Trail running. It’s the leg burning, heart pumping activity that can be so exhausting yet so exhilarating at the same time. If you are just getting into the sport, imagining running up those steep, rocky trails that must be only meant for hikers seems like an intimidating endeavor. Knowing where to go is key so that you can train your lungs and legs for those high grade climbs and technical descents. After mastering our second round of trails appropriate for beginners you will be ready to to conquer any adventure this summer!
This is a buddy workout. You need at least one other person to complete this workout or else plan on doing a TON of reps!If you have kids, no excuses! They can ride in the stroller, bike or run with you! Plan on 60-90 minutes for this one…
- A running route that passes at least 2 playgrounds or parks. The further away the parks you choose, the longer/harder your workout!
- A bar or tree with a branch you can hang from
- Park bench
Warm-up and then……….
Run to the first park and complete the following with your partner (split the reps however you choose):
100 Tree donkey kicks*
50 Hanging knees to elbows
25 Lunge hops
Run to park #2 and complete the following (split the reps with your partner):
100 meter alligator crawl (do this one together)*
75 park bench box jumps (or step-ups for level 1)
50 Tree hugger situps*
25 burpee pop-ups or pullups
OPTION 1: Run home- great job!
OPTION 2: Run 1 mile away from the last park and back THEN repeat the entire workout in reverse (starting with the 25 burpee pop-ups and going up from there) before heading home. You are a rock star!
“Tree hugger” situps:
We are fortunate to live in a state with so many beautiful trails and a myriad of trail races to choose from. If you are new to the state or just getting into trail running and looking to take on your first trail race, choosing the best one compatible with your fitness and ability level can be a daunting task.
So we’ve made it easy for you!! We handpicked the best trail races suitable for beginner to intermediate trail runners in the front range and central mountains. We didn’t include races in Colorado Springs, the Western slope or southwest Colorado so feel free to share your favorites in these ares in the comments section below.
Elk Meadow trail race, June 3rd 2017:
- Includes a 5k and 10k option
The trails at Elk Meadow park are relatively tame and any climbing is done gradually through a series of switchbacks winding through the thick evergreen forests. The 5k course will mainly keep runners along the base of Bergen peak where you will run through beautiful open meadows filled with yellow and green grasses and wildflowers. The elevation here is the greatest challenge so make sure those lungs are ready for the higher altitude (around 8000 feet)
Learn more HERE.
Xterra Phillip S Miller Park, August 6th 2017
- Includes a 5k/10k and 20k course options.
The 5k course contains just 300 feet of climbing, enjoy rolling hills with short climbs and quick descents, perfect practice for those new to the trails. The trails are smooth and wind through bushes and brush with occasional scenic views of Pikes Peak and Castle Rock.
There is plenty to do for the entire family at this venue post run. The Philip S. Miller Park’s outdoor space includes a playground with 60-foot slide, a 200-step challenge staircase, a turf field, and the Headrush Towers—40-foot and 80-foot towers that kids can climb up, repel down, or even free fall from.
Learn more HERE.
You’ve conquered all of the beginner trail runs across the front range. Now it is time to raise the stakes a bit and try out some more technical terrain. In this post, we will highlight our 5 favorite trails appropriate for intermediate trail runners.
These runs were chosen because of their proximity to the greater Denver metro area (all within 20-40 minutes). There are many more amazing trails to explore further west (Conifer, Genesee, Idaho springs) north (Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins) and South (Monument, CO springs) which we hope to cover in future posts.
Please share your favorites in the comment section below!
This is a workout I put together for our sister site. It’s a perfect workout to build upper body and grip strength needed to conquer the monkey bars, rigs, rope/wall climbs and cargo nets for your obstacle course race. Plus, working out on the playground is fun!!
Set of monkey bars
Walk/jog 1 minute
20 arm circles each direction
20 straight leg lifts each leg
repeat 1 time
Monkey bar set (1 of each):
Hand over hand
Skipping a bar
Crawl using feet (video demonstration below)
30 hanging bicycles (video demonstration below)
20 knees to elbows
10 burpee pullups
REPEAT BOTH SETS 2 MORE TIMES!
Monkey bar “crawl”:
Running, and even trail running in the winter CAN be done and in fact, can be quite the adventure.
Sometimes life throws you a curveball (or several) and training just doesn’t happen.
Due to some unforeseen life circumstances and being just too darn busy, I haven’t been running or working out consistently for almost 6 weeks now and I am sure feeling the effects of it: unmotivated, sluggish and out of shape!
Sometimes the only thing to do when this happens is double down and welcome the opportunity to start fresh. Build back your fitness from the ground up, literally.
It’s time to get back on track and we all know that for any kind of goal, whether it be weight loss, training for a race, or saving money consistency is king.
Have you ever ran on a trail that had a lot of gravel and loose rock where it felt like your feet were slipping out from underneath you, kind of like a car on slick ice?
I like to use the analogy of our body as a car when talking about trail running. Your backside is your engine, your quads are your breaks and the type of “tires” you put on your feet will determine how well your body manages different trail conditions.
Choosing the right trail shoe can make or break your trail running experience, we hope these tips help to “steer” you in the right direction!
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. – Helen Keller
A “Buddy” AKA: A rock, log or hand-weight that is 10% or more of your body weight.
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING WITH YOUR “BUDDY”
Standard Strength warm-up and then….
- 3 mile hike/run
- 50 walking lunges
- 50 overhead presses
- 50 russian twists
- 50 ground to overhead squats
—-> The workout can be completed in any order, just don’t drop or put down your Buddy the entire workout!
—-> If you are really looking for a suffer fest, repeat the workout twice!
*A note from Lauren:
I came up with this workout when I was training for the Warrior Dash World championships race last summer. We drove up to Guanella pass (near the base of Mnt Bierstadt, a front range 14,000 foot peak) and I completed this workout at altitude. Whether you are training for an OCR event or just love trail running, this workout will help you gain strength and fitness to run stronger, longer!