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How to improve your trail running – with Emelie Forsberg

SuuntoRun — 3 June 2015

Skyrunning world champion Emelie Forsberg gives her tips on how to push your running comfort zone.

Keep running

To become a stronger runner in any kind of terrain you need to have continuity of training. You will always improve at something when your do it regularly for a long time with no breaks.

For this reason, try to enjoy your running. Even if a run is no longer than 15 to 20 minutes, it’s so much better than nothing if it makes you want to run again. Sometimes I do short runs because I know I will feel better after a few minutes, even if I’m tired when I start. I do it because I love having the continuity.

Continuity of training is key, says Emelie. © Salomon

Push your comfort zone

If you already love running and want to become stronger, push yourself every now and then outside of your comfort zone.  Maybe one or two of your training runs can include some non-comfortable pace. That small effort will make you better. 

Play with speed

To become a better uphill runner I’ve noticed uphill fartleks have worked for me. (Fartleks, a Swedish word that means ‘speed play’, is a form of interval training.) Run with speed for a few minutes, then slow down and then run again with speed and try this on different slopes for variation. Try to be fresh when you do this training!

Emelie won the Transvulcania ultra marathon on the Canary Islands. © Selu Vega-Transvulcania

Power the hills

To improve your uphill endurance, try to run or fast walk the whole slope or mountainside, even if it’s a long ascent.

Recovery is king

Recovery is important. If your recovery isn’t good enough, training gradually breaks you down. I try to rest as much as possible when my body tells me I need it. It’s better to be fresh and able to keep training than to break down or get injured and not to be able to train. 

Remember to have fun and enjoy your runs! © Berger

Eat well

Always eat and drink well for recovery. I love natural ingredients and avoid eating too much meat. I feel best when I eat a lot of vegetables and a big dessert!