Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Running at the right time

The next part of my winter running thoughts has to do with what time do you want to run.

I am by inclination an afternoon/evening runner. I find it quite uncivilized to run early in the morning and I guess that is why I really do not get real enthusiastic about many of the races. For example, the Leadville 100 starts at 4:00 AM...most uncivilized. I will admit though that there is good reason for this in many cases such as avoiding the heat of the day or afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains.

However, in the winter...I want to enjoy the heat of the day. If you have a schedule that is flexible enough to be able to choose your running time, I would recommend noon runs. For the past 8 years I have been fortunate enough to be able to choose my running time and like today's run it is real nice to enjoy the sunshine and warm breezes on a January afternoon.

Early morning runs are good in the summer since this is generally the coolest part of the day but in the winter, it is also the coldest part of the day in most cases.

The most difficult part of morning and mid-day runs is you are limited on the time available. If you hit a good patch and want to go further, you may run up against time constraints in getting to or back to work.

It may make sense to do 2 workouts on some days to get more mileage with a nice run at noon and another one either morning or evening.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's in the shoes..ouch

During my run Sunday, I became acutely aware of one of the problems of running trails. The Sante Fe trail is one of those hard packed trails built with crushed gravel and other small materials.

I found I was having a lot of problems with small rocks and sand in my shoes, more so that I normally encounter. I realized at this time that because the surface is damp due to snow melt and just wetter conditions, that these pebbles and sand cling to the shoes and get thrown off during foot turnover. This is more the case than in summer when it is dry and the sand does not cling to the shoes. Note that the picture is the ultimate test of the gaiters...although it is kind of hard to see them under all that mud. Picture is of Coleen giving them the test at the Psycho Wyco race in Kansas City. The other picture is what it looks like without the gaiters courtesy of myself.

It look like it is time to drag out the gaiters. Since there is not any snow of depth, I will be using my gaiters from Chrissy. These gaiters are nylon, thin, and light and mainly serve to keep stuff out of the shoes. For more serious snow conditions, I would use my OR gaiters.

Check out for a source of excellent gaiters for this kind of situation. These are especially good in the summer too as they do not cause heat buildup that you would get for heavier gaiters. Although I tend not to wear them that much in the summer, I will use them in races so I do not have to empty the shoes. For training give me an excuse to take a short break (hehe)