The following article was written by Max King and originally printed in The Footzone Bend’s May e-mail newsletter. Reprinted with permission from The Footzone Bend and Max King.
Max King, 1st place, 1:15:48. 2012 USA 1/2 Marathon Trail National Championships
It’s trail time. Trails are opening up more and more every week, we’re getting into trail race season, and we’re all getting out there to log some miles on new terrain. To help you out this year here are some tips that will make your trail experience safer and more fun.
1. Carry the essentials. Depending on the distance this is going to mean different things. Shorter runs can be accomplished with a simple hydration carrying system and a little bit of food. If you’re new to a trail system I definitely recommend carrying a map, compass, a GPS device or all three. It’s easy to get turned around in the woods. And know how to use them. For longer runs in the mountains, a jacket, hat, food, water, and probably some emergency equipment such as a fire starter, space blanket, and water purification is important. You may not need it but if you do, you’ll be glad you have it.
2. Be courteous to other users. Since the high mountains aren’t open yet a lot of the lower trails are heavily used this time of year by hikers, runners, bikers, and horseback riders. We all love being out in the forest, so we all need to get along. Yield to horses and get off the trail, bikers are supposed to yield to you, but keep your head up and be on the lookout, they’re going faster and sometimes it’s easier (and safer) if you take the proactive approach to remove yourself from the trail first. And remember, you’re in Central Oregon, be nice!
3. Let someone else know where you’ll be going, or at least the general area. I’m terrible about this, but this is something that can get you into big trouble if you get injured with no one else around.
4. If you’re new to trail running do a little research before heading out to familiarize yourself with the trail system you’re going to and the trails you want to run. Use a map or an internet resource to read up on a trail. Nothing can ruin a run faster than getting on a trail that is technically over your head. Your one hour run might turn into a 3hr hike.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of recommendations for staying safe on the trails this summer, only a guide to help you to remember to think about your safety when you head out into the forest and mountains. Happy running!
Training 201 Clinic with Max King –
Thursday, May 9th at 7pm
Join FootZone for Training 201 with Max King, a follow up to the popular Training 101. Max will lead a discussion answering questions such as:
How the body adapts to different training stresses and environmental stress?
Do you respond better to speed or endurance training?
Attendance to Training 101 is not necessary to attend Training 201, but you may find attending both helpful.