5 Reasons Every Runner Should Try a Trail Race

© Warrengoldswain | Dreamstime.com

© Warrengoldswain | Dreamstime.com

1) The scenery

Let’s face it, many pavement races are held in ugly places. Flying past creepy alleyways and industrial parks might create PRs, but it doesn’t always create memories. The forests, lakes, mountains, and green spaces of trail races are pretty at their worst, breathtaking at their best.

Nothing beats the sound of crunching leaves, the scent of aromatic pine trees, and the view of darting wildlife. It’s a feast for the senses.

2) The snacks

Though this can vary wildly from race to race, the food at trail races is almost always better than road races. From homemade goodies at aid stations to tables of local delectables post-race, there is always something amazing to help replenish calories.

It isn’t anything fussy or complicated, just comfort food that is much tastier than prepackaged bars and under-ripe bananas.

3) The pace

If you are seeking a personal record for distance, stick to pavement. If you are happy-go-lucky racing by feel, try the the trails. It is impossible to compare trail races because of the incredible variation between each one.

There are often hills, water crossings, switchbacks, and other technical features that can contribute to the overall difficulty of a race. Trails are undoubtedly more relaxed as the pressure of maintaining a specific pace is gone.

4) The workout

Unless it is a particularly hilly race, the muscles required to complete a road race are limited in comparison to a trail race. The whole body can get in a workout in a tactical trail race.

Quadriceps absorb the weight of downhills, glutes push through the uphills, and the lower body joints must be flexible to handle uneven ground. The upside is that dirt is a softer surface than pavement and is lower impact than pavement running.

5) The people

The running community as a whole tends to draw a bunch of positive, type A kind of people. The trail running community is a special niche of these people. Their lust for running is pure and incredibly contagious.

Trail veterans are protective of the places they run and loyal to those sharing their paths. I dare you to run a trail race and not make a new friend.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment