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Trail Running? Long...

Red Rock2010-05-01 05:17:35 +0000 #1
I am trying to think up ways , other than cycling, that are fun yet still give me exercise. I have not done a whole lot of running to speak of for a long time. In high school I ran cross country and track. In College, I ran to prepare for the cross country ski season. I played soccer too.

At the request of others on this forum, I have picked up a copy of ChiRunning. I have read the book and like the idea behind it. I have foot issues so I would never go barefoot. I love hiking and trail running would be a natural for me. I am not fond of asphalt. All of my other experiences of running involve a lot of pain. Shin splints and general joint soreness have been my only "injuries" that I can think of. I also have looked into the Couch to 5K on the internet. Do they have a plan that is printable? I could not find it if they do. I looks like you have to subscribe to get the plan. I also have a slew of other running books by Jeff Galloway, Womens running and an assortment for training for a marathon. I figured Couch to 5K would be the best place to start to give my body a chance to adjust and not cause injury.

So given my background and previous history, am I crazy? Should I at least attempt and if my body revolts back off? Yellow would be a good resource if she chimes in here. I would also like to be able to do races in the intermountain west. I just do not know where to look. What do you look for in shoes? I am totally clueless there. Any and all help would be great.

Thank you,

Red Rock

zoom-zoom2010-05-01 05:28:32 +0000 #2
Never ever pay for C25k...anyone charging is a scammer.

There is also a podcast series that will walk you through it. And after you graduate you can move onto the One Hour Runner program (which came along quite a while after I did C25k).

C25k is excellent. It's how I started nearly 4 years ago. It taught me to progress slowly and at my own pace. Since then I've completed 3 marathons and will have covered 1800 miles on-foot this year, if all goes as planned. I am not fast. I am not a natural athlete. But I enjoy running.

Trail running is fabulous. One of my very favorite races is a trail relay I captained last Summer and will do again this coming Summer. 6 people sharing nearly 80 miles. Blood, sweat, and bad jokes. We had a blast.

As far as shoes...your best bet is to go to a running store...not ****'s, not Athlete's Foot or Foot Locker--a store that specializes in helping runners. They can analyze your gait and help you get into the best shoe for you...not the shoe they need to move out of stock. Ask runners in your area which store(s) they like best.

Good luck...have fun! And check out if you want really great running-specific advice and a place to keep an online log. They have full Garmin integration and I have been logging there pretty much ever since I started running. Super nice community.
SadieKate2010-05-01 05:27:05 +0000 #3
You can always buy Galloway's book or get the basic schedule here:
yellow2010-05-01 06:30:35 +0000 #4
RR, I'm flattered that you'd think of me when you think about trail running.

When I am down your way for work, I love running in the Red Cliffs Preserve: . I'm not sure how far you are from St Geo, but if it's close by, this is what I would do if I were you (I'm sure there are some more serious runners out there who disagree with this, so take it or leave it as you see fit!):

Set some realistic goals and some not-so-realistic ones. Forget what running once was and open your mind to what it can be.

Go to a running store (might have to go to the "city"!) and get some expert help on getting a pair of shoes that will be comfortable for run/hiking on your desert trails

Start out with time goals, not distance goals. Use a program if you want, but I think you'd do fine on your own. Say you want to be out for 30 minutes total, start with running for 1 minute then walking-with-purpose for 4 , then running 1 minute, then walking for 4, etc. Mix it up. But always go with purpose...not strolling.

Gradually up your running and reduce your walking. My sometime-coach is a big believer in allowing your expectations to be flexible for days when you just don't feel "it". That might mean that you happen to walk more on some days than others. He's told me more than once that if I go out for a really big run (as in 20 or more miles) and know it's not going to be a great run that I'm better off turning around and going home, taking a nap, and saving my physical and mental energy for the next day.

Pick an event to train for and do it! By this I mean train for the time/distance and the terrain. I've always wanted to do this event (they have 5 and 10 mile options): . There is some really great running around Fruita (CO, not Utah). Yes, there are some substantial hills.

You're not crazy. I could give you a pretty long list of ailments and show you some elites who also have plenty of their own. You learn the difference between mental and physical limiting factors. Maybe you'll only get up to 5 miles max, but maybe you'll find yourself running the Moab Red Hot 50k in 5 years. Let it happen. Chi Running is a great start.

Because trail running is by nature slower and requires more...focus, you have a lot of opportunity to run gently. I always walk a little when I'm out on the trails. I can't see any reason NOT to walk. I don't walk a lot, but I don't run every single second, either. I've never been hung up on pace or stuff like that, more just out there for the exercise and enjoyment. And lo and behold, I end up being pretty "fast" because I'm consistent.

Just some random thoughts for you to take or leave as you see fit.
Becky2010-05-01 07:03:38 +0000 #5
Go for it! Your story reads very much like mine, and I'm having great success with chi running. Like you, my previous running experiences were riddled with pain- shin splints, IT band-related issues, the whole shebang. The CR style has definitely lessened those issues for me. I've learned how to avoid shin splints, and how to listen to my body when it says, "hey, old cranky hip here- had enough!". (Many thanks to the wonderful TE ladies who have taught me how to manage and rehab that cranky hip!)

2 months into it, I've learned a lot, and it's been positive enough to keep me motivated to continue running and learning.

Start slow, buy good shoes, and really listen to your body. It will tell you if you're doing too much too soon (mine certainly does!). Good luck, and have fun!
yellow2010-05-01 05:54:29 +0000 #6
P.S. Lots of great opportunities in UT! Check out this calendar: . Most listed as 50s/100s, but many of them also have shorter distances as well.

Series in NV:
indigoiis2010-05-01 07:14:00 +0000 #7
I really love trail running. Here in Rhode Island we have stony, technical trails that are often wet, swampy, stumpy and slippery. It requires being really in tune with everything - body, trail, feet, surroundings. So much more exciting than going around the block a few times.

It sounds like you are excited. That's good! It's good to have fun while running!
Red Rock2010-05-01 06:20:25 +0000 #8
Thank you for all who have come to answer some of my questions. I have thought about the Desert Perserve. It is a cool place. I really need to go out and see more of the trail system. Brad Passey who does the outdoor column for the Spectrum newspaper has been on more trails than I have! I am in St. George itself with all of its traffic. We do have an actual running store here in town. I will have to go check them out.

I will have to look more into those calendars and other attachments that you all have presented on this thread. I love all of the information and experiences your giving me, keep it up. Right now leaf clean up is calling.

Yellow when your down here we need to touch base.

Red Rock



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