Some recommendations to approach the practice of Trail
You are used to running on the road and would like to test yourself on a trail? The conditions are different! Without specific training you could experience great difficulties, or worse still injure yourself …
Just like preparing for a marathon, training for a trail will require a real personal investment. Let's say that two training sessions per week is a minimum, and if you can do 3 or even 4 it would be better.
Even if the link with running is close, in reality the physical abilities required to run a trail are quite different. The biggest difference is the level. Depending on the route, you may find yourself walking as the slope increases, and you will see that the effort required is quite different!
The program is generally divided into 4 different types of sessions for a complete training:
A series of splits, for example in the form of 30 sec. of run/30 sec. of recovery (minimum 15 replicates).
A session of cues (to be adapted according to your environment, I come back to it lower for those who live in the city).
A session at the threshold, that is to say by maintaining a pace of competition during longer and longer periods of time.
Finally, a long exit session.
If you can’t respect this training breakdown, try to start by going for short trails (from 20 to 25km) in order to test yourself on this type of effort and thus evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Above all, know that knowing your VMA can be a good first step. This is a good factor in indicating performance and calculation in the development of a training program. If you don’t know it, you can use our tool to calibrate your VMA session.
Footing at slow speed
Slow speed jogging is the type of work used for all speeds from 50% to 75% of the VMA. If you come from running, this should be your strong point and therefore the safest place to put it when you start a specific program for the trail if you run out of time.
When preparing a trail, we also use slow speed jogging to warm up, or in the recovery phase after a session.
Fast speed jogging
It generally corresponds to a speed ranging from 75% to 90% of the VMA. There are 2 different types of sessions for fast jogging:
- Active jogging: from 75% to less than 85% of the VMA. It can be a progressive jogging or long repetitions type: 2 x 15' at 80%.
- Intermittent jogging: from 85% to 90% of the VMA. In this case, the number of repetitions is increased and the time is reduced.
The session at intervals
Also called a fractionation session, it is between 90% and 105% of the VMA. The idea is to do this work on the track, but it can also be perfectly adapted to the trails. The sessions consist of repeating races / rest periods, with for example the classic 30 seconds of sprint / 30 seconds of recovery.
The leveling session
You won't be able to avoid it, unless you aim for a flat trail, it will certainly be the most difficult.
If you live in a large city, you will need to plan a few weekends in the mountains to prepare yourself in repaired conditions. But during the week, you have the opportunity to continue a specific training by playing with the elements of your environment. Here are some ideas:
With a tilting treadmill, you will be able to run by simulating the level. Once again, think about varying the intensity, some treadmills come with specific mountain programs where rhythm and slope are imposed on you, so enjoy it.
Further down côte-descente, côte-descente
Find a place in your city with a slope, and then go up and down at a fast pace (more than 80% of your VMA) and down more slowly.
You must have a park, stadium or other place nearby where you can find a quiet corner with stairs. Take advantage of this opportunity to work on your tone and strength as you climb. You can climb step by step with good intensity, or 2 by 2, or even 3 by 3 by slower and pushing well on the thighs. Always vary the sessions.
Take your bike and make long outings away from home. I advise you to leave at least 3-4 hours and look for spots where you can test yourself on the slope. Impose yourself to put yourself in a dancer to work well in power.
Squat, chair, sheathing
Your legs will be more stressed than on a classic running outing, it is necessary to build up muscle and strengthen their endurance during exercise. This will also reduce the risk of injury by preparing your muscles to better cope with the shocks associated with the sequence of climbs and descents