Stories by Cory

Cory Smith is a Santa Barbara, CA-based athlete, online running coach, and freelance writer specializing in running, climbing, and fitness-related content and gear review. He draws from over 25 years as an elite runner and rock climber for ideas, inspiration, and expertise.

His work has been featured in Outside Magazine, Runner's World, Gear Patrol, Muscle & Fitness, Gear Junkie, Footwear News, TripSavvy, Podium Runner, Trail Runner and Gear Institute. He loves working with new outlets and can be reached at cory@runyourpersonalbest.com. If you're interested in getting coached by Cory visitwww.runyourpersonalbest.com

His Work

A Track 5K Race Could Provide Your Ticket to a PR

Imagine a 5K where every second is filled with enthusiastic spectators cheering on your every step. A race so spectator-friendly that your friends and family can easily watch your entire run from a single spot. A race that’s completely flat, accurately measured to the inch, and without any abrupt or sharp turns. If this sounds appealing to you, then it’s time you take on a track 5K. And good news: Tracksmith has a new series of summer twilight events that checks all these boxes, complete with m

Did Nike Just Improve the World’s Fastest Marathon Shoe?

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ . Look at the feet of runners on any marathon starting line worldwide and you’ll find the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% on most of them. It shouldn’t be surprising; after all, this was the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore when he clocked a 1:59 marathon in 2019. What runner wouldn’t want to wear the identical kicks

The 10-Week Couch to 5K Training Plan for New Runners

Has the onset of warm weather and sunny skies got you thinking it’s time to tackle your first running race? There’s never been a better time to run your first 5K than now. Running your first 5K is 100% achievable, regardless of your fitness level, as long as you have patience, persistence, and motivation. Of course, it also helps to have a good training plan to follow. Lucky for you, we’ve got just the program to get you off the couch and smiling as you cross the 5K finish line. Why the 5K is

The Best Running Shorts for Men of 2022

From sunny beaches to high alpine trails, our experts evaluated for fit, comfort, mobility, moisture-wicking, and more to compile a list of the best men’s running shorts available today. Thanks to advancements in fabric technology and design, today’s running shorts are better than ever. Overall, materials are lighter, more comfortable, and offer better mobility. All running shorts should allow you to move freely — that’s a given. The best running shorts, however, should not only provide freedo

The Best Men’s Running Shirts of 2022

When breaking down the best men’s running shirts, our expert tested for optimal fit, breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and comfort to give you a range of options for your next burn. By now, we all know the best running shirts should be moisture-wicking. But why is moisture-wicking so important? Sweat is the main mechanism by which your body cools itself, but did you know that not allowing sweat to wick off your skin can be a source of overheating? If sweat isn’t removed from your ski

The Best Track Spikes of 2022, Reviewed

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ . Whether you’re getting ready for a race or a hard workout, the process of spiking up stirs a familiar excitement and anxiety for what’s to come: your body instinctively knows it’s time to perform. If you want to compete at your best in track and field, spikes are essential—and today’s are better than eve

Ready to Move on From the Marathon? We've Got Your Next Challenge Lined Up

Training for a marathon is as emotionally exhausting as it is physically demanding. Your mind and body are simultaneously consumed with adrenaline and anxiety for months. Your weekends revolve around your long run. Your legs are constantly sore and tired. While all this is self-inflicted in the name of a fun, challenging, and rewarding experience (at least I hope so), it does take a toll on you. So if the thought of doing another marathon sounds daunting, or if you recently PR’d your dream mara

The 10 Best Running Shoes of 2022, According to Experts

I’ve been a runner for over 25 years, running coach for ten years and running shoe reviewer since 2014. Each year I get the opportunity to test between 40 and 70 pairs of shoes from every major brand. In all my shoe testing experience, I’ve come to understand one undeniable fact about running shoes: There’s no such thing as lousy running shoes. If someone dislikes a shoe, it’s because it isn’t a good fit for them. After all, there’ll always be another runner who loves that same shoe. Finding the

The Best Running Shoes of 2022

After countless miles pounding the pavement, our running fanatics found the best running shoes of 2022. I used to say that running was a pretty simple sport. All you need are a pair of running shoes and clothes, and off you go. However, these days I’m second-guessing that concept. Somehow over the past 25 years, complexity crept in. GPS watch data, Strava segments, hydration vests, and the obligatory social media post-run selfie are as standard as striped tube running socks were in the ’70s an

Ready to Race in 2022? Here's How to Plan Your Year So You Score a Few PRs

The start of a new year is an inspiring time for runners. It presents a clean slate full of opportunity—a time to celebrate your good races throughout the past year and move beyond your bad ones. The simple process of researching races can be incredibly empowering—after all, a limitless year full of PRs lies ahead. But before you frantically sign up for every race that sounds even a little exciting, ask yourself a question: How do these races fit into my greater goals? When it comes to plannin

The 10 Best Bouldering Shoes, Tested and Approved

Bouldering is the purest form of rock climbing. And the most accessible. You’re not burdened with ropes, harnesses, or quickdraws. Routes are short, intense, and powerful. And all you need is a pair of shoes and a chalk bag (a working understanding of key climbing lingo helps, too). But bouldering at your limit means no room for error. Each foot placement, toe smear, and heel hook must be perfectly placed. The tiniest release of tension or foot misplacement could mean the difference between send

The Best Men’s Workout Clothes

I’m going to date myself, but when I first started working out, cotton was considered a performance fabric. It soaked up sweat like a sponge. Sopping wet shirts drenched in sweat were worn as a badge of honor. The wetter your workout clothes, the better the workout. The sweatiest guy in the gym was unofficially crowned the hardest working. Since then, a lot has changed with workout apparel. Fabric technology has evolved. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, and synthetic blends have d

You Don’t Need to Negative Split Every Race

The idea of running negative splits has been so ingrained in us, it’s as rudimentary of a skill for runners as tying your shoes. At some point, every runner needs to learn how to run negative splits or figuratively die trying. By definition, a negative split is when the second half of your run or race is faster than your first half. The ability to run negative splits teaches you how to manage your energy and pace yourself properly throughout a race or training run. This is ideal because you lea

The Best Trail Running Gear of 2021

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Nothing beats a good run through the woods. The smell of pine trees. Majestic mountain views. Flowing freshwater streams. It’s as much therapy as it is exercise. Whether you run short or long, East Coast or West Coast, a pleasant day out on the trails starts with the right trail running gear. “The right t

The 11 Best Nike Running Shoes of 2021, According to Experts

To say Nike shoes have shaped the sport of running would be a gross understatement. The two are as intertwined as peanut butter and jelly. Watch any race, and you’re most certainly going to find the notorious “Swoosh” logo littered on the feet of professional and amateur runners alike. Nike’s strong presence in today’s running market is a direct result of its origin in the sport. It was a relationship between University of Oregon’s track coach Bill Bowerman and one of his athletes that kindled

The Best Percussion Massage Guns of 2021

You know the feeling: the all-too-familiar post-workout aching muscle hobble. The kind of uncomfortable feeling that could leave you sidelined with soreness for days. Yet, day after day, we all bear the sometimes-debilitating pain like a badge of honor. It’s considered a sign your hard work and sweat paid off and that toned body you desire is just a few more workouts away. This painful, yet oddly rewarding, feeling in your muscles is something called delayed onset muscle syndrome, or DOMS, an

How to Stay on Pace in the New York City Marathon (Even When Your GPS Doesn't) –

Your GPS watch will lose its signal during the New York City Marathon. Here’s how to bypass it and know your true pace. Picture this: It’s race day in New York, and you’re just coming off the Verrazzano Bridge. As you pass the second mile marker you hear the beep of your GPS watch and glance down to find you’re right on pace. Perfect. You’re feeling good. As you start to approach the third mile marker, beep, your GPS notifies you just hit three miles, still pacing perfectly. Five seconds later
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