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How To Run on Trails

Trail running turns your daily jog into a mental and physical challenge as you dodge obstacles, cross streams, and run up, down, and across hills.


  • Step 1: Run downhill on the balls of your feet to better cushion your impact and improve your traction.
  • Step 2: When running along a trail, stay light on your feet as if you're walking barefoot on glass. This will reduce your chances of injury.
  • TIP: Leaf-covered paths may be beautiful, but danger lurks under that carpet. Step gingerly along.
  • Step 3: Run uphill with a relaxed torso—if you're going to find a rhythm on a trail run, hills are where it's at.
  • Step 4: Don't bother trying to settle into a mindless rhythm. You can't, as you're constantly dodging rocks, roots, washouts, and other natural obstacles.
  • FACT: The 100-mile Western States Endurance Run started as a horse race, but after a competitor's horse went lame in 1973, he ran the rest of the event.
  • Step 5: On sandy trails run along the sides of the trail where there's better traction.
  • TIP: Run through streams without soaking yourself by moving with a high step quickly across the water.
  • Step 6: When running on rocky trails lift your feet higher to avoid tripping.

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