Trail Running Tips

Trail Running Tips
Some runners like to run because it keeps them fit. Some like to run because it helps them relax, and others like to explore while getting in shape or clearing their head. Trail running is for the more adventurous runners out there. If you are thinking of joining the running pack less traveled, then you should know some things that will help you through whichever rocky, muddy or root-ridden path you choose to take.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Trail shoes Identification Headlamp Wearable hydration bladder
  • Trail shoes
  • Identification
  • Headlamp
  • Wearable hydration bladder
Step 1
Stretch your ankles before embarking on a trail run. Spend at least 5 minutes loosening the muscles around your feet, ankles and lower calves before a trail run. Stretching helps to prepare that part of your body for the uneven ground that trails so often present. Stretching also helps keep your ankles agile and prevents injuries such as rolling or spraining an ankle. If you do roll your ankle, you will recover a lot better if the ankle was previously stretched out instead of stiff.
Step 2
Wear supportive, flexible shoes that also have extra good traction. An ideal trail running shoe is made of a lightweight, waterproof material like Gore-Tex and has thick tread. The more technical the trails you intend to run, the stiffer the soles should be. A "Runner's World" top pick is the La Sportiva Crosslite, which combines maximum traction with minimum weight. The Vasque Aether Tech SS and the New Balance 840 are also good choices.
Step 3
Take some identification with you. Accidents happen, and if something does happen to you on the trail that prevents you from getting yourself home, chances are there won't be as many people around as if you were taking a run on the road or in the gym. RoadID makes velcro IDs to wear on a wrist, shoe or ankle, or around your neck. These little life-savers will ensure that when someone does find you, they will instantly have information about who you are, if you have a medical condition and an emergency contact to call. If there needs to be a rescue, knowing who you are and something about you will speed up the process.
Step 4
Use a headlamp to take to the trails in the evening or if you aren't sure how long a trail is. Some trails are hard enough to walk on in the dark, let alone run on them. Also, always alert someone you trust as to what trail you are heading out on and when you plan on returning.
Step 5
Keep hydrated. Companies like Camelback make tiny wearable hydration systems. Basically these systems are a water bladder in a sleeve that has straps on it so you can wear it. Trail running is more demanding than road running and often involves long distances. Having water with you in a tiny system enables you to keep up your performance for a longer time without carrying an entire pack. Some of these wearable bladders also have a tiny zip pocket where you can stash an energy bag or a small headlamp.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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