Common Trail Running Injuries and Prevention

Trail running sees some sport specific injuries and a few which are common across all forms of running. Understanding those common trail running injuries and prevention methods is an important part of what you need to insure you are always on top of your game and because we all know that injuries mean downtime we all want to avoid.

Common Trail Running Injuries and Prevention

Here is a list of common trail running injuries and prevention tips which are invaluable…


Cramping is generally caused from not warming-up correctly and from electrolyte imbalances. In terms of warming-up, read our feature on the benefits of warming-up before running for the best advice. When it comes to electrolyte imbalances, make sure you eat enough salty foods before your trail run and also ensure you are well hydrated; in fact, also read this great feature on running and hydration. In addition, by taking a good Magnesium supplement, it goes a long way in helping with cramping.

If you get a cramp on the run, rub the area where the cramp is present; rub quickly, but lightly. Also try stretching the muscle for 30 seconds at a time until it eases up.


Overuse often results in various tendinitis injuries which can drag on for long periods of time. Don’t over-train or do excess mileage too soon. Rather gradually increase your running distance and times, allowing your body the opportunity to progressively strengthen areas prone to tendinitis.

Another preventative measure is to make sure you are wearing the right types of shoes. We have a great infographic on choosing trail running shoes – so make sure to check it out.

Twisting Your Ankle

Especially on uneven terrain that you find with trail running, twisting an ankle is unfortunately common. The only preventative measure you can take is to stay focussed on your footing, particularly when tired.

If you’ve already twisted your ankle, then tape it up appropriately; watch this video on how to best strap up your sprained ankle. Keeping athletic or kinesio tape is a good idea, especially if you’re prone to sprains. Using a SPIbelt to carry tape and other essentials is a comfortable way to do that.

Cuts and Scrapes

Typically you’ll only pick up bad cuts and scrapes after a fall, and anything minor can be cleaned up with some water and then sorted out properly after your run. However, if you pick up something not-so-minor on your run, the first step is to clean it up as much as possible; pick out any dirt and grit, and then rinse out the wound with as much water as possible – this will help avoiding infection.

Keeping a First Aid kit in your car for after the run is a great idea so that you can further clean and sort out and cuts and scrapes.

Shin Splints

Heel striking can cause shin splints and event plantar fasciitis, and that is why running with the right form and with the right shoes is so important. If you get shin splints while on a run and you are carrying athletic or kinesio tape, as advised above, then compress your shin by wrapping your leg tightly enough to safely limit muscle movement, which is creating the shin splints. Read our full feature on how to effectively treat shin splints for a detailed breakdown on how to do treat it properly.

For other great tips, read this great feature on running injury prevention tips, and another great feature on how to recover the right way after a trail run.

So, next time you’re out on a trail run you’ll now be more informed about common trail running injuries and prevention tips which can really help out in a bad situations…

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