Buzz Burell - Top 12 Trail Tips

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top 12 Trail Tips

By Buzz Burell



What do I know? Not much ... but it's a new season, so here goes anyway: my own Top Twelve Trail Tips. Definitely post your Comments, criticisms, and additions below!

1) The longer the race, the longer the taper, and the shorter the warmup. The shorter the race the shorter the taper, and the longer the warmup.

2) You can only train as hard as you can rest. Running doesn't actually make you better; it's during the resting phase afterward that your body adapts and improves.

3) In a race, whoever takes the most steps, wins. Clever thought, eh? It might not be true, but it's a good thought to keep in mind.

4) Periodization is key. Because nature goes in cycles, so should we. Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual cycles of effort and rest are good.

5) The older you get: The more you need to rest, but the less time you should take off. Make sense? Masters runners can't do hard days in a row w/o risking injury, but neither can they take a month off in the winter and come back readily.

6) Don't be shy of roads, especially during the offseason. Running on cold, hard pavement will quicken your turnover and improve your form. And running on a treadmill during the offseason does wonders for your form.

7) Running uphill could be easy. There is no impact, thus minimal risk of injury, so many older runners specialize in uphill races. Don't get psyched out - uphill is work for everyone; concentrate (as in all running) on quick turnover rather than strength; breathe more than you ever thought possible, and go for it.

8. Downhill running can be tricky. Really concentrate on quick turnover to maintain proper form and not over-stride. On technical descents: relax, pay close attention, and go for it.

9) Running is actually an injury prevention game. All the training plans you hear about are secondary; anyone can train, most people can race, and if you're reading this you are motivated to learn. But can you keep from being injured?

10) American trail runners don't aspire to run faster; they aspire to run longer. This is odd. Few people are capable of effectively running a Marathon let alone longer than that; first learn to run period, before trying to go ultra distances.

11) If you're not happy, you're blowing it. Better take a look at that, and make the appropriate choices. Happiness is your choice.

12) There is a great diet that is perfect for long-distance runners. Unfortunately, no one knows what it is.


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