Kylee Schuler has run more than 500 races and shares her top tips and gear to become comfortable running off the beaten path.

The Expert: Kylee Schuler

trail running

Growing up with an elite distance-runner dad, it’s no surprise that Kylee Schuler followed in her father’s footsteps. Having run more than 500 races since the age of 12, the nutritional health coach decided a few years ago to take her racing off-road to better enjoy her hometown of Carbondale, Colo. The 30-year-old now craves the challenging beauty only trail running offers. Check out her gear and tips for running off the beaten path.

Pace Adjuster

Start out slower than you would on the road. Trail running uses different muscles, so take your time and ease into it.

Pack Up

Unlike road running, where you can hit up a water fountain or the nearest convenience store, when running trails, you have to carry everything you need. Stay fueled up by wearing a hydration pack or belt like the Salomon S-Lab Pro Sense Set ($120, salomon.com).

Club Connection

As a leader of the Maroon Belles Trail Club, a women’s trail-running club in Colorado, it is motivating to experience adventures with others who share my passion. Try finding a local club where you’ll meet new friends and learn new trail tips along the way!

Tough Tootsies

My dad always emphasized the importance of a solid pair of socks. Over the years, I’ve learned that styles like Balega Endurance No Show ($12, balega.com) can make such a difference in comfort, blister prevention and cushion.

Pretend Play

Practice technical trail running prior to your race. Since trails are a different beast than the road, around every corner there’s a possibility of twisting an ankle or falling. Giving your body time to adjust to uneven terrain will pay off on event day!

Muscle Builder

Consider adding in weekly strength-training sessions to prepare your body for the demands of the trail.

Get a Grip

Changing terrain makes it critical to have shoes with excellent grip, especially for rock hopping or jumping through water! I love Hoka One One Speedgoat ($140, hokaoneone.com).