Forest Run 2016: How to run your very first 6k trail run

Last Sunday, I did something I never, ever, ever thought I would attempt to do voluntarily, or even succeed at when attempted: I ran my very first 6k trail run! *pause for applause*

This is a big deal, ladies and gentlemen, because I've always hated running. 15 minutes on the treadmill is unbearable for me and for me to be able to complete a village jog, I'd need someone to run with and play the role of drill sergeant & moral support(er).


So, just how did it get to this? This year, I promised myself a healthier lifestyle & although I decided at a young age that nature was not for me, these past two years of travelling has opened me up to the idea of the great outdoors. And so, when talk of this run came up at work I told myself: Why not?

That is basically the story of how I found myself at La Mesa Nature Reserve on a Sunday for the Forest Run 2016.

So, just how does one just run 6k on a forest trail?


Step 1: Prepare yourself physically & mentally

It takes more than just running to get through a run. Before anything else, you need to make sure that your body is in tip top shape for the activity ahead. This entails training for the run, well, via running.  It also means you have to eat right the day before the event & carbo load so that you have enough energy. Good night's sleep 2 nights prior to the race is also a must.

I did most of those things, sort of. 

Although I do not run, I am at the gym doing HIIT at least 3x a week. More than anything, I feel like this helped me get through the run. God forbid, if my no-gym self of three years ago decided to run, I would not have made it 20 minutes out there. Though this may be the case, of course proper running training would've been ideal (but omg guys, let me do me). I also only got an hour of good sleep in the night before and this really took a toll on me. Food wise, I was good because seriously, eating is never a problem. #ChibogTime

I believe, however, that the most important preparation for this would be conditioning yourself that you are going to do the run and that you will finish it. Remember, nothing in this world ever gets done if no one decides to do it!

Step 2: Get proper gear

Forest trails are not considered as the more challenging trail option for nothing. Rock, mud, leaves, and random ek ek (haha you know what I mean) on the ground make for an uneven, less stable running path. Because of this it's advisable that runners, even first timers, to get themselves a sturdy pair of trail running shoes. Trust me when I say it makes a difference - I have actually hiked up a mountain in gym shoes & although I succeeded, it took more than half of my energy on that climb just trying to stay upright because my shoe kept on slipping. Thank heavens for fairy god Merrell who took care of my trail shoes needs, I came out of that run with both ankles unsprained (I have a history of spraining my ankles every time I go on an out of town trip -_-) and bum never touching the ground!

Merrell's All Out Crush Tough Mudder

Step 3: Don't be discouraged

Getting to the venue and seeing all the pro runners can be very daunting. Walking in there, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. At some point, I was questioning my decision of going.  But then, I stop being scared and be awesome instead (jk lang. Er. okay, half joke). Remember that everyone, including all those marathon runners there, started somewhere. There is no shame in trying for the first time!

Step 4: Pace yourself

It's easy to get super pumped up when the race starts but keep in mind that your goal is to finish! Don't go all out in the first few minutes if you can't sustain it. Slowly but surely wins the race (and #YOLO is so 2014, friends). What I did was a series of run, jog, walk, intervals and eventually, I got myself to the end. 

Step 5: Have fun!

The advantage of doing a forest trail is that you get to see the lush & beautiful scenery. Don't forget to look up and appreciate everything around you! At the end of the day, the run is about enjoying the activity and the outdoors. Make sure you don't lose sight of this, otherwise, what's the point?

Personally, I feel like this made all the difference. I realized that running isn't as boring (which is the main reason why I find it to be such a chore) when you're in this type of environment. The world is a beautiful place, people, and this is just one small opportunity to see more of it!

Titahan on the trail: Me & Takbo.ph's Que, my new running buddy! She also took most of the photos of me running. Thanks, girl!

I guess at the end of the day, the answer is just this. 

How does one run a 6k forest trail? 
You just do.


P.S. This is totally one of those instances where I really needed sports/gym clothes & I wasn't just pacute.
 x

CONVERSATION

3 comments:

  1. Happy to have met you there and for going back to the trails for more miles, este more photos! Run soon! ��

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    Replies
    1. Awww 😊 Great meeting you there, girl! See you at the next run (or photo sesh!) 😋

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