12 Trail Running Tips for the Summer

  • In any case, especially at this time of year, hydrate well before you head out. If you plan to be out on the trail over an hour, bring sports drink instead of water.
  • Never begin hungry. If your stomach can tolerate it, eat a light meal an hour or two before the run. Still, it's always a good idea to bring along pretzels, granola bars and a few sports gels. Trail running is to some extent about following your whims and going where the day takes you. If you decide to stay out there longer, the food will come in handy. Just be mindful of remaining daylight.
  • Outdoor sporting goods stores can sell you a pre-fab first aid kit so compact you won't even know it's there-until you need it. To this you might add tweezers (especially in cactcus country) and athletic tape in case of a twisted ankle. Insect repellent, sun block and anti-itch ointment are other useful items. Bring a few hand wipes in case you encounter poisonous plants. The best way to prevent rashes from spreading is to wash the skin immediately.
  • Finally, don't forget your ID, some cash and a cell phone. In remote areas, you can't always count on reception (that's the idea, anyway!), but it won't hurt to have it. Bring only the door key to your car; this will minimize unpleasant jingling and allow you to better commune with nature.

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(Runner's World Complete Guide to Trail Running by Dagny Scott Barrios, Rodale, 2003, 228 pp. $16.95)

? American Running Association, Running & FitNews 2004, Vol. 22, No. 4, p.5

Copyright, The American Running Association

American Running Association, empowering adults to get America'syouth moving. For more information or to join ARA, please visit www.americanrunning.org

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