New and exciting changes are in the air this season for Durango Motorless Transits weekly trail runs.
After surveying club members, it was determined that Wednesdays work better for the majority, so DMT is partnering with Backcountry Experience to offer weekly group trail runs from April 17 through Oct. 16.
Jim Nichols, who has been organizing the trail runs for the last 12 years, hopes the changes will make the runs more casual and attractive to everyone.
For some reason, more and more people seemed intimidated by the speed and length of the runs, Nichols said. By teaming up with Backcountry Experience and scheduling two leaders, we hope to do a better job meeting the group expectations for the run.
DMT President Jill Badalati has been working with the board this year to put more focus on the DMT website, social media and offering more scheduled workouts for members throughout the year.
Our goal is to further connect with the Durango running community, Badalati said. The trail runs will now have a leader and a sweeper, thereby making all levels feel more comfortable attending and not feel like they are being left behind.
A kickoff party for the first trail run is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 17 at Backcountry Experience with food and beverages after the run. This is a great opportunity for runners to come out and see what the trail runs are like and meet other local runners.
Changes also have been made to the DMT track workouts with the hiring of coach and professional triathlete Marisa Asplund. Beginning May 2, track workouts will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Durango High School track.
We will do roughly 3 to 4 miles of different intervals and change some workouts to accommodate different races and levels, Asplund said.
She plans to modify times for runners to attract all levels.
Weekly mileage should be a minimum of 12 before starting speed work, Asplund said. The advantages you will get fast. Period. There is really nothing else that can replace a track workout.
An old saying that a coach of hers used that she has adopted is: If you train long and slow, thats the way you will run long and slow.
Whether youre distance training, want to drop a few pounds or just want to connect with other runners for some healthy competition and camaraderie, these are open to everyone. Asplund emphasizes that the benefits of speed work take time.
Give it a solid month or basically four hard workouts before trying to measure gains, she said. A mile time trial is the perfect measure.
Whether you are interested in trail running or getting faster, these changes offer something for all levels of runners to choose from. The goal is to bring walkers and runners of all abilities to the workouts and create more camaraderie.
Running often can be a solitary endeavor, however, joining others is both fun and motivating. Meeting new runners, learning the local trails, picking up your pace and stepping out of your comfort zone can take your running to a whole new level.
For more information and a schedule of the runs, visit the DMT website at www.go-dmt.org.
Reach Marjorie Brinton at email@example.com.