Six tips for trail runners
Trail Running is similar to running on the roads, there are some differences to make note of before you hit the trails.
To get started, here is trail running tips that will guide you. They may seem like a lot, they’re not hard to do!
Most importantly, have fun on the trails, and be careful. But fair warning: They say that once you go to the dirt, you never go back
- No trail is the same
One of the many things about trail running is that most trails has its own unique terrain and challenge. There are groomed trails that are wide, and often even in surface, which make for a perfect introduction to running off the road. Then there are narrow “single-track” trails with a variety of obstacles rocks, sand, hills, mud, and more. Single-track trails tend to be more challenging in nature and offer a dynamic running experience.
- Leave your ego at home.
Running off road can be exhausting at first, and it may take you up to twice as long as your normal run, especially in the early stages of training. It’s wise to leave your ego at home, slow your pace, and focus on finding a new rhythm. In a matter of weeks, you’ll be running up hills you used to walk, and you’ll develop a sense of being one with the terrain.
- Stay safe.
When heading out to the trails, preferable run with a friend or tell someone where you are going, take a cell phone with you for safety. Ensure to carry enoug fuel and fluids. Recommended to take your ID with you and keep track of where you are as you go. If you run alone, make sure you are familiar with the area or use a device with a safety feature like Garmin watch with GPS and tracking features and always be mindful of what’s going on around you.
- Know the rules.
Yield to other trail users (hikers, mountain bikers). Generally, downhill runners should yield to uphill runners because the effort to stop and restart on the uphill is greater, and downhill runners often have a better angle of vision. Be kind and courteous regardless of whether you’re headed up or down. Stay on marked trails. Leave no trace, and don’t litter.
- Keep your eyes on the trail.
It’s easy to look straight down at your feet whilst running or gaze at the nature around you but doing so can quickly lead to tripping and falling. If you want to enjoy the sights, walk it out or stop; otherwise, focus on looking 6 to 12 meters ahead to create a line of travel, or where you going to step for the next few strides.
One of the gifts of trail running. It’s as much of a physical puzzle as it is a mental one. You will begin to instinctively know where that line is as you become more comfortable running on the trails.
- Slow down and smell the roses.
Running on trails can be a lot more demanding than the roads, especially if it’s a technical single-track trail with roots, rocks, and other fun obstacles. It is best to avoid comparing your pace, as you will be slower than your normal road-running pace. Instead, slow your pace and develop a trail tempo. Generally, you can add 2 minutes per kilometer to your time as what you would to the pace on the road
Run by your effort level use your heart rate, and by the tune of your body. For new trail runners, that may mean walking the hills and running the downhills and flats. No shame in that game. Build up to running the hills slowly, and you’ll prevent injury and burnout along the way.
What type of gear
It pays to be prepared on the trail. When you’re alone in the wilderness, facing an unpredictable forecast, or even tackling terrain that keeps you on your feet longer than your usual city loop, you’ll be glad you’ve got a weatherproof jacket and headlamp tucked into your pack. Depending on distance, carrying your own water and fuel will be more important than on the road, too, as your chances of encountering a mystical vending machine in the heart of the trail are pretty slim.
There is a lot of brands out there but at Adventure HQ we only provide variety and quality. highly recommended for the type of terrain and conditions we face in UAE – Raidlight / Camelback
- Trail Running Shoes / Running Shoes with enough grip and cushioning
- Hydration pack with pockets
- Weatherproof Light Weight Running Jacket
- Suitable running / hiking socks (blister resistant)
- Appropriate running wear
- Basic first aid (Plaster / ointment / signal mirror / whistle / Anti Chaffe)
- Fuel & Water
- Hydration tablets (e.g. Salt Stick / GU.
- Energy Gels
- GPS watch / Device
Go out there seek your adventure, leave the city behind and hit the trails.