Beginning Trail Running Tips – Running Technique

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,769
    Running Expert Ron Bowman demonstrates proper trail running technique.

    Row Bowman: Hi! I am Row Bowman and today we are talking about running tips for trail running. And now a little bit about running technique for trails.

    The key aspect of trail running is also very similar to road running, except that in trail running you want to think about picking your heels up a little bit more, picking your feet up, are obviously to get over obstacles, but it also helps in keeping some of the relaxation in the lower legs. So that's something which you want to naturally think about, and as you do more trail running it will become a little bit more natural.

    The key to trail running, even more so than road running, is relaxing. Don't go any faster than you feel comfortable, taking in the terrain and your condition, and going slow is not a problem of trail running. Walking is absolutely accepted in trail running and even expected. Particularly, when you get to a rougher train walking is advisable, and even highly recommended.

    When you are running in a group, you want to keep a good separation between you and the person in front of you. If you are looking always at the heels, it's going to be distracting and likely cause you to take a misstep, and you are going to miss some other scenery around you. So find a distance behind the person that allows you to kind of keep in contact with them and know where they are and also to allow you to pick your own foot as you go forward.

    Usually, 10 feet is a good distance, but obviously that varies with the type of terrain that you are on, and how fast the group is going. Also, if someone is close behind you, it can be disconcerting. So you want to keep a good distance between the person behind you, and also the person in front of you. And you get a good Indian trail group running that way.

    Also, in trail running, if you ever see pictures of trail runners, you'll see their arms flailing about as they run through the forest. Trail runners tend to use their arms much more than road runners, because they are using it for balance, laterally as well as for proportion going forward. So use your arms much like the kid that you remember seeing running down the hill with their arms in the windmill. Use your arms, lift your arms, use them to support yourself as you run.

    Now that's a little bit about running technique, and now we'll talk a little bit about the mental aspects of trail running.