Trail Running for Beginners

"Never limit where running can take you." - Bart Yasso


If you are reading this, you may already have some running experience, or even a habit of going out for a run a few times a week. Only you have not done much trail running, and you want to do more! Trail Running Coach and Adventure East Hiking Guide, Laure Van Den Broeck Raffensperger talks a little about why joining us for a Beginners trail running series is an excellent idea.

"You like to run in special places: Our running routes take in the diverse natural beauty of Western Massachusetts, in places with interesting natural history. Each week will be different, but we'll do each run twice, so you'll get familiar with the route if you want to do it on your own."

Our trail running routes offer unique and stunning views of the Valley. With iconic landmarks like the Poet's Seat Tower in Greenfield, varying terrains, and a variety of wildlife sightings, trail running provides amazing opportunities to explore Western Mass from a different perspective.

"You want to run nature-powered: Trail running is healthier than road running, for various reasons. What gets in your lungs is not exhaust fumes, but the sweet scent of leaves and forest soil. Your feet are not pounding the pavement, but gently exploring the trails. Your ears are free to listen to the birds or the wind in the trees."

As we've mentioned before in our post about Forest Bathing, any time spent outdoors can be both meaningful and beneficial to our health and overall well-being. After many of us have spent the winter indoors, we could use a little more time in the fresh air among nature. Trail running is an awesome way to ease back into our outdoor routines while being gentler on your feet and joints than running on pavement.

"You like company: Not every runner is comfortable in the woods on their own. In which case, what could be nicer than having two reliable group runs each week, without having to compare diaries every time? It is a well-known fact that running with a group is great for motivation, and for helping people to stick with a healthy habit."

We're all about making connections. Bonding in nature while growing and learning together can be a rewarding experience in itself. But as Laure mentions, running in a group can have a positive effect on maintaining motivation and meeting goals. Plus, it's fun! Meeting new folks with a similar interest or bonding with old friends, especially these days, is reason enough to lace up those sneakers and hit the trails this spring.

"You like to keep things simple: Trail running is a wonderfully simple sport. All you need is a pair of trail running shoes, and your favorite running outfit. Depending on the weather and the distance, you can consider wearing a running pack or a belt for storing your car keys, an extra layer, and if you think you will need it, some water and a gel/snack. And bug spray, of course. And your phone. And some tissues, just in case. And sunglasses. And an extra - oops - oh, forget it."

In an often times complicated world, simplicity is always welcome. Just you, the trails, and your extra...okay, let's just say that trail running can be as simple as you want it to be!

"You're not looking for a race: The runs will be paced at an easy, sustainable speed. Our runs are for beginners, and enjoyment should be the first goal. We will walk when we need to, appreciate our surroundings, take photos if we want to, and get rid of all the stress!"

We've designed our series to be low on stakes and high on enjoyment; we believe that recreational trail running, like most time spent outdoors, should be fun and stress relieving.

Our trail running series starts on April 4th, which seems ages away but will be here before you know it! We hope that you all are as excited as we are to hit the ground running this spring.

Hope to see you On the Trail, soon!

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