They say that if you love road running, you might not like hitting the mountain trails. For many outdoor enthusiasts nowadays, though, that isn’t true! In fact, many people enjoy trail running because it’s like a combined sport of our outdoor favorites: running and hiking!
Naturally, as with any other outdoor sport, you need to properly prepare for trail running, especially if you plan on joining a race! Are you ready for the challenge of running the beaten path?
5 Things to Remember If You’re a First Time Trail Runner
5. Get Proper Training.
If you haven’t worked out, played a sport, or at least shed some sweat recently; it’s time to put on your running/training shoes and exercising again. You don’t want to shock your body with the exhaustion that comes with trail running, so you’d better condition it! Your legs will need to endure a harder level of running, going through technical trails, rocky terrains, uphill climbs, and even crossing rivers.
If you’re joining a race for the first time, go extra with your training. Check which breathing patterns work for you when you’re running. According to Runners World, “running off road can be exhausting at first, and it may take up to twice as long as your normal run, especially in the early stages of training.” On that note, it might be better to practice on real mountain trails so you can learn your pace. Ideally, you should go for strength and balance workouts!
4. Get into the Right Mindset.
More than the body, the mind will also help you finish your race, so make sure you feed it with encouragement and positivity. To amp up the excitement, join the trail run race with your friends! Tell your mind that you can do it and that sometimes, the mind just sets a limit. Since this will be your first time, figure out your pace during your trainings. You’ll definitely progress in time, but follow what most experienced trail runners say for now: “When in doubt, slow down or walk through it”. You’ll finish the race at your own pace anyway; don’t give up!
3. Develop a Water Drinking Strategy.
For most trail run races like the upcoming Salomon X-Trail Run this July, you are required to at least bring 500ml of water with you (though this will also depend on the distance you’ll take) and it is indeed a must!
You need to learn water discipline so you can make the most of your hydration bottles. After all, you can never tell how long it will take you to finish the run since it will be your first time. SalomonTV says you need to drink a lot of water 2 to 3 days before the race. They also advise not to drink too much since over-hydration can give you stomach pains. Listen to your body and only drink water when it says it’s thirsty.
2. Bring the Right Shoes and Gear.
Don’t go into battle without the right gear! For trail running, you’ll need a reliable pair of shoes to accompany you to the finish line and they should differ from the ones you use for road runs. You can never tell; you might get addicted to trail running, so why not invest in the right kind of shoes? Get a pair that fits you well, too, so you can avoid injuries. We highly recommend Salomon, a brand we all know for their high quality trail running shoes! Choose from their variety of trail running shoes, such as the S LAB SPEED 2, the S LAB ULTRA, and the SENSE PRO 2.
Aside from a pair of shoes, you might also need sunglasses to protect your eyes, not only from the sun but also from trees and bushes; trekking poles as a balance aid if you’re taking extra challenging trails; a dry-fit tee to make your run more comfortable; and a hydration belt, pack or vest if you do not like holding your water bottle in your hands while you run.
1. Have Fun and Be One with Nature.
One last thing and you’re all set to run the trails: are you ready to have fun and be one with nature? As challenging as it may sound, you should get excited to try something new. What we love about outdoor activities is, of course, the core of it all: the feeling of fun and fulfillment that it gives. Other than that, you’ll also get the chance to connect with nature. You’ll get to enjoy your runs along breathtaking landscapes, and see floras and faunas.
If you’ve decided to try out trail running for the first time, join this year’s Salomon X-Trail Run on July 22 at Subic Freeport.
Graphics by Katrina Tan
Don’t think too much about it. Go to their site and register now. See you on the trails!
Salomon X-Trail Run 2018