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Ask the Expert: Training Programs and Staying Safe

If you’re a regular Run Oregon reader, you probably know that we love shopping local, especially supporting our local running stores. We count on them for putting on amazing races, carrying great gear, but most importantly,  guidance on selecting the right shoes and running clothes. They keep us connected and help us avoid injuries, and offer a place where all runners can find someone to count on.

A new feature we’ve cooked up with our friends at Foot Traffic is “Ask the Expert.” We’ll collect questions from readers through the run_oregon Instagram, and then get expert answers from the Foot Traffic staff. Foot Traffic is a local running store with locations in Vancouver, Sellwood, NW Portland off Cornell, and downtown Portland. Be sure to follow us on Insta so you catch the next round! Here are January’s pressing questions, answered:

Run Oregon Reader: I just signed up for (a lot) races at the Foot Traffic Race Expo on the 16th … but I have no idea how to plan out my training! Help!

A great place to get started is with Foot Traffic University (a really large and welcoming coed training program) or Foot Traffic Women’s Academy (a large all-women’s training program). Both programs have goal events, weekend group workouts and weekly training programs, coaches and pace mentors, and are for EVERY ability. Seriously. The programs excel with getting newbies started and reaching their goals.

Goal races include (but are not limited to) the March 17th Shamrock Run 5K/8K, Hop Hop Half 10k on April 20th, Rip City Race for the Roses on April 28th, and the Foot Traffic Flat on July 4th. Even if you aren’t doing one of these races, you can still train with us and feel confident going into your target race.

Run Oregon Reader: It’s pretty light after work when I run now. Do I still need to wear a reflective vest and headlamp?

Two words: HIGH VISIBILITY. Neon oranges and yellows are paramount any time you are running around traffic. Retro-reflective materials are not super effective during dawn or dusk when there is still a bit of light, so those blinky lights and silver looking striping that you see on shoes and vests tend to be less effective. Our recommendation is high visibility jackets, hats, and even items like gloves (think bright bright yellow and neon orange!). It’s easiest to simply get a a great rain jacket that also happens to be a high viz color so you don’t have to put on another item in addition to that layer. Brooks and Sugoi makes a lot of great high-viz options! Most reflective vests also have high visibility material as well, but not quite as much as a full long sleeve shirt or jacket.

Who stands out the most in this group of runners? Definitely the runner wearing the headlamp!

BONUS TIP: Even when there is a certain amount of light in the morning or evening, a REALLY bright headlamp can really show up, similar to seeing cars with headlights on during the morning. It’s just easier to see them. We’re not talking about those bargain basement headlamps you get from the hardware store, but come into the store and check out the Black Diamond or Petzl options that have super-high lumens! They seriously make a difference, so don’t cut yourself short with a cheapo option.

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About Kelly Barten (1049 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.

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