Thursday, October 10, 2013

Race Report: Norris Dam Hard Trail Race 50K - Sept. 1, 2013

The Norris Dam Hard Trail Race 50K was a goal of mine when I sat down earlier in the year and made a list of trail races that I wanted to do. Included in that list was the Dark Hollow Wallow at Big Ridge, and The Panther Creek Challenge. Of course as the year has progressed I've thrown a couple other races into the mix. I guess you can say I've become somewhat of a nut when it comes to trail running, and the further the distance the better.

After taking a week or so off from Panther Creek, I developed my training plan and for 14 weeks leading up to the race, I was running 3 days a week, one of which was my long run which started at 8 miles and crescendo-ed at around 24 miles two full weeks prior to the event. Long and arduous were those long runs, but in the end they definitely paid off.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Gear Needs of a Trail Runner

The needs of a trail runner are few. Namely, shoes, socks, shirt (optional), and underwear. Another optional gear item includes gaiters. They keep all major debris out of your shoes and are a blessing in disguise. However, some trail runs require a bit more logistical planning. My typical weekday morning trail runs are usually no longer than 5 – 6 miles long and really doesn’t require much more than the list above. My long runs however require a bit more thought as they can range anywhere from 10 – 30 miles. We’re talking water, fuel (food, gel, etc.), rain-gear (if you prefer to stay somewhat dry on your run), headlamp(s) (if you plan on running in the dark), etc.

 Here in East Tennessee, we have the blessing of all four seasons. Sometimes spring can be just a couple of weeks, and others it could be a full season complete with warm and cold temperatures. Fall can be the same way here too. Regardless, a trail runner’s needs in each season can and will change.

In the early spring it is still cold as the winter chill lingers in the air. Usually I wear long sleeve running shirts, shorts or sometimes running tights or base layer bottoms (such as Terramar Smart Silk), wool quarter crew socks, and good trail running shoes (currently Brooks Cascadia). Additionally, depending on how cold it is, I might wear a beanie and possibly even gloves but it’s rare as we all know, running generates heat. It’s also important to regulate that heat by dressing in layers because you never know when you might get stuck out there and you want to mitigate the risks of hypothermia.