5 steps to your ul­ti­mate trail­run­ning week­end

Step-by-step tips for ex­plor­ing the great out­doors on the run

Trail Running (UK) - - Go Explore -

1 LEARN TO NAV­I­GATE

A map and com­pass, and the abil­ity to use both, is vi­tal. But make use of GPS tech­nol­ogy too. Sys­tems like Strava are also an in­cred­i­bly use­ful source of lo­cal knowl­edge. Choos­ing es­tab­lished and marked routes like the Kin­tyre Way make plan­ning your weekender eas­ier – the signage on this one was as good as any I’ve seen.

2 DON’T SLOSH

Far too many peo­ple carry ex­ces­sively large amounts of water with them from the start. The west of Scot­land has plenty of water and so does the rest of the UK. You can even buy some along the way! Hy­dra­tion is im­por­tant, but com­fort is too. Col­lapsi­ble squashy bot­tles are my pre­ferred re­fill tool.

3CHECK THE FORE­CAST

We’ve all cursed the Met Of­fice but the re­al­ity is that cur­rent fore­casts are pretty ac­cu­rate. Of course, we all want to es­cape the tolls of mod­ern life, but WiFi and 4G are handy for es­sen­tial up­dates – forestry pro­vides shel­ter, but trees are har­vested and maps aren’t al­ways up to date. Check sun­rise and sun­set times too – carry a head torch and spare bat­ter­ies just in case.

4 FUEL UP PROP­ERLY

Nu­tri­tion is a huge topic, but I have two key bits of ad­vice: firstly, use what you’ve tried and tested – now’s not the time to try some­thing new (gels in par­tic­u­lar are an ac­quired taste). Se­condly, take time to choose a com­fort­able method of car­ry­ing food. It needs to be easy to ac­cess, oth­er­wise you’re more likely to skip eat­ing it, even when you re­ally need it.

5GET TO THE POINT

I’m a big fan of point-to-point out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. They pro­vide a wel­come sense of pur­pose. To save long drives or train rides back to where your car is parked, get friends to run the route in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and swap keys at your overnight stop half­way. Don’t for­get the ap­pro­pri­ate car in­surance.

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