I can’t remember the exact moment I decided I was a trail runner; it’s been more of a gradual awakening as I fell in love with trails and out of love with roads.
If you have never tried it before, here are 10 reasons why I think you should.
- Beautiful views everywhere you look. There is such a variety of trails in our country. Near me, I have an abundance of footpaths cut across miles and miles of agricultural fields, and plenty of woodland and riverside paths. My favourite views are from hilltops, which are lacking near me in Lincolnshire, but I travel to the Peak District when I can to satisfy that urge to run uphill and down Dale.
- No traffic. Is there anything more annoying than having to stop mid run for a car? Now I only stop for photos 😁 (See point 1)
- No people. I didn’t see a single other person on my run today. Blissful. I love the peace and quiet. Trail running really gives me time to think and clear my head.
- Dog friendly. My little furry friend can trot along beside me. Great exercise for her.
- I can go as slow as I like and it doesn’t matter. There’s no pressure to run fast. Trail running is a lot less competitive than road running. I was asked earlier this week, when I introduced myself to somebody as a runner, “What’s your pace?” I looked at my interviewer blankly for a moment, before replying – it depends whether I’m doing a long run, or racing a 5k or a half marathon, or whether I’m doing a 40 mile trail run. I’m not quite sure they understood me.
- Every season looks different on the trails. My favourite runs are through woodland, seeing new shoots and bluebells in the spring, and wonderful colours in the autumn.
- Being out in nature is proven to make you happier. Extra endorphins!
- Running on soft surfaces is better for your joints than the constant pounding of the road. At around 18-19 miles on the road, I tend to get into an argument with myself about why I’m running this far, but on the trails I feel as though I could run forever.
- Running on trails improves your balance and coordination as your proprioceptive muscles work much harder to keep you upright on uneven surfaces. I swear plenty of long runs on trails this year has helped me become a stronger runner.
- Exploration! Who can resist exploring where a footpath leads? I lead runs every Tuesday on trail, where we try to explore new areas, armed with an OS Map and a compass. Great fun. We get a bit lost sometimes, and come up against some dead ends, but that’s all part of the adventure.
There are so many trails right outside your front door – what are you waiting for? Get out there and see where they lead!!