Tag: trails

Are you fit for hiking?

As the snow starts to melt and the flowers start poking their heads through the frozen ground, hikers across the Puget Sound area are dusting off their boots and trekking poles as they prepare to resume their exploration of the vast Pacific Northwest! Will you be one of those hikers this year? Better yet, will you be PREPARED to be one of those hikers this year?? Below is a simple series of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles used while hiking. Most people tend to focus solely on quadriceps strength in regards to hiking. While the quads are very important (especially for the decent), the glutes and core muscles help prevent injuries to your ankles, knees, hips and back.

These can be incorporated into a regular, normal routine or at the completion of a cardio session!!


  • Hip Bridges – 10 reps
  • Knee Drops – 10 each side
  • Walking lunges – 1 lap (feel a stretch in the hip flexor, keeping the stomach strong!)
  • T walks/Birdfeeders – 1 lap (no weights. Take 3 steps in between each 1 to bring you to the next leg)
  • Curtsey Squats – 10 each side

Main Set:

  • Step Ups – 10 each leg (Stay on the same leg for all 10, then switch. Bring opposite knee up to add a balance component.)
  • Walking lunges with 15lbs dumbbells – 2 laps
  • Lateral quick steps over the BOSU – 10 each side (start at the side, move sideways over the BOSU staying as low as you can. Be sure to bring each foot down to the ground before you change directions.
  • Standing squats with 15lbs dumbbells – 20 reps
  • Band side steps – 1 lap
  • Plank Mountain Climbers (knee to opposite elbow) – 10 each side
  • Repeat x3

Cool Down

  • Knee to chest stretch
  • Figure 4 stretch
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Foam roll calves, quads, IT band, hip flexors

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!

Try 2 Wheels Instead of 4!

Living in Seattle has some pretty great perks: coffee, business, and a few months of sun. The city is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts looking for the next big adventure. Even if you are not the “extreme sport” type, Seattle will definitely have something right up your alley to get you outside and moving!

Did you know Seattle has an amazing network on biking trails that connect north, south, east and west? You can ride, relatively car-free (excluding certain stretches were you ride in a bike lane), from downtown all the way past Shoreline, around to West Seattle, out to North Bend, and down to Orting or even Tacoma. Several years ago the city of Seattle took on a project to convert many of the unused railroad tracks to biking paths. Some of the trails follow the trail road the whole way while some are actually paved directly over the previous grade. They provide a brand new experience of the city that would otherwise go unnoticed. Next time you are looking for something to do on the weekend, get out and enjoy one of these trails!

Burke Gilman – This is one of the most popular trails in Seattle. On any given sunny weekend you will see cyclist, runners, people on roller blades, walkers, dogs and kids! The trail starts at Golden Gardens and stretches all the way to Bothell (roughly 20 miles). This trail is heavily used as a commuter trail during the week since it connects Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and the U district.

Interurban North – If you are looking for some hill climbs, this is the trail for you! Starting north of Ballard at 110th, the trail connects north Seattle with Shoreline and eventually the city of Edmonds. Most of this trail runs through neighborhood streets as it meanders up and over the hills of the city.

Interurban South – Further south of the city, you can take the Interurban to connect with Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, and Pacific. This trail starts at Fort Dent Way in Tukwila and crosses over the Green River. It follows along the Puget Sound Energy power line corridor and is used both for commuting and general recreation. The path ends at 3rd Avenue SW in Pacific.

I-90/Mountain to Sound – This is one of my favorite trails in the city! It gives you several different options if you wish to extend your ride and see some different places. Starting just south of Seattle by Sturgus Park, the trail follows along Lake Washington until it connects with I-90. Take the bridge over (looking at everyone sitting in the traffic!) to connect to Mercer Island. You can get off the trail here and ride a nice loop around Mercer (I recommend riding counterclockwise so you are on the outside). This is roughly 13 miles around the island. You can also keep going and connect out to Bellevue, Issaquah, or even North Bend if your legs can handle it!!

So next time you think about getting in the car, think twice and jump on your bike! Be sure you are prepared. Always bring: a first aid kit, flat tire repair kit, a cell phone, water, extra food, extra water, a change of clothes/warm clothes, some cash (in case you need to bus back!)

For more information on outdoor activities, or training for your outdoor adventures, please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Thomas Eagen.

Get Outside and Try One of These Beginner Hikes!

If you are bored with your current workout or are just tired of doing the same cardio routine while watching TV, going outside may be just what your body (and mind) have been looking for. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have the rare opportunity to explore the wilderness in a fun and safe way. There are literally hundreds of trails scattered throughout the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges just waiting for you to climb and enjoy. Your body will thank you for getting out of the city, away from the noise, the traffic, and the headache that comes along with daily life.

New to hiking? Not sure where you should go? Afraid you might be eaten by a bear? Or get caught in an avalanche? No problem. Listed below you will find a handful of beginner hikes that are great for conditioning during the dark days of winter. These hikes are at lower elevations and will be clear of snow and most are well populated (bears don’t really like crowds) and most are within 30 minutes of the city.

Be sure to look up all the information before heading out. Some trails require a Discover Pass (can be purchased for $10 daily or $30 for the year at REI or a ranger station) or the Northwest Forest Pass (can be purchased for $35 for the year at REI or a ranger station).

  • Little Si
    Unlike it’s big brother (or sister) Mount Si, Little Si offers a nice relief from the weekend hikers. While everyone trudges up Mount Si training to climb Mount Rainier, few people venture over to the Little Si trail (which offers more view points!). This allows for you to feel secluded but comfortable. The hike is roughly 5 miles with 1200 feet of elevation gain.
  • Rattlesnake Ledge
    Rattlesnake Ledge is a fantastic hike with spectacular views at the top. Don’t let the name mislead you, Rattlesnake Ledge is a safe and friendly hike. With only 4 miles and 1160 feet of elevation gain, this hike can easily be finished in a couple of hours. This gives you plenty of time to get back home and enjoy the rest of your day.
  • Wilderness Peak
    Wilderness Peak will be the first hike of the Hiking Club this year. The trail ends at a beautiful summit just above Issaquah and is part of Cougar Mountain. With several stream crossings and old growth, this trails promises to inspire!
  • West Tiger Mountain
    West Tiger Mountain is one of the more populated hikes on Tiger Mountain. It is a great, low elevation, conditioning hike. I would not recommend doing this one for the view at the top but the experience along the way is great. Tiger Mountain is one of the shorter mountains in the Issaquah Alps so the view is selective from the summit. Instead, enjoy the old growth, large variety of trees, as various plants that will accompany you to the top. I would suggest doing this hike on a weekday or early morning on a weekend to avoid the crowds.

Always be prepared before entering the wilderness, even if it is for a simple day hike. Be sure to have plenty of food and water for everyone in your group. Also, make sure you have a first aid kit and you have told at least 1 person (who is not hiking with you) where you will be and when you plan on returning. By staying safe you can insure that you have the most fun possible in the safest way!

If you are interested in more hikes or want a group to go with, stay connected with the SAC Hiking Club at Seattle Athletic Club Downtown. Groups leave from the Club at 7:00am every 3rd Saturday of the month. The cost is $15 per person (non-members and pets welcome!!) For more information, please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Thomas Eagen for more information.