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How to fake trail running

How to Fake Trail Running

Ok, so we have got our three hours of daily outdoor exercise to play with, but our mountains remain out of bounds. It is a little bleak, but we’re going to stick with the rules here. Regardless of our lack of peak tagging, how good does it feel to get off that hamster wheel? Trail Runners, how do we get our fix during Level Four?

Much like politicians all over the world during this pandemic, we will have to fake it ‘til we make it.

Here’s how.

  1. VERT
    Seems obvious, right? A huge part of the trail thrill is getting high. So, study your 5km radius, and work with every hill you can! Run them repeatedly, until you’re sucking so hard on your mask that you’ll feel as though you’ve reached actual altitude! Remember, lack of oxygen is key here. Dizziness is your friend. It will feel like the Drakensberg.
    This one is important. Trail running is all about the views. Choose roads with trees, not a bunch of power lines. Avoid roads where you know neighbours have ugly houses, and children. When you spot a nice wall, or gate, take a selfie! Use the caption #ViewsForDays and you’ll feel right at home.
    Trail running is not flat or predictable, but road running is. So how lucky are we to live in South Africa where potholes are fixed once or twice in our lifetimes? Seek them out! Deliberately hit the pothole at a weird angle to test those trail ankles. They’re sure to wake up! On your way past your neighbour, dive into their hedge! Ah, nothing like a trail tumble. Come out with branches and leaves in your hair. Pick them and shove them in to your socks if you have to. This is important. Scraped knees are also important, so plan a few crash landings.
    Trail running is about alone time, and time to reflect. Covid-19 has that covered; you should feel right at home out there. Just flatly ignore anyone who speaks to you during your exercise period. Don’t forget to post about how much time you spent meditating during your “trail” run, and use the hashtag #blessed.
  5. DIRT
    Just before you walk back through your front door, throw yourself in to a muddy patch. You probably wore all your grass down doing ridiculous 100m laps of your garden during Level 5, so just spray one of those sandy patches with your hose (please don’t worry about water restrictions now, we can really only focus on one crisis at a time). Roll in the mud, smear it on your legs, and walk it through your house like a boss.

See? Now you’re trail running again.

Words: Kim Stephens, aching for the trails.