Love running? It’s natural to start with flat surfaces – maybe in your neighborhood or a local park. But if you’re looking to add novelty and adventure to your running practice, you might want to check out trail running. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It’s dangerous (and therefore fun)
Trail running requires you to develop and train great reflexes to avoid roots and rocks and (occasionally) leap over obstacles. With trails gaining and losing elevation quickly, things can get even trickier fast. But if you like the thrill of going headlong over terrain (a bit like the feeling you might get from skiing) you’ll like trail running.
2. It’s beautiful
City runs can be gorgeous, especially if the sun hits a skyline just right. But if you want to see more than just concrete, trail runs are the way to go. This morning some friends and I ran right alongside the shore of a swollen, misty Chattahoochee river, and last weekend we caught amazing views from the top of a mountain. I’ve had some uplifting sights and moments because I’ve been willing to go further out.
3. It’s a great way to get into flow
One of the best things about running is that state of easy repetition and flow you enter once you hit your stride. Your body starts feeling like it “could do this all day,” and your mind is in the zone. I have an intuition that this feeling is more powerful in trail running. Hearkening back to reason #1, the risk involved in trail running requires greater focus, leading to what I would guess is a deeper state of flow and present moment awareness.