When it comes to training (for that half-marathon or epic bike race or simply to stay in shape), motivation is key. As one of my yoga-teacher friends likes to say: “Sometimes the hardest part is just getting to the mat.”

Ellen Miller knows all about staying motivated. The retired high-altitude mountaineer, now an outdoor fitness coach at the Vail Vitality Center in Vail Village, is the first American woman to summit Everest from Tibet and the only American woman to summit the imposing peak from two different sides (among her many other accolades). As a coach, the 55-year-old does all of her training outside; the only piece of equipment used in her sessions—besides Mother Nature—is a heart-rate monitor. I spent a morning running around Vail Village with the accomplished athlete (and 5280 videographer Kent Odendahl) and discovered that working out outdoors may just be the incentive many athletes need—no matter the weather. Take a look.

Colorado Workout: Training Outside with Ellen Miller from 5280 magazine on Vimeo.

View more videos from our Colorado Workout series here.

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.