Get into (or back into) trail running in Méribel

May 19, 2022

Imagine yourself this summer, running along paths that lead through Alpine pastures. You don’t need to go far before you are rewarded by constantly changing landscapes: majestic glaciers, jagged ridges and soothing forests… Finally, you are enjoying the pleasures of hill running! Running in unspoilt natural surroundings gives you an unparalleled feeling of freedom, and allows you to get away from it all, just using your leg-power.

Have you been tempted to try trail running for a while and feel now is the time to start? (Or take it up again?) Your holiday in the mountains is the perfect time to do so! This sport is a crossover between running and hiking, offering both a sporting challenge and a chance to get back to nature. Here are our suggestions and a few routes to help you start trail running in Méribel.

Trail running itineraries in Méribel to get you going

3 itineraries starting from Méribel for beginner trail runners

Méribel is located on the outskirts of the Vanoise National Park in the Alps and also in the heart of les 3 Vallées. It is therefore an exceptional natural setting which lends itself perfectly to trail running. “Technical”, “high” and “wild” are the three words often used to describe the experience of trail running in Méribel.

Several marked routes (in green and blue) in Méribel are perfectly adapted to beginners. In particular, you should try:

The Tuéda green loop (beginner)

3.4km – 26m total ascent

or

The loop around Lac Tuéda via le Plan (medium difficulty)

5km – 100m total ascent.

These 2 routes are suitable for beginners and will allow you to discover the splendid Tuéda Nature Reserve with its lake and protected fauna and flora.

The 10 km Méribel trail (medium difficulty)

11km – 760m total ascent.

This beautiful course is good for beginners who are looking for a varied route that is not too technical.

See all the Méribel Trail courses featured on the ‘Trace de trail’ website here

A helping hand from the lifts in summer

You can reach the fantastic views at altitude more easily by starting your run from the top of the lifts. This way, you will gain precious altitude and ‘keep some petrol in the tank’ for later when you explore the trails around the valley.

You can then run along the wonderful marked hiking routes such as:

  • the Saulire ridge to the col du Fruit from the top of the Pas du Lac gondola lift;
  • the Tougnète ridge which starts at the top of the Tougnète 2 chairlift.

Recommendations for starting trail running in Méribel

EQUIPMENT FOR BEGINNERS

When running in the mountains, you need to protect yourself from the wind and the sun, which are stronger at altitude, and also keep your balance on uneven and steep terrain.

To start trail running, you will need:

  • trail running shoes, which designed to have more grip than road running shoes;
  • CamelBak or water bottle belt to carry your water and snacks;
  • neck warmer, sunglasses and windbreaker to protect you from the wind and sun;
  • poles to help you on the ascents and descents;
  • survival blanket and a fully charged mobile phone in case you have a problem.

CHOOSING YOUR TRAIL RUNNING ROUTE

In order to choose an itinerary suitable for your level, you need to understand what makes a route difficult. When you study a route, these 4 elements will help you judge its difficulty:

  • the length in kilometres ;
  • the total ascent in metres, often indicated as D+;
  • the altitude, the higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available, which makes physical effort at altitude more difficult;
  • Technical difficulty, which may be specified in the description of the route; for example, a passage through scree or between rocks is more technical and difficult than a forest path where you can lengthen your stride.

PREPARE YOUR OUTING INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Running in the mountains, especially alone, requires extra preparations. In addition to the equipment already mentioned and to carefully choosing your route, you should also:

  • give your itinerary to someone close to you so that they know where you are;
  • check the weather forecast for the next few hours as the weather can change quickly in the mountains.

PREPARE YOUR OUTING INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Running in the mountains, especially alone, requires extra preparations. In addition to the equipment already mentioned and to carefully choosing your route, you should also:

  • give your itinerary to someone close to you so that they know where you are;
  • check the weather forecast for the next few hours as the weather can change quickly in the mountains.