Tips for Beginner Trail Runners

Try these beginner trail running tips to find a rhythm and love for the trails.

Laura Morrow, Ultramarathon Runner and Venue Sales Manager at Anne Springs Close Greenway, shares her tips to getting started with trail running.

Morning trail run on Anne Springs Close Greenway's Wild Azalea Trail near Lake Haigler
Morning trail run on Anne Springs Close Greenway’s Wild Azalea Trail near Lake Haigler


Do not worry about your pace. Focus on moving forward. If you are transitioning from the road to trail, expect to relax your pace to ease into the different terrain. Trails can be challenging to navigate, and elevations and obstacles differ from road running.

Have Fun

Have fun out there! Stop and admire the sunset, listen to the birds or smell a wildflower. Off-treadmill running gives us the ability explore our little pocket of the world. When the run becomes difficult, focus on the moment and the scenery.


BYOH – Bring Your Own Hydration! Trails rarely offer places to stop for water. Although the tree canopy may provide adequate shade, runners can underestimate how much they are sweating. Morrow encourages runners to drink even when they don’t feel thirsty during a long or challenging run.

Buddy Up

Meet up with a friend or run group to maintain accountability and keep runs interesting. Rock Hill Striders meets at the Gateway Canteen on Thursday evenings, but runCLTrun has a list of other run clubs around town. Morrow says, “It’s is a lot easier for me to make up an excuse to myself rather than to someone else.”

Dress for Success

Invest in good shoes. There is no one size, brand or style that fits all, so get fitted at a local running store for the best fit. Knowledgeable staff truly wants to help you find the best option. Wearing shoes that fit properly and feel comfortable will help prevent injuries and encourage more runs.

Trail runners race at Anne Springs Close Greenway's Springmaid Trail Race 2021.
Trail runners race at Anne Springs Close Greenway’s Springmaid Trail Race 2021.

Motivate your running journey by registering for one of Anne Springs Close Greenway’s trail races, Springmaid Trail Race or Blue Star Blitz. As with all trail adventures, be sure to Leave no trace by removing all trash, pet waste and gear after visiting the Greenway. Do not disturb wildlife or alter landscape, and please stay on trails.

Anne Springs Close Greenway offers membership and scholarship options. Non-members must pay the daily entrance fee upon entry. Find pricing and answers to other FAQs on the website.