Even experienced trail runners can get into trouble on unpredictable terrain. As more runners are going into off-road Trail Running, accidents are likely to increase.
Here are 5 tips for staying safe on running on trails:
Keep in touch
When trying a new trail running route, go with someone more experience about the area, bring a map, compass, cell phone, headlamp and whistle. If you do go solo, give someone a map of your intended route. Go to nparks.gov for maps of national park trails, or plot your route. Alternatively do bring along your mobile phone and stay in contact.
Think time, not distance
Tough terrain and hills can double the time you need to cover a distance. Do consider how long you want to be out. Experienced trail runners would normally cover around 8 to 10km an hour . For those Less-fit runners should target around 4-6km in an hour, enjoy the terrain and soak in the rural atmosphere.
Bring food with you, even on short runs, in case you end up running longer than expected. Energy bars and gels are some good examples of food you may want to consider packing with you as they are easy to carry and digest. The carbohydrates will help you run and concentrate. Also, do stay hydrated with small, frequent sips from a water bottle or from your hydration pack.
Watch the weather
Weather can change very quickly, one moment it will be scorching hot and the next moment storms can roll in quickly and it starts pouring. It’s always a good idea to equip a cap and a packable rain/ softshell hooded jacket, which is water-resistant lightweight. Use sunscreen, but be careful not to apply too much as it can clog pores and cause you to overheat. Bring along a headlamps as well.
Train your feet
Get used to running on easy paths, and then move on to a much tougher trails. Run progressively. Take short, quick steps so you can react, pace yourself so that your stride rate should be about 90 per minute. Road shoes work, but trail shoes have more traction and protect your feet from rocks and roots. Salomon have a wide range of awesome Trail running shoes, my favorites are the S-Lab3 XT Wings, the XR & XR Mission are build for both Trail and Road running.