Taking it to the trails with Coach Justyna

If you are used to racing on the roads, trail running can be intimidating. It is a different type of running, requires a different kind of focus and even requires different shoes. As a trail and road junkie, Coach Justyna is an excellent source of knowledge for those wanting to take their running to the trails. Justyna has won every trail race she has ever entered. Most notably, she was the Yamacraw 50k Champion in 2018, setting a course record by 44 minutes. In addition to trail dominance, Justyna can boast of an incredible road career as well. Justyna holds impressive marks in everything from the mile to the marathon. With an incredible work ethic, she proves that one can transition between trails and roads with confidence. Without further introduction, here are some tips, tricks and fun facts with coach Justyna.

How would you work with someone on easing into trails?

Coach Justyna: Start practicing running easy on the trails, and slowly add in miles on simple, medium and hard trails. As you become more skilled you can add in some races to keep motivated!  

Some people are “afraid” of the trails. What would you tell them?

CJ: The only thing I am afraid of is snakes hahaha. But you shouldn’t be scared, running on trails is fun, you get to explore the woods, run on the soft ground and run away from the loud roads. Trails are beautiful and relaxing. Though trail running is hard, you are running slower and you can handle going for a longer distance.

Why would you recommend trail running to someone?

CJ: Some people get tired of roads and they have no motivation for doing any distance. Trying trails is a way to find new goals and have a new excitement in your training. Trail running doesn’t mean you never get to run on roads again, it just means you can have variety in your schedule by adding in some trails.

Favorite trail shoe: Saucony Peregrine

Favorite way to fuel your runs: Honey Stinger Products (especially the Honey Stinger Chews)

If you are looking to expand your running and try some trail racing. We have the Eagle Ridge 5k/half marathon and 50k coming up. Coach Justyna will be there racing as well! Not ready to conquer the trails quite yet? The Wild Thangs Trail Series is coming back to Huntsville this summer. Registration for the events start February, 22.



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If this time last year someone would have said to me, "By April 2016 you'll have run 3 5Ks and will be running 15 miles every week (and enjoying it!)," I'd have laughed and made a joke about being chased by a scary clown. But, here I am, just finished my 3rd 5K with a time a little bit better than the last.  I'm really glad RunningLane encourages beginners. As someone who has never run or even been very athletic, it's nice to have guidance and a place to get my questions answered. Big thanks to my coach, Michael for setting me up with a program that I can stick with and challenges me.  My program is just that…mine.  It is tailored to my fitness level and ability and having someone to check in with each week keeps me accountable. It’s working!  In 14 weeks with my coach and RunningLane my BMI has dropped 5 points, my cholesterol went from over 200 to 165, and my resting heart rate has lowered because my heart is healthier and happier!  Thank you, RunningLane!