Hard & Soft Stepping: Trailrunning Techniques for the Mud

It’s been a little over a week since starting  my new job and many things have changed, and many things have not changed at all. At this point in my life, I realize the need to redefine myself… to make some clear and recognizable adjustments, both financially, socially, physically, and mentally.

But for now let’s talk about trailrunning.

I trailran with my kungfu brother Jarrad this past Saturday. It had snowed earlier in the day and I was hoping for an all-white Winterland of a run. We waited too long into the morning, most of the snow had melted, and instead, we endured a pretty treacherous muddy run with only patches of quickly vanishing whiteness.

Jarrad, slated to have his AcL repaired next Tuesday, ran really well. His pace was strong and steady.  I struggled throughout, having not hit the trails for about a week… possibly a little longer?

I’m not sure how many more runs we will have together leading up to his planned surgery. So, without question, every run leading up next Thursday is an important and symbolic one.

Technique: Running up and running down muddy, slippery hills and mountain sides require 2 very different types of foot and core concentration. This is a conversation about softness and hardness. These 2 aspects are often referred to when concentrating on specific types of strikes and defends, but, in regards to what The Wanderer is focusing on today, I’m tying the 2 applications to my blessed trailrunning.

Running up a sloppy hill requires the hard aspect. Use your concentrated core strength to pound up the sides of these dangerous embankments and hills. Each step should be momentarily rooted and controlled, then released for the next step, then rooted again. This techniques ensures a base and firm effort to move up the obstacle with little fear of misteps or clumsy mishaps.

Trailrunning down these same type trail-slicks require a very soft and light approach. Keeping your eyes focused and trained on the path ahead, stay light (almost ginger), yet keep moving forward, or sideways. Maintain a vertical position going down, for if there is too much downward bodily lean, the chance of a forward fall and ugly slip is greatly increased. Imagine running down a stairway of leveled rice paper, concentrating on doing as little damage to the sheets as possible.

In either direction you want to keep your shoulders relaxed and your breathing regular.

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This entry was posted in core training, fellowship, kungfu, technique, trailrunning, training. Bookmark the permalink.

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