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The ultimate trail running handbook, a review

The ultimate trail running handbook
Claire Maxted
978 1 4729 7484 6

How to get started with Trail running? What to expect? What to wear? If you’re new to trail running, you might be full of questions. Overtime I will answer most of them, here on the blog, but if you like to get a head start The ultimate trail running handbook, written by Claire Maxted, is a must have.

I stumbled upon Claire Maxted searching for a podcast to tell me more about trail running. I had just run my first trail race ever, the Firefighter Mountain Trail in Beringen, Belgium, and I wanted to know more about trail running. For example, why I was the only one on normal, road running shoes?

Wild Ginger

I liked her Wild Ginger Running Podcast, visited her website, and there I discovered her book. As I like to support people who create something – knowing that podcasts and YouTube videos don’t bring in any serious money if you make them for a niche – I bought her book. It quickly became my guide into the unknown world of trail running.

The book taught me how to run on trails: ‘keep scanning the trail 2-5 meters ahead. That way your brain will have more time to process the info on the upcoming route, and pass it to your feet’. It taught me how to recover after a demanding trail run: ‘20 minutes to 2 hours after the race is the ideal time to refuel with carbs and protein. This speeds up recovery and stops you suddenly feeling famished and binging on unhealthy snacks’

It also helped me to understand all the types of trail running shoes that are out there, and what concepts as drop mean. ‘Once you start to hit the mud, bog and wet grass you’ll need a shoe with a lot more grip and possibly less cushioning so you can feel and respond quickly to the uneven ground’

'Keep scanning the trail 2-5 meters ahead. That way your brain will have more time to process the info on the upcoming route, and pass it to your feet'

Claire Maxted

You’re never too old

It also convinced me I wasn’t too old to start running again: ‘Most runners will unfortunately start to see a decline in times in their 50’s. But stay positive – this could be the decade to start running further!’

RELATED: I’m 50 years old, half of the work is done

So that’s what I’m doing. Forest Run Forest Ommerland was the first race ever, in which I went beyond marathon distance. Next Saturday I will run my first ultra ever, followed by my second ultra, The Dolomiti Extreme Trail, with almost 4.000 meters of altitude, this summer.

A handbook

The ultimate trail running handbook is precisely what it says it is, a handbook. There is lots of information in it. It’s a book you’re browsing through, put aside, pick up again, and put aside again. Up until your next race, or the next pair of shoes you want to buy.

I’m happy I have it in my bookcase, and I flip through it on a regular basis. I know I can find most of the information online as well, but I like that it’s all bundled together. So if you’re new to trail running, this book is a good start or a nice birthday gift for you or another newbie trail runner.

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