Top tips to tackle UAE endurance running ahead of Urban-Ultra Night Rebel

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With the Urban-Ultra Night Rebel set to kick start the UAE running season on September 25, last-minute preparation is important given many runners are tackling new and challenging conditions for the first time.

To the uninitiated, trail running consists simply of running and hiking over sandy and stony terrain, pushing to your limits amid some of UAE’s most beautiful backdrops.

And with its serene landscape, the Emirates has emerged as a standout destination for the many trails on offer, such as Wadi Showka and Fossil Rock.

We are well into September, and the drop in temperature should make the running experience all the more enjoyable, a vast contrast to the humidity of recent months.

And whether you plan to participate in 10km, 20km or 30km events at the Night Rebel, named because of its 7pm start time, you need to keep well hydrated.

A hydration pack is required for all trail running races in the Emirates. However, there will also be water checkpoints located at the 5km turn for the 10km runners, at 10km turn for 20km runners and at the 15km turn for 30km runners.

While the course will be dark, it will be marked with reflective marker tape, visible with a head torch – one of the items on list of required gear needed to participate in the event.

Along with a head torch and hydration pack, other mandatory gear includes a water pouch, a whistle for emergency, a ziplock bag, the course map and a first aid kit.

To ensure that you are organised, make sure you pack your belongings the night before and have your race bib attached to your event t-shirt.

Expect bumpy ground throughout the technical trial at Wadi Showka – so wear footwear that you’ve worn many times before and feel confident with.

Now is not the time to be experimenting with those new trainers you’ve just shelled out hundreds of dirhams on. Keep them for another time.

Strong stability is crucial and you want to make sure your trainers have a solid outer sole and heel area, limiting the impact on lower leg joints.

It goes without saying, a prolonged stretch and warm-up beforehand will help you burn up a bit of a sweat and prepare your muscles for what lies ahead.

One by one you should fire up the important muscle groups, such as the calves, glutes, IT bands, hamstrings and quads as these will come in for their fair share of work.

If you have bands, use them, or just follow normal stretching exercises. I’d also recommend dynamic stretching, such as lunges and squats to warm up these big muscles too.

Whatever race you’re competing over the next few months, enjoy the experience, relish the chance to see new scenery and meet fellow competitors along the way too.

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