The 5 essential points to start trail running
Also called “off-road race”, trail running is the race in the middle of nature that is experiencing some appreciation among the professionals of the fast stride in the open air.
Born in the USA in the 19th century to indicate the tracks used in the exploration of unknown lands, trail running is now a well-defined and regulated sport. Trail runners from all over the world gather for really difficult races and that put a strain on body and mind. Yes, because trail running is not just a matter of training. First of all, it requires a certain mental conviction and a lot of self-discipline.
If you’re going to try this sport and want to figure out how to prepare to get started in the best way, you do not miss the 5 basic points that every novice should follow!
Trail running for beginners in 5 points
1.Conviction, discipline and constancy
Trail running is a sport that requires a massive dose of goodwill. Trail running workouts really put a strain on your muscles, your stamina and recovery. If you really want to do trail running, you must be aware of the commitment and physical and mental effort that this sport demands.
No, we’re not trying to break you down, actually. Our goal is to focus on the first and fundamental requirement for this sport: awareness. It is a sport that can really make you understand what your limit is or, on the contrary, how to extend it. For many trail running is hard and tiring, for some it is a particularly extreme experience.
If your conviction is strong, you know that preparing for your first competition will be difficult. But, as they say, nothing is impossible. So read on to find out what makes the clothing of the real trail runner!
2.The clothing of the trail runner
If you are thinking about trail running clothing, our answer is depends. The toughest competitions that continue for several days require a different clothing from those that take place on a day and on relatively short routes. However, the keyword is “functionality”. Depending on the path and characteristics of the natural environment, your clothing must be functional.
Let’s start with the head. Trail running clothing includes hat with peak, neck tubes, bandanas and even glasses in case your route does not present shelter from the sun. Many also adopt a belt that can retain sweat.
We then move to the torso and legs. Trail running clothing must be designed in layers. The first, the adherent, has the function of absorbing sweat to keep the skin dry. The second layer should promote transpiration and evaporation. Finally, the last layer has the functionality to protect against wind and low temperatures.
So we get to the feet. Being a sport based on running, it is obvious that the quality of the shoes is fundamental.
3.Trail running shoes: which to choose
When it comes to trail running shoes and performance, price is not a selection criterion. If you thought you were using those old sneakers unearthed on rare sporting occasions, forget it. Trail running and shoes have nothing to do with generic sports shoes.
The shoes, in fact, are designed to ensure protection, tightness and stability on surfaces especially irregular. Their structure makes them suitable for muddier soils. The tile is designed to give the trail runner a certain traction and grip on different terrain. Reinforcements protect your fingers, heel and instep from bumps and scratches.
In this sport, shoes and safety are key points for good performance and for your safety. In addition to protecting the foot, trail running shoes can also be water resistant. Thanks to patented fibers that allow breathability, water and mud can not invade the interior of the footwear. Many also choose trail running shoes with built-in mini gaiters that help to prevent mud and pebbles.
4. Trail running poles
At the fourth point, we can already imagine you in your sports outfit. The time has come to combine technical and functional clothing with your trail running poles. But why use trail running poles? You should know that poles can become the main tools to face the most difficult parts of a path in the middle of nature. The trail running routes are very irregular and characterized by uneven levels with slopes of some difficulty. It is precisely in these cases that poles become fundamental. It is scientifically proven that for slopes above 15% it is energy-efficient to use poles.
During the climb, they act as a support to lighten the effort on the legs and contribute to the maintenance of an upright position, so as to facilitate breathing. During the descent, they lighten the weight on ankles and knees. On flat ground, some use them to produce that thrust that increases the pace and reduces the load on the joints.
In terms of trail running poles, together with experience, each trail runner acquires its own habits on their use in certain situations. The possible inutilizzo demands therefore poles that do not occupy and that they can be transported without generating impediments during the run.
The folding trail running poles are the solution for experts and beginners most appreciated by the industry. Here are the ones we recommend:
XTR CARBON EF
XTR CARBON E.F. – Gabel poles for trekking, trail running, and freeride
The XTR CARBON E.F. poles are primarily foldable poles designed for trekking, trail running, and freeride. They are perfect for enthusiasts of moderately challenging hikes. Given their characteristics, they are also recommended for ski mountaineering. They feature the ergonomic Ergo Fit grip, characterized by Soft…
What completes the trail runner instrumentation
Nature may not always be so kind, so it is important to have everything you need during the race. Among them, there’s definitely a backpack. For self-sufficient rides or in the absence of refreshments, the technical backpack allows you to have with you everything you might need. Windproof and waterproof jackets, compasses, smartphones and elastic bandages can be essential.
Hydration is one of the most important things in trail running. There are hydration backpacks available with special pockets to hold water bottles. There are also systems on the market consisting of back bags with straw and soft water bottle to avoid clutter.
Trail running training when you’re at the beginning
Start with trail running training sessions for leg muscles and to strengthen ankles. Add exercises to improve stability and balance and complete with running sessions in routes with gradual difficulty levels.
Always keep your heart rate monitored so you understand the intensity of the effort. If you can, start with an instructor who can steer you towards a complete and effective training path. Refine your run with trail running poles and get ready for your first competition!