More individuals than ever are running sponsored marathons and races of 5 and 10K. People run for various reasons. They might run to raise money like for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. Others run for personal goals or just for the enjoyment of it. Then there are those that look for more extreme challenges. The latest of those is what is called ultra trail running or back country trail running. This article examines that extreme sport.
Why do people enjoy this type of running?
The following is taken from the web site Back Country Runner.com.
Trail running is the satisfaction of covering miles of beautiful backcountry unfettered by heavy gear, the primal thrill of bounding over logs on a forested downhill trail or an inspirational vista reached after a long climb. Backcountry running offers unequalled leg and lung conditioning, no crowds, no cars, no noise, no smog, no pavement. It’s a perfect quick-wilderness-long-workout combination.
Try it once, and you’ll never go back to street or track running again (or you’ll never like it quite as much!). Ultralight speed hikers and backpackers will naturally gravitate to this sport.
There are lots trail races of all distances, not just the 50 – 100 milers. The golden guideline “walk the uphills, run the downhills” will take the mere mortal trail runner surprisingly long distances.
Map and GPS Reading
One skill that this type of runner will need is that of map and GPS reading. Many runners leave the path and head for open territory. To do this, you will need an understanding of how to read terrain from a map. This will make your running adventure easier to navigate. Knowledge of a GPS system will also be a major advantage.
Race or Just Run
Many races are set up and sanctioned by the United States Track and Field Association. However, some individuals just like to take off on their own and establish new running records. If you decide to do this, you need to let individuals know your plans. A small cellphone for travel is also a good idea. Some people like the idea of mapping out a plan. They will select places to stop, rest, eat and stay.
Training for this extreme sport is not too different from other running ventures. First, get a physical examination to make sure you are fit to train. Second, read up as much as you can about this type of running. Read books on nutrition, training, running courses and mapping. Third, start out gradually and build up your endurance and stamina.
Select your race and give it a try. Document, take pictures and record your race. A good idea is to keep a daily journal from the moment you start training till the end of your race. Document everything. You and others can then use this for future adventures.
sources; Myself. I am a former coach and long distance runner.
Back Country Runner.com