Guide To Trail Running….Adventure Outdoors!


Guide To Trail Running

What is Trail Running?
Trail running is a sport which consists of running over trails. These trails could be in a local park, along a beach or high up in the mountains. It has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and has even brought about specific shoes and clothing designed for Trail Running. It provides a unique challenge with changing uneven surfaces, obstacles and weather.

Why do people enjoy Trail Running?
Besides that fact that running through the woods like a wild man or woman nurtures the soul, it satisfies a primal need for movement through nature, presumably left over from our days as hunters. It also makes you feel pretty bad ass at the same time!

What are the benefits of Trail Running?
Besides the healthy cardio aspect, it also reduces the risk of injury vs pavement running. The various surfaces and obstacles of the trail lessens the likelihood of an overuse injury, strengthens core muscles, and ultimately makes for more comfortable long runs. Running in the midst of nature results in a quantifiable-greater endorphin release than running on a treadmill or roadway.
Trail Running Gear:
There is a range of trail runners from the minimalist with minimalist shoes/barefoot and no ipod, gps or watch. There are others with high tech designed trail running shoes, clothes, gps and ipod jamming to their favorite trail running playlist.
Clothing: This is a personal preference. Just make sure you don’t mind your clothes getting dirty or snagged. Many people wear high tech form fitting clothes.
Shoes: Shoes range from barefoot to high priced trail shoes. Start with protective shoes until you get used to the varying terrain, sharp rocks and obstacles before venturing out barefoot. Trail shoes provide a stronger, protective sole and greater stability than most road shoes.

Water: Unless you know of clean spring water on your route you will need water. Some people choose a water bottle attached to their wrist or waist, others prefer a hydration vest. Most designed for trail running will have a place to store keys, id and a snack.

Optional Gear: You may need bug spray depending on wear you go. You may want to try trail running at night, so you would need a headlamp or flash light. Running on a trail at night can be a challenge, but rewarding as well. In addition you don’t have to worry about cars as you would on the road. Lastly, you may want a towel and a change of clothes, shoes and socks if you are driving home. You may run into weather or get muddy on the trail.

How to start Trail Running:
First thing is first. You need to find a trail to run. You may be able to find a trail running group in your area if you are not comfortable running by yourself at first. You can also check for trails at trail running page.

Secondly, when you do start on the trail, take short quick strides, keep you weight over your feet, body upright and keep you core engaged. Trail running has obstacles, uneven surfaces and requires more balance and body reaction.
Thirdly, take you time. If you need to slow down or walk uphill, do it. The cardio will come, work more on reaction to the environment and you stability on the trail. Fourthly, Scan in front of you.

While on the road you can just run and many times forget about what is in front of you. On the trail it is vital you pay attention to the trail. Look for obstacles ahead, slippery rocks and branches to avoid or sharp corners and rocks. When avoiding things on the trail, overcompensate a little. Don’t jump barely over a rock or tree root. Make sure you will clear it with more than enough room. Many falls on the trail come from complacency.

Lastly, be safe. Whenever possible, run with a friend. Bring a map if you’re running a new trail for the first time. Have a first aid kit in the car, and carry extra food with you for emergencies. Bring along a cell phone or pepper spray if you’re running alone. Above all, use common sense and trail running will give back to you as much as you give to it.

Looking for articles that relate to trail running. How about Building your Obstacle Course Training Toolbox. Also The Adventure Workout Template

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