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TRAIL Mail #9: Friday 20 May 2022
Sent to 9,708 readers

Updated calendar: events ahead.
Big water at Klipspringer.
Hang on a bar for strength.

     In this issue

  1. Trail Talk. What are you avoiding?
  2. Your adventures. Jonkershoek, Namibia, and more...
  3. Gear. First Ascent's winter winner.
  4. Races. 33 events in the next 30 days.
  5. News. Klipspringer 2022 river power video.
  6. Health. The micronutrient that 99.99% of people lack.
  7. Training. Hanging for overall body strength.


And 2022?
Option 1: Avoid, period.
Option 2: Live large (again).

How are you doing?

I trust that you're having a good May and feeling positive about life.

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Thanks to Klipspringer Trail Challenge and Oak Valley Trail Run (on 4 June) for sponsoring this week's newsletter.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the read.

Stay strong!

Deon Braun
TRAIL founder


Your photos.
Check out this week's Facebook post and share your own favourite pic from the weekend or during the week.

Some of your adventures of the past fortnight included:

  • Pauline Robyn Wilkinson (above) did a Jonkershoek mountain adventure with Ian Martincich on Sunday as part of their training. "Ian is doing Lake Tahoe 200miler in the US in June… and I’m training for the George MUT 60km," says Pauline.

  • Mick Waters (pic below) photobombed the sunrise on Devils Peak.

  • Keletso Nyathi went rambling around Moonraker in Windhoek with Kirsty Brits.

  • Waheeb Slarmie (final pic) joined the Hout Bay crew. "We started from Constantia Nek via Camel Rock, and this pic is from rock viewpoint on trail going past Camel Rock."

Thanks to First Ascent for sponsoring this week's Trail Trophies. Check out their X-Trail Grid 1/4 Zip Fleece Top now available in two new colours.


First Ascent X-Trail Grid 1/4 Zip Fleece Top
Winter's here! It's time to find your cold weather wear, but if you haven't updated your base/mid-layer for a while, First Ascent has a high quality option for you, available in two new colours.

The X-Trail Grid 1/4 Zip Fleece Top (available in Men's/Women versions) is made from ThermaPro fleece, which offers you all of the warmth without the bulk of traditional fleece, as well as a modern look with a solid finish. The thermally efficient grid design on the inside keeps you warm and toasty, while allowing moisture to escape.

It folds into its inner chest pocket for space-saving stowage in your running pack or luggage. The new colours: Berry Blush (Ladies) and Kingfisher Dive (Men).


View the 33 events for the month ahead on our website now.

PROMOTED EVENTS 2022 Get listed

Langkloof Trail Run. Fri 27 – Sun 29 May 2022 (WC)
25km/22km/16km. Louvain Guest Farm, George. Beautiful trails in the Outeniqua Mountains. Start 9am. R4,000+.

George Mountain Ultra Trail. Sat 18 Jun (WC)
10km, 25km, 42km, 60km, 100km. Cradock Pass. Top Garden Route mountain running through stunning indigenous forests and fynbos.



The unexpected is the new normal, it seems.
This year's Klipspringer Challenge underwent a final week change of plan due to the mega flow of the Orange River. A whopping 2,700 cubic metres of water was flowing through the mighty Augrabies Falls, the second-largest waterfall in Africa after Victoria Falls. Check out the video highlights and the 12-minute full feature of intrepid desert runners and once-in-a-generation sight of the falls in mega flood!



Potassium and sodium
Research reveals that a staggering 99.99 percent of people eating a Western diet fail to get the minimum recommended potassium intake* and also fail to stay below the recommended sodium intake**.

The result? High blood pressure and other long-term life-threatening conditions.

Learn how you can ensure you aren't in the overwhelming majority.

You can read the transcript if prefer reading to watching video.

*Despite it being perhaps only half of our ideal intake.
**Even though it may be twice our optimal intake.


Hanging for strength
Over the course of a decade of cycle racing, I had two hard falls that tore ligaments connecting to my shoulder blades.

I guess I'm grateful that the damage is balanced: both left and right are affected. These ligament tears resulted in weakened shoulders, so I belatedly have done corrective work.

But it's an uphill battle. I have done some chin-ups over the years, but they have caused aching and I realised I was jumping into the deep end, asking too much of tissue that wasn't properly conditioned.

Hanging makes more sense, so I've committed to slowly increasing hanging on a bar several times during the day. I'm looking forward to developing a stronger upper body and core. I also think that the benefit to extending the spine is a long-term investment in good skeletal health as we age.

Here are two Youtube demos, the first is a good introduction for newbies, and the second is more advanced.

Do you hang on bars or tree branches? When did you start, and what have you learned? What have been the benefits, if any, since you started? Hit Reply and let me know.


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