Top ten trail running tips

by | Mar 8, 2021

4 min. read

1. Set ‘YOUR’ race day goal

That’s right, it has to be YOUR goal and have meaning to you. Not others or you won’t be able to make it happen. These race day goals can be things like – stick to race day nutrition, nail your pacing, have a strong second half of your race not just the first half.


2. Have a fun music playlist

Make sure you have banger tunes ready to go to give you a little extra motivation during your run. There might be sections you can’t listen to music depending on the race and number of competitors but having some music to give you some pep in your step when the going gets tough is good!

3. Have a nutrition plan and stick to it.

When you start to fatigue in races your plan can get thrown out the window and you start to go off of ‘feel’. Avoid doing this and stick to your game plan and what works, when you get really tired you can easily make poor decisions regarding nutrition and water intake. Avoid a ridiculous CARB LOAD the week and night before the race. A slight increase in carbohydrate intake is okay but don’t go crazy – you don’t want an upset stomach on race day.

4. Hotspots

If you feel a blister coming on or a bit of rubbing/chafing then stop straight away and deal with it – Vaseline or tape or new socks. Don’t let it rub for an hour before dealing with it – it will get x10 worse by that time.


5. Check, Double Check, Triple Check your gear

Drop bags and everything and anything you might need on race day. Have your electrolytes and powders pre-measured so it is very easy on the day to get fuel into you, you don’t want to have to be making big decisions on race day – it should all be bulletproof and ready to go!

6. Trail run

This is called ‘trail’ run for a reason – there are rocks, trails, and uneven surfaces. Those road runners of your might not make the cut – try grab a pair of trail shoes for the day – my favourites are the Brooks Caldera Trail Shoe!


7. Leave your ego at home 

These types of races – off road, which require more time to find rhythm can sometimes have you feeling deflated when you look at your AV pace/km but give yourself 

some leeway to get your bearing on the new terrain. If you can run happy and be kind to yourself in the words you say to yourself whilst racing you will compete better.


8. Know the route 

Look over where you are running, riding, swimming so you can avoid getting lost at all costs. No such thing as being
over prepared.


9. Make sure you have practiced in the gear you
will be wearing on the day

Shoes, socks, shorts, bra, t-shirt, hat, sunglasses, packs, you name it! Make sure you have worn it before.


10. Remember this is ‘YOUR’ race.

You know yourself better than anyone, run in your race, no one
else’s. Don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking or doing and just go out there and do your
best! If you aren’t having the day you had envisaged that is OKAY, pivot in your goal and work with
what you have left in the tank that day. Be proud of yourself for however your day ends up.

Jacqui Bell

Jacqui Bell

Ultra marathon runner

Jacqui Bell is the youngest person in the world to run an ultra-marathon on all 7 continents. She pushes herself to the limit with each race she tackles more daring than the previous.


Follow her journey:




Bottom line, the ideal time of day to exercise is when it is best for you. Although more research is needed in this area to draw a conclusion on exactly what time of day is the best to exercise, what we do know is that long-term exercise does in fact improve aerobic capacity, cardiac function, management of BMI, and strength. So, the evidence points to moving your body for overall wellness regardless of what time you do it.

Keep that spring in your step this season and embrace your Run Happy journey with Brooks Running!

Our writer’s advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition or fitness routines.

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