Amidst todays chaos and general insanity, the idea of driving for a good half an hour or more to run up and down a mountain or through a woods could seem, well, pointless?
Why would anyone put so much effort into something that you could quite easily do in the city? Treadmills allow you to gain all the benefits of trail running without having to run in the cold, miles away from home and heaven forbid, with no wifi!
Perhaps this is something you have heard before? If so, let us break down exactly why this just isn’t true.
Benefit No.1 – Fitness
Hang on; running is just running no matter how you do it, isn’t it? How does trail running improve your fitness any more than a treadmill?
First of all, when you run on a treadmill you’re taking away the impact of your running stride, which is needed to properly engage your muscles to propel you forward. This propelling action is necessary when it comes to improving muscle strength and endurance, thus making you a stronger and more efficient runner. It also forces your body to use more energy, giving you a more strenuous workout.
Also, trails are not level and can be made up of varying gradients, meaning at some point you will be running up and down hill, creating a more challenging run.
Benefit No.2 – Fun
Let’s face it, running for hours on a treadmill, or even through a city, can be pretty dull. It’s the same thing over and over again, which can really suck the joy out of training.
Trails however, provide all kinds of challenges for you to overcome. Be it running down steep, rocky hills or jumping over fallen trees and boulders, trails are never boring. You’re forced to rely on your agility and reflexes to overcome obstacles, adapt your running style to tackle each individual challenge, and think creatively to find the best way to the reach your goals.
Yes, that did sound a little like a motivational speech, but there really is nothing more fun than running headfirst down a mountain and just… going with it!
Benefit No. 3 – Rewarding
These views are their own rewards:
You definitely won’t find these on a treadmill!
So, next time you’re tempted to skip the trails and settle for the treadmill, just remember what you could be missing…