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!

Power Ranking: Cars Least Likely to Use a Turn Signal

Runners and cars must coexist, but not everyone plays nice. Here’s my list of cars least likely to use a turn signal.

Cars with turn signals

Running can be hazardous. This summer alone, I twisted my ankle three separate times. I’ve seen runners pass out, fall down a muddy hill and get stung by hornets. But cars are another story. Runners must always look out for cars who don’t stop, signal or even look at the road, because our chances against a two-ton machine aren’t great.

One of my biggest pet-peeves is drivers who don’t use a turn signal. I can’t predict where a car is going to go, especially at intersections. Are you going straight, or turning? If only there was a way to signal your intentions as a driver by using some kind of device… Anyway, here’ s my power rankings of cars least likely to use a turn signal.

5. Chevy Suburbans

The official status symbol for soccer moms rushing around the roads while clearly having a speakerphone conversation on the phone. Do these cars not come with Bluetooth? Are Airpods sold out? I can see why it’s impossible to use a turn signal, when you have one hand on the wheel and one hand on your bedazzled iPhone.

4. Nissan Altima

If I see a Nissan Altima, I assume the driver is either A.) texting and driving B.) eating and driving or C.) pretty much doing anything besides paying attention to the road. It doesn’t matter the year of the car, I fear them like Nissan Altima drivers fear using a turn signal.

3. Any BMW or Mercedes-Benz

I think when you get to a certain point where you can afford one of these car brands, you just feel like you are above the law. Or maybe turn signals aren’t standard on these brands? Is that a German thing? Who knows, but I do know these drivers will run a stop sign, not signal and stare you down like it’s your fault for being in the way. Get out of the way runners, the important people in the world have important places to be.

2. Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeeps, man. What is it about these vehicles that just invites a level of automotive selfishness on par with me at a self-serve frozen yogurt shop? Set aside the fact that these beasts were designed for off-roading, but will spend more time parked in a cul-de-sac, they have a certain unpredictability that goes beyond turn signals. I guess “it’s a Jeep thing” right? Too bad we can’t turn the “Jeep wave” into the “Jeep turn signal” in 2021.

1. Ford F-250

Not sure what it is about the F-250 that empowers drivers to feel the need to put on a show of force on every single humble sidestreet, but these trucks are the definition of “just chill out, man.” Between comically aggressive acceleration at green lights, “rollin’ coal” and a complete lack of interest in the rules of the road, I just assume an F-250 is going to attempt to put me into the ditch and do a burnout on the way to getting groceries, or whatever mundane tasks that underutilized suburban trucks do in their spare time. Also, having a Punisher sticker on the back window also increases the likelihood of not using a turn signal to 100.00%.

Stay safe out there, runners.

Note: if you drive one of these cars, don’t take it personally. Be the turn signal you want to see in the world.

10 Observations From My Pandemic Half-Marathon

I ran a half marathon this past weekend; here’s 10 observations from my pandemic half-marathon.

2020 was going to be my year. I finished my 2019 running season by smashing my PR in the half-marathon and feeling great. 2020 was going to be the year I took things to the next level. I planned on hitting the gym hard, maintaining my fitness and heading into summer training in the best shape of my life.

Well, my gym was closed for renovations for months, then the pandemic hit. Not only did it keep my gym closed, but it cancelled the race I was planning on running. Instead of giving up, I decided to run a half marathon on my own in the fall. So after a long summer of training, I did it. Here’s my observations from my pandemic half-marathon.

Running a race during a pandemic.
En route to a PR.

1. I miss crowds

There’s nothing better than rounding the final turn and hearing a roaring crowd cheer you on as you approach the finish line. Thankfully, a few of my friends showed up to cheer me on, but that’s not always an option for everyone.

2. Laps are boring

Metro Detroit doesn’t have a ton of flat running paths uninterrupted by roads, so I was limited to doing laps around a park. They are boring. “Two laps down, six to go” is not a pleasant thought. I was reminded why I never liked track.

3. Goose poop is slippery

Pretty self explanatory. Goose dung has some oily properties, creating a dangerous situation on the sidewalk.

4. Starting a race on my own time is amazing

WHY are races so early in the morning, especially during fall in the Midwest? What, are we trying to get the race in before the temps hit 40 degrees? These 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. start times mean runners have to wake up as early as 3 or 4 in the morning, just to get fueled, ready, parked and at the start line by the time the gun goes off. But I can start my race whenever I want, not worry about parking and take my sweet time warming up. More races should start after 9 a.m.

5. Getting hit by a car isn’t a concern in a real race

But it sure is when running on your own! While I made sure I wasn’t crossing any roads on my homemade race course, there were a few driveways, and despite my frantic arm waving and blinding neon singlet, Sally in the Suburban didn’t see me, or even attempt to come to a stop before turning onto the street. Not sure I recall having to dodge two-ton Dodges during an official race. We live in a world made almost exclusively for cars, and us runners must never forget that.

6. A fuel plan is important

Unlike a real race, there will not be tables set up at various points of the course, staffed by eager college athletes handing out water, energy gels and petroleum jelly on sticks. I put together a little fuel plan and had my coach (aka my wife) hand me an electrolyte drink and gel at various points of the run. Without it, I would have needed to stash a bottle in bushes scattered about the course, risking theft and vandalism.

7. Don’t trust your GPS

I switched GPS watches earlier because I wasn’t getting very accurate results. My new watch was awesome, until raceday, when it inexplicably decided to betray me worse than Anakin on Mustafar. I did plan for this, and mapped out the exact distance on Map My Run, so I didn’t need to rely on the watch 100% to tell me when to stop. Of course the watch was way off and made me run almost a quarter mile more than I needed, but I was able to go back and figure out my elapsed time at the point of my course that should have been the finish line and calculate my time. I’ll never take a chip-timed race for granted again.

8. Running alone is hard

Pretty obvious, but running alone, oftentimes out of sight of any human beings doesn’t have the same feel as running in a race with other people. There’s no one to track down on the last mile, and no fear that someone is tracking you down as you approach the finish line. It’s just you, your thoughts and a few gassy geese.

9. Watch for sticks

Something you don’t often see on the course of a big race; sticks on the ground underneath leaves. This combo was nearly my demise.

10. I’m glad I did it

I considered just taking the year off and running at a leisurely pace all summer, not training for anything. But I’m glad I chose to try and run a race. Not only did I get my PR, but it kept me motivated to run in one of the hottest summers I can remember. Even though I would have much rather run the wide open streets of Detroit, surrounded by cheering crowds the entire time, I stayed motivated and ran my pandemic half-marathon.

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!

Unique Running Events

If running in circles is boring, here’s a few unique running events I’d love to see at a real meet.

In high school, we had a track meet that featured a relay event where the shot putters ran a 400 and the anchor runner had to eat a banana after crossing the finish line. Very exciting and loaded with potassium. Another high school had a track meet with unique running events, like mixed relays, relays with different lengths and even a mascot race.

Runners on a track

I love stuff like that. It’s different, exciting and can bring together runners from different events. Here’s my ideas for a few unique running events.

The Thunderstruck Run

ACDC’s song “Thunderstruck” is 4:53 long, and features driving drums, urgent guitar and howling vocals that make me want to hit my VO2 max whenever it comes on my running playlist. In this event, runners see how far they can get on a track before the song ends. The runner who ran the longest distance is the winner, and has been (drum breakdown) Thunderstruck.

The Basketball Mile

Each runner has a basketball and must maintain a dribble over the course of a 400 meter race on a track. The runner cannot go outside his or her lane and cannot interfere with other runners. If a runner looses their dribble or travels, they are disqualified. First runner to cross the finish line wins.

The Wolfpack Challenge

A team of four runners must run in a row with a leader setting the pace. At random intervals during this 5K race on a track, a whistle will blow and the runner at the back of the pack will run to the front and lead. Runners in the pack cannot fall more than three feet behind each other, or the team is disqualified. The team who finishes first at the end, wins.

The Egg Scramble Event

In this relay event, each runner on a four person team must run a mile. But instead of a baton, the team is given a raw, uncooked egg. The team must not break the egg, or they are disqualified. First team to finish with a whole egg wins, and can victoriously spike said egg onto the infield.

Speed Golf

It’s golf, but fast. Instead of the lowest score winning the event, the fastest time through 18 holes wins. Each golfer must hit the ball into all 18 holes, but can take as many strokes as they want without penalty. If you lose a ball, you have to start over at the tee box. The golfer with the fastest time wins through all 18 holes wins. No carts allowed. WARNING: the golf elite will not like this abomination of their game, so be prepared!

Operation: Operation

This is an 400 meter run and will probably reduce America’s supply of Operation games. At the 100, 200, 300 and 400 meter mark, each runner is required to pull one bone out of the operation game in order to advance to the next checkpoint. If a runner gets the buzzer, they must go backwards to a previous checkpoint and pull out a piece, then continue back to where they started. A runner can keep hitting the buzzer and must keep going backwards until they finally pull out a bone. The runner who completes a net positive 400 meters, wins.

Simon Says Run Faster

The classic game of Simon Says is played during a mile run. Mess up Simon’s commands and you are disqualified. The first runner to cross the finish line is the winner.

The Hot Mic Karaoke Run

In this track relay event, each team gets a microphone connected to the PA system and must sing a song playing on the PA system while running. If the runner does not sing or drops the mic, they are disqualified. Song choices could include Bohemian Rhapsody, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Don’t Stop Believin’ and Call Me Maybe.

This wraps up my formal request to the IOC to spice up the Olympics a little bit with some off-the-wall vents. I look forward to their feedback. In the meantime, I’m going to respectfully hit up my local track and become elite at at least one of these events.

Have any events you’d like to see? Holler at me in the comments.

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!

A Fresh Brew, For You

The Fresh Brew Run Club is a blog for the everyday runner.

We get up way too early. We put on short shorts, and head out to dodge cars, bikes, pedestrians and local cats in the blistering heat, cold and rain. And we do it all for extremely strange reasons, like crossing a line painted on the cement before a giant clock strikes a certain number, or to earn a piece of cheap metal attached to a ribbon with a bank’s logo on it. Or maybe we just want to get out of the house for an hour or so. Does that sound like you? If so, welcome to the Fresh Brew Run Club. Congratulations, you’re a member. Don’t expect your information packet in the mail anytime soon.

Photo of my wife and me after the 2018 Grand Rapids Half Marathon.
Nothing more comforting than a cozy aluminum foil blanket on a brisk fall morning.

Running writing is weird though

Don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of great running-related work out there. But for every Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear, there are hundreds of tasteless “race day” recipes, useless fad workout ideas, reviews of gimmicky running “tools” like organic multi-directional space foam rollers, and flat out narcissistic running influencers bragging about their splits or how perfectly their outfit matches in a perfectly framed and edited photo on Instagram. Oh, you ran 10 miles and didn’t break into a disgusting sweat? Must be nice. It is incredible seeing people take something simple and turn it into a complicated, exclusive hobby for snobs.

That’s why I want to start writing again. Well for one, I miss writing. But I mostly want to bring a little fun to the running blogosphere. I’m not the fastest runner in the world; my fastest mile was in 10th grade (5:09, second place in the slow heat of the Anchor Bay Classic, thank you very much). But I’ve come to re-enjoy the sport over the past five years, and I have some thoughts.

I want to hit on the elements I enjoy, the random things that make me laugh in the middle of a long run and the stuff I like to use. Maybe bring up a few timeless debates, like running in the cold vs. the heat. Or the time that I thought it was a good idea to eat at an Italian fast-food chain the night before the state XC meet. I’ll also review some products I use and show some of my favorite places to run. Maybe interview a couple sled dogs. Who knows.

So what’s with the name?

Fresh Brew Run Club? What’s up with that? Before every run, I do two things: apply a thick layer of Body Glide and drink a cup of coffee. I never liked coffee, but I picked up the habit after a few years of working in the corporate world. It’s not so much the caffeine, but the idea of a liquid comfort blanket that I enjoy. I used to down a glass of C4 EXXXXXPLOSIVE LIQUID RAGE FUEL pre-workout before every run, but I don’t think artificially giving myself a heart murmur is a healthy way to start the morning. So I brew a cup of coffee.

For me, that first cup of coffee is as much a part of my running routine as tying my shoes or dodging a Jeep driver that thinks stop signs are optional. So that’s the name. Do I envision printing a limited run of t-shirts and giving them as Christmas gifts to my family? You bet. A brand is born. Happy trails!

If you have any topic ideas, questions about running or general commentary on proper sidewalk width, comment below. Operators are standing by.