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Green Running Tips: How to Lace Up and Run Your First Green Mile or Green Marathon

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By Jeffrey

green-marathon.jpgWe all know that biking is pretty much the most efficient way of getting around known to man, but we can also get our green running shoes on too.

If you’ve never participated in or been in the crowd of a marathon or half marathon, you’re totally missing out!

I’ll be heading down to bike the marathon course at the Country Music Marathon here in my hometown of Nashville, TN tomorrow.

So how can you green your running habits and gear? It’s pretty easy.

What’s more is you can even run a green marathon or half marathon too.

There’s probably one coming up near you that you don’t even know about!


This will be the 7th annual marathon here in Nashville (and Country is NOT the music of choice here, mind you) and man what a blast it is!

I’ll be biking the course to support and cheer on some friends of mine who are running the half (and 1 running the full — GO JOSH!). I’m not a runner myself. Bad knees keep me from repetitive impact activities like distance running, but I’m a strength trainer, bike rider, and kayaker. Here’s a fact you may not know about me: I’m also a personal trainer at a gym.

But I seriously digress…

Unfortunately the Country Music Marathon is not reallly taking any green steps, but they are at least offering shuttle services which will also encourage carpooling.


15 Ways to Green Your Running Shoes

The Green Team has got some incredible ideas for greening your sole (ha, get it?).

Note that some of these deal with specifically running a green race or marathon, but a few of the tips include…


  • Add recycling bins on course
  • Work with local officials to offer composting
  • Allow runners to recycle old running shoes on race day
  • Contribute discarded race clothing to needy organizations


Race Resources:

  • Organic t-shirts and food offerings
  • Compostable wares
  • Sustainable race bags
  • Recycled paper for all race materials
  • Email vs. US mail whenever possible
  • Sustainable medals and green tags for runners
  • Green donations provided to green organizations



  • Offer carpooling/bio diesel https://www.rideshare.us/
  • Provide preferred parking/VIP access for carpoolers
  • Use bike police instead of pace cars
  • Offer runners the opportunity to off-set the carbon emissions associated with their travel with off-sets from a verified carbon off-set provider such as www.trees4good.com, or with “Green Tags”.


How To Recycle Your Running Shoes

One of my favorite ideas from this list is to recycle your running shoes.

A great way to do that is with RunningFree.com. They offer a running shoe recycling program because,

“The life of a running shoe isn’t necessarily over after 500 miles. Although you can’t run on them any more they’re probably still in good condition and would make a world of difference to someone who doesn’t have proper footwear, especially when it’s cold and wet outside.”

Another great place to recycle those running shoes is through Shoes4Africa.org. Obviously, this organization takes used running shoes and ships them to Africa where they’re given away and used in AIDS awareness races. How cool is that?

The Austin Marathon that took place in February was the “first green marathon”, according to one forum message that I stumbled upon today. That marathon solar power generators, organic t-shirts, composting, and even more.

Hit up The Green Team for more info on how to eat healthily, train, green your runner’s lifestyle, and find a green race or marathon near you!!

Have you ever recycled your running shoes or run in a green marathon?