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Cool Running


John DiMeo of Wilmington, an engineer at W.L. Gore and Associates, runs at Brandywine Creek State Park near Rockland Mills dressed head to toe in Gore Running Wear. Photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli They call it the runner’s high, a euphoria linked to rhythmic exercises that require endurance. Wayne Kursh of Wilmington, a runner for 35 years, is well acquainted with the sensation.

“You wake up and realize, ‘Oh, my God, I just ran three miles,” says Kursh, president of Races2Run.com, a local race management company.

No wonder runners hit the road—or trail or treadmill—whenever possible. “Is it endorphins versus just enjoying it? I don’t know,” says Dr. Tony Reed, director of sports medicine in the department of family and community medicine at Christiana Care Health System.
Though experts may disagree on why running makes you feel good, they will agree that running is good for you. “Of the land-based exercises, it burns the most calories,” Reed says.

Running increases your heart rate, which improves cardiovascular health, in part by boosting good cholesterol and decreasing the bad stuff. Because running is a weight-bearing exercise, it’s ideal for maintaining bone health. It also works the major muscle groups in the legs and buttocks.

“It makes me feel pleasantly tired, refreshed and energized,” says two-time Olympian Vicki Huber Rudawsky, a 1987 graduate of Concord High School who still runs 35 miles a week. “It just makes me feel good.”

Running offers other advantages. It’s cheap. Just grab your sneaks and go. You can run with friends, family, your dog and, if you compete, with complete strangers. Indeed, you may even brush elbows with someone like U.S. Senator Tom Carper, an avid runner, or Rudawsky, who recently started running again with a teammate from Concord.

And anyone can do it. Here’s what you need to know to make great strides.


Couch to 5K Training Plan

The following training plan is designed to prepare non-runners to slowly and safely prepare for a 5K race. If you have medical concerns, consult your physician before starting. Schedule courtesu pf Wayne Kursh and races2run.com. 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Week One Goal: Make your goals realistic. Don’t expect to go every day. Too much too fast will get you injured. Enjoy the rest days as much as the workouts.

Walk 20 min


Walk 20-30 min

Walk 20-30 min


Walk 20-30 min


Week Two Goal: Find a partner to help enjoy the time.

Begin with 10-min walk, alternate five 1-min runs and 1-min walks, then finish with a 10-min walk


Begin with 10-min walk, alternate five 1-min runs and 1-min walks, then finish with a 10-min walk

Walk 30 min 


 Begin with 10-min walk, alternate five
2-min runs and 2-min walks, then finish with a 5-min walk


Week three Goal: Stretch after your workouts. It helps eliminate aches and pains.

Begin with 0.5-mile walk, alternate seven 1-min runs and 1-min walks, then finish with 0.5-mile walk


Begin with 0.5-mile walk, alternate five 2-min runs and 2-min walks, then finish with 0.5-mile walk 

Walk 30 min 


Begin with 1-mile walk, alternate five 2-min runs and 2-min walks, then finish with 0.5-mile walk 


Week four Goal: Learn how far a 5K is. Find out what it’s going to take.

Begin with 5-min walk, alternate four 3-min runs and  2-min walks, finish with 0.5-mile walk


 Begin with 5-min walk, alternate five 2-min runs and  2-min walks, finish with 0.5-mile walk

Walk 30 min 


Begin with 10-min walk, run 5 mins, then finish with 0.5 mile walk 


Week five Goal: Notice how a regular walking and running routine affects your mood and your energy.

Begin with 2-min walk, alternate two 5-min runs and  2-min walks, finish with 0.5-mile walk


Begin with 5-min walk, alternate five 2-min runs and 20-min walks, then
finish with 0.5-mile wal

Begin with 10-min walk, run 5 mins, then finish with 15-min walk


Begin with 5-min walk, alternate three 4-min runs and  2-min walks,finish with 0.5-mile walk


Week six Goal: Change your scenery. Run and walk at a park or find a different loop to keep it fresh.

Begin with 2 min walk, alternate two 7-min runs and 2-min walks,
finish with 0.5 mile walk


Begin with 5-min walk, alternate five 2-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 0.5-mile walk 

Begin with 10-min walk, run 10 mins, then finish with 10-min walk 


Begin with 5 min walk, alternate four 4-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 0.5-mile walk


Week seven Goal: Get ready to race.

Begin with 2-min walk, alternate three 7-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 3-min walk


Begin with 2 min walk, alternate five 4-min runs and 2 -min walks, finish with 3-min walk 

Begin with 10-min walk, run 10 mins, then finish with 10-min walk 


Begin with 2-min walk, alternate five 4-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 3-min walk


Week eight Goal: Reward yourself for your training. You’re almost there.

Begin with 2 min walk, alternate three 7-min runs and 1-min walks,
finish with 3-min walk


Begin with 2-min walk, alternate five 4-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 3-min walk

Begin with 10-min walk, run 15 mins, then finish with 10-min walk


Begin with 2-min walk, alternate two 10-min runs and 2-min walks,
finish with 3-min walk


Week nine Goal: Finish your first 5K. Congratulations.

Begin with 2 min walk, alternate three 8-min runs and 1-min walks,
finish with 3-min walk


Begin with 2-min walk, alternate five 4-min runs and 2-min walks, finish with 3-min walk



Race day. Run it all the way.

Rest, and be proud of


 Page 2: Cool Running continues…



On the road with cyclists in the 2007 Bike MS: Bike to the Bay.Value of Cross Training

Running day after day is hard on your body. “So mix it up with cycling or non-impact activities,” says Dan Wagner, lead exercise specialist at Bayhealth Lifestyles Fitness Center in Dover. Cross training reduces wear and tear while making you a better runner.

Low-impact exercise such as cycling and swimming reduces forces on the joints, which will help you keep them healthy longer. Wagner also suggests strength training, especially for sprinters, via resistance workouts such as weight lifting. (Hardcore marathon runners do little strength-training because they want to avoid the added weight of extra muscle mass.) Weight-bearing exercise preserves bone density, a must for people who tax their joints and limbs regularly.

Michael Landa of Purpose Driven Health & Wellness in Bear is also keen on strength-training. “You need to support the surrounding muscles,” he says.

Landa’s clients, including marathon runners and triathletes, work the abdominal and back muscles to stabilize and align their bodies while running.

Clients also work their upper bodies, including arms and shoulders, so they don’t fatigue faster than the lower body. Clients pump their arms with lightweight dumbbells to build endurance. To strengthen legs, they do squats and work on leg-curl machines.

Because doing any one sport can create strength and posture imbalances, personal trainer Carolanne Leone says it’s important to work opposing muscles. Runners, for instance, move forward, so she works their abductors and adductors with lateral movements.

The Delaware Marathon Race Here

Need a training goal? There are more races than there are candidates for “America Idol.” Here’s a sampling.

The Turkey Trots

The Newark 10K and 5K is the Saturday before Thanksgiving (November 22). About 900 runners turn out, says race manager Wayne Kursh of Races2Run.com. The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Wilmington, also a 10K and 5K, draws about 1,800 people, starting at PNC downtown.

The Delaware Marathon

Held each May, the marathon attracts about 1,600. The 2008 event started on the Wilmington Riverfront. “It’s a nice, flat course on the water,” Kursh says. “When you’re done, you can shop and dine. It’s a win-win.”

Caesar Rodney Half-Marathon

One of Delaware’s longest-running events, the race is usually held in March. It begins in Rodney Square and covers the Wilmington Riverfront and Rockford Park. There’s also a 10K option.

The Gary P. Lister Bottle & Cork Ten Miler 5K Run-Walk

Scheduled for September 6, this annual race is part of the Seven Sisters-Four Brothers series. The course runs into Rehoboth, through Henlopen Acres, down the boardwalk, then back to Dewey.
For all race info, visit www.races2run.com and www.seashorestriders.com.

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Run Here

Delaware State Parks
Mike Monagle, of Delaware Running Company in Greenville, says too few runners take advantage of state parks, which are scenic, challenging and free of exhaust from vehicular traffic. He especially enjoys Cape Henlopen for ocean and bay breezes and White Clay Creek’s woods and fields.

Like hills? Burn your glutes at Brandywine Creek State Park, says race manager Wayne Kursh. Brandywine offers both wooded trails and long hauls through broad meadows. He also recommends the mile-long dirt track at Bellevue State Park in North Wilmington.

Trainer Jay Raymond of Game Shape in Wilmington likes the paved trails that wind through the Blue Ball Properties Project in Alapocas Run State Park off U.S. 202. Runner and Bayhealth Fitness Center exercise specialist Dan Wagner appreciates Lum’s Pond and Killens Pond. For distance freaks, Lum’s offers an eight-mile loop around the pond.
Check destateparks.com for more.

City and County Parks
Raymond recommends the long paved loop at Glasgow Park. Rockford Park in Wilmington tops many runners’ lists. They appreciate the variety of surfaces, as well as some long uphills. Need to add distance and variety? Follow into Brandywine Park for a jaunt beside the water.

Route 52 Area
Many runners appreciate Del. 52 north of Greenville for its wide shoulders and broad vistas. Always run against traffic on Del. 52—and all roadways—so you can see what’s coming. Too many cars and bicyclists? If you veer onto side roads such as Snuff Mill, Twadell Mill or Old Kennett Pike, run with care.

Riverfront Running
The path along the Christina River in Wilmington is a favorite of most area runners. It’s flat and open. Plus, “It’s scenic,” Raymond says. Not enough river for you? Battery Park in New Castle follows the Delaware River shoreline to the Coastal Heritage Greenway trail.

Ocean Views
The Rehoboth Boardwalk is “nice and bouncy, and it’s flat,” Kursh says. “There are lots of people, so you get to people-watch.” The boards in Bethany work, too. When you really want to knock yourself out, just hit the beach.

Under the Surface

The running surface not only affects the intensity of a runner’s workout, it can also decrease or increase the chance of injury.

Concrete Though sidewalks keep you out of traffic, concrete is unforgiving, which will eventually beat up your feet, ankles and knees. Vary your routes so you don’t run regularly on concrete.

Macadam Used for roads and driveways, macadam gives a bit, so it’s kinder than concrete. Rubberized asphalt is even better.

Trails Running off-road takes vigilance. It’s easy to twist an ankle. But running trails usually makes you faster, says Dan Wagner, an exercise specialist for Bayhealth. “The runners adapt to changing surfaces. Put them on macadam and they’re fast.”

Sand As on trails, you risk turning an ankle and taking a tumble, but you’ll get a rigorous workout. Road runners must use caution the first time. Sand gives your calves a major workout, so it’s easy to overuse them. Dial back on your distance to start.

Rubberized tracks Indoors or outdoors, these tracks are great for newbies.

Treadmills New models are designed to cushion the joints. But most serious runners aren’t fans. “Instead of propelling yourself along, you’re running to keep up,” says Dr. Tony Reed, a sports medicine physician and runner. You will still raise your heart rate, says personal trainer Carolanne Leone, who owns The Studio in Wilmington.  Yet you’ll be missing the unevenness that adds interest and difficulty to a run.

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Gearing Up

Unlike big box stores, boutique shops are owned and operated by runners. Their devotion to the sport makes them excellent sources of information, whether you’re looking for the right shoe, the right moisture-wicking jacket or the right trail.

Delaware Running Company
4021 C Kennett Pike,
Greenville, 655-SHOE
Delaware Running Company, in Greenville Crossing, specializes in finding the best shoes for runners’ feet. The store also sells walking shoes, tennis shoes and casual footwear. In addition to running apparel, the store sells yoga togs and clothes for other sports activities. It is the headquarters for the Delaware Running Club.

New Balance
Christiana Mall, 366-7516
New Balance Brandywine
5321 Brandywine Pkwy.
Wilmington, 230-3065
The chain, which started in Boston as an arch-support company in the early 1900s, is part of a family of brands including Dunham, PF Flyers, Aravon, Warrior and Brine. New Balance specializes in fit. Its products are great for people with odd feet who often have trouble finding athletic shoes. New Balance also makes cutting-edge apparel.

Rehoboth Beach Running Company

251 Rehoboth Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, 227-4848
Owners Russ and Mary Beth Evans can analyze your gait by videotaping your run on a treadmill, then watching it in slow motion. The shop carries shoes, T-shirts and other accessories.

Women’s Sports Specialties  
5335 Limestone Road, Unit B
Wilmington, 239-0838
Women will find everything they need here, including running shoes, sports bras, socks, yoga, fitness apparel—even lip balm.

Chester County Running Company
24 S. High St.
West Chester, Pa., (610) 696-0115
Not only is this store a go-to spot for shoes, but it’s also a great source of information. The website includes a race calendar and race results. The store also hosts its own training runs for various levels, including kids.

Meet the Family

Delaware doesn’t lack clubs devoted to the sport. If you’re interested in communal
exercise, here are a few to consider.

Delaware Running Club
Beginning runners are welcome in this club, which also attracts some of the state’s top competitors. Group runs, open to the public, typically have two pace groups. One group follows a predetermined workout. The other takes a less rigorous approach. Group runs start Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30 at the Tower Hill School track in Wilmington. On Saturdays, the group meets at 7 a.m. at the Alexis I. du Pont High School parking lot. And on Wednesdays, the group meets at 6:15 p.m. at the Delaware Running Company store in Greenville for a run that lasts about seven miles, depending on your fitness. For more, visit www.delawarerunningclub.org.

The Grove Park Club
Members of this beach-area group are bonded by a sense of community and the love of running. On Tuesdays, the club meets at 6 p.m. at Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach for walks and runs. The events are held all year, no matter the weather. During the summer, the club holds Thursday interval workouts in Cape Henlopen State Park—a plus if you’re training for a 5K. Meet at the watch tower at 6 p.m. On most weekends, members gather informally for a long run. For more, visit www.eteamz.active.com/thegroveclub/index.cfm.

Pike Creek Valley Running Club
More than 25 years old, this club boasts more than 100 members. Some are state record-holders. Others are novices who can learn from the more experienced runners. The club meets for group runs at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at the entrance to Delcastle Recreation Area’s tennis parking lot. Along with running activities, the club holds a holiday party and summer barbecue. See www.pcvrc.com for more.

Rebel Runners

This group of 30 meets each Thursday at Delcastle park. Each runner moves at his or her own pace. Member Darlise DiMatteo says runs also serve the purpose of “figuring out where to go for dinner that night.” www.rebelrunners.com

Seashore Striders
This 20-year-old group takes running seriously. It is a club, but a spin-off division manages 50 events a year, including some of the state’s most popular races. Though hardcore runners are members, love of the sport is the only prerequisite. Members join the Grove Park Club on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. for group runs and on weekends for long runs. Learn more at www.seashorestriders.com.

Trail Dawgs
Parks in and around Newark such as White Clay Creek State Park and Middle Run Natural Area, as well as Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area in Maryland, have all been stomping grounds for these runners. The group favors hills and scenery. Group runs of 5 to 25 miles happen on Sunday mornings. All are welcome. If you like fun, this is the group. See www.udel.edu/johnmack/traildawgs/.

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The Well-Dressed Runner

Whether you run in the cold of winter or summer’s heat, regulating your body temperature is the key to maximum performance. That means clothes that create a micro-climate next to your skin. Here are some basic items to get you through the year.

Joe DiMeo’s wardrobe courtesy of Rehoboth Beach Running Co. Photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli

A good cool-weather shirt will wick your perspiration away so you stay warm. The Mizuno Breath Thermo stretch crew does the job with exclusive Virtual Body technology. $59.99

Need protection from precipitation? The Brooks Airplex stretch jacket is water-  and wind-resistant. Front and back vents enhance breathability, and a special pocket holds your MP3 player. $85

Running is all about the right shoes. The durable Mizuno Wave Inspire 4 provides a blend of support and cushioning. It also vents well so your feet won’t overheat. $95

Brooks Aireplex stretch pants are anatomically styled, as well as water-  and wind-resistant. That means warmth and comfort. $65


Vicki Rudawsky’s wardrobe courtesy of Delaware Running Company in Greenville. Hair by Benjamin Cimabue, Makeup by Heather Chamish, both from Pagavé, wilmington. Photograph by Luigi Ciuffetelli





In extreme heat, nothing keeps you cooler than a tank. The Nike Dri-FIT Skim Long Tee wicks perspiration to keep you dry and lets the breeze flow. $36

Shorts move easy to keep you running in comfort. Nike’s Green short uses proprietary Dri-FIT fabric to keep you dry. Best of all, it makes you feel free. $24

Good shoes put a spring in your step. The ASICS GEL-landreth 4 is known for great cushioning. A low-profile midsole gives a touch of stability. $94.99






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The Shoe Fetish

Regular runners don’t skimp on sneaks. Once you put weight on your foot, it changes shape, says Mike Monagle, owner of Delaware Running Company in Greenville. Pronators, whose feet roll inward, have flat arches. Supinators, whose feet roll outward, have high arches. Without correction, both conditions can cause injury over time. A good salesman will analyze your gait to find you the right shoe.

Jay Raymond, owner of Game Shape in Wilmington, is no fan of running shoes with false support. “A lot of shoes are so advanced that they do the running for you and the muscles get lazy,” says Raymond. “It’s like wearing a cast.” He recommends shoes with flat soles, which are popular among long-distance runners.

Either way, don’t exercise in old sneakers, even if they still look good. “About 300 to 400 miles is all you can get out of an average pair of shoes,” says Dan Wagner, lead exercise specialist at Bayhealth Lifestyles Fitness Center in Dover. “Once you’ve run that many miles, you’d better be looking at a new pair.”

Socks are as important as shoes. Avoid 100-percent cotton socks, which hold moisture and chafe against the foot, causing blisters. Look for socks made with a moisture-wicking material and knits that offer some cushioning.


Avoid the Ouch

The more you run, the greater your risk of injury, especially to the lower body. Never fear. Some injuries are easily prevented. Common injuries include:

Torn Menisci Painful knees often result from tears in the cartilage that smooths the joint’s movement.

Plantar Fasciitis Swelling of various foot tissues often manifests as pain on the underside of the heel.

Achilles Tendonitis Inflammation of the large tendon in the ankle can lead to small tears and ruptures.

Stress Fractures Constant pounding can cause foot and leg bones to develop small cracks. 

Preventing injuries “is all about biomechanics,” says Dr. Tony Reed, director of sports medicine at Christiana Care Health System. In other words, if you move well, you reduce risk. Here’s how:

Stretch Loosen muscles and tendons before and after running. Reed recommends stretching a few minutes, running half a mile, then stretching again  before resuming. Wayne Kursh of Races2Run is into hot yoga, which is performed in a warm room.

Use Good Form Keep your back straight and your shoulders square while pumping your arms in a straight path. Your ankles, knees and hips should stay in line as your rear heel kicks backward and upward to propel you and your forward foot falls onto the ball.

What’s in a Shoe?

 Correct shoe choice is based on your weight, foot shape, and the unique way your foot strikes the ground and launches into the next step. From the fit specialists at New Balance, these shoes show how they work for you. —Research by Jackie Smagala
Click here to find the shoe that fits you best.

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