#AD – Gifted
I’m really making a concerted effort with my running – a half marathon has always been quietly one of the targets I want to do, and I’ve now started to say it out loud so it sort of becomes more real that this is something I am aiming for. That said, it can be a lonely place out on the roads running alone, and whilst I enjoy running and it’s a great way to clear my mind and focus only on moving my feet, there are some runs when it inevitably feels like a chore. With that in mind, I’ve been looking at taking advantage of the more scenic areas around where I live and to take on some more trail style runs. I mean looking at the picture below it certainly is more appealing than running on the roads!
The team at Salomon recently offered me a pair of their new Sense Ride 2 trail shoes. I have, in the past, mostly focussed on road running but as I have been keen to mix up my runs and include some trails in there too it seemed like a good time to trial the Sense Ride 2 are they are specifically designed with trail running in mind.
For me, there are a few key things that I look for in running shoes; the right shoe really does make all the difference to your running. The comfort and fit of the shoe is really key – it has to be responsive to what’s under foot but also has to keep your foot safe. I found the Salomon Sense Ride 2 to be really good at keeping my feet feeling protected whilst also feeling super light. I have four pairs of trainers; my everyday ones for general use (and certainly not good enough for running) my gym ones which are quite tight and get a little uncomfortable after an hour or so of wear and my two running shoes.
My running shoes consist of the Salmon Sense Ride 2 and an old pair of Nikes that I wear for road running. Both are light but sturdy. What I really liked about the Sense Ride 2 is the lacing – it’s not a traditional lace but a pull string type thing. The first run I didn’t get the tightness right and had to stop a minute or two into my run to tighten them, but I quickly got it sorted and it makes a real difference – no worries about laces coming undone.
The second thing that I find it key for a good running shoe is the grip – I run in wet and dry weather, up and down hills and having something that keeps me secure is really important. My old Nike shoes really need replacing as the grip is worn in places and since I have been using the Salomon Sense Ride 2 I have noticed the difference, especially when I’ve been hitting the trails paths up onto Werneth Low. I’ve run in both super dry and wet and rainy conditions and the shoe performs well; I’ve never felt like I might slip which is obviously really important.
The right running shoe can really improve your running and I’ve managed to beat my 5km PB in recent weeks wearing these Sense Ride 2 shoes – something that has been a long-standing thorn in my side
I’ve been enjoying mixing up my runs and I think it’s helping my overall fitness and stamina. Road running can get a bit tiresome after a while so I have been making a real effort to get up onto trails instead. I’ve been taking a bit of advice from Katie Kaars who is a Salomon sponsored Trail and Ultra Runner.
Katie advises the following when starting out with trail running.
Forget about pace.
With so much variation in terrain, pace becomes almost irrelevant. Have a go at running without your watch and try running to an effort level -pacing yourself and adapting to your terrain accordingly. It will mean you slow down on rough terrain or going up hill to try to keep your heart rate level which will really help to avoid a blowout and injury. Don’t over do it on your first few runs, tempting as it might be. Give yourself and your body time to see how it adapts to this new running activity.
Time over miles
To avoid over training, focus on time on the trails and up the trail miles slowly. 10 miles on the trails are likely to take a lot longer than 10 miles on the road. This is why trail running is so enjoyable, take time restrictions out of the equation and as you get fitter, just learn to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Build stretching into daily life
Trail running uses more muscles than road running, it’s a full body workout as you adjust your style, balance and gait to match the terrain. This makes it really important to stretch the muscles you might not have used much before and after your workout. Hamstring, quad and calf stretches are especially beneficial. You may feel it the next day if you don’t!
Feed the trail
Running in the hills and trails can use a lot more energy than you may be used to so don’t forget snacks for your run. Dried fruit and flapjacks can be a great form of energy so be sure to take some along, and water. It’s OK to stop during your run to rest and take in your surroundings. It’s YOUR run.
If there is one item of kit you need to invest in when trail running it’s trail-specific shoes. Trail running shoes are designed to better cope with off-road conditions where good grip and flex is paramount to ensure you navigate slippy or tricky terrain safely. Salomon’s Sense Ride2 shoes are a great shoe to start off with as they offer the same comfort and cushioning of a road running shoe so should offer a smoother transition from road to trail, which again, helps to enable your muscles and gait to adapt.
I have found trail running to be a really enjoyable addition to my training and I love seeing the views over the city when I’m up on these paths. It is a different kind of challenge and I love just taking a minute of two to savour the peace the clean air and the views. I often feel a little guilty stopping when I’m road running, but as Katie says above, stopping to rest and appreciate the surroundings is beneficial in many ways.