5 reasons trail running rocks

Tired of pounding the pavements? Escape the urban metropolis in favour of the trails and we guarantee you will fall in love with running all over again. 

5 reasons trail running rocks

1. Switch off

Taking your legs to the trails is basically a stellar excuse to forget about the constraints of time and pace. Be that away from the everyday grind or chasing a certain speed.

Psychologically, just 30 minutes break from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life will give you the mental rest you need. And in terms of training, those slower paced runs are key for aiding recovery as the legs tick over.

Relax, get lost, have an adventure. Just remember to leave your GPS watch at home.

Relax, get lost, have an adventure. Just remember to leave your GPS watch at home.

 2.  Brain health

Whether you spend your Saturday afternoon running through woodlands, or climbing rugged moorland, getting out into the wilderness will give you a sense of satisfaction that no treadmill can ever muster. In a world where technology feels like it's often taking over, it’s important to check in with Mother Nature every once in a while.

This will also benefit your every day life too, as researchers at the University of Michigan have found, via The Guardian, ‘After just an hour interacting with nature, memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 per cent.’

3. Improve your health

Due to the mixed terrain and technical nature of running on trails, your muscles have to work that bit harder to stay balanced - in turn, getting stronger.

Whether you stick religiously to the wilderness, or combine your training with runs on the road, your new found agility will ensure that you're better and stronger when it comes to racing on all terrains. 

As well as strengthening your muscles, you will also be giving your cardiovascular system some TLC, too. The further into the wild you get, the fresher the air you’ll be breathing.

According to Active.com, low concentrations of pollutants in our airwaves can cause lung damage, which obviously increases with your time outside. That isn't a reason not to exercise outdoors, but it will pay to seek out fresher air free from the exhaust fumes and pollution of urban life where you can. 

4. Fewer injuries

Thanks to the softer terrain of greener areas your joints will be getting a welcome break from the pounding of hard surfaces, such as concrete-clad pavement or tarmac. This repetitive movement on hard ground can often be the cause of numerous injuries. 

'On an unvarying surface, your body is subjected to exactly the same forces with every strike of the foot,' says Paul Ingham from Pain Science. 'Not only is the stress of impact exaggerated by the hard surface, but it is also repeated excessively because the mechanics of every step are exactly the same.’

We can't blame all injuries on the tarmac. But some variation will give your body some respite as well as something different to work at. 

5. Release your inner child

One of the best things about running on trails is how freeing it can be. When was the last time you ran full-pelt down a hill or bombed it through puddles of mud?

Adults as well as kids benefit from letting loose in natural settings, says Children and Nature: 'People who exercise in a natural green setting with trees, foliage, and landscape views, feel more restored, and less anxious, angry, and depressed than people who burn the same amount of calories in gyms or other built settings.'

Head for the hills, fill your lungs with fresh air, unleash your inner child and run-free!