Trail running is a great sport for beginners. It’s a very social sport, a very friendly sport, and those who have taken up trail running have found that it can be done almost anywhere that a track or path takes you off-road.
Often runners have a trail just minutes from their home or place of work, which they never knew existed. Your trail doesn’t have to be out in the wilderness. Cities and urban areas of the UK almost always have some accessible trails and green areas – you just need to seek them out!
Trail running’s appeal is also to those runners who may have ‘graduated’ from tarmac running and races, and may be seeking a closer connection with nature whilst out running or simply seeking a less demanding surface in terms of stress on joints and bones.
One of the most important pieces of kit a trail runner will need to look at is their shoes. Of course it is possible to run on dry, less intense paths with a standard running shoe. However, stability and grip will be improved with a specific trail shoe, and as the terrain becomes more demanding the more essential a trail shoe becomes.
Protection around the toe area and on the sole of the shoe is also improved on a trail shoe, meaning that uneven terrain, branches and sharp rocks will be thwarted.
General running apparel will still do the job on the trails. A good jacket and wicking base layers and t-shirts are as applicable to trail running as they are to running on the roads. However, a good trail running specific backpack could be one of your most important investments.
A good pack can house a jacket, mobile phone, some gels, water and food, should you be venturing off-road on a longer run. On the more remote trails it is also a good idea to carry a map and GPS unit.
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