Autumn in Steamboat

Autumn Trail Running Checklist

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Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Run!

A wise person once said, running is a sport that demands so much, yet requires so little.  For being as simple as moving one foot in front of the other, there are quite a few important planning tips that go into an enjoyable Fall colors trail run. 

Fall Running On Buffalo pass
Changing colors, buff singletrack, perfect temps - mmmmmmm, must be autumn.

  • Hydration  - how long are you going to run for, what is the temperature / humidity, and are you bringing water? It’s not nearly as easy to stay on top of your hydration when running as it is when you're riding a bike, or hiking…water bottles can be cumbersome, and hydration pack ergonomics are crucial. If you hydrate the evening before a long run, and drink 1 liter of water (or better yet, water with hydration a based nutrition supplement) prior to running, you can cheat the first hour or more, and get away without having to bring as much water, if any at all.
    Water, Food, Tight Chutes!Hydration, nutrition, and TIGHT CHUTES! The Grand Couloir makes for a beautiful back drop on this high alpine mountain run in the Silverton, CO backcountry.

  • Route finding - Are you going for a trail run in a new zone? Do you have a map and compass or gps, iPhone with GPS app, etc? If you’re venturing out into uncharted territory, oftentimes cell phone coverage can be spotty - make sure you are sure of your surroundings, and have access to a trail map (that does not require cell phone service) if you need it - know before you go - it’s always better to be over prepared...give at least one person your route, an estimated time of arrival back (back from your run), and play it safe.  My general rule is that I like to be finished with my run at least one hour before sunset, unless I am specifically running in the dark…it’s good to have a buffer.
    Mt Washington Summit
    Know before you could be warm and sunny at the trailhead and cold and snowy at the summit - check the weather prior to your adventure, and be prepared!

  • Proper gear - What is the nature of the run? Is it on dirt, rock or roots? Does it involve scrambling? Will it be wet? All of these factors play into choosing proper footwear. If you’re going to be trail running or scrambling in 2nd or 3rd class terrain, make sure you’ve got running shoes that offer enough support and traction. The same holds true for longer runs on flat surfaces - a more comfortable shoe may be better than a technical trail running shoe.
    I always like to have a headlamp with me when I am in the wilderness, even for mid afternoon runs. I’d always rather have it with me, and not need it, as opposed to the opposite! Last, if cooler temperatures are going to be an issue, it’s always a good idea to have a warm layer. Just like the headlamp, it never hurts to be prepared.

    The Flatironette Boulder CONot all trail runs are created equal - do a little research and make sure you have the right footwear - it can make a BIG difference!

  • Nutrition plan - Do you have enough calories to make it through your run without bonking? It comes as no surprise that we recommend BAR-U-EAT bars to fill the void. Not only does BAR-U-EAT  offer enough carbohydrates and healthy fats to power your run, they are filling and extremely easy for your body to digest (because of the pure and natural ingredients). Last, a single bar will fit in a shorts pocket, ultra running belt, hip pack or running vest. I’ve been able to fit 2-3 bars between a shorts pocket and waist belt, and not notice they were there. 
    BAR-U-EAT Oatmeal RaisinCheers! 200 calories of oatmeal raisin goodness at 12000 feet.

  • Create goals - The best way to keep running and training throughout the year is by setting goals. Enter a race for next summer, and have a light at the end of the tunnel (aka. winter)… We highly recommend checking out the Cirque Series Mountain Running Series - it’s competitive, fun, inclusive, challenging, and 100% guaranteed to leave a smile on your face, and a lactic buildup in your quads. 

Happy trails!

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