Trail Running. How do you improve? In the Adventure school section we outline a session, which will see you take your running to the next level.
So you have picked a Trail run in 2017 and are thinking of entering it, you may have already entered it, you may be doing multiple Trail runs, you may just like running on the trails. But you’d still like to know how you could improve and best prepare. There are however techniques that you can incorporate into your weekly off road running right now.
Quick small steps
Quick smaller steps rather than longer strides is part of the key to increased running efficiency whilst on the road – this also helps on the trains but more importantly having smaller steps off road means you are more in control and balanced which is important on uneven surfaces. It will also allow you to change direction more quickly on twisting technical terrain.
Be prepared for a tumble
Following straight on from the above point with your smaller steps, falls happen more regularly when you are off-road. Not even smaller steps can always prevent this BUT being conscious of lifting your feet a little higher will definitely help you out here too. If you do fall ideally a tuck and roll is going to help take the pressure of the fall off a particular area of the body meaning you are less likely to sustain a significant injury, but this isn’t always possible and you may hit the ground face first ideally with your hands out first.
Treating the injury quickly and getting medical assistance when you are able will help you repair more quickly. Don’t underestimate how long it can take to repair grazed palms if you don’t get some decent dressings applied! Saying all of this, making sure you run consciously with loose arms means that you will have them ready to brace for an unexpected tumble, couple that with a strong core and you will be twice as likely to prevent significant injury when you hit the dust.
MY Trail Gear Checklist
A quick summary of what you should take on every Trail run:
- Trail running shoes, as they offer added grip and protection preventing possible injury
- A lightweight waterproof jacket, especially if you are going longer or running in an area of higher elevation
- Essentials: A charged phone, a whistle, a compression bandage and at least two food portions (Gels etc.) and water!
- Tell a friend: Don’t under estimate how important it is to tell someone your intended route, even if it’s only a 1 hour run. If you’re going solo this should be just as important as going for a run at all!
- Cover your ankles and keep debris out of your shoes.
Scott is a member of Runlab’s Elite runners program sponsored by Skins and Isowhey sports as well as being an ambassador for Pure Performance Sports and Altra. Goal races for 2017 are the Buffalo Stampede Great Southern Endurance Run (100 Mile).
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