Trail running is becoming increasingly popular. It's a great way to work out while immersing yourself in a natural setting like forests or hills. If you usually run on standard (paved) surfaces, trail running also presents exciting new physical challenges.

Trails' irregular surfaces mean your stride and rhythm may be very different than on smooth roads. You must pay special attention to foot placement. Because your foot will be landing in varying positions, you may use certain ankle, leg and hip muscles more than you do during smooth-and-straight running. These differences can make trail running more challenging from a cardio standpoint as well.