Happy Fall! Happy Trail Running!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

If you haven’t tried trail running before or even if you’re already a trail runner, autumn is an absolutely beautiful time for it. Trail running provides many benefits to all runners and walkers.

We asked two of our Charm City Run team members, Troy Workman and Kevin O’Grady, who are trail running gurus to give us their tips, hints and recommendations!

Troy Workman, Ultra Marathon & Trail Half Marathon Coach, Timonium

What are the benefits of trail running?

  • Fewer injuries due to the softer surface and slower pace.

  • Helps to strengthen the stabilizer muscles in your legs to make you a stronger runner (on the trails or road).

  • Provides a new mental challenge of having to pay attention to the rocks and roots (pay attention on the flat stretches that is when most people stop paying attention and trip).

  • Don’t confuse slower pace for making you a slower road runner. You’ll end up being a stronger, faster road runner by mixing in some trail running.

  • Your feet can take you to beautiful places (waterfalls, beautiful vistas, peaceful forests, mountain peaks).

What kind of trail running gear do you recommend?

Altra Lone Peak

Altra Lone Peak

What trail running locations do you recommend throughout Maryland?

Kevin O’Grady, Charm City Run Frederick Team Member

What are the benefits of trail running?

  • Helps build strength and endurance. Running different kinds of terrain utilizes muscles, tendons and ligaments differently for stabilizing, climbing and descending. Hill work is hugely beneficial for any kind of running.

  • Dirt and softer terrain can actually be a lot easier on your body than sidewalk.

  • Great people. The trail running community is one of the most inclusive and supportive out there.

  • Trail running gives you the opportunity to explore. Shaking up your routine and spending time in nature is good for your mental health!

What kind of trail running gear do you recommend?

  • Pick proper shoes. Trail shoes are made with more grip, more durability and foot protection which will make for a much more secure experience

  • Find your level of cushion – some trail runners like to be protected from the terrain, others want a shoe with less stack so they can feel it more naturally. It may take some experimenting to find the right one

  • Altra Lone Peak and Saucony Peregrine are mid-cushion options that make great first trail shoes if you don’t want too much or too little. The Lone Peak offers balanced cushion and a wider forefoot for more natural stability, the peregrine has a more traditional heel drop and fit. Both have fantastic grip.

  • Pick the right socks. Cotton and running don’t mix – even less so on wet trails. Wool socks like Smartwool are great for keeping your feet warm when it’s cold and wet. microfiber is great in general

  • Trail running makes for slower miles than road running, meaning potentially more time on your feet for the same distance. Planning accordingly and bringing enough water/fuel is important! You never want to be caught out on the trail when you’ve run out of fuel.

  • Bring a bottle for anything over an hour. I like Nathan for bottles, the Speedmax is great – at 22oz because it gives you an hours worth of water plus some “wiggle room”. Bring a vest for anything two or over if you do not have an opportunity to refill. A vest with bottles is best if you use drink mixes, bottles and/or a bladder for water. I like Nathan, Amphipod and Ultimate Direction for vests.

  • Plan your route. Apps like AllTrails are a great tool to find trails and get a sense of where you’re going. If you don’t want to pull a phone out mid-run, Garmins like the 945 come equipped with live maps. Might be good to plug the 945 LTE as a safety item, too since they can send a message without a phone.

  • Pack in, pack out – If you bring it with you, take it with you. More people are enjoying trails than ever and it’s important to be responsible and keep them clean.

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What trail running locations do you recommend in Maryland?

Make sure to share your trail running photos and tag #charmcityrun as we love to see where our CCR Nation is running and walking! Happy trails!

Check out our “Shoes to Charm Your Socks Off” review of the Saucony Peregrine 11 below!


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Live.Give.Run. Blog

We hope that you find this blog to be a source of training tips, inspiration and community. Our goal is to create a place online for every runner to find the motivation they need to hit the pavement. If you’d like to be a guest contributor, please email us at lauren@charmcityrun.com.

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