Trail running for beginners

Posted by: Mim

Trail running for beginners - 06/21/10 07:15 PM

After a ten-year hiatus (bad knee - long story), I am finally back to running. I do not run on pavement or any hard surface, so I am bound to carriage roads. I cannot run on flat, as my attention span cannot be sustained - I get bored to tears, no amount of alternating from fast to slow and back makes it interesting for me. So I run hills - the steeper the better. Alas, there are only a handful of hills that I know of on the east side of the Ridge:
- Duck Pond to Sky Top loop
- Spring Farm
- Aumick Road to Awosting lake via Awosting Preserve (wicked long arduous hills...)

I am contemplating branching out of the carriage roads and start trail running, to keep my interest afloat. I am looking to build endurance more than anything else. I truly cannot afford to injure myself (knees, back or combination thereof) as that would be a major setback on where I finally got myself back.

Any suggestions as to which trail(s) might be fun & knee friendly to do with some hills?

I was thinking doing a car to bike such as... Starting at the Mohonk Visitor Center, take the Connector trail to the Stair Master, run up past the Uberfall to the Coxing Kill trail, run up to Lost City, go up the High Peterskills trail, go down to the Peterskills and then back up and do the upper cliff trail that leads to the Minnewaska Parking lot, where, if I still have some juice, could run up to the Upper Lot and then bike back.

So, any suggestions of creative hilly loops would be appreciated...

Posted by: Allenperry

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/22/10 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Mim
So I run hills - the steeper the better. Alas, there are only a handful of hills that I know of

Can't help you on the route suggestion, but I'll second the 'I run hills' sentiment. Most people with bum knees hate hills. My 40 year old knees are starting to back-talk me more. Are you able to open up pretty good on the downhill?

BTW: This race, if you like long ones, has an awsome mix of hills. About 3 hours from gunks.
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/23/10 10:49 PM

I love hills too, Mim. I find flat and fast too boring. That route you have mapped out will have plenty of climb for you. The High Peterskill Trail is great.
I do not have my maps handy but there is a good hill leading up from Rhododendron Bridge heading towards Skytop that I have used for hill repeats. Laurel Hill, maybe?
Lenape Lane is also a good long climb.
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/23/10 10:51 PM

And I second Perry's recommendations of the Blue Marsh area. I used to mountainbike that loop and always thought it would make a good course for a 50K.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/23/10 11:57 PM

Mim, though I didn't run much of it, a few weeks ago, I did this route from West Trapps PA, Blue trail to Millbrook, down into Coxing Clove up to Lake Minne via Millbrook Mtn Trail, past picnic area on top to Beacon Hill Trail, turn onto Beacon Hill CW to Awosting Falls CW which offers a refreshing splash if necessary. Follow Awosting Falls CW back to Trapps Road and the West Trapps PA. GPS had it at a little over 10 miles car to car. A nice split between single track and carriage road, the worst part is the flat return on Trapps Road CW which could be replaced with the longer Bull Wheel link to the High Peterskill Trail past LC. RC
Posted by: talus

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/25/10 03:10 AM

blueberry run path from the lower lot up to castle point. i also did a run from the lower lot to awosting out smily rd to the blueberry pickers path that leads to High point out to badlands to mudpond then back to the lower lot.

keep your weight forward , run more on your toes avoid heel strike to save your knees.
Posted by: Mim

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/25/10 06:33 PM

Thanks - all great ideas! I just did the aforementionned trail run from the MP visitor center to the High Peterskill trail and back yesterday and was able to take a dip in the Coxing Kill on the way to and fro - delicious and refreshing!

So that is my new thing - run dip run...

More into the 10-15 km range right now and probably will never do an ultra... just happy to be able to run for now. Longevity is currently the goal, not distance running. But you never know...
Posted by: pitfall

Re: Trail running for beginners - 06/28/10 12:59 PM

If you want hills go to the Catskills, if you want to add swimming to the mix you can always head to North-South Lake.
Posted by: jayruns

Re: Trail running for beginners - 07/01/10 07:27 PM


one favorite of the trail-running locals is the undivided lots trail. the trailhead is by the old chapel on old clove road, off of mountain rest, if you take it just past the spring farm trailhead. great trail, pretty hilly. you can go out and back, or loop it up to the carriage roads below the mountain house (laurel ledge etc), or continue out on old minnewaska trail to swim at split rock.