Using Trail Runs in Training (Recipe: Chewy Brownies)

I am not a fan of trail running.  That is mostly because I don’t often look at the ground carefully while running and have a tendency to trip.  The probability of that increases on trail runs, and I have experienced some nasty falls.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that trail running can benefit your training.  For instance, trail running forces you to run more slowly because you have to be more aware of your footing.  Slower runs are good for “easy” or “recovery” days and your heart rate is more likely to stay in the aerobic zone.

Furthermore, on a trail, the terrain is constantly changing which forces you to adapt your stride and pace which is helpful during a road race as well.  It’s more difficult to overstride while trail running compared to running on the road.  So, most runners will have shorter, more compact strides.  And the terrain is MUCH better for your legs and knees because you reduce the amount of impact every time your foot hits the ground.  Concrete sidewalks are the worst surface to run on–asphalt is even better than pavement, but dirt is the best.

In addition, you will develop different muscles from trail running because of the lateral movement that is involved.  You will work your abductors and core muscles more which will improve your overall speed.

Building ankle stability is especially important for trail runners who navigate uneven terrain.  Did you know that athletes can reduce their risk of an ankle sprain by 40% after regular balance-training workouts?  Good to know!

Running Tip:  You should run 3 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes at a minimum to stay fit during the off-season.  To maintain endurance, it is best to do a long run of at least an hour every 14 days.

I forgot to mention that Callie and I took a Freestyle Seminar this past Sunday.  It was so much fun!  Freestyle is a modern dog sport that is a mixture of obedience training, tricks and dance that allows for creative interaction between dogs and their owners (thank you Wikipedia!)–it’s pretty darn cool.  I don’t know that we will ever try to compete, but it’s fun!  Here is an awesome Freestyle performance to You’re the One that I Want if you are interested in watching!

Quote of the Day:

“If you undertrain, you may not finish, but if you overtrain, you may not start.” -Stan Jensen

Remember how I made two Cook’s Illustrated brownie recipes at the same time?  This was a loooooong time ago.  The other one was the Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownie recipe?  Well, this recipe here was my fav of the two!  Super tasty brownie recipe!  And it makes a 9×13 pan instead of an 8×8!  You can’t go wrong with more brownies.  These were made in the Williams-Osting’s kitchen back in December!  Yeah–that long ago.

Chewy Brownies - CI

Chewy Brownies


  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350*. Spray 9×13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. Take brownies from pan, return to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

This entry was posted in Callie!, Individual Workouts, Recipes, Stretch & Strengthen. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Using Trail Runs in Training (Recipe: Chewy Brownies)

  1. Pingback: 20 Miles on the Dreadmill (Recipe: Cranberry-Walnut Brussels Sprouts) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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