7 Ways to Make Cities Safer for Runners

Make Cities Safer for Runners

Here are 7 ways cities can take steps to make it safer for runners, including:

  1. Building dedicated running paths: Cities can create dedicated running paths that are separate from bike lanes and roads, providing runners with a safe and dedicated space to exercise. In Oak Park, Michigan, the city took unused space along a road and turned it into a liner park, complete with a path and many activations along the way. Read more about this project from The Oakland County Times.
  2. Improving street lighting: Poor lighting can be a major safety concern for runners, especially those who run at night. Cities can improve street lighting to ensure that runners have adequate visibility and feel safe while running.
  3. Creating more pedestrian-friendly streets: Cities can design streets to prioritize pedestrians, with wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic calming measures such as speed humps. This can help to reduce the risk of accidents and improve the overall running experience.
  4. Encouraging active transportation: Cities can also encourage active transportation by providing incentives for people to bike or walk to work or school. This can help to reduce the number of cars on the road and make it safer for runners.
  5. Education and awareness campaigns: Cities can also educate the public on how to share the road safely and promote awareness of the rights and responsibilities of runners and other road users.
  6. Promoting green spaces: cities can also focus on promoting green spaces, such as parks, gardens and other recreational areas. These spaces not only provide a safe place for running but also can improve mental and physical health, air quality, and biodiversity. The city of Royal Oak opened a brand new park in the heart of the city’s downtown, providing year-round activations, from concerts to an ice rink.
  7. Collaborating with the community: Cities can also work with local running groups and organizations to understand the specific needs and concerns of runners in their community and tailor their safety measures accordingly.

Overall, cities can make it safer for runners by creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment, providing dedicated running paths and spaces, improving street lighting, and promoting active transportation.

What are some things your city has done to improve safety for runners? Leave a comment below!

Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube, and learn about the club here.

Nike Alphafly 2 Review: An Average Runner’s Perspective

Is the Nike Alphafly 2 good for average runners?

Running in the Nike Alphafly 2
Nike Alphafly 2

The Nike Alphafly 2 is Nike’s premier, flagship running shoe, chock full of the latest running shoe technology. You’ve seen the best runners in the world wear this shoe, but is it good for the average runner too? In my review, I took to the park paths to review the Nike Alphafly 2 at varying “slower” speeds. Check out the video below:

Key Features of the Nike Alphafly 2

The Nike Alphafly 2 has some incredible technology. This is a super shoe, which essentially means it is an ultralightweight shoe with a carbon fiber plate in the midsole. The Alphafly 2 features extremely bouncy and light ZoomX foam on the midsole with the carbon fiber plate inside. This plate is to provide energy return to your stride and propel you forward. There are also Air Zoom pods to help propel you forward. The upper is made of Nike’s Atomknit material, which is so thin that you can see right through it. There is minimal padding around the heel and the upper fits like a sock around your foot.

If that sounds like a lot, it is. But is it too much for the average 4-hour marathon runner? Let’s find out.

Pros

This is an awesome shoe.

Nike Alphafly 2
  • Weight: As soon as I put it on, I noticed how lightweight this shoe is. The ZoomX foam and Atomknit upper make for an extremely light shoe.
  • Propulsion: Wearing these shoes feels like you have springs or are being propelled forward. Its no wonder some runners have voiced opposition to these types of shoes; they really do make you faster. The shoe returns energy to your stride and gave me the feeling of running downhill, even at slower speeds (like 9 minutes/mile).
  • Looks: This shoe stands out. This shoe looks like a Ferrari and each colorway has bold colors that will certainly make you stand out on the course. In fact, they are so flashy that I was initially concerned that they are too cool for a 4-hour marathoner myself. Like, trying too hard much? But honestly, after putting these on, they look so flashy that I can’t resist. After all, look good, feel good, and run good, right?
  • Performance: Let me be clear, these will make you a faster runner, no matter what pace you are running. And that’s what really matters. In fact, I think the improvement to performance might be greater for an average runner vs. an elite runner. Shaving off 4% of your time during a 4-hour marathon really adds up! I tried a few different speeds in my video, and they all felt pretty good. I did notice an urge to run faster at each of those speeds. This shoe is like a current pulling you out to the sea of faster paces, which I think is great.

Cons

Nike Alphafly 2
  • Price: This shoe retails for $275, which is wildly expensive. Fortunately, you can get this on StockX for far cheaper. Still, it’s a big chunk of change to drop on a pair of shoes. If you’re shoe shopping for your first big race, maybe consider something a little more “down to earth” like the Nike Pegasus instead.
  • Durability: I am a heel striker, and as I noted in the video, I saw some slight wear and tear on the heel area after one run. These are racing shoes, so you probably aren’t going to get as many miles out of these as your typical running shoes (although I have seen some runners get a TON of miles in Alphaflys and Vaporflys). The thin upper is durable enough to perform well during normal marathon conditions, but you could be one rough surface from tearing them.

Final Thoughts

This is a super shoe, meaning it will 100% improve your performance, no matter what pace you plan on running. It’s fun, light and will turn some heads out on the course. If you can stomach the price, this shoe is a great racing shoe with enough cushioning to keep your feet happy for a full 26.2 and beyond.

Be sure to subscribe to The Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube for more shoe reviews, weekly vlogs and other running-related videos. Finally, check out some previous shoe reviews on this page.

How to Buy the Right Running Shoes

When it comes to buying running shoes, it’s important to find a pair that fits your specific needs. Here are a few tips for how to buy the right running shoes.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 running shoe
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3

Determine your foot type

There are three main foot types: neutral, overpronated, and supinated. Neutral feet have a normal arch and roll slightly inward when running. If this is you, congrats, you have the ideal foot type for running. Overpronated feet have a low arch and roll excessively inward. Supinated feet have a high arch and roll outward.

Knowing your foot type will help you choose a shoe with the right level of support. Bring an old pair of shoes (even if you don’t run in them) to a running shop and have the staff take a look. They can also analyze your stride to determine the best shoe for you. You don’t need to know anything about running, trust the experts!

Look for a shoe that fits well

Running shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight. You want to leave some space between your big toe and the front end of the shoe. This is to give your foot room during your stride, but also account for your foot getting bigger as you run longer. Additionally, make sure the shoe is comfortable to walk in and doesn’t rub or cause any discomfort. A shoe that is too small can cause blisters or even damage to your foot.

Consider the surface you’ll be running on

Different shoes are designed for different surfaces, such as road, trail, or track. Road shoes have a harder sole and are made for running on pavement. Trail shoes have a more aggressive tread and are designed for running on dirt or gravel. Track shoes are lightweight and have a flatter sole for running on a track, and may even include spikes on the bottom. It’s usually a good idea to start with a road shoe and go from there.

Think about your running style

If you’re a heel striker (when your heel hits the ground first in your stride) like me, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the heel. I tend to wear down the outsole in the heel area first, to finding a shoe with cushion and lots of rubber on the bottom (like the Nike Invincible) is a good idea. If you’re a midfoot or forefoot striker, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the front of the shoe. Most shoes are designed with mid or forefoot strikers in mind.

Try on multiple shoes

Don’t be afraid to try on multiple pairs of shoes to find the best fit and comfort for you. It’s also important to note that different brands and styles may fit differently, so it’s always a good idea to try a few different options. If a store allows you to take your shoes out for a run around the block, do it! The best way to gauge the comfort of your running shoes is to actually run in them. A shoe might feel great while walking the aisles of a store, but they can feel completely different while running.

These are a few of my recommendations for how to buy the right running shoes. Be sure to subscribe to The Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube for tips, shoe reviews, weekly running vlogs and so much more, all from the perspective of an average runner. Also check out my previous reviews. Happy running!

Nespresso Pod Rankings

The Official Fresh Brew Run Club Nespresso pod rankings

Welcome to my Nespresso pod rankings. I love Nespresso pods. I love running. I love drinking Nespresso before I go for a run. So this post is my ongoing rankings of Nespresso pods as I attempt to try all the Vertuo pods. I am starting this journey in January 2023, and will continue to add to update this list as I add more pods. Be sure to check out my running vlog for my video reactions as I try each one. I also do running shoe reviews, so check that out as well!

Nespresso Intenso, the top ranked pod on my Nespresso Pod Rankings
Nespresso Intenso
  1. Intenso – this is one of Nespresso’s strongest brews. Just pure, strong coffee. Perfect for waking me up and getting me out on the run. Shop here.

More to come!

Be sure to subscribe to The Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube, a channel dedicated to talking about running and coffee from the perspective of the average runner and coffee drinker.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Images & Release Date

Official Images of the Nike ZoomX Invincible

Instagram user NVTZR posted official images of the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 on his page. The cushioned running shoe returns in a redesigned outsole, midsole and upper. Check out the photos below, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3
Image via NVTZR
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Upper
Image via NVTZR
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Side View
Image via NVTZR

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Release Date and Price

According to Runner’s World Magazine Runner-In-Chief Jeff Dengate (awesome job title), the ZoomX Invincible 3 will come out on February 2, 2023. Jeff noted some more details in his post:

Expected release date is 2/2/2023 for $180. Nike specs men’s 10 at 317g (11.2 oz) and women’s 8 at 256g (9.0 oz). Astonishingly, my size 12 of all 3 versions weighed exactly 347g (12.2 oz).

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Inside Side View
Image via NVTZR

First Look at the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club’s reaction video to the Invincible 3 below:

Redesigned Outsole

The outsole and midsole remained the same for the V1 and V2 versions of the Invincible. But the Invincible 3 features a fully redesigned outsole, with what looks like a two-part rubber material. The “cleats” on the bottom of the shoe remain, but there appear to be “holes” in the outsole, exposing the ZoomX foam material from the midsole.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Outsole
Image via NVTZR

All-new midsole

The heart of the Nike ZoomX Invincible is the midsile, which has been completely redesigned. Next, the massive hunk of foam remains, but there appear to be some cutouts on the heel area (possibly to reduce weight) and some additional material encasing the midsole foam, which could add to the stability of the shoe overall.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Midsole
Image via NVTZR

Invincible Upper

The upper is redesigned as well, with what appears to be a new type of Flyknit. The first two Invincibles had more of a textured material, while the Invincible 3 has a smoother, more refined-looking material. Another notable change is the padding around the heel collar. The first two versions had tons and tons of padding on the inside and outside of the shoe, where the Invincible 3 has significantly reduced the padding, which now looks similar to a Vaporfly or Alphafly.

The main Swoosh is redesigned, and a new Presto-like Swoosh has been added to the toe. Finally, there is also a heel pull-tab, which was not on either of the first two versions.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Upper
Image via NVTZR.

Click here for more shoe reviews.

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube.

The Fresh Brewsletter 8/8/22: Shipping From Boston

Welcome to the Fresh Brewsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the Fresh Brewsletter. I hope to make a weekly update on my running endeavors, as well as other aspects loosely related to running. Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club by entering your email for updates. I promise I won’t spam you with a bunch of useless nonsense; my nonsense will be extremely useful. 

3 Running Observations

  • I just got back from Boston, and what a fun city to run in! It’s the closest I’ve felt to running in Europe anywhere in the US, with its narrow and winding cobblestone streets, historic architecture and loud sea birds circling overhead, waiting for me to collapse while charging up Beacon Hill. I am working on a new video recapping my run along the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and the finish line of the Boston Marathon this week. Hopefully, I will have it posted for this weekend.
  • On the flip side, Portland, ME is one of the worst cities to run in. It might have been the scorching heat, but the lack of trees in this city certainly didn’t help. Traffic was busy, crosswalks were limited and I didn’t find the charm I expected to see, based on Somebody Feed Phil. Live and learn.
  • In the dead of last winter, I promised I would never take warm weather for granted. However, the latest heat/humidity wave has me wavering (pun) on that promise. Running in this weather is a slog! But at least there is no risk of slipping on black ice and freezing to the sidewalk. 
Boston Common in Boston, MA.

My Latest Video

Speaking of running in all these states, I launched my 50 State Running Challenge this week, where starting this summer, I am trying to run in all 50 states. It will take me a lifetime, but I am up for the challenge, and welcome any excuse to travel to Hawaii and Alaska. The first video is from my home state of Michigan, on my favorite running path, the Detroit Riverwalk.

Trainer Talk

Bad news. My Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 is cracking. The midsole foam has a few concerning cracks after 100 miles. I’ll cover it in a future video, but I never had this problem with the first version of the shoe, and I even ran 500 miles in one of them. I am racking my brain trying to remember if I got my heel caught in a bike chain or bitten by a dog, but I can’t recall. Hopefully, this is just a fluke.

My cracking Invincible 2

Coffee Corner

I tried to get Dunkin Donuts in Boston. I showed up at the location 30 minutes before I had a tour across the street (which seemed like plenty of time) but my order wasn’t completed in time and I sadly had to leave it. However, I did get a (very costly) orange juice. It was ok. Never ended up having a Dunkin coffee in Boston. It’s always unfortunate when you miss out on local fare that you can’t get anywhere else.

Song of the Week

Happiness by The 1975. Great song. It’s a burst of saxophone-laden positivity that makes my runs fly by. I’ll always associate this song with running the city of Boston, as I had it on repeat all week.

Interesting Read of the Week

Great piece on Marge Hickman, a 72-year-old runner competing in a 100-mile race in Lousiville. Goals, tbh. Read via the New York Times.

Thanks for reading the first ever version of The Fresh Brewsletter. Subscribe by submitting your info on the homepage. If you have topic ideas, questions, comments or anything else, shoot me an email at freshbrewrunclub@gmail.com.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex Review

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club review of the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex

Thinking about purchasing the Pegasus Trail 3? In this video, I go over my first impression of this trail running shoe, on a very challenging run in Sedona, Arizona (spoiler alert, I only fell once). Watch the video below for the full review.

The Good

Overall, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 is a fantastic running shoe. It was stable, gripped the trail even on dusty terrain and was durable enough to endure a very rocky path. That durability protected my feet from rocks, dirt and cacti. The elastic band around the ankle helps to seal your foot off from debris and even water.

The Bad

I wouldn’t say there are any directly “bad” elements of this shoe, but the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex is a bit heavy. But that weight is for good reason, the shoe is strong enough to withstand some tough trails and runs. The shoe is also a bit pricey, so be sure to shop around for the best deals.

The Verdict

Overall, this was a great shoe. It prevented me from slipping, even when running downhill on a dusty path. It clearly protects your feet from rocks and obstacles you may encounter on tougher terrain. Plus, the colorways are pretty cool.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Review

What do you think? Have you run in the Nike Pegasus Trail 3? Let me know in the comments!

Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube today: https://www.youtube.com/freshbrewrunclub

Check out my previous shoe reviews here.

The 2021 Fresh Brew Awards

Welcome to the 2021 Fresh Brew Awards, where I give my favorite (and least favorite) things in the running universe in 2021. It’s been an eventful year, so why not hand out some illustrious awards to close out another year around the sun? Below is my video, but the full awards show is written out below. Enjoy!

Running YouTuber of the Year

The 2021 Fresh Brew YouTuber of the year is Stephen Gnoza and his “Serious Runner” series. Part of the reason I started making videos was because I was frustrated with the deadpan self-importance of much of the running video content I found. Stephen’s satirical videos take some of that overly serious content to task, with classics such as “A Serious Runner Does an Easy Run” and “A Serious Runner Posts on Instagram” among others.

Running Podcast of the Year

The 2021 Fresh Brew Podcast of the year award goes to the Six Minute Mile Podcast. Mostly known as an informative and entertaining email newsletter, the podcast version also strikes that balance. With interesting and fun conversations, this pod was my favorite in 2021.

Worst Intersection of the Year

If you’ve followed my content, you know I am in constant disdain over the lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in the Metro Detroit area. This city was built for cars, and cyclists, walkers, and runners are clearly an afterthought. So this award goes to the worst of the worst intersection. Congratulations to 6th and Main Steet in Royal Oak for taking the award this year. Main Street is a busy thoroughfare and this intersection is quite challenging t cross. Instead of a traditional pedestrian crossing, stop sign or stop light, there’s a tiny “yield to pedestrians” sign in the middle of the road that approximately every car ignores. It’s dangerous, hard to cross, and the winner for the worst intersection of the year.

Most Runner-Friendly City

This year’s runner-friendly city (based on my own personal observations) is Ferndale, MI. As I mentioned earlier, Metro Detroit isn’t the friendliest area for runners, but at least Ferndale is trying. From dedicated bike lanes, to real pedestrian crossings, to drivers who actually pay attention to us peons running in the streets, Ferndale is putting in more effort than most cities. Of course there’s work to be done (like making it less of a dangerous journey to cross Woodward), but congrats to Ferndale.

Running Route of the Year

The Fresh Brew Running Route of the Year goes to the Riverwalk in Detroit. I made a video about this, which you should watch, but a few highlights are the fact that you don’t have to deal with cars, the scenery of the city and the river, and the accessible bathrooms. Congratulations, Riverwalk.

Running Tech of the Year

The winner for Running Tech of the Year goes to the Whoop Strap. This wearable fitness tracker measures strain, recovery and sleep, and a myriad of data points in between. For runners specifically, I most like the fact that it will help you gauge whether you are fatigued or just unmotivated about getting out of bed and running in 33-degree weather. It can also help you track different things that impact your workouts and recovery. For example, if I don’t wear blue-light-blocking glasses at night, my sleep is much worse. If you’re serious about your training, I highly recommend this product.

Second Place Finish of the Year

The winner for the Fresh Brew Second Place Finish of the year goes to me, for my second-place finish at the Volkslaufe 10K in July this past year. It’s my awards show after all, right? Congrats to me. Check out my vlog here.

Volkslaufe Trophy

Coffee Shop of the Year

This is the Fresh BREW Run Club after all, so the award for the 2021 Coffee Shop of the Year goes to Desert Oasis in Royal Oak, MI. The winner of this category not only has to have great coffee (they do), but also excellent vibes inside the shop (they also do). It’s a great place to grab a fresh brew, sit down by the window and do your thing on a laptop or read a book. Congrats, Desert Oasis.

Brew of the Year (Coffee)

The 2021 Fresh Brew Coffee Brew of the year goes to Nespresso’s Intenso coffee. I am a big fan of Nespresso, and in my opinion, this is their best work. It’s bold, pairs well with a little splash of creamer and will give you that caffeine boost needed to power through a long run. Congratulations, Intenso.

Nespresso Intenso coffee
Via Nespresso

Brew of the Year (Beer)

For after your run, the 2021 Beer Brew of the Year goes to the Mr. Blue Sky Raspberry from Griffin Claw. This Wheat Ale is a spin on their popular original Mr. Blue Sky, but this time with a raspberry twist. Perfect for a hot summer day in the backyard, or on a patio somewhere. Buy it here.

Runner of the Year

The Fresh Brew Run Club Runner of the Year award for 2021 goes to Craig Engles. The FBRC is all about having fun, good vibes, and cracking some jokes, and Craig embodies this mentality. Funny, honest and quite fast, it was great seeing Craig get some national exposure to people outside of the running world (such as his appearance on Pardon My Take). The kind of runner you want to crack a fresh brew with.

Craig Engels on Pardon My Take podcast
Via Pardon My Take on YouTube

Shoe of the Year

If I learned anything from making videos this year, it’s that people care the most about my shoe reviews. So that’s why I saved this category for last in The 2021 Fresh Brew Awards. The 2021 Fresh Brew Run Club Shoe of the Year goes to the Nike ZoomX Invincible. I’ve made a bunch of videos about this shoe, so check those out for my full thoughts, but overall, I loved running in this shoe. From the massive foam cushioning, to the rocking motion when you run to the durability, this shoe has been with me for a majority of my runs this season. I dare say it has surpassed the Nike Pegasus Turbo as my all-time favorite shoe. Here’s to you, Invincible!

Thanks for reading the 2021 Fresh Brew Awards! If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do that for more running-related content. Happy trails!

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 First Look

Here’s a first look at the Nike Alphafly Next% 2.

The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is the next iteration of Nike’s flagship carbon-plated running shoe, and we now have a first look. The original Alphafly was on the feet of Eliud Kipchoge as he broke the two-hour marathon, as well as many other distance running achievements. It featured the plate, plus ZoomX foam and two visible Zoom Air units.

We now have a first look, via photos from Vaporflyers on Instagram. Be sure to give them a follow!

Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)

Design Updates

Based on the photos, the shape of the midsole appears to differ from the original shoe. It appears as if the Zoom Air units are still part of the shoe, but the foam in the heel area may be different, if not almost extended and boxier than the first edition of the shoe. Also, the upper in the photo is most likely temporary, as is often the case with Nike prototypes.

The outsole appears to have the same basic shape, but this time the rubber from the front of the shoe also appears to be on the back, which was not the case with the original. And good news for those of you passionate about the pull tab; it appears in these images.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)
Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)
Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)

Release Date

There is no set release date for the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 as of now, but Nike could make quite a splash at the Olympics if the shoe made its debut in Tokyo. Of course that’s nothing but speculation on my part, so stay tuned for official updates.

Click here for more shoe reviews and be sure to follow Vaporflyers on IG.