With summertime closing in, people are starting to take their daily exercise outdoors to soak in the seasonal sunshine. Trail running is the popular choice, yet most individuals unfamiliar with this adventurous form of cardio underestimate the challenge of a standard run. This obliviousness can lead to disaster; however, these helpful tips should ensure that you stay safe and have a blast while running a trail!
- First off, remember the basics. Be sure to lift your legs, remain light on your feet, and not rush your steps when navigating outdoor trails. Proper form and smart running will not only facilitate a better work out but also ensure you don't injure yourself on the trail. Likewise, specialized trail-running shoes, or simply shoes with significant traction, can help soften your steps and prevent injuries.
- Furthermore, stay alert. Though this may seem obvious, exhaustion impedes your form, followed by your critical thinking. The last thing you want is to zone out while running and suffer an ankle sprain or worse. Additionally, refrain from wearing headphones while running. As much as you may need that killer playlist to get through the final leg of a trail, diminishing your hearing and general awareness is not worth the risk.
- Are you an early bird or a night owl? Be sure to wear proper attire should you choose to hit the trails while the sun is down. Bright colors and reflective clothing should ensure that other pedestrians, bicyclists, and individuals operating motor vehicles are aware of your location. Bright colors are also beneficial during hunting season, just in case.
- Bring plenty of water! This should be self-explanatory but hydration is essential when running, especially if it’s on a trail. Energy bars and gels, as well as other nutritious snacks, are also useful if you plan on hitting the trails for a number of hours or in case of emergency.
- Speaking of emergencies, prepare yourself to tackle a worst-case scenario. Carry a valid form of identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on your person (such as the inside of your shoe) to ensure that others can fully assist you if needed. Any other necessary medical information should be articulated somewhere as well.
- Finally, if needed, carry protection! You never know what adversities you may face on a trail. Might we suggest a TASER device?
Do you have any trail running safety tips that we missed? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook! (@tasercivilian)