Anyone who runs, knows that it is easy to innovate. It is only a change of scenery. “Running always on the asphalt of the city can make the exercising very mechanical. So, take advantage of the holidays to run on a trail is a way to continue the practice without falling into the monotony,” says the sportsman and mountaineer George Joseph Volpão, who runs in the trails of the mountains 15 years ago. The racetrail has the characteristics that the distance of the workout on the asphalt or on the treadmill, such as type of flooring, equipment, intensity, and types of injuries, and that interfere with the outcome of the exercise. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with this modality before you begin to practice it.
The workout is never the same
One of the main benefits of running on trails is the landscape. Get in touch with the elements of nature while doing a physical activity can be even more invigorating and enjoyable than practicing exercises in the city or at the gym. “On a race track there is always a variation in the landscape, even if the race is made exactly on the same route. There are big changes in the colors depending on the weather, time and season of the year,” says George Volpão.
Race more intense
Studies in the United States showed that race track burning, on average, 28% more calories than on the asphalt. This happens because the body needs to work a greater number of muscles during the ride because the floor of earth, mud and rocks of a trail, makes our legs and hips have a greater work. “It is very common to get pain in the hip after a run on the trail, as the muscles of this region are few worked in other types of racing. After a long time practicing track, the muscles become stronger and the discomfort decreases,” says George.
To avoid injury and strengthen the skeleton, it is necessary to do a weight training workout, focusing on the region of the hip and in the muscles that support the spine. With the strengthening of this region, the whole of the lower part of the body is more protected. According to a study done by the University of Calgary, in Canada, the runners who have a weak muscles at the hip, are more likely to have lesions in the knee and at the ankle than those who do exercises to strengthen this muscle group.
On a trail, each time the foot touches the ground, a variety of different muscles is triggered due to the irregularities of the ground. For to be an exercise with little repetition of movements, the joints, tendons, bones and muscles are more protected from common injuries on the training done in the city. “The floor more soft also protects our joints from impacts that would cause injuries,” says George.
Even so, some injuries may happen and it is necessary to had been try. As the floor is very uneven and is often fluffy, the kinks are more common in trail races, especially for the urban corridors that start with a very fast pace without being prepared. “The greatest danger of injury on a trail are the falls, which happen basically when runners don’t change the pace on a descent. The ankles and wrists are the most affected sites, as there is the instinct to put a hand to try and cushion the impact,” says George Volpão.
As the race track has different characteristics from that which is made in the city, even a runner already accustomed to great distances in the asphalt need to start with calm. He should not worry about the distance travelled, and yes, with the time of year. “As on a trail, there are a variety of elements that make our body work harder, such as changes in the type of floor, climbs and descents, turns, rivers, and obstacles in the middle of the path, the muscles make a greater effort if compared to the same distance traveled in the streets, flat city,” says the mountaineer.
Concern with the assessórios
During a workout on the trail is important to remember that hardly you will find shops of equipment to help in time of need. Therefore, it is important to leave the house with all the accessories indicated to keep the pace high and not go through the trouble. A backpack or fanny pack with a water bottle, a stick or a energy gel and a piece of fruit can not be missing in the kit of those who are preparing to race on a track.
The choice of appropriate footwear is also critical. “To race on a track, where the floor is very irregular and also there are many steep climbs and descents, the footwear made for racing on the asphalt is not indicated. You need to use a running shoes that has a pipe a little higher, mainly in the part of brings in the ankle, let the foot firm, and to avoid kinks,” says George Volpão. This type of footwear is not to be usually much more expensive than the normal racing.
Get to know the route
Mainly for those who are starting, it is important to know what are the surprises that your route can bring. “Beginners should choose trails more flat, not so long and should know the time to stop and go back,” says the sportsman. According to George, many people empolgam in time to make a trail, and end up getting very far on the way back. “On a trail, we never forget that the way back will be done on foot, and we can not catch a taxi to go back home”.
The right time to run
Run very early or when the sun is setting, time quite popular to do a race in the city, are not the most indicated to make a trail. In the dark, is more difficult to see irregularities in the floor, which makes it easier twists, falls, and injuries. In addition, if the trail is very closed, with little lighting, it is easier to lose. “As the changes on the floor are constants, the trail runner should always think in the next three steps that will make to prepare the body and make the right move. In the dark, it becomes more difficult”, says the expert.
The trail working our perception of how the body moves and where it is, or is, our motor skills and our concentration. “With so many stimuli different, be they visual, tactile, audible, or olfactory, during a workout, our body with the time is more agile, and more resistant to walking and jogging, and even when they return to be made on the asphalt,” explains George Volpão.
Train to recover
The lower speed, if compared to street racing makes training on the trail a good place to recover from your joints and muscles a more intense workout done the previous day. “There is no need to go very far to find a trail to run. Most parks in large cities have trails for this purpose. For those starting out or recovering from an injury, these trails less extensive are a great option,” says George Volpão.
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