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5 tips from professional triathlete Lukas Hollaus

5 tips from professional triathlete Lukas Hollaus

How the switch from city runner to trail runner works & more ...

More and more people are excited about running off paved roads. Trail running is cross-country and sometimes through uneven and steep terrain. The sweaty affair is rewarded with fantastic views in what is often a breathtaking landscape. Lukas Hollaus is an Austrian professional triathlete and explains how to successfully switch from city runner to trail runner and gives tips on running technique and equipment. (In the photo gallery above you will find sporty hiking shoes, most of which are also suitable for trail running)

1. Equipment: What do I need, where do I prefer to save?

Walking, running, trail running: there is now the right shoe for every type of movement. "Basically, sports shoes made for trail running are not a bad investment, as walking uphill and downhill stresses the feet differently than in the city," explains Lukas Hollaus. "You need more grip so that runners don't slip on steep terrain or in the rain." Beginners can dare to try their first trail running with normal running shoes. However, the professional triathlete from Zell recommends special material for advanced riders. While a flat trail shoe is sufficient for a relaxed run in the forest, a waterproof membrane shoe is the right choice for jogging through mud and mud. A light mountain running shoe, on the other hand, simplifies training on higher routes.

2. Running technique: What do you have to consider in the field?

When it comes to trail running, it is essential to concentrate particularly on nature and the changing terrain. "Compared to training on level ground, the stride length has to be shortened and the contact with the ground kept as low as possible," says Hollaus, explaining the differences to normal jogging. "It is also important not to lean your upper body too far back." Stones and roots can act as stepping stones and help take the momentum with you as you run. The muscles are also strengthened through constant changes of pace adapted to the terrain and jumping over small streams or felled trees. "Trail running is a great full-body workout that also makes jogging through the city easier," says Hollaus, highlighting the advantages of this trend sport.

3. Running sticks: embarrassing accessory or useful training aid?

If you want to increase the training effect, it is advisable to use walking sticks - even if you may feel strange at the beginning. "Running with sticks is helpful when running downhill, as it protects the joints," reports the running expert from Zell am See. "Another advantage, especially for beginners, is that steep passages are less strenuous to cope with and that you can protect yourself and push yourself off when running downhill," explains Lukas Hollaus. The right technique is essential: the right frequency and pushing backwards can be a challenge at first, but with a little practice sticks are a helpful and challenging training tool.

4. Track professional: where is the best place?

Kilometers covered and running times are of secondary importance in trail running, which is characterized by its combination of sport and the outdoors. City runners in particular should try less steep stretches that are slightly shorter than the usual training schedule. "My home, Zell am See-Kaprun, is of course one of the most beautiful trail running spots for me," says Lukas Hollaus. "Our new Run & Walk Park leads a total of 100 kilometers along signposted routes through Zell am See-Kaprun and the Alps and offers different levels of difficulty", Hollaus reports. "I recommend the Klammsee circuit in Kaprun for beginners. For advanced skiers, I would advise my favorite route, the circuit around Lake Zell."

5. Let's go: Tips for the first trail running attempts

Before starting your first trail running attempts, it is advisable to look for a steep spot in the forest and walk it downhill several times and then uphill again immediately. "The athletes get a feeling for the ground and learn to adapt their running technique spontaneously to the changing conditions," explains Lukas Hollaus. In addition to non-slip shoes, athletes shouldn't do without breathable running clothes. Depending on the temperature, which can change quickly in alpine terrain, it is advisable to wear the clothing in several layers. "For longer distances," the athlete from Zell continues, "sunglasses and sunscreen should not be missing. Rain and wind protection, a headband, enough drinks and an energy bar as an emergency ration are also important utensils so that nothing stands in the way of trail running fun. "