Ask Miles Anything: Trail courtesy, group runs, and a first 5k!


Meet Miles!
This cute little guy is the new mascot for Foot Traffic, one of the most well-respected running stores in Portland and SW PDX. Each month we will be doing an AMA with Miles (stay tuned to our Instagram) and posting his responses here!

Q. What are some guidelines to be courteous on the trails?

A. Such a great question! Trail running is exploding in popularity and while it’s awesome to get more people out in nature, it’s important to be respectful and minimize our impact on the environment.

Rule 1: Respect the environment. If you pack it in, pack it out (that includes the little tab on your nutrition packets!). Stay on the trail and don’t go bushwhacking for shortcuts.

Rule 2: Yield to others. If you’re coming up on someone, announce your intention to pass with a simple, “On your left!” If someone faster is coming up on you, find a safe spot on the trail, move over, and let them pass.

Rule 3: Leave the headphones at home. You’ll be able to hear other people AND the nature around you! Related: leave the bluetooth speaker at home.

Rule 4: Bathroom breaks. This is a tricky subject because many trails are in protected natural areas that require you to stay on trail due to the fragile ecosystem. If you’re able, step off the trail, dig a small hole, do the deed, and cover it back up. Remember to keep an eye out for poison ivy and the like, and if you use toilet paper, pack it out (see rule 1!). But for the most part, it’s best to take care of that business before you hit the trailhead.

Overall, it’s all about common courtesy- treat the trail and those who use it with respect.

Q. I just started going to a group run and everyone else is faster than me. I end up running by myself at the back and last week I got lost. Is it just me, or is that not okay?

A. This is a tricky one! Group runs are supposed to be fun and filled with camaraderie, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the right fit. First, don’t give up hope! Sometimes the simplest thing to do is to strike up a conversation and BAM! New running friends! Chances are, you’re not the only person struggling to keep up, and if you mention that you need to drop back, there’s probably at least one person willing to back off and run with you. Another option is to bring a buddy along that has a similar pace, that way you can stick together. When it comes to following the route, ask if there are printed directions, a map, or at Foot Traffic we love to use the RunGo app. It’s an app that gives you turn-by-turn directions of the route in real time so there’s less chance of getting lost. Most importantly, don’t let it discourage you. Whether you run/walk a 15 minute mile or a 7 minute mile, you’re out there getting it done, and that’s what matters.

Q. I’m running my first 5k and I’m super nervous about what to expect! What do I need to know?

A. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! There’s nothing quite like your first race. Number one: Make sure you have your gear dialed in. Wear the socks, shoes, and apparel you’ve been training in. Race day is not the day to try out a shiny new pair of shoes that have never met the pavement. Number two: Treat race day like every other day in terms of how you’re eating. If you always eat a piece of toast with peanut butter the morning before a run, do the same thing on race morning. Number three: Give yourself enough time before the race to do your business. Show up to the venue at least 30-60 min before the start so you have enough time to park, get situated, and use the restroom if needed. Finally, the most important thing you can do is to NOT PANIC. This is what you’ve trained for — it’s the victory lap after all of your hard work. Try to relax (don’t go out too fast!), smile, and enjoy every second. Bonus: smiling will help your race photos turn out amazing!

Thanks Miles! See you next month!

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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