Running in the Woods in Winter

News & Results

03/17/2006| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen
Charles and Paul with dog Max at Lost Lake. Photo copyright Paul Rogen/Roadcycling.com.
Charles and Paul with dog Max at Lost Lake. Photo copyright Paul Rogen/Roadcycling.com.

Running in the Woods in Winter

Running is a good set-up for a strong cycling season.

Deep winter has finally settled in here along the
Connecticut
shoreline.   Yesterday, after I ran in the woods near my home, I did a short bike ride down to Sachem Head along the water and pedaled home through the beginnings of a drizzling storm that intensified overnight and left us covered in ice and snow this morning.   Temperature this morning is near 20 degrees F, a change of over 30 degrees in 24 hours.   It is Sunday, nobody is moving.   However, I get a call from, Charles, my running pal of fifteen years standing.  If it wasn?t for him pestering me, I probably wouldn?t be moving today either.  

 

We soon agree on a time to meet at The Spot.    I don the same grubby sweats from yesterday?s run which charges up my dog, Will.   He knows as soon as I touch my trail running shoes it is time to get ready for big fun.   Charles and I live on opposite sides of a thirteen hundred acre wooded area - the Westwoods- so we meet at a split on the trails we have termed The Spot.   He brings his dog, I bring mine.   We both have nearly a mile to run to get there so the warm-up is covered before we rendezvous.   We then proceed down the trail to
Lost Lake and usually stop to take a gander at the view south to Long Island Sound.   We then turn back north and drop down a fifty foot decent and plod up a narrow canyon back to The Spot.   The total run is between 4 and 5 miles and takes us forty to fifty minutes.

 

 

It is as simple and healthy as can be imagined.    The terrain is quite varied and blocked by roots, rocks and downed trees.   That is what turns a simple winter run into an obstacle course.    We hop, step and jump our way through the woods.   It is a varied, full winter workout.   It is not fast running and you seldom settle into a steady pace.   It means that you get not only an aerobic workout, but also need to traverse an agility course.    The dogs love it and run twice our distance.   My dog, Will, is an English Setter and he can easily put in 10- 20 miles on a good run.   He usually insists on being in front but comes back to check every few minutes to make sure we are following along.   He also ranges across the swamps and up the cliffs and rock ledges of the Eastern mixed forest that makes up the Westwoods.   I whistle if he has not shown in five minuets and shortly he pops up and screeches to a halt on the trail to turn and head out scouting again.   Charles? dog, Maxine is more tempered and herds along with us.   However, if Will comes too close, Max will give a

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