The Clayton Challenge

Clayton Wilson, of KHS

Clayton Wilson, of KHS

by Timm Wilson

“The Clayton challenge.”

You ask what the Clayton challenge is? About a month ago my son, who is a freshman at KHS, was speaking with coach Matheson. Coach knows a few of us Kearney Runners and had commented to Clayton that we probably all run 100 mile weeks leading up to a big race.

After I told my son he was crazy, I said, “No.” No, I do not run 100 mile weeks.  So my son challenged me to run a 100 mile week. And, like all runners, I’m crazy. I took the challenge.

Of course, birds of a feather…

So I put the Clayton challenge up to my fellow crazies. So far I have six friends that are as crazy as I am. How about you? Are you up to take the Clayton challenge? Our challenge begins the second week of April, the sixth. Maybe you’re ready for a challenge, but not this one… yet. What challenge can you pose to your friends to keep your training going?

What’s been your biggest mileage week of training? We’d love to hear from you

Don’t pick your running shoes on color alone!

Jen McBride (third from the left in the purple) after the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

Jen McBride (third from the left in the purple) after the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

by Jen McBride

Did you know that the foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 106 ligaments, and 19 muscles?  The knee has “nothing” on the foot with only 4 bones, 3 joints, 4 ligaments, and 11 muscles!  This is why the proper shoe wear is such an important choice… DON’T PICK YOUR SHOES ON COLOR ALONE!

The evolution of running shoes has been most remarkable in the last 25 years.  Many don’t realize that running shoes are divided into categories of NEUTRAL for the normal arch, STABILITY for the mild to moderately pronated or low arch, and MOTION CONTROL for the completely flat arch.  A current trend in running shoes is also a minimalist shoe or light weight-low support type shoe.  Trail shoes include a tread for off road walks/runs. is a neutral website that categorizes the top shoes of all the different brands into these categories.

Tidbits on Running Shoes

  • After 500 miles, shoes lose shock absorption
  • There is also a shelf life of the EVA (shock absorbing sole of tennis shoes) so even if you didn’t get to 500 miles, you should consider replacing shoes every 6-9 months.
  • Alternating between two pairs of shoes if you are running/exercising daily is a good idea as that allows proper drying and the EVA to reabsorb to original shape
  • Don’t  just leave your shoes stuffed in a gym bag and don’t expose to extreme heat such as leaving in the trunk of your vehicle
  • Evaluation can lead to suggestions for the right category of shoe.  A good shoe fitter is valuable
  • VERY GENERALLY….Nike and Reebok fit narrower feet, Asics and Saucony fit a wider forefoot and narrow heel, and New Balance and Brooks fit a wider foot throughout.  All brands have the range of neutral, stability, and motion control.
  • There are many ways to lace your shoes differently to improve fit and comfort.

Jen McBride has 19 years of outpatient orthopedic practice, including 8 years at New West Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation.  She has completed bio-mechanical evaluations and fittings for custom orthotics for 18 years, and started The Runners’s Clinic at New West 5 years ago.  Runners receive assessment of flexibility, strength, bio-mechanical alignment, and multiple angle video analysis. This evaluation leads to instructions for home exercises for strengthening or stretching as indicated, shoe wear recommendations, and ideas to improve running form efficiency.  You  might also like this Runner’s World article where she has been quoted on Pre-Hab for runners.  Jen loves running,  has completed 2 full marathons and several half marathons and enjoys the training as much as the race!

Cold Weather Running…. Yes!!! It can be done

by Brandon Skocz


Brandon Skocz bundles up for the cold :-)

It’s days like we’ve had this month that gets the mind wondering whether running in the cold is really beneficial for the body or just harmful.  Being an avid runner, I am approached by many individuals that express their desire to run, but are unsure if running in the cold is good for the body or harmful.

First thing to always think about is the temperature outside, factoring the wind chill.  That is the actual feel of the temperature outside.  So if the wind chill is -25, it going to feel pretty darn cold outside. Many experts say that running below zero for more than 30 minutes is dangerous as prolonged exposure to the elements increases your risk for hypothermia and frostbite.  Think about when you’re outside, running with the wind will push you along and increase your core body temperature, but when you’re forced to turn into it, you expose yourself to that bitter cold wind– and the sweat on your body will freeze in a matter of minutes.

To counteract this, pick small loops close to your house to run.  If the elements are nasty, the road/sidewalk icy, then having a small loop will ensure you can get out of the elements quickly if you slip and fall or become too cold.  Always pay attention to you body, noticing if certain parts of your body are getting cold.  Once you lose feeling in your toes and fingers, you’re definitely putting yourself at risk for frostbite or worse, hypothermia.

No matter how cold the weather is this winter, having the right gear is imperative to staying warm outdoors.  Dry-fit running clothes are perfect in the colder temperatures, as they tend to whisk sweat away from the body that keeps you dry and warm.  Also, wearing layers with a solid stocking cap are great tools to stay warm.  Here’s what I follow for any temperature when I run in the wintertime, I always factor into account the wind chill as where I gauge what to wear for my run:

Below 5 degrees:

Dry-Fit tight running top and bottom

Dry-Fit loose long sleeve top

Dry-Fit sweatshirt

Stocking Hat

Face Mask


25-5 Degrees:

Dry-Fit compression top

Dry-Fit loose long sleeve top

Dry-Fit Sweatshirt

Stocking Hat


40-25 Degrees:

Dry-Fit Compression Top

Dry-Fit Sweatshirt

Stocking Hat


Over 40 degrees:

Dry-Fit Loose Long Sleeve Shirt


As you can see, as the temperature increases I’m willing to loosen up the layers I put on.  The goal always is to stay warm.  Also, keep in mind of rotating at least two pairs of shoes in the winter.  Extreme cold reduces the shock absorption in running shoes increasing your risk of injury.  Having an extra pair of shoes can reduce the wear on your shoes, and provide a dry pair of shoes if you other shoes get full of snow or sweat.

When it comes to running outside, don’t shy away from the idea.  Get with friends, wear layers, and brave the elements.  You’ll for sure reap the rewards of being mentally tough when the spring racing season begins in March.

God Bless, Stay Warm, and Happy Running.

Free Running Form Clinic on Sunday, August 4 at 4:00 p.m.

why we runIf you’re like most people, you learned to run as a toddler, and since that time, no one has provided additional instruction on proper running form. The fact that we were born to run works against us as runners. We think it’s “easy,” and something we are supposed to know how to do. Because of this, you probably haven’t given it a second thought.

Why does it matter how you run? Because according to the American Medical Athletic Association, every year 37%-50% of runners suffer from running injuries severe enough to reduce or stop training or cause them to seek out medical care. Inefficient running equals greater chance of injury, and that means you enter the vicious cycle of training/injury/rehab/training/injury/rehab. You might be making excellent progress toward your goals when the injury takes you out and sets you back, sometimes for months.

Inefficient form also means you could be short changing yourself. You work hard on building endurance, focusing on your diet, even working on speed. There are lots of ways efficient form gives you “free speed,” and several ways inefficient form slows you down and causes injuries.

If this isn’t enough to convince you to attend the Efficient Running Form Clinic, also note– this is a chance to meet and connect with some other great Kearney runners. NEW FRIENDS! POTENTIAL RUNNING PARTNERS!

We will meet on the Kearney High School Track on Sunday, August 4 at 4:00 p.m. (adjacent to Kearney High and behind Horizon Middle School). Wear comfortable clothing and running shoes. And bring your water. We will do running form drills. This will not be a hard core workout. It is primarily instruction with small bursts of practice.

ALL EXPERIENCE LEVELS are welcome. If you’ve been running for years, you might pick up a few new tricks. If you’re just starting out, why not start out on the …. right foot?

This will be a fun, low key evening. No stress. No worries!

The instructor is Kim Peek, a Newton Running Coach/Level II Lydiard Running Coach. Kim has completed runs at every level from 5K to the Marathon. She is the founder of the Power of Run. Kim lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and three daughters.

Kearney Runners: You are the 1%

kearney runnersby Bill Williams

As I perused the list of runners for the Lincoln Marathon today, I was reminded of how amazing the local running community is in Kearney.

It is just a number, but the number “243” is significant.  There are over 30,000 residents in our fine city.  Factoring in children, a recent figure puts the adult population at 24,300.  One percent of that number is 243. So what? Well, that is the exact number of entrants in the 2013 Lincoln Marathon and Half-Marathon.

Realizing this brings me to two very significant conclusions.  First, there are a lot of serious and dedicated runners and walkers.  If you are a casual strider or a competitive marathoner, there are others just like you.  Every story is unique,  but we are all united by a goal or passion.  I am not surprised by the fact that we are an active community.  We have excellent local gyms, a fantastic YMCA, good schools and beautiful parks.  Many people in Kearney will go out for a leisurely stroll at night, tackle an occasional 5K or play at the park with friends and family. I am surprised and amazed that 1% of us will leave our city to travel two hours east to spend the weekend in a multi-hour run or walk.

The second conclusion that can be drawn from this fact is this. If you are running the Lincoln Marathon or Half-Marathon this weekend, you are the 1%.  Congratulations!  What an amazing accomplishment.  It is a testimony to effort, determination and perseverance.  Even in a community that embraces running like Kearney does, you are part of a rare group.  Think about it. How many people will dedicate the time, effort and energy to train for a half or full marathon?  Fewer still are those who see the goal all the way to the finish line.  For the Kearney runners in Lincoln this weekend, you will be part of that elite group.

As runners this weekend, we may be separated by time, but we are united in purpose.

We all start under the same banner.  We run along the same course.  And we will all cross the same finish line.

We are the 1%.  We are all Kearney Runners.   Go punch it in the face!


If you’re looking for another challenge after Lincoln, register for the Buffalo County Stampede Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday June 9!

License plate

How to Race Like the Pros

Slide1It’s race week in Nebraska! Lots of Kearney Runners are gearing up for the Lincoln Marathon and Half this weekend. There are many first timers in the group (GOOD LUCK!) and many who have chosen to take on bigger challenges shortly after this race is over. (WOW!!) To help you this weekend, and in future training cycles, here are some tips that will help you run like the pros.

1) Carb Loading. Most runners are in the habit of carb loading the night before a race. This is generally a good practice, but the food you eat the 3-4 days before the big race is even more important. Carbs help restock glycogen stores, and for every gram of carbohydrate your body stores, it also stores 3-5 grams of water (Source: article) The night before the race, avoid over eating. And, don’t try anything new. It’s best to stick with fuel you have already tested. For three methods of carb loading, see this article.

2) Nutrition. Most experts will tell you to eat a small meal 3-4 hours before your race starts. I know of very few people who are disciplined enough to wake up that early on race day. A common race day breakfast is a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. How you fuel is really an individual thing, which means it’s important to test fueling strategies on training runs. Race morning is not a good day to alter your plan. For a good article on fueling and hydration, click here.

3) Hydration. Just like with carbs, you want to start a few days before your race. Most of us walk around dehydrated on a regular basis. And, if you wait until race morning to drink up, it will go straight through you… and you’ll spend part of your race in the potty line. It’s important to drink during the race–but don’t drink too much! For most of us, water or Gatorade at every aid station (about one drink per every 2 miles) should do the trick.

4) Stick to your plan. Have a plan for how you will run your race. By race day, you should have a good idea of the pace you can stick with for 13.1 or 26.2 miles. Most people will tell you to start out slower and pick up the pace as you move along. If you start out too fast, you could crash and burn and wind up taking more time to finish than if you had started out conservatively. Lincoln Marathon uses the Smart Pacing system, which encourages use of even effort throughout the race. Your pace per mile will vary slightly, depending on the terrain… but they’ve already done the planning for you and know exactly how much to vary the pace per mile.  The pacers are excellent at sticking with their pace and getting you in just under your goal time. (Brandon will be pacing the half in Lincoln!)

5) Visualize. Things can and will go wrong on race day, so plan for it! How will you react if your calves cramp up? What will you do if you hit the wall? What will you say to yourself to get through that rough patch? (See some of my favorite tips from triathlete, Chris McCormack.)

6) Stretch, Foam Roll & Ice. Make it a practice to stretch and foam roll. On race day, you will see lots of people using knee braces to try to stop knee pain that is actually caused by a tight IT Band. The foam roller is your friend. Use it to keep knots out of your IT Band… (and to keep all your muscles loose). You’ll be amazed at how much better you run when your body is not full of knots.

7) Know your “experts.” If possible, use “experts” who understand your goals: a chiropractor, massage therapist, personal trainer and/or running coach can help you get to race day in top form. Because I tend to pull stupid moves that leave me injury prone (back-to-back half marathons, anyone?!) I wouldn’t be running this Sunday without the help of these guys! If your body is tight, it’s not too late to get a massage!

8) Recovery. Remember the protein after a long run or race. Many runners like chocolate milk post-run. This is also a great time for massage and ice baths. After the full or half marathon, take a few days to recover.  Some people swear by an easy recovery run the day after a race. Listen to your body, and remember to take it easy.

What are your best race day tips? Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Good luck to everyone running this weekend. Be sure to keep an eye on the Kearney Runners Facebook Group for times to meet up at the pasta party and for group photos before the race!

And, if you haven’t already registered… Buffalo County Stampede is coming up soon! 

For more information on Kearney-area races, click here.