How to prepare for a mountain trail run

How to physically prepare for the hike

Mountain training is one of the important components in the quality training process of any runner, whether he is an amateur who wants to run 10 km in less than 40 minutes, or a professional marathon runner who has a result faster than 2. 0. If you want to diversify your workouts, then add mountain preparation to them. Mountain running, trail running, orienteering, skyrunning are endurance sports. If you want to spend more time outdoors and even decide to take part in a mountain trail race, then you need to take this issue seriously.

Trail running has become increasingly popular lately. This is a cross-country run that includes elements of cross-country running, mountain running. Competitions are held at distances of various lengths and take place in a wide variety of landscape zones: hills, deserts, dense forests, plains. The height difference is often more than a thousand meters. As experienced fans of jogging through forests and fields say, trail running is both a sport and a pleasant pastime. Overcoming difficulties such as weather, tremendous climb, fatigue, thirst and hunger, at the same time you get vivid emotions from the surrounding nature and your capabilities. In November 2015, the IAAF made trail running one of the disciplines of athletics.

So you've signed up for a trail that will take place in the highlands, and you are determined to take part in it. Where do you start? Does it make sense to change the usual rhythm of training? Or do you need to do something to avoid walking the distance?

Let's immediately answer one of these questions: there is a 90% probability that you will still walk the distance, even if you have extensive experience of running on the highway. The fact is that running on natural terrain requires special skills and is significantly different from running on a stadium or asphalt, this must be taken into account. The running technique is significantly different from that with which an athlete runs on a flat surface. When running over rough terrain, especially when it comes to mountains, other muscle groups work, the ligaments are more loaded, energy costs increase several times.

The trail differs from the usual race on the highway, including the unpredictability of the route (although the route must be marked) and uneven relief. On the path of athletes, there may be sections with a large difference in height, where you will definitely switch from running to walking, and soon after seeing the trails on flat terrain, you will finally sigh and remember with excitement about the recently earned medal in the half marathon with zero climb.

Running technique and basic principles of mountain trail preparation

As for the impact of trail running on human health and fitness, it develops coordination, strength, endurance and the ability to maintain concentration for a long time very well. The benefit of mountain running is that it helps to include in the work almost all muscle groups of the legs, back, upper shoulder girdle, and core.

The trail running technique involves a shorter stride and a stronger push off the surface (which can be increasingly unpredictable with each stride). The stabilizing muscles work more actively, the elbows are spread much wider, for better balance, the legs have to be raised much higher, as a result of which the quadriceps muscle of the thigh works much more actively. The step has different lengths. Jumping from stone to stone, turns and braking, sometimes you have to drastically change the trajectory of movement, overcoming natural obstacles.

Running technique is as important during mountain distance as it is during smooth running. An experienced cross-country trainer will help you analyze your current technique and advise you on how to run more efficiently, improve efficiency, and reduce energy costs. The right technique can help you save energy and engage the right muscle groups. Experts in this field informally distinguish between two main techniques for running uphill: "from the hip" and "on the calf." Which implies more active use of one of these muscles.

Constant elevation changes, different soil density and unstable positioning of the foot instantly overload the insufficiently strong ligaments and joints of an amateur runner. For this reason, before moving from smooth running to the mountains, you need to prepare your ligaments for this type of work. To do this, first of all, it is necessary to increase the volume of strength training, performing special exercises for those muscle groups that are most actively involved in running over rough terrain. Strength training for a trail runner is an integral part of the preparatory process, it sometimes takes a third of the entire training process.

Trail running is a cyclical sport, so training should follow the basic principles of endurance training. It is unlikely that it will be possible to simply “get off the couch” and run 30 km somewhere in the Alps, at least without negative consequences. Therefore, take care of your training plan in advance and start incorporating the strength complex into your training process.

When planning an active vacation, it is useful to soberly assess your physical fitness and think about how to physically prepare for the hike. Such an assessment is of particular relevance if it is supposed to climb, even to low mountains.

For a trained person, it is enough to slightly change and diversify the nature of ordinary loads, focusing on strengthening the knees and back. A moderately lazy city dweller who is not used to regular jogging, push-ups and squats will have to start such activities at least six months before an exciting event.

Hiking in pleasant company

To begin with, it is useful to decide whether it will be a regular trekking over rough terrain or it, but with an ascent of up to 6000 meters. In the first case, you should increase the daily load in order to strengthen your legs, back, prepare yourself for wearing a heavy backpack ...

Experts offer different types of training according to the degree of intensity and preparedness. In any case, running is most useful, preferably over very rough terrain. At the same time, it is very good to have a backpack of at least medium weight behind your back. Jogging at a slow pace with exertion for at least three weeks is a great preparation for the upcoming hike. Thus, not only muscles are strengthened, prepared for extreme situations, but also an addiction to unevenness of the soil is created, the danger of injury is reduced, and abrasions and rubbing from a backpack are avoided.

You can also improve your own physical condition by visiting fitness rooms. After consulting with a trainer, it is useful to spend part of the time on the treadmill, changing the speed of running, as well as on strength machines, strengthening the muscles of the back, hips, legs. It is also important to monitor your breathing, proportioning it to the increasing load.

Of course, no matter how you prepare, it is impossible to become a superman in just two or three months.

Recharge your body every day within reasonable limits is absolutely essential:

  • regular morning exercises;
  • jogging outdoors;
  • exercise with an expander;
  • fitness a couple of times in Week.

As a result, hiking of any difficulty will bring pleasure and further strengthen your health.

Preparation for a hike in the mountains, walks on high hills, overcoming steep slopes, conquering small and large peaks is a different matter.

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