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Lately I’ve grown a little tired of the same old seawall run and all the trials and tribulations that come with it. 

You know the one: At every corner you’re avoiding some careless dog owner who’s allowed 20 feet of leash to be stretched out across the path, which will inevitably trip the sketchy muscle man going way too fast for his own good in his new inline skates. Don’t get me wrong, dipping and dodging the seawall on a sunny weekend can be great time, but sometimes it’s nice to work out in peace. 

Over the weekend I decided to take a different approach to the normal hustle and grind work out of lapping false creek and headed due north for the trails of the shore. Of course, being a new comer to the vast amount of interconnecting trails that resemble a spider web, I went with the most obvious option and ran the course we will all be treading on in just a few short weeks.

If you’re a newcomer to wilderness running like I was, here are a few tips to keep in mind when hitting the trails. 

Don't bite off more than you can chew...
Get comfortable in your new surroundings before embarking on a marathon through the wild. Remember you are now dealing with uneven, sometimes soft, sometimes slick surfaces that will require you to exude some extra energy into the concentration of each and every step you take. Once you have conquered a few runs you’ll notice your pace and awareness sharpen and you’ll be blazing trails in no time.
Posture is key...
Running these types of trails and taking down some of the steeps that exist on the shore will leave the best runners short of breath. Your natural reaction to running up hill is to drop and bend forward thus leaving your lungs gasping for more air. Count on your legs to handle the incline and keep your body upright... and as Jodi Eckland wrote this week: Just Breathe! Take mental note of what is three to four feet ahead of you and your body will react accordingly.

Gear up...
While cool tank tops and flashy shoes catch some attention when pushing pavement, you seriously want to consider finding trail compatible gear if you’re looking to make regular trips to the shore’s trails. I’m not saying go out and dump a bunch of cash on a whole new kit, but dress smart. As we all know North Vancouver is sometimes in its own weather bubble. One item I do suggest investing in would be a good set of trail shoes. I personally use the Columbia Peakfreak which to me, are the Cadillac of trail running shoes.

Look for something lightweight that has a decent tread and most of all, something with a little support and low to the ground to avoid rolling ankles or twisting knees. 

I hope to see some of you next weekend as we all get ready for our final week of preparation before a great run for a great cause. Thanks for reading, and if you haven't registered for Seek the Peak yet, there's still time!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll find this info useful in your training not only for Seek the Peak, but for your overall fitness goals.

— Brad

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Please be aware, Altitudes Bistro is undergoing renovation. Lunch service with the Altitudes menu will be available in The Observatory beginning at 11am. Grouse Grind Coffee Bar is open 7:00am-10:00pm serving Grill Board menu items. The Observatory will be open 5:00pm - 10:00pm.