Are You Ready to Try Trail Running?
If you haven’t yet tried trail running, you should. Now is a great time to try the sport. There are also good reasons why you should try trail running.
Whether you’ve been running for years on pavement, roads, tracks or treadmills, or are fresh to the sport, trail running adds excitement and adventure to workouts.
There are great books that can guide you on how to trail run and train for trail races, but the best way to start trail running is to do it!
Trail running is especially great for beginner runners because trails have natural contours, climbs, dips, and flow that easily allow for walk-run-hike transitions.
So, pick a trail and go!
Preparing for a Trail Run
Of course, you’ll want to be prepared for a trail run. The planning is somewhat similar to how you would plan for an ordinary run, except you must also consider the weather, trail location and conditions, and general preparedness. This is because a trail run will likely take you farther away from people, houses, or help during a trail run.
Reasons to Try Trail Running
There are many reasons to try trail running. There is nothing comparable to spending time on trails or the satisfaction of trail running, running in beautiful places and soaking up incredible views.
If you’re looking for reasons to try trail running, and think that it would be fun to explore trails with your children, you should also read 9 Reasons to Try Trail Running with Your Kids.
1. Trail Running Gets You Outside and Connected to Nature
Getting outside, spending time in nature, and seeing green is good for your mental health. Studies suggest that green space and nature has a positive impact on mental health and stress.
When you’re on trails, you are literally in nature. Even if a trail is on the edge of a housing development which abuts a treeline, it is usually an opportunity to be closer to nature.
Trail running can help you find your way when you are seeking direction. I’m not talking about finding your way in the woods, though it might help. I’m talking more like trail running can help give you mental clarity when you’re needing to discover who you are or find your way out of a rut. There are many incredible stories of trail runners turning their lives around through trail running and spending time connecting with nature.
2. Trail Running Let’s You Easily Switch Back and Forth Between Running-Walking-Hiking
When you hit the trails, you don’t have to run the entire time or even keep up the same pace. There is way less pressure to run without slowing or stopping because trail features don’t stay constant. Even the same trail can offer an ever-changing running experience, depending on weather, trail conditions, or people traffic.
Trails narrow and widen. They might have steep parts (think hiking uphill) or dips –even big descents, that you might initially cautiously walk or slowly jog down.
The ground itself of trails can vary from hardpacked conditions to loose gravel to sandy, loose dirt.
Trails sometimes have roots, rocks, or ruts. Sometimes they have mud, puddles, and are slippery. Sometimes, depending on where you run, there are annoying insects on trails, like black flies, that might cause you to spend much of your run shooing them away from your face. Sometimes there are streams to cross.
Trails are a natural and acceptable ‘excuse’ to combine running, walking, and hiking all in one workout. Sometimes, depending on the trail, walking or hiking is more efficient than plowing through with running.
So, go ahead. Walk when you feel like it. Hike when you feel like it. Run when you feel like it. Just get out there and try.
3. Trail Running Gives You Opportunities to Take Mind-Blowing Photos
Trails can take you to some of the most beautiful locations. If you want to take your social media or photography skills up a notch and show off unbelievable images, you’ve got to give trail running a try.
Trails can bring you to many amazing locations that offer endless photo shoot and creative photography possibilities.
4. Trail Running Offers the Opportunity to Meet Interesting People
Trail runners are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. Each trail runner has a unique story. And the stories trail runners can tell… from captivating…to hilarious…to race stories of sleep deprivation…to the seemingly impossible trail tales.
As a whole, the trail running community is made up of people who dare to challenge themselves and know that getting out of the comfort zone can have some big time rewards. You won’t find a community quite like this anywhere else. You’ll want to be part of it.
5. Trail Running is a Whole Body Workout Experience
Trail running is not just about getting your cardio in or getting really sculpted calf muscles.
Running trails tests and strengthens your mental stamina. Trail running pushes you mentally, and during long ultra trail marathons can push you or challenge you mentally in ways you’ve never imagined.
Trail running also builds your core, flexibility, balance, and agility–and ability to think fast and adapt quickly on your feet.
6. Trail Running is Never Boring
Trail running is (almost) never boring. Even the same trail can seem different the next day depending on the weather, conditions, your body, or your mood. Depending on where you live, one lifetime might not be enough time to run all of the available trail options. And, even if you don’t have many trail options near you, you can always head for the next community, town, state, mountain, or country–and make a stay out of it.
7. Trail Running is a Great Excuse to Travel
There are trail running races all over the globe in some of the most beautiful and coolest places imaginable. Signing up for a trail race is the perfect excuse to travel to new destinations–and a perfectly acceptable reason to travel solo.
Just Try it
Trail running is one of those things that once you try, you probably won’t ever go back to the way you were running before. It’s a true eye opener.
Trail running allows you to see and experience the world in a way that allows you to connect closely with nature. Once you try it, you will see that the sport of trail running lets you discover and see exactly what you’re made of…and it will keep you coming back for more.
Are there other reasons you think someone should try trail running? Share those reasons below in a comment.