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Running on technical trails is difficult for all athletes even if some of them seem particularly gifted. Yet the sense of balance is a skill that we all have as children and that we lose with adulthood. If you are planning to run an Ultra Trail on high mountains you must train your abilities to run on all terrains, including the most difficult ones.

Now you are probably asking yourself if you can improve your running technique on technical grounds.

The answer is yes, here are the 5 basic rules to follow on which to practice:

  1. Run with light and quick steps. The most difficult thing to obtain is to have a running technique with your feet able to move quickly without missteps and without having to think about the supports. When you remove the support from one foot, you must already be ready to move to the other one. Your center of gravity must remain balanced and centered without “sitting down.” The quick and light steps from one foot to the other will also avoid penalizing you, causing a reduction in speed and/or possible falls, due to the inevitable imperfections in the ability to always maintain a perfect balance.
  2. Concentrate on lifting the foot using the knee to keep the center of gravity aligned. Emphasize the process of lifting your foot with the body bent forward and the weight shifted accordingly. This will allow you to keep the center of gravity above the landing area while moving quickly from one foot to the other.
  3. Don’t look down. Do not continually stare at the ground or at the laces of your shoes, look straight ahead. Also, be sure to have good eyesight. Some of the athletes who think they cannot improve their running on technical routes fail to have an open view and maintain concentration due to vision problems.
  4. Don’t look around. Don’t get distracted, don’t talk, stay focused until you stop or get off the technical trails.
  5. Run relaxed. Your feet, legs, arms, neck and face must be relaxed, every part of your body must function in unison. Too much tension will turn your ankles and adductors into shock absorbers, making you risk a muscle injury.

The second question is, for sure, how could you improve. The TRM Coach have a couple of Tips for your related to the workouts that are important to you:

  • Stretch every day to gain and maintain elasticity (Stretching Exercises)
  • Perform proprioception exercises, 2 times a week
  • Do exercises to improve the responsiveness of the foot, once a week: skip, kicking, etc.
  • Practice walking barefoot on sand and stones 1-2 times a week
  • Practice breathing exercises to learn to relax, 2 times a week (Mental Strenght Program)
  • Train for downhill running with downhill reps (Downhill running sessions)

WOULD you like to do a big jump in improvement? Have a look at our taylor-made Trail Running Plans HERE




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Cristina Tasselli

Digital Strategic Marketing Director - certified Innovation Manager - in multinational companies, she is still today the only Italian female athlete to have ran 900 km and 55,000m D+ in the mountains in a single stage race (Transpyrenea 2016, 3rd women overall). She counts numerous Podiums and international Victories on races over 100k. She holds a SNaQ CONI certification as a Trail Running Coach, Athletic Trainer and in Nutrition and Sports Supplementation. Since 2014 she is President and sports executive of innovative technology startups and companies, including Trail Running Movement and Digital Sport 360. She trains elite trail running athletes and she teaches in trail running coach certification courses. She is an author of sports articles on training, nutrition and supplementation in trail running and running, both in Italian and in English and Spanish. She manages relationships and collaborations with Federations and Race Organizers.