Tips for choosing the right trail shoe

With summer just around the corner, 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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Trail running tips for stroller pushing parents

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.

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You can even trail run with kids in the snow!

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OCR workout: Hanging out

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…

NEEDED:

  •  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* 
75 Dips
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” sit-ups:

Grip strength workout for Obstacle course race training!

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!!

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Needed:

Set of monkey bars

Warm-up:
Walk/jog 1 minute
20 arm circles each direction
20 straight leg lifts each leg
10 pushups
repeat 1 time

Monkey bar set (1 of each):
Forwards
Side-ways
Backwards
Hand over hand
Skipping a bar
Crawl using feet (video demonstration below)

Hanging set:
40 Pop-ups
30 hanging bicycles (video demonstration below)
20 knees to elbows
10 burpee pullups

REPEAT BOTH SETS 2 MORE TIMES!

VIDEOS:

Monkey bar “crawl”:

Hanging bicycles: 

“Me and My Buddy” workout for trail runners and Obstacle course racers

This is a workout taken from Daily Outdoor Workouts, one of our sister sites.  Enjoy!

ME AND MY BUDDY

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.   – Helen Keller

NEEDED: 
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!

2 tough workouts that will help you to conquer steep hills

2 tough workouts that will help you to conquer steep hills

Are hills your nemesis?   Maybe you just can’t seem to catch your breath on the ups or are tentative on the downs.  Try out these workouts to improve your skills and fitness so you can conquer those hills with confidence!

Stair add-ons:

You need to find a location that has multiple flights of stairs.  An office building, stadium or if you live in the Denver metro area Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Stair work is one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular fitness but more importantly it helps to improve your motor skills and turnover (or cadence).

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How to train for an obstacle course race, parent style

Obstacle course racing.  There is no denying it: the sport is here to stay.  It is now the fastest growing sport in the world and for a good reason:  it is so much fun!

Parents have a unique skill set that gives them some particular advantages when it comes to obstacle racing.  For example, we are used to:

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Carrying heavy, awkward loads….

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