Trail running is gaining popularity all over the world and also in India now. Trail running is more of a recreational running and consists of running and hiking over trails/hills/terrains etc. Trail running is running amongst the nature or hills, typically the ones which are not made or marked. The key difference between road running and trail running is that trail running takes place in mountainous/ hilly terrains especially non-paved terrains which are not flat and require extra effort as you have to climb uphill. You might also need to run over rocks or other stuff that you might face in such hilly terrains.
Trail running can either be done on mountains, in forests, through fields, parks or whichever terrain you like which doesn’t have flat surface. If you are planning on doing a trail run, you need to have strong ankles, a strong pivot point, a strong core, and strong hips to be able to navigate rocks and other obstacles so that you don’t get injured.
Trail running is totally different from road running so you will need different shoes, different clothing, different exercise and different preparation while doing a trail run.
Lets now look at the various benefits that you can drive out of trail running for your body and mind.
Easy on your foot
Trails reduce a lot of stress upon impact with your foot as compared to normal running. The dirt and grass on the trail absorbs the impact of your foot and reduces a lot of stress which otherwise isn’t possible on hard surfaces.
Acts as a great stress buster
You can combine trail running with your weekend picnic or getaway as it acts as a great stress buster for you. There’s nothing like taking a run away from the city, the noise, and the pollution. It allows you to soak every bit of nature and a good break from the regular hustle bustle. Listening to birds chirping and the sound of wind blowing through your hairs can beat down any stress.
Lesser injuries to deal with
Trail running surfaces are much softer than the hard surfaces we run on while taking a road run. Thus, the risk of injuries is reduced not only because of low impact and soft surfaces, but, also because the impact is absorbed by the trails.
Ease in breathing
As the trail runs are generally taken far away from the city, you are spared of all traffic caused by the vehicles moving around, the pollution done by them and the noise created by them. Running through the forests covered by trees will provide you the cleanest air and there’s nothing better than taking a run through an oxygen rich environment. The same trees also provide you shelter from the direct sun rays during summers.
Breaking the monotony of Road running
If you have been running regularly on roads, trail running can provide you a good break from the boredom of it as you continue doing the workout, but, in a new environment. This will continue your love relationship with running going forward.
Word of caution:
Even though trail running has its own set of benefits, you should be cautious of the surprises you might encounter on a trail. It is suggested to do a recce of the trail before hand so that you are aware of the conditions and preparations you need to make. Please remember to carry your water bottles/ energy bars etc. and your mobile phone to contact in case of emergencies.