Trail-running ESSENTIALS from a first-timer’s point of view.

Hello hello 🙂

How is your week? I have to tell you, it is only Wednesday and it feels like it is already Friday …. I think I am just more tired than usual cause I am recovering from that nasty cold! I feel much better, but my cough is pretty persistent 😦 So my running plans for today went down the drain… Running and coughing ain’t a good combo 😉

Speaking of running, do you  guys remember about a month ago, when I had my first (ever) trail-running race? It was a 7km Maverick Race with the North Face team. So, I thought I’d share my experience and what I learnt as a first-timer with all of you and spare any of you that wants to try it, the issues that I faced 🙂 I’ve been meaning to write this post for sooo long – thank work for keeping sooooo busy the past few weeks LOL 😛 !

So let’s dive into it, shall we?

1. Shoes

If you have a pair of trail running shoes… 🙂 Awesome! If you don’t and you are like me where you wouldn’t want to splurge for something you have no clue if you ‘ll like… my suggestion is to find an old (they ‘ll get muddy) pair with a thick sole. Not just in the heel bit but also in the front.

Also it’s a good idea to take with you another pair of shoes or flip flops because you don’t want to get into your “getting home” vehicle of transportation along with all the dirty 😉

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2. Race

Go short! I know it is tempting to choose the 10km, 20km or more race because “why would I ONLY do 5km or 7km right???”

Well, hold you horse there! You ‘ve never done it before, you don’t even know if this will be “your cup of tea” as they say around here 😉

Also another important note is to be mindful of your route so you wont get lost!! In my first trail run – that was one of the things that SERIOUSLY worried me…- I ended up running the last 3km totally by myself, couldn’t see anyone in front of me or behind me. Make sure you know the markings and keep an eye on signals and ribbons on trees!

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3. Food

Well this is a pretty simple one:

Trail running => trails =  (country side + mountains +) – (civilisation + shops)

So, make sure you pack everything you might need to eat or drink. Pre race snacks, fuelling, post race snacks and something extra 😉 Some races do provide water – but better safe than thirsty – and some also provide snacks but they do cost an arm and a leg…

4. Change of clothes

If you are lucky it will not rain, but you will still get dirty. Trails = mud. No matter if it is a lot muddy or not so much there will still be places where you ‘ll get dirty and wet like from a muddy paddle to a small crick. Also make sure you have a few layers on, even in the summer it can get chilly out in the country side.

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5. Plastic bags

I can not stress this one enough… all your wet muddy gear would have to go back with you! Well, I didn’t think of that… I had to go around looking for something to put in my super muddy things before I put them on my bag pack. I did but it took me a while and it was annoying…

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6. Mud & other nasty, dirty things

So, you are all done with your race, and you just got home… With a pile of dirty stuff… Now what?!?! Well first of, do NOT try to clean your shoes if they are still wet – and do NOT put them in the washing machine!!! Unless you want to have to call a plumber right after and spent the afternoon mopping water of the floor.

Shoes – let the mud dry, then hit them together once mud has solidified and it ‘ll start coming off. Then you can wash them if you like.

Clothes – make sure there is no solid mud on them, and put them straight in the washing at a higher temp than you usually was your running kits. Why? Well first of, if you stick them in laundry basket wet they will stink… and second, you need to ELIMINATE the possibility that you ‘ve brought with you a “guest” like fleas or any short of bugs! This is the thing that freaks me out the most (since last year when we got bedbugs aaaargg!! :O )  and this is why my clothes go from plastic bag to 50C wash…

7. Camera and photos

Well, trail are not straight or an open space. Also there will be times where you run literally in a row and the people behind you  don’t want to stop for you to take a photo, so don’t… I ended up holding my cell phone and taking photos on the move —>

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8. If you like it… Do it again!!

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I hope these tips help any other first timers out there! All and all if you are properly prepared, trail running can be a wonderful experience!! Try to leave your music at home as well… it is really worthy it to feel the peace and quite!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

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