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Happy Trails...Top Ten tips for that perfect fall cross training workout

Posted Sep 07 2011 10:56am


We've all heard or been witness to a triathlete biffing it on the road at 25 mph.  Head to the pavement, road rash, and missing teeth are just a few of the ramifications of wrecking on the road.  But, what about those heading off road this fall?
It's that time of year that a movement shifts athletes from on road to off road.  Trail riding is an open invitation to a wreck, spill or crash.  It's not a matter of if, but when.  Most of us triathletes in the states are running out of light and warm temperatures and are forced to scurry indoors to the trainer or hit the trails.  There's a period of transition where your balance is off and you have to adjust to slower speeds and watching out for obstacles non-stop.

 From my early goings this fall, here's a few tips.
  1. Trees don't move.  Pay attention to the trail and handle your bike at all times.  You can't take a minute off because if you lose balance or veer suddenly, trees don't jump out of the way.
  2. Tune up your bike.  It had been a while and shifting was horrible.  Dropped it off at my LBS and it was right as rain for my ride!
  3. Plan your moves in advance.  You should have your eyes up planning your next moves and picking your lines before you get there.  If you are staring at your wheels or feet, you're in trouble.
  4. Speed does not kill.  Speed and momentum will get you out of jams.  I'm all about gunning it over rough terrain and just riding over it.
  5. There are some odd people on the trails.  Some gal yelling at deer and exclaiming she has an eye twitch is somewhat unsettling.  Make sure people know you are going and when you should be home so they know to start looking in the woods for your body if you don't come home.  "MY EYE IS TWITCHING!"  Yikes.
  6. Pick up your feet.  You can't shuffle-run when you trail run.  High knees and balance are key.  I just about biffed it 10 feet into my first run of the season.  Nothing more embarrassing.
  7. Bugs.  Don't forget your bug spray.  There's nothing cool about scratching bug bites.
  8. Fluids.  Just because you are in the woods doesn't mean you don't get dehydrated.  Bring fluids.
  9. Bring a sense if humor.  I haven't been on trails since March.  If you are all serious out there and getting mad you had to clip out for balance or walk some technical parts, then where's the fun in that?

Have fun out there on the trails!

Runfinish Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog , married father of two young kids, owner of two dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001 from 5k's to Half Ironmans.  Ryan is also the Kansas City Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughts HERE and he collects race reviews at .  Contact Ryan at: or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan .

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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