To some people, trail running (running on hiking trails with ascents and descents) is not for them. But others may prefer it to road running – and for a good reason. This is because trail running offers many benefits.
Easier on the body
Trail running is supposed to be easier on the body than road running. This is because your ankles, knees and shins bear the brunt of the impact when you pound on the hard concrete pavement. But for trail running, the ground is softer and easier on your legs, so you are less likely to get injuries.
When you run on roads, you see mainly concrete buildings and there are countless traffic lights halting your run – with noisy cars zooming past you as well.
But trail running helps you to get back to nature and you will enjoy the natural scenic environment. You will hear birds chirping and the rustle of the leaves hitting the ground. This will help you to get closer to nature and the run should give you a very peaceful and spiritual experience – to recharge yourself. So trail running is a form of escapism from everyday life.
Helps to improve your timing
If you take part in road races, some trail training will help to improve your speed and timings. This is because the trail has quite uneven elevation and contains plenty of uphill battles. So when you come back to race on the flat road, your muscles will be stronger – to make you more adept at running.
Improve your sense of balance
Trail running can give you an additional sense of balance to prevent yourself from falling down, because of the rough and uneven terrain. For example, you need to look at where you are stepping and it is necessary to develop your balance so you don’t land headfirst into the mud. If you are doing road races, the sense of balance gained from trail training will help you to improve and gain speed as a runner.
Builds strength in your joints
Because of the unpredictable nature and often hilly terrain of the trail, doing such runs on a regular basis will develop strength in your leg joints. So you will be able to run better and be injury-free for a longer period of time – compared to a road runner.