The Starting Line

The Starting Line

Slidin' in Sochi

Aaron Pike’s training and racing for marathons usually consist of pushing along roads, often surrounded by Illinois cornfields.

This winter, he’s traded that for sliding on the snow.

Pike is one of three University of Illinois athletes who are trading in their wheels for skis to compete in the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, which begin March 7.

The Fit List

The racing scene will get a little more active now that we’re closing in on March. Here’s what I’ve got for the next few weekends:

Weekend of Feb. 22-23:
Illini Chill

Yoga's 'calming' influence

This yoga class takes place in a gym, on a tiled floor beneath a basketball hoop, rather than at a yoga studio. The mats are padded gym mats instead of the usual flat, sticky yoga mats.

The doors in the building are locked, with staff buzzed in and out.

Jumping for joy

Get Delaney Walsh on a trampoline and she flies.

The Champaign teen jumps high above the trampoline, then rotates, with her legs tucked, 1 1/2 times. She kicks her legs out, gets another bounce on the trampoline, then flips twice with her legs straight — a half out tuck and double straight combination.

It’s the latest tumbling skill she’s been working to perfect.

The Fit List

That windchill is brutal. But you can still race if you want. Races are still a little scarce, but there’s a few coming up in February.
Here’s what I’ve got:

Weekend of Jan. 25-26:
Nearly Naked Mile

Take a walk in their shoes

In the interest of trying new things (as I wrote about in my last column), I tried snowshoeing for the first time last week.

The Fit List

The Siberian Express should live up to its name this weekend. The temps look like they’ll be pleasant, but it will be a snowy trail! See you there.
The Fit List will appear sporadically during the next month or so, depending on the race calendar. I’ll update for February races. In the meantime, here’s the list for January weekends:

Weekend of Jan. 4-5:

Sky's the limit: Four new things to try in 2014

Try something new in the New Year.

You might love your regular runs or bike rides or Crossfit sessions, but trying something a little different can help keep you from getting bored and challenge you by building your fitness in a different way. And you may end up falling in love with a new sport or activity.

The Fit List

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I think the appropriate way to end one year and start another one is with a run. Here are some races/runs coming up on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, and in early January.
Happy New Year!

Weekend of Dec. 28-29:
First Night 5K