‘The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in a place no one has ever been’. – Albert Einstein
Ever since Bill Bowerman, the co-founder of Nike Inc. published his book Jogging, a jogging phenomenon ignited in America. Well that was the 60s and today we can see a lot of people taking up running. Some eccentric people wanted to take it up a notch by running on hills!
I’m just kidding, that was definitely not how trail running started. Well we don’t know how it started and nobody actually cares. All we need to know is that trail running is done for individual purposes, be it for meditation or motivation or pure adrenaline madness.
The important thing is to know that whatever reason drives you for a trail running, we want you to be safe and sound so that you can do more of it. So we will carefully look at the intricate details of trail running and the gear that can be used to help you enjoy your trail run.
What is Trail Running?
So before everything we need to know what trail running is. Trail running can be referred to as a combination of running while hiking in a mountainous terrain.
Aspects of Trail Running
‘Whatever goes up, must come down’ – Issac Newton
So when you run up a hill, you definitely will have to run down the hill in order to complete your trail run. That completes the two aspects of trail running- Uphill Running and Downhill Running.
It might sound frivolous but the real aspect is the technique which is different for both the aforementioned aspects.
Uphill Running Technique
There are three important points to learn while running uphill.
- Timing your pace: It is important that you don’t burn out yourself so trail running is not all about running only. You should run but keeping in mind your breathing rate and heart rate you ought to walk for few minutes as well.
- Use of Hands: Using hands can help you to conserve energy while running. Hands not only balance you but also help to produce more energy.
- Feet angle: This is the most important thing because many runners ignore this and end up with a lot of stress on their feet. It is important that your heels touch the ground while running because usually when you are running uphill, only toes touch the ground and that is a big no no.
Downhill Running Technique
Downhill running might seem a bit easier than uphill running and that is the moment when we pace up ourselves. The only risk is falling down if you don’t keep in mind the following points:
- Keep your feet under your center of gravity: It might seem too complex to understand but it simply means that lean your body in the direction of motion and not away from it. If you try to lean backwards while going downhill, chances of the humpty dumpty fall are very high. So if you don’t want a painful butt at the end of the day then lean forward.
- Quick feet: Moving your feet quickly reduces the fatigue level in your knees as they are exposed to stress for some fractions of second. So take small but quick steps for a fatigue free running.
Trail Running Gear
Trail running is free sport and hence there should be minimum number of gear that you must seek out. You want yourself to be hands free and lightweight while running so that you can cover long distances. So here is a list of essentials for trail running:
Choosing the shoes should be done wisely as they can protect you from major injuries. A perfect shoe has a grippy outsole with deep lugs, a breathable yet durable upper, toe-guard, underfoot plate and a good midsole. This type of shoe will help you to have a safe and fatigue free running.
Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail running shoes tick in all the above boxes. It is great for people with wide foot as well.
Another great pair of shoes which stands neck to neck with the Salomon is the ASICS Gel-Venture 6 MX Men’s Running shoe. It has been specifically designed for trail running and is priced lesser than the Salomon.
Practically speaking, you will want to have a bottle of water while running and a place where you can keep your car keys, energy gel and some food items. A good quality running vest provides you space for all that and sticks to your back without its individual movement. And a better running vest provide you even a water bladder.
InnerFit Hydration Backpack and Water Bladder is one of the best multipurpose vests available in the market for trail running.
It has plenty of pockets to keep all your essentials and the good part is that it comes with a water bladder.
In case you want to do a trail run in the early morning hours or late evening, then you should carry a headlamp with you. Headlamp allows you to run safely when the ambient light is not enough. A waterproof lamp with adjustable light should be enough for a good run.
Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight is lightweight, has four light modes and is waterproof, making it perfect for runners. Since trial running is all about inner feel so spending more on headlamp will not be a good option and thus Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight fits in perfectly for the job.
All these accessories will surely help you to have a safe and fun trail run. Since you read the full article, we would also like to give you a bonus tip for trail running. Before you start running, to remove the stiffness off your muscles use muscle roller massage stick.
We recommend you to use a stiff massage stick and if you don’t have one then you can go for Doeplex Muscle Roller Massage Stick.
If you are skeptical about taking a trail run then leave all your fears and go for it. Trail running inculcates several qualities such as persistence, never back down attitude, inner peace in oneself and remember- ‘Only the one who walks his own way can’t be overtaken’. So go out there and make your own way!