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 Get Down & Dirty for the Best Fitness of your Life 
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Post Get Down & Dirty for the Best Fitness of your Life
Get Down & Dirty for the Best Fitness of your Life
by: Sandra Prior

Trail running destroys stress and reveals the best nature has to offer. Currently, there's huge growth in trail running in South Africa, with a packed race calendar and most events being over-subscribed. But we're still behind the US. Severely restricted entry limits, lack of true altitude training and not enough road and trail running crossover are the main obstacles the sport faces. Overcome these obstacles and better your trail times with these simple steps.

Listen to your Feet

If you can hear the loud, steady slap of your feet on gravel, it means you are landing hard on your mid-foot. This kind of undue stress can lead to injury as it means a large amount of force is being transmitted back into your body. If you're running unevenly or rolling your feet inwards (pronation) or outwards (supination), see a biokineticist.

Head Up and Shoulders Down

Try not to move your head or shoulders excessively, and keep your body upright at all times. If you're bobbing, leaning forwards or gyrating all over the place, you're wasting energy. If you're hunching your shoulders, pretend you're holding a $1 coin between your index finger and thumb. It'll help you to relax your shoulders. When you get to tricky ascents or descents, use your arms for balance, holding them away from your body, and pump them to gain extra momentum.

Don't Rush into your Training

If you don't prepare yourself properly for trail running, you'll hurt yourself. Simple. Rather ease into the training by aiming for roughly 75 percent of your normal jogging pace, and increase your distances weekly by no more than 10 percent. Once you're comfortable on the dirt, you'll instinctively know when to accelerate and when to conserve energy. To build up your leg power for trail routes, incorporate some hill runs, and concentrate on shortening your stride to power up the inclines. Also, use a mix of intervals and long, slower runs to build up your fitness and sprint ability. Aim to do off-road training on a variety of surfaces at least twice a week.

Practice Reading the Route Ahead

While running on the road is about splits and poly shorts, trail running is about reading the lay of land in front of you. Athletes have different levels of technique, strength and speed over different types of terrain in trail running, whereas in road racing the route plays a much less significant role. You need to choose the path that will save you energy, time and twisted ankles.

About The Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:57 am
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