Trail Tips for the Newbie Runner

Written by DBR Ambassador Marie-Eve Pelland Interested in the idea of trail running? Thinking of taking your first step but don’t know where to start?…


Written by DBR Ambassador Marie-Eve Pelland

Interested in the idea of trail running? Thinking of taking your first step but don’t know where to start?

Here are five easy tips to get going while also avoiding the rookie mistakes:

Trail Tip #1: Find the right shoe

Let it be said: a road running shoe just isn’t fit for trail terrain. If you’re about to hit the dirt, trail shoes have some specific characteristics to optimize your comfort and performance. There are a couple in particular to be mindful of, including:

  • A stiffer sole to protect your feet from rocks and roots; and
  • A more aggressive tread, helping to better grip the ground beneath you.

You’ll encounter a variety of surfaces on the trails: rocks, mud, roots, and sometimes snow. It’s important to ensure your feet have the proper armor for the battle.

The right trail shoe will not only better equip your feet with whatever comes their way, but will also ensure to maximize your comfort level at the same time.

Trail Tip #2: Embrace the learning curve

While this one could be the most obvious, it is often overlooked: Start easy!

In order to enjoy the trails, start by respecting your pace and level of expertise, remembering that trail running is significantly different from road. Begin by exploring easier trails with fewer hurdles: minimize the elevation and technicality of it all. I promise its worth it!

Easing into the sport will help effectively build the fundamentals and help to minimize the risk of injury.

Trail Tip #3: Three’s a crowd

Running groups are a great way to get into trail running. Not only will you discover new trails to explore, but you’ll also learn from more experienced runners while at it.

More often than not, you’ll get on-the-spot tips and tricks to enhance your performance, learn about gear and discover ways to lower your risk of injury, not to mention make new friends.

Many DBR ambassadors lead running crews spanning across North America and around the globe. We’re a friendly bunch, so feel free to reach out to the nearest ambassador in your area. Even if its just to ask a question, they’d love to hear from you!

Trail Tip #4: Hiking helps

In a lot of ways, trail running is similar to hiking, but at a much faster pace.

To improve your ease of movement, it is advised to hike regularly in the summer while snowshoeing throughout the winter. Working on your hill climbing at a slower pace will have a positive impact on your trail running technique: it’s one of the best ways to “build the legs” and power through steeper hills when you come back to run them.

Trail Tip #5: Run free, get dirty!

One of the many pleasures of trail running comes from the freedom of not caring about getting about a bit dirty.

It’s just you, the trails, your thoughts and (most of the time) a sense of peace. Trail running provides the perfect opportunity to get in there and be free; don’t even bother dodging the mud patches, just go ahead and dive on in.

The dirtier the day, the longer it’ll be stored in the memory bank. So in that case, consider it an investment for your future self.

Worst case scenario, you’ll just have some extra laundry to do 😉