When are KIRG group runs held?
We offer Saturday morning group runs throughout the year, starting at 7:30am or 8:00, depending on the time of year. This group run starts at the old outlets at Kent Narrows, 51 Piney Creek Rd., Chester. Park across from the Animal Resource Foundation (ARF), just past the elevated blue sign, next to the trail at the base of the footbridge. We also meet one weeknight per week for track night from late spring through fall. We meet at 6:00pm at the Kent Island High School track. During the summer, we meet on Wednesday nights, but while school is in session, we must accommodate the athletic teams so the day of week sometimes changes. These sessions are designed to increase speed and fitness. Coaches provide a structured workout, but you are welcome to come and do your own thing. This is a good activity for walkers and those recovering from injury, because it is a soft, rubberized surface and since we are all going around in circles, you will never be left behind! About once a month throughout the year, we also offer special group runs, either to train on the hills in Annapolis, or try out some trail running in various locations. These typically occur on Sunday mornings.
Is there a way to organize my own group run that meets at a different time?
YES – and many KIRG members would be happy if you did! Join the KIRG group on WhatsApp, a free texting service that enables you to connect with other KIRG members. You can use WhatsApp to organize your own group run, post photos or your training or races, ask questions, etc. To join, download the app and email your cellphone number to either Mide at email@example.com or Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org
Will there always be someone to run with me at the group runs?
We do our best to ensure that all runners at the group run get paired up with someone. This is the reason we come to group runs – to run with others! We generally only leave runners to run on their own if they express that desire. Sometimes runners come out with their earbuds and their workout app, and they just want to do their own thing, but like to chat with the group before and after. That is fine! Just remember this – no matter what your pace, if you want a partner to run with, please let us know and don’t feel bad about holding us back or making us go slower than we would otherwise. Most of us come to the group runs to interact with other runners, and if we want a speed workout, we will do it later.
What side of the street should runners face while running?
Generally, it is safer for runners to run on the left side of the street, facing traffic. This allows runners to see the oncoming traffic, and makes runners more visible to drivers. BTW, the opposite is true for bicyclists! Bicyclists should always ride WITH the traffic, following all traffic rules (stopping at traffic lights and stop signs, etc.)
When can I tell it’s time to get new running shoes?
The general advice from the running community suggests replacing running shoes every 300-500 miles. But, obviously, there are many factors that influence how much wear and tear you are putting on your shoes, so this mileage range is not always helpful. Some of the factors that affect shoe wear include weekly mileage, weight of the runner, foot fall (heel striker vs. mid-foot, pronater?), type of shoe (thick sole or thin?), running surface, etc. The best way to determine if your shoes need replacing is to visually inspect them on a regular basis, looking for excessive wearing of the sole, even if it just occurs in a localized area. Consider also any new aches and pains that you have been experiencing. Often when shoes get worn, knees, ankles or other areas start to ache during and after runs. This is a sure sign that shoes need replacing.
Should I eat before my run, and if so, what are the best pre-run foods?
You should try to eat something light before your run. This fuels your muscles and provides the energy to get through the workout. The best foods will include mostly carbohydrates, with a little bit of protein and fat. Foods that work well for some people may not work well for others, so it is important to experiment and find food that suit your individual needs. Some examples of popular pre-run foods include oatmeal and/or yogurt with fruit, bagel and cream cheese, or toast with peanut butter. Do not eat too much! You neither want to be full nor starving, just enough to feel energized.
Should I stretch before or after my run?
The philosophy on stretching has changed a lot over the past few decades. The key factors which remain important are to loosen up muscles before running and to stretch well after a run. What has changed over the years and continues to be up for debate is the type of stretching to do before running vs. afterwards. The current understanding is that dynamic stretching is best to do before a workout, and static stretching is best for after. Dynamic stretching includes moving the muscle to stretch it, such as swinging the leg front and back to stretch hamstrings, and swinging it side to side to stretch hips. Static stretching includes holding still to stretch the muscle, such as leaning against an object to stretch calves. Static stretches should only be done after the muscles have been warmed up. This is a good article that shows examples of dynamic stretching for runners.
I have never raced before but am interested in trying it. Do you offer any training programs?
We typically offer race training programs in the beginning of the year, starting in late January/early February. We have several certified coaches that will provide individualized training plans, a weekly newsletter with training information and motivation, and a specialized group run every week. We typically offer 5K, 10K and half marathon distances, and each one includes a goal race at the end of the training program.
If I have questions or want to get more involved in KIRG, who should I contact?
The best way to contact us is through the website via the Contact tab. Those communications go directly to the KIRG President. You can also post questions on WhatsApp, come to a group run, or visit our Facebook page (Kent Island Running Group)!