How do I get involved in trail running?
1. Locate an area you’d like to trail run and explore.
Mt Hotham is a great destination to run. There are endless tracks and trails around the village and boundaries of the Alpine National Park.
Running Wild also offers events based in Victoria and include trails for all categories including novice to elite runners. Courses range from 1km up to 100km. See more information here on Running Wild.
2. Technique change required to a slower pace with shorter strides.
Trail running differs slightly to road running. You only require around 15-20% of the pace you use to run on roads and paths. Taking slightly shorter strides also helps your balance and core adapt to the uneven ground you will encounter.
3. Always keep a watchful eye out in front of you.
From the very start of the run always maintain visual contact with the ground. We suggest around 3 meters in front of you but you will soon work out the distance that will work best for you. The ground will constantly change from inclines, declines, sand, dirt, rocks, roots, potholes and even the odd snake.
4. If running in a group event, keep your distance.
If you start out running in an organised event such as the Running Wild Alpine coordinated runs, please think about the distance you leave yourself from the person in front.
5. Conserve your energy and walk up the hills.
You will see most trail runners walking fast or slow paced up the hills around Hotham. This helps your energy levels and you will quickly make back the time as you runner a faster pace down the hills, saddles or gullies.
6. Safety out in the mountains.
Always make sure you can run with a friend or group incase you have a fall or roll your ankle. Make sure you have a trail map which can be found on our trail running page on our website.
We also suggest carrying a full charged mobile phone, LED head torch, GPS, hydration system from a water bottle to an advanced hydration back pack and very basic first aid supplies like a snake bite bandage, Band-Aids for blisters, sunscreen and insect repellant.
Trail running gear and accessories.
Trail Running Shoes.
If you’re starting out trail running and going for a short distance, your road running shoes will be fine. When the alpine running bug hits hard and you start increasing your distances and frequency, it will be time to start buying an extra pair of trailing running shoes. These shoes are built different and have more support and a more durable sole to handle the sharp obstacles you will encounter on the trails.
Trail Running Clothing.
What ever you wear to the gym or road running will be fine out in the mountains. Performance made, lightweight tee shirt and shorts are very popular along with compression under garments and quality socks. Please always remember a hat and sunscreen.
We have included some links below of where to buy trail running gear. Have a look at the different options for hydration. They range from simple drink bottles, waist bags, to complete hydration vests that also allow you to carry keys, snacks, phones and smart first aid supplies.
Head torches are a great safety feature if something happens to you or your group. We suggest buying the best you can afford at the time. It will last you a long time and will be very handy. Most of the organised trail running events start early in the morning and the head torch will be very handy investment.
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