Running Resources

Getting Started

Running is great for your mind and body.  There is no time like the present to improve your health, fitness and lifestyle through running on Miami Valley Trails network of paved trails. 

Find Time:

  • If you don’t have time to warm-up and stretch, just start with a couple of minutes of brisk waking, gradually easing into a slow jog, then a run.
  • Run for transportation: Run to and/or from work (if it’s safe and practical), run to do errands, leave early on your way somewhere and have your family pick you up along the way.
  • Get up earlier. Running first thing in the morning guarantees that it will get done, no matter how busy the rest of the day gets. Plans to run after you dinner, on your lunch hour, after work often don’t happen as planned.
  • Make a commitment. Busy, overcommitted people have to be reminded that their time counts as much as anyone’s. Encourage those who say they “don’t have the time to run” to make time. Write down the appointments in their appointment book, explain to their spouse and children how important running is to them, so that the whole family can help make accommodations.

What to wear:


  • Choose shoes that are made specifically for running. It does not need to be the most expensive shoe available. Here is a tool to help you select footwear.
  • Purchase your shoes from a running specialty retailer where knowledgeable staff ensures you get the right shoes for your feet. The sales person will analyze your gait to make sure that the recommended shoes will provide the needed support and fit to ward off discomfort and injury.
  • Try on several different brands. Different people have different feet and needs.
  • Test run the shoes at the store, and compare them with other brands. Be aware of the store’s return policy when you purchase the shoes.
  • Don’t pick a shoe based on the look or color. Pick a shoe based on the fit. Pretty is not always comfortable.
  • Replace your shoes every 300-500 miles to keep yourself from getting hurt and keep your body in working order.


Cold Weather Running

  • Wear clothing in layers so that warm air can be trapped between the layers. Depending on the weather conditions, two to four layers on the trunk and one to two layers on the legs are appropriate. It is helpful if the outer layers have vents and zippers to allow excess heat to escape as you become warm. On windy days the outer layer should be of wind resistant material.
  • Clothing made of material which carries the sweat away from the body is best, like wool, silk, or “space age” synthetics like polypropylene or polyester. Avoid cotton as it tends to hold the sweat.
  • Hat and gloves are crucial as these regions of the body have a substantial role in the regulation of body temperature. Mittens tend to be warmer than gloves. On very cold days mittens worn over gloves are very effective. Stocking caps or ski masks are desirable. On very windy days goggles or eye glasses can provide additional protection.
  • The outer layer should be light-colored and have reflective material if you are running during darker hours. Reflective material works only if there is a light source. Blaze orange becomes poorly visible brown at night. Light-colored material is visible even without a strong light source. During snowy days dark colors provide visible contrast and attract solar energy.
  • Avoid overdressing. Feel a bit under-dressed and chilly as you start, knowing that later as you run in your layered environment the temperature will rise about 20 degrees.

Warm Weather Running

  • Running in the heat can be dangerous if the proper precautions and preparations are not followed. 
  • Wear breathable clothing that will keep you cool and wick away the sweat.
  • Do wear light-colored breathable clothing that allows you to be visible to others.
  • Do not wear long sleeves, long pants or sweatsuits. Purposefully running in sweatsuits on hot days to lose water weight is dangerous!
  • Wear a hat to avoid having the sun on your face. You might also want to wear sunglasses as extra protection for your eyes.
  • Make sure to wear sunscreen, even when protected by hats and clothes.
  • Wear or carry some sort of water bottle or water storage sack in order to maintain hydration in the heat and/or on long runs.

Set Goals

Most beginning runners have a reason to start to run. Often that reason centers around health, feeling and looking better and getting out more.

These goals provide inspiration needed to get out the door for the first few weeks of a running program. Some new runners may be vague or undecided about their goals at the beginning of their running program. It’s OK to simply want to “feel better”, but to stick with it, it helps to establish some concrete, specific goals. Here are some examples of goals to suggest to beginning runners:

  • I want to run for 20 minutes without stopping.
  • I want to complete a 5k race.
  • I’d like to be able to play actively with my kids for 30 minutes without getting winded.

Mapping & Logging Websites

  • Gmap-Pedometer - A quick and easy site for mapping your routes, determining your distance along with calories burned.

  • USATF Running Routes - This is the USATF mapping tool, which allows you to save your route and calculates elevation, too.  The USATF website also has an archive of routes mapped by others that is searchable by location, terrain, length of run, etc.

  • MapMyRun - This site offers both free and fee-based membership and services.  Users can map and log runs, but some of the other services on this website require a premium membership.

Pace Calculator Websites

  • Coolrunning - This site allows you to calculate your time, distance or pace as long as you enter at least two of the three variables. It will also calculate your splits for you.

  • Runner’s World – This site will calculate projected finishing times and training paces based on information provided about a past race.

  • McMillan Running - This site will calculate projected finishing times and training paces based on information provided about a past race.

Running Store Finder

  • Running Network - This is a searchable list of running stores sorted by location.
  • The IRRA - This list websites for stores that belong to the Independent Running Retailer Association.


The ways you can help the trails. Support the Trails