Trail running is one of the best activities you can do for your body and mind. It will challenge you, and it will change you.
On Saturday, we bid farewell to yet another year of the winter running races series in Calgary. It was fun meeting other trail runners and motivating each other during the winter. Every other weekend, we ran in parks around Calgary and had a potluck afterwards.
The most difficult course was definitely the last one in Fish Creek Park. We had literally everything – natural obstacles, steep hills and crossing creeks. We dealt with ice, water, mud and snow.
With wet and muddy feet at the end, our passion for trail running grew even bigger and we cannot wait for the snow to melt and head to the mountains to run on favourite old trails and explore some new ones.
Having this recent experience is why we love trail running, let us tell you…
10 reasons why you should start trail running
01| Scenery around you
You will find friends in all the animals, flowers and trees you see along the trail. You’ll see birds and butterflies waking up and “bother” you along the trail in the morning. You might see deer enjoying the dinner while running at sunset. I’m not even speaking of summiting a peak in the mountains where you feel like on top of the world.
02| You can’t get bored
There is no straight line in front of you while running on a trail. Hills, downhill, jumping over rocks and puddles and running under benches of the trees, the environment is always changing. If you were to choose running only one trail all year round, the scenery around you will change often according the weather and season of the year you’re in.
03| Escaping the city
Doesn’t it feel better to run along trees rather than buildings? You know the answer. With spending time in the city during work time, shopping groceries and running other errands, you deserve to change the environment during free time.
04| It’s quiet
Whether you run in the nearby park, forest on the edge of the city or in the mountains, you don’t hear any cars or people. Your mind gets quieter and your movements become influenced by singing of birds, swaying breeze in the trees or flowing creek.
05| Pushing your limits
You will want to push your limits and achieve great things. Let me paint you a picture – you are running your favourite trail several times a week/month and you always end up walking the steep hill in the middle of the run. Suddenly you find yourself running half the hill until, one day, you can run all the way to the top. How does that make you feel? I bet pretty awesome!
06| It’s easy on the body
Trail running is easier on knees than running on the pavement. You can feel the softer terrain after few minutes on the trail. Plus, with changing terrain of the trail adding rocks here and there, you will strengthen muscles that support your legs and feet. Your ankles will thank you greatly.
07| Cleaner air to breath
Feeling dry after spending most of your day in the office? Go for a run along the creek – breath some fresh and moist air. Tired of inhaling the fumes in the city? Go for a run in the forest – it will help to clean your lungs. Running on a treadmill can never give you that.
08| It’s slower
You will slow down on the hills and enjoy your surroundings more. People are busy and rushing all day, now it’s time to take it easy and breathe more consciously. Trail running is not about the speed, it’s more about enjoying yourself being outside.
09| You’ll get dirty and won’t regret it
Constantly changing conditions call for getting dirty. One year you run across the frozen creek and other crossing water at knee height. You can run in all conditions. You get wet and you get muddy but not having the urge to jump over every puddle makes it more fun.
10| Get outdoors is always a good idea
Spending time in nature will make you happier. It will boost your immunity, creativity and concentration. Thousands of runners, including me, are living examples.
Don’t get discouraged by having to switch walking and running in the beginning or walking/crawling up the hill. Even the best trail runners say – if you don’t see the end of the hill, walk!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your sneakers and head outside. Pack some water, and if you go out stressed and not really in a good mood, I’ll guarantee you will feel a whole lot different after your run.
Try different trails and don’t forget to have fun!
What do you like doing to stay active? Are you a runner? Would you like to try trail running? Let us know in the comments below.
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Just signed up for my first trail race! I am both excited and terrified! It’s not too far from Calgary so maybe you should check it out! It’s called the Taber Tuff 25. Thanks for the great post!
Good luck on your race Naomik 🙂
i would love to just run again,but i hve problems with knees.ive tried different shoes,still ouch on the knees,ive been racewalking now for 25 years,no problem there.Maybe i should try running on trails instead of the hard pavement. wht shoes are recommended for that?
Trails are much softer for your knees than pavement – that’s why I only run on trails. I’m running in Salomon speedcross 3 which have a great support and I love them. But I’ve also read a lot of stories from people with knee problems having great results running in barefoot shoes. I would talk to a podiatrist before deciding for a specific type of shoes – he is the best specialist who can advise you depending on your issues. Then you can try running on trails. Take it easy Keith.
Makes me want to try trail run as well! Where is this? This is way better than treadmill!
Agree 😉 Photos are from Banff national park and Calgary in Canada.