A few years ago, iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks and Bryon Powell pulled together their collective half-century of trail running experience from around the world in writing the book Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, which is, in its essence, a book explaining how to trail run.
Over the course of two-and-a-half years, Hicks and Powell republished here on iRunFar nearly all of this book in a comprehensive series of articles laying out the basic and intermediate concepts of how to trail run. Below, we pull together those more than 30 articles into what must be the most thorough primer on the internet on how to trail run.
How to Trail Run: The Whys
- Introduction: Welcome to Where the Road Ends – A look at three of the “whys” of trail running: the settings, the adventures, and the friendships.
How to Trail Run: The Basics
- New Trail Runner FAQs – Answers to 10 basic questions about trail running from “How do I find trails?” to “How do I meet other trail runners?”
- A Trail Runner’s Mindset – Why being aware, being engaged, and being prepared are crucial mindsets for trail runners.
- The Effective Trail Runner’s Body – An outline of four basic physical approaches, such as picking up your feet and quickening your cadence, that help with trail running.
How to Trail Run: Effective Techniques
- Finding Footing, Part 1 – How to trail run safely and efficiently on hardpack dirt, soft dirt, loose surfaces, and sand.
- Finding Footing, Part 2 – How to trail run safely and effectively over visible obstacles, mud, rocks, and hidden obstacles, as well as on snow and ice.
- Going Up: An Introduction to Uphill Trail Running Techniques – Advice for going up hills, both short and long.
- An Introduction to Downhill Trail Running Techniques – Learn how to run well down hills of all kinds.
- Turn for the Best: Tackling Turns in Trail Running – Become a quicker and safer trail runner by learning how to run turns well.
How to Trail Run: Choosing the Right Gear
- Trail Tools, Part 1: Shoes – When to wear trail running shoes and how to choose them.
- Trail Tools, Part 2: Clothing – How to choose and effectively use clothing for trail running.
- Trail Tools, Part 3: Gear – Learn what other gear you might need for a trail run, from a hydration pack and headlamp to trekking poles and traction devices.
How to Trail Run: Hydration and Fueling
- Trail Running Hydration: The Quick and Dirty – The basics on why and how to stay hydrated during trail runs.
- Fuel Up: An Introduction to Fueling for Trail Running – The basics on why and how to fuel before, during, and after trail runs.
How to Trail Run: Different Conditions
- The Basics of Running Safely in Hot Weather – How to effectively and safely run in hot weather.
- An Introduction to Running at High Altitude – The effects of high altitude on trail running performance and health.
- The Basics of Running Safely in Cold Weather – Strategies for running comfortably and safely in cold weather.
- Into the Night: An Introduction to Running at Night – A look at lighting systems and navigation techniques for trail running at night.
How to Trail Run: Training
- Training for the Trail, Part 1: Easy Runs and Recovery Runs – The how and why of including easy runs and recovery runs in trail running training.
- Training for the Trail, Part 2: Long Runs – Why long runs are important and how to run them right.
- Training for the Trail, Part 3: Speedwork – Various kinds of speedwork and how they help trail runners.
- Training for the Trail, Part 4: Hill Workouts – The why and how of including hill workouts when training to trail run.
- The Basics of Creating a Training Plan – Learn the basics of how to build out a trail running training schedule.
How to Trail Run: Other Skills
- An Introduction to Healthy Running and Living – Learn about the interplay of life stresses and training stresses.
- Basic Backcountry Skills for New Trail Runners – Learn how to navigate, find water to drink, and deal with getting lost.
- A Trail Runner’s Guide to Caring for the Trails – Learn how to be a responsible trail runner.
- A Trail Runner’s Guide to Sharing the Trail with Wildlife – Learn how to respectfully and safely encounter wild animals on the trail.
- Extreme Weather and Terrain: A Trail Runner’s How-To – Learn how to deal with lightning, water crossings, cliffs, and snowfields.
How to Trail Run: Skin and Foot Protection
- How to Prevent Chafing While Running – Chafing is painful. Learn what causes it and how to prevent it.
- An Introductory Guide to Foot Care for Running – Take the right steps so your feet are comfortable for all your steps on your trail runs.
How to Trail Run: How to Run a Trail Race
- An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 1: Pre-Race Preparation – How to choose and prepare for a trail race.
- An Introduction to Trail Racing, Part 2: Tips for Race Day – The basics of trail races, from aid stations to staying on course.
Now get out there and go for a trail run!