Sunday, April 8, 2012

Half marathon training: Trail running

Training for the Chicago Women's Half Marathon is now one week strong. I've slightly adapted this Hal Higdon training plan to fit my schedule and what I think I'll actually stick too. On my most recent training run, I hit up a trail near my work building. I've run on this particular trail many times before, but not for quite some time. I was kind of excited to get back out there. This season I've hit asphalt and track surfaces, but after this last run I realized how much I enjoy trail running! Mostly because it's more challenging than training on a treadmill or the track, but not as stressful as running on asphalt. I may need to seriously look into trying out some trail races. Trail running/racing seems like an entirely different realm of running I'm not totally familiar with yet but I thought of a few things that may be helpful to novice trail runners like myself just starting out.

1. Reduce safety risks
Run in pairs or let someone know where you will be running and for how long. Take plenty of fuel and fluid, a lightweight jacket and a cell phone. Take notice of your surroundings. Things look different coming back than going. Use trail signs and identify rocks, trees or landmarks to keep track of your location.
2. Expect varying inclines and surfaces
I've become spolied running the flat streets of Chicagoland. Trails can be hilly and uneven. It's ok to walk steep hills. Avoid stepping on unsteady rocks or surfaces. Plan your steps around obstacles before you reach them.

4. Focus on time, not distance
Out-and-back routes are my favorite because you can cover the same distance it seems a little bit faster on the way back since the path is familiar.

5. Respect nature
If you have to fuel on a trail run, hold onto your empty wrappers. There aren't any street cleaners in the wilderness to pick up behind you. Stay on marked trails and try not to cut through or create new paths which may disturb the surrounding wildlife.

That's all I've got on trail running for the moment. Happy trails to you!

No comments:

Designed By Blogger Templates