Whether you’re an avid backpacker, hiker or runner, you will at some point find yourself craving a new challenge. That’s where trail running comes in. The benefits of this running are almost endless. It is a challenging and effective workout that is less jarring than road running and can be great for strengthening your ankles, knees and hips. However, like any other activity, you must be well prepared. Here are a few aspects to help you prepare for your expedition.
Get the Right Outfits
As you prepare for your trail run, you must ensure that you get the right outfits and fit for the course. The best way to do this is by getting a running kit, which includes a base layer, tights and a long-sleeved shirt or vest, gloves, socks and headwear. There are times when the weather can be cold or hot, and it’s important to dress accordingly so that you don’t get too cold or too hot.
Ensure that your clothes are light enough so they won’t weigh down on you while running and will be breathable. Depending on the trail, you might need to wear something comfortable to keep you warm and prevent injuries.
Get the Right Trail Running Shoes
The right runner shoes for you will depend on what course you run. A lightweight shoe might be good enough if you’re going out on an easy trail with some rolling hills. However, if you’re planning on tackling some serious hills or steep terrain, you must get a good pair of shoes such as Hoka to handle those inclines without sacrificing your support.
Look for something with good grip and stability and good ankle support and stability (the last thing you want is to trip over your toes).
Get Gaiters or Socks
For added protection against twigs and branches, you might consider wearing gaiters or socks over your regular hiking socks. You can buy gaiters at most hiking stores, which are made of mesh material that protects your lower legs from thorns and twigs.
However, if you choose to wear socks over your regular hiking socks, ensure they have good ankle support so that you don’t get injured in case of a fall.
Hydrate Your Body
Hydration is very important during a trail run. You need to drink lots of water and eat food that will give you enough energy to get you through the day. However, it’s also important that you don’t drink too much water as this could affect the effectiveness of the activity.
Additionally, ensure that any food you take has the right amount of sodium and other electrolytes so your body can function properly while trailing.
Know Your Route Very Well
You must know your route well if you are doing a trail run. This is because you don’t want to get lost and spend the rest of the day looking for where you should be. You also need to know how far it is from one end of the trail to the other since this could affect your energy levels during a trail run, especially if you are doing a long-distance one.
Manage Your Pace Expectations
Whether you are into fitness training or athletics, the pace you run will depend on how fit you are. If you are not fit and have a lot of weight to lose, you should do a long trail run, not sprint one. The best way to know if a trail run is the right one is by ensuring that your heart rate is in the right range and that you can maintain it for the duration.
Always Stay Safe
Always stay safe while trail running. This means that you should never run in the dark and ensure that you are well-prepared before heading out. Have the right clothing, food and water, and footwear so that you don’t end up hurting yourself. You should also let someone else know where you are heading and when you expect to be back.
It’s a fast-growing niche of the outdoor activity world. The running involves navigating trails and off-road terrain in various natural environments. Besides the fitness, it’s an exhilarating exercise that combines the thrill of negotiating tricky terrain with the satisfaction of seeing beautiful landscapes up close. Whether you currently run on roads, trails or tracks, getting ready for your trail runs is crucial.