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Running is one of the most magical activities we can do in the outdoors. Head clearing silences broken only by your own consistent breathing, your increasing heart rate as you glide ever further along a trail, and the discoveries that can only be made in a pair of running shoes: As far as exploration goes, there are few better methods than jogging. And whether you’re a veteran of a million marathons or a hobby jogger just starting out, beautiful running trails are out there just waiting to be explored—and they don’t cost a thing to enjoy. So, whatever it is you run for, make each of your outings count—and reward yourself with breathtaking routes that remind you why you’re a runner.
To get started, you need very little—aside from a good place to run and a sturdy pair of sneakers, which is one of the truly wonderful things about running. If you’re considering covering longer distances, however, be sure to bring along some water for the adventure. To avoid becoming dehydrated, a good rule of thumb is to drink between 18 and 24 ounces (500 - 600 ml) of water every hour, depending on how much you sweat. If you plan on covering longer distances and are going to be running in excess of one hour, sports drinks are recommended as these replace vital fluids lost while sweating. When it comes to shoes, ensure you wear a well-fitting running shoe that offers enough support to prevent the onset of shin-splints while you’re out there in the wild. If you’re running in a brand-new pair of sneakers, you might want to do some laps closer to home before venturing out anywhere off-grid, at least until you know your shoes are definitely going to get you home again. To avoid injury, start slow and only run what you can. Increasing your speed and/or distance too quickly will increase your chance of injury, so if you’re new to the sport, aim for consistency rather than performance—and stick to softer trails to make it a little easier on your joints.