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Trail Running 101


Trail Running 101

It’s fall, and the leaves on the trees are just starting to change colors.  It is also cooling down a bit, but the weather is still nice.  So it is also a great time to get out and start running on trails around your home.  This could be in local parks, forests, nature preserves, or even along the ocean.  It all depends on where you live.  Here is what you need to consider when starting to trail run.

Planning a Trail

The first thing you need to do is find a good trail for your level of experience.  Most areas have a lot of trails, and it can be tough to decide where to run. Trails are classified as either technical or non-technical.  Non-technical trails are paved, gravel, or dirt roads that are easy for most runners.  Technical trails are dirt or rocky paths that most people associate with trial running.

To find a trail, partner with local runners, ask at a local sporting goods store, or even search online at the American Trail Running Association’s website.

Having the Right Equipment

The next thing is to make sure that you have the right equipment for trail running.  There are a few different considerations compared to running around your neighborhood.  First, choose clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.  Technical trails can be muddy and you, in turn, will get dirty.

For shoes, consider trail shoes, since they offer a stronger, protective sole and greater stability when running on uneven terrain.

You will want to make sure that you bring water with you.  Many trails don’t have access to easy, convenient water like some parks do.  Plus, if you have an out-and-back trail, you could end up getting a long way from your starting point before you turn back.

You may also want to consider insect repellent and a small safety pack including your cell phone and a first aid kit just in case something happens while you are out running.


Finally, go out and run it!  When running, don’t be afraid to walk the hills if you’re getting tired, and make sure that you watch out for rocks and roots.  The uneven terrain can be challenging to navigate the first time.

Do you enjoy trail running? Where is your favorite place to run?

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