Whether you’re an expert trail runner or a newbie, Lisa Jhung’s book, Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running has something for you. Jhung, Boulder-based contributing editor at Runner’s World and the magazine’s trail running columnist, compressed her years of experience pounding the trails into a comprehensive and handy guidebook.

Trailhead, Jhung’s first book, is full of advice about everything from running attire (to wear spandex, rear-end accentuated shorts or not, that is the question) to differentiating between a bobcat and a mountain lion (hint: don’t try to out-run either). Other topics include trail-running etiquette (“Honor Thy Trail Signs”), DIY screw shoes for icy runs, and nutrition tips for before, during, and after your runs.

5280 caught up with Jhung to chat about her favorite trails near Denver and her personal post-run nutrition habits:

For beginners, Jhung suggests Boulder Valley Ranch.

“It’s a good beginner trail because it’s wide, flat and smooth. But you still get to run in a prairie with lakes, ponds, and a natural experience,” Jhung says.

For a more intermediate or advanced experience, try Sunshine Canyon.

The 1.7-mile route connects to other trailheads and is “single-track and mellow,” according to Jhung. Another option is Chautauqua Park: This is a great starting place because “it’s great for hiking but also offers opportunities for fun and challenging runs.” Jhung recommends starting on Mesa Trail and heading up to the peaks for an advanced trail run.

After a particularly grueling trail run or adventure race, Jhung craves protein.

“I make an egg scramble with veggies and avocados or I have a chocolate Luna protein bar. Also, I’m drinking lots of electrolytes. But that’s when I’m being good.” Jhung admits that, when she’s bad, she indulges in fries and a coke (something we can all relate to).

Meet the Author: The official launch party for Trailhead is Tuesday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m. at Upslope Brewing Company, 1898 S. Flatiron Circle, Boulder. Stop by for a free beer (while supplies last) and snag your copy of the book.

Sarah Banks
Sarah Banks
Sarah produces, photographs and researches the photography in the print edition of 5280. In addition, she photographs and writes for 5280.com.