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Embrace the Spring: Trail Running, Hydration, and Recovery

Updated: May 8

As winter exits and we begin to see scenes of spring here and there, it's time for us to dust off those running shoes and embrace this new season with more outdoor adventures to explore.

Spring brings with it a welcome change in weather, as the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, beckoning runners to explore new trails and set new goals. But as we transition into this new season, it's important to adapt our training routines accordingly, ensuring that we stay hydrated, recover properly, and maintain mobility for optimal performance and enjoyment. No one wants a season cut short because of injury.

Worried about early season trail running injuries?

Find out more about the most common injuries and what you can do here.

Embracing the Change in Weather

There's something exciting about the shift from winter to spring 🌿. Though we love every season under the sun, especially the winter chasing that fantastic white fluffy stuff ❄️ , something about the warm bright sun☀️, the extravagant colors 🌈, and the liveliness around us, just brings a whole new set of feels. For runners (yes, you, even if you run once every 2 weeks, you're still a runner!), this change in weather opens up a world of possibilities. No longer confined to indoor treadmills or battling icy sidewalks, spring invites us to explore nature's playground – the trails.

serene pond during sunset in Stowe Vermont
Spring in Stowe, Vermont

Trail running offers a unique experience, allowing runners to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world while challenging both their bodies and minds. With the arrival of spring, trails come alive with vibrant foliage, blooming flowers, and the soothing sounds of birdsong. It's the perfect time to leave the monotony of our busy work lives behind and reconnect with the earth beneath our feet.

Are you looking for a trail run event to join in on the fun?

Need a group to keep you accountable? Check out our list of

trail runs in Northern Vermont that are perfect for an outdoor adventure!

Staying Hydrated on the Trails

As the temperatures rise, so too does the importance of proper hydration 💧. Trail running, with its varied terrain and often longer distances, can quickly lead to dehydration 😓 if we're not careful. Sweating under the warm spring sun can cause fluid loss, putting us at risk of fatigue, cramping, and even heat exhaustion 🥵.

Hydration Guide for Trail Runners in Northern Vermont
Hydration Guidelines

Through the winter, it's important to hydrate, but we don't lose as much water through sweat. In the warmer months, it becomes even more important to hydrate before and after being out exercising in the sun, due to our bodies using more fluids.

To combat this, it's essential to carry an adequate supply of water or electrolyte-replenishing drinks during your trail runs (ie. LMNT or our own recipe on our IG). Investing in a hydration pack or belt allows you to stay hydrated on the go, ensuring that you can tackle even the toughest trails without missing a beat.

Electrolyte recovery drink for trail running.

Remember to sip regularly, rather than waiting until you're thirsty, as thirst is often a sign that you're already dehydrated. After your run, replenish with water or an electrolyte drink, and having water containing fruits or vegetables (cucumber, watermelon/melons, grapes, pineapple) as part of a balanced meal after you workout will also help with added hydration.

Hydrating fruits and vegetables for trail running and mountaineering

Prioritizing Recovery and Mobility

While it's tempting to push ourselves to our limits as we embrace the newfound energy of spring, it's crucial to remember the importance of recovery and mobility in our training routines. Most of us have not run since the sidewalks were clear of ice or snow, or on those false spring days in winter, so it's important to ease our bodies back into running.

Running, especially on trails, places a different stress on our muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injury if we neglect proper recovery techniques. If you want to race away from those nagging injuries that we see most commonly, then check out this blog about common injuries and how to dodge them.

Want to learn more about how we get ready for run season? Check out this highlight from one of our run workshops we've hosted.

After a challenging run, take the time to cool down with some gentle stretching or foam rolling to help alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility. Incorporating mobility exercises into your routine can also help prevent injuries by addressing imbalances and weaknesses that may arise from repetitive motion.

Equally important is allowing your body ample time to rest and recover between runs. While it can be tempting to push through fatigue and keep pushing forward, overtraining can lead to burnout and injury in the long run. Listen to your body and prioritize rest days as needed, giving your muscles and mind the chance to recharge and rejuvenate.

Final Thoughts

As spring unfolds before us, bringing with it warmer weather and blooming landscapes, there's no better time to lace up your shoes and hit the trails. Embrace the change in weather, stay hydrated on the go, and remember to prioritize recovery and mobility in your training routine. By taking care of your body and mind, you'll not only enhance your performance as a runner but also deepen your connection with the natural world around you. So, go ahead – breathe in the fresh spring air, feel the earth beneath your feet, and let the trails lead you on your next adventure. Happy Spring Snowbeasts! #outdooradventure #snowbeastperformance #vermontspring

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