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Trail Running Course

Back on the Trail

Saturday was my first trail run of the year and couldn’t have picked a better day. Sunny – low wind – 50’s – air felt fresh and clean – low humidity! It was one of those wow days. I was looking forward to see how the body would respond to the subtleties of the trail and to see if I could complete a workout without being taken down by the evil root monster. Since I have a trail race in two weeks it probably would be a good idea to get in some mileage on the dirt.


Erwin Trailhead

The Erwin Park trail is an 8 mile single track loop that zigzags through trees as well as open fields. It has a good little mix throughout the rolling miles. After the initial 100 yards, the trail heads into the tree where you trot around, over, and in-between various small and mid-sized trees.

Erwin trail1

more tight singletrack
Erwin trail2

I was somewhat reserved in my stride for most of the miles because this is the same trail I injured myself at last fall due to a root monster so I tried to pay extra attention to lift up those darn feet. I normally don’t lift my feet up very high when I run, so my running style (or lack thereof) can definitely be exposed out on the trail.

With the above being said, I was still really enjoying the run and trying to stay as aerobic as possible. The weather conditions were constantly teasing me to push a little harder but I used my heart rate monitor to throttle the effort and cap around 150 bpm.

open field section with mountain biker

Erwin Trail3

There were a few hikers as well as mountain bikers enjoying the amazing weather. It wasn’t too busy, just enough to know that you weren’t completely alone. I was feeling great after the first loop and quickly stopped at the car to refill my bottle with HEED and began my last loop. I finished loop one in 1 hr 13 minutes.

an interesting scene
Erwin Trail4

some local wildlife

Erwin Trail5

At times during the second loop I could feel a bit of fatigue setting in so if I needed to settle the heart rate, I would walk for 30 seconds or so and drink some fluids. I also tried to remind myself to focus on form as the trail tried to chip away at it. I think I held it together fairly well.

After another 1 hr and 7 minutes, I had completed another loop. I knocked off six minutes with an avg heart rate 5 bpm greater than the first loop. As a big bonus, no root monsters were seen!

It was a great day and a great run. I look forward to trying to break the 1 hour mark for a loop this year. We will see…

Happy Training!

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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