8 Things To Remember While Running In The Heat!

Here are 8 things to keep in mind when running in the heat:


Make adjustments: Limit your workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with shade. Start your workout slower than you usual. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to take it up a bit.

more runners

  Wear as little as possible: Only wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable. Microfiber  polyesters and cotton blends are good choices. Be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Limit use of alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to pee, compounding your risk of dehydration.

 Drink water and sport drink: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink or water an hour before you head out. Then drink five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.

 Be patient: Give yourself several days acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.



Try to find shade: It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening.


Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.


Head out early or late: Even in the worst heat wave, it cools off significantly by dawn. Get your run done then, and you’ll feel good about it all day. Can’t fit it in? Wait until evening, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong—just don’t do it so late that it keeps you from getting to sleep.


Stop by your local Sun & Ski to get all your hot weather running gear!!

Trail Running in Houston – Arthur Storey Park

Arthur Storey Park – ChinaTown

Location: 7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy SHouston, TX 77072
Trail: outer loop 1.72 Miles
inner loop 0.62 Miles
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Arthur Storey Park Pavillion
Arthur Storey Park Pavillion

Arthur Storey Park Trails – Trail Run Video

Satellite Image of Map

Arthur Storey Park Trail Map with Elevation

Arthur Storey Park official layout

Hello, My name is Erik Calderon.

Welcome to My video blog on Trail Running in the Houston and Surrounding areas.

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Arthur Storey Park Trails located just outside of Beltway 8: in Houston China Town, off of Bellaire avenue on the West side of Beltway Eight. 7400 W Sam Houston Pkwy SHouston, TX 77072.

Although the park has a lot of parking space, it fills up fast in the mornings and on weekends. I’ve seen people parking in the Home Depot next to the park in order to visit.

Entering a bit into the park is a wonderful fitness station where you can begin your run with a warm up of Pull ups, push ups and situps.

After warming up you can easily enjoy a 1.72 mile run around the outer loop, then add bit to the end by including the inner loop around the small pond and pavillion, or you can easily construct a short run by just going around the inner loop. The inner loop is approximately 0.62 miles.

While jogging around the outer loop you’ll get a peak at the beautiful buddhist temple, as your winding around some detention ponds and the braes bayou. The view is absolutely relaxing and peaceful.

This is a Beginner to Intermediate Level Trail Run.

I’ve ranked this trail as Beginner to Intermediate because the outer trail is over one mile, and you also have inner trails that are under one mile in length. So, you can construct an easy run or you can opt for a run of 1.72 miles or longer around the outer loop.

I rank trails into three catagories. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete

Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires trail running shoes and focus on the ground is essential.

The trail consists of three kinds of running surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete and gravel. Most of the outer loop is Asphalt with a small stretch of Concrete. The inner loop is mostly all gravel.

For those looking into some recreation, they have swings for the kids, a wonderful playground, a few pavillions and a beautiful pond.

This Park is name after Arthur Storey, who at the time of naming the park was director of the Harris County Flood Control District. He came up with the idea to create parks around flood control properties.

The Park has some wonderful areas for bbq’ing, and big open fields. I often see people playing soccer in these fields.

The park also as a wonderful kidfit center, complete with rock climbing, ropes, junggle bars, pull up bar, sit up station and more, designed specificily for kids in mind.

Being in the heart of china town you can catch people doing tai chi in the mornings. The park has a wonderful Yin Yang pavillion, where I often spend time doing some martial arts myself.

For more information with map layouts, please click on the links included in the blog.

Memorial Park Trail Run – Purple Route

Park:                      Memorial Park Mountian Bike Trails – Purple Route
Location:                6501 Memorial DR Houston, TX 77001
Trail Length:          1.63 miles
Level:                     Intermediate

Memorial Park – Purple Trails – Trail Run Video

Satellite Image of Map

Memorial Park Purple Trail Map with Elevation

Memorial Park official layout

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Memorial Park Mountain Biking Purple Trails located inside the 610 loop:
6501 Memorial DR Houston, TX 77001 . This is a Intermediate Level Trail Run.

I rank trails into three categories. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.

Beginner Trails are under a mile, usually only gravel, asphalt or concrete.

Intermediate trails are over 1 mile in length, and under 3 miles. They consist of gravel, asphalt or concrete.

Advanced trails are over 3 miles in length or are off road trails that are not paved, usually used by mountain bikers. The terrain of these trails requires trail running shoes and focus on the ground is essential.

Memorial Park is New York’s Central Park for Houston. It’s huge, it has a golf course, a driving range, a fitness center, a swimming pool, play grounds for the kids, pick nick and BBQ grounds, tennis courts, a 3 mile jogging course, mountain biking trails, horse back riding trails, volleyball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields and a rugby field all in one place. It’s the best park to get out and see thousands of people all doing different things enjoying the wonderful weather in Houston!
I use the mountain biking trails for my intermediate to advanced trail runs. Memorial Park has over 12 miles of mountain biking trails.

Today we’ll be looking at the purple trails that are behind some of the baseball fields.

A Word of Caution, please remember that these trails are intended for use by mountain bikers, so always use caution when running in the trails, and always give bikers the right of way, they move much faster than your usual jog and will be out of your way in no time. When you hear some bikers, pull over to the side and let them pass.

The purple trail is 1.67 miles in length. It’s a wonderful run through the wooded area of memorial park. You will experience a wonderful feeling of being lost your first few runs. Every Time I’m out there running, it feels like I’ve left Houston and I’ve gone to an enchanted forest. It’s excellent for stress relief.

There are two or three technical hard parts in the trail where you do really need to watch your step and be careful. This is why I’ve ranked this trail as intermediate. It’s a good idea to have some good trail running shoes for better traction and stability.

Otherwise the run is very easy with a few terrain changes, from soft sand to hard dirt and a bit of broken up concrete. There is a few wooden bridges / overpasses. There is one scenic overlook were you can stop to take a breather and enjoy the beautiful bayou below, then get back to your run.

All in all, this is one of my favorite places to run because of the variety. There are serveral more trails and it’s very easy to plan out any distance you want without ever getting bored with the scenery.

This is a must run for anyone wanting to get into running, or anyone that is into runninng that has not run this route.

For more information with map layouts, please click on the links above included in the blog.

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

Enjoy Summer Hiking in Trail Sandals

When it comes to hiking shoes, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Most serious hikers have several types of hiking shoes for different hiking conditions, including trail sandals for summer hiking. Trail sandals can be the ideal choice for summer hiking when the terrain isn’t too challenging. Although trail sandals lack the support of serious hiking books, technical trail sandals can stand up to a moderately challenging day of trail hiking. Alternatively, you can pack your trail sandals in your backpacking equipment and pull them out to cross streams, or to wear around the campsite after a long day in hiking boots.

Select trail sandals with wide, adjustable straps, molded foot beds and good support. Trail sandals such as the Keen Men’s Newport H2 Sandal feature razor sipping for excellent traction, Aegis Microbe Shield for comfort and stability, and Keep Protect for toe protection. for comfort on trails or city sidewalks. For women, the Keen Women’s Newport H2 Sandals offer trail-friendly features including an ergonomic design and toe protection.

Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store to try on trail sandals and get expert advice on the right style to meet your summer hiking needs.

Backpack Basics: The Elements of Suspension

Some backpacks have more sophisticated suspension systems than others, but the most important thing to know about a suspension system in a backpack is whether it feels comfortable to you.

The basic components of suspension systems in a technical backpack are:

  • Shoulder harness: The shoulder harness is meant to keep the backpack in place, not to support all the weight of your gear. Curved shoulder harnesses tend to provide the best fit.
  • Hip belt: The hip belt may be the most essential element of a technical backpack because it helps transfer weight from your shoulders to your hips and legs. Look for a hip belt that is wide and well-padded. But fit is most important, so be sure to try on several styles before buying one.
  • Lumbar pad: The lumbar pad is the padding on the backpack that sits at the small of your back. A lumbar pad made of high-friction fabric can help keep your hip belt from sliding around as you hike.
  • Stabilizer straps: These straps provide extra support at the shoulders and hips.

Backpacking equipment such as the Osprey Expos 46 Technical Pack, for example, features a hip belt and harness of mesh-covered foam for comfort and breathability.

Pick the Right Pack: Technical Backpack Features

When choosing a backpack for hiking, you have a variety of options when it comes to style, features, brands and price.

If your hiking plans involve overnight camping, you might want a technical backpack. Multi-day hiking technical packs have either an internal or external frame. Some of the pros and cons are as follows:

Internal frame: This style fits close to the body and is more compact. An internal frame is recommended for skiing and rough trail scrambling, but be prepared for a sweatier back due to the close fit.

External frame: This style is usually less expensive than an internal frame and works well for hauling heavy gear. But it is bulkier and can shift around, so it is not a good choice for skiing or scrambling over rough trails.

It’s important to try on different backpacks because they vary slightly in shape from brand to brand. You may discover that one brand fits your body type especially well. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store for a wide selection of hardware packs and backpacking equipment.

Top 10 Spots for an Outdoor Adventure

We’ve compiled a small list of a few spots to check out this Labor Day weekend (or any weekend for that matter), if you’ve got the itch for an outdoor adventure!

  1. Outer Mountain Loop, Big Bend National Park, TX
    This 30-mile trail takes you through an array of habitats and scenery from pinon, juniper and oak woodlands of the Chisos, making the Outer Mountain Loop Big Bend’s signature multi-day backpacking trail. The Outer Mountain Loop is formed by combining the Pinnacles, Juniper Canyon, Dodson, Blue Creek and Laguna Meadows Trails. Click here for more information on this trail and others at Big Bend National Park.
  2. Teton Canyon, Grand Teton National Park, WY

  3. Mount Whitney, Sequoia National Park, CA
    The tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney is the most popular peak in the Sierra Nevada. Mt. Whitney is on the east side of the Great Western Divide that runs through the center of the Sequoia National Park and peaks at 4417 meters. Technical climbing gear is usually unnecessary between mid-July and early October but you may need ice axes and crampons during spring and early summer. Click here for more information.
  4. Endless Wall Trail, New River Gorge, WV
    One of the lesser-known hiking destination at New River Gorge National Park, the Endless Wall Trail provides great views of almost 1000 feet of the New River and some of the best rock climbing in the eastern United States. Click here for more information.
  5. Durrance Route, Devils Tower National Park, WY

  6. Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mnts, TN / NC
    Peaking at 6643 feet, the Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is one of the most popular park destinations. Providing beautiful views spanning over 100 miles, the Clingmans Dome is a definite must visit for any outdoor adventurer. For more information on the Clingmans Dome and other spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, click here.
  7. Highland Creek Trail, Wind Cave National Park, SD
    This 8.6 mile trail begins along the Wind Cave Canyon Trail and is the longest, most diverse trail in the park. Click here for more information on this trail and others at Wind Cave National Park.
  8. Half Dome Day Hike, Yosemite National Park, CA
    This strenuous 14 to 16 mile hike is not for the faint-hearted or unprepared due to consistent elevation gain most of the way up. The majority of hikers usually take between 10 to 12 hours roundtrip to hike Half Dome but longer hours are not uncommon. It’s best to leave as early as possible but at least by sunrise to make it back in time before nightfall. Read more about this hike and others at Yosemite National Park.
  9. Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, WA
    One of the most popular day hikes in the park, the Cascade Pass Trail provides spectacular views of glaciers and peaks, such as Eldorado, Johannesburg, Magic and McGregor. This is the shortest trail to the alpine environment. Continue on to the Sahale Arm Trail for an extended 6-mile hike. Find out more about this trail and others.
  10. Longs Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
    This 14,259 feet mountain is the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains. Climbing Longs Peak is not for the inexperienced and requires technical climbing equipment for most of the year. Click here for more information on this and other climbing spots at the Rocky Mountain National Park.

These are just a few of the many places to check out on your next outing. Have you already visited some of these places? Let us know your experience or any other spots you recommend for others to check out.

Use Caution While Exercising During Allergy Season

Shenandoah National Park

This past Sunday, my girlfriend and I went out for a 10.5 mile hike in Shenandoah National Park.  I should mention that we are experiencing a record-setting warm spell here in northern Virginia, with temperatures some twenty degrees higher than normal, reaching the low nineties.  Han, my girlfriend, and I usually run five days per week and also mix in some cycling, hiking or tennis for some cross-training benefits, so I would say that we are generally in fit aerobic shape.

She suffers from seasonal allergies and has recently been prescribed a nasal antihistamine inhaler to relieve her symptoms.  Only one mile into our hike she was experiencing discomfort and shortness of breath.  We both wear Suunto T3 wristops with heartbelts and foot pods (available at Sun and Ski) to monitor our training progress.  Because of the antihistamine inhaler, her heart rate was elevated above 160 bpm during a training effect rate between 2.5 and 3.0, which is unusually high.  She was also experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue.

We hiked farther into the park at a slower pace, eventually turning around after a long, steep ascent at the three mile point.  Our total hike was almost six miles, however, the unusually warm weather, pollen, and previously mentioned respiratory problems made for a physically and emotionally challenging outing.  On a positive note, the wildflowers and the clear blue skies were beautiful!

I would advise anyone who suffers from seasonal allergy symptoms to check with his or her doctor regarding possible side effects when requesting medication to alleviate nasal distress.  Be sure your doctor is aware of your personal fitness regimen, so that he can prescribe the correct drug for your specific lifestyle, whether that is an antihistamine or a steroid inhaler.