We receive many questions from people new to Adventure Racing and one of the most popular ones is about trail running. What should I wear, how far do I need to run, is it difficult….So we have broken it down here for you all. Hopefully answers some of your questions…but keep them coming!
Nothing can beat the sight of a bit of greenery. It’s therapeutic! Countless amounts of studies have proved it! When you remove yourself from hustle & bustle that tends to manifest itself around concrete ridden landscapes and neon infested twilights, you will find uncongested & uncontested airy green filled landscapes, the stresses of endless deadlines and work are quickly forgotten. Fair quicker that city running. In the words of Ron Burgandy “It’s science”.
Full body work out….almost
Now before I go any further, I just want to clear any confusion that may arise, I’m not here to dis road running. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I’m all up for exercise, no matter what shape or form it is in. Exercise is good! Road running is good!
On the trails, the varied terrains will ensure that more muscle groups will be used including the legs, feet, ankles and importantly the core! We often don’t think of our feet as having muscles and kind of take them for granted…as functional yokes at the end of our legs. Because you rarely hit a patch of ground that is consistently flat, your foot strikes the ground on different areas of the foot which reduces the risk of injury from repetitive impact strains. It also strengthens the foot muscles as a whole.
Two birds…one stone.
When you run up hills, you are using some of the same leg muscle groups that are used on the bike…it’s a win win
Variety is the spice of…
Keeping your routes varied , mixing up terrains, keeps the brain stimulated. Your balance and alertness will improve, as you move from slippy stone to muddy puddles and tree root entangled turf.
A lot of runners get transfixed on times and PBs’. When you hit the trails, unless you are flat out on the exact same root, times will mean nothing. It becomes more about how you are feeling and heart rates. Something that is often overlooked but extremely important. So don’t be afraid to forget about times and speeds and go on how your body feels.
Ok so here are a few pointers to take note of if you trail running through winter…
- You need a good set of trainers. For the vast majority of trails, your normal road runners just wont cut the mustard. The trails are wetter, muddier and slippier especially now we head into winter. Trail runners have specially designed grips to lap up the muck and gives you JCB like traction. Salomons, Columbia, Hokas, Innov8’s. Just a few brands to look out for. A large number are also waterproof to keep your feet nice and dry on the hairiest of trails and come with hardened toe area to keep you from any mishaps from hidden stones and tree roots. If you are unsure of what I’m rabbiting on about, anywhere they sell trail runners, there will be someone there to walk you through it. You can always post us on our facebook & twitter pages and we would be glad to answer your questions.
- Safety first…always
We have gone through the pros of trail runners. The other bits you need are a fully charged phone in case of emergency. If possible (but not necessary) try run in pairs. If you are out alone, let someone know where you intend to go. Stick to known roots and trails (at least till you get more experience under your belt).As it gets darker earlier, make sure to get some good reflective gear and a headlamp. Check out our headlamp review.
- Be patient
As you may have guessed by now, its’ a little different from normal road running, so give yourself time to adjust. You may think you are not getting through the same distances as if you were on the roads but its a totally different animal. The hills and rougher terrains are tougher on the legs.
- Trail Running Groups/Clubs
In the last few years, the growth of trail running is a remarkable one. A quick google or social media search will set you right. Before you know it, you will be ripping up the side of a mountain, filling your lungs with healthy air, thinking to yourself, why didn’t I do this before.
Oscar Wilde once described Connemara as a "Savage beauty". And Gaelforce Connemara this weekend is just that...a savage beauty. Connemara itself consists of uncompromising, rugged landscapes with never ending coastal in inlets. Hence where [...]
Competitor Spotlight - Week 7. Our next competitor to go under the spotlight is our first lady to do so. Margaret "Mags" Erwin. She is an all action, straight talking, self professed chatterbox with [...]
With The Blackstairs Adventure Race, Clare Island Adventure Race & Gaelforce Connemara Adventure Challenge fast approaching, it's important you will not be left wanting at the starting line. Check out these 20 tips to help you [...]
1. Injury prevention In order to minimize the opportunity of getting injured, you should really try and get off the hard surfaces. Those high impact surfaces. The ones that batter the joints i.e. concrete, tarmac. [...]
Half-Marathon Mick back again with an epic Quest blog! Savage weather, beautiful scenery and fantastic food, Quest Glendalough had it all! My training during the week involved cycling back and forth to work followed [...]
Competitor Spotlight - Week 6. Our next competitor to go under the spotlight approached me at Quest Glendalough last Saturday out of the hustle and bustle of excited racers doing last minute checks, warm ups [...]
Getting on-board This is the first in a series of blogs to help build your confidence and skills around the one bit of the race you probably haven’t trained for! That’s OK though I am [...]
About know, if you were one of the lucky 3000 plus competitors who took part over the weekend in either Quest Glendalough or Shore2Summit, you are probably already beginning to plot your next outing. Check [...]
Competitor Spotlight - Week 5. With Quest Glendalough looming, I began to research actual footage of trails of Wicklow on Youtube and came across a channel by a fella called "Outdoorsy Guy". Turns out he [...]
We have some exciting news. Kayathlon.ie are delighted to announce that we will be interviewed on a brand new internet radio station Endurance FM on the 12th April on all things multi-sport/adventure racing in Ireland. This is [...]
With big calendar races like Quest Glendalough & Shore 2 Summit coming this weekend, the queries have started to filter through again. One of the more common questions we receive is on "Carb Loading" and do I [...]
For anyone who has ever gotten the heavy legs after transitions, you know it can be very frustrating. But there are ways & tricks to get around it. Before I tell you those, lets get [...]
Every once in a while a story comes along that makes you stop and think. A story that puts your own stuff into perspective. This story I talk about is the story of an Irish [...]
Competitor Spotlight - Week 4. So recently, Kayathlon.ie teamed up with Killary Gaelforce to run a competition to win a couple of free entries to Gaelforce Connemara on the 6th of May. From our [...]
Whilst training, it's sometimes easy to get carried away and think you're invincible. Do not get me wrong, it's so important as a self-motivator to be in the frame of mind that no hill [...]
Hi all, Half-Marathon Mick here. Week 2 of my training diary or log or whatever you might like to call it. The first of my races kick off this weekend with the Castleconnell 10K [...]
Introducing Mike Jones Adventurer, Our New Blogger. I mentioned a while back that our blog would soon be joined by a man who frankly encapsulates the adventurous spirit. If you were to ask anyone who [...]
Competitor Spotlight - Week 2. I was up on our Instagram page and my eyes were drawn towards a picture of huge hoard of Adventure Race medals. They belonged to a guy called Denis O'Sullivan. To [...]