This week’s episode is a little different. It’s been a while since Tina has given an update on what’s happening at Running for Real, so today she shares what she’s been doing lately and some thoughts about the future. She’s mentioned that she’s been feeling a little lost recently, not knowing what direction to go in. A few weeks ago, though, her purpose and her role became “crystal clear.”
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Together Runs have been popular since Tina introduced them at the start of the pandemic, and now she’s added an exciting new element – Travel Together Runs. They take place in different locations, and sometimes are centered around iconic races, like the Chicago and New York City marathons. In addition to immersing you in new places, they feature long runs and workouts. Tina explains, “I know we don’t often get the opportunity to go to all these cool places and the feeling I get when it feels like everyone in my running world is in one city, one place, and I’m not there, is so isolating. And Running for Real, you know that we care about that, we’re trying to change that, and so I wanted to find a way to take you with me. So when I go to a location I take my mic, and every run I do is to take you with me, so that we’re exploring that area together.”
Travel Together Runs are bi-weekly, alternating with the traditional Together Runs. They’re available through Patreon, where members also get live Zoom Q&A sessions with Tina and other members of the Patreon community, advance notice of podcast guests and the opportunity to ask them questions, the ability to have their questions answered on Weekly Strides, access to training plans, and more.
The Chicago Travel Together Runs came about because Tina was at the Chicago Marathon not to run, but to help out with their sustainability initiatives. It’s part of what she sees as her role of serving as a bridge between the initiatives that companies and events are taking and the runners that they serve. As Tina points out, Allbirds, for example, prints the carbon footprint of their products on each item, but if customers don’t know what that number means, is it going to make them think about climate change and do anything about it?
She also wants to help runners make sustainable practices a part of their everyday lives, by sharing tips like her 100 Days of Sustainability on Instagram. Many environmental activists say that individual actions don’t make an impact, and in a way, she concedes, that’s true. “If every single person who I’ve ever connected with in the running world, if every single person never bought a plastic bottle ever again, would that have a difference? No, not even the tiniest percentage. But every time I talk about these little things you can do in your life, that’s a seed and it grows. Trust me, I know. It grows over time and it makes change happen. My role is to get people to think, to care, to make small changes that make absolutely no difference when you look at them individually, but they build the momentum, so people then vote for the climate-conscious person, so they think and ask about things a bit more.”
The Running for Real team is helping runners enjoy their out-of-town races in an environmentally friendly way with a series of free Sustainable Runner’s guide books, which you can find here. More cities/races will be added regularly, and even if you’re not planning to run one of the featured races, if you’re visiting the host city, you’ll find plenty of great restaurants, places to shop, green spaces to enjoy, ways to get there and around, and suggestions for choosing a hotel.
Tina is currently finishing the book that she’s writing with Zoe Rom, Becoming a Sustainable Runner, which is scheduled for release next year. If you’d like to know more and be kept up-to-date on that and other projects, the best thing to do is to go to the website and sign up for Tina’s weekly newsletter.
A course for runners suffering from amenorrhea/RED-S, featuring a panel of experts who will share their best advice, is in the works to be released next year. From the beginning, Running for Real has been about knowing that you’re not alone, and this course will provide support during what can be an extremely difficult time.
As for Tina’s own running, she’ll be serving as a guide for a visually-impaired runner at the New York City Marathon. While she’s in the city, she’s hosting a run with Allbirds that will be for everyone – not just marathoners, but also the friends and family who have come to cheer them on. Panels,shake-out runs, and running-intense events are great for race participants, but the people who accompany them can feel left out. This will be a fun, lighthearted scavenger hunt that everybody can enjoy, runners and non-runners alike. You can find out more and register here. She’ll also be co-hosting a Tracksmith shakeout run in Brooklyn with Tommie Runz, Alexandria Will, Knox Robinson, and Erica Stanley-Dottin.
That’s just a little bit of what’s going on at Running for Real. Tina clearly is no longer lost.
Thank you to Patreon, Tracksmith, and Athletic Greens for sponsoring this episode.
Come join us on Patreon! Do you enjoy Together Runs? Then you won’t want to miss our bi-weekly Travel Together Run episodes, available only through Patreon! They’ll give you an immersive experience of exciting locations, along with workouts and long runs. Southern California and a run along the Chicago lakefront with Lindsey Hein are up first. We’ll have conversations about those runs, discussing your answers to Tina’s questions and talking about your thoughts.
Other benefits include monthly Q&A Zoom chats with Tina and other Patreon members, the opportunity to ask questions of upcoming guests, and blog posts on topics of your choice.
Go here to check out the different levels – we’d love to see you there!
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