I like running outside but usually on asphalt rather than dirt. This weekend, I hit the trails running with a buddy who almost exclusively runs in the woods. He took me on what he called a sweet trail (read: beginner level) with some technical elements (read: roots, rocks, and steep bits). I am happy he slowed to my pace since not tripping demanded a serious amount of concentration. I may have run more slowly than usual, but all those obstacles meant there was no chance for boredom to seep into my run.
The one bit of advice that really stuck with me, and that is applicable to hiking too, is don't step on rocks or roots; they could be unstable. You want your foot to land in the dirt between the rubble. Another memorable tip my trail running mentor shared with me is walking up steeps hills doesn't mean you wimped out. If you can walk up a steep incline at the same pace you can run it, then by all means walk — it's easier on your joints and means your legs will be less tired when you head down the other side.
I ended the run a bit mud splattered, sweaty, and wonderfully worked. Have any more tips for me next time I am out on the trail? Share them in the comments section below.
Flickr User TrailVoice