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Top 5 Trail Running Shoes for 2021 - Gift Ideas

Top 5 Trail Running Shoes for 2021 - Gift Ideas

Our next article will dive more in-depth into the topic of the best trail-running shoes. As we said before, shoes are the number one gear consideration for trail running. All the backpacks, water bottles, and first-aid kits won’t matter if you are running barefoot in the snow!

 

We will cover five different running shoes, a quick overview of them, and some pros and cons we see in them. No two shoes are the same, and no two people have the same needs or comfort levels when it comes to shoes. The best thing you can do is try some of these out for yourself at your local sporting goods store and find your best fit!

 

 

  1. Norda 001 RZ

 Norda 001 x Ray Zahab Seamless Trail Running Shoes - Men's

The Norda 001 RZ is first on our list for many reasons. Norda as a brand has built its entire product line around trail running and hiking. The 001 RZ was designed by runners, for runners. It was a collaboration inspired by the Mountain Boomer collared lizard and made to handle just like a lizard on any terrain.

 

Pros:

  • One-Piece Upper Construction - This means the upper of the shoe is one piece, meaning less eams to wear out and break, giving you long life out of the shoes
  • Lightweight Vibram Sole - Vibram is an industry leader in soles, the light weight construction means less strain on your legs for longer runs
  • Vibram Sole Plate - The sole plate has deep ridges and rugged construction able to take on any trail you throw it’s way.

 

Cons:

  • Price - Some entry-level runners may not be willing to jump in at the price point these shoes start at
  • Lack of Color Options - These shoes are a collaboration and come in one color choice, if customization of colors is important, these may not be for you.  Update:Norda now has over 4 colour options available on site now. The RZ 001 was a limited Edition collaboration for the impossible2possible.com Foundation)

 

  1. S/LAB PULSAR

 SALOMON S/LAB PULSAR TRAIL RUNNING SHOE

The S/Lab Pulsar is a great option made by a well-known company. Salomon is a leader in outdoor gear of all kinds. Specializing in all types of outdoor activities, this shoe was designed after extensive research on running trails, and running them fast.

 

Pros:

  • Sock-Like Fit - The ankle area of the shoe is a lightweight mesh material made to hug the foot much like a sock. This helps combat discomfort or injury coming from feet shifting within the shoe.
  • Breathable Upper - With the entire upper being made of proprietary mesh material, you are able to have a breathable shoe without sacrificing durability
  • Precise, Curved Sole - The sole of this shoe has a unique curve allowing for better dynamics with each step and forward propulsion to navigate the trails quickly.

 

Cons:

  • Minimum Cushion - The minimum cushion of this shoe allows for slightly more reverb up the leg when running, meaning some runners may experience discomfort or soreness early on.
  • Running Terrain - Salomon rates this shoe for “Road and Mixed Terrain” style runs. For some, a run through the woods is all they need, but these shoes are not rated best for icy, snowy, muddy, or rocky conditions.

 

  1. Hoka Speedgoat 4

 Men's Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Trail Running Shoe

When making the Speedgoat 4, Hoka had one thing in mind, speed on the trails. Designed for a professional athlete, they made sure these shoes provided traction without sacrificing speed.

 

Pros:

  • MEGAGRIP - Hoka’s proprietary sole construction promises traction on the uphill and control on the downhill. THey used Vibram soles with deep set lugs to provide an off-road traction pattern ready for any terrain.
  • 3D Printed Overlay - The uppers contain a 3D PRinted overlay that ensures this shoe hugs your foot where it counts, providing increased support and comfort.
  • Width Options - No two feet are the same, there are regular width shoes, and wide shoes. This shoe comes in both options ensuring that everyone can find the most comfortable fit.

 

Cons:

  • Comfort - It offers a neutral cushion in order to provide weight reduction and stability. Some runners may feel discomfort from the lack of highly cushioned shoes.
  • Weight - While still lightweight as far as everyday shoes go, this shoe is 10.8oz, which for trail running shoes, may be heavier compared to other options.

 

  1. Saucony Peregine 11

Saucony Peregrine 11 Trail Running Shoe 

Saucony has a longstanding name amongst any kind of runners. They specialize in specific shoes for runners on any terrain. This shoe offers a great starting point with a well-known brand for trail runners without breaking the bank.

 

Pros:

  • Sticky Sole - The traction the sole provides gives runners confidence when they feel the tack of the sole meet the ground while providing longevity to the shoe, meaning it will be a favorite for years of trail running.
  • Rock Plate - Saucony included a rock plate under the sole, this provides the runner with a flexible layer of protection. This nylon layer ensures the bottoms of your feet will be protected from any hazards on the trail.
  • Padded Uppers - The uppers of this shoe provide more layers of protection while trying to maintain weight reduction. The uppers are padded for comfort and protection from snags and punctures.

 

Cons:

  • Heel Tightness - A few runners have experienced a lack of tightness or “sock-like fit” around the heel, leading to soreness and possible injuries from foot shifting.
  • Snowy Conditions - While the treads and lugs are built for trails, they do not provide added traction qualities on ice and snow.

 

  1. Brooks Catamounts

 Men's Brooks Catamount Trail Running Shoes

Brooks is another well-known brand amongst the trail running community. The Catamount lives up to the name and is a great option for trail runners looking to break the sound barrier in speed.

 

Pros:

  • TrailTack - Brooks used a unique proprietary rubber compound when developing the soles, giving users a stickiness to the ground and added wet weather traction.
  • DNA FLASH Foam - Brooks promises a responsive run, with materials that adapt to your unique stride, giving you a mutually beneficial relationship with your running shoe.
  • Rock Plate - The Catamount also offers a rockplate between the outer and mid sole, providing flexible protection from protruding rocks or other hazards on the trail.

 

Cons:

  • Sizing - Many runners have reported more play in the sizing length wise, allowing for shifting of the foot in the shoe. This can lead to injuries or soreness if you do not take the time to find the right fit for this specific shoe.
  • Stiffness - Another complaint is the stiffness in the shoe. A lack of flexibility can definitely be an issue while traversing switchbacks and obstacles, not to mention soreness in the foot.

 

 

There are hundreds of options when it comes to trail running shoes, and in a lot of ways it is a trial and error game. Always ensure that you can test the shoe out, and test the fit, not all sizing is the same and finding a shoe that hugs your foot without constricting is important. Balancing that with flexibility and durability can be intimidating. Remember, hitting the trails is fun, and in many ways is different for every person. These shoe options can give runners in any budget a great starting point. Also, if your shoe does not seem to grip the snowy or icy conditions very well, but is otherwise the perfect choice, consider adding a pair of Yatta Life Spikes to make the all around perfect trail running shoe!

Photo by Jeremy Lapak on Unsplash

           

Introduction to Trail Running: Time to Gear Up!

Introduction to Trail Running: Time to Gear Up!

The next article in our trail running series will focus on the different types of equipment you may need to hit the trails, and do so safely! We will be covering some basics, but the list is non-exhaustive, so if you find something else that may benefit you never hesitate to add on!

 

Shoes

The most important piece of equipment any runner can have is shoes. Good trail running shoes not only protect your feet from the elements, but provide orthopedic support to reduce fatigue and soreness all over your body. Trail running shoes specifically will vary from your everyday track shoes and there are a few key features you want to look for:


  • Grip: Trail shoes should have an all-terrain, thicker, knottier outsole. Think of off-road tires on a car. Good outsoles will be rugged, with deep tread to help navigate the different obstacles the trail may present.
  • Protection: The uppers of the shoes should be breathable, with a water-resistant build. Trail running will present several different environmental elements that could leave your feet soaking wet. The number-one rule when on the trail should be to keep your feet as dry as possible. This prevents not only discomfort, but injury from blisters and sores.
  • Construction: Take your shoe and bend it. The shoe should be flexible, without any visible strain on the material of the sole. The short and variable stride lengths in trail running will cause your foot to rotate and shift within the shoe, and on the ground. A rugged construction of the shoe will provide long-lasting protection to not only your foot, but your investment
  • Spikes: In the snow-filled environment, traction spikes are amazing add-ons to any shoe that will help navigate the otherwise slick terrain. Yatta Life offers a wide array of traction spikes to make you ready for any trail you embark on. (Check them out here!)

Trail running shoes come in many shapes and sizes, and many different price ranges. It is important to remember how important your feet are, not only to your trail-running journey, but to everyday life. Investing in good-quality, well-built, properly fitting shoes will take care of you for years on the trails.



Packs

Like shoes, trail-running packs are not one size fits all. There are a variety of different packs that are conducive to running, before entering the realm of hiking packs. Like any equipment, remember you are running with it, so you want something light, yet durable. There are a few different options when it comes to packs:


  • Backpack: Like the name suggests, these are packs that are held on your back. These are a great option for hydration purposes. Many times running backpacks will have a spot for a hydration bladder, leading to a hose which allows you to drink while on the move. You want to look for a light, compact backpack as you will be running with this added weight. In addition, many backpacks offer a cooling, or gel filled section that sits against your back to minimize discomfort. 
  • Waist-Pack: Otherwise known as the fanny pack, these are typically much smaller and worn via a belt around your waist. These are a great minimalist option for a quick run, or for someone who does not need to carry much. These are lightweight and come in many sizes, all still smaller than a backpack. The main benefit is that they can be accessed much easier while on the move, as opposed to a backpack that may need to be taken off to access.

Whether Backpack or Waist pack, it is essential to have somewhere to keep your gear. This allows you to be hands free and travel with a little more than what your hands can carry. Some runners may choose to wear both, the backpack being for a hydration bladder and bigger gear such as a first aid kit, while the waistpack holds snacks and other smaller gear.


Clothing and Accessories

The topic of clothing covers a wide array of options specifically built for trail running. From head to toe it is important to be prepared for whatever mother nature has in store for your run day. We will cover a few important considerations when it comes to clothing.


  • Hats: There is no one size fits all for your trail running hat choice. However, protection from the sun, rain, or cold will be the primary benefit to the hat choice. A baseball cap will protect your face from the sun preventing sunburn. There are hats specifically designed for running that will be light weight and moisture wicking. A full-brim hat, much like a “cowboy hat” provides protection around the head and neck area, and may be more suited for the rainy season as it can deflect the rain from getting to your face, or back. Lastly, a winter “skull cap” is the obvious choice when running in the cold seasons. Cold weather injuries are detrimental to the body, and can be prevented with keeping the head and ears protected. A good portion of heat is lost through the head and keeping your head and ears warm will be one less thing to worry about on your run. Like any gear, there are winter hat options made for running, again incorporating moisture wicking, lightweight technologies.
  • Neck Gaiter: Another option of protecting the neck and also the face from any sun or wind damage is a neck gaiter. Neck gaiters are tubes that go over the head and bunch around the neck almost like a scarf, they can be essential to staying warm and protecting another part of your body from the elements. They can also be pulled over the nose and mouth to keep your face protected from the inclement weather. 
  • Outerwear: Many people choose to run in shorts, after all, cardio can get pretty hot. However, in trail running, pants may come into play many times. Things like cold weather, or the threat of obstacles in the path can put your legs in danger. Tree limbs, or kicked up stones can physically hurt your legs, and finding a pair of lightweight, cooling trail running pants can prove to be essential in keeping your journey safe. In addition, coats or long-sleeve shirts are some other pieces to consider when it comes to clothing. Again, finding these clothes in a light-weight, breathable material will be important to staying comfortable and safe.

Picking out the proper clothing for trail running is just as important as picking the proper attire for a meeting, or party. Keeping your body safe, and in tune with the elements you will be exposed to is something you should consider every time you hit the trail.


Other Essential Gear:

You have the shoes, you are dressed the part, you have your pack on, but what else should you be carrying? Staying safe, hydrated, fueled, and prepared, are all things to take into account, especially as you decide to take longer trail runs. Here is a list of some good things to keep handy when you are trail running:


  • Runner Snacks - Trail Mix, energy gummies, nuts, dried fruit
  • GPS Watch/Tracker - In addition to tracking your distance or calories burned, many fitness trackers have options to get you back to your start point in case you take a wrong turn
  • Sunscreen - Even in the cold, the sun can still be harmful
  • Bug Repellant - Don’t let mosquito bites ruin the fun
  • Hydration Bladder or water bottle
  • Small First Aid Kit - Be prepared for whatever the trail throws your way
  • Cell Phone - Getting lost or hurt is never the plan, but be ready to call for help if possible
  • Socks - If your socks get wet, it is important to change into dry socks to prevent injury
  • Coat/Poncho - Even if the weather is supposed to be clear, be ready for when it isn't
  • Headlamp/Flashlight - Be prepared for when the run goes a little longer than expected
  • Traction Poles - These will help disarm the intimidating slopes by giving you an extra edge. (Check out our poles here!)


The list of gear for trail running is never ending, and non exhaustive. It is important to remember to just be prepared. Research the areas you are going to, the weather, and the climate. Be prepared for injuries, getting lost, or inclement weather. The fun of trail running is it is always different. Each challenge you are presented with is a learning opportunity, so be ready for them!

Introduction to Trail Running: Going Off The Beaten Path

Introduction to Trail Running: Going Off The Beaten Path

Welcome to our introductory trail running series where we will be covering trail running for beginners. Whether you are new to running or a seasoned road runner looking to explore trail running, this series is for you.This series of articles will cover everything you need to know to begin and continue your trail running journey. The next articles will cover everything you need to know to begin and continue your trail running journey. This series will cover the following:

  • Trail Running: Gear and Safety
  • Trail Running: Shoes
  • Trail Running: Nutrition
  • Trail Running Races and How to Find Them
  • Trail Running: Groups
  • Trail Running: Techniques and How to Improve your Experience
  • Trail Running: Running Metrics

What is Trail Running?

Trail running can be defined as any running activity not on paved roads. It takes the term “off the beaten path” literally. Being more than the distance run or the calories burned, it is all about the experience. Your heart will race not only from the cardio, but from the ever-changing views and terrains.

In trail running, you engage one of your biggest bodily assets, your mind. The difference in terrain will include several obstacles, from the uneven path to a tree root zigging and zagging across your way. Your mind will engage as you break out of your straight line running and move to a more open and cross-thinking mindset. The health benefits go beyond the mind though.

Is Trail Running better for me?

Running on an even, straight surface is a good workout. However, you will find that there are all new muscle groups that engage when you run on trails. Hills, nature, and weather will all physically change the surface, and your muscles will be the first to notice. Differences in clothing, for example, having to run in a winter coat will be much different than the same old gym shorts and t-shirt on the treadmill. Your legs will experience a change to the status quo as they are forced to engage muscles required to fall at an angle or lengthen a stride unexpectedly. You start to find that running uphill is a battle but running downhill uses many different parts of the leg to control your speed and keep you from toppling over. Your heart adapts to the changes in elevation and the adrenaline rushes while you run against a steep drop off with a breathtaking view.

Why should I start?

As you lose track of the miles, you will focus more on the beauty of nature. You will see more than the screen on your treadmill, or the same repetition of the house decorations your neighbour's put up. You will notice the wildlife, and the oddities of nature along your trail. No two trails are the same, so while you get a change of view, you force your body, muscles, and mind to adapt to new terrain each time you go out! These changes only add excitement to this sport as you realize that your five-mile run that used to take 40 minutes, now takes an hour and a half, and you don’t even notice the time difference!

Running isn’t everybody’s favorite workout. Things like the same old sound of feet hitting pavement, or the never changing view of the gym can make running boring, or uninteresting. When you introduce these new elements, your mind will thank you as your motivation soars to the top of the cliff you just traversed.

Where do I start?

These changes may seem intimidating, but remember, the speeds, lap times and paces are not the focus with trail running. The focus is getting out into nature and experiencing the trails that cover this beautiful planet. Don't hesitate to go to your local park or nature preserve, find the first trailhead you see and start running! Stay up to date with our articles to make sure you have the proper Trail Running Shoes. Whether you are a first-time runner, or your soles are worn from the same concrete path, trail running can be a great workout for everybody. It offers different views, different workouts, and different mindsets when it comes to running.

 We are sure you have a lot more questions on how to have a fun, but safe trail running journey. This series will give you insight into the basic aspects of running on the trails. We hope you find them helpful and give you the information you need to get out there and take the trails head on!

We are sure you have a lot more questions on how to have a fun, but safe trail running journey. This series will give you insight into the basic aspects of running on the trails. We hope you find them helpful and give you the information you need to get out there and take the trails head on!



Shin Splints Remedy for New Runners

Shin Splints Remedy for New Runners

Shin splints are one of the most common ailments that runners struggle with. They most commonly occur when you’ve just started running for the first time, you’ve just returned to running after some time off, or when you start training more intensely. Unfortunately they can also sometimes occur with no warning, even if your regular running habits haven’t changed. We aren’t doctors and can’t offer medical advice, but if you begin to experience what you suspect are shin splints, we have some tips you can try below.

So, what are shin splints? Essentially, shin splints are stress on your shinbone. This presents as painful inflammation in the connective tissues that attach muscles to your bones.

What is the treatment for shin splints? The good news is that they can heal on their own. The challenging news is that they need to be taken seriously to ensure they heal completely and don’t just come right back. The following are the first steps you can take if you get them:

  • Shin splints take time to heal, and you need to rest your legs completely.
  • You can ice the affected shin to ease your pain and any swelling. Apply ice for 20-30 minutes every, 3 to 4 times a day, for 2 to 3 days, or until the pain is gone.
  • Consider trying out a new pair of shoes. It’s possible that they may have reached their maximum mileage limits. If they’re still fairly new, you might consider insoles or orthotics. Since weak arches can often be the culprit behind shin splints, the extra support from inserts might be a huge help for you.
  • Incorporate a stretching routine that targets shin splints specifically.

What are some shin splint stretches? Here are a few you can try.

  1. Toe-drag stretch. This stretch will extend from the top of your foot up into your shin, the aim is to release tension and stiffness. To stretch the muscle in your shin, begin by standing up straight and slightly bending both knees. Keep one foot flat on the ground and curl the toes on the other foot under, in order to gently “drag” the top of the foot on the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds then alternate feet.
  2. A kneeling stretch. Kneel on a mat with your buttocks directly over your heels. The tops of your feet should be flat on the floor. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds. Discontinue if this causes knee comfort.
  3. Simple shin stretch. Walk around at a normal pace with your weight shifted onto your heels, with your toes off the ground slightly. Alternate the to walking on your toes, with heels lifted.

These few moves should make your calves feel gently stretched and flexible. Shin splint pain can be very discouraging, but know that if they happen to you, there are treatments for shin splints, and they won’t last forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Stretches for Runners to Help Prevent Injury

Best Stretches for Runners to Help Prevent Injury

Avid runners and those who live active lifestyles know that the occasional physical injury  or discomfort comes with the territory. However, you might be overestimating how normal the frequency or severity of such discomfort actually is.

Soreness for runners is much more normal than actual pain. Studies suggest that on a scale of 10, a range of discomfort from 1-3 is normal. Anything beyond that might mean you’re running too far or you’re not getting adequate rest between workouts. A great way to prevent injury as a runner is by stretching regularly. Ideally, we’d stretch every day, but that may be impractical with a demanding schedule.

For best results, we suggest stretching three to five times a week if possible, but no less than once or twice a week. Some of our favorite runner’s stretches, which will offer the most benefit, are as follows:

1) Stretch: Knee Hug Stretch. While lying on your back, hug both knees to your chest, being sure to relax your back so it remains flat along the floor. Gently rotate your legs in circles.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the lower back, hips, hamstrings, and the inner and outer thighs. Can also help release lower back tension.

2) Stretch: Child's Pose Stretch. Come to your hands and knees on the floor. Spread your knees as wide as is comfortable for you, wider than your hips is ideal. You’ll keep the tops of your feet on the floor, and your big toes should touch.Bring your stomach to rest between your thighs and bring your forehead to the floor. Relax the shoulders, jaw, and eyes. Take deep, slow breaths and remain in the pose for as long as you like.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the thighs, hips and ankles. It can also release shoulder, neck and arm tension. Breathing is important here to maximize thel relaxation benefits.

3) Stretch: Seated Hamstring Stretch. Sitting on the floor, extend one leg straight oud and keep your back straight. Bend the other leg so that the sole of that foot rests against the mid-thigh of the straightened leg. Reach toward your outstretched ankle. You should feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Keep your foot flexed and hold the stretch for 30 seconds to begin.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the hamstrings, lower back and knees. It’s a very useful stretch to target imbalances in the gait from overwork and performing this after a run can help prevent stiffness.

4) Stretch: Downward Facing Dog Stretch. Begin on hands and knees. Wrists should be directly under your shoulders, and knees directly under hips. Curl your toes under to lift the hips and straighten the legs.Spread your fingers and keep your weight evenly distributed in your palms and feet. Let the head hang down and pull your shoulder blades back and away from your ears. Engage your quads so less pressure in on the arms. Keep the hips high, and sink your heels towards the floor. Remain for a minute or two, while breathing deeply.

Muscles targeted: This stretch targets the calves, lower back and shoulders. It is one of yoga's most widely recognized poses, and can greatly benefit anyone who lives a fairly active lifestyle!

We hope you make the time to incorporate these stretches into your running routine and race training plans. Preventing injury should be a priority for overall well being, but also for longevity. We want to keep running as long as we can, and we want the same for you.

 

 

  

 

 

 

How To Introduce Your Kids To Hiking

How To Introduce Your Kids To Hiking

As an outdoors person and a parent, one of the most rewarding things you can do is introduce your kids to hiking. Many of us grew up with hiking as a normal part of our childhood and understand that our deep love for outdoor activities began when we were quite small ourselves.

If you’re a parent and you’d like to know more about introducing your kids to hiking, or you’re not yet a parent, and you’d like to know if you can continue your outdoor pursuits after kids, we’ve got some ideas for you.

 

  1. Start early! Many parents continue regular hikes when their babies are still very small and can be carried in a wrap or pack. Keep hiking as the baby grows, and they won’t even think twice about why they’re in the middle of the woods, instead they’ll feel at home.
  2. Over Prepare. You may not be able to go ultralight for a few years. Kids come with a lot of accessories. We’re not above bribing the kids with treats along the trail and we recommend more snacks than usual— snacks are fun!. Also make sure you bring plenty of water. Turn breaks and water stops into a game.
  3. Make sure the kids have properly fitting equipment, too. From boots to waterproof jackets, maybe their own backpack, flashlight or compass, it’s always fun for kids to get new things and they will be eager to test them out. A first-aid kit is an essential thing to bring too, and consider the needs of your child. They may want a particular toy or article of clothing, so prepare for it.
  4. Be Realistic. At different stages in life, children have vastly different attention spans, and they also have limited endurance. Be realistic about how much a child can take on, and keep your expectations in check. You’re not there to break any records or get a super hard workout in. This is about being present and mindful with your child.
  5. Bring your patience. Don’t be discouraged if very small kids don’t want to go very far, whine a lot or complain. Try to keep them entertained with fun outdoor activities, like identifying animal sounds, identifying as many colors as possible, or bringing a checklist of things to see in a sort of natural scavenger hunt. It will take time to build distance, but the more you get out there, the more the kids will rise to the occasion and eventually you’ll find they will beg you to go hike!
  6. Boost their confidence. One way to encourage children in the outdoors is to let them be in charge. Let them follow the route on a map, or allow them to choose the trail. Let them choose when and where to stop. Be enthusiastic about their choices and optimistic about the day, and it will help keep everyone’s mood afloat.

Having children absolutely does not mean the end of your freedom, or your outdoor lifestyle. Raising kids to get outside has many benefits: a respect for nature and a love for being outside. It will instill in them a confidence, and they’ll develop instincts and a trust for their own intuition. There are of course, physical health benefits to establishing an athletic foundation as well. Remember that nature makes a great playground, for both you and your children.

 

 

Hiking Alberta with your kids: top 7 family-friendly hikes near Calgary

Hiking Alberta with your kids: top 7 family-friendly hikes near Calgary

Hiking is a great activity you can do with your kids. While you can enjoy one of your favourite hobbies, they can discover an entirely new world. It´s such an excellent opportunity to make unforgettable family memories.

 

Because we know that it can be overwhelming to find the right hike for your family, we have put together a list of 7 family-friendly hikes in Alberta.

 

From walking through canyons to thoroughly enjoying the views of one of the beautiful lakes of the country, these are the best family-friendly hikes you can do in Alberta.

 

Johnston Canyon and Falls hike

 

We have to say this one is one of the most kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.

 

Johnston Canyon, close to Calgary, is a scenic and easy hike perfect for all the family. You will walk through the beautiful canyon, breathtaking landscape, and emerald blue falls. The trail´s one of the busiest hikes over the summer, so arrive early to avoid the crowds.

 

There are a few trails to do. You can choose between going up to one of the falls or adventure yourself and complete both routes reaching the two falls. It shouldn´t take you more than half-day in completing both. They are around 5.5 km long.

 

It´s a super easy hike to do with your kids, and it´s all paved. This hike can be one of Alberta’s best kid-friendly hikes if you have a stroller with you. There is even an ice-cream truck at the end of the hiking.

 

Moraine Lake

This trail has to be on top of your list of kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.  

This comfortable and nice hour-long hike around the shore of Moraine lake is a great way to start the day with your family if you are around the area. The natural and unspoiled landscape is superb, and everyone will enjoy it.  There are different activities, such as birdwatching.

We will recommend completing it over the summer months. It´s a dog-friendly hike, too, although the dog has to be on a leash.

The pictured-postcard views of the Fay Glacier are unique in this hike.

 

Lake Louise 

Lake Louise creek trail is a longer hike, but it´s also really deserving of giving it a go. 

Located at Banff National Park’s heart is one of Alberta’s most beautiful and scenic family-friendly hikes. You will find some inclination during the route; therefore, we will recommend it for older kids. The views are so worthy in this hike. If you are looking for a fun day after completing the walk, some companies organize wild water activities like rafting.

This hike is also a busy one; hence prepare ahead if you want to find parking. As early birds get the worms, we will recommend you to set early, especially during the summer months.

 

Paddy´s Flat Interpretive

It´s a straightforward hike within the area of Kananaskis. The hike is only 2 kilometres, but you can get a bit of everything. While walking, you will get the calm of the river Elbow and enjoy the endless forest.

It´s a kid-friendly hike near Calgary, which is perfect if you are camping around the area. The campgrounds are unserviced, but they have the necessary camping facilities. Plan in advance if you want to stay there as they are first-come, first-serve. 

 

Quarry Lake Loop

The Canmore National Park, located in the West of Alberta province, has many good family-friendly hikes options. 

Quarry Lake Loop is one of them. A short and peaceful trail will make your family and kiddos enjoy a great outdoor time. The total distance of the walk is a bit over one kilometre.

This small but scenic trail will take you about an hour to complete, and you will surround the lake Quarry. It´s a straightforward one to do, although some of the paths are just at the edges of the lake. So, be cautious when doing it with young kids.

Through the hike, you are going to have a panoramic view of the mountains. This one is suitable to do in the winter months, but be careful with the ice.

There are restrooms and a parking area close to the start of the trail.

 

Sulphur Mountain Summit Trail

Banff is one of the most kids-friendly holiday destinations in the country. Each year holidaymakers head to the area to enjoy a well-deserved break.

If you decide to have a summer break here, you have to complete this fantastic walk. The hike is 10 km, which can be a bit long for young kids. If you want to do it shorter, you can take the Gondola service on your way back. There is a tricky elevation, so it can be quite challenging if you aren´t an often hiker.

The landscape and surroundings are beautiful, and we are sure you will get a fantastic day out with your family. The views from the mountains are breathtaking.

 

Source Spring Trail 

With more than 11,000 square metres of landscape, Jasper’s National Park has many options for kid-friendly hikes in Alberta.

The source spring trail is such a great place to explore with your kids. Most of the people who visited make their base at the Pocahontas campgrounds and explore the region’s different options. This easy hike in Alberta is a light walk where you and your family can enjoy the hot springs. The trail is paved, and it´s stroller friendly.

We will recommend heading to the bridge near Sulphur Creek. You will enjoy the wonderful views, and your kids will discover the origin of the hot springs.

We hope we have inspired you to get outdoors this season. Having kids doesn't have to stop you from hiking the beautiful mountains of Alberta, you will only have to adapt.

Having time in nature is one of the precious gifts you can give to your family. Make sure to check out one of these hikes we've mentioned here. And if you have any suggestions for more kid-friendly hikes near Calgary, Alberta, let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Virtual Races for Summer 2021

Top Virtual Races for Summer 2021

The whole world adapted to the new normal of quarantine, isolation, and lockdowns. Everyone who had a passion for fitness couldn’t really indulge in social workout sessions including marathons, races, or any other physical activity that involved community interaction.

Virtual races have got a great response from those who had a hard time sticking to a workout routine during the lockdown. These races were designed keeping in mind the safety of the runners during Covid-19. A virtual community of fitness enthusiasts is a great concept in terms of connecting individuals to a cause. You will get the much-needed dose of motivation and can do your part for the greater good.

As the pandemic stretches into the New Year, we have curated a list of the top virtual races for the summer of 2021. You can participate in any and as many of them from anywhere in the world:

Run Guides Tokyo – Osaka Challenge Virtual Team Challenge

Covering a distance of 672 km or 420 miles, you’ll virtually run between Tokyo and Osaka. Teams of four are created that will attempt to run the distance. Entries were opened for runners after March 13. Since there is no cut-off, you can join anytime after the day entries were opened. Runners can track their team’s progress on a leaderboard and an interactive map.

Fee: 60 USD per team

Highlight: Digital Badges, Prizes from Race Partners, and Embroidered Lucky Cat Interactive Patch.

Check out the event website

2021 B.A.A. 5K

The 2021 B.A.A. 5K is an annual event that will be held virtually for the second year in a row. This run traditionally starts the Boston Marathon weekend and has been open for registration since February 1. The event will begin from April 16 to 18.

Fee: USD 45 (Start Line Package), USD 60 (Finish Line Package), USD 65 (Unicorn Package)

Highlights: Unicorn Finishers’ Medal, Access to Exclusive B.A.A. training programs

Find more

The Great Virtual Race across Tennessee

A 1,000 km run, The Great Virtual Race across Tennessee is a great chance to burn all those calories you’ve stored in your body during the lockdown. Besides, you’ll be running for a cause. All the proceeds from the run will go directly to Food Banks all across the Tennessee state. You can join the race from 1st May to 31st August.

Fee: USD 60

Race Website

The 2021 RunNB Challenge

Open for registration all year long, the 2021 RunNB Challenge is a great opportunity for people who are missing some recreational or competitive workout during the pandemic. Walk or run, you need to virtually circumnavigate New Brunswick to cover a distance of 1,200 or 2,400 km.

Fee: USD 50

Check out the Website

Survivorfest 24 Hour Race

This race is being offered both virtually and in-person which gives runners a choice. An official 2021 six & 24 hour Canadian National Championship, the race will celebrate the strength, survival, & sacrifice of the families, racers, survivors, and friends who are extending a great help by raising funds for the Saffron Centre, Strathcona County's sexual assault centre. Participants can either run for 6, 12, or 24 hours around a 400-meter track. The race will be organized from 12th June to 13th June.

Highlight: IAU Bronze

Visit Website

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Starting from 1st May to 31st May, this race offers a choice of distances you can run for. You can start from 2 km and slowly increase the distance to 5 km, 10 km, and eventually run a half-marathon. You can also run a full marathon or cover an even longer distance. The race has been organized in support of the Ottawa Hospital.

Fee: The fee varies according to the type of race you will select

Race Website

Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal

Organized for both kids and adults, this race is an opportunity for everyone to sweat it out without breaking the protocol of social distancing. You can participate from 23rd April to 14th June. This summer race will surely invite huge crowds who can run for a great cause. The races range from Kids’ races, 5 km race, 10 km race, and a half-marathon.

Fee: You need to stay updated about the race online to know the fee details of different races.

Race Website

 

With all these races lined up for the summer of 2021, there is hardly any space left when you won’t have a cause to run for and miles to cover.

Top 10 hikes in Alberta, Canada

Top 10 hikes in Alberta, Canada

Alberta is home to the Canadian Rockies, one of the most impressive and beautiful ranges in the world.  There is no shortage of trails among these snowcapped mountains, and you can spend countless days exploring pristine wilderness for much of the year.  While snow and ice linger, proper gear and footwear enable hikers to conquer the best that the area has to offer.  In fact, some of the best winter activities in towns like Banff are hiking through the myriad mountains.  Read about the top 10 hikes in Alberta, Canada, get ready to adventure out there!

Lake Agnes Trail

This out and back trail leads you up to the perfect vista of Lake Agnes in all its glory.  The views are best enjoyed from the Tea House, a historic place of refuge for hikers and back country adventurers.  While the trail is nicely groomed, it accumulates quite a bit of snow.  The 1400 of elevation change are best tackled with appropriate footwear such as crampons or trail spikes. 

Tunnel Mountain Trail

One of the many peaks that towers over the town of Banff is Tunnel Mountain.  The trail to the top is the ideal hike to do after work or if you only have a limited time.  The turnaround point boasts a panoramic overlook of the town and the surrounding mountains.  Sections of the trail can be slippery, especially as the incline picks up.  Bring your trail cleats along for this gem of a hike.

Ha Ling Peak

The striking view of Ha Ling Peak’s exposed northern face is a sight to be beheld.  Even more impressive are the sights from atop this majestic point.  The trail’s name pays homage to the man who first led a guided trip to the peak.  The steep hiking trail wraps around the southern end, while technical climbers can ascend the vertical northern face.  The tough switchbacks are made easier with spiked footwear, especially in the shoulder seasons.

Ink Pots Trail

Naturally occurring mineral springs are the main attraction of this popular hike.  Two trails can get you to your destination, depending on the distance you want to traverse, or how much solitude you want.  Johnston Canyon leads you past waterfalls via catwalks, while Moose Meadows is a simpler trail without any falls. The former can be quite crowded, especially on weekends, while the latter is lesser traveled. Whichever you choose, make sure to pack your camera!

Grotto Canyon Trail

As the name implies, this path leads you through a canyon tucked in the hillsides.  The reward for your two mile trek is a beautiful waterfall, or icefall depending on when you go!  Marvel at the patinaed canyon walls as you listen to the crunch of the snow beneath your crampons.  You may even get to see rock climbers in action along the way!


Sulphur Mountain trail

An arduous set of switchbacks stand between you and the summit of Sulphur Mountain.  In just a few miles(5.5km) you will climb over 2000 feet(600m).  While these gains are no easy feat on their own, the snow can make you really watch your feet!  Check the trail reports before embarking on this trip, and gear up accordingly!

Big Beehive

This amazing hike is an add-on to the Agnes Lake trail.  Once you arrive at the lake, you will circumnavigate around it, and then climb upwards several hundred more feet.  The lake sure does look different from above!  Ice spikes are recommend for ascending, especially when completing the hike in or around wintertime. 

Stanley Glacier

Describing this hike as “cool” doesn’t do it justice. In fact, parts of the scenery are ice cold!  A gentle out and back trail rewards you with a view of the Stanley Glacier, and the runoff it produces.  Along the way you are treated with amazing scenery, and seasonal wildflowers.  Saplings and new growth are also seen on the path, evidence of a past lightning strike that ignited a forest fire.  Although the elevation change is not drastic, the total mileage is to be considered, coming in at over 6 miles (11km). 

Crypt Lake Trail

Strenuous and daunting, the trail to Crypt lake is not for the faint of heart.  The path takes you along an exposed hillside, through a mountainside tunnel, and up into valleys carved by ancient glaciers.  Braving the 10-mile(16km) trip is well worth it as the land is an embarrassment of riches.  You will pass by several waterfalls and be treated to views of a pristine alpine lake after which the trail is named.  Oh, and did we forget to mention that the journey begins and ends with a ferry ride across Waterton lake? 

 

Siffleur Falls

A mellow trail brings you to the namesake falls after a brief 2 mile(3.5km) jaunt.  The water has carved a steep gorge that you hike along, and the sheer edges are quite unique to see.  If you don’t get your fill of hiking or views of falling water, press on past the waterfall to see two more cascades farther upstream. 

 

These amazing hikes are sure to keep you busy while visiting Alberta.  Even for locals of towns like Banff, these trails are the perfect winter activity.  Choose any of these treks, check the weather, and gear up with warm clothes and trail spikes.  Enjoy the views and the journey along the way, as these memories and sights will stay with you for the rest of your life.   

 

Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Top Tips for Winter Running in Calgary

Top Tips for Winter Running in Calgary

Calgary is a city where the snow often flies before Halloween and melts well after people on the other end of the world are already posting summer selfies in bathing suits.

Winter running in Calgary means slippery surfaces that can cause painful falls, and extremely-low temperatures which can easily freeze an ear, a finger or a toe if you don’t dress accordingly. However, if you are a running enthusiast, don’t let the temperature drop scare you into staying indoors. There are easy tips you can follow, like choosing the right gear and investing in crampons snow spikes, to create a comfortable running situation.

Below are those top tips for winter running that will help you enjoy a comfortable and exciting stride across the snow-laden Calgary without the chills or skids.

Choose the Right Base Layer: Many people worry about freezing their lungs when running in cold weather with temperatures as low as -20℃. While the Canadian Armed Forces ruled that out decades ago, it is best to think about layers and vents before setting out for a winter run. Wear something that is a windproof but also allows breathability and moisture-wicking, i.e. one that allows sweat to dry quickly which builds up when you exercise while wearing layers. It will keep your core warm while letting the heat build up while running to vent.

At the same time, do not overdress. As you run, your body will generate heat, and it will get mad hot. The best way to make sure you are layering yourself right is to underdress by 6 degrees C. If it is -3 outside, dress for 7.

Invest in the Best Winter Running Spikes: When out running in the cold, especially during snowy and icy days, it is super important to invest in shoes with traction. While buying winter running shoes ensures protection, striding through slick surfaces will require a stronger, more trust-worthy footwear feature, such as winter running spikes. They are outsoles specifically designed for ice. Longer rubber lugs might work, but spikes are the best for some serious traction that keeps you upright.

Choose Weatherproof Winter Running Gear: Snow season is synonymous with bad weather. You do not want to get wet and most definitely do not want your gear to damage too easily under rain, snow, or hail. Therefore, consider buying a waterproof top layer and stainless-steel winter running spikes that will not rust and provide solid traction for multiple seasons.

Always Warm Up Before Going on a Winter Run: Much like exercise, it is recommended you warm up before heading out. You can do it by jumping rope, doing push-ups, doing sun salutations, and running up and down your stairs. This will make sure your muscles have enough oxygen supply, their temperature increases, and your heart rate is slowed down (cold weather increases it).  Only do not let the sweat break out so as to avoid chills as soon as you step out.

Maintain Speed and Time Yourself: With the right base layering and snow grips for shoes, you might feel too confident to run for miles at a stretch. However, the best practice would be to run between 30-60 minutes without trying to put too much pressure on your body. Doing otherwise can weaken your immune system due to overexposure to the cold weather. Remember that idea behind going on a winter run is to keep fit and enjoy the cold outdoors.

Prevent Frost Bites: While the ice grips for shoes prevent slipping and falling. The layering keeps you warm and your immune system strong. You will need to take measures to ensure you get no frostbites. The most effective ways to do so include staying hydrated, wearing a pair of waterproof socks, a fleece hat, insulated mittens, and waterproof running shoes.

Pick a Reflective Running Gear: During winters, it gets dark early, and with the snow drifts runners can easily get invisible to the traffic. The best way to avoid any mishaps is by wearing reflective gear that alerts others of your presence. If the reflective gear is not an option and you are looking for more convenient, cost-effective alternatives, keep a flashlight or a headlamp with you.

Be Prepared for a Quick Body Temperature Drop: Once done with running, you might want to take a breather before taking off the gear and your shoe traction devices. However, it is best to relax only after you have reached a warm place. The easiest way to do so would be to finish the run on your house’s doorstep. But in case you need to drive from your running track, keep an extra sweater handy and keep the car warmer on to create a cozy weather inside. If you like hot drinks after your winter run, pack a thermos with hot water as it's a nice way to maintain body temperature after a run and stay hydrated.  

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