7 Reasons why you should start trail running
Hills, hills, and more hills… Here’s seven reasons why you should start trail running.
Trail running is a great alternative to road running. Trail running is easier on the joints, will strengthen your muscles and provide a much needed mental break from your regular running routes. Here are seven reasons why you should start trail running.
1. Easier on the joints
Running on the trails is generally much softer than running on concrete or asphalt. This provides less resistance within your stride while making it easier on your joints. This is perfect for those returning from an injury, are suffering from knee problems or any other joint-related issues.
2. Did someone say leg day?
Regular running on the trails will strengthen your leg and core muscles, essential to become a faster, stronger, and injury-free runner. As well as this, trail running will activate various stability muscles which do not get worked as frequently as running on the roads. This too, will reduce your risk of injury while building necessary strength for running fast.
Suggested blog post: 6 core exercises for stronger, injury-free running.
3. A well-needed mental break from training
Running the same route, the same time, with the same people can become somewhat repetitive and boring. Mixing up your training and hitting the trails once in a while will provide a well-needed mental break from smashing the pavement.
Moreover, hitting the trails is a great escape from what may have been a busy day or week. Escape the city, the loud noises, and whatever problems you may be facing and leave it all on the trails. This will give you the much-needed headspace while providing a great workout. What more do you want?
Suggested blog post: 6 Tips to help you find the time to run or train.
4. Scenery, scenery, scenery
As well as providing a mental break from your regular running, trail running opens up entirely new scenery for you to explore. This too will provide a pleasant break from your monotonous loops while building much-needed strength you simply cannot acquire road running.
5. Who doesn’t want to run through muddy puddles and jump river crossings?
Trail running is fun! You’ll have the opportunity to explore entirely new terrain. Whether it be running through muddy puddles, jumping river crossings or navigating down steep descents you’re sure to have a blast (and get very muddy).
If you usually train by yourself, why not run with a friend or group on the trails. Get muddy, catch up, and become stronger, injury-free runners together!
6. It will improve every component of your fitness
Trail running isn’t just a leg workout. Running on the trails is excellent for your overall fitness. Due to the rolling terrain and constant hills, you’ll find yourself short of breath and pushing much harder to maintain your regular running pace than on your regular routes. Running on the trails is essentially like combining a gym session or workout with a run, what else is there to ask for?
7. You’re more than likely to get lost… but that’s part of the adventure
Chances are you’ll find yourself lost once or twice while hitting the trails. Rest easy, that’s part of the fun! Trail running is like your own mini-adventure, you choose the route, jump the river crossings, and wander hopelessly trying to find your way out of a dark forest. Can you really say you’ve been trail running If you’ve never been lost?
Recommended blog post: 8 Tips to stay safe while running during the day or at night.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.