Tips to Get Started with Trail Running

For those who are looking for a new exercise challenge, a good option is trail running. This ensures that you can enjoy nature while you work out. However, running through mountainous paths or fields isn't as easy as it might first appear!
Tips to Get Started with Trail Running

Last update: 03 November, 2018

For many of us, running around the city tends to be a practical way to keep in shape and to relax after a long day of work. Nevertheless, the streets and the asphalt can become boring after a time. That’s where trail running comes in.

Running through uneven terrain is certainly more difficult than doing so on flat land. That’s why, before starting, it’s important for you to be prepared. This way, your new activity will become enjoyable and safe as city running.

What’s better? Trail running or city running?

These days, we tend to think of people with time to spare as having a rare luxury. Nevertheless, if you don’t maintain a healthy routine with exercises for the mind and body, you can end up harming your own health.

A habit of urban running can be the perfect solution for maintaining a healthy weight for your day to day life. Not only that, it can help you deal with the mental tension that we all tend to gather during hectic days.

Even so, it’s important to vary your surroundings so that you can disconnect from the frenetic rhythm of the big cities. Exercising around serene environments can help you to get closer to the feeling of peace, that you can only get from being surrounded by nature.

Man in red shirt trail running

Trail running can help you to accomplish this. It’s also a cheap and simple exercise that you can easily fit into your daily routine. Aside from developing more athletic ability and endurance, you can stimulate your mind as well. All of this is done in a positive environment that invites you to reflect on your life and renews your energy.

Can anyone do trail running?

In principle, anyone can become involved with trail running, taking their own state of health into consideration and respecting the limits of their body. In order to get started with it, it’s important for you to consult with a trusted physician before you embark on any new exercise program.

We have to remember that the extent of the positive effects you get from trail running depends on how much effort you put into it. In order to disconnect from your daily life and take advantage of the natural surroundings, it’s best to forget your normal tensions while you run. Avoid looking at your cell phone during exercise and concentrate only on enjoying the beauty of your surroundings.

Tips for getting started with trail running

Respect your body in terms of adapting to the activity and get to know the terrain.

All exercise requires some preliminary adaptation to it. Aside from this, every individual also has to take their own personal characteristics into consideration. Even when you’re already used to urban running, the mountain trails are challenging you in their own way. Because of that, the rhythm and the intensity of the run should always be increased slowly and gradually.

In the beginning, it’s best for you to get to know the area and become familiar with the specific conditions (ground conditions, temperature levels, humidity levels, etc.). All of these aspects will be important for you when it’s time to start running. That’s why it’s best not to begin running in unfamiliar terrain.

After adapting yourself to the nature trails, you can progressively increase your pace with confidence. Only do this on familiar territory, though, as this will help you minimize your risk of injury.

Hydrate yourself appropriately

When you engage in heavy exercise, your body loses a large volume of liquids and minerals through perspiration. This can create a feeling of weakness in your body and can lower your blood pressure. This reduces your ability to exercise as hard and can cause you some health issues.

Woman drinking water after trail running

The best way to avoid negative symptoms from dehydration is to get enough liquids. Aside from drinking a lot of water, you can also bring natural juices with you or isotonic beverages that help you recover the liquids and electrolytes you use in the process of exercising. Another alternative is to eat fruits that contain a high water content, after completing your exercise routine. Some examples of these fruits are: watermelons, melons, oranges, and lemons.

Experts also recommend that you avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the night before you intend to go out running. Alcohol also inhibits the production of anti-diuretic hormones, which in turn facilitates the loss of liquids.

Adopt a balanced diet

A more natural and balanced diet is fundamental for weight management and for the prevention of a wide range of diseases. It’s also a key part of getting the maximum benefit from your physical and intellectual activities.

Be careful in hot and cold conditions

Often times, when you leave the city, you feel that the weather conditions become sharper. In summer, the heat can be punishing. What’s more, direct exposure to sunlight is extraordinarily dangerous. Because of that, you shouldn’t forget to use some protection from the sun and protection for your head and eyes if you do trail running in the summer.

On the other hand, during the winter, you might feel the cold more intensely out in the field. Remember to wear warm clothing if you have to in order not to experience any undue suffering from the low temperatures. Additionally, your diet can incorporate a higher amount of lean proteins and good fats. This will give you even more energy for your running activities.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.