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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > August 2019 > Reach for the sky

Reach for the sky

Take trail running to a whole new level and explore the growing sport of skyrunning to find out exactly what’s required to run away from the roads and into the mountains…

Described as ‘mountain running above 2,000m over extremely technical trails’, skyrunning is taking the world by storm. This growing sport is a sub-discipline of trail running, but not one for the faint-hearted.

Trail running encompasses all kinds of off-road running, whether low-level or up mountains, along coasts or across deserts, through grass, mud, gravel and rock. But in mountainous areas alone, there are three, nationally recognised, types of trail running. And the most extreme of these is skyrunning.

Upwards trajectory

There are three different but similar trail-running niches, and it’s important to understand the differences.

Mountain running is running on well defined trails with occasional surfaced road sections. The route is clearly marked but involves a lot of height gain.

Fell running is the second type. With this, trails can be vague and sometimes non-existent. The route is unmarked and navigation and route-choice are part of the repertoire of skills needed by competitors. The course will usually involve steep ascending and descending on rough ground, and will often take in one or more hill or mountain summits.

The third of these types is skyrunning. This is similar to fell running in terms of trail surface but the route is fixed, wellmarked and navigation is not required (unless you stray off -route). There is considerably more ascent/descent in skyrunning than in mountain or fell running and the terrain is much more technical. Many skyraces are also ultradistance events.

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About Women’s Running

Women’s Running is the community for women who love to run. Each issue is packed with essential advice on training, nutrition and kit, alongside inspirational real-life runners’ stories. Whether you’re considering your first ever run, or you regularly take part in races, Women’s Running will help you run better. Running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other: it’s about who we are.