September 2022 Newsletter

Note from the Editor

It's a short newsletter this month as I'm sure many of our members have been wrapping up a busy summer season. Somehow we've ended up in fall again, and if that feels abrupt to you, take heart that at least it's the best running season of the year. RJ suggests we keep those legs warmed up, though as we head into cooler months!

Anne Farrell

UVRC Newsletter Team

Article Collection
Robert Jones

UVRC Newsletter Team

Ask the Coaches

Let’s Stretch it Out: Warming up

By: Robert Jones

Hello UVRC and welcome to the first installment of UVRC Labs where we dive into the science, myths, and facts of running. There is a lot of information out there about best running practices, some of it is good, some of it seems to be just flat out wrong, and a decent amount of it is told with an ulterior motive. But here we strive to dig into the actual validity of this information and bring you at least a somewhat more informed opinion. Please note that whatever is provided here is the opinion of a non-medical professional and should not be treated as medical advice.

One of the most debated and dare I say controversial topics in the running community is the effectiveness of incorporating stretching into your warm up (I'll talk about cooling down in a different article because there is just too much for one). I say controversial because there is not widespread enough evidence that has conclusively proven the effectiveness of pre run stretches or warmups in either the positive or the negative. And also if you were to talk to 30 runners in our own community and asked them their experience you’d probably get 30 different answers ranging from “I probably should stretch more but I don’t really notice a difference either way” to “If I don’t do my full warm up routine, it's like I’m running in a swamp”. The likely reasons and contributing factors for this disparity amongst runners are numerous and complex but include factors such as age, level of exertion, body type, and diet to name a few. Suffice to say, the reason it has been so difficult to arrive at anything conclusive is the simple truth that everyone’s body is different. And also the effectiveness of a pre workout stretch will depend a lot on what activity you are doing and how long you’re doing it. So really from the get go you can see that if you were trying to demonstrate how effective stretching was that you’d be drowning in so many variables that a conclusive study would seem dang near impossible (unless of course you had a couple hundred willing participants in some kind of organized group or something….). And also one could very reasonably ask the question; “since we’ve been doing it for generations and yet nothing has been proven either way, does it matter?”, to which I would answer “probably?”.

To get some insight on this, I read a recent paper (1) that set about addressing the question “Should I stretch during my warm up and if so, what kind?”.

I chose this paper in particular because it looked at recreational runners and I believe many studies on the subject typically use athletes that are professionally trained or military, which have more caveats than could reasonably be applied to the majority of our running community. That being said, I’m going to level with you Fam, this paper suffers from the issue that many papers do in regards to drawing conclusions for many by using a sample set of a few. That sample set being a scant 8 cis-gendered males, so immediately take a huge olde spoonful of salt for this one. Also while it isn’t a conflict of interest per se, it is important to state that my bias is of course for doing a full warmup routine including light exercise, dynamic, and static stretches which comes from experience but is not grounded in science. I will however, try to convey the results of the study without letting my bias get in the way and note that I will also cite papers that contrast the findings of this one

Anyway, to summarize the study: it took place under controlled environmental conditions on a treadmill for all the trials. The 8 participants did a familiarization with the setup so they wouldn’t be going in blind and influence their performance. They also did a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) which essentially gives you a gauge of your exercise ability and your VO2 Max (explained). For the study proper, each participant did an exercise routine including static stretching (SS), a routine including dynamic stretching (DS), or a routine with no stretching (NS), in a random order. The routines are as follows.

SS: 10 Minutes running warm up, 5 minutes static stretches, 5 minute rest, 5 minute run at 70% VO2 Max (think roughly 70% of your max effort), speed increased to VO2 Max (100% max effort) and then the subject ran until exhaustion.

DS: 10 Minutes running warm up, 5 minutes dynamic stretches, 5 minute rest, 5 minute run at 70% VO2 Max, speed increased to VO2 Max and then the subject ran until exhaustion.

NS: 15 Minutes running warm up, 5 minute rest, 5 minute run at 70% VO2 Max, speed increased to VO2 Max and then the subject ran until exhaustion.

They put the results in terms of Running Economy (how much energy is needed for your body to move at a certain velocity), Rating of Perceived Exertion, VO2 Max, Respiratory Exchange Ratio, and Heart Rate, but i’ll only talk about Running Economy and Rating of Perceived Exertion because I think those are most relevant to you. They found that there was a significant improvement in Running Economy in the stretching routines versus not, meaning that the subjects used less energy to achieve the same velocity when they stretched. They also found that the Rating of Perceived Exertion was significantly lower in both the stretching routines in comparison to the no stretching routine. Now this one I want to focus on because while it is the most subjective of the measurements (it’s basically like slapping someone and asking them to rate their pain from 1-10) it is the one most likely to be measurable and experienced by you and me. Whether you are new to running or a seasoned veteran, you *KNOW* when you’ve had a rough run and contrarily when you’ve had a good one. And when it comes to your mental state about running, this will probably be the most impactful measurement when it comes to building running habits e.g. you probably aren’t going to be running all that much if every run makes you feel like you’re halfway dead. This data suggests that you may perform slightly better and feel better about your run if you do soome kind of stretch in your warm up beforehand. Whether dynamic or static is more effective though is a bit difficult to say but personally I like the dynamic stretches because it gets my heart rate up.

So, should you stretch in your warmup? Well here are two studies (2,3) that contradict this study. The first one actually found that dynamic stretches were detrimental (however, this was looking at runners going at 90% VO2 which most of us will not do recreationally), while the second found no statistically significant impact. So there’s that. But if you’d like my opinion, I vote yes, yes you should. I don’t know about you but when I don’t warm up with some stretches I can feel it, I can feel my body taking longer to “get the engine going”, and it does turn the first couple miles into a suckfest. And this is one of those things where you can very easily make your own informed decision by trying it yourself! Dorcas and Tim put together a great series of dynamic stretches before TNT, maybe one session you try them and one you don’t, and check in with yourself and how you feel. We as a club support any effort to improve your running experience and if possible, set you up to prevent injuries. Anything we can do to not make you feel like a pile of sweaty sadness after a run, we’re going to do that thing! Because we like y’all! So bottom line, come to TNT, do your dynamic stretches, and there is a statistically plausible chance you’ll benefit from it either mentally or physically :)

  1. Faelli, Emanuela, Marco Panascì, et al. "The Effect of Static and Dynamic Stretching during Warm-Up on Running Economy and Perception of Effort in Recreational Endurance Runners." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 16 (2021): 8386.
  2. Yamaguchi, T.; Takizawa, K.; et al. Effect of General Warm-Up Plus Dynamic Stretching on Endurance Running Performance in Well-Trained Male Runners. Res. Q. Exerc. Sport 2019, 90, 527–533
  3. Zourdos, M.C.; Wilson, J.M.; et al. Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Energy Cost and Running Endurance Performance in Trained Male Runners. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2012, 26, 335–341.

Afternotes (RJ’s Rambling opinion)

I will note that as a scientist I find the research on this VASTLY understudied and uninformative to the average person. The majority of the studies that I found (which was not an exhaustive search) had trained or professionally athletic cis-males as their study group. The studies that did include cis-females also selected them from the pool of trained or professional athletes. And I could not find much satisfactory information regarding trans-identifying athletes at least in regards to dynamic stretches. Which is all to say that if you do see stats out there, consider where their samples come from and how/if the results can truly be applied to you. I for example, have very little in common athletically with an olympic level sprinter so I won’t be looking to studies that use them as a reference. Also the studies were usually pretty darn small, <50 people. Health statistics are outside of my discipline so maybe this is an appropriate number but in general I would like to see a larger study before I could trust any statistically significant results. Reason being; imagine if you were to go into Central Park and grab the first 5 runners you saw, you might just have gotten lucky and snagged the 5 fittest people in all of New York. But if you grabbed the first 100 or so, you can be more confident that you have a wide array of fitness levels and therefore could potentially apply your results to a larger audience. And I won’t get on my soapbox today in regards to the importance of diversity in health statistics but suffice to say that there are many more kinds of people that would benefit from well designed tests than are actually included in the sample pools for those tests.

Runner Profile

Ryan Scelza

By: Matt Sherman

Name: Ryan Scelza

Town: Quechee, VT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?

I was born and raised in the Upper Valley. After high school I went south to Clemson University (Go Tigers!), then lived in and around NYC for a handful of years. I moved back to VT in 2012 and love being back home.

What do you do professionally? 

I am the Director of Financial Systems and Services at Dartmouth College.  My job sits in the Finance division, and partners closely with the IT group and many others across campus. Fun fact: Dartmouth was also my very first employer as I spent a high school summer cleaning dorms!

How long have you been running?

Since 2013, which was the year of my first 5K in Norwalk, CT; along with the first Road to the Pogue I participated in. I began running more than the sporadic 5K in 2017 when I dipped my toes into half marathons, completing my first CBHM, and I haven’t looked back since!

How long have you been running competitively?

“Competitively” is much too strong of a word to describe my current approach to running. I do enjoy the competition of the Upper Valley Running Series, and with 2018 being the first year I joined, that will be my answer. Another fun fact: I have only missed two UVRS races in the four years I have been participating (2020 doesn’t count).  My strategy is much more focused on consistency than speed.

Why do you run? 

Because it’s fun! And I am appreciative of the many health benefits it offers. 

Recent memorable moment while running? 

We currently live on Quechee Main Street and during the 2022 CBHM I was super appreciative to my wife, friends, and neighbors for their efforts in putting together the best unofficial water stop, which included music, a sprinkler, and popsicles! They’re hopeful to make it even better in 2023!

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why? 

I enjoy half marathons. They’re long enough to make you prepare ahead of time, but doable enough to not have to devote your life to it.

Training partners? 

Everyone at TNT, with a special shout out to the 8:00 and 8:30 pace groups (Helene, Nadia, Abram, and others!), although I haven’t been going as regularly as I would like. I also really enjoy when I can convince my wife to run with me, but that usually takes a really good reason and a fair amount of bartering.

Cross training activities?

If hiking counts, that’s what I’ll go with. We completed the Vermont portion of the Appalachian Trail in 2020 and we’re aiming to finish the Long Trail later this year.

Favorite post run treat? 

I won’t turn down a cold beer on a hot day, although that’s not necessarily post-run specific.

Any notable streaks or other unusual running events?

Early on in the pandemic, Jim Westrich and I attempted to each run 100 miles in a week to raise money for the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund. Jim was successful, I was not, but we still raised money for a great cause and had fun documenting our efforts on a website.

Ever run in a costume?  I have not.

The only running shoe for me is ____________________.

I’m on my 4th and 5th pair of Brooks Adrenalines.

Hot or cold weather runner?

Cooler is preferred. September is usually my favorite month to run outside.

Morning or evening runner?

Has to be at night, I’m pretty good at sleeping in.

I run therefore I ______________________. 


What is your diet like?

I have been a vegetarian for 6 years, but also I enjoy lots of pasta and ice cream.

What is your favorite race?

To run, it has to be the CBHM.  To volunteer at, 100% the VT 100.

Member Submission

On coming back after surgery

By: Melissa Herman

I was increasingly unable to run without pain so I sought out the advice of Dr. Peter Loescher, an Upper Valley doc who specializes in athletic injuries like hips and knees at Alice Peck Day.  He gave me some cortisone, which worked until I ran a 10K and my hip said, “”  Then we tried Orthovisc, but that didn’t do anything for me and eventually the reality of osteoarthritis due to hip dysplasia won out.  So, I had a new hip installed by Dr. Wayne Moschetti at DHMC.  Both doctors were great, and I’m THRILLED with my new hip.  They said that 20% of hip replacement patients are able to run athletically again. 

 However, when I tried running again at 6 months post-op, it felt like wading through quicksand, achy and unpleasant.  I couldn’t make myself go more than 1.5 miles at 12 min pace.  I was really discouraged and figured I was not in the 20% category.  Friends and relatives said, “running is bad for your body anyhow, give it up.” 

 But, I decided to give it one more shot before hanging up my track shoes so I showed up at the Under the Tree for the 5K and hitched my metaphorical wagon to an older gentleman going 11 min pace.  I figured I would try to stick with him as long as I could and then either walk the rest of the way or call my husband to come fetch me.  I ran the whole way!!  My body decided that 11 min pace was normal and my achy legs just decided not to complain too loudly until after the race.  When they did, it wasn’t the hip but the lower thigh and calf that were just not used to all that sustained exercise.  It took about a few days to feel back to normal, but I have since learned that this is typical for athletes who have had to take a long time off for various reasons.  Ramping back up takes time and effort.  My body is not in the shape it once was but I am optimistic that I will get there with some perseverance.

See you on the course!

Social Events

Coolidge 5k Race Announcement

By: Geoff Dunbar

Come join the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation on Saturday, October 1st, 2022, at 10am for one of the most beautiful and historic New England races of the year: the Coolidge 5K!

The scenic and historic 5K course explores the Coolidge site and its surroundings. The 5K race will be professionally timed. Race entry is just $20 for adults, and free for kids under 18. Proceeds support the Coolidge Foundation's educational programs.

We have a $100 cash prize for the top male and top female finishers, prizes for age group winners, and refreshments (including cold Moxie) at the finish line.

After the race, cool down with the "I Do Not Choose to Run" 1-Mile Walk at 11am, so named for President Coolidge's famous and characteristically concise declaration about his intention not to seek re-election for president in 1928. If running isn't your cup of tea, you can just come out for the walk!

To register, go to:

Social Events

September Race Updates

By: Geoff Dunbar

Fall is coming, UVRC, and I am looking forward to some racing in cooler/less-humid weather!
Upper Valley Running Series
The August race was the Under the Tree 5K/10K in Hartland, VT. That was quite a hill in the 10K! But the 5K still counts for "finisher" status. The UVRS site has a link to race results, and current series standings:
Race five in the series is the Sharon Sprouty 5K/10K in Sharon VT. Again, the 10K is the scoring race, but the 5K is finisher eligible. Remember, you need to finish 6 races to be a series finisher, and you've got 4 more races to go. You do the math!
See the website (above) for links to series races, as well as overall information on the series.
New Hampshire Grand Prix
Congratulations to all brave UVRC racers who finished the Sandown 5M in hot steamy conditions. At mile 2, I changed my goal from "Run fast" to "Finish without walking." We had a much better result this year than 2021, thanks to increased participation. UVRC is in third in the series, but in serious contention, just a few points behind the Gate City Striders in first.
How can you help UVRC claim our third ever NHGP title? Two scoring chances remain!
First is the track 5K. Run anytime you like (on any official track), submit your time. Tim Smith and the UVRC coaching staff tells me that tentatively, TNT on September 20th will be a group effort at the track 5K. A great chance to do it with a group.
Then, the last race in the series is the Delta Dental 1/2 Marathon, Concord NH on October 23. Remember that participation is weighted pretty heavily in the NHGP scoring, so even if you come out and do the race as a long run, you'll be helping the club. Traditionally, we've been pretty strong in the half marathon events, and Concord is pretty close compared to some of the races in the series. So, let's go UVRC!
If you have no idea what the New Hampshire Grand Prix is, check the website:
Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series
Trail runners love the summer! So two August races in this series:

  • STOAKED, August 6 Hanover NH.
  • French's Ledges Trail Race, August 20 Plainfield NH.

The series wraps up in September with the last two races: 

  • Lilyan Wright 10K, September 10, Goshen NH.
  • Farnum Five.5, September 24, Lebanon NH.

Results, information about upcoming races, and about the series in general:

Pam Moore showing off her 2021 NHGP Granite Runner hoodie. Go Pam!

Our Sponsors

Want to sponsor us? We can help you promote your company while you help us race.

Sponsor Us

UVRC, c/o Lebanon Recreation & Parks

51 North Park St

Lebanon NH 03766