10 Inspiring Instagram Runners to Follow ASAP


Ok, we do have an Instagram account – it gets updated pretty regularly too! Although it’s mostly when we’re travelling and coming across new trails or races.

It’s a handy way to see what’s going on all over the place and so far we’re pretty happy with the pics we’ve seen…maybe a little jealous that we aren’t there to run at all the locations, but still happy 🙂

However, we do know that some people prefer to use Instagram – so if you do, this one’s for you – here’s a couple great trail running accounts that we follow:

And to add to that list, here’s another list of 10 that has some great content:

One of my favorite things about Instagram is the way it connects runners from around the world. 10 Inspiring Instagram Runners to Follow ASAP

Cheers!

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Confession: I secretly prefer trail racing – So Do We!

It’s always interesting to see and hear other people’s take on trail running – why did you start? For most of us, trail running wasn’t the first type of running we did…sure, a lot of us may have run around the woods as kids (or adults!) but I’m willing to bet that most people weren’t entering trail races right off the bat.

I came across this article and felt like sharing as I could identify with many of the feelings towards trail and roads:

I ran my first trail race with the 5 Peaks race series back in the spring of 2014. Afterwards, I immediately signed up for the next four races.

Where road racing is governed by pace, trail racing is dependent on so many factors that pacing kind of goes out the window. Each race is different depending on the hills, the weather, the single track and congestion on the course. While this might seem daunting, I find it completely freeing.

The change is pace and terrain for a trail race is something I also really enjoy. Although I may be wishing for a slightly less steep hill from time to time it’s the variation that keeps me going and what makes a long trail run or race so enjoyable. So many variables, sights to see, and especially in races things can change quickly.

I run on the road pretty much all winter and my training with my coach is exclusively for road racing. But when the summer hits, it’s time to hit the trails. Of course, provincial parks have extraordinary trail systems, but you don’t have to venture too far to get into nature. The longest I drove to a race last year was about an hour from Toronto. In some cases, I was running along cliffs and climbing the escarpment at Rattlesnake Point. At other times, I was running alongside a lake and even through deep water in a marsh. Confession: I secretly prefer trail racing – Canadian Running Magazine

I love getting out on the trails more after a winter. If the winter is mild I may be able to get some decent time in off road, but being located (for now)gplus-116584837 in upstate New York it can get pretty nasty – I’ve had my fair share of “ice beards” and frozen fingers.

I suppose that the upside to this is the wide range of trail conditions: things go from frozen and gray/brown to muddy and green, to humid and buggy, to multi-colored fall photo opportunities, all within a few months!

Getting out on the road also makes me appreciate the trails so much more – while it can be a nice change of pace it always reminds me what I prefer to spend my time running on.

What got you into trail running and what keeps you on the trails?

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Central Oregon Trail Runners And Visitors Have A New Resource For 50 Runs Near Bend

thumbnail courtesy of bendbulletin.com

Heading to eastern Oregon, or specifically Bend? If so, you’ve got a great new resource available!

While Bend and the surrounding area has long been known as a great place for outdoor activities from trail running to rafting and skiing and more, sometimes it can be tough for a person new to the area or on a quick visit to find the good places to head to.

For avid trail runner Lucas Alberg, half the fun of an adventure on the trails is the anticipation and planning. His ideal Saturday morning is sitting down with a cup of coffee and a couple of maps, pondering to what scenic, majestic terrain his feet might lead him that day.

I know the feeling! I love sitting down on a Thursday or Friday and looking over what trails we can hit or where we should go on our next trip…

That realization motivated him to research and write what is apparently the first guide book for Central Oregon trail running. Three years and many miles in the making, “Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon” was released last month by Wilderness Press.

The book includes 50 loop options for trail running, all of them within 65 miles of Bend. The routes range from 3 to 17 miles and average about 6 to 8 miles, and all are targeted to the typical trail runner.

Having this many options within an hour or so of Bend is awesome! When we visited last year we did some quick trips near the city center (short trip!) but with this book we may have been able to stop at a trail on the way in or out of town.

Alberg, 37, says his goals for the book were to provide that first-of-a-kind resource for area trail runners, make them feel safe and comfortable running outside of their typical spots, and lastly, motivate runners to explore and enjoy all the special places that Central Oregon offers. Central Oregon trail runners have a new resource; Book includes 50 loop options, all within 65 miles of Bend

That’s a great reason to write the book and we all benefit – so if you’re going to head to Bend in the near future do yourself a favor and pick up this book. We’ll be grabbing a copy the next time we head out west and are looking to head into eastern Oregon.

You can find the book on Amazon here.

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Trail Running Car Equipment List

Being prepared isn’t just for Boy Scouts – having the right gear at the right time can help you out or keep you out of dangerous situations when you’re trail running.

Luckily, most of the time it isn’t life or death, but having that one thing in your car or truck can make your run MUCH better – or make yourself more comfortable afterwards.

So, in order to kick this off, take a look at the current list of “must have’s” for my 4runner:

  • Medical Tape for nipples. I will not leave the house without this stuff anymore. I’ve had enough close calls and uncomfortable days that I keep it in the bathroom, my car, and Jeney’s car.  You cannipple tape for running in the glove box of car see the stuff I use on our resources page here.
  • Water. Lots of water. I have a milk crate in the back of my 4runner where I keep 3 gallon jugs of water and a few other items to keep the jugs from crashing around. Those extra items are…
  • Baby wipes. I don’t often use these, but from time to time I’ll be pressed for time or have to cool my heels for a bit and it’s nice to be able to clean off a bit. Even being able to wipe off the dried salt can make a big difference in comfort.
  • Jacket. This is more of a safety issue for winter, but I keep it in the crate to stop things from rattling around year round and like having it there in case I need something as a last ditch effort to warm up in the event of cold weather or destroyed clothing.

This list could be longer, but I consider those to be the bare minimum, and if I had to narrow it down I would say that water is the most essential with the nipple tape coming in a close second.

I’ve been on enough runs where we ran out of water or came close to know better than to drive anywhereExtra water in back of the car for trail runs further than a few minutes from a water source without bringing some extra.

Depending on your particular situation and any medical issues your list might be slightly different. Oh, and whether or not you need to cover your nipples – I’m just thankful I haven’t had an issue like some people I’ve seen at races with full on blood dripping down their shirts. HOW DO THEY KEEP MOVING?!?

Ok, that’s my list – what’s in your car?

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Trail Running Around Portland, OR

If you are looking for some great opportunities for trails near a major city (or IN one) and a close proximity to some major trail systems, Portland, OR, should be on your list of destinations.

Not only can you go running right near the city center easily with or without a vehicle of your own, but you are minutes away from some great routes in the hills, mountains, or along the Columbia river.

In addition to some great terrain, Portland has a lot to offer in both food and drink along with a bustling city full of great places to explore (my personal favorite is Powell’s bookstore – check it out if you are remotely interested in books!).

Ok, let’s dive in a little deeper…

Running & Trails

Above Multnomah Falls During March 2016

Looking northeast from well above Multnomah Falls during March. Cloudy and beautiful!

Hey, this is Portland, Oregon we’re talking about! There are a TON of trails that are within easy striking distance of the airport or downtown.

However, you’re here to find out what the best trails might be for your trip, right?

Well, let’s get to it. Here’s a condensed list of our top trails in the area covering a wide range of lengths, technicality, and distance from the downtown area.

  • Forest Park – it’s mentioned everywhere for a reason. It’s easy to get to, has a bunch of trails, and can be combined into some longer runs. It’s not the wild mountainside but it’s close and has some great scenery which is what counts if you don’t have the transportation to make further out or are short on time.
  • Hoyt Arboretum – another easy to get to park with over 10 miles of trails in nearly 200 acres of land. Some great scenery and trees near downtown.

Just so you know, there are more trails close to downtown. Just hop into a local running store or ask someone for a nearby park. For now, we’re going to head out of the city area and start looking at some more areas.

  • Multnomah Falls – this area is well known for the Falls itself and worth a visit on its own. However, the trail to the top of the Falls
    Elevation profile (feet vs miles) for Multnomah Falls to Devil's Rest loop

    Elevation profile (feet vs miles) for Multnomah Falls to Devil’s Rest loop

    connects to a large number of well kept hiking trails that offer a good amount of elevation and a mixture of difficulties. Check out the elevation profile on the right for a recent run we did that started at the base of Multnomah Falls and continued up in a loop to Devil’s Rest and back down to the other side of the Falls…

  • Dog Mountain – This is actually located on the Washington side of the Columbia River and around 45 minutes to an hour from Portland. This great run (or hike) boasts about 3000 feet of gain in the 3 miles to the top. Some fantastic views of the Columbia Gorge makes this a good choice for a summer or early fall trail run.
  • Mt Hood – We can’t leave Mt Hood off of this list as it’s relatively nearby and…well, it’s a mountain! It’s covered in trail and parks and has a huge variety of other activities year round. Check out the link for more information about where you can find trail runs in the park areas.

This is a good short list to get you started. Just keep in mind that you have more areas to the west of Portland, specifically the beach areas up and down the coast with some more amazing adventures waiting to happen in the state forests and other parks throughout the area.

For those looking for elevation in their trail runs, you’ll probably be looking east of Portland as north and south follow the interstate (I-5) and the flatter regions of the area (Willamette Valley).

Additional Trail Resources

With all of the runnable trails in the region there are some great resources and clubs that you can link up with or at least check out online to help you get the best trail runs in during your time near Portland.

Here’s a few that you should look at before heading there:

Major Attractions

Portland has it’s fair share of great reasons to visit besides trails. Although lately it’s probably best known outside of the northwest U.S. for the show “Portlandia”, it’s got a lot of other things going on!

We’ve been talking about trails and parks and it turns out that there are a lot of other parks that are also worth visiting. From the Japanese garden to the International Rose Gardens you can find a lot of different plants, scenery, and other sights at the many parks throughout the city.

And it’s not all about adults and parks either – kids can find some awesome activities at the Portland OMSI. Be sure to check the site for activities, events, and specials before you head into town.

Looking for more places to visit and activities? Check out these popular sites for even more fun in the area:

As you get out of the city there’s even more to do in the mountains (all seasons), at the coast, and everywhere in between. You can find river rafting nearby, skiing, and more.

Food

There’s a huge number of great restaurants in Portland to choose from – we’re not going to try and list them here or this section would never end!

We have our favorites, but part of the fun is getting out and trying some new and exciting food.

In Portland you can find everything from amazing fresh seafood to Peruvian steaks and more.

Using apps like Yelp can help you find local eats that fit your style and budget, and for a great listing of some really high quality eats, check out the Eater guide for Portland.

Yum!

Breweries and Wineries

This is also nearly impossible!

Portland is home to a huge number of incredible breweries and there area many fantastic wineries in the Willamette Valley and in other areas of Oregon and Washington.

Again – finding an app like Yelp, Untappd, or similar may be the best way to go so that you can find what you are looking for.

We also recommend talking to locals and asking for their recommendation for a great place to stop.

Many of the breweries or taphouses in town also serve some great food.

 

And yes, we have our favorites, but we’ll keep that to ourselves…for now! If you’re really curious about where we stop for some amazing beers when we visit Portland just send us an email or leave a comment.

Travel Information

Portland is served by a major airport located right off of one of the large freeways that runs north-south (I-205). Flights a easy to find and the airport is fairly laid back and easy to navigate.

The train system also runs through Portland, if you’re interested in going north or south (say, to Seattle), it’s easy to find a seat and get going for much cheaper than a plane ticket.

Lodging

You have a wide choice of lodging – with Portland being a major city you can find anything from a shared room to upscale hotels and guest houses.

If you’re looking for something more personal or with more flexibility, you can try one of these (we recommend doing this for many reasons!):

Running Shops

We don’t have a personal recommendation for running shops in this area, but there are a few well known shops where you can pick up gear.

Just do a quick search for “portland oregon running store” and you’ll find several that can help you find what you need.

As always, we recommend getting your essentials before you leave town via Amazon or your preferred online (or local) shop so that you know you will be ready to go when you arrive!

Recovery or PT

There are a number of specialists in town including spas and gyms where you can set up massages, PT, etc.

Summary

If you have the opportunity to head to Portland and are at all interested in trail running you are in for a good time. We personally recommend renting or borrowing a vehicle so you can check out some of the areas slightly outside the city, but even if you are limited to the city or downtown area you’ll be able to hit the trails and enjoy the parks located in Portland.

With a ton of activities and non trail running attractions, you’ll find more than enough to keep busy and there’s a lot for non runners (family, friends, etc) to do and check out.

Questions or comments? Let us know here and we’ll get back to you.

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Heat Training for Western States

Anyone looking at races in high temps that they aren’t used to?

You could probably learn a thing or two from this write up on personal heat training for the Western States.

We’ve all been in races where we felt like we were wilting or just plain dehydrated, but prepping for a 100 mile race in some intensely high heat is another thing all together:

With the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run now only 16 days away, I’m in the throes of heat training. As most know, Western States is a very hot race, especially in the “canyons” section, and so it’s key to go into the event ready to handle temps well in excess of 100 degrees. I’m coming from Colorado, where we had our signature cool spring. Unlike those coming from other areas of the country, our natural conditions until now (it’s supposed to be 90 degrees today) have offered next to no opportunities for legitimate heat acclimatization.

That brings up a good point that people sometimes forget – acclimatization. Whether it’s heat or altitude or something else, it takes the body time to get used to the changes. You can’t just hit a new temperature area a couple of days before an event and expect your body to immediately adjust!

While I haven’t personally done training like this, I was interested in what it would take to help work your system over to prep for this type of heat:

Going into my Western States build up, while I knew sauna time would be a critical aspect, I didn’t realize how physically hard it would be. The actual time in the sauna isn’t what’s so hard; it’s how I feel the next day. More on that in a second. When I go into the sauna, it’s always with about 50-60 ounces of ice-cold water in hand. And I always make a point to drink both bottles while in the hot box. I try to pace myself so that I’m drinking at an even rate for the whole time in the sauna and take that last sip just seconds before leaving. I also make a point to take an S!Cap afterward to help replace lost electrolytes, and I have found that the S!Cap does make a difference. Heat Training for Western States

Getting the water back into your system and those electrolytes is very important for both safety and recovery.

I don’t think I’ll be jumping into a race like this any time soon, but check out the link on the article above for more information about the effects of the training.

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15th annual Summit Trail Running Series Breckenridge

summitdaily.com

Looking for a trail run in the Breckenridge, CO, area?

You’re in luck – although the first race has already passed. So, now’s the time to get signed up and get some miles logged in an amazing area.

Having run through some of the trails nearby and hiked in the Breckenridge neighborhood, I would highly suggest looking into these events!

The trail series celebrates its 15th season this summer with six stops, each of which wraps through Breckenridge and surrounding forests. Although it’s a race format in design, competition is certainly not the sole purpose.

“It’s very open to all of the ages and very welcoming,” five-year series veteran Ksusha Shambarger said. “Offering different distances is also something that’s very helpful.”

Each race comes with a short and long course option, which makes the event enjoyable for runners at any level. The trails get progressively longer over the course of the season, capping off with the formidable 8K/14K finale at Carter Park.

Having a wide range of distances really helps draw a crowd – not just people that don’t normally run, but trail runners in between events that want to get out but maybe aren’t looking for a long distance race and many more.

Having the social aspect of these races is great and a fun change from the more serious races of the season.

With six races, the series aspect fosters a great social environment. Seeing familiar faces throughout a summer unites the local running community, building bonds and friendships between pounding the trail. This is what separates the local series from your normal one-and-done type format, and it is a big reason the event has continued to grow in popularity.

Race 1 — French Gulch 4K/6K, June 8 at 6 p.m. 15th annual Summit Trail Running Series debuts at French Gulch

Will you be in the Colorado mountains for these events? Sign up and share your experience!

 

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