Safety is your first concern if you are fond of trail running. You need to be much more safety conscious on the trail compared to running the treadmill on the XSport Fitness or LifeTime Fitness gym. The surface that you’ll run on in trail running is full of rocks, twigs, and all kinds of things that will compromise your safety if you’re not careful.
They Can Be Like Rubber Tracks
But you can develop certain trail running skills that will make this dangerous surface seem to be just like rubber tracks. What you have to do is to make the effort to develop trail running skills that will enable you to finish your course no matter what type of road condition is present.
Tips That Make Trail Running Easy
Running into the jungle needs a lot of preparation. It is better to prepare than to visit the emergency room for the necessary ankle bone treatment of some sort. Here are some tips on how you can ensure your safety while running on the trail.
1. Try Not To Rush It
If this is your first time to run on the trail, resist doing it the soonest. You must understand that it will take time before you get comfortable with the practice. Knowing when to coast and when to accelerate takes some experience.
On your first run, go for about 75% of your usual pace, and pay attention to natural landmarks. They will be your guide on your way back. Also watch out for sharp rocks or jagged boulders. They can force you to visit the emergency room unnecessarily.
Once you are already used to these conditions, you can start picking up your speed because your feet will be more confident with the terrain.
2. Create a Mental Picture of What’s Ahead
Expect to move faster while going downhill therefore prepare for whatever type of terrain you will encounter. A good practice is to look ahead about three to four paces and adjust your pace accordingly.
To get a good balance, hold out your arms on your sides, far enough to make sure that you won’t tip from side to side as the terrain changes character. This is what animals do with their tails. You are keeping your balance with your arms.
3. Take the Higher Road
Running uphill will make your legs stronger and will build your stamina for much longer runs. But you need to adjust your pace by shortening your strides. Try to ascend a hill that takes about 1 minute to ascend. And if you are doing interval running, make sure that you put in about 3 to 4 minute uphill climbs. But don’t overdo it because you will get too exhausted.
4. Maintain a Straight Back
While running, keep your back straight. You will have the tendency to hunch forward when climbing hills. If you do this, you will not allow your lungs to get its full tank of air that will keep you running. Fight off this tendency and you will complete your run without getting too tired.
Also, resist the tendency to look down your feet as you run uphill. You are going at a slow pace so there is no need for you to watch the terrain closely.
5. Stay Low
Don’t use trail running shoes that are taller than your usual running shoes. Your favorite running shoe will do just fine. They should be lower to the ground than most shoes designed for trail running. Although taller shoes have additional cushions, they may compromise your balance. Always remember that attaining the right balance is one of the safety rules in running a trail.