Local Events

Holiday Fun Runs

By Elizabeth Eckhart

It seems the days when it took an elite athlete and months of training to even consider running a full marathon are gone. Now, it is almost impossible to drive through any moderately sized city and not see a window sticker proudly proclaiming, 13.1 or 26.2. Races have evolved as well, from basic courses to themes and events. Runners can choose and are encouraged to run in costumes, mud, and even get sprayed with color along the route. Especially during the holiday season, one glance through your Facebook news feed will show someone who decide to forgo the after dinner nap in front of the television in favor of a nice chilly run.

For those of us who might be interested in participating in a holiday fun run, but may not be up to speed on what is available, let's explore some of the famous and most popular options for pounding the pavement this holiday season.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun themed 5k race that happens across the country in December. Major cities include Portland, Or, Fort Worth, TX, and New York City. Participants dress up in their favorite holiday costume, whether it be reindeer antlers or ugly Christmas sweaters, and tie jingle bells to their shoe laces to raise both money and holiday spirit as they run.

If you happen to be near the Big Apple this holiday season, New York City Runs offers several different races throughout the winter, including the Frozen Bonsai Half Marathon, a race through Central Park, the Brrr-ooklyn Half Marathon, which will be offering hot cocoa and snacks at the finish line, and The Empire State Building Run-Up, a warmer race in which participants run up the tower's 86 flights of stairs.

The Santa Shuffle (or Santa Hustle, depending on your location) is another popular theme for 5k’s, 10k’s, or 15k’s that offer runners dressed in warm Santa suits candy along the route and cookies and cider at the finish line. Proceeds from this event go to various charities; for example, the Santa Shuffle in Wisconsin will donate to local food pantries and participants are asked to bring canned food for a food drive. CBS Sports, WGN, and even the Travel Channel (click here for provider info) have been known to take an interest in the Santa Hustles, so be sure to wave to the cameras during this run!

Run Disney is also a great choice if you want a holiday run, but don't relish the thought of doing it in 20 degrees with snow drifted around you. Disney provides its Disney Marathon Week every January and February, offering themes such as Star Wars and Disney Princesses, Neverland and Tinker Bell. Run Disney also offers children's races so that the entire family can participate in the fun.

If you do opt to participate in one of these chilly runs, it is important to remember to prepare appropriately for the weather conditions. Dress warmly, but not too warm, guidelines often suggest dressing as if it is 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. You should be slightly cool when you start, since your body will warm up as you run.

A waterproof windbreaker would also be a good idea to protect you from rain and wind. One place not to skimp on the dressing is your feet. Opt for waterproof shoes with gore tex uppers instead of the lightweight mesh that a runner might normally choose. Keeping your feet dry and warm will help to ensure you have a more enjoyable time during your run.

Before the run, be sure to warm up; if you're waiting for a running buddy, don't just sit in your car, get out and move around. During the run, pace yourself, cold air is hard on your lungs and you may not have the endurance that you normally have in nice weather. Post run, be sure to get out of any sweaty clothes and warm yourself up quickly with whatever treats the race organizers have provided!

Giveaway - Free Spartan Race Entry

If you know me (Meghan) and Jessica, you know that we are pretty much up for any type of fitness class or activity: Kanga class at Crunch? Check! Trapeze Class? Check! Spartan Race in the middle of Times Square? Check! I got to experience the Spartan Race on a mini scale a few months ago in Times Square, of all places! I climbed under barbed wire in mud, over obstacles, manuevered the monkey bars, climbed the rope, hauled tires and finished with a smile. What I loved about my mini experience was the atmosphere and the people. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was extremely supportive, nice and happy to be there. I was on a high when I finished and couldn't wait to find a park to practice my monkey bar skills!

The Spartan team contacted us and asked if we'd be willing to share our experiences and, this is the best part - giveaway a free entry into ANY Spartan Race in the continental US. See below to enter. We'll pick a winner on Wed, June 5th at 9am EST.

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Their events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race. Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.

If you aren't a winner, you can still save a bit of money with a 15% off code: http://bit.ly/spartanwarrior Happy training!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Spartan Race provided the free entry; opinions are our own.

We love.....Races

Signing up for a race is a great way to hold yourself accountable, stay on track, test your strength, stamina and endurance and experience the adrenalin rush of competition! We race a handful of times throughout the year for just those reasons AND to have fun!

We've run races from 1 to 200 miles throughout our running careers. Not all have been that great, however. What makes a great race? To us, a number of factors - race organization, the course, post race atmosphere and logistics (getting to/from the start/finish).

Here are the races that we've loved and highly recommend:

  • Eugene Marathon - great atmosphere, beautiful course and you end on Hayward Field - home to some of the best athletes in the world.
  • Boston Marathon - you're psyched you qualified and you are running on one of the most historic courses ever.
  • New York City Marathon - you will feel like a rockstar for the entire 26.2 miles.
  • Great Cow Harbor 10k - fun, fun atmosphere and the best post race food we've ever seen.
  • Buenos Aires Marathon - the best tour of Buenos Aires!
  • Battle of Brooklyn (relay) - get two friends and race around Prospect Park in this fun, easy relay.
  • Hood to Coast - the mother of all races - 200 miles from Mt. Hood to Seaside, Oregon with 11 of your friends. You've never raced this this before!

What are your favorite races and why? We are always looking for new races. Share your favorites with us!

Taking on a New Challenge - Mud Running

As we were creating our 2013 fitness goals, we started throwing the idea of a mud run or an obstacle race into the mix. Not knowing much about them, we asked Emily Metzloff, the founder of Mud Running HQ and author of Obstacle Course Racing, to share her thoughts on what it takes to train for a mud run and which races are good for us as New Yorkers.

If you’re looking for a new running or fitness goal in 2013, why not give mud running a shot? Perhaps you are already familiar with this latest fitness craze or you’ve seen some of the ads where everyone is caked in mud as they crawl under barbed wire.  Mud runs take a typical running course and then add a bunch of obstacles, costumes and yes, mud!  If you are a New Yorker you’ll have almost 20 different events to choose from in New York alone in 2013.

Most of the major series that put events on all over the country will make an appearance in New York, including the Spartan, Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash.

There are also several themed races coming to New York. For example, in the Fugitive Mud Run, participants run through a normal obstacle course, but also have the added challenge of trying to avoid the “guards” who will try to steal flags from your freedom flag belt. Your job is to escape to freedom with all of your flags intact. In addition to some of the national series, New York will also host several local events such as the Finger Lakes Mud Run that will donate all of its proceeds to charity.

Though women mud runners excel in the most intense of races, some women would just prefer to get their feet muddy for the first time without the guys around.  If that sounds like you, check out LoziLu or Dirty Girl, which are both 5k women-only events.

No matter what race you decide on, mud runs require strength and stamina. You need to prepare your body for short bursts of power to help you get over an obstacle as you also maintain a steady running pace.  Circuit training, running intervals and longer moderate runs are all important parts of preparing for a mud run. Coaches at Hot Bird Running can help you devise a training plan that will get you ready to compete in any mud run you choose.   

Whether you’re already a hardcore runner or you’re just starting out, mix up your routine this year with a mud run.  Aim for a new goal in 2013 and enjoy one of the many mud running events in the Empire State! 

Emily Metzloff is the author of Obstacle Course Racing available at Amazon. Please visit Mud Running HQ for a complete calendar of 2013 Mud Runs in New York.

Winter Half Marathon Group Program

Starts November 5, 2012.  Deadline to Register is November 2nd.

Take your training to the next level with Hot Bird Running’s Winter Half Marathon Group Program. In this program, you receive a 12-week personalized training program, coached Saturday sessions in Brooklyn Bridge Park and real-time coaching instruction PLUS a team of other runners training alongside you. This plan will get you to your goals and keep you feeling fit, healthy and motivated all winter long. Training can be designed for the NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon (exact date TBD) or a different half this winter.

What You Get:

  • Professional coaching to develop correct running form, endurance and speed.
  • In-person coached workouts with the team, led by an experienced, certified running coach.
  • A friendly, non-competitive environment.
  • Q&A sessions with the coaches once a week.
  • Weekly email communication with the coaches.

Program Details:

  • Coached 1-hour group workouts on Saturdays at 9:15 in Brooklyn Bridge Park from 11/3/12- 1/19/12, except Nov 24, Dec 15, Dec 29 
  • Personalized 12-week training plan beginning the week of October 29th. Training is based on your goals and fitness level. Includes running specific workouts, strength training and cross training; race strategy and recovery information; and training feedback and modifications.
  • Mid-week online chats with coaches.
  • Cost: $350 for entire program.  All purchases are final.
  • Must run a minimum of 3+ times per week or 10 miles total each week. All paces welcome.

Register/Pay Online:  Pay online using the payment button below (then fill out our New Client Registration Form) or contact us via our Contact page, phone number: 646.535.0307 or email: info@hotbirdrunning.com to get started or for additional information.   

We will email you within 24 hours if you purchase online, or contact us either through our contact form on our website or our contact information.  Register no later than October 25th

Tip of the Week - Run a race with a friend

Yesterday, Jessica and I ran the Battle of Brooklyn race in Prospect Park with a friend and client. What we love about this race is 1) it's local and 2) you can run it as individual (10 miles) or as a 3 person relay (3.3 miles each). If you read our blog or know us, you know that we love our relay races because it transforms a solitary sport a team sport.

All 3 of us had different goals and reasons for running the race. Despite our varied reasons, we were able to run together, run well and have fun. So, our tip of the week is to find a 5k or 10k and a few friends to run it with you. Make a morning of it by having breakfast together and going to a yoga class to stretch out your muscles.

Have you run a race with friends? Comment below and tell us which race.

Hot Bird Running Class on Saturday

Our outdoor classes are back! We are kicking off a season of Hot Bird Running classes this Saturday at 9am. Meet us at Mala Yoga, 162 Court St at Amity St, for an hour long, fun running and strength class. 

During the class, we'll run 2 to 2.5 miles with stops in between to perform strength exercises targeted to runners. Must be able to run 2 miles continuously. Email us if you have questions!

Class is $15, cash or check. Bring water and a friend! See you at 9am outside of Mala.

Running with Hot Bird Coaches

We are leading a coached, group run tomorrow at 8:30am in Brooklyn, NY. Join us for a 3.5ish mile run along Brooklyn Bridge Park. We'll show you proper warm-up techniques and training tips. Also, ask us all your burning running questions! The run is $15 and we are meeting at Mala Yoga (162 Court Street at the corner of Amity Street). Just show up! It's going to be a beautiful day!

Coached, group run on Saturday at 8:30 in Brooklyn

Join us and Mala Yoga on Saturday at 8:30am for a 3-4 mile coached, group run. All levels are welcome. We will meet at Mala Yoga (162 Court Street, at the corner of Amity Street) and leave at 8:30am. Bring yourself, a friend and $15. Steph's Yoga for Runners class is the next day. Treat your legs to a fun run on Saturday and then a class just for them on Sunday. 

Mark Your Calendar - the Brooklyn Half Marathon

New York Road Runners has announced the date of the Brooklyn Half Marathon - May 19. We love this marathon and look forward to it each year. First, the half marathon is a great distance because it tests your limits, your endurance and mental capacity yet is a manageable distance to train for on top of life, work, kids, etc. Second, it's a half marathon in our backyard that takes you on a mini tour of the borough. And finally, what's not to love about a half marathon that finishes in Coney Island? You can grab a Nathan's hot dog, people watch and get your post race ice bath in one place.

Watch the NYRR website for announcements on when race registration opens.  It sold out in a few days last year!

Whether you race or run for fun, it's important to respect the distance. Be smart about your training. The Brooklyn Half is in 14 weeks. We recommend a 10-12 week training plan. Not sure you want to run this one? Check out these online race finder sites for another half marathon that works for you or ask us for recommendations!

Running In the USA
Half Marathons

How to stick with your 2012 resolutions

Join a running program! It's a new year and time to achieve those goals you set a mere 12 days ago. If you want to burn calories and stay in shape this winter, running is a natural choice because it burns more calories than all other forms of cardio exercise.

Our six week program will get you running, looking toned and feeling great. Sign up by 1/31/12 and you'll save $50!

Your 6 week Hot Bird Running & training program includes:

  • Initial comprehensive questionnaire about your fitness and running background, personal and fitness goals and nutrition

  • Customized weekly workout plan to achieve your personal fitness and running goals

  • Group Class (Mondays at 7pm, at High St Subway in BK Heights)

  • Weekly Group Run (Saturdays at 10am in Prospect Park)

  • 6 week VIP membership to Triomph  (includes facility use & group classes)

Resolutions may not work...but running does!

Bathing Suit for Running - Part 2 - Class Recommendation

Last Thursday I took the plunge into deep water running.  I highly recommend for everyone else to do the same.  Check out Robert Valentin's Blue Ocean Swimming classes on Wednesday and Thursday nights  in midtown Manhattan at the pool in St. Bartholomew's Church located at 109 East 50th Street (between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue).  Robert is an excellent instructor who keeps you entertained and your workout honest the entire time.

Classes are an amazing cross training option for anyone interested in an intense cardio workout that requires you to "run" in the deep end of the pool for an entire hour engaging your core while you try not to drown.  It's a perfect workout for injured and non-injured runners, expecting moms, and fitness gurus.   I'll be there every Thursday or Wednesday this month! Come join me!

A special thanks to Nike and Vip.Zappos for the overnight express shipment of my new pool workout bathing suit top and bottom!

Bathing Suit for Running?

Tomorrow I take on deep water running for the first time ever and I'm on the hunt for a sport appropriate bathing suit.  In the meantime, congrats to a friend, Danielle Quatrochi, on showing us what it means to set goals and then ACCOMPLISH them!

Remember, this holiday season, to commit to helping others achieve their goals too.  Support, cheer and ask for updates.

Happy swimming/running?!

The Final Miles

By Maren Elliott

The NYC marathon is only few days away. Success on race day this weekend eventually comes down to those final miles, so we've asked Maren Elliott, a 3:00 marathoner, experienced long distance runner and one of our favorite running advisors, to discuss what it takes to make it to the finish.

Everyone always says that the marathon starts at mile 20. The official halfway point is 13.1 miles, but talk to any seasoned marathoner and they’re sure to share battle stories of fighting through the last 6.2 miles of their most recent race.

For me the real clincher are those final four miles. It is during those painful, long, and seemingly endless miles that my body breaks down and my mind starts telling me I don’t have to finish. I’ve completed 7 marathons and every single time the final four miles try to keep me from crossing the finish line. Regardless of whether I’m running a 3:00 marathon or close to 4:00, once I hit mile 22 all bets are off.

I’ve sat down on a curb in the Bronx to take off my shoe, convinced that my second toe was broken. I’ve stopped at an aid station desperate for ibuprofen (or “Vitamin I” as we like to call it). I’ve almost peed my pants while running down Michigan Ave in Chicago… well, maybe I actually did, just little. I have slowed to a pace that is not much faster than a walk and watched as everyone passed me by.

Though the physical experiences may be slightly different, every time it is essentially the same: I start telling myself that this race is stupid, I don’t have to finish, no one will care if I just give up.

But I never have. Somehow I keep going, one foot in front of the other over and over again. I am never sure what motivates me to continue at that point in the race when everything is telling you to stop. My friends and family would say that it is my competitive nature. I’d like to believe it is inspiration from the other thousands of runners. It is probably a combination of both and the simple truth that life is hard with unexpected hurdles, but you have to keep going.

It is those final miles, the ones that hurt the most and when we’re looking for any excuse to quit, that make the marathon so special. It isn’t always pretty and certainly doesn’t always go as planned, but I know that despite the challenges and pain, I can always finish.

10k Training Plan for $50

Hot Bird Running is offering a special training program this fall for the Rock 'n Roll 10k in Prospect Park on 10/22/11.

Our 7 week training plan will get you ready to run the 10k and meet your goals!

7-week detailed training program includes:

  • weekly running schedule and training log.

  • customized interval/track workouts

  • strength exercises for runners

  • available for all levels

  • communication/feedback via email with coaches

  • initial fitness questionnaire to match your training plan with your goals

Starts: Sept 5th

Cost: $50

Contact hotbirdrunning@gmail.com for details and to start training with us today!

NYC Runners - Spice Up Your Running Routine this Saturday

Hey, New Yorkers! Tired of running the same routes in NYC? Looking to spice up your workout routine with a group run? Then lululemon's run club with Hot Bird Running down the entire summer streets route this Saturday, August 20th is just what you're looking for!

Join us this Saturday for a 5 mile run beginning at the upper east side lululemon store, continuing over to Park Ave and down the 5 miles of summer streets which are completely blocked off to all motor traffic from 72nd to the Brooklyn Bridge.

If you're in training and need extra miles, meet up with us halfway through your run or tack on a few miles at the end.

All paces welcome!

Run starts at 8 am out of the lululemon store located at 1127 3rd Avenue, New York‎ NY‎ 10021. If you want to run the entire route, plan accordingly since this run ends in a different location than the start. Do not bring anything you don't want to run with.

Happy Friday and hope to see you out there tomorrow!

Pounding the Pavement during Summer Streets

Our fearless crew attacked nearly 6 miles of NYC's Summer Streets this past Saturday. Beginning at lululemon SoHo on Broadway, we made our way to Summer Streets and ran up through Grand Central and then enjoyed the slight downhill of Park Avenue back to SoHo.

Thank you to all who came out and made our Saturday run very, very, very fun. Will we see you this Saturday?? Post a comment and let us know!

Best Running Event in New York: Summer Street Run 8/13 & 8/20

Summer Streets route through Union Square

It's called Summer Streets and it's a must attend event.  If you are new to New York or just new to Summer Streets, we're talking about the first three Saturdays of August when the city closes off one route to all motor vehicles all the way from 72nd and Madison down to the Brooklyn Bridge from 7am to 1pm for pedestrians to enjoy.   For the next two Saturday mornings, cars and trucks are replaced by water stations, bands, workout classes, bikers, walkers, runners and a whole lot more.

Experience the uniqueness of this event with Hot Bird Running as we lead lululemon running clubs up and down the closed off streets August 13th and August 20th.   We encourage runners of all abilities to join and everyone is invited to relocate to a local coffeehouse near the Soho lululemon store for post-run refreshments and treats.


Upcoming Event Details:

Saturday, August 13th:

What: Casual, FUN, 6 mile Soho run through summer streets beginning and ending at the lululemon Soho
Where:  Beginning and ending at 481 Broadway, NY, NY 10013.
When: Arrive at 7:45am, depart store at 8am.
What to Bring:  Yourself! and money for coffee and treats after the run with the rest of us.  Bag storage available at the store since run begins and ends at the same location.

Saturday, August 20th: Regional lululemon run club event

What:  Casual, FUN, 6 mile region-wide lululemon summer streets run down entire summer streets route starting at the E 66th lululemon store and ending at the lululemon Soho.
Where:  Beginning at 1127 3rd Avenue (at 66th Street) New York City, NY
 and ending at 481 Broadway, NY, NY 10013.
When:  Arrive at 7:45am, depart store at 8am.
What to Bring:  Yourself! and money for coffee and treats after the run with the rest of us.  NOTE!!! This run begins and ends at different locations so there will not be beg storage options during this event.