Thursday, September 8, 2016

10 Trail Running Safety Tips

My wife and I are setting off on another adventure. This time it will be in the province of Sao Paulo, Brazil. We are doing an ultra-marathon that consists of running on beaches, roads, and trails for almost 48 miles total with a 10-hour time limit. We have never done anything like this so we had to start our training immediately. Running just a marathon is hard enough, but almost doubling that distance and running through varying terrain makes this race even more difficult. We have to train long and hard to make sure our bodies can endure the long challenge ahead.

My wife and I started our training earlier this year by doing the Pittsburgh Marathon events last May. Now we have started implementing more trails to get used to a different style of running. Trail running is a different breed of running. It is more challenging compared to running on the road or sidewalk: you have to pay attention to every step and your surroundings — even possible animals nearby. Yes, I said animals. We have encountered a number of deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and turkeys flying up on top of trees. Thanks to the past two months of trail running, we have learned a few running safety tips.

Top 10 trail running safety tips:

1. Do some research on nearby trails.
You might want to start off with the easier trails before heading into the more technical ones. Technical trails will have more rocks, roots, and possibly some climbing that involves utilizing your hands as well.

2. Try to run with someone.
I always feel safer when I am running with my wife or a group of people on the trails. I recently bought a set of walkie talkies for my wife and myself just in case one of us gets too far ahead and we don’t have cell-phone service. We also have a set of whistles that are attached to our hydration pack.

3. Check in.
If you are running alone on the trails, make sure you check in with someone before heading out. You can send a text message to a family member or even leave a note at your house or apartment.

4. Carry ID.
Make sure you have some type of ID with you for emergencies and even a little first aid kit.