Depending on who you talk to whether it be a city dweller or suburbanite the definition of a “trail run” can sound quite different. Does a flat gravel trail winding through a city park for example “count” as a trail run?
In my definition there are several distinctive factors that determine whether or not you are a true trail runner, take the test below to find out where you stand and then check out our tips for finding new trails and terrain appropriate trails for your fitness and comfort level below:
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.
Our 2018 lineup has been broken down into four categories including our favorite races and events for beginners and also those seeking a little more adventure and/or quad busting action. Check out our recommendations below and happy training!
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.
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).
This is a follow-up post from my late summer post “2 Tough workouts to help you conquer steep hills“. There are many ways to format your hill training workouts depending on your fitness and goals. My last post focused more on training for an endurance event (half marathon or longer) where you would be encountering long hills (1/2 mile or longer). This post is more relevant to the everyday runner, OCR athlete and all looking to improve fitness, strength and running form (and more specifically for trail running)!
When most people set New Years resolutions they set goals like “eat healthier”, “lose 5lbs” or “exercise more often”. While quite vague, these goals also lack a certain element of excitement to me.
My resolutions take a different shape, in the form of various adventures and races I’d like to accomplish before the year’s end. I’ve compiled a list of my 2018 bucketlist goals and I’d love to hear about yours too! Please post links to any events or adventures in the comments section below.
April 20th, 2018
I’ve got a bone to pick with this race. I completed the run back in 2015 when the storm of a century blew in the night before the event and was forced to trudge through ankle deep, thick, heavy mud and an anticlimactic course. The route was changed last minute due to the poor conditions and so we were unable to experience the adventurous terrain and views as advertised. The original course included a 1500 foot steep and rocky ascent complete with a section where a rope was included, right down my alley!
I finished in 4th place just seconds behind a women that I was neck to neck with for the last mile. I want to go back this year with an improved strategy, experience the full course and go for a top finish!
My race report last year HERE.
Taking my son up his first 14er!
I did my first 14er when I was about 9 years old. My dad took us up Mount Sherman, a great peak for beginners and kids as it is never too steep nor technical. My 6 year old Wyatt has been on many adventures with us (including several 14ers in womb), has done several 5k’s and kids trail races and is excited and ready to train to summit this same peak over the summer. We will take the West Slopes from Iowa Gulch route which is an easy class 2 with just over 2000 feet elevation gain over 4.5 miles. I can’t wait to share this amazing experience with him!
Boulder, Colorado is where I discovered my love for trail running. In previous posts you can read about my many misadventures spending countless hours exploring the myriad of trails, more times than not getting lost while learning how to navigate and master steep terrain and long technical climbs and descents.
This summer, I’d like to complete the Boulder Skyline traverse where you summit 5 of the most iconic peaks rising from the flatirons and beyond. This run is a doozy, at 16.4 miles in length, you will gain over 6,300 vertical feet. It is not an adventure for the faint of heart, or weak of legs for that matter. The run is best done with a running buddy or group as you will need a shuttle (leaving one vehicle at either Mnt Sanitas or South Mesa trailhead) and make sure to pack plenty of snacks, water, first aid and toilet paper.
With the holiday season in full swing, now is the time to start looking for deals on new trail shoes! If you are new to the sport or seeking to conquer more advanced terrain, there are a handful of things you should know regarding the fit and feel when shopping for yourself or a loved one.
Enjoy this popular post from our archive and happy trails!
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!
If you’ve ever experienced altitude sickness (aka Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS), you know that it is not to be triffled with.
Nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath. All classic symptoms of this condition that can impact anyone at any time, regardless of physical fitness or acclimatization status.
With the popularity of high mountain races (Leadville trail run series, Spartan Breckenridge obstacle course races, etc) and summit chasing, learning how to prevent and mitigate AMS can mean a more enjoyable and successful experience.
Check out our 5 helpful tips for your next big adventure into the high mountains:
Before I had kids I was trail running almost daily. I live in Colorado where I am surrounded by steep and rocky trails, and after my 2nd son was born I was wondering how I would keep up my favorite past-time with a double jogging stroller.
Well, I am here to tell you that trail running with kids is easier than you think! Here are 7 tips to help you get back out on the trails:
#1. Get a good stroller.
The word “good” is relative in this sentence. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a stroller; sometimes a second hand stroller might be better for trail running; the trail is going to beat it up.
Ensure the stroller has knobby tires, front shocks and good suspension; it is important for the snow and ice.
Stroller Hack: If you can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a new stroller, but want to ensure your stroller is ready for stroller trail running regardless of the climate. Switch your wheels out. Purchase knobby tires from your local bike shop for the back tires and purchase a BOB front wheel. It is significantly cheaper than buying a new stroller.
#2: Strap em’ in and lock it up.
You may be thinking “of course”, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t strap in their kids. On a trail that is rocky or with any kind of incline/decline make sure that they are in tight! If you have a front tire that has a swivel option, make sure that it is locked. This will ensure that when you hit bumps or rocks the front tire goes straight over them, giving you and your kids a smoother ride.
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!
With mud run and obstacle course race season well underway warm temperatures here to stay it’s time to take your training to the the great outdoors. Here is another workout featured from our partner site Daily Outdoor Workouts.
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
Warm-up and then………. Run to the first park and complete the following with your partner (split the reps however you choose):
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!
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!