5 Quick Tips to Get You Mountain Trail Running this Summer

Mountain trail running gives you wings.

Why not mix up your routine this summer and get your own wings? You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you have not done that eats away at us. Change is good. Shift your workout outside and onto the trail. That need for movement, your inner restlessness, can’t explain it, but there is a need to explore, feel free, get your head above the clouds and feel that flow. Mountain trail running season is here. Cross fit, gym talk, many weeks inside the walls...now is escape time. More natural light, less indoors, and more fluid movement create a cocktail that can surely move body and mind into high gear. Break away from the norm, feel good and go trail running outside.

1. Wake up and shine. 

Early up is the best way to start the day. Getting your morning started with one foot in front of the other is productive. Hitting stride early jump-starts your metabolism and revs your system up for the entire day. First get your Christmas lights on. As many of us can only run early morning or after work it is critical to light up. Get a headlamp, reflective clothing and bright-colored clothing. Chasing sunrise is most stellar!

2. Act like a snake. 

Shed skin or in this case layers to manage your body temperature. Think in layers for your trail outfit. You will feel the urge to over-dress. It is ok to feel a bit cool to start. Trust that your body will warm up quickly and will operate more effectively if it is not over-heated. For rainy days, try technical running pants, a fleece or merino wool top, wool beanie, lightweight gloves and a windproof jacket with reflective tape on it. For cooler days and/or higher elevation trail runs, add a third, insulated layer.

3. Start in first gear. 

Start slowly to get the body moving. Dance steps, fast feet, side to side steps are all good measures to warm and limber up before you hit your pace.

4. Get wet. 

Starting out early it may be cool, but don’t let that fool you as you will need to drink water, in cool and obviously in the heat. Keep hydrated. Water needs vary, but the average person requires about 80 ounces of water each day just to replace what is lost due to normal body functions.

5. Good gear matters. 

Don’t skimp on running shoes and take the time to get the right fit. Also thunderstorms can strike, you may have to find quick shelter, plus warmth. Make sure you have that lightweight outer layer that is storm worthy. A mountain trail running specific backpack is good for those longer hauls as well. Consider basic needs, first aid kit, bear spray, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and extra energy foods and electrolyte supplements.

Get the gear you need to track your training:

Published: June 24, 2016

Powder Matt Mosteller

outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in the Canadian Rockies

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