Many of my running Tribe run the trails in and around Toronto often. Finally, after a few months of hearing about it, I put aside my inner voices of “I’m going to roll my ankle” and “I’m going to get muddy,” and with the guidance of trail expert Alex Flint, and with the thoughts of the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series in mind, with my Tribe by my side I gave it a try – twice!
For both runs we went up to Pottery Rd to hit up the mountain biking trails. We chatted about trail etiquette (stay single file, let people know about obstacles, and when passing let people know how many are in your group), safety (slow your pace, be aware), and some tips and tricks when completing a trail race. I learned that the space we were headed to was mostly “single track” which means single file, and that the distance of trail runs should be perceived as being half the distance longer when related to the effort of the runner – so this 5km run would feel more like 7.5km.
For most of this first run I was on high alert looking around at the logs and branches, avoiding the mud, and trying to remember the path. I felt like I was really focused on not falling and remembering where I was going vs enjoying the trail and having fun.
My second trail run was definitely more relaxed and a lot more fun. It was another 5km, was very hilly, but although I still had no clue where I was or remembering how to get back (and yes I even sent an I’m lost text, although I quickly took it back) I was able to enjoy my surroundings, I ran really steep dirt hills, used as many logs as possible as balance beams, and this time just generally had more fun.
Does this sound like fun or what!
With Tribe we will be headed out for two more Try-A-Trail runs this month, if you are free (and they are free) you should join me!
Any tips for running the trails for this newbie? Leave them below!