Whether you travel far for your trail race or it is practically in your backyard, there are a number of secrets to trail racing that make this sport feel closer to home in your knowledge. Trail racing is a challenging sport with many elevation variations and challenging courses, and sometimes you never know what is around the bend. Trail racing is a lot of fun but there are certain secrets to trail racing that can help you ace your next race. Here are those secrets:
1. Start out Slow
Start out your race nice and slow, because chances are you are going to have a good distance, elevation and altering terrain to trek along on. Just as the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. If you go gradual, you will finish strong and well, but if you start out too quick you may have trouble just finishing at all because trail racing is very challenging. This is one of the secrets to trail racing.
2. Dress in Layers
Trail racing is great because you can protect your skin with the shady trees. However, if the weather is cool you can feel a ten degree drop on wooded trails, and you can feel cold as a result. So dress for comfort and wear layers. You can always toss a layer if you warm up, or wrap your sweatshirt around your waist.
3. Carry Fuel
Whether you are running a 5k trail race or a greater distance, it is helpful if you carry fuel. You can bring along an energy gel or on longer races, even wear a belt with your drink attached. To ensure you are hydrated and well fueled, it is helpful to take this step in preparation. This is a great way to ace your next trail race and help avoid muscle cramping as well!
4. Enjoy the Experience
Even if you chose one of the most challenging trail races to run, the fact is, you chose it. So enjoy the experience, make new friends, take in the scenery and never forgot today. If you get in a positive mindset and enjoy the experience, you will be amazed at the positive impact this has on your race time!
5. Jog the Uphill
When there is substantial elevation changes in your trail race, it is important to take it in stride. To conserve energy in a trail race, it is helpful to jog the uphill and run the downhill. This simple step can make the difference between you running all out or running out of gas!
6. Never Give up
If the weather conditions turn and it starts to rain, the trail conditions can quickly change, but the key to racing is to never give up. If you have to slow down around turns or as you trek down a hill, that is fine, just do not give up. 70% of successful racing lies in just believing!
7. Have Fun
You register for trail races because you want to conquer a challenge, you enjoy the accomplishment and you find some fun out of it, right? After all, that is why you began trail racing, so enjoy yourself and have some fun!
Hope you have a great trail racing season and most importantly, enjoy yourself. So tell me, when is your next trail race?