5 Reasons To Try Trail Running
If you’ve never heard of trail running, think back to high school and the “cross country” races the skinny kids ran when track and field season was still a long winter away. I didn’t understand the appeal of trail running back then, an opinion I held until this week when I talked with Outdoor Accessories and Special Channels Planner Amanda Staples and Pricing Promotions Specialist Rick Plyler about why they love trail running so much that running 21.5 miles over 12 peaks is fun for them.
Whether you’re a lifelong road runner looking to shake up your routine or a fun, exciting way to get in shape, here are Rick and Amanda’s Top 5 Reasons to Try Trail Running.
Trail Running is a Better Workout Than Road Running
Rick loves dodging roots and Amanda claims the hills and constantly varying terrain have helped her work muscles she never knew she had while strengthening her quads and hamstrings in ways road running just can’t. “Your body is constantly reacting to the trail and learning to adapt,” Amanda says and Rick adds: “With trail running, I feel amazing and like I accomplished something.”
Trail Running is Never Boring
I have to admit that Rick and Amanda have a point here. I’ve run on the high school track as well as the roads of Keene, NH and monotony always gets the better of me. As Amanda puts it: “With trail running, the scenery changes every day, even if you run the same trail.”
Trail Running Feels Good
“I find when running on the road, my knees and feet hurt from constantly pounding on the asphalt,” Rick says. While some trails can be rocky, Rick and Amanda both love feeling the earth under their feet as well as the challenge of figuring out the best place to put your foot down when roots or other obstacles present themselves.
Trail Running is Liberating
When I say trail running is liberating, I’m not just talking about the freedom of running away from cars, congestion and boredom. Trail running defies the time regiments of road running in ways Amanda really enjoys. “I’m finally getting used to running without a watch, constantly timing my miles, because as many trail runners will agree, miles on the road are very different from miles out on the trail. My fastest marathon is 4:58 for 26.2 miles, yet it took me 6:48 to run 21.5 out in the woods.” When you’re trail running, you’re free to have fun and do your best instead of obsessing about beating your personal best time.
You Can Trail Run in Chacos
OK, this one’s a nod to Plyler and his unconventional choice in trail running footwear, but the fact is, you don’t need a ton of gear or expertise to have fun and get in shape on the trail. “I’ve tried running shoes, trail running shoes, and even minimalist shoes while trail running, but nothing feels better on my feet than a trusty pair of Chacos.”
“Sure, my feet get a little muddy but to be able to feel the earth under your feet and not care about splashing in puddles because your shoes won’t get weighed down is priceless,” Rick says.
To find the right pair of trail running shoes for you, talk to the Foot Guru at your local store or call 888-463-6367 to talk with one of our customer service reps. One final piece of advice from Amanda:
“Always tell someone where you’re going and run with a partner whenever possible.”
If you agree with Rick and Amanda’s 5 Reasons To Try Trail Running or have a reason or two of your own why someone should get into the sport, please leave a comment. At Eastern Mountain Sports, we’re all about inspiring people to get outside and try new things and if trail running is your passion, we’d love to hear from you!