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8 Tips to Ensure You Have a Great Spring Trail Running Season

Trail Running

, by Fabienne Lang

Photography courtesy of: Brooks Running

Ever heard of the exhilarating phenomenon known as "Type 2 Fun"? Picture this: an adventure that challenges you in the moment, leaving you breathless and weary, yet somehow, afterward, it transforms into a cherished memory, a tale to recount with a grin. Trail running embodies this concept to its core.

No other running sport is as close to nature and holistic for body and mind as trail running. Steering clear from big crowds and noisy roads, it involves running on winding trails through parks and forests, through low or high mountain ranges.

As spring beckons, teasing us with the promise of adventure, it's time to lace up those trail shoes and heed the call of the wild. To help you with your trail-blazing exploits, we've gathered a treasure trove of tips and tricks from Brooks Running to elevate your experience.

Top Tips to Maximize Your Trail Running Adventures

It may be enticing to just head out on a trail run, but to truly make the most of the mountains and have a great time out there, there are a few factors to consider first. With the help of Brooks Running, we’ve collected the most important tips for any budding or seasoned trail runner.

1. Best explored with a group

Trail running with a friend or group is an absolute game-changer. From safety to building a tight-knit community, the camaraderie, the shared moments of distraction on those infinite trails, the knowledge shared about new routes or gear recommendations, and the unstoppable motivation it brings – these are just a glimpse into why hitting the trails together is both smart and oh-so-rewarding.

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2. Your stats won't translate directly to the trails – and that's perfectly okay

Embrace the challenge, hike those uphills, and remember, every step counts. It's all about pacing yourself and savoring each moment, one step at a time. Don’t be disheartened or surprised if your distances are shorter or your times are slower on the trails than your road runs. After all, there are more factors like elevation, roots, rocks, and differences in terrain that all impact your stats.

Photography courtesy of: Brooks

3. Wear the right shoes

Trail running is a full-body sport, but your feet in particular take a toll as you cruise over rocks, roots, and rolling terrain. As you explore trails you’ll want some footwear built for trails. The carbon-neutral certified Brooks Running trail shoe collection features supportive shoes that will keep up with your off-road adventures.

If you’re ready to hit the technical, rocky, and undulating terrain, you’ll need adaptable stability for your feet, ankles, and legs, so a shoe like the Cascadia 17 is your best bet.

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If you’re starting out and are looking to explore lighter trail terrain or even transitioning between roads and trails on your runs, then the Divide 4 is your perfect choice for a familiar fit that you can hop into straight away.

4. Invest in comfortable apparel

The mountain climbs. The thick brush and overgrown trees. The unpredictable weather ranging from hot to cold to sun exposure. The mud. Trail running demands grit from you and your clothing. To run at your best, you need threads that deliver comfort, protection, and mobility in all conditions. If you’re keen to get out into nature no matter the conditions, then you’ll want to check out Brooks Running’s High Point Apparel Collection.

If you’re looking for comfort and storage, then the High Point 2-in-1 Short with its ripstop fabric and a liner that won’t chafe or restrict mobility is your go-to pair.

Trail running demands grit from you and your clothing. In order to run at your best, you need threads that deliver comfort, protection, and mobility in all conditions.

If you’re a long-distance trail runner, you’ll want to be ready for all weather conditions on those long trails but without having to carry a heavy and bulky jacket. Your solution is the High Point Waterproof Jacket. This hooded jacket is equipped with DriLayer Seal, which delivers durable moisture protection without excess weight.

Complete the kit with the High Point Crew or Quarter socks, which are made of a comfortable and durable Merino blend, so your feet are perfectly temperature-controlled at all elevations.

5. Pack smart

Whether you’re carrying a pack or utilizing the pockets found in your apparel make sure to pack smart for your trail adventures so you have everything you need at your fingertips. Not sure where to start? Look at the 10 essentials – navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first-aid supplies, fire, repair kit and tools, nutrition, hydration, and an emergency shelter.

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6. Research your trail

Exploring forests, mountains, or unfamiliar trails can be exhilarating but also disorienting. Before setting out, invest some time in research to familiarize yourself with the terrain. Utilize platforms like Strava to plan your route or discover existing segments. By studying elevation changes and estimating your trail run duration beforehand, you'll go on your adventure well-prepared and with confidence. It also helps to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

Photography courtesy of: Brooks

7. Check the weather and trail conditions

We get it, you’re ready to head out and immerse yourself in nature, but before jumping out on your outdoor adventure, always make sure to check the weather and trail conditions. Spring weather can be unpredictable, leading to rapid changes like snow, storms, and flooding. Check your local trail reports to prepare accordingly, and don't hesitate to turn back if conditions deteriorate.

8. Respect nature

It almost goes without saying but if you’re heading out into nature – no matter what type of trail you’re on – it’s important to respect the land. To help protect the planet for future generations, try and practice mindfulness when out on the trails, and be cognizant of the land around you as more than just a trail to check off or a time to beat.

Interested in learning more? Check out this article from Brooks on running with respect.

Be Inspired and Inspire

If you're looking to elevate every aspect of your fitness, boost your mental well-being, find balance, and feel like you’re on mini (or big) adventures, then trail running is for you. It's the perfect escape from the harsh pavement, a chance to reconnect with nature, and, above all, have a whole lot of fun.

Sure, we could keep singing praises about the wonders of trail running, but the real magic lies in experiencing it firsthand. So why not give it a whirl this spring? Picture yourself weaving through trails blossoming with colorful flowers, serenaded by the melodies of chirping birds, and treated to breathtaking views of crystal-clear mountain lakes.

And remember, your journey doesn't end when the run does. Share your trail adventures with the Strava community – you never know who you might inspire!