Snow, ice, cold - what should a runner do?

January 10, 2014

Delaware is known as a mild state when it comes to winter weather, and for the most part, runners and walkers are able to keep their workout regimens consistent throughout the winter. This past week, the temperatures dipped to the single digits, and many runners went to Plan B, the indoor workout. My friend, Delaware’s Vicki Huber-Rudowski of the News Journal, once wrote a very useful piece on pros and cons of treadmill running, and this week I will look at two other sources of indoor workouts.

Treadmill running: Without a doubt, the treadmill is the most popular piece of equipment for indoor workouts, and many prefer it to outdoor workouts for reasons of safety, convenience, and the ability to control and calibrate different regimens. Also, the treadmill has more give than concrete or asphalt, and as a result you will feel less pounding on the legs. Lastly, with music, an iPod, or a TV close by, you will find that the workouts go by much more quickly than when staring at a wall or mirror. As far as price - well, you get what you pay for.

Pool workouts: One of the absolute best forms of indoor exercise is pool running. My favorite workouts in college were in the pool, and any runner who has experienced any type of injury has probably found himself or herself in the forgiving water. Running in deep water while wearing a vest or belt makes water running a non-impact activity, and it has become a saving grace for runners with lower leg problems.  It also allows the athlete to concentrate on form. But don’t expect your heart rate to get as high as it would during a workout of the same intensity and aerobic benefit on land. The other issue is finding pool time. Hey, where is that pool Cape residents were supposed to build years ago?

Elliptical trainer: This piece of equipment has come on strong over  the last three years. The selling point is that you get a workout that is both non-impact and weight-bearing, which can help keep bones strong. The elliptical trainer is a great running alternative if you have a heel or foot injury such as plantar fasciitis, something I can relate to quite well.

If running outside is your ticket regardless of the weather, remember to wear the proper clothing, stay away from ice, and run defensively while giving yourself extra time on the roads. More on winter clothing in an upcoming column.

Kai Maull hosts the Run with the Hawks 5K

Kai Maull has been a Delaware state champion, Cape record holder, national champion, Penn Relays champion, and NCAA All-American, and now he finds himself coaching track & field and giving back to the young athletes what he has learned in his outstanding athletic career. This Sunday, Jan. 12, on the grounds of St. Georges Tech, Kai and his indoor track & field team will host their third annual 5K Run with the Hawks in Middletown. The Seashore Striders team will be on site.

“We had a decent turnout last year, and we are hoping we can get 100 to the starting line," said Maull. “Everyone was pleased with the course, the tech T-shirts, the food, and the awards. Everyone said last year that they are coming back and they are bringing a friend."

Maull stresses the importance of his team's volunteering at community events and giving back to the people who support them. “It is important to be a part of the community. Track & field has been good to me, and I want it to be good for my young athletes and for them to appreciate what people do for them.”

Race information can be found at Check-in on race day will begin at 8 a.m.

Upcoming races

9 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 12, Third Run with the Hawks 5K, St. Georges High School,

10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, Ninth Valentine's Day 5K & 1M Walk, Fishing Pier, Cape Henlopen State Park,

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