Looking to Get into Trail Running? Here’s How ...

02/26/2018 - 13:46

Owner, FootRX, Asheville, NC

So many people I meet are intimidated by trail running. I hear things like “Aren’t there bears?” or “Don’t you get lost?” I smile and answer yes to both. Then I explain how they can get into trail running with far less apprehension of the things we cannot control. In this segment, I will discuss how you can get to know the trails so you don’t feel as though you are going to get lost.

First, I suggest joining a trail running group that has people that run around your pace and distance. Learn some new loops, meet some new people you can potentially run with outside the group run and have fun!

Secondly, buy a local trail map and do some online research of established trail loops that you can go hike with a friend or your family to become familiar with the trails. I also suggest the TrailRunProject App that has established routes that you can download and follow along on your mobile device.

Third, ask the Ranger Station visitor center or your local outdoor or run shop for nice local routes you can try. There are usually resources these places have to help you get to know the trails. There are also plenty of books out there that have suggested routes. Ask around as to which books would suit you best.

Fourth, join Facebook Groups that discuss trail running and all of its quarks. Here you can feel comfortable asking any question you like (honestly, I’ve seen some weird threads!), and you may meet some new groups that run in your area.

Fifth, join The American Trail Running Association (ATRA). A great resource for trail running and everything that goes along with it!

Sixth, listen to trail running podcasts, read Trail Running magazine, and visit the accompanying websites to learn more about this sport. There are also countless books on the topic. Resources abound on this topic for sure!

Lastly, sign up for a local trail race. You’ll be racing with others on a marked course. This can help you get to know the trails as well and introduce you to like-minded folks. You find out really quickly the trail running community embraces ALL runners very quickly!

The key is obviously to get comfortable with your knowledge of the trail system and the sport itself. Once you become familiar with the system, it’s hard to get lost. And hey, if you do get lost, no biggie, enjoy the extra miles and get to know some new trails!

The trails are calling…will you answer?

Copyright © 2018 Running Journal