It’s so exhilarating being outdoors and enjoying a great workout whether biking, running or walking one of our many local trails! This time of year is my favourite to be outside cross-training with classes and workouts in the gym and did you know that the uneven terrain of sidestepping a few rocks and roots burns more calories and helps improve your balance, agility and coordination? As we gear up to celebrate our countries Birthday, let’s make time to enjoy The Trail Capital of Canada. Below are some tips to ensure you hit the trails safely!
If you’re going to hoof it on a wood-chip or packed dirt path, your regular running sneakers will do. But trail-running shoes provide more protection for your feet and have rugged outsoles to improve your traction, key for rocky and slippery routes.
Trails work your leg muscles and ankle joints harder than roads or treadmills do, so begin on flatter paths and run for only 10 to 15 minutes during your first outing. Increase your time and/or distance by about 10 percent each week.
To prevent tripping over roots and rocks, lift your feet—especially your toes—slightly higher than you would if you were running on pavement or indoors on a treadmill.
Keep your gaze on the trail—about 10 feet ahead, not down at your feet—so you can see the upcoming terrain and avoid any obstacles.
If you’re losing running motivation on a steep hill, walk—even experienced trail racers do it. You should also walk if you’re approaching a tricky obstacle like a stream or log.
Always stay to the right on a trail. When you approach a person from behind, loudly say, “Passing on your right [or left].” If you encounter someone on horseback, move to the side of the trail and ask if it’s safe to pass. If the horse is approaching you, stop moving altogether and allow it to pass.