Thursday, August 4, 2011

why trail running is better than running

I wanted to take a moment to try to explain just why I'm digging this trail running thing so much.

Granted, this is not the first time I've taken up trail running (I actually ran Cross-Country throughout high school and have been trail running on and off since), but the older I get, the more important some of these things become.

Life's so short...why not enjoy your workout?

Why trail running is better than road running:

  1. Trail running has more shade.  You're going to sweat either way, but do you really need a reason to sweat more?
  2. Trail running is scenic.  Sometimes I'm like, "I'll just run around the neighborhood because it's quicker/faster/easier/closer."  But you know what? I never enjoy it.  But when I trail run, I always see something new and beautiful.  It's a good reminder of why I love where I live.
  3. The ups and downs of the trail are like your own little personal trainer; pushing you to go faster, slower, harder, or higher.  Ever wonder why there are interval workouts on treadmills? It's to try to imitate nature's course.
  4. It is a safer way to take your dog--and more enjoyable for the dog, too.  
  5. There are lots of places to stop and let your dog take a drink of water. These same places also make great rest stops to wet down your bandana or take a cool breather.
That said, there are a few things to think about before starting a trail running routine:
  1. It's more difficult.  Even if you already have an established workout routine, you could likely be sore after a trail run due to the changes in elevation and terrain.  You will definitely feel the burn
  2. Dust boogers are a part of trail of trail running.  I have yet to find a solution to the dust booger conundrum, but am open to suggestions.
  3. Maybe I'm being a little unfair about this one (because, frankly I am guilty of this too), but with so many great mountain biking trails around, why do so many bikers insist on using the heavily-ran trails? There's hardly room for runners and bikers on some of these trails--especially with a trail-biting dog.
  4. Speaking of dog, most Central Oregon trail runners bring Fido along, so expect to be delayed by doggy butt-to-butt meet and greets.
  5. MOSQUITOES.  Seriously, they suck.

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