The OutRunners were out in force at the CapCity Half and Quarter Marathon. Some are pictured in these two group shots. April 2019.
Sometimes our weekly fun runs involve a 'beer check' towards the end of the route near the bar. Here's 6 happy OutRunners enjoying themselves before heading to Plank's in German Village. August 2018.
- Members are actively participating in group runs and races! See you soon at one of them!
- Our annual "12 Bars of the Holidays" crawl in association with Short North Running Club is on Saturday 14 December. Consult the FB group for details and updates.
- On Thursday 19 December the OutRunners are promoting LGBT health and fitness in Columbus by hosting ~100 runners from Short North Running Club for their weekly fun run. Details to be announced.
- Our Annual Party will take place in mid-January.
- Have ideas for us? Bring them forward!
The OutRunners promoted health and fitness within the LGBT community by hosting 100+ runners from Short North Running Club out of Club Diversity, a gay bar in Columbus. Here's a dozen OutRunners after the 4-mile run around Schiller Park and then up the Scioto River path. October 2018.
Established in 2018, The OutRunners bring together LGBT runners in Columbus, Ohio. We are affiliated with FrontRunners International. Some of our members regularly run races. Other members can run a few blocks and want to run their first 5k. Others still have different goals, but we aim to improve our fitness and have fRUN together.
Our running activities are (always check Facebook for updates):
- Monday hills with Mike and Matt: Meet at 7 pm for a hills workout and build your running stamina. Mike and Matt know all the good spots. It's usually repeats of a hill, do as few or as many as you want.
- Tuesday morning downtown with Johnny: Meet near the entrance of L.A. Fitness Grandview on Bobcat Ave near Goodale Blvd at 6:20 am for a 6:30 start. Led by Johnny. 3-5 miles, ~10 mpm pace. (But sometimes we meet at the Bicentennial Park esplanade in front of Milestone 229.)
- Tuesday evening in Worthington with Danny: Meet at Whitney Playground where Whitney Ave dead-ends (near Danny's house) at 6:30 pm for a 6:40 start. Led by Danny. 3-7 miles, ~10 mpm pace.
- Wednesday speedwork with CRC: We join Columbus Running Company for a speed workout, part of their free group run series, to build our running resiliency. The runs are (usually) a speed-building workout, (usually) using Goodale Park's perimeter as a 1-mile "track". This event attracts 10-25 runners. Meet at the store at 5:50 pm for a 6:00 start. Led by CRC coaches Tim and Dan. Charles and Adam are usually there too! 2-5 miles, flexible. (If you're new to running, ask a fellow OutRunner to help you adjust the proposed workout to your goals.) (Live further away? The 3 other CRC stores also offer a weekly speed workout, check them out!)
- Thursday fun run with Adam: Most weeks, we join Short North Running Club. Meet at 6:30 pm for a 6:45 start at rotating bars in various neighborhoods (usually downtown, Short North, Brewery District), check Facebook the day before to find out where (or subscribe to their e-mail list). The trail map is always published in advance. Led by Adam and rotating SNRC volunteers. This event attract between 20 runners in the winter and 150 runners in shoulder seasons. Occasionally, we go rogue. 3-5 miles, with a wide-range of paces.
- Saturday long(er) run with Scott: The format changes depending on weather, time of year, etc., but it's usually an out-and-back allowing for a mix of distances (including 'longer' runs) and paces. These days runners tend to meet on the deck at Antrim Lake. (But sometimes it's at Glacier Ridge Metropark starting from this parking lot or near Park of Roses starting from this parking lot.)
- Sunday trails with Danny: Join Danny for ~6 miles of trails running at ~10 mpm. The time varies, sometimes morning, sometimes afternoon. Often it's at Highbanks Metropark starting from this parking lot near the restroom hut. Sometimes it's at Sharon Woods Metropark starting from this parking lot near the restroom hut or at Alum Creek Boat Ramp trails starting from this parking lot near the restroom hut or the Rocks and Roots trail starting from the trailhead. Have other locations to propose? Let him know. Check Facebook the day before for details.
Our social activities are:
- Happy Hours: Stay tuned for a new format.
- Annual Party: Because we're a real club.
- Anniversary Run: Because clubs have birthdays, too.
- fRUN Week: Because we like to have fRUN.
- fRUN Day: Because we like to have even more fRUN.
- OSU football tailgates with SNRC: Because we're in Columbus.
- Jingle Bell runs: Because we spread December cheer.
- Comedy runs: Because we spread year-round cheer.
- Holiday pub crawl with SNRC: Because it's a fun time.
We also participate in local races in the spirit of athletic development and friendly competition.
Want to lead a weekly, monthly, or one-off event for the club? Contact Charles.
Two OutRunners (shirtless) with some of our friends from Houston FrontRunners at the end of the Houston Half. October 2018.
All Paces Welcome.
OutRunners having a good time at Beck's Tavern in German Village after a weekly fun run. September 2018.
COACHING NOTES (from previous Facebook posts)
- For new runners, or runners returning from a hiatus, the walk-run method is recommended. Go to a track (or choose a city block or park loop), do 12 laps, alternating between "conversation pace" running and walking. (Conversation pace is a pace at which you can have a conversation with a friend without breathing difficulty.) Repeat 3 times per week, increasing the proportion of running--according to how your body feels--until you can run the full 3 miles (5 kilometers) continuously. And remember, runners form a supportive community: there's no shame in walking a portion of a race! In fact, I've seen runners beat me to the top of a long climb using a walk/run strategy. And trail runners often downgear to walking when faced with challenging terrain!
- Once you can run 3 miles (5 kilometers) at "conversation pace", you're ready to introduce a new skill: strides. A stride is a short burst of speed, lasting 4-8 seconds. You can integrate striding into any training run. After 1 or 2 warm-up miles, alternate between striding and returning to "conversation pace" after each one. Repeat 8 or so times, then continue with your run. More on strides in a future post.
- I previously posted about strides. Now that you've practiced this skill, here's how you incorporate it into training runs, and races too! Set your watch to vibrate every 5 minutes, and when it does, do a stride (short bust of speed lasting 4-8 seconds), then return to your previous pace. There are two benefits. 1. If you're feeling sluggish, the stride will energize you. 2. I'll bet you'll land at a slightly faster speed, yet probably not notice. Sounds nuts, but it works!
- What are the benefits of running? (1) Physical. Since I started running, I've lost some weight, and then gained some back in muscle, mostly in my legs but some upper body too. (2) Mental. Running is the best stress-reliever that I've ever found, as a result I think that I've mellowed over the years. (3) Social. A chunk of my friends in Albany, Houston, and now Columbus are runners. We might not run the same pace but I see them at the pre-race starting line and the post-race party, and sometimes I surprise myself as I successfully hold a faster runner's speed for a stretch.
- What is the optimal running cadence? It will depend on gender, age, body size and shape, but most runners aim for a cadence of 180 foot strikes per minute, as that cadence optimizes oxygen utilization. Many apps, such as Garmin, will report your cadence. Another strategy to internalize this cadence is to run with a metronome app set to 180 beats per minute. Or, create a playlist of 180 bpm songs!
- I run all the time, why spend money to enter a race? I hear this all the time, and I agree that running some races has become, it seems, increasingly pricey. So what's the value of a race bib? To me, it's not the t-shirt or the finish line amenities. It's that with every race, I learn something about my running. Usually, it's I didn't know I could run this fast this far, and that influences my approach in future solo or group runs. So join the OutRunners and train for an upcoming race!
- When it comes to running advice there aren't that many universal dos, but there are plenty of don'ts. Read the article.
- Now that I've run past my first patch of sidewalk ice, I thought it might be fun to start a discussion about colder weather running. Truth be told, after running outside in the winter a few times, you instinctively know what to wear. Obviously, you want to be sufficiently clothed to not be cold, but also not so overclothed that you end up in sweaty, wet gear and/or have several removed layers to carry on your run. A rule of thumb is to wear what you'd think would work for 15 degrees warmer, because otherwise you almost always overdress. But don't forget about extremities: gloves/mittens and hat/headband.
- Running is a great way to get fit, feel better and even form new relationships with other runners. Starting a new running habit doesn’t have to be hard—all it takes is a comfortable pair of shoes and a willingness to move a little or a lot, all at your own pace. Read the New York Times starter guide here.
- A PR (personal record) is the fastest time you've run a distance. PRs matter, because many runners aim to improve their fitness, and speed is one of the simplest ways to track progress. Whether your PR on the 5k is 17 minutes or 57 minutes, setting a new one is an accomplishment worth acknowledging. But there are other metrics that you may focus on as you develop your fitness: enjoying the sport, or running X times per week, or finishing X races per year. That's why the OutRunners advertise "ALL PACES WELCOME". OutRunners are encouraged to post about PRs and any other aspect of your running development that you're happy about.
- Running research mostly advocates specificity: if you want to run a faster race, then run that distance. But that focus on "quantity" of miles doesn't translate if you train for longer distances (like the marathon), several different distances at once (like a 5k and a half), are prone to running injuries, or have competing priorities (work and home commitments, other activities and sports). Then, your strategy must shift towards "quality" of miles: speedwork (intervals), hills training, tempo runs, etc. Running with others make these specialized workouts easier to complete, which is perhaps why running clubs exist! So join the OutRunners for a group run soon!
- Recently at races (including the AllState Hot Chocolate) I've been repeatedly asked by passers-by "what's the race for?", as if I need a reason to run 5k or 15k beyond "promoting my own health and fitness". Indeed, I created the OutRunners to "promote health and fitness within the LGBT community". So what was the hot choco race supporting? AllState insurance agents? Cocoa farmers? The Marshmallow Survival Society? I don't know. Yet we all started running for a reason (for me it was because Andy wanted to run a Pride 5k--don't remember if there was an underlying charity). No matter what motivates you to run, get out there and have fRUN!
- For my last coaching note of the year, I wanted to share something that I preach more than I practice. I believe that many running injuries boil down to overdeveloped "muscles engaged while running" relative to "muscles providing stability". The solution is to engage your core (the region between your nipples and your knees) in your weekly regimen: it could be swimming, yoga, pilates, integrating core exercises into your gym routine, etc. So consider joining me in setting a positive 'core' intention for yourself in 2019.
- A recent issue of Runner's World includes "The Minimalist's Survival Plan". Their training essentials: 1. Run 3 Days a Week. A 30-minute easy run, a 60-minute "hard" run (e.g. speedwork, tempo), and a long run. If you can, cross-train on other days, leaving a rest day. 2. Build Slowly. Each week, add no more than 1 mile or 10% to your long run. Every 4 weeks, dial down your long run for that week. 3. Practice Your Plan. Train in the shoes and clothing you plan to wear on race day, and complete part of your training at the same time of day as your race. What would you add as the absolute must-dos for race training?
- In a nutshell, 12-week training plans leading up to a race include an easy shorter run (fun run Thursdays?), a harder shorter run (speedwork Wednesdays?), a longer run (many OutRunners do this already on weekends), and a cross-training (XT) activity (gym, spin, yoga, whatever). Lets call this a 3+1 plan. Are you running 3 times a week, and some XT also? Discuss!
- A tapering question: "I'm running a race next weekend. How long should my long run this weekend be?" My rule of thumb is roundup(race_distance/2)+1. So for the quarterM I suggest 5 miles and the halfM, 8 miles. Generally, runners cut their total weekly mileage by 1/3 leading into a longer-distance race. For a halfM, I usually taper for 1 week; most marathon training plans provide for 2 weeks. Retaining your speedwork training during the taper, maintaining the intensity but halving the number of intervals.
- This coaching note summarizes a Race Times magazine article entitled "How Social Media Affects Fitness Habits". Posting fitness habits to social media increases motivation: "humans are naturally inclined to positive feedback and when we [...] receive likes and views, we will repeat the behavior." Posts also document your evolution: training runs, races, successes, challenges, and good times with friends. On the flipside, beware of comparing your progress to others': focus on your journey. My hope is that OutRunners provides a supportive community to those wishing to maintain and improve their health and fitness through running!
- It might be the middle of a hot summer right now, but the Columbus marathon and half is 13 weeks and 5 days away. It's high time to plan your training towards achieving your race day goal (to finish, to run faster than last year, or something else). Most training plans involve at least 3 days of running and 1 day of cross-training (swim, bike, yoga, pilates, whatever) per week. These 3 runs are (i) a longer run at "conversational pace" building to your race distance (long run Saturdays with Scott?), (ii) a medium-length and harder-intensity run (hills Mondays with Mike & Matt, or speed Wednesdays with Adam and Charles, or trail Sundays with Daniel?), and (iii) a easy shorter run (fun run Thursdays with Adam, or Tuesday easy runs with Johnny or Daniel?). No matter what, have fRUN!
- In a recent article of Quebec Science (in French), an article makes the case for "The human body: A machine designed to run". Take the Achilles' tendon--it's a very effective spring for running (storing and releasing 50% of required energy with each stride), but serves no biomechanical purpose for walking. When we compare ourselves to the chimpanzee, our closest primate cousin, there are several other physiological differences: (i) Our toes are shorter to prevent fractures while running. (ii) Our legs are longer to allow us to stride. (iii) We have big buttocks. The gluteus maximus, which connects the legs to the pelvis, serves to stabilize the body, and it is used only when running. (iv) The nuchal ligament (in the neck) stabilizes the head while running. So do what our bodies are designed to do: running!
- I often get questions about general nutrition, which is difficult to address because double-blind studies in this space are nonexistent. But a good concise answer comes from this podcast by the "Doc on the Run". Some highlights: 1. "Any diet is superior to no diet," because having food choice awareness is better than not. 2. "Eat consistently," meaning that if your race training strategy is to run regularly, why not be consistent about eating habits? Also, avoid popular fads. 3. "If you want to make changes, pick a realistic goal." For example, you might only last a few days avoiding refined sugar, but you might just succeed at adding a salad to your daily dinner. Shout out to for first telling me about this podcast.
- The current Runner's World magazine (2019 issue 6) has some good content. Starting on page 22 is an article about strength training. "Yep, runners need to lift weights." "Strength work accomplishes three big goals for runners: 1. It prevents injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues. 2. It helps you run faster by improving neuromuscular coordination and power. 3. It improves running economy by encouraging coordination and stride efficiency." What's your favorite gym exercise towards fostering healthy running?
OutRunners representing at the CMH runway 5k. It was a PR for Adam (second from the left). September 2018.
SPEED-BUILDING AND OTHER WORKOUTS FROM CRC WEDNESDAYS WITH TIM AND DAN
This compendium is mostly a record of the various workouts proposed by CRC coaches Tim and Dan each week at the speed workout. All workouts should be preceded by (at least) 1 mile warmup run and (at least) 1 mile cooldown run. In all workouts, "slower running" means "active recovery": it could be a fairly fast jog for some and a very slow jog for others.
- BRIDGE: 3-4-5-4-3 minutes of fast running. Between each interval is an up to 3 minute slower running. Members wanting an shorter workout could do 3-4-4-3 or 3-4-3 instead.
- SNOWBALL: 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 minutes of fast running, each interval getting faster, with the first one being at half-marathon race pace and the last one being a sprint (100% of maximum effort). Between each interval is a 1 minute slower running. Members wanting an shorter workout could do 6-5-4-3-2-1 or 5-4-3-2-1 instead.
- THREES: 4, 5 or 6 repeats of 3 minutes fast running at 5k race pace (80% of maximum effort) and up to 3 minutes (I usually do 2 minutes) slower running.
- ONES: 8, 10 or 14 repeats of 1 minute of faster running and 1 minute of slower running.
- MILES: 2, 3, or 4 repeats of 1 mile (4.5 sides of Goodale Park of 5 sides of Schiller Park) fast running at 5k race pace (80% of maximum effort) and up to 4 minutes slower running (for me, that's 1.5 sides of Goodale Park or 2 sides of Schiller Park).
- 800s: 4, 5 or 6 repeats of 800 meter (2 sides of Goodale Park) fast running at 5k race pace (80% of maximum effort) and 400 meter (1 side of Goodale Park) slower running.
- 400s: 6, 8 or 10 repeats of 400 meter (1300 feet, or 2 blocks, or 1 side of Goodale Park) fast running at 85% of maximum effort and 400 meter slower running.
- 200s: 6, 8 or 10 repeats of 200 meter (650 feet, or 1 block) fast running at 90% of maximum effort (not your fastest sprint, but close) and 200 meter slower running (for almost everyone, a light jog).
- HILLS: 8, 10 or 12 repeats running up a hill and then jogging back down.
- TEMPO: 20, 25 or 30 minutes of relatively fast (70% of maximum effort) and consistent running on an out-and-back course, turn-around at your half-time, aiming for both halves to be the same speed.
HILLS TRAINING FROM HILLS MONDAYS WITH MIKE AND MATT
- Walhalla in Clintonville. Walhalla is is a 3/4-mile stretch of shaded and minimal-traffic road with a climb at both ends. Meet at Mike & Matt's house. The warmup is 1 mile to High & Walhalla. Then do 1-4 repeats of Walhalla out-and-back. Then cooldown back to the house.
- Hotel Hill in Worthington. This hill starts at Whitney Playground where Whitney Ave dead-ends (near Danny's house), heads up Whitney (becoming Downs at the curve), and then up Caren to High. Meet at Fleet Feel Worthinton for a 1-mile warmup to the start. Then do 1-4 repeats of Hotel Hill out-and-back. (One way to do it is to aim for slower than half-marathon pace on the up and faster on the way down, averaging at half-marathon pace.) Then cooldown back to the store.
- Riverlea. The 1-mile trail is a rectangle formed by Olentangy Blvd, Southington, Carrington and Riverglen. Meet at Thomas Worthington High School for a 1-mile warmup to the start. Then run the rectangle 1-6 times. Then cooldown back to the school.
OutRunners representing at the OSU 4 Miler. It was a PR for Corey (first from the left). October 2018.
Getting some good stretching in after a run is always a good idea. August 2018.