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Why Parkrun?

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.

Email us thirdcreekgreenway@parkrun.com or get in touch on social media if you want to find out more:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThirdCreekGreenwayparkrun 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tcgparkrun/ 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tcgparkrun 

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Take Your Running to the Next Level with RunKNOX

RunKNOX Training Group

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?

  • Our 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!
  • Our 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.
  • With 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.
Early morning track workouts

What is RunKNOX?

  • The 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 regularly.

What do you train for?

  • Most 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).
  • We’re 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.
  • Some participants don’t race. They are simply involved for the accountability and social support.
RunKNOX Yoga at Physio Lab

What does a RunKNOX membership cost?

  • Just $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?

  • Weekly detailed Training Program via email plus regular access to 3 coaches
  • Monday Evening Core Workout 6:15 pm at The Long Run
  • Tuesday Evening Quality Run (intervals/tempo/hills) 6 pm at Tennessee Sports Medicine Group
  • Wednesday Morning Quality Run (same as Tues night) 5am at West High School
  • Wednesday Evening Quality Run (same as Tues night and Wed morning) 5:30 pm at Melton Lake Park in Oak Ridge
  • Thursday Evening Yoga 6:15 pm at PhysioLab
  • Saturday Morning Long Runs (time and location vary by season)
RunKNOX Core Workout at The Long Run

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!  

Coach Scott Schmidt, RunKNOX

Community Contributor: Scott Schmidt, Head Coach & Program Director of the Knoxville Track Club’s RunKNOX training program  http://www.ktc.org/RunKNOX.html

Website: http://www.ktc.org/RunKNOX.html or search “RunKNOX’ on https://runsignup.com/

Email: runknox@gmail.com   

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Scott Schmidt 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.

Shoe Advice from New Balance

New Balance 860

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.

New Balance 1080

What to expect-

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.    

New Balance Fresh Foam More

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.

This 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. 

New Balance Knoxville, locally owned and operated since 2000

Eric Alley, New Balance Knoxville

865-539-1100

8027 Kingston Pike

Knoxville, TN 37919 

Instagram: @Newbalanceknoxville

Silly Rabbit! TRX are for kids! (and Runners)

Hannah Dooley, Orangetheory Fitness Coach

I 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! 

This 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. 

@hiitbyhannah

At the 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!

TRX 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 incredibly convenient. 

They help build strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and core & joint stability.

Some 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 runner! 

It 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:

3-5 Rounds 

TRX Row x 10

TRX Chest Press x 10

3-5 Rounds 

TRX Squat x 10

TRX Hamstring curl x 10

3-5 Rounds

TRX Mountain Climber x 10 (ttl) 

TRX Pike x 10 

@hiitbyhannah

I’ll leave you with a few tips: 

•The 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. 

•When performing your row and chest press, make sure your body stays in perfect plank position throughout every rep. 

•To add an extra challenge in this workout, change the squats to jump squats. 

My hope is that you give TRX workouts a try & begin utilizing them to make you a stronger and a better runner! 

Improvement starts today! 

Hannah Dooley 

HIIT by Hannah

IG & FB: hiitbyhannah

NASM CPT & WLS

Orangetheory Bearden Coach 

Postpartum Running: Make Breastfeeding and Running Coexist

Community Contributor: Whitney Heins, Founder of Mother Runners, Knoxville, TN

Whitney Heins, Founder of @themotherrunners

Know what breastfeeding babies don’t seem to mind? Sweaty boobs! Know what they do mind? A mama who isn’t around to feed them whenever they want because she’s out running.

I got into good routine with my kids while breastfeeding—nurse, run, and nurse immediately afterwards again. But there were plenty of runs cut short or full or worry as I left my mama-loving babies at home.

Indeed, breastfeeding can pose a big challenge for Mother Runners. First, there’s the gargantuan-sized chest that can make a light jog pretty uncomfortable. Then, there’s the baby who wants to cluster feed and goes ballistic when mom’s chest isn’t nearby. Honestly, I never needed a run more than while nursing my children which also happened to be the toughest time to have that escape..

I asked other Mother Runners how they survived breastfeeding and running. Here are their best tips.

Get the right support. Chances are, your prepartum sports bra isn’t going to fit your postpartum chest. You need more support and room. Our Mother Runners loved this Motherhood Maternity racerback nursing bra. In fact, they wore it running, under outfits and to sleep. They also liked Lululemon’s Enlite bra for its support and comfort..

Nurse or pump first. Empty those bad boys before you go. In a perfect world, you can feed your baby and have a nice three-hour window to run. Maybe even have time to stretch, shower and drink a smoothie afterwards (!). But sometimes babies don’t play by our rule book. They don’t want to wake up for a good feeding or you don’t want to wake them up because you just got them to sleep. For those times, pump and have fresh milk ready for your partner to give to your baby should they get hungry when you’re out.

Stay close to home. But then there are those babies who won’t take the bottle. (My daughter was one no matter every trick in the book we—and professionals—tried). For those babies, stay near so you can run back if needed. Surely, this isn’t ideal. By the time you get home and do a feeding, your window to run is likely gone. When frustration mounts, remind yourself this won’t be the situation forever. Running will be there for you after you’re there for your baby.

Recruit your husband to your team. One Mother Runner’s husband would kill me if he knew I was sharing this story—When confronted with a screaming baby, he put on his wife’s pink fuzzy robe that she wore while nursing—and lo and behold, the baby settled! Another Mother Runner’s husband would take their baby boy to the track and jog with him while the mama did speedwork. That way she was close by if needed. Her husband preferred this option to being home with a hysterical baby. In fact, the baby’s attachment to mama became a good excuse for the husband and wife team to exercise together.

Take cover. I would often run with my baby in the BOB stroller where I stored a nursing cover and blanket. During those cluster feeding stages, I’d stop and nurse my kids under a tree or on a bench, and then keep running. It wasn’t the best workout—but I’d make up for it during those times she wanted OUT of the stroller and I would have to book it home (spontaneous speedwork!).

Pack your equipment. One Mother Runner would pack a hand pump with her in case she needed to express milk while running (like if a baby only fed on one side during a run). (Check out this Mother Runner who set a world record in an ultra-marathon and pumped milk for her baby along the way. Incredible.) Another Mother Runner got an adaptor for her breast pump so she could pump in the car on the way to her starting point.

Feed, run, repeat. For those of you ready to race while still nursing—you’re a badass—and be prepared to sandwich that race in between feeding sessions: breastfeed, warm-up, race, breastfeed, cooldown.

Then take a nap. A loooong nap.

Whitney Heins is the founder of The Mother Runners, a place where moms who run or want to run can find information and inspiration to chase their dreams. Whitney is a former journalist who works from home with her two small children. She is currently training to qualify for the Olympic trials in the marathon this fall. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @themotherrunners

What would Phil do?

Phil Barber 1955-2019

Not everyone sets out to be the greatest in the world. Some strive to be the greatest for the world without even realizing it. That man was Phil Barber and he was my first real friend in Knoxville. He was the type of person who would free up his time to talk to you, check in with you, and make sure you were doing alright. He went out of his way to make sure everyone knew that they mattered. He wanted everyone to feel welcomed in the Knoxville running community. He attended darn near every single run during the week and tried to talk to every single person he met. He was always so fascinated and inspired by everyone never realizing that he was the one inspiring others. He’d always go out of his way to help folks the moment he became aware of the need. He would literally give you the shirt off his back. One trait that always sticks out to me and used to get on my nerves was his advice on how to get better at running. He didn’t believe in going to gyms or gimmicks. He thought folks should simply run more. He would often message me saying “Are you running tonight? You need to run.” Or “You need to be doing consistent 10-12 mile long runs on weekends. We both should be doing that. You are fully capable of doing it.” Sure I was capable, but I didn’t want to run that much to be honest… I did anyway because…well…Phil. The point is that he wanted to see me get better. He wanted everyone to be better than they once were because that’s what he had done. Here’s a guy who lost everything during the recession, but rather than sit around and complain about it, he set out to improve himself mentally and physically. So he started to run… a lot. That led to 15 marathons in 12 months to be exact and that’s not even including the fun runs he was still running at during the week! The way he treated others is a message we should etch into our memories, so that we could be the Phils everyone needs in their lives: showing compassion and grace, calling friends just to tell them that we care about them, running even when our lives feel out of control, helping others, and playing our music so loud that those around us can’t help but remember us as we pass by. Phil, I love you so much and feel so honored to have had you as my friend.

Why do YOU run??

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I wanted to try something new with the posts…

I want to know WHY people run.

For me, I started running because I was out of shape from having a baby and had zero friends when I moved here. I wanted to be healthy and surround myself with great people who happen to run. Now I’m healthy and am friends with great people!

…so why do YOU run?

When the weather is crappy or sunny, what keeps you running?

Why do you keep showing up at the Group runs, gyms, or for long or short runs?

What got you started with running?

What keeps you coming back?

I would love to repost YOUR story with a picture to represent the runners of Knoxville!

Tag us to be featured #865running or email us at 865running@gmail.com!

Photo Credit: Running the Alley

Knoxville Running

You know what I love about the Knoxville running scene?

It doesn’t matter if you’re fast, slow, big, small, tall, short, young, or old…

The folks you meet at the Knoxville Group Runs will welcome you and quite possibly become your new best friends!

Running is supposed to be fun, so why not run with a group?

Group runs are 7 days a week rain or shine, hot or cold.

Find one near you by checking the Knoxville Group Run Schedule

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