running Outfitters) to a 3:16 Marathon debut at age 21.

I’ve also been inspired by my outstanding (Hall Of Fame) college coaches at UW-La Crosse in Dr. Phil Esten and Gary Wilson

Can you tell us about your new coaching business, Running’s RAD?
While it is still definitely in its infancy and is a work in progress, I have already had the pleasure of coaching some clients to (modern-day) successes! One item I need to address soon is expanding the website; computer technology is not a strength of mine – but I am improving! I came up with the name because RAD is my monogram and, well, Running’s RAD! I plan on expanding my clientele into the fall marathoning season and beyond! I’m also volunteering my time & services to help the Badgerland Striders’ Half Marathon Buildup Program get off the ground this summer.

What types of coaching services do you offer?
While more of a hands-on (i.e. in-person) coach by design, I do offer online and cellphone planning/tips. In the 51 marathons I have completed, the last 50 are Boston-Qualifiers (I missed by 31 seconds in my first attempt at age 18) – so I would have to say marathons (2:19:38 PR) and half-marathons (1:08:29 PR) are my strong suit; although I’ve coached everything from the ½-mile (800-meters) on up! I also have completed two Ultra-marathons, including a 2:59:56 (WI State Record) 50K, and would feel comfortable working with runners with those aspirations.

I am a big believer in the psychological side of running/racing – sometimes a runner is only six inches – the space between their ears – from a great race!

Thanks for chatting with us, Coach Dodd! To learn more about Running’s RAD, you can connect here:

Website: http://runningsrad.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/runningsrad
Phone: (608) 770-5906

To learn more about the upcoming RRCA Coaching Certification course in MKE, visit http://www.rrca.org/programs/coaching-certification/

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend! And as always …

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

We Heart Track Part Two: MKE Track Workouts

Last week, we featured tracks around the city where you can get your speedwork on. This week, we’re sharing a few local groups you can meet up with when you want to fly.

This summer, let’s get faster together, MKE!

Badgerland Striders Track Workout
Tuesdays @6:30pm
Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Website: http://www.badgerlandstriders.org/
Details: The workout is led by Matt Thull from ThunderDome Running. Participants should be warmed up and ready to start by 6:30pm. During the late fall and winter months, workouts are held at the Pettit National Ice Center indoor track and are led by Angie Smith.

Greater Milwaukee Track Club
Dates vary
Marquette University Track
Website: http://www.rungmtc.com/
Details: The goal of the club is to encourage adult cross country and track & field participation. No performance standards to join. Members can attend group workouts that are typically held a few times per week at the Marquette outdoor track.

InStep – Delafield
Wednesdays @6pm
InStep, 615 Genesee Street, Delafield
Website: http://www.runinstep.com/
Details: Runners meet at the store for a 10-minute warmup run to the track. Program runs May – October.

Milwaukee Running Group (OMG)
Tuesdays @6pm
Shorewood High School
Website: https://mkerungroup.wordpress.com/
Details: There are two separate groups – one for faster runners (6-10 min pace) and one for slower runners. The group is pretty informal and workout suggestions are always welcome.

Performance Running Outfitters
Thursdays @6:30pm thru August 13
Hart Park, Wauwatosa
Website: http://www.performancerunning.com/
Details: Participants should be warmed up and ready to start by 6:30pm. Workouts may include tempo runs, hill repeats, intervals and sprints. All abilities are welcome. Know your 5k race time to be put into groups.

We’re curious: Do you prefer to do speedwork alone or with a group?

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

We Heart Track Part One: Places to Run in MKE

It’s that time of year when, no matter what distance you’re training for, you likely have speedwork on the docket. Fortunately for MKE runners, there’s no shortage of tracks in the area.

We recently asked about your favorite local tracks on Facebook. Here’s our round-up, including notes and recommendations from runners who regularly run at the facilities! Unless noted, the tracks are free to use.

Brown Deer High School
8060 N. 60th Street, Brown Deer
Notes: Restrooms next to the track are usually unlocked during the spring and summer. Easy access to neighborhood roads for warmup and cooldown miles.

Hart Park
7300 Chestnut Street, Wauwatosa
Notes: Bathrooms and a water fountain are available as well as easy access to paved paths outside the track facility.


Marquette University
Shimek Track & Field
1818 W. Canal Street

Menomonee Falls High School
W142 N8101 Merrimac Drive, Menomonee Falls

Nicolet High School
6701 N. Jean Nicolet Road, Glendale

Oak Creek High School
340 E. Puetz Road, Oak Creek
Notes: Only open to the public on Saturday mornings from 7-11am.

Pettit National Ice Center
500 S. 84th Street, Milwaukee
Cost: $4 for single admission/day pass; $2 for Badgerland Strider members
Notes: Bathrooms, water fountain, vending machines, showers and locker rooms are available.

Pettit National Ice Center TrackPhoto by Bill Flaws – Running in the USA

Pulaski High School
2500 West, W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee

Riverside High School
1615 E. Locust Street, Milwaukee
Notes: A water fountain is located about a quarter mile away from the track at the Urban Ecology Center.

Riverside High School TrackPhoto by Sheila Wordell (she’s also the runner in the pic!)

Shorewood High School
1701 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood
Notes: Port-a-potties located around the track for public use.

University of Wisconsin – Parkside
900 Wood Road, Kenosha

Waukesha South High School
401 E. Roberta Avenue, Waukesha, WI

Whitefish Bay High School
1200 E. Fairmount Avenue, Whitefish Bay
Notes: Water fountain located next to the track. Easy access to neighborhood roads for warmup and cooldown miles.

Know of a local track we should add to our list? Tell us about it in the comments section!

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

Tune In To Spartan Up! + A Race Entry Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get out the door for a workout this winter, Spartan Race has a new podcast series that highlights success stories.

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Spartan Up! already has several episodes available for download. During each episode, Joe Desena – founder of the Spartan Race series – interviews everyone from world-class athletes to Fortune 500 CEOs, including a lesson breakdown and blueprint for success.

Even hardcore runners can benefit from listening to the series. For example, during one episode, Mike Sandrock – marathon runner and author of Running With the Legends – discusses “Lessons From the World’s Toughest Runners”. Other episodes discuss practical topics, such as proper fueling. Some even get into topics such as grit and mental toughness.

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We recommend checking it out – there are great lessons to be learned by runners of all ages and abilities.

So now the part you’ve been waiting for – who wants to win a race entry to an upcoming Spartan Race? To enter, tell us in the comments:

Who or what inspires you to keep running?

Best of luck to all who enter. We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 4.

Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!

*Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize by emailing keeprunningmke@gmail.com. If the prize is not claimed within that time frame, we will select a new winner.