5 Things to Know Before you go Hill Running

July 11, 2023

Trying hill running and trail running is very exciting as you discover new routes, terrain and upland areas. A little preparation and planning ahead is important to help you stay safe out there.

  1. Check the mountain weather for your planned route. Remember the air temperature will be cooler the higher you get, and here may be very little shelter from the elements. The weather can change quickly, winds will be stronger and visibility can be poor in mist and low clouds. Be prepared to change your plans or turn back if the weather changes. Check out sites including Met.ie Mountain Forecast and mountain-forecast.com for up-to-date forecasting.
  2. What to bring? It’s always wise to have a light rain jacket packed, even if you don’t have to use it. Trail running shoes will help protect your feet and add extra grip for running in mud and uneven surfaces. In cooler weather a hat, gloves and neck gaiter are important layers. In summer pack a sun hat and sunscreen. A running backpack with hydration system is a worthwhile investment if you'll be out on trails regularly. A fully charged phone is essential. Running kit should be breathable and wicking, not cotton clothing that will stay wet. Pack enough fluids and food to keep you energised and safe. Remember you will possibly be out longer than your regular road run, so don’t underestimate the need for fuel.
  3. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, or if you aren’t meeting someone on your return, ask them to phone you at an agreed time.
  4. If you plan to  go off a marked route, make sure you're confident that you can navigate. Bring a map or use a navigation and route planning app like Hiiker. Try a Navigation for Mountain Runners course from 1 Step More to build your confidence and learn new skills in navigation.
  5. If you do get lost or injured and can’t retrace your steps or descend, call 112 or 999 and ask for Mountain Rescue. Add on layers to stay warm and start to fuel to keep your energy and body temperature up.

Maggie is a Strength & Fitness Coach at Simple Strength Leixlip, and run leader forShe Summits Trail Running-Irelands only trail running company providing guided runs specifically for women. 

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