Third Creek Greenway parkrun is a free, timed 5k that takes place along this beautiful Knoxville greenway each Saturday morning starting near Safety City. So what makes parkrun a perfect entry point for new runners and those building to longer events?
parkrun is all about inclusion and community support. Everybody is welcome – whether their comfortable pace is walking, a steady jog, or a fast and furious sprint. parkrun rewards commitment to participating or volunteering rather than speed at individual events.
There’s simply no such thing as too slow for parkrun – even though this inaccurate perception may put people off from starting to run. It’s a very understandable concern and often the first step is the hardest. From my own experience, I nearly walked away from the startline of my first parkrun event because I was so convinced that I was “not a runner”. Three years’ later and I’ve just completed my 130th parkrun.
We have met a number of people who said they normally feel too nervous and intimidated to attend group runs, but have felt empowered to come along to parkrun each week and take part at their own comfortable pace. This is exactly the ethos and community that Third Creek Greenway parkrun is seeking to build.
We welcome walkers, persons with disabilities and anyone wanting to take part with a stroller or dog. Children over four can register too – it’s a wonderful way to start a lifelong habit of exercise.
If you’re a more experienced runner then you can use parkrun as a time trial or incorporate it into a longer Saturday run. We were joined a fortnight ago by members of the Carson-Newman University Track and Field Club on an off-weekend who set a new course record of 17:09!
To take part in parkrun there’s a simple registration process involving filling out a simple form once on the parkrun USA website. Once you’ve entered your details and selected Third Creek Greenway as your home parkrun you’ll be emailed a personalised barcode.
Print this and bring it along to our event on a Saturday morning. When you cross the finish line you’ll get a token telling you your position. This token and your personal barcode are then scanned so your result appears against your profile on the website.
There are 42 parkrun events in the USA and thousands more in 13 countries across the world which are all completely free and follow the same format. You can take your barcode to any event worldwide.
Since launching in October – we’ve had 78 different finishers and 16 volunteers. Parkrun is a worldwide phenomenon and we’ve seen tourists specifically visiting Knoxville from locations as diverse as Orlando, Washington DC, England and Australia to take part.
Often called runner’s high, the joy of making it to the place
where you lose sense of time and simply connect to the road in a run is why many
runners continually return to the open road. Running is a minimal gear activity
and one you could start today by literally stepping out your front door. Being
a runner can take you throughout the seasons – add a rainproof layer, a breathable
wool top, and the run continues in even the most extreme temperatures. Runners
love their hobby. However, if running is all that you do, you may begin to see
injuries creep up as imbalances could occur. One helpful way to keep injuries
at bay is by adding yoga into your training. Yoga has been touted as a runner’s
best friend and there are many reasons to incorporate yoga into training.
Increased Body Awareness Can Lead to Injury Prevention
Running is repetitive action with the same muscle groups
being used continuously. The quadriceps, IT band (iliotibial band), hamstrings,
glutes, and calves are the major muscles engaged during a run. Using these
muscles, repetitively, without cross-training or stretching could lead to
injury. Tendinitis or stress fractures occur by trauma from repeated actions,
especially as we age. Introducing the stabilizing, strength building, and
stretching found in yoga can decrease the chances that injury will occur. Not
to mention the added benefits of mindfulness and breathwork found within a yoga
practice. Mindfulness teaches an individual how to listen to their body and this
practice of noticing the body is one of the best ways to prevent an injury from
ever happening. Mindful awareness protects us by assisting us with knowledge of
being present with what our body is trying to say. A mindfulness practice,
found within yoga, can draw attention to your body if joints hurt or ache
during physical activity, this mindfulness can prevent injury, as we are
attentive to the pain, recognize the pain, and then stop instead of trying to
push through pain – specially in joints.
Breathwork, developed in a yoga class, assists runners with
increased stride, power during hill climbs, and helps with maintaining an even
pace for longer. Increasing VO2 max, or aerobic capacity, is crucial for racing
and running successes. VO2 max is the volume (V) of oxygen (O2) that you
consume while running. If an athlete has a high VO2 max, then they carry the
ability to pump large amounts of oxygen-rich blood to all the muscles that are
working. This maximum oxygen intake is vital physiological variables which lead
to increased performance and endurance for runners and athletes. In yoga, the
breathwork associated with a physical practice is called pranayama. Pranayama
translates from Sanskrit as “breath control.” Practicing breath control
increases a runner’s ability to control their breath while racing. There are
numerous studies and practices available which point to increasing VO2 max by
learning proper breathing techniques. It has been shown that when a runner
learns to change unconscious breathing patterns, then body oxygenation and VO2
max will also greatly improve.
Oftentimes runners, who maintain a balanced running career,
get by without injury. When preparing for longer runs or races, adding yoga
into the mix strengthens and stretches muscles of the body, keeping runners
safe, as well as stable during a run. With increased oxygenation and body
awareness, the mix of running and yoga do seem to be ideal.
Yoga Impacts Concentration for Runners, Taking Them the
“I first went to yoga back in 2016. I was regularly running, so why not do yoga with beer?” Dylan, an avid runner in Knoxville states. “I enjoyed the mindfulness that came. Figuring out what I needed to do with my body required all my focus, and all the other daily chatter got quiet. This mindful element was not something I noticed until afterward. A refreshing difference with yoga and running is that in yoga it is never a competition. You focus on becoming better at ‘your’ practice. This mindset is also beneficial for running, race or not. On a happy side note, I met my wife, Mary, for the first time at a yoga class.” The added benefit of improved concentration for a runner is huge. Maintaining focus on the miles that are between you and the end of the run or the finish line takes a huge amount of focus.
One of the Eight Limbs of Yoga (the core philosophies of yoga tradition) is all about focus. In Sanskrit, the ancient yoga language, Dharana, the 6th limb of yoga, means focused concentration. Runners often talk about having focused concentration, or dharana, when in a race. Look at any runner’s face during a marathon, or intense race and you can visibly see this concentration or dharana. If you’re struggling to maintain focused mindsets while running, this is another situation where yoga can provide assistance. In yoga poses, such as tree, the yogi must maintain focused concentration, dharana, on a single point that is not moving in order to maintain balance. This concentration in tree pose is maintained while the yogi lifts their leg, raises arms overhead, and perhaps even says. This is one example of where concentration is ‘taught’ in a yoga session. This concentration learned in a yoga class, trains the mind for daily life. Concentration during a yoga session increases focus, and this practice carries off the mat into daily life and therefore into running. For additional training with concentration, we recommend meditation, which is the next limb of yoga, dhyana.
Wellness for All Athletes Across East Tennessee Runner, cyclist, walker, hiker, you name it and we think that any form of movement benefits from the added practices of mindfulness and breathwork. With this article, we partnered with @865running to bring the benefits of yoga added into a runner’s cross-training. At Rigazzi, we custom create classes and programs for the athlete, or inner athlete, in all of us. Why not take add yoga to your training routine to reap the benefits? Check out one of the community classes, or reach out to schedule a private class for you, your workplace, or school! We guarantee the practice will improve not only your run, but also your mind and overall fitness goals.
We hear it all the time: “I
don’t need to pay someone to tell me how to run. It’s easy and I can do it for
free.” Yes, running can be an individual activity. I enjoy solo running as
much as the next person, but when it comes to setting big, bold goals, joining
a training program provides significant advantages.
Why do runners need a coach?
coaches are runners just like you. We’ve been there and love to share what
we’ve learned through personal experience. We’ll literally be there every step
of the way. Want some help hitting your paces? We’ll run with you!
coaches are certified and educated. We understand the physiology of exercise
and we design workouts to specifically elicit changes at the cellular level. Nothing
is arbitrary as every run has a specific purpose. We follow a systematic
approach to incrementally change you from the inside out. We know when to push
you harder and often more importantly, when to reign you back in.
a coach, comes a team. We work with a wide variety of clients from walkers to
Boston Marathon Qualifiers. Whatever your background, you’ll have an entire
support network to help optimize your training. Joining RunKNOX might be the
step that takes your training to a new level.
Knoxville Track Club’s coach led training program. We work to reach individual
goals in a group setting. Upon joining, you’ll be asked to fill out a
questionnaire so the coaches understand your background, experience, injury
history, and future goals. You’ll get personalized training pace
recommendations based off of a time trial, or recent race performance. We meet
as a big group and split up into small groups of individuals of similar ability.
You’ll run at your personal pace, but within the group setting. Team
camaraderie and group accountability are powerful tools that we utilize
you train for?
participants are targeting KTC’s big seasonal events such as Pigeon Forge
13.1/5k (Fall), Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon 26.2/13.1/Relay/5k (Winter),
Expo 10k/5k (Spring), and Fireball 5k/Carter Mill 10k/Pigeon Forge 8k (Summer).
happy to program for any race that you wish to run. For example, we recently
had folks participating in the CrossKnox 15k, Air Force and Chicago Marathons, multiple
trail races, and Baltimore 13.1. Indianapolis, Chickamauga, Secret City,
Philadelphia, Cali International, and Kiawah are coming up next.
participants don’t race. They are simply involved for the accountability and
does a RunKNOX membership cost?
$10/week. It’s a steal. One random drop-in yoga class in Knoxville will cost
you at least 10 bucks. KTC is a nonprofit and RunKNOX is here as a service to
the community, so we work hard to keep costs down. We have multiple discounts
available and a scholarship program as well. If you need some help, just ask!
What does membership entail?
detailed Training Program via email plus regular access to 3 coaches
Evening Core Workout 6:15 pm at The Long Run
Evening Quality Run (intervals/tempo/hills) 6 pm at Tennessee Sports Medicine
Morning Quality Run (same as Tues night) 5am at West High School
Evening Quality Run (same as Tues night and Wed morning) 5:30 pm at Melton Lake
Park in Oak Ridge
Evening Yoga 6:15 pm at PhysioLab
Morning Long Runs (time and location vary by season)
My question back to those of you
who don’t train with a coach and/or in a group: Why aren’t you plugged into
a program? For the cost of going out to eat once per week, you can get a
full week’s worth of coach led training within a fun, supportive team. If you
have questions, give me a shout and I’ll be happy to chat!
is the Head Coach and Program Director of RunKNOX. He is a graduate of the
University of Tennessee, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Education (Exercise
Science concentration) in 2003 and master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in
2006. He works for the Department of Energy as an Exercise Physiologist,
focusing on employee physical fitness testing, training, and wellness
promotion. Scott is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and RRCA Certified
Running Coach. Scott ran the 2007 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon to check
“marathon” off his bucket list. That “one and done”
marathon has turned into 20+ as he’s now working toward checking a marathon in
all 50 states off of his list. He and his wife, Angie, are extremely active in
the Knoxville Track Club and received the 2013 Ginny Canfield Memorial Service
Award in appreciation of their volunteer efforts. Scott volunteers time by
serving on the Board of Directors, Road Race Committee, and as a Race Director.
When purchasing a new pair of running shoes, it is important to be mindful of the fact that even though there are hundreds of excellent running shoes out there. This does not necessarily mean that all of these excellent running shoes are good for specifically you and your feet. People are so use to fitting themselves and almost always do so incorrectly. Many people do not know how a properly fitted shoe should feel. For example, your toes should not hit end of shoe.
Upon being greeted by one of our staff here at New Balance Knoxville, we always begin the conversation with customers with a series of questions to discover what brings them to the store, primary activities, foot issues, preferences, etc. After the initial analysis, it is important for us to measure both feet here at New Balance Knoxville, as New Balance’s sizing tends to run differently from other shoe companies. To ensure that the customer is achieving the correct fit, we measure both feet with our Brannock Foot-Measuring Device®. Additionally, we have a Fit-System here in store that we like to use to check a customer’s arches, as well as specific pressure points that may be alleviated by a certain shoe and/or insole. We can also check a customer’s gait if we have not yet spotted signs of over-pronation and/or supination.
If you have always had a lower arch, then a cushioned neutral shoe may feel best. However, if your arch has become more flexible with age we typically recommend starting with a shoe with a bit more stability. For those with flat feet, we typically recommend a bit of stability or a motion control shoe, depending on the severity of the collapsed arches, or flexibility of the arches. On the contrary, for those with higher arches we tend to recommend neutral cushioning shoes, as supination can occur.
It is crucial for people to be educated about their feet and proper shoe (foot) wear, specific to them, as there are many great shoes out there on the market that could potentially cause harm to their bodies even though they might be a perfect fit for their peers with foot issues. This is where shopping online has its negatives. Not every piece of information is provided when shopping online. Certain shoe brands run differently in sizes than others, and certain shoes of ours even run different from New Balance shoes. Shoes are made on different patterns/molds/lasts so they will fit each of us differently. One should not assume that they wear the same size in every model.
analysis is just a place to start. It’s always a journey to find the right pair
of shoes, and we hope that you will stop by our store for an astute analysis
and proper fit.
remember the first time I walked into a gym that had TRX straps. They were
hanging from a ceiling beam in the middle of the fitness studio I was in. I
recall thinking to myself— what on earth do you even use those for? They looked
out of place and honestly, silly!
fitness studio offered several 45 minute group classes including TRX classes—
which seemed like a really long time to work with some suspension straps. Being
intrigued, however, I decided to give the TRX class a try.
time, I had no idea that those dangling straps would be a game changer for me
as a runner and fitness enthusiast. I didn’t think something so simple could
make such a huge difference in my total body strength and balance, but it did!
stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise. These suspension straps use your
body weight and gravity as resistance. They were actually invented by a Navy
Seal whose goal was to stay in shape within a limited amount of space. The straps
are portable and can be set up anywhere there is an anchor point, making them
build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and core & joint
other benefits include: accomplishing an effective total body workout using
just the straps, as well as working your muscles from the inside out. This
results in strengthening your core—one of the keys to becoming a strong
doesn’t matter if you have been working out for years or you just started…TRX
straps will be beneficial in helping you reach your goals!⠀⠀
Here’s a quick TRX strap workout for you to try:
TRX Row x
Press x 10
Hamstring curl x 10
Climber x 10 (ttl)
leave you with a few tips:
closer you stand to the anchor point with your feet, the more challenging it
is. If you need an option, either walk your feet further away from the anchor
point or widen your stance.
performing your row and chest press, make sure your body stays in perfect plank
position throughout every rep.
an extra challenge in this workout, change the squats to jump squats.
is that you give TRX workouts a try & begin utilizing them to make you a
stronger and a better runner!