12 May 2023
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

What's going on here?

I can tell you that great sports are coming to our sports region again.

We're not blazing new trails, but rather shining a spotlight on existing ones.

Why are we doing this?

Because Innsbruck, together with the Stubaital, is allowed and able to host the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 (WMTRC) is allowed and able to host - only the second in history.

And we remain in the superlative. Because already the eighth Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival (IATF) is already going into the race with a World Cup edition from June 1.

What other place in the world would be more suitable for this, with its topography, landscape and backdrop?

Mountain running and trail running to the „Bingen“

Therefore, I present you with start today a whole series of articles to "bingelesen" about the ingenious mountain running and trail running. Thus, new paths are already created by wiping and scrolling, before you then feel the positive feedback effects between stick and stone.

In the first article we bridle the race horse from behind. We deal with the basics around mountain running, trail running and running.

What is trail running?

With a little knowledge of English you can derive the word „Trailrunning“. „Running“ is so far clear, and „Trail“ means according to the dictionary: track, path, footpath, drag, hiking trail. The word „Trail“ has found its way into my vernacular via mountain biking, because every major tour includes a trail or two.

Trail running is already defined as running off asphalt. In general, trail running is healthier than running on asphalt, because the joints are less stressed and the coordination is more promoted by the rough ground. In addition, running in the forest has a high recovery factor.

So if the road runner leaves the sidewalk because he is no longer running on a paved or marked footpath, it becomes Kafkaesque: namely, at that moment he mutates into a trail runner. This is how it is defined, and thus all runners are and have been trail runners. So the run around my favorite lake is already a trail run. In classic road running, I really only move on the asphalt: more or less long.

What is the difference between trail running and mountain running?

What mountain running and trail running have in common is that the route does not run in permanent settlement areas and can lead into (high) alpine terrain. In the pure mountain run I put back in any case many meters of altitude and complete the distance only oneway: summit victory is as it were goal.

The „zache“ (tough) trail run, not the loop around the lake, leads into really rough, exposed terrain. It contains passages that are prone to slipping and falling, such as scab terrain or loose scree. These technical challenges, and especially the length of trail running routes, do not occur in classic mountain running.

A really good trail runner delivers a package of sure-footedness, freedom from vertigo, stamina, orientation skills and safe terrain and danger assessment. Trail running is thus a holistic approach with physical and mental challenges.

And with the right equipment, for example from La Sportiva or Salomon, both partners of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck-Stubai, you can get everything out of yourself.

The right equipment

The footwear
Probably the most important part of the equipment is the right shoes. Trail running shoes are available as such from good sports retailers. Good sole profile and stable construction are essential. With so many models to choose from, it's easy to lose track of what you're looking for. A visit to your favorite sports store, including an analysis of your running style, can help.

The running clothes
As with any outdoor endurance sport, dressing according to the onion principle is the right choice for mountain running and trail running. In general, outerwear and undergarments, whether short or long, should fit snugly. This way, the moisture that forms through sweating is immediately transported to the periphery and keeps the body dry. In addition, you should have a windbreaker or thin Goretex jacket with you so that wind and weather, especially on downhill passages, do not cool the body. In cold conditions, buffs, hoods and gloves make sense.

The backpack
A trail running backpack is useful if you are on the road for more than one and a half hours. You should really only take the essentials with you, because the premise is: save weight. Trail running backpacks fit snugly and, depending on the model, have an integrated hydration pouch or bottle holders. For small rides, water bottle straps or a camel bag are also sufficient.

Food should not be missing from the backpack itself. Depending on the sporting endeavor, energy bars, bananas and energy gels keep handy. Of course, the smartphone including stored emergency numbers should be with you. Additional garments as described above also find room in the small but fine backpacks. And also recommended is the consultation at the specialty retailer and trying on.

The heart rate monitor
Does the mountain and trail runner need a running watch?

Of course I do! Without measuring heart rate, speed and distance, I lack comparisons and reference points. Other useful functions are altimeter and GPS. In addition, I can download the running routes directly to the watch - certainly not a disadvantage for orientation.

The trail running community

It doesn't run as casually when you're alone. And the exchange with like-minded people also raises the outdoor experience to a social level. That's how friendships are made for life.

So you can network to then explore the terrain next to and or behind each other.

Ingenious events for spectators and athletes

World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023
The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, WMTRC for short, will take place in Innsbruck-Stubai from June 6 to 10, 2023.
All competitions guarantee spectacle. And at the Race to Höll on June 6 you can also prove your top form.

Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival 2023
Already from June 1 to 3 the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun FestivaliATF for short, will take place. The eighth edition of this ingenious event runs as a world championship edition.
The festival program is sensational.

Many thanks to La Sportiva for providing the trail running equipment as part of this article series!

Photos, unless otherwise stated: © Hartmut Müller

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