The SAYSKY Trail Running Guide
Tired of waiting for the green light? Tired of zigzag running in between people and breathing in car fumes? Then maybe it’s time to trade that mundane gray city asphalt with the unpredictable and exciting nature paths – but be aware, you might get muddy.
We’re huge fans of trail running, and even though our office is located in central Copenhagen that doesn’t stop us from venturing out of town for a running adventure or two! Watch “The Trail Escape” video below and hopefully be inspired to leave the city behind and embrace the tranquil and meditative trails of the forest.
Trail Escape is a short video about breaking away from city life and getting into nature, mixing up the daily routines and just switching off for a while. We’re following runners Martina and Nicklas as they meet after work and drive up to the forests north of Copenhagen.
You’ll also find our trail running guide below the video, accompanied by our essential trail running gear.
Here’s what you’ll be able to read about in the SAYSKY Trail Running Guide. It’s intended for the trail rookies or anyone interested in exploring what the trails can offer:
- Trail running – what’s the fuzz about?
- Benefits from trail running
- Give your mind a break
- Leave your running watch at home
- Trail running gear
- Improve your trail running
Trail running – what’s the fuzz about?
First of all, what is trail running exactly? Well trail running is basically everything that doesn’t involve a paved road, and it takes place in our beautiful nature. In other words, it’s you being in sync with nature and saying goodbye to civilisation. It’s about challenging yourself and exploring new territories at the same time. Forget about your constant tracking and enjoy the journey and scenery instead – trail running is fun, exciting and a great way to break your daily running routine.
Trail running requires some technique – especially when running in places with steep incline and decline. When running uphill, you should lean slightly forward and change the weight to the front of your feet. Don’t be afraid to swing with your arms as this will generate extra momentum when chasing those peaks.
Even though we encourage our community to look at the sky, we highly recommend looking at the ground when going downhill. So, scan the ground ahead of you, constantly plan your route, take short steps, and keep leaning slightly forward or hold your body straight. It’s also a good idea to use your arms for balancing – and if you look like an airplane, then you’re doing it right. Remember to go slow when both climbing and descending and save your fast pace to when you hit the smooth trails.
Benefits from trail running
Trail running is great for training your body in more versatile way than just your standard running training. Many elite runners use the winter/off season for gaining strength by doing a lot of hill repeats and fartlek in the woods, so don’t be afraid to exchange the good old track with the woods. Hitting those steep inclines and declines require more muscles to work together and it challenges your balance and coordination. Also running on soft paths gives your joints a relief from the hard asphalt pavement – by running on uneven terrain each stride will be different, more muscles are involved, and you will reduce pressure from single muscle groups. In other words - your legs will thank you!
Give your mind a break
Your grandma probably told you repeatedly how great fresh air and nature is for you. And guess what? Grandma was right as studies have shown that nature reduces stress. Trail running is a great way to experience raw nature and can provide a meditative state of mind - you leave the noisy city and everyday stress behind you. For now, it’s just you and nature.
Leave your running watch at home
We know this might sound outrageous for some of you pace hunters out there. But it might actually be a good idea to leave your watch at home. Develop your own natural pace and try to enjoy the journey instead - look around, breath in and look out for that next steep rise.
Trail running gear
We know, you love your white shining running shoes. But after one trail run, they might not be so white anymore. If you are serious about trail running it might be a good idea to invest in a pair of trail running shoes with good grip.
Depending on the weather and for how long you are running, you will need the right clothing and perhaps a backpack. Longer more demanding runs requires a more well-thought outfit. Luckily, we have gathered our trail running essentials HERE, with a bunch of great styles for both short and longer trail runs.
Improve your trail running
We admit it, we are always looking for ways to improve and when it comes to optimising your trail running there are a bunch of ways to do so. First of all, it’s important to strengthen your core and lower leg strength by doing exercises like squats, one-legged squats and plank variations.
Another option is to practice hill running. This way you can practice and improve your technique for when you are running the real deal. So, don’t be afraid of those hill intervals!
If you live in a city don’t give up! There are plenty of things you can do to train your trail skills. Use the city as your trail path - climb stairs, run in sand, use benches. Just open your eyes, and you will realise that your city is full of useful obstacles.
Get ready to escape the city and conquer nature!