4 Tips for Running on Outdoor Trails

Running outside on the myriad trails in nature is one of the most exhilarating ways to enjoy a run. However, jogging on a trail presents different challenges than running on the street or the gym does. If you’re heading out for a series of trail runs, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Uneven Trails

Running on uneven ground does have its benefits. It makes your regular running workout more interesting. It also works different leg muscles than a run on the street does. That said, jogging on uneven ground has plenty of drawbacks. The possibility of slipping and falling during a run goes up exponentially if you jog on uneven ground. When your running adventures take you on even ground, take care to pay attention to the trail to avoid twisting an ankle or worse.

Change It Up

Even for the most ardent joggers, the same old, same old can start to feel a little monotonous. Your regular routine may have another drawback aside from boredom, though. If you regularly run on the same types of surfaces, you’re not really working all of your leg muscles.

Running on softer surfaces, like grass, gives your feet and legs a break whereas jogging on sand pushes your workout to the next level. If you find trails with these conditions, you’re still getting in a trail workout. However, you’re also giving your legs a break, which is something that’s also important.

Falling Rocks

Adventuresome athletes regularly put themselves in more extreme situations. It makes their workout more fun and offers them a personal challenge that many find addicting. However, running or even hiking in extreme places means that you put yourself in extreme danger sometimes. These environments could include an overabundance of snow, narrow cliff trails or sliding or falling rocks.

Participating in these types of sports means you need to be aware of how to take care of yourself in these conditions. It’s helpful to know what to do if you’re hit on the head. The same can be said if you suddenly get caught in a severe thunderstorm or if you encounter an unexpected snow dump. It isn’t that you shouldn’t challenge yourself. It’s just that it’s best to have a plan in place should any of these events befall you.

Don’t Overdo It

It’s not uncommon for people to believe that if a little of something is good, then more of it must be better. However, this isn’t always the case. Too much running is counterproductive. The repetitive stress on the legs causes injuries, like shin splints, which can actually derail your running regimen. It’s better to cross-train with other activities every couple of days to keep issues like this from popping up. The last thing you want is a case of shin splints when you’ve planned a cool trail run.

Trail running offers you many benefits. These workouts allow you to change up your workout and focus on different muscles. However, they also come with their fair share of danger. When you do go out for an adventure like this, be sure you’re prepared in case of an emergency, including letting people know where you’re going and when you’re planning on being back.

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