Tips, Techniques and Benefits of Trail Running at Crystal Springs
You might think that running is running – but what you may not know is that road running is not the same as trail running. While road running is usually based on running on tar roads, in a constant forward movement with minimal obstacles – trail running requires a lot more strength and awareness to overcome the many obstacles along the trail; from fallen branches to muddy patches.
Trail running happens mostly over uneven natural surface areas and bumpy terrain and requires much more concentration than road running. Because so many of our guests have enjoyed and commented about how awesome trail running is at Crystal Springs, we thought we would share some of our knowledge on the topic. So we have listed a few tips and techniques to look out for and follow on your next trail run.
Trail Running Tips:
- Wear Trail Specific Shoes – wearing the right shoes can not only keep you from getting injured but aid in providing you with better traction. Ask for assistance when purchasing running shoes to ensure you buy the most suitable pair.
- Do Warm-Ups and Stretching – warming up and stretching help lessen the chance of pulling a muscle or injuring a tendon. It will also help you loosen your muscles and gradually brings your heart rate up, which will ultimately make it easier for you to get into the rhythm of running and help you gain momentum.
- Think Feet – be mindful of where you place your feet to avoid falling or spraining an ankle.
- Stay Hydrated – not having the right amount of energy will slow you down and stop you from completing longer distances. However, one should only drink when your body tells you too as over-hydration can be a serious issue.
Trail Running Techniques:
- Look Forward – staring at the surrounding scenery or at your feet can be a distraction. Looking forward and scanning the trail 10 to 15 feet in front of you can help with foot placement and help you take note of obstacles.
- Shorten Your Stride – shortening your stride increases your agility and aids in quick reaction to obstacles.
- Shoulders Straight – ensuring that your shoulders are kept straight and aligned with your back prevent your shoulders from putting stress on your back and robbing your lungs of space to inflate.
- Perfecting Your Arm Swing – ensure that your hands are in relaxed fists and keep your arms perpendicular to your torso. Perfecting your arm swing will help build forward and upward momentum and means you don’t entirely rely on your legs.
We also thought we would add in some benefits of trail running to keep you motivated to get off the couch and out there!
Benefits of Trail Running:
- Cost Effective – trail running is quite cost-effective in comparison to other sports. The main essentials for trail running are running shoes and a water bottle.
- Skill Requirements – trail running is something everyone that has a clean bill of health from their doctor can do. If you are running merely for health benefits and enjoyment and not to win races – your skill requirements are quite low.
- Physical Benefits – trail running strengthens and improves bone density of your legs. It also strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system.
- Emotional Health – trail running greatly improves your mental health, increases your energy levels, reduces tension, anger and depression, provides greater satisfaction and improves your creativity.