serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Posts Tagged ‘Add new tag’

The Best Running Trails in Raleigh, NC

Friday, July 16th, 2010

national-trails-dayThis is a guest post by Alexis Bonari, a Serious Runner who loves using the trail running resource tool to find new local running trails.  Alexis is a freelance writer and blog junkie.  In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.  I hope you wrote this on you desktop!

It’s easy to find amazing local trails with this effective locator tool.  From the homepage , it’s the bar that reads “Find the best running trails in….” with a drop-down menu of states and other options like “District of Columbia” and “International.”  The results are extensive and include reviews with photos of the trails, so try it out to get an idea of where to run in your area.

My search for trails in North Carolina offered results that specified which cities hosted the trails, enabling me to sort out which ones were nearby in Raleigh.  True to the reviews, there were some great finds that have me coming back pretty consistently.  Check out what I found and start a local search in your state to find trails that will inspire you to keep running in the great outdoors.

Beaver Dam Trails

These trails run for about 26 miles through a dedicated state recreation area.  Thanks to the photos posted with the reviews, I knew that the rocks would pose a challenge, so I wore my serious trail shoes.  It’s not ideal for anyone with knee problems or significant foot pronation – it’s easy to trip – but for anyone who would rather run away from the beaten path, it’s a great choice.  The only other caveat is to watch out for bikes, as this seems to be mountain bike territory, but the reviews were really helpful and prepared me to keep an ear out for them.

Umstead State Park

The other suggestion for the Raleigh area was this location, which is much more friendly to runners who aren’t looking for a technical challenge.  I found it to be easy going, with wider trails and some gravel for extra stability, just as the photos indicated.  The warnings about equestrians were really helpful and recommended some more specific locations that tend to be avoided by horseback riders.  When I’m looking for a light workout, this is my new go-to sport, but the Beaver Dam location really fits my running style.

American Tobacco Trail

Friends have been recommending this trail to me and I’ve been wanting to try it, so I looked it up with the locator tool.  Thanks to the reviews, I found that this is definitely not worth the drive out to Durham.  There’s no shade and all of the photos show paved trails – it’s described as “hot, flat, and boring” and looks inferior to the other great trails recommended by the search tool.  Besides helping to find ideal place to run, this tool is useful when it comes to checking out recommendations, so be sure to take advantage of it.

See what trails are listed in your area and review the ones you’ve already run so your fellow trail runners know what they are running into!

Thanks Alexis for the guest post.  If you would like to be a guest blogger too, then just send us an email to titled “Guest Blogger” and what trail running topic you would like to write about.  The Internet, bringing people together.

TEVA X-1 Evolution Trail Running Shoes

Monday, April 6th, 2009

amazon-teva-picIt’s an Evolution.  This isn’t a Revolution.  There is no forced change.  We are changing, learning, adjusting, evolving to better our experiences.  We are doing like our forefathers did, running through the woods.  Exploring new areas.  Looking for adventure.  Beating the odds.  However, we are a little more enlightened and can now do it more efficiently with the TEVA X-1 Evolution Trail Running Shoes.  TEVA has evolved to give you the trail running shoes that perform the fastest while still giving you the comfort and support you need.  I just got a pair of these trail running shoes and really love them.  I’ve taken the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes on about five trail runs that were dry, wet, and moist.  I’ve run on asphalt, dirt trails, and grass on the TEVA X-1 Evolutions and they preformed well in all conditions!  Apparently it is due to TEVA’s Spider XC technology which provide, “…extra durability and performance in rugged terrain without sacrificing traction around the river.”  Whatever the technology is, it’s legit.  These shoes are pretty utility.

The TEVA X-1 Evolutions are my second pair of TEVA trail running shoes.  I have a pair of the TEVA X-1 Control 2 trail running shoes which are great for my training because of my need for a little more stability, but the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes are my trail racing shoes.  These trail running shoes may be engineered for durability, but are they are obviously built for performance.  Their ultra-lightweight, neutral platform, and minimal design make them the fastest trail running shoes I’ve ever tried.  They are manufactured by welding every piece of the shoe together instead of stitching.  Stitching adds more weight and makes the shoes less durable.  See, the TEVA X-1 Evolutions have truly evolved into a better performing shoe.  They even use their patented lug design which not only gives you a great grip, but sheds the mud that sticks to your shoes.  You don’t want to be carrying any extra trail weight during your race.  Add in some leg speed and you’ll be winning trail races in no time!

My favorite feature of these shoes is the upper mesh material.  This material allows your feet to breathe and reduces rubbing which often creates hot spots.  Hot spots are for the night time, not while you’re out on the trail.  Another aspect that I really enjoy but can not find in any other trail running shoe is the TEVA X-1 Evolution’s fresh look.  Before I took them out on the trail I wore them around town.  I got a lot of great responses!  I think people mainly like the Harvest Pumpkin color.  The color is subtle enough that it is not too weird, but loud enough that people notice.  You are like a peacock showing off your feathers when wearing these shoes; minus having to make noise to draw attention to yourself.  You don’t want to be too loud.  This is Harvest Pumpkin.  Buy Halloween Pumpkin colored shoes if you want to be loud.  I love running shoes that not only run well but look good too.  After putting 400 miles on a pair of shoes they are no longer fit for running but are perfectly fine for cruising around town.  I like running shoes that I can do both in and the TEVA X-1 Evolution trail running shoes can do both very well.  They’re so diverse.

So check out the TEVA X-1 Evolutions, increase your speed, perform better and feel good.  Plus you’ll look good doing it and that’s all that really matters anyway.

Always Have A Flexible Running Training Plan

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

So from the Running Down a Dream blog series, the first comment I received from someone was that I should talk about my training and about the different work-outs that I do.  Which is pretty much the one thing that I said I wouldn’t write about.  Well, you want to hear about it, you got it.  Maybe it will help someone in their training.  Maybe it will motivate some people.  Maybe it will help keep me accountable in my own training schedule.  Or, or, maybe it’s some sort of cool training plan that you’ve never even heard about.  What?  We’re not in the tree?  Don’t worry.  We are in the tree.

I’m training to run a half-marathon below 1:25.  I’ve never raced a half but ran a 3:24 marathon about a year ago on only 6 weeks of training.  It was back in my “I can do anything” post-Iraq phase.  I did it though.  I’m on week 4 of a 9 week training schedule.  I really like this schedule because it loads a lot of the miles on the weekends and keeps the miles during the week down.  That is why I’m running a half, I just don’t have the training time it takes for a full right now.  I’m doing the “expert half-marathon” training plan posted on this website under training plans.  We’re working on this feature in the website but here you can see what training plan I am following by strolling down to “expert.”

I’m not religious about my running training schedule.  I do every planned run but sometimes find the need to switch rest days and long runs around to fit my social life.  I know the schedule is made up to give me the optimal build and recovery periods but it is not necessarily optimal for my life.  Maybe I’ll rest, not run the 6 miles Saturday calls for and make it up on my Monday rest day.  That is what I’m going to do this weekend.  I hung out with some friends unexpectedly on Saturday and decided to switch my schedule around a bit.  I mean, I know that’s not the best for me going into Tuesday’s intervals, but I’ll still hit my interval times.  It just may hurt a bit more but it is worth it.  I think that while you can be serious about running, you can also maintain a healthy social schedule around your early Saturday morning races and long training run Sundays.  You have to live a flexible schedule where you can socialize, work, and train in unison.  Yeah, you probably won’t be on the couch/tv scene too much, but it is worth it to keep all of those things at optimal levels.  You just have to be flexible.  So do the butterfly stretch and get limber!

I’m also doing a half marathon trail run this weekend at Thrills and Hills XTERRA trail race series and substituting it for a 16 mile run.  Depending on how tough it is I may add a couple of miles to my Sunday run.  Keep it loose.  Have a flexible lifestyle.  Trust me, everyone around you will appreciate it.