Trail Running Tips for Beginners


Trail running gets you off the concrete (or treadmill) and into nature while increasing your cardio health and burning major calories!  Beginners are often intimidated by the thought of running on a trail. *Just follow these tips, and you’ll see what you’ve been missing!

Trail Running Tips for Beginners

    • Location:  Start with relatively flat, even terrain. Here’s some greater Seattle area beginner friendly trails:  Discovery Park (Seattle), Robinswood Park (Bellevue), Mercer Slough (Bellevue), Beaver Lake (Sammamish), Evans Creek Preserve (Sammamish), Red Town Trail (Cougar Mountain), and Snoqualmie Valley Trail (Rattlesnake Lake to Duvall).  This may take a little investigating if you live outside Seattle, but typically hiking trails that have a difficulty of a 1-2 (on a 1-10 scale) are great starting choices.
    • Shoes:  To have the best experience, wear a shoe that has a little more tread – a trail running shoe.  You can check out trail running shoes on Amazon here.
    • Dress the part: We are getting into cooler weather. Wear a beanieneck gaiter or mini scarf, running gloves, a base layer that wicks moisture, middle layer that insulates, and an outer layer that protects.
    • Weather:  Try your first trail run on a dry day for obvious reasons.
    • Pace: Since your on uneven terrain, go at a slower pace than you would on pavement. Walk areas you are unsure of.  You will burn just as many calories – if not more!  More muscles have to work to stabilize you on the uneven surfaces.
    • Focus on the trail:  If you notice a cool tree or want to look at your surroundings – stop and look.  Keep your eyes on the trail when you are moving.
    • Stay on the trail:  Not worth getting lost and spending a cold night or two in the wilderness.
    • Be aware of wildlife:  This is their home. Seattle area trails are packed with people though, it’s rare to see more than a deer or small critter.  Not saying it doesn’t happen though – we have had a bear in our backyard before!  Take a tip from the book, Wild, maybe buy a loud whistle.
    • Have fun!


Wouldn’t you rather be out in this than indoors on a treadmill?

*Consult your physician before starting any new exercise program.




4 thoughts on “Trail Running Tips for Beginners

  1. I would MUCH rather be outside than on a treadmill. I love trail running it really is completely different than running on the roads. More of a challenge but a much better view.

  2. Pingback: A Trail Workout for Total Body Training | Joy, Fitness, & Style

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