December 3rd, 2009
My running career was short and not particularly distinguished, but I still look back on it fondly. I ran cross-country for two seasons in high school and one in college. All I have to show for my stint as a Harvard runner is an x-ray of a stress fracture in my hip, an injury my doctor previously believed was reserved for elderly women. Lackluster results aside, I still love to run. Though my focus of late has shifted from 8ks to trails and mountains, I still love to lace ’em up and hit the trails.
Specific training is an elite skier’s bread and butter, but every once in a while a mental break is a good thing. Lucky for me, running workouts still have a place in my training. In the summer most of my running is done at threshold on the ski trails at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
Running gets me back to what I love most about endurance sports. It is the simplest way to just go fast. There is something very primal about ripping through the woods at breakneck speed, knowing that man has propelled himself the same way since the dawn of time. Despite the lack of ski specificity, running still provides a great training effect. Rolling terrain requires careful pacing and the variable footing trains balance and quickness.
The next time you are in a training rut, or you just want to get back to nature with your training, hit the trails and run fast.
Oliver Burruss raced for Harvard University during his college years and now after a one year stop as Bowdoin College’s assistant coach races for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. For more information check out their website and team blog.