Trail running

The new freedom: trail running

Trail running is the new running trend for lovers of the mountains. More and more runners are leaving the roads behind and heading off cross-country, often well away from popular tracks. Their focus is on nature. And there’s more than enough of that in Davos Klosters. An insight.

“Run, Forrest, run!” A command surely known to every runner. People in ancient times did precisely what Tom Hanks does in his well-known role for similar reasons: unfettered running. As hunters back then could not rely on advanced technology, they simply used their physical abilities and ran after animals to catch them. Often they would run for hours until the hunted animals abandoned themselves to their fate through exhaustion. Trail runners and endurance athletes are back in fashion today – and they love training in Davos Klosters. Is it any wonder? Anyone who runs here enjoys the panoramic views, at the same time benefiting from the bracing high-alpine climate. And from the sheer wealth of trail running options.

Get inspired: trail running options
Jasmin Nunige's
favourite track

“The mountains around Davos Klosters are my home base for trail running"

Local elite sportswoman Jasmin Nunige commands the ultra-trails with an impressive dominance. We chatted to her about trail running in Davos Klosters. She revealed her favourite route to us and why running here is such a special experience.

Jasmin Nunige, do trail runners find everything they need here in Davos Klosters?
Absolutely. There are so many possible routes that you can really run your socks off here. In short, the mountains around Davos Klosters are my home base for trail running. 

What fired your passion for trail running?
As a child, I often spent a lot of time hiking in the mountains with my parents. When I later started cross-country skiing, our summer training involved running in the mountains. Today its fashionably and simply known as trail running. 

How has trail running developed over the years?
Trail running has undergone massive growth amongst all age groups. And with good reason: running has become much more popular in recent years. Another reason is the longing to return to nature: runners often make a conscious decision to run on trails and avoid the roads.

What do you like about it?
That it's not all about your time. Simply choose a route and follow the terrain – no pressure. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower. All the time enjoying nature. I specifically love the summer days when the mountain meadows are in flower.

And in terms of routes: what routes do you often run?
My local route heads into the Dischma. But I never get bored. On the contrary: every day is different. Sometimes the sun is shining, sometimes the trail is wet or the cows are outside.

Jasmin Nunige Davos Klosters
Jasmin Nunige loves her “home advantage” in Davos: training right on her doorstep.

What’s your insider’s hint for Davos Klosters?
The Panoramic Trail on the Parsenn. A beautiful trail with a high-alpine feel at an average altitude of 2,300 metres – ideal for runners who would also like to do some altitude training. And if you run out of energy, simply take a cable car back into the valley. 

What would you recommend for a beginner?
Simply don’t overexert yourself. Kilometres run in the open countryside are different to running on the flat. It can take an hour to do four to five kilometres particularly when the land rises steeply. And it’s totally okay to walk from time to time (grins).

Après-biking with mountain biking, après-ski with winter sports enthusiasts. Where do trail runners meet up in Davos Klosters?
On the trails themselves. You can quickly get into conversation with like-minded people, chat about your planned route or spontaneously find a running partner.

And finally: If Davos Klosters were a running shoe, what kind of shoe would it be?
An Adizero Boost. An all-rounder – as varied and multi-functional as Davos Klosters: wear it for a casual loop around the lake or test yourself on a high-alpine route. It’s this mix that makes running here so special for me.

6 tips for novice trail runners

Trail runners don’t just fall from the sky. But don’t worry – it’s easier to start than you think. At the beginning, when men were still hunters and gatherers, running in the open country was part of everyday life. Correspondingly it’s easy to relearn it. The following hints will help you get started.

1. Walk if you need to

Do professional mountain runners sprint up the steepest ascents? No. Admittedly they do so with short mountain sprints but not on longer sections. Save your energy and simply walk quickly from time to time. The surprising fact is that you’ll not be much slower than running. 

4. Awaken your inner child

Running on the road is generally monotonous: you run in a straight line, always on the same surface. By contrast, trail running is fun. There are puddles, roots and rocks. Vary your speed: sometimes faster, sometimes slower. In short, run like you did when you were a child and simply enjoy the experience.

2. Consciously experience nature

Trail running is so fascinating because it is a natural experience. You often check the time when running on the road. It makes little sense when you run on the opening country – every route is different and cannot be compared. Free yourself up from rigid racing mode: take the time to stop and enjoy the natural countryside around Davos Klosters.

5. Run in a concentrated frame of mind

You need your mind as well as your muscles for trail running. Lift your feet higher than when you run on the road, be flexible, spontaneous and concentrated. That takes a little more effort but when you’re in the flow – at one with yourself and nature – it’s simply an incredible feeling.

3. Small steps, big impact

Your steps will become shorter when you climb, your step rate higher and arm work more intensive. Move your upper body slightly forward and run on the balls of your feet. When you’re running downhill, be sure to slow down your speed when it gets steeper and factor in a few hairpin bends. Always keep your knees soft.

6. Equipment: less is more

Buy yourself good running shoes. They will help you to achieve a balancing act between stability, flexibility and lightness. Speaking of which ... leave your heavy rucksack at home. Only take the absolute essentials with you: rain jacket, mobile phone, an energy bar and enough water – the trails can turn out to be longer than anticipated.

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