Philly Has Set Open Streets Every Weekend (So, Why Aren’t You More Excited?)

MLK Drive

MLK Drive

Nearly a year ago, we were all jumping up and down with joy at the announcement that we would be getting our very first official open streets event, prompted by the intoxicating freedom of being able to roam throughout the city streets, zero cars in our way, during the Pope’s 2015 visit. But the thing is, Philly has (and has had for a long time) a set seasonal open streets event of sorts that gives cyclists, runners and walkers the opportunity to peddle, pound the pavement, and stroll the streets in a car-free space every single weekend.

When we’ll get our next Philly Free Streets event has yet to be announced, but weekends of seasonal car-free streets just started back up again this month. Soooooo, why aren’t we all shouting about it from the rooftops?

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What You Should (And Shouldn’t!) Eat Before Long Runs, According to a Philly Dietitian

My mother makes the best lasagna. (I know you think your mom does, but I’m here to tell you that this stuff is heaven in a Pyrex pan.) A few summers ago, I visited home while training for the Philly Marathon. Mom felt particularly adventurous one afternoon and decided to whip up a double-ricotta version of her lasagna. I had a post-dinner training run planned, but hey – how much harm can an ooey-gooey plate of pre-run pasta actually cause?

Answer: Somewhere out there is a porta potty that hasn’t been the same since 2014.

My parents’ house sits atop a steep hill, so the first mile or so was business as usual. However, the second my sneakers hit level ground, all the saucy business inside my gut began to bubble, toil, and create allll kinds of trouble. I had to pull the plug at mile three, and the walk home was (literally) an uphill battle.

I consider it my duty to save other stomachs from this now-proven recipe for disaster. Fortunately, Philly-based registered dietitian and sports nutritionist Jenna Stranzl feels the same way. Read on for her breakdown of the best and worst foods to feast on in the hours leading up to your next long run.

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Broad Street Run Training: The One Skill to Practice Now for a Stronger Race Day

If I asked you to run six miles, making each mile slightly faster than the previous, could you do it? The truth is, most runners would struggle with this task, failing within the first two or three miles. If you are one of those runners who finds your first few miles or reps are always your fastest, I suggest you think about changing that. Don’t worry: I’ll show you how.

One of the most important skills a runner can have is the ability to “run by feel.” Running by feel is the ability to inwardly and accurately assess pace in relation to effort. While running by feel is a lot easier said than done and takes years to truly master, there is something you can do during each run to get better at it: Learn how to get faster throughout your runs.

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The Checkup: Why Oatmeal Shouldn’t Be Your Automatic Healthy Breakfast Pick

• Interesting! BuzzFeed asked dietitians and healthy-eating experts to choose the best breakfast picks from a ton of fast-food restaurants’ menus and it turns out, oatmeal — the item always slapped on the menu for the healthy folks — isn’t always the answer. They noted that in some cases (ahem, McDonald’s and Burger King), the dish boasts way too much sugar and not enough protein, making an egg sandwich a better bet. So remember that next time you get stuck at the airport, flight delayed, at an ungodly hour of the morning. [BuzzFeed]

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The Problem With Saying Women Shouldn’t Run Alone

One day in high school, I showed up to school dressed in a sweater dress worn over a pair of opaque pinkish/taupe leggings. And you’re right: I probably never should’ve chosen to wear pinkish/taupe leggings … ever. But that doesn’t make what happened next, over a decade ago at this point, any less inexcusable to me.

Sometime that day, one of the teachers at my high school approached me and told me that I needed to change my clothes. My outfit wasn’t revealing, I countered. He agreed that yes, it wasn’t exactly revealing, but the fact that the leggings and the dress — I repeat: a long-sleeved sweater dress — hugged my body could be distracting to others. Distracting to the teenage boys who should’ve been paying attention to geometry or english lit or whatever else instead of staring at my sweater dress in the first place, he meant.

I argued. I lost. I was forced to change into a pair of boys’ size XXL basketball shorts and a baggy T-shirt borrowed from a friend — not the least bit distracting on a 110-pound girl, right? — for the rest of the day. And yes, there were tears involved.

When I think about it now, it still makes my blood boil. Here’s why: That was the first time in my life where I can remember feeling like my right to simply live my life as a female was blatantly thrown to the side in order to accommodate the seemingly assumed and accepted inability of males to act appropriately.

Here’s why I tell this story: In the past few days, I’ve stumbled across a number of stories and anecdotes online questioning whether, in general, women should run and bike in less-traveled areas, like say, farther up the Schuylkill River Trail, alone. This is not new. There are tons of discussions and articles around the internet debating whether a woman venturing alone onto trails, or even just city streets, is wise or not, along with plenty of articles with some version or another of the title “How Women Can Stay Safe on Runs.”

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Run These: 9 Really Fun Philly-Area Summer Races

ODDysey Half Marathon | Photo via Facebook

ODDysey Half Marathon | Photo via Facebook

Fantastic summer races may feel as though they’re few and far between, but fear not! Our city and boasts a whole slew of one-of-a-kind running events in the warmer months. From a jazzy mainstay, to a little bit of yoga and a bright sea of bubbles (don’t worry — they supply the soap!), you’ve got more than enough opportunities to shape up (and sweat your buns off) throughout summer. Read on to find your perfect (very sweaty) race.

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Broad Street Run Training: Two 10-Minute Workouts That Will Help You PR

Let’s say you have two identical bicycles, one with treaded mountain bike tires and the other with smooth road bike tires. Which bike would you rather ride on the roads? The obvious choice, of course, would be the one with road tires. Here’s why: Road tires will have less resistance, meaning you’ll get further with each pedal. You’ll be more efficient on a bike with road tires and therefore will be able to achieve higher speeds with less energy.

What do bicycle tires have to do with running? Similar to the road tires, the more efficient your running stride, the less resistance and energy will be needed at any given pace, and as a result your pace will feel easier. This is what’s called running economy, “a measure of how much fuel it takes for you to travel a certain distance,” according to Runner’s World. Your takeaway is this: The more efficient you are, the less energy you spend.

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Meet Meatball, This Week’s Adoptable Running Dog

meatball lead-940x540

Meatball | Photo courtesy the Monster Milers

As you might’ve already guessed, Meatball is not the leanest nor the swiftest of running partners, but she is still a solid buddy for hitting the Schuylkill River Trail on your shakeout runs: she keeps a steady (though slower) pace. Bonus points: The girl has a GREAT smile. Learn more about this sweet gal below.

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10 Coolest Philly Fitness and Foodie Events This Month: April 2017

Springtime on the Schuylkill Run and Potluck | Photo via Facebook

Springtime on the Schuylkill Run and Potluck | Photo via Facebook

A farmers’ market on fleek (are the kids still saying that?), a donut-fueled 5K, an open streets run: That’s just a handful of the fun April has in store for you. There’s a ton of fitness and foodie fun (much of it free!) to be had this month, so read up, then plan accordingly.

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