1. It is all about the feet – trail running is all about your footwork. There is the obvious caution about watching out for roots, rocks, branches, chipmunks, etc but aside from that there is the proper footwork to maximize your efficiency on the trails. Quick and focused feet are key for the beginning trail runner. Don’t over stride and be ready to change your rhythm to avoid the above obstacles. See my post https://torontotruerunning.com/2015/05/06/footwork-and-footsteps/ for more help.
2. Hills are your friend – Trail running means that you are almost always ascending or descending. The hills you encounter on the trails are unlike the moderately sloped paved trails you might find in parks or on the streets. Your will need to shorten your stride further for the ups and downs. Quick arms that don’t cross the body as much will help you up that hill and wider arms will keep your balance going down.
3. Don’t be discouraged by how hard this may seem. One a week a friend would meet up with me for a Sunday run on the trails. After a somewhat long run, perhaps 12 km, he asked “How much do you think this run is worth on the roads?”. I said a fair bit more. We were training for the New York Marathon at the time. When I run on the trails I know I am getting a better workout than on the roads. To me, anyways, the trails don’t seem hard anymore, it is the pavement which now seems easy. That is the value and worth of trail running.
Come run with Toronto True Running – you never know what you might see – today we saw a baby raccoon which was only a few weeks old.