No noise, no traffic, no problem, right? Well, the transition from road running to trail running isn’t as simple as you might expect. You need to prepare differently and learn fresh techniques. To equip you perfectly for this year’s Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, we’ve come up with some ideas to make sure you’re geared up to take on the unique challenge pf trail running. Following these tips, you’ll be more than prepared come May 19th.
1 – Train on trails
The clue is in the name and it might seem obvious, but there’s no point training for a trail run on the roads. It’s all well and good taking to the roads to improve your general levels of fitness, but nothing can replicate the peaks and troughs of a trail. Hit the woodland tracks as much as possible and accustom yourself to a fresh terrain.
2 – Get some new trainers
If you think it would be a waste of money to invest in a brand-new pair of trail running trainers, you’re wrong. Nature is unpredictable, unlike concrete slabs on roads. Trail shoes might be a little bit heavier, but they carry a lot more grip and resistance than road running shoes and will save you the hassle of unwanted slipping injuries.
3 – Refine your hill running technique
Nature throws up more challenging hills than the roads. The key with hill running is not to get it over and done with in one, powerful push, but instead to preserve energy and approach the uphill with composure. Run at a steady pace, push off the balls of your feet and don’t overdo it. Many see running downhill as a ‘freebie’, as gravity will just get you there fatigue-free but take care not to injure yourself or hit the ground too hard.
4 – Don’t be put off by paces
New trail runners may find themselves similar distances at slower paces compared to when they were running on roads. That’s because trail tracks ask a lot more of your body and soak up a lot more energy. It might hit you as a surprise initially, but don’t let that put you off. Once you’ve caught the trail running bug, it’s all about bettering your technique and improving your pace.
5 – Enjoy new surroundings
While running on the roads offers easy escapism from work and the stress of everyday life, trail running courses are often a lot more picturesque – especially here in Mid-Wales. Surrounded by stunning scenery, local wildlife and the best rural Wales has to offer, run in relaxing settings and enjoy the new experience.