Prepare for an event, Fitness & Training

Starting Trail Running: Tips and Overview

With trail running, discover new sensations by running in the middle of nature, far from everyday life. This sporting activity is ideal for working your mind and improving your physical condition. How do you start trail running and what training do you need to do in addition to trail running itself to improve your endurance? NordicTrack helps you to answer this question.

The Trail: A Sport In the Heart of Nature

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Trail running is running in the wilderness. It is a very comprehensive sport that involves not only the legs but also the upper body. Due to the variable characteristics of the terrain, this discipline, which is done off the track and outside the stadium, requires concentration and great caution.

Running in a natural environment is an opportunity to open up your senses and listen to your body, resulting in a deep sense of well-being and perfect harmony with nature. Trail running enthusiasts benefit in many ways:

  • Running on trails or paths in the natural environment helps you to focus on the present moment, which encourages letting go and improves cognitive faculties.
  • The muscles are used more intensely on rough terrain than in an urban environment or on a stadium track, improving the body’s balance and physical resistance as well as developing leg strength. The variable inclination of the ground also helps to burn more calories.
  • As part of a beginner’s athletic practice or fitness programme, it may be preferable to start running on soft ground in the countryside rather than in the city, in order to get used to the effort without causing too much impact on the joints.
  • Running in the countryside is a great way to recharge your batteries and combat boredom. Each outing is invigorating and you enjoy the changes of scenery through the seasons, making each session a unique experience.

4 Tips For a Great Start to Trail Running

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For a good start on the trail, these few tips can help you save time:

  • Work on your body positioning during the run and keep your body in an engaged and activated stance for good posture.
  • Make sure that you choose progressive difficulties in terms of the gradient and the technicality of the terrain so as not to rush your body and to maintain an effort proportionate to your physical capacities.
  • Equip yourself well: with waterproof shoes with soles adapted to the nature of the terrain, ventilated clothing made of technical materials, a windbreaker or accessories against the cold and rain… Going out with a GPS or compass, as well as a basic first-aid kit can also be a good habit.
  • Prepare your outings by studying the planned routes beforehand (presence of roots or stones, gradients, rivers or streams to be crossed, private or public paths…) and by looking at the weather forecast.

iFit® Coaching: Boost Your Trail Running Performance

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To start trail running under optimal conditions or as a complement to your outdoor activities, you can train at home on a treadmill with iFit® virtual coaching solutions:

  • Access sessions specifically designed for your treadmill: as you run, the incline and resistance of your fitness equipment adjusts automatically. You’ll enjoy amazing sensations and only need to concentrate on the beautiful scenery that unfolds before your eyes.
  • Whatever the weather, you can train at home and test the difficulty of your running courses before your outings by recording them on your connected application using Google MapsTM technology.
  • Work on the technical points you need to be in great shape during your outings thanks to the hundreds of targeted sessions in the iFit® library: muscle strengthening, endurance, speed…

Some of the iFit® training programmes allow you to experience the sensations of trail running in a very realistic way. Here are two to try!

Welcome to the Montana Trail Running Series

Break with the monotony of your workouts by following Nicole Meline, your iFit® coach, through 3 trail running sessions in the magnificent Montana landscape. Your heart rate will soar and you’ll discover, on an inspiring journey, the trail’s ability to reveal the best version of yourself!

Ciao Asphalte

During 24 training sessions filmed in real settings along nature trails all over the world (Arizona, Yellowstone…), say goodbye to the asphalt and get your feet on the ground to start your new outdoor running activity: trail running!

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.