by Matt Lo Cascio
Trail Running continues to grow in popularity. It's adventurous and exhilarating and certainly beats a workout on the treadmill or a flat street where every building looks the same. But trail running is not without risk. There are some things to consider and prepare for before you start. Let's take a look at some of the best Trail Running Tips to get you started, or to improve your runs!
We reached out to Run Forever Sports Ambassador and trail runner Megan Berg (pictured above) to get some trail running tips.
"Make sure you ease into it. It's so different than pavement running," Berg said. "Start with an easy trail. You can search for trails and their difficulty level in most states. Bring bug spray. Bring extra shoes or a towel as you may get muddy. Run with mace if you're going alone. Bring a running buddy. Be sure to pick your feet up higher than you normally do on pavement runs. There's usually small rocks or twigs and sometimes hidden under leaves."
Adam Ribeiro, also a Run Forever Sports ambassador, echoed some of those tips. "Always look at least five feet ahead of you and plan where to step to avoid tripping or rolling an ankle! When running on very rocky terrain run with light feet, mostly on the balls of your feet."
If you were to go off-roading you likely wouldn't do it in your everyday car. Berg says the same applies to trail running. "Wear proper shoes. Don't use your normal pavement shoes. You need shoes with tread." Many of the biggest and most popular running brands sell shoes specifically created for trail running.
The challenges of trail running are endless. Another consideration is that you will likely be navigating hills. Running both up and down the hills present some difficulties, but there are different methods to use to help ease the process.
"When running up hills there's another method you can use. You can push off your quads to help those muscles tire less," Berg said.
You have to make sure you are hydrated before you start a trail run, and while this is important for each and every run you attempt, Berg says it's more important during trail running. "Dehydration can happen quickly and you can get lost on a new trail." If you get lost or tired on a normal run in your neighborhood you can knock on a neighbor's door or stop by the local grocery store to replenish. Those probably aren't options while trail running.
Trail Running is more difficult than pavement running, not just in terrain but also on different muscle groups. Trail running isn't as repetitive and in turn, you use muscles that you might not always use. Run Forever Sports Compression Socks and Compression Sleeves can be a big help in your trail running adventures.
You're likely to encounter more bugs, more brush, more rocks -- more nature. Keeping your lower legs covered with compression socks or sleeves will help alleviate some of the nicks and cuts you can get on the trail, and they will increase circulation and decrease muscle vibration to help prevent painful shin splints and cramping, as well as getting rid of that tired, heavy legs feeling.
We hope our trail running tips were helpful. Now get out there and try trail running for yourself! Run Forever!