Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trail Running Anywhere, Anytime- Dave McMahon

Rating ***

With our orienteering unit finishing up I thought it was perfect to choose McMahon’s persuasive article about running in the forest. I’ve always thought of orienteering as multi-tasking. You’re asked to navigate yourself around an unknown forest while maintaining speed, avoid tripping on roots, and keeping a steady pace going up or downhill.

McMahon’s article inspires what he calls “prisoners of the pavement” to get into a forest and run. The author makes arguments that trail running gives greater diversity, natural intervals, and keeps your brain active while choosing a path. For those who argue trail running could be dangerous, McMahon states that repetitive running on hard pavement can result in even greater injuries.

McMahon explains the steps to safe trail running. He begins by advising others to start slow and learngood form. With development, the author comments that runners will familiarize with ignoring “irrelevant hazards”. The author also includes tips for running on a forest terrain. McMahon touches on good posture, center of gravity, landings, warm up, and stretching to help with tougher trails.

Reading McMahon’s article makes me want to try trail running. I’d like to see if lowering my center of gravity while descending or leaning forward and taking shorter strides to climb, would improve my stamina throughout a course.

The author really proves his point about obstacles and demonstrates how, by ignoring concern and looking ahead, running can be both faster and safer. When I finished thisarticle it got me thinking about orienteering. Maybe if I can control where I step and keep a quick pace, I won’t trip as much and what I’ve always believed to be a multi-tasking sport will become one task. Now all I have to figure out is how not to get lost!

McMahon, Dave/Ottawa Outdoors Magazine/Trail Running Anywhere, Anytime-Find your groove without pavement/summerfall 2009/web: 30, 2011

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