Tough Treads Trail Series By 7 Wonders

Vickery Creek, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Photo by Miranda Wilson

This pandemic has taken a huge hit on running with the cancellation of almost all in-person race opportunities. We have been missing our running community horribly and so my husband and I decided to organize a trail race series to do with our friends.

The idea is to hold 5 “races” throughout the year in a pyramid of distances – 5k, 10k, half, 10k, 5k. They will be spaced 4-8 weeks apart and will all be at local trails around Atlanta. We will meet in the parking lot at a specified time (with masks on of course), say hi, and then run. There will be a staggered start to limit contact, and people will time themselves. All the races will be self supported to limit contact as well.

We are going to make shirts for everyone, as we’ve been wanting to do for a while and if people complete the series, I have agreed to make medals. If people want to compete we will keep track of times for everyone and may have extra medals for those.

We already have 12 of our friends that want to come out. I’m really excited to see people and have something to train for. I’ll keep you posted!

Ultimate Training: Pyramid Workout

In addition to two strength workouts and a mid-week running workout, I have designed ultimate frisbee-specific workouts for the weekend. They usually last approximately 2 hours and can be done on grass or on the beach. There is a lot of footwork in the workouts, so I strongly discourage doing these on pavement. These workouts are designed to be hard both physically and mentally, mimicking the focus and stamina needed during tournaments.

The goals for these workouts are three-fold:
1) To increase sprint endurance and general endurance for ultimate specific activity
2) To improve footwork and agility
3) To maintain and improve form for running, cutting, and lateral movement to enhance efficiency

The Pyramid Workout:

* Long Pyramid: Run intervals of 2, 4, 6, 8, 6, 4, 2 min (in that order) at a perceived exertion level of 8 (for my husband this meant between 6 and 7 min/mi pace). Take 3 min of rest between each interval.

* W’s: Set up 5 markers in the shape of a W, with about 5 m between the markers at the top and bottom of the W. Run forwards through the W and return to the start, also running forward. Rest for 30 sec. Side shuffle through the W and return to the start; on the way back side shuffle facing the same direction. Rest for 30 sec. Side shuffle facing the opposite direction as your first side shuffle. Rest for 30 sec. Run forwards to the first marker and back-pedal to the second marker, forwards to the third marker and back-pedal to the fourth marker, forwards to the last marker. Return to the start in the opposite pattern. Rest for 30 sec and repeat the set of 4 with the same rests.

* Bottle Jumps: Set up a nalgene bottle (or frisbee). Complete the following jumps (10 jumps per type): forward-backward, side to side, forward-backward right leg only, forward-backward left leg only, side to side right leg only, side to side left leg only.

* Burpees: 3 sets of 5 with 30 sec rest between sets.

* Small Pyramid: Set up markers 40 m apart. Run sets of 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 sprints between the markers (i.e., the first sprint is 40 m, the second sprint is 80 m with one change of direction, the third is 120 m with two changes of direction, etc.). Rest 30 sec between sets.

** A note about changing direction: During any drill that involves a change of direction focus on decelerating by taking a number of small steps (i.e., chop your feet) and keep your head over your feet. This will allow you to turn more quickly while keeping your center of balance over your feet and will let you immediately accelerate after your turn.