I’ve decided to give up road running. It’s boring, kills my knees, and it’s boring (Twice for emphasis). One of my buddies - check out his killer podcast - is a major trail runner and a total inspiration for me to actually run even though I hate running. If someone twice my age can start doing this and run ULTRA marathons, I have zero excuses. I’ve always been a hiker with a long stride, so trail running seems like the next step.
So here are a few things I've learned/discovered from my extremely short time trail running. (Honestly guys. I’ve only run trails about three times and I can’t even run flat out for a mile without feeling like my lungs are filled with sand, so take all this with a grain of salt.)
Actually Use Trail Running Shoes - Even on the easiest and most stable trails, I’ve eaten it hard due to less than ideal traction on a crappy pair of nikes, and had to walk off the trail with my bum covered in mud. Not the best outcome when you’re already self conscious about running in the first place.
Find a Friend Who Isn't Intimidating - Going alone is fun and empowering, but it’s nice to have someone go with you. Find a running buddy who is either at your level, or who isn’t going to push you too far when you’re just starting. Take a pal who will let you heave through the hard parts at a snail’s pace.
Take Water - I sweat. A lot. I think that’s been addressed in another blog post, but yeah I lose about as much water as I take in, so I take WAY more water than the average person. This may not apply to you but I thought I’d throw it in since I take hydration a little too seriously.
It's Okay to Just Hike Fast - If you already aren’t a strong runner (I’m a prime example) don’t be discouraged by not “running” the entire trail. Just hike it as fast as you can manage and enjoy the fact that you are outside surrounded by trees.
Eyes on the Ground - You’re going to be moving fast over roots, rocks, puddles, and who knows what else. Keep those eyes on the ground or you’re gonna end up with a mouth full of dirt.
Spiders are Everywhere - Unfortunately, you’re probably going to receive a face full of spiders on literally any trail you choose. So, suck it up and like I said above, keep your eyes on the ground, for safety and for maybe a little less fear of the webs + web makers going in your mouth.
Good luck to anyone starting trail running. It’s such a fun and rewarding way to take advantage of the trails near you. If you happen to be in the area, hit me up if you’d like an extremely slow running partner, and here are some links to a few great trail running areas!
ending a run with yoga, sunset, and a lake doesn't hurt...