Does your normal running routine have you a little bored? Looking for some adventure? Why not combine the two and take your running to the trails? We’ve already explained the “why” to working out outside, the “how” to work out outside without getting sick, and now we’re giving you the inside scoop on just how to make the most out of your trail run with these tips:
- Take it slow. Just because you know you’re tough, strong, and more than capable, doesn’t mean you can jump right in on the most difficult trail and expect to feel great afterwards. Take it easy! Would you go down a black diamond the first time you skied or go to Mavericks the first time you surf? We didn’t think so. So start from the bottom up and build on your endurance.
- Keep your back straight. Just because you’re running up a hill doesn’t mean you have to look like Quasimodo. When you hunch over, your lungs aren’t filling up with air, which means it will leave you winded. Instead, let your ankles adjust to the incline and keep your back straight. By using compact arm swings you can propel yourself up the trail. Just don’t look at your feet!
- Wear the right sneakers. Trail sneakers will allow you to grip better to the terrain so that you’ll be less likely to slip on leaves, rocks, and uneven terrain.
- Watch your (future) steps. What goes up must come down… right? When you’re running downhill, your speed will naturally increase so be sure to look ahead a few steps so you can know where to step ahead of time. Also, don’t lean forward (again look at number 2). Instead, keep your weight back slightly and use your arms to shift your weight and ensure you stay balanced.
- Falling like a champ. We’ve all been there. The branch you didn’t see, the rock that came out of nowhere, the leaf that must have been slicked with butter, falling happens! But if you’re going to fall, just go with it instead of trying to break the fall, which will make you stiffen up and possibly hurt yourself.