Trail running is an endurance sport that combines the characteristics of road running and hiking. Because of this, it’s a difficult outdoor activity that takes training and planning to be done in the funniest but safest way possible.
If you want to try trail running, there’s a lot that you need to know before you start. Here’s a quick guide on trail running.
- Instead of running on paved roads, trail runners run through natural terrains such as parks, forests, or rocky paths.
- Trail running can be more challenging than road running (and more fun!) due to the varied terrain and steep inclines.
- When you run on trails, you can enjoy the natural scenery and have a bit of an adventure.
- There are also many organized trail running events and races. Some athletes compete in trail running at a professional level.
What’s Trail Running? Is Trail Running a Sport
Trail running is an endurance sport that’s similar to road running.
However, instead of paved roads, trail running takes place across natural terrains like deserts, woodland areas, or hilly regions.
Athletes who participate in other forms of running may just focus on their distance, heart rate, and pace. Trail runners have the extra problem of navigating uneven or otherwise inconsistent terrain.
How To Trail Run The Right Way
Having the correct form in trail running is extremely important in preventing injuries.
Moving fluidly with a forward-and-back arm swing is one of the most effective trail running methods you can practice.
It’s important to limit the amount of time spent moving to the left and right because doing so will slow you down. Keep your head up high and your eyes directed forward at all times.
When running downhill, take short, light steps and lean back slightly to maintain your upper body upright. This will help you avoid falling.
When you’re running uphill, maintain a tiny lean forward as you climb. Remember to keep your shoulders back and try for a medium stride; you don’t want to overextend your legs.
Is Trail Running a Good Workout?
- Trail running can be a good workout. It can help to improve overall fitness, endurance, and cardiovascular health.
- There is a lot of uneven terrain and natural obstacles in trail running, so you naturally work different muscle groups and burn more calories (and you get to train your balance!).
- There is something more interesting about trail running when you are surrounded by nature and scenery. Not bad because the workout feels less monotonous!
Trail Running Workout Gear
Unlike marathon running, you can’t go on a trail run empty-handed. In fact, there’s a lot of things you may need.
The distance of your trail run and the terrain you’ll be on both play a role in determining which pieces of equipment you should bring with you.
Before you head out on the trail, here’s some things you might want to bring with you:
1. Runners Pack
You can use a waist belt, running belt waist pack, or even a backpack. These can be used to store various items, including food, first aid supplies, navigational equipment, and even water, such as a water bottle or water flask.
Some running packs can also be used as hydration packs; these packs are specifically intended to contain water as well as other personal items.
The greatest running packs are ones that you can wear comfortably (without chafing) while jogging and that won’t restrict your natural movement in any way.
2. The Right Clothes
If you want to run in high temperatures, you should think about the breathability of the clothing you plan to wear.
On the other hand, if you believe that you will be exposed to poor weather or temperatures that’s lower than normal, you should consider bringing additional layers of clothing with you, such as a pullover and gloves.
When the temperature of your body rises, you should generally choose garments and materials made from lightweight knits that allow for airflow.
3. Trail Running Shoes
When compared to running shoes designed for use on roads, trail running shoes offer superior traction, foot protection, and stability.
When you run on trails with uneven or tricky terrain, such as roots, rocks, or mud, trail running shoes help you maintain your balance and grip on the ground.
Some trail runners want to feel the subtleties of the path while they run, so they choose minimalist shoes instead of more traditional footwear.
Be aware, however, to make effective use of minimalist shoes, you must first work on conditioning and strengthening the muscles and ligaments in your feet. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of badly harming yourself.
Alternately, some runners who compete off-road prefer to use maximalist shoes, which place an emphasis on cushioning and are designed to lessen the effect running has on the joints.
4. First-Aid Kit
First-aid kits contain bandages and antibiotic ointments that you might need if you fall or otherwise get small wounds while you’re out on your trail run.
If you’re going to be running in a remote area, especially for a long time, you should probably bring along some sort of emergency shelter, water purification tablets, and more medical supplies just in case.
When going for a trail run, you should also be sure to bring along some sunscreen.
Running burns a lot of calories, and depending on how long you plan to run, you may need to replenish those calories.
When going for a shorter distance, energy gel is a good choice, but if you’re going for a longer run, you should consider bringing a range of energy bars, gels, and chews with you.
6. Navigation Tools
If you get lost while out on a trail run, you could put yourself in a scenario that could endanger your life. If you’re going to be traveling on highly technical routes that you’re not familiar with, make sure to bring a map, compass, or GPS with you.
7. Smart Watch
Trail runners can benefit greatly from the information that’s provided by a smartwatch. You can keep track of your time, distance, speed, and heart rate with the assistance of a quality running watch.
Certain smartwatches and GPS watches can assist you in navigating and keeping track of your whereabouts, and some of these watches can even place phone calls and send messages.
It’s highly recommended that you bring water with you whenever you go for a run.
The temperature and the length of the run you have planned will influence how much water you decide to bring with you but always bring a bit more than you think you’ll need.
You might want to think about using a hydration pack, a hydration vest, or a waistbelt that can contain many water bottles if you live in a warm region or if you go for long runs.
The Bottom Line
Trail running is a sport and a pretty tough one at that! This is for people who have a lot of experience with running, as it takes a lot of training and practice to get to the stage where you can do it safely.