If you are looking to switch up your training on the roads and sidewalks, trailis a great alternative. It’s a lot easier on the feet and body. Here are all the tips for the trails safely.
If you are a beginner runner, choose trails that are more flat. For more intermediate runners, find a more challenging trail where you can run hills or speed train.
Trails are very peaceful and quiet with lots of shade. The air feels crisper with all the trees around which is why I love it so much. There are no traffic lights or cars to worry about like when you’re running on the roads. These are areas that don’t attract a lot of foot traffic unless out they are out for a morning stroll. Most trails are very quiet and secluded which makes it wise to get a friend to run with you or at least tell someone which trail you are running and your estimated return time. Be wise and don’t run trails at night. I always carry my cell phone in case of emergency.
Don’t keep your head down when you run. Look ahead to foresee any obstacles in your path like branches, rocks, mud or patches of puddles. Be alert when you run. I know I tend to drift off in my mind when I start to run, but I will always remain alert when running through secluded paths. Always look behind you to make sure no one is following you. Don’t listen to music too loudly so you can hear any footsteps or if anyone is shouting. Always keeps your eyes moving, looking at the trees or bushes. Make sure you listen or see if any one is lurking in the shadows. Turn around immediately if you sense any danger.
If you run downhill don’t get too crazy running. Some trails get slippery at night or early morning.
Be familiar with the trail before running it and know it’s in a good location. Do some research on the trails before running it and know where it starts and ends. I do not recommend straying off the trail path because last thing you want is to get lost in a wooded forest with no idea where you are.
There are many things to aware before you go. Be conscious of the trail distance and ensure you conserve enough energy to make it out of the trail. There are no “water” stations along the trail so make sure you have enough fluids so you won’t get dehydrated. Lastly, be prepared for weather conditions. Dress appropriately for the run. Wear high performance running clothes that are suitable for all potential weather conditions.
Trail running is great. Don’t let the above tips scare you off. Just be aware of your surroundings and run safely.
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