Trail Running Guide for Beginners
These days, everything healthy seems to be a trend, and it’s a good thing that people practice it and turn it into a lifestyle. There are a lot of brands that advocate healthy living, and it has seriously taken the internet by storm, and since then, people are showing off their progress and coming up with new treatments and hacks.
One of the celebrated exercises would be trail running—it has both sights and exertion that effectively burn fat and calories. If done daily, it can really improve your health and overall mental state.
Why Mental State?
Going for a run in the dense and silent woods actually calms and refreshes you—and it has been a habit since the olden age. When one is filled with problems and dread, this simple activity can always help invigorate the soul and focus back to what’s important.
That’s why people go camping, fishing, or hiking in the calm and silent woods to feel better—to recharge before the next storm.
Ideal Trail Running Gear
Sure it’s a calming place, but that doesn’t mean you can run in your shirt and pajamas (no matter how comfy that sounds). There are great gears you will need to prepare yourself for a run, and it has to be specialized for comfort and movement.
- Always opt for special technical apparel that is both waterproof and windproof—to stay snug and warm or cold, depending on the weather. Expect your gear to get muddy and wet, so make sure you invest in good gear!
- Running shoes can work, but if it’s only a short run. If you want to truly explore the ends and depths of the woods, invest in trail shoes for comfort and durability.
- Beanies and headlamp. Although it’s ideal not to stray from the beaten path for beginners, stay safe and pack a headlamp and a ponytail beanie hat in case it gets too cold, the latter also keeps hair out of your face.
- Water bottle. Go for a collapsible bottle that can be stowed away in a small pocket once it’s empty. If you’re not really keen on drinking from streams, always opt for this.
- Insect repellent and first-aid kit. You might be feasted on by insects or get scratched by branches; either way, keep these two things on you for emergencies.
7 Tips for Your First Run
- Find an easy trail. If it’s your first time, go for something a bit easier and well-known so you’ll know what to expect. You can always consult the American Trail Running Association’s website for more information on trails.
- Take breaks. Can’t seem to catch your breath? Don’t be discouraged if you’re running slower on a trail; it’s definitely tougher than roads and parks with its hills and slopes. Besides, you can enjoy the sights instead of focusing on your pace. The actual act of running on these rocky trails burns calories as is, so you’re doing well!
- Explore. See those hills and giant rocks? You can explore those and save more time than going around it. Sure it exerts more effort, but where’s the fun in just sticking to plain trails and playing it safe?
- Be wary of your surroundings. You should always pay attention to the ground in front of you, and don’t be lazy—make sure you don’t step or trip over small rocks. You don’t always have to stare at your feet; just make sure you get through every obstacle, and focus on your movement when you do.
- Keep a safe distance from other runners. This is so you won’t bump into them whenever they decide to slow down. Trail runners tend to change their speed abruptly, and it can be disastrous when someone decides to stay too close.
- Be extra careful on wet terrain. Wet terrain is dangerous, and one wet and sleek rock can cause more injuries than you can imagine. If you pass by a wet and smooth terrain with no guaranteed footing, better slow down and take your time getting through it.
- Always be ready. The trail can be treacherous and dangerous, so make sure your phone is fully charged, you have food with you, or for self-defense, pack some pepper spray. Research the night before your run so you know what to expect, like if there are bears or any wild animals in the area, and see what kind of trail it is.