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Published on November 25th, 2016 | by Michael

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Trail Running For Beginners

When the time comes, taking a break from the roads and track can be a welcoming one.

By all means, if you think that you are in needing a rest, take it, it’s your body simply telling you to slow down or, better yet, if you fancy a change of scenery to reinvigorate your training, then trail running could be a worthy distraction.

img_4261Hitting forestry and undulating terrain is a perfect way to not just try something different but to also to enjoy some breathtaking scenery while doing so – especially in the winter.

There are so many different routes and trails that you can try and investigate across the country, it is just a case of simply searching via a search engine to see where and how popular they are or asking your local running club. One early tip would be to try going somewhere out of our region or a place near you that you’ve never been to – just remember to have an understanding of what route you’re doing, let someone know where you’re going, pack snacks, drinks, a phone and try take someone with you!

Getting a hold of a pair of trail shoes is key to getting the best out of the run. You could try completing it in standard running shoes, however, there is the danger of ruining them in the mud, getting them heavily soaked and the loose parts of the route may tear/damage key areas, killing your everyday training runners – of course, we have a wide selection here.

You can buy pair relatively cheap, purely depending on how much you want to pay and get out of them. Starting off, however, you should look at the basic/fundamental models, purely to get a feel.

Obviously, the main reason why you should look to invest, is to get to grips (literally) with the course or route, making your climb up hills and vertical sections a bit more bearable, the same goes for traversing and descending, the last thing you need is your footwear to give way that could result in a nasty fall/landing.

The difference of running on the roads to off-road is noticeable, so do not think that you can simply apply your pace you currently run to running trails, it just won’t end well! If it’s your first time, just take it easy, forget the pace and just enjoy the challenge of climbs and downhills. As we have mentioned, checking the link above will show you our range we have, there is bound to be a brand that you are familiar with that is on there.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of running eyeballs out then crashing after 2 miles worth of distance. Use your head, if you need to catch your breath, walk or slow the tempo right down, you won’t lose points for this, it can be certain that many trail runners, walk parts of the routes as recovery or, to simply take in the view.

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With that said, it’s wise to be wary and take note of your spacial awareness. There will be enlarged and obvious rocks to be seen but there will be stumps, embedded stone and treacherous areas that maybe hidden by leaves or dirt. By all means, enjoy the route and view but be very careful with foot placement along with upcoming parts of the course – especially if the weather is damp and slimy.

Of course, like with most sports and hobbies, there will be etiquette to learn – DO THIS! If you’ve been running for years, you know there are little things you must do/do not do in order to enjoy your training and not interfere with fellow road users, it’s the same for trail running. simple things like, making other users aware, giving way to descenders and storing you own litter are just a few to name but for further and detailed rules, this guide from Rock Creek Runner is something to read/research from.

Finally and it’s simple to say, enjoy it! It will be totally different and you might feel it afterwards but it’s a great escape from avoiding and dodging cars/pedestrians as well as noise pollution.

 

If you’ve ran trails before, what advice would you offer? Let you know about your first taste of off-road running – comment below!

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Written By Michael