Trail Running - Tips, tricks, and why it's awesome!
Fall is my FAVORITE! I could write an entire series of blog posts around why Fall is my favorite… actually, that’s not a bad idea...putting that in my back pocket for another time… and there’s a peek into my squirrel brain. The change of the season brings cooler mornings, pretty fall colors, crisp air, and one of my favorite things and the actual point of this post… Trail Running!
Now trail running can be done most any season (maybe not so much in winter, but the other three seasons are definite possibilities), but for me, the cool, crisp morning air and beautiful autumn colors make fall the greatest season to get back on the trails for a run.
How does one get into trail running, you might ask? I discovered the awesomeness of trail running last fall. I absolutely love being out on the trails, surrounded by trees, wildlife, and the smell is just better in nature. But I wanted a little more intensity than simply walking the hiking trails. So I thought, why not try and run them? And that my friends, is how my love of trail running began.
Now, did I just go out the next day and start running on the uneven, dirt paths of the trails at my local state park? Of course I did! That’s how I role! Ha! I did however, also look up some basic tips and recommendations for getting started with trail running, and I also learned a few things along the way myself. I’d love to share these tips with you in hopes of inspiring you to get out and begin your trail running adventure!
Tips, Tricks, and things I’ve learned...
1. Get trail running shoes.
Not only will this help you keep your gym and street running shoes clean, but also, trail running shoes are made for the trails. They have more traction and stability than your regular street running shoe. Traction is super important when you are running the uneven, dirt paths of the trails, it will keep you upright instead of on your bum! Trust me, the shoes make a difference!
2. It’s ok to slow down your pace and even walk.
Ok, this one took me a second to be ok with. The trails are generally more rugged, hilly, uneven, rocky, etc. than road running. It’s ok if you notice you are losing your breath faster than when you run on the tread or the street. It’s ok if you need to walk up that steep hill instead of run. And it’s ok if your mile time on the tread or road is faster than your mile on the trails. For real, the trails give you a little more of a challenge. It is ok to go a little slower!
3. Tell someone when and where/what trail you are running.
This is a safety first sort of tip. Let someone know what trail you’re taking, what time you’re going, and what time you expect to finish. Then send them a text when you’re done so they know you’re all good. I text the hubby at the beginning of each run, and then text the results of my run (from the app on my phone), when I’m done. This way he knows if he doesn’t hear from me within the amount of time I’ve told him, that something might not be right and take action from there.
4. Carry your cell phone and maybe even a little bottle of pepper spray
I think that’s pretty self explanatory… Have your phone in case you fall and get injured or need to get a hold of someone, and the pepper spray… well that’s good for animals and/or not so awesome humans. (note, I’ve only ever met friendly people on my trail runs and pray the same is true for you)
There is something awesome that happens when you are running in nature. Breathing in that fresh air, and taking in the peaceful scenery. Take it in and enjoy.
Have I sold you on the idea of trail running yet? Is running not really your thing, and you think I'm a crazy person right now? That’s totally ok! Walk the trails, take a bike ride in nature, do some yoga in the park. There are SO many added benefits to moving your body outdoors! It helps to lower stress, can lower blood pressure, gives you some sweet vitamin D, the fresh air helps with insomnia, and the sunshine can generate energy! Sounds like benefits for the mind, body, and soul. That’s what I call a win win situation!
Still not convinced?! Last attempt - grab your friends and make it even more fun! Enjoy each other’s company, laugh, move your bodies, and get the sweet benefits from the great outdoors! That sounds amazing to me! I would absolutely LOVE to hear if you tried running your local trails, or got outside for a workout this week. How did you feel? Did you notice a difference in your mindset while working out outside? Tell me ALL the things! Enjoy my beautiful friends!
Live Wildly my beautiful friends,
**I am not a medical professional and would never claim to be. Please check in with your Dr. before starting any new workout routine.