Happy Trails

Happy Spring everyone! I mentioned last week about how one of the things I love is trail running and what better time to do it than in the springtime? It is different than road running though. Instead of trying to go fast, you slow down a bit, take in the fresh air and look at the trees. It's out in nature and the surface is more giving and you can hear birds and see four legged creatures (and no legged creatures). There are three things that I like to remember when I am trail running that keep me going and remind me what it's all about. 

Home sweet home

Eat: This has a few different meanings. First of all, it's important to eat more during a trail run than a regular one. I am still working on this one myself, but it's important to get in more calories than you normally would. For a typical trail run, I tend to eat about twice as often as I do when I am on a road run. Second, when I am racing, I stop all of the aid stations and take the time to eat a few handfuls of food, instead of trying to do all my fueling while on the run. However, if you are running a race, check to see what the race will have in the way of food, because what you have trained with may not be available. And we all know that you don't want to try something for the first time during a race, especially if it's an Ultra!

Some suggested foods that work for me: potatoes and salt, gummy bears, any and all fruit, baby food / applesauce, honey stinger chews / waffles, chocolate raspberry roctane.

Fern run

Drink: Every time I get to an uphill, I slow down (or walk) and drink. Even when I am only running a few miles, I always carry water with me. Of course, in the woods, there is the added bonus of being able to use the bushes whenever you want, without having to worry about needing a port-a-potty (PS, when I did my last 50k, I did not use the bathroom once!), so drink up! I also finally broke down and got a hydration vest a few weeks ago and I am loving it!

Suggested drinks: I usually only use water, but sometimes I also use Nuun when I feel I need a bit of an extra boost.

Rodeo Beach Trail Race
Coastal Run

Be Merry: Talk to other people. When you stop at the aid stations during a race, talk to the volunteers. Look at the trees. Stop to take pictures. Trail running is fun! It's hiking at a bit of a quicker pace. You are not really in a hurry, so slow down and enjoy the scenery. 

lake chabot
Through the eucalyptus.

Do you hike or trail run? What is your favorite thing about being on the trails? What is your favorite trial snack


  1. I wish I had trails here to run, but until then I will just drool at your lovely pictures.

  2. I've haven't done trail running since I was in middle school. Somewhere along the way I became deathly afraid of the woods and being alone in them. ;)

  3. I haven't done much trail running but I hope to do a bit here this summer and fall as we have some great trails in Anchorage and I've only had opportunity to explore a few of them (some of them are not groomed or maintained with regularity in the winter). These are gorgeous photos!

  4. You know, trail running is one type of running I think I could really get in to. I love hiking and I love being in the mountains. We don't have nearly as pretty trails in my area as these, but some of them are really nice. It's almost warm enough and I think the mud is probably dry enough to get back out there.

  5. Allan has started doing more trail running and taking the dogs a lot more. There's so much more to look at on a trail run than running on the road.

  6. I don't really trail run, but I love to hike as you know:) It is really my favorite thing to do and I miss it so much. Just being away from everything and seeing all of nature in it's glory is amazing. I love that the most beautiful things sometimes take work to see:) Which means not many people will see what I see. Once the trails dry out a bit and it warms up, I can't wait to hit the trails!

  7. Allan has been running on the trails more and taking the dogs. I went with him last Saturday and we had a blast. It was so beautiful!

  8. People who run lots of trail ultras are a totally different breed. Always really cool and lots of fun, but totally different personalities than you see in road races. No douchebags out in the woods.

  9. I love trail running. I would be completely OK with never running on the road again. And actually right now I am mostly only running in the trails anyways which is perfect. I just find the runs so much more enjoyable and the time passes quicker for me!

  10. We like to run the trails here but I have never done a trail 'event'. I think it would be really fun. Good points, thanks!

  11. Ironically, after my last trail race I've been planning a trail running post! I'm trying to put into words the mental place that I go with trail running that doesn't happen when I run on the streets.

    Red potatoes are becoming a favorite for eating to run! And my husband is stuck on squeezable baby food :)

  12. If I lived somewhere else, I think I'd love trail running. We don't have many options, though, here in Chicago. Loved this post, btw!

  13. I have ran very few trails so don't have alot of experience with them. And I have to say I kind of prefer road running but feel like I am in the minority being in that camp (at least among the runners I know). I don't know if I am just not zen enough or what? I am not really a stop and smell the roses type so maybe that is part of the reason I don't love trail running? And it makes me feel out of shape, too.... But I think I would like it more if I had better trails around me to run on - like the one you took me on was awesome!

  14. I am really impressed with the post here.
    Airport Taxi


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!