Trail running to push your limits upwards

Even mountain trails are not immune to orange cones and ribbons from running competitions. Trail running is becoming increasingly popular, but how do you prepare for a race? As everyone (more or less) will be wondering: are trail running and mountain running the same thing? And, again, are all mountain runs dirt tracks? Well, quite surprisingly no, because in some circumstances, even a run on a paved road with a great difference in height can be considered a sort of trail running.

Trail running: some definitions

According to the definition of the World Mountain Running Association, trail running races are those that take place on routes with high elevation differences, both uphill and downhill.
If cross-country races have been widespread and practised since the origins of modern athletics - it was an Olympic discipline until 1924 and is still a test bed for junior middle distance runners and in school sports events - trail running has had a more recent explosion, with increases in participants and investments especially in the last twenty years.

To deal with unevenness and uneven terrain, it is necessary to undertake specific routines, to be maintained in training even during the winter period.

In the official competitions organised by the federation, the choice of routes follows precise guidelines, including the percentage of road that should be completed on the path. Last year's World Championships in the United States, for example, were held on Mount Cranmore in New Hampshire, with a route of 12 km for men and 8 km for women, with an ascending gradient of 520 metres.
The distances are very far from those of the ultra-marathon, but in trail running the irregular terrain and the alternation of ups and downs make the training significantly different and make it possible for a champion of flat races to end up easily at the end of the group.

As many people know, when you start a challenge it's hard to stop and in recent years skyrunning's competitions have become more and more popular. These competitions range from 22 km to 50 km, with at least 400 meters of elevation gain that also include the so-called "Vertical Races". These are runs with rips of 300 metres of elevation gain in less than 5 km. All very nice and "superhuman", so how do you prepare for a trail running race?

How to prepare for a trail running

Brandy Erholz, a member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team, recommends that you maintain the same principles as road racing training, i.e. long training per week and workouts with time and speed intervals, but choose dirt roads and uphill or downhill routes as terrain. If you are preparing for a specific trail running race, Erholz recommends that you study the progression of the route in advance and reproduce it as much as possible in training, to build in the muscles the memory of the effort required.
One of the most complex aspects of trail running is the refinement of descent techniques. If you do not have a good method, you risk losing the advantage accumulated during the ascent very quickly, because the descent requires a delicate balance between speed and relaxation, which you can train with both running and skiing or mountain biking. Get ready for a train running race is in fact suitable for all seasons and for different disciplines, because stability and balance on the descent can be implemented in many ways.

How to train indoor for trail running

For those who live in the plains or if you want to train even in winter where you might not have access to parks or land or legendary hills, there is still hope: treadmills and the stairs. To get started and gain confidence, the ultra-marathon runner Micheal Wardian advises:

  • Set a slope of 15% (6-8% for beginners) and run or walk as fast as you can for 500 m, then reduce the inclination by 2% by increasing the speed and keep up for a long time.
  • Set the treadmill to 5% (or 2% if you are at the start), run 1.5 km, increase the incline by 1% and repeat the routine until you reach the maximum slope for your training level.

Improve your performance for trail running with SKILLRUN

SKILLRUN is the first treadmill that combines cardio and power training, represents a revolutionary paradigm, designed to satisfy the most demanding athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Thanks to the exclusive MULTIDRIVE TECHNOLOGY, you can perform cardio and power training in a single device, meeting the needs of all runners, sprinters and marathon runners.
SKILLRUN is the only treadmill that incorporates different resistance training exercises:

  • SLED for maximum sprint and
    acceleration
  • PARACHUTE for maximum speed
  • RUN AGAINST RESISTANCE for lower body and core strength.

Excite Climb by Technogym

As anyone who has done sports as a teenager will testify, the stairs are miraculous. The Wardian routine in this case consists of a 20-minute warm-up, a session of ups and downs at full speed, depending on your level of training and at least 10 minutes of tiring running at the end.

Due to the ascending and descending nature of stairs, tower running is healthy for your knees and ankles. A compact and cutting-edge solution for cardio training is the Excite Climb, the Technogym stair climber that suits the needs of experienced users but is also simple for beginners. An innovative and safe smart equipment thanks to the innovation it contains like the courtesy step, for a safety beginning of the exercise. Excite Climb offers selectable content thanks to Unity 3.0 technology and is equipped with HD display to live engaging training experiences. You can connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by monitoring and saving your training data, keeping track of your progress on your mywellness account.

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