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The Maui Virtual Group Run: 27 Photos to Motivate Your Next Workout

Wouldn’t it be great if all Strength Running readers could get together for a group run?

Christmas Strides

Awesome, but unfortunately impossible.

The reality is that SR is truly global – there are readers in Argentina, Spain, Australia, Japan, the US, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Mexico, and even Kenya (shouldn’t the Kenyans be coaching me?).

I know all this because my nifty newsletter service can tell what country you’re from. Selam to the SR readers in Turkey!

Instead of getting together for one massive group run, let’s do the next best thing: use photos of a beautiful running location to motivate our next workout.

Right now I’m training, working, and hanging out in the quiet town of Paia on the Hawaiian island of Maui. It’s definitely a hippie town, full of odd characters, bohemian shops, quirky restaurants, and lots of hilly running terrain.

Most of us need a little more inspiration this time of year. Happy Holidays!

Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Paia, Maui

Sunset on Maui

Sunset with Lanai on the horizon

Iao Needle

The ‘Iao Needle

Coral and scrub

Scrub trees and coral on the north shore of Maui

Dirt Road

Dirt road through the sugar cane fields. Fun place to run!


There are chickens everywhere

Beach West Maui

Beach on the west side of Maui in the resort town of Ka’anapali

Uphill Road

To Mount Haleakala! 539 feet of elevation gain in 2.5 miles


The site of my sister-in-law’s wedding. Unreal.


The view from the valley

Dirt road

Rolling dirt road – great place for fartlek workouts

Haleakala View

Looking out over West Maui from the summit of Mount Haleakala at 10,023 feet

Rainforest beach

A hidden beach in the rain forest on the western side of Maui

Jurassic Park

Is this Jurassic Park?

Dirt and Paved Roads

Many roads have a dirt road next to them – perfect for getting off the asphalt

Humpback Whale

Look closely – that’s a humpback whale off the coast!

Rain forest stream

The hunt for guava in the rain forest was unsuccessful

Haleakala Crater

Looking into the Haleakala Crater

East Maui Coast

The East Maui coast

Beach View

Beach view: the island if Kaho’olawe and islet of Molokini

Cretaceous Leaf

This leaf must be from the Cretaceous Period

Looking East

Looking east from the summit of Haleakala (the big island of Hawaii’s in the distance!)

View from 7,000 feet

The view from 7,000 feet

Evening Waves

Dusk on the north shore

Barefoot running

Perfect grass field for barefoot running! I ran about a half mile barefoot here

Crazy Surf

Crazy surf!

The photos here aren’t all of my training routes, but they showcase some of the most breathtaking “rave runs” on the planet. It might be snowing for you, but I hope this “virtual vacation” inspired you to run your next workout.

Running in Maui

Running on a volcanic island is a challenge – it’s no paradise.

I’m fortunate to experience some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, but that doesn’t mean tough runs are any more enjoyable!

Maui is hot, the sun is strong, the trade winds are formidable, and the terrain is unyielding. There’s a road that runs from Paia to Makawao in the picture at the beginning of this post that’s entirely uphill. For any run longer than 7 miles I need to go up this road if I don’t want to die of boredom.

Running uphill for 2-3 miles is exhausting. Rock Creek Park has nothing on the hills (ahem, volcano) here. But the advantage is that I’m getting some fantastic workouts completed that are aerobically challenging and structurally beneficial.

Hills have the benefit of strengthening your chassis, so even though I’ve been less than consistent with my strength workouts, I’m still getting stronger.

As I start to plan next year, I’ll be transitioning out of this extended base phase into more specific training once I determine my new goal. Any suggestions?

Looking to 2013 – What’s Next?

As I reflect on all that we’ve accomplished in 2012, some big themes emerge – last January I declared 2012 to be the Year of Stretch Goals. And the success stories flooded my inbox:

  • Terry negative split the scorching 2012 Boston Marathon
  • Lydia took nearly an hour off her half-marathon PR (and lost 80 pounds)
  • Andy ran a big 5k PR and his wife finally noticed his muscle tone

There’s too many to list here, but just know that stories like these are why I love my job.

And SR grew exponentially. My first book – 101 Simple Ways to be a Better Runner – became a top Kindle seller thanks to you.

I co-created the best marathon training community online at Run Your BQ.

I interviewed pro Dathan Ritzenhein, won a Warrior Dash, and went full-time with SR. I coach for a living now and couldn’t be happier.

And 2013 is going to be even better. I’m more motivated to help you achieve your potential in the sport that I’m so passionate about – thank you for all of your support.

I know that next year will see a lot of interesting projects, successes, and new challenges. Stay tuned for the big theme of 2013!

Happy New Year!

– Jason.

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