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  • Writer's pictureSwimBikeRun Fun

20 Trail Running Tips for Beginners (Part 2)

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

This part two of our Beginner Trail Running Guide (Part 1) for runners looking to getting started with trail running.

Female BIPOC Trail Runners
Female BIPOC Trail Runners

20 Trail Running Tips for Beginners - Part 2

11 - Build Strength And Balance

Don’t forget to hit the gym & free weights for some good old bread & butter strength training moves: chest press, squats, arm curls, lunges, push-ups and dips, deadlifts, calf raises and planks. Boost your trail running performance with balance/stability exercises a few times a week using a BOSU ball and TRX bands.

12 - Recovery Chill

Trail running will tax your body more than a regular road run. A 2.5 mile train run can be equivalent to a 4 mile run on flat roads. You may not feel it right away, but DOMS is real with trail running - sometimes 1-2 days later. Replenish, Roll, Rest & Recover.

13 - What To Wear For Trail Running

Dressing in layers is a smart approach for beginner trail runners. This allows you to manage your comfort and easily remove layers as you warm up. Many trails start off cooler in the morning and as soon as you climb a few hills and stomp through a few puddles you will feel the need to shed the extra layers. Our Tribe firmly advocates for BRIGHT clothing. After all you want to be seen out in the woods for safety purposes and capture dope selfies.

Game changer: Tights  with pockets. You are welcome. 

14 - Trail Shoes Make A Difference

Save your ankles and possibly your soul by investing in trail shoes. Trail shoes are designed to be a bit hardier, able to handle rugged terrain, should fit snug in the heel with a wide toe-box and some models are waterproof/resistant.

Runner stepping across wet rocks next to a river
Runner stepping across wet rocks next to a river

15 - Trail Gear & Accessories.

There are a wide variety of trail running accessories—for example, an appropriate hydration pack, trekking poles, waterproof jacket and arm sleeves—are key pieces of gear you’ll want to consider when getting into trail running. Get you a pair of Goodr Running Sunglasses, beside looking rad they will protect your eyes from trees & bugs.

Kristen, a trail running coach in our Tribe, first hipped us to gaiters after we kept complaining about pebbles and mud getting in our shoes. Trail running Gaiters will keep the dirt out of your shoes and give you a pizazz out on the trail.

16 - Hydration on Trails

Bringing your own water and fluids with you on a trail run is a must. If you run out there are no stores or fountains. Best ways to carry fluids on the run: handheld, multi-bottle waist belt, and camelback or hydration vest.

17 - Trail Running Food/Nutrition

Trail runs lasting about an hour may only require you to carry an energy gel or two. Trials runs longer than an hour will call for more food and bars, nuts, chews & sandwiches will fill that gap nicely and are easy to carry.

18 - Watches & GPS Tools.

To begin running trails, a basic Garmin or Apple Watch will suffice. Don't forget your map or take a screenshot of it in case you don't have service and use the "find my way back to start" button on your fitness gps enabled watch, especially if you're running trails in an unfamiliar location.

19 - Where To Find Trails Nearby

There are paths all everywhere. There are wonderful running routes in and around most cities and suburbs. Don't know where to go? Inquire at your local running store or outdoor store for further information. Alternatively, on your phone or computer, go to Trail Run Project, RunGo, MapMyRun, AllTrails, Roots Rated, or ViewRanger.

20 - Signing Up For Trail Races

You can challenge yourself in ways you never imagined possible by participating in a short-distance trail race or ultra-distance event. You can find out about local races by going to Ultrasignup and Runsignup.

Tribe Tip for Beginners: If you signed up to run your first trail race, a good rule of thumb is to start your training with a mix of trail running and balance it with a few regular road runs.

Trail Running Basics For Beginners Conclusion

What we love about trail running is that each trail has its own set of challenges and terrain. Leave no trace and don't litter - this is like the first rule of trail running. Respect other trail users by yielding to them. If possible, run with a friend or bring your dog. Don’t compare your road running pace with your trial running pace.

Pay attention to your body's rhythm. Trail running necessitates adjusting your pace to the terrain. Beginners should run an out-and-back course to gauge their speed and not worry about getting lost.


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