I love running outside through the woods in the summer. Trail running is a popular alternative to running on a road or track because it lets you be out in nature and see more sights and sounds than a traditional run. Many people even say running in the morning on a trail in nature nurtures the soul. However, unlike traditional road or track running, there are a few additional things you should consider before going for a trail run.
Picking the Right Trail
First, to make the experience enjoyable, you need to find the right trail. You can do this by checking in at your local running shop and asking about good trails in your area.
There are two main types of trails: non-technical and technical trails. Non-technical trails are paved, gravel, or dirt roads that are easy to navigate. Technical trails are narrow paths, either dirt or other material, that offer a variety of challenges. Most runs will have a mix of both.
The Right Supplies
Next, it is important to have the right supplies for your trail run. Unlike a road or track run, you will be out in nature, so you need to be prepared. This means starting with the right shoes, which should be stronger than a typical road running shoe. Also, make sure that you have enough water and snacks, since trail runs are usually out and back runs, meaning you get farther away from your home base as you run. Finally, you may want to have insect repellent, because being in nature usually means dealing with nature, and a sweaty person often attracts gnats and other bugs.
Be Aware as You Run
Finally, you need to be much more aware when you run on a trail as compared to a track or road. Make sure that you are scanning the ground ahead of you, and paying attention to the terrain. Trails have obstacles, like rocks and uneven ground. As such, you want to make sure that you are scanning the ground to avoid trip and ankle sprain hazards.
Also, you need to be aware of creatures, like snakes, that like to lurk on trails, especially if you run with a pet.
What are your best tips for trail running?