Blog Posts by The Editors of Runner's World

  • The 13 Most Dangerous Animals for Runners

    Cooler temperatures means outdoor running is more comfortable and popular during the fall season. We reached out to our fellow runners to find out what animals they were most afraid of. Most of the answers we received were expected, but there were a few surprises mixed in too. Read on to find out which dangerous animals to watch out for on your next run--and follow our tips to stay safe!

    PLUS: Can You Outrun the World's Most Dangerous Animals?


    Bears Most bears, being omnivorous, would rather eat a bunch of berries than a runner, but that doesn't make them any less frightening if encountered on the trail. If you do come across one, the Colorado Division of Wildlife recommends that you make lots of noise, and talk to it so that it knows that you're human, and not prey.

    Canada Geese Canada geese aren't exactly what you'd call a "deadly animal," but they're plenty vicious if you get between them and their goslings. They'll hiss, flap their wings, and sometimes even bite. So, if you find a

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  • What Your Feet Say About Your Health

    The outside of Laurence Socha's foot had been hurting for months. But the veteran marathoner kept running. "The pain would come and go, so I just ignored it," says Socha, 27, a teacher who lives in Washington, D.C. On a run one night, his sore foot rolled, and he had to limp home. Turns out, Socha had been disregarding a hairline fracture, and he had broken his fifth metatarsal. He needed surgery and was on crutches for six weeks.

    Bad idea to ignore what your feet are trying to tell you. Obvious pains like Socha's, or merely visible imperfections like black toenails or calluses, often indicate imbalances that can lead to injury. "I like to compare foot care to the foundation of a house," says Roy DeFrancis, D.P.M., president of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association. "A house without a strong foundation is likely to crumble."

    PLUS: Surprising Health Tests You Need to Ace

    The Warning: Black Toenail

    Black toenails, or "runners' toes," frequently plague distance runners. A

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  • The Truth About 4 Confusing Nutrition Tips

    Get your fuel facts straight with three popular myths--and one surprising truth--about your nutrition.Get your fuel facts straight with three popular myths--and one surprising truth--about your nutrition.Wouldn't it be nice if it were illegal for anyone to knowingly convey false or misleading information about nutrition in print or on TV? Alas, it may seem dishonest, but because of one main driver--profit--the misinformation continues.

    But as an informed, not-easily-persuaded runner, you might be wondering, "why don't more people buy into the 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is' line of thought?" Well, there are actually quite a few reasons. First of all, we all want quick and easy solutions to life events that confound us. Things we absolutely can't control, like aging or incurable diseases, and the things we can control with a lot of work, like managing the amount of stress in our lives, addressing our fluctuating weight, and more. Fad diets and fad products also sell because we tend to believe what we want to hear, we tend to believe what we see in print, and many ads sound quite scientific and true. So it makes sense that we dive in with both feet and believe

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  • “How Running Helped Me Grieve”

    NAME: Ali Tremaine
    AGE: 22
    OCCUPATION: Student, physical therapist assistant
    HOMETOWN: Memphis, TN
    FAMILY: While I technically live alone, my house is often full of my close friends and family visiting, as well as golden retrievers that I foster!

    What prompted you to start working out?
    Being a twenty-something can lead to a lot of bad choices and hard times to struggle with. Add to that a friend's tragic passing and my parents rough divorce, and I just had to find something to get me out of bed. It was a very hard time, but there was something comforting about only worrying about getting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

    How did you start?
    I've never been very athletic, so running seemed like the only thing that was easy enough to try. I had no idea how hard it actually was going to be, or how that would make it more rewarding. I still vividly remember the first time I ran a whole mile without stopping, and how insanely happy it made me. From that

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  • How Far Did Rocky Balboa Really Run?

    A Philadelphia writer and runner has finally answered the question we've all been asking: How far did Rocky run in Rocky II?A Philadelphia writer and runner has finally answered the question we've all been asking: How far did Rocky run in Rocky II?Ask any runner to name his or her favorite cinematic running scene, and odds are one of the many Rocky training montages will come up. After all, few things are more inspiring than watching working man's hero Rocky Balboa run through Philadelphia in a sweatsuit and Chuck Taylors, air-boxing and high-fiving all the kids in the city. (If thinking about the montage has you in the mood for more throwbacks, check out our vintage shoe picks in The 7 Best Classic Running Shoes.)

    Like many native Philadelphians, writer Dan McQuade grew up watching the Rocky movies and taking special joy in those training montages--particularly the iconic scene in Rocky II that ends on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum after passing through seemingly every major landmark in the city.

    DID YOU KNOW? Read more fun and surprising running data that we've uncovered in Run by The Numbers.

    A few years ago, though, he noticed something off about the scene... It seemed Rocky ran through a lot of Philadelphia.

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  • How the Government Shutdown Affects Fall Marathon Season

    Training grounds are closed, races potentially canceled. You may have to put away that race day running outfit...Training grounds are closed, races potentially canceled. You may have to put away that race day running outfit...The federal government shutdown that began on Tuesday is already affecting runners' training, and will affect races if the shutdown lasts long enough.

    The main immediate impact stems from the closure of federal lands throughout the United States that are popular training grounds, such as the C&O Canal towpath in Maryland, Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona.

    The impact could broaden to races held on federal lands being canceled if the shutdown continues.

    PLUS: This wouldn't be the first unexpected cancellation of a race event. Last year's NYC Marathon was shut down due to Superstorm Sandy. See what last year's participants did instead, and find out how to Run a Plan B Race After a Cancelled Event.

    "For those of us who live in D.C., the shutdown has caused all kinds of problems," said Libby Nelson. "My 4- and 5-mile runs usually go through the gates of the National Zoo (now closed for

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  • The Perfect Weight Loss Meal Plan

    ..Runners love to eat. In fact, it's the reason why many of us run in the first place. Logging all those miles can make you hungry. And that means filling up on meals that satisfy your cravings for real, delicious food while still providing a balance of nutrients to fuel your running.

    Many runners assume that logging 10, 20, 30, or more miles per week will automatically lead to drastic weight loss. But the truth is, while running is an excellent calorie burner (burning on average 100 calories per mile), you won't lose weight if you don't also take your diet into consideration. That's because all that exercise makes you hungry--and it's easy to overdo it and consume all of the calories you just burned (or more) during that five-mile run.

    PLUS: Top Six Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

    So how do you successfully pair running and weight loss? The key is to keep up your running routine while slightly reducing your daily calorie intake--by no more than 250 to 500 calories per day, says

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  • 10 Ways to Lose Weight at Restaurants

    Pressed for time? Here's how to dine out without setting back your nutrition plan.Pressed for time? Here's how to dine out without setting back your nutrition plan.Now that school is in session, and your family is likely returning to the daily grind, you might be relying just a bit more on fast food and restaurant fare. But as fall racing season is in full swing, you don't want to undo all those long runs and hard workouts by letting your nutrition status slide. Understandably, you might balk every time one of your family members or--horror of horrors!--workout partners suggests recovering with a trip through the drive-thru. But don't freak out--here are some tips to keep your taste buds satisfied, your family happy, and your fitness on the right track.

    PLUS: For the diet tips you can ignore, check out Top Nutrition Myths, Debunked!

    1. Plan ahead. There's a reason this tip is #1; a good plan is the best tool a runner can have in his or her "I'm hungry, feed me RIGHT now" nutrition arsenal. Planning ahead may save you from saying yes to the double-deep-fried pie and getting so ravenous that anything and everything on the menu looks tasty. In other

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  • 10 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

    Can your dog go the distance? Sure, most fit canines could thump us in a 5-K, but anyone who has ever watched leashed runners at a local park knows that some animals are better athletes than others. But how does your dog rate? Or if you're searching for a perfect running partner, what kind should you pick?

    BEWARE: The 13 Most Dangerous Animals for Runners

    Not surprisingly, it depends. There's no perfect running breed for all conditions, and a dog's personality and temperament are as important as its pedigree, says Susan Dicks, D.V.M., an Albuquerque-based veterinarian and marathoner. Mongrels can make fine runners, especially if they're medium-sized, alert, and eager.

    Some breeds, such as huskies and greyhounds, were bred to run, and most working dogs are naturally suited to running. By contrast, squishy-nosed dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, don't make good distance athletes, because they're prone to overheating. That's not to say your pug can't run, but he probably shouldn't join you

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  • Overcome the Top 5 Mental Roadblocks During Exercise

    Often the biggest obstacle to working out has nothing to do with the legs and lungs; it's about what's on your mind. Here's how to clear some common mental hurdles that can keep you from getting out the door.

    RELATED: Are You Wearing the Right Workout Shoes?

    THE OBSTACLE: Working out hurts!
    GET OVER IT:
    Tuning out--not in--can help you get through those tough first workouts, says Christy Greenleaf, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin. Recruit a friend to walk the neighborhood with you; watch your favorite sitcom while you're on the treadmill; put together a workout mix with tunes that evoke happy memories. Studies have shown that listening to music reduces the level of perceived exertion, or how hard you feel like you're working. "Any way that you can focus your attention on something other than how your body feels will help," says Greenleaf. "As you get more experienced and your body adapts to training, you can tune in more to what your body is experiencing."

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