The Ups and Downs
of Trail Running
23K picture
Some helpful tips

1) To get fast on uphills, train fast on uphills. If you live in Kansas, crank up the grade on a treadmill.
2) Taking “baby steps” will help you maintain a good cadence when your lungs are screaming for mercy. It’s like switching to granny gear on a mountain bike.
3) On long, steady hills, switching often between walking and running is tempting, but it makes you lose momentum and cadence. Pick one or the other and go with it.
4) Posture is everything on the uphill. Leaning forward from the hips puts too much pressure on your back, an erect posture will provide better push-off.
5) Look ahead, not at your feet. This will allow you to pick the best line and free up your airway.

1) Don’t over-stride, each landing will put extreme stress on your quadriceps.
2) Lean forward not backward keeping your whole body perpendicular to the ground. Again this will save your quads and allow you to run faster.
3) If you need to control your speed cut your stride length and increase your cadence. Like using low gear in a car.
4) Like a hurdler, step over, not on rocks and other obstacles. Keep your body level and lift your legs.
5) Pick as straight a line as possible down the hill. The more you move left and right, the more you stress your legs and increase the distance.

Emotional Downhills: Conquering Burn-out
1) Run with one or more people.
2) Run a new route. Try running up a mountain, through a forest or in a creek, or all three in one run.
3) Leave your watch at home and take the pressure off of a run.
4) Run an errand. Pick up a video, drop off a bill, go to the post office, stop by the bakery, etc.
5) End your run with drills. Skipping, bounding, and strides can leave you feeling fresh at the end of a workout.
6) Take a break during your run. Climb some rocks, watch a deer, pick flowers or lay down and watch the clouds roll by.
7) Run in the dark. It’s amazing how different running seems when you can hear more than you can see.
8) Run in the rain. With the right attitude you can’t help but try and catch raindrops in your mouth.
9) Run a race just for fun or as a workout. While this works for some people, I always end up racing.
10) Set goals. Its easy to ask “why am I doing this” if you don’t have a reason for doing it.

These tips were compiled from me and my site by Monique Cole. You can find more advice and philosophy on the rambling page.

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