Intro To Trail Running: Getting To Know The Trails
(Written by Aaron Saft, Owner of Foot RX Running Asheville and avid trail runner)
So many people I meet are intimidated by trail running. I hear things like “Aren’t there bears?” or “Don’t you get lost?” I smile and answer yes to both. Then I explain how they can get into trail running with far less apprehension of the things we cannot control. In this intro to trail running segment, I will discuss how you can get to know the trails so you don’t feel as though you are going to get lost.
First, I suggest joining a trail running group that has people that run around your pace and distance. Learn some new loops, meet some new people you can potentially run with outside the group run and have fun!
Secondly, buy a local trail map and do some online research of established trail loops that you can go hike with a friend or your family to become familiar with the trails. I also suggest the TrailRunProject App that has established routes that you can download and follow along on your mobile device.
Third, ask the Ranger Station visitor center or your local outdoor or run shop for nice local routes you can try. There are usually resources these places have to help you get to know the trails. There are also plenty of books out there that have suggested routes. Ask around as to which books would suit you best.
Lastly, a great intro to trail running is to sign up for a local trail race. You’ll be racing with others on a marked course. This can help you get to know the trails as well and introduce you to like-minded folks. You find out really quickly the trail running community embraces ALL runners very quickly! The Chasing Trail 8K and the new Drovers Road/Hickory Nut Gap 5K/15K are two races we would recommend if it’s your first time racing.
The key is obviously to get comfortable with your knowledge of the trail system. Once you become familiar with the system, its hard to get lost. And hey, if you do get lost, no biggie, enjoy the extra miles and get to know some new trails!
The trails are calling…will you answer?
About Glory Hound Events
Glory Hound Events was started in 2006, initially managing the historic Bele Chere 5K. Shortly after that first year the Lake Logan Triathlon was introduced and eventually became a part of the Lake Logan Multisport Festival. Glory Hound Events is now the largest endurance event management company in the Western North Carolina region, producing an average of twelve events annually. In addition to producing its own events and those for a variety of clients, Glory Hound Events offers consulting services for events outside of Western North Carolina looking to take theirs to the next level.