Saturday, August 15, 2009

What's Your Terrain of Choice?

Few Types of Terrain:

Road/ Pavement:
  • Seems to be the most common type of running terrain.
  • Easily assessable especially when you don't have time to research a new course.
  • If it's a park course, or just even the city sidewalks the pavement is normally kept in good condition with little to no holes or breaks in the pavement. This is good to help prevent injuries.
  • Not very forgiving; therefore, common leg injuries, such as shin splints, can often occur.
  • Traffic. With traffic comes people concentrating more on you running than on driving.
  • Grass is very forgiving on your legs. This is good for people who are hard footed because more shock is absorbed on the grass than on the pavement; therefore, helping to prevent/ heal any future/previous injuries.
  • Good learning ground for perfecting good form. Run on grass if you are having a problem with stepping too hard so you can practice correct form with more shock absorption. Slowly progress to other terrains once your form is in better shape.
  • Provides more of an obstacle course. You have to be more aware of any hidden, or obvious, holes in the ground.
  • Can be itchy if the grass is not cut, or can be infested with poison ivy.
  • May be mixed with dirt resulting in dirty shoes.
  • Trails can be a combination of dirt, gravel, boardwalks, bridges, and some pavement.
  • Your legs absorb shock better because of the natural terrains of dirt, gravel, boardwalks, and bridges.
  • Trees along the path provides more shade than on an open road.
  • You have to be aware of any rocks, uneven paths, or holes depending on the trail.
  • Can be too excluded from civilization so bring a buddy.
  • No water if not at a park.

*My terrain of choice at the moment: Trails*
Trail Raves:
  • Feels more refreshing because of all the fresh air from nature.
  • Temperature is a little cooler on the trail and helps keep my endurance going.
  • The forgiving factor feels like you can run longer and harder.
  • The scenery helps pass time while on long runs.
Trail Rants:
  • Inexperienced bikers who are all over the course and have no respect for runners.
  • Transitioning from a bridge/ boardwalk to a paved part of the course. The stress levels change abruptly causing your pace to change and get readjusted.
Suggested Trails:
-North Georgia Area:
  • Big Creek Greenway- The trail will be roughly 15 miles in length one way (don't quote me). It expands from Fulton to Forsyth County through excluded paths. It defiantly is a "greenway" with lots of trees and shade. Few complaints: The trail is fairly new and not much information regarding access is provided, and some parts have too much pavement. But overall it's a good choice.
  • The link is only for the Fulton County part of the trail:
  • Sawnee Mountain Preserve-Commonly known as the "Indian Seats" in Cumming. The trail is about 2-3 miles. I have ran this course a few times, and have actually enjoyed it. It was a challenge to run up and down a mountain dodging all the rocks. Once you get to the top it's a nice view of Cumming (woohoo, it's noting like ATL :[ ). Nonetheless, the trail provides a challenge and is a nice change of scenery.
-Atlanta Area:
  • Stone Mountain Park- I have personally not ran the trail, but it seems to be a good challenge. Run up a big rock mountain, yes please. The park has always been a popular tourist attraction for ATL, so why not get a good run in while enjoying some tourist attractions? The trail is approximately 6 miles in length at the base of the mountain.
  • This trail is defiantly on my list of things to try!
  • I'm doing my homework to provide more information on trails in the downtown area. :)

Training Tip of the Week: Carbolishish: Pack in those carbs the day, or two days, before a long run. Carbohydrates are energy efficient during long runs and allow you to get that second wind.

Song of the Week: Too hard for me to pick. Best thing I have ever done on Facebook was joining the iTunes group. Why you ask? The free access to different albums provided by iTunes really allows me to expand my variety of music. It's like the free Tuesday song by iTunes on drugs. Normally it's like 12 free songs about once or every other month. Top song choices from this week based off the free albums:
  • Airstream Driver/ Gomez- So Much to Save Album
  • Fine Excuses / Yonder Mountain String Band- So Much to Save Album
  • Crazy/ Deep Rooted- Indie Spotlight Sample Album
  • Strangers/ Van She- Indie Spotlight Sample Album
Happy Running,

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