Trail Running 101

Jogging has changed. No longer a monotone slog through the grey streets, swerving pedestrians and pollution spewing cars. Running has gone wild. It can now be its own mini adventure! Head out of town, find some green and start getting muddy. It doesn’t have to be a long run but getting out of town and mixing up your environment can be great for stress relief. Add that on top of the benefits of honing running technique whilst running on uneven terrain and it’s a win win! It’s great for your balance, so if you play any sports there are definitely some transferable skills there.

Trail running or fell running doesn’t have to be the ridge climbing antics of the bearded half man/ half mountain goat elite. Just heading off the pavement is great fun and don’t worry about getting muddy and wet. Wearing a thermal wool t-shirt will keep you warm even when you’re wet as long as you keep moving, even in heavy rain your core will be nice and warm. Wearing a baseball cap will keep not just the sun off you (if you’re lucky enough to be running in the sun) but will keep the rain out of your eyes. It helps keep branches and rogue twigs away too. A cap will also be a good for holding a head torch if you’re heading out in the dark. The light beam directly above your eyes can be a little disorientating at times.

Investing in a pair of trail running shoes makes a big difference with the extra tread for grip and you can leave them as dirty as you like because they’re only going to get dirty again! For longer runs taking a small backpack can be useful be sure it has a waist strap to keep it nice and snug as you run.

Packing for a longer run requires a few more items; a lightweight waterproof can be good if the weather turns really nasty, a pair of light wool gloves will work wonders in those winter runs. Almost every phone has GPS these days but if not a local topological map and a compass if you’re prone to going off the beaten track. And lastly, a snack to get you home if you start to hit the wall and you’re on the wrong side of the hill. With all these things in mind it’s time to ditch the run around the block and start hitting the canals, bridle paths and public access trails!

Get muddy and go for an adventure.