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Archives for the day Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Spring is Here: Hit the Trails!

Want to find new places to run? Looking for a way to revitalize your running workouts? It may be time to shake things up and find your way to some local trails for a bit of fun in the woods.

Trail running offers a unique, challenging way to explore new areas you may not even know existed in your neighborhood. As the weather warms up and much of the nation begins to slowly thaw out, state and federal parks will become thriving hubs of activity among hikers, campers and athletes looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

A few basic tips: start slowly and on flatter terrain, as your running stride will need to adjust to compensate for uneven running surfaces. Since rocks, roots and other debris are often located on the trails, you’ll have to lift your feet and find a new slightly-modified running stride.

Trail running can be a humbling experience, even for faster, more-experienced runners. If you’re tackling a steep uphill or treacherous downhill, don’t be afraid to slow down and walk down the hill. As your body becomes more familiar with trail running, you’ll be able to pick up speed.

The San Francisco Bay Area has a number of beautiful parks and well-maintained running trails you can explore. Since we live in the East Bay, we spend the majority of our time exploring parks operated by the EBRPD (EBRPD’s Twitter) — which does an exceptional job of maintaining trails.

Even if you don’t have trails nearby, you should still reach out and contact runners in your area. They will be able to locate running spots in your area — and we strongly recommend you avoid remote, secluded areas until you’re better familiar with the geography.

Here is some additional reading for you:

Backpacker Magazine tackles the benefits of trails
Trail running basics from
I’d also recommend reading the trail running 101 document (PDF)