The trail, more than a run, an adventure ...
Take a run, add trails, hills, an exceptional natural setting, the smell of the undergrowth, alpine panoramas, Reunion volcanoes, pick up with a few drops (in fact, a lot of drops ...), mix it all up. will get what millions of runners have discovered and adopted: the Trail!
The Trail is an adventure.
Compared to bitumen, Trail allows runners to enter into communion with nature. Forget those headphones that cut you off from the world, the melody is there, all around you, calling you. The setting is ideal ... let's go! Escape.
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Le Trail, it is above all a state of mind. A desire for freedom and travel. But beyond this poetic, almost philosophical approach to running, Trail remains an extreme sport. The technical and physical demands of this practice are much higher than for traditional asphalt racing.
A Trail is a variety of very rich surfaces : gravel, grass, earth, sand, mud and even snow! The terrain is often rugged and strewn with more or less avoidable obstacles. You will cross roots, rocks, tree trunks and streams. You will think that the Trails are all about the real obstacle course. You will be wrong. A Trail is much worse! Indeed, what really characterizes the Trail, beyond its bumpy course, is the positive elevation. 1.000 meters, 2.000 meters, 5.000… up to 10.000 meters for some Ultra-Trails!
Fortunately, you will be able to choose from the most common distances the one that suits you best. There is the “Nature Trail” less than 20 km, the “real” Trail from 20 to 80 km and of course the Ultra-Trail, beyond 80 km.
Your First Trail
Of course, you will have to prepare and train a lot. Long time. Even if you are an experienced runner, think that the Trail is a very demanding split race for the muscles and inevitably irregular for your heartbeat.
The height differences will put your strained organism. But we will have to stay focused so as not to fall into the traps set by these rugged routes. Station where you will set foot!
What you will need to work on in training: Go up, down and up again. Make it a habit. Also, and above all, learn to walk. To absorb the impacts of the change of pace, regulate your breathing and start afresh.
For your first Trail, set yourself an ambitious but realistic goal, clearly below the distances you usually control on asphalt. Don't think about the clock, put yourself in the modest shoes of a Finisher attentive to his stride, who has managed his breathing well and who has adapted perfectly to the terrain. Do not start too hard, you do not attack a hill of 2 or 3 km at the same pace as a lap or a jog in the neighborhood. Someone who attacks hard on a hill is either a beginner who will walk breathlessly a few hectometers away, or an experienced runner claiming victory in the scratch. And you don't want (or can't) be either.
Be aware of the route in advance and visualize it to organize your effort between "attack" parts and "recovery" parts. During the race, at the level of complicated obstacles, help each other. What also gives the pleasure of trail running is its human and supportive state of mind. Frankly community.
For the equipment, a few specific items are recommended. Of trail shoes who have better grip and are better reinforced. Having said that, for your first run, your road shoes will do the trick, but you will quickly understand that the grip is totally different from that encountered on the road.
Above all, remember to refuel. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink, drink a few sips of your favorite drink and eat a energy bar every 7 km and possibly a energy gel every 5 km (rather at the end of the course): these data are of course a function of the terrain because in trail times and distances are very relative ....
Finally, our most important tip is to make you happy. The Trail will take you to discover unknown landscapes in your region, your country and at the end of the world. Above all, you will explore yourself.
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The weaker the body, the more it commands.
The stronger he is, the more he obeys.