To answer, you first have to define your goals. Does improving at trail running mean getting more confident on trails, or getting faster at trail running, or gaining more trail running endurance to run longer distances?
How to Improve at Uphill Trail Running
Improving at uphill trail running has a lot to do with improving your overall fitness as a runner. For this, we recommend following a training plan from an experienced coach to work on improving overall running fitness, including aerobic fitness and lactate threshold work. If you want to learn more about Liz's custom trail running plans, you can check them out here or check out the Runcation Training packages below.
The running form of uphill running should have a slight forward lean to take advantage of gravity. You should avoid any wasted motion from side-to-side.
Improving at downhill running can come with starting to think of running as controlled falling. The worst thing you can do during downhill running is to drive your heel into the ground to try and “brake” yourself down the hill. Often relaxing and leaning into the downhill can make you more efficient—and less in need of seeking out PT for your knees. On technical trails, a little agility work can go a long way in practicing landing light and fast in lateral and foward-moving directions. We recommend a simple agility ladder sequence such as this one from Triathlete magazine used sparingly throughout the week of training.
How to Get Faster at Trail Running
Again, getting faster at trail running may require improving your uphill or downhill technique (or a combination of both) and improving your overall fitness. This requires reserving a few days a week to practice some form of interval training. Below are a few workout ideas to get started to practice running faster on trails.
Add 8 x 10 second hill sprints twice/week at the end of easy runs.
Add 6-8 30-second pick-ups during your weekly long run
Add 10 x 1 minute hard/ 1 minute easy jogging into your mid-week run
Did you know you can also request a custom or private Runcation? Organize your own trail running trip for a group of friends, brand, or team. We can even provide tips, instruction, and coaching for how to trail run properly on these running trips and camps!
For the next month, our Run, Travel, Adventure newsletter will look a little bit different. It's prime Runcation season, so we'll be spotlighting some of our summer Runcations and giving a sneak peak at some of our new location scouting trips as we go. Follow along with us on Instagram @RuncationTravel
Introducing the 'Vacation Mode' cap! These endurance caps made from BOCO Gear are perfect for summer running in lightweight, breathable fabric with endurance mesh on the sides. Plus, the floral print is perfect for channeling vacation wherever your summer running takes you. They're now available for purchase on the website!
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