‘WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE!’

Ev­ery marathon starts with a mile, and even ul­tra ath­letes were be­gin­ners once…

Trail Running (UK) - - You Can Do It -

A ll our read­ers – in­clud­ing our #Run1000Miles am­bas­sadors – re­mem­ber when they first started trail run­ning, and no one ever got ev­ery­thing right first time. Here are their wise words to help you avoid their rookie mis­takes

JA­COB FRED­ER­ICK FITZGER­ALD, BRIDGE OF AL­LAN, STIR­LING

My big­gest rookie

mis­take was not strength­en­ing weak glutes and my core.

Avoid it by… do­ing a mix­ture of body-weight lunges for­wards and side­ways, planks and squats. Just one or two sets of ten a week is enough to start with. Also, stretch your quads, glutes, IT band and ham­strings, and fo­cus more on hill reps than long miles.

DAR­REN ONYEJEKWE PER­SONAL TRAINER & CALISTHENICS COACH @BODYWEIGHT_D

My big­gest rookie mis­take was fo­cus­ing too much on pace and not enough on form. Avoid it by… pri­ori­tis­ing form over ev­ery­thing. Fo­cus on tech­nique, in­clud­ing: knee raise, cadence, foot strikes and for­ward lean. I’m faster now than I ever was and I use less en­ergy as I’m more ef­fi­cient with my move­ment. Build­ing a solid foun­da­tion will reap ben­e­fits.

JU­LIA BLEASDALE ELITE ATH­LETE @JULIABLEASDALE

My big­gest rookie mis­take was not recog­nis­ing the im­por­tance of an­kle and foot strength.

Avoid it by… keep­ing the feet sup­ple, main­tain­ing sta­bil­ity and do­ing reg­u­lar bal­ance ex­er­cises. Ev­ery time I step up my train­ing I see that those boxes are ticked, to help avoid in­juries.

MELISSA POULTNEY, ILLOGAN, CORN­WALL

My big­gest rookie

mis­take was not breath­ing prop­erly and get­ting stitches.

Avoid it by… tak­ing more reg­u­lar in­takes of air to avoid sub­con­sciously hold­ing your breath while run­ning. Start with breath­ing in for four steps and out for four steps. If you still get a stitch, squeeze the area be­tween your thumb and fin­gers, and take two short, sharp breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

ME­LANIE-LOUISE BROWN, PORTSMOUTH, HAMP­SHIRE

My big­gest rookie mis­take was eat­ing too much be­fore run­ning.

Avoid it by… drink­ing only water and other non-fizzy drinks in the few hours be­fore run­ning. De­pend­ing on when you’re run­ning, leave a de­cent time frame af­ter your last meal be­fore train­ing, and avoid snacks. This en­sures your body is fu­elled but your stom­ach won’t be un­com­fort­ably full of food.

TO­BIAS MEWS AD­VEN­TURE JOUR­NAL­IST, AU­THOR OF 50 RACES TO RUN BE­FORE YOU DIE @TOBIASMEWS

My big­gest rookie mis­take was not wear­ing the right shoes – I ar­rived at the fin­ish of my first trail ul­tra marathon cov­ered in mud and blis­ters the size of golf balls.

Avoid it by… in­vest­ing in a pair of trail shoes to suit the ter­rain you’re run­ning on. Although I’m a big be­liever in less is more and light is right, de­cent trail shoes can help pre­vent you slip­ping over, de­vel­op­ing blis­ters, cold feet, thorns through the soles and po­ten­tial Achilles ten­donitis.

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