Growing up in Laguna Beach, running was more than a workout – it was a means of getting from one beach to the next. I would also walk from my family’s house to the UCI campus with its futuristic buildings. So much has changed, but I still put miles in Ironman triathlons and run local trails.
I started up Mount Baldy in the 1980s, recently did a 50 km ultra run and crossed the Grand Canyon from edge to edge. But I don’t do it alone.
In 2013 I founded Fearless Endurance, a training team for adults aged 30 to 75. “I can do it” is our motto and we meet twice a week in Irvine and nearby to swim, bike, run and ride together.
Irvine has so many trails and one of our favorite spots starts at the Quail Hill Trailhead which leads into the Irvine Open Space Preserve. From there, there are several scenic, dog-friendly trails to stroll down to Crystal Cove Beach. Even if you only have 30 minutes, you can immerse yourself in the Irvine wilderness, enjoying the wildflowers and fresh breezes filled with the scent of sage and wild grass.
For a short jog in our free time, we often start at Bommer Canyon. Parking, water, and restrooms are at the trailhead on Shady Canyon Drive, or you can park at the nearby Turtle Rock Community Park. There is a narrow, winding trail around 7 km in length that offers something for everyone. There is a nice view of the city from above. They usually stay within sight of others on the way, so it feels extra safe.
We are so lucky to live in this area where the weather is mild all year round and there are hiking trails and bike paths connected to parks with toilets and water fountains galore.
Trail running welcomes everyone. People of all ages and abilities enjoy nature. Get out there and join them.
Come train with us. For more information, please visit anxlessendurance.com or [email protected]
Ingrid Miller, a lawyer for 25 years (still recovering, she jokes) founded Fearless Endurance in 2013 and now trains “middle-aged accountants, school teachers and geek” to be skilled and confident triathletes. Your team is between 30 and 75 years old and includes athletes who have never completed a triathlon as well as podium finishers. “I’m here to teach you how to be a faster, stronger, and more experienced triathlete,” says the author of five books on triathlon training. “I’ll help you focus on the aspects of the workout that hold you back the most.”
Ingrid’s trail running tips
- Map it out Irvine’s trail systems often connect, and a quick jog can turn into more than you expected if you don’t stay oriented. Plan your run and bring an old school map or use the GPS on Google Maps.
- Bring extra water and food. Three liters of water is the minimum required for a 10 mile run. You also need to be eating around 250 calories an hour. Make it easy to carry and unpack as chocolate loses its appeal once it has melted in your package.
- Leave the headphones at home. In the wild, you need to hear what is going on around you. Chirping crickets, rustling leaves and the sound of your own steps are part of the charm of trail running.
- Pace yourself- Trail runners run a lot. Going up and down steep hills is more efficient. So don’t let it deter you whether you “walk” or “walk”. Get your clothes wet on hot days as covered skin is cooler than bare skin.