Beginning Trail Running Tips – Preventing an Injury

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,968
    Running Expert Ron Bowman discusses how to prevent an injury while trail running.

    Ron Bowman: Hi! My name is Ron Bowman and today we're talking about tips for beginning trail runners. And now we're going to talk a little about preventing injuries particularly for trail running.

    Obviously, the most important thing about trail running, preventing injuries is picking the right kind of shoes and making sure that you are well limbered up and warmed up for the trail run.

    You want to make sure that you do a light stretch before, just like you do for your road runs, but make sure that you've got a lot of flexibility that you've taken some time to do a good warm up before you start your trail run. Now the thing about trail runs is that you can some of that warm-up on the trail run itself, because trail runs are not designed to be fast, speed workouts in any sense. So you can just start out walking the first part for 15 minutes of your trail, run on the trail and that will be a part of your warm-up.

    Once you start to break a sweat, that's about the good time to judge when you're need to break out into your run and start running from thereon. Another thing about trail running to prevent injuries, of course, is running with a buddy. So if something does happen, you've got somebody who could help out and make sure that you get proper assistance, if you need it. Many trail runners are very much individualists and I like the attitude of being out on the trails by themselves alone with nature. But also group runs can be very much a fun aspect and you get a lot of enjoyment out of running with a group.

    Another way to prevent injuries when you are trail running is to start out slow. As I said if you start out walking, which is absolutely fine in trail running, it's a good way to do a good slow warm-up, you also get onto the trail, you get familiar with the type of terrain that you'll be running on and it gets you a good work up of a sweat before you get started.

    Obviously, slowing down when the trail gets more technical. When you come to a rocky section, don't try and run past through that. Go ahead and walk through that section and make sure that you're always in a comfort level with the terrain that you are in. That will be different for everybody. Some people are more comfortable dancing on the stones as they run through it and very comfortable with that little higher pace when they're on those technical sections.

    But if you're not comfortable doing that, slow down to a point that you are comfortable. If that means walking, by all means walk. The thing to remember is there's nothing wrong with walking during trail running. Actually, it's very good because it gives you little bit time to take a look around you, enjoy the scenery, take in some of those things which you might not see when you're trying to focus on the trail a few feet ahead of you.

    That's a little bit about preventing injuries while you're trail running. The thing to remember is take the same precautions which you do on road running, but on trail runs you've got the terrain that you have to think about and often that you maybe out of the areas where there maybe a lot of people, so you want to have that in consideration when you're doing your trail running.

    Next, we're going to talk a little about running technique for trails.