Today’s guest is Matt Mosteller:
agent for positive change
health crusader, and
“Powder Matt” tells his story of escaping his suffocating desk job to find career success while leading an adventurous life. Don’t miss his story about escaping from a mama Grizzly bear on backcountry skis!
Matt has put together a great set of Trail Running Tips (see below)
He is the author of The Adventurer’s Guide to Living a Happy Life.
Trail Running Tips by Powder Matt
Combine the benefit of road jogging with natures calming powers and incredible jaw-dropping scenery and you have trail running.
Tip: You don’t need your High Heels. Footwear matters, but it is not a dinner party. So you don’t need the pair with a monster heel cushion as you want to stay low for better traction & balance. See the trail running expert at your local outdoor shop to set yourself up for success and make sure the shoe fits your foot well.
Tip: Don’t just listen to what they say…take the shoes out of the box and walk around, jog, try going up an incline and put some pep in your step with them on. Sometimes you’ll need to adjust the lacing tightness in certain spots or you may need to change the footbed to get that perfect fit. I tested and liked shoes from La Sportiva , Scarpa and Merrell for durability, stability, and overall good snug fit. Look for supportive, feel right, good traction and flexibility.
Tip: Let’s Get Physical, but take your time. Trail running is more of a challenge than a road run Tip: Start with 75% of your road speed and 20 to 30-minute duration if you are a newbie. Work up to an hour and try 2 to 3 times a week or mix it in once a week if it is just playing the cardio portion of an established exercise program. For more challenge add 3 to 4-minute hill climbs. Go ahead play that virtual Video Game. Avoid Stumble, trip, and slip.
Tip: Look 3 to 4 paces beyond your feet and take a mental video. Then let the brain work its magic, placing each foot in the right place. Simple as Look Ahead and the Foot will follow. Don’t do the Desk Slouch…Leaning over and forward seems to feel right when climbing the hills.
Tip: It may feel like the natural thing to do, but leaning too far forward will actually collapse the lungs’ capacity and limit the amount of oxygen you can take in. “Take my breath away” is no fun. So keep more upright with your back straight even on the big hills. A slight forward position is good but no desk slouch. I Run without IPod. Road running is easy. Plug in tunes and zone out. Trail running you need to pay attention.
Tip: Technical trails no Ipod. You need to focus on what you are doing. Sometimes even to the extent of using mental cues like ‘Pick up your Feet’. Trail running requires you to be mentally engaged for safety. Focus on using your arms for balance in rough terrain like a cat uses its tail. Another reason is you don’t want to miss the wildlife, so keep keen on sounds like broken branches and other nature cues. Chill Out. Storms can ruin your day – making trails a slippery mess and a set up for disaster. As well you need to add a dash of relax.
Tip: Know the weather conditions before you go. But don’t stop checking as storms can roll in while you are out on the trail. Plan ahead just in case you may need to find shelter during a thunderstorm. Go conservatively, no need to rush, enjoy the scenery and listen to the ebb and flow of your body. Chill & Enjoy the run! Change it Up…Some say that injuries happen from repetition.
Tip: Adding trail to your regular road running routine is a great benefit to counter-act repetition and work your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments in different ways. But I throw in another trick by mixing up my shoes. Try using different shoes to avoid overuse injuries. Also, for a mental change-up, try a night run. Get a good head-lamp and go to the city park first. Quick “don’t forgets”. Don’t forget some extra water as trail running will require more than your usual routine, as well throw in some hydration & electrolyte tablets like NUUN into the mix, and bring some bars & gels if you like. I go with the Edge Food Energy bar. Extra layers are a must- throw shell around your waist or in your hydration pack, try Outdoor Research’s ultra-light weather protector, Helium 2 jacket and don’t forget bear spray.
Tip: Get Schooled. Try a trail running or natural running clinic to help you with your stride, get you started or to get more from your running. Check out clinics at Mountain Equipment Coop and or through local running clubs.