Running in the mountains isn’t easy, but it doesn’t always have to be difficult either. It’s one of those disciplines that is both inspiring and intimidating. Running uphill can be very challenging, but once on the top you’re treated to the best views, fresh air and an unmatched sense of accomplishment.
For the past few years the sport of trail running in general—and mountain running in particular—has been gaining popularity, with many traditional road runners beginning to enjoy the training and visceral elements the trails have to offer.
But how do you get started? How should you train? If you’ve ever visited or lived in a mountain community like Bend, Ore., Boulder, Colo., or Asheville, N.C., you know what running up a mountain can involve. But how can you get better?
The training involved for a mountain race is like a bag of trail mix with a little bit of everything thrown in. Let’s get to it.