One would with no doubt agree that trail running is a great way to make exercise more exciting and adventurous. Trail running challenges you as it offers various kinds of terrains; wide, narrow, rocky, curves, groomed trails and more. But it is important that you set off on trail running in the right way or you could injure yourself.
Although a healthy activity, if done wrong without the right kind of equipment to accompany you, this could be dangerous. Here is a guide to help you get ready for your journey through trail running.
Choose the Right Shoes
To begin the right way, you need start with the right kind of shoes. Your choice of shoe is key to your ability to walk through and run with ease through different terrains. Make sure to look out for the following while selecting your shoes:
- Get the good grip: Choose shoes with lugged soles as theygreatly improve traction and you can move around with ease on mud, gravel, dirt or rock.
- Foot protection: When you are exposing yourself to various terrains, it is important to have shoes that protect your foot externally and internally. The shoes should ideally be made is made of durable materials that will withstand wear and tear.
The right equipment
When you head out for a long trail run, make sure that you are fully equipped with all requirements:
- A bottle of water: Carrying water during your trail run is a must. Sometimes, you may be really exhausted and your body demands intake of water. So, you need to carry some water to keep yourself hydrated.
- Food:If your trail run is for more than 2 hours or so, then it is advisable for you to carry a few energy bars. Make sure to carry healthy snacks that give you instant energy like nuts, bars, jelly sandwiches and peanut butter.
- Navigation Tools: If you are going to tread on unfamiliar roads, make sure to carry a map, a compass or a GPS unit.
- Watch: You must surely have a sport watch which has a stopwatch. It’s an added advantage if you have an activity tracker monitor as this helps you keep track of your steps.
- Clothing: It is ideal to wear clothes that suit the weather. Also, make sure to wear clothes that are comfortable for you. Example: on a hot day, you must try to keep a head cool, and a shirt and shorts that whisk perspiration away.
- Sun Protection: No one wants to get tanned! So make sure you carry a strong sunscreen with an SPF of above 30.
- Mini first aid kit: Trail running means you are prone to injure yourself. So you must carry your mini kit of tissues, bandages, splint and tablets.
Decide Your Trail Run Location
- Local roads:Make sure your first try at trail running is on dirt trails or gravel roads that are common in most cities. Once you get accustomed to these terrains, you can test your gear on more rugged roads.
- Guides (books and websites):Many guides provide almost everything you’re you need when it comes to trail running. These include the distance covered, difficulty, directions and elevation gain. A few websites even offer reports on recent trips which help you take a more informed decision.
- Running clubs:It is ideal to join a local club or group of trail runners. They are great ways to try out new trails and also a way of meeting runners who are experienced. Their tips and advice would greatly help.
Work on Your Technique
The uneven terrain is very challenging as there are logs, rocks and roots to hinder your run. Here are a few tips while you make your way through these terrains.
While going uphill, make sure to take short steps. Running uphill means that there is a high chance of your lungs bursting. Most track and road runners find this very challenging. Try the following force combination to be able to move uphill easier:
- Make shorter strides
- Elevate knees to higher level
- Shift body towards the heel of your feet
Whenrunning downhill, it is easy for speed to go unchecked.Gravitational force makes you rush down with long strides, that you may lose control. Here is what to do when you are running uphill:
- Run in upright position
- Lift feet as little as you can
- Swing arms to be able to push yourself forward
To get more information about Trail running visit Runnerlight.com