Where to Buy Running Shoes

Specialty Store, Department store or online???

We can argue whether runners need GPS devices and heart monitors, but few would disagree about the necessity of proper running shoes. The question is: Do we visit a local specialty store, or do we shop at a department/big box retailer, or log online?

My definitive answer – SHOP LOCAL! It benefits the consumer AND the community.

There is a lot of talk about why we should shop local, but what are the benefits?

  • Relationships. When I go to my local running store, I’m greeted by name. They have a history of what shoes I’ve purchased and when I bought them. They know what type of shoe I should be wearing and if I pronate, supinate, or if I’m a neutral-footed runner. Could you imagine going into a big box retailer and asking a sales clerk if they’d keep track of this information or could make such recommendations based on your running history and goals?
  • Newbie? If you are new to running, or maybe it is your first visit to a specialty shop, you will be given extra attention. Stores often provide gait analysis and will examine the wear on your current running shoes to determine shoes that would meet your needs.
  • Testing. Many stores also have a treadmill for you take a test run.
  • Resource. Most of the salespeople at local running stores are runners. If you have any question related to running, they can find the answer – from where to run, who to run with and other tips.

Buying running shoes from a local specialty shop also benefits the community! Not only do running stores employ your neighbors, but they also support the running community through donations, races, volunteering and running groups.

A few words about department stores: Often, their selections are based with fashion or comfort in mind, not running. Getting the proper shoe and fit is key for injury prevention. It might be tempting to save a few dollars, but you get what you pay for.

I get most of my running shoes at Flying Feet in York, PA. We are blessed to have this store in our community, not only for the products available, but also for the services and knowledge they provide. Click below for driving directions.

Surviving Our Summer (Think SOS – Shorten or Slow Down!)

I love summer running. The increased daylight, clear roads and no worry of ice and snow! I do not have to layer clothes and there is no concern of frostbite. But there is a cost – heat and humidity. We can only remove so much clothing! Fluid loss, dehydration, and heat-related illnesses are a real concern.

Set yourself up for success BEFORE you run.

  • HYDRATE constantly. This does not mean chug a glass of water right before you run. It means staying hydrated throughout the day. Watch alcohol and caffeine and consider drinking a sports drink with electrolytes.
  • Have access to water during your run. This means to either carry water or make sure you have access to water on your route. When it is sunny and above 75 degrees, I carry water, even for short runs.
  • Run early or later in the day. Adapt and adjust your schedule.
  • I know some people are not a fan but hit the treadmill. Most people use them in the winter to avoid icy roads, but they forget that it can be a safer summer option.
  • Hit the shade. I know some routes that are mostly shaded and this can make a difference. Many rail trails have large shaded portions.
  • Hit the trails! I am a road runner, but I have found solace this summer running on the trails. The trees provide protection and relief.

Want to have successful training during these conditions – Remember to SOS – Shorten Or Slow Down! Or perhaps both! What does this mean?

Shorten your run. If you normally run 5 miles in the morning, reduce it to 4 miles. I advise the athletes I coach to think in minutes. If your 5 mile easy run takes you 45 minutes, then run for 45 minutes NOT worrying about the distance covered. This may mean you get in 4.5 miles.

Slow down your run. It is so important especially on easy days to run by effort. Do not be afraid to slow down. Have the confidence in your running to not judge your ability by your pace. My normal easy run pace is around 8:00. The other day I went for a run, and it was 8:40. Give yourself permission to slow down! By the way, I find running on trails helps me to slow down. I know the GPS is not as accurate, and the varied terrain also impacts pace. I find myself able to relax and enjoy my runs on trails, even the hot ones!

What if you have a speed workout? There are times when you need to hit your goal paces. It is fine to adjust workouts as well so you come away feeling successful. There are a number of ways to adjust workouts as well, without slowing down your goal pace. One option is to decrease the number of repetitions. If the workout calls for 6 x 800 meters, adjust it to 4 or 5 repetitions. Another option is to walk the recovery or increase the recovery time. If the 6 x 800 meters had a 2:00 minute rest, consider increasing the time to 3:00 minutes.

Want to learn more? Read this article from Runners Connect: https://runnersconnect.net/dew-point-effect-running/

I use these tables to help advise my athletes in the summer.

Add together air temperature and dew point and see where the combined number places you on the following adjustment chart:

100 or less:   no pace adjustment
101 to 110:   0% to 0.5% pace adjustment
111 to 120:   0.5% to 1.0% pace adjustment
121 to 130:   1.0% to 2.0% pace adjustment
131 to 140:   2.0% to 3.0% pace adjustment
141 to 150:   3.0% to 4.5% pace adjustment
151 to 160:   4.5% to 6.0% pace adjustment
161 to 170:   6.0% to 8.0% pace adjustment
171 to 180:   8.0% to 10.0% pace adjustment
Above 180:   hard running not recommended

Remember, SOS! – And although these calculators are helpful, it is more important to listen to your body and learn to run by effort.


Information about a local rail trail

LOCATION: 2459 River Road, Washington Boro, PA 17582

Click below for driving directions.


I recently ran on the Enola Low Grade Trail and was reminded of how fortunate we are to have such beautiful places to run. The south central Pennsylvania area is filled incredible running opportunities.


I began at the Turkey Hill trailhead in Manor Township and ran to Safe Harbor. The crushed stone trail is a little over 5.2 miles long one-way, Eventually the trail will be a continuous 29 miles. There are plenty of things to see along the way though so it does not get boring.


PROS: Like all rail trails, this has a crushed stone surface and is mostly flat. Even though it is only a tad over 5 miles, I actually enjoy doing long runs here. I usually return to my car for fuel and hydration, so this is convenient. Here is my most recent long run on the Enola: https://www.strava.com/activities/2367032498 I also appreciate mile markers (every half mile!) and port-a-potties along the trail. In addition to waterfalls, you can spy windmills, turkey vultures, bald eagles, and even a caboose!

Some of the fun sights along the trail.
One of the many waterfalls.
The end of the trail, at least for now.

Mile markers every half mile make it ideal for interval training.

CONS: This portion of the trail lacks shade so it can get quite warm in the summer. There aren’t any water fountains, so be prepared. Oh, and you COULD get hit by a rock slide, but what are the chances?

Race Recovery

What to do after a race…. recovery!

You put in the hard work and you had a great race, maybe even set a Personal Record! Now what? Race recovery!

Congratulations to the athletes I coach who raced this weekend. For some this was their goal race and they trained for 8-16 weeks in order to run a PR. For others it was a hard effort that is part of their training. Regardless of the situation proper race recovery is essential.

You had a great finish, they placed the medal around your neck, and now you just want to sit down… DON’T!

Immediately after finishing, try and replenish fluids. I suggest chocolate milk because of the carbohydrates and proteins, but sports drinks with electrolytes are also beneficial. Continue to walk around if you can. If your clothes are wet, change them and get comfortable.

Most of us do not feel like running a cool down, stretching, and foam rolling after a race, myself included! One of my favorite recovery tricks is the yoga pose, Legs Up On Wall. If you can do this pose within 30 minutes of finishing, it can speed up recovery by improving circulation. It’s a simple exercxie to do: Lie down on your back and try to get your butt as close to the wall as possible, extending your legs up, perpendicular to the floor. I can share with you my butt does not get very close to the wall but I still benefit from this. Open your arms to the sides, palms up. Focus on relaxing and breathing deeply.

In the hours following a race be sure to refuel with a full meal. After racing a longer race, I tend to listen to my cravings. Sometimes I want a salty soup, and sometimes I want a burger and fries (but tacos are ALWAYS a favorite)! I DO make sure I eat protein to help rebuild muscles and I increase fluid intake. Take some time to stretch, self massage, foam roll, and take en epsom salt bath. You do not have to incorporate all these methods, but I do suggest one or two.


The week after a race you need to listen to your body and adapt. If this was your goal race, you need some time to recover. This is where having a coach can be an asset. You want to focus on recovery but you do not want to lose fitness. Depending on age, running history, and injury tendency, I recommend one to three days of total rest, then easing back into some activity. Active recovery can reap huge benefits – easy biking, walking, swimming or Yoga! My favorite yoga resources is Yoga with Adrienne.

Don’t be afraid to go for a short jog a few days after your marathon. I know you will be sore and tired but I find an easy jog can help speed along race recovery. You do NOT want to take an extended period off unless you have an injury. I also highly recommend getting a professional massage. Other beneficial things you can do are foam rolling, self massage with Arnica gel or Tiger Balm, and some gentle stretching.

After a longer hard effort, our immune systems get tired as well. Make a point of getting some high quality sleep. I highly suggest to the athletes I coach to take extra vitamin C during the taper period and for at least a week post race. You don’t want to have an unplanned rest period due to being sick.

Since you won’t be running much this week, use the extra time to focus on race recovery. I have another blog post that discusses active and passive recovery that can be found here: https://run717.com/2019/02/18/recovery-8-weeks-until-boston/

Contact me with your recovery questions or if you are interested in being coached.

Remember Stress + Rest = GROWTH!!!