Get in direct contact with nature and awaken your wildest emotions. Everything you need to know about Trail Running training
“On the mountain, you learn just how small you are. A falling pebble or a storm can take you right off the map, and that helps you reconsider things a lot and realise what’s important.” Kilian Jornet.
What is Trail Running?
Trail running is a sport where you and the mountain play on the same team
Basically, it consists of running off-track in the middle of nature. The runner is confronted with steep terrain, steep slopes and slippery gravel. According to the ITRA (International Trail Running Association), it’s described as a form of running “in a natural environment (mountain, desert, forest or flat) with a minimum of paved roads”.
Although the first organised races took place in Canada, England, Australia and the United States during the 19th century, trail running has ancestral origins. The earliest origins of trail running date back to 3,800 BC in ancient Egypt.
Currently, competitions and events are organised around the world, and it’s a sport on the rise
Trail Running and being contact with Nature
Running frees the soul
It puts you in direct contact with nature and awakens your wildest emotions. I’m sure if you’re a running enthusiast, your argument for why you run sounds something like this. And, believe me, you’re right.
Trail running has that powerful emotional ability, in addition to the benefits associated with training outdoors
Tips for getting started with Trail Running
You may already be a regular runner and have already taken your first steps in fun runs, but you should know that trail running has little to do with conventional running.
The hostility of the terrain conditions, the running technique and form. So, if you’re thinking about getting started with trail running, there a couple of points to consider before heading out into the mountain.
Trail Running Equipment
As with urban running, you need your clothes to be breathable and comfortable. Many prefer to wear bright colours because, if they get lost, they are easily located. However, if you’re someone who likes to take care of all the details, you should bear in mind that, at the end of the race, you’ll end up much dirtier than usual.
As such, it’s a good idea to wear clothes that you don’t care too much about getting covered with mud and splashes
It’s a mistake to use the same shoes to run in the city and the mountains. For short runs, they can work, but if you really want to take trail running seriously, it’s best to make a small investment in mountain running shoes.
In trail running, you burn more calories and start sweating much earlier than when you run around town. That’s why it is essential to always go for a run with a water bottle or something to keep you hydrated.
I know you’re thinking that carrying a bottle around is uncomfortable, and you don’t see yourself running around with your hands full.
But don’t worry, there are now many systems available that make it much easier to carry your bottle while running.
You’re done worrying about traffic and cars. On the mountain, you can have the whole width of the road without fear of being run over. Even running at night stops becoming an obstacle course where traffic lights, pedestrians and vehicles need to be avoided.
All you need is a headlight to light your way. As mentioned above, it’s also a good idea to wear bright clothing to facilitate rescue if you end up lost in the middle of the mountain.
Change of clothes
Most trail runners don’t have the mountain near the house and have to take the car to get close to the foot of the track. It is therefore advisable to always leave a change of clothes for after the training session.
For your first Trail Running races
The only way to know if you like something is to try it. There’s nothing else to it…
If you have not yet faced the mountain, I encourage you to try it at least once. You might be afraid of the unknown, don’t know which routes to follow or how to get started. It’s best to find a group of mountain runners and ask them about routes near your home. If you dare, you can accompany them on one of their outings.
When you start out with trail running, you’ll get used to climbing slopes, sliding through mud and overcoming steep hills.
Soon you’ll find that trail running technique plays a much more important role than you might have imagined
Start off with gentle runs
There are two types of trails, technical and non-technical.
My recommendation is that, when you start, you do so with easier runs. Even in a natural environment, non-technical trails include more affordable and easier trails for beginners. The technical ones, on the other hand, are full of steep hills and narrow paths that you will certainly not want to start testing your legs on.
Take it easy.
Usually, you run 20% slower on trails than in normal races. Partly because the route is more irregular than normal and you have to negotiate, constantly, with slopes and hostile terrain. It is therefore normal if you take it more slowly than usual on some sections of the route.
The important thing is getting there
Don’t worry about walking
For many experienced runners, it would be unthinkable to start walking in the middle of a race. But trail running has little to do with running. Here, nature competes on your side, so don’t try to bend or ridicule it.
Scan the route
In the mountains, you have to pay special attention to where you put your feet. That’s why you have to get used to running while constantly scanning the route. Ideally, fix your gaze 3 metres ahead of you.
If you come across steep rocks or roots, you should raise your knees a little higher than normal.
Common sense is the least common of the senses. Even if the trail awakens your wildest side, don’t forget to use your head before you start. Everything related to safety is always a good idea.
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