FFF: Trail Running


Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am clumsy. I have fallen when running on the road and have fallen even during races.

check out the blood streaming down my leg

So who would have guessed that this summer, I am running on trails.

Obviously after only a few trail runs, I am not an expert but here are FIVE of my tips to help you enjoy your time running on the trails:

1. Wear Proper Running Shoes.

You can run with normal running shoes but wearing shoes made for trail running will give you more grip on the uneven rocky or muddy ground. It will also give you peace of mind.

we got muddy but no one fell

2. Use Bug Spray/Tick Repellent.

Yes, trails especially in the summertime are buggy.  I even spray insect repellent on my clothes. I also wear compression calf sleeves to protect my legs from ticks.

sweaty but smiling because we had no bug bites

3. Never Run Alone.

Because on the trails there is a  greater possibility of either getting lost or falling, I think it is always best to run with a buddy. If you are alone (or get separated from your friend), make sure you have a charged cell phone with you!

hanging with my buddy Deirdre at Lawson Lake

4. Run on Different Trails.

Even running on the SAME trails can get boring.  If you are not fortunate to be part of group-organized trail runs, explore the Internet and the AllTrails app to find trails within driving distance of where you live or work.  You’ll be surprised at how many hidden treasures you’ll discover.

at Five Rivers minutes from where I live

5. Slow Down and Enjoy the Scenery

In other words, look around. Listen to the different sounds. Don’t miss a distant lake or not stop at an overlook.  Trail running definitely gives you the opportunity to appreciate nature more. It’s ok to walk. It’s not the time to work on speed. I recommend not even wearing a watch!!

stopping an an overlook in Thacher Park

enjoying the trails at Indian Ladder Farms

Happy Running! Do run on trails? If so, any other tips?  Please share.

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20 thoughts on “FFF: Trail Running

  1. Unfortunately, I have not done much “real” trail running. Our town used to host a 10K trail run (in conjunction with a series of other events over a weekend…which no longer happens), so I’ve run that a few times. There’s also a fun trail race nearby (30ish minutes) that I’ve done several times as well. I am clumsy, too LOL. I love the beautiful scenery, but have a hard time really enjoying the surroundings because I was always looking down instead of around me. I also had nasty fall, at my first trail race, and bruised (or cracked?) a few ribs tripping over a hidden tree root. In addition to knee socks, I always wore a hat, too, to keep as many bugs off of me as possible.

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    • I always wear a hat too.

      I don’t really run run. Because yes I’m looking down. I did fall the other day. I don’t think that you will see me trail racing.

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    • I definitely do trail running just for fun and to explore nature. Road running is my priority and I will only race on the roads.

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  2. When I started to run trails, no one in my immediate circle was at all interested. So I ran (and still run) trails by myself all the time. Most of the ones I run are pretty straightforward though so little chance of actually getting lost.

    I actually run less trails in the summer because I hate the bugs! Although I’ll hike. I don’t sweat as much when I hike, so I guess I don’t attract the bugs as much.

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    • Well now all the Sole Sisters love the trails. We went every week even last summer and now every Thursday evening. They are easy to get lost on (and would never run them alone) but I enjoy them even in the rain. Lol

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  3. I absolutely love my trail runs, but the trails around me are not very technical. It’s mostly just gravel paths, with a few challenging parts here and there. BUT! We are currently on vacation in Texas and about to leave on a family hike- so glad I read your post because you reminded me that we need bug spray! You may have just saved our entire hike!!!

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  4. these are great tips Darlene. I hadn’t even thought about bug spray/ tick repellant! I am super clumsy so I’ve only really ever done two trail races twice. And I didn’t enjoy them much (the 2nd one especially since I got a blister halfway and got lost and was last and there wasn’t even a dang cup of tea for me in the freezing temps afterwards). I can appreciate trail running as a concept though since I absolutely love to walk and look around and actually take in the nature around me. So yeah, trails are pretty appealing 🙂

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  5. Great tips. I have also fallen during my runs and I broke twice the same shoulder (the second incident was terrible).
    I love the trails and as you say I slow down to enjoy the landscape.
    I usually run alone and sometimes I had “adventures” with shepherd dogs but … I survived.

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