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Wear the Right Kicks
“It’s important to give yourself the right protection,” says Ryan Sandes, the first runner to win all of the 4 Desert races. “I couldn’t think of anything worse than running in a pair of road shoes.” “I don’t just jump in a new pair of shoes and do a long run – you have to phase them in,” says AJ Calitz, winner of the Red Bull LionHeart.
Get Off the Road
Calitz keeps away from tar, “I run on grass, sand and up and down mountains.” The only time he’s on the road is to get to and from trails.
The movement for minimalist shoes should be approached with caution, warns Sandes. “If you suddenly run in minimalist shoes you’re going to pick up injuries.” Ease into them, he advises. “Minimalist running is good, but it needs to be a slow process. For me, I’m slowly but surely reducing my shoes.”
“Strengthening my core has been one of the keys for me to staying injury-free,” Sandes says. “I try to keep my ankles strong because they take a lot of strain when you’re running on technical trails. I do a lot of core work and work the smaller muscles that don’t always get worked when you’re trail running.”