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Why I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions and why it’s the perfect time to make them

January 5th, 2016

This is your year

 

 

 

 

 

Usually when I hear about people’s New Year’s resolutions, they are very general or a broad sweeping statement.  “I’m going to run a marathon this year” “I’m going to eat healthier in 2016” Sound familiar? There is nothing wrong with these thoughts, and in fact they are very positive things to work towards.  The largest problem we see with these types of statements is that they aren’t specific or measurable.  What is the goal of the marathon, a bucket list item or are you racing for a competitive time?  Is the marathon the final goal, or is it a step towards another race? When would you like to complete it and what type of training are you going to do leading up to the race? These are just some of the types of questions we want to answer before determining we are going to exercise more.  Getting specific will help you figure out an appropriate plan. 

The second thing we want to do is create a measurable goal, rather than a general statement.  The easiest way in this case is to set a time you’d like to finish under.  Next I would suggest picking a specific race, so that you can work backwards and create a training plan to help you achieve your goal time.  This is something you can measure, and after creating a specific measureable goal like this, you are far more likely to stick with it and commit to this goal. 

Now here we are, the start of a new year, and this is the perfect time to make a resolution.  There is something alluring about the start of a new year, and while any of the changes you’d like to make could have happened in November, January is here.  People are in the mood to make changes, so let your friends, family, co-workers know what your New Year’s resolutions are.  The difference this year is that you are going to act on them.  Take your broad sweeping statement and really think about it.  Start to break that down into specific and measurable goals.  Create mini goals along the way if yours is more of a long term goal.  We need to stay motivated by the bigger picture, but we also need to see results along the way.  Don’t let this year’s resolution turn into the same for 2017.

Top 5 Reasons to Try TrailCross

September 1st, 2015

September has started and you’re probably thinking about which running events you’re going to squeeze in before race season closes. There are many options out there and it’s difficult to make a decision on which events to attend.  With that being said, there is no better time than now to provide you with some reasons why you should try TrailCross. Here are our top 5:

A truly unique race format

TrailCross is the only event of its kind in Canada. Unlike most running events, TrailCross is a tournament-style event, where if you run well, you move on. You won’t be racing against a clock, only the people next to you. You can worry less knowing that you won’t have to keep up a specific pace or achieve a personal best to have a good run.

No long distance training required

Not up to 20 or 30 km for your training runs? No problem! Don’t worry if you’re not the next Dean Karnazes or Scott Jurek, because TrailCross courses are only 1-2 km in length. You’ll have to run the course a few times if you plan on making the finals, but at least you’ll have breaks in between to catch your breath.

Epic courses

Our courses might be short in distance, but they’re not what we would call easy (or boring). If you like a bit of a challenge and can handle a few hills then TrailCross is made for you. Combine this with some scenic local trails and you have the perfect setting for a trail running event.

A chance to beat your friends

Why not call up your friends and get them to sign up with you? TrailCross can be even more fun when you’re racing against your pals. Create your own friendly competition and see which of you or your friends can make it the farthest.

Great prizes

How does some extra cash in your pocket sound? Gift cards? Gym passes? Not only can you have a fun time at TrailCross but you can potentially walk away with a sweet prize. Double whammy!

Well, that should be enough to convince you that signing up for a TrailCross event is going to be a smart decision. Our goal is to create a memorable race day experience for all of our racers and we feel that we’ve created an event that will do just that.  We hope to see you soon!

Visit our Races page for details on each of our 5 events scheduled for 2015.  

How to Approach an Interval Workout

August 5th, 2015

We have all done them, or at least heard about them. Speed work,  interval workouts, HIIT, these are all similar ways to describe the often feared interval  workout. These are usually all out efforts, and can be very tough not only physically, but mentally to get through  as well. Here is an approach that I have learned that has worked for me.

Often times when we have a workout to do, we look at the entire workout as one session. So if I'm running hill repeats and this day calls for 10 repeats, each time I run that hill I'm either counting how many I've done, or how many I still have left.  For most of us this can lead to a slower pace, therefore not getting as much out of that workout as possible, assuming it's an all out effort workout.  Personally I have limited time to workout, so I'm looking to get everything I can out of each workout.

 

A little while ago I read "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell.   In this book Marcus describes Hell Week in his military training.   Hell Week is described as one of if not the hardest things to complete in military training.  In his training, he described how mentally tough it was to make it through the week, and he would often see other recruits drop out as they felt like they could not endure the entire week.  His approach rather, was to make it to the next meal.   All he had to do was make it through the training exercise until the next time they got to eat.  This way he was able to focus solely on the task at hand, look at the week in very small segments, rather than one impossible week.

Now before I receive countless emails or comments, I am in no way comparing Hell Week or any other type of military training to my hill runs in my local park.  What I'm saying is I use the same segmented mental approach for my workouts.  I break each interval down into the single interval.  If the hill will take me 1 minute to run, I focus on what effort I need to put out to make that minute, or see if I can dig a little deeper and break that minute mark.  This allows me to maximize each effort individually, rather than constantly thinking about the entire workout.

 

This approach is not easy, and it can be very easy to stray your thoughts on to the larger picture.  Try it out and see what you think, or share any interval tips you may have.

Become a TrailCross Burlington Trailblazer!

June 27th, 2015

Looking for a new athletic challenge?  Enjoy sharing your fitness pursuits with your friends and followers? Wouldn’t mind earning a few extra bucks?  If you answered yes to each of these questions (or even 2 of the 3) then TrailCross Burlington would love to have you join our team! 

TrailCross Burlington is looking for 10 local running or fitness fanatics that are social media savvy and would love to help promote an exciting new race format and brand. TrailCross is the only event of its kind in the GTA, combining trail running with the format of a ski cross race.

What’s in it for me?

To start you will get a free entry for TrailCross Burlington on Sept. 12 and some complimentary race swag.  But more importantly, we want to reward you for every race registration you help generate! You’ll earn a payout of 20% of the registration fee for every referral, with absolutely no limit in place for the number of racers you can recruit!

How should I promote the event?

It’s really up to you, but our suggestion is to leverage the tools you have at your disposal (eg. social media, email, blog/website) to reach an relevant audience for our type of event. You’ll likely have the most success when speaking to runners, fitness enthusiasts, team sport athletes and CrossFitters. We welcome you to get creative!

How do I sign up to become a Trailblazer?

It’s simple! Send an email with your interest to TrailCross Burlington race director Matt Train – trainmatthew@gmail.com.  Include your full name, the city/town you live in, and where you can be found on social media.

When can I get started?

Today! The more time you have to promote the race before Sept. 12, the more time you’ll have to earn referral income!  

More Than a Slogan

June 7th, 2015

You’ve seen our slogan on the website, on Facebook or Twitter, maybe even attached to some photos.  Train. Trail. Repeat.  Sounds pretty cool right, and really fits with what our race is all about.  You have to train for the race.  When you get there you will certainly run on some trails.  And with our format you are going to repeat this course a couple times. 

However Train. Trail. Repeat. represents much more to us than the actual race and the training leading  up to it.  Each word represents an aspect of your life that is important and should be celebrated.  Let’s take a look at what we mean.

Train.  This is the training for an upcoming race, goal or milestone you have set to be completed.  Races are fun, but for some losing weight is the goal first, or simply exercising X number of times per week is what’s needed to get back on track.  The training is the daily routine and habits you create to achieve that goal.  It requires discipline, effort and consistency.  This is where you are putting in the work.  Sometimes you have great training days, and sometimes you feel like you aren’t progressing at all.  Just stick with it.  Creating good training habits can also carryover to other areas of your life, or even affect others.  We know by now that when you exercise you can feel happier, be more productive, and even inspire others to work out with you, or set goals for themselves.  So really the Train part is about creating positive habits in your life, and sticking to them. 

Trail.  We also need goals, or a reason to train.  Simply hitting the trails or the gym because we know it’s good for us isn’t enough.  You need to attach a goal to the training to keep yourself motivated and give yourself a reason to wake up at 5am to get in a run, even though the last few runs have felt horrible.  Run a TrailCross race yes, but set goals outside of your comfort zone.  Try a new sport, or set a goal to run a race in every continent.  When you attach something tangible to the training, it gives you focus on why you are doing this every day.

Repeat.  This might be the most important one.  Repeat means being able to do what you love or what you want to do again and again throughout your lifetime.  Training and racing is fun and exciting, but shouldn’t come at the cost of other areas of your life.  Relationships shouldn’t suffer because of how bad you want to win a race.  Olympians and professional athletes may be exempt from this for a time being, but those are conversations they’ve had long before the competition.  For the rest of us, train hard to enjoy your life.  Perhaps you can bring the entire family into parts of your training so that you can spend time with them while everyone is being active.  Training and racing should also not be so intense that you sacrifice your health for one single event.  Stay healthy, eat well, sleep lots, do mobility work and race again next year.

Everyone is out to find that perfect catchy slogan.  We think training and physical activity should be a staple in everyone’s lives, not just your typical athletes.  We all have goals and dreams, what are yours and how are you training for them?

Train. Trail. Repeat.

What to Expect from a TrailCross Race

March 16th, 2015

TrailCross is a completely different style of race.  Any time you attempt a new race or a new distance, you want to know what that race is actually going to feel like.  You may have completed a road race or trail race in the past.  No doubt you trained for those, did time trails, maybe even had a chance to run the course before race day.   You likely had a pretty good idea of what that race was going to feel like from start to finish.

So when taking on a TrailCross race, what is it going to feel like?  The courses are never the same, and the distances can vary.  You know you are going to race against other people, and for the most part the terrain is on trails or grass.  So pretty much like a trail race right?  Not quite, you forgot about the heats.  Everyone will be divided into heats as they register.  This could be anywhere from 5-15 depending on each race or location.  The heats will be much quicker than a pace you would run for anything longer than around 20 minutes.  The goal of the heats is survival.  You have to place in the top half each heat to move on, so you want to make sure you stay ahead.

After Round 1 is where things will differ from a traditional race.  You’ve just completed a fairly fast run, but now you have to recover and get ready to run again.  Staying hydrated, maybe a small snack, or staying loose with some light running are all things that you may want to consider before your next heat.  You also had a chance to run the course now, and now is the time to start thinking strategy.  Maybe there is a point on the course where you know you can make up time, or a spot to ease up because you know you cannot pass easily.  All of these considerations will help with the remaining rounds.

Depending on your ability, you may run up to 5 rounds.   If you are fast enough to get all the way to the finals, you’ve run 4 heats already, and as the rounds progress the rest in between your heats gets shorter and shorter.  Your times may start to drop as each round is a tough run, but for the finals you have to empty the tank.  The final heat is for all the marbles, and should be a 100% effort.  There is nothing to save energy for, this is it.  Perhaps there are a few runners who still have a good amount of energy left.  We hope you had a chance to see some other heats and see how they run, and where you are going to need to pass and where to start that final kick.  The last heat will certainly not feel great, it may be the fastest of the day, but it’s going to feel amazing when you cross that finish line in first place.

6 weeks to TrailCross

March 17th, 2014

Are you ready to take the next step in becoming a champion? 

Whether you are looking to win it all or you goal is to survive 5 heats of our TrailCross course and live to tell your friends, our 6 week training plan will have you gasping for air before the race....not during it. 

Download the pdf

 

Why is a TrailCross course so short?

February 2nd, 2014

I’ve been asked why our courses are so short, compared to the average trail or even road race out there.  Our courses range between 1-2km, compared to the majority of races that start at 5km and increase from there.  Here are just a few reasons why TrailCross is short.

1)      Long distances bore me.  I understand the importance of long distance training, and certainly do include it in my training.  However I’m a CrossFitter at heart, and a short 5-10 minute effort is right in my wheelhouse.

2)      Interval training will help you win TrailCross, and interval training can also be beneficial to help you excel in other sports.  So athletes from all disciplines can compete in our races to test their training.

3)      Our race format was designed to level the playing field of all different athletes.  The longer the race, the athlete who focuses training on running only will naturally have a massive advantage.  However a shorter burst of energy may just allow an athlete who spends far less time running a chance to win our event. 

4)      We can host our races anywhere.  Our goal is to have races across North America, and there may not be a long trail system where we’d like to host a race.  Since we need such a small distance, the possibilities are endless to host a race.  If you’d like to see a race in your area, please let us know!

So there it is, a bit of background on why our races are so short.  Yes, our heats will be much quicker than your average race, and that’s part of the fun.  Whether you are participating, volunteering, or just coming to spectate, the day will be packed full of action. 

 

Sean Sinclair

TrailCross Founder

Race Day!

August 8th, 2013

Well Racers it's go time!

We are excited to see you all down at Terwillegar Park this Saturday August 10th, 2013 at 7am for our first ever TrailCross event presented by New Balance.

We are asking that racers please arrive early, no later than 7:30 AM PST in order to check in, get the necessary ID, and leave enough time for some playful banter with your competitors.

The first round of races for men and women will commence at 8am following some brief instruction and warm-up led by CrossFit Machine Shop. Heats will be sent off every 5 minutes until the first round is completed. The women will head out first followed by the men.

The second round will commence after a brief 15-minute break to configure the second round heats. Remember that even if you finish poorly in the first round you will have the opportunity to continue on with a strong finish in the consolation round (Round 2). Please note that the exact number of racers advancing will depend on exact final registration numbers.

Rounds 3-5 will continue to eliminate runners until 6 male and 6 female runners remain for the finals.

A 15-minute grace period will be given before the finals take place, and will start at 12pm. The women will race to completion and once the women have finished the men’s final will follow.

Water and food will be available throughout the day thanks to our generous sponsors. Washrooms are available on site and our sponsors will be setting up tents to promote their various ventures. HART will also be on site and volunteers will be prepared to watch your dogs if you would like to bring them down to the park for the day.  HART will have adoptable dogs out all day, fundraising items for sale and will have a donation bin for dog supplies.  

It is also recommended to bring some insect repellent and sun screen….safety first!

Don't forget to bring your friends and family! Registration is open until tomorrow night at 11:59 PST if there are any stragglers out there. If you bring a dog supply donation for HART, we may even let you register the morning of the race.

Good luck and we will see you all Saturday! Remember, all you need to do is Win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGXzlRoNtHU

Fast Trax TrailCross Workout

July 3rd, 2013

We have a very exciting event to get you ready for the first ever TrailCross event in Edmonton.  On July 17, Fast Trax will be holding a special workout to help you prepare, and give you a little taste as to what TrailCross is all about.  We are also going to hook you up with a discount for registering, and Fast Trax is going to hook you up with a discount for all your training and race day gear.  

Where:            Fast Trax Run & Ski Shop
7326 101 Avenue 
Edmonton, Alberta
T6A 0J2

When:             Wednesday July 17, 6pm

What else:      For joining this workout, we are going to offer everyone a 25% discount on race registration if you signup that night. 

Also, just for coming out the the workout, you will receive a 15% discount on any Fast Trax merchandise.  Get outfitted properly to train and crush the first ever TrailCross race.

This is a free workout, no need to signup in advance.  Just come out for a free workout and receive some pretty sweet incentives along the way.

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