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Trail Running Gear with Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman

Trail Running Gear with Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman


Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman walks us through the items to bring on your trail runs, from short distances to ultras. He discusses hydration, nutrition and several items that will help make you more comfortable and safe out on the trails. 

Hydration for Trail Running

Let's talk about some of the things you are going to need when you are out on the trails. On a short trail run, you are definitely going to need some hydration. A standard water bottle with a handheld, allows you to carry the fluids seamlessly, without having to grip the bottle the entire time. 

hydration water bottle for running

As you will get into longer and longer runs, you will need a hydration pack. These packs usually come in a vest style where you can fit some water bottles, or flasks in the front. With other packs in the back, you can use a hydration bladder with more hydration capacity. 

running on a mountain with water pack

Trail Food

I am a big fan of movie theater candy and some electrolyte tablets. You can also get some foods that have electrolytes in them, for example stroopwafels, gels or gummy blocks. You can also use a drink mix that has electrolytes and calories. 

nutrition for trail running

If you are someone who likes to consume more normal foods, you can get some nut butters or granola bars. 

Trail Maps 

As you are out on new trails, you may want to invest in some trail maps of the local trail range. The maps ensure that if you don't have cell phone reception, you can still find where you are going. 

maps of santa monica mountains


On a hotter day, you may want a bandana for around your next, to keep it cool. Here is a DIY video of how to make an ice bandana. 

Running shorts with pockets

A good pair of shorts has plenty of pockets to store your items, like gel packs, cell phone, keys, insurance card, ID, etc. 

running shorts with pockets

For your longer trail runs

As you get into the longer trail runs, you need a few things that will be distinct to those longer runs. A headlamp / flashlight will help early morning darkness or when you are running past sunset. 

anti chaffing for running

Chaffing products are also helpful on longer runs for the high friction areas. 

Wipes are great for any type of emergency, or to clean up post run. 

Pack it in, pack it out. 

One important note here for all the trails is, pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace, so if you bring something in with you, you take it out. I usually carry some ziplock bags with me, so I can carry out the trash. 

Trail running shoes

Last but not least, you need a good pair of trail running shoes. Check out your local trail running store, find out what might be the best fit for you. There are different types of trail running shoes for different types of terrain and weather. 

trail running shoes

In closing

All of this gear is meant to make your run a bit more seamless, make you recover a bit more quicker. Also, it makes you feel a bit more comfortable and safer out on the trail. 

You should always run with a trail buddy, but in the event you run on your own, make sure you let other people know what your route is and how long you plan to be out there. Just in case something happens. 

Have fun and be safe! 

Other Trail Running Basics: 

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