Tips and Advice for Trail Running
If your thinking about taking your running off road and onto trails sound exciting, make sure you do it safely. There are many things you can do to from injury, and here are two of my top picks. If you are looking to find trails in your state to run… here’s a list. Happy Running!
Cross-Train for Injury Prevention
Rugged terrain and unstable surfaces can increase the risk for injury, but there are a few exercises to help you avoid the knee twists and ankle sprains that might otherwise occur. Five to 10 minutes of balance training every day can improve knee and ankle stability tremendously, while simultaneously lessening the chance that you’ll slip on the trail in the first place. Stand on one foot on a stable surface for 30 seconds. Once that feels easy, progressively work your way onto less stable surfaces, such as a folded bath towel, a foam pad, an inflatable balance pod and eventually a balance board. Agility and plyometric training can help strengthen your leg muscles and soft tissue, allowing you to react quickly, landing correctly on very technical terrain. If you haven’t done this type of training before, it’s a good idea to take a class or hire a trainer for a session or two to learn proper form and mechanics.
Trail running is serene and beautiful, but it can also be dangerous. Slippery rocks, pokey sticks, thorns, mosquitos and even wild animals are a few of the things you might encounter off-road. A good pair of trail shoes is probably the most important piece of gear. The sole should be sturdy enough to protect your feet from sharp rocks and sticks while providing enough grip to safely navigate a variety of terrain, both wet and dry. It may also be a good idea to run in lightweight pants and long sleeves to protect yourself from insects, as well as sharp, thorny bushes and sticks frequently found along narrow, wooded pathways. If you’re headed out for a long run, it may be wise to take an extra pair of socks if your feet blister easily. Trail running can often result in wet feet from dewy vegetation, small streams or puddles of standing water, and those wet socks and shoes can cause blisters.
Original article on Active.com here