Even for people who are not really sure they have the time to make the journey all the way to their nearest trail, or who already like the routes they currently run on, there are always reasons why joining the trail running movement could make an already much-loved sport that bit better for you.
1. It’s better for your body
Most runners have had running injuries in their time. And while trail running will have its own dangers (it’s uneven terrain after all), the naturally softer and lower impact ground will give your knees a huge amount of relief. The changing terrain of trail running will distribute muscle stress on more parts of your body — you’ll be less likely to overuse just one as you might whilst road-running, and you’ll definitely reap the benefits of it.
2. Trail runs are often beautiful
Compared to the gym, running outdoors at all is a privilege. Running somewhere beautiful is another thing and trail running is one step further in that direction. It may take you that little bit more time, but it’s utterly worth it for every glance to the horizon you have. There are hundreds of different trail runs, and, unlike city streets, they’ll offer you something different each time. It really is a beautiful variety.
3. You’ll be in nature
There are a lot of city livers that don’t really manage to get out of the bustle of it that often. It’s too easy to underestimate the effects that a trip away — even just for a day — to somewhere that tastes, smells and looks clean and natural. Heading off to a trail for a run will leave you to your own devices, and give you the much needed rest from the constant pressures of everyday life.
4. It’s something new
Trail running is a completely new kind of challenge. The running style is different, the impact on your body is different, and the scenery is different. And every single time it’s different. You’ll never know quite what to expect, but there will always be a sense of adventure in it.
5. A trail run is pressure free
A lot of people get anxious before running a race (or just training) in busy places. Whether it’s about their time, what they are wearing and how they look most of that slips away in trail running. You’re free from the crowds, the passer-bys and a judgmental stop-clock.
6. There’s a friendly atmosphere amongst trail runners
With less people running alongside you, and not many around, there is just an instinctively friendly atmosphere that goes with trail running. There’s an absolute connection and sense of achievement between runners, as they tread the path to fulfilling shared aims and interests — and no doubt take a break from hectic lives left behind.
7. It’s an amazing excuse to travel
There’s something so justifiable about travelling for the purpose of sport. Whether it’s to compete or just check out a particular trail, you can travel the country (and maybe the world) to see new sights and run new paths. And hopefully guilt free too.