5 exercises trail runners should be doing everyday

5 exercises trail runners should be doing everyday

You love to run.  Or maybe you don’t.  Wherever you are on the spectrum, if you are planning on adding more mileage or training for an event, you need to make sure that your body is adequately prepared to take on the additional stresses running places on the body.

What do we mean by this?
Strength and conditioning!

Many runners neglect to strengthen the muscles they use when running.  And not only those muscles, but the opposing ones too. In order to prevent injury and run at your best, you need to ensure that your body is strong and your training plan is well balanced. We like to refer to this as “pre-hab” work.
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Snow day workout

Snow day workout

Colorado has been buried by snow this week, literally. We are talking feet of snow which is fantastic news for lovers of all winter activities however some may find their legs and lungs aren’t quite up to par.

We all know the feeling: burning quads, quivering muscles, sore calves and fatigue that is overtaking you before you are ready to call it a day.

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Embrace the brrrr! Tips and tricks for winter running

With cooler temps, mountain snowfall and wintry weather back in force, many new trail runners are wondering if and how they can continue enjoying the trails throughout the season.  Well, I am here to tell you that now is not the time to resign to the boring old “dreadmill”.
Trail running during the winter is possible and in fact, can be quite the adventure.

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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.  

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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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Insights on the ultra training journey

Training for an ultra is not all sunsets and rainbows, it’s a tough endeavor not for the faint of heart and takes a level commitment that the average person cannot fathom. There will be times when you will contemplate throwing in the towel, wonder why you even subjected yourself to completing to this crazy thing in the first place, question your training and if you are really ready to undertake something so daunting.

As you run into the unknown, consider that you are not alone. This is the process all ultra runners go through and not just when training for their first ultra. It is a journey and like life and the very earth we tread on, full of ups and downs: small hills to challenge us, massive peaks to overcome and then the peace of a calm valley when things just seem to click.
If you are taking the leap into uncharted territory and going ultra this year, continue reading. L2S coach Sara Spolrich, who has run the gamut of ultra events and adventures from completing the Appalachian trail solo to 48 hour lapped events, has shared some insights to help you along the way.

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Hiking a 14er this summer? Train your legs and lungs on one of these front range hikes

Summiting a 14,000 foot peak is no small feat. To us natives, bagging a “14er” as we call them is a right of passage; many of us seeking to one day summit all 54 of these majestic Colorado peaks.
Weekend warriors and veterans alike tend to set the goal of hiking at least one of these Goliaths a year however, many tend to overlook the most important part of preparing for the summit: training!

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At the top of Mount Massive

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Sprint through the finish: 3 fun track workouts you can do with your kids (or sandbag)

This is an oldie but goodie. We are reposting this as it is timely: April and May are “mud” season months for us here in Colorado and that means we might not always be able to get out and hit our favorite trails.
Check out this fun workout you can do anywhere really (although a track is ideal) and the best part is you can bring your kids along too!  Don’t have kids?  Bring along a heavy weight or sandbag to keep you company….


When is the last time you sprinted?  Or ran as fast as you could?  (chasing after your kids doesn’t count)
Doing laps around the track may seem like torture to most people however, speed work is an important part of any training regime and is the key to getting fitter, faster.

Here are 3 fun track workouts you can do WITH your kids (or a sandbag) that will help you get through that finish line a little bit faster: 

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1.  400 meter repeats:

Okay, we lied.  This one isn’t fun, in fact, it kind of sucks.  But once it is over with you will have this amazing feeling of accomplishment that you haven’t felt since you finished ALL the laundry in one day.
In order to see results, you first need to know where you stand.   So let’s start off with a little fitness test:

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Training for the long road ahead: Tips and places to train for long ascent races

Training for the long road ahead: Tips and places to train for long ascent races

Back in 2010 I decided to run my first marathon. Unlike most people who pick an “easy”,  flat road course, I decided to go the opposite direction and chose one of the toughest ones in the country: The Leadville Trail marathon.
With the starting line at over 10,000 feet, course elevation gain total over 7500 feet (including a 13er summit) and loose, rocky terrain I had my work cut out for me.
When race day arrived I thought I was prepared. I had been trail running for over 10 years at that point, fit in all my long runs and did several 14ers for high altitude training.
However, I distinctly remember my greatest weaknesses on the course: my power hiking skills and ability to run long, sustained climbs.  I had done a ton of trail running to train but very little power hiking.  “Why hike when I could run?”,  I wrongly assessed.

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Lauren’s Super Fun Short Format Hill Repeat Workout

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)!

 

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Tips for choosing the right trail shoe

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.

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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!

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