For the past eight months I have been obsessed with trail and long distance running. When I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a Ragnar Trail Run in Wawayanda State Park this October, I blurted the word YES before I could fully comprehend what I agreed to. Once I realized I’ll be running 15.70 miles in 24 hours I had to have a what the hell did you agree to conversation with myself. I quickly silenced the self doubt, bought a pair of trail running shoes and I have not looked back. Here’s a few tips I have learned along my training:
USE YOUR ARMS
My running form has improved tremendously over the past two years. Prior to starting my running journey my sister and daughter joked that I run as if I am carrying groceries. My form was all jacked up. I kept tension in my shoulders, my legs did a weird shuffle and I landed mid-foot. My form was so bad I know it was painful to watch. I have since corrected my form but my arms. Boy oh boy, they are a mess. My arms does a weird sway in front of my body. Very similar to Red from Friday when Deebo stole his chain (if you are unfamiliar with that reference, are you living under a rock?) You can get so much power from your arms. So, pump those arms, engage your core, lean in slightly while keeping your gaze ahead of you a bit. Don’t be like Tikima and Red, use your arms while running especially uphill.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH PACING
Starting a new training program I knew I needed to focus on my pacing. I’m one of those fast twitch fiber, sprinter, just-get-this-run-out-of-the-way type of girls. This Ragnar is not one of those types of parties. I need to learn how not to burn all of my matches at once. I do that by not focusing on the pace and ditching the watch. EVERYONE runs slower doing a trail run and I am NO exception. I started to listen to my breathe to ensure I was not gasping for air. If you need to gasp for air you are overexerting yourself. Therefore, pace yo’ self fool (just a play on words from a Friday reference. I couldn’t help myself) and slow down!! Focus on breathing and heart rate rather than speed.
The next tip may seems like ummm duh but hear me out. This summer during #EmpowerSummerCamp(yes I attended summer camp) I had an epiphany...
I DON’T BREATHE.
I know you are thinking this sounds extreme and it is. I hold my breath or breathe very shallow (this may explain my high anxiety) leaving my body in constant fight or flight mode. I have been practicing meditation daily since my eureka moment and it has actually seeped into my running. I actually prefer meditation while running over the traditional style of meditation. While running I try to focus on one thing and not let my mind wonder. Currently I have been focusing on gratitude and my running cadence. I hope these tips help you with your trail running. I am super excited to participate in #RagnarTrailWawa with the amazing Sweat Pink team!!! Have you participated in a Ragnar before? I will use all the tips and tricks I need to not only get through the race but make it an enjoyable experience. Don’t forget to follow my journey on my socials. #TikimaReneeFitness #RagnarRelayRace #TeamSweatPink #Ragnar #Running #EmowerSummerCamp #RunningTips