Leave the Couch fitness blogger, Fareed Behardien, shares his top training tips ahead of the Getaway Trail Run at Lourensford Wine Estate on Sunday 2 April 2017.
I remember my first trail race. It was an 8km fun run, but there was nothing fun about it. Back then I’d just started exercising and was able to run 10kms on road comfortably. It wasn’t fast, but it was comfortable. However, this 8km trail run had me huffing and puffing within the first kilometre and I was reduced to a quad-burning jalk (jog/walk) for the next 7kms. I quickly realised that trail running is a completely different animal to road running.
It’s also the exact moment when I fell in love with the sport. Who would’ve known that suffering in the mountains was my thing? Don’t be discouraged, trail running has resulted in some of the most amazing memories for me over the last few years. Since then, I’ve completed trail races of varying distances from short 5-kays all the way up to 65kms. Along the way I’ve picked up some tips that have helped me to get the most enjoyment from trail races but I’m no expert, yet. The beauty of the sport is that you will learn something new all the time. Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I hope will benefit you before your first trail race:
- Research the route and (if possible) train on the course so that you are prepared both physically and mentally for anything that those demented race organisers can throw your way. Most races have course profiles available, photos from previous years or even a blogger report online of someone else’s experience. Check if there are refreshment stations on route and at which stages into the race. That little bit of research can go a long way in helping you get race-ready.
- Think safety first (funny that it’s second on this list). Some races, especially longer distance events, require mandatory gear which is important for your safety. They are there for a reason and can help you deal with tricky situations if they arise. However, if you’ve entered a shorter race with no prerequisites, it’s always a good idea to take some water, a charged mobile phone and a nutrition bar with you, just in case.
- Walk if you need to. It is often said that trail running is 1.5x to 2x tougher than the equivalent distance in a road race. The hills are bigger and steeper and sometimes it’s just smarter (more energy efficient) to walk than try and run up the side of a mountain. Similarly, it’s okay to walk down sections that you aren’t comfortable running down. Remember to keep your ears open for the sound of faster runners approaching and allow them to pass by standing to the side of the trail.
- Take in the scenery. As city slickers, it’s not often that we get the opportunity to run wild and free out in nature. Don’t forget to stop, look around and take in where you are. Even better, take a quick photo!
- Be happy. No one likes a grumpy trail runner – even when it gets tough out there. Chat to your fellow runners. Offer some words of encouragement. Smile even when you are suffering – trust me, it makes your photos look soooooo much better J
Whether it’s your first 5km fun run or an ultra-distance event, there are very few things better than a day out on the trails and sharing the outdoors with like-minded folk trying to be active and live a healthier lifestyle. Good luck with your race prep and come collect your high-five from me.
Join us for a 3km, 8km and 12km trail run on the final morning of the Cape Getaway Show. We have limited space so book your space now to avoid disappointment.
Date: 2 April 2017
Cost: 12km R120pp, 8km R60pp, 3km R30pp (not timed)
Start: 07H30, 07h35 and 07h40 for the 12km, 8km and 3km respectively
Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate at the Cape Getaway Show
Book online: https://entrytickets.net/lourensfordapr
Follow Leavethecouch on: http://www.leavethecouch.com