Trail Running

My mountain biking took a nose dive this weekend when I broke another derailleur hanger off my Bandersnatch.  That’s the third one in a month.  I’ve got more on the way, hopefully better ones, but I’m not really in a hurry because it’s just been getting cold enough for the freeze frost cycle to get going which turns trails into a slippery mess.

When the ground freezes at night moisture seems to be pulled to the surface.  When it thaws during the day it creates a slippery surface mud that likes to stick to everything and has only marginally more traction than ice.  Takes the fun out of riding for sure.

Today we were supposed to have rain but it never came and I took advantage of a day off by going on a trail run with my old pal JC.  We ran some really nice new gravelled and bench cut trails near the Lusk Creek Wilderness area which exist thanks to a federal grant that built miles of excellent new trails in the Shawnee National Forest.  I think we have some horseback riders to thank for that.

I have been alternating between running and walking in the morning and while it is very slow I feel like I’m making progress, but that is running on nice smooth surfaces, not gravel trails with many more turns and inclines.  I was surprised to find myself able to steadily jog, although slowly on the trail and I don’t think JC who is a far more experienced runner then me got bored holding himself back.

One day I want to walk the entire river to river trail.

I think adding jogging to my activities has been one of the best things I’ve done.  The problem with cycling is also one of its greatest strengths.  It’s easy.  I mean you can be 275 pounds and as long as the route isn’t too hilly you can keep up a decent pace.  Running on the other hand even on flat ground was tortuously hard when I first started leaving my shins and feet aching and my legs feeling pounded down.  At 235 it’s still hard on me so there is a lot of motivation to keep that weight coming off.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Bikes and components, Running, training, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Trail Running

  1. Steve says:

    Running on nice trails like this will reduce the impact that running on asphalt creates, which should help with lower leg injuries. It also burns calories more quickly than cycling, which means you can get in a meaningful workout in less time. That’s about all the good I can say about it, but I realize I am in the minority in that regard.

    While I tend to agree with your statement that cycling is easy, I would add a clarifying comment: all things are easier to people who do them regularly. You have spent the majority of the last 20 years cycling, while I have been running. Thus, you achieve times on a I bike that I am not capable of while I have little difficulty besting your jogging times.

    You have the cardio fitness right now. All that remains is fine tuning the muscle groups necessary for running. Once your muscles figure out just how fast you can go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the result.

  2. Matt Gholson says:

    One of my past riding buddies once commented upon hearing another rider talk about running, “Why the *&#$% would you want to do that, do you hate your body?” He went on to say the running was the stupidist thing you could do to your body and it ruins your knees. He was a military guy I think and had done his share of running and blamed it for bad knees.

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