Scarpa North America Blog

Three Steps to Help Kickstart Your Spring Trail Running

May. 19th 2015

Spring is about transition: cold to warm, snow to dirt, and winter activities to summer activities. It’s a transition of muscle usage as well. Often fitness gains from winter activities can transfer well. But after several months of low mileage, it’s important to be smart about your first few trail running sessions. We asked to SCARPA Athlete Jeremy Duncan share his secrets that will help you pull your SCARPA trail runners back out of the closet and get back into the groove. Learn more about the brand new SCARPA alpine running shoes here.

Trail running in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado.

Jeremy Duncan trains in the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorao.

1. Start Slow

I’ve been guilty of it time and again. After a winter of few miles and more time dedicated to swimming, hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing, a quick return to running is thwarted by a badly rolled ankle or knee or shin pain. The transfer of aerobic fitness from our winter activities allows us to run beyond our muscular limits. It’s easy to forget that muscles and tendons have to play catch-up. Spring should serve as a time to build mileage back up over time so muscles are re-strengthened for the long runs of summer.

2. Get Out and Explore

I typically look at spring as a time for exploration. It’s the perfect time to rediscover old trails or check out some new ones. Spring is also a great time to study maps and plan some long outings for later in the season. I typically look at my first few sessions a chance to get out and enjoy the change of season, stop and smell the roses (take Claritin), and rekindle the fun of trail running. As a rule, don’t feel bad about going out for one hour instead of two or taking a day off in the middle of the week. Spring is a time of rebuilding and enjoying.

Spring trail running in the high country.

Spring running in the high country.

3. Don’t Be Near-Sighted

For some, spring racing is highly alluring, but try to use these races as fitness tests rather than “A” race goals. I will sometimes jump into a spring race merely for a good “forced” long run with plenty of aid. I always keep the long-term goals of a season in the front of my mind so that I don’t jump the gun. Getting to summer healthy is half the battle. If you can practice patience in your daily training, you will see it pay dividends in other areas, including your summer racing.

More Posts From Jeremy
Trail Runners: How to Stay Motivated Through Winter

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