Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Winter Training Run: Trail Running Out in Eldorado

Well, fall has finally hit here in B-Town. This fall we have been blessed with cool nights, warm days, and a ton of perfect weather. It has been a great fall for trail running and climbing - from up high on the Peak-to-Peak and in Rocky Mountain National Park to down lower in the Flatirons and along the I-70 corridor. Now, however, the seasons are a changing. We've had a small snow in the mountains, and most trails above 10,000 feet are shut down for the season. Besides, the telemark skiing season is just warming up and the winter climbing season is fast approaching. So now is the time to set the winter training run.
Boulder Colorado Winter Trail Running Route
Every fall I try and establish a good trail run that I train on during the winter. By setting, I mean that I run it a couple times during the fall to establish what my normal training pace is on it at that time. Coming off another successful season in the mountains, with over 47 peaks run or climbed this season, it is a good way to measure my status over the winter and to see where I am at come spring.

This winter I'm running out in the Eldorado area. Starting at the South Boulder Creek Trail, run that up to the Mesa Trail. Continue up the Mesa Trail west past the turn-off to the Big Bluestem all the way into Shadow Canyon. At the top of Shadow Canyon, cross the little stream and start heading back east. This trail winds around and then drops you back onto the Mesa Trail. Hang a right, head back south along the Mesa Trail, and retrace your run back to the Big Bluestem turn-off. From here, follow the Big Bluestem out into the grasslands again and back to your car.

Total time for training purposes: 1 hour, 10 minutes. Miles: ~7.6 Elevation: A good amount.
Trail Running Sunset
This is not a super fast time, nor is it a slow time. It's about how fast I do it with 65% effort - just perfect for training over the winter.

So that is the Winter Training Route. Not only is it a beautiful run - today I saw rabbits, a hawk, a herd of mule deer, a family of ducks - but it has a good climb in it.

On the way out this is the view I was blessed with after.

Anyone else got winter training runs in the area?

1 comment:

  1. There's just something very therapeutic about running out in the wilderness and seeing nature go by. Thanks for visiting my blog too. My folks actually live just north of Boulder, but with the driving conditions in Wyoming and the fact that I have quite the tribe of kids, I rarely venture over to the other side of the Rockies. If I ever do though, or if you're ever in Northern Utah, perhaps we could meet up and share some of our favorite runs...