Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trail Tuesday - The Benefits of Running Up A Mountain

In my quest to become an improved and more dedicated runner, I've been trying to get out to run even when I don't have a lot of time. I've been running the mountain trail with my friend, Lara, on Tuesday nights for a few months. The problem is that it's getting dark so much earlier, so there's not a lot of time to get in much more than 3-4 miles. Now usually, that would give me an excuse not to go at all, but there's only a couple of more weeks left before I won't have any time at all before it's dark, so I'm taking advantage of it while I can.

Plus, the views are amazing.
I only managed to do 3.36 miles before it got dark, but every little bit counts. This trail is particularly rocky. All sorts of very colorful words fly out of my mouth every time I nearly break my foot on a rock.

The bonus to running on really uneven ground is that it actually strengthens muscles and joints that I hadn't realized needed strengthening. For example, when I first started running this particular trail, I swear, the muscles in my feet would fatigue. I would feel strain in spots that I hadn't previously felt any, like the arches of my feet. My ankles also felt really wobbly on that terrain. I'm happy to report that my feet and ankles feel so much stronger over all.

Easy to twist an ankle out here.
The other plus to running the mountain trail is that you get in a bunch of hill repeats without running the same hill over and over. And the scenery is a lot better.

I'm glad that I've been hitting this mountain trail, even though it sucked terribly to be out running it over the summer at 5:30 at 100+ degrees. But it really has paid off in increasing my speed from snail pace to turtle pace and strengthening my legs.

I've been doing some research on other ways to get faster like increasing my stride turn over and doing intervals. It's hard to put those to use on the trail, since the ground is so uneven and rocky. So I'll post more on that later after more experimenting on regular roads.


  1. That trail looks gorgeous! I know what you mean about losing daylight. I run in the mornings and I am always sitting around at 6am, waiting for it to get a little lighter.

    1. The trail is really pretty, especially at sunset. I'm glad I have a friend to drag me out there, otherwise I would have stuck with running at night on black top, lol!

  2. What a beautiful place! Just watch your step! Between the rocks and what I'm sure are a large number of creepy-crawly things, you need to be careful!

    1. Yes, we do have plenty of creepy crawly things. I do get concerned about tripping over a rattlesnake in the dark.


Thanks for reading!