Comparing conventional road running to trail running is like comparing a night in a luxe hotel to one at a campground. Next time you’re thinking of hitting the pavement, try trading the smooth course route for that of a gritty, scenic, trail – you won’t be disappointed. Trail running, like a Tough Mudder, is an adventure.
Think trail running isn’t for serious trainers? Think again. It’s diverse, exciting, challenging and more importantly – fun. Check out these three reasons to swap the treadmill for a trail when you’re training for a Tough Mudder:
It Hits All Muscle Groups
Naturally beaten paths introduce bumpy, and uneven, terrain. Similar to a Tough Mudder course, trails present challenges that’ll keep your body, and mind, sharp and ready take on the unexpected. Keeping your balance as you run over, and around, natural obstacles like rocks, foliage, and branches requires using smaller, underutilized muscles in your legs,core, and arms. The softer terrain of trails acts as added resistance to your legs. With each foot strike, your muscles need to act fast to explosively rebound, propelling your body forward. Maintaining balance and stability while tackling unknown terrain is guaranteed to give you a stronger core and legs – crucial to crushing 10 miles of muddy obstacles.
Be One with Nature
Trail running not only gives you diverse scenery, but serenity. It takes you out of your comfort zone and directly challenges you each and every time. Out on the road, you’ll have to repeatedly stop for people, cars and other obstacles. On a treadmill, you’re not going anywhere, regardless of what the odometer says. Who wants to run on a rotating belt to nowhere when you can go on an adventure? Take the time to break from the daily stress and unplug.
It’s Not a Race
Doing a Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge – similarly, so are trails. Going on a trail run you’ll immediately notice your pace is slower, and that’s ok. With hill climbs and unexpected terrain, dodging natural obstacles is bound to slow you down a bit. Focus on your breathing, and how your body feels rather, than the clock. Effort over time is what really counts.
Check out this week’s episode of Coachified on trail running, then get outside and experience the great outdoors. Mudder Nature is calling.