Runner’s World magazine says that “a ‘trail’ requires three of the following qualities: 1) unpaved; 2) natural obstacles; 3) significant elevation gain/loss; and 4) scenic.” The thing that I love most about trail running is you are more engaged in your run and you have to be aware of your footing and surroundings.

Here are some tips for proper trail running:

Watch where you are going– trails are uneven surfaces.  There are tree roots, bumps, pits and uneven terrain. You need to be sure you are watching where you are going.

Be aware of your surroundings– trail runs are beautiful; you’re in the woods with nature. However, if you are running alone you need to be sure you know where you are in the park or trail in case something happens.  Additionally, you need to be aware of who else might be on those trails. Music is not always a good option on trail runs.


Footwear- if you’re going to run trails regularly I would invest in trail shoes. They are different than regular running shoes because they have more grips in the treads to keep you from slipping on the uneven terrain.

Train to trail run- trail running utilizes different muscles.  It is important to work on those muscles to help you have a successful trail run. Runner’s World offers some great advice in this article.


Trail running is a great way to mix up your runs or try something different. The scenery and peacefulness of a trail run is fantastic. It is my favorite way to run. But it can also cause injury so be sure you are prepared! For more great outdoor calorie burners, click here.