By David Hanenburg on 06 Feb 2015
You have seen your friends share photos on Facebook and Twitter about their recent trail running adventures and races.
Dang that looks like fun!
You want to play too.
But where to start?
Or maybe you have been playing on the trails for the last year and looking to continue learning about the sport.
I have put together a collection of useful articles to help jumpstart that training or dial up your knowledge, and get you cruising down some sweet singletrack, breathing deeply with a big smile. And it’s all about the smile! 🙂
If You are Just Beginning…
First, I am so stoked for you. I am extremely proud of you for taking the first step (both literally and figuratively).
Whether you have a road running background or this is your first time lacing them up, here are a few core trail running concepts to help support your journey in this sport.
Nature, beautiful scenery, and the trail. All of them are vying for your visual attention. If the trail doesn’t win you over, your body will likely be spread upon it. And everyone in the sport has gotten up close and personal with the dirt a time or two (or more).
Don’t fear though. When you run, try to keep you attention on the upcoming trail to glide past, over, or around an upcoming toe grabber (rock, root) or abrupt terrain change. If you want to soak up some beautiful imagery, stop, step to the side of the trail (did you bring a camera?), and enjoy.
If you like to listen to tunes when you run, using only one earbud is always recommended to be aware of fellow trail users who may be in front of you or coming up from behind.
If this is a new trail for you and it has a variety of trail splits, it never hurts to pack a map (and phone).
Each Trail is Unique
A five mile run may take you 90 minutes on Trail Awesome and 180 minutes on Trail Double Awesome.
Pace is often meaningless. Begin to feel what a sustainable effort feels like for you. That is your gauge for pace. 15-20 min/miles are common in the sport and will include a run/walk combo depending on the terrain.
Steady walking and power-hiking is a skill used in this sport. Embrace it. Practice it. You will observe yourself walking/hiking faster than others are running.
Trail running is as much adventure as running. So fun!
The trail running community is extremely welcoming and supportive.
You can check out our resources page which includes links to clubs and running groups if you would like to connect with others local to you.
Also, simply signing up for a trail race is a great way to meet people and learn about the sport. You can check out our TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) race calendar by simply signing up for our free email newsletter (if you haven’t done so already).
- 5 Tips for Surviving Technical Downhills
- Ways to Attack During Downhill Running
- Ideas to Manage Steep Climbs on the Trail
- Climbing Hack: Simple Movement Tweak to Reduce Effort and Increase Pace when Power Hiking a Crazy Ladder-Worthy Grade
- Power-Hiking and Dialing up the Speed
Summer and the Sun
- Show Me the Trails – TALON Resources to Find some Good Dirt
- The Only Three Trails You Need in Albuquerque
- My Favorite Central Oklahoma Trails: Clear Bay, Nu-Draper, and Bluff Creek
- The Guads: Trail Running in the Mountains of Texas