By Elizabeth Jenkins
Trail running along the Wasatch Front is one of the greatest perks of living in Utah and we want more people to enjoy it! This month we will be highlighting different products that will make your trail running endeavors much more enjoyable.
The main must-have when embarking on the trails is a good pair of trail specific running shoes. Trail shoes are made to accommodate the rough and unpredictable terrain you will encounter. They generally have better gripping lugs to prevent slipping, mud-releasing out-soles, rock plates, tighter woven mesh, and (some) with slightly less cushion for responsiveness and control.
Is it really necessary to have a separate shoe for trails? It all depends on how often you like replacing your shoes. Running on uneven surfaces with rocks, dirt, mud and water, can destroy a softer road shoe in just a couple runs. Also, trying to run in mud in a road shoe can be a slippery disaster. My advice is to save your road shoes for the road and let your trail shoes protect you out on the single tracks. Both pairs of shoes will thank you.
If all you have is a road shoe, and getting a trail shoe is out of the question, just make sure to stay on dry trials, avoid rocks, and don’t wash your shoes in the washing machine. These simple tips will help you to protect your road shoes a little. As for safety, just be away of where you are stepping. Stepping on a sharp rock and bruising the bottom of your foot is a very unpleasant experience. A pair of YakTrax, or some other type of traction adapters for your shoes, can help keep you upright on the slick mud.
The next item I highly recommend is a good hydration pack. Now, definitions of what a good hydration pack is, vary. Find the one that is right for you by coming in and trying out a few. I personally love my hydration backpack. It is a Camelback style bag which holds about 1.5 liters of water. It is my security blanket! I love being able to cary lots of things with me without feeling weighed down. I’m also not a huge fan of bouncy belts.
Another great option and a staff favorite, is the full-tilt velocity from Amphipod. It’s a great belt that rests in the small of your back, doesn’t bounce much, and has a great pocket for keys, gels and phone etc. It holds 20 ounces of water and the bottle is easily accessible. Cinch it down and off you go.
Everyone can enjoy trail running. Don’t be scared. You will cherish the uninterrupted winding pathways hidden in the nearby hills and canyons. The absence of cars, exhaust, traffic, stop lights, and road noise make for a serene running experience unlike any other. To learn more, come to our Trail Running 101 clinic on August 6, 2013, at 7:00 PM. It will be in the community room at 2454 S. 700 E. It’s free and fun and we hope you can make it!