Trail running provides a fun challenge and is a remarkably refreshing way to explore outdoors and nature. Trail race or running is no joke as you have to adjust your pace off-road. Every step you take challenges the muscles located at the hips, calves, and quadriceps which helps elevate balance, strength and foot turnover. The bonus benefit of trail running is it offers a lesser chance of injury than running on hard roads or paved paths.

Tricks of the trail

Use your arms

When running uphill, you can gain more power by vertically pumping your arms from the hips toward the shoulder. Maintain balance by keeping the elbows slightly wide and farther from the body on downhill stretches of the hill as well. Keep the torso tall while relaxing the shoulders and chest open to allow your lungs to expand to get that extra oxygen fully.

Stay focused

You can find a safe line downwards technical terrain by looking a few steps in front of your path. There can be temptations to look around you or your watch for the time but do so only when the trail or way ahead of you is flat, predictable or while on a break. If not, you could suffer a nasty fall.


stay foucsed

Develop strength

It is important to include different exercises which help build strength, balance, and agility apart of your weekly workout routine. Building strength, agility, and balance help you tackle obstacles like tree roots, sand and uneven terrain found on the trail. Include simple yet effective exercises like single leg balance and single leg lunge. Single leg balance involves standing on one foot for about 35-45 seconds while keeping the torso tall and hips under the shoulders. Repeat this exercise four times on each leg. Single leg lunge involves keeping your feet hip-width apart while taking a step forward by the right leg while bending the front knee at 90 degrees until the thigh is parallel to the floor and holding it for five to ten seconds. Push through the heel to straighten the leg, repeat such exercise 12- 15 times in each leg.

Change Gears

Adjust your speed accordingly to the terrain while maintaining a consistent effort level when climbing uphill. Downhill technique can be practiced by lengthening your stride and keeping the weight slightly forward, and arms extended. When in doubt, walk and when thinking of taking quick steps, never land entirely on each foot. Tackling obstacles will become more comfortable when the body gets conditioned and stronger.

Dress right

dress lite

Determine shoes which provide more lateral support for your ankles and feet accompanied by excellent traction on muddy and wet trails. They should have more than enough space in the toe box while fitting the heel. Wear breathable layers, sunglasses, bug spray, and a running hat. A hydration pack is recommended as it can carry a map, cell phone, and liquids.