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Running Tips: From Treadmill to Trail

Blistery hot Summer weather is cooling down, so those of you who were running in air-conditioned gyms can now move your workouts outside. Not only can you can advantage of the fresh air and nonexistent monthly fee, but if you opt for trail running instead of hitting the sidewalk or bike path, you'll end up burning 10 percent more calories. Keep these tips in mind when switching from the treadmill to the trails.

  • Buy some trail running shoes. Their soles are more rugged so they can handle slippery or uneven terrain. Trail runners also tend to be sturdier to support your foot while moving on the softer surface.
  • Wicking socks are a must. Sweat and wetness in your socks that may spray up from the ground can lead to blisters, so wear socks made of Merino wool or some other wicking material to pull moisture away from your skin.
  • Start off slow and easy. Trail running is much harder than running on a treadmill because of the hills, unpredictable terrain, and natural obstacles, and because your muscles are propelling your body forward instead of a moving belt. Run at a slower pace and for shorter periods of time. Don't be afraid to walk if you need to, and gradually build up your endurance as you're ready.

For more essential tips, keep reading.

  • Woods are common places for mosquitoes, so spritz yourself and your clothes with some bug spray to prevent an attack.
  • Even though it's cooler this time of year, don't forget the sunscreen.
  • Run with a buddy if you can for safety.
  • If you're running in the woods alone, bring along an ID and your phone, just in case.
  • Skip listening to music with headphones so you can remain aware of your surroundings — remember that animals live in the woods too. I listen to my iPod on speaker mode so I can hear my music and also hear what's going on around me.
  • When you get home, take off your clothes and check for ticks to prevent Lyme disease.
Image Source: Getty
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I run along a local cycle route and around a lake - it's wonderful and really helps to break the boredom.
adelaidekay adelaidekay 8 years
I can't wait to move back to my dads & start running agian in the nice quite humanless backroads.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Great tips! I echo the bug spray... I did a 75 mi bike ride last weekend, went into this area to, um, well, pee, and got ATTACKED by mosquitoes (before I pulled down my bike shorts, forch!). the backs of my legs are COVERED in welts :( don't worry about slowing down your pace --- you will do that anyhow. I run 8:45-9:30s on the roads, and 12 min miles on the trail !
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I should really take this up. I live next to a national park and the trails there are just beautiful. I walk them on nice days but haven't had the guts to try running them yet. One thing you do need to worry about is Wasp nests, there are so many in the park it's not funny. Take Stingose just in case.
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