Running in Calgary and the Rockies

Are you a runner just visiting Calgary and wanting to know what Calgary and Banff has to offer for runners?

Or a Calgarian just getting into running?

Well, have we got a running scene for you. From trails to pathways, big events to wild remote places, running groups to solitude, flat long runs to epic peaks to conquer. This place is amazing for runners.

Where to run

In Calgary

Calgary is full of great running spots. The valleys along the Bow River and the Elbow River offer countless opportunities to experience the trails, and pathway systems which seem to go on forever. Lots of people start downtown and run along the beautiful rivers. Morning, lunchtime and evenings, it is packed with runners, in both summer and winter. And don’t discount actual real hard core trails inside the city limits.

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Continue reading “Running in Calgary and the Rockies”

Heard at the dinner table

“Of course I am in a good mood, I just went for a run”

“Its Saturday tomorrow Dad, where are we racing this week?”

“We need to get to bed early tonight, it’s Friday. We have to get up early for a race tomorrow”

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A running family
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So many shoes, so many choices

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“Don’t think of it as vegetables, think of it as fuel”

A family that runs together … Eats a lot and has a lot of shoes

Intervals are supposed to be hard

Sprint intervals are not my friend. They are painful and can leave me dragging for hours after.

But I have made them part of my weekly runs because I know how good they are for my overall speed.

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Apparently our family is a running family

Last week after the 500m warmup, I ran a short ladder up and down: 100m, 200, 300, 300, 200, 100. After each set I walked long enough to get my breathing back to normal. The hardest one was the second 300m. After that it only gets shorter. The whole workout including cool down was 3k and took about 20 minutes.

The key is to run faster than your normal racing speed so that you are out of breath. And then to make sure you are recovered before you do it again. For me, I need to make sure it is fast enough that I can not have a conversation. As my fitness improves, my recovery becomes shorter.

When I am training for longer runs like a marathon my interval training will be variations of 600m to 800m intervals. Sometimes I will do as many as 8 800s a couple weeks before a marathon. Another one would be 200, 400, 600, 800, 800, 600, 400, 200. But of course you can’t just jump in with both feet and go that far without working up to it.

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I have found that my average long distance speed increases if I am diligent with these interval workouts once per week.

But the hard part is convincing myself to get out there and do it. I have picked Wednesdays as my interval day.

It will hurt for a bit and you will be flopped on the couch afterwards, but it works.

September is Race Month in Calgary!

The race calendar is packed full this month! September is always busy for running races. Not only is school starting again, everyone is back from vacation, but people are setting new goals. Get going on those fitness goals by signing up for a race. Maybe it’s not a goal race, but it could be a tuneup race, or your first time out there to test yourself.

Whether you’ve been running all summer, or are starting up again with new goals for the Fall, September is a great time to see what you’re made of.

And if you happen to be in Calgary or area, check out my list of Upcoming Calgary Races this month. More race details and links here.

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The weekend is almost here. Are you signed up yet?

Trail Feature – Channel Parkway Penticton

It’s tough to get a photo of the the Channel Parkway in Penticton without any people in it. It is a very popular running and biking route.

The route is as flat as can be. It is about 5km each way between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. There really is no good loop. It is best to run it out and back since anything else would be down city streets.

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You can start at the SS Sicamous which is a steamer ship turned museum. Parking would be along the beach front. Then turn around at the beach front on Skaha Lake.

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Most of the route used to be a rail bed. It is paved for bicycles with a graveled pathway immediately beside.

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When the weather is hot there is a ton of tourists floating down the channel. You pass a golf course, log house building company, rodeo grounds, and the airport runway. And of course since this is a tourist town there is opportunity on both ends and in the middle to refresh yourself with drinks, ice cream, or water.

You definitely won’t be alone on this route, despite what my pictures show.

The Pursuit

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Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

This makes me stop and think about what is really so important that it must be pursued with everything I got.

Trail Feature – Ranger Summit to Strange Brew

Starting in West Bragg Creek in Kananaskis are a ton of trails. If you go on a Tuesday night like we did or a Saturday you will realize that the mountain bikers just love these trails. Well, the trail runners do too.

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A long way up
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Whizzed past this rest area on the way down
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A maze of trails

Our group of 25 trail runners started up Ranger Summit. This is about 5k mostly up hill. Maybe half of it is runnable, the rest is runnable if you really push it. At the top you can go longer going down another hill, or your can double back along Strange Brew. Strange Brew is almost all downhill. It is fun downhill. You can go really fast. And there aren’t too many roots to trip you up. But there are a few as the runner behind me found out the hard way with scrapes and blood to tell the tale.

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Fast, curvey trails
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No wet spots today
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Snow shoe trails in the winter

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Tonight the bikers were mostly going our direction. So we passed them in the uphills, and they whipped past us on the downhills. They were having a lot of fun too.

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10k loop

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This was a 10k loop with about 350m of elevation.

Lots of fun for an after work run with friends from the Calgary Trail Runners Meetup group.

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