Hot and humid!
It’s the same old summer story and with it comes our seasonal drum-beating ritual of sounding the alarm to fellow outdoor exercisers to “hydrate, get out early, load up on the electrolytes and, above all else, be careful!” But what gets lost in this annual flurry of white noise rhetoric, especially within the bit about “being careful,” is one very important and simple rule: Slow down!
As a longtime coach who has tried his darndest to safely guide his athletes, of all abilities, through the challenges of brutal Central Virginia summers over the past 40 years, I have found this one basic tip to be the very best at helping my folks comfortably beat the heat. There’s not an exercise physiologist out there, including our wise UVa Department Chair, Dr. Art Weltman, who wouldn’t agree that dialing it back, along with proper hydration, are the two safest ways to navigate your way through these tough conditions. So, I tell any walker, hiker or runner that’s willing to listen to slow down their pace by anywhere from 30-90 seconds/mile and to listen to their body’s cues, as in “does this feel comfortable?” This and a good dose of positivity tonic, where the rule is that you’re never allowed to state the obvious, as in “It’s really hot out here!” Instead, I encourage my athletes to focus on the positive, like just how beautiful an area we have all around us to exercise in!
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Summertime has always been kid’s time and that holds true in our local running world. There are a variety of kid-friendly running events in the month of July. The Charlottesville Track Club will once again, for the 44th summer, be hosting their popular All-Comers Track Meets. Held every Thursday evening in July at UVa’s beautiful Lannigan Field track, these organized and fun meets treat kids of all ages to a variety of running events, from 100 meters to the mile. And all for the low retro price of $2! Go to charlottesvilletrackclub,org for more information.
And on Saturday, July 14 and 21, our new YMCA, along with yours truly, will once again be hosting “Saturday’s in the Park,” where parents and kids get to participate together in a variety of fun running-oriented games. Contact the Brooks Family Y for more information on these free family running games.
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For grown ups looking to run an autumn half or full marathon, the Charlottesville Track Club is, for the 26th summer, hosting its popular summer training program. Every summer, close to 200 folks join to either test the distance waters for the first time or to go for improving their time from a previous performance. All paces, from sub-7 minute marathoners to 15-minute half marathoners, participate in the weekly group long runs at a variety of beautiful courses around the county. Go to charlottesvilletrackclub,org or call me at 293-3367 for more information.
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It’s no secret that incoming University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and his wife Katie are avid runners, so it should come as no surprise that there will be a huge community wide 5K run/walk the weekend of his inauguration. The Community Bridges 5K Run/Walk is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, with all of the proceeds being donated to our wonderful neighbors at the CNE, and organizers are expecting this to be one of the largest Central Virginia running and walking events ever, as neighborhoods, schools, churches, families and businesses as well as UVa students, staff and faculty are all being encouraged to join Jim and Katie in participating, on foot, at this historic community event. Registration is set to open by mid-August.
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Females all over town are gearing up for The Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, our area’s largest participatory sporting event, which is set for Sept. 1. From Pam Whorley and her Pink Ladies Four Miler Training Program to the UVa Health Center’s “C-ville Walks” crew, everyone’s on their feet. Mayor Walker has energized a crew of city walkers, who have been dubbed “Get Your Healthy on with Mayor Walker,” and they too are excited about participating in this popular community event, which annually raises $300,000 for Breast Cancer research and treatment at the Emily Couric Cancer Center. Entries are currently open at charlottesvillewomen’sfourmiler
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Matt Haas and Jay Wildermann and their corps of Kiwanis and Charlottesville Track Club volunteers organized a dandy doodle of an Independence Day 5K, as close to 300 runners kicked off the Fourth with a run over the hills of Hollymead and, in doing so, raised thousands of dollars for our neighbors at Camp Holiday Trails.
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Two energetic and creative UVa students with strong athletic backgrounds, have been working tirelessly on creating a group running program for city and county school kids, grades K-8. Maddie Rennyson and Mary Blankemeir will kick off the “Run Your World, Kids” program this September at the Burley Middle School track, where kids of all abilities will, be guided on a weekly basis, for free, by a corps of experienced UVa student volunteers in learning how to have fun while properly running distances from 400 meters to the mile. For more information on this fun new community program, go to Runyourworld2018@gmail.com or at fb.me/runyourworld 2018.
Mark Lorenzoni has, on a volunteer basis, directed hundreds of community races and coached thousands of runners, of all abilities, for over 35 years. He can be reached at 293-3367 or follow him on Twitter at @coachzoni.