Trail running is a great way to get a good workout while also enjoying the outdoors. It is a fun and challenging activity that can be enjoyed by people of almost all ages and fitness levels. As Steven Rindner says, trail running is very different from running on the road or hard asphalt, and therefore it is vital to orderly prepare for it. Trail running surfaces may include forest and field paths, grass and meadows, as well as stone paths, sometimes even sand.
Steven Rindner discusses a few things one should remember when gearing up for their first trail run
Before going on the first trail run, it is important for people to lay down a few basic foundations. A trail run is not the same as a marathon run next to a cornfield. It is also not like a hike in the forest. It involves hard running, usually for long distances, and on uneven grounds. Hence, trail running does need a certain level of preparation. Here are especially a few things that have to be kept in mind:
- Select the right trail: For the first trail run, one must not select a too difficult or long trail. There is no point trying to run as far as one would do on the roads. Trail running is more challenging; hence the body of a runner will also need to time to adjust. Beginners should typically select a short distance, with just a few technical passages. It is also vital to note that a 100m altitude difference is about an extra 1km of effort time. Hence, maintaining an ascent-friendly pace is important when going for the first trail run. Once a person successfully completes their first trail, and moves to the second, they can slowly try to raise the bar.
- Go for adaptive training: There are many factors that make trail running different from typical road running, including the technicality of certain passages, variety of terrain and considerable differences in altitude. Hence, one cannot train for both the running styles in the same manner. Adaptive training is vital before going on the first trail run. For a 20km trail, for instance, at least three weekly outings should be done. It is also prudent to accustom the body to the terrain that one would be encountering on a trail.
- Buying the right gear: Instead of simply wearing the old running shoes, it is better to invest in a pair of good trail running shoes. These shoes are designed to provide traction and support on uneven terrain. They generally have a more aggressive tread than road running shoes, and may also have features like ankle protection. It is also important to test these shoes when preparing for the run. Apart from good trail running shoes, you would also need items like a comfortable t-shirt, fleece or windbreaker, as well as shorts or running tights for the run. It would also be a good idea to get a windproof backpack, which can fit important supplies and water bottles, and fits comfortably and securely on the back.
As per Steven Rindner, in addition to following the pointers discussed above, newbie trail runners also must focus on managing their supplies properly. They must also let someone know beforehand where they are going, especially when running on an unfamiliar trail.