Most Recent Posts for Trail Tips

Strength work is like flossing. We know we should do it, but … let’s be real. Most of us floss or do strength for a few weeks before letting it fall by the wayside.

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Trail Tips training

There’s often a debate in sports about what constitutes an “elite” athlete. In football, it’s a meme to talk about whether Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is elite. In running, there are hundreds of comment threads dedicated to elite versus sub-elite versus non-elite times. I imagine most coaches get tons of emails from athletes with a disclaimer at the start: “I am not an elite athlete.”

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If you’ve watched the Tour de France in the last decade, you’ve probably noticed some riders staring at their handlebars on the biggest climbs, looking at a little screen as if they are in the middle of a Netflix binge. Most of the time, they are looking at the readout on their power meters.

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People can get the wrong impression when you say you run ultras. They might say something like, “That’s incredible! I had no idea you were an Olympic-caliber athlete.”

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Running requires much of one’s feet. While running, feet act as a shock absorber as they contact the ground, a solid base on which to momentarily stand and then a rigid lever as they push off and propel themselves forward. The 26 bones, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments deserve a little time and TLC. Giving them that love can help to decrease the chances of injury.

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The treadmill is often a necessary evil, like road running or wearing pants. Sometimes, it’s about the conditions, with ice and cold outside or darkness that makes it unsafe to … Continue reading "Getting the Most from Your Treadmill Workout"

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We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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On Tuesday, November 13, the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler outside San Francisco, California was cancelled due to smoke from the devastating wildfires ravaging the state. The race organizers … Continue reading "Should You Run in Smoky Air? Probably Not."

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Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things… They follow the habits they’ve learned. —Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit As a trail runner, you can do little things  every … Continue reading "Power of Habit"

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Trail Tips training

We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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Do you remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Test from grade school? If you’re reading this in the U.S., there’s a good chance it brings back memories of having to do … Continue reading "Is Stretching Good or Bad?"

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Life isn’t easy with two perfect eyes. Wonder doesn’t have two perfect eyes. His left eye has no vision; his right is mostly blind–just enough for a sliver of shadows … Continue reading "4 Lessons from a Blind Superdog"

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Running uphill can be pretty darn horrible. The social-media accounts of professional runners (or even normal people with very short memories) may claim that running up steep grades is “awesome” … Continue reading "Tips for Uphill Running"

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Let’s start with a thought exercise. Remember: the brain burns a lot of calories, so make sure you have some chocolate ice cream handy to replenish your glycogen stores afterward. … Continue reading "The Body Doesn’t Know Miles, It Knows Stress"

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Develop Trail-Specific Endurance and Resilience With a solid foundation, you already have most of what you need to reach your trail-running potential. Now, it’s about refining your strengths to endure … Continue reading "Developing Trail-Specific Resiliency"

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I recently recorded a podcast with Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl and Shawn Bearden called Coaches’ Corner. It was enlightening—partially because they all have encyclopedic knowledge of training theory, and partially … Continue reading "A Fast Trail Race Might Not Require Much Speed At All"

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Pacing oneself is really, really hard. I think that difficulty stems from how different the psychological approach to pacing is from the rest of life. Usually, life rewards joyous enthusiasm, … Continue reading "The Art of Pacing Yourself"

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The day before the U.S. Mountain Running Championships in 2014, I was a naïve baby deer about to run full speed onto a six-lane highway. I thought trail running was … Continue reading "When (and How) to Power Hike"

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Trail Tips Workouts

We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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One of the hardest parts of mental-health challenges is feeling alone in your own struggle, as beautifully described in this May 2018 article in Nature. Yeah, on some level, you … Continue reading "Understanding the Post-Race Blues"

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Have you ever signed up for a race, only to find yourself struggling to stick with your training plan? That’s the situation in which I found myself several years ago after registering for a notoriously … Continue reading "Getting Out of Your Own Way"

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We’ve all had those days. Your heart is aching to run, but your body is just plain aching. “I want to run!” your heart says. “KNOW YOUR PLACE, YOU GLORIFIED ELECTRICAL PUMP,” your body responds. … Continue reading "The “I Feel Like Crap” Checklist"

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When I started out as an endurance athlete many years ago, I used to overthink every little thing on race week. Food? FUEL. Sleep? RECOVERY. Dancing? A NON-SPECIFIC TRAINING STIMULUS. I must have been insufferable … Continue reading "What Matters (and What Doesn’t) Days Before a Race"

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We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up for success, both this season … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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culture Destinations Trail Tips training

On June 23, Courtney Dauwalter and Jim Walmsley ran two of the best races in history at the Western States 100 (on a year when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit). How did they do it? … Continue reading "Positivity is a Performance Enhancer"

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When it comes to training for mountain running, specifically Sky Racing objectives like Nolan’s 14ers (connecting the fourteen 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado’s Sawatch Range in under 60 hours) and fat-ass races (like John Cappis … Continue reading "How to Train Specifically for Mountain Running"

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Uphills are easy. Some of you probably just spit out your coffee and started drafting angry letters to the editor: FAKE NEWS I DEMAND A REFUND. Trust me, I get it. Uphills can truly suck—that’s … Continue reading "Training for Downhills When You Don’t Live Near Mountains"

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Welcome to Part 4 of Zero to Trail Hero. Now you can start really racking up the miles– but not without taking steps to adapt to the added stress. GO THE DISTANCE After you build … Continue reading "From Zero to Trail Hero: Part 4"

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As adventure women, we let few things slow us down: we bag peaks between the ebb and flow of stabbing abdominal pain, crush technical downs through lower back spasms and keep a casual face while … Continue reading "Don’t Let Your Cycle Ruin Your Training. Period"

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If I could only give one tip to an athlete looking to make their daily run more enjoyable and productive, it’d be simple: start slower. Make your first mile your slowest mile. Get passed by … Continue reading "The Importance of Starting Slow"

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The list of things that are certain for a runner is not all that long. As Benjamin Franklin said, we have death and taxes. All year-long runners share another certainty, though—we spend a lot of … Continue reading "Why It’s Essential to Embrace the Heat"

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Welcome to Part 2 of Zero to Trail Hero. Now is when things ease onward gently. The most important part of this process is to not force it—as is often our natural inclination. PUT IT … Continue reading "From Zero to Trail Hero: Part 2"

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It’s 9 A.M. and already 85 degrees at Duncan Canyon, the first aid station where I’ll get to see my husband on his maiden quest to finish the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. With 20 pounds of gear dangling from various limbs, I wiggle into the crowded hillside just in time to hear a cowbell: … Continue reading "The Ultra Crewing Playbook"

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If you grew up running, there’s a solid chance that a track or road workout makes you have a nervous flashback, causing your bowels to plummet to your feet. If you started running on your own, maybe trail hill repeats make you want to stay in bed where it’s warm and cuddly and where gravity … Continue reading "Workouts for Trail Runners that Don’t Like Workouts"

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Starting out, most runners have a vision of the best training session. Think back to what you thought was good training. I know what I pictured. You’re pouring out sweat like a broken fire hydrant, with your hands on your knees, your vision blurry, and your mouth tasting like rusted pennies. Essentially, it’s every motivational … Continue reading "The Downside of Uphills, Heat and Altitude"

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The other day I was talking with an athlete who had had a revelation. He had stripped off his watch, and he suddenly found himself feeling like a happier runner: “I have not been using GPS for a few days. I need to not compare my workouts with others or myself. I stopped to stand in … Continue reading "GPS—and Other Devices—Are Not For Everyone"

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