Trail running is a great alternative to running on the roads. It can offer refreshing scenery and a softer running surface. However, this kind of terrain isn’t for everyone. Consider the rough and tough of it before hitting the trails, then you can decide: is it right for you?
There’s no doubt that trail runs are a good way to mix up your routine and may even be beneficial for you. But it’s important to also recognize the risks involved so you’re as prepared as a boy scout (or girl scout!).
- Soft stepping — Since the natural ground is generally softer than paved road, your joints take a lot less pounding.
- Enhanced workout — The soft but uneven terrain also works your leg muscles differently, as your body movement varies step to step. Tip: awaken your mind and muscles with ARO Pure Caffeine, so you’re alert and ready for Mother Nature’s obstacles.
- Clean air — You don’t have to worry about traffic, car fumes or pollution when you’re running through the comforts of nature.
- Clear mind — Trails are good to just run for the enjoyment of running, exploring and getting a change of scenery. It’s usually very quiet, which allows you to focus on your own little world.
- Risky running — If you’re prone to twisting an ankle or straining your knees, trail running can put a bit more stress on these susceptible spots. Tip: pay close attention to the roots, fallen branches and rocks to avoid any nasty spills. For added protection, secure your knees and shins with Rocktape Athletic Tape (it even comes in camo color).
- Secluded and solo — Although trails offer solitude, there may not be anyone around if you were to get into trouble. It’s best to run in the woods with someone, inform others of your running route and/or carry a cell phone.
- Amenities not included — Most trails are not developed enough to have sufficient water stops, so you’ll need to carry your own to stay well-hydrated. A CamelBak is the most widely used water system for trail running. Tip: store your cell phone in the CamelBak’s small compartment.
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Like’ them on Facebook or follow on Twitter: Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and Amy @AmyCMarsh.