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Creating a Trail Runner

Everyone starts as a beginner says David Roche. If you stick with it though, the rewards are great. “If you stick with it, what is hard becomes second nature and what is impossible becomes merely difficult” says Roche. Invest your time and training and the result will be life-affirming trail runs. Here’s how to become a true trail runner.

1. Focus on Form

“Endurance running is weird. All your life, you have been taught to run for speed. Pump the arms! Lift the knees! Puke when complete!” says Roche. To be an endurance runner you need to change it up a little and focus rather on short, soft strides and not having any tension. Make your running style as comfortable as possible and allow the movement to flow backwards through the hips.

2. Frequency Over Volume

Build up how many days of the week you run before you increase the distance. Running places large amounts of stress on the muscles and bones and the body needs to learn to adjust, this is easier to learn in many short runs rather than one or two long runs. This requires a large amount of patience but will be well worth it in the long run.

3. Practice Prevention

“Running will expose any imbalances in your body” says Roche. Make sure to stretch and do some strength training, this will help prevent injuries.

4. Work Up to Workouts

Easy and aerobic workouts will help but for the biggest improvement add in 1 of these workouts a week (if you are running at least 4 times a week and more than 15 miles try adding 2)

Hills for Breakfast: 10-minute warm-up run, 4 to 6 x 60-second hills, 10-minute cool-down run

Strides for Lunch: 20-minute warm-up run, 6 to 8 x 30 second strides, 10-minute cool-down run (Try this a few weeks in)

Downhills for Dinner: 20 minute warm-up run, 2 to 4 x 3 minutes slightly downhill, 10-minute cool-down run (Try this 1-2 months in)

"Time on Feet" for Dessert: 90 minutes to 3 hours exploring (Try this once you are comfortable with the first 3, there are no specific time goals here.)

To read the full article written by David Roche click here.