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Trail Running Can Prevent Injuries. Say What!?

by: Janae Richardson

When we think about the topic of injury prevention a lot of things come to mind…icing, massage, foam rollers, strengthening exercises, etc.  What if I told you trail running could also be added to this injury prevention list? Say what!?  I know right now you are picturing rolling your ankle, tripping over a rock or root, falling off a steep cliff, or running into a rattle snake.  While these are all possible risks of trail running, one could contend that while running on the roads you could just as easily trip over a curb or pothole, get bit by a dog, or even hit by a car.  The truth is, trail running has some definite injury prevention benefits and here’s why…

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The Top Ten Trails of Northern Utah

 Living along the Wasatch Front means easy access to some fantastic trails.  Here’s my Top Ten List of trails for Northern Utah.

 10. Green Canyon – A favorite of the Logan crowd, GreenCanyon provides shaded single track flanked by soaring limestone cliffs that quickly climbs to the Naomi Wilderness.  Runners can expect cool temps in the morning and a moose or two munching on the abundant green snacks on the side of the trail.

9. Mid-Mountain Trail – This Park City Classic rambles for 26 miles from Deer Valley Resort to the Canyons Resort.  If you’ve wanted to try a longer trail race but are still a bit nervous about the Ultra distance, then the Mid Mountain Marathon run in early September is the perfect choice.  The cooler temps and the fantastic scenery make this trail and race a classic.

8. Mueller Park – Tucked in a nook in Southern Davis County, the Mueller Park Trail entices runners with its steady six mile climb to Rudy Flats.  After a short, steep climb the trail meanders through shaded sections that provide a pleasant reprise from our normal summer heat.

7. Bonneville Shoreline Trail – With easy access from virtually anywhere along the Wasatch Front, the BoSho is the bread and butter for most urban trail runners.  For the SLCer’s, the rolling single track from BlackMountain trail junction to the bottom of Dry Creek is pure heaven.  With a shout out to my Ogden peeps, the six miles from BeusCanyon to RainbowGardens hugs the mountain side as it passes in and out of four different canyons.

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by on Mar.12, 2013, under Trail Running

Choose Your Adventure

“The Bagginses had lived in the neighbourhood of The Hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.… This is the story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours’ respect, but he gained – well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

One thing about trail runners: They’re not like the old Bagginses. They have adventures. That was one thing I loved as I started running trails. The sense of adventure. Where does that dirt road lead? What’s on the other side of that hill? I wonder what the view is like from way up there? How far could I go on that singletrack? Well, the trails say, “Come find out.”

In the last issue of Run Utah, I listed a bunch of local trail races. Entering races like those is a great way to get introduced to some of our wonderful local trails, and can be very motivating. But one thing I’ve learned about trail runners is that many of them enjoy “adventure runs” of their own creation just as much as official, organized events. No registration form, no entry fee, no race bib or T-shirt or spectators. Just you and your friends. The wild. Something new and exciting.

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by on Aug.17, 2011, under Trail Running

What are the essentials for a 10k trail run?

Nutritionally, it is important to make sure you fuel adequately for the time you will be running, not for the distance. Trail races can be significantly slower than road races. If possible, run the course before you race it. If you don’t have an opportunity to run it, look on-line for any course elevation profiles, photos, or descriptions that are available. Also look at race times from previous years to determine a realistic pace that you can expect to run. Race duration will determine whether a pre-race meal is sufficient to meet your energy needs, or if you need to bring something along for mid-race refueling. Refer to Debbie Perry’s article on pre-race nutrition for more details.

As for equipment, it’s important to be prepared for a variety of conditions. Just like any outdoor race, you should bring layered, synthetic clothing for hot or cold, wet or dry weather. Unlike the road or track, however, you also need to prepare for highly variable terrain. Trail conditions can deteriorate overnight with a sudden storm. Bring shoes for any scenario you can reasonably anticipate. Here in the Mountain West, trail racers or trail trainers are usually sufficient. But if you prefer a lighter, more flexible shoe, there’s nothing wrong with using a road trainer or even a road racing flat on the trails (ideally one with decent traction in the outsole). If you’re on grassy, soft trails like those typically found in the East or Pacific Northwest, it may even be appropriate to wear a cross country or track spike.

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