Last year, I popped out to my local trail at Swope Park in Kansas City to provide trail running tips for those who were making a switch to the trails. The four tips I gave in the video were a combination of the many questions I’ve received by those new to trail running and those who wish to become better, more efficient trail runners.
The four tips I give in the video with explanations are:
1) Keep a neutral head position.
Instead of dropping your head down or bending from the waist, simply drop your eyes to scan the trail. You want to look about 10 feet in front of you.
2) Maintain good hand/arm position. Use your arms to provide balance.
Trail running is different than road running in that you will use your arms to balance more, especially as you pick up speed on the downhills. Use your arms like a skier, helping to control your descents.
3) Lifting your legs from the core.
Lifting your legs from the core and driving your knees forward helps you to maintain easy running form and step over rocks, trees and the occasional furry woodland creature coming your way. If you have trouble doing this, you can practice 100ups to help get the form down.
4) Short, quick steps.
Trail running is full of constantly changing terrain. Hills, descents, rocks, roots and creeks all form part of the trail running experience. It’s important to use short, quick steps when running to minimize injury, become more efficient and to maintain good form throughout.