Ten Ways to Become a Better Trail Runner

One of the lessons learned from my DNF at Rocky Raccoon is that I need to become a better trail runner.  That seems pretty obvious considering the 100 miles are all on trails!  So I sat down and came up with this list of 10 ways to become a better trail runner.

1.  Ignore the no trespassing signs and run wherever you want.  It can be a great speed and agility workout.

Note of Importance:  DO NOT ignore the no trespassing signs.  I have crossed many barbed wired fences in my day and ended up on random stranger’s property.  It is not highly advised.  (see number 3).


2.  Watch Kilian video while sitting on couch drinking a beer and eating pizza.


Note of importance: Actually putting down the beer and pizza and attempting some of what you see increases impact of this training.


3.  Wear a deer costume in South Louisiana.

Note of Importance: Gun season opens up tomorrow in parts of Louisiana.  Just sayin’……


4.  Find a trail with a crap load of briars.

Note of Importance:  I did that on purpose once.  I was a senior in high school and wanted to see how tough everyone was.  By the end of the “run” there were only a few runners with me.  And we were all bleeding profusely.  Avoid the briars if possible.


5.  Run on a new trail at night.  Preferably with little knowledge of where you are going and hearing coyotes is a bonus.

Note of Importance: Wait.  This might actually be a real one.  Sometimes you will not be able to scout the course in the daylight and must find your way or trust your companions.  So learning to follow a new trail at night is smart.  Not the coyote part.


6.  Find a small local park and run loops on the flattest most manicured sections.

Note of Importance: The image above was actually a 40 mile training run I did on a very small piece of property.  That is not highly advised unless you are training for a timed track ultra.  Or insane.


7.  Log hours and hours on the treadmill.  And make sure you have full A/C and multiple TV’s on.  Perfect race day simulation.

Note of Importance:  You might as well go in your backyard and run in place for 5 hours.  Both will lead to a quick trip to the insane asylum and zero race day preparation.


8.  Get all the outdoor and trail running magazines.  Don’t read them, but put them on the coffee table for a little more leg elevation while watching the Kilian video.

Note of Importance:  Why would you bother to seek advice from people who actually might know something?  Especially when you are too busy reading crap from people who are clueless like me!


9.  Ignore everything I have said in steps 1-8.  What the hell do I know?  I have to run the roads for 95% of my miles.

Note of Importance:  Seriously?  You didn’t understand what I wrote a few sentences ago?  Fine.  I will spell it out for you.  See number 10.


10.  Run more trails.

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