Get Some Of The Benefits Of Trail Running Without Leaving The City

Get Some Of The Benefits Of Trail Running Without Leaving The City

Running on trails works your foot and leg muscles in a way road running doesn’t, but it’s possible to mimic some of the benefits of the trails without leaving your urban hometown — you just have to get creative.

Photo by Steve Baker

Cobblestone streets can provide an uneven surface to strengthen your feet and ankles. Running up stairs (whether in a stadium or a skyscraper) partly substitutes for charging up hills. Meanwhile, gym exercises like plyometrics and agility drills give a way to practise fast footwork.

While these exercises are optional for dedicated city slickers, they’re essential if you’re hoping to run a trail race or do a lot of running on a camping holiday. In that case, don’t forget to prepare for downhills, too. Amanda MacMillan writes at Outside:

Incline treadmill training can also boost cardiovascular conditioning. But try to find some real hills (or a treadmill that also has a negative incline function), as well. “The eccentric contractions from running downhill is very hard to mimic outside of actually running downhill,” says [ultrarunner and coach Zach] Bitter. “Training for uphill portions of trail can be much more easily mimicked through strength-building exercises.”

If you have your own treadmill, you can raise the back of it to achieve a negative incline. Running down stairs, especially at a fast pace, is also good training for downhills. Read more at the link below for trail-training tips you can do in the big city, and don’t forget our guide to safe and happy trail running.

How Can City Folk Train for Trail Running? [Outside]

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