How To Prepare to Run Your First Trail Race

A quick guide to running in the woods

Jun 3, 2013
Outside Magazine
trail racing training

   Photo: Whitney Dreier

My first trail race was Rock Bridge Revenge, a 25K near Columbia, Missouri. I’d been logging 50 miles a week on the pavement and decided to jump in the race at the last minute in an effort to support the local running club. Fifteen miles later (despite my road shoes and unfamiliarity with the trails), I was hooked. But if you’re not quite that spontaneous, Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the American Trail Running Association (ATRA), offers the following advice on how to select your first off-road adventure.

Start Local
Consider the Terrain
Dress Appropriately