It’s Time to Try-a-Trail with Tribe.

11391481_623697511100590_8792865514459965597_nAnother awesome summer of trail running is back starting this Thursday with Tribe! Last year was my first season heading off the road, and while it was certainly a challenge the first time out, and I sent way to may “I’m lost” texts to our crew leader Alex, it was a blast and I can’t wait to get back there again.

Never been trail running before? Here are three things I think you need to know!

1. Free Your Mind (but not too much)

One of the benefits of trail running is that it’s not only good for your body but good for your mind. You dive into the heart of mother nature, free from the hustle and bustle of downtown. However, with rocks, roots, and slippery leaves you must still be aware of where you are going and others on the trail. After only a few minutes on the trail with the stunning views and wild life, it’ll be hard to get you back in the concrete jungle after venturing out in mother nature.

2. Get Ready to Get Strong!

Most of the Don Trail involves hills and lots of them. And in case you didn’t know, running uphill makes you stronger and being stronger makes you faster! All of your muscles are engaged as if you were on a flat surface, but the steep incline adds extra resistance and forces those legs to fire up hard!

3. It’s Cool!

During these hot summer months the trails are the coolest place to be (literally). The shade keeps the temperatures down and air is clean and crisp and smog free – perfect for a summer run.

Open to all paces, the Tribe Try-A-Trail 5km fun run will test your cardio and coordination in a fun filled out and back along the Don Trail. Full details click here.

Getting Off The Road

Many of my running Tribe  run the trails in and around Toronto often. Finally, after a few months of hearing about it, I put aside my inner voices of “I’m going to roll my ankle” and “I’m going to get muddy,” and with the guidance of trail expert Alex Flint, and with the thoughts of the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series in mind, with my Tribe by my side I gave it a try – twice!

trail1For both runs we went up to Pottery Rd to hit up the mountain biking trails. We chatted about trail etiquette (stay single file, let people know about obstacles, and when passing let people know how many are in your group), safety (slow your pace, be aware), and some tips and tricks when completing a trail race. I learned that the space we were headed to was mostly “single track” which means single file, and that the distance of trail runs should be perceived as being half the distance longer when related to the effort of the runner – so this 5km run would feel more like 7.5km.

tribe2For most of this first run I was on high alert looking around at the logs and branches, avoiding the mud, and trying to remember the path. I felt like I was really focused on not falling and remembering where I was going vs enjoying the trail and having fun.

 My second trail run was definitely more relaxed and a lot more fun. It was another 5km, was very hilly, but although I still had no clue where I was or remembering how to get back (and yes I even sent an I’m lost text, although I quickly took it back) I was able to enjoy my surroundings, I ran really steep dirt hills, used as many logs as possible as balance beams, and this time just generally had more fun.

trail group

Does this sound like fun or what!
With Tribe we will be headed out for two more Try-A-Trail runs this month, if you are free (and they are free) you should join me!

Details here:
Thursday July 24th  or Thursday July 31st. If you’ve ever been intrigued by running in the woods and getting off the road – join us!

Any tips for running the trails for this newbie? Leave them below!