Roaring Fork Valley Running |

Roaring Fork Valley Running

Julian Martinez
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” H.D. Thoreau

Whether you are a new or experienced runner the New Year brings resolutions. Runners typically resolve to complete a 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon or an Ultra Marathon in the New Year. While the resolution may be to complete your first ever race or participate in many races/runs for 2009, planning, dedication, and a bit of luck will be required.

Building a foundation under your castle in the air is the best strategy to stay injury free, enjoy your event and build upon your success. So how do you go about laying or maintaining your foundation when the ground under you is icy, snow packed and the temperatures hover in the teens? Lucky for you that living in the Roaring Fork Valley provides a year round training playground with several options in the winter.

Off season or winter training is one of the long held secret weapons of experienced runners. The better aerobic conditioning you can maintain during the winter months, the easier it will be to transition to the regimen required for race day preparation.

A solid foundation ensures that when the mileage increases in the spring, your body will be able to adapt. This results in staving off repeated use (tendonitis) injuries which can sideline the best of us. This base can be built by cross training since aerobic conditioning is cumulative. Raising your heart rate whether in the gym, on the Nordic track or snowshoeing are all excellent ways to begin building or maintaining your base. Pace and interval training can be accomplished by spin classes, Nordic skiing, and snow shoeing. Of course there are Nordic skiing events and snow shoe races which also serve as effective way to measure your training progress.

Another way to make sure you don’t get trapped by those warm cuddly sheets in the morning is to have a training buddy. Nothing motivates a person more than knowing that a buddy is waiting for you to meet the new day. Joining a running group is a great way to meet other runners and to find a training partner as well.

Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale has a Saturday morning running group that leaves from the store’s parking lot at 8:30 am. The group did not miss a Saturday in 2008 and plans on doing the same in 2009. You can email the store at and request to be added to the midweek Saturday run email announcement list.

Just remember to go fast and far in the spring you need to start out slow and deliberate in the winter by laying a solid foundation using cross training activities and group runs. Your running muscles need to be developed just like your aerobic thresholds. Most of all have fun and accomplish your goals.

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