What is Trail Running? RISE Partner With Maverick Race

RISE coffee box are incredibly excited to announce that we have partnered with Maverick Race! This is a partnership made in heaven. Coffee and running. Running and coffee. They go hand in hand, right!? In this article we look at what is trail running, who Maverick Race are the benefits of drinking coffee before a run!

RISE coffee is all about adventure, discovery and finding new things to enjoy. We spend our time travelling the four corners of the UK in search for the most exciting and ethical coffee roasters we can find, so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy something new every month. Thats why trail running and Maverick Race was the perfect partner. We will find out more about what trail running is below, but just think running but out in nature on a small adventure. 

What is Trail Running?

The easiest way to describe Trail Running is simply going for a run in the middle of nature. It's an extremely all-round sport that can be run at any level at any distance. Whether your run 5K or an ultra marathon 50K all you need is nature and a pair of trainers You don't need to be high in the mountains or along cliff edges to go trail running, you just need to be running in the great outdoors! 

Who Are Maverick Race?

Maverick Race are the UK's number one trail running group whose mission is all about celebrating the beauty of the British countryside. They have chosen some of the most iconic areas that Britain has to offer for their trail running series. The races are accessible to runners of all levels. Ben was recently at The Maverick Exmoor Goat Ultra 2024 at Caffyns Farm, Lynton (North Devon) which had four waves of runners. The short run was 15km and there was a long option (21km), marathon (42km) and Ultra (50k). At RISE we love the fact there are multiple route lengths to choose from in every location, so you decide on the challenge you take and what you feel you are capable of doing.  

Maverick Race have set up 19 beautiful courses across the country with the objective to get people off the roads and enjoying being outside in the countryside. 

Where Are The Maverick Race Events Taking Place?

There are 19 Maverick Race events across the year at 19 different locations across the UK. Some of the events we are most excited for include:

  • The Maverick Adidas Terrex Original Cotswolds 2024 on the 13th July
  • The Maverick Lakes Osprey Ultra 2024 on the 14th September 
  • The Maverick Jurassic 100km Ultra 2024 on the 19th of October. 

Take a look at the full race list here and see if there is a trail running event near you.

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Is Coffee Good To Drink Before Trail Running?

Any form of caffeine before a run, cycle or gym work out can increase your energy levels. Many long-distance runners and endurance athletes (including trail runners, marathoners, ultra marathon runners, cyclists, and triathletes) use caffeine on race days to boost their performance. The level of caffeine in coffee can vary so knowing what type of coffee you are drinking is key understanding your caffeine intake. We have a guide here which will tell you more about average caffeine levels in various coffee based drinks. 

A double espresso, a flat white or energy drinks and energy gels can be a great source of caffeine before a run to boost energy levels. To achieve the performance benefits of caffeine intake before a run aim to consume about five milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight and aim to drink your coffee around one hour before your run to allow the caffeine to take effect.  

One important factor often overlooked but highlighted by our RISE coffee subscriber Mat, an ultra marathon runner in our blog on drinking coffee before exercise the effects it has on making him use the bathroom. 

We asked Mat: What role does caffeine play in your training and fitness regime? If it does?

My morning coffee gets things moving, so to speak. Being able to make a deposit before heading out the door on a run is a huge weight off my mind, which I’m sure is something all runners can attest to. 

Caffeine is very well known for making the drinker better acquainted with the bathroom so to speak. Feeling 'empty' can be a great tool if you are about to head off on a 50k ultra marathon! 

Does the quality of the Coffee Impact My Health?

One key thing we would note is the quality of the coffee and the impact it will have. A high quality coffee also known as specialty or speciality coffee is a high grade of coffee that is often sourced and produced by artisanal roasters. The coffee cherry is usually allowed to fully ripen (you will see those bright red cherries!) and grown in sustainable conditions often shade grown or through organic processes. Coffee you will find in RISE coffee box subscription is high end specialty coffee and will have a lower impact on your gut. Enjoying a delicious filter coffee will have less of an impact on your gut than when you drink a cup of instant coffee. Test this out and see wha differences you feel! High quality coffee is generally mould and pesticide free (depending on where it is sourced from) and some are free from mycotoxins, yeasts and heavy metals. This is certainly the case if it is organically farmed. Some coffee such as our RISE house Ugandan coffee is pesticide free and organic (but not certified organic, yet! Currently pending). 

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3 Pro's of Drinking Coffee Before Running

Drinking a moderate amount of morning coffee before running can offer several performance-enhancing benefits, including:

  1. Improved mental alertness: A pre-run cup of coffee can increase your mental alertness. This can make you feel more awake and active during a run. 
  2. Increased energy: The caffeine in coffee is well known to increase your energy levels. You will notice a decrease in fatigue and a potential increase in speed. 
  3. Reduced pain sensation: Caffeine consumption can reduce your sense of pain and discomfort, which can help alleviate the strains of a difficult run and temporarily increase your endurance.

3 Cons of Coffee Before Running

Coffee might have some downside for your running performance and these will depend on your own body. Knowing how caffeine affects your body is key to managing the negatives. A few negative side effects of coffee before your morning run include:

  1. Increased urination: Its actually a myth that coffee will dehydrate you and can be included in your daily fluid intake. Coffee, however, is a diuretic and can increase your need to urinate. This side effect can be distracting or irritating on a long-distance run and could decrease your desire to hydrate.
  2. Jitters: Some people do feel the jitters after drinking a coffee, especially if you are not a regular coffee user. Some coffee brands claim to reduce jitters and there has been a rise in mushroom coffee or coffee with added adaptogens. The research is limited as to whether this is true so be mindful of whether this actually does reduce jitters before a race. We have tried mushroom coffee and similar products and personally found no change. Our best advice is to consume caffeine from a natural source and ensure your intake matches what your body is happy with. Caffeine from any source can give you jittery feelings, including an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, or dizziness.
  3. Stomach discomfort: Consuming large amounts of caffeine can cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal upset, which can hamper your athletic performance on the day. Again, knowing your body is key. 
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What Are The Best Trainers for Trail Running?

There are a range of trail running shoes on the market that are suitable for trail running, whether you are running 5k, 10k, or 50km! The beauty of trail running is that it is one of those sports you can whack on a pair of trainers and go! Its as simple as that. Other sports like cycling require a lot of expensive fancy equipment, but trail running can be enjoyed with nothing more than a pair of trainers and a field! The right pair of trail running shoes can give you the underfoot comfort to explore and enjoy mountains, woodlands, hills, coastlines and more. 

What are the benefits of Trail running shoes? Well, they are designed to cope with tougher, more unstable terrain than road shoes which are more cushioned. Trail running shoes have stiffer midsoles to offer more support and protect your feet from rocky surfaces. They also tend to be more durable and have sticky rubber outsoles or deep lugs for better grip.

Two Trail Running Shoes To Try

Runners world have a full list of options for the best trail running shoes here 

Benefits of Hoka speedgoat 5 
hoka speedgoat 5

MetaRocker provides long distance comfort
Good traction from Vibram outsole
15g lighter than Speedgoat 4
    Benefits of Altra lone peak
    Generous toebox without losing locked-in feel
    Well-cushioned, responsive ride
    Rock plate provides protection from rockier trails

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