If you are looking to get in shape, or indeed stay in shape but feel bored by the thought of the indeterminate hours you would need to spend on a treadmill, perhaps trail running is the answer. Higher impact than regular hiking, trail running is exactly as it sounds, going for a run around hiking trails, often inaccessible by road, giving you a real sense of freedom, adventure and above all, fresh air. As well as the obvious health benefits, trail runners often feel exhilarated by the reliance on their survival and navigational skills.
Baden Powell could have been talking about trail running when he uttered his famous “be prepared” mantra to the Scouts. Trail running is physically demanding, and requires more than just simply putting on a strong pair of trainers and your outdoor clothing. Increasing the carbohydrates in your diet, such as pasta, potato, and rice in the days and weeks leading up to your run will give your body the fuel it needs to cope with this arduous activity.
Watch Your Step
As you will be running on uneven ground, ensuring your balance is in check is a worthwhile activity. Begin by strengthening the ankles, yoga poses and static balancing exercises are a good way to do this. Static exercises include closing your eyes, and taking one foot off the ground, holding the pose for as long as you can. Moving onto dynamic exercises such as hopping comes next.