Trail Running

Recently you've probably heard me talk a lot about trail running. It's replacing my love for road running fast but why, what's the appeal. Actually, what is it? And if you're training for a marathon that's run on the road- why are you bothering? All good questions...

What
What it says on the pack: running on trails. Usually on country lanes, off back roads and through the woods- it's away from the road and the beaten track. Often it involves mud, puddles, over rocks and on undulating paths.

Why
More than anything, for me it's so much more interesting. On the road, it's easy to get bored- it's the same old grey tarmac with the occasional pot hole thrown in. Not exciting. On the trails you have to be aware of everything; it's tricky, uneven, fun! It's hard and it uses muscles you don't often use on the road, making legs stronger. Your ankles have to work to stay stable and you utlise your arms to keep you balanced.
Where Do I Go
This is the tricker part, unless you live near a woodland or forest it isn't easy to find some good trails. I'd say, have a look on Strava. See who is running near you and see if you can follow some of their routes. Or go old school and look at a map! Perhaps write down a few notes to take with you though so you don't get lost!

What Do I Need?
I'd reccomend either trainers you don't mind getting dirty or if you're making it a regular thing, try some trail shoes. Take a few gels as it's a lot more exhausting than road running and whatever you do, don't forget a waterproof or warm top. Usual practise is to walk up hills and run down them so as quickly as you warm up, you'll cool down!  Obviously you can run all the hills if you want, I'm still working on it! I'd also say take a charged mobile phone in case you need a map or to call for a rescue!

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