Trail Running Tips
Trail running has become increasingly popular, and this sport is enjoyed year-round by many. Personally, I’m more of a trail walker and I love hiking the trails in Brown County State Park or Eagle Creek. I know lots of people who like to run them, though. Running trails adds an aspect of multiple terrain surfaces that serve as a change up to traditional track or road running. Trails can be rocky or contain areas of loose soft dirt which adds a degree of excitement and increases the need to prepare yourself for what is to come on your run. It is best to have some running background prior to starting trails.
As with any running, there is a need that you have water prior to your run to hydrate your system. Always carry extra water with you when you are out. Trails can sometimes provide shade while running but on the flip side trails often contain hills. Staying hydrated is vital while out on the trails to make sure you can stay safe. There was one time when we were hiking and forgot our water. We ended up taking a wrong turn that added several miles to our hike and I was so dehydrated that I felt like I was hallucinating.
The best plan is to run trails early in the day or later so you can avoid the higher heat times. Picking the right time of the day could be all the difference in having a successful workout or not.
Depending on the weather it is always a good idea to layer your clothing. Sometimes even wearing longer sleeves in warm weather can help you to avoid sunburns and keep your body cooler throughout your run. And, don’t forget your bug spray!
There are very specific shoes designed for trail running that you look into before starting. The shoes are often waterproof and have wider soles that grip the different terrains of rock and dirt. You can very easily lose your footing if you don’t have enough tread on the bottom of your shoes…umm, not that I would know this from personal experience, though. ?
Many of these trails have an incline, and you will find that experts say that short quick steps with your chest high are best when you are running uphill.
Use your arms as you run as a balance to stable you when you are running. Typically the running world sees massive arm movement with a frown, but not here!
Watch where you are going
Keep your eyes open and follow the path. Be sure you focus a few strides ahead as you go and stay in line with the run and along the trail as you go.
It is a Workout!
Many people are most surprised that they are sore after their first trail run experience. Be sure you follow up with plenty of stretching in following days as a method to recovery.
Happy Trails To You!