Running on hiking trails is not as safe as running on a treadmill is. So for a safe outdoor run, you might want to consider a few things.
If you’re running for weight loss, you’re familiar with your regular routes around the neighborhood. But those routes can get boring quickly. And we all know that boredom can be the biggest enemy of any fitness regime.
When you’re ready to shake things up, a change of scenery can be just what you need.
While hiking trails may be intimidating for jogging, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s a great experience in your fitness journey.
Tips For Running On Hiking Trails
If you’re planning to run outdoors, hiking trails can be a great option. But, to be safe while running on hiking trails, keep these into consideration:
1. Have An Emergency Plan
There is always some risk with running, even on the easiest roads. But on a hiking trail, you may not be familiar with the area or where you should go for nearby medical treatment if needed.
Search for a nearby Medicare urgent care clinic before you hit the trail. This way, if something happens, you can quickly get the medical care that takes your insurance.
It’s also best to carry a few essential items that serve as your first-aid kit. You can treat any minor injuries along the way.
2. Consider The Distance
Even if you’re an avid runner, if you typically jog on a flat track, you won’t be able to do the same or even a similar distance on certain trails.
That’s because an incline takes much more exertion than the same workout on a flat road. While this is great for burning more calories, it will affect the overall distance you can run.
Before you choose a trail that will have you running your typical distance, do some research into the incline of the trail and consider how that will affect your distance.
3. Calculate The Speed
It will not only be more difficult to jog with hills, but trail running will also have you going slower.
If you have all the time in the world, this may not be much of an issue. But if you’re fighting daylight or tracking time as your priority indicator, consider how the terrain will affect your time.
When running on a treadmill, a percent incline gradient may add about 15 seconds per mile to your time. Of course, this is actual terrain, not a treadmill.
Go into your first hiking trail run understanding your time will be affected, and use your time as a baseline for your next attempt.
4. Check The Weather
When you jog just outside your front door, you can head home quickly when the weather abruptly changes. But when you’re out on the trail, you won’t have much shelter.
It also makes the conditions more dangerous. For example, rockier trails will be slippery in the rain.
For the best experience, check the weather the day before and the morning of your run. Choose a day that should have safe and enjoyable conditions for as long as your run will last.
5. Don’t Forget Water
For any run lasting longer than an hour, it’s best to hydrate during the exercise. This means you’ll need water while out on the trail.
This could be with wearable water vests, handheld bottles, or a container that fits securely in a pack that won’t jostle during your run.
No matter what you choose, make sure that you’re well-hydrated. That way, you can have a safe workout.
It’s Time To Hit The Trails!
Do you have everything you need? Well, now it’s time for the most crucial step of all: have fun!
Enjoy every step of the way, take in the fresh air, and don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the views at the top.
Once you master running on hiking trails, it’ll be hard to go back to a treadmill ever again.