Our resident trail runner, Heather has been trail running for years-and has an impressive number of kilometers (and races!) under her belt. She’s currently training for her next ultra, but don’t worry, she’s not going to try to talk you into that-yet!

So you are thinking about taking up trailrunning….

Good for you! Ditch the pavement and car fumes for local trails and their beautiful scenery. Of course, what makes up the scenery consists of rocks, roots and usually mud. Especially now in the spring.

So be prepared for what you will find out there. The most important purchase you need to make is a proper pair of trail running shoes. The average pavement shoe features cushion. Trailrunners like the Speedcross from Salomon don’t need as much cushion since the trail itself is much more forgiving and instead supply support on uneven terrain with wider heel flanges. ¬†Minimalist runners work on well worn trails; find your favourite.

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On the left, Salomon Speedcross making a splash! photo:Rob Whelan

The rest of your running gear will be just fine but you should think about adding a small pack/fanny pack to your gear list. Out in the woods, you must supply your own support in every way. I usually carry a phone, whistle, Buff, ID, stuffable windbreaker like the Houdini from Patagonia, snack and water.

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Michelle (in the front) is staying cool in the Patagonia Houdini Jacket and Tammie is keeping warm(ish) in the Arc’Teryx Atom SL

We are lucky to have lots of local trails for running. My personal faves are loops of the #4 at Little Cat, it is the perfect 10 k or choose your own adventure at Frontenac Park; the drive from Kingston is worth it.

I love long distance running, 100 mile races being my personal challenge and most long distance runs are on trails since the surface is much friendlier to your knees.

The last thing to expect? More work! Plan on shorter distances or times than you may be used to now since there will be no more of that ” marathon shuffle”. You will need to pick up those feet to climb short steep hills and clamber over rocks and roots.

Enjoy! Stay safe!

It’s amazing out there in the woods……