Running the Great Trails Around Kentuckiana

By Peter Schuler

          Trail running can be an enjoyable addition to any running program. What could be a better combination than aerobic exercise, peace and quiet and beautiful scenery?

Trail running has traditionally attracted an older crowd.  Baby bommers with many miles on their legs quickly learn that the softer running surface is much more forgiving to the body than road running. Recovery time from a long trail run is much shorter than its equivalent spent pounding the pavement.

Some runners are reluctant to head out into the woods.  Concerns include the possibility of spraining an ankle, having to look too often at one’s feet, falling, getting lost, having to drive too far to get one’s regular exercise, the fear of encountering insects, snakes and other type of unfriendly wildlife, and getting poison ivy.

While trail running may not be for everyone, the fears of most non-trail runners are for the most part overblown.  Novices can start out of wearing ankle braces; trail runners soon learn that ankle strength and balance develop quickly with practice. Most of the area trails are well marked.  Accurate maps are readily obtainable. Since the best seasons for trail running are fall, winter, and spring, most of the insect, wildlife and poison ivy issues are diminished.  While one does need to pay attention to where one places his or her feet, the focus of concentration takes on a pleasant rhythmic, meditative quality. Time passes much too quickly on the trail.

For those who are serious about getting into trail running, a good pair of trail shoes is a wise investment. Running shoe and hiking boot manufacturers offer a range of options to provide for better traction, moisture resistance, and foot protection from rocks, roots, and other trail hazards.  Keeping one’s feet dry in cold and freezing weather is an essential requirement.

Beginning trail runners should not venture out into the woods alone.  Group trail running offers the opportunity for a nice social outing as well as providing additional safety and support in the event of an emergency.  Carrying a small first aid kit is also a good idea.  In addition to an accurate trail map, runners should carry a compass in order to avoid a reprise of “The Blair Witch Project” should the worst-case scenario occur.  Cell phones are a wonderful convenience, but are usually not that reliable on many trails further out from Jefferson county.

CamelBak hydration systems are ideal for trail running excursions.  The CamelBak permits the trail runner to efficiently carry enough water to last for an extended run, while for the most part allowing the runner’s arms to remain free. Sufficient food should also be packed away for the run; the Camel/Bak can also be used to pack food. Trail runners often choose to eat while walking uphill. Yes, I did say “walking.” Even experience and accomplished trail runners do not attempt to run up the steep climbs.

Probably the best place for novice trail runners to start is at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.  The trail surface is very good, the area is not very hilly, and one is never too far away from one’s car.

There are good trails to run in Seneca and Cherokee Parks, but they are a little more technical, with more abrupt ups and downs than Sawyer.  These trails are frequently used by mountain bikes, so trail runners have to be heads-up on the narrow, single track trails.  The trails in Iroquois Park is also suitable for running.

For the more seasoned trail runner, the Louisville area offers an array of choices an off-road running adventure.  One popular destination is the Knobstone Trail, which offers frequent opportunities for “altitude adjustment,” a term some trail runners are fond of using.  The Knobstone has some breathtaking scenery, which can be enjoyed because the trail itself is very trail runner friendly.  Eight trailheads along the Knobstone provide the runners with parking and access to various points along the more than 50-miles of trail.  The southern terminus of the trail is located at Deam Lake, near Borden, IN.

The Jefferson Memorial Forest, near Fairdale, KY is another wonderful place to run.  Three separate sections of the Forest have their own trail systems.

Another popular trail running venue is Otter Creek Park, near Brandenburg, KY. The 7-mile “Otter Creek Trail” is a very enjoyable loop route that offers a variety of scenery. The high view over a bend in the Ohio is spectacular.

The Millennium Trail at Bernheim Forest, near Clermont, KY is the 13-mile trail which is especially challenging but extremely well marked.

For breathtaking scenery, trail runners willing to drive two hours can experience the beauty of the landscape at Red River Gorge, near Slade, KY and at Cave Run Lake, near Morehead, KY.

As the air begins to cool and leaves begin to change color, the time is right to consider adding the healthy and enjoyable experience of trail running into one’s regimen.

Pete Schuler is a Louisville attorney, a board member for the Cherokee Road Runners.




What is VO2 Max?

By Scott Black, M.D., M.S.

 Most endurance athletes are familiar with the term “VO2max”.  It is not uncommon to overhear runners or cyclists discussing in admiration the fact that Lance Armstrong (or another world-class endurance athlete) has a “V02max of close to 80”.  For the most part, we all know that athletes with higher numbers generally perform better, but just what is a V02max and is it an important measurement that any competitive endurance athlete should have measured?

V02max is shorthand for the volume of oxygen that the body can consume at maximal effort.  It is a measure of an individual’s aerobic capacity.  As muscles work, they consume oxygen.  Think of your muscles like a car engine.  Cars burn a mixture of fuel and oxygen to produce work.  Your muscles do the same thing.  Carbohydrates or fat (fuel) are consumed along with oxygen and work is produced.  Larger, more powerful engines generally consume more fuel and oxygen and can produce more work.  Compare a Corvette and a Prius.  The Corvette is faster but consumes more fuel and oxygen.

As a general rule of thumb, individuals who can consume more oxygen also can do more muscular work and therefore are better at endurance sports.  Likewise, improving one’s VO2max has the potential of improving race performance as well.

There are two ways that you can have your aerobic capacity assessed.  If you are a runner, you can simply estimate your VO2max based on race results for your most recent two or three races.  Charts that give you an estimated value are available in a number of resources.  One of the classic books that contain this information is Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Daniels, PhD.  I haven’t seen similar charts for cyclists, but Chris Carmichael (Lance’s coach) advocates using a three-mile maximum effort time trial on a regular basis to evaluate your current abilities.  Alternatively, a submaximal test called the Astrand Test has been developed to estimate a cyclist’s maximal oxygen uptake.  Information on how to perform this test can be found by checking with a fitness professional.

On the other hand, if you are into technology and want a direct measurement of your VO2max, this can be accomplished in a laboratory during a maximum cardiopulmonary exercise test.  First, you have to find a lab with the proper equipment to perform the test.  University exercise physiology labs usually have a metabolic cart, which is the device that measures your oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production during exercise.  Some medical centers, especially ones that provide cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation services, are also likely to have metabolic carts.  Alternatively, some private labs or training facilities are beginning to offer this service.

During the test, you will exercise on either a treadmill or a stationary bicycle.  Runners should use a treadmill and cyclists should exercise on a bike.  While you are exercising, you will have to breathe through a mouthpiece connected by a tube to the metabolic cart.  The cart will analyze how much oxygen you’re consuming and carbon dioxide you’re producing.  You will be asked to gradually increase the intensity of your exercise until you can’t work any harder and ask to stop.  The amount of oxygen you’re consuming at that time is your VO2max.  The other key pieces of information you will need from the test are your maximum heart rate at the end of the test and the treadmill velocity at your V02max.  For cyclists, your maximum power output can be substituted for treadmill speed.

Once you have determined your VO2max (either by estimation or direct measurement), your maximum heart rate, and either your running speed or cycling power output that corresponds to your maximum oxygen consumption, you can use that information as an objective measure of your current aerobic capacity.  Interval or threshold workouts can be planned at more exact intensities.  Later, a higher VO2max or improved time trial performance on a repeat test can demonstrate the effectiveness of your training program.  No change might indicate that you need to alter your routine.

Be aware, however, that VO2max is not the only factor that influences your race day performance.  While it is true that a high aerobic capacity is a pre-requisite for being an elite endurance athlete (have you ever seen a Prius in a Nascar race?), many other factors play a role in your final race time.  Lactate threshold, exercise economy, motivation, and plain old toughness all significantly influence your race performance such that the person with the highest VO2max doesn’t always win.

Dr. Black is an avid runner, cyclist, and multi-sport athlete.  He has a Master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Kentucky.  He also received his medical degree and completed a Family Medicine residency at UK.  After ten years in private practice he completed a Sports Medicine fellowship at Wake Forest.

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Pump n’ Pedal: Getting Two for the Price of One

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

I’ve been going to spinning classes for about 10 years. I have to admit, I am more of a lover of aerobic exercise rather than weight training. Yes, I do weight train but I need to force myself to do it. Yeah, yeah, I know I should know better as a health professional but…I am just telling you the truth.

I typically run and bike outdoors but in the winter I like to go to spinning classes rather than bike in the cold. When I saw the class called Pump n’ Pedal on the schedule, I couldn’t wait to take the class. The class definition is: cycling with resistance training combined in one session – what more could you ask for?

The instructor, Nancy Moody, was excellent! Seeing her was like a blast from the past! About 8 years ago, Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, one of the magazines I used to publish, did a feature story on her. Nancy, a very fit and health conscious woman all of her life, found out she had colon cancer. Now, she boasts she has been cancer free for 10 years & counting. She looked great & her encouragement during the class & her music was exceptional.

Nancy brought in a cart which was loaded with an assortment of bands of all colors and hand-held weights from 5 pounds to 10 pounds. After class participants picked up their tubes and weights, we mounted our bikes & the fun began (and work). The class was 75 minutes.

After 30 minutes of spinning, we got off the bike and used exercise tubing to work the muscles in our shoulders and arms. I had a band that the level of difficulty was too high for me so I struggled.  Mental note: Bring my own tubing for the next class. Back on the bike, more spinning then back to more, then off the bike again for more resistance training with the bands. Back on the bike, more spinning then off the bike using hand held weight. We did some exercises on the bike which help to strengthen our abs but no actual crunches were part of the workout.

I always wear my heart rate monitor when I exercise. It’s very rewarding for me to hit a button and discover I burned 650 calories during the class. Yippee!

The question I have right now is Will I be able to walk or run tomorrow or Wednesday or Will I be able to even lift my arms over my head. I’ll let you know in 2 days or so, that’s when the soreness really sets in!

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition,, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 11 grandchildren.



How to Choose a Personal Trainer

Mary Glover, M.Ed., M.S

Why should personal trainers be only a luxury of the rich and famous?  Some say that they cannot afford a personal trainer yet they will splurge on the purse that is in style, an expensive dinner out, or on a piece of exercise equipment that they promise to use.  Unlike the purse that goes out of style, the instantly gratifying meal, and exercise bike that is used to hang clothing on, personal training is an investment in your health and fitness which can bring lasting benefits.

Before you splurge on the gift of personal training for yourself or for someone you care about, there are a few considerations that you should be aware of to make a sound investment. The following checklist will help you in your search for an educated, qualified, and compatible trainer who will help you to meet and to exceed your fitness goals.

Education and Certification

First and foremost, a professional trainer should have a degree in exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology, or a related health and fitness field.  Ideally, your trainer should also have a current certification from a nationally recognized organization.

The title “Personal Trainer” is not a guarantee that the person is qualified to lead you in a safe effective exercise program. The degrees and certifications are more than just pieces of paper. Rather, they are your assurance that your trainer has spent hours of serious preparation and did not get certified on a whim. Currently, there aren’t any national standards or minimum requirements for holding this job title. Therefore, it is best for you to choose a trainer who is certified by one of the following organizations:


  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Aerobic and Fitness Association of American (AFAA)
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

While there may be other qualified certifying bodies not listed above, these are

the most recognized and respected in the field.  These certifications require a

valid CPR card, the passing of written and practical exams, and continuing

education requirements.  These organizations also offer professional liability

insurance to their trainers. Some of the organizations even provide an

online database of trainers in your particular area.

The Right Fit

You must decide if you would prefer a male or female trainer. Is the trainer able to accommodate your schedule? The trainer should be able to communicate clearly and explain your program in an easy to understand manner. Ask yourself if this trainer is someone you could get along with. The trainer should be an individual genuinely interested in helping you to make the lifestyle changes necessary to reach your fitness goals.


Rates will vary depending on the length of sessions, location, and trainer’s experience. Some gyms offer discounts on “package” deals and even group personal training options. On average, hands-on personal training is $35 to $100 an hour depending on the market.

A Game Plan

Be cautious of a trainer who insists on a workout during the first meeting without first getting to know your goals and physical capabilities. Qualified trainers should ask you to complete a health history questionnaire, informed consent form, and require a physician’s approval to exercise. Baseline measurements to assess body fat, flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular endurance can be utilized to prescribe the best type of exercise, equipment and level of intensity. No exercise plan is complete without giving proper attention to nutrition. Your trainer should have a network of professionals such as nutrition specialists, physical therapists, and physicians to refer you to in areas outside of their expertise.

Proceed With Caution

Beware of trainers who may engage in unethical practices. Be on guard and skeptical if your trainer:

  • Tries to sell dietary supplements or “ergogenic” aids.
  • Is uninsured.
  • Doesn’t have written policies on billing and cancellation procedures.
  • Is not punctual or is unavailable via telephone or email.
  • Does not practice what he/she preaches.

With the above information you are now equipped to go out and find the best trainer to best suit you. So, go ahead and splurge because you are investing in one of your greatest assets—your health and fitness!

Mary Glover is co-owner and Fitness/Personal Training Director at Time Out Fitness in Louisville, KY. She has over 15 years of experience in personal training and is ACSM and AFFA certified. To reach Mary, call 502-558-8693, e-mail at or


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Walking, Jogging or Running Around Louisville

Walking, Jogging or Running Around Louisville

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

take advantage of all the really great parks we have available to us in the Louisville area and there will be more when all the parks are developed by the 21st Century Parks. You can walk, jog or run. Walking burns less calories unless you can walk fast and raise your heart rate. Jogging and running burn more calories in less time but if you have not exercised at all start walking and then walk, jog and then you can begin running. You can use the following calculator to determine how many calories you have burned walking, jogging or running. . There are lots of walking/running programs in the Louisville area. Stop by one of the local running stores and they can give you some information on programs in your area. You can use following calculator to determine how many calories you need each day.


Use a Pedometer to Count How Many Steps You Take Per Day

Pedometers can track steps, track distance, have 7-day memory or longer, track total calories. You can get a pedometer at discount stores like Target or Walmart, at sporting goods stores like Dick’s or Scheller’s or at any of the local running stores.


Here’s an excellent resource about pedometers:


Every 2,000 steps is equal to about 1 mile, so …

2,000 steps = 1 mile

3,000 steps = a half mile

4,000 steps = 2 miles

10,000 steps = 5 miles


Take the 10,000 Steps per Day Challenge.

  1. Fewer than 4,500 steps per day: You Are Very Sedentary.
  2. 4,500 – 5,500 steps per day: You Are Sedentary.
  3. 5,500 – 7,500 steps per day: You Are Moving-but still not enough.
  4. 8,500 steps per day: You Are Doing a Great             Job. Keep It Up!
  5. 10,000 steps per day: Ultimate Goal for Long Term Health & Wellness.


Walking & Exercise Paths in Louisville Area


Algonquin, Cypress & Burwell Streets (1/4 mile)

Beargrass Creek Greenway, 2001 Lexington Rd (1.33 miles)

Blue Lick Park, 4114 Mudd Lane (1/4 mile)

Butchertown Greenway, From Brownsboro Road to River Road (1/2 mile)

Camp Taylor Memorial, Poplar Level Road & Lee Street (1-mile fitness course; 1/3-mile walking path)

Cane Run Road Park, Cane Run Road south of Lees Lane (0.75 miles)

Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park, 3730 River Rd, (1 mile)

Cherokee Scenic Loop, Eastern Parkway & Cherokee Road (2.4 miles)

Cherokee Park Baringer Path, (0.6 miles)

Cherokee Park, Willow Pond, Grinstead Drive & Lexington Road (0.375 miles)

Chickasaw, Southwestern Parkway and Greenwood Avenue (1-mile fitness course)

Des Pres, Lowe Road off Taylorsville Road (1/2 mile)

Flaget Field, Greenwood Avenue & 45th Street (1/4 mile)

Hays Kennedy, Bass Road off River Road (3/4 mile)

Iroquois, Southern Parkway & New Cut Road (1-1.6-mile fitness course)

*Iroquois, Rundill Rd (3.5 miles)

Iroquois, Summit Hill (0.25 miles)

Iroquois, Toppil Rd (0.5 miles)

Iroquois, Uppill Rd (1.5 miles)

Jefferson Memorial Forest, 11311 Mitchell Hill Rd (1/4 mile)

Jefferson Memorial Forest, 11311 Mitchell Hill Rd (35 miles trails)

Joe Creason Park Loop, 1297 Trevilian Way (1.5 miles)

Joe Creason Park Newport-Illinois, 1297 Trevilian Way (0.875 miles)

Joe Creason Park Newburg Loop, 1297 Trevilian Way (0.5 miles)

Klondike, Klondike Lane (1/3 mile)

Long Run Park, 1605 Flat Rock Rd, (1.7 miles)

Ohio River Levee Trail, From Farnsley-Moreman Landing to north Riverview Park (6.5 miles)

Peterburg Park, Indian Trail west of Newburgh Road (.35 mile)

RiverWalk, starts at 4th and River Road and goes along river to Chickasaw Park (6.9 miles)

Roberson Run Park, Judge Boulevard and Famous Way (.5 mile)

*Seneca Park, Pee Wee Reese at Cannons Lane (1.2 miles)

*Shawnee Park, Broadway & Southwestern Pkwy (1.5 miles)

South Central Park, 2400 Colorado Ave  (1/3 mile)

Southern Parkway Bridle Path, Western Side (2.6 miles)

*Thurman Hutchins Park, River Road and Indian Hills Trail (0.8 mile)

Tom Sawyer State Park, 3000 Freys Hill Road (1 1/4 mile nature trail)
Tyler Park, 1501 Castlewood Ave  (1/8 mile)

Upper River Road Path. From Zorn Ave to Indian Hills Tr (1.125 miles)

Vettiner, 5550 Charlie Vettiner Park Rd (1/4-mile fitness trail)

Victory Park, 1051 South 23rd St, (1/4 mile)

Watterson Lake, 1714 South Wheatmore Dr (1/4 mile)

Wyandotte Park, 1104 Beecher Street (1/4 mile)


Cross-Country Trails

Creason, Trevilian Way (3.1-6.2 miles)

Seneca, Pee Wee Reese at Cannons Lane (3.1 miles)


What are the Mayor’s Miles?

Several park paths have green dots along the exercise paths to help you track your progress on the path. Ten green dots equal one Mayor’s Mile.


Golf Courses Cart Paths You Can Walk or Run On

According to the Metro Parks Recreation Guide, you can walk or jog on all the 18-hole Metro Parks golf courses cart paths on weekdays from 6 to 8 am.


Cherokee Golf Course, 2501 Alexander Rd

Crescent Hill Golf Course, 3110 Brownsboro Rd

Iroquois Golf Course, 1501 Rundill Rd

Long Run Golf Course, 1605 Flat Rock Rd

Bobby Nichols Golf Course, 4301 East Pages Lane

Seneca Golf Course, 2300 Pee Wee Reese Rd

Shawnee Golf Course, 460 Northwestern Pkwy

Sun Valley Golf Course, 6505 Bethany Ln

Charlie Vettiner Golf Course, 10207 Mary Dell Ln


Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition,, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 11 grandchildren.