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Tips for Trail Running

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Updated March 27, 2014

If running on the roads is starting to bore you, try switching up your routine with some trail running. Just keep the following tips in mind before you hit the trails:

Choose Trails Wisely

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Sam Diephuis/The Image Bank/Getty
Run on trails that are appropriate for fitness level. Flat trails are recommended if you're a beginner, while more experienced runners can choose hilly, challenging trails.

Get the Right Gear

Wear trail-running shoes, and dress in synthetic fabric running clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions.
More: Trail Running Shoes for Women
Trail Running Shoes for Men
How to Dress for Hot Weather Running
How to Dress for Cold Weather Running

Buddy Up

twowomenrunning.jpg
Philip and Karen Smith

If possible, get a friend to run with you. If you're running alone, always make sure you tell someone which trail you'll be running on.
More: Running Safety Tips
How to Find Running Partners

Slow It Down

Trail running is usually harder on the body than road running, so plan to run fewer miles at a slower pace on trails than you do on the roads.

Pay Attention

Trail running
Kevin Arnold/Getty
Keep your head up and your eyes on the trail ahead. Try not to look down at your feet, so you can watch ahead for obstacles such as rocks, roots, logs and branches.
More: How to Avoid Falls While Running

Careful on the Downhills

Don't get out of control on steep downhills. Control your speed and keep your head up, so you can avoid obstacles.
More: How to Run Hills
Downhill Running Tips
7 Tips for Mud Run Success

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