How to Start Trail Running

by Amy
(Natick, MA, USA)

How to Start Trail Running

How to Start Trail Running

I'm Wondering How to Start Trail Running

Question: Hi, I've been a road runner for most of my running life, and I'm wondering how to start trail running. I really like the roads, but there are some great State Parks near me, and I'd like to see if I like it. The being out in nature part seems pretty appealing, but I have no idea what I'm going to need to get started, what to be aware of, and I'm sure there are things I'm definitely forgetting. Please help!

Editor's Comments Regarding How to Start Trail Running

Amy, congrats on wanting to learn how to start trail running! We, too, started out as road runners, and really didn't know much about what to expect when we first started running trails.

As you've probably seen from the reader-submitted comments below, our community is very helpful with offering advice when it comes to anything running-related. For that, we're pretty thankful!

As far as advice, we'd suggest these three things to start with:
  • Bug and Tick Repellent - Not to scare you at all, but with the number of cases of EEE and Lyme disease in the news of late, it is smart to take some very simple precautions to do what you can to avoid the wrath of these tiny culprits. Find a spray or repellent of your choice and be sure to apply it before heading out for your trail runs.

  • Trail Running Maps - State Parks come in all different sizes and distances from society. It can be easy to get lost. With that, either grab a paper map, or check out apps that will display what you'll need for any sort of navigation. Bring a friend or a group for your running, if and when possible. Let someone know where you're headed, and what time you might expect to finish your run. And, bring a phone so that you can get in touch if you really need to.

  • Trail Running Shoes - Shoes for the trails are a lot different than those you might choose for road running. Take a look at our best running shoes section, and once you know you'll be running the trails often, definitely invest in a pair or two.

We're excited for you to learn how to start trail running! Best of luck, and enjoy!

Hey all, let's help Amy in her quest to become a trail runner by giving her some of our best tips on how to start trail running in the comments below!

Comments for How to Start Trail Running

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Sep 20, 2019
by: Lisa

Congrats, Amy! If you find out you like it, be sure to invest in a good pair of trail running shoes. They make a big difference!

Sep 20, 2019
by: James

Welcome to the club, Amy! I'd rather dodge roots and rocks versus dodging traffic any day of the week! With that said, be really observant of where you're running, and have a small, first-aid kit and do keep your phone on you (maybe in a pack) so you have a way to get in touch with people if you ever wind up tripping and hurting something (really rare, but still better to be safe than sorry!).

Sep 20, 2019
Run With a Buddy
by: Steven

Hi Amy,

If you haven't been to the parks where you're planning on running, be sure to have a map of the trails (if one is available), and I recommend running with a friend. It's usually more fun that way, and safer, overall.


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