What Is Trail Running: 2023 Guide From Clothing To Gears

What Is Trail Running

Trail running is a step up in your trekking adventure. It opens a whole new world to what are otherwise monotonous paved roads that you normally run on. Sans the added challenge and excitement, nonetheless, you get the same perks from trail running and road running.

It's time to stretch your muscles and physique, get your endorphins pumping, and foster your well-being. Even better, burn excess calories from your body.

Trail runners love running on rugged terrain. They discover paths that are found along mountains, forests, or the countryside. That's the hype to it that makes it an attractive sport. Who wouldn't be immersed in the exhilarating experience of jogging on uneven terrain? There's just heaps of rocky terrain to conquer for beginner and experienced trail runners. You'll never run out of play space!

Read also; How to Stay Safe and Visible When Running at Night

So you want to be a dedicated trail runner. How do you get started on your journey? This article will elucidate your query in two parts, namely:

#1 Choosing the right pair of trail shoes

#2 How to pick the best gear

What You Need To Know Before Engaging In Trail Running

What You Need To Know Before Engaging In Trail Running

Step 1: What To Look For In Your Trail Running Shoes

Your trail running shoes are the most crucial gear to consider. You can't just go with your personal preference in this aspect because you need a specialized pair of trail shoes.

Whereas if you used to have road running shoes for jogging on paved roads, it's an entirely different story if you're navigating sharp rocks, uneven surfaces, and rough terrain outdoors.

Trail shoes vs road shoes are signified by their sizes, wherein the former is beefier. It is characterized by excellent traction, offers optimal foot protection, and, most importantly, stability. It's like distinguishing mountain bike tires from road bike tires.

For an efficient pair of running shoes for technical terrain, determine what your trail running level is. There are pairs made for easy and groomed trails and dirt trails to mountainous terrain.

Go for trail shoes that are up to the challenge of trotting variable terrain and challenging terrain. Your pair should be able to contend with rock plate surfaces and protect your feet from rocks.

There are also bare minimalist shoes that enhance your feel of the trail. Meanwhile, maximalist shoes are fitted with your biometrics and feature thick cushioning. Traction is the biggest difference between minimalist/maximalist shoes and a pair of road running shoes.

Step 2: How To Pick The Right Gear For A Safe and Satisfying Run

A quick trail run is not as tricky as it sounds, whether you're traversing a city trail or other rocky trails and rugged trails in the great outdoors. You can simply pull on a comfy pair of shorts and a T-shirt, along with a nifty pair of trail running shoes.

Nevertheless, more so if you're running on a technical trail- in the dark- you should take the necessary precautions by sporting the proper gear. They are the following:

Water for fluid replenishment

Are you up for overcoming a technical trail? It's more challenging than running on an asphalt road. Rugged trails can drain the heck of energy from you.

That's why you need to bring water. If you want to get the best benefits of trail running, replenish your fluids by wearing a hydration vest or a water bottle waist pack holder.

A waist pack will do for a short run, where you can store a small number of items, while a hydration vest or hydration packs provide a larger amount of storage.

best benefits of trail running

Clothing to contend with the temperatures

Unpaved surfaces are harder to tackle, specifically during cold weather or unpleasant weather conditions. It makes sense to dress in layers and see to it that they are made of moisture-wicking fabric. Running on softer surfaces to ascending rocky hills take ample effort, and you need to get warmer as you do so.

If you're a pre-dawn or nighttime runner, surmount the rugged trails and keep safe by wearing reflective clothing.

Food to energize you

Enjoying the benefits of trail running needs you to be energized. Road runners and trail runners alike should have an abundant amount of stamina, particularly if they're running long distances. You will need to carry with you several energy foods such as gels, bars, and chews.

Mountain running can deplete you, too. For hours on end of trail race training or an ultramarathon, keep with you hearty chows like bars, nuts, and sandwiches.

A watch and navigation tools to keep track of your activity

Whether you're wearing a basic sports watch that tells the time or has a stopwatch to monitor your activity or a high-end GPS watch that records your speed and distance, take the most efficient gadgets with you, including a heart rate monitor. You'll want to optimize your training with them.

Whereas if you're working out in uncharted territory, it is necessary to tag along navigational tools such as a map, a compass, or a GPS unit.

A headlamp and other light sources to illuminate your path

If you tend to trail run at night, you cannot miss wearing a headlamp. As a serious sportsman, go for a device that has at least 200 lumens.

The NightBuddy LED headlamp pumps a powerful 350 lumens, and it is ideal for sports carried out in the dark. Illuminated by this zero-bounce gadget, you'll have a perfect night vision of your trail. Its light beam distance projects 100m ahead to keep you safe and comfortable. It is featured a wave sensor for easy operation and comes with 5 lighting modes to suit your needs.

trail running in the dark

When trail running in the dark, you need to see and be seen. Together with your NightBuddy headlamp, you can wear reflective clothing so that you become visible to motorists and pedestrians, among other people.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to bring and wear the right trail running gear with you. Whatever time of day you wish to engage in your sports, be cautious and take steps to prevent untoward incidences. Potential dangers increase when you're doing your thing in the dark, but you can fend them off by being prepared.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to "run a trail"?

Trail running, as the name implies, is a sport or activity that involves running along paths found in the mountains, the countryside, or the forest.

Is trail running harder than running on paved roads?

No. As long as the trails you are navigating are adaptable natural surfaces. Concrete and asphalt roads are actually unrelenting surfaces to run on because they impact the joints.

What are the main benefits of trail running?

You are boosting your core and whole body when you run trails. It builds your strength and endurance as you surmount varying types of trails that are often rugged and uneven. 

Read next; 

What Is An Ultramarathon & How To Become An Ultra-Runner

How Many Lumens For A Running Headlamp?

Reading next

How Many Lumens For A Running Headlamp?
How To Become An Ultra-Runner

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