How to Run in the Cold – New Video

A few simple tips to help you run in the cold

Running in the cold

If you’re anything like me, you dread running in cold weather. The freezing wind, the feeling of a wet shirt on my skin and the loss of feeling in my extremities all have driven me indoors in past winters. Until now. These tips on how to run in the cold will have you out on the beaten path again, no matter the temperature. Check out the latest video from Fresh Brew Run Club:

Tip #1: Dress for the Occasion

It may seem smart to layer up in cold weather, but this only creates problems down the line. As your run progresses, you will naturally warm up, start sweating and enjoy the horrors of a cold, wet shirt. Instead of packing on the layers, keep it simple. Try a base layer or two paired with a good windbreaker. Most of the cold you feel is from the wind, so eliminating contact with Jack Frost will keep you warm and dry.

Tip #2: Protect Ya Extremities

Avoid frostbite and general pain by wearing a hat, gloves and warm socks. Typically these areas of your body can feel the coldest, so covering up your head, hands and feet helps to stay warm on a run. Plus, if you get too hot, you can always put your gloves and hat in a pocket.

Tip #3: Don’t Ignore the Warmup

It may be tempting to leave your home and try to start running as soon as possible to get warm, but easing into your workout is the best way to avoid injuries and general shock to your system. I prefer a dynamic warmup instead of stretching, followed by a short warmup jog at a slow pace. It’s also a good idea to start out slow, the build up your pace about a mile or so into the run, so you are fully warmed up when you really want to push the pace.

Tip #4: Stay Hydrated

Hydration isn’t just important when it’s 95 degrees and the sun is beating down on you. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your run in order to hit optimal performance. I like using a low-sugar sports mix. Dehydration can occur in wet and cold weather, so make sure you aren’t neglecting that water bottle!

Tip #5: Cool Down

Just like the importance of warming up, it is also crucial to do a cool down. While it might seem counterintuitive to “cool down” in cold weather, it is a crucial part of your body’s recovery process. This can be as simple as a slow jog after your run, or some additional dynamic stretching. A cheap foam roller or one of those fancy massage guns will also get your muscles primed for recovery.

That’s just a few of my tips for how to run in the cold; do you have any of your own?

Be sure to like and subscribe to Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube, and check out a few of our other videos today!

How to build a treadmill at home

In a DIY, workout from home world, here’s how to build a treadmill.

Some helpful advice for figuring out how to build a treadmill at home.

How to build a treadmill

How to Build a Treadmill Step 1: Arrival

The treadmill will arrive at your house at the most inconvenient time possible. The crew will take a single glance at your door and claim the treadmill won’t fit and they can’t bring it inside. The crew will note “be careful with that computer” and point in a vague direction of the box. It’s unclear what they are referring to, but it sounds fragile. More on this later. The crew leaves, off to the next delivery, and you’re stranded with an overwhelming sense of panic.

Step 2: Getting it Inside

You are forced to bring it in yourself, which involves opening the box on your porch in sub-freezing temperatures and calling an unlucky friend to lug the individual pieces into your house. You’ll probably scrape the wall, but it’s ok, you don’t plan on staying in your house forever.

Step 3: Unboxing

Once the main pieces are in your house and you’ve shooed away your friend, you must unbox and unwrap the rest of the treadmill. You go piece by piece until you make a devastating discovery. The hardware package contains not one, but two allen wrenches. Some historians estimate that the screw was invented in 400 BC and the bolt appeared sometime around 1400 AD, but those two inventions and the thousands of subsequent improvements and tools to use them were apparently missed by the treadmill company, who chose to use the same hardware as a $9 mass produced cardboard Swedish end table. Get a towel for the bloody knuckles in your future.

Step 4: Organizing

After unboxing everything, the room will look like a refrigerator factory exploded, but this is normal. Separate all the parts into random piles so you have enough room to walk around without taking a metal part to the shins.

Step 5: Get an Engineering Degree to Read the Directions

You might want to take a quick pitstop, enroll in a local university and spend four years studying engineering in order to fully understand what the directions are telling you. Because without years of training, many decisions in the construction process will simply come down to best guesses and hoping for the best.

Step 6: Regret

You will eventually get to a point where you regret this entire endeavor, as the project is now getting the best of you. What even is the point of running anyway? Might as well take up something like bird watching or stamp collecting, both of which do not involve directions in 413 languages

Step 7: This Part Doesn’t Fit

At some point during the install, you’ll realize that a part just doesn’t fit. After frustratingly trying to attach and re-attach the part, you’ll take to the internet to discover that many people before you have faced the same solution. And the best conclusion is simply to deal with the fact that the part just doesn’t quite fit right. “It won’t hurt the structural integrity of the treadmill,” one commenter on Reddit will tell you. So grab a hammer and smash those parts together.

Step 8: Become an IT professional

Remember that computer the delivery guys told you about? Well it’s not so much a computer, but rather some kind of Android tablet that needs to be activated once you power up the treadmill. This includes a very slow hardware update, connecting to wifi and logging in to your treadmill brand’s website to activate. You know, how everyone loves to start a run. After divulging your deepest personal derails in the registration process, you are ready to run.

Step 9: Turn on Treadmill

After the construction and setup, flip the switch and listen to the sweet hum of success, as your new treadmill is ready to go. Just keep an eye on that left handrail, it’s pretty loose. Maybe even grab a new pair of shoes for the run. I recommend the Nike Pegasus Turbo. Happy running!

How to Break Out of a Running Slump

Getting out of a running slump can feel like an impossible task, but with a few tweaks, you can be back on pace in no time.

Not every run is sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes its a bad day, and other times it can feel like a bad week, or even a bad month. Running slumps happen to even the best runners, but they don’t have to last forever. Here’s a few simple tips for how to break out of a running slump.

Man running by the mountains

Take a Break

One of the hardest parts of running consistently can also be the most necessary. Taking a break may seem like a counterintuitive approach to becoming a better runner, but sometimes it’s what your body needs. Fatigue can be both physical and mental. Maybe a heatwave has sapped your energy. Or a series of disappointing results has you down in the dumps. Taking a break to let your body and mind recharge is one of the easiest ways to get back on track. Don’t feel guilty about taking some time off; rest and recovery will keep you fresh and healthy.

Change the Scenery

Running is as much of a mental sport as it is physical, so if you’re brain isn’t engaged in your environment, runs can feel dull and boring. Looking at you, boring sidewalk by my house. Try running at a new location; a park you haven’t visited or a downtown street in a nearby city. Changing up the location brings a whole new set of sights, sounds and smells into the mix to stimulate your mind on a run. You can also try running at different time. Switch from morning runs to evening runs for a nice change in perspective. Either way, change can be good.

Check Your Shoes

Shoes are a runner’s most important tool. While many people take pride in wearing a pair of trainers into the ground like a 1998 Honda Civic, it’s important to make sure your shoes are in good shape. Replacing them with a fresh pair can be the change needed to bring the bounce back into your step. Plus, who doesn’t love lacing up a pair of fresh shoes and hitting the road? As the adage goes, “Look good, feel good, run good.”

Balance Your Diet

Diet is an important part of running, so make sure you’re getting proper nutrients and fuel before and after your runs. You don’t need to strictly adhere to the latest fad diet, but getting the proper mix of healthy carbs, proteins, fruits, vegetables and minerals can have a significant impact on your running. Cut back on the sugars, high-fat foods and soda as well.

Sleep Well

The body needs rest. A lack of sleep can be a major contributor to your slump. Your body needs sleep to recover, and sleep helps keep the mind sharp. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night so you can recharge your batteries and be ready to hit the dusty trail the next day.

Get Some Inspiration

Personally I find books, documentaries and videos about elite athletes to be extremely inspiring. Seeing how the best runners in the world prepare for races always makes me want to get out there and throw down a few miles. There’s tons of excellent running content out there that can help you get your edge back and bust out of a slump.

What inspires you to run? Maybe it’s watching elite runners perform, or maybe it’s as simple as setting a goal. Focus on what motivates you to run.

Running slumps aren’t any fun. But a few tweaks can help get yourself back on track.

Have any other tips for how to break out of a running slump? Leave a comment!

How to run a virtual race

The race you wanted to run has been cancelled. Here’s how to run a virtual race.

I was planning on running the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon this year, until it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Runners have the option to run virtually, which is something that most cancelled races are doing. Essentially, runners can sign up for a race, get a shirt, bib and assorted junk mail that comes with your race packet, and can run the race distance on their own.

However, this will not be the first year I’ve run virtually. Last year, I ran the Freep Half and had a disaster of a race. Everything went wrong; instead of setting a new PR, I barely made it across the finish line. Not wanting to throw away months of training, I decided to run 13.1 miles on my own, one week later. So I ran at Dodge Park (one of my favorite places to run) and smashed my PR by several minutes. Running a race on your own might not seem as fun, but with some preparation, you can get great results. Here’s how to run a virtual race.

Picture of me after I ran a virtual race (half marathon) last year.
Post-virtual race proof of life photo.

Plan your virtual race ahead of time

The most important part of running virtually is to plan just like you would for a normal race. Set a date, time and location, and stick to it. It will help you visualize your end goal while training. And since you won’t have the luxury of blocked off streets on your virtual run, it may be a good idea to scout out a few locations on your training runs ahead of time. Is your planned course too hilly? Does it cross any busy roads that may stop you? What is the condition of the path? A normal race will take care of these things in advance, but it’s important to be your own scout this time.

Create a refueling plan

Another great part of running races is the refueling and aid stations. Grabbing a cup of cold water or sports drink at a station can give you the required boost to set a record. Some races even hand out energy gels and petroleum jelly along the route. And don’t forget the porta-potties! These are all things that will not be provided on a virtual ruin, so think through your plan. I use a belt that has a pocket and space for two bottles, but you can also have someone toss you the water/fuel you need, or even hide it next to a tree along the way. Fuel is a crucial aspect of running, so make sure you aren’t neglecting a plan.

Have some support

I love the crowds that watch races; the cheering, costumes, cowbells, funny signs and occasional small cups of beer make a tough run a lot easier. While you can’t have a full cheering section, there’s nothing wrong with inviting a handful of friends and family to watch you run. It’s great moral support and something fun for them to do (or at least that;s what you need to convince them of). It’s also important to have someone who can help if you get injured. Make sure you have an emergency plan in case the race does not go as planned.

Reward yourself

One of my favorite post-race activities (besides a shower) is ordering a burger and bag of fries from Five Guys. It’s something for me to think about when I’m 10 miles in and wishing I was anywhere else. You can still reward yourself for finishing a virtual race, just like it was a real one. Maybe its a greasy burger, maybe its a bottle of champagne, or maybe it’s a bowl of ice cream. Giving yourself something to look forward to after the race might be the motivation you need to climb that one last hill before the finish line.

Are you planning on running a virtual race this year? Do you have any tips? Share in the comments!

Best Places to Run in Metro Detroit

When thinking of the best places to run in Metro Detroit, it all depends on what you are looking for.

Trying to run in isolated solitude? Among the hustle and bustle of a city? On a trail scattered with wild turkeys? Or maybe on an old rail line, surroundings with art? In the Detroit area, there is something for every runner. Here’s a few of my personal best places to run in Metro Detroit.

Downtown Detroit, MI

Stony Creek

Rochester Hills, MI. This former creek was dammed to create a great Metropark with trails and beaches. There is a 6-mile loop around the “Creek” with every half mile marked. The path is fairly hilly and without much shade, so running in the summer heat can be tough. If trail running is your thing, there are numerous trails of varying difficulty. I highly recommend the Shelden Trails if you’re looking for a great mix of woods, hills and fields. See if you can spot Detroit from the view at the top of Mt. Sheldon.

The Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut

Detroit, MI. One of my favorite runs starts on the Detroit Riverwalk between Hart Plaza and the Detroit River, and works it’s way onto the Dequindre Cut, a former rail line, now converted into a beautiful paved trail. The Riverwalk provides incredible views of the downtown skyline and water, and the Cut feels like a secret passage through Detroit, decked out with art all over the walls.

Dodge Park

Sterling Heights, MI. An underrated place to run in Metro Detroit; this path loosely follows the Clinton River, starting at a recently renovated park, winding through the woods and ending at a wooden bridge near a popular place to kayak. The path is well-paved, does not cross any roads and is very scenic.

Paint Creek Trail

Rochester, MI. Starting in downtown Rochester, this trail was also a former rail line in some areas. Great shade, and a large portion of the path is paved with some kind of soft rubber material that is very easy on the feet. Watch for cars when crossing a few of the roads; they don’t like to stop!

Indian Village Neighborhood

Detroit, MI. I’ve run the Detroit Marathon twice and the Detroit Half Marathon once, and I am currently 3/3 on having borderline meltdowns. But despite my inability to run a good race, Indian Village has always been my favorite part of the course. I highly recommend cruising up and down Seminole, Iroquois, and Burns to check out tree-lined streets and beautiful homes. If you’re running the Freep Marathon in the future, watch for people handing out Dixie cups of beer along the route, for a quick refreshment.

Lake St. Clair Metropark

St. Clair, MI. Otherwise known as Metro Beach, this park offers a very scenic view of Lake St. Clair on a path around a peninsula. I love the view, but I also love that the main portion of the path is closed off to all traffic. There are plenty of paths to run in the Metropark, but the trail continues for about ten miles along Metro Parkway and Schoenherr Road.

Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI. I love the energy of a city when I’m on a run, and starting at Jefferson and working all the way to New Center along Woodward is a great absorb some of that Midwestern city energy. You will no doubt stop at numerous crosswalks waiting for traffic, but use that time to check out some incredible architecture, from the Guardian Building, to The Whitney Building, to the DIA and ending at The Fisher Building. Hop on a MoGo bike and head back.

Kensington Metropark

Milford, MI. A well-marked, 8.5 mile loop around Kent Lake reminds me a lot of Stony Creek. There are also some good trails to run. Slightly hilly, but nothing too difficult.

Belle Isle

Detroit, MI. This island in the middle of the Detroit River has so much to offer. Stunning views, a spot to grill, an aquarium, a tropical greenhouse, a maritime museum, a driving range and the field where I struck out in kickball. It’s also a great place to run, with all kinds of nature, the river and skyline views that you can’t get anywhere else.

The view from Belle Isle, Detroit, MI.

Where do you think are the best places to run in Metro Detroit?

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Track Etiquette 101

How to run on a track without making everyone mad

Forget that Zoom cooking class on Airbnb, as a society we need a good track etiquette lesson. I love running on the track. It gets my adrenaline going, as memories of close finishes and nervous anticipation from high school track meets come flooding back. But nothing subdues that energy like a me monster who has no regard for their surroundings.

A high school track in Madison Heights, Michigan

There are rules, even if they are not officially posted on a rusty sign outside. The key to proper track etiquette boils down to one concept: respect. Applying a basic amount of respect will go a long way to ensuring everyone has a good time.

The track etiquette rules

What is “respect” exactly? Well, let’s find out what it means to me.

Run Counter-clockwise

Running the opposite way like a lost deer will only get you into trouble. A track is meant to be run counter-clockwise, but there’s sometimes that one person who wants to watch the world burn. Running against the flow of everyone is disruptive, and puts your hot breath directly in the face of someone else’s hot breath. No one wants that in 2020. Run the normal direction; no one is above track etiquette.

Don’t walk or jog on the inside lanes

It may be tempting to gravitate towards the inside lane, as it is the shortest distance, but remember to be mindful of faster runners. Giving faster runners the inside lane is common courtesy. You can’t call “dibs” or “lane save” on a track, so be kind and scoot to the middle lanes.

On the flipside, if someone is hogging the inside lane and you’re flying like Balto on his way to Nome, it might be tempting to make a reckless pass on the inside like Jeff Gordon at Talladega, but swinging wide and passing on the outside with plenty of room is the right thing to do. (Feel free to give a few over-the-top “did you see me” looks back to drop a hint).

Leave the bike at home

While it would be fun to dust off the old Schwinn and treat your local track like a personal Olympic velodrome, but it’s just a bad idea. First, the track is for runners and walkers, not Lance Armstrong wannabes. Bikes also bring a lot of wear and tear on the rubber surface of a track, which will cost you tax dollars in the long run, and cost me another twisted ankle. And finally, no one wants to run behind your spandexed rear end.

Signs at a high school track that prohibit bicycles, roller blades and pets

A track isn’t a concert venue

Bringing your Beats Pill to the track and blasting Buckcherry at max volume can sound like a good idea to some, but keep that to yourself. We’re all out here trying to get some work in; not everyone wants to hear your Linkin Park-centric Spotify playlist. Do everyone a favor and get some headphones. Same goes for phone calls. Yes, calling your entire family to air out drama from Christmas last year is a great way to pass the time while walking a few laps on the track, but not everyone wants to hear about Aunt Sally’s new haircut.

No cones on the track

Don’t be the person setting up a full-on NFL Draft combine in lane three, as most of us aren’t trying to win the local flag football rec league. Keep the mini cones, rope ladder, box jump and monster truck tires off the track. Mel Kiper Jr. ain’t showing up to watch you prepare for the Come Play Detroit co-ed league this season, buddy.

No Country for Old Dogs

I realize the risk of criticizing doggos on Al Gore’s internet, but people, leave your mutts at home! Can’t have them pooping and barking all over the place. Not everyone is super comfortable with a random, unleashed dog marking his territory (my water bottle) like he owns the place.


A track is a shared, public space where people of all skill levels and motivations can come together and get their sweat on for free. Showing some basic self-awareness and respect is the key to practicing good track etiquette. Happy running!

Have some track tips? Complaints? Ideas? Drop a note in the comments!