Staying Safe On The Trails: 6 Tips For Trail Running

As the weather gets warmer, more runners are heading to the trails for their runs. I can't begin to tell you how much I love trail running! There is such an abundance of beauty out on the trails - an amazing variety of trees, wildflowers and wildlife (butterflies, a bluejay, lizards and jackrabbits are some of the wonderful creatures I saw on my last trail run).
Trail running is a great way to give your legs a break from concrete and asphalt and I love the peace and quiet that a trail run provides - zero cars and fewer people.

Running lots of hills on trail runs are one of the ways that I get stronger as a runner. Hills bring out your inner bad ass and make you a tougher, better runner. I love conquering a difficult hill - especially as I go back and run it over and over - and know that, if I can beat this hill, I'm ready for anything.

1. Tell someone where you are going

Text or leave a note for your spouse, friend, family member or neighbor with your trail route, time you left and what time you plan on returning.
This is such a great way for someone to track your whereabouts and to contact you if you aren't back at the designated time.

Nature's beauty

2. Bring your cell phone (+ ID and pepper spray!)

Some runners don't like to carry a cell phone, but it's a good idea to carry one on a trail run. You are in a (much) less populated area and it's critical to have some type of communication if the need arises.

3. Trust your instincts

Our instincts are such a great defense. If your gut tells you something isn't right, LISTEN to it. 
It can be anything from a person you see ahead that doesn't seem quite right or gives you a funny feeling, to hearing a rustle in the brush that doesn't add up to a squirrel. You can always turn around and add onto your run in the opposite direction. It's better to be safe than sorry.

4. Avoid dawn and dusk trail running

Large wildlife - coyotes, mountain lions and bears, tend to come out during these early morning or late evening hours.

Mountain lions and bears... oh my...

5. Pay attention to your footing

Running on a trail brings rocks, snakes, branches and exposed roots. Your attention is going to be focused on the ground a lot. Let go of your GPS watch, leave your headphones at home, and focus on the road ahead.

This brings me joy and a lot of sweat!

6. Run with a friend or a group

At the end of the day, there is safety in numbers. Try and run with at least one other person.

How often do you run on trails?

What do you do to stay safe on the trail?

Happiness Is Running Life!


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