by Marcel Höche, adidas TERREX Pro Athlete
The reason we all love running is its simplicity: we can get our workout in wherever we are. Has your running routine become a bit monotonous? Give trail running a try — it will energize you and make your workouts much more fun!
What is trail running?
A trail is any unpaved surface; it can be rocky, muddy, icy, hilly, uphill or downhill. Trail running is often done on hiking or walking paths and is categorized as such when the runner goes “off road” into unfamiliar terrain.
You’re not quite sure about trail running yet?
Trail Running: 4 Reasons to Give Trail Running a Chance
1. Experience off-road running
After a full day in a busy office or loud city, the best place to go in the evening is the peaceful forest. Empty your mind by listening to some birds singing in the distance and the wind blowing through the leaves instead of traffic noises and forget about all the grey concrete for a while.
2. Do an efficient full body workout
Trail running is a much more varied sport than road running, because when you run off-road all the muscle fibers in your ankles are engaged. If you go mountain running, you really put your quads to work, while the uneven ground in the forest will challenge your balance skills. In a tangle of trees, rocks, and river crossings you will sharpen your coordination.
In very hilly terrains, most trail runners use running poles to help conquer the elevation gain quickly. They use a technique similar to Nordic Walking. This is a great opportunity to exercise the upper body, especially the shoulders, back and even the triceps.
3. Forget about all the little tweaks
Running on asphalt or any paved surfaces can be pretty demanding on your musculoskeletal system. No matter how great your shoes are, every single step will bring your body weight crashing down and stress bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments. The softer trail runs reduce the impact on your body. Try running in coniferous forests — it almost feels like running on clouds. You will love it!
Good equipment makes all the difference
It’s important to have the right trail-running shoes if you run off-road regularly. It’s the only way to protect your body.
4. Feel the flow of the trail
Do you ever run along an endless, wide, paved road where you don’t seem to be moving forward at all? Trails, on the other hand, are winding and exciting with rocks and overgrown roots. This will enable you to experience your pace in a totally new way. Eight minutes per kilometer will suddenly feel very fast. After a little practice, you will be literally dancing over roots and rocks and flying down trails like you could never have imagined.
About Marcel Höche:
Marcel Höche is an adidas TERREX Pro Athlete, former under-23 German Champion in the 6-hour race, World Champion in the 12-hour race, and 2nd place finisher of the World’s Toughest Mudder. Sports is one of the most important things in his life. Marcel loves to encourage others to get active.