Running high: 5 tips for your next high altitude adventure

If you’ve ever experienced altitude sickness (aka Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS), you know that it is not to be trifled 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.

Whether you are training for a high elevation race, adventure run or 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:

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Best front range trails for beginner mountain bikers

Best front range trails for beginner mountain bikers

As we prepare for this years Beginner Mountain Bike Course for Women now is a good time to showcase some of our rides from the clinic and offer some additional beginner routes that are fun to check out.  Thanks to our partner Switchback Chics of Colorado for putting together this great list!

South Table Mountain – 4.9 mile green route – Fossil Trail to Old Quarry Trail to Basalt Cap Loop

This is a great beginner ride!  Park at the trail head off South Golden Road for a nice easy single track green hill with very few obstacles and little elevation gain.  There are only a couple switchbacks and they are nice and wide to help you practice your turns.  Once you get to the top of South Table the trail opens up into a great double track that is very flat.  Rocks are few and far between, but offer just enough for you to practice on!  If you choose to take the Basalt Cap Loop just once you will get a great 5 mile ride in.  Do the loop several times to extend your ride and focus on your sighting, shifting and braking skills.  Just be aware, South Table is known for it’s rattlesnakes!  They love to get sun drunk on the wide open paths, so keep your eyes open and give them their space.  For more tips on what to do if you see a snake, read the this article.

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The weekend warrior and the future Olympian: Pi-yo is good for everyone!

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The winter Olympics are a myriad of acrobatics.  It is truly amazing what these athletes can do in the air and at high speeds.  We can attribute much of what they can do to their training on the snow, however; it is how they train off the snow that can make the difference between a gold medal and a career ending injury.

Most professional athletes these days include cross training components in their training and many swear by pilates.
The question is:  Do these alternative methods of training work and what can they do for me?  

It is so easy to get stuck in a routine; I have trained people who have been doing the same exercises for 10 years using the same weight and others who swear by doing only cardio.  However, just like anything in life our bodies need balance and moderation when exercising. By doing too much or one thing (like cardio or exercises for the same muscle groups), we can develop muscle imbalances, which can lead to pain, poor posture and alignment and injuries.  

TAKE A BREAK feature

Even our day to day activities can lead to these muscle imbalances: sitting in front of a computer screen at work, driving, and even recreational sports like tennis, golf or racquetball.  All of these activities put our bodies in a very forward position, meaning that our shoulders slouch down, our neck rolls forward, our spine rounds and we stop using our core muscles.

The result?  Tight chest muscles, tight hamstrings and weak/tight hip flexors, weak back muscles, and a weak core.  Translation: Low back pain, chronic headaches, poor posture, and increased risk of injury to the knees and shoulders.  

By incorporating pilates and or yoga into your exercise routine, you will help to undue some of the damage you have done to your body over the years and learn some techniques to increase awareness and improve posture and core strength.  Not to mention perform better in your sport of choice!

Here are just some benefits of practicing pilates/yoga conditioning found in various studies:

1.   Strength and stabilization:

Pilates training focuses on strengthening the bodies stabilizing muscles within the core (scapulae, torso and pelvis).  Doing so has been proven to reduce stress to the joints and reduce the risk of potential injuries due to muscle imbalances. View 3 pilates based core exercises you can try today HERE.

Young smiling girl doing sporty exercises outdoors
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Quick tips and resources for purchasing a used mountain bike

Quick tips and resources for purchasing a used mountain bike

Here is a great post from our very own coach Brie. We call her the “Gear Guru” because she knows her stuff.  If you are in the market for your first mountain bike, going the used bike route can be the best option to really learn what works for you without the expense of investing in a new bike with all the “bells and whistles”.

It can be intimidating walking into a bike store, only be to shown $5000 bikes.  Seriously….you could buy a car for that!  Good news, you don’t NEED to purchase a $5K bike to get a good bike and get out and enjoy some trails.

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