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Top Trail Running Tips for Beginners

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Training for a Trail Race

With mud runs and Spartan Races peaking in popularity, trail running is becoming an important part of training for these races. Don't panic if you don't live near any trails -- just get creative.

"Scout out some roads or paved paths where you can do some hill training," says Hatfield. "That is going to help you develop those secondary leg muscles that you use with trail running." At the bare minimum, get off a paved surface, Hatfield recommends. "This will help you engage your stabilizing muscles in your lower legs, feet, hips, and ankles which is crucial to handle trails. "If you're looking to build up confidence first before you head outside, run on the treadmill on an incline.

Finally, as with all training plans: Don't skimp on the cross training. "There have been tons of studies recently showing that dynamic stretches like walking lunges and butt-kicks are more effective than static stretches before running," Hatfield says. "Static stretching is what you want to do post-run to recover faster." To cross train and stretch at the same time, consider taking up a weekly yoga class to work on strengthening and stretching your muscles.

Originally published on, May 2013.


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11/20/2013 09:48:47 AM Report Abuse
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11/18/2013 05:56:25 PM Report Abuse
royalelkhunter wrote:

Iżve used man made and game trails for years while hunting, now I am hooked on running them. Training only 3 months , my first 2013 race was the Mac Forest 50k, next will be a local 30k Run For The Hills, Siskiyou Out Back 50k, and the flagline 50k at the end of the summer. Anyone in Oregon should look up There are some great runs to sign up for here. I hope this article sparks some interest in any road runners who read it, so give the trails a try.

5/28/2013 08:25:30 PM Report Abuse

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