Keeping Pace: Running in winter

Tanner Cook • Feb 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Injuries plague a lot of runners during the winter months.

I have had my own injury problems at the start of the new year with some mild Achilles tendonitis. The best thing that I found to do was to stretch it before my run and warm it up. I found that icing it does not work all that well and it almost makes it worse.

Taking days off from running is not the end of the world. It is better to listen to your body because it knows what is the best for you. Yes, during the cold days if you’re injured, the cabin fever begins to set in, but it will be over in a few days.

It can be tough to get over injuries, but the body will eventually heal. For some, it may be a bit slower than others, but it will all be fine in the end.

Training in the winter can also be difficult with bone-chilling temperatures and wind that can cut through a light-weight jackets like a knife through butter. The rule-of-thumb that I typically follow is to dress in lots of layers when I’m running outside, because you can always shed them.

Some of the tips that I used to help beat my Achilles tendinitis were to wear my regular running shoes around to help improve my arch and provide support in the tendon. Normal, everyday shoes tend to not have as much support as needed and can do more harm than good. That’s why doctors and nurses working long hours in hospitals want the more supportive and comfortable shoes: so their feet do not hurt them. There are few pains worse than pain in the foot.

Races in the area in February

The War Party 10K in Warriors Path State Park in Kingsport is great race despite the unpredictable February weather. The course is a double loop that starts and finishes on Duck Island. I would rate the course as moderately fast, but the hill at the beginning and in the middle is the hardest part of the course.

The Surgoinsville 10 Miler at Surgoinsville Middle School is the first race of the Skelton Law Racing Series that takes place in several beautiful locations in Hawkins and Sullivan county. The race is also serving this year as the RRCA Southern Region 10 Mile Championship, so there will lots of fast running on this scenic course. The course is an out-and-back that has a moderate hill at the second mile, so the hill will have to be run again later in the race. There will also be a Taco Bar post-race by Barberitos.

Sign up now for “The Beast” Half Marathon Series run in five half marathons run throughout the area and receive a special t-shirt and medal at the end of the Veteran’s Day Half Marathon on November 10. There will also be a special ceremony put on by We Run Events. There is no fee to sign up for the series, but you must pay each half marathons respective entry fee. The first race in the series is April 21 at the Bristol Half & Half Marathon in Bristol. You will run through both the Virginia and Tennessee parts of the city.

Group Runs in Johnson City

Every Tuesday, a Tri-Cities Trail Runners group meets at the East Tennessee State University woods at 5:30 p.m. The group run has options of a two-mile loop and a three-mile loop. Everyone is welcome no matter your trail running experience.

Every Thursday, the State of Franklin Track Club sponsors a free five-mile group run that starts at the Wellness Center at MedTech Park and the loop goes through surrounding neighborhoods. Refreshments are provided at the end.

One of the more popular Johnson City group runs is the Turtles at Tipton, which meets at the Yee Haw Brewing company and there are options of three to six miles or more that finish at the Tipton Street Pub. There will also be a free pint of Yee Haw waiting at the end.

Fleet Feet Sports is also sponsoring group runs on Monday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. and on Friday mornings at 5:30 a.m. The group meets at the store beside Tupelo Honey Cafe.

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