Trail Running – Mary Jo Peckham Park

The Perfect Day, is a day when I get the chance to Swim, Bike and Run.  The Mary Jo Peckham Park is the perfect park to accomplish all of your training for FREE!  That’s right, for FREE.  You’ve got a trail to run on, and a swimming pool to swim in all for free.  You can choose to bike there, or bring your bike along for a bike around the community.

Not only can you swim, bike and run there, but you can also fish, barbque, picknick and putt putt on their mini course.  Not to mention, if you have dogs, they’ve got a dog park right next door.

Mary Jo Peckham Park
Mary Jo Peckham Park

As you run the trail you will enjoy watching families fish for a meal.  I’ve even taken my son there for some fishing.  Make sure you go the day the refresh the pond with fish, you’ve got more chances to catch something.

The trail for running is about 0.75 miles long and you have a choice to run the trail, which is about 3/4 gravel and 1/4 asphalt, or you can run the cross country route which has small hills for bikers.  I always run the cross country route to get some variety in terrain.

 The swim is sweet!  They have a 25 meter pool with enough lanes for everyone.  Most of the time I get a lane to myself, and sometimes I have to share.  I usually do an easy workout of about 800 meters.  But, I’ve met swimmers that get their 2,400 meter work out in every day!

I’ll sometimes go work out and then swing by the Harris County Library next door, to check out some books and do some reading.  It’s amazing how convenient everything is there.

Here’s some video footage of the park:

Mary Jo Peckham Park – Trail Running

Layout of the Park

Mapped out Cross Country Run with Elevation

Save Ankle Weights for Strength Workouts

Ankle weights are best used as part of a strength training workout. The question of whether to wear ankle weights while running remains controversial, but most trainers don’t recommend it. Some exercisers think that running with hand weights or ankle weights is a good way to make a workout tougher and burn more calories, but some fitness experts argue that this puts unnecessary strain on muscles and joints that could lead to injury.

Instead, make ankle weights one of your components of fitness power during a strength training workout. Use ankle weights when you do standing leg lifts or lunges to add intensity on your cross training days.

If you want more intensity during your fitness running workouts, add some speed work. After a few easy miles, try increasing your speed to 80% of your maximum for one minute then slow down to an easy pace for one minute. Repeat 4-6 times, and finish with a few more miles at an easy pace.

Support Your High Arches with Maximum Cushioning

If you have high arches, you probably know it. Your wet footprint shows only a thin mark along the outer edge of your foot between your heel and your toes. The feet of runners with high arches are likely to roll to the outside, or underpronate, when they run.

The best men’s running shoes and best women’s running shoes for runners with high arches are those with plenty of cushioning. If you have high-arched feet and you run a lot of miles in a motion control shoe, you could be at increased risk for foot injuries such as plantar fasciitis.

For both men and women, the Mizuno Wave Rider has been a popular choice for years among runners with high arches. But other brands, including Brooks running shoes and Asics running shoes, offer models with maximum cushioning for high arches.

To be sure that you know your correct foot type, visit a Sun & Ski Sports store near you for advice from an expert salesperson and a variety of running shoes from which to choose.

Women’s Running Tights: Fashion Meets Function

Finding the right women’s running tights isn’t always easy. But there are many options, and the best running apparel is what works for you.

When shopping for women’s running tights, keep these tips in mind:

  • Think temperature. What’s the winter weather like where you live? Some types of women’s running tights are made of a moisture-wicking Lycra blend meant mostly for chilly fall days, while others have fleecy linings to protect against bitter cold when the temps are well below freezing.
  • Think style. Look for the style features that appeal to you in different brands of running tights. If you prefer a less fitted silhouette, look for boot-cut legs and wider or asymmetrical waistbands. Need pockets? Some styles of tights have a pocket in the middle of the back or on one side to hold a key or packet of energy gel.
  • Try them on. Every brand of running tights is sized a little differently, so the size of running tights that is right for you in one brand may be too big or too small in other brands. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store for a wide selection of women’s running tights that you can try on and compare.

Bring the Kids: How to Choose a Child Carrier

Active parents who want to take their kids along for the run or bike ride have an increasing array of options.
Some features to consider when choosing a child carrier include:

  • Number of kids. Do you want a single jogging stroller or bike trailer, or one with room for two?
  • Wheel type. Most running strollers and bike trailers have approximately 20-inch wheels. Thicker tires may provide additional stability and traction if you like dirt paths or trails.
  • Storage capacity. Some child carriers have more space than others for things like water bottles or diaper bags. If you want a child carrier that does double duty for workouts and longer outings, look for additional storage. If you want something for workouts only, a more streamlined model may be the better choice.
  • Dual function. Want to save space in your garage? A child carrier such as the Copilot Model A Trailer can convert from a bike trailer to a jogging stroller.

Flat-Footed Runners: Make Motion Control a High Priority

If you have flat feet with low arches, your feet probably tend to roll to the inside, or overpronate, when you run. How can you determine your foot shape? If your wet footprint on the floor shows almost the entire bottom of your foot, you have flat feet.

The best women’s running shoes and the best men’s running shoes for flat feet and low arches are those that provide motion control and stability.

Men: Men with low arches and a small- to medium-build may be comfortable in Mizuno running shoes, such as the Mizuno Wave Alchemy. Larger men may prefer a shoe such as the Brooks Beast, which offers a combination of motion control and cushioning for extra comfort.

Women: Women with low arches may find the right fit with the women’s version of the Mizuno Wave Alchemy. But Asics running shoes offer another option with the cushioned, yet stable Asics Gel 3000.

Men’s Running Pants: How To Look Cool And Stay Warm

The right running pants make the difference between embracing winter running and confining yourself to the treadmill until spring. Fortunately, there are many options for men’s running apparel. You can find running pants that suit any style and weather condition to help keep you comfortable and motivated year-round.

  • Running pants. Running pants such as the Asics Men’s Myles core running pants offer a loose, but not baggy, fit in a cozy, moisture-wicking fabric. Other features include hand pockets, a reflective logo for safety as the winter days get shorter, and ankle zippers.
  • Fitted tights. For moderately cold days, wear running tights on their own. For extreme cold weather, try a pair of fitted tights as a base layer underneath a pair of Gore-Tex running pants.
  • Wind/rain pants. For running in cold and wet conditions, look for men’s running pants made of Gore-Tex. The patented Gore-Tex material combines wind/water resistance with breathability, so you stay dry without getting cold and clammy.

Check out your local Sun & Ski Sports store for expert advice on the best men’s running pants for your winter workouts.

Arch Supports Can Help Reduce Injury Risk

Sliding an arch support inside your running shoes can make the difference between comfortable running and chronic pain. If you don’t have adequate arch support, you may be more likely to develop any of a range of running injuries, from runner’s knee to plantar fasciitis.

The type of arch your foot has helps determine which type of running shoes will give you the best arch support.

Medium or Normal Arch

A medium arch leaves an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. A medium arch lands on the outside of the foot then rolls evenly through the ball of the foot. Runners with a medium arch tend to be Neutral Pronaters and should select shoes in the STABILITY or NEUTRAL categories.

Stability Shoes

High Arch

High arched feet leave an imprint showing a narrow band connecting the forefoot and the heel. A curved, high arched foot is generally termed a supinated or underpronated foot. The underpronator is prone to increased shock transmission through the lower limb. Runners with high arched feet should select shoes in the NEUTRAL or CUSHIONING categories.

Neutral Shoes

Low Arch

A low arch foot is referred to someone with flat feet. The imprint of a low arch has no inward curve where the arch should be, this usually indicates an overpronated foot. When an overpronated foot strikes the foot tends to roll from the outside of the heel inward excessively, causing the foot to collapse. Runners with overpronation should select shoes in the MOTION CONTROL or STABILITY categories.

Motion Control Shoes

But regardless of your arch type, you may need additional support, depending on the biomechanics of your feet. Talk to a podiatrist, and he or she may recommend an over-the-counter arch support or customized orthotics. And you can get extra arch support with running socks such as Thorlos, which provide specialized fit in the arches, heels and toes.

Average Arches: Seek Stability Shoes

If your arches are average, your feet don’t roll too far in (underpronate) or out (overpronate) when you run. That means you can choose from a variety of types of running shoes. Some runners with normal arches prefer a shoe with more cushioning; others prefer a shoe with more motion control and stability.

Asics running shoes include several appropriate choices for average or neutral feet. The Asics Gel Nimbus offers a combination of comfort and stability that suits many runners. The shoe is available in both men’s and women’s models and features an asymmetrical lacing system to help reduce irritation and improve fit. The Nimbus also includes Asics’ Gel cushioning technology and patented lightweight midsole for a shoe that’s stable without being bulky.

If you have neutral feet, it’s best to try on a variety of styles before you buy running shoes to determine whether you need more cushioning or more motion control. Visit a local Sun &Sports store for expert advice.

Moisture-Wicking: The Magic Word In Running Apparel

Once upon a time, runners worked out in cotton t-shirts and bulky sweatpants. But no more! Moisture-wicking fabrics have revolutionized activewear clothing, and runners are among the many athletes to reap the benefits. The best running apparel is made from a moisture-wicking fabric that moves the sweat away from your skin to keep you cooler in hot weather and cozier in cold weather.

Under Armour apparel and North Face running apparel are great examples of moisture-wicking running clothing. These and other apparel companies such as Brooks and Asics offer running gear for all seasons, including shorts, short-sleeved tops, long-sleeved tops, and tights.

To get the most out of your moisture-wicking running apparel, keep these care tips in mind:

  • Wash cold. Wash your activewear clothing in cold water on the delicate cycle to preserve the moisture-wicking properties of the fabric. Any detergent designed for the delicate cycle will do, or you can buy specialized detergents designed for activewear clothing.
  • Hang to dry. The labels on some activewear clothing say to tumble dry on low heat, but your gear will last longer if you let it air dry. Hang your activewear clothing on a plastic hanger or drying rack for an hour or so, and it should be good to go when you are.