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Tips for Cold Weather City Running

Dec 31, 2019 2:44:00 PM

Emily gears up for a run along the Burlington, VT Waterfront. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

I haven’t always been a runner, but it certainly feels as if it’s woven into my DNA. I’m not fast, my form could use some work, and I don’t run a lot of races. But I do know, when I don’t run, I’m not the best version of myself. The more I run, the more true that last statement is. Not only do I love it, but I need it. Last summer was my first consistent season of training, and compared to now, it was minimal. I started to increase my mileage and accomplished some goals I never thought were possible. I ran the Pemi Loop in a day (a popular 31.5 mile loop in White Mountains of New Hampshire) and after that I was absolutely hooked. It wasn’t even completing the loop that hooked me, it was the training. I thoroughly enjoyed training, pushing my limits, and seeing growth. Then we moved to Vermont, in the middle of November, and there was a foot and a half of snow on the ground. Long story short, my training fell apart.

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Sam and friends run along the Waterfront in Burlington, VT. Can you spot him? Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Many of us come to Vermont so we can do fun things outside, and some of us just have to be outside to get to work or maintain our health. Whatever the motivation, we Vermonters generally lead busy outdoor lives year round: work, play, drive, walk, run, workout, hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, go go go.

With so many active people sharing outdoor space, accidents can occur. Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors has stories of tragic incidents and near misses. We all must take care to avoid accidents when outside, and one important way to reduce risk is to make yourself visible so others can avoid you.

Being seen while you recreate, commute or work, can be as common sense as not wearing all black for your walk back to your car at dusk, but industry groups have established standards for high visibility equipment (Check out ANSI/ISEA 107-2010). Many sporting goods companies like Brooks, Louis Garneau, and Nathan have combined their own research with observance of industry standards to produce high-visibility garments and accessories specifically for outdoor recreation.

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Allison runs through the woods at Hunger Mountain during a training run, in preparation for the Race To The Top Of Vermont on August 25. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Sometimes the sports we love end up putting us in situations of discomfort. There are days where we are crazy enough to go skiing in below zero temperatures; or days when you force yourself to run in 90°F, 100% humidity, because the clock is counting down on that race you signed up for. Can anything ease the torture of the crazy things we do to ourselves? Of course! Get the gear that will aid to your comfort.

When it comes to running, I've always been a bit of a wimp. I don’t like running in the rain, wind, or cold. It takes me a least a mile before I get into my groove. If my tongue sticks to the top of my dry mouth, I want to thrash into a temper tantrum. Something as simple as a hair tie that won’t hold can ruin a whole run.

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Comments | Posted in News Events Expert Tips Running By Allison Kozar

Allison reaches the top of Hunger Mountain on a training run; she is preparing for the Race To The Top Of Vermont on August 25 in Stowe, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Am I really running this again? The phrase I’ve asked myself for the past three years before committing to my favorite mountain race, and during the entirety of training. I don’t consider myself a serious runner; I feared running the mile as a gymnastic requirement, and never expected it would be an activity I would seek out in adulthood. After a great winter of fitting ski boots at Skirack, I found my passion for selling gear. Since I’m not a biker, I brought my feet fitting skills to the run department.

I learned quickly that you can’t relate to the person of whom you’re fitting shoes without going through similar experiences. So, with the encouragement of my co-workers, I dipped my toe into the running pool. Before I knew it I was signing up for 5k races, and then ran my first 10k - the furthest distance I had ever gone before. My personal accomplishments were empowering, but I found myself becoming bored with road running.

Like many runners, I lack the motivation to train unless I’m signed up for a race, and I wanted to do something different. That’s I when I discovered a 4.3 mile uphill race with a 2,500ft elevation gain: The Race To The Top Of Vermont. The run ( which you can also bike or hike) is straight up the Toll Road on Mount Mansfield, located in Stowe, Vermont. This popular annual event is organized by the Catamount Trail Association and is in its 11th year.

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Comments | Posted in News Events Expert Tips Running By Allison Kozar

Catamount Ultra 25K: Race Day

Jun 27, 2019 4:56:00 PM

Skirack's Chloe Egan makes her way to the Catamount Ultra 25K finish line on June 22. Photo: Ironwood Adventure Works.

Well it’s Wednesday morning and I can go down stairs quickly again. The Catamount Ultra 25K (part of the Salomon Running Festival) was unlike anything I have ever done and proved to be just as difficult as I suspected. All in all I’m really glad I did it. Thinking back, the race exists in my brain as a series of four segments in which my running style got progressively wilder and slower.

The weather was near perfect last Saturday (June 22) at the start and I stood shivering next to my Skirack colleague Sara Falconer, feeling excited and ready to go. My legs felt surprisingly fresh and it seemed like my bizarre combination of post Vermont City Marathon rest, low-milage and hill training had done the trick. This actually proved true; at no point in the race did I feel under trained in a general fitness sense, although I did feel vastly under trained when it came to this type of race. Basically, I felt fit but slow if that makes any sense.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Skirack's Chloe (front), Brittany (middle), and Sara (back) scramble up a steep hill, while on a training trail run at Lone Rock Point in Burlington, VT. They are preparing to race in the Catamount Ultra 25K/50K on June 22. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

I’m less than two weeks away from racing the Catamount Ultra 25Kon June 22 and this trail running business is still a mystery. I feel like I’ve been working on individual elements but I haven’t put the pieces together. I think I have endurance built up from my Vermont City Marathon half training, but it’s been a bit of a weird transition going from recovery back into 25K trail training in early June.

I know I can run 15.5 miles, but I have never ever run such a long distance on this kind of terrain. My coworker Brittany Beland, who will be racing the 50k - double my distance, has previewed the Trapp Family Lodge course and confirmed my suspicions. The first 6 miles of this course will likely be the most difficult kind of racing I have ever done. It’s going to be steep and slow.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Mountain Dew

Jun 3, 2019 4:56:41 PM

Skirack's Brittany (front), Chloe (center), and Sara (back) on a training run at Lone Rock Point in Burlington, VT. They are preparing to race in the Catamount Ultra 25K/50K on June 22. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Trail running. The simultaneously more intense and more laid back version of road running. Back country running. I have to admit I don’t know a lot about the culture and sport, but I have my first Vermont summer in a while stretching out in front of me and I’m ready to dive in.

When I think of trail running, I remember reading Born to Run, a paperback I purchased from the downtown Borders and read during an angst-ridden senior year of high school. I recall a passage describing this phenom ultra runner’s favorite mid-race refuel. I read that she would pause to ingest a Mountain Dew along with a slice of pizza and my head exploded. I was afraid to eat mayonnaise on a sandwich six hours before my heat of the 800m at the Burlington Invite. Trail runners had to be a different breed.

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Comments | Posted in Events Running Training and Nutrition By Chloe Egan

Meet Chloe Egan

May 26, 2019 10:20:00 AM

Meet Chloe Egan

Hometown: Burlington, VT

Years of Experience: I'm new to Skirack's Run Department with 10+ years of running/racing experience.

Outside Interests and Hobbies: Running, Nordic skiing, hiking, writing plays, playing the piano, buying succulents, and eating bagel sandwiches.

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Comments | Posted in Meet Our Staff Running By Chloe Egan

Emily

You are so strong. Look down at your legs and flex your quads and think about how hard you’ve worked up to this point. With 3-4 months of training behind us, we are now only days away from the Vermont City Marathon.

I was feeling waves of nerves and excitement up to this point, especially as I began to taper. With only 2 weeks to go, all I wanted to do was ease my mind by running harder, faster, and stronger. But that was the opposite. It was quite luxurious I’ll admit to drop my mileage and be able to fit in all my runs during the day or spontaneously in the morning before work. However, the first week of tapering was mentally and physically challenging for me. My body wasn’t used to feeling satisfied by shorter runs, but then again that’s what it needed. The importance of tapering is that your legs can relax and feel lighter before a race by allowing them to store carbohydrates and glycogen, your race day fuel.

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Dress to Impress (Yourself)

Apr 4, 2019 12:38:12 PM

Emily

The sun’s beaming, the snow’s softening, and it's finally time to shed those layers! I love the winter, but this time of year is so special. Everyone is ridiculously happy and we get to see blue sky’s multiple days in a row. It almost makes you want to scream, “We made it!”

With the change of seasons comes a change in how we dress while you are training for the Vermont City Marathon (or any adventure) in April . A great pro-tip would be to make sure that you keep a synthetic layer or wool and synthetic blend as your next-to-skin layer. This will help to wick moisture from your body, keep you dry, cool, happy, and out there for longer.

That being said, here are some of my new favorite pieces broken down by different scenarios.

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