Trail running allows you to get away from busy city life and enjoy the solitude of nature.
This type of running differs markedly from road running. It generally takes place on hiking trails, most commonly single track trails.
The trails tend to traverse varying terrain; hills, mountains, deserts, forests, and narrow passages are common. Likewise, steep inclines or rough terrain sometimes may require hiking or scrambling.
Running on this uneven terrain builds great leg strength and will make you a better runner on the road.
Distances vary from short 5k runs to week long events where you carry your own food and water.
Trail running is growing in popularity and is enjoyed throughout the world. As of 2006, there are over 6.7 million regular trail runners in the United States, and over 40 million worldwide.
What To Wear
It’s mostly done in normal running kit. There are a few extra things you may need due to the fact that you are running off road, wicking garments, water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses, gaiters, anti-insect spray, and ivy block.
An alternative way to carry water is use a hydration pack (CamelBak), which consists of a bladder, a suck tube, and a small low profile backpack.
These runners use specially designed shoes that have stiff, nobby soles, that are generally more rigid than road running shoes. These running shoes are low to the ground to provide the best stability on uneven terrain. The rubber or plastic compound midsole protects your feet from puncture wounds from unseen sharp objects.
The shoes are less ‘cushioned’ than their counterparts designed for tarmac. Since this running take place on softer surfaces (grass, trails, etc.) than road races, cushioning is not as important.
Also due to the smaller number of runners, the odds of running with no other runners around you are pretty good, so if you enjoy running alone this is up your alley.
Crowd support is also very limited due to the nature of the course, your mostly on your own and rely to a large extent on your own resolve to get to the end.
It’s definitely a change from your normal run, and if you can I would definitely recommend it. Find a race and go for it.