Trail running Do’s and Don’ts

Trail running Do’s and Don’ts

Simple tips but still worth remembering probably most of us have forgotten one or two of these on the way.

  • Do plan ahead : Take a hard copy of a trail map with you, particularly if the trail is new to you.
  • Don’t: Rely solely on your smartphone for navigation. Service often is spotty on the trails.
  • Do: Time yourself and/or use a GPS watch to gauge distance so you can follow trail instructions or know when to turn around on an out-and-back course.


  • Don’t run alone if out in the wilderness other people give you more options if things go wrong
  • Don’t: Obsess over times. Because of hills and terrain, minutes per mile vary wildly.
  • Do get the right gear: right trail shoes , waterproofs, hydration pack
  • Do: Bring more water than you think you’ll need as well as some quick carbs and protein (gels, bars, etc.).

checking time

  • Don’t: Carry so much that it affects your stride and gait.
  • Do: Bring identification and tell someone at home where you’ll be running.
  • Don’t damage the trail: When trail running, follow the motto of hikers everywhere: Leave No Trace.
  • Don’t: Stray off your course on a whim, lest you get lost.
  • Do learn basic trail etiquette: Stick to the right side of the path, and if you need to pass someone, announce your presence by saying “on your left,” and pass on that side.


  • Do: If you must listen to music while running on the trails, only use one ear bud. You need to listen for, you know, other runners, bears and mountain lions.
  • Don’t: Listen to music. Really, the sound of nature is much more soul-soothing than Nine Inch Nails.
  • Do: Take seriously the signs at trailheads warning of mountain lions in the area.
  • Don’t: Freak out; mountain lion sightings are rare and attacks even rarer. If you encounter one, stop and look as big as possible.