It’s a great time to try trail running in Southern California. The rain has finally arrived and brought with it clear skies and green hills. There is no better time to get your trail run on! But before you head out I have a few things for you to keep in mind.
Trail running 101:
- Watch your footing. Keep your eyes on the ground 3 – 6 feet in front of you and be careful of rocks, sticks, holes, uneven terrain and sometimes mud. Running on trails is a great way to strengthen ankles but also a great way to twist an ankle if you are not careful. Trail running also helps keep the mind sharp. You must pay attention, no zoning out on these runs 🙂 .
- Tackle those hills. Shorten your stride, lean slightly forward, head up and think positive. Repeat to yourself “I got this!” or “I can do it!” and you will be at the top of that hill in no time. I have a friend that made his wife say “Yay” every time they reached the top of a hill. Some “Yays” were less enthusiastic than others but she said it nonetheless. 🙂
- Don’t try to make up time on the descent. Your quads will be angry later. You will speed up naturally, but save some of that speed for when you level off and prepare for the next climb.
- Bring water. Trail running is a different kind of workout. Stay hydrated. And wear a hat, especially as the weather gets warmer.
- Stay on the trail. Trails are generally well marked for a reason. Staying on designated trails helps you avoid wild life (snakes like to hide in the brush), poisonous plants, trampling vegetation or getting lost.
- Know your route. Better yet, go with someone who knows the trail. Most trails are well marked but that doesn’t mean you won’t take a wrong turn and end up running much further than planned. Most people have their phones with them but don’t count on it to save you. Service can be spotty and batteries die.
- Wear the right shoes. Your road shoes are not going to cut it on the trails. You need a trail shoes. They have better tread to grip the ground. You’ll want that when you start hauling *ss down a hill!
- Bring a post race snack. You’ll be glad you did. I usually bring a banana or trail mix and have fresh water in the car.
Trail running is a great way to add variety to your training, but remember, 4 miles can feel like 6, plan accordingly.
Click here for info on Rock It Racing trail runs. Or for trail runs in your area go to Active.com.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Keep running my friends!