Tired of running on the roads? Looking to change it up. Summer is about to decend, and there's nothing we can do about that, but there is one thing we as runners and walkers can do to keep the sun from beating down on us and add variety to our training, and that is to hit one of the many trails in the area for a trail run.
Trail running is gaining in popularity and is one of the fastest growing segments in the running community. The San Antonio area has nice running trails with lots of shade and that aren’t too far from your house. Now before you go barreling down one of the local trails, we have three quick tips for you to keep you safe and injury free.
Just like road running/walking there are a lot of trail shoe choices but if you are only planning to hit the trail once a month or once a week your “normal” running shoes will do just fine. However if you are planning on making trail running a more consistent part of your training then I recommend finding a good, sturdy trail running shoe. What is the difference you ask? Trail running shoes offer a much more protective sole and greater stability to help you keep your balance while running over and across loose dirt, rocks and tree roots.
2. Slow Down Your Pace
A second tip is to slow down your pace, especially if you are a beginner. Trails wind around trees and lakes and with a much less stable surface than the road. You will find yourself making more lateral (and even vertical) movements which obviously uses different muscles so as you start out go slower to build your stamina.
Keep your eyes focused five to ten feet in front of you and to help you plan your next few strides. Look for and avoid loose rocks and slick patches of moss. Keep your feet moving as you will need to react quicker and hop over obstacles.
4. Be Safe
This goes without saying but you are going to be in the woods where there is less traffic so if something does happen it will be less likely that there will other runners to help so if possible run with a friend. Also it is a good idea to carry water with you and if it is early or late in the day wear a headlamp so you can see as well as be seen. Also pack a first aid kit in your car just in case you take a spill. And if you are running alone carry a cell phone and pepper spray.