August Tip of the Month

ICESPIKE’S August Tip of the Month

By: Terry Chiplin, Coach, Runner and Owner of Active At Altitude (Running Camp, Estes Park Co)

Terry describes himself when people ask as an athletic experience facilitator.
He has an extensive background stretching back over nearly 20 years as a health and fitness consultant and personal trainer, and more than 15 years as a running coach. He has been a runner and cyclist for >30 years and have encouraged and inspired many people he has been in contact with to become physically active. He has been fortunate to have worked with athletes of all levels, from Olympic competitor to rehabilitation patients. Terry’s studies and life experience has given him a unique ability to motivate and inspire athletes of all abilities – he truly believes in the unique incredible potential of each and every athlete that he works with and will be creative in assisting everyone achieve that potential.

Trail Running – It’s all a question of balance

Trail Running is a rapidly growing sport in the USA, and Worldwide, many runners switching from road running to trails to enable a deeper connection with nature, explore new terrain, and also ease wear and tear on an athletic body.
I arrived in Colorado as a road runner from the UK, and quickly fell passionately in love with  running mountain trails. However one of my first trail runs didn’t end well. I was half way round a loop near Estes Park, in RMNP, and rounded a corner planting my left foot on what looked like a solid rock. Unfortunately that rock wasn’t solid, and I turned my ankle heavily, hobbling to a halt.
The combination of wearing road shoes with heavy cushioning, and my road runner gait, left me lacking rapid proprioceptive feedback, and I was unable to react in time to the change in surface below my foot.
That sprained ankle kept me out of running for 2-3 weeks; during that time I had the opportunity to evaluate what had happened – as a result I made two decisions:

  1. To wear shoes that would enable me to “feel” the terrain more and be able to react more quickly to changes in surface
  2. To change my running style so that I could become more balanced on trails

Changing to trail shoes solved item number one. Changing my running style meant increasing my cadence so that each footplant was closer to my center of mass. In their excellent book, The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running, Adam Chase and Nancy Hobbs, talk about trail running technique, and recommend a higher cadence and shorter stride as it “allows you to quickly alter direction and select the best route, one that offers the best traction and fewer obstacles.” Adopting  an increase in cadence also “is an efficient way to govern descent pace and prevent joint and impact injuries.”
Once I understood that running is really controlled falling forwards, I became a more balanced, smoother, and faster runner on trails, learning to be supple and more gentle on my body.  I have turned my ankles on many many runs in the eight years since that first trail injury, each time being able to react and adjust, never experiencing another sprain, and continuing to enjoy my adventures on the trails.
Traction is another important part of trail running and maintaining balance and forward progress. Trail shoes have been developed with various designs of outsole to help us maintain traction on a variety of surfaces. One traction system that I have used to great effect on both mud and ice / snow is Icespike. They are patented and specially designed screws that are simply placed into the sole of your trail shoe, and provide traction whenever you need it in slippery conditions. They have performed extremely well for me on muddy trails throughout the year, and in snow and ice during Winter and Spring. One of the factors I like best about them is that they don’t affect your normal running style, they are extremely light, so much so that I sometimes forget I am wearing them! When it comes to maintaining balance on the trails in slippery conditions, Icespike is my number one go to product!

Read  More about Terry and Active At Altitude Below!!!

for our subscribers only!

20% off your entire order from now until Aug 31st

Use Coupon Code: terrychiplin

Enjoy the summer and fall running, walking and hiking on the trails withIcespike

This email offer may be forwarded – please pass it on!

Based in Estes Park, Colorado, as well as trail running vacations in Estes Park & North America. Active at Altitude is the Official Training Active at Altitude provide training camps for women, and co-ed trail running camps, Partner for the Vacation Races series of half marathons based at National Parks around the country.
Events upcoming:
Women’s Running Camp, August 11-16 – 5 night camp for women runners of all abilities
Women’s Running Camp, September 7-14 – 7 night camp for women runners of all abilities
Trail Running Camp with Nancy Hobbs, September 25-28 – 3 night co-ed camp focused on trail running
2014 Trail Running Conference – October 9-11 – 3 days to celebrate Trail running in the USA! Day 1 for Trail RD’s, Days 2 & 3 for Trail Runners – ATRA prize draw including 5 sets of Icespikes to be won – anyone can enter, tickets @ $5 each.  Or phone Toll Free at:  877-677-3567

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