Running on a trail is a fun way to work out, but you should always take precautions.
When it comes to running trails, knowledge and familiarity begets confidence, and confidence opens the door to an exciting world of adventure.
According to Susan Farago, a coach and multisport athlete from Austin, Texas, feeling unsafe, getting lost and being alone are the biggest factors for women when it comes to setting off on the trail. Farago helped create an eight-week, Women on the Trails program to address those barriers and teach specific safety skills, allowing more women to incorporate trail running into their training. Even if you don’t live near Texas hill country, you can use these pro tips from for more relaxed running on your next trail outing.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going, Or Bring A Partner
It’s always good to have a plan, and telling someone else where you are going and a tentative return time ensures you’ll be missed in case you fall or get lost. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Always Be Prepared For The Weather
It may be beautiful when you set out, but much like the ill-fated passengers on the S.S. Minnow, it’s important to be prepared for quick weather changes. A jacket and extra layer will help keep you warm when running through fickle mountain weather. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
While trail running is a relaxed change of pace from traffic lights and cars, it isn’t a time to put in your headphones and check out mentally. You still need to be alert to your surroundings and pay attention to dogs, wildlife and other trail users. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Know The Route And The Trails
Before setting off on a new trail, look at a map, study elevation profiles and gather beta from others who have run it—even better, run with someone who knows the trail! Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Take Plenty Of Food And Water
Refreshing lemonade stands are few and far between on remote trails, so it’s up to you to carry the food and water you need for the duration of your run. Photo: www.shutterstock.com