Getting Trail Run Ready Part 2
Another aspect is considering how close or far the nature trails are from your home – commuting is time- and energy-consuming. If trail running is something you plan on doing daily or at least 4-5 times per week, you can find yourself not able to practice trail running as much as you wish to if you have to go far in order to be able to do it.
Buy the right gear
Investing into this hobby is crucial from the very beginning, and that’s not just so you look like you know what you’re doing, but because you must take care of your safety. A mistake many beginner runners make is fall into trap of thinking that running is a completely innocent activity that brings nothing but health benefits. That could not be further from truth. Running can actually be detrimental to your health if you don’t have the right equipment.
It is fair to say that you should focus on shoes first. A lot goes into finding the shoe that not only fits you but also is adapted to the surface you run on, and you can read my previous guides for a more detailed outline of things to take into account when buying a pair of trail running shoes. One thing is for sure – don’t go for anything less than perfect for you and your running habits. Another thing to consider is movement aid – various wraps and bands. They help support your knees and muscles and ensure you don’t suffer injuries.
What many forget completely is post-running equipment. You’ll want to make sure that you can stretch and relax your muscles properly, and while there are many suggestions on how to do it, I’d say the two main things you want to own are resistance bands and massage balls or vols. These will more than sufficiently cover all of your post-workout needs.
Start physical preparation in advance
If you just hop up from your couch one day, throw your new shoes on and take off into the nature, you will not get far. Running is an extremely physically demanding activity, and trail running stands out here even more because of the uneven surfaces, changes in elevation and other environmental factors. Thus, you need to hit the gym way in advance to be prepared for what’s to come. Incorporate a lot of endurance training into your strength workouts, establish pre- and post-workout stretching routines (those couldn’t be more important for injury-free running), put together programs, ideally with a gym coach, tailored specifically to increase running performance and you’ll find yourself having an easier time on your first trail run than usual.
Be prepared for challenges
Regardless of all the preparation that you do, once you start your journey on that trail, it will be a hard one. The first steps always feel like a nightmare, your feet and muscles might get sore and you will probably feel exhausted. Adjust the distances and the difficulty of your runs to avoid burn-out but remember – there is a reason not everyone is a trail runner, and that’s because trail running is very hard.