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Take your running off road

To crank up the intensity of your usual run and take your running off road.  Sure, you have to hop over rocks and roots, and the hills tend to be steeper than the road, but trust me.  The benefits of trail running are well worth the effort.  Did you know maneuvering on uneven terrain helps improve your balance, agility, and coordination.



Wear the right shoes

If you’re going to hoof it on a wood-chip or packed dirt path, your regular running sneakers will do.  But trail-running shoes provide more protection for your feet and have lugged outsoles to improve your traction, key for rocky and slippery routes.

Start slow and flat

Trails work your leg muscles and ankle joints harder than roads or treadmill do, so begin on flatter paths and run for only 10 to 15 minutes during your fist outing.  Increase your time and or distance by about 10 percent each week.


Adjust your stride

To prevent tripping over roots and rocks, lift your feet; especially your toes slightly higher than your would if you were running on pavement or indoors on a treadmill.


Look straight ahead

Keep your gaze on the trail about 10 feet ahead, not down at your feet so you can see the upcoming terrain and avoid any obstacles.

Don’t be afraid to walk

If you’re losing the battle against a steep hill, walk even experience trail racers do it.  You should also walk if you’re approaching a tricky obstacle like a stream or log.


Share the path

Always stay to the right on a trail.  When you approach a person from behind, loudly say, “Passing on your right or left.” If you encounter someone on horseback, move to the side of the trail and ask the rider if it’s safe to pass; the walk by the horse.

If the horse is approaching you, stop moving altogether and allow it to pass.


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