Core Power

How to Get Started with Trail Running

By Tara Warren

Tara is a mountain runner and running coach who lives in the beautiful area of northern Utah. When she’s not shuffling around the trails, she enjoys chasing around her two crazy boys and active hubby. She has been running for years, but just began trail running and racing six years ago. You’ll usually find Tara at the 100 mile race distance or soaking up daily runs on the hills surrounding her town.


Feeling the urge to venture out on the trails? These five steps will help you get out there and enjoy your run… and maybe come back hungry for more.

  • Pick somewhere you feel safe. Use route finding apps such as @alltrails or @strava to find easily accessed terrain that suits you. Make sure you let someone know where you are going and/or carry a phone for safety.
  • Think about overall time for your run, not pace. Until you are super familiar with trail running, the terrain and the effort, just focus on how long you want to be out. Do not worry about a per mile pace as rolling hills, weather and other obstacles could change with every mile.
  • Watch the trail. This will take some practice. Keep a good peripheral view of the trail ahead, but more importantly, look down to watch what you will immediately encounter. Trail injuries occur so fast and usually when you take your eyes off the dirt ribbon in front of you for a split second. If you want to take in the views, just pause your run.
  • Go with the gear you have. “Look good, feel good” is a fun mantra to apply to most things, but do not let not having what you feel is the right trail running gear stop you from getting out there. Use what you have and then build more items into your running routine if you continue to enjoy it.
  • Stop and take pictures. It is easy to be taken in by the ever-changing scenery while out on the trails. If it is a scene that has inspired you and helped you feel a certain way, stop and snap that shot. Use it later to motivate you again or share with others to inspire them.


Getting outside to run and be active is something that we all can enjoy, no matter our season in life. Carve out some time and get out there!

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