With trail running becoming more and more popular I wanted to share some tips to ensure you have fun and are safe during this spectacularly fun activity. No point getting some wonderful fresh air and then going to hospital with an injury. We will be competing at Tanay Rizal this Sunday starting at 5am.
Preparation is the Key – Pick the Right Race and Distance
It all starts with picking the right race and run category for you. My last race was a 21km trail where we were pre-warned by the organizers that “THIS IS TRAIL RUNNING! THIS IS EXTREME SPORT!” Indeed, it was so tough that only 23 out of 150 starters made it within the 7 hour cut-off time! I was very delighted to finish 2nd in that grueling race in a time just short of 6 hours.
We all know that regular running is about your legs. Well, trail running is also about upper body strength so I recommend that you try some gym routines to build upper body strength. I love using my eccentric gym routines and this helped me on the trail as I climbed up and down the rocks, held onto vines and trees and even when I slipped and had to brace my fall.
Make sure you arrive at the race venue prepared and bring the following:
(1) Gloves to save your hands from rock cuts, plants stings etc.;
(2) Head-lamp and/or flash light as the races start in the dark of morning;
(3) Home-made energy gel for your trail fuel;
(4) A good sized water bottle with your water bottle holder;
(5) Your cell phone just in case you get into trouble on the trail and need to ring a friend (have a bum bag with plastic zip lock bag if it is wet);
(6) Bring a hat because once the sun rises it can get very hot;
(7) A good breakfast like 3 boiled eggs or even a nice Omelette before the race;
(8) Some post-race snacks like bananas, nuts and even an iced coffee made with coconut milk;
(9) Some people use trail running poles but I think it depends on the trail and how many rock climbs are included.