Former elite athlete and coach Nick Beer gives his trail-running technique insights…
To conquer trail running and racing successfully, you must be prepared, adaptable and conditioned. It’s key that you spend a good part of your training running on trails, including ascents and descents, as uneven terrains will fatigue your body quicker if you’re not used to them. Negotiating these variables is a skill in itself and is a great way to gain an advantage.
Hill climbing is notoriously hard and is easy to get wrong. The key is much smaller steps – long strides are hard to maintain. Focus on raising your knees higher, shifting your weight to the balls of your feet and moving your legs from your hips.
The trails challenge you to constantly adapt your stride pattern and length. Relaxing while doing this is essential to running successfully off road. So, to navigate effortlessly off road, you must constantly shorten, lengthen, strategically position your feet and co-ordinate your arm action to maintain efficiency. It’s always important to stay alert, look further ahead down the trail and to constantly plan the next move.