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THE KAWARTHA LAKES GREEN TRAILS ALLIANCE 

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Running and Jogging

For many runners, cross country is the ultimate challenge: running over difficult ground in as short a time as possible! You also have to put up with natural obstacles and potentially inclement weather along the way. For many people who like to run or jog, street or track running has nothing on the joy and exhilaration found when running on an outdoor trail. Cross country running or jogging starts out similar to walking or hiking in many ways. But while most of the equipment, preparation and safety precautions are the same, it does require a bit of training to learn the best technique. For some tips on the endurance sport, read on. Cross country running begins with proper breathing techniques so that you don't get a stitch (cramp). This is known as the 2-2 breathing system used by top athletes for long distances: Choose a foot to begin your breathing pattern. When you walk or run on that foot, breathe in. Two steps later, breathe out. Don't breathe in again for another two steps after that. Cross country running also requires a different stride length, leg action and foot plant from road or track running. As the going is softer and often slippery, the stride length must naturally be shorter. If you use a road technique with the heel striking the ground well in front of the body, you are likely to skid. Similarly, if your back leg is too far back, you will lose something in the push-off. Exercise caution when first finding your stride and footing. Safety Tips for Trail Running: If you are running by yourself, inform a reliable and responsible friend or family member of your run plan and schedule. Carry some identification and consider taking a light-weight cell phone with you in case of an emergency. Avoid listening to music when you are running on the trail, so you can hear what's coming from behind. If you're running in bear country, wear a noise-making device such as a "bear bell" to avoid surprising a bear. (Source: Sports Coach Guides, www.brianmac.demon.co.uk)