Trail running is a little different to road running. It has more obstacles, and the terrain is rough. The upside to this type of fitness training is that you burn more calories, as you enjoy a moment of silence from the noisy streets. Who wouldn’t want this? The thing that holds people back from trail running is fear. Most people fear getting lost, injuring themselves or running to into a wild animal mid-trail. With a few beginner tips, you can face your fears, and incorporate it to your fitness training program. Skim through these ten tips for trail running, then head out for your first trail run.
Try to focus on the run, even when you start to tire. Most trails have uneven surfaces, winding paths, and exposed roots and rocks. You might stumble or injure yourself if you get distracted. A good tip would be to look approximately three meters ahead so that you anticipate any hurdles in your way.
Carry a Snack and Water
The dips and climbs on the trail might exhaust you faster compared to road running. Your body might lose fluids through sweating and caloric burn. Having a light snack and water midway will help replenish the lost energy, which will motivate you to keep going. You can carry an energy bar, pretzel, banana, raisins or any other high sugar snack.
Learn the Trail First
Never go for a trail run without knowing the route. You might get lost if you take a wrong turn. You can study the maps at the trail entrance, if there are, or download a GPS or a trail system to guide you along the way. If you are running in a trail park, you can request the available guides to highlight the directions.
Research on the Dangers You Might Encounter
Trails are rarely dangerous. On the off chance that they are, seek to know beforehand. On some, the danger might be predators like snakes and mountain lions. On others, it might be lurkers waiting to rob you. It depends on the location of the trail. You can ask other trail runners, guides or nearby residents on the dangers you might encounter.
Avoid Running Alone
Running alone, at times, is satisfying. You concentrate better, and you can run at any pace without being considerate to a running partner. If it is your first time to run on a trail, invite a friend to run with you or join other runners. One wrong diversion can turn a 40-minute run to three hours.
Carry a Cellphone
Your cellphone will be your safety net, in case something happens to you in the trails. Avoid holding the phone by hand because it might destruct you. You can place it around your waist belt, in an armband or your sports bra.
Wear Trail Running Shoes
Avoid going for a trail run with your usual runner shoes. Trail running shoes have a rigid sole to protect your feet from injuries due to the rugged terrain. Runners Need has an enormous catalogue of running shoes of all sizes, whether for children, men or women.
The pace and time calculation you make on your fitness app might feel unattainable on a trail run. If you run too fast on a hill or slope, you might tire yourself. Don’t feel shame to stop midway and regain energy. Like other athletics, trail running requires time and practice to adapt.
Your first trail run will be the hardest. With time though, your body will adapt, and you will get better at it. As you head for your first run, remember this quote by Confucius, “it does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”