Safety first. Before hitting the trails, pack a snack and check the weather for impending storms. (There are fewer places around, like buildings or overhangs, to take cover under.) If the forecasts clear, take a buddyFido qualifies. Tucking your cell phone and a trail map in your pocket is a good idea, too.
Look ahead. Avoid tripping over rocks and roots by focusing a few feet ahead of you on the trail. To keep your balance over challenging terrain, run with your elbows a little wider than normal.
Adjust your expectations. Running on a trail can double the time it takes for you to cover a mile. As you get more comfortable, youll naturally pick up speed. One thing youll get used to quickly: burning extra caloriesabout 70 more per hour, compared with running on pavementas you hop over roots and charge up hills.