Common Trail Running Mistakes
- Rather than go all out for a technical trail right away, start on easy trails like the fairly flat one I ran on in Scotland's Hazelhead Park (photo) while on vacation. Once you feel comfortable with the smooth trails, move on to technical trails with some rocks and roots.
- Shorten your stride. It may feel strange at first, but it will cause less of an impact on your body.
- Relax! If you run while tense, you're more likely to fall. Remind yourself to relax at each mile or water break.
Thinking about trail running makes me think about trail races. If I run one, I'll pick one that takes place at nearby Huntsville State Park (Texas) where I've run a couple of races including a half marathon - one of my favorite races.
When I started trail running, I was surprised by my trouble with the roots on the trails. They may not look like much at first, but after hopping over them for miles, they're tough to run over without falling or stubbing your toe. If you've been trail running, is there something that surprised you about it?