They don't have sponsors, and they're not getting paid to train. But these day-job-holding athletes compete like elites. Follow their lead and you can, too.

Courtesy of Kenya's Wilson Chebet won the 31st ABN AMRO Rotterdam marathon yesterday in 2:05:27 — the fastest marathon of 2011 so far. The time was a personal…

Courtesy of Flickr Track-and-field superstar Carl Lewis is competing again — this time for the New Jersey state Senate. The nine-time Olympic gold medalist is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator…

Courtesy of Kenya's Wilson Chebet won the 31st ABN AMRO Rotterdam marathon yesterday in 2:05:27 — the fastest marathon of 2011 so far. The time was a personal…

Courtesy of Flickr Track-and-field superstar Carl Lewis is competing again — this time for the New Jersey state Senate. The nine-time Olympic gold medalist is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator…

Think you don't have time for a fitness routine? If you can block out a couple of hours during the week and some longer periods on weekends, the results will amaze you.

I've run three marathons in roughly four hours. What can I do to help lower my finish time? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

  Fourteen years and 270 pounds separate Markos Geneti and Kelly Gneiting, yet both men set records in last Sunday's Los Angeles marathon. Geneti, a 26-year-old Ethiopian, ran a 2:06:35  to beat the course…

  Fourteen years and 270 pounds separate Markos Geneti and Kelly Gneiting, yet both men set records in last Sunday's Los Angeles marathon. Geneti, a 26-year-old Ethiopian, ran a 2:06:35  to…

A new study found that one in three runners that enter the London Marathon may suffer from allergies after the race, according to Science Daily. Dr. Paula Robson-Ansley and a team at Northumbria University gathered 150 runners to take a blood test, complete a questionnaire,…

We found a lot of people getting outside and doing what they love this week. Here’s hoping they inspire you to do the same. The stuff you need to click on this week: Dommy No MatesAlaska to Chile, on a Tandem Bike via…

Sally Meyerhoff, the winner of the 2011 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n Roll Marathon and the XTerra Trail Run World Championships in Hawaii, died Tuesday when she collided with a pickup truck while cycling near Maricopa, Arizona. Meyerhoff was 27 years old. Local authorities told…

Barefoot-inspired shoes are flying off the shelves, and they're poised to transform the way we run. Here's how to make the most of running with less.

In 2007, molecular biologist Ron Evans flipped a genetic switch on test mice and turned them into super-athletes. Headlines ensued, as did nervous references to human applications and "exercise in a pill." Evans is still toiling away in the lab, and guess what? The day is coming.

What are the best shoes for winter running? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

Essential winter running clothes and accessories.

I am running the Tough Mudder race and was wondering what the best type of pants to wear? I need something that will keep me somewhat warm, I know that will be nearly impossible but also won't weigh me down. Thanks a lot. CB Athens, GA

Can you help me find a winter running jacket that breathes, keeps the real cold out (think below 20F) and that doesn't require 3 layers underneath? Would love to run with just a single base layer (merino seems best in these conditions) under a jacket that won't over heat or leave me cold.Dan Chicago, IL Location (City, State/City Country)

I want to enter the Chicago Urbanathlon, but I don't know what type of shoe I should wear. Ideas? -Eric Evergreen Park, IL

I'm planning to run up the Sears Tower. What's the best way to train? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

Bringing up children, the Outside way

In the last few years I have really taken to trail running long distances. My long runs can last over eight hours and are often big loops or out-and-backs in the mountains. Stream water is abundant on the trails in Cascades where I run but unsafe to drink untreated. When I hike or backpack I can take my water purifier. While trail running I try and travel light. It looks like some of the treatment tablets take up to four hours and are not effective against all the nasties in the water. What do recommend for water treatment?—TomSeattle, WA

It's not enough to be at the forefront. In an era when everything has supposedly been done, these adventure icons ignore convention, court risk, and let their passion lead the way.

There's at least one major upside to the bursting of the real-estate bubble: The kind of adventure-ready second home you've always dreamed about is suddenly within reach. From mountain retreats to lakefront outposts to slopeside condos, here's your primer on where to invest for the long haul.

Overlooked mountain ranges, river beer, running album, gear of all time, and 47 other big ideas, accidental winners, and awesome things about the world outside we've come to love over the past 33 years. Introducing our first annual Editors' Choice Awards...

I'm a runner and cyclist. I have runner's knee, mild arthritis, and mild overpronation. I don't want to spend hundreds, but I do want to protect my knees. What gear might be useful?—TinaPortland, Oregon

Going 26.2 miles is a great way to prove your grit—and there's no greater showcase than the world's biggest. Presenting a simple plan to get anyone off the couch and across the finish line.

Turns out moderate drinking might not be preventive medicine after all. But that doesn't mean it's not good for you.

Attention, all cynics: You can change the world. But don't take our word for it. Here are people combining big ideas and bold adventures, including our first-ever Reader of the Year.

With the approaching winter solstice, my evening outdoor runs require illumination. This activity takes place in an unlit park laced with footpaths that can be hazardous to aging ankles. My headlp, though fine for cp chores and reading, just doesn't provide enough light, particularly when moving at speed. Can you suggest a lightweight personal torch that would do the trick? I not as concerned with burn time as I might be if I’m on a wilderness excursion. Diana Westmount, Quebec

It's been 26 years since an American has won a major U.S. marathon— and 37 since we did it in the Olympics. Will this be the year American distance running gets back on track? Ryan Hall thinks so.

I live in Chicago and would like to keep up my running this winter. Can you recommend good winter running shoes? Zac Chicago, IL

What is the best storage case to protect my iPhone while kayaking/biking/running? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

Healthy. That's the word we kept coming back to. And we don't mean a fit or skinny population; we're talking about a city's cultural vibrancy, economic well-being, and overall quality of life. Presenting our picks for the 10 best cities in America, from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plus: Our 10 favorite small towns.

She drinks hard, fights dirty, and runs 100 trail miles faster than any woman alive. Meet Jenn Shelton, ultramarathoning's new antihero.

Alan Horton Alan Horton   Work, kids, 99-cent value meals we know how the fitness excuses can pile up. That's why we've assembled our second annual class of Outside's Fittest (Real) Athletes: five wickedly overscheduled Americans who haven't let hectic careers or a…


When it comes to running footwear, sometimes less is more.

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

Our esteemed gear editors offer the insight and advice you need to find the right gear for you.

1. MT. BORAH CUSTOM With seven-week turnarounds and minimum orders of just six pieces, Mt. Borah makes customcycling gear easier than ever. Jerseys from $83; 2. VITTORIA OPEN CORSA EVO CX The handmade CX can handle pressures up to 200 psi and is…

Need another reason to get excited about the resurgence of American distance running? After struggles with injuries, Kara Goucher, a 30-year-old former NCAA cross-country champ, finished third in the New York City Marathon last November. Her time of 2:25:53 was the fastest debut for an American woman ever. As a follow-up, she's set her sights on the sport's mos

What are the best exercises for improving my time in the 40-yard-dash?

I looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear while running. I a woman, with a smaller fre and a small face. I like glasses that are half rims and wrap around the sides—but I don't want them so huge that they cover my whole face—with a light lens that don't distort the true colors. And I'd prefer to not go bankrupt, either— I can't believe what I've seen pricewise for a pair of sunglasses. I delusional? Connie Cleveland, OH

For multisport athletes like you, the trick isn't getting in shape. It's staying there. Here's how.

My left IT band tightens up every time I go for a run and sometimes I have to stop to stretch it. How can I loosen it up?

I'm moving to Mongolia for work and it's going to get pretty cold (between -20 and -35 Celsius in winter) Any advice on gear for running or cross-country skiing in those temps, or is it just too cold? There weren't be much deep snow. Dave Hong Kong

No mountain? No problem. As our man discovered, racing up a skyscraper provides a challenge as daunting as many high peaks.

I'm a 71-year old runner and cyclist. I ride about 250 miles a month and run 16 to 18 miles a week. Lately my hamstrings are sore. Do you have any suggestions to ease my sore hamstrings so I can keep running?

The key to staying warm and stuck to the ice? The right stuff.

I've just started running again after a long lay off, and I don't want to lose momentum over the winter. What's the best shell I can get to keep me dry and warm without blowing the thermostat? KT London, England

For the past five years I've been unable to crack a five-minute mile. I run up to 30 miles a week, but don't have a regular workout besides running. Are there strength workouts I can do to improve my speed? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

I'm training to run my first half-marathon. How much strength training should I be doing? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

I’m planning to run a marathon. What shoe should I get for training? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

What's the best sports bra for running? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

1. Most frontside skis are too precise and exhausting for freeskiing. Not the pared-down CX 80, which does away with heavy add-ons like complex binding plates for a more responsive feel. It’s ten millimeters fatter than most, but its World Cup­–inspired…

In the Store: If you’re buying just one pair of skis (and not building a quiver), look for a set that matches your style of skiing and the terrain you frequent 70 percent of the time. And don’t be afraid to upgrade: Buy skis slightly above…

DEAN KARNAZES talks about racing in the most extreme conditions on earth.

I’m looking for a compact and lightweight backpack that I can take running. It should move with me securely through rough terrain. Do you have suggestions? Jay Vancouver, Washington

He’s stronger, fitter, and nearly six seconds faster than he was in 2001, when he smashed Jim Ryun’s high school mile record. But consistency has never been Alan Webb’s strong point. Will Beijing finally bring America’s star runner the glory he—and the rest of us—have been waiting for?

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

Ultrarunning ambassador Dean Karnazes shares his secrets for going, going, going …

1. BROOKS INFINITI JACKET The billboard-size logo on the back will make you feel like a pro during warm-ups, while reflective touches make it great for chilly dusk workouts. $100; The Goods: Road-Race Day 2. TRIGGER POINT PLANTAR FASCIITIS KIT The antidote to…

I’m an experienced road runner, and now I want to train for an off-road triathlon. Where should I start with trail-runners? Chris Indianapolis, Indiana

A sport-by-sport guide to everything you need to excel.

Turn your vacation into a full-body recalibration with these performance-enhancing getaways

I've run one ultrarathon and looking to do a few more this year. What are the best and lightest trail shoes on the market? I tried the North Face Arnuva 50 Boa, but I'd like to hear about some lighter choices. Thanks! Alex Iowa City, Iowa

Gear you can't run without

Put that weekly jog to rest and take your training to a new level with our guide to technique, gear, and recovery

You skipped breakfast because you overslept because you couldn’t fall asleep because you didn’t have enough time to exercise. Sound familiar? Then turn the page and let us—and Michael Phelps—show you how to recalibrate for your best year ever.

Pick one of these races coming up this spring, and start rehearsing your victory speech.

I'm looking for the perfect trail running jacket: soft shell to eliminate the noise of nylon, breathable so I don't overheat, and resistant to light rain and wind. I chasing a unicorn, or does such a beast exist? Blake Lexington, Kentucky

1. Bern Muse Helmet Slope Style This downsized lid has zero bobblehead factor yet still has room for a removable liner (with speakers). $99; 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…