Cross training for the trails | SierraSun.com

Cross training for the trails

Peter FainRunning on Dirt

Iandamp;#8217;m spending more and more time on a bike these days. I donandamp;#8217;t quite get the same satisfaction that I do when Iandamp;#8217;m running, but itandamp;#8217;s much better than doing nothing at all. Seriously, itandamp;#8217;s actually pretty fun.Most of the same trails I run are available to bikes, only a few have restrictions andamp;#8212; the Pacific Crest Trail, portions of the Tahoe Rim Trail and wilderness areas. Besides that, the mountain is free to challenge. Iandamp;#8217;m going to share one of of my favorite bike workouts plus a couple of other options as well to mix it up.

This a really fun out-and-back ride. The Emigrant Trail up along Alder Creek road is, for the most part, in good shape. There are only a few creek crossings and a small handful of really rocky sections. The trail has a gradual incline to the Tahoe Donner Camp site, which is about 4 miles. From there you cross the road and start some good climbing. This is where those little gears come in handy. The trail is still firm, so it is relatively easy to ride up (in a small gear, that is). Soon you reach the top and pop out on fire roads near the Tahoe Donner Nordic center. From here up you ride fire roads. But at this point youandamp;#8217;ve been going up for 5 miles, so the last 3 on a fire road are helpful. If you donandamp;#8217;t know your way in the trail system, prepare yourself for a few detours on your way up. Chances are youandamp;#8217;ll make a wrong turn a few times, but just remember, youandamp;#8217;re going up. That should point you in the right direction. Once at the top, enjoy the view of Donner Lake, Negro Canyon and Euer Valley, to name a few of the awesome views from this point. Drink some fluid, eat GU and enjoy the long trek back down.

My newfound workout, if you can call it that, is splitting wood. Donandamp;#8217;t laugh. Iandamp;#8217;ve split wood before but never really thought of getting a workout out of it. It always seemed like a chore. Now itandamp;#8217;s a workout.The explosive power needed when swinging the maul axe and the moving of the rounds exerts a lot of energy. When in I get in rhythm I can get my heart rate up to a point where my legs are trembling. Weird when itandamp;#8217;s my upper body doing the work. An hour of that and Iandamp;#8217;ve had a satisfying workout. My core has been challenged and my shoulders got a great workout too, all the while maintaining a heart rate above 140 beats per minute.I was going to talk about swimming, but since I swim as well a river rock, I feel that should be left to someone who can actually do it. If you donandamp;#8217;t mind cold water, you should throw that in the mix too. Last note, since I wont be running anymore this season. I wonandamp;#8217;t be able to write from current experience, so I would love to get some questions you may have. Itandamp;#8217;s probable that others may have the same questions.andamp;#8212; Peter Fain is a local trail runner who competes regularly in regional trail races and snowshoe runs in the winter. He may be contacted at runondirt@gmail.com.