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HOKA Athlete Joe Gray’s 5 tips for beginner trail runners

Posted on February 15 2019

HOKA Athlete Joe Gray is a natural on the trails. Joe was raised in the Pacific Northwest and now splits his time between Colorado Springs, CO and Tacoma, WA to experience varied terrain for his training. In 2016, he won the World Mountain Running Championship and hasn’t slowed down since. He is the first athlete to win the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships in both Cross Country and Mountain Running.
Although Joe may be one of the strongest trail runners in the world, he has a humble perspective when it comes to just getting started. Here are Joe’s best tips for beginner trail runners:

1. Enjoy the process. Every day doesn’t need to be a gut-busting effort. It’s important to enjoy the beauty you cross paths with daily.

2. Progress slowly. Don’t jump into terrain far too technical for your level of skills or comfort zone. It’s not worth the risk or injuries that could ensue.

3. Love your playgrounds and take care of them. I always recommend that people volunteer to clean up the trails they use regularly. Keeping your area clean gives you a more defined connection to the trail world and helps develop a greater respect for the outdoors.

4. Don’t be too prideful. When it comes to rough days where you don’t feel great, don’t be hesitant to change up your routine. Sometimes it’s best to change your routine in order to enjoy the process rather than regret a pride-based decision and lose joy within the sport.

5. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared. It doesn’t hurt to check out weather in the area you plan to run. Make sure to always pack fuel for the run and also make sure you are properly clothed for the climate. If you don’t have the gear necessary, wait until you do and try for a future date.

When it comes to the trails, Joe stays prepared with the HOKA EVO Jawz.
“I love the lightweight feel of the shoe along with the natural flex. The flexibility allows for a smooth ride. When dealing with really lush, soft terrain, it has the perfect traction to help power through!”

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