Growing tired of the asphalt? Head to the trails!
Trail running offers an amazing alternative to city sidewalks and busy intersections. It’s got nature, dirt, and a laid-back community of runners. Like road-racing, you’ll find races of all distances, from 5K to 100K (and longer!).
The best thing about trail running is that going your own pace is encouraged. Your splits will be slower but you’ll have more time to enjoy the scenery. Ready to try it? Here are three easy steps to hitting the trails!
Step 1: Find a Trail
Trails can be in short supply when living in the urban jungle. But dig a little and you’ll unearth some diamonds in the rough. Visit your local City Sports store for tips or connect with one of these regional trail running clubs.
DC Area: Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
Philadelphia: Wissahickon Wanderers
New York City: New York Trail & Ultra Running Meetup
Boston: Trail Animals Running Club (TARC)
RootsRated, an easy-to-use online platform and app for discovering the outdoors, is another great resource for finding a trail near you. As you research, be sure to look for park opening/closing times, the availability of water fountains and bathrooms, and any trail advisories.
Step 2: Gear Properly
Until you’ve fallen in love with trail running, don’t worry about investing in specific footwear. Any good-quality running shoe will protect your feet (assuming the outsole still has tread). Do bring a water bottle, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the location of water fountains and the layout of the trail. A 100-200 calorie snack, such as a Clif Bar or GU gel, will keep you fueled for those longer runs. Most importantly, bring a buddy or tell a friend where you’re headed. Safety first!
Step 3: Go Your Own Pace
When trying out the new terrain of trails, take things at your own pace. You’ve left the hazards of the road for a different set of hurdles: roots, rocks, branches, and the occasional rabbit. Until you get the hang of the uneven surfaces, run at a comfortable pace. Trail runners are infamous for the efficient strategy of walking up hills and letting gravity do the work on the way down. They might be on to something…
Ready, Set, Dirt!
We want to hear about your first time hitting the trails! Tweet us a photo or tag your Instagram post with #CitySports. Now go get dirty!