There are a lot of good reasons to take your runs off-road. For starters, the surface is gentler on your joints than pavement and being in the woods is way more relaxing than dodging traffic. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make the switch. “Typically there’s going to be more ups and downs, roots, rocks, and side-to-side movement — all of which challenges your stability in ways that running on the road won’t,” says Sean Meissner, a trail ultra runner and coach for iRunFar. Here’s his advice on how to ease your transition from road to trail.