Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trails again

As road running starts to lose it's fun (about 4 weeks max for me), trails start to call. NE Ohio has a stunning trail system, most specifically the Buckeye Trail. The hills are perfect, decent spread, good singletrack, with many a root to catch your toe.

Dog and master left for the normal 8 mile run and soon found themselves entranced by the depth of wilderness so close to a large city. The lack of greenery in distal tree trunks gave a stark contrast to the sprawling buds growing on the forest base. All 360 degrees on top of a large hill gave way to what could only be spoken as "holy crap". The general feeling of being so deep into the middle of nowhere is so hard to find, but my dog and I found ourselves deep into nothing civil, only wooded.

Our one hour run was to be a classical test piece on a long arguement for and against walking hills while trail running. I tend to be for walking the hills. Based on simple biomechanics, I know that by walking and being able to center my weight directly on the postural muscles of the lower back and glutes, more consisent Type 1 fiber distribution can be had. Type 1 muscle fiber is the type that lets you run marathons, it's the go the distance fiber type. Type 2 muscle fibers let you rip and sprint. Keep in mind this is a quick and dirty fiber type description, there's too much detail and sub-typing to adequately explain.
Leg 1 of the experiment: 30 minute trail run out on singletrack, with heart rate held at 150 BPM, with an allowance to 170 BPM for uphill. Downhill had to be kept in check at 160 BPM.
Leg 2: 29:30 back, with general awareness not to exceed 165 BPM for flats, who cares about the downhill BPM, and strict adherence to walking on the uphills

The difference of 30 seconds may appear to be minimal, but considering I only allowed 3-4 minutes lag time between sets, and man, that's looking good to me.

more science to come!

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