Do trails intimidate you? Do you fancy yourself as a fast pavement runner? Do you worry about needing new gear to run through the woods?
There is no right or wrong way to run, but if you haven’t given trails a chance, put it on your to do list. Here’s how to overcome those pesky excuses.
1) Fear the gear?
Yes, trail shoes typically offer a bit more traction and stability than regular road shoes. But there are plenty of trails that are not technical and can easily been run on in road shoes.
And unless you are planning a really long or technical run, monster hydration packs and trekking poles are excessive.
2) Like to go fast?
Trails can be a bit disheartening for the fast pavement runner. Trails offer much less response than the road and will produce much slower times. However, they are excellent for racking up great recovery miles and long runs. Heading out to the trails can be a great mental break for the pavement runner.
3) Are they scary?
Bugs, wildlife, rocks, roots, and often literally off the beaten path can make trails a bit intimidating to runners used to sidewalks and local roads. But their small risks are worth the big reward. Assess the conditions and be prepared for any safety precautions you might need.
4) Too far?
A trail run might not be possible regularly depending on your locale, but it can be worked in every once in awhile. Trail runs don’t have to be on mountains or in national forests. Chances are, there are trails closer than you think!
5) Too difficult?
For every rooty switchback route full of elevation, there are plenty of well-maintained trails that are relatively flat and clear. Trail running doesn’t have to be hard. It can be a couple of miles on a dirt path in a city park. The point is to escape a bit of the concrete jungle.
6) I might get dirty?
Can’t help there. It will happen.
7) I might end up liking it?