Category: Running

Vertical K Training: Video on the hill

Training along the flanks of Mount Mahogany outside Pleasant Grove UT. This is a branch of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with a fork up a Strava Segment titled “Green Monster” which I hadn’t been able to find. This time there was no question and I scurried up to the fork where the segment ended. Logically since it was a T intersection to a relatively flat trail. There were grades of 40% plus on this one.

Altra Zero Drop Olympus 1.5. Not enough miles for a real review
Altra Zero Drop Olympus 1.5. Not enough miles for a real review

I have a relatively new pair of Altra Running Mens Olympus 1.5 which I’ve been breaking in. First thoughts? The medial support is a little much. The toe rocker was disturbing in the store but hardly noticeable on the trail. If I start running on pavement before running on the trail I don’t like the feel, but if I start running on pavement after running on the trail it’s all good. More later, since I don’t have all that many miles on them yet.

Skyrunning training with Black Diamond carbon fiber Z-poles
Skyrunning training with Black Diamond carbon fiber Z-poles

After my nearly 2 mile approach, after the descent some time was spent looking for a shortcut. Grove Creek Canyon seemed to be a lot closer than the Timpanogos Park parking area, so next time that will be the starting point. There was a great steep hill at the fork in the BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) so I did a sprint up that for some great fun. The top was a perfect setting for some pics and video.

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Saturday, September 19, 2015

Strava showed some of my usual middle of the pack mixed with top results. The key for the Vertical K will be in how long I can keep up what speed. I’ll do a few more posts next week as the date gets closer. Stay in the loop.

Strava Stats for my Saturday Vertical K Training Run
Strava Stats for my Saturday Vertical K Training Run

Skyrunning Quandary Fourteener Results

I managed to get my PR on the summer route of 14,265′ Quandary, a Colorado Fourteener. Here’s a short video I took that day for you to see what it’s like. At the beginning I share a brief teaser about another project I just started. At the end is a link for you to subscribe here for the newsletter. This will qualify you for a super sweet freebie I have planned to release shortly. Besides, I have a slew of great training tips to share with you that I know will help you achieve your goals faster and simpler. Check it out.


Video report on my Quandary PR’s last Saturday. Fun times making it. Don’t forget to click the “Sign Up” button at the end to qualify for a super freebie coming your way soon. I can hardly wait for this one.

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Saturday, July 11, 2015


Here are a few Quandary PR photos too:

Quandary East Ridge just below the summit
Quandary East Ridge just below the summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Quandary Fourteener Summit
Mountain Goats at 13,000' on East Ridge of Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Mountain Goats at 13,000′ on East Ridge of Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Overhead view of the trail around 11,800' on Quandary Colorado Fourteener
Overhead view of the trail around 11,800′ on Quandary Colorado Fourteener

Photos from my climb of the Emmons Ridge of Mount Rainier as a co-leader of a group climb. Successful summit of Columbia Crest (the summit of Mount Rainier) on June 20, 2015

Approaching 9,000' on the approach up the InterGlacier.
Approaching 9,000′ on the approach up the InterGlacier.
Camp Schurmann at the foot of the Corridor on the Emmons Glacier
Camp Schurmann at the foot of the Corridor on the Emmons Glacier
Clean water essential on a trip like this. PurifiCup in the tent at base camp on Rainier
Clean water essential on a trip like this. PurifiCup in the tent at base camp on Rainier
Goalzero Solar keeping my Suunto Ambit 2S and my Galaxy S4 both charged at base camp on Rainier
Goalzero Solar keeping my Suunto Ambit 2S and my Galaxy S4 both charged at base camp on Rainier
Summit of Columbia Crest on Mount Rainier at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2015
Summit of Columbia Crest on Mount Rainier at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2015

Be sure to register for the NEWSLETTER if you want to learn how you can achieve the most important results to you in all of your training goals. Together we can make it work.

Barefoot Treadmill Exercise – Transition to Low Drop Shoes

Barefoot Treadmill Usage

If you’ve been reading articles like THIS ONE you’d be afraid of trying to transition to a low drop shoe. You might want to switch to a maximalist shoe. You might want to start using a minimalist shoe. One thing they tend to have in common is a low drop.

That’s when the heel is 0 to 6 MM or so above the toe, standing flat with your weight on the midfoot. Some variance exists in that number, but it’s a safe zone, since some traditional running shoes have drops in the 14 MM range. Now that I’ve made the transition to shoes in the low drop zone I can’t imagine going back.

Barefoot Treadmill exercise in the comfort of your own bedroom
Barefoot Treadmill exercise in the comfort of your own bedroom

In the video below, from my Facebook Page HERE I demonstrate a simple way to get on the treadmill and start walking barefoot. Be sure to check out the short video and watch me follow these steps.

  1. Set the treadmill to 6% incline to help prevent heel striking
  2. Set the treadmill to .5 MPH
  3. If that works, go up to 1.0 MPH
  4. Walk gently in the mid to forefoot area
  5. Grip the treadmill belt with your splayed toes
  6. Roll off your toes and bring your heel up consciously to the rear
  7. Don’t go too fast too soon
  8. Do not actually run

If you follow all those tips, you’re sure to make good progress in strengthening the arch and toes of your foot. This is instrumental in making the transition to a low drop shoe.

Barefoot Treadmill for Plantar Fasciitis

Yes, in my PREVIOUS ARTICLE I mentioned that using a maximalist shoe helped me to heal my plantar fasciitis, but barefoot treadmill exercises as mentioned above were just as important. A strong plantar fasciitis will go a long way in preventing injury. I recommend that you make a conscious effort in gripping and pushing off with your toes at a slow speed and moderate incline.

Barefoot Treadmill Exercise Video

Want stronger feet? Barefoot Treadmill Training might be the answer. Register if you want Inner Circle Access.

Posted by Seven Summits Body on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?

An article HERE explores “Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?”

I have worn Hoka One One maximalist shoes for several years. I started with winter after Elbrus Race 2010. That was winter 2010-2011. Previous to that Asics and Mizuno shoes worked well for me. I thought I was a supinator since most of the time my foot rolled to the outside. I had a running coach analyze my form and he said I was neutral with late-stage pronation. He suggested a neutral cushion shoe.

Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes - Mafate WP from Hoka One One
Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes – Mafate WP from Hoka One One

Maximalist Shoes I’ve Used

  • Hoka Mafate WP
  • Hoka Bondi.B
  • Hoka Stinson
  • Hoka Stinson EVO
  • Hoka Stinson Tarmac

I underlined the maximalist shoes I’ve especially loved over the years. As you can see, I’ve been using the Hoka One One brand for quite a few years, and literally thousands of miles. Check maximalist shoes by Hoka One One out on Amazon

Maximalist shoes and Plantar Fasciitis

My own story goes back to those Asics and Mizuno with the very solid plastic stability wedges and plates all over the midsole. Running in those actually caused me to slam my heel into the ground much harder than needed. That caused me much pain at the origin of the plantar fasciitis (where it connects to the heel). I focused on becoming a more mid-foot striker, slapping the ground with the ball of my foot as the heel lightly brushed the ground. I stopped running pavement as much as possible. I exercised my ankles and insteps to strengthen them. All of these were facilitated by my maximalist shoes. Especially the forward landing while running.

Bondi.B about 300 miles - the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever
Bondi.B about 300 miles – the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever

I think that adding maximalist shoes to my shoe rotation was instrumental in my eventually curing my plantar fasciitis. I actually recommend them to most of my friends with a few disclaimers. Make sure it fits. Use the thinnest insole it comes with. It’s relatively low drop, and there is very little stability, so get used to it gently.

In the article, linked at the top, LaMarche says. “The downside is the body does not do enough work and it can make you weak, possibly causing injury.”

On the contrary, there are several articles pointing out that the very soft foam is so forgiving and has so little stability, that many people experience extreme fatigue in their lower legs when they first start using maximalist shoes. This is important to train for. I recommend barefoot walking on a treadmill, and will put up an article soon with more information on that. If you want to make sure you see it, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter, to the right column. I’ll send you a notice when I publish the barefoot training article.

Remember, I’m not a doctor and I’ve never seen you run. Have your form and body analyzed by professionals and take my suggestions with a grain of salt. If it works for you great, but don’t hurt yourself. Thanks!


Running in Foot Deep Powder

Today was a great day for a trail run. I went trailrunning this morning at -1F (according to the weather channel). Accuweather had it at -13.

Nothing like a little negative F to kick off the morning trail running
Nothing like a little negative F to kick off the morning trail running

I went out on the deck and it felt more like the weather channel had it at -1F so I dressed for that. It was snowing pretty hard and there was at least 8″ of new snow on the ground. I wore a minimum of clothing, in spite of the cold. It’s better to be slightly cold and dry, rather than dressed really warmly but sweat too much. That sweat will chill you if the wind hits it.

Dressed lightly for a winter trail run at -1F
Dressed lightly for a winter trail run at -1F

I wore my Pearl Izumi Trail N2 with Kahtoola microspikes. I’m glad I did. The trail was really bumpy with icy spots under the powder snow. You couldn’t see under the snow so it was good to have the extra spike aggressiveness. I had thought of wearing my Hoka Stinson with the screws in the bottom.

Winter Trailrunning Video on Vimeo:

[weaver_vimeo id=”111698274″]

I wore Salomon hybrid top and bottom. When I say hybrid I mean a thin athletic fleece with wind and water resistant panels. I wore the loose tights without a base layer. On top I had on an Arctyrex mid-weight base layer. That’s it for clothing. For socks I wore thick wool mountaineering socks. For gloves I had on bike commuter lobster mitts from REI for my hands. On my head I wore a buff, a mid-weight helmet liner, and a swag Salomon baseball cap I got at a race.

The snow was light and fluffy and dry so I didn’t really need to worry about my feet getting wet. When I turned around at the 2.5 mile mark the wind was pretty cold on my chest. I had a thin insulated vest in the UD Pack, but in a few minutes I was warm again so it was worth waiting before I got it out. It ended up I didn’t need it.

Winter Trailrunning GPS Track:

[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/11-12-2014-KeystoneGulch.gpx”]

Worldwide WordPress 5k (WWWP5K)

WordPress announced that they’d like for all their blogging users and members to do a 5k run/walk/swim/bike by April 29.

WHAT IT IS: A 5k run/walk (approximately 3.1 miles). You can run, walk, or skip. It’s up to you. There’s no time limit and there’s just one requirement: that you participate! You can do it inside or outside, on a treadmill or on a track, or even do a swim or a bike ride instead of running/walking – just get moving! — WordPress wwwp5k

Aspen Backcountry Marathon Finish
Aspen Backcountry Marathon Finish

Last year I ran in the inaugural Aspen Backcountry Marathon, in Aspen Colorado, and it was a blast. Afterward I promised myself I would never run again. Alas, that wasn’t really true. Nearly four months ago I fell down the stairs and cracked two ribs, then a few weeks after that fell skating and pulled a groin muscle and sprained my ankle. I’ve just started running slowly again, and today I did my 5k run for WordPress. Here are my stats from ifitlive:

ifit stat for my 5k run this morning
Stats for my 5K this morning

I challenge everyone reading this to seriously consider doing your own 5k. Run/walk/bike/crawl/skate – whatever your thing is, get out and move.

Running below freezing can be fun

I’ve been wanting to get to Colorado for some high altitude cold training, since Utah has been so warm and dry so far this winter (aside from nice ice climbing I got in). Earlier today I got a chance to run at 5 degrees F on a dirt road for emergency and maintenance access to the back lifts at Keystone Resort.

running downhill Keystone Gulch Road
running down Keystone Gulch Road, sun at my back

The Keystone Gulch Road starts at about 9,240′ and at my 2.5 mile turnaround point was 9,850′ for a total of approximately 600′ of gain and loss. Enough stats though, and since a friend on the net asked me about layering for winter running, here’s how I approached running at 27 degrees below freezing.

clothed profile dressed to run at 5 degrees
clothing for running at 5 degrees F at nearly 10,000ft

First of all, the bottom layers. For undies I wore Under Armour Heatgear longsleeve tee, and Boxerjock series O. I also like the series T for hiking and skating, but haven’t tried running in them yet. For socks, I wore my favorite Injinji Toe Sock Crew Liners under Smartwool PHD Compression socks. This is a tough layer to get on right without bunching, since the compression socks fit me quite tightly.

smartwool and injinji sock combo
sock combo detail - smartwool phd compression and injinji crew liner

Over that I wore a pair of Salomon Windstopper tights. For shoes today I’m wearing Hoka One One Mafate WP (goretex) to test for snow traction and warmth with the goretex layer. I considered a midweight baselayer or thin softshell but having run at 10 degrees before and sweated quite a bit in a softshell, I opted instead for a TNF Windstopper Hybrid full zip jacket. It’s a very thin vest-like layer of thinly laminated windstopper with thin fleece back, sleeve, and side panels for ventilation.

For a hat, I wore a TNF Flight Series Beanie that I think is now discontinued, very thin and breathable. Finally, for gloves I wore a pair of Eddie Bauer First Ascent Wind Pro Gloves. I had good experiences with this glove in Alaska, so felt it would work good enough.

running at Keystone Colorado
creek and hills along my left side Breckenridge is way back there behind that ridge

So now, after all of that, how did it work out? I was cold most of the run up, and some of the run down. I prefer to run “dry” in the winter if possible, so I’d rather be a little bit cool and not sweat. This is a fine line to run, and I don’t really recommend it to new runners, or those who’ve never run below freezing before. If you get soaked and have something go wrong and end up sitting in the shade for a while you’ll be quite uncomfortable at the very least.

The Keystone Gulch Road I ran on curves along a creek bed between trees, cliffs, and hills, so you’re in and out of the sun frequently, so you warm in the sun, and cool in the shade. Overall I was quite happy, and never so cold as to feel like bailing. At one point I pulled out my earbuds (cheap Sony and the cables were very very stiff from the cold) and had to pull off my left glove to put them back in, and I ended up having to curl my hand up in the palm of my glove for a few minutes to rewarm my fingers.

sweat at ankles
beads of sweat built up on my ankles at 5 degrees F

Some interesting points I need to mention. With the Goretex shoes and Windstopper front panels on my tights, I got some nice balls of moisture condensed on my ankles. The Mafate shoe has unusually small lugs for a trail shoe (this is not news btw) and I did a small amount of slipping on icier portions of the road (they run trucks and snowmobiles up and down the road, but do not plow). I have asked Hoka One One about it, and they say it would be okay to spike them, so I might try that soon enough.

Finally, I think that without building up to it, without knowing your own body and how it reacts to cold, what you expect for pace and how that will affect your warmth, it would be hard for me to recommend you run with this few clothes on at that cold of a morning. Build up to it slowly, test it out on shorter runs very close to home, so you can bail to safety without hurting yourself. YMMV – enjoy!


Shopping List:

injinji Liner Crew Toesocks
Smartwool PhD Graduated Compression Ultra Light Bike Socks
Men’s HeatGear® Fitted Longsleeve Crew Tops by Under Armour
Men’s O Series Boxerjock® 6″ Bottoms by Under Armour
Hoka One One Mafate WP Trail Running Shoe – Men’s
Eddie Bauer First Ascent First Ascent Wind Pro Glove