Until just a few months ago, I had never even thought to try trail running. Why would I?
I’m hoping some of you are with me on this, that somewhere out there, there is a total trail newbie like me. If not, you’re probably thinking “You’re a moron. Trail running is the bomb-dot-com.” Thanks Mr. Sassy Pants, you’re right.
Nonetheless, it’s true: I had never gone trail running, I had never thought about trail running. I had no interest in trail running.
But as someone who is trying to learn to be an outdoor person, I am making an intentional effort to stop and think about outdoor things that I have never tried or wanted to try — and ask myself “why.”
The “why” of this one was pretty simple for me. I didn’t see a reason. Why bother with trail running if the road is working for you? It’s right outside your door. Getting to the road requires no extra effort at all. Roads are predictable. Roads have easy to measure distances. Roads are a pleasant, easy simplicity.
Maybe those are your reasons, too.
But trails? Trails have a whole referral list of their own that I have discovered over the last several months. And they are compelling enough for me to take time and space to share them.
7 Reasons to Try Trail Running
Trails eliminate the boring run factor. Ever get bored on a run? Yeah, me too. All the time. Trails don’t have that, if only because you’ve got to pay close attention to the constantly changing terrain.
You’re far less likely to get hit be a car. This is always a fear of mine on the road. All you need is one guy looking at his phone instead of the street before he accidentally swerves and takes out the mailbox — and you. Added bonus: fewer exhaust fumes on a trail. Nothing like huffing and puffing car pollution during that long weekend run.
Trail runners are cooler. The most laid back, happy-to-be-there runners I’ve found are at trail races. I’m guessing it’s all the fresh air and lack of fumes.
Pee break privacy. Let’s get real: if you’re road running it’s pretty hard to find a place in the bushes if you need one. Not so on a trail!
Camaraderie. There’s a sense of belonging and camaraderie on a trail run that I don’t find on the road. You might get a friendly nod out of another road runner — maybe. But on the trail things are different. You’re all in this together.
You can ditch the headphones. You don’t need headphones to keep you entertained, and not just because your mind is working overtime to keep you from breaking your ankle on a rock. There’s other stuff to listen to on a trail, like the sounds of nature.
You get to buy new gear. You know what fills my heart with joy? Buying new running gear. You know what you need (or “need”) for trail running? Trail running shoes. You can see where I’m going with this.
Get out there, hit the trail and never look back.
Trail photo courtesy of Flickr user DaveBloggs007 via the Creative Commons license.