Trail running for beginners: 5 useful tips for getting started

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Get away from our cities, leave traffic and smog behind to indulge in healthy physical activity surrounded by nature. More and more Italians are rediscovering the pleasure of outdoor sportspreferably in the mountains, away from the routine of everyday life.
Running on high trails is becoming more and more fashionable, even if the trail is certainly a demanding sport. And we can’t improvise: it’s better to follow a few precious basic rules to approach this beautiful sport in order to avoid unpleasant road accidents. Also because, as we all know, the mountain has many unknowns. Despite this, it is possible run safely. Let’s see how in this handy five-point guide.

How to dress

Before setting out to discover breathtaking landscapes and panoramas, you must choose the right shoes and clothes. Let’s start with the first: to run on the trails it is essential to wear shoes that dampen roughness of the ground, especially downhill and which ensure good grip, especially on the most unstable stones. Also, they must protect the foot, for example from sharp rocks or protruding roots. Finally, we must not forget the shoe stability: Running on uneven ground can cause sprains to the ankles or, more generally, to the joints of the legs. Wearing the right shoe means avoiding risks and being able to take full advantage of your trail experience.
The choice of clothing is also essential. When climbing, it should be considered that one of the factors not to be underestimated, in addition to the temperature, is the wind. On beautiful sunny days, especially in winter, the wind can make us feel colder than on overcast days. So the rule is: windproof clothing. Also, always so as not to be cold, it is good to choose clothing that wicks sweat away from the body and helps keep you dry.

Invest time in planning your route

The decision is made, but now we have to plan a route. The first thing to do is to take into account the elevation, which will influence your physical effort and the time taken to reach your destination. You can use online tools, e.g. OnTheGoMap and maps available to check elevation changes along the route. This way you will know which sections will be the most difficult and you can make sure that you are able to complete your route. And don’t forget that once you reach your destination, you must also be able to go back.
A pro tip: if you are traveling to areas you do not know, download the course on your smartphone o GPS before you go, or get a good old paper map.

The technique starts on the right foot

First of all, consider that you cannot go from the couch to the trail: you have to have a running training base, also in terms of technique. When you start trying your hand at this particular discipline, forget about speed. Focus instead on the path that opens up in front of you, especially on the more technical aspects such as elevations or slippery terrain. Unlike road races, trail running requires a lot more arm work to maintain balance, and quadriceps (instead of calves), especially when climbing.
To go up. When you have to face a climb, it is better to take quick and light steps. Stand up straight to avoid leaning too far forward, a mistake beginners tend to make when trying to look straight ahead.
Descended. A good advice improve the descent and of train in the gym. It is not necessary to provide exercises with weights and a rowing machine but, on the contrary, favor balance, with balls and beams. Trail pros use these simple tools precisely because they help develop and improve the posture and stability needed to tackle descents safely. Remember that downhill is where the type of shoe you use matters the most, both in terms of cushioning and stability.


Among the golden rules to remember if you are a beginner: it is better to run in company! Going out in pairs or in a group is absolutely recommended. In business, the difficulties of trail running, such as steep descents and dangerous technical terrain, with the wind blowing from the side, are easier to manage. There is also an important psychological aspect: if running alone through unforeseen obstacles, such as an error in the course or inaccessible terrain, can create frustration, in a group it is easier to de-dramatize, release tension and feel less tired, considering the unexpected .as an integral part of our adventurous day in the mountains.
If you rather prefer run alone, always inform at least one person of your route, or use your social networks to let your friends know where you are. A short post “seasoned” with a photo taken along the way can be useful in case something unexpected happens.

Trail running is more than a sport, it’s a culture

Trail running is not just a sport for those who practice it: it is a true philosophy of life, which consists in putting physical and mental well-being at the center of our existence. A way like any other to get back to basics, if only for a few hours. A natural medicine for anxiety, stress and routine. A metaphor for life too: reaching a goal, a result (conquering the summit or completing our route, in our case), through sweat, effort, sacrifice.
At this stage, all that remains is to take the first step, one foot in front of the other, and off you go!
L’perfect clothes for your summer trail it’s all in the new ROSSIGNOL Spring Summer 2022 collection where you can also find the new SKPR 2022 shoes ideal for mountain running and hiking.

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