Run or skip why

How-to trail running


What is trail running?

Trail running is about running in the great outdoors, off-road. Literally translated, trail means something like track or path - and you can actually find paths everywhere. Contrary to popular belief, you need to Trail running doesn't have to be mountains. So trail running is not the same as mountain running. Hilly, flat or in alpine terrain - you can practice trail running almost anywhere. Mainly away from the paved and concrete roads. Trail running is primarily about exercise in the great outdoors and in the fresh air. It's a game with that Speed ​​of movement and the changing Terrain conditions

What is the difference between trail running and road running?

While "conventional" runners are at home on streets, sidewalks and paved paths, trail runners prefer to run over Stick and stone. You feel particularly comfortable in forests, meadows and in the mountains. One of the main differences between on-road and off-road running is that off-road running technically more demanding is. Changing surfaces, inclines and streams that you may come across provide variety, but also challenges. They are missing in the more uniform conditions of road running.

How do you train trail running? - Tips to get you started

  • Start slowly: at first only two to a maximum of three times a week and short trail running routes of no more than four to five kilometers.
  • Adapt your run to the terrain: Set up yours Look a few meters ahead on the trail.
  • Uphill and downhill: Small steps Land on your whole foot when running uphill or downhill, not just on your heel.
  • Small obstacles such as puddles, stones or branches run over, do not skip.
  • With Friends together to run.
  • variety makes perfect: Different terrains or route variations provide fun and new impressions.
  • Trail runningTraining according to plan: Sports doctors, sports orthopedists or specialist running shops help you on your way to your own training plan.
  • competition: There is now the right race format for every level of training, regardless of whether it is a five-kilometer mini trail, an ambitious half marathon, a full-distance trail marathon, a 100-kilometer ultra or cross-country runs in a wide variety of lengths and designs.

How do I start trail running?

The Experience nature and having fun in varied running is the top priority in trail running. When running off-road, the pace or the best times don't really matter at all. Let yourself be a trail running beginner all time of the world. When you arrive at a beautiful spot or a great vantage point, stop, enjoy the moment and then just keep walking. If you want to move from road running to trail running, you should do it at a leisurely pace. Don't set yourself too much right away, rather start with simple ways, no trails that are too difficult at the beginning to run.

Do not even try to run the same number of kilometers off-road as you would on the road, at least not right at the beginning. Running on loose ground like sand, gravel, or mud as well the many branches require more effort and energy expenditure. Set yourself a specific one Duration as a goal and don't focus on reaching a number of kilometers. If the ground is too difficult, walk a little and monitor your heart rate so as not to hit the red zone too soon. Gradually increase your off-road running time over several weeks to avoid yourself to overload and avoid injuries.

How healthy is trail running?

Trail running is a effective full body workout - a sport in which you can clear your head again. It is therefore an ideal sport to compensate for the stressful and sedentary everyday life at work. If you skillfully vary altitude, distance and speed, you can do a trail running holistic trainingthat strengthens all muscles and their coordination. Due to the high level of concentration, which is constantly necessary in trail running due to the rapidly changing nature of the route, your head is guaranteed to have a relaxing break. Trail running means variety that motivates you to train more.

Trail running offers a perfect balance to the modern world of work, in open-plan offices or the home office; with increasingly sedentary activities, in air-conditioned offices, at large screens. When running on outdoor trails in nature, on the other hand, you return to your roots as a trail runner and you train the natural movement sequences. Your body awareness will be strengthened, your coordination and orientation will be trained, your senses will be sharpened. All of this serves your nervous and physical stability and your health, which you so urgently need for everyday working life.

Where can I do trail running?

You can run trail all over operate, often right on the doorstep. Hilly, flat or in alpine terrain, be it on the small forest path in the city park, on the forest road up the local mountain or on the gravel path around the local quarry pond. Over hill and dale, over meadows and fields, over mountains and through forests - Mainly away from asphalt or concrete roads. Trail running is primarily about exercise in the great outdoors and in the fresh air.

Are there any special orthopedic features to consider when trail running?

When trail running, your muscles, ligaments and tendons will become different depending on the type of terrain stronger and more diverse than when running on asphalt (and of course funded in the long term). Due to the unevenness of the running surface, almost every step is different. This also requires a greater ability to coordinate and balance. Additional strength training and stability exercises should be part of your training.

In order not to injure or overwhelm yourself while trail running, there are a few things to consider: Many sports injuries are the cause Incorrect and overloading through excessive training that increases too quickly. It is important that you always handle your body carefully. Realize Fatigue signals timely and take them seriously. Do not overestimate or overexert yourself. Because if strength, concentration or coordination skills decrease, there is a risk of injury. The most important piece of equipment in trail running is that right shoes: This is what makes running fun stand and fall!

Do I have to go to the mountains for training?

No! Trail running is a constant change between uphill and downhill, between running, hiking and fast walking. You don't necessarily have to have high mountains nearby. The great outdoors is enough. It's about feeling the terrain and focusing entirely on yourself. Meadows, fields, mountains, forests, hills - almost any terrain in nature is suitable for trail running - not just high mountains.

What are the highlight trails in Europe?

Anyone who talks about trail running usually has a clear picture in mind (see right): small people in a lot of nature with top athletic performance. These Clichés meet some of the most beautiful and challenging trails in Europe. The following applies to everyone: Without the necessary fitness it is better not to tackle it, because then there is little leisure for nature.

Our trail and ultra trail highlights:

What apps are there for trail running?

Strava and Garmin Connect are the most common, there are also Runtastic, Runkeeper, Nike Run Club, Endomondo, MapMyRund and many, many more. Which app you use also depends on how you measure your performance (see next question). Almost all apps are available for smartphones and browser-based on the PC, so that you can maintain your data on different devices. Your personal data and your performance parameters are often stored in the cloud.

What benchmarks are there for trail running to evaluate your own performance?

The targeted training with Power meters - i.e. devices that measure your performance in watts - always makes sense if you go beyond your personal body sensation data-based certainty wants. Fitness and GPS watches are used for recording. These have become smaller, more powerful and more precise in recent years. Classic smartwatches can also help you record your performance, but their accuracy is reduced.

For the common watch models there are apps from the manufacturers (e.g. Garmin Connect) or interfaces to upload your own data to platform-independent services such as Strava. These programs offer you to do your fitness activities save, evaluate and share. Targeted training on specific key figures or an event is possible. The performance recording can usually also be used for cycling, swimming and daily running, so you get a complete record of your daily activities.

When do I need special trail running shoes?

You can confidently take the first trail steps in easy terrain with your road running shoes. If you enjoy exercising in nature on different surfaces, trail running shoes should be recommended the first investment in your new hobby because they offer some advantages over classic running shoes.

Trail running shoes give the foot one very good hold, protection and stability. This is done with a profiled, grippy sole. The rubber compound is specially tailored to the requirements of the terrain. You have one of those better contact area to the ground and the profile "grips" optimally into the ground. The cushioning in the midsole is different from that of a road running shoe. You should "feel" the ground with your feet in order to be able to walk better. The running movements are not as monotonous as when running on the road.

As a trail runner, you have to keep your Vary stride lengthTo compensate for unevenness. You need a secure and firm connection to the ground. There are many reasons why it is recommended to run with special shoes on challenging landscape runs, but especially on trails. For your own safety and for uninterrupted running enjoyment. You can get detailed information in the Globetrotter purchase advice at:

What equipment do I need for trail running besides shoes?

This question is closely related to yours Running behavior (Distance, terrain, exposure) linked. For a run in the city forest, you don't need the same equipment that you need for the Jungfrau Marathon. Use this list to get inspiration and yours existing equipment to add meaningfully.

For very specific questions, we recommend the separate purchase advice on the detailed topics:

What clothing should I use for trail running?

This checklist is designed to help you keep the proper clothing - Depending on the outside temperature - carry it on your body during your trail run or have it with you in your backpack:

You can get detailed advice in our purchase advice on the respective topic:

Is there a code of conduct towards nature and other nature users?

It should go without saying that we are trail running considerate and respectful of nature and other nature users behavior:

  • respect in front of the and consideration on the others who are on the way - especially slower hikers and walkers
  • In doubt draw your attention appropriately, when you approach people. This is particularly relevant downhillbecause you are on the move much faster than the others.
  • At tight spots Carefully and considerately pass each other, sometimes stop running and walk briefly. Give priority to the weaker. The overriding principle must be: do not endanger others!
  • Respect local ones Road closures and protected areas
  • Be considerate Wild and farm animals
  • Flocks and guard dogs you go around on foot, calmly and with sufficient distance
  • Close Pasture fencesafter you passed them
  • Leave behind no waste in the nature
  • Plans your tour, assess your performance and the weather correctly
  • Be well equipped and informed. in the emergency request help in good time (emergency number 112)