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Out of the Gym and Onto the Trails

In celebration of Global Running Day, which was on June 3, I asked guest presenters Tom and Donnie Flahavan about the day and how people can start a running program. Even though The Ranch was closed, many of our guests and staff participated in their own runs or walks as a celebration of wellbeing and strength.

  1. What is Global Running Day? It is a day that celebrates the sport of running and is held on the first Wednesday of June. Before the quarantine, participants were encouraged to complete a run with their community. Last year The Ranch sponsored a Lululemon Global Running Day 5K in San Diego, California. It was great to see people of all ages and abilities participating in the event.
  2. What do you feel is the future of running, especially during these interesting times? The sport is in a growth mode! People are finding that running is one of the easiest things to do and does not take a lot of time or equipment. The closure of gyms has inspired people to exercise outdoors. Running is an activity you can do at a social distance while getting fresh air and vitamin D in your body.
  3. How would someone go about starting a running program today? First, get the right fitting shoes. This is the most critical piece of equipment you will need to start a running program. You must also walk before you run. Once you can walk consistently for approximately 30 minutes, you can begin to add a few minutes of light running. One example would be to start walking for 10 minutes, followed by one minute of running, then one minute of walking and repeat this cyle five-times. End with 10 minutes of walking. Most brand new runners can find these types of programs by searching for “couch to 5k plans” online, or on runner specific websites. Most importantly, give your body time to adapt and do not go too fast.
  4. You were scheduled to teach this week at The Ranch during Global Running Day. How are The Ranch’s trails, and can you explain the trail running program? Rancho La Puerta has some of the most beautiful trails in the West. The Ranch staff takes great care and pride in the land and keeps all the trail conditions perfect for their guests. The running program is designed for all abilities. We attract a lot of good runners, former runners, and run-curious guests. We teach four 45-minute clinics covering basic running form along with uphill and downhill skills. We then bring it all together with a fun finale at the top of the Alex Oak trail. We also lead morning trail runs on the same daily hike route. The trail distance varies from three to six miles.
  5. Why is The Ranch a good choice for runners or ‘run curious’ guests? The Ranch offers many fitness and wellness choices every day. As a runner, it is important to work on strength, flexibility, and balance. Running is such a repetitive activity; it can lead to injuries if the body gets out of balance. We encourage runners to try all the classes, and a massage during downtime. Yoga, stretch, and foam roller are the most popular complement to the running group. We also like the fact that there are pool classes like H2O Bootcamp that challenge even the strongest of guests.
  6. What is one piece of advice that you tell Ranch guests who join your program? We encourage each person to enjoy their special week. We always say at every meetup, “Any pace is perfect because it is about moving your body and being grateful for what it gives you.”

Refresh your trail knowledge with a few more tips from Flahavan Ultra Coaching.