You might know the days when you’re having one of those days, where you drag yourself to the gym after a long hectic day in the office, feeling sluggish and apathetic.
But, you keep reminding yourself that endorphins will reward you in the end.
The treadmill finds the speed, the belt begins its ruthless roll, and you put one foot in front of the other, to try not feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
Trail running is understood as running on trails specially intent and built for the purpose, but most find trail running’s definition as too limiting.
Runners who escort clear from streets, tracks, and treadmills instead head for the woods either on paths created to run to ones that just suits the purpose, could be all trail runners.
The rapidly growing popularity of the sport has begun both repair work of existing trails and the creation of new trail systems.
Either you run deep in the woods creating your path or on a trail created to run, both apply the same benefits for running out in the wilderness.
How Trail Running Benefits You?
You might be wondering why trail running is good for you. It is because it benefits you both physically and mentally. It helps you in:
- Connecting with nature and yourself
- Best for your body
- Boost creativity
- Interval Workout
Connecting with Nature and Yourself
Even though running on streets offers you a visual pleasure in the form of urban landscape, people watching, well-designed buildings, there is nothing like stepping into the woods.
You get to enjoy varied natural sounds, the sound of branches cracking under your feet, the notes from the terrain and trees around you, the soft, steady stomp of your feet, and a lot more.
Best for your Body
Trail running isn’t just a joint-friendly form of exercise. It makes your body stronger by dealing with hard injuries or aches.
Striking the pavement takes its toll on the body ; many runners have experienced some running-related injury, either on knees, hamstrings, shins, or achillea tendons.
In comparison with most treadmills or asphalt, trail running or asphalt, trails are less impactful, offer a softer surface, and absorb some harsh shock that the body deals with harder surfaces.
The changing terrain and its needs help in developing qualities like strength and agility, making the body more capable and more versatile.
The moments in nature boost creativity and enhances cognitive functions of your body.
Studies found outdoor workouts as more effective in increasing energy levels of people and adding positive engagement, lowers the levels of depression, confusion, tension, and anger than getting your sweat on indoors provides.
Not only these, trail running also lets you enjoy natural interval training.
Unless the path you are running is a flat one with a few turns and well-groomed surface, chances are you will be going both down and uphill, hopping over roots, swerving around trees, leaping over creek crossings. All these gives you a fantastic interval workout.
Eventually, the fact is that all uphill struggles will be compensated in downhill cruising form.
The best and the worst part of trail running is that once you start doing it, the only option you will have is to keep going.
Trails are mostly one-way, so that when fatigue hits, all you will do is slow down your walking pace to ease the load.
There is no switch to turn off this exercise or any service to take you home.
Reasons Why More People are Shifting to Trail Running
It Burns Calories
Today, most people are concerned about burning more calories.
Trail running almost always burns more calories compared with road running.
Inconsistent, hilly terrain is common while trail running.
Trails mostly have absolutely blocked pathways that require moving or jumping around.
These small differences add up and make trail running a clear way when counting burnt calories.
Trail running requires more effort as you will be running through the forest surrounded by the trees.
Just running a few stretches of hilly trails to experience what natural hills will do to your glutes and quads.
As you’ll be expending more effort over the same distance, your effort per distance will be greater on a trail run that will lead to burning more calories. Per distance, trail running requires more calories.
But, how many calories does trail running burn?
It has been estimated that the average trail runner burns around 450 calories an hour.
Meanwhile, as trail running depends on the terrain, it is quite hard to quote the exact figure.
Other than calories being burnt, trail running engages more of your core activities than most running activities.
It is Better For Your Knees
Is trail running better for your knees? Yes, it is!
Because of the differences in terrain, trail running is better for your knees.
Quite different from road running, the constantly varied terrain of the trail runs means no repetitive loading of the same tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which is bad eventually for your knees.
Trail running provides an alternative to concrete and asphalt surfaces that causes undue pressure on your knee joints.
Generally, unpaved trails are much softer than road surfaces, as they provide less resistance to your steps.
Your feet will sink in slightly when they hit the trail, to absorb some force of your stride.
When your knees have less pressure, your long-distance run will perhaps be enjoyable and much less painful.
shifting to Trail running brings new challenges. It is really challenging and not straightforward as most people think.
First off, ensure you have the right kit for your trail run.
This can be your trainers, right clothing like jackets, leggings, or long sleeves.
You’ll be surprised when you run and go through some branches or nick your arms or legs on something you are running.
Hence, it is often recommended to trail runners to wear something that gives full coverage to your body.
These new challenges help you in building muscles like stronger thighs, ankles, and guts.
It transforms the Mind
The most natural reason why people are shifting to trail running is the psychological advantage of trail run that comes in the form of an endorphin rush.
Neurotransmitters released by the brain during and after the trail exercise stimulates the central nervous system and eliminates fatigue and stress with side supplement of the euphoria.
Apart from initial boost, commitment to trail run helps in boosting your self-esteem.
The confidence that comes through visible progress in both body performance and image will stick with you in your wider life.
Trail running when done consistently takes motivation. Running faster and further takes mental strength.
As your body will become more enduring, so will your mind.
And after some time, you’ll cherish some seriously implacable determination.
It is the most useful asset and a trait that will encourage endurance in everything you do.
Getting back to nature presents the ultimate escape from reality. Everyone wants peace and tranquillity.
The peace and tranquility of the trail encourages the people with quietness of mind, gives time for personal thought and reflection, and that in turn brings clarity to life off the trail.
It is Better than Road Running:
Another reason why more people are shifting to trail running is that it is easier than road running.
When talking about the two, i.e., trail running vs road running.
Trail running is found much better than road running in many aspects.
Trail running allows for less pounding on your joints and your body.
It has more obstacles and allows for a slower but more concentrated run.
Depending on the distance, road running is more fast-paced with less endurance than trail running.
Road running has consistent forward movements with little or no obstacles.
Because of the flat surface, road running doesn’t have the same effect on the lower body like trail running has.
Hence, when you’ll see most trail runners and roadrunners, you’ll notice a significant difference in body build of both.
Trail runners have much more muscular appearance than roadrunners.
Trail runners are good at running slow and hence they kill it on the technical sections while roadrunners can’t.
As they don’t have the necessary skill to move economically enough to make it up or down fast.
With the points stated above, it is easier to conclude that running is easier than road running and the reason most people are shifting to trail running.
Combining all the physical, social, physiological, and explorational aspects of trail running, it is a sport that can help quite transform your life.
You get the freedom to see a splendid view every day, do different styles of workout daily, it pumps up your muscles, and a lot more.
When it gives these advantages, why not you become the one to benefit from it.
From mind and body, to memories and amazing people-you’ll soon start doing it.
And that’s when you’ll realize you’re on to something exceptional !