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David Freeze: Gotta Run

Pertinent bits and pieces

Cold has been the focus for runners and anyone outside this week. Inside tracks got more use as well as treadmills, stationary bikes and spin classes. Other ways to get it done just don’t fill the bill.

Running outside is possible. I spent three months living in Green Bay 20 years ago. Those months were January thru March. Lows of 20 below and highs of 0 degrees were common. I still have the face mask from those days.

Other tips to ensure a comfortable outside run included choosing mittens instead of gloves, a light coating of Vaseline on your toes and managing your run against the wind direction. A recent tip that sounds worth trying is the use of thin rubber or latex gloves inside the heavier winter mittens or gloves. Rest assured that I saw just as many runners in bitter cold Green Bay as I do here.

Just as most who exercise regularly, I am constantly researching shoes. A brand that I have recently tried has quickly became a favorite. The Altra Torin is the brand and model that has my attention for the following reasons. I have an extra wide forefoot and a tight toe box bothers me throughout a run of any distance. The only shoes I can wear are the widest widths on the market and even then the side seams split about halfway through their useful period.

With about 250 miles on the Torin, I find them to be about the most comfortable shoe that I have worn in years, but not just because I need the wide toe box. The technology involved contributes because the shoe is considered “zero-drop,” meaning that the foot strike point (heel or midfoot) is not higher than the rest of the shoe. It is a different looking shoe because of the wide toe box and regular looking rearfoot. The shoe also is very light and does not show any wear after the 250 miles. I’ve began wearing them away from running too. A recent story caught my eye that focused on a run across North Carolina. That runner chose Altras. They have been featured in several running magazines and are available locally at Ralph Baker Shoes.

The 35th Annual Novant Health Winter Flight 8K/5K Fitness Walk and Kid’s Fun Run are just around the corner. Salisbury’s premier road race will take place at Catawba College on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. Winter Flight is the fourth oldest road race in the state and is annually featured on the Running Journal Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is a series of top races that this year includes stops in Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.

At this writing, it looks as if several of the previous winners will be returning. The 2015 winner was Eliud “Heldy” Ngetich, a young Kenyan world class runner with an amazing story. Ngetich told of four-mile walks to get drinking water and running down deer and killing them to feed the family. He proceeded to demolish the 22-year-old course record set by a Swedish Olympian with a sizzling 23:07 for the 4.97 mile distance. Ngetich plans to return for the 2018 event and hopes to set yet another record.

And finally, the Winter Beginning Runners Class starts Monday night, Jan. 8 at First Methodist Church in Salisbury at 5:45 p.m. The class is sponsored by Novant Health, Salisbury Parks and Recreation and the Salisbury Rowan Runners.

Teri Shaw, recreation coordinator for the City of Salisbury graduated from the most recent class and said, “Cover the distance. David shared these words in the early weeks of the Beginning Runners Class. I still hear these words on the days my run seems harder than the day before. I ran track in high school, years ago, and I could push these little legs to cover the distance, short distances. I joined the Fall 2017 Beginner Runners Class to learn the proper way to cover longer distances. I was not disappointed. Each class began with expert knowledge and advice on clothing, safety, nutrition and more. By the end of the class I felt like I knew what I was doing, and if I fell short on knowledge, help was an email away!”

Don’t let the recent cold frighten you. Moderating temperatures are expected this week. Several of the largest classes in the 12-year history of this program have been during the winter. What better way to succeed with that New Year’s resolution to get in shape!

More information is available on Winter Flight and the Beginning Runners Class at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org or by calling 704-310-6741.


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