ROAD FROM TRAIL TO
Tune in to your body instead of your watch as you run the trails
WHY Uneven surfaces and big climbs engage your stabilising muscles and your mind, says trailrunning coach Mario Fraioli. Road runners must let go of the paces they run on pavement – a tough but worthwhile shift. Spending time in nature also has brain benefits: research has found that time in natural environments can boost physical and mental recovery.
HOW Swap one or two short road runs each week for easy-effort trail runs, and go for time, not distance, suggests Fraioli. After a month, move your middlelength easy runs to the trails. (Your shortest can be on trails or roads.) Later, take some long runs and key workouts off-road, substituting time-based repeats for distance-based intervals. As long as a trail workout feels as difficult as a similar road run, you’ll gain fitness, says Fraioli.
STAY HEALTHY You need to prepare your body for uneven surfaces, says strength and conditioning coach Tim Moyer. A prerun ankle-mobility drill (right) helps you negotiate missteps. Lunges (far right) strengthen the muscles you use to navigate over rocks and tree roots.