I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my first two full seasons on the trails as I head into my third. Call them affirmations or just lessons learned, here are 33 thoughts on trail running (inspired by this post).

  1. I will make time for foam rolling, stretching, and massage.
  2. I will prioritize strength training.
  3. I will do speed work.
  4. I will do the occasional road race to practice pacing.
  5. I will run with new people whenever possible.
  6. I will run alone.
  7. I will occasionally run unplugged, without music or other devices.
  8. I will push myself.
  9. I will know when to quit.
  10. I will listen to my coach.
  11. I will listen to my physio.
  12. I will respect the recovery when I’m injured.
  13. I will sleep well two nights before a race.
  14. I will eat early and eat often during a race.
  15. I will not go out too hard.
  16. I will be nice to my pacer and crew.
  17. I will not sandbag.
  18. I will practice good trail etiquette.
  19. I will pick up garbage on the trails (bonus points if it’s during a race).
  20. I will stay hydrated.
  21. If I don’t feel like running, I’ll still lace up my shoes and get my ass out the door.
  22. If I really don’t feel like running, I’ll do something else.
  23. I will try to learn from others.
  24. I will not compare myself to others.
  25. I will volunteer at races and for trail maintenance.
  26. I will play it safe in the backcountry.
  27. I will always bring a spare headlamp when running alone at night.
  28. I will take at least a few weeks off each year.
  29. I will not build my mileage too quickly after taking time off.
  30. I will try to encourage those around me who do not run to get active.
  31. I will not always talk about running, especially when with those who do not run.
  32. I will not harbour the delusion that running makes me a superior person.
  33. I will be a runner for life.

What do you think about when you think about running? Tell me in the comments below!

Jeff Pelletier
Written by Jeff Pelletier

I’m a trail and ultra runner from Vancouver, a proud member of Teams Salomon and Suunto Canada, and a Sponsored Ambassador for CLIF Bar and inReach Canada.