Trail Running on the Road

Before we set out for our 8 week long road trip around the South Island of New Zealand I had been running between 20-45 miles total per week. I knew this would need to change for our road trip due to the time involved, and I wasn’t going to pack my strength workout weights in the car either.

I thought, considered, and planned to run 3 times a week with 2 runs at 5-6 miles each and one run 5-10 miles. Based on my previous experience, this should keep me in good condition and allow me to resume heavier training when we return (along with a body-weight only, light version of core, flexibility, and strength workouts!).

So far I have kept to my plan and really enjoyed the chance to run in different scenery. Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park are great and convenient for maximizing training time, but I do love a good trail run and I am not against road running in beautiful places.

Hanmer Springs

First up: Hanmer Springs. I ran through the forest walks which reminded me very much of Pennsylvania with so many pine tree variants and then ran the Upper Dog Stream Track / Jolliffe Saddle Track / Timberlands Trail Circuit. The loop track was a tough run as it included a few hundred meters of elevation gain and much of the trail was cobbled stone of 3-6 inch rocks which give the ankles quite a workout (with the added bonus of potential serious injury if your foot slips). Still, a beautiful 6 mile run.


Lake Rotoiti with Mt Robert in the background


Lakeside Loop Track

Second: Nelson Lakes. The views on this run were mostly over the lake at the bottom of the mountain we had hiked the previous day. The lake track itself was nondescript, but I did run early in the morning and enjoyed watching and listening to the group of (tourist) canoers getting their instructions on how to row as a group (the captain was barking commands LOUDLY and the tourists were fumbling almost comically with their rhythm). I did wind back through the moraine walk which had ICE on it and climbed Black Hill in run/stepping mode to make for another strenuous 6 mile run.

Starting on our road looking towards the Collingwood beach
Not exactly a road or a trail… but a great running surface all the same!
View from across the estuary about 4 miles outside of Collingwood town (it is the tiny set of houses in the distance)

Third: Collingwood. After 4 days on the Abel Tasman track I was not sure how my first post-hike run would go. I didn’t really have any strain or injuries during the hike, but my knees and toes had a bit of soreness. I started on the road near our holiday house with no particular plan for where or how far I would run. I managed to hit a dead end only a quarter mile into the road run (there are almost no roads here in Collingwood…), but luckily it was low tide and the beach was an option. I wound my way down the beach back to the downtown area and then down the main (only) road towards Farewell Spit. This was not really a trail run as it was mostly flat and on roads, but I do think the scenery justified the (many) cars I had to avoid by running on the grass shoulder and wait for at one-lane bridges. I made it 8 miles without too much difficulty and felt pretty good.

More running blogs to come as I plan to run in pretty much every major stop we have 🙂



2 thoughts on “Trail Running on the Road

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