How To Protect Your Feet When Switching From Road Running To Trail Running


You've slogged along the side of the road all winter when sloppy mud and freezing temperatures kept you off of the trails. Now that spring is here, you're ready to switch up your running routine with some uneven surfaces and challenging trails. Hitting the trails is great for building strength and mental stamina, but when you first transition from road running, trails can be hard on your feet. Follow these tips to avoid injuries:

Choose sturdy shoes made for the trail.

Racing flats and even some lightweight training shoes have thinner soles than is ideal for the trail. If you wear this type of shoe, stepping on a rock may cause injury to your foot – even if the rock does not puncture the shoe, it may bruise the sole of your foot. Protect yourself from this type of injury by purchasing a pair of trail running shoes. These have thicker, more rubberized soles so you don't feel stones when you step on them. A thick-soled, all-purpose running shoe will also work if you only run on trails occasionally and typically stick to more groomed, less technical routes.

Don't run on trails when it's muddy.

Most runners avoid the trails when it's muddy because they don't want to damage the trails, but there's another reason to stick to the road on muddy days. When you're first adapting to trails, you're more likely to slip or roll your ankle on the uneven surfaces. Mud increases your chances of a slip that could tear a tendon or even break a bone.

Keep your pace easy.

On the road, it's easy to predict your paces. You know you're capable of running a certain pace on most routes, and you probably use your watch to make sure you maintain your proper training paces. Since trails are so varied, it's nearly impossible to equate your road running pace with your pace on any trail. Most runners overdo it when transitioning from roads to the trail because they strive to maintain their road paces, when this is really not possible. Your best bet when transitioning to the trails is to run by feel, and to take it easy on the pace. Doing so will help you avoid overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, which can result from switching over to a new surface too quickly.

Running on the trails can be a real joy. To ensure your feet and legs stay healthy as you adapt to trail running, follow the tips above. Within a few weeks, your body will be more acclimated to this varied surface, and you can start pushing the pace a little more if you prefer.

If you do end up pushing yourself a little too hard and become injured, visit podiatrists as soon as possible.


29 April 2015

My Foot Doctor Saved My Exercise Routine

When I started jogging daily, I didn't think that anything could get in the way of a decent workout. I focused on my speed, endurance, and technique, and after a few months, I felt like I was really doing great. Unfortunately, I started developing trouble with a bunion on my foot, which made me think twice about hitting the road. I decided to talk with my podiatrist about the problem, and he told me I needed to have surgery. It was a difficult recovery, but my podiatrist saved my exercise routine. I want you to know how a professional could help, so read my blog.