Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Collinsville Fun Run, Thursday May 2

Preview next weekend’s Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K course with a free fun run on Thursday, May 2, at 6:00 pm. Sign-up form and details below!

The 4-mile preview run will follow the quiet and serene multi-use trail and will be led by Jeanne Corey and Kim Marchand of Team HMF. After the run, join them at Lisa’s Crown & Hammer for food and drink specials - because every good run deserves a happy hour!

Meet Jeanne & Kim
Jeanne works full time at Travelers Insurance Company and part time on weekends as a marathon coach for Fleet Feet for the past 6 years.

"I love coaching new runners and sharing my experiences and lessons learned throughout the years. I’m looking forward to meeting and running with everyone. Please make sure to let us know if the race will be your first time running this distance!"

Kim works full time as an Electrical Contractor and on weekends he is also a coach for Fleet Feet’s marathon training program.
"I’ve been running since 2004 and completed a variety of distances. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at the course preview run and hearing your stories. I’ve run this race the past 3 years and would love to answer any questions you may have on the race or logistics."

Course Preview Fun Run
Sign-up HERE (please fill out in advance)
Date: Thursday, May 2
Time: 6 PM
Location: Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K finish line (near the bridge on the multi-use trail off Depot Street in Collinsville).
Distance: 4 miles on the multi-use trail.
Parking: On-street parking is available in Collinsville, there’s also a dirt lot near the trail entrance and a paved lot at Town Hall

Water and cups will be available for runners, no other amenities provided.
Please note if you plan to register for the Burlington to Collinsville Classic 10K, we expect to sell out before race day. Everyone who registers by April 27 will have their bib mailed to them!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Spring training: tips, plans, upcoming events

Training for a race this spring? Have you considered movement screening to test your fitness level?  Are you tailoring your training plan to suit your lifestyle?

Check out the video below - Chaz from soundRUNNER provides some great tips on how to prepare for your upcoming training cycle and what questions to think through to help get yourself race ready.

FREE training plans available on our site HERE

Upcoming spring races:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Run for Good

You hear us talk through the year about various charity and community organizations that are affiliated with our events – we’re very proud of those relationships.  As a non-profit organization ourselves, HMF has a unique opportunity to help other non-profits use our events as their awareness campaigns and fundraising platforms.  Groups can focus efforts on recruiting and organizing a team, communicating with potential volunteers and donors and driving awareness for their mission - we focus on race logistics so they don’t ever have to. We can offer group registration discounts, packet pick-up and special accommodations on race day, depending on the group size. 

This model has been expertly executed by Gilead Community Services, an incredible mental health services organization based in Middletown.  For the sixth year, they participated in our 2019 Harvard Pilgrim Middletown 10 Mile & 3.5 Mile race events with their own theme of “Run for Every 1” to raise awareness about mental illness and the number of people impacted.
A group of more than 500 came together as Team Gilead last week in an initiative to bring their clients, staff and the community together and encourage conversations about mental health.

Through the event, more than $47,000 was raised to provide quality mental health services to people living in Middlesex County. Funds raised include a grant secured through the Peach Pit Foundation.

Gilead Community Services coordinators hosted group training walks and runs in advance of the race and created a race Web site to share stories. They set up a Crowd Rise fundraising page to enable Team members to easily collect donations. 

About 100 Gilead clients were among the 450 who participated in the walk or run on race day, a big feat for many who have limited physical activity.  Team Gilead engaged community runners or walkers too, including groups from Middletown High School, Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University.  Additionally, almost 100 Team Gilead volunteers provided support on the race course Sunday and cheered on participants.

To learn more about how your organization can use an HMF event to help further awareness for your cause, please see our RUN FOR GOOD page or email us at

Friday, March 29, 2019

Refresh your spring runs

Spring!! It's time to get off of the treadmill and onto the roads and trails.  Our friend Steph at FleetFeet West Hartford put together some great ideas to help get you off and running this season.

Spring has sprung! Knowing Connecticut, we’re probably good for one more snowstorm before spring is here to stay, but at least the snow will melt quickly!

Spring is a time to refresh and make things new again as the nature around us explodes into a verdant green. It’s also a great time to add a little flair to our training so it doesn’t get monotonous:

Run backwards. No, not physically backwards, but directionally. If you normally do a loop clockwise, switch it up and run counter-clockwise. It'll feel like an entirely different course, yet you'll be in the same comfortable surroundings.

Change your terrain. If you're a road runner, head into the woods. You'll be amazed at how peaceful it is. Plus, you won't have to fight traffic or worry about getting hit by a distracted driver. CT has miles and miles of awesome trails ranging from smooth dirt roads to climbs with roots and rocks that require you to be balanced and light on your toes. It's a combo run and core workout sure to make you stronger!

Change your workout. Do you run the same pace every time? Vary it up. Go slower, but increase your distance. Go shorter, but add some bursts of speed. Run hill repeats. Do a track workout or incorporate body-weight exercises during your run (burpees!).

Change your shoes. Worn out shoes are at the heart of many sluggish runs. If you typically get a new pair every April, but have been exercising more this winter than usual, there is a good chance your shoes are ready to be replaced. There is nothing more motivating to me than going for a run in new shoes. Soo cushy & comfy. Ahhh!

Do something different. Cross training, especially with weights, is one of the best ways to increase your strength, endurance and mobility, which can have huge benefits to your running. Fleet Feet partners with CrossFit Hartford to host a super fun “Fitness FUNdamentals” class three days a week that is designed to make you a stronger, healthier runner. The first class is free so come give it a try!

Live by the "C's": Calories, Compression & Cold. If you find yourself struggling to complete workouts, it could be because you aren’t properly recovering. Be sure to eat/drink 200-300 carb and protein-rich calories within 20 minutes at the end of your workout, donning compression shorts/tights and socks and icing sore muscles to achieve optimal recovery before your next workout.

Join a Group: Running alone has wonderful benefits, but running with a group can elevate your experience and make the run all the more fun. If you don’t already have a posse of peeps, check out the options offered by your favorite local running shop. Both Fleet Feet and SoundRunner offer free weekly runs and training programs to keep you motivated all spring long!

Friday, February 8, 2019

3 Foam Roller Exercises Every Runner Should Do

Runners know that stretching and foam rolling are imperative to training, but don't always know the best techniques.

Andrew Judd from soundRUNNER provides some great tips on how to loosen up the entire rear leg chain using a grid ball - check out his step-by-step on releasing from the piriformis down to the hamstring and calf.  Note - he is using a Triggerpoint grid ball but any kind of foam roller works.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Protect yourself in winter temps!

These temperatures have been downright unbearable for outside exercise! Even though we’re expecting to rebound into “normal” winter temps soon, we wanted to share some great reminders from Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. Post your questions or experiences through the League of Injured Runners group on Facebook – request to join here.

Dr. Jeff Brown, MD for the CT Sports Medicine Institute at St. Francis Hospital. 

Hypothermia occurs when core body temperature dips below 95 F. Symptoms include: The "umbles": Grumbles (irritability), Mumbles (slurred speech), Stumbles (coordination problems), and Fumbles (dexterity problems). Also, uncontrollable shivering, lethargy, decreased heart rate, pale face and extremities, dizziness. 

Treatment includes removing wet clothing, warming with dry, insulating blankets, cover the head with hat or scarf, get to a warm environment.
  • Warm the core of the body first, then extremities
  • Have warm beverages, but not hot
  • Wear several layers of clothing 
    • 1st layer: wick moisture away from body (Dry Tech, Under Armour, etc.)
    • 2nd layer: trap heat and block wind - fleece
    • 3rd layer: wind and water resistant 
  • Cover legs with running pants designed to insulate, then top layer with wind pants or nylon shell 
  • Wear mittens or 2 layers of gloves and Hat 
  • Use face and ear protection (40% of heat loss is from head and neck)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks, not cotton
  • Also, hydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeine before run. 
  • Warm up before a run and run with a partner when possible 
  • Follow the weather closely 

In addition to hypothermia, we all need to be on the lookout for frostnip/frostbite - both are actual freezing of body tissues

Frostnip is when the top layer of the skin is frozen, but not permanently damaged. It's a precursor to frostbite. Symptoms include:
  • Dry, waxy skin
  • Burning/tingling of the skin
  • White/gray/blue patches
  • Swollen extremities
  • Aching, red, or painful extremities
  • Feels cold & firm to touch 

Frostbite is actual freezing of the skin and deep tissue that typically occurs on the extremities (fingers and toes) and face (especially the nose and ears). Symptoms include the same as frostnip and+:
  • Skin can turn black with purple blisters 
  • Intense aching, throbbing or shooting pain
  • Lack of feeling and movement in the area
  • Muscle and nerve injury is possible 
  • Get to a warm area, preferably inside 
  • Remove all wet clothing
  • Re-warm slowly in warm water (not hot) 
  • Avoid friction/rubbing tissue 
  • Seek medical treatment if symptoms do not resolve quickly in a warm environment 
  • Wear 3 layers of clothing (see hypothermia info above for details) 
  • Cover face and ears. Face masks work well 
  • Wear heavy mittens or glove liners under thick gloves - heat warmers can also help (follow their specific Instructions)
  • Wear moisture wicking socks 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Light up the Night

We know you’re always up for a run - even when the sun isn’t! Our friend Amy Frey, coach and FleetFeet team member, put together some safety tips for running in dark conditions.
Whatever time of day we run, we are sharing the roads. The cardinal rule is that we want to see and be seen. This holds true both in broad daylight and dark evenings. 

Wear the right clothes
Wear bright colors (neon yellow, pink), white and/or apparel with integrated reflective elements (e.g., stripes on pants or shirt). Many pieces of apparel appear “flat” to the eye, but light up when a light bounces off the fabric. Most running pants tend to be dark, so make sure you’re wearing something bright for balance.

Light yourself up like a Christmas tree 
Small and often magnetic blinking lights can be affixed almost anywhere. They're versatile, relatively inexpensive and they will definitely increase your visibility. Attach them under the laces of your favorite running shoes and you won't even know they’re there. The movement of your feet as you’re running means drivers will notice you. Some brands to look for are Nathan and Amphipod.

Add a blinking ankle or arm band to further increase your ability to be noticed on the road.

Invest in a reflective vest (often with lights and other reflective elements).

Add a headlamp, a handheld light or a light to your running cap. Handheld lights offer the ability to guide your way and can be used to alert a vehicle that you're there by gesturing with it, and they often have a red blinking light, too. (Plus you won't blind your running buddy when you turn to talk to them!) Many of these lights are now rechargeable, which is a great feature. Headlamps by Petzl, Nathan, Amphipod offer great options; Nathan's Zephyr 300 is a lightweight and powerful handheld.

White lights allow you to see where you’re going (and often have blinking modes for low-light situations) and red lights allow you to be seen.

Lights and/or reflective gear should be put on the minute the daylight dims. This includes dusk, early morning, night, and cloudy days.

It's a foggy day
Fog is a particularly hazardous condition, but, if you must run, wear brightly colored clothing, have blinking lights on, possibly a headlamp or handheld for added safety and don’t run in the road! Drivers are unable to see far ahead of themselves, so they likely won’t see you ‘til they’re upon you. If you can’t see more than a few feet ahead of yourself, consider what could happen if a driver can’t see you. Fortunately, in this area dense fog is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

Night Time is the Right Time
Well, almost anytime is the right time to run, but running at night does bring challenges.

If you're in the road, run single file or no more than two abreast. 

Don't just dart across the road - wait! You think you can be seen, but drivers aren't necessarily looking for a runner being out there in the dark. MAKE EYE CONTACT with the driver.

Take out one earbud or use a headphone like Aftershokz that lets you stay in tune with your surroundings. 

Let someone know where you're going if you're alone. Consider Road ID or WearSafe.

And, most important: Remember, you want to SEE what’s ahead of you, but you also want to BE SEEN. I always want to light up the night. Run Safe.

Thanks to our friends at FleetFeet for providing this guest post. We'll be bringing you tips on the blog every month from experts in the community - please tell us what you want to hear about,