HERE ARE A FEW FELL-RUNNING CONCEPTS THAT CAN HELP YOU ENJOY SOME NEW EXPERIENCES IN THE TRAILS
1APPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR. As you’re running up and down some of the challenging terrain, you quickly come to appreciate the concept behind fell running shoes. Designed so your feet are low to the ground and offering lots of grip, shoes like Inov-8’s new G-Series Mudclaw will get you through the most challenging conditions. The whole idea is to blast through the terrain, so you shouldn’t be (and won’t be in the Mudclaws) afraid to run over rocks, through mud and even blast through streams.
2DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Why not enjoy some longer cruise efforts during the beautiful fall months? If you’re heading out early, layer up so you can take some clothes off as the day warms up. If you’re heading out later in the day bring along an extra layer in case things cool down. Packing along some water or electrolyte drink is probably a good idea, too.
3FOCUS ON TURNOVER. Watching a good fell runner cruise up a hill or fly down offers a great example of “fast feet” running at its best. Heading uphill you want to make sure you’re leaning into the hill and maintain short, efficient strides. On the way down you want to open things up – again ensure that you’re leaning forward, let your arms swing freely and let gravity help you down the hill. Make sure you also think about keeping your toes up and lifting your feet – you don’t want to catch your toes on branches or rocks.
4EXPLORE SOME NEW TRAILS AND COUNTRYSIDE. While we don’t have the same kind of land access rights they do in England and Wales, there are some amazing parks and trail systems that are worth exploring across the country. Now is not the time to be worrying about hitting a mileage quota every week. See if you can find some spectacular new vistas or some hidden gems around the countryside.
5PACE ACCORDINGLY. In this case, that means don’t care about your pace at all. Base your “workouts” on time instead of pace or distance. Focus on getting into a trail- or fell-running tempo, one that allows you to maintain a steady pace for the duration of your run and ensures you can get through the varying terrain ahead. The fall is a great time of year to forget about trying to hit a certain pace per kilometre and simply enjoy the process of running.—KM