Training to Fall (and Other “Odd” Training Tips)

A discussion of interesting methods and motivations for getting trail fit.

By on March 25, 2011 | 29 comments

As I struggled to carry the dog kennel up the forty stairs to our house last Saturday night I realized just how weak my upper body really is. Damn weak. For some, this would be a cue to hit the gym to improve their running speed while others would take the hint to get their beach bod ready. Not me. Nope. Instead, the incident got me thinking that I’m not prepared for a summer’s worth of trail falls. It’s just a matter of course that I’ll catch a toe on a rock or root and eat dirt – hard – a couple dozen times between April and November. Sometimes, I’ll luck out, tuck a shoulder, roll, and pop right back up. The rest of the time I’m accelerating face first toward the unforgiving earth at 9.8 m/s2. Sadly, my upper body, in its current form, is going to do little to slow the inevitable face plants. That’s why I jumped right into a daily pushup regimen. I’m not looking to get big or even particularly strong. I just want a little more say in whether my teeth meet terra firma this summer. That’s it from me… I’ve got to go do another set of 15 pushups. Yup, that’s all.

Call for Comments
Anyone else have odd motivators for supplemental training or something that they consider supplemental training that’s a bit out of the box? Who out there works on hamstring flexibility in order to clear blow downs over the trail? Who walks up ten flights of stairs to the office twice a day to get ready for that mountain race? Let us know!

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.