As the saying goes, a change is as good as a rest, so if you’re bored with pounding the pavement, why not incorporate some trails into your running. It could be just the tonic you need to get you motivated, build fitness faster and avoid injuries caused by the repetitiveness of road running.
You’ll be amazed where you can find a local trail by looking beyond the road. It could be a track around a field, a riverside pathway, a trail through a woodland. It’s uplifting to find yourself away from the roads, cars and urban sprawl and with so much to keep your focus on, it’s psychologically easier too as there’s little chance of getting bored.
Trail running calls on a larger group of muscles as you adapt to the underfoot conditions. It also trains your prioceptors (the nerve endings in your muscles which provide information about joint, angle, muscle, length and tension) giving you a better sense of balance. Balance is what gives you the edge towards the end of a run. Interval Training is a natural by-product of trail running as the terrain dictates the intensity you work at on different sections. This varying of speed and effort improves your strength and endurance by increasing your lactic acid threshold.
Running on uniform surfaces makes you more susceptible to injury because your foot always lands in the same way. Running off road, you hit the ground at different angles with every step, which makes you less prone to the kind of injuries road runners are susceptible to. Trails absorb more of the impact of each foot strike than pavements or roads.
You need a different rationale when you’re trail running. It’s not about PB’s and miles covered but more about time spent on your feet. The distance you’re able to cover will be dictated by the terrain, so miles are less important than time.
The challenges of the terrain are absorbed by a relaxed bodily suspension. This minimises impact, effort and risk of collision so keep your body as relaxed as possible. Shorten your stride to maintain your centre of gravity and lift your legs slightly higher. This is particularly important when doing hill work.
From the 1000 Mile Trail Sock to the Ultimate Performance Fleet 6 Race Vest, we’ve a wide range of products to get you kitted out. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned Trail Runner – we’ve got you covered!
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