Try your hat (shoes?) at trail running.

We've talked about trail running before. It's exactly what it sounds like: running on a trail instead of the road, sidewalk, or a paved path. The terrain is typically uneven, and hills are a little more common—causing you to expend more energy than you're used to. But it gets you in the thick of nature and works muscles that you normally don't work while road running. In fact, it can improve your overall performance as a runner. 

But if you're like me—preferring a tried and true running course that mostly consists of the sidewalks outside of your house or place of work—then changing it up and going offroad can be a little intimidating. That's where Charm City Run Annapolis comes in!

Intro to Trail Running

Charm City Run hosted an introductory crash course (minus the crashing—there was no crashing!) to trail running on November 3 and will host another on Sunday, December 1. An expert will host the event, giving runners an idea of what to expect and how to plan a trail run. Everyone will meet at Bacon Ridge Trail to try their hand (feet?) at trail running. All experience levels are welcome! The runners will be divided into groups based on experience and skill level so you don't have to feel pressure to keep up with the top dog in the group. Go at your own pace and enjoy yourself! 

You'll also have the opportunity to test-run some trail shoes from Saucony. What's different about trail shoes? The soles generally have more divets and ridges to grip uneven or slippery ground. The heel is low to the ground to prevent rolled ankles.

shoe

Saucony Peregrine 8 trail shoe is currently on Amazon for just under $80. Notice the deep ridges in the sole. Courtesy of amazon.com

Bacon Ridge Trail

I consider myself an avid runner, but I was delighted to come across this event because it introduced me to a new running venue. Bacon Ridge Trail sounds delicious, but it's a trail runner and mountain biker delight! With a 5.5-mile long trail, it offers a moderate course for runners of all levels. It will be easy running for well-seasoned trail runners, but a great starter trail for trail running newbies. And it's beautiful to boot!

Reviewers do warn newcomers that the trail isn't very well marked, which makes this event extra handy. You'll have someone guiding you through the trail and lots of built-in running buddies so you won't get lost this time or the next time you decide to pay Bacon Ridge a visit.

Bacon Ridge Trail. Courtesy of alltrails.com

The Nitty Gritty Details

This Charm City event will take place on Sunday, December 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. You can find the trailhead at 1801 Hawkins Road, Annapolis, MD 21401. It's getting colder these days, so be sure to come in your best winter running clothes! This event is free, but Charm City does ask that you register ahead of time on their event page.

Do you have any trail running tips to share? Or will an intro course be helpful for you? Let us know in the comments!

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.