10 things I like about trail running.
- Softer running surface = less impact
- No monotony – you have to be paying 100% attention 100% of the time
- Greater variety of ….everything – scenery, surface types, grades, angles….
- Repetitive stress and biomechanical related injuries are less of an issue. Biomechanics and proper form are devices to reduce injuries caused by minor imperfections in form, magnified by repeating them thousands of time per workout. In trail running every foot strike and every push off is at a slightly different angle, making the above moot, and building strength along infinite axes.
- Support muscles get more of a workout. (“All those little muscles in your feet” per Jon Perry) Which in turn improves your conditioning for any other sport or type of running.
- The concept of “pace” is suddenly no longer important.
- Working on a personal theory that corrective shoes don’t apply due to #6
- Core muscles and natural balance are improved, by necessity.
- Practitioners are seen as more hard core (mainly due to liberal coverings of mud , and little rivulets of blood running down their shins, while smiling)
- The shoes are a lot less gay looking, and can double as hikers if you are in to lightweight hiking (as it so happens)
Did I say 10? For what it’s worth, all of the above is based on 2 weeks of personal observation, no additional research. YMMV but I think it vets out.