Run Trails for Inspiration
After running many miles around a track or on your routine route, it might be hard to find the motivation to get out the door. Especially for new runners, the lack of change can become more of a chore than conjuring a sense of achievement. Trail running is a great break from a normal run around your neighborhood or at a gym. The new terrain and environment can give you a fresh perspective on running, and give you more motivation and inspiration for running.
The Benefits of Trails
Nature provides great inspiration for runners: the sights of lush growth and sounds of birds and animals can have a calming effect after being plugged in to our daily lives and environment. The occasional solitude when out on a trail run is also relaxing, especially for runners that are self-conscious about other people watching them run.
Trails aren’t only great for its change of scenery. With softer terrain than concrete, trails can have a lower impact on your feet, knees, and ankles. In addition, the unevenness of the trails also improves the strength in your legs, flexibility, and stability. If you are training for your first 5k, trails can be a great training tool: the obstacles of the natural environment increases your speed as you train to react faster to changing terrain. It’s almost like having a free, natural gym membership for your legs, with the boosted entertainment factor of the natural scenery. But before you go out running trails, here are three tips to keep in mind.
If you are new to trail running or running in general, start moderately. It takes time for your legs to build strength for longer trail runs, and starting off slowly will help you acclimate to the different terrain better and avoid common injuries, like a twisted ankle. Remember to keep your eyes on the ground as well: looking a few paces ahead of you will help you anticipate a slope, rock, or root that is coming up. Consider running with a friend or a group as you start out: not only can you look out for each other, but you can also explore new avenues together and make trail running more fun.
Find the Right Shoes
If you plan on running trails year-round, your trainers should be swapped for a shoe more fitting for the terrain. Trail shoes are especially designed to be lighter than a trainer, allowing you to pick up your feet faster (and therefore reduce incidents of tripping). Trail shoes might also include lugs and spikes, which give more traction on slippery and uneven trail surfaces. Lugs and spikes are especially helpful for icy and snowy runs during the winter, keeping you prepared through the seasons. For the best fit, try out shoes at a running shoes shop with experts who can help you pick the right pair.
Running does not have to be a daily, boring grind: you can take it to the next level with trails to keep you speedy and recharged from the environment.