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Thoughts for the beginner Trail runner

The Beginner Trail Runner – Forest trails, mountain trails, sand trails, meadow trails, park trails. Trail running is trail. Running whichever trails you choose.

Thoughts for beginner Trail runner

The popularity of trail running has grown rapidly among runners and has attracted new enthusiasts to give running a go. A wide range of equipment specially for trail running has appeared in sports stores. Trail running events have also become more popular.

It is no wonder as running on trails can be much more pleasant compared to, for example, running on hard asphalt surfaces in the suburbs. For some, trail running brings the desired variation and mental relief from road running. Track running can be considered numbing, and training can easily get very intense when there are time, pace and mileage goals. Others, without exception, choose trails as their running paths. It is a kinder surface for the knees, for example.

Why go on the trails?

Trail running develops the runner in more ways than just training on flat terrain. The varied terrain ensures that in addition to endurance fitness, you also train agility, balance and muscle strength.

Take it easy and keep the pace slow enough, so you have time to react to all those rocks and roots which are sticking up. As your agility develops you can start picking up the pace. On uneven terrain, good balance is also an asset. Just like agility, balance develops with practice. In difficult terrain, you should slow down to your comfort zone or even walk. A good way to increase balance while running is to move your arms away from the body. The more your elbows stick out from your body the more balance you will have. Give it a try, especially on downhills.

In addition to the surface that develops the body in a versatile way, the forest trails provide a peaceful and aesthetically beautiful environment for running. In the forests, running is often perceived as therapeutic and stimulating to the senses (sounds, scents, natural colors and varied terrain). The forest is away from noisy traffic and the hustle of the city. You can be alone in the forest with your own thoughts, listen to the sounds of nature, enjoy the fresh air and the presence of nature. The time, and the training session, seems to pass by quickly in the forest. It just happens like that as the terrain is varied and running feels more playful while you are dodging roots, rocks and branches. You may also meet a playful squirrel or get a glimpse of a deer on your trails.

Tips for trail running

– To start trail running, all you need is running shoes and a sense of adventure. You can start with your ordinary running shoes but as the enthusiasm grows, it’s a good idea to invest in trail running shoes. Shoes for trail running are usually a bit stiffer compared to regular running shoes, which brings more support to the feet. The outer sole of the shoes is designed to bring more grip, and they are normally more weatherproof compared to regular running shoes.

– Start with familiar terrain/surroundings close to your normal running route. Trails can be found everywhere – in city parks and nearby forests.
– As your eagerness grows, expand your territory to outdoor areas which often have marked routes of different lengths.
– Go running with a friend or acquaintance who can take you on good paths.
– Find out if there are groups of trail runners near you. Feel free to contact them.
– Take your phone with you in case you get lost or hurt yourself.

Tips for running on the trails

– It is worth starting slowly in the beginning since the diversity of the terrain brings challenges. Falls, sprains and slips happen more easily than on flat terrain.
– Move your arms a little more away from your body to bring more balance, in
uneven terrain you need it.
– Keep a close eye on the terrain in front of you. Anticipate each footstep.
Sometimes you have to make a quick decision about the best spot to place your foot:
Is it the rock, the tuft of grass, the damp moss or the stump .. ?
– Every now and then look a little further ahead and see what kind of terrain is in front of you, so you know what to expect.

Written by Piia Doyle

Translation U. Doyle

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