Beginning Trail Running Tips – How to Get Started

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,362
    Running Expert Ron Bowman discusses how to get started with trail running.

    Ron Bowman: Hi! I am Ron Bowman, and today we're talking about trail running. Now we're going to talk a little bit about getting started in trail running. There is a mistaken impression that trail runs all include 50k, 31-mile, 50-mile runs or even longer. That's probably because those are the races that most people hear about. Those are the ones that draw most of the attention.

    There aren't a whole lot of 10k or even shorter trail runs that get a lot of notoriety. For that reason, that mistaken impression tends to dissuade a lot of people from getting involved in trail runs, because they're not ready for that kind of distance or they're a little intimidated by the thought of having to run 30 miles just to be working on trails.

    If you're interested in looking into doing some trial running, the first thing to do is just research your area, you probably already know of some towpaths or fire trails, or trails that the park service or your local county of recs and parks has set up, that you can go and check out.

    Obviously, you have trails that are paved, bike trails, things like that which are nice and they do get you off the hard asphalt roads. They can be a little bit safer, but you have to watch out for other traffic pedestrian, bikers, rollerbladers, people with strollers those kind of things.

    I tend to think of trail running as running on dirt paths or trails, hiking trails, fire trails or even deer trails that the animals have worn into the forest. Those are the best kind of trails in my opinion. Now as you have to do a little bit of research to find out where they're at, usually you can go to the web, and do a research on local running trails and come up with a pretty good synopsis of what's in your area.

    Another thing you can do is just talk to your local runners. Usually, trail runners tend to be a little bit older on the average. They've done a lot of road running. They've started to have problems with their knees or they've just gotten their fill of running on hard surfaces and are looking to get a little bit more of the outdoors aspect of running. Talk to some of them and you can get a lot of ideas on where you can do some trail running, a short and long.

    That's a little bit about how to get started in trail running. Now, we're going to talk a little bit about the gear that you might want to use for trail running.