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Top Trail Running Tips for Beginners

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If you're sick of sticking to the streets, try a trail instead. Here's what you need to know to become a trail runner.

Take On the Trails

Whether you need a break from your usual route or just want to get outside more, trail running is becoming the latest craze to lace up to. According the Special Report on Trail Running 2010 by the Outdoor Foundation in partnership with Montrail, trail running attracted 4.8 million participants in 2009, and the numbers have only increased since. And more than 82 percent of trail runners were roadrunners looking for a new scene.

"Trail running is much more engaging than going for a run on the road," says Stephen Hatfield, REI outdoor programs and outreach manager in Portland, Oregon. "You have a limited corridor so you constantly have to sense what is around the corner and make sure you are fully engaged in what you're doing, as opposed to mentally checking out on a run around the block."

Before you head out for your first trail run, check out this must-know info.

Beginner Basics

Before you tackle the trails, newbie trail runners should have a good pair of shoes. "You don't need to buy a pair of specialized trail running shoes," Hatfield says. "The key is to get a pair of sneakers that are supportive, flexible, and have good traction and tread for trails. If they also double as your running sneakers, that's perfectly fine."

Once you've got the proper footwear, Hatfield says to start slow. Start mixing in one run a week on the trail into your normal routine and build up your mileage each week. Try moderate terrain first and practice your focus. Though it might be tempting, resist taking in the scenery -- instead, pay attention to where you're planting your feet to avoid a nasty fall.

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11/20/2013 09:48:47 AM Report Abuse
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11/18/2013 05:56:25 PM Report Abuse
royalelkhunter wrote:

Iżve used man made and game trails for years while hunting, now I am hooked on running them. Training only 3 months , my first 2013 race was the Mac Forest 50k, next will be a local 30k Run For The Hills, Siskiyou Out Back 50k, and the flagline 50k at the end of the summer. Anyone in Oregon should look up There are some great runs to sign up for here. I hope this article sparks some interest in any road runners who read it, so give the trails a try.

5/28/2013 08:25:30 PM Report Abuse

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