You feel a unique sense of freedom when running off-road which is difficult to replicate when jogging on hard surfaces. However, grass and trail paths can often prove treacherous in poor weather and runners need to take extra caution when tackling these routes during training. This blog will examine the best ways to stay safe and injury free during those dreaded off-road hill climbs this summer.
Wear the correct footwear
Ensuring that you are using the correct footwear will prevent any nasty slips on rough terrain. Using trainers with sufficient grip or spikes will help you to establish traction with surfaces that may easily give way. Wearing the correct footwear is especially important during periods of poor weather when you need to trust what you are wearing will keep you upright.
Join a trail or fell running club
Not only will you be benefitting from some healthy competition, running as part of a group may help you stay safe if you fall and get injured. Seeking the expertise of the groups members will be invaluable, they will be able to show you the safest yet most exciting routes to follow as part of your training programme.
Be aware of your surroundings
Remaining vigilant of the surrounding area, especially when it gets dark, is vital to remaining injury-free. Avoid frantically skipping songs on your phone trying to find the best running song or examining the horizon in search of a place to stop as this could distract you. Simply focus on your running technique and be aware of any wildlife or potholes that you may come in to contact with.
Avoid running in rainy or windy conditions
It may be tempting to lace up the running shoes and enjoy a refreshing run in the rain but this is something which should be avoided. Blustery conditions or damp surfaces are a disaster waiting to happen so opt for a cool, overcast day if you choose to go out and stretch your legs.
Prepare running on uneven ground
Always prepare for the worst by jogging on moorland or boggy surfaces. This will enable you to predict impacts and use foot placement to remain balanced over unpredictable surfaces. Practicing will help you to feel confident when running off-road, meaning that you don’t have to sacrifice your speed which you have worked so hard to maintain.
Improve your running form
Poor form can limit your performance and lead to undue pain and injury. This can lead to shin splints, back pain and limited performance so ensuring your technique is up to scratch must be prioritised.
Learn more about keeping safe whilst running on our other blog here