Blog Posts by Trails.com

  • Running Scared: Our Favorite 4 Halloween Races

    By Catherine Rees

    Celebrate the Day of the Dead by running ... and screaming if you like. There are marathons and runs all over the country this October 31st. We picked these four as our favorites. The crisp autumn air makes for nice weather and many holiday running events are held all over the United States. Race days may vary depending on the year. Some are held on the Saturday prior to Halloween; others are held on October 31st. Check the websites for each race for specific dates and registration information.

    Frankenthon Monster Marathon
    This race is held on the Saturday before Halloween in Cedar Park, Texas. It begins at 7:00 a.m. and is limited to six and a half hours. It is a Boston Marathon qualifying race and is certified by USATF.

    Temperatures in Cedar Park are typically around 50 degrees F at start time and warm up to the mid 70s F by the end of the race.

    The trail goes along Bushy Creek Trail and makes three loops of 8.75 miles. The trail is pavement and

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  • Need Motivation to Jog Every Day? Start a Running Club

    By Nancy Beverly

    Running in and of itself will give you an endorphine high, but running with a group on a regular basis can offer you both support and a structure to help you attain your goals. You and your buddies will be able to share insights, breakthrough moments, solace and laughs along the way.

    Step 1
    Think about your goals.
    Do you want to train for a 5K or something bigger, like a marathon? Do you simply want companionship? Are you running to take off weight? Do you want to share all the great things you've learned about running with others? If you don't plan ahead, the club you create may not serve your needs. That's not to say the club can't evolve, but at least get it started in the direction you want to be running.

    Step 2
    Find like-minded runners.
    Network at local running shoe stores, your gym, the nearby college's track, the information building at a park down the street. Chat with coworkers who have been talking about their exercise programs and

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  • Circuit Train with Your Body Weight

    By Alice Moon

    Pair your fitness routine with your outdoor interests and you can keep your workout fresh, make the effort more enjoyable and give yourself another reason to head out to the beach, the trail, the woods. Even better, you do not need to bring along a single piece of equipment. Take a moment and plan ahead so that you know which exercises you will perform, in what order and which natural features you will need to take advantage of.

    Run
    Walk the trail briskly to get your body generally warmed up before beginning your circuit training. Make a run your next step. You will increase your heart rate and respiration right away and wake up the large muscle groups.

    Take your program to the next level by running barefoot along the beach. The sand will cushion while its give and the lack of footwear will force more of the muscles of your feet and legs to pitch in.

    Pull-ups
    Pull-ups can be performed on any low branch, shelter house support beam or piece of

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  • Best Marathons for Female Runners

    By J.R. Kendall

    While female distance runners constantly prove they have the ability and confidence to conquer any marathon, there are a few events that are specifically tailored to the top women runners. Legendary female racers such as Paula Radcliffe, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Roberta Gibb and Kathrine Switzer are the inspiration for many women endurance runners to prove to themselves that they can run their first marathon, set a personal record or even qualify for the Boston Marathon, the sport's holy grail.

    The Nike Women's Marathon (San Francisco)
    In the few short years since the inaugural race, the Nike Women's Marathon has quickly become an American favorite, with 22,000 participants. The October race benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is preceded by a three-day fitness expo held in Union Square. The marathon course winds past many popular San Francisco landmarks, including Fisherman's Wharf and the waterfront, that offer spectacular views of the Golden

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  • How to Deal with Muscle Aches AFter Exercise

    By Billy Brown

    Aching muscles are a normal part of every athlete's routine. Usually the result of inflammation caused by minor tears in an overworked muscle, this soreness can hinder future athletic endeavors and can result in injury if not properly treated. Although an aching muscle may be inevitable, there are methods of reducing the discomfort that often occurs after an intense exercise session.

    Rest
    Resting may be the best and safest way to deal with aching muscles, particularly if the discomfort is due to weight lifting. When muscles ache, try to refrain from the activity that made them sore for 24 to 48 hours, at which point the soreness should subside enough to resume the activity. Once you're ready to resume your activity, start out slow to stretch and warm up your muscles to keep further aches and pains to a minimum.

    Icing
    Icing is an effective way to reduce the inflammation of sore, achy muscles. To relieve and prevent aching muscles, many athletes will

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  • Spark More Than Fire Out in the Woods

    By Hollie Reina

    The woods can be a wonderful place: they can challenge the body, envigorate the mind and even enlighten the soul. They can also be a place to kindle some romance. With a little imagination and a bit of planning, you can create a romantic retreat in the woods that turns a night of camping into a night of canoodling.

    Step 1
    Do your homework and reserve your campsite.
    The easiest way to ensure your romantic experience in the woods goes smoothly is to plan ahead. Romantic camping is a blossoming sub-genre of camping and there are several campgrounds and destinations that now offer packages and stays catering to the romantic sect. A simple key word search with words such as "romantic," "woods," "camping" and "vacation" will supply you with plenty of options for your next excursion. Narrow down your search by geographical proximity, price or available activities and then make your reservations. With your campsite securely reserved you can be free to concentrate

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  • Trail Running Basics: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

    By Naomi Judd

    Some runners like to run because it keeps them fit. Some like to run because it helps them relax, and others like to explore while getting in shape or clearing their head. Trail running is for the more adventurous runners out there. If you are thinking of joining the running pack less traveled, then you should know some things that will help you through whichever rocky, muddy or root-ridden path you choose to take.

    Things You'll Need:
    Trail shoes
    Identification
    Headlamp
    Wearable hydration bladder

    Step 1
    Stretch your ankles before embarking on a trail run.
    Spend at least 5 minutes loosening the muscles around your feet, ankles and lower calves before a trail run. Stretching helps to prepare that part of your body for the uneven ground that trails so often present. Stretching also helps keep your ankles agile and prevents injuries such as rolling or spraining an ankle. If you do roll your ankle, you will recover a lot better if the ankle was

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  • 6 Ways Exercise Can Cure Depression

    By Isaac Billings

    Most people have or will rub shoulders with depression at least once in their lifetime. In America depression is at an all-time high, and antidepressants are one of the most prescribed medications. However, our knowledge about the causes and treatment of depression has grown, and many people are turning to alternative treatments. One such treatment is exercise, which has many mental, emotional and physical benefits for someone struggling with depression.

    Produces Endorphins
    Endorphins are the body's natural "feel good" hormones. Actually a type of opiate produced in the central nervous system, endorphins are released in response to physical stress and lessen pain. The amount of endorphins produced varies from person to person, but these hormones are usually released in response to sustained exercise. They are thought to play a major role in the "runner's high" that athletes get during hard, long workouts.

    Decreases Harmful Stress Hormones
    The emotional, mental and

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  • Looking for a new workout? Try rock climbing

    By Heather Rutherford

    It has been said that climbing is one of the best exercises in the world. Not only does climbing offer a great cardio workout in comparison to running, it also works nearly every muscle in the body from the fingers to toes. While most muscles in the body engage at some point when climbing, few are used more than these four groups of primary muscles.

    Forearm
    The five major forearm muscles: brachioradialis, pronator teres, flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus and flexor carpi ulnaris all get a major workout anytime someone takes to the mountain. Since the muscles in the fingers themselves are very tiny and hard to exercise, the strength it takes to hold you onto the face of a rock are found in the forearm. For this reason, many climbers strengthen their forearms by completing hand exercises. Squeezing a grip bar or small ball several times in the hand will ultimately improve hand, wrist and forearm strength, increasing your endurance and allowing you to

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  • How to Train for a Triathlon as a Beginner

    By Nancy Beverly

    When people hear "triathlon," they frequently equate it with the Ironman triathlon--a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon--and assume that only athletes with superhuman endurance can participate in this sporting event. In fact, the triathlon comes in a wide variety of lengths so that athletes with varying levels of endurance can participate.

    Step 1
    Volunteer at a triathlon. Handing out water on the frontlines is the best way to see if this endeavor is right for you. Ask questions of those who seem to have finished with gas in their tank, and ask questions of those who tanked.

    Step 2
    Find a triathlon that will provide a challenge for you and yet not be beyond your grasp. Possibilities include the aforementioned Ironman, to Half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run), to Olympic or classic triathlons (0.6214-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride and a 6.2-miles run), to "sprints" (the concept being that elite

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