Running in the snow – Don’t let the snow stop you from running!

Winter is here in Pennsylvania! We are having our first “messy” day. Will you run outside?

Here are four options for your shoes to help you stay safe: trail shoes, screwed shoes, yak tracks, and ICEBUG shoes. All 4 are great options for icy or snowy conditions.

Trail shoes speak for themselves. You probably have a pair anyway and if areas aren’t too slick, these could be your best option. This is what I use of I am going to run on lightly snow covered roads. They provide a bit more traction than my regular running shoes.

The screwed shoes are another inexpensive option. Maybe you aren’t a trail runner but you have extra trainers around. I took a used pair of shoes, and attached a few screws. The downside to this is that I had to donate a pair of shoes for the cause. You shouldn’t have any issues with screws poking through or water entering, but be sure your screws aren’t too long. So if you have a spare set of shoes, this may be the option for you!

The middle option are yak tracks (I have used a generic version in the past…I don’t recommend that because the nobs on mine fell out). This is a great option if you race frequently or if you are unsure of conditions. I personally don’t like using these because I find that snow collects on the bottom and creates extra weight. If you are running a shorter run it wouldn’t be as bad.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try these ICEBUG shoes yet, but I can’t wait! (The benefit of being a sub elite runner is that I often get freebies to try!) These shoes are used in SWEDEN, where they obviously know how to keep active outside. They have a tread like sole and metal studs that are built in. They are pretty easy to find online, and are competitively prices compared to other running shoes.Don’t make the weather an excuse not to run, but stay safe. Do you have another option you use?

RUN717 COVID-19 Virtual Run

COVID-19 Virtual Run – UPDATE June 1, 2020

A big thank you to everyone who donated and took time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this fundraiser. 33 people participated and $777 was raised. My contribution made it an even $800. While it may not seem like a large amount, I know that every little bit helps.

RUN717 hosted a virtual run to raise money for people impacted by COVID-19. The two organizations that received these funds are the Lancaster Cares COVID-19 Response Fund and York County COVID-19 Response Fund. Sometimes by helping others, we bring joy to ourselves. This unique 7.17-mile race distance nearly insured an automatic PR!

How to get involved:

  • Register by donating a minimum of $7.17 to the PayPal Pool. Larger donations accepted! If you don’t have PayPal or if you prefer to donate using a different method, email me at and we can work something out.
  • You can designate your dollars to go to either foundation.
  • Run, bike, hike or walk for 7.17 miles anytime between now and 5/17. Share your results on the RUN717 Facebook page.
  • 7.17 miles a bit far? No worries – aim for 7.17 km (4.5 miles) or split the 7.17 miles into multiple activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of the collected funds will go to the Foundations?

100% of the collected funds will be given to the two foundations.

I live in York, can I make sure my donation is applied there?

Certainly! Make a note when you donate via PayPal, or send me a message.

What swag is included for this race?

I am trying to keep the cost down so that all funds go to people in need. There will be no shirts or real medals for this race.

I don’t run, can I still participate?

Yes! Feel free to cycle, hike, Elliptigo, or walk; Any activity works.

I’m not a runner, how do I get started?

Check out my free Beginner Training Plan. It is a great way to get started.

virtual run runners
Make someone smile today!

About Lancaster Cares

Lancaster Cares is designed to provide essential support for Lancaster’s families during the COVID-19 Crisis.  A response from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the United Way of Lancaster County, this fund will support Lancaster residents with food, housing, and rapid response dollars to address emerging issues.

About the York County Fund

In times of need, York Countians step up to support each other. Right now, our community is seeing unprecedented needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By working together, York County Community Foundation, the United Way of York County and generous donors across our community can make sure our neighbors don’t go without food or shelter because of the vast economic impact of this outbreak.

Still have a question? Email me at

Running Tips for Beginners

Have you decided to take up running recently and need some running tips for beginners? Maybe you are taking advantage of the downtime because of the COVID-19 pandemic and you finally have the time to exercise. Good for you! Having a plan is the first step – check out my blog post for a great Running Program for Beginners.

Being a new runner can be difficult, but starting a training plan during a pandemic has some additional challenges. I am going to share with you some running tips for beginners to help you stay safe and on track.

road running tips
Don’t be afraid to try running in a new location.

Running Tips

  • Gear – The most important piece of gear you own are your shoes. Proper running shoes help prevent injury and will keep you running healthy. I encourage you to use your local running store to get properly fitted. I suggest Flying Feet in York, Inside Track in Lancaster, and Fleet Feet in Harrisburg. All three stores are offering either curbside pickup or they will ship your shoes to you.
  • Training Plan – Find a plan and stick to it! Having a training plan is like a road map – it can help you reach your goal.
  • Training Log – Track your progress. It can be motivating to see improvement. It also provides a way for you to learn what works for you. There are many ways to keep track of what you run. Find a way that works for you. Some people track their mileage on a paper calendar, others log their miles online. I use google spreadsheets to customize logs for my athletes. In addition to daily miles, we can track weekly mileage, pace, running routes, cross-training, and more.

Running Locations

Before the pandemic, it was easier to find running routes. Local parks, rail trails, tracks and nature areas were busy with runners of all levels and it was a physical and social activity. Things have certainly changed recently and we need to be a bit more creative to practice social distancing. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be out exercising. If you’re new to running, visit a local park or rail trail. If these seem too busy, then hit the roads from your front door.

  • Rail Trails – Rail trails can be a great place to start your running program. They are often flat and the softer surface can be a bit more forgiving. I have reviewed a few local rail trails in the RUN717 area in previous posts.
  • Trails – You can run anywhere that you hike. Running on trails can be more challenging because of the terrain – rocks, roots, and elevation changes. It can also be more rewarding because of these challenges. There are a few sites like Trail Run Project and All Trails that are great resources.
  • MapMyRun – This site allows you to map a route near you and you can search routes that others have done. It provides mileage as well as helpful elevation information.
  • Strava – Strava is my favorite running app – it is like Facebook, but for athletes. You can search up runners from your area and “follow” them. I recently moved to a new city and this helped me find new running routes. Segments are my favorite feature. These are portions of road or trail created by members that allow athletes to compare times to others and themselves. 
  • Track – If you are lucky enough to have an open track near you it can be a great place to start your training. Most runners run counter-clockwise, although when I do a longer workout I change directions. Every runner, no matter their pace, has a right to use a track. It is a common courtesy to leave the inner lanes to athletes who are running faster intervals.

Rules of Road Running

Hitting the road for the first time can be intimidating but with fewer people driving now is the perfect time to get comfortable running on the road. Although running on sidewalks is an option for some, running on a country road can be enjoyable. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Run AGAINST traffic, not with traffic. The only time you should run with traffic is if there is a blind spot due to hills or curves. If you can’t see the cars approaching you, they can’t see you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Running with headphones is a hotly debated topic. I suggest you leave the headphones at home when road running.
  • Runners have some disgusting habits. It goes without saying that now is NOT the time to spit, blow a snot rocket, or share drinks with fellow runners.
  • MASK or NO MASK? Obviously, if it is mandated in your area you don’t have a choice. When I run in the city, I wear a mask. If I run on country roads, I don’t worry about it. Thankfully it is not mandated here, but staying healthy and keeping others safe is a priority.

What about running alone? I hate that I even have to bring this up but in the past, we’ve been told to avoid running alone, especially if we are female. During this pandemic, we’re told to run solo. So which is it? What’s a girl to do? Use common sense. If you live with a runner, you are fortunate in having a running partner. If you have to run solo, carry a phone, run in daylight, and be sure to tell someone your plans.

You have to decide what is right for you. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks. I believe in social distancing. I am avoiding groups, popular running routes and times, and I wear a mask if I am running somewhere that I might encounter others. If you are scared to run alone, run with a partner but do so safely. It isn’t ideal but running with someone while keeping your distance might be safer than running alone.

Have a question I didn’t address? Visit my RUN717 Facebook page and ask me there!

Running Program for Beginners

Are you looking for a running program for beginners?

RUN717 is offering a free 12-week program to help you get out and run! 

Do you want to start exercising but you’re unsure of how to start? I’ve noticed an increase in the number of runners since we’ve been quarantined. It makes me happy to see more people exercising and I’m hoping they stick with it. Having a plan to follow can help ensure success!

  • This program prescribes four runs per week. Avoid taking off 2 days in a row.
  • There are 3 easy workouts which take about 30 minutes each, and 1 longer run designed to help you build endurance. 
  • Each workout begins with a 5 minute walk – this is your warmup. Do NOT stretch cold muscles. If you feel like you need to stretch, it is better to do it after your run.
  • Each workout ends with a 5 minute walk – this is your cooldown. The warmup and cooldown are just as important as the run.
  • Please join the RUN717 Facebook page. If you have questions, ask here! 
  • Be sure you have proper running shoes. If you don’t have them, I encourage you to contact your local running store. Proper shoes help prevent injuries! (*** NOTE – Practice social distancing!)
  • This is a run-walk program designed for NEW runners. By the end of the program, you should be able to run a 5k.
  • If you have done a 5k before, you can adjust this program! Aim to run longer once a week, and shorter 3 times per week.
  • This program does not include speedwork – if you are new to running you should build your base before adding in speed.

Want an individualized training program? Check out my Coaching Services page for information on getting a customized training plan.