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Custom online coaching available – Have a race date in mind and need assistance preparing? If not, I will pick a race and we’ll work backwards in designing a program specifically for you. Training log provided and reviewed on a weekly basis.

Personalized training programs – Individualized running programs specific to your goals. Training log provided and reviewed on a weekly basis. Redesigned, if necessary, to adjust to lifestyle or fitness changes at no additional charge.

One on One running sessions – One on one running sessions. Video analysis and form critique. Individual assessments and/or weekly accompanied training runs available.

Guided trail runs – New to the trails? Guided one on one or group trail runs. Fun for groups that want to spend an afternoon on the trails, but don’t know where to begin. No expiration date. Transferable. No equipment required. Water provided.

Kid specific trail runs – Have an adventurous kid? Let’s hit the trails. I will guide your child and friends, because it’s always more fun with friends…on a fun, educational trail run/walk. Designed specifically for your child.

Need help finding a race in your area? Looking for a local running store? Want to go faster, further, or run injury free? Ask me how I can help.

Network of health and fitness professionals. Recommendations available upon request.

Email me directly at ericagratton@gmail.com or call (805) 807-8022 

to discuss your future in running.

Prices vary depending on services rendered.

Video analysis – $50/session

One on one personalized training sessions – $50/session

Personalized training programs start at $350/8 weeks

Heaven and Earth

Between Heaven and Earth there is a little bit of Skye.

And I don’t mean the blue kind.

I mean Skye Colclough.

Skye has been a runner her whole life. She ran cross country in high school, then started a family and…well, you know how that story goes. Nearly twenty years, three sons and two cross country moves later, Skye was consumed by her family and career. Until I moved in next door.

I reintroduced Skye to trail running a little over a year ago. She has a natural talent, but running on the trails made Skye a stronger runner. Building her core strength, road racing is almost a breeze.

Skye recently won her age class at the Malibu marathon on Sunday, November 13 and placed a very impressive eighth Female overall.

Congratulations to Skye.

Rest, recover and I’ll meet you on the trails.

Hit the Trails and Run Wild – A beginner’s guide to trail running

One of the first questions people ask me when I tell them I prefer hitting the trails to pounding the pavement is…”Isn’t it so much harder?”

My short answer is no. My long answer deserves further explanation. So let me start by telling you, anyone can hit the trails.

Running like a wild man or woman through the woods nurtures the soul. It satisfies our primal need for movement. Leave your electronics at home. Get outside and get moving in nature.

There are so many benefits to hitting the trails. Trail running reduces your risk of injury. You may be asking yourself how that is possible, because of the uneven terrain – roots, rocks, water crossings. In thinking, you’ve answered your own question. The ever varying trail lessons the likelihood of overuse injuries due to constant, repetitious foot strikes on pavement. The varying terrain also requires you to engage your core muscles. Trail running will make you a stronger runner by building greater balance and better mental focus.  If I haven’t convinced you to hit the trails yet, then ponder this… getting dirty makes you feel way more bad ass than you really are!

 

Here are a few tips for making your trails safe and fun :

(1)    Slow down and take short, light footed strides.
Expect to run slower on the trails. Focus on what feels comfortable, not your pace. Shorten your stride, stand tall and run lightly. You’re gonna roll your ankles, but if you’re light on your feet with shorter strides you’ll be able to go into that “roll” more easily without injury.

(2)    Pick a good line.
Always be looking 5-10 feet ahead of you. Not directly down at your feet. Plan your steps and pick a good line. Try to step over fallen trees, roots and large rocks. Rather than on them. They can be slippery even when they don’t appear to be. Keep a distance between you and your fellow runners as well. It helps if you can actually see the trail ahead of you! In case you need to jump, duck or change speeds.

(3)    Walk if you need to.
Don’t be afraid to walk the hills. Trail runners know it’s more efficient to walk up steep hills and conserve your energy. Be sure to keep your posture tall and pump your arms. It’s harder to get up a hill if you are bent over. Your lungs can’t do their job if they are compressed. Keep your eyes on the crest of the hill as well. Knowing the top is near is a huge motivator for digging deep within.

(4)     Run Wild on the downhills.                                                                               Stop breaking and allow yourself to fly a little. Your knees will thank you later. Use your arms to slow you down if you need to. Extend them away from your body and loosely hang them to draft you. Doing a “bunny hop” kind of run on the down hills will also slow you enough to navigate the technical stuff on single tracks. If you start to lose
control, run like a skier in an “s” formation.

(5)     Be Safe.                                                                                                                Bring a map, plenty of water, fuel and a phone. Phone service is not always available, but you can take a picture with your phone. The views are bound to be worth it. And leave your earbuds at home. Safety is first and if you can’t hear your surroundings, you’re not alert. Unplug and enjoy the sounds of nature. As they were intended.

 

If trails are a metaphor for life, then lead me down the ones with roots and
rocks… with leaves and pine needles covering fallen branches… abundant water
crossings, skyscraping mountains and bird’s eye views. – Erica Gratton

About Erica

Erica is the Founder of Socalultrarunning. As well as an award winning trail runner, accomplished endurance athlete, RRCA, USAT&F and Natural Running Certified Coach, Race Director, Writer, Photographer and Mother.

As an athlete, she has been featured in LAS&F and Ultrarunning magazine. Erica supports her sport of running as a member of RRCA and USAT&F. As a writer and photographer, her work has been featured in sports and fitness print publications, digital media and newspapers.

Erica is also a Founding member of Conejo Valley Trail Runners club.  CVTR is a member only club offering two weekly trail runs of varying distances in and around the Conejo Valley.

Erica continues to run competitively as she enhances the lives of people through coaching. Enabling her clients to discover the only limits they have are those in their minds.

Please email Erica at ericagratton@gmail.com or call directly (805) 807-8022 to hear how she can help attain your goals through a personalized training program, one on one training runs and video analysis.

Socalultrarunning produces the No Name 5030 Trail Races in Cheeseboro National Park, the Singletrack Stampede Trail Races in Calabasas and the Phantom Trail Races at Reagan Ranch in Agoura Hills. Visit socalultrarunning on Facebook to stay up to date on race details or visit the website at www.socalultrarunning.com for race dates.

Trail Running Escapes is also brought to you by Socalultrarunning. TRE produces Trail Running Camps in Southern California. Please visit: www.trailrunningescapes.com for more information on our camps in the Santa Monica and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Follow us on Facebook too!