After two weeks and several hilly trail runs at Santa Fe, NM altitude (about 7000 feet, or 2100 meters) I was curious to see if it helped. Would I be stronger? Would my breathing have improved?
My first run back on the beach of LA did feel easy. I think trail running in the mountains is great for many reasons, one of them being that each step seems to activate different muscles. While road running is monotonous, the trails offer unending variety in terrain. There’s the changing hardness of the surface, the angle of the climbs, the slant of the trail, the rocks and streams and roots to avoid. On the beach, this is true to an extent, too. The sand changes all the time. I found it relatively easy to maneuver it.
More noticeably, breathing was a piece of cake after returning to sea level. The day after my beach run I did a 10 mile tempo on the roads around the Marina del Rey. Running in my still new-ish Newtons I wanted to keep a feel for the road, too; can’t quite avoid the asphalt. And it’s good for speed. It had been a while since I pushed myself that way, in the heat on a flat surface. The pace was good, the legs moved well, and the lungs barely spoke up as I rushed along the water. It was nice to be back at 0 feet.