is a special kind of running, and I personally find it by far the most rewarding. The length of the route plays less of a role with trail running.
This is one of the most primitive forms of running. Whether it’s in a group or by yourself, running through the woods is intense
. Both your body and mind are constantly challenged due to the demanding nature of the surface floor. In between there are moments of enjoyment and peace. When you have conquered a climb you can enjoy the views and realise how small you are in comparison. This is an impression that will stay with you for a long time.
Moments of happiness and satisfaction
: These moments let me catch my breath, forget the time and gather my strength. No matter how hard the last few kilometers were. These are the moments that compensate for everything. You just have to let them happen.
Almost every weekend there’s a new event for trail runners. Many companies offer “taster” events or a stripped down version to make the entry into trail running a bit tastier. The most well-known trail running events are in the main run and tend to be ultra-marathons.
My opinion: the longer the better!
In September 2011, four years after I started running, I competed in my very first ultra-trail run. The event was called the Churfranken run. It was 74 km long with an aggregate ascent of 1800m through beautiful landscape. I didn’t have much time to enjoy it as there was a qualifying time of 10.5 hours, but the finish and the feeling afterwards were indescribable.
A colleague once described ultra-running as seven days of activity in twelve hours. That’s pretty much spot on. The impression, endorphins and exhaustion never gets boring.
In addition to some basic endurance
and the necessary training, suitable equipment for the terrain is also important. The ultra-trail runner’s tools include essentials such as food and drink within a running backpack
, and suitable trails shoes
. The selection of suitable footwear has exploded in recent years so you are actually able to find something that suits. It is important to test and break in the shoes thoroughly
. Standard shoes on trails are no good. Grip is the magic word. If you're running off road you don’t just need sufficient strength but above all a safe passage.
Many trail runners also use sticks. The motto “first practice, then use” is also valid here.
If you do not dare to take part in an official trail then I recommend you do at least one tour through unchartered territory. Just go off the beaten track!
Trails are everywhere. You just have to find them!
I have one very big request at the end. Trail Running is an experience in nature for me. Nature allows us to experience things that many of us are not familiar with. Therefore, you should have this in mind when you run through nature. What you take in should stay with you! Rubbish is a big no! Littering is not acceptable.
True trail runners don’t leave anything but stress in the woods!