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2018 lessons from the trail

What we learned from trail running in 2018

Before moving forward into 2019, we ought to reflect on what we have learned from the trails in 2018. Trail running is a sport full of lessons and life parallels.  As 2018 wraps up, let’s take a minute to reflect on what trail running has taught us this year. 


Practice matters

Consistency in any sport is the key to success. The experience you gain from consistently trail running will make the difference in your performance. Especially when the terrain gets tough.

The rules for 2019 are changing

The International Trail Running Association is setting a higher standard for next year. Now it’s tougher to qualify for races like UTMB. This makes our sport ever more challenging and exciting. 


Smiling wins races

When Courtney Dauwalter and Jim Walmsley won Western States this year, they smiled through the 100 mile race. Plus, a positive mindset can change the way you train and race. Camille Herron also smiled while breaking the world record for running 262.193K at the Desert Solstice 24-hour race.

RELATED: Camille Herron breaks 24-hour WR and US 100-mile record at Desert Solstice 


Trail running starts at any age

The spirit of trail running brings together people of all ages and abilities. If you want to get started in trail running, don’t let age hold you back. 

RELATED: Trail running after 50: Becky Bates


You don’t have to run far to be a trail runner

Trail races and FKTs can range from a few kilometres to hundreds. Sometimes trail running can be confused with ultrarunning (distances beyond 42.2K). Often there are beautiful trails and mountains to explore over long distances. However, trail running can be much shorter than an ultramarathon distance. If you want to run on the trails, you don’t need to go far.

Women winning overall is more apparent

A recent study supported that women fatigue later than men, especially in their plantar flexors. While men can be stronger and faster at an activity, they tire more quickly than women. In ultra trail running events, much of the racing is done at below aerobic threshold. Trends come and go, but women winning endurance events overall is on the rise, and here to stay. 


Training on the trails can make you faster

Running fast and strong can translate to the trails, and vice versa. Canadian Anne-Marie Madden proved this at the 2018 California International Marathon.

RELATED: Record breaking treadmill workouts


It’s simpler than you think

For someone new to trail running, the world can seem like a secret club. Yet, in order to get started in trail running, you just need to run on the trails. (Fancy gear and new shoes optional.)

RELATED: Training secrets from 2018 trail runner of the year