An Introduction To Trail Running

The proclaimed benefits of trail running over road running are many; fewer injuries; fresher air; great for mental health; the chance to get back to nature; beautiful scenery… These reasons, plus many more, are why people think of starting up trail running.

But before you head onto the trails what should you consider? 

What is Trail Running?

Firstly, let’s look at what trail running actually is. By definition it’s “running on any unpaved surface”, this includes forest, hill and mountain trails, or even along canal towpaths, bridleways and any other type of trail.  


Next, we need to look at kit. So, if you are a road runner you may be used to minimal gear, unless you’re doing particular high mileage runs. Maybe an overpriced pair of carbon plated running shoes, a water bottle, and a smart watch. But if you’re hitting the trails there are a few other things you may want to consider. These include trail specific shoes, extra layers, waterproofs, first aid kit and snacks. Obviously, what you need will depend on the type of trail and distance covered. 


You will also need to consider route planning, map reading and route choice. It’s easier than you might think to get lost on a trail. Research is key, along with potential map reading skills. 

Another thing to think of is hydration and nutrition. The longer the trail the more you will need to eat and drink. Especially if you are heading into the hills. 


The last couple of things to consider are weather and terrain. These are probably the two most important topics and can be the difference between a momentous day out and a potentially life-threatening experience. Getting caught out in a rainstorm and not being prepared, or finding yourself on a thick, muddy trail wearing a pair of hybrid shoes can have pretty serious consequences. 

I will cover all these topics in more details in future blog posts. But if you want to know more right now, head over to to find out all you need.  

But for now, go seek out some local trails and go out and enjoy all the trails have to offer! Be TrueSapien!

Rob Wilkes, AKA The Highland Running Coach is a TrueSapien Partner. Head over to his partner page here for more information and keep your eye out here for more useful posts from him.

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