This month multiple Vietnam Trail Series podium finisher and potential VTS 2019 Champion Quang Nguyen brings you advice on how to become a better trail runner.
1.About 80% of your running week should be easy runs. Run slowly at about 65- 75% of your HR Max. This can bring effective results and also help avoid injury.
2. Adequate training and rest ensure your body will not suffer overtraining. If you choose a 4 Week Training Cycle, then increase mileage by 10% every week during three first weeks and reduce it 30% for the last week.
3. Ensure you meet your nutrition requirements when training, getting enough minerals and vitamins to keep your body in good health, avoiding common diseases like flu and fevers when your training mileage increases. Eat lots of fruits rich in vitamin C and do not eat new foods you are not used to in the days before race day.
4. Have enough sleep so your body can recover and be ready for the next training session.
5. If you live close to the mountains or in areas with plenty of hills, try to do some steep climbing regularly. Choose sections with slopes of 6-8% and start with 30s uphill repeats and then increase to 2-3 mins and longer. You will see yourself get stronger after a few months. But if you do not have that advantage, replace it with steep running on treadmill, running ladders or do high intensity interval training (HIIT).
6. If you want to run downhill faster, pay attention to speed running. You should spend 15-20% of your weekly running time for high intensity sessions such as HIIT. Running on uneven terrain such as up and down sidewalks and low walls in cities will help your feet be nimble.
7. Improve the strength of your quad muscles by cross training such as by using squats and wall-sits. This muscle group will help you deal with the force on your knees when running downhill.
8. Lastly, choose a suitable distance and do thorough training so you can enjoy the race comfortably whether you run to rival for podiums or simply finish before cut-off time.
Want to read more from Quang? Check out his tips on coming back from a DNF here.