How To Run Longer Without Trying

by retreadfitness

I decided to go on a trail run yesterday because it was 65 degrees F in January. I had planned on running only an hour until I got lost.

It's mid January and the temperture has been in the mid 60's.  How could anyone ask for better running weather?  Today was supposed to be a Beach Body Insanity workout day.  Since I am only training to maintain optimal fitness, I can choose any workout that pleases me.  Warm sunny weather is January makes it irresistable to run.  I grabbed my Merrell Trail Glove shoes and tied them as fast as I could before the sun set.  I live within 5 miles of two huge regional parks that boast a few hundred miles in awesome back country trail running.  I hit the trail a little after 4 in the afternoon knew that I had an hour of warm sunshine.

After fifteen minutes of running I came to a fork in the trail and decided to go right instead my usual left.  I was hoping that this trail would intersect the next fork in the trail.  I was happy that I chose this trail because it was a single track trail that meandered through old growth bay laurel trees.  The only downside is that I was now in the woods and was missing the warm sunshine.  I figured that if I kept running long enough that I would eventually get out of the woods.  After 40 minutes of running, I finally climbed out of the woods and intersected the high ridge trail.  There still was a good 20 minutes of sunshine left, so I ran straight up to the top to get a view of the sun setting on San Francisco Bay.  It was a fierry orange and glorious.

I decided to take another unknown trail back to my car.  After opening a few gates and crossing a dry creek bed I made it to an open meadow with about 30 horses grazing on some freshly thrown hay.  I realized that I was on private property and that I was about a mile away from the parking lot. 

This was not a big problem except that I was concerned that the rancher may not like trespassers.  I had visions of .22 caliber pellets stinging my bare legs.  The quickest way back was to run cross country in the general direction of the parking lot.

This little detour added 15 minutes to my run.  If you want to add more time and distance to your without really trying, then don't carry a map and run on trails that you have no idea where the trail leads to.

As much as I like exercises like Beach Body Insanity, I realized that the only reason that I do them is so I can continue to run.  Given the choice, I would rather be running than doing any other form of exercise.  However, I know that cross training programs such as Insanity will help me to be injury free so I can contnue to run the rest of my life.

Runners Survival Gear

When I run off the beaten path, I usually like to carry a light weight fanny pack that I can stick in some food, water bottles, a flash light, and my cell phone.  Even when you are running in familiar territory, it's always good to be prepared.  When I got lost on this run, I realized that I did not have my LED flashlight, water, and my running food.  I did carry a light weight running jacket because even though the temperature was in the 60's, when the sun sets, it will drop into the 40 and 50's in a matter of an hour.

I have been using a Nathan Hydration pack that holds 2 water bottles and has 3 seperate pouches to stuff keys, food, flashlights, and a cell phone.  It's not large enough for a light weight jacket so I wrap that around my waist.

Light Weight Hydration Packs

Nathan Elite 2V Plus Pack

Go farther when you wear the Nathan Elite 2V Plus Pack. This ultra light lumbar pack holds two 22-ounce bottles and comes with a flask for five ounces of energy gel, so you ...

Nathan
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Updated: 01/12/2012, retreadfitness
 
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Digby_Adams on 01/12/2012

I can really relate to this unintended adventure. My husband and I love to roam in the nearby state parks on their trails. It always amazes me how we can get so lost on market trails. We are walkers and hikers - not runners like you. But being outdoors and walking is my favorite exercise.

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