Tag: snowshoeing

Outdoor to Explore: Trail Run or Hike Mt. Pilchuck

Hello Seattle Athletic Club Outdoor Enthusiasts! Hopefully you have heard about SAC’s many outdoor opportunities we offer, and if you have not, I hope to bring you a wealth of information to make your outdoor adventures in the beautiful Pacific Northwest fabulous! If you have any questions, comments, feedback or requests please email me and I would love to help you get acquainted with the outdoors if you are new, or help you step up your adventures if you have already been exploring.

My goal as your Outdoor Recreation Director is to introduce you to more adventures outside! Every month I will post several blobs about gear, places to go, upcoming events, clinics or outings SAC is doing.

This weeks SAC “Outdoor to Explore”. Trail Run or Hike Mt. Pilchuck!
I just ran up this beautiful trail this week, the first 2 miles were wet but clear of snow and the top mile was hard snow-packed. I wore my trail running shoes and went light and fast, and there were a couple hikers out there too in hiking boots and gaiters. This trail can be run carefully in an hour and 15 minutes and can also be enjoyed for a 4 hour hike. Bring warm clothes, the wind can really pick up at the top. Bring a light snack, water and a camera…if it is sunny the view is unbelievable. It’s a steep run or hike, the snow is coming so be sure to check trail conditions prior to heading up there: www.wta.org

Details for your adventure:

  • Trail Length: 6 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 2200 feet
  • Peak: 5324 feet
  • Dogs Allowed!

Gear Review
I wore my lightweight trail running shoes from Mammut, my feet stayed warm and dry the entire time and the tread kept me on my “toes” through the ice and snow. Awesome shoes, check them out!

How to get there: Only 44 miles from Seattle

  • From Granite Falls follow the Mountain Loop Highway east.
  • One mile beyond the Verlot Public Service Center, turn right onto graveled Forest Road 42 immediately after crossing the “Blue Bridge.”
  • Drive 7 miles to the trailhead at the road end.

Let me know if you want to join the next adventure! See you outside…GET OUT AND PLAY!

Winter wondering – preparing for outdoor activities

As we head into the fall and winter seasons, outdoor workouts necessitate preparation. With proper attire, understanding of the elements and skincare, a magical world of white awaits!

Some common recreational sports during colder seasons include: trail running, hiking, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country, snowboarding, and ice skating. Most of these require a lot of balance and elements of power related to speed, agility, and quickness. Exercises that recruit hip stabilizers will translate to easier movement in the new terrain. Here are some simple examples:

  • Single leg stand- This is a great way to prepare the body for snow. Try to keep the ribs pulled in and the hips even as you lift one leg. Once you can stand on one leg for a minute, try closing your eyes.
  • Band side steps- Using one of the bands that are connected in a circle, train your gluteus muscles as well as inner thighs. You can place the band around the ankles or through the arch of the foot (more comfortable if you have hairy legs). Keeping the toes pointed forward, stabilize the core, and take 20 steps to one side then 20 to the other. You will definitely feel the burn!
  • Lateral Bounds or Side to Side Jumps- Now that you can comfortably stand on one leg, maybe even with your eyes closed, it is time to kick it up a notch and start working on some power. Again, keeping the toes forward, launch off of one leg to the side, landing on the opposite leg. Absorb the jump by bending at the hip and knee, keeping the chest up, and launch to the other side. Start easy with small jumps side to side, steadily increasing speed and distance. You should always been in control of the movement and should be able to stop on either side with ease.

There is a lot that can be done in preparation indoors, but then how do we approach the change in elements?

It’s important to find the right boots with a medium to high height, making sure they are waterproof. Also essential is a snow jacket and pants with elastic or Velcro at the ankles and wrists to prevent snow from getting in. The right jacket should be multilayered with a shell underneath and hood with a wind guard face protector. More necessities include: long Johns or a base-layer shirt and pants, goggles or sunglasses with anti-glare, a beanie or ear muffs, two pairs of wool socks, and snow gloves (sometimes double layer) for the best protection from the elements.

There are a few things to keep in mind for skincare. Make sure your toe nails are cut far back. Too often pedicure specialists see bruised toenails because of the nails hitting the front of the shoe. Some extras to have on hand are: chapstick to protect against the wind and sun, sunblock for the nose, cheeks and forehead, heat packets for gloves and boots, hand lotion/ face lotion in travel size that can be applied when exposed to the elements for a long time, and Kleenex.

Another important thing to remember is to eat warm, calorie-dense foods. The recommendation for pre and post-workout, cardio-intensive meals is a 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. Oatmeal with almonds and honey is a great pre-workout. If you choose a more protein-dense pre meal such as eggs, make sure to allow a couple hours at minimum for digestion (not just to become usable as energy, but so that you don’t get nauseated). Snacks are good as dried fruit and nuts, sandwiches, string cheese, and if there is access to a warm tea, or coffee, that would help with thermo regulation. A post-workout meal recommendation is calorie-dense, warm foods with high-glycemic carbohydrates like potatoes to help regulate blood sugar levels. Most importantly, remember to drink plenty of water. The cold can be deceiving in relation to sweat-rate, so stay hydrated!

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Personal Fitness Trainer Amber Walz or Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Thomas Eagan for more details.

What to do when Summer is over? Don’t get bored in Winter!

Perhaps it’s all a matter of knowing “what” is out there in the world of winter, snow and ice. Many of us love to cycle, run, swim, play tennis, garden, go boating and do a million things outdoors when it’s summer sunshine and warmth… but once the days get shorter and colder we sometimes feel at loss with what to do. Here are some tips to keep you motivated and encourage you to try something new!

Where to start…
Like anything in life, the more prepared we are for trying something new or unfamiliar, the more successful we will be. So get into SAC for one of our Winter Sports Prep and Play classes, a series of fun and kick-butt circuits designed to get you strong and coordinated for the snow and ice. OR sign up for a personal training session with one of our awesome trainers. OR email Outdoor Rec Coach Brandyn (broark@sacdt.com) and she will get you motivated, moving, and mastering whatever skill you want to learn for the winter months!

What is out there…
There are a myriad of adventures waiting for you in the winter world. And YES you can stay warm while doing it! Don’t let the cold keep you from playing. Some Outdoor Adventures:

  • Snowshoeing
  • Snowboarding
  • Alpine (Resort) Skiing at Crystal Mountain (SAC’s “home” mountain)
  • Back Country Skiing and snowboarding
  • Heli Skiing and
  • snow boarding Ski Touring
  • Ice Climbing Sledding
  • Snow Ball Wars

If you are interested in ANY of these activities, Brandyn is here to help coordinate, plan or even take you out there herself to learn or dial in your skills! If you need help planning a ski vacation or want to know where to go and why…use Brandyn; she has skied all over the US, Canada and Europe and knows where to send you!

Need Gear?
Contact Brandyn, she will hook you up with great outdoor gear companies and teach you what you will need for your adventure or activity. She will find you a local supply and also share some secrets to SAC discounts for you!

It’s good to “mix it up” for the body. Have you done the same thing for years in the gym? The body gets bored when we don’t change it up and our ability to adapt and continually get stronger is limited if we don’t challenge the body in new ways. New movements, new levels of intensity, new muscles, new brain focus…these keep us YOUNG and healthy….and honestly….it’s WAY more FUN! Most of the reasoning behind why humans don’t change it up is due to “fear of the unknown”. So, this winter don’t let that fear or unknown keep you from a new experience in life. Be inspired. Get out there and change up the “same ol’ thing” for something new and exciting! We forget as adults to have fun… we often get caught up in the race of life and forget to play… try “playing” this winter. And if you need help remembering how to play, the Seattle Athletic Club will get you started…and most likely follow you along your way.

Indoor Adventures that may be new to you:

  • Rock Climbing (classes, group or 1:1 sessions with PFT Will or Brandyn) at SAC and Vertical World Try one new class a week at SAC…something you have never done!
  • Drop into Winter Sports Prep and Play with Thomas and Brandyn
  • Swimming… learn the “right” technique so you can have fun in the pool from any of our instructors or Outdoor Rec Coach Brandyn who is also a USA Swimming Coach

There are also tons of 5K and 10K walk/run and family activity days around the city through the winter… sign up for one!

Most exciting… but you have to get STARTED EARLY!!

  • Mountaineering Prep: summer 2012 we will be launching our SAC Ascents … the opportunity to climb one of our local mountains, Rainier or Adams. Instead of being “hauled” up the mountain by a guide with a random group of people, SAC will be organizing and facilitating our OWN ascents with a professional guide! Imagine a climbing adventure filled with education and prep work designed for you to have an experience of a lifetime. It’s more about the journey when you are in the mountains…not the end result. And Outdoor Rec Coach, Brandyn wants to give SAC’s members the best experience possible while in the mountains!

Take the opportunity to learn skills and get strong and stable for the ascent with Outdoor Rec Coach Brandyn through the winter. You can get started now and connect with her (broark@sacdt.com) OR Look for details in January on climbs for next summer starting in June. If you are interested in SAC Ascents contact Brandyn now so she can put you on the start list for further details!

Whatever it is, wherever you go, just GET STARTED. Don’t wait another year to try something new. Live now, play hard, scream into the finish line of life tired exhausted knowing you got it all in!!

Are you inspired yet? Still bored and don’t know what to do this summer…. talk with Brandyn then….she’ll get you going. There are no excuses. You don’t need to “get to a certain weight, strength, ability, level, etc”…that’s an EXCUSE… just GET STARTED NOW with where you are in your life…GO!