Weekending + Why and HOW to Trail Run!!

8 miles of snow/rain @ 8:16 average pace for my Saturday morning!

I should have worn wool socks because my feet were frozen .2 miles into the run from all of the slush and puddles.

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This picture perfectly describes what my children do best in the hot tub.  Skye just goes straight to back floating position for the entire duration, if it is snowing then Brooke is either trying to catch the snowflakes with her hands or her mouth and Knox is going back and forth from the hot tub to making snow angels.

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They also spent some time later on playing in the snow but overall, it was a very laid back day!

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Our Sunday involved staying in bed for as long as possible.

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One of my goals for 2021 is to try and make one new recipe each week so that happened yesterday.  I saw beignets somewhere on the internet one day and decided I needed to try them.  I went with this recipe and they were fabulous.

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We love to watch a movie together on Sunday’s too and this was our choice and we loved it.

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Somehow the weekends go by way too fast…

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I will start off this portion of trail running talk by stating I am not an expert:).  I just wanted to share why I trail run and some of the things I do to stay safe, have a blast and enjoy the mountains!   While I LOVE road races and speed work on the roads I was telling Andrew the other day that my dream would be to do every other run that I do besides speed and races on the trails:).

Let’s talk about why I think trail running is great:

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*The mental benefits are incredible for me.  Any anxiety/stress I am experiencing disappears with each mile even more on the trails than the roads and my body becomes more relaxed.  My brain loves the peace I feel when I am trail running because I am away from cars, buildings and distractions.  I feel so adventurous when I am out on the trails which is not something I usually feel each day driving carpool, changing diapers and doing laundry;).  I’m never looking at my watch while I’m on the trails which is a nice change and you can’t beat the views along the way.

*Bored with running or is running feeling monotonous to you lately?  Switching things up from the roads to the dirt is the perfect answer to that problem.  In 2019 when I was training for marathons I did 2 of my 6 runs on the trails each week which really helped me to never feel the mental/physical burnout that I experienced during marathon training in previous years when I wasn’t on the trails.

*Injury prevention!  This one is key for me and why I think I was able to stay healthy while running 80 miles per week in 2019 (which is a ton of miles for me).  The trails help you to slow down, the dirt is softer and easier on our body than the road and the variety in the surface on the trail builds all sorts of stabilizer muscles to help you stay healthy.

*I think that consistent trail running made me faster.   The constant ups and downs on our trails made me a lot stronger.  I am not one to strength train regularly (I know, I really need to) BUT the trails built a lot of muscle up for me in 2019 which helped me to get faster.

*You prove to yourself on the trails that you can do hard things which will help you on race day or during hard workouts in the future.

*I feel so much more connected to nature when I trail run.  I feel so grateful for our world and the chance we get to explore it more than ever when I am trail running.  Some of my best prayers have happened out on the dirt.

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HOW I trail run….

*I always go with a people or Beretta.  I want to enjoy the trails while being safe at the same time.  I also always let Andrew know exactly what trail I am running each time I go.

*Get some trail shoes!  This is definitely not necessary (I wear normal shoes on the trails often too) but it can really help in terms of stability, rock shields and traction.  I 100% recommend Brooks trail shoes because I really think they are the best.

*Pick your feet UP and take small steps when you are trail running to help you to avoid tripping!  BUT just know that a fall every now and then happens to most of us while on the trails so don’t feel bad if you do fall!

*Hike or walk the ups when you need to.  I did a lot of this when training for my ultra and then running my ultra and it was AWESOME.

*Enjoy looking at your elevation map afterwards.  It’s so fun to see how much you climbed and all of the ups and downs that you accomplished.

*Start out small!  Let your body get used to them.  Start out with a few miles one time a week and build up from there!

*Grab a hydration vest… with so many pockets and places to store all of the necessities along with helping you to stay hydrated while on the trails, it’s worth the $$.

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*Know that your pace is going to be SO different than when you run on the roads.  Last week my runs on the roads ranged from a 7:30-8:40ish average pace and then on the trails my average pace was 10:32.  Expect them to be different because they will be.

*Trailforks is an awesome app to help you find great trails in your area.

*Just have fun!!  There is zero pressure on the trails to hit any pace or to go any distance.  Soak in the views, pat yourself on the back often, hike when you need to and enjoy the fresh air.

*I am going to add these tips from Kristine because they are so important!  “My additional tips including knowing your own abilities..here in BC we have amazing trail running terrain but some can be very technical and lead deep in to the backcountry so if you are not careful you can get in over your head fast. We have what we call the 10 essentials.. extra light food, emergency first aid kit, tarp and extra warm clothes fully charged phone, remote battery charging among others. For me when I go on adventures I also bring food for double the anticipated time and like you always tell my partner. For big adventures I don’t usually go alone and with a group. When we did an all day one a few years back, we left a trip plan as well as a note phone numbers etc on the inside windshield of our car in case of emergency. Our trails are relatively close to the city so I think people don’t always realize how steep and rugged they can be. Do your research and don’t be fooled by the pretty photo on instagram. But trails are so much fun when you play safe!”


What does trail running do for you?  Have any tips for trail running?

Where do you think would be one of the prettiest places in the world to trail run?

A friend of mine just had a baby and is looking for running stroller recommendations!  My stroller is no longer available so I cant recommend that one!

What was the best part of your weekend?

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26 comments

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Your weekend looked amazing! Now I think we need a hot tub 🤣

We spent our weekend hiking with family and playing outside a lot. We have been lucky with mild weather here in Colorado.

I just love trail running and would always run on trails if I could. My favorite place is Leadville to get out on trails. I think Switzerland or Hawaii would have some of the best trail running 😍

I use an app called Glymps if I have signal so my husband can track where I am if running alone.

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Hey Beth! I HIGHLY recommend getting a hot tub:). I am so glad that you were all able to be outside a lot this weekend. Are you guys worried about your water supply like we are here? I bet Leadville is insanely gorgeous and I’ll join you on that Switzerland trail running trip. Thanks for sharing about Glymps, I’ll have to get that. Have a great day!

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Yes! let’s pan a girls running trip to Switzerland!

We are getting worried about lack of snow, our mountain snow pack is low. I hope we have a snowy spring so we can skip a hot, dry summer and avoid a repeat of all the fires from last summer. So much of our mountains burned =(

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I need advice on trail shoes! I need a LOT of support (super flat feet) and trail shoes seem to only come in neutral. For running, I wear Hoka Gaviotas and inserts and love them. Anyone have suggestions?

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Hey Tracy! I have noticed that about trail shoes too! Could you add your inserts into the Cascadia? I also wear my normal shoes on the trails too if you are worried about not getting enough support. Anyone else have some ideas for Tracy?

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Hi Tracy. I am sitting here wearing my new orthotics in my Gaviota 2’s. I would suggest you try the Hoka Speedgoat 4 (if you can stand the stupid sharp leather tongue) or the Hoka Challenger ATR (has a padded tongue). I have run in both and liked them (but I could not stand the tongue on the Speedgoats, so I kept the Challengers). Hoka also has the Stinson ATR, but i have not tried those.

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Thank you, John! That gives me a good place to start! I’ve been recycling some of my older running shoes that I didn’t mind getting grubby, but I’d like a little more protection on the trails.

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Hi Tracy – I second John’s recs. I run in the Hoka Challenger ATRs (with inserts for arch support) for smoother trails, and the Speedgoats for rockier more technical terrain or when its muddy/slippery. I tried their racing trail shoe (the Torrent) but it wasn’t enough support for me. They had a lot less cushion than the other 2 and I think it would be similar compared to the Gaviota. Good luck!

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I’ve always stuck with the chariot line (I buy used as they run pretty pricey) but I love the weather protection shields they come with (bugs,sun,rain) and they have infant slings for them/bike attachments etc…

I don’t ever trail run lol! I would have to drive about 45 mins to hit up some nice trails and to be honest I don’t quite have the motivation for that!

Best part of the weekend…we had some good meals (honey garlic ribs and Greek salad and potatoes! And homemade pizza)!

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I have heard amazing things about the chariot… thank you so much for sharing for my friend! Yeah, there is no way I would get in many trail runs with a long commute. Okay, you guys ate delicious foods this weekend… I’ll come over this weekend:). Have a beautiful day, Gillian.

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I love that Skye back floats in the hot tub, that’s the cutest! 😁

Trail running is the best! I just finished a 50K this weekend that was part trail, and part paved path, and it kinda stunk every time we had to hit the pavement again (it was 12 laps of a 2.62 mile course). Now that my races are done for a few months, I can’t wait to get out and just do some easy trail running for fun!

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KATIE. Huge huge huge congrats on your 50k! That is amazing and 12 laps… your mental game is strong! Wish I could join you for a trail run this week:). I hope you are recovering well. Have a great Monday.

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Those are great trail running tips! My additional tips including knowing your own abilities..here in BC we have amazing trail running terrain but some can be very technical and lead deep in to the backcountry so if you are not careful you can get in over your head fast. We have what we call the 10 essentials.. extra light food, emergency first aid kit, tarp and extra warm clothes ully charged phone, remote battery charging among others. For me when I go on adventures I also bring food for double the anticipated time and like you always tell my partner. For big adventures I don’t usually go alone and with a group. When we did an all day one a few years back, we left a trip plan as well as a note phone numbers etc on the inside windshield of our car in case of emergency. Our trails are relatively close to the city so I think people don’t always realize how steep and rugged they can be. Do your research and don’t be fooled by the pretty photo on instagram. But trails are so much fun when you play safe!

I got in a 9.5 mile sunrise run on Saturday. Longest run in awhile and it was so good to run solo and just think and not think. It made my heart happy.

We also cooked good food other, got in lots of couch and Netflix time and had our fire place going all weekend:).

Have a wonderful day Janae! Happy running:)

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Kristine! THANK YOU for those tips and you are 100% so right on all of those. Mind if I add these to the original post? Way to go on your run this weekend and all of the delicious eats. Wish I could join you for a trail run in BC this weekend. Thanks Kristine, you too!

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Best part of my weekend: I ran my first race since OCTOBER 2019!!! There was a 10k (not virtual, real life) going on in a park near my place and it was amazing!! 45:56 official finish time – 7:22 pace which I was very happy about considering I’ve done zero speed work this past year! The race officials did an incredible job organizing a safe event and my heart is so full :)

Re: trail running – I love it!! I live in Colorado now and def agree with your point about starting off slow so the body can get used to it. I went a little overboard after Christmas and went trail running 3 days in a row and then messed up my hip flexor. So to the newbies out there like me … Don’t do what I did!

Have a great week, Janae!

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Hey Arthi! AHHHHHH CONGRATS ON YOUR RACE. I am so so happy that you were able to do it and you were so so fast. I bet it felt amazing to be out there again. Wish I could come to Colorado and do some trail running with you and I hope your hip flexor is feeling 100% now. Have a great day and I am so happy about your weekend.

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I would love to trail run anywhere in Europe! Or Ireland, along the coast?!

Best part of the weekend was getting a lot done before my first day of work today, and spending time (even if virtually!) with friends.

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Can I join you on those trail runs?! Those would be amazing. I hope today is PERFECT at your new job, I am so thrilled for you! Let me know how it goes Mariah!

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Janae! I just wanted to let you know that your email yesterday was just the biggest bright spot in my day. I really, really appreciate it. You are just such a wonderful person and those kiddos of yours are so lucky to have you.
I hope you and your family have a great week!!

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Thank you for reaching out to me friend! I’m here for YOU! I hope this week is a beautiful one for you!

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My foot doctor recommends trail running because it gets you out of the repetitive rhythm of doing the exact same stride over and over and over – which can lead to injury.
I recall reading that Shalane Flanagan uses a Thule running stroller so I googled and found this:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CAqUnFwJ3Vj/?igshid=1yteg10jr3ll
I would definitely look into Thule if I were in the market for a jog stroller. Get the biggest wheels you can if you want to take it on trails.

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I can see all the useful information on Trailforks but for me it is so dang confusing! Like where does it have an address to actually start your run? I can see it on the map obviously, but I want an actual address to plug and chug, you know? The main reason as to why I haven’t done a lot of trail running is just knowing where to start. I wish the site were a little easier for novices like myself. (I know you don’t run the site, sorry just venting!)

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Honestly I think the trails in Utah look amazing-both running and mountain biking!!! It’s on our list for when we travel to the US. I really want to take a trail running vacation to Chamonix then hit up the three borders along the trail system. But I also think the trails in New Zealand would be fun to visit again.

My tip for trail running is good traction shoes and simple running specific gaiters. So much debris creeps in and it can be very irritating to the feet.

Skye has the right idea just floating in the hot tub! I love it!!!
We have had a GOB of snow since early January so I’ve been cross country skiing 10-15km four to five days/week. It feels weird to ski my distance instead of run on those days but it’s such a fun change! I love mixing it up!

Have a great start to your week!!! Those beignets look AMAZING!!!! All I can think of is dipping them in a Cafe Au Lait!!

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A hot tub in the snow has got to be the best!

I love running trails! My biggest tip is not to run by yourself on trails and make sure to have some sort of defense with you/on you (mace, etc.).

I would love to run some trails in Maui!

I went through many jogging strollers. BOB is definitely my fav.

Best part of my weekend was sushi & relaxing!

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So glad you enjoyed Safety, I graduated from Clemson, its a very special place. Now living in Oregon, it took me back to my college days!

Love running the trails in Oregon, so much different than the East Coast. Takes some getting accustomed to the different animals out here :-)

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Hi from Australia – I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months now and it brings me a lot of joy catching up with what you’ve been up to.

I started running again 1.5 years ago and it’s just my favourite thing to read about and talk about, and in the last 6 months I’ve really got into trail running. I’ve been in 2 trail races here in Brisbane (just to complete, not to compete, though I love seeing myself improve). I did a 35km charity walk last year which I ended up jogging, and so thought I’d enter a half marathon this year as my big goal race, but have ended up entering a 50km trail race as well – so lots to train for!

My husband and I have our 10th wedding anniversary this year – we are going to go to Tasmania for a week – the trails down there look spectacular and it will be nice and cold too – I love the cold.

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