6 tips to prepare for trail running according to Malek Mccrone
February cover personality Malek Mccrone, avid adventurer and trail runner shares six essential tips to prepare for trail running, especially if you’re thinking about embarking on a challenge this year.
Unlike the standard marathons or road running, trail running is composed of running on changing terrains and surfaces with varying experiences depending on where you’re running at. You may encounter hills, brooks, rivers, rocky paths, or steep trails along the way — and that builds its difficulty and intensity.
When the trails and terrains become more challenging, it requires more than just endurance but mental and physical strength to complete a race — which, in case you didn’t know, is usually tougher and more demanding than road running. Think of it like an obstacle course — if you like all of that or feel inspired by Netflix’s Physical 100, it is a good sport to pick up. It helps to improve every element of your fitness as it provides a more holistic workout experience for the entire body. Trail running also improves balance, coordination, and cognitive function — especially when you’re all on your own out there.
Trail running is also beneficial for those seeking an escape. It is a great way to exercise and explore the outdoors while finding peace in nature. Just like nature lover Malek Mccrone, he finds being in the outdoors a way to let his mind rejuvenate in between his busy schedule as a model and actor. Sometimes, when trail running at new terrains, he finds himself stumbling upon some of the most scenic views nature has to offer. #accomplished
No stranger to trail running, Malek Mccrone offers some insights into the world of trail running and how you can try out this dynamic sport with six essential tips.
Have a good pair of trail running shoes
Malek points out the importance of having a suitable pair of trail running shoes that works for you. Everyone is built differently, so be sure to consider comfort, movability and fit when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes. He recommends to benchmark the right shoes with the ones offered at Salomon, Hoka or Kailas — brands that specialise in trail running. “If you’re on a budget, you can also check out Decathlon which offers reasonable and decent trail running shoes,” he adds.
For those new to the sport, you can also peruse trail running shoes from ASICS here.
Train with a hydration pack
For the uninitiated, a hydration pack is a type of drink bag that is built as a backpack or waist-pack to allow you to drink hands-free. “I recommend training with a hydration pack because you want to get used bringing your nutrition and hydration with you,” he mentions. A mandatory gear, Malek suggests getting the body used to carrying a load for a few hours especially if you’re training for a race.
Build stamina and strength
While speed and agility come naturally in the trail once you’re familiar with trail running, it is also essential to build strength and stamina as a preparation before your race. Malek believes the gym is a great place to build strength for the long run and to reduce potential risks of injury. Working out one or twice a week is advisable if you’re training for trail running. Most importantly, keep the momentum going.
Bring extra water snacks and electrolytes
Your body is like a battery pack, it gets drained out as you run. So it is important to keep yourself fuelled throughout your train run sessions. Look for something that is easy to consume and provides instant energy sans artificial sugars if you’re trying to keep it healthy. Malek reaches for muesli bars and a small container of BIX Electrolyte tablets that dissolve in water — the two must-haves for his trail running sessions.
Map out a familiar route
It is advisable to opt for a familiar route or have a GPS map on your phone to guide you through your runs. The best and most friendly trail to start according to Malek is Bukit Kiara at TTDI. “There are tons of people there and the trails are super friendly,” he opines. You can also spot him training at Setia Alam Community Forest in Setia Alam, and during weekends, he’d frequent Bukit Kiara or Bukit Gasing.
Enjoy and have fun!
It is cliche to say ‘have fun’ when you’re at trying to keep up in the race. But Malek believes that having the right mindset coming into the race offers a good start. “Once you get passed that tired feeling along the trails, everything becomes fun and enjoyable. Have goals. That will give you more motivation,” he adds.
Malek also encourages trail runners to set goals and try to break your own personal records — that can help motivate you further. And no matter if you’re going fast or slow, he says that the most important thing is to take time to enjoy being out in nature.