Extra Mile Fitness in Valparaiso is a great running store with many types of running and biking gear from bikes to Vibram toe shoes. On Mondays and Wednesdays(6:30 pm) they host fun runs with running coaches for the public. There are four different routes that they have designed to run and will tell you the route of the day. The “VU” route will take you through Valparaiso University with a couple hills and is a very pretty run. This route can be a 5K route or expanded to a 4 mile route if you do the extra loop. The “Square” route is a 5 mile route that takes you in a square through Valparaiso where you start and end at the Extra Mile. Then they have a “Circle” route which you run loops that are a mile in length. This course allows you to run the distance you can or want and then stop while others run longer or shorter distances. Finally they have “Speed Work” hill. This is a 3 mile course that you run out and then run up and down a hill repeating it a couple times before returning back to Extra Mile Fitness.
Every month they host a “Thirsty Thursday” run as well. First you run, and then the group will go to Buffalo Wild Wings for food and drinks. The Extra Mile is located at 1330 East Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
If you’re not a fan of hills or can’t run on Mondays or Wednesdays there is a second group that meets in Chesterton, IN by the skate board park (close to Wagner’s) of Jackson Street. This group is led by Tom Little and is part of NWI Region Runners. The bike trail goes a long distance but they have it marked every .5 miles. The main group runs on Tuesday nights (6 pm) for about 4 miles every Tuesday. If you can’t run 4 miles you can still come out and run a shorter distance and turn around and return to the parking lot. IF you are interested you can friend Tom Little on Facebook or join the group NWI Region Runners on Facebook as well.
Joining a running group is a great way to meet new people that enjoy running and allow you to have supporters as you train. The paces in these different groups all vary and they are sure to have a group at either place that you can run with no matter if you are new to running or very experienced. The people in the groups are very supportive and friendly as well. They always ensure everyone makes it back and has a great time. They also provide tips to help you become a better runner.
Written by Alex Vaughn