Learn how to navigate the trails, steep hills and trees. XTERRA pro athlete Will Kelsay shares his top tips for trail running.
1. Float lightly over the trails
Don’t put full weight on rocks or logs in case they’re not stable.
2. Don’t put brakes on going downhill
Feet skid out when you try to stop on dirt, rocks, or ice.
3. Match legs to arms to go faster downhill
Pump arms as fast as legs are moving to go faster.
4. Grab trees or branches to corner or gain speed
Take advantage of being off-road to gain speed and take corners.
5. Keep gaze about 20 feet ahead
If you look too far ahead, you will forget what’s at your feet and trip, if you look too close, you can’t plan for what’s in front of you.
6. Stay in your comfort zone
If you run too fast or out of control, you will trip and fall, as you get better, you’ll keep getting faster and faster.
7. Take smaller steps going uphill
Take smaller, quick steps to get up the hill faster.
8. Mastering the trail takes time
Eventually it will become habit and come natural, practice makes perfect!
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Will Kelsay is a seasoned veteran on the XTERRA circuit having raced in more than 20 countries around the world over 17 years. Having raced professionally since 2005, he has accumulated more than 50 overall wins and 75 more top five finishes. Over the years, he has been a coach, race announcer, race director, personal trainer, physiology lab technician, videographer, magazine editor and writer, and countless other professions to supplement his racing career.