3 Ways to Become a Better Trail Runner

As trail running is becoming increasingly trendy in the world, it is no surprise that more and more people are looking for ways to get faster, get stronger, avoid injury, and just become an overall better trail runner.


People who are somewhat new to running usually want to know if there is a difference between running on the road, running on a treadmill, and actually getting out in nature and finding a good open space to do some trail running and the answer to that question is simply, YES!


There are strong arguments for the pros and cons of each of those running options named above but in the running world, trail running seems to be in the lead for popularity. The reason that trail running is so popular is because it allows runners the opportunity to be outside and not be bored like some people are when they are running on a treadmill and it also allows runners to run outdoors without the same pounding effect that you would get from running on the pavement.


Trail running is an excellent cardiovascular option to get your heart pumping and some calories burned. However, just like with any other sport or physical activity, it is good to constantly educate yourself on how to get better so that you can avoid injury and also just learn ways to enjoy your trail running experience more.


Here are 3 tips that will immediately help you to train smarter for your next trail running experience:


  • Preparation – Like most things in life, preparation is the vital and can be the big difference between failure and success….and with trail running, it is no different. Make sure to have important items such as water, a cell phone, your ID, sunscreen, a piece of fruit or a bar in case you get light headed on your run. Depending on what time of day it is and what the weather is like, you may even need to bring a jacket or hat as


  • Mental Focus – Like preparation which is listed above, mental focus is another very important skillset that applies to not only trail running but also other areas in life where you can experience success or failure. As far as trail running though, it is extremely important to be locked in mentally when you are running on a trail because you just never know what you might step in or step on during your outing such as rocks, holes in the ground, or even rattlesnakes. It is highly recommended that you don’t just stare off into the horizon while you are trail running and instead be very conscious of every single step that you take so that your run doesn’t end up being


  • Cross Training – Cross Training is a great option to add to your training regimen because as humans, our bodies adapt very quickly to doing the same routine over and So, if you were only running every single day (or every other day) to prepare yourself to become a better trail runner, then your body would adapt over time and eventually you would risk overusing those same muscles and increase the likelihood of experiencing an injury. Instead opt to challenge your body in different ways such as with strength training, plyometrics, and other sporting hobbies that may be of interest to you. The more variety that you give your body, the better.


BONUS: Here are 2 exercises that you can add to your cross-training program today with your Total Gym Fit to help you develop your trail fitness:


  • Seated 2 Point Leg Swings – With your core engaged and sitting up nice and straight on your Total Gym Fit, place your left foot on the platform. Perform a one-legged squat on your left leg and as you come back up from your squat, kick your right leg up as high as you can. Perform another squat on your left leg and this time on your way back up from the squat, kick your right leg out to the right side as wide as you can. After performing both kicks on one leg, that is considered one rep. Repeat this sequence as fluidly as possible by alternating the two directions on your leg for the desired number of total reps. Be sure to perform all reps on one side before switching and repeating with the opposite leg. (2 Sets of 10 reps each direction on each leg)


  • Standing Squat & Side Lunge – Begin in a standup position with your right foot on the seat of your Total Gym Fit and your left foot on the ground. Slowly lower yourself in a squat on your left foot and as you do so, your right foot should be raising the board up towards the top of your Total Gym Fit. As your body comes back up from the squat position, you slowly lower the seat back down into its start Repeat this sequence to complete the first rep and then you repeat the exercise to complete the set. (2 Sets of 10 reps on each leg)



Mike Robinson

Mike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

Leave a Reply