Tackling the Trails: My First Trail Running Experience

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Thursday morning, I crossed one more thing off my summer to-do list: I completed my first trail run! I went to Theodore Wirth Park and ran on some of the trails built and maintained by MOCA (Minneapolis Off-Road Cycling Advocates) and MORC (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists). I didn’t do all of them so I’ll have to go back to get in some more miles and check out the rest of the trails.

I absolutely loved trail running! There was some paved path running to get me to and from the trails but most of it was on the trails. It was so much fun and a great change of scenery. Even though I wasn’t that far from Minneapolis, it was like running the woods up north. And I worked harder than I would on a road run with the extra elevation changes and natural obstacles. Not falls at all which is surprising to me!

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One thing I really loved is even though my pace was much slower (I had a 12:55 mile which I haven’t seen in forever) it sure didn’t feel like it! I was working hard to run on the trails and I could feel my body working to keep stabilized. My average heart rate was 165 bpm when it is usually around 145 bpm for my easy runs and I maxed out at 180 bpm. It was a great way to work out my body harder without pushing myself to go faster.

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I cannot wait to go on another trail run! I will be heading back to Theodore Wirth for sure but I also want to check out some of the other trails in the Twin Cities. Luckily, Fleet Feet Minneapolis has a monthly group trail run now until September so I will be joining in on those. I missed out on the first one at Theodore Wirth which took place last Saturday when we got hit with some downpours (there was still some brave people who went on the run). So let’s hope for good weather on the next ones!

Tell me your trail running experience and share any trail running tips you might have for this newbie in the comments!