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Author: Tarrin van Niekerk

Trail running might kill you, how to stay alive.

This morning I read about the unfortunate death of Mexican runner Arturo Héctor Martínez Rueda during the Ultra Fiord 100-mile mountain race that took place in Patagonia earlier this month. His body was found between two checkpoints, almost halfway along the course. Cause of death is presumed to be hypothermia. Martínez Rueda is not the first runner to pass away as a direct or indirect result of running. Earlier this year Todd Ragsdale went out for an easy hike/run on his favourite trail. When he didn’t return a search was launched and his body was found in a creek...

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Trail skills: the building blocks for better running

Many runners believe that because running is a primal instinct, there is no real skill involved. Just like any other sport, technique can have a drastic effect on your running performance. Focusing on skill will give you greater confidence and improve your ability to navigate difficult trail, sometimes to your advantage during a race.

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Getting back to running after injury.

Returning to running after an injury can be daunting. Research suggests that 28% of novice runners who get injured do not return to running again. Is the experience so terrible that they choose to give up on running forever? That being said, I am yet to meet an injured trail runner who isn’t already planning their return up the mountain. Successful return to running is not an exact science; your progress will depend on the type and severity of your injury, how long you had to be off from running and whether you followed the appropriate rehab principles during...

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Get Stronger, Run Longer

When you choose a sport that requires you to run up and down mountains, you very quickly learn that strength, not speed is what helps you go the distance. Because of the demands of trail running we need powerful glutes and arms to drive us uphill, strong quads to resist kilometers of downhill and a rock-stable core to rule them all. Trail runners should master Strength Training (ST) for 2 reasons: Injury Prevention and Running Performance. Strength Training for Injury Prevention: ST is one of the most effective prevention strategies for running injuries and also the most underutilized. By...

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Why the @#* does my knee hurt (again)? Understanding Overuse Injuries.

Overuse / overload injuries are the mother-in-law of all running injuries. They show up unannounced at your door one day and decide to move in for an indefinite amount of time. It is very hard to live with them and even harder to get rid of them. The best way to treat them is to avoid them. When faced with a nagging overuse running injury, we all have our own beliefs as to the cause of the injury. When you consult some healthcare professionals, they might propose several theories as to what caused the injury. Reasons given can range...

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