DANCING DOWNHILL: THE HIGHS OF MOUNTAIN TRAIL RUNNING: Lainey

Phew, it's,the end of a ski season without any major injury. Skiing nearly everyday throughout the winter, especially with this year's epic snow in the Alps and around 40 days shredding powder off piste and backcountry, it's something to be thankful for. Among friends, there have been four ruptured ACLs and a broken arm, this winter, but we've survived the season touch wood (and fortunately there's plenty of wood in our chalet style apartment!).

But now is no time to be resting on your laurels - or butt. I have entered the Worthing 10k back in the UK on 3rd June so there's an incentive to get run-fit. My thyroid seems back to normal (touch wood again) and no longer hyper.  The mountains are now calling for trainers (or cycling shoes if you're into bikes).

Yesterday, as the snow has melted below 2000m, I did my first steep mountain run with Gav on his mountain bike and the Jack Russells running alongside, up 6.5k for 550m vertical and down, so total of 13k, in 1hr 29mins (moving time).

Amazingly I took 10mins off my normal time for this route but it could have something to do with discovering a segment at the beginning of the uphill climb on Strava. I intended to take it slow but the thought of beating my last effort was too much so I pushed hard and managed to shave a few seconds off and receive a Strava 'cup' for my 'best achievement'. It made the next kilometre hard work, though!

You know, truthfully, I don't LOVE road running unless I have company or good music (running on footpaths if wearing headphones, obvs, not the actual road). But I do LOVE trail running. Going uphill doesn't mean going fast (unless there's a pesky segment), just keeping a steady pace without stopping (unless really steep, then still keep moving upwards), good for leg strengthening, core and stamina. Then you allow yourself a break at the top to appreciate the views and how far you've come.

Running down trails is a blast, going effortlessly fast. Quick stepping over ruts and waltzing around rocks it's like a dance downhill. I've gone splat once doing a fast trail descent dancing downhill resulting in a grazed knee. So no serious damage. Touch wood!

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  • The Run Diary Duo

    Elaine (Lainey) Deed, Mother

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    Siggy Baylis, Daughter

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