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admin | starting exercise program | 29.12.2014
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy running in Mammoth Lakes, but you’ll want to prepare for the challenge of running at altitude. If you are planning a running vacation to Mammoth Lakes, it is best to get yourself fit and ready for altitude before you head into the mountains. Hydration is important when exercising no matter where you are, but at altitude it’s even more important. You can most likely where the same running gear in the mountains as you do at home, but keep in mind that you are 8,000 feet closer to the sun.
You will not be able to run as fast at altitude as you can at lower elevations for the same effort.
The new high-performance Mammoth Track is a great place to go if you want to do a speed workout, or jog easily in the outside lanes. You won’t run your fastest times at high altitude, but you might enjoy participating in a road race in Mammoth Lakes. Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. Why does the popularity of trail running in the United States surge every time there’s a national crisis or period of epidemic uncertainty? Trail running satisfies a primal need for movement through nature, presumably left over from our days as hunters. Trail running has done more than make me a stronger, happier runner: It has made me a runner, period. Still, there are certain necessities for trail running, some of which require different considerations from running on roads.
Clothing: The same technical apparel that you wear on roads works for trails, but choose something that you don’t mind getting dirty or snagged. Water bottle: If you’re not big on drinking from streams, you’re going to have to carry your water with you. Insect repellent: Depending on where you’re running, bug spray may or may not be necessary. Headlamp or flashlight: One of the coolest things about trail running is that you can do it pretty safely at night, without having to worry about cars. By far the best way to start trail running is to find a local group of trail junkies and run with them. If you can’t find a group, the American Trail Running Association’s website offers a free directory of U.S. You can expect to run about 20 percent slower on trails for a given level of exertion than you would on roads.
Shorten your stride so that your weight is over your feet most of the time; this allows you to react quickly and maintain balance. The surest way to identify a road runner on the trails is to look for the guy who runs past everybody on the uphills, only to be passed again on the downhills.


If you’re going to pay attention the ground in front of you, it helps if you can actually see it. And know the area you’re running—how to deal with the wildlife, when and where hunting takes place, when the sun goes down, and anything else that might pose a danger.
Everyone can agree the Mammoth Lakes is a top running destination, but it’s not just the views that make running great up here. The lack of oxygen at higher elevations is a training stimulus that gives athletes a physical advantage when they return to sea level. The better level of fitness you have at home, will generally adapt better to higher altitudes. It can be discouraging to see your pace drop by 30 seconds or more per mile, so many runners will leave their GPS watch at home. The 5-mile round trip multi-use trail is just hard enough to still be fun, and has great views of the area.
The Town Loop and Lakes Basin Path are great options and you can run straight out your front door, pick up the path, and adjust the distance to your desired run. There are a number of events throughout the summer and fall where you can test your fitness. When things spin out of control in an age of iPads and Droids, running in the woods is one thing we can count on to be pretty much the same as it’s always been.
First, reduced risk of injury: The soft, ever-varying surface of the trail lessens the likelihood of an overuse injury, strengthens core muscles, and ultimately makes for more comfortable long runs than asphalt. For seven years before finding the courage and initiative to learn a new type of running, I ran strictly on roads.
While iPods, GPS devices, and heart rate monitors have become musts for many runners, technology tends to take away from experience of trail running.
If you decide to stick with trail running, however, you’ll eventually want to get a pair of trail shoes.
A favorite among trail runners is the handheld water bottle that straps to the hand and has additional pouches for things like keys, ID, and food.
Non-technical trails are paved, gravel, or dirt roads that are generally easy to negotiate.
You’ll find that trail running works your core and stabilizer muscles more than road running, so it may help to focus on keeping your core engaged.
Trail runners know that it’s usually more efficient to walk up the steep hills and conserve energy to make up time on the way down.
As you notice an approaching obstacle, shift your attention to your feet to do whatever is necessary to clear the obstacle.
If that’s not enough reason to keep your distance, trail runners are required to change speeds all the time, rarely with warning. Gradually increase your mileage to equal the amount of running you plan to do at altitude (a little bit more is even better.) A few days in advance of your trip, start preparing your body by fueling up with high quality food, and concentrate on hydration.


Be sure to drink plenty of water, but also add electrolytes so that your body retains the fluids.
Wear lightweight clothing that covers your shoulders, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses. Set out to run a specific length of time rather than a certain number of miles and concentrate on the effort rather than the pace. If you want to join in on group workouts, join the Mammoth Track Club general members on Tuesday mornings. Here’s what you need to know to hit the trails safely and discover this wildly soothing side of running.
I met my trail-running group through my town’s running club; you can search for running clubs near you at Run the Planet’s club directory. Technical trails are narrow, dirt or rocky paths offering every variety of challenge that most people associate with trail running. And don’t be lazy—pick up your feet just a little higher than you think is necessary to avoid a root or rock. And when crossing streams, it’s often safer to walk directly through the water than to try to tiptoe across wet rocks. If you are run down before you get here, it’s likely that you’ll get started on the wrong foot. It’s recommended to sleep with water next to your bed, and don’t drink alcohol or other beverages that dehydrate your body in the first 24-hours of arriving at higher elevations. You may want to consider purchasing a pair of trail running shoes for extra protection if you plan on running off pavement, and a running hydration pack or handheld water bottle are nice for longer runs in the mountains.
This year the Mammoth Rock Trail race will return as a timed event and a new trail race will be held on Mammoth mountain in October.
It should come as no surprise that soaking in the essence of the forest results in a quantifiably-greater endorphin release than does breathing in roadside fumes. But I refused to call myself a runner until I could truly enjoy the act of running for its own sake.
And while the idea of barefooting on trails is appealing, it’s smart to run a trail in standard shoes first to get a feel for how sharp those rocks are.
If you splurge on a bottle of wine your first night in Mammoth Lakes, be sure to compensate with other hydrating fluids.



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