If you’re bored with the monotony of pounding the pavement, incorporating some trails into your running, could be just the tonic you need to get you motivated, build fitness faster and avoid injuries caused by the repetitiveness of road running.
■ Look at trail running as a way of exploring your local environment. It’s uplifting to find yourself away from roads, cars and urban sprawl.
■ Unlike road running, where your mind doesn’t switch off, running off tarmac allows you to completely lose yourself in the moment due to the need for 100% focus… Think “where’s my next foot position, where’s the trail leading me, uphill technique and downhill technique, what an incredible view, etc…” It allows you to totally switch off and have a breather from the hectic “always on” digital life we lead.
■ Trail running calls on a larger group of muscles as you adapt to the underfoot conditions. It also trains your proprioceptors (the nerve endings in your muscles which provide information about joint, angle, muscle, length and tension), giving you a better sense of balance. Balance is what gives you the edge towards the end of a run. Interval Training is a natural by-product of trail running as the terrain dictates the intensity you work at on different sections. Varying speed and effort improves your strength and endurance by increasing your lactic acid threshold.
■ Less repetition = less injury. Running on uniform surfaces makes you more susceptible to injury because your foot always hits the ground in the same way. Running off road, you hit the ground at different angles with every step, which makes you less prone to the kind of injuries road runners are susceptible to. Also, trails absorb more of the impact of each footstrike than pavements or roads.
■ Quality not quantity. You need a different rationale when you’re trail running. It’s not about PBs and miles covered but more about time spent on your feet. The distance you’re able to cover will be dictated by the terrain, so miles are less important than time.
HOW TO TRAIL RUN
Small changes to your running stance will be a big help. The challenges of the terrain are absorbed by a relaxed bodily suspension, minimising impact, effort and risk of collision so keep your body as relaxed as possible. Shorten your stride to maintain your centre of gravity and lift your legs slightly higher. This is particularly important when doing hill work.
Aid your balance by keeping your arms slightly out at the sides, but keep shoulders and hands relaxed. Find more tips and tricks on trail running at howtorun.salomon.com/
Footwear is the most important kit. Trail shoes differ to road shoes by focusing more on traction, agility and protection rather than on cushioning and stride. Look out for the brand NEW Salomon Sense Ride which launches in June. It has the cushioning and comfort that you might expect of a road shoe but the grip needed for traction on varying terrain and a natural rocker motion to help you roll through the trails.
NOW GIVE IT A TRY… ENTER THE SALOMON SUNSET SERIES
The Salomon Sunset Series is a brand new event touring around the UK this summer visiting Leeds, Edinburgh, London and Bristol. Salomon are giving you the opportunity to step off the pavement and into nature, to learn more about trail running and find your local trails.
The Sunset Series is a completely unique event, where participants will be running 10K in a beautiful scenic route during sunset. Each run will end at a viewpoint where, with your fellow runners, you’ll be able to watch the last of the sun setting for the day before ending the evening enjoying our event village. And as part of the tour, Salomon will bring their pop-up shop to city centre locations for you to find out more about trail running, speak to the experts and join the Salomon community.
For more information and to sign up now, go to salomonsunsetseries.co.uk/