Hahner Zwilling runs up a mountain and wears the Trail Run Socks in the color Peach

Trail Running

Trail Running Tips

Expert advice on training and mental preparation

Johanna Åström (25) is a Swedish trail runner who is known as one of the best young talents in her field. She has moved to Norway because she can train in ideal conditions there. When she’s not training or competing, she works in a sports shop.
We talked to Johanna about her versatile sport, and she provided us with interesting insights into her training and competition preparation – she even revealed her motivational tricks.

What should a newbie bear in mind when starting with trail running?

First, you need shoes with an adequate grip that are suited for trail running and you feel confident in. It’s also important to spend as much time as possible in nature and on different trails. It’s best to start on easy terrain and at a lower speed to get used to the difference between asphalt and trail.

How much do you train and what do you emphasise?

I do a lot of endurance and strength training, for my legs in particular. The extent of my training varies a lot with 12 to 24 hours per week. During the running season, it’s lower than during the preparation phase. The intensity of my training alternates between long, calm sessions and intense interval training. I also vary the type of training so my body can deal with the strain more easily. If you only ever go running, the risk of injury will increase significantly. That’s why I frequently go out on roller skis in the summer, and in the winter I do ski mountain climbing or cross-country skiing.

Portrait of Johanna Åström
“It’s only the next step that counts. In these situations, I can forget everything else.”

Over steep paths, sticks, stones, roots, or river crossings: with our products you overcome every obstacle

Trail Run Compression Socks
Gender: women | Color: teal | Size - UK: 8.5 - 11 | Circumference: S

Trail Run Mid Cut Socks
Gender: women | Color: peach | Size - UK: 5.5 - 8

Sports Knee Support
Color: rivera | Size - UK: L

Sports Compression Knee Support
Color: navy | Size - UK: M


How do you prepare for a tough run?

Before a demanding run, I trust that I’m perfectly prepared. One of my strengths is that I’m always able to motivate myself to train well because I love getting worn out. When I’m at the start line, I try to be fully in the “here and now”. To do this, I divide the race into different sections and try to concentrate completely on the part I’m currently in.

What goes through your head when you’re in a difficult section of the route, for example, when you know that the next hour has a steep uphill?

You have to fully focus. That’s one of the things I enjoy so much about running in the mountains. It’s only the next step that counts. In these situations, I can forget everything else.

“During a long run, emotions are like a roller-coaster ride.”

How do you motivate yourself when your strength is dwindling or the conditions are becoming unpleasant?

I tell myself that it could be even worse (laughs). If I’m not injured or don’t have serious problems, I will always try to keep going. During a long run, emotions are like a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes, it seems easy and your legs are on automatic. Other times, they’re tired and it’s very exhausting. Then I try to concentrate on each step until it gets better again. I also try to enjoy my surroundings. During competitions in the mountains in particular, the view is amazing.

To deal with such strain, there are specific products that offer support. Do you feel well equipped for your adventures with your Bauerfeind Run Ultralight Socks?

The Run Ultralight Compression Socks are brilliant for my mountain runs. They are very comfortable and feel like a second skin. They stimulate circulation, so they help my legs to stay fit for longer in the mountains and to recover more quickly afterwards.

Before we finish, do you have any tips for people who want to start trail running?

Spend a lot of time in woods and on trails to improve. Start slowly and gradually increase speed to prevent injuries. And most importantly: have fun and enjoy!

Portrait of Johanna Åström

Johanna loves being active in nature and in the mountains in particular. If you want to find out more about her adventures, you can follow Johanna on Instagram:@johannaaastrom