Some runners like to run because it promotes a healthy lifestyle. Some consider running a form of relaxation. Trail running gives you another reason to run and get in shape while exploring a different environment. Whether you choose a rocky, muddy or root-ridden path, trail running provides a great physical challenge than road running.
With the number of upcoming trail runs this summer, here are are some tips to follow before you hit the trails. The tips are for those who wish to do trail runs regularly and not just tips during races. But for those who’s trying trail for the first time, the tips will still prove to be useful for beginners.
Warm up is still necessary before you embark on a trail run. Loosen your muscles around your feet, ankles and lower calves. Stretch your body and take a few minutes of walk.
Take the right gear
Wear trail running shoes, trail running shorts, trail running socks and synthetic fabric running clothes that are appropriate for all weather conditions. Weather at altitude may change instantly so it’s important to take layering with a running tank then a long-sleeve tee. An ideal trail running shoe is made of lightweight and waterproof material.
Bring life-saver stuff
Bring hydration packs since dehydration happens quickly at altitude. Hydration packs are very important for longer runs. Wear packs where you can stash gels, bars, cell phone, identification, headlamp, first aid kit and other survival kits.
Prepare your trail run by drinking and eating the right foods before and during your run. Stay hydrated.
Choose your trail
If you’re a beginner, run on roads for a while before moving to trails. Choose flat trails before running on a hilly and more challenging trail. It helps to base the level of your fitness before you attempt your first trail run.
Find a buddy
Run with a friend or let somebody know which trail you’re taking and when you’ll be back.
Be extra cautious
Be alert on the trail ahead. Watch out for obstacles like rocks, roots, logs and branches. Plan your steps around bumps, soft sands and fallen trees before you reach them. Always keep yourself on marked trail even it’s muddy or wet. You don’t know where those tricky sections lead you if you bypass them.
Keep your posture
Trail running can be exhausting especially running uphill but it’s more difficult for you to breathe properly if you bend. If you’re gasping, slow down or walk a few paces while maintaining the right posture.
Take your time
Running trails is usually harder on the body than road running so pace yourself. Save some of your energy for the miles ahead. Slow down and plant your entire foot on uphills and steep sections.
Let loose on downhills
Allow yourself to fly a little when running downhill, but don’t flail and keep your head up to avoid obstacles. Also, find your balance in slippery downhills.
Bring home your trash
Don’t leave anything on the trails. If you can’t find any trash bins, bring your empty wrappers and empty bottles home.
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