First Rule – Take it Slow!

As I said last Thursday, running and walking are not for everyone, but if you have decided you want to give it a shot there is one rule you must adhere to: Take it slow! Running should be fun, not agony. Like anything else, if you bite off more than you can chew in the beginning, you run the risk of failure. And in running that translates into a quick turnoff or more importantly injury. With that in mind the next step is to make a daily commitment. Running isn’t something you do two or three times per week. Whatever you gain, you will lose through inactivity. To be successful, you must commit yourself to one hour a day in the beginning. That breaks down to 30 minutes of walking, jogging and running. You pick your own pace and commit 15 minutes before and after for warm up and warm down. The warm up coo down periods involve stretching exercises which I will talk about in a future blog. Running shortens the muscles in the back of the legs and lower back. That is why stretching is important. If you don’t stretch your muscles you invite injury.
The next step is to determine your rate of pace. A good way to do this is by using the “talk test.” If you find you’re breathing to hard and cannot talk while walking, jogging, or running, your pace is too fast. If you’re breathing comfortably and can talk naturally, your pace is right. Wearing the proper footwear is also an important first step when you are beginning. Always remember, running shoes are designed for directional movement, versus basketball shoes and footwear used in an active room setting. It is a bad idea to buy cheap, and always seek the help of a shoe-fitting expert, so you can avoid the common shoe related injuries that can plague you when run or walk.
The next thing is to decide whether you wish to run or walk alone or with company. Everyone is different and there is a good case for both. Companionship in the beginning can be comforting and reinforcing. Others seek to disassociate themselves and go it alone. Some even find running and walking a great stress reliever. The choice is yours alone. Once you get into the swing of the daily program, you’ll probably notice some weight loss and that you have slowed down on how much you eat. Many before you have used running and walking to lose weight. It is not only good for weight loss it’s good for your body.
You should also maintain a daily log so you can track your progress. Jot down things like, the distance you covered, your feelings, your thoughts as you run, names of people you ran with, weather conditions, your heart rate, as you proceed through your daily routine. Also, talk with other runners and walkers. Join a running or walking club, like the Orange Runners or the Sullivan Striders. If you are over 25 years of age, have a physician administer a stress test to detect any sign of heart disease. Preventative medicine should be the rule in this sport. The general advice I’ve given here is just the beginning. If you wish to talk in more detail or have a workout program, stop by and see me at my store, Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting, 741 Route 211 East, Middletown, NY or just give a call 845-551-8270 or send an email to

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2 great St. Patrick’s races this weekend

There are two very good events taking place this weekend, all in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.  The following information was provided by the race organizers of each event.

Saturday, March 22nd, Village of Montgomery:

Orange County runners/walkers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Village of Montgomery’s Run for the Gold 5K Race and St. Pat’s Ramble

“The 2nd annual Run for the Gold 5K race to benefit ADAM (All District Art and Music, a fundraising effort to help bring art and music programs back to the Valley Central School District) will be held in The Village of Montgomery, tomorrow, March 22nd.  The race will begin at 10 am with registration beginning at 8:30 am.  Runners and walkers will follow a route a through the historic village streets and end in the heart of the village.  A Kids Fun Run (approximately one quarter mile) will be held immediately following the start of the 5K.  The St. Pat’s Ramble parade will follow at 1:00 pm.   The community wishes to extend a special thank you to all of the generous sponsors, especially Orange County Trust Company and Cameron Fitness.  For more information, go to

Sunday, March 23rd, Village of Wallkill:

The 27th Annual Shamrock Scramble

“The Shamrock Scramble began in 1988.  The idea was to create a fun running race and walk, make it affordable and benefit the community.  The race is probably now the longest continuous road race in the greater Hudson Valley.  In its humble beginnings the first year there were 220 runners.  At our most attended race in 2013 the numbers grew to 768 runners and walkers, with over 50 children competing in the children’s races.  It is the beginning of spring and we want people to get outside and move!  Recently, Kevin Gleason wrote that this race was one of the Hudson Valley’s “must run” races, which was a very nice compliment.

“With the help of the Wallkill Fire Department, we have been able to provide a full breakfast for the participants.  The races and the breakfast round out the morning activities before the start of the St. Patrick day parade, which follows the race every year.

“Within the first few years of the Shamrock Scramble, we realized we were generating more income than we needed to produce the race.  This was when we began the Wallkill High School Shamrock Scramble Scholarship.  Last year we had the opportunity to give six scholarships to deserving graduates.  Since 1999, any additional funds raised go to help Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh.

“Aside from the main race committee, this race would not be possible without the help of forty plus volunteers that come out to help every year.

“For more information, go to

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Myriam Loor: Mom, runner, survivor, race director and author

Myriam Loor is the race director of the Celebrate Life Half Marathon coming up on March 9. More than 900 participants have registered.

Over the last eleven years, the Celebrate Life Half Marathon has raised thousands of dollars for those who have been affected by the cancer beast. This half marathon is the favorite race of many local runners. Like a growing number of runners who become agents, sports physicians, and running retailers, Myriam has found her way through event promotion and as a writer.

Participants run Celebrate Life in large part because Myriam is so passionate about her event. She did not build the event by herself. Many talented volunteers have helped her along the way, most notably Kathleen Rifkin. However, the part of Myriam’s life that I have enjoyed the most is her book: “Because IT IS I.” Many people read books in one sitting. I read Myriam’s book, one chapter at a time, while on line at the bank, and here and there, over a period of time.

It is said that “life is a series of short stories.” The many short story snapshots of Myriam’s life are wonderfully captured in her book, which is simply a “celebration of life.”

You can get copies of her book by contacting me at or giving me a call 551-8270.

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Running: Try it! You might like it

Running isn’t for everyone, but for some 30 million Americans, it’s a part of their lifestyles.  Some run daily; others once, twice or three times per week.  Many are just casual joggers, with nary a thought of competitive running in their minds.  I’m Frank Giannino and I have been a runner since the age of 15.  I have run track and field and cross country in high school and college, in road races and marathons and I’ve run across the U.S. twice to benefit charity – first from Los Angeles to New York in 1979 and then from San Francisco to New York in 1980.  The first time I ran coast-to-coast I did it in a then record 60 days 6 hours.  That record was erased and I took up the challenge again.  Then I made the trek in 46 days 8 hours 36 minutes.   The record was mine again.

“The Guinness Book of Records” lists my 1980 run as the fastest foot crossing of the USA.  A friend and I have written a book “Runbelievable” about my second run.  Shortly after my second run, I was invited to be the race director of the first Classic 10K in Middletown in 1981.  This year will mark 34 years of Classic 10K races in Middletown.  I am proud to be one of the race directors managing this wonderful event.  Also, I own Frank’s Custom Shoe-Fitting in Middletown, a specialty running store for thirty years.

Some people say runners are crazy, so why did I get involved in such a punishing sport?  Well, when I was young I tried most other sports.  I wasn’t going anywhere doing them, so my mother encouraged me to go out for track.  In my first two mile race I finished second.  I found my calling.

Just as running is not for everyone, neither is competitive running for every runner.  But there is a competitive spirit in all of us.  And maybe you, the casual jogger, who negotiates two miles twice a week by running a quarter mile, walking the next quarter mile, etc, sometimes wonder what it would be like to enter a road race – albeit one of not too great a distance.  So, just as you imagine crossing the finish line before a big and noisy crowd in your first race, you are suddenly rudely awakened:  “I don’t even know how to start preparing for something like that,” you say to yourself.  “I’d better forget it.”  You don’t have to forget it.  All you need is the proper advice on how to get started, what to do, and how to do it.

And that’s the purpose of this weekly blog.  I’ll offer advice on getting in shape to run and on staying in shape, how to work toward specific goals, proper equipment, and what injuries you can expect and how to deal with them.  There will be interviews with experts and the many interesting people I meet who live where we live.  There will something for everyone from the beginner to the most experienced runner and endurance athlete.  Endurance is a broad category.  So we will share information on triathlon, cycling, swimming, and obstacle racing as well.  So if you’re into running and endurance, I’ll be writing about things that will interest you.  I will be looking for your help, too.  If you want upcoming events publicized, have a great personal story you would like to share, know of interesting runners and endurance athletes, or just have questions, you can contact me at or just call me at 551-8270.

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Boston Marathon race director speaking today in Middletown

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray is coming to Middletown today.

He will be speaking to an intimate crowd of 100 people at Kuhl’s Highland House.  The audience will be mostly composed of members of the Classic 10K Road Race, the Orange Runners Club and the Sullivan Striders.

McGillivray is one of the top motivational speakers on running.  His timely presentation comes less than one year since the tragic events at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  McGillivray is the author of his autobiography, “The Last Pick.”  He will be signing books before and after his speech and answering questions at the conclusion of his presentation.

McGillivray has raised millions for charity during his lifetime.  His most famous charity effort was his 1978 Run across America to benefit the Jimmy Fund – the official charity of the Boston Red Sox – and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  He has spent his entire life using his extreme endurance achievements to benefit charity and he has done it all, as a runner, cyclist, swimmer and triathlete.

He is the owner of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises; he directs the most prestigious road race in the world, the Boston Marathon; and is also the most sought-after endurance event director in the world.

- Frank Giannino

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