Variety Is The Spice Of Trail Running

TRAIL|Issue 35

Variety Is The Spice Of Trail Running
“I recently read that Kilian Jornet saw a lot of improvement from adding more flat runs into his training. Is this something that would benefit me, as a middle of the pack trail runner? How much should I do?” Andrew

As we delve into a new decade of How and Why Sean Tait, founder and run technique coach at Off the Mark, continues to address your trail running questions.

This is a great question! It’s a fiercely debated topic in running circles. Should I stick to training on my race terrain, or should I mix it up? But as with everything in life, what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Let’s start with Kilian Jornet (seeing his name has been thrown into the mix) and work our way back to Andrew.


Kilian has been a pro runner for more than 15 years and has won pretty much every major trail running event multiple times. The more ascent, the better he gets. Although he is absurdly talented, he is just like you and I. He is human. And the way human bodies work, is that after we put them under a training stimulus, they break down and rebuild stronger.

Next time, we need to go out and put the – now stronger – body under a slightly higher load (run faster, harder, longer and so on) to get the body to break down and rebuild.

If we do that same thing without a progressive increase in load, the body will see no need to develop further. This is how it works. Hopefully we get things right, don’t overdo it and get injured, and we just get better and better.


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Issue 35