Here’s a break down of my personal thoughts after my first ‘official’ trail run on the 1st day of the year.
Trail running can be quite heavy on the calve muscles due to a lot of uphills and uneven paths. Your glutes will feel the burn too after a day or two. My toes were slightly sore from hopping around the rocks that laid the trail.
Trail running itself can be pretty challenging, carrying extra weight on me – my backpack – didn’t do me any good. I wasn’t used to having something bulky and heavy on my back (my bad for over-packing). It literally felt like I was carrying the weight of the world.
I had a lot of loose items in my bag which kept bouncing up and down whenever I ran. It was pretty annoying. On top of that, I decided to carry my non-padded strap backpack which kept brushing against my shoulders. Not very comfortable to begin with. Another poor judgement call on my part. Other than that, it was all FUN!
Slightly more mentally challenging than running around your neighborhood or on the track. When you’re running on familiar grounds, you can zone out and just let your legs do the running. You don’t have to think about stuff like: “hmmm…where’s my next step?”, “PUDDLE!”, “HOLE!”, “Can I land safely on that?”, “Am I going to slip?” or worst, “LEECH!”. The last one is for me.
When you’re out there in the jungle, it is a totally different story. The thing is, you have to concentrate and pay 100% to your running and surroundings. It was actually pretty exhausting and not very smooth at the start. But I can assure you that once you get the gist of it, it’ll be a breeze.
Some tips and lessons that I learned:
-Carry a padded strap backpack.
-If your backpack is half empty, stuff some towels in to fill it up. You wouldn’t want your things to be sloshing around as you run. A big no no.
-Opt to wear clothes with more covering. Long sleeve or long pants. I sustained a few cuts and bruises from brushing against branches and twigs along the path.
-Invest in a good pair of trail running shoes. Your feet will thank you for them.
-Pay attention when you run. When I say attention, I mean your FULL attention. This should be applied to your normal running too. (Opppppssss!)