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When I first started trail running I’d beat myself up if I had to slow down and hike. After all, running is defined as moving “at a speed greater than a walk.” Since I had such a high standard, I found myself choosing flatter trail runs that I knew I could run instead of challenging myself with hills. Down the road (or trail, rather) I learned that many great runners hike the hills! Hiking preserves strength during loner runs and by no means disqualifies you as a runner.

Has hiking helped you improve your running? Do you ever do a full hiking day to train for a race? What are some other benefits of hiking as a runner?

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.