How To Trail Run – A Jordans Guide

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A runner’s guide to hitting the trails!

What is trail running…?

Trail running is different things to everybody, but ask any seasoned mud runner what trail running means to them and they will tell you that trail running is freedom. It is simplicity. It’s about exploring the world around us as we move through it and about enduring that suffering through woodland and mountains. It’s about clearing our heads and making the rest of life so much easier.

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Run4It’s Giffnock RunClub out in force!

 

But I am not ready to run up some mountain!

Hitting the trail does not mean you have to go on an epic adventure for miles and miles over mountains. Trail running is just about breaking the norm. Getting away from the monotony of the pavement or staring at a wall on the treadmill and embracing a bit of nature. That can be as simple as getting yourself to a different park in the city or you can try branching out the city and go a bit further through Scotland’s thousands of walking trails.

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Run4It’s Ross loving life at the City Trail!

 

Keep on top of injuries, while getting stronger?

Running on the road consists of a lot of monotonous movement, and unfortunately this repetitive pounding on hard concreate can wreak havoc with our bodies. Getting off the well-worn path and heading off-road can be your best friend when training. No trail is the same, the ground is uneven and the paths undulate all over the place. Couple this with the softer ground and suddenly we have a lot less repetitive movement and a lot less impact radiating through us, alleviating the strain that road running can put on our bodies. Due to that uneven surface, those undulating hills that have you huffing and puffing and all that ducking and diving. You will find your body actually strengthens. Ligaments and tendons will grow stronger, you develop better balance as well as an increased awareness of the space around you. All to help you glide over the ground, land comfortably on those uneven surfaces, and maintain your balance.

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Along the West Highland Way

 

Here are some easy tips to help you get under way and have a proper adventure.

Step 1: Blaze a trail

  • Find your trail, It can be a local park, a forest or even a big muddy field. If I am ever stuck for inspiration I just have a look on Google maps or walkhighlands.co.uk
  • Get curious! Find something new. Go to the coast, go completely off road or even just head up that road you have never been up.
  • Get lost (within reason)! Head out with no destination in mind!

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Team Run4It Suited and Booted

 

Step 2: Gear up! (Check out Jordan’s Kit List bellow for inspiration)

  • Make sure you have the right kit for the time of year, the route, and the unpredictable Scottish weather.
  • Pack a spare layer; you might feel warm now but it’s better to carry it than to end up regretting it.
  • Get a grip! It is well worth the investment of a good pair of trail shoes. The extra grip will really be like night and day!
  • Consider any nutrition you may need!
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photo above= Names, time expected back and when mountain rescue should be called

Step 3: Be safe

  • Tell a friend or family where you are going and when you should be expected back before. This is good practice, especially for those tackling a few mountains.
  • Carry a fully-charged mobile. It’s worth taking an old brick phone and keeping turned off in your bag in case of emergencies
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately!
  • Run with a friend.

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Walking break on the Laverado Ultra Trail – Italy

 

Step 4: Slow and steady (top secret… You’re allowed to walk sometimes!! Sshhhh)

  • Take your time, especially if you’re new. Enjoy it, stop and admire the view, rest at the top of the hill, eat a sandwich. Trail running is about enjoying your space in nature and having fun while doing so. Treat it like an adventure!

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The Ice Walrus – A Snowy Trail Run Up Ben Cruachan

 

Step 5: Smile.

-Look up and enjoy the surroundings, the sensations, and the fresh air! It’s easy to keep your head locked down and stay in your head, enjoy the space around you and the run becomes so much easier!

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Ding Ding! Its The Highland Fling!

 

An Easy get away from Glasgow. – 35min travel time.

Start point: Run4It, Bothwell Street, Glasgow

  • Walk to central Station = 2mins
  • Train to Mulgavie = 33mins (£3.00 return)
  • Lace up, you are now at the start of the longest trail in Scotland. The West Highland Way and a whole playground of terrain lie ahead of you. Tackle as much or as little as you want but love every moment of it!
  • Enjoy your well-earned snacks on the route home!

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Kit all packed!

 

Jordan’s Kit List

The Core Kit:

  • A mobile phone… not just for the fantastic muddy selfies, but an essential piece of kit for going out in to more remote areas. I carry an old Brick Nokia (it even has buttons!) That way if I can always contact emergency services should the need ever arise (https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills/mountain-rescue/calling-for-help)
  • A decent pair of SHORTS to avoid any unwanted chaffing and let you run in comfort… Personally I love the Ronhill Trail Fuel Shorts, The inner short is super comfortable with good storage and decent soft flask pockets! The back pocket can even accommodate a Windspeed jacket!
  • Full waterproof to take the chill out the wind and guard you from the ever-changing Scottish weather. I love my Salomon Bonatti Jacket as it fold away really small when not in use!
  • I love my Saucony Peregrines. I have had about 5 pairs of them now and they never let me down. My go to shoe for multi terrain and the perfect level of cushioning for those longer runs. Super grippy soles… only fell once in the last year… but maybe I’m just not trying hard enough!

Bellow is generally what I would take on my runs. Anything that involves mountains or a remote area I also pack a phone, map, compass, survival bivvy and waterproof trousers.

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Light and Fast For A Shorter Run

 

5-10km kit

-Tech Tee – Salomon Agile

-Twin Shorts – Ronhill trail fuel

-Grip – Inov-8 Xtalon

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Running Over The Cullins In Skye – Carrying The Lot!

 

15-30km Kit

-Tech Tee – Salomon Agile

-Twin Shorts – Ronhill trail fuel

-Jacket – Salomon Bonatti

– Bag – Salomon Agile

-Grip – Saucony Peregrine

-Nutrition – Shot Blocks, Torq Energy

-Mobile Phone

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Crazy Decents At The Ring Of Steall Race

 

Marathon+

-Tech Tee – Salomon Agile

-Twin Shorts – Ronhill trail fuel

-Jacket – Salomon Bonatti

-Spare Layer (L/S) – Ronhill Space Dye

-Bag – Salomon Agile

-Grip – Saucony Peregrine

-Nutrition – Shot Blocks, Torq Energy sachets, Cliff bars… maybe a few sandwiches.

-Mobile Phone

-Survival Bivvy/ Foil Blanket

-Waterproof Trousers

-Spare Money

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Well Earned Cuppa During Glenmore24

 

Multi-Day? – You nutter!

On top of Marathon+ Bring extra socks, nutrition (DINNER!!) and additional spare layers. Not to mention toilet paper (and a zip lock bag to put the used paper in)… Be smart and don’t under pack if your in a bivy overnight! Stay safe!

Love – Live – Run and get out and hit those trails!

Thank you for reading!

Follow my progress on Instagram – @jordan_love_live_run

Twitter – @J_YoungPhotos

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