Sunrise Striders

Challenging Group Training Runs

General Information

Sunrise Striders at Garden of the Gods


Challenging training runs in the Pikes Peak region occurring every Tuesday and Thursday at 6AM, rain or shine, blizzard or drought.

Welcome to the Sunrise Striders

A small group of us began running together in the Garden of the Gods in the spring of 2004 as part of the PPRR Garden 10-Miler training runs. We were labeled as the “fast trail group”. After the Garden that year, our group decided to continue the habit of running at sunrise throughout the year, moving around to different trails and venues throughout the Colorado Springs area. Many of us are avid volunteers, board members and race directors for the Pikes Peak Road Runners.

Over time, word-of-mouth spread about our training group as more and more runners have come out to join us. Over the years, runners have come and gone, but one tradition has continued: regardless of the weather, and regardless of when the sun actually rises, the Sunrise Striders will be logging in some great training miles at 6AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Over 500 runners receive the weekly workout reminders, and on average, between 20-40 show up for any given workout. One thing is for sure though. Those who are consistent and stick to the training plan definitely get faster! Get started by clicking on any of the options below.

Typical Workouts

  • TEMPO RUNS -- The goal of the tempo run is to train the body to run more efficiently by running at a sustainable, yet mildly uncomfortable pace, known as anaerobic threshold (AT). This is done at an intensity that is immediately below where the body can no longer clear lactate. There are many ways to measure this, but using a heart-rate monitor is probably the best. Try to stay around 90% of your max for the entire duration of the tempo portion. If you go much higher, it becomes difficult to recover and over-training can be the result.

  • HILL REPEATS -- Colorado Springs is home to lots of hills and mountains. For the runner who wants to improve his or her strength and conditioning, this is a good thing. We’ll typically warm up for 15-20 minutes on a beautiful trail, then we’ll head over to steep hill for the workout component of the run. Repeats will typically range from 45 seconds to as long as six minutes. For shorter duration hill repeats, we’ll do anywhere from 10-16 of them. For those longer duration hills, we’ll do anywhere from 4-6. Bottom line is, by incorporating these workouts, the runners build stronger leg muscles, learn to climb more efficiently with quicker turnover, develop cardiovascular strength, and most importantly, build mental toughness.

  • VO2 MAX and CRUISE INTERVALS -- No question about it, the track is a great place to build speed, develop better running efficiency, and measure your progress toward your running goals. The only problem is, the dreaded oval can be excruciatingly boring. That’s where the group dynamic comes in. Many of the runners have commented how they would never do track workouts on their own, but with the group, they actually enjoy them. The goal of VO2 max workouts is to develop pure speed by going out hard and holding the pace, focusing on turnover and efficiency. Cruise intervals are typically done at a slightly slower pace: at anaerobic threshold, like a tempo run, only measured on the track. Never done a track workout before? Not to worry. Most of our runners had never done one either until coming out for our morning workouts. We typically have a pace wheel to help you dial in your ideal goal pace.

Sample Workout E-Mail

Hey gang,

Enjoy that extra hour of sleep? And a bit of extra light in the mornings? I'll take it. It would also be great to run in slightly above freezing temps for a few days (fingers crossed). Remember, we are meeting at 6am at the Plaza of the Rockies, south tower, 121 S. Tejon. Here's what's on tap for this week:

Tuesday, Nov. 5: ELECTION DAY Speed Work: Mini-Yasso 800's at the CC Track.
What's a Yasso 800 workout? Read about it here. That's also where you can find your target pace (think marathon goal time). We'll warm up via ATB Park north to the CC track. Once on the track, you'll run 7-8 x 800M intervals with a 400M jog recovery in between. If you're closer to the 4-5 minute range for your target 800 pace, shoot for 7 of them. If you're down around the 3 minute pace or faster, shoot for 8. Cool down easy back to the Plaza. And remember to VOTE!

Thursday, Nov. 7: Bear Creek Tempo (Figure 8 or Clockwise loop).
We'll warm up via ATB Park and head south into Bear Creek, entering off of 8th Street. From the entrance, run the Figure 8 loop at a tempo effort, and for those who will take more than 30 minutes, do just the outside loop in a clockwise direction. If you're new, ideally you'll be able to follow the runner/headlamp in front of you to learn the route. Convene back near 8th Street for a cool down back to the Plaza.