Trailhead Running
HOME
TRAIL RACE SERIES: Women on the Trails
(11/08/14) Dirt Trails & Pony Tails: 5K/10K
(01/17/15) Bruises & Bandages: 5K/10K/13.1 M

(02/07/15) Creepy Crawlies & Critters: 5K/10K
Sponsors/Teams: Request for Info
PROGRAMS
(8 Week) Women on the Trails
(Tues) Weekly Training Group
Resources | FAQs | Meet
ACTIVITIES
Trail Trips
Fun Runs

We've been HERE!
WHO
Coaches | Press Testimonials
Sustainability
CONTACT
Facebook | Twitter YouTube | Instagram
eNewsletter|e-Mail

Trail Resources

Trail Maps | Trail Race Calendars | Headlamps | Hydration Packs | Socks & Gaiters
Shoe Donations
| Trail Terms

 

Trail Maps

We have started posting some of our favorite trail runs on MapMyRun. View our routes OR download the files (.gpx or .kml) to your favorite GPS device and follow the actual route coordinates ("breadcrumbs") as you run!

Joining the group is easy!
1. Log in to MapMyRun (or create an account).
2. Under the Discover menu, select Groups.
3. Search Group: keyword -> Trailhead Running.
4. Join!

Please keep in mind that printing the maps will provide a general guide but may not provide enough detail to follow the actual trail route. But that's the fun of trail running - exploration!

 

 

Trail Race Calendars

Looking for a cool trail race to do? Check out these race listing resources to find local or international events!

Texas Trail Races
www.trailheadrunning.com (Women only races)
www.runintexas.com
www.hillcountrytrailrunners.com
www.tejastrails.com
www.racerevolutions.com
www.roguerunning.com
www.runtex.com (mix of road/trail events)

National / International Trail Races
www.trailrunnermag.com
www.trailrunner.com

 

Headlamps

Planning to trail run at night? Or get an early start to your day by running before dawn? Headlamps are a key piece of equipment that enables you to enjoy the trails in a whole different light!

When it comes to headlamps there are here are a few key points to keep in mind:

1) Lumens, Beam Distance and Run Time
When you head out to buy a lamp, there are three things you'll want to look for on the package. Most headlamp companies are quick to boast about their Lumens, Beam Distance and Run Time. Lumens (tell you how intensely a light glows at its source) will tell you how bright the headlamp shines, but that doesn't tell you how far it goes. That is when you'll look for beam distance on the package so you can know how for you can see with your headlamp. Headlamp makers calculate run time until lights can no longer produce usable light (the light of a full moon) at 2 meters. Look for a clock icon plus a number of hours (usually shown in abbreviated form, such as 50h).

2) Cost
The more battery, the more power for light brightness and duration. If you buy the "least expensive" headlamp, don't be surprised if it barely lights the area around your forehead. If you invest a little more in your headlamp, the $30 - $40 range, you'll most likely be getting a headlamp that has multiple brightness settings for you to choose from. If you were buying a headlamp to use for camping, and only need it for being able to see in your tent, or walking to and from the tent to the bathrooms, an the lesser expensive headlamp would do the trick. If you plan to be running, on trail and at night, you'll want to be able to see a little further ahead of where you are, which would lead you to pay a little more for a headlamp.

3) Batteries
If you choose a headlamp that comes with a battery pack (which is usually rechargeable battery), be sure to check where the batter pack mounts. Can is be carried in a waist pack or is it mounted to a head strap that you wear? Keep Batteries Fresh! Once you get a headlamp, check your headlamp's batteries to make sure they are fully charged and ready to go. If it's been a while since you've used your headlamp and/or changed it's batteries, it might be good to go ahead and buy new batteries. If your batteries are rechargeable, make sure you have a fresh and full charge each time you head out.

4) Ask for Input
We have found the sales staff at REI and Whole Earth Provisions are great resources when you are shopping for headlamps. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Let the sales staff know exactly how you plan to use the headlamp. When in doubt you can always ask us for our input--we have tried all sorts of headlamps. We have also tried wearing headlamps in different places (on head, around waist, in hand), and while the waist or in hand provides additional help with depth perception, the most traditional placement is on the head. Here are some common and trusted headlamp brands: Petzl, Black Diamond, Princeton, and Ay-Up <- Our personal favorite!

REI provides a great Headlamp Product Info sheet as well as a list of the headlamp brands they carry.

 

Hydration Packs

Staying hydrated is a critical component to trail running. Frequently there are no drinking water sources on the trails so you have to carry your water. There are many hydration options to choose from but the important thing is to find what works best for you. Below are some of our favorites!

Nathan Hydration Pack
Our Pick -> Nathan Sports Race Vests
We have run with Nathan brand hydration packs for years. They fit well and the soft, light weight fabric provides virtually no chafing against bare skin for most runners. Some of the hydration packs come with a 1.5 liter (~3.3 lbs fluid) or 2 liter (~4.4 lbs fluid) hydration bladder that fits into the back of the pack. We have found that the 1.5 liter works best for most women (the 2 liter will be heavier but can be worth it for having the extra fluid in the Texas heat). The Nathan packs also have a few extra pockets and pouches which are great for carrying keys, gels, bars, or even a thin jacket. Nathan makes a wide variety of packs, but our "go to" pack is the HPL-008, HPL-020, or Intensity.

Waist Packs
Waist pack water bottle holders come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some carry one bottle while others can carry multiple bottles. Because each person is build uniquely, it is best to try on a waist pack before you buy it. Don't forget that you'll be carrying 1-2 extra pounds of water while running (16oz = 1 pound) so make sure the waist pack fits and won't chafe or bind. Some runners may also experience GI (gastrointestinal) issues with the extra pressure on their abdomens while running so that may be another consideration.

Hand Held Bottles
Many trail runners use hand held carriers to carry a water bottle. There are a variety of brands including Nathan, CleanBottle, and others. Our personal preference is to keep our hands free while trail running. Carrying a bottle (or anything for that matter) in one hand can also alter your running gait and impact your form. So if you can, opt for a back pack or waist pack style hydration system and keep your hands free and your body balanced.

Camel Bak Hydration - Why We Don't Recommend these for Running
Camelbak packs are predominantly built for mountain biking and they work great in that application. But for running, the packs are just a little too heavy, rugged, and stiff for a comfortable, light weight fit.

Hydration packs can be found at local Austin retailers such as REI. Otherwise they can be ordered on line. If you are opting for a hydration pack that straps to your back or around your waist, it's best to "try before you buy" to make sure it fits you properly.

 

Socks and Gaiters

There are a variety of ways to ensure your feet are happy on the trails. Next to shoes, socks and gaiters play a key role. Here's what we've discovered.

Technical Socks
There are many types of socks available to trail runners - thin, cushioned, moisture wicking, breathable, etc. The most important thing is to find socks that are comfortable to you. It may take a few tries but finding the right socks makes a big difference in your overall foot comfort.

Knee Socks
Knees socks are fun and can also protect your skin against poison ivy and other things that can scrape up your legs, especially when trails become overgrown. Socks vary in function (compression, protection) and style but our favorite place to go is Proud Runner.

Gaiters
Gaiters help keep rocks and debris out of your shoes and are a fun way to add a little pizzas to your trail wardrobe. Our go-to place for gaiters is Dirty Girl Gaiters. Gaiters also come in heavier fabric for winter trail running and help keep snow out of your shoes. We don't have much need for that in Central Texas!

 

Used Shoe Donations

The Austin area has several locations for donating used trail running shoes. Some places even provide a discount on your next shoe purchase!

Luke's Locker
115 Sandra Muraida Way, Suite 102, Austin, TX 78703
512-482-8676
Luke's offers a discount to those who turn in old shoes to be recycled only during earth week, coming up April 17 to April 24.
The discount will be $15 off your entire purchase.

Capital City Running
1700 Ranch Road 620 N Austin, TX 78734
512-266-1000
Feel free to drop off your retired footwear of all kinds at the shop anytime. All shoes are donated to the good folks at Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

Rogue Running
500 San Marcos Street Austin, TX 78702
512-493-0920
Rogue does NOT offer discounts for donated shoes but they do accept old-running-shoe donations and they donate them to a few organizations.

BIG Thanks to Charles Radi of Hill Country Trail Runners Club for this info (Apr 4, 2013).

 

Trail Terms

Learn our lexicon! We've come up with some great trail terms over the years. Some are legit. Some are stricty born from own own Trailhead Running fun!

HEADS UP! -- (hed'z - up)
What the runner(s) in front of you yell when there is a low hanging branch, limb, or other object you could knock your head on as your run down the trail. When you hear, "Heads Up" you will most likely need to "duck" soon. If you are running with a group, you may not want to put the shortest person up front because they can run under a lot more stuff than taller runners. Sentence Use: "Heads Up!! Big Branch!!!"

Trail Angel -- (tra'yal ain'gyl)
A generous individual or group of individuals thatprovide acts of kindness to participants of outdoor events, on hiking trails, or various biking routes. Alsoreferred to in online hiking journals as friends of hikers, relatives, or others persons who will often provide food, transportation, etc. to hikers on the trail (wikipedia.org).


Wristola -- (rist'olah)
Fancy, high-tech bandana that wraps around your wrist. Serves many purposes including: wiping sweat, tourniquet, emergency toilet paper (one use only). Sentence Use: "I'm sure glad I have my wristola to wipe the sweat from my eyes. It works much better than a regular bandana!" Artwork by: Barrett Criswell


Getting Pantsed -- (ge'ting - pantz'd)
What happens when the person behind you trips and instead of falling, they grab on to your pants in order to stay UP, usually resulting in your pants coming DOWN. Solution: make sure you have your pants tied, or leave enough distance between you and the person behind you. Sentence Use: "Sorry you got pansed by John. But at least he didn't fall!"


Getting Shadowed -- (ge'ting - shado'wd)
Occurs during night trail running. The runner's headlamp behind you is so blindingly bright that you can't see the trail because of your own shadow. Sentence use: "I can't see where I'm going because I'm getting shadowed!"


Ground Focus Technique (GFT) -- (graw'nd - fok'us tek'neek)
Being so focused on the ground that the runner doesn't see
anything else around them. Form can be upright (when running) or
bent over (when stopped). Occurs most frequently during night trail
runs but occasionally when the runner just can't see what the heck
they are going to step on. Sentence use: "The trail is really technical here so I better use my GFT!"


Skull Rock -- (skul rok)
Sharp, uneven rocks found in patches on Austin area trails. Rock often stick up several inches making footing difficult. Named because they look like skulls and bones.


Keith -- (kee'th)
Trailhead Running's unofficial mascot. He is really supportive and shows up at races to cheer on all his two-legged friends! Also has a modeling career posing for art found in local Austin bagel shop. (He is not the dog of the "dogs hauling ass" area on the trail, but he's just as speedy.)


Disco Spider -- (dis'ko spi'dr)
Little spiders that run along the edge of the trail at night. They reflect a purple/blue shimmery color when headlamps shine on them. Sentence Use: "Check out all the disco spiders on the trails tonight!"
Photo source: SpiderJew 2012

Inukshuk -- (inook' shook)
Meaning "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. Piles of rocks used for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path." In English we call them "rock piles" (raw'k-pyls). Sentence Use: "I spent half of my trail run making Inukshuks so I could find my way back to Barton Springs."
Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

Calendar: What's Next?

Ongoing @ 6:30pm -- Women-Only Tues Runs ($40)
04/26/14 @ 7:30am -- Trail Trip: Buescher Park (free)
05/15/14 @ 11:00am -- 3M Health & Fitness Expo
06/04/14 @ 6:30pm -- Summer WoT 8 Wk Intro ($120)
08/09/14 @ 7:30am -- Trail Trip: Muleshoe Bend (free)
08/13/14 @ 6:30pm -- Fall WoT 8 Week Intro ($120)
10/09-11/2014 -- Trail Runner's Conf, Estes Park, CO
10/17-18/2014 -- RAGNAR Trail Relays, Comfort, TX
11/08/14 @ 9:00am -- 5K/10K Dirt Trails ($35)
01/17/15 @ 9:00am -- 5K/10K/13M Bruises & B. ($35)
02/07/15 @ 9:00am -- 5K/10K Creepy C. & C. ($35)

Trail News

WoT 8-Week Intro Program
Get to know trail running - the Summer session starts June 4! Register now!

THR Tuesday Training Group - Women Only!
Join us at any time for our weekly runs.
Sign up today
!

We are a Club Member of ATRA
The American Trail Running Association is a great resource for all things trail.

We are a Member of RRCA
Road Runner's Club of America is the oldest and largest U.S. org dedicated to distance running.

 

 

Trail Terms & Tips

There's always something to learn on the trail. Be a pro in no time with these trail terms and tips!

Trail Resources Info Page
Headlamps? Hydration Packs? Check out our Trail Resources information page for recommendations!

Knuckle -- (nuh'kl)
A small root or stump that sticks straight up out of the ground. Usually found on dirt packed trail and very difficult to see. Sentence use: First runner yells, "KNUCKLE!" as they run past the offending root/stump to warn following runners.

Trail Angel -- (tra'yal ain'gyl)
A generous individual or group of individuals that provide acts of kindness to participants of outdoor events, on hiking trails, or various biking routes. Also referred to in online hiking journals as friends of hikers, relatives, or others persons who will often provide food, transportation, etc. to hikers on the trail (wikipedia.org).

Keep up with your nutrition both on and off the trail using Luna Bars! Our favorite? Peppermint Stick! We LOVE 'em and so will you!

Wristola -- (rist'olah)
Fancy, high-tech bandana that wraps around your wrist. Serves many purposes including: wiping sweat, tourniquet, emergency toilet paper (one use only). Sentence Use: "I'm sure glad I have my wristola to wipe the sweat from my eyes. It works much better than a regular bandana!" Artwork by: Barrett Criswell

Getting Shadowed -- (ge'ting - shado'wd)
Occurs during night trail running when the runner's headlamp behind you is so blindingly bright that you can't see where you are going because of your own shadow. Sentence use: "I can't see where I'm going because I'm getting shadowed!"

Ground Focus Technique (GFT) -- (graw'nd - fok'us tek'neek)
Being so focused on the ground that the runner doesn't see anything else around them. Form can be upright (when running) or bent over (when stopped). Occurs most frequently during night trail runs but occasionally when the runner just can't see what the heck they are going to step on.
Sentence use: "The trail is really technical here so I better use my GFT!"

Skull Rock -- (skul rok)
Sharp, uneven rocks found in patches on Austin area trails. Rocks often stick up several inches making footing difficult. Named because they look like skulls and bones.

Keith -- (kee'th)
Trailhead Running's unofficial mascot. He is really supportive and shows up at races to cheer on all his two-legged friends! Also has a modeling career posing for art found in local Austin bagel shop. (He is not the dog of the "dogs hauling ass" area on the trail, but he's just as speedy.) AKA: Keif.

Disco Spider -- (dis'ko spi'dr)
Little spiders that run along the edge of the trail at night. They reflect a purple/blue shimmery color when headlamps shine on them. Sentence Use: "Check out all the disco spiders on the trails tonight!"
Photo source: SpiderJew 2012

Have trouble telling poison ivy apart from turk's cap? Take the time to learn your trail plants. And in the mean time, when in doubt, don't touch it!


Home | Women's Trail Race Series | Women on the Trails | Weekly Training Group | Trail Trips & Fun Runs | FAQs | Testimonials | Coaches | Press | Contact

2014 Trailhead Running. All Rights Reserved.