Monday, March 30, 2015

Mixing It Up: Hitting The Trails

Last week I went out for one of the most amazing runs I have ever had.  I didn’t break any speed records either.  I went out to a local regional park (Hidden Falls Regional Park) for some trail running.  I have just started getting into trail running and love it.


When I run on pavement, I enjoy my runs.  I can zone out and just escape for a while.  I can push myself beyond my boundaries and break new PR’s.  It gives me time to think about things I need to do this week and things that I am grateful for.  I can do the same thing on a trail run, but there are several advantages that I see with trail running that I don’t get with road running.

1) Running on a trail, you need to look where you step to make sure you don’t land on a rock the wrong way.  It is not just looking ahead of you and not focusing on foot placement. 

2) Running on uneven terrain will help with ankle and leg strength because your body will need to work harder to stabilize itself.  This will help you not only on the trail but will carry over to your road running as well.

3) Trail running can be extremely challenging.  The trails that I ran last week included about 1,500 feet of elevation gain over 8 miles.  There was a lot of running up hills as well as down hills.  It was like running intervals.  I had to work hard running up the hills, but got to rest on the way down. 

4) I really got to enjoy the beauty of nature.  I didn’t take my headphones with me and didn’t miss my music for a second.  The sounds of nature and watching my surroundings kept my mind occupied.

5) I found myself really focusing on my form.  Making sure I did not heal strike and keeping my body upright.  This will really help me in my road running as well.

6)  I got to test out the Topo AthleticRunventure.  It is the big brother of the MT which I love so much.  It has more underfoot protection and felt amazing for all 8 miles.  I will be reviewing this shoe in April, so keep an eye out.

Road running is great, don’t get me wrong.  I won’t stop running on the road, but I definitely want to do more trail running.  What do you prefer, trail running or road running and why?

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